Communications workshop: 

This was our final communications workshop! Everyone got to present their lab work, along with their experience here in Korea. I enjoyed hearing everyone’s presentations, and it was so nice to reflect.  After each of our presentations, we received some final feedback.  For me, I was advised to work on having smoother transitions between slides and watching out on my filler words.  

I was happy to see so much improvement in our presenting skills in comparison to our first couple of workshops. While my nervousness was still there, I was able to push past it and bring more energy and confidence to my presentation. I also got lots of compliments on my slide designs, so all in all it was a win!

Screenshot from our final meeting

Screenshot of my presentation’s title page

Work:

It’s back to the drawing board! While the designs we created were sufficient for our lab’s purposes, the materials we had initially planned to use for creating the ACFs needed further review.  The main issues arose from the glass transition temperatures of the polymers we intended to use, and the types of conductive particles we wanted to use within the film.  To address these issues, most of my time in the lab this week was spent going over research articles and finding feasible substitutes.  

On Wednesday morning, my mentor Kayla went to the hospital to perform in-vivo testing with some of the experiments she was working on.  I unfortunately was not able to attend due to our final communications workshop being at the same time.  On the same day we received news that someone in our building tested positive for COVID.  Even though that person was not a part of our lab, the whole building had to be shut down and sanitized.  I continued to read research articles at home (thanks to UF’s VPN) and when the building was reopened at noon on Friday I returned to campus.  Most of the lab chose not to come back in since there was only a half-day left before the weekend, but luckily I was able to discuss my project with some labmates who had come in to reset their experiments.  

Excursions:

On Saturday, we went to Everland, Korea’s largest theme park!  I wouldn’t describe it as just a theme park, however, as there was a full blown zoo there as well! 

Elizabeth, Nadia, and I at the entrance of Everland

Pandas relaxing in Everland’s ‘Zootopia’ 

The rides there were a lot of fun, and since not that many people were at the park the lines were pretty short.  I am not the biggest fan of roller coasters, but of course you always have to try something at least once!  One roller coaster in particular though, The Twister, I would never ride again.  It flung you up, down, left, right, and sideways at what felt like hundreds of feet in the air!  I have never been so scared in my life, but it was definitely a memorable experience.  

Pic1: Me under the iconic iridescent umbrellas at Everland 

Pic2: The insane Twisty Ride

On Sunday, my mentor Kayla and I went out for lunch.  I had told her about the Nigerian restaurant Happy Home that I went to a couple of weeks back and she said she really wanted to try it so we went there!  Kayla drove us, so we arrived earlier than I expected.  Because we were there so early, they had not opened yet so we went to find a cafe instead.  

Suprinsglgy, at 11:30 am many of the Cafes in Itaewon were not open yet so we had to keep walking around for a bit.  Our first stop was ‘I Donut Care’ a really delicious donut shop that sells the famous “Homer Simpson” doughnut, which of course looks just like the ones from The Simpsons.  Afterwards, we went to a cool cafe down the block and got some drinks.  I got lemonade, and Kayla got iced tea.  The lemonade was made with freshly squeezed lemons and was not mixed with any sodas which I had yet to have in Korea. 

By the time we were finished eating, Happy Home was officially open. Because it was Sunday, classic African church music was playing and everyone in the restaurant was upbeat and smiling.   Again, the food was great.  We had, of course, jollof rice, along with egusi, fufu, and fried plantain.  They also gave us extra red stew which was super nice.  Kayla said she really enjoyed the food and that she wants to bring her mom to try it too! 

Pic1: Kayla and I in the hip mirror at the cafe

Pic2: us at Happy Home 

Kayla was also kind enough to gift the roomies some donuts from the donut shop! 

Roommates, Elizabeth and Nadia, holding ‘I Donut Care’ donuts