Coming Soon to Theaters: A Paper, a Poster, and My Last Year of College

Here we are in August, and this has probably been one of the fastest summers of my life. I can tell because a lot of things that I’ve been mentally logging as “future” are suddenly up close and personal. August means: the end of SURP, which in turn means: a sizable research paper, clumsily starting to take form a presentation poster, which I know will be rectangul...
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So What Exactly Do I Do Here at Princeton?

When I first stepped onto Princeton's castle-like campus, I was in awe of all the beauty, all of the ivy, and all of the greenery. If you walk down to South campus, you will stumble onto a beautiful river tucked into the woods. If you go up to North campus, you will reach the notoriously affluent Nassau street (not so friendly to my wallet). I am currently living in Bloombe...
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Independence at Pomona, via Summer in Cambridge

Grapefruits are bittersweet, right? After weeks of searching for an analogy to accurately depict my thrilling rollercoaster of a summer, I have settled on a fruit whose mixed taste is representative of my feelings at the moment. It is a bittersweet day leaving Boston. (Well, Cambridge technically. For two months, I lived and worked across the Charles River from one of New En...
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Fieldwork in China, or a Huge, Frustrating, Dynamic, Messy Learning Process

My past couple posts have focused on my experiences traveling in China, but haven't really touched on my academic research, which is the whole reason I'm here! With absolutely zero fieldwork experience and minimal preparation (see my post on Preparing to Do Research Abroad, which describes my research topic and preparation process), I hopped on a plane to China. I figure...
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There ARE Black Beans in this Country, or the Impact We Have on the World Around Us

Brief update from my previous post: I FOUND BLACK BEANS. I heard rumors that black beans occasionally grace the shelves of the nicer grocery stores, and we finally had a chance to go this week. They were expensive, so I was only allowed to buy one can using our grant money, but I take what I can get. Anyway, on to the next topic. Since my position as a field technicia...
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Making Money, Then Spending It on Fruit Juice

Here I am, almost halfway through my summer project already! Time flies here on campus, especially with not as many students around and no homework to do. My research has progressed to its intermediate stages, and summer living is settling into somewhat of a routine. I’m managing to pick up some extra odd jobs here and there on top of my SURP stipend, so my finances are loo...
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The Publishing Saga, or What I Do

"So... What exactly do you do?" I have been asked this question so many times in the past nearly-two months, but I still have yet to come up with an eloquent, concise, comprehensive answer. People are usually looking for no more than a 30-second response to this question, but I still haven't found an explanation short enough, aside from "Everything, honestly," or "Um, editor...
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Love the Thrill, but Scared of Heights!

Three weeks ago, some friends and I decided to attend the New Jersey State Fair's Opening Day! For me, this would mean my first time leaving the Junior Summer Institute here at Princeton University. So I packed my bags and took the train to Penn Station in New York City. On the train, I met a really nice student from Princeton. We talked a lot about our experiences at Prince...
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5 Discoveries About Traveling Alone

I'm doing independent, pre-thesis research in China, and a byproduct of that is traveling on my own. Before I arrived in China, I was excited about the research and the going-to-China parts, but much less excited at the prospect of being alone for such a long period of time. I'm not one of those people who needs much "me time" and I thrive when I'm around people. On top of that...
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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...
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