Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Getting to know you...

So I have no idea what to call my posts. I'm sure I'll figure something out at some point, but until then, I apologize for the non-creative writing and the inability to capture your attention. Hopefully my descriptions will be good enough...

These past few weeks have been a general theme of "getting to know you" (and yes, feel free to start singing if you happen to know the song :) ).

The night before our program orientation, we first-years had dinner with the director of program, Dr. Satlin, and her administrative assistant, Rhaisili. As I said before, the dirty secret about Mount Sinai's MD/PhD program is our love of food, both eating and making it. For dinner, we made deviled eggs, caesar salad (dressing was made from scratch courtesy of my friend Jon - thanks buddy!), and pasta (whole wheat spaghetti noodles...nothing too special). The pasta sauce was definitely a combo'ed creation, a mix of my friend Kate's original recipe and one of the girls in our program (Kimbie).

Essentially, I think that dinner defined our group dynamic: everything was team-oriented and usually there wasn't a leader so much as it was an idea and then everyone jumped to put it into action and bring it into existence. The fruit of our labors was a fantastic dinner party =). I wish I had pictures...but I don't. Actually, I still don't have a camera, come to think of it.

A highlight for the night: I acquired a cello! I asked Dr. Satlin if she knew of any stores in the area, and she said to me "actually, there's a cello right behind you in my closet...". So now I have it, and I'll be installing fine tuners and an end-pin in addition to getting a bow, a hard case, and a new set of strings. It's a bit pricey, but I'm holding onto this during my 8-year (read: eternal) stay...

Orientation really wasn't too exciting, so there's not much to say. However, one of our MD/PhD advisers, Dr. Ben Chen, was an undergrad from Stanford (class of 1990 if I remember correctly), and another one of our advisers, Dr. Miriam Merad, was a post-doc in both Irv Weissman's and Ed Engleman's labs. That's In case you guys didn't know, Weissman and Engleman happen to be 2 of the biggest PI's at Stanford. I think my ultimate point is that there's a Stanford connection =).

Speaking of connections, as my brain makes this huge mental leap across synapses, it turns out that out of the 11 people in our first-year class, 5 of us are from CA (well, 1 of them went to college at CalTech, but still...)! Sadly, they're all originally from SoCal, but I think I'll live...

By the way, if you guys ever get the chance, you should definitely come to NY to see the fireworks. At least for me, they were definitely spectacular and the crowds of people afterwards amazed me -- I don't think I've seen a surge of people that...dense...before.

Oh, the most exciting part: I went to the other Chinatown in Flushing today! Found a nice little 湯包 place and I got to eat my 鹹豆漿 and 蔥油餅. And then I finally got 珍珠奶茶. Basically, if that smattering of Chinese didn't clue you in...I found Asian food after not having it for about a week. I also think I found the Asian supermarket for me to go shopping for groceries, but I should probably look for something closer...

Okay, I think that's it. At some point, when it's ready, I'll show you some cool stuff from lab, but until then, these are just small blurbs about what I'm up to. I apologize that the writing style isn't too good -- it's been far too long since I have written, but I'll try to get the narrative style down as I continue writing.


  1. writing style? this is your blog, say what you wanna say--there's no one to please or entertain. just so long as you keep us posted on how things are going with you. be well!

    and get a camera! i've never been to NY, would love to see it from your eyes.

  2. have you noticed the significant differnece in air quality in China Town in Flushing??? Theres actually a remarkable pollution cloud right over that area.

  3. dunno about air quality. there's usually a sewage smell when i get out of the subway, and the subway air quality is bad enough as it is that i don't notice a difference between the different burroughs. I'll try to test that theory at some point.