There Are No Black Beans in this Country: Unnecessary Adventures and What We Take for Granted

Whether it’s the nature of fieldwork in general or the nature of fieldwork in Australia, things that should be simple end up as an adventure. Let me give you some examples. The task that should have been simple: grocery shopping. Every week, we go on a shopping marathon to buy food for six for a week. We throw grocery bags in the back of the truck (named Matilda), vis...
Read More

Slip-ups, Solitude & Self Care

After a few days of travel in Shanghai and Hangzhou, I found myself in Beijing, finally ready to embark on my summer of independent research. Beijing is the first of my stops in a research tour of China's ethnic minority theme parks (the rest are in Yunnan province). On Wednesday night, I checked into my hostel and on Thursday morning, I took the subway to Beijing's Ethnic ...
Read More

Figuring Out Where I Am

Like any good adventure, mine begins and ends with time travel (courtesy of the International Date Line). I left Claremont for Brisbane, a large city in Queensland, Australia, on a Tuesday and arrived on a Thursday after 14 hours of travel. My return flight will reach the United States three hours before it leaves Australia. The time zone switch was especially difficult ...
Read More

Preparing to Do Research Abroad

As my little blurb explains, I will be spending this summer doing independent research in Southwestern China, funded by the Oldenborg International Research and Travel Grant. This grant is awarded to 2-3 rising Pomona seniors each year, allowing them to undertake research for a senior thesis, project, or exhibition during the summer months before senior year. In the past, s...
Read More

Independent Study and Small-College Education

On the Wednesday afternoon of spring break, I sat in the Coop Fountain staring at my laptop screen. My real spring break had started thirty seconds beforehand, when I clicked “send” on an email to my advisor containing the first draft of my independent study paper. The moment felt surprisingly anticlimactic. I shut my laptop, walked outside into the sunny spring weather tha...
Read More

What Are College Summers Like?

It's that time of year -- everyone seems to be anxiously applying to programs/internships/jobs/research positions/funding etc. Over Family Weekend, standing in front of my CDO Summer Experience Funding poster, I fielded tons of questions from eager parents of first-year students. I've been asked the vague questions "Where do you want to be this summer?" and "What are your s...
Read More

Nowhere Near Completion: The End of Summer

Of all the words buzzing around my still-embryonic and, thus, still-optimistic thesis research - which, now, can be best characterized as a heap of mistreated books, fingertip-oiled keytops, and looseleaf essays-that-I-should-have-read-electronically-but-printed-so-I-could-scribble-academic-nonsense-on-them - there are a few that linger a bit longer, that resonate in a higher r...
Read More

If You Give a Mouse a Lysolecithin Injection…

She may lead you to a cure for multiple sclerosis (I work with female mice). The world of scientific research captivated me the summer prior to my first year at Pomona College. I found a summer research internship through the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center to gain first-hand perspective with a research setting. I worked my mentors to investigate drug combinations for T-cell leu...
Read More

Words of Wisdom for the Class of 2018

So now that the incoming class of 2018 finally knows who they are, they're probably looking around for some useful information regarding Pomona. Thus, class of 2018, this post on my reflections on my freshman year and some things I learned is dedicated to you. Taking Classes You Love When I came to college, I kept hearing (especially here at Pomona) that one thing we real...
Read More