Well, my days of freedom are over. Today was my first official day as a summer intern at ORNL.
As far as summer activities go, doing research at ORNL is actually a pretty good deal for me. It’s close to home, it pays a pretty good weekly stipend, I’ve interned there before, and it pads my research resume quite nicely.
What’s awesome is that this time around, I think I’ll actually have a REAL scientific project to be working on. When I interned at ORNL my senior year in high school, I was basically stuck in a cubicle working on coding/internet research/computer simulations. While I do enjoy working with coding and computers, that kind of stuff gets pretty dry pretty fast, so I’m real psyched that I get to do some real hands-on SCIENCE this time.
From what I could gather from my mentor today (which was A LOT because he basically tried to explain every instrument/tool we saw), I’m going to be working on a combination of cell cultures, microfluidics, and nanotechnology.
I got really excited though because I got to suit up and tour ORNL’s nanotechnology clean room, which apparently, I will be working in after I get done with all the training for the equipment. And in case you don’t know what a clean room is, just look it up on wikipedia. The pictures they have on the site are pretty representative of what I get to work in, full body-suit and all. :)
I’m in for some really interesting research this time around, but the trade-off is that I’ll probably have to work a lot more hours per day than I’m used to.
I’m glad for the experience with all the fancy equipment, but I’m sad that my free time has shrunk down to like 2-3 hours per day.
Ah well. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.
Oh, I also somehow won the grand prize for ORNL orientation door prizes today. It’s just an ORNL bag filled with a ton of ORNL merchandise/swag, but I also got a $25 gift card to some restaurant I never heard of.
The ironic thing is…I was hoping I wouldn’t win anything the whole time. I’m not a big fan of having to walk out before more than a hundred people unless it’s for something important. XD
But yeah, busy day. Gotta get into a new routine now.