Thursday, August 7, 2008

from July 25th to August 3rd (3)

Monday, July 28th, I spent nearly a whole morning preparing a PPT introducing the history of China that would be used in the presentation arranged by Tracy for a group of high school students from Detroit. We six took about one and a half hour presenting stuff like geography, history, food, educaiton, etc. Acturally it seemed they were more interested in which NBA team was my favourite. Anyway, that presentation looked successful and was quite interactive.
Then in the afternoon I edited the poster and handed it to Jon and Dr. Wolfe for correction.

Tuesday I did routine lab work as usual. The poster was submited to Prof. Coppola before 12 am. Then in the language class on Wednesday we talked a little bit about the poster session stuff, including asking and answer, confirmation and explanation, with Mindy. Then there came Thursday, the last day of July, when the poster session was held.

We were asked to arrive at Chem BLDG at 8:30 am. to set up our posters and then have a refreshment. Our six posters were required not to be set next to each other. (Mine and Nan's were next to each other.) Students from Notre Dame University also took part in this session. I think most of them brought poster on Biology study, which were hard to understand with our limited knowledge on that. We then went to a undergraduate hall to have our morning presentations. So, students chosen from US REU, UM/PKU REU, and N.D. gave their talk to us and the US students in PKU also presented their work during this summer in Beijing through skype connection , which was interrupted by the network problem from time t time. After a professor of biochemistry's presentation of small molecular of bioactivities, we went back to Chem BLDG for lunch at nearly half past one.

The food there were unbelievably wonderful. I heard that it was mexican flavor food after that. I had three full dishes of chicken, beef, and cabbage. Then the poster session began from the ones downstairs (mine was upstairs). Few posters were focusing on organic chemistry, while tons of posters with amazing pictures on them were predominantly on biochemistry. I looked at the Thailand student's (in Sanford group) poster and provided a few idea for her future direction(perhaps one of them made sense). I also stopped by another guy's explaining a methodolody of group shift in pyrrobenzene system and asked about the driving force of that rearrangement reaction.

When it became my turn, I enjoyed quite a period of time myself standing there keeping a smile while Nan was with me also. Well, I admit both the appearance and data of my poster were not that attractive( but the information was plenty). Then my colleague in lab came... we had some small talks killing time. Then Nan's mentor Wei came by, and I introduced my work to him finally. During the time, I noticed that there were a few people walked by and seemed a little interested in this poster but looked like they had no questions about what I wrote on it. After the whole session, we six took pictures together, me having poster in my hand.

Went shopping as usual on Friday, I bought a dozen of chicken wings, seemed cheap.

Continuing optimizing the condition of our Pd-catalyzed carboamination of carbamates, I've got several exciting results this week. During the solvent screening, I found that t-BuOH, dioxane, xylenes all gave a higher NMR yield than toluene, which I used before. To assure the NMR yield, I ran a colomn to isolate the desired product. Working late at night, I finally was able to have a close look at my product wanted, rather than try to figure out the abstract peaks on the spectrum. It was a red solid powder. I identified it even though only 30mg was got. So that was good to see the NMR yield was consistent with my isolate yield.

/Today I ran a colomn on the crude carbamate I got yesterday, and then got beautiful white needlelike crystal and a decent yield. That might be the last time for me to make that substrate. Acturally, Jon and I went to present our work during these past a couple of weeks to Dr. Wolfe and we planned to do some final trial both on the substrate bearing benzyl on the N and the preactivation of our Pd catalyst before turninng to another totally new substrate.

We discussed the Molecule of Year(acturally a sort of exercise given by Dr. Wolfe, to design a reasonable and substantiated total syntheis of a natura product found this year, the group are divided into two team and compete against each other) this noon. In the meeting on Monday, Josh, Jon and Goergia picked my retro synthesis of that MOY. Now we have divided the labor and are going into detail.

I also sent Xiao Qing an Email this week with my synthesis of a piece of Target Molecule and then I'm looking forward to the response./

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

from July 25th to August 3rd (2)

/Unexpected slept in today(from 10 pm to 10 am), went to MLB for English class, went to Michigan Union for a dispursement, back lab, three reactions for base screening, bad results, back home at 7 pm/

So let's start from Sunday, July 27th. I slept until Xiao knocked at my door at 10:30 am. Then Nan, Xiao and I went to a Guangdong restaurant and met Wei, a grad who is originally from China and now is Nan's REU mentor(we played basketball together), and a Shenzhen girl who just came here from England for grad program. This typical Guangdong breaklunch was Wei's treat. We ate and chat for more than three hours. The food was wonderful. There were a variety of different small dishes and dissert and I was finally full(well it is rare for me in America).

(just wrote a GRE issue)

Nan drove us home. It was unbelievable that then I slept for another 2 hours. Not having dinner, I started a tough work with my poster due Tuesday noon until mid night.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

from July 25th to Aug 3rd (1)

Well, sorry for haven't write anything for such a long time. Every day exhausted me.

July 25th, Friday, the day for shopping with Nan, Xiao, and Chris. Before that we made a "hot-pot" in the kitchen using the hot-pot sauce that we bought nearly two weeks ago when we for the first time went to a Chinese stuff supermarket. That was definitely extreme spicy, more spicy than you could imagine. We "enjoyed" some cabbage and meat in it (Acturally meat was comparatively mild I think). Shopping is always time-consuming work. Having experienced a hard time with no fruit and no vegetable other than cabbage because I didn't go shopping last week, supermarket was more attractive to me than ever before. That resulted in returning home late exhausted and of course, more stuff means more money spent. And it was even more energy-consuming both to carry those stuff upstairs and to cram them into the fridge... well, after those all had been done, I picked up the phone, and started to dial...

On July 26th, we went to a field trip to HenryFord Museum and Greenfield Village, and also, the IMAX. We went there by three vans, whose driver were the office ladies (HH, and another two elder) in the chemistry building. Unfortunatelty, my stomach ated again( Hey, why always Saturday morning, seems quite periodically, oh man...) on the way. I had to keep tolerating the terrible feeling of my stomach and at the same time try my best to have a decent smile on my face and prevent anything unexpected from happenning until we arrived at the destination. Before the tickets were given to us I was already driven by my instinct to the nearest restroom. I had " a quality time" there (using Tracy's words to describe it), and thinking, oh thank god, if one more second there would probably be an explosion...

Well, let's forget the embarassing stuff and have a look at the Village and the Museum. Green Village is a place where the Ford Company puts everything related to Mr. Ford or that age together to form a complete picture of the early 20th century. I took a lot of picture there. I saw old fashioned cars, buses, bicycles, wages and people dressed in traditional clothes having a picnic on the grass. There were dozens of small traditional houses that you can walk in, and there were staff ready to introduce the stories of these houses, like that Ford's brothers or one Ford's aunts used to live in this house, or this house used to be the most popular alcohol store in the town. There were also a few factories displayed in the Village.

Then after a short lunch break in the cafe, we went on to visit the Museum. I enjoyed being a model by the side of the cars, and asking Nan to take photos of me and the cars. The cars shown in the Museum were arrayed according to the age and that gave me an explicit picture of the history of the auto-industry in America (such as the big three, GM...). There were also places showing the development and evolution of aeroplanes and we flied the paper plane made by ourselves there(mine sucked...). I heard Mindy talked about the bus in which the black woman(don't remember her name) refused to give her seat to white person and from then started a movement of equality and civil rights. She said that very bus was in this museum, but I didn't saw it. Maybe I didn't recognize it and just passed by. Before going to the IMAX, I went to the Chocolate Exhibition, had a glance at the history of chocolate and bought some souvenirs for J and myself. In fact, I was suprised to see that there were lots of spray, perfume and other stuff made with a chocolate scent.

Then it comes to the movie, the Batman movie, the DARK KNIGHT. I have to say that the IMAX was incrediblely impressive for its intense visual impact. It was hard to accurately describe your feeling when you first sat in the IMAX, facing the huge screen, looking at the clearest and most distinct video. It was wonderful when I enjoyed the sample video shown on the screen before the movie began. The sample included scenes of huge whale swimming, cute pets running, a team climbing the snow-capped montains, people doing extreme sports in the sky(jumped out of a plane), and Michael Jordan dunking(yeah lip outside his mouth, and while Jordan appeared on the screen, a person was walking looking for seat in the front of cinema, who was like an ant comparing to the huge Jordan). The movie was full of violent scenes, explosions, killing, and death were the main themes. Batman fighted with Joker, who was extremely evil (just for being evil), but not like a superhero, while the end of the movie was not the success of the evil, but apperantly not the success of the justice either. In my view, it was not a hero movie, not even a tiny piece of it, but in stead a disaster movie. One thing I noticed was that there were kids in the cinema, but it should not have been permitted since this was a violent and dark movie that even an adult could be distressed by. I also heard that this movie was not allowed to play in the cinemas in China.

(recently I saw the critique of this movie and it said that the Dark Knight was not a hero movie but a super realastic and dark movie. It proposed the problem of the contradiction of law system and superhero with great power while confronting the evil. Like the Joker said:" you complete me", there is a dividing line, if transgress it, then superhero might be even more destructive than the evil, and what seems to be sacratic, the line is ambiguous. Is the movie warning us of the possibility of the government abusing its power which is given for protect its people?)

On the way back home, I knew that the actor who played Joker in the movie, died this year. I thought that there might be terrible mental depression on that poor person because of the darkness shown in the role's character.

We went to Jiaxiang for dinner, the restraunt which I should have come to on last Saturday evening for the welcoming party held by the Chinese student union in UM. But that night I worked in lab late, plus did not hear the phone call and unfortunately missed it. This time finally I made it, though I had to pay for myself.

to be continued...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

July 24th

played basketball outside CCRB with Jon, Josh, Zack, Wei, and other guys. We won a 21 point game and a 7 point game. I think I was the player who scored most, and amazing shot like spin move followed by left-hand lay-up and 3 point shooting as well. That's a good game.

After language class I was doing lab work from 4 pm to around mid night (0 am). that was tough to deal with a cracked flask with all my product in it, though finally I made it. I took some pictures of the lab and the chem biulding.

I called J when I came back to dorm. Her sound was so sweet.
lab day again. feeling tired.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

July 23rd

Well, I have started my English blog, which also means I might not have time to keep my own Chinese diary. Since my diary has been full of "Liushuizhang", which contains more routine work and objective facts but less personal feeling, I'm still struggling on whether stick to the old style or not. Definitely, starting an English blog will benefit me on language learning, especially when my GRE AW is coming soon. What is also apparent, it will be quite tough to express myself effectively, either for a short or long time period.

I decide to call today "a lab day"--I was working in the lab from 8 am. to 9 pm. After a relax yesterday, I felt pretty energetic this morning. Having dealed with the product I left yesterday and set up a substrate making reaction, I ran a Grignard reaction with the help of Jon. Well, pushing a 60 mL syringe was such a energy and time consuming work almost like physical training. I also went to Prof. Sension's lecture about laser in dynamic chemistry reseach, but it was a pity that Jon's presentation at the organimetallic seminar was at the same time so that I missed it. Matt and Goergia were back from vacation, and the lab begined to be filled with laughter as soon as Matt came back.

I feel more and more difficult to keep up with my GRE learning plan... plus there will be poster session soon... well, although I've done about 20 or 30 palladium reactions, still haven't got ant satisfying result yet, the substrates keep decomposing. But that is research. And so is the life itself, isn't it?

I miss you, J.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

test test

here is the test to make an entry in my blog.

the debut

hello everyone~