Blogs: Beyond the Lab

A stroke of luck?

Hospitalization during a pandemic

Dec 2020
Aeronautics and Astronautics
Back in April, I wrote about how running has remained an important form of stress relief to me during the pandemic, despite the loss of the usual social runs and goal races that motivate me to put on my shoes and get out of the house. On April 20th, I was meant to run my first Boston Marathon....

Why I Vote and Why You Should Too

Your voice matters, so make it heard

Oct 2020
Aeronautics and Astronautics
“Voting is our civic duty.” This sort of rationale can seem awfully abstract to a graduate student who has multiple class assignments due this week and is being hounded by their advisor about an impending paper deadline. Taking time out of your busy day to register, apply for an absentee ballot,...

Finding a Cambridge coffee home

An inner journey in pursuit of good coffee

Oct 2020
* Writer’s Note (September 2020): Wow, how things have changed. Re-reading this piece, which as written pre-COVID, makes me feel as if I’m now in my late seventies, looking back fondly upon the simpler times of my youth. Ironically, I write this note while drinking jasmine tea, alone in my garden,...

Bench, bath and beyond

Transform your apartment into a yeast lab, and have fun doing it!

Sept 2020
One of the very first lessons you learn in microbiology is that while countless things can - and will - go wrong, you can almost always count on your microbes to grow. There is some strange comfort in knowing that what looks like clear liquid today will reveal countless gleaming colonies smiling up...

Playing Avalon on Zoom

How a virtual board game keeps us connected during quarantine

Sept 2020
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Many of us feel lonely during quarantine times, especially international students who are now outside the US, such as myself. To stay mentally healthy through this pandemic, it’s important to stay connected with friends back at MIT. So recently, we reconstructed a favorite Friday-night ritual of...

From Rockets to Rocking Chairs

Sitting in a rocking chair holding a baby wasn’t how I expected to kick off graduate school

Sept 2020
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology
Lots of things have changed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Classes have moved online, schedules have shifted for fall breaks and holidays, and in general, everyone’s life has been altered. Personally, I had planned on moving to Cambridge in August to start pursuing my Ph.D. in MIT and...

Shaking hands with death

My clinical experience through MIT

Sept 2020
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology
When I entered the room, I took a few moments to look around. The room was lit by a warm, orange glimmer sneaking through the window blinds, announcing the end of another beautiful summer afternoon. I took one step forward as the nurse pulled the bed curtain closed behind us. The patient was an old...

Ode to Crosswords

Are you down for a cross?

Sept 2020
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology
(If you are interested in listening along to me reading the poem aloud, click here)   Eighteen across, “Ponzi scheme”: fraud. Twenty-four down, “Heap kudos on”: laud.   “Opening word”, “Deli stock seed”, Two...

Any tips on tipping?

The plight of an international student new to the tipping culture in America

Sept 2020
Mechanical Engineering
Picture having dinner at a restaurant with some friends. There’s a fun conversation going on right up to the point where the bill arrives. Perhaps it's only me, but I feel that in the moments that follow, the conversation dies down a little as everyone enters their tipping ‘headspaces’. A few take...

My response to COVID-19

How my family came together during the pandemic

Aug 2020
Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Being aware of the COVID-19 crisis in China and Italy, I found myself researching it and getting involved in conversations about it here in the US. Even before MIT sent out its first official announcement to shut down the campus, I was already working from home. A few days later, the official...