I wish I didn’t have to title my entries. I’ll figure out how to switch
this into a date format, eventually. It shouldn’t take me too long if I
look at the HTML script.
The BMES conference yesterday, day three of four, was quite interesting and
I got to listen to some stimulating talks. My PI talked today, as well
as Sangeeta Bhatia at MIT/HST, Elliot McVeigh from NIH, and Jay
Humphrey at Texas A&M. Their brief lectures were collaged into a
“Whitaker Symposium” celebrating the careers of said recipients of
Whitaker funding, and were about adaptation and learning, microscale
tissue engineering, real-time MRI for cardio applications, and modeling
of cerebral aneurysms, respectively. Biomedical engineering is a
tremendously broad field (yes, a realization of the obvious, but today
it was a visceral realization). I was inspired, but also began
questioning whether I was really in the right lab, as my interests do
rather seem to be more in the tissue/cell engineering realm than my
current project in motor control. Perhaps it’s largely due to my
familiarity with molecular and cellular biology, but the application of
nano and micro techniques to the study of the basic science as well as
engineering-type manipulation of cells was exciting, and simply cool.
I ran into Prof. Stanley at the symposium – it was very good to see
him. Of the little nuggets of advice he hurridly delivered as we walked
out, “you’ve got to find the middle ground between micro-biology and
overly large systems level” was the nicest (if not most helpful, since
I’ve already realized that this is the huge dilemma I’ve got to
address), while “you have to finish classes, write your thesis and move
to the next level, get to the PhD soon” delivered with a slightly
impatient air, the least so. Slowly but surely, though, I’m nearing
100% conviction that what I’m doing now, in terms of both program and
lab, is the right thing. I will graduate with a skill set of both
breadth and depth, more credentials, more lab experience, and most
importantly, a good grasp of what sort of research I would gladly
devote my life to. Hmm.. remembering Dr. Bhatia’s dynamic talk, I
should revise my recent line of thought that a medical background is
most useful for systems-level research, as opposed to research on the
‘Do you love your country? Then you, before others, should cultivate a strong personality.
The reason there are no great individuals among us is simply because
there is no one who strives with determination to become a great
Why is it that the
person who sighs that there are no giants neglects to study to become
A quote by Ahn Chang-ho, Korean independence activist. I must regain my
world view, my resistance to conformity, and proactive lifestyle. This
largely amounts to reconstructing a pre-college version of myself. So,
I’ll start again. Consider this the third of my paltry “trials and
tribulations” which, failing to break me, will leave me stronger.
Lastly, a short poem that speaks volumes to me.
I am slow, thinking in broken images.
He becomes dull, trusting to his clear images;
I become sharp, mistrusting my broken images.
Trusting his images, he assumes their relevance;
Mistrusting my images, I question their relevance.
Assuming their relevance, he assumes the fact;
Questioning their relevance, I question the fact.
When the fact fails him, he questions his senses;
When the fact fails me, I approve my senses.
He continues quick and dull in his clear images;
I continue slow and sharp in my broken images.
He in a new confusion of his understanding;
I in a new understanding of my confusion.
I lied, actually. I believe people can succeed at self-change (to a
certain level), but only after a long and disciplined process.
Often at significant cost. Is this cost enough?