Our 4-day mid-semester break is a great time for students to explore the outdoors with the outdoors program, visit family, explore Walla Walla, pay their sleep debt and the list goes on and on. But basically, the break gives everyone a good four days to have fun and catch up with friends and family, and refresh for the second half of the semester. Freshman year, I went home for break, sophomore year, I stayed on campus and hung out with friends, and last year, I went kayaking with one of my housemate.
This year, my 4-day break will actually be extended into a weeklong break because I am presenting my summer/senior research on the association of bacterial burden and seminal HIV-1 shedding at the SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) national science conference in Seattle right after break! This is my first national conference with undergraduates, graduate students and professionals from all over the nation so I am really excited to meet people in different stages of their science career! The research award I received from Whitman to do the summer research also has a separate travel fund that allows me to travel to any conference during the academic year and since this conference also happened to be in Seattle this year and right around 4-day, it also gave me a free trip home to visit my parents and my 6 year old brother :)
Some things that I am SUPER excited to do/try this break are:
1. Halloween costume shopping with my brother
2. Pretending to be a soccer mom and picking up my brother from school in my purple minivan (I think I’ve been conditioned into being his second mom)
3. EATING SUSHI!!! Like real sushi with raw fish, not rolls that you would probably never find in Japan :P
4. Attempting to make mooncakes (I already bought a mooncake mold!)
5. Making edible bonsai (it was a sporadic idea that some friends and I thought of but it’s basically an edible tree art with brownie as the base…maybe it could be an Asian dirt cup?)
Hopefully, I will be able to accomplish or at least try all five activities I have planned for myself this coming week but there are also other things like catching up on practicing piano, thesis, etc. that I have to do so we will see what happens!