It’s been around three months since the end of summer, so it’s the perfect time to look back on my experience! Just to recap quickly, I spent my summer traveling back to India, conducting research in Dr. Buckley’s lab, watching cricket, volunteering at the hospital, and ultimately, hanging out with friends. I had a great time staying on campus and fully dedicating time to research, and here are some highlights from the second part of my summer:
I explored Rochester!
Given that I’ve been here for three years already, you would think I’ve been everywhere in Rochester, right? Turns out, not really. This summer, owing to my roommate Molly’s awesome driving skills (which I severely lack) and her car (which I reasonably lack), we got to rediscover Rochester in a way, which was a great experience. Some of the things we did were…
- Buying mangoes and kettle corn at the farmers market.
- Attending a 90s music-themed laser show at the Science Museum.
- Painting canvases and eating pizza with a bunch of people.
- Getting (a lot of ) ice cream at Pittsford Dairy.
- Trying out handmade soap and perfumes at the Park Avenue festival.
- Hitting up foodtrucks (no explanations necessary).
We covered a lot of different areas of Rochester, and looking back, I am really happy about that! Rochester has so much to offer, and I feel that a lot of people forget or overlook that fact. But, guess who’s never going to underestimate “plain old” Flower City? This girl!
Summer research: ups and downs (but mostly ups)
So if I haven’t told you already, I switched my research project; no more pig eye dissections for this girl. I started working with pig tendons instead, which I’ll admit is a better deal (because they can’t make eye contact with you)! My summer research process was a time. Not only was this my first individual project, but I also had to learn basically everything from scratch: the dissections, ultrasound set-up, procedures, results analysis, etc., and go over a lot of what didn’t work in the past. Though it was hard to not constantly have a graduate student to turn to for every question, I think it was for the best. I feel much better about my problem-solving abilities now, and also feel more independent as an individual researcher!
At the end of the summer, the Kearns Center, through which I received my Xerox Research Fellowship, organized a final poster session for all of the summer researchers in the program. I got to present a poster for the very first time (I had a whole spiel and everything), and a lot of my friends, professors, and mentors came to support me, which was a great feeling! I’m so grateful for my PI and the Kearns Center. The support I received was super overwhelming, and it’s part of what motivates to continue what I’m doing!
Volunteering at the hospital
Since I wanted to have some clinical experience in life before I graduated, I applied to be a volunteer at the Strong Memorial Hospital, and got assigned to work in the Neuro-ICU. It was a unique experience, since I got to interact with a lot of patients’ families and health professionals; it was so interesting to see how medical devices that are designed by engineers are used and perceived by other people. Having that connection between what comes out of industry or a research lab and what is supporting human lives is a rewarding experience. I don’t think I could have had a better experience understanding the human aspect of machines, and how any research I do will impact those around me.
At the same time, all the IV tubes and blood transfusions caught me off guard. So in case you were wondering, health professions are definitely out of my back-up careers list now!
Not only did I end up meeting more people through my summer research program, I got to spend a lot of time catching up with my old friends as well! It was a very social summer, which I liked because campus is more deserted than the library at 3 am during the school year. We did a lot of fun things (as mentioned in Part One), and here are some pictures with the photographic proof.
Cricket World Cup 2019: England beat NZ!
As an avid cricket fan, the world cup final was all I needed to cap off a great summer! England vs New Zealand, neither of them had won before, both had beat teams higher ranked than them… it was the perfect match. It got better when the teams tied two times in a row (which is super rare), and England won by default (which is even more rare). I think that this match is definitely up there in the weirdest matches I have ever seen, so I am a very happy camper.
My last summer at Rochester is over, and I can honestly say that I have no regrets (except that I wish I had enjoyed the weather more). Fall semester of senior year is looking busy but I got this! After living in Sue B. Hall for the whole summer (and dealing with the heat, the communal kitchens and the ~many~ fire alarms), I feel like I can conquer anything! Plus, who knows what adventures next summer will bring?