Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Third Week Part 1

Meh, I've been slacking. A whole week left unblogged. To start off, this was a very eventful week, did something nearly every night.

Saturday, June 11
I attended this business seminar entitled something like "Business in a Turbulent Economy." It was sponsored by the Mays Business School here, mostly for A&M alumni, and went from 9-5pm with a happy hour reception afterwards. I attended and wore my business dress. You may be wondering, You are a bioengineer; what are you doing attending a business seminar? No, it was not just for the breakfast and lunch. I wanted to see if I could learn anything about the economy and business from this. I do have hopes of one day opening my own business, be it a bakery, a franchise, or a biotech company.
View from the Universitiy Club, top of Rudder tower
It was pretty good (food was definitely really good, lol). The seminars were interesting and the people were both funny, nice, and talkative. The first speaker sounded like Forrest Gump, no joke. My favorite seminar was this funny one about how many people abuse Powerpoint when giving presentations (click the link). I sat next to this woman who was more excited about playing Angry Birds on her Nook and a woman and man who doodled and constantly whispered and giggled to each other. Haha, I thought it hilarious how these adults were so kiddish at this professional business event.

The whole thing about "Aggies help Aggies" fosters this community atmosphere among these alumni. They were really nice to talk to and told me about resources. At the reception, I chatted with a woman working with IKEA in Dallas, and she told me about a non-profit group there that refits medical devices to be used in third world countries.

The seminar itself was enlightening and allowed me to explore the business world. I definitely enjoyed myself.

Sunday, June 12
Umm, I don't remember much, except that I went to Schlotzsky's again:
The "Original" - pretty yummy
Monday, June 13
Sigh, no vessels again today. So, Tam and I just did more mathematical modeling. I climbed a tree:

Tuesday, June 14
Attended another lunchtime seminar. This time, the REU seminar had a grad student panel, in which we asked about "Life as a Grad Student." Sounds like grad school is the way to go in this troubling economy, and one must be diligent about searching for funding. Not everyone gets funding as a grad student. You really need to constantly look for fellowships and grants.

I can't remember when I did this, but I visited the Cosgriff-Hernandez lab here. Dr CH is a biomedical engineer whose lab focuses on tissue engineering. I asked for a tour of the lab, which one of the grad students politely obliged. It was really cool. They create various hydrogels as grafts for blood vessels if one needs to be removed in surgery. The grad student who gave me the tour showed me her hydrogels and said that they use polymer chemistry synthesis to attach certain integrins to allow for selective binding of cells to the inside of the hydrogel. When the hydrogel is inserted, you do not want all types of cells and biological debris binding to the inside, otherwise it would just clog the vessel and prevent normal function. I got pretty excited and plan to prepare myself for a future in working with stuff like this. I need to take a polymer chemistry synthesis class and continue with my tissue engineering track.

Wednesday, June 15
No vessels yet again, so Tam and I did more mathematical modeling, yay! We met in the afternoon and tried to develop some empirical model of lymphangion response, but we actually spent half the time doing a crossword puzzle. LOL. We finished it though! First one I've ever done!!!
After, we walked to the rec center and I tried some rock climbing. One guy there helped me out a bit by giving me pointers while climbing. I could only do one rock climbing path though. It's tough.

This girl makes it look like she's gliding across the wall.

Nighttime rolls around and we head over to Ash's cousin's place. We play rock band, which is a good return for me after two years. Fun stuff. And then Lin let me borrow "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Mastermind." I watched "How to Train Your Dragon" that night. Sooooo good! I am seriously buying this movie when I return home. The way they made the dragon act and move is very true to animal behavior: the sliding scale between curiosity, love, fear, and defensiveness. The animation was great, and the story was superb. It was not a strained, heavily milked story-line, and neither were the jokes. It did not try to make too much humor, but had a decent amount to aid the story along. The main characters are likeable, although the annoying teen side-characters are the only "strain" on the movie. Definitely a recommend if you haven't seen it yet.

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