Friday, August 14, 2009

10th week in China -- Final week :'(

I'm still packing my stuff -- I brought a lot of gifts back to America lol and now I have no space for my clothes -- great. lol. This week I went to Silk Market again to do some last minute shopping for souvenirs and other stuff :) I must say that my bargaining skills have improved A LOT since I first came here lol -- I always go for 10% of the price they ask for hehehe -- of course it takes forever to shop, but in the end i got some sweet deals :)
It's hard to say good bye to everyone in the lab. I'm really going to miss them and I hope that I get another opportunity to come back and possibly continue more work with them -- I believe this collaboration is essential for research communication between China and America! It truly has been a blessing to work here and I cherished every moment! I really thank God for this opportunity to be in the program and do some amazing research with my group in Tsinghua University! And I also thank UofM and NSF, w00t w00t!

P.S. I'm going to miss the amazing Beijing food, the two large flat screen TVs, and the housekeeping ladies coming in every morning smiling and talking to me in Chinese even though I have no idea what they are saying and I think that they figured that out too lol. BYE BYE CHINA!!! <3 <3 <3

9th week in China

AAAHHH!! 1 more week left already?!?!?! but but but..... =(
It's okay...well, this week was pretty sweet as always! I went to the awesome snack street and had some interesting snacks **cough** scorpions on a stick **cough** -- and they were actually pretty delicious!!! lol TWO THUMBS UP! :) Also Wendy found an amazing hotdog place near Wudaoko -- and this was also "muy delicioso!" (as wendy would say lol).

Research is practically done. I'm preparing for my oral presentation on Friday and the poster and abstract. And I really need to make the best out of the following week!
I will miss you China!!!! Wo ai Ni, Zhongguo!! (I love you, China!!) <3 <3 <3

8th week in China

Sooo...more research hehe ^_^
But we've figured out some cool things to do in our spare time while we run HPLC or wait for centrifuge or other things -- sometimes we just watch a movie (Terminator 4: Salvation) or play some multiplayer computer games hahaa -- there is one game that one of the undergrads showed me and since then, we've been hooked...sometimes after research is all over for the night, we just stay late and play this game all night -- Metal Slug! :) An insanely awesome shooter game!! w00t w00t!! But of course, research is first! Some nights there is no time to play any games, but luckily research is fun still :)
I can't believe that we only have 2 weeks left though!! AAHHHHH!! I still need to buy a couple more gifts for my parents! data-blogger-escaped-br="" data-blogger-escaped-lol="">Luckily my project is almost done and I need to prepare a report for my professor about my work. This will be helpful because we have to have a poster done soon too for NSF :)

5th week of research (7th week in China)

Research, research, research :)
Of course there's always time for fun! Transformers 2 was amazing!! I saw the movie with Wendy one night -- we got student discounts somehow and saw it for 40RMB :). This week the lab seems more empty - it seems like everyone's going on vacation soon and one by one the lab gets smaller haha. I've also been going to so many places around China!! My professor asked my grad student to take me to different places and let me experience Beijing! We went to yuanmingyuan park -- such a beautiful and serene setting :). And Qianmen was amazing! It's a long road with stores/restaurants/buildings on each side! So many people come there to visit! They have a lot of famous Beijing snacks and food! We had Peking Duck at a really nice restuarant there!! IT WAS SO DELICIOUS!! Since that day, I've made the PEKING DUCK my favorite dish in Beijing!!! ^_^ We also went to many of the shops and I bought a few gifts for family :)

4th week of research

So I started off this week by going to the BCIF international church again on Sunday! It's a pretty good experience - you get to see people of all different backgrounds meet there and gather to praise God. But I do miss my church back home a lot. :) On the same day I also decided to go to the Summer Palace with Wendy, another member from our program! :D I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND THE SUMMER PALACE TO VISIT! It's so large and so beautiful!! There are also boats there to rent to go all around the gigantic lake that's there, but be prepared to deposit a few hundred RMB to rent one out lol -- we forgot about that and couldn't go boating... =(....

Research is really kicking in full gear. I am pretty independent in my project and I've been pretty busy with research and just chilling with my lab members everyday -- usually 10-12 hours a day now -- hahaha, so I can definitely say that I've had a lot of bonding time with my lab members :)

I'm really enjoying my research right now -- I actually want to pursue a degree in pharmacology probably or some type of drug research!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

3rd week of research

We had our last monthly group meeting on monday. But before that we all had our group photos together!! w00t w00t!!!
There are some pretty funny and awesome photos, but I don't know how to upload them on this site yet lol... :P

So at the meeting, I gave two "reports." The first was about my school, the University of Michigan, because they all wanted to know where I was from. The second was about my research experiment so far.
And I actually finished up my first project this week! It was a small project to get me started, but now I have moved on to another project which I think is even more interesting!!! =) I have to write a report though on my first experiment before I go onto the second one.

So... one thing I've noticed is that many people don’t say “bye” much lol – just “ok” and then they walk off to continue their research lol.

July 1st – first surgery on a mouse! -- Lei Fan is a doctor in our lab and she is an expert!! She's so smart!! She showed me how to do a proper surgery!! And she also was the one who made me perfect my IV injection skills =). But she is also so modest at the same time!!! Lei Fan = awesomeness!! =)

2nd week of research

I finally got started on my formal experiment and so far things are good :). I prayed to God to just guide me and help me in lab, and I think I am making some good progress now!!
A few of my lab members (Gong, Lilly, and Hu Jun) and I went out one night to have some fun. We went to this cool outdoor restaurant and laughed the entire night. And then, the tried to challenge me to eat the most spiciest chicken in the restaurant -- translated it is "abnormally spicy chicken" -- it's supposed to be the hottest spice level lol........... And I was freaked out when they kept scaring me and telling me that it will be HOT lol.....when the plate came out, there was once stick of spicy chicken wings for was literally covered in crushed hot peppers!!!!! I couldn't even see the chicken hahaa!! So i set it aside to eat later in fear of the pain my tastebuds would endure....but when it came down to it, I took a bite from the chicken was not bad at all!!! hahahaa....I freaked them all out!!! My mentor, Gong, is from hunan province, where they are known to have some of the spiciest food in all of China, and he was astonished!!! They were all scared of me after that hehehe :P

In terms of research, I've gotten really good at IV injections – usually one poke or sometimes a second poke and it’s done. I thank God for this! Especially with the technique they use to hold the mouse still so that I can inject -- it is so much harder than in America where we have the cylinders that we squeeze the mice in so they dont move -- here they are in a jar with a small hole where their tail sticks out...but sometimes the mice jump and i can miss my poke with the needle =(

Also random note, one of my lab mates (Hua Lei) and I always joke around about "shuanging" ourselves in this terrible heat lol  (shuang means cool in Chinese)-- there is no A/C except in the mouse room, so we always go to “check on the mice" and say "schwan!" once we're in the room. And whenever there is a big A/C machine in the cafeteria, me and him have to stand in front of it for a few seconds before we leave the building, because as he says: "If you can schwan yourself, just do it!" =)