Mid-term Report at NCKU

If 2 years are the time I have to endure as a Master’s student here at NCKU, then it’s about time for a mid-term report.
Looking at my data, so little has been produced. Just so little. I seriously doubt how much of the past year is going to end up on my final thesis. I worked respectedly for almost a year just to witness my research direction got turned sideway on the day I e-mailed my abstract to prof.

What else happened? I remember losing 7 kg within 2 weeks after arriving here. The "report" to registration mistake that ended up making history. The eye-poping elastic modulus formulas on the papers, mind-boggling protein markers during meetings, and that "I gotta do something, but what?" sensation that encapsuled me for months. Clueless cell biology class, and Prof WT Chang’s 200+ slides per class. Oh, and Never-Had-So-Much advance physiology that pretty much killed whatever passion I had left in the tank. That basically summed up the 1st semester, so glad it’s behind me now.

The 2nd semester was slightly better. Fewer courses, I had more time to accelerate in lab. Yet it was still before "the turn," so the work I thought I had accomplished ended up being "backed-up" as in not-knowing-its-value-so-keep-it-just-in-case. The good thing? I was getting acquainted with all the invisible molecules; cell biology was finally making sense. Molecular biology was still as boring as the process of western blotting, but it wasn’t frightening me at the least. 2nd semester was also when "the turn" occurred; as bad as that could sound, I was so glad that I had a goal where I could aim and reach. That’s probably the most important point of my time here, as a whole: to have a goal at last.

With that in sight (though far in distant), I finally performed/operated/whatevered the FIRST western blot ever at NCKU, on the 20th of June, 2 weeks short of a complete year, and a few days prior to that, 1st ever cell culturing. Like my day 1 here reporting to the whole lab, it was history making. Gotta love that.

That’s the degree part, the academics, the results. Enough of that.

I came here expecting much more than that. Although I’ve promised myself to devote to lab first, that ain’t meaning I ma sacrifice my life for it. The best part about NCKU I’ve enjoyed the MOST, is the extra-curriculum activities. By all means, they can be lectures, symposiums, events, movies, documentaries, concerts, or even just the atomsphere to embrace.During my roughest days, the lectures all around the campus filled up my emptiest moments and craving mind. Not just academically. As much as I’ve gained all around in science, I also benefitted from lectures of others: management, career inspirations, oh, and music. Organizations, institutions, and private entrepreneurs these days have humanity written all over their ads, NCKU has the ingredient cocktailed in every breath we take.

In between me and my life here, serve the most critical element of my achievement: supports. I could never stress why or how important these supports meant to me. Whether it was a word of advise on my experiment design, a reagent, or simply just an encouraging smile, not to mention those who’s been there for me, from the beginning. Also those sparkles of encounters that touch up my exhausted soul, the angels that color-up my life. I could never thank enough for those undivided dedications.

So, after hours after hours of late night studying for the academics, I survived. I survived the massive physiology bombing, the clueless cell biology examination preparations, and the bored to earth molecular biology. I also learned, that without passion, without sparks, life can just be as plain as a computer. I don’t ever want to live in the matrix, within the system, or be satisfied by ONE aspect of life. I want the whole package. I want to strive in my strengths, academics, athletics, and arts. I also want a more colorful life, emotionally and spiritually. Most importantly, I want myself back. The confident (and sometimes cocky) on the outside, yet absorbing and humbling self on the inside. I want to live a vivid and energetic life.

A report usually ends with a grade, so what does this one deserve?

My life ain’t meant to be graded. If you were looking for an answer, you don’t know me enough.

Ha… the cocky image is coming back.

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