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on September 9, 2019 on 9/9/19 from

Week 8, Season Finale

Entrance to my laboratory. A welcoming officer greeted me with an “Ohayo” upon entrance.

After the double karaoke night, my focus shifted to crafting my final presentation. After the data crisis I had last week, I was more than ready to tackle my final challenge. I went to lab at 10 am, sat on my desk, and got to work. After working for 8 hours straight, I produced a draft that was presentable to my lab mates. I presented my first draft to my lab mates and they gave me their feedback. They unanimously agreed that the my presentation was accessible and should change my conclusion to summarized my main ideas in an organized matter. Their reaction made me happy and proud of my work! Then they proceeded to ask question regarding the specifics of my project. This was situation that got me really nervous. However, I was able to give a satisfactory answer to all of their questions. This gave me the boost in confidence I needed to calm down my nervousness.

Once I was done implementing the feedback from lab mates, the only reaming task for me was to practice the presentation, which I did at the stock room of the lab. I needed a place to speak out loud without bothering my lab mates, so this was the perfect place. So, I continued to rehearse for the remaining days of the program. From time to time, a someone will entered to the stockroom and hear “What is DNA?”

Minami Senri Station. The nearest station to my dormitory. Found at the top of 20 minute uphill walk.

Before I knew it, it was the presentation day. I got up, put on my formal cloths, and headed to the station with my friends from the program. In the train, we were quiet. We were nervous, true, but we also wanted to see every tree, observe every body of water, and hear every cicada. This was the last time we will do this commute and wanted to enjoy it. “Kita-Senri” said the driver, and this was our stop. We walked out into the hot summer weather, and walked the rest of the way to Osaka University, enjoying the scenery that Japan’s summer offered.

At the meeting room, we sat down and waited patiently for 9:30 am to strike. The time at which the first presenter would start. I was the second presenter. I was nervous and scare, specially because I would not have the luxury to get accustomed to the room before presenting. The first presenter was done. Now it was my turn. I waked into the front of the room, prepared my slides, introduced myself and said “Let’s start with the basics. What is DNA?”

After my presentation was done, I sat down and listen to my colleagues’ presentations. I was in awe by them. We had all achieved a lot in the small period of two months! I could not help but feel exited to hear what everyone had to say. I was enthralled in the presentations and the stories everyone told. Before I knew it, the last presenter had come and gone and it was time to give away the prizes. “Jonathan Chow!’ the third place winner was called. My friend’s face lights up in astonishment and joy as he walks to pick up his prize. “Brian Galaviz Sarmiento!” the second place prize is called. I think to myself, “did I do well enough to get second place? How?” These worries get swept away when I obtain my prize and shake the hand of the program organizer. “Ari Tam!” The first place is called and all of us clap vividly. We knew she had earned that first prize the moment she introduced herself.

I thanked the staff of the program and headed to my research lab. My lab mates were organizing a farewell party and they could not start until I arrived. At the party, we made takoyaki (octopus ball) together. This was really fun! You had to spin the batter as fast as possible to make it a ball. Some of my lab mates even raced each other in making balls! We joked the rest of the night. The party ended with them giving me a farewell gift, an Osaka University tie!

We cleaned up after the party, and I thanked everyone for being welcoming of me and helping succeed in this program. I ended the night by meeting with my friends of the program and playing games. It was the best way I could have ended this program.

My friends from the program. I enjoyed all the adventures we went on together.

I am really thankful that I got to participate in the Frontier Lab @Osaka Universiy. I am blessed that the Fund for Education Abroad and the Gilman International Scholarship for supporting me in this adventure.