Showing posts from 2012

ABRCMS: Then and Now

I've been to the Annual Biomedical Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) three times now, twice as an undergrad and once (so far) as a graduate student and I think this might be my last (maybe). 

The ABRCMS is a conference devoted to the leadership training of minority students. It is largely focused on encouraging higher learning, i.e. graduate school, medical school or something akin to those two.  The first time I went to ABRCMS (2008, Florida), I had just started my Junior year in college, I was still undecided on graduate school or medical school, but I knew it would be one or the other. Also, I had just started independent study the summer before and gave a poster presentation of the lab's work. Again, being a junior, I found ABRCMS very appealing. It was in-fact the first large conference I had been to and seeing so many other students (that looked like me) interested in biology and research was amazing to me. ABRCMS promoted minority students involvement in resear…

Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, California eat, walk, see the floating restaurant,  buy some trinkets, shop,  ride the Powell-Hyde cable cars,  go to Ghirardelli Square act like a tourist and take loads of photos,  go to/or take photos of Fisherman's Grotto,  Pompei's Grotto and Alioto's, eat more seafood, try the Dungeness crab and clam chowder, watch the time skip by

Realize how late it is getting and say goodbye to Fisherman's Wharf.

Preparing for the Qualifying Exam

It is true. Passing the qualifying exam is no easy feat. The process of studying for the exam is more daunting and challenging than the two hours spent taking the exam itself. So, how do you reduce stress and maximize your studying potential while preparing for the Quals?

I have 10 suggestions based on MY personal experience to share with you.

1. Start thinking early
2. Select your committee members (more info? click here)
3. Have a "pre-exam meeting" with your committee members (more info? click here)
4. Read foundational materials in your field
5. Build your study around your thesis (if your exam is thesis-focused)
6. Read articles, then, read them again
7. Prepare an outline for the written AND oral exam
8. Practice, practice practice
9. Give yourself a break every now and then
10. Take your exam

Breathe deeply, introduce yourself and start. It helps if you include a biography slide because spending the first minute or so giving them your academic background makes it easi…

My Mom's Visit and Martha's Vineyard in the Fall.

Iya ni wura iye biye Ti a kole fo wo ra....
My mom has always wanted to visit me. But between my schedule and hers, it never happened...until a month and a half ago.

Let me step back a bit. I have never been away from my mom for an extended period of time. I've always been home. When my younger brother went off to boarding school and my older siblings went off to university, and my dad came to the U.S., I went to school that's a stone throw away from my house. In those days, when it was just the two of us, we would eat dinner early and watch TV or read or talk.
Even when I got into college, I went from home, every day for 4.5 years. So when I started applying for graduate school, I knew I will finally be leaving NY and home. So did my mom. She kept planning to come visit me where ever I ended up. I was in Providence for a year and we made plans for her to come for a weekend but it just never happened.

So now when she brought it up again, I decided to be proactive and buy her …

Shoreline in Mountain View For a Day.

Buildings of companies like Yahoo, Canon, Juniper Network, Motorola, Rambus, NASA Ames Research Center, e.t.c were the sightings that awaited me when I took the light rail to Mountain View in California. I wanted to go to Mountain View to visit the Shoreline Park and Trail. However, on getting there, I realized that Mountain View is a  distinct extension of the Silicon Valley. What do I mean by this? I mean that many of the high-tech companies were right in Mountain View, and very close to the Shoreline Trail. 
Companies like Microsoft:

23andMe (a genetic testing company for health, disease and ancestry):

and Google:

Also right in Mountain View is the Computer History Museum, a museum aimed at preserving the history of the information age. I saw the oldest computer I'll probably ever see when I walked in to ask for directions to the Shoreline Park and Trail.

Like I mentioned prior, the main reason I wanted to go to Mountain View was to see the hills in ShoreLine and …

A Ride on the CalTrain from San Jose to San Francisco

*So, it turns out I am going to do this backwards. That is, start from the end of my trip to California and end at the beginning. I might throw a dash of other activities in between as well. Let's see how crazy my creativity gets. Should be interesting.*

While on the CalTrain going from San Jose to San Francisco, I wrote "what I saw" at each train stop.  I wanted to see and (try to) walk on the Golden Gate Bridge. So on my last day in California, because my plane doesn't leave till late at night, I decided to go spend a few hours in San Francisco.

On getting on the train, I realize my camera was deep inside my bag, and I wanted to write as well, so I tripled up my iPod Touch as a camera, a nifty notebook and music player. The pictures look grimy, but I like how they describe (as is) the different stops along the ride to San Francisco.

Gritty graffitti in Lawrence. A reminder of South Bronx. Clothes hanging in the backyard. Blazing sun in the dusty afternoon.

 Quiet r…

University of Ibadan Zoological Garden

Way back in May while I was in Nigeria, my family and I went to visit my sister and her husband.  They live in Ibadan, about 2hrs drive from Lagos (congested Lagos-Ibadan express way traffic factored in).  If the traffic was any worse than that, we might have been on the road a few more hours.

My sister and her husband had just gotten married and they both attend the University of Ibadan. While there, they prepared amala and ewedu soup with goat meat. Yum! 
Because eating such a heavy meal in the afternoon can make you drowsy, we decided to go to the University of Ibadan Zoological Garden and stroll around. 

The temperature was high but offset by the cool breeze through the garden. There were lots of people at the zoo, especially school kids on excursions. Ah, I remember those days of excursions. Once a semester, a class would go on an excursion with two or more teachers acting as chaperones. The trips are usually outdoors like Olumo Rock but sometimes there are indoor trips too, lik…

On Busyness and Fall (Autumn) season

*Incase you wonder why I have random pictures showing houses and trees, read to the end. ;-)

On Busyness: I've been so busy that I wasn't aware of the month of October creeping by. I thought September was busy enough but October proved me wrong. I've noticed that the busiest time of the academic year for me is always Fall. First, it's the start of a new academic year and there's always something to fill out and sign up for. Also, the days get shorter and I realize before I'm done with an experiment, it's dark out, whereas in Summer, it's still bright till 8:00pm or even later. 

Second, conference season is usually in the Fall and so time is allocated to gathering data for presentations and travels. In October, I had to finish up a few small projects in the lab, prepare a presentation poster and attend two conferences. Although, there were times  work got cramped and I was afraid I won't get everything I needed on time, things fell into place nicely.