Los Angeles is a city filled with personality ranging from its vast food culture, to its national landmarks and natural landscapes. When I arrived to USC I had no idea how I would tackle all of the perks LA had to offer. LA must have heard my request when it hosts the DineLA Restaurant Week event! Restaurant Week is two weeks where restaurants throughout Los Angeles and Orange County offer 2-4 course meals at a discounted price to encourage people to go out and try different eateries. Continue reading
Woohoo! This past winter break was definitely one to remember- I went back home and got to spend time with my family, worked a little, got my wisdom teeth out, and went to visit my friend in Hawaii. Continue reading
This semester has flown by! It is hard to believe Thanksgiving is over and finals are right around the corner. So many things have happened to make this semester truly memorable. Below I have listed some of the highlights from my semester, Enjoy!
Hey guys! Another week gone by just like that! The beautiful weather for the last few weeks has reminded me how lucky I am to be in LA! On the weekends I have been sneaking away from campus and heading to a beach city called Manhattan Beach. I love the environment near the pier and wanted to tell you a little bit about my adventures here!
As an engineer, I have come to really value my weekends and the free days where I can explore Los Angeles and go to my favorite food, beach, and hang out spots! Coming from Northern California, we do not have the same luxury of nice beaches and perfect weather so on my free days I make the most of it there! However, when I want to get some work done and just relax with some laughs, great hang out spots are not very far away.
It’s probably pretty safe to say that about 80 percent of the time I study in my apartment. This is partly because I do a majority of my studying in the evenings and I like to be able to lounge around in comfy clothes and have constant access to snack food. I also like to wear my noise-canceling headphones and listen to music when I study and they kind of make me look like a bug, so I try to avoid that in public. However, I definitely wouldn’t categorize my apartment as my favorite study spot. While I’m often very productive since it’s pretty quiet, whenever I have some time to study between classes, on weekends, or if I’m just feeling more adventurous, I head over to Figueroa.
We’re about halfway through the semester now and classes are in full swing. I figured I’d do a quick recap of my week to give you all an idea of what a week in the life of a chemical engineer is like starting last Friday!
Well, it’s that time of year again. Despite this crazy 80-90 degree weather we’ve been having, the first LA mist of the school year struck yesterday. I call it mist because there’s no way you can consider it rain – just a little bit of moisture in the air early in the morning on the way to my first class of the day. It burned off before I even got out of that class. But still, the second I felt it, I got my first wave of homesickness since I arrived back on campus. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love USC. I love going to school in LA. I love my friends here, my schedule, and I most definitely love the sunny weather. But after spending the first 18 years of my life growing up in one of the rainiest, gloomiest parts of the country, even just a hint of overcast skies and mist makes me miss home. I think it’s inevitable – part of leaving the place you grew up is missing it sometimes. It’s not that I wish I was going to school in Oregon – I really am happy here, but sometimes I do wish I could be both places at once. After talking to several of my other friends from outside California I’ve decided that it’s pretty normal, and totally curable. So while missing home can sometimes be a bummer, I’ve spent that last year figuring out some pretty great ways to deal with homesickness! Here’s how I deal:
Hej från Sverige! Despite summer having been only a couple of weeks, I’ve already fallen in love with Sweden. Interning at a powder metals company in the southern part of Sweden, only a short commute to Denmark, I have been trying to do as much sightseeing as I can.
While the move from rainy Portland, Oregon to sunny Los Angeles, California for school was startling, the move back for the summer has probably been even more of an adjustment. It’s been pretty dreary weather since I got back to the City of Roses (or City of Bridges if you prefer) and I’m definitely missing my LA sunshine!
On the bright side, I’ve been staying really busy and keeping myself distracted. Four days after arriving home, I started my summer internship in a biomedical engineering research lab at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), and so far, I love it. A little background: I’ve been doing research all year at USC with Dr. Paul Newton of the Aerospace/Mechanical Engineering department on modeling cell movement through the Viterbi Merit Research program. You can read an interesting summary of some of Dr. Newton’s research here.
Although Dr. Newton is in the AME Department at USC, he works really closely with a team of biomedical engineers and cell biologists at OHSU. When he found out that I was going back to Portland for the summer, Dr. Newton offered to introduce me to his colleague at OHSU. I was really excited about the prospect of continuing my cell modeling research over the summer, and when I was offered a position as a summer intern in a biomedical engineering lab at OHSU, I accepted it immediately.
The gorgeous building I work in – right on the South Waterfront in Portland.
The view from the Portland Aerial Tram, which takes you over the freeway from my building up to the hospitals and other OHSU buildings.
Although almost everyone else on my team at OHSU does cell biology experiments in the “wet lab,” my mentor and I focus on imaging and modeling cells through various methods – mostly MATLAB and CellProfiler. This summer I’ve already learned how to use a microscope to image slides of cells, and how to use these various modeling methods to obtain physical data about the cells at different time points, such as the aspect ratio. After three weeks of hard work modeling cells, I found out a few days ago that some of the data I obtained will be used in a research paper and I will be listed as a co-author on my first-ever publication! I’ll make sure to post a link to the article when it comes out.
Ready for my first day of work!
After learning and accomplishing so much in the first couple of weeks at work, I really can’t wait to see where the rest of the summer takes me! Next week I leave for a vacation to Hawaii with my best friend’s awesome family. Needless to say, I’m really exited. Two weeks of relaxing on the beach, swimming, hiking, snorkeling, zip-lining, and enjoying the sunshine I miss so much? Sounds like the perfect break – I can’t wait.