Chile from Top to Bottom

Before I arrived in Santiago, I was hooked on watching Drexel student Jesse Rosenstein’s videos of his time here in Chile. (I know that usually refer to people by their first and last initials, but Jesse gave me permission to reveal his true identity.) Jesse studied abroad here during Drexel’s Fall 2014-15 term. We’re only a year apart in school, but didn’t meet in person until I arrived in Santiago in September. Over the course of the five months he was here, Jesse traveled the length of Chile, and documented his time in each place through GoPro edits. From exploring the Atacama desert in the north, to celebrating Fiestas Patrias in the colorful coastal city of Valparaiso (see above), to hiking in Torres del Paine at the southernmost tip of South America, it’s a full tour of the country. Jesse and I weren’t able to travel together due to our schedules, so don’t look for any cameos of mine in the videos, but you may recognize some of the places! For a full playlist of all of Jesse’s travels, check out his Vimeo page.

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

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