Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation
Main content start

Tram Vo

I'm so done

posted August 08, 2014

It's over. It really is.

Can you believe it? How quickly the last 8 weeks have gone by?

While I feel relieved that I don't have to wake up at 6 in the morning every day anymore, I'm also really sad that this internship has ended. Like I mentioned in my previous blog, I met the most amazing people here. The interns in the general program have convinced me that they are all exceptionally intelligent with their presentations about the work they have done over the summer. My fellow interns in the History of Life program are no different, and addition to that, they are all so unique and different in their own ways. My group was really diverse, and it was a pleasure to befriend so many different people from such different backgrounds with such different personalities. And all the adults here were so kind and understanding and patient, not to mention incredibly knowledgeable.

It's a real bummer that after we all got to know each other, we have to go our separate ways.

I won’t forget this internship. As corny as it sounds, it will always hold a special place in my heart, even though it tired me out a lot at times. The fun I had outweighed my tiredness—in fact, it blew it out of the water. Or something like that, I don’t know if that’s the right way to use that saying but yeah you get the point.

I want to thank everyone that contributed to my amazing experience at the Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences this summer. It honestly wouldn’t have been the same without each and every one of them. It has truly been one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I loved it a whole lot, and I mean that.

All good things must come to an end, but the satisfaction I have gotten from this internship will live on for a long, long time.

Tiring but so worth it

posted July 22, 2014

Time flies by so quickly. I think we've just finished our, what, fifth week? It's mind-blowing.

I've had a pretty easy time making myself feel at home at Stanford. Again, I cannot stress enough how amazing all the people here are. My fellow interns are such great people, and I've really enjoyed getting to know them, especially after our camping trip (which was, by the way, a ton of fun). I mean how can you say you're not friends after you've shed blood, sweat, and tears hiking five miles with someone?? I feel much, much more comfortable than I did before, and it's great! Everyone here including the adults make me feel like I can be myself, and no one puts me down or anything. I love everyone.

Selfie of interns
Not everyone, but here's a few cool people

Anyway, about the camping trip. Man, what a trip... I really have mixed feelings about it. It felt torturous hiking all the way up there (to me, the view was absolutely not worth it. I was too tired to enjoy it. I am sorry) and it was painful hopping our way back down, but the feeling of finishing a five mile hike was immensely satisfying. And the experience of hiking and seeing all these rocks and plants that I normally wouldn't see was definitely memorable. We had bonding time after dinner too, and that was great! After a good and much-needed night's rest, we drove a few hours to go pick out some fossils of marine organisms like crabs and clams. And then we went home. It doesn't sound like we did much, but trust me, we did a whole lot and it was pretty dang tiring.

Selfie of two interns
This hike. It killed me.
Don't you dare tell me this picture doesn't look artsy.
Looking at rocks or something, I forgot
During our break at the peak. Pretty sure you can tell how tired I was from how red my face is!

Oh yeah, we had a trip to UC Berkeley a while back too. I never wrote about that, but it was great. I love seeing complete skeletons! At Berkeley they had so many complete fossil sets and they were pretty cool if you ask me.

T-Rex skeleton
It's as big as I am small!
Skeleton in a display case
Man I wish I had teeth like that
Interns group shot
What a wonderful group of people

Rufhiline and I are (finally?) starting work on our project! It was a little disorganized at first but I think Noel has helped set us on the right track. Honestly, I think our topic is a little basic, but I don't really want to put too much on our plates, especially since we're only novice scientists. I'm looking forward to doing more work on it though, because I actually enjoy analyzing data and thinking critically. R is interesting to use, and although it's proved to be really helpful, it's also shown itself to be extremely frustrating. Have you ever really liked something but were just really lousy at it? Yeah, that's how I feel about R. Maybe it takes practice, but for sure, programming is not something I click with. Ah, I hope our project turns out well. It's making me just the tiniest bit anxious.

I'm not sure how many weeks we have left... two or three. Thinking about the internship ending is making me a little sad. It's tiring, I have to say, with all the commuting, but it's also really enjoyable. I guess I'll just have to make the best of the days that remain.

Two weeks down!

posted June 27, 2014

I guess you can say that this program was kind of not really what I thought it would be but at the same time I kind of expected it. That doesn't really make sense. The first week was a little rough, but I'm used to the stuff we do now. I felt lost a lot but now I'm a-okay....

So yeah I've been learning a lot of stuff. I like my HoL group, they're a very friendly bunch of people. Meeting new people is great. Noel is really nice! He's funny and smells like coffee (=pleasant-smelling). :^)

Group selfie

My peers all seem really knowledgeable about the things we discuss too, as least compared to me. I guess you could say that earth sciences and paleontology aren't my strongest areas but it's great to learn about new things. Hopefully as I learn more and become more experienced with this field, I'll be able to participate more actively in discussions (I'm not 100% confident about what I have to say yet so I listen to what others say to see if I'm on the right track). See, like fossils, I knew very little about, but after listening to what everyone had to say, I was able to pick up a few things.

Sample cases

I really enjoy learning how to use R and am glad that we'll be using it more throughout the summer. It's a little tough to "get" at first but once you do, it's pretty fun to play with. I'm not sure if I'll know what I could use it for outside of this program though, but hopefully it comes in handy in the future. I liked learning about the GIS stuff too. I just love learning how to use programs and relating them to science I guess.

I'm looking forward to doing more things in the program. Hopefully we learn how to do even more things! Apparently we're starting on our projects next week so that should be fun :^)