Thursday, June 2, 2011

Howdy from Texas!

Well, haha, totally didn't post the day after my last post. As usual. Oh well. Things come up. More on that later. It is now time to post about my last two and half days in College Station, Texas!!!!

I arrived at Dallas Airport on Monday afternoon. The airport is HUGE!!!! There are four terminals, A, B, C, D. They even have this tram that can take you from terminal to terminal. I didn't take it. Rather, I wanted to explore the airport to kill the hour between layover flights. Walking through, I took these pictures:
 Two stories of vendors at DFW Airport
 Awesome random structure to walk through (terminal D)
 Touch screen info booth! Lists where everything you'd want to know is.
Cute Texas souvenirs!

Then, 30 minutes later, I arrived in the TINY airport in College Station, where Dr Hsieh picked me up. He is such a nice professor! He picked up me and another intern and took us back to our apartment. The apartment is NICE!!! There's an outdoor pool, gym on the 5th floor, nice decor inside, and the whole street of bars and restaurants right across the street! The weather is hot and humid during the day (90 degrees!!!) but it's wonderful at night. Right now, I'm sitting poolside writing this blog. It's breezy and feels great. I would like to sleep out here. And funny thing, it's 11 pm!

Day 0: May 31st
After getting picked up and then settled in at the apartment, we get driven to this Chinese buffet nearby. Since it's 2 hours ahead of California time, I had only just eaten a large lunch a couple of hours ago. But since I'm also a big eater, I took a plate. Good pineapple chicken and veggies, good watermelon. Weird red sauce covered bananas o.0

I met all the other interns. They are all really nice and fun to talk to. We've got multiple BioE, one Chemistry, and one or two electrical engineering and/or mechanical engineering students. A couple from around Texas, three from Tulane, one from Sac, and one from Minnesota. We explored the street across from our apartment: full of bars.
 A sign in front of one of the bars
Bottlecap Alley

The sleep was really bad though. I was cold. I left the window open to let in the hot air to counteract the freezing air conditioning but then that just let in the NOISY birds in the morning. Interesting birds, those fellas.
"S" playing the profound sounding piano
The kitchen at the apartment. Convection stovess!!! I want to cook!!!

Day 1: June 1st
We meet up in the front lobby at 8:30 am and go to get our IDs. My hair is sooo fluffy! Haha, but I really like using this duo-straightener-hair dryer that my roommate brought along. Then we went to Dr Hsieh's office and conference room at Thompson Hall to set up some things. "B" gave us a tour of the engineering side of campus, which is just like one-fifth of the entire campus. TAMU is GINORMOUS!!! It's seriously 4 or 5 times the size of UC Berkeley. The trouble was that it was sooo hot and sunny. We were all exhausted walking around. The campus is very nice, but it was just so spread out and huge and we had to walk around under the blazing heat. We really enjoyed sitting inside. At noon, Dr Hsieh treated us to the Sbisa Dining Commons. It was good. They actually cook your pasta there for you. I like this a lot better than Crossroads at Berkeley, where the sauce just sits in a hot waterbath and you spoon it over wet pasta. Nasty. Here, the sauce was cooked over a skillet, and the pasta added to the skillet and tossed by the cook, then served in a large beautiful plate. They say Sbisa is the largest dining common in the US! The sweet tea here is sooo tasty too!

After we got to meet up with our mentor. "S" and I went to the Veterinary School of Medicine to meet Dr Quick. We first met with the GSI Tam, who gave us a tour of the lab rooms. Some cool stuff! I got excited about his work with lymph vessels and already started thinking about what I could research and help out with. After, we met with Dr Quick, who gave us an exciting and passionate but lonnnggggggggggg talk about the projects we could be working on for these next 9.5 weeks. I got really excited about the lymph one, but the idea to work with bats is sooo cool! At 4:30, we left to go the REU Welcome BBQ at ILSB. We came 45 min late and there was almost no food left. I managed to scavenge a sausage link, a small brisket slice, beans, mashed potatoes, SWEET TEA <3, and salad. I love mashed potatoes, and I have found I love the Sweet tea in the South!!!! I'm gonna need to buy me a jug.

We went back to the apartment after that. After a much-needed nap from all that hot walking, I went to the pool and swam laps. The other girls came down and swam with me. Eventually we stopped and just sat poolside talking to a physics REU intern. He was pretty cool. Then, after a shower, I met with "S" at the ASC and we read up a little bit about Quick's research and chatted. "S" brought crochet stuff. Sometime I will show her how to crochet a cute round chick or teddy bear. I wish I brought my crochet stuff! Sleep was good this night. Quite warm, now with two covers and my long sleeved shirt.

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