In the Lab: 

Using the feedback given to me by Prof. Kang, I spent the week updating my slides with adaptations to ACFs we can use to make them more biocompatible.  There’s lots of properties to keep in mind like elastic moduli, shear strength, conductivity, particle size, glass transition temperature, etc.. To come up with the best idea for a solution I read many research papers on ACFs, material properties, and nanotechnology techniques trying to see what could work best.  

I also got to bring some of the conceptual ideas I had into physical ones. I was asked to make a photomask design for the ACF cable.  A photmask is used during photolithography to create photoresist patterns on substrates.  When hit with a UV light, the mask acts like a template, leaving behind the desired pattern.  My original design was based on a research paper that I found that also made an arrayed ACF.  However, after going over it with my mentor Kayla, she pointed out that the gaps between the circles could create higher resistance.  She recommended that I did straight lines instead, which was much more practical

ACF Cable Design #1, raised concerns of increased resistance between circles

ACF Cable Design #2 

I always enjoy lunch breaks with the lab crew, and this week we had one of the most fun breaks.  After lunch on Thursday, the crew decided to go walk along the creek near the Gwanaksan Mountain right outside of the university.  It was like a mini-hike in the middle of the work day and I absolutely loved it.  I did, sadly slip on some rocks and fall into the creek.  But it made everyone laugh, and luckily I have waterproof shoes so no wet socks!  

Group lab photo at the creek, shortly before I fell in

I know my time here is slowly coming to an end, I am really going to miss them 😔.  

Dr. Moser’s Communication Workshop: 

This week we had our mock interviews.  In preparation, we set up pairs within the group to practice.  I was paired with Nathan, and the night before we had a quick rehearsal.  Nathan has a very good speaking voice and presence when he interviews, so I had little feedback to give him.  I tried to emulate that when it came to my turn but had some difficulty.  Nathan recommended that I be more concise and confident with my answers.  I was very grateful for that little practice session because I felt much more prepared for the workshop the next day.  

I have to be honest though, even with that preparation, doing the mock-interviews during the workshop was pretty nerve-wracking. On top of that, we were all thrown for a little loop when a couple of us had to switch interview partners.  I think everyone did really well though, here’s a little rundown:  Elizabeth sounded very knowledgeable about her field of work, Kervin seemed very prepared (which I found funny because we had to basically come up with the company we were interviewing for on the spot), Matt sounded very hardworking and dedicated, Ryoma had an overall presence of being happy to be interviewed and passionate about his past, present, and future work, and Nathan’s interview demonstrated his ability to quickly think on his feet.  

When it came to my interview, I realized that when I focus too hard on answering “perfectly” I lose a lot of the humanness behind my answers.  The cohort pointed out that I lacked energy and sounded very quiet and at times unconfident in my answers.  I completely agree with them and I am going to continue working on making sure the excitement and passion I have on the inside shows on the outside. 

Excursions: 

One thing I love about the University of Florida, is the community that comes along with it.  After work on Thursday I met up with a fellow Gator, Kelen, who is spending the summer here in Korea taking classes at Yonsei University.  

While we both are currently in Seoul, we went to Dongjak-gu, a town neither of us had been to before.  

The original plan was to go eat ramen, but by the time we got there the restaurant was closed (remembering that COVID restrictions are a thing is surprisingly harder than you may think haha).  Luckily, we were able to find a restaurant a couple blocks away and eat there.  I had pork and rice, and Kelen had dumplings.  The food was, of course, delicious and had us all very full.  After eating, we went and walked around Boramae Park, which was surprisingly busy for that late at night.  

Fellow Gator, Kelen and I eating dinner

When the weekend hit, it was time to celebrate our roommate Nadia’s birthday in Gunsan.  The trip is definitely going down as one of my favorites during my time here in Korea.

We took the bus to Gunsan, getting to watch the opening ceremony of the olympics in real time and in the same time zone (unlike our friends back home in America who had to wait 12 hours later to see it).  When we arrived, we made our way to the hotel which was drop dead gorgeous and so elegant.  Even though we were tired, we didn’t go to sleep just yet.  Instead we finished watching the opening ceremony and got to see the amazing Naomi Osaka set the olympic flame ablaze flawlessly!  It was pretty cool to be watching the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in a part of Korea that still had lots of Japanese influence within their infrastructure, culture, and food.

Pic1: the Hotel common area

Pic2: Inside of our hotel

The next day we met up with Nadia’s friend Kadijah who lives in Gunsan, and she showed us around the city.  We began at Iseongdang, Korea’s oldest modern bakery (established in 1945).  It was so lovely, and the pastries were delicious.  

Inside Iseongdang, Korea’s oldest modern bakery

From there, we made our way to the Teddy Bear Museum.  It was EXTRAVAGANT!  The amount of detail they put into each of the scenes was incredible.  The story behind the exhibit is “Teddy and Friends”, and as you walk along the museum you get to watch the bear Tesun and her boyfriend time travel around the world.

Pic 1: Incredibly detailed scene of Japan in the Teddy Bear Museum

Pic 2: Elizabeth and I in the hologram exhibit in the Teddy Bear Museum

Pic 1: Me as a teddy bear 

Pic 2: Nadia, Kadijah, Elizabeth and I in a photo-op at the Teddy Bear museum

After the museum, Kadijah took us to a really cute ramen restaurant.  

The crew at a sit down ramen restaurant

Stuffed, we continued on our museum tour, first hitting the Gunsan Modern Architecture Exhibition hall.  We got pretty lucky and had free admission into every museum with a sticker given to us at this museum.  On our way to the next museum, we passed by the Jinpo Maritime theme park.  The exhibits there were closed, but there was plenty of military equipment set on display for us to look out outside.  From there, we went to the Gunsan Modern History museum. After that, we ended our museum tour by looking at amazing art in the Jeong Gallery.

Pic1: Hundreds of hand sculpted faces displayed at the Gunsan Modern Architecture Exhibition Hall

Pic2: Floor 1 of 4 in the Gunsan Modern History Museum

Outside Jinpo Maritime Theme Park

When we finished going around the museums, we still had some daylight, so we decided to make our way to the famous railroad trail in Gunsan.  Lots of parents were taking the cutest photoshoots of their children in traditional school uniforms on the tracks. They also had fun activities to do, like making your own candy, and live music at the end of the tracks.

Pic1: The girls in Gyeongamdong Railroad Town

Pic2: Me in front of the main entrance sign

For dinner, we tried to find a sit down restaurant that served Budae Jjigae (부대 찌개), because I was really craving it.  Unfortunately every place we found only offered take-out, so I felt kind of bad for dragging everyone around.  But God works in mysterious ways, because we found a cool Japanese restaurant instead and wouldn’t you know they had Budae Jjigae on the menu!! 

The next day we woke up early to go visit the islands off the Gunsan shores.  We were so tired from the day before, we left a little late.  We grabbed a quick breakfast from GS25 so that we could be on our way asap and enjoy as much time as possible on the island.  

The beach was so absolutely beautiful, and the water was nice and warm! Elizabeth and I walked around collecting pieces of sea glass, and Nadia found lots of little crabs along the beach.  

Panoramic of Seonyudo Island

Elizabeth, Nadia, and I enjoying the beach

But we were at Seonyudo Beach for a specific reason, Elizabeth had found earlier that they had a zipline attraction.  I must say, it was much much higher than I was expecting.  

Gif 1: Nervously getting ready to go on the Zipline

Gif 2: Footage of the zipline

After taking a couple minutes to recollect myself after the zipline, we made our way back home on the bus.  Our rest stop dropped us off on top of a mountain with a really pretty view, and all 3 of us got cheese corn dogs before heading back on the bus back home to Seoul.

Pic 1: Driving over the sea wall on our way back from the islands

Pic2: Scene from rest stop on bus ride back to Seoul