Today, I was working on our Neuroscience in the News project with my baller pan-Asian group, Neuro-Gasm. On a tangent, Lily told me about her abstract publication. I google-searched in her name and Mt. Sinai, and voila, I found the right page.
Curious Conchibi, I google-searched my name and NYU to see what wonders would pop up… a rising songstress making it big in New Orleans, some random Asian girls on Facebook, a mythical concubine from the Qing dynasty, or a nerdy girl playing with the bucky ball in the chemistry lab.
Well, this is what I found. I took a screenshot of my google page:
Here’s the first link, which took me to the NYU Undergraduate Department of Chemistry. For my graduation, I received some awards and honors for blasting through titrations, cooking up some violet-colored carbon bucky balls, and playing with toluene, strong acids, and carcinogenic compounds. Chemistry is a life of numbers, Avogadro, moles, Greek letters, permutations of elements, graphite, and erasers.
I got linked to another website, one I was a little surprised to find. This was about 2 years ago, when I was a featured volunteer for NYU Langone Medical Center’s News and Views newsletter. For this article about patient-centered care at the hospital, I was asked to come in for the “photo-shoot.” And there you see me, in my over-sized navy blue jacket, not yet a medical student and only a lowly volunteer, staring out the window and looking rather pensive for the photographer.
Back then, I volunteered at the Emergency Department, mainly talking to patients, making sure they’re comfortable, and simply talking to them during their wait. I wish I spent more time doing that sort of clinical work, but because I was committed heavily to my research lab and a demanding boss, I had to sacrifice some of my time and interests. So during that publication, I was hoping the newsletter wouldn’t find its way to my boss’s table next to her morning coffee. Except, it did find its way to everyone else working in the lab, like that time I tried hiding my 2-week “sick leave” for the MCATs twice. One day, I found a picture of my contemplative face enlarged, on my desk. Great, I thought a snippet of my face on the front cover would go unnoticed. To this day, I do not know if my PI saw my participation in patient-related work. If she did, perhaps she would’ve approached me with her piercing stare, “Uh, Conchibi, since when did you start working in the ER? You need to spend most of your time in the lab to get work done and get published. That’s the only way you’ll make in science. You need to put in commitment, time, and dedication. You only have time for school and research, and you need to learn to balance the two. Nothing else…” Or if she did and not said anything, maybe that’s why she got tougher with the undergraduates.
And when I finally confronted her and quit this miserable position, I ended up lying to her, “No, I do not do anything else but focus on school and research. I spend much of my week in the lab trying to get work done and finish my senior honors project…,” since she was always petty with spending day in and weekend out in her lab, belaboring over inclusion bodies and making protein.