Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Great place to live - if you're an orange

Since my first post on Sunday, I have had four people suggest that I either make this blog private or be more careful about what I write, presumably because it is open for people outside of my family and friends to read. While I completely agree that I should maintain some discretion in terms of revealing my personal details, I am not concerned that future employers et al will read this and make some sort of decision about me based on it. First of all, I plan to remain in academia where people don't read anything outside of "the literature" so I am good on that front (just kidding!), but what's more is that I don't think I really have anything to hide. Most importantly, this is not meant to be a serious blog! I can't believe I am even writing one (I would mock myself for doing this, but I have a fragile self-esteem).

The silver lining to those comments, of course, is that I have had four readers! That's two more than I expected (the benefit of having parents is that you automatically have two people required to read these things). Thank you to all of you who struggled through that first post. Anyway, as I said before, I haven't accomplished anything notable in the last two days, so I will use this post to detail my last few weeks at UCSD. I will include some pictures, but only a select few - I am going to start uploading my pictures onto a website as a backup to having them on my computer. I will probably do that over the winter holidays, so if you want to look through more pictures from anywhere, let me know and I can give you the information.

Anyway, UCSD - I was there for 5 years, so it really wasn't easy to leave (even though there were days I wanted to escape). That trouble was compounded by the fact that I made some of my best friends there only towards the end of my studies. As a lot of you know, I took myself way too seriously for the first few years so I wasn't as social as I could have been. I can't say I necessarily regret any of the decisions I made because I am happy where I have ended up, but let's just say that I wouldn't want to go back to the way I was.

It is impossible to sum up 5 years in a reasonably short post, so I won't even try, but here are 10 pictures that are representative of my last term there:

I found that some of my best times in San Diego were when family/friends would come to visit. I think that's because I would then force myself to get out of the lab/library.

I lost count of how many hours I spent at the San Diego Zoo/Wild Animal Park.

The other sure bet when I wanted to relax was Balboa Park. I didn't go here nearly enough, though.

It took me until my last quarter in San Diego to go sailing on Mission Bay. That's another thing I wish I did more... way more.

To be honest, I'm not sure when exactly this was taken, but I'd say it was pretty representative of most San Diego evenings. I loved going down to the La Jolla Cove to snorkel during the day or watch the seals and catch a sunset. I know it is only a pipe dream, but I would love to live in downtown La Jolla one day.

I would be remiss to act like I didn't spend the majority of my time in one lab or another though. Fortunately, I found it fun (most of the time). This was one of the projects I was working on towards the end of my time there - developing a system to look at flow through a heart graft.

This was another project. I actually think this was a big factor in my acceptance to Harvard/MIT because they kept asking about it during the interview and thought it was so cool - developing a laryngoscopy training device.

Refer to above where I said I made some of my closest friends towards the end of my time at UCSD. Good times...

And, of course, graduation - quite an experience. I somehow ended up sitting with the Chancellor at graduation, and all she did was check her emails on her Blackberry and complain about how long our ceremony was. I can't say I entirely blame her, I think she has to sit through 10+ graduation ceremonies each year.

This picture is actually pretty bittersweet for me. On my drives between the bay area and San Diego, I would pass by Pyramid Lake and always thought it was the most beautiful place ever. However, I never stopped because I was always in a rush to get either home or back to school. I finally stopped on my last drive home and took this picture.

Anyway, nice trip through memory lane for me and I think a good lead-in to the next couple of posts (Australia => Yosemite => Arriving in England => Norway => Greece).

In other news, since my goal is to become completely transparent to the world, here are more lists about me:

Five things I will never like:
1. Hypocrites (not to be confused with the Hippocratic Oath)
2. The Hippocratic Oath
3. Co-ed bathrooms (the dorm ones where you share showers and toilets)
4. Hyperextension of joints
5. Stilts (ugh)

Five things I am undecided about:
1. Long signatures on an email (don't have one)
2. Metal water bottles (have one)
3. Hands-free headsets out of the car (don't have one)
4. Bicycles in Cambridge (don't have one anymore)
5. Blogs (have one)

Five things I have recently come to like:
1. Boxer briefs
2. Scarves and gloves
3. Hanging laundry to dry rather than using a dryer (towels excluded)
4. Backing up my computer files to multiple external destinations (in the hopes that I will one day have something worth losing on my computer)
5. Drinking 8 cups of water a day
5a. Frequent urination

Finally, in running news... I rushed back from lab yesterday so I could go on a quick run before my bar shift, and I almost wish I hadn't. I left late for my long run on Sunday, so by time I got back I had already made us late for lunch and I didn't have time to stretch down - and oh boy did I pay the price for that. I was pretty sore during the day yesterday, but that was nothing compared to the discomfort I felt during the run. To add insult to injury, my pedometer/timer broke, though that may not have been the worst thing in the world because I didn't know exactly how bad my time was. In the end, I'm glad I went out though because it gave me the opportunity to correct my mistake from Sunday and stretch down, so I felt pretty good today. However, I know now that I need to be more careful in the future if I really want to pull this off...


  1. your posts are fun to read =) and i wish i kept one while i was abroad because you'll remember a helluva lot more this way...anyway...miss you! i totally agree with you on 2 and 3 or recently come to like. although i have to admit once i came back i was really sad when i found out my dryer was broken

  2. I feel like I should pay you to be able to read this stuff -- it's golden. That bullet 5a up there got me. Good one. Also, thanks for posting that picture of us at the All Campus Graduation. I don't have a copy and it is a nice memory...