9.10.2012

And so it's over

Although I've been home for almost a month now, I just kept putting off writing this last blog entry. My last ten days in Boston were swell. I did a little shopping, worked on some of my projects and just kind of enjoyed the city. The flight back was uneventful, except almost missing the flight, running to the boarding gate, only for the plane to be delayed 20 minutes for everyone left in security. Either way I made it home safely.
    Looking back at this summer I'm seriously so happy that I got to go. I miss Boston and being in the lab but it just gives me something to look forward too (maybe Boston calling my name to come back?). I'm so excited to get back to my classes and start looking into grad schools and starting a career in chemistry. Sometimes I get really nostalgic about Boston and how great it was and I miss my roommates and our apartment, going into the city, being able to just walk to the stores, etc. Other times it feels so surreal that I actually ventured out into an unknown part of the US, by myself, for the whole summer. I think about those who went to other countries and I congratulate them, because I don't know if I would have had the confidence (before I went to Boston of course)
   
     To really understand how much this opportunity meant to me, here's an excerpt from the reflective report...

"...Being a chemistry major, it seems obvious that working in an academic, on the verge of being
industrial, lab can easily be linked to my academic work at W&J, but I think this experience has
surpassed the obvious linkage. Of course my laboratory technique has improved and so has my
understanding of solvents and the chemicals I used on a day to day basis. Working in an organic
laboratory was a lot different that I had expected. I learned about purification of organic compounds
and really got a feel for the organic aspect of chemistry, which differs significantly from other fields of
chemistry. I had the opportunity to work with graduate students, post-doc students, and staff. Before
going to Boston I knew that I wanted to go into chemistry beyond W&J, but I had no idea of the work
it entailed. Being able to talk to these people who have been in my shoes and are now in the shoes I
would like to follow was really insightful. I think the best part was that I had the opportunity to talk to
all these people and understand the journey they went through while trying to get to the point they
were at.
     The few weeks while I was in the CMLD I got to talk with some of the researchers there. Although
many of these stories were similar to those in Aaron’s lab, they were also very honest about the job
market in the field of chemistry. The average American would assume that any job related to research
and development, especially pharmaceutical is a great field and there are tons of jobs. However,
the honest truth, which I have come to learn this summer, is the jobs just are not there anymore.
Pharmaceutical R&D is expensive and produces more waste than useful products.
Although organic chemistry or pharmaceutical research may not be the best field for me, this
experience has only strengthened my interest in chemistry and my desire to further pursue my degree
and beyond. My dream coming into undergrad was to do pharmaceutical research, but after this
experience my dream is to simply just work in a lab. I’m so excited to learn all that I can about the
different field of chemistry and really find what my passion will be. These next two years at W&J will
be very crucial for my success further on in life and I’m so glad I had this opportunity. This experience
has taught me that I must worked harder than I have before these next two years and really focus on
finding that perfect grad school after W&J...."



8.07.2012

So many adventures.

     Okay, so really not that many adventures, but this weekend was very eventful. Friday evening Noelia had some friends over and they made dinner. I enjoyed socializing with different people, generally just enjoyed the company of the apartment being full of people, and the food they made was delicious. Saturday was another really hot day. I spent most of the morning lounging around with my roommates and their friend who had stayed the night. We ended up walking her back to her car and then did a little shopping at TJ maxx, where I bought a Red Sox shirt. :) Probs one of my favorite stores, just saying. We also went into Urban Outfitters where I bought these really cute cupcake earrings.
     Saturday evening Sarah, Kristen, and I (two girls from the lab) went out to dinner and then to a Red Sox Game. It's so crazy how their stadium is so different from ours but holds the same, if not more people. Unfortunately we sat next to this group of younger adults who cared only about drinking. The were constantly leaving and coming back with drinks. It got so annoying, not only the getting up, but being sloppy drunk. Just so embarrassing. Grown up. Ugh! Anyways, we decided to leave in the eighth inning, with the Red Sox up by one. When I got home I went to check the score and BAM, Twins got four runs in the ninth and won. WHAT! I'm glad I left early to beat all the people leaving, but it defiantly would have been interesting to see how the game turned out.
   Sunday was still another really muggy, hot day. The roommates and I decided to go tot he beach. Oh how I love the sun. We drove about an hour away to this really nice beach, Horseneck Beach. Even though it was pretty cloudy, there was still a bajillion people. We only stayed, no more than four hours. I got a little burnt on my back, but hey oh well. It was nice being able to relax and just enjoy the sun, and not be annoyed that it was so hot. It was also nice spending the day with both of them. I'm so sad I will be leaving. I was so lucky to have secured this apartment with Noelia and Mari. They are so great and they have really opened my eyes to a lot of things and many times make me really questions my actions. They also have made me much more conscientiousness about the environment and how my actions will affect the environment. I realized I didn't really mention this in my last post how grateful I am that I got to live with them. But that's probably the third best thing about this experience in Boston, my wonderful roommates.
 

8.01.2012

I'm so sappy right now....

Seriously cannot believe that I only have two weeks left in this awesome city. Boston has been one of the best things I've ever done. Even though I haven't gone out as much as I could have, all that I'm learning in the lab is so worth it. I can honestly say that I've really grown from this experience and cannot even believe that my time is going to be up so soon. So sad.
   This may sound cheesy, but the biggest thing I've learned while being here, was just how to be alone. I know that sounds... weird, but being in a city all by yourself and not really having that many people to hang out with you become very comfortable with being yourself and being alone. Don't get me wrong I like to go out and have fun and see friends as well as the next guy, but I also don't mind coming home to en empty apartment and riding the T all alone, heck, even going shopping/site-seeing all alone. I'm doing it because I want too, I don't need other people there to enjoy it. With that being said, Lauren will be leaving me soon and there are still some places I'd like to visit, so I will be adventuring by myself.. is that so wrong?
     Besides personally growing from being here/maturing, I've also grown in the lab. I'm now able to do things in the lab that I didn't even know existed when I first started. I feel comfortable in the lab and I enjoy being there. It helps that I also enjoy the people I work with, but I enjoy chemistry as well. I think another major thing I will take away from being here is that I really do want to work in the lab. I know grad school will be longs hours and hard work and so will further schooling, but I'm willing to put in all the effort because I thoroughly enjoy it. I think being here has really opened my eyes to the real world of what it's like and I'm okay with it. Had I not known a lot of these things before thinking about grad school, it defiantly would have been a little different and I think my thoughts on would be different as well.
   I'm also really lucky to have picked a great place to spend my magellan. Not only with the city of Boston and how awesome it is, but the lab as well. I have been very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work in Aaron's group and I couldn't see myself anywhere else. I remember my first two weeks when Oscar was not there and I did so little and was just so bored. Working with Oscar has also been really great. He's a great mentor in that he doesn't always just tell me what we're doing, but gives me just the slightest opportunity to figure it out or ask. He's also very understanding with the 23095734295 questions I ask constantly.Beyond Aaron and Oscar, just having the opportunity to meet great people such as Sarah and Kristen is awesome. Because they've gone through grad school and stuff they know first hand what it's like. It's great to see different perspectives on it. To have met so many smart, talented, hard-working, genuine people has been so wonderful and I'm so grateful I was given this opportunity.

7.25.2012

No longer a Subway employee

So yesterday, when I went into Subway to work, found out that I was no longer on the schedule. I was only suppose to work another week and a half, but still. It took me by surprise, but I'm kind of glad now. That just means all that more time to enjoy Boston. Yayy!! Hopefully I will have a lot of things to share now that I won't be working like a crazy woman. :)

7.21.2012

Slacking much.

Wow, do I suck at writing in this blog... I'm just busy with subway, it's killing me. I cannot wait to be finished. uggh! Today, my nine hour shift, was basically horrible. I'm currently exhausted. On the plus side, I may have an eye infection, that's great! YAY! (sarcasm here).
    But on a real note, working in the lab has been going well. Oscar went to Florida Friday and Monday, so Friday I had to be a big girl and do chemistry all on my own. From the looks of it, before I left on Friday, everything seems to be going well. My job was to just do, basically a two step reaction. I had to leave the first step over the weekend. The even brighter side of all of this is that I'm actually keeping busy. The more chemistry we do during the day, the quicker the day goes by and the less tired I am once I arrive home.
     Besides working all week, I didn't really do much...    My mother sent me a wonderful care package, with a new nice bright orange shirt, a gift card to dunkin donuts, and some coffee. Thank you  mother!! And I made dinner for my roommates on Monday, they absolutely loved it. I made Pretzel Chicken with a mustard cheddar sauce. YUM! And so I guess that brings me to today, in which I worked nine hours, relaxed a little, then went out to Newbury Street with Lauren. I basically just did a little browsing, trying to save money and all, it's not that enjoyable to go shopping. 
    Well, after basically rambling and complaining this entire post, I'm off to read and then to sleep. Must work in the morning, of course. 

7.15.2012

Another week.. gone.

So I've actually been keeping very busy. After my mother and sister left last weekend, I feel like I've been just constantly going. I've been staying pretty late in the lab this past week, until about six (except when I work). I don't mind staying late, it just leaves little time to do anything once I get home. Let's see, what interesting things did I do this week....
     I finally went grocery shopping, because Subway finally paid me. Yay!I bought so much stuff, not that I cook all that much since working at subway. Friday evening, Mari and I went to this little mexican resturant, Dorado. The food was so delicious. They're known for their fish tacos, but I just got chicken. The tomatilla and avocado salsa was so good though, amazing! Saturday, after working all day, Lauren and I went to Revere Beach. It was actually pretty relaxing, even though we were only there for a couple hours. Revere Beach is home to the sand sculpting competition, which was going on this weekend. There were so many people, I think there were even fireworks last night, but we didn't stay for them. It was really cool to see the sculptures in person, these pictures just don't do them any justice!















     I realized, that although I really am growing and learning from this experience in Boston, I haven't really blogged about it all that much. I think within the next week, I will dedicate one post to how awesome being in Boston has been for me and how much I've grown into my own person and how happy I really am. Until then, I'm currently dying of heat exhaustion writing this, so I will be off to sit with a cold rag on my forehead until I feel alive again!

7.07.2012

Finally enjoying the city...

So Tuesday was the last day I worked before my mother and sister arrived. Normally, I'd skip right to when they arrived and all the fun things we did, but I have to admit that Tuesday was very very... interesting. We're in the process of moving labs, so there hasn't been much chemistry really happening. It's also been a little weird getting use to some of the new set-up we are working with. So one of the girls in the lab and I go to lunch outside, thinking everything was fine. When we come back to the lab, this guy in the hallway goes "there was a fire." We were like.. "whatt?!!" So apparently, an oil bath was on a hot plate, but the thermometer that measures the temperature wasn't in the oil, so the hot plate just kept heating, and heating, and heating the oil, until it erupted in flames. Luckily it was caught quickly and put out. But wait it gets better! So the fire mess is finally cleaned up, we all take a breather and are ready to get back to what we were doing, then all of a sudden, a still full of THF just explodes in the hood. Glass throughout the hood, THF dripping from the ceiling all over everything in the hood... it was pretty nerve racking. Not much was accomplished for the day, all because of two simple little accidents... whoops!
     So besides almost dying in the lab, the past four days have been some of the best. My mother and sister flew in on Wednesday morning. I met them at the airport. After getting back to my apartment and getting all settled in, we walked down to Coolidge corner. We had lunch at Otto, some amazing pizza, and did some grocery shopping. Noelia was hosting a little party for her friend, whose birthday is also on the fourth, so my sister and I made some pasta salad. I had to work four hours, but I left my mom and sister to their own devices. After getting off of work I hung out with the party for a little. A couple of us decided to walk to this park on a hill, where apparently you can see the fireworks. We could see them, not the best, but it was alright. It poured rain for a little before the show started, but I do have to admit I enjoyed watching the fireworks without having to hear the sound. I'm kind of sad that we didn't go down to the esplanade to see them, but I know there would have been soooo soo many people. uggh.
   Thursday we started our day off at the Public Library. The library is just so gigantic and beautiful I had to show my sister and mother. We then walked over to the Prudential Tower, where we went up to the fiftieth floor which overlooks the entire skyline of Boston. It was so pretty and amazing. There's also a little audio thing you can listen too which tells you all the about the history of what you're looking at. I know my sister took some good pictures, sucks I don't have any to share, but rest assured, it was magnificent. After the skywalk we walked all the way down Newbury Street and then through the public garden. I seriously think Boston is one of the most beautiful cities. I'm loving it so much here. After doing 13249032759 miles of walking, we went back to the apartment to rest for a little. My mother insisted on helping me with laundry (past prevails that I've struggled a little). So we spent the evening doing laundry and going into some of the little shops around Coolidge Corner.
     Friday morning, my mother had to wake up at 6 to check into their flight. So we decided to head over to Target at seven in the morning. By the time we went, shopped, and got back, it was already eleven. We waited for my sister to get ready and then we headed out to the city, one more time. We went to park street and walked around for a little, headed over to Quincy Market, and then to the North End. The market was really cool with all the little shops and restaurants and of course we got cannoli from Mike's Pastry in the North End. It was pretty delicious. We walked down the river and sat for a while before heading back. Since my mother and sister had to get up so eaerly, we just kind of hung out for a while.
     It was so great being able to spend some time with my sister and mom. I've missed them, and my dad, a lot since being here. I'm excited and sad to go home in August. I miss home and everything, but being here has been so great and wonderful. Today, Noelia and I went over to Harvard Square. We did a little shopping and walked through Harvard Yard, ate dinner, and did some more shopping. It was a little toasty out, but I still enjoyed myself. Not working all these days has been really relaxing as well. I must go to work tomorrow and get back into the same ole schedule, but before I know it, I will be on that plane home. This experience has been one of the greatest.