128 – the elevator guy

Saw him again by the 2nd floor elevators. Decided to take the stairs. He smiled and said “see you upstairs”. Argh.

(And of course the elevator beats me. Again).

Was waiting for the elevator to go down on the 6th floor. He was walking by.

“Aren’t you going to take the stairs?”

This.

Guy.

I swear.

If we were in a Korean drama, we’d fall in love from these silly occurrences.

But since this is real life

He just gets a laugh from making fun of me.

Makes me a little flustered.

But it’s not a bad feeling.

Advertisements

125 – the damn freight elevator.

There’s this guy who works in the lab across from mine that I’ve shared a few conversations with regarding the shitty freight elevator we have in our building (I thought that damn thing was broken and didn’t come up to the 6th floor until he showed me that you have to press the button down really hard before it lights up).

Today, the elevator was being especially shitty (it went down to the first floor then all the way up to the 7th floor before finally going back down to the basement). After getting some dry ice from the basement, I waited a minute or so for the freight elevator before saying “screw it, I’ll take the stairs”.

As I was walking to the stairs, I saw the aforementioned guy waiting for the elevator (there is a front and back door to the elevator, he was waiting in front of the front door while I was waiting in front of the back door and the stairs are next to the front door). He said he’d been waiting for the elevator for the while. I replied saying that it was being weird today (going up and down without going down to the basement) and that I was going to take the stairs.

“Let’s see who gets to the 6th floor first”.

OH HELL NO HE DIDN’T.

So I ran up those stairs as fast as I could (but my stamina sucks and I was holding a box of dry ice I didn’t want to drop).

When I reached the 6th floor, I saw him walking out of the damn elevator.

Eff. my. life. I could’ve just taken the elevator.

Felt really peeved at first. But then just lighthearted because of the stupidity of the whole thing. Just smiled and laughed it off ’cause it was just so silly.

Oh and it helps that the guy is cute.

Like really cute.

119 – Oodles of Doodles of Happiness

I just think oodles is an adorable word.

Work was good today. I changed my procedure a bit so it can be done with minimal errors. It’s amazing the amount of technical expertise you can gain from google (not really, but I learned how to pipette ethers without losing half the quantity). The samples we ran yesterday have decent peaks so it seems like my sample prep is working. Just need to test it on lower concentrations now (*fingers crossed it works and I don’t have alter it again*).

Went to the sushi place by University and Dundas – the one I went to often last year when I was living at Chestnut. The sushi is cheap (4.99+tax! :D), service is fast, and the quality is decent for what I pay. Haven’t gone back there for months now, so I was surprised to see little paintings on their walls.

There were these little animals and pokemon under the takeout menu and they totally made my day. They’re the kind of critters I draw when I’m bored in class. Couldn’t resist taking pictures, of course. 🙂

Just got off the phone with my mom (not really, she said like two sentences to me before passing the phone to our family friend and then saying she’ll call me later cause her phone is running out of batteries), and feeling just a twinge of homesickness. Usually when family friends are visiting, that means a lot of good food. I’m. So. Missing. Good. Food. T_T

Other than that, I can’t really complain. I think I’m finally getting used to living here (like two years late, but whatever), but living here is definitely not preferable to back home.

As a little moment of the inner spoiled me speaking: I miss good internet and playing games on an actual computer and flaaffy my stuffed sheep and my mokona’s and playing on my wii and all my friends of course and weather that doesn’t change from hot to cold to hot again and trees, there just aren’t as many here and my family and the city itself….

Whew.

I’m glad I got that out.

117 – I’m not a great scientist. I think.

I don’t think I’m a good scientist.
Too clumsy.  Find myself spilling things, dropping things, and breaking things.  :s I try to be careful. Really, I do.
Don’t get me started on my awful pipetting skills (how do you do the exact same thing twice and end up with different volumes???).

But I guess there’s more to being a scientist than good technical skills. Gotta think like one too (i.e. This isn’t working,  how do I make it work? What can I change? What did work? Etc.)
Not too good at that either I don’t think.
For the most part, I’m enjoying my time in the lab. I don’t particularly get excited by the work I’m doing – like the way I do when I work on art or writing projects – but it’s okay.  Got me thinking I don’t want to be doing this forever though. A summer or two?  Cool. A few years? Maybe. The rest of my life? Nuh-uh. My brain isn’t wired for this,  I guess.

Been wanting to play a lot of league lately and not study for my MCAT (I’m in big trouble, I know). It’s just that working in this lab is fairly mentally  dehabilitating and the last thing I want to do when I get home at like 7 is study.
But I’ve got to.
I know.
If I don’t want to work in a lab for the rest of my life,  I need to do well on this test.
But…
No more but’s.

I’m always afraid of people inferring I want to be a doctor because my parents want me to. Because I don’t believe parents should force their kid onto any career path. Children need to live their own lives.

I’m lucky enough that my parents support (for the most part) what I want. On the contrary,  my mom would’ve probably preferred me not to pursue med school (or attempt to pursue) – too much pressure and work that she doesn’t think I can handle/not good for me.
Maybe she’s right.  Maybe I should’ve taken the easy path (Business) where you don’t need an extra 4 years before building your career.
But I don’t think that would fulfill me.

And I’m aware of my privilege in the opportunity to choose (or attempt to choose) a career that fulfills me.
It’s amazing how my family could be so poor and yet end up with me as spoiled as I am. I’m a living contradiction (a part of me I may dig deeper into in a future post. It’s something that I’ve come to realize, accept, and appreciate over the past couple of months).

For now, I’m going to continue to question my capabilities and identity, for how can you figure yourself out if you’re not asking any questions? 🙂

115 – a little update.

I think it’s about time I did another reflection on how my NYR’s are going.

I did get 4 A’s in the winter term (provided my TA doesn’t go back on her word about changing my A- to an A), but my marks aren’t as high as I’d like to be. I bombed a lot of the finals. The two classes I didn’t get A’s in (B+ in Phys Chem, A- in Biopsych), I could’ve easily gotten A’s in if the damn final wasn’t worth so much (50%). I was doing alright in both those courses and underestimated their difficulty. Getting a B stings, but I’ll get over it. Next year is when it really counts and I just have to do better then. And I have to do better. Or risk being stuck here forever.

I’m a little behind in my MCAT studying. I should be done with general chem by now and moving onto orgo chem. I’ve just been having trouble adapting to my new lifestyle. It’s weird to be sleeping so early and waking up so early after so many years of not doing it (even in high school, I tended to prefer sleeping late even if that meant I would fall asleep in class). I’m supposed to finish studying chem, orgo chem, and physics this month – I can do this. I hope. Most of it is just review of stuff I already know, but I really don’t want to miss any bases.

As an update to my MCAT study schedule:

May – chem, orgo chem, physics

June – bio, biochem

July – psych, sociology, verbal reasoning & starting mock exams

August – mock exams

My test date is on August 21st. As long as I stick to my schedule I should be okay (that means no procrastinating like you already are, miss ): <).

—–

Working in a lab is not as exciting  as I’d thought it be. Part of it is due to the fact that I’m not working as hard as I should be, but a huge part of it is that I don’t really know how to do things since I’m working in an analytical chem lab without any prior analytical chem experience. My supervisor is doing fairly important research and I of course don’t want to get in the way, but I also don’t want to do nothing. Hopefully I can find a way to be useful somehow. :/

Another thing that’s been stressing me out is the ridiculous amount of weight I gained during finals season. I know my heightened cortisol levels didn’t’ help nor did the fact that I ate a ton of chocolate. I have to either a) go to the gym like I was supposed to (NYR) or b) buy a bike. I’m leaning towards b) since I see a ton of people riding their bikes as I’m on the way to the lab every morning and they make me hella jealous. I’ll look into it this weekend.

I woke up late this morning because I was having this elaborate “shoujo” dream (there was a girl and two guys – one that obviously likes her and is nice to her and one that is a real jerk but the girl likes him anyway). I haven’t even been reading manga lately (been preoccupied watching house) so it came as a surprise and therefore a source of intrigue and thus why I didn’t wake up right away. Hey brain, I can live without any more dreams like that, thanks.

Going to go focus on my work now…:)

114 – I don’t know what I’m doing, but I kind of like it.

Started my summer research term last Friday (it’s full time for 16 weeks so I’m not going to have a ton of free time this summer). Everyone in the research group are really nice and they’re always willing to explain things to you/help out if you need it – which is great because I don’t really know what’s going on half the time.

For the past few days, I’ve been doing a lot of reading into analytical chemistry techniques and into relevant subject areas for the research.

To be completely honest, I was caught off guard by the amount of terminology that I didn’t know.

Here are some things I’ve wikipedia’ed as I’ve been reading:

1) Assay – any qualitative/quantitative analytical procedure. I’ve heard the word like a million times and it relieves me to finally know what it is in terms of a definition.

2) HPLC-MS vs LC-MS – basically HP means high powered and nobody uses the regular LC anymore because it’s outdated. Technology advances so quickly.

3) Blood serum – serum is everything in your blood except for your blood cells/clotting factors (which is confusing to me because blood without blood cells is so counterintuitive)

4) % CV – not curriculum vitae unfortunately, it’s coefficient of variation (standard deviation/mean)

5) ion suppression – exactly what it sounds like: a bad, bad thing that ruins your data (a major villain in mass spectrometry)

I watched my supervisor tinker with the LC-MS/MS (Liquid Chromatography tandem Mass Spectrometer) yesterday for a few hours  – wish I was a mechanical engineer because that machine sure is complicated.

I’m a little worried that I won’t be able to contribute many ideas to the research project because of my limited knowledge in analytical chemistry, but I’m trying my best to read up on all the necessary background right now so hopefully I won’t be useless.

For now, I’ll just enjoy the learning process and see where I go from there.

P.S. there are markers you can use to write on the windows and someone drew this panda. I don’t know why, but it brings a smile to my face every morning as I walk in.

He's all like

He’s all like “HIIII LET’S DO SOME CHEMISTRY, OKAY? :D”

113 – My luck is changing.

Today was a good day.

I woke up and played a few games of league.  No longer tilting on a lose streak so it felt nice to win some games (I’m still 10 losses more than wins because of how horribly I have been playing, ugh).

My ROP supervisor from this year emailed asking if I wanted to RA for her in the fall. I was pleasantly surprised and happy that I didn’t have to go looking for a position since I had intended to find a RA position anyway. I replied agreeing despite the fact that I didn’t fully enjoy my ROP – at least as a RA I don’t have to complete any written assignments.

I don’t know how to feel about my grades. I got higher than expected in my inorgo chem course (I don’t know how and I don’t want to check if there’s been a mistake), but did worse in my phys chem and bio psych class (that damn 84%) than expected. I’m awaiting my final two grades…I can only hope for the best.

I went to a volunteer appreciation event at Belmont House today. It was relaxing and I got to meet a ton of new people (met a lot of the Tuck Shop crew :D). I went earlier to help set up and I’m really glad it went smoothly. To my surprise, I won one of two raffle prizes – the raffle ticket had my favorite number: 14. My luck may indeed be changing.

image

As an added bonus of the day,  I’m finally getting messages about the textbooks I’m trying to sell. If I could make back the money I spent on MCAT books (~250), I’d be happy, but it’s unlikely that I can sell them all at the price I want.

I start my research soon – super excited for that.  More updates to come. 😉 gonna be interesting working and studying for MCAT this summer. Busy busy, I guess.