Work – The Last Week:
My last week in the lab was spent finishing up my work with anisotropic conductive films (ACFs), and sorrowful goodbyes.
Like I mentioned before, there were lots of factors to consider when coming up with a solution for biodegradable ACFs. While we hoped to get a physical prototype ready before my last day, we were not able to do so. Even without the physical prototype, we were still able to come up with a design that could be implemented.
Final ACF design concept
After work on Wednesday, I got to go out with a couple of lab mates for Korean BBQ. It was a night of laughs, and reminiscing on the short two months I had been there. When we finished eating dinner, we went and got some photos at two photobooth shops around Seoul National University Station.
Pictures with our photo booth pictures
On Friday, my official last day, Professor Kang treated me to a goodbye lunch with my mentor Kayla and Jae-Young, (who I guess you could call my mentor’s mentor). It was an absolutely lovely lunch, and the restaurant was so beautiful and quite fancy.
My final lunch (this summer) at SNU
My lab saying goodbye
We made it our mission to get as little sleep as possible in our final days of being in Korea. On the same Friday of our last days of work, Elizabeth, Nathan, Matt and I made our way to Jeju island for our last little vacation.
Pic1: Elizabeth and I in the very last seats on the plane to Jeju
Pic2: Me in front of the Jeju Airport sign
We were in Jeju till Monday morning. On Friday, since it was pretty late when we arrived, we got food from GS25 and had dinner together on a port right outside of our hotel. The next day, Elizabeth Nathan and I went on a bus tour while Matt hiked up Hallasan Mountain.
At Iho Tewoo Beach, location of the famous red and white horse shaped lighthouses
At Jeju City Five-Day Market (which we were lucky enough to be there on one of those 5 days)
Pic1: Yummy pork stew for lunch during the bus tour
Pic2: A pretty view from the bus tour
When we all met up again, we went straight to black pork street to taste some iconic Jeju black pork. I must say, it lived up to the hype.
Elizabeth, Matt, Nathan, and I on Black Pork Street
The next day, our final full day in Jeju, we hired a private taxi to take us around the west side of Jeju. This was definitely my favorite time of the whole entire trip. Our taxi driver’s name was Mr. Jang, and he was so kind and helpful.
Group picture with the best taxi driver ever, Mr. Jang
A breathtaking temple in Seogwipo-Si, one of our taxi stops
On Monday, we left Jeju and went to get our COVID tests in preparation for our flight home. After the tests, Kervin Elizabeth and I went to see the National Folk Museum of Korea in hopes of seeing some memorabilia provided by Dr. Kim’s family.
Elizabeth, Kervin, and I outside the museum
We still had one more full day, and we were going to use it! On Tuesday Elizabeth and I woke up early and went to get Fluffy pancakes. They had been on Elizabeth’s “go-to” list for a while so I’m glad we finally got to go! I had tried fluffy pancakes back home in Orlando, and did not have the best experience so I was very hesitant to try them. I was pleasantly surprised by just how good they were in Korea.
Delicious fluffy pancakes
From there, we made our way to the Lotteworld Aquarium. It was ginormous! The sheer amount of fish species they had on display was mind boggling. My favorite had to be the beluga whale, who swam so elegantly in his tank.
Pic1: The Beluga whale at Lotteworld Aquarium
Pic2: Clown fish on display at the aquarium
After the aquarium, we got a bite to eat and made our way to Lotte World to meet up with the rest of the cohort, our roommate Nadia, and her friend Khadijah. Lotte World is Korea’s largest indoor theme park. We rode lots of rides (where I lost even more of the voice I barely had), bought matching headbands, and ate lots of food in the park.
Elizabeth, Khadijah, Nadia, and I at Lotte World
You would think after such a day we would make our ways to bed and get ready for our flight the next day. Instead, we all met up again in our apartment one last time to reminisce on our eventful summer. Our conversations went on until nearly 3am in the morning, but it was totally worth it.
Group picture (-Ryoma) at 3am in the morning