China Research

A family. Dream VS Reality…

Our lab group does everything together. It really seems like we are one big family, each person has their own little role to play and it wouldn’t be the same if someone left. I will definitely miss them a lot when I finish my internship, just as I will miss the undergraduates in our group that have recently graduated and are leaving.

As a “thank you” to the entire lab group, the graduated individuals invited the lab to dinner. It is tradition and I was glad that I got to witness it. Being the hosts, they would have to toast their lab mates, thanking them for different things. For example, one would toast to helping them calculate statistics, or supervising them in lab work, etc. However, the first person they toast is the professor, for allowing them to work on his research and be in this lab group and for helping them with everything they needed. Similarly, since the professor had to leave early, there was also a toast before he left initiated by him, to everyone at the table, to a safe and fun filled night. Basically, there was a lot of toasting the entire night. It definitely had a concluding feel to it and I hope that they would give me the chance to show them all my appreciation when it is my turn to leave.

Besides eating together, we hiked up the mountain together as well. When they first told me that we were going to climb the mountain, I was very reluctant. It was hot, it was going to be sweaty and I didn’t have the right shoes. However, since everyone was going to go, I really didn’t have much of a say and in the end, I was glad that I went. The city lights were amazing and we could see the entire school from up there. I think that was the best part of the hike, being able to look down at the building that we spent our days and nights, lighted up against the dark sea. We hiked up the mountain at dusk and got scared while hiking down the NanPuTou Temple steps at night. But everything turned out alright because we were all together.

I guess it is the sense of security that makes me associate my lab group to a family. I spend so much time with them, doing things with them, that I even dream about them. Last night, I dreamt that I had a family here and that everyone was worried about me.

Father: He called the doctor and rushed me to the hospital, explained the situation and got me all settled and paid the bill.

Mother: She stayed with me all day; she came to the hospital, walked me back to my hotel room, made sure I took my medication and comforted me when I said that I was afraid of injections. She even called me at night to make sure that everything was alright.

Oldest brother: He bumped into me on the way back and told me to go to bed early. He made sure I knew that it didn’t look too bad and that I should not blame myself for being careless.

Second brother: He got the taxi to send me to the hospital and registered me, making sure all the paper work was done while I went to see the doctor. He stayed with me and Mother the entire day to make sure that nothing went wrong. Most of all, he made sure that I was taking care of myself, eating the right foods so as to not create bigger issues by messing up the balance in my body.

Little brother: When he heard, he said he would come over as soon as he was done with lab work for the day.

Little sister: She was the first one to find out. I comforted her and told her that it was not her fault and that she shouldn’t worry because it didn’t hurt too much and it wouldn’t scar. I hoped that she wouldn’t take it too hard on herself.

The situation was as follows, I was in my lab which is a sealed, clean, dust free area. I was adding concentrated HNO3 to my samples and somehow, it splashed up onto my face. Little sister had just left the lab and did not close the outside door properly meaning that the inside door could not be opened. Thus, I was locked in the lab.

It was nice that everyone cared about me so much even though I was new in the group. Even after I woke up this morning, they made sure I was taking care of myself and that I slept fine. I am lucky to be in such a lab group that is so accepting, willing to care and love.