Some reflections on lessons learned so far from my ongoing internship and other summer involvements.
When I got the acceptance email, it took me until the first day of the internship to believe that it was true. Fast forward one week, and my disbelief-turned-acceptance had morphed into a pit in my stomach that left me feeling flustered, anxious, and frustrated at myself.
After landing a spot in a program I’d had my eye on since high school, after already hearing my mentors express their excitement to have me around for the summer, after active participation in discussions about science, I still felt like an outsider. It wasn’t a new feeling; throughout my undergraduate experiences, I’ve been fighting the voices in my head that tell me I don’t belong in many of the spaces I spend my time.Continue reading
My music teacher smiled and waved goodbye to me and my two classmates. My five-year-old hands hugged my half-size violin case closer to my chest. Every week after, she played short, sweet notes on her violin and asked us to name them with our eyes closed, over and over in different intervals until we could sing them back to show our understanding. She explained that, in order to play Carnatic–South Indian classical–music on our violins, we first had to train our ears and voices. Continue reading
Ice-cold water shocked my hand as it breached the shallow tank’s surface. A rainbow of colors glittered up through gentle currents. Diverse sea animals carpeted the basin, unaware of the crowd eager to feel their spiny skin or soft tentacles.
There at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s touch tanks, I fell in love with a cerulean-colored sea star. The bright blue wasn’t what caught my eye, though. Continue reading
“Sorry, what was that? I didn’t quite catch it, I think my wifi is dying or something…”
I lean in closer to my computer screen as if it will help hear better. We’re in the midst of discussion in my speculative design class. Seven of us are seated in our respective homes, crowded around our laptops with our notebooks out on the side, sketching out thoughts as we bounce critiques back and forth about our ongoing projects. We’ve been tasked to model our class in the past, present, and future.
Models have been ever-present and incredibly important to build an understanding around current events. Through examining data, scientists can visualize patterns and project possible futures, providing insight for actions and provoking further questions. Continue reading
Six forty-five in the morning. Light has barely touched the sky, and I’m sitting in AP biology class surrounded by my half-asleep friends as we shuffle through our immense binders for fresh note paper. Our teacher mills around the front of the classroom prepping slides, video links, and in-class demos to fill our tenth-grade brains with exciting new knowledge (massive shoutout, she was/is the best).
During those high school biology days, I clung to the goal of having all the right answers at the drop of a question (yeah, yeah, I was another wannabe Hermione Granger, so what?). My favorite part of the class was when our teacher would ask us about connections– what other parts of the body may this impact? What other portions of the ecosystem are interwoven here? How may genes influence entire populations of animals? Before this class, I hadn’t considered any of these questions and more. Continue reading
This month has me questioning whether I like sharing stories because I like sharing stories, or I like sharing stories because I like to like sharing stories. (There are a lot of “likes” in that sentence, but the extra one holds importance– much like how when my cognitive science professor talks about intersubjectivity, he describes it as “I know that you know that I know you know,” with that last bit being imperative to defining the mutually-understood shared understanding.) Cogsci lectures aside, the time commitments I’ve sustained this quarter have definitely put me under some pressure in considering whether I make choices based on obligation or passion. Continue reading
A short note to make sure I don’t already break the goal of semi-regular writing in the first month of the year.
I told myself I would write at least one blog post every month, so here we are. I tried writing something on my actual birthday as I was sitting in my parked car at the beach, breakfast burrito in hand, but let me tell you– it’s a little difficult to type while one hand is occupied holding approximately a pound of eggs, potatoes, and cheese. Continue reading