Until Next Time

On the way down from Cerro San Cristóbal with MSH
On the way down from Cerro San Cristóbal with MSH

Tomorrow’s the day, I’m headed back to the USA! I’ve thought of this day and drafted this post before, but it feels strange that it’s suddenly arrived. Slow and steady, then all at once. The lovely Annie over at LoveLaughRun seemed to have read my mind the other day when she said that it’s easy to plan a post as you run with your thoughts, but sitting at the computer and actually getting the words down sometimes leaves you stuck. On my runs around the city, I’ve imagined what I will tell you as I say goodbye. Continue reading

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On Work and Summer Vacation

San Joaquín campus
San Joaquín campus

As the summer progresses, and my final weeks creep up on me, I’ve come to realize that I haven’t talked specifically about work very often in this space. It calls back memories of freshman year of college, where you’re making friends and exploring your new life, and you post pictures of people and places and all of the fun you’re having on Facebook, and your mom or dad or some relative comments “Haven’t seen any books yet!” Continue reading

Una Vida Menos Gringa, Más Chilena | A Life Less American, More Chilean

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Club Hipico in Santiago

The view from new bedroom is fantastic! I can swing open the window, hear the birds chirping and hopping around in the trees, and just a little further see where the city is stopped by the mountains. I’ve been exploring the area surrounding my apartment building, and have not yet been disappointed. The people are friendly, the cars drive more slowly, and it feels much more residential. A few blocks from my front steps are more restaurants than I can count: I’ve tried a few so far but will definitely be adding to my repertoire. There are countless yoga studios within walking distance, and advertisements posted all around for concerts, festivals, and pop-up outdoor markets. And with the long days of summer, there’s plenty of daylight to explore. Yes, I am quite pleased with my new home. Continue reading

On Design and the Future of Tech

Campus San Joaquín
Campus San Joaquín

Last week marked one month of my being here in Santiago! I’m happy and healthy and I’m looking forward to the next two before my Christmas break. I will be coming home to spend time in the states a little before Christmas, and will be returning to Chile after the New Year to spend my last 10 weeks on co-op.

I was invited to attend a Talk, Workshop, and Lunch with a professor by the name of Dr. Joe Tranquillo last Thursday, October 16th. Continue reading

Renewed Enthusiasm

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No travel photos this time, sorry! A post about my trip across the border to Mendoza, Argentina will follow when I have a chance to upload the pictures.

I am continuing to learn about solid mechanics as well as teaching myself Python, a programming language. I have finished the book titled Biomechanics: Concepts and Computation, and am supplementing my reading with Classical and Computation Solid Mechanics, by Y.C. Fung and Pin Tong. I’m hoping that this second book will bolster my knowledge from the first. Continue reading

Courtesy, Passion, and Kindness

Friday afternoon, the structural engineering department hosted an asado | barbecue for students and faculty. There is a decent amount of crossover between biomedical engineering and structural engineering with the faculty and students from the lab I’m part of, which is why I was invited. The food was tasty, and I was happy to be outside and talking with people.

I was talking with my professor at the barbecue, and we spoke about the recent growth that biomed has experienced in Chile. We talked about engineering and innovation in general, and how the field has been progressing. He spoke about his hesitations to return to Chile after spending a great deal of time in the U.S., in California in particular. He was at the hub of innovation and the boom of biomedical engineering growth, and it was not ideal at the moment to return to Chile, which is still developing it’s market in terms of medical technology.

He spoke, however, about being pleasantly surprised after entering academia here. It’s a reasonably safe space to take risks in your research, as well as being an environment to experiment and have freedom in whichever direction you want take your research. It allows for easier collaboration across disciplines, giving a varied perspective. Continue reading

Done with Week One

Week one is in the books! Friend-wise, I’m working on things. I have met so many people: all very kind and welcoming. I have a desk in the Biomedical Engineering Department, so I frequently see the same people. Many speak English and are eager to ask me about what I think of Chile and they remind me to travel and make the most of my time here. I haven’t spoken at length with many of the other students who work/study here yet, but hopefully we’ll meet soon. Thursday night, I went out for drinks with a few people who I’ve met so far. We spoke in English, which was refreshing, but I’m trying to speak in Spanish as much as possible. A mix, however, is helpful to me right now so that I don’t get lost in conversations. For the most part, we all come and go in the office and work as we please. Next week, my professor is organizing a group meeting so that I can introduce myself to the rest of the lab.

Last night, Friday, I went out with RO and FP to say hi and spend some time catching up. Both are connected to Drexel. RO was a huge help to me beginning before I left: she advised me on what it would be like here before I came, and showed me around the public transportation and campus once I arrived. She also acted as a liaison between my host mom and myself when we had some emailing trouble before I came. I’m grateful to have her here! Continue reading

The Learning Curve

Tomorrow I begin what will be a challenging task: teaching myself solid mechanics in terms of biomechanics. I met with my professor today, and we discussed my past coursework. Today we spoke in English, to make sure that I fully understood his expectations and I could express myself more clearly. Soon, however, I plan to make the switch to Spanish, to gain more practice and make the transition back into my host family easier too: I want to be fully immersed. As I was sitting in his office, I was thinking of how to circumnavigate “past coursework” in Spanish if I had to do so. All I could come up with was historia de credito | credit history. It made me smile to myself: how terribly unfunny yet entertaining I thought it was. The little things! haha

Today was the first difficult day of my time here. Continue reading