Sunday, July 17, 2011

Weeks 4 and 5... maybe...

I can't remember when the last post was. I guess I will have to look that over while I write this.

I guess the last post was 4th of July. That doesn't help me too much. But we will try anyway. Ok so I guess after that was Medical week. That was a rather long week of constant lectures. Pretty uneventful. Well I guess my drawing has gotten a bit better. I did more drawing then note taking during medical week. I know I'm an awful student, but I wasn't alone. It was a lot of repetitive stuff. We had Professors Cutler and Van Brocklin. I personally like Van Brocklin a bit better but I didn't like the lectures much, from the little I actually listened to. We had 4 lecturers on Friday as well. For that dinner we had Flames, a fancy diner. They had the BEST chocolate cake EVER!!! Ok, maybe not the best but it was really really really really good. And it was HUGE!!!!! So much chocolate!! Everyone was impressed when I finished nearly the entire thing myself. Anyone in my family would have never thought twice about it though.

So that weekend we did San Fran again. We went to Dr. Van Brocklin's lab at UCSF. It was interesting. I just remember seeing all the PET machines and other cool scanning devices. That night we went to Empress of China, I think that was the name. I didn't get anything though cause I'm not a fan of Chinese and I wasn't feeling very well that day.

The fifth week was upon us. This week would probably be the best yet. We visited two labs, Lawrence Livermore and Stanford. We had Prof. Shuh on Monday and he took us to Stanford. We saw the linear accelerator and lots of other stuff there. It was a nice size lab in the hills. After we went to Cold Stone. Yum. I liked David Shuh. During lecture he was the first and only until now to even mention theoretical chemistry as a viable option. It gave me hope because that is likely what I will do. I'm learning that I'm not a huge experimental chemist. I like ideas.

Tuesday we met Trish Baisden, likely one of the most influential nuclear chemists/women/scientists in the world. She is truly incredible. She is one of the top experts and she worked with Greg Chopin and Glenn Seaborg closely. So cool!!! Ali has decided to be her when she grows up. She lectured us. Then on Wednesday we had Paul Mantica, finally. He is the one who sent us all the calls of our acceptance. He is a truly amazing man as well. He is really cool. And I loved his lecture more than any so far. He also gave very inspirational advice later in the day when we had a session with Herb about graduate school. I found out a few things I did not know.

Then Thursday was the best trip so far. We went to Lawrence Livermore. We saw the Seaborg Institute, NIF, and CAMS. Such an incredible place. We listened to Post Docs talk about their research at LL. It was so cool to see people only a few years older than us who know so much. Incredible. Then we went to lunch at a country club. Then we went back to NIF and that was really cool. The most interesting part was not the fact that they focus 192 high intensity lasers at one point and make stuff explode. It was that they made 700 pound KDP crystals. That just blew my mind. I have made KDP crystals and they are not any bigger than a finger nail. 2 ounces maybe... not even close to 700 pounds!!! These things were freakin huge!!!!! It was so incredible. NIF was so cool. Then we went to CAMS. While this wasn't as cool as NIF, I will forever remember it as the place that for some unknown reason, really inspired me to want to continue my research at home.

Friday we had more lecturers. We had Sue Clark and another guy, I can't remember his name. I didn't find them that interesting. It was mostly about environment and protection and safety with radioactive materials and weapons. Afterward was dinner at Bella Mia.

Today is Saturday. And we went to Monterey. We went to the aquarium which was pretty cool. We then went back to Herb's condo. It was small but very nice. We went to the beach for a bit then to the pool. I just relaxed the whole time. I loved it. It was a very stressless day. For once. We had dinner at Tarpy's. It was a steakhouse. I got more chocolate. So yummy. Devil's food cake with chocolate mousse.

Great week overall. Down to the last one...sad... Oh well I guess this had to happen eventually. I just hope that we will keep in touch after this. We have all become so close. I love it. I'm gonna miss everyone here. A lot. Well I guess that's about all for the night. Tomorrow Harry Potter. Tuesday presentations. Thursday final. Saturday leave... Goodnight all.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July Weekend

Another weekend down. This weekend was pretty good. We went back to Santa Cruz on Saturday. It was fun. We played lots of volleyball. Went on the boardwalk for a bit. Played more volleyball. Did some frisbee in there. Burned our feet on the sand. Played more volleyball. Then left. Got really burned while I was there. It still hurts. My previous burns on my shoulders which were minor, are now peeling. Now the entire upper part of my back is red. My shoulders and the upper right side of my chest is red. This is pretty sucky. Oh well. Not much can be done now but healing and peeling. Yesterday was spent doing lab reports all day. Two more reports are done now. Two left for the week. This week is looking promising. It's Medical week. Guest lecturers come in and teach about nuclear medicine. And there is only 1 new lab this week. The rest of the week is lectures.

Today was a pretty boring day. 4th of July is just not a favorite holiday of mine. And my mood all day has been gloomy at best. Oh well. I guess it's over now. Got to play lots of pool so that was good. Went to fireworks but I left because they were taking forever and now I'm here. The others I suppose are walking back now. I was told that I didn't miss much though so that makes it a bit better. I guess it's about bed time. Good night all.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Week 3

Well in all honesty there isn't too much to tell for this week. Our professor got some form of illness and had to be out all week. So this week we mostly started late and only had labs. Prayers go out to Professor Heino Neitsche. I only got to hear his lecture last week but he seems so amazing.

So Thursday was our most eventful day. We got to go to the Berkley campus and see all their super high tech gadgets and great stuff. They have so much stuff I can't even remember. We started our day with an hour long car ride. We were greeted by the people on Heino's research team. Unfortunately he couldn't make it himself. We went to the labs that all of them work in. In the HERL (Heavy Element Research Lab), we got fully dressed for the occasion. We got lab coats and gloves (which were so much better than the Nitrile ones I'm used to) and even booties that went over our shoes. We got to see all the glove boxes and other equipment they use in the lab. It was really cool. After that we went to a conference room where we met a bunch of people from Berkley and Heino's team. We were given lunch and presentations on some of the research done there. It was long but fairly interesting despite the fact that I didn't get most of it. I liked the super cool chairs the best though. They had the ability to adjust in every which way you can think of.

So after the presentations we went to the ALS (Advanced Light Source). It was a huge factory-like building in which they had all kinds of lasers and all kinds of different sources and detectors and everything you could think of and more. It was really impressive. After the ALS tour we got to go to the 88 inch cyclotron. And we saw all the super awesome detectors and other uber awesome things. I really can't remember all the things we saw it was such a long, tiring day. I have pictures though and those will hopefully be uploaded sometime soon. After the trip we went to a brewery called Pyramid. And they had everything beer there (not my environment, but it was food I am quite familiar with) and there was a frisbee there too. I really wish I would have picked it up, it was actually cheaper than the one I have now from Target. And it would have been an awesome souvenir. Oh well... So we ate dinner with a few of the team from Berkley. It was a nice dinner.

Today we had lecture with Prof. Steve Yates. I will be completely honest, I really didn't care much for his performance. It was very quiet and he turned me off to learning things today that I would love to actually learn about. I wasn't a fan. Then we had lab after lunch and his special lecture after that. Then we went to dinner at a place called Habana Cuba. It was a Cuban/Puerto Rican place. It was not bad. Probably not something I would go to again but it was ok. Well I think that is it. The plan for tomorrow, since we have the whole next 3 days to ourselves, is to go to Santa Cruz beach again. Volleyball, ultimate, and soccer. OH YEAH!!!!

Oh wow, I can't believe I forgot to talk about the dual tests we had this week. First was the Radiation Safety Final on Tuesday. That was alright, I had 7 wrong which gave me a 81.7%. So that was meh. Then Wednesday was the Midterm for lecture, that was when I learned that I really suck at studying. However, the results of that horrid study session were pretty great. I ended up with 17 wrong which somehow gave me an A-. Not so considering how crappy my studying was. Anyway, just thought I would brag a bit about that.