Friday, June 25, 2010


It's been a pretty uneventful Friday in terms of work but since I have to stay until 5:30 to meet a friend for some ice cream, I figured I should do some blogging and blog stalking to kill the time for a couple of hours.

Generally, I hate to be stuck in the "future work prospect" conversations but lately I've been having alot of those and it's giving worries about what I want to do with my life. A few days ago at an intern lunch, some of the co-interns shared their work experiences and future career goals. They all seemed to be on the same standard track: graduate school of pharmacy or medical school, PhD, and then either go into research or clinical. Most likely, I'll have to follow the same track if I want to land on a decent job down the line, but looking ahead from this point in life, the process seems so dreadful. It's pretty much a three fold repeat of college admissions, and each set of stairwell is more treacherous than the one before, and at any point in time you can fall off and your dreams are crushed just like that... I don't know if I'm fit for that... and I keep telling myself that I still have at least two years to decide what I really want to do, but after two years, what if I'm still as in decisive as I am now?

And going back to that whole spiel about how pharmacy is bad, here's part two of that rant. First off, I'm only doing the brainless procedural work and there is nothing intellectually stimulating about this job. As an intern, basic lab work is fine, but I wouldn't want to be doing this for the rest of my life. Of course I can hope to become the brain of the operation after graduating college, but here's a rough rundown of the job hierarchy here:

people who do the slave work: phD scientists (~20% of the company), associate scientists (20%), the cubicle people (~15%), the animal technician people (~20%), interns (~5%)

the more important people: lead scientists (~15%), management (~5%) , the boss (CEO)

So... chances are I'll still be doing slave work after 10 years. And this is only the stats for AVEO, at bigger companies like Pfizer and Novartis the distribution is even more skewed. Today, we had a former employee coming back to visit from his new home in San Diego. He told us that the biotech industry in the West Coast resemble factory assembly lines where 90% of the biotech companies are devoted to single processes such as creating cell lines, making certain antibodies, etc. At least now I have the privilege of switching off between animal work and lab work, I can't imagine how terrible it must be to repeat the same work everyday.

My second concern is about the integrity of the industry. After reading this I was just completely appalled by the lack of standards and fraud control in the industry. Along the same line, there was a recent news about how some big pharma company rejected a Stanford research professor's publication that could potentially cure diabetes only because its current treatment plan is more profitable. The things people do for money these days!

So with pharmacy out of the question I still don't know what I want to do. Going into the research seems to be the more realistic option right now, especially oncology research, it's interesting despite the cycles of pipeting/waiting associated with the lab work... maybe I should start emailing professors about working in their labs next semester. In terms of career options, I'm still undecided. I've always thought that the perfect job is to be a stay-at-home-mom. Thus far, it still stands at that.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Random highlights

-text from (617): "congratulations, i heard you're getting married". The funny thing is I know this is coming from a guy who had mistakenly texted me a dozen times a year ago in a stalkerly manner as if he was trying to hook up with whoever these texts are supposed to be for. You'd think by now that he'd get the point that either this girl he's seeking doesn't want to talk to him or he's got the wrong number. Perhaps I should actually text him back this time and tell him he's got the wrong person.

-found a new celebrity crush.
Ed Westwick is a British actor who plays Chuck Bass on Gossip Girl. I would have never guessed he's British from his perfect American accent. (reminiscent of Hugh Laurie except younger and better looking!)

-just finished season 3 of Gossip Girl and there won't be a new season until fall :( I was originally planning on writing reflections on shows that I've watched but I don't have anything insightful to say about Gossip Girl. The relationship web of Gossip Girl is even more complicated than the cmu relationship web, so it's kinda hard to follow at times. And...I still can't get over the fact that Chace Crawford got arrested for possession of pot, Nate Archibald was my favorite character :(

-My mom is the most gullible person ever. She fell for two scams in one week. Some agent from Shanghai called and said she won some money from a draw and she actually believed it and gave out her bank information. -.- thankfully she told my dad and I about it and we closed the account in time. The other scam involves a "rich millionaire" she met from her asian real estate blog site who supposed wanted to buy some of her housing design packages. The story is too embarrassing to share.

-Some of the interns wanted to get together and go out to drink on weekends. Then it occurred to me that I'm not 21. I wish I was though, not for the benefit of being able to drink legally, but as a social right of passage. It feels odd being surrounded by people over 21 for the majority of my days.

-what is with the world cup fever?

-currently watching: There Will Be Blood. it must suck to work in the oil industry... and it must suck to be deaf.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Counting cells is sleep inducing

Of course they would dump the most boring job on the intern. Each time I open up another histology image file, my heart just dies a little inside. Reminds me of the time Vivian, Ariel and I had to paint a basement-full of leaves for TSA, except this is ten times worse. At least painting leaves doesn't require much thinking and on the plus side, we were suffering together in misery, but now I must bare the burden alone. WHERE ARE YOU VIVIAN AND ARIEL?? i miss you guys :(

And since counting cells is so boring, I'm being rebellious and giving myself a little down time to plan out a schedule for the rest of this week.

Plans for this week:


-listen to morning presentation, free donuts
-finish counting cells, 4 more images to go
-find some soothing trance/stoner music to learn to while counting cells

-change medium for cell line
-finish dosing (fyi, the mice I accidentally dosed with alcohol are all miraculously still alive :D)
-type up raw data on excel
-figure out how to make charts for efficacy study
-group meeting afternoon

-follow Feng around

After work:
-finish Gossip Girl season 2
- watch It's Sunny in Philadelphia and How I Met Your Mother by Adrian's recommendation
-more practice with java applet
-get through chapter 2 of organic chem

-swimming? beach?
-kayaking with liz?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bored At Work

So im sitting in a cubicle looking at 211 notes since i finished all my work early today. theres a woman talking to a guy in the cubicle not far away from me. the lady is telling a story about how her psychotic friend has frequent fights with the ladys husband and how the fights have gotten so violent that the lady had to relocate her home so that the psychotic lady couldnt track her down. I dont know her exact involvement with the psychotic lady/the reason behind the fights but from the tone of it she sounds pretty serious. ohh the juicy gossip. i dont know if i should feel guilty about not feeling guilty for eavesdropping.

it must be fun working for human resources like these people, you get half the day off to gossip with your neighbors. so chill