“So tell me about yourself,” says Dr. Moser for the second week in a row. This week’s workshop again focused on the elevator pitch. I took the feedback from last week and tried to speak more authentically. It was still challenging, still lots of nerves, but I felt a lot better about what I was saying. I changed my pitch from the last time to focus more on my energy and tone instead of worrying about word choice. Dr. Moser commented that I was not concise enough, and I appreciated him saying this. The others in the group said they liked the enthusiasm I had. Overall, I felt better about how I presented myself. I was not thrilled about my wording, but that is going to be my focus going forward. This time I needed to get more comfortable with speaking with more energy. Now that I have that out of the way, I will get the right words to match my energy so that the speech becomes sharper.

I enjoyed listening to the other’s speeches as well. This is when I have time to work on critical listening, which is important for understanding how to improve aspects of my own speaking. A few takeaways from listening the others included:

-Be conversational

-Bring energy from the beginning

-Vary tone and voice speed

-Be concise

-Believe in yourself and what you are saying


This weekend the group took the train to Busan, and thankfully it was not like the movie. No zombies chasing us, just lots of fun. Saturday(7/17), we hopped on a bus tour around the city. One of the stops was Oryukdo, a group of islands with incredible views of the ocean from the cliffs alongside it. Ryoma and I decided to hike along the coast. I was not prepared as I had jeans on, but the opportunity was too good to pass up and what’s a little sweat, right? 

Hiking at Oryukdo, views from the end of the hike

Later that day we visited the famous Haeundae Beach. Strangely, the lifeguards did not let anyone swim out past knee-height in the water, and everyone was whistled into shore at 6pm sharp. That didn’t matter much since I had no plans to swim in jeans, but I did find it odd. Overall, this area was super touristy as the street leading to the beach was lined with shops, restaurants, and clubs.

Main street leading to Haeundae Beach

Sunday, the main excitement came from Haedong Yonggung Temple. There, in the scorching heat, we saw Buddhist shrines built into the cliffs along the coast. Many people kneeled in front of the Buddha and said prayers. 

Yonggung Temple

Finally, we made one last beach visit before getting back on the train. This time we saw Gwangalli Beach. Nadia, Elizabeth, Busa and I had ice cream, and then Kervin and Nathan met up with us to go for a walk. It felt just like the beaches I’m used to: lots of people laying in the sand, kids running into the water, buff guys walking their dogs.

Gwangalli Beach


This week, Soyun gave me the task of researching more about AFM and making a small presentation about it. I focused on the principles it is based on such as atomic force and feedback mechanisms. All week I worked on compressing lots of background information into slides that would be easy to follow. It allowed me to even tie in some of Dr. Moser’s advice on being clear and concise. By Friday(7/16), I was finished and showed my work to Soyun, and she approved. The goal was to make an AFM introduction that other students can use as they learn about AFM.

Cover slide from the AFM PowerPoint

Additionally, I got more hands-on experience with another AFM machine, different from the one Soyun showed me last week. This time, Youngwoo taught me how to use the MFP, which is an older version of the Cypher AFM that Soyun introduced to me. Youngwoo also gave me a detailed breakdown of the differences between the two machines. Cypher is more user-friendly because of the new software, but MFP is more versatile in handling more types of samples.

Cypher, the newer, smaller AFM

MFP, the older, larger AFM

Lastly, Soyun had me research methods to use AFM to study powder samples. This is because we will be studying the Hydroxyapatite powder that we made a few weeks ago. Next week, we will start using AFM to study our sample.