For the Last Time

My last…

  • Drink at E9
  • Tofu soup at Cho Dang’s
  • Ice cream at ice cream social
  • Time at the library
  • Time in the research lab
  • Pizza at the Cellar
  • Duke at Oppenheimer/Diversions
  • Bio and Chem picnic
  • Time listening to Pops on the Lawn
  • Time stepping foot on campus… Haha just kidding, I’ll probably be back. You haven’t seen the last of me.

Thank you for everything. Congrats to the class of 2017! Once a logger, always a logger.


Science All Day Everyday III


If you haven’t read part I (sophomore year) or part II (junior year), click the links and read all about it.

BIO 332- Tissue Culture

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This was a half-semester long lab, where we placed plant stem pieces onto media with different hormone ratios to observe for callus growth and the development of roots and shoots. After a course of several weeks, we tried transplanting one of the stems that grew a shoot into media containing hormones that would induce root growth.

BIO 350 – Siderophore


For this lab, our job was a collect a sample from any water source. My lab partner and I chose to collect a sample from Ruston Way. The actual lab consisted of taking our water samples and plating them onto different medias to see what microorganisms grew/lived in the water. After a week of letting them grow, we discovered a microorganism that secreted siderophores, aka it fluoresced under UV light. It was such a cool discovery, we ended up using it for our independent project later in the semester.

BIO 404 – PHYA

This was approximately a half-semester long project in lab, where we tried to understand the role of the phyA gene at the molecular level in tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum). This was lab was really fun because we were really able to build this project from the ground up. For instance we used several programs and online sources to analyze RNA sequences from our mutant and wild-type tomato samples to select for a candidate gene we were interested in, and create primers to be used for qPCR. But the coolest thing by far, was that we were all able to design and use CRISPR/Cas9 for our candidate gene.

CHEM 251 – Unknown Aldol Condensation


For this lab we performed a double aldol condensation between an unknown aldehyde and unknown ketone, which was then purified using recrystallization. With our purified product we obtained their melting points and H-NMR spectra to help identify our unknown aldehyde and ketone. One of the things that made this lab so memorable was that my “unknown” product looked like this shiny film of gold.

*And if you were curious, I identified that my aldol condensation was between cinnamaldehyde and cyclohexanone.

BIO 490 – Research


For all of my senior year, I have been working on a research project with my advisor. In my research, which is genetics based, we looked at changes in apoptosis/cell death in response to exposure to BPA using zebradish (since we can’t use human subjects, darn). From this experience I was able to learn a new lab technique, qPCR, which would help other biology labs (some would had a lab section dedicated to using qPCR). Additionally, I loved being able to dedicated a large amount of time into exploring and answering to a specific topic of interest. I’m so glad that I chose to do research over another biology elective.

Honorable Mentions

  • Synthesis projects in CHEM 251

Creatures seen on Campus

Whenever I see a really cute animal anywhere, I will almost always say something along the lines of, “Awww!”, “Puppy”, “Soooo cute”, “Buuunnnyyy!”, “Ooohhh”, and etc, in an octave higher voice (my friends can contest/confirm to that). During time here, I have seen a fair share of cute animals on this campus. So here I thought I would share some of the animals I’ve seen on this campus (some cute, some not so much).

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Things I Never Thought I’d do in College

Become president of a club

  • When I was high school, I was very much a follower, rather than a leader. I was way too shy of a person to ever take charge of anything. Although I still am bit of a shy person, since coming to college I have grown so much since then. I have become someone who is more confident with herself, and because of that (plus with a bit of encouragement from my friends), I was able to become co-president for the Asian Pacific American Student Union (APASU) club. From this experience, I was able help to create and find a community of friends/”family” on campus.

Present in front of a large group

  • Although I still don’t like presenting in front of people. I found the courage to present on the research I worked on during my senior year for the Phi Sigma Research Symposium. For me, I chose to do this because put so many hours into my research that I wanted to share with people what I had found. Additionally, I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to gain experience with presenting in public/in large groups, while in a familiar environment.

Dance in Luau

  • Similar to the one above. I do not like being in front of large crowds; as I’m sure most you are on the same boat. But with a little encouragement from some friends, I found myself on the stage, in the fieldhouse, performing a dance I’ve never done before to a very large crowd. And I did it again next year, and I am glad I did it. It was such a fun experience and it was a great moment to share with friends.

Get scuba licensed

  • I had always wanted to get licensed as a scuba diver, but I never made the extra effort into actually getting it (you know finding an actual place that taught scuba diving). But lo and behold, it was offered here! All I had to do at this point was register for the course, attend classes/practice diving in the pool, take the test in the sound, and here I am now with a scuba license.


Life Without a Meal Plan II

In a previous post, I wrote about my top 5 favorite restaurants around Puget Sound. However, on the days that I do cook, I mostly cook Asian dishes because that’s what I am most familiar with. Now Safeway, Target, and Walmart do not carry Asian products. So, where do I get my ingredients from? Well I do have to go a little out of my way, but it is worth it. There are three supermarkets that I like to go to, each for different reasons.


H-Mart is a supermarket chain that mostly sells Korean products, but can still find other Asian products. Out of all the supermarkets I go to, I go here the most often because (1) they sell almost everything you need, (2) offer the best quality of produce, and (3) offer a variety of options.

Paldo World

Paldo World, another Korean based supermarket is a slightly cheaper version of H-Mart. But with the price, comes less variety and produce quality. However, in my opinion, I find that the quality of meat is better here than in H-mart. In addition, they have the lowest prices for rice.

Hong Kong Market

Hong Kong Market, as its name implies, is a Chinese based supermarket (however, it is run by Vietnamese people, so you will tend to find more Vietnamese products than Chinese). I occasionally go here for some items that are not offered in H-Mart or Paldo World. Things like certain hot pot ingredients, specific kinds of produce, and roasted duck/ soy sauce chicken.

Science All Day Everyday II

Here’s the second part. And if you haven’t read the first part, click here.


BIO 212 – Light microscopy

In this lab, we learned the different microscopy techniques (bright-field, dark-field, phase-contrast, fluorescence), because looking at small objects requires more than just placing it under a microscope. These techniques allow us to manipulate the microscope lens (changes the light) to better view certain things.

BIO 311 – Fruit Flies


In this lab, we analyzed the transmission of a trait and tested for genetic drift between small and large populations. Our test subjects being fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster. To do this we observed multiple generations of fruit flies, looking at gender and the mutant trait (“white” eyes). To determine gender and if they had the mutant trait, we looked at them under a microscope. But to prevent our subjects from escaping, we would blast them with an air of CO2 to make them sleep.

CHEM 231 – Titration/Urine Vitamin Lab

Of all the labs, this was definitely the most memorable (and not necessarily in a good way). We had used the titration method to determine vitamin c concentration in urine samples (our urine samples). So, coming into lab that day, everyone was toting around a brown paper bag with containing cups of their urine samples. My lab partner and I looked at the difference between consuming Vitamin Water and orange juice. Although interesting, the smell was not pleasant.

CHEM 250 – Jacobsen’s Catalyst


This is a major project done in organic chemistry that is done around the second half of the semester. Just mention “Jacobsen’s” to any student who’s taken organic chemistry, and they’ll reply back with a groan and an “Ooh my god,” as they remember the long hours spent in lab, but mostly the time spent writing the report (20+ pages). However, after complaining about all the effort they had to put in, they’ll immediately talk about how awesome it was to do it. For me, there are so many cool things about this lab that I won’t be able to fit it all in. The biggest one would be the fact that we had the opportunity to produce a popular reagent used for enantioselective epoxidation of alkenes.

From this lab, I’ll definitely remember bright, highlighter yellow product we made.

*PLUS, Jacobsen actually visited a couple weeks back! It was an experience to be able to attend a couple of his lectures.

Honorable Mentions

CHEM 213 – titration and glassware calibration + glassware calibration

Science All Day Everyday I

Being a biology major, most my time is spent in lab. In addition to lectures, almost all sciences courses require a four-hour long lab once a week (though sometimes we don’t use the whole four hours). And being a Senior, I have taken a fair amount of science courses. Looking back at the courses I took, I am astounded by the variety of labs we’ve done. So I wanted to make a list of all the memorable labs/experiments for each science course I have taken/am taking (some with pictures!).

(Since this list is pretty long, I have divided them up.)

Most memorable experiment done in lab (Sophomore Year)

BIO 111 – Biofilm*


We tested the effectiveness of four different treatment (enzyme amylase, cranberry juice, honey, kanamycin (antibiotic) on biofilm formation of the bacteria Pseudomonas putida. To test this, we used crystal violet dye which stains biofilm a vibrant purple color, so the amount of dye correlates to the amount of biofilm formed.

*biofilm is a biological layer made up of a group of microorganisms that stick together and adhere to a surface

BIO 112 – Bird Flight

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We measured the amount of lift that was exerted by different bird species wings. This lab was memorable because of this crazy “contraption” (aka a wind tunnel) we used to measure lift. It was such an unusual sight see. There were these just giant, coloured, plastic tubes set on the table tops. Inside these wind tunnels we would then clip in the wings, which was connected to a balance to determine the amount of lift.

BIO 211 – Species Richness

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This was one of the few labs that did not require actually being inside of a lab, and was more of like a “field trip.” In this lab, we looked at species richness* in intertidal zones. To do this, we took a little trip to an area close to Fox Island. Under the Bridgeway there was just a plethora of aquatic organisms: anemones, crabs, mussels, and star fishes (just to name a few).

* the amount of different species

CHEM 120 – Synthesis and Recrystallization of Aquapentaamminecobalt(III) nitrate

In this lab, we created cobalt(III) complexes by oxidizing cobalt(II) salts with hydrogen peroxide, and using ammonium hydroxide and ammonium nitrate for our ammonia source. We then used recrystallization to isolate our desired cobalt(III) product, which involved increasing pH of the solution. This was my first occurrence with recrystallization, so it was interesting to be able to see crystals forming as it cooled in the ice bath.

Click here for part II.

*Excuse me for the poor image quality, they were taken when the Iphone 5c was the new “it” phone


Four Weeks In…

These past four week I’ve been so preoccupied with school, that I hadn’t realized how quickly time has gone by. It only felt like yesterday were we rolling our luggage’s across the asphalt in front of the Wheelock, across campus to our home away from home. Unpacking a little piece of home that has travelled with us across the skies. But so much has happened since then.

Four weeks in…

We celebrated the Lunar New Year.

Chinese New Year, the year of the rooster, fell on January 28th. Celebrating the new year away from home has always been a bittersweet moment. It makes me happy when I follow the traditions of the new year because it reminds me of home. But that always leads to me missing home. It’s always difficult to celebrate the new year away from family, but it’s easier when you can celebrate it with others. Every year the Chinese department holds a lunar new year celebration. Within the Chinese department, student and faculty gather together to decorate the 2nd floor of Wyatt, paint calligraphy, and eat food together like a family. Then there was a separate celebration from the public that was held in the Rotunda, where people could partake it different arts and crafts. And the night ended with a performance from Jesse Appell, an intercultural comedian and Fulbright Scholar Alumni who researched Chinese comedy.


We had our first snow fall of the year.

Since freshman year, I have been waiting for this moment. For those four years, I have been waiting for the snow to come. And come it did. It was a magical winter wonderland. Everything was covered in a blanket of white snow. Growing up in California, there was never any snow. Unless you drove 4 hours north to Tahoe. So, I took advantage of this opportunity. Just like freshmen year, my friends and I had snowball fights, built snowmen, and just admired the beautiful sight that was all around us.

Plus, a bonus to the snow day was having classes cancelled aka two days where I didn’t have to go to my 8 am O chem class!



Illuminate the Night

In my last year at Puget Sound there will be many, “_____ for the last time.” But there’s still room for, “_____ for the first time.” For instance, I went to Zoolights for the first time. Zoolights is an animal light display held at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Scattered around the zoo are different light installations of all the various kind of animals.

Since this event is held at night, you won’t be able to see the animals because they were in their indoor cells. With a couple of exceptions, like the camel-rides and in one of the indoor displays we were able to see a sleeping tiger. However, the aquarium is still open, so while you warm up you can gaze at the different species of sharks, fishes, and my personal favorite, jellyfish.

It’s honestly a spectacular light installation. You can’t help but smile and awe at all the brilliant displays illuminating against the night sky. I’d highly recommend going to this if you haven’t gone yet. This event will run through January 1st from 5 – 9 pm. I would also recommend checking the weather ahead of time and to dress for the weather aka bundle up. When we went, it was a chilly and windy 28°F.

Tacoma Narrow's Bridge

Tacoma Narrow’s Bridge



Mt. Rainier, another "_____ for the first time" I'm looking forward to.

Mt. Rainier, another “_____ for the first time” I’m looking forward to.

Now that Thanksgiving is Over…

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to dust off those ornaments and candy cane striped stockings for the most commercialized holiday in the world. Christmas! Non-stop Christmas music, Christmas lights covering every inch of space, and all things adorned in the red-green colour theme.

So to get into the holiday spirit, my friends and I decorated our living room. Similar to what we did last year, we made a paper Christmas tree that we taped onto the wall, which we adorned with our own ornament drawings (given that it’s not really practical to buy a real Christmas tree).

Upgrading from last year, we made our tree with green construction paper. And learning from our mistakes last year we cut out our ornaments and taped them onto the tree, instead of directly drawing up against the wall (sparing ourselves from cramped wrists). Now the only thing we’re missing now, are the wrapped presents under the Christmas tree.



Our Christmas tree for this year

An up close look of one of the ornaments I made.

An up close look of one of the ornaments I made.

We may have went a little overboard for last years Christmas.

We may have went a little overboard for last years Christmas.