This summer I spent some time back at home, went on some trips, scooped some ice cream, and ended back at SC working in a biomedical lab. After classes were over, I went back home to Fresno (FresYes), California. Fresno is located directly in the middle of California’s Central Valley. If Fresno were a movie, it would be a cross between Napoleon Dynamite and McFarland. It is a little big city that is close to everything, has a normal temperature during the summer of over 100 degrees, and has the best produce around. While home, I visited with friends, spent some quality time with my two pugs, and worked back at my old summer job, scooping ice cream and making cakes at Coldstone Creamery. It is not the most glamorous of jobs, but at least I can say that I have tried almost any combination of ice cream and toppings known to man.
I took some small trips during this first half of the summer. I went to San Francisco twice, hiked at Yosemite (aka Fresno’s prettier backyard), and “learned” to surf with my sister at Pismo Beach on the central coast. While at Yosemite, me and my friends thought it would be a good idea to walk back to our campsite rather than drive, and while walking back we saw a man run across the street immediately followed by a bear chasing him. We then ran the other way and drove back. I also got completely lost when I was hiking a trail with my sister. I thought I would have to channel my inner Pocahontas and find a way to survive the next 20 years in the wilderness, but I eventually found my way back.
I came back to USC for training in a biomedical lab, the Laboratory for Integrative Biosystems Engineering, the same lab I worked in last semester. It has been very exciting to see the lab progress throughout the last year. Back in January, the lab was entirely empty. However, throughout the summer, the lab has grown with deliveries of various equipment as well as the installation of a laser that will be used for laser cell microdissection. This laser isolates a few cells in a culture to allow for new cells or factors to be put in place of the removed cells. In order to work with this new equipment, I had to go through a few trainings. These included the principal investigator lab training, which was conducted by Dr. Keyue Shen, laser training, cell culture training, and blood borne pathogen training.
Here in sunny LA, I have gone to Disneyland, the Hollywood Bowl, and just about every pizza joint in the city. I move in to my first apartment in about two weeks and am looking forward to the rest of the summer here at SC!