Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday #61: Retreat

Photo by Dazy J.

Hello, friends!  Guess what?  I've passed my proposals exam!  Basically, I had to write three research proposals and defend them to my thesis committee.  Passing it means that the last hurdle I have to cross (well, on paper, anyways) is scheduling and doing my thesis defense.  I say on paper because I have a lot of revisions and experimental work to wrap up.  Plus, I have to find post-graduate employment!  I don't anticipate things getting less busy any time soon.


A few research groups and departments have an annual retreat where there are talks and poster sessions in a resort hotel near the beach.  It was my first year at the retreat and it happened to be the day after my exam.  I really enjoyed listening to the panel of speakers and seeing the exciting research that's happening in the Southern California area.  I had some time in the morning before breakfast and a multi-lab workshop, so my friend and I went to walk on the beach.  It's finally cooling down in California -- I loved breathing in the cold, foggy morning air.  I was pretty tired after the retreat because I'd been working for weeks straight before so I crashed the night I got home before going out to Din Tai Fung for dinner.  Pork xiao long bao, garlic string beans, Shanghai rice cakes . . . MMM.

Huntington Beach in the morning light.


I had a slow start to my Sunday, but finally ended up in lab to set up an overnight reaction and take care of my cells.  I'm on two projects at the moment.  One needs to be finished and the other one is new.  It's a lot of juggling, but I don't mind.  I quite enjoy having a lot to do at the moment with the pressure of my exam lifted.  I'm heading to do some work on a different campus for the weekdays before this Thanksgiving so that will be fun!  I haven't gotten the chance to work out much this week so I'm packing sneakers to try to run around campus.  


American Thanksgiving is this upcoming week!  Our house is doing a potluck dinner and I'll be making mac and cheese with bacon.  Since it's a long weekend, I'm aiming to get a little photography done (my poor neglected camera!) and maybe some Black Friday shopping.  I've realized that I don't have much decent clothing that's not adapted for lab.  Might be time to upgrade the wardrobe a little as I'm looking for jobs. 

By the way, I was really touched by how many of you left thoughtful comments on my last post.  Things move fast on blogging and social media.  In my absence, I'd been unfollowed a lot across all platforms so it was nice to see people stick around.  Thank you. 

Questions for this week:
Do you celebrate Thanksgiving?  What's your potluck specialty?
If you could invite any guest you to Thanksgiving, who would it be?


  1. Congratulations Alyse!! Amazing accomplishment :)

    And Happy Thanksgiving!

    Canadian Thanksgiving happens in October for us. I celebrated it with my family. I'm usually in charge of appetizers. I make a cheese/deli board with crackers, olives, bread sticks. My family enjoys it.

    We have a Canadian/Asian take on Thanksgiving. My sister makes the turkey, her in-laws make a really good biryani rice, my other sister's brings spring rolls. We don't stick to the traditional menu ;)

  2. Wahhhh! Congrats Alyse! That sounds like an amazing achievement! :D

    We don't do Thanksgiving in Europe/Holland. We consider it a very American thing I guess. But I really like the idea of actually giving thanks etc. So I always end up thanking a lot of people in my life for their ...influence I guess around this time of year. I'm very stiff upperlip most of the year, except for the holiday season, gets me every year. :P

  3. Congrats on passing your proposal! And That retreat sounds like a good thing :) Huzzah for the weather finally cooling down in Cali. It's been cold in my neck of the wood and I am loving it.

    I celebrated my Thanksgiving by going to Japan! It was a nice getaway. Hope your Thanksgiving went well, Alyse!

  4. Congratulations on passing your proposals exam! Glad to hear that your hard work paid off :). I like how it's November but the beach still sound like a good idea XD. AND YASSS DIN TAI FUNG IS SO GOOD!!!

    Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving dinner and bought some good things from your Black Friday shopping!

  5. Congrats on passing the proposals exam! I remember how nervous I was before passing mine for my masters. Sooo happy for you! :D :D

  6. Congratulations on passing the proposals exam, Alyse! Never doubted you for a second ;D I'm excited that you're so close to the finish line - all the stress will be over soon!

    Ugh. Seriously craving for some Din Tai Fun now, especially that spicy shrimp. Might have to head over there tomorrow with Chris... we'll see xD Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by people you love!