Sunday, April 17, 2011

Full-time Researcher, Part-time Futsaller

I am now a forth year undergraduate student at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Chiba University. Life as a forth year student is basically nothing but all about research, research, and more research. But for my case, I guess I have gotten into the right lab because of another reason. More on that later.

I postponed my return flight to Japan, hence I didn't attend the guidance session at school when they did the research labs placing last week.


The working pit for the students in the lab.


All of these are for the students doing their Masters.


And there are two doctorate students in my lab as well, including a Chinese.

I went to check out on the notice board on my first day at school last Monday and found out that I was put into Lu Yun Research Lab, in which the researches mainly focus on materials and strength. That was not my first choice, but I had no complaints because first, I did not attend the session where they did the placing of students into each labs. Secondly, getting into this lab is actually not bad because at least the theme of the research still has some connections with my previous lab in my kosen.

Back then, my research was mainly about the tensile test for V-notched plates.


The worst unwanted seat in this lab, which is right at the main door and next to the dustbin haha wtf! Imagine the amount of insects 
and the wonderful odour it produces during summer!

The seats for the newly entered forth year students was not being determined yet initially. Basically, there are two hot seats (in simpler words, the location has good feng sui-lah haha!), while the other two, including the one next to the dustbin are... well, can just say they bring bad luck for you-lah lol! The passage way is so narrow, the place is kinda dark, it looks like rumah hantu like that haha!

We decided that whoever who comes to the lab the earliest on that day will get to choose the seat of their liking. So, being the kiasu among the four of us, I made sure I was the first to reach the lab the next morning haha!


Everyone was still a sleeping beauty at home and I was damn semangat to make sure I am the earliest bird that morning haha!


This is by far, the best seat of the four but too bad the computer somehow didn't work. I checked the cable and found nothing wrong but I still couldn't turn it on. 
So, I moved to the next table.


So, I settled down with this seat, which still not too bad. This will be my working pit for the next one year.

When I was just gonna take a seat at the lab, a magnitude-5.3 earthquake struck, but for merely three or four seconds. What a great way to start my first day at the laboratory, huh? I felt so welcomed haha!

I thought the seat would be permanent from then on. On the next day, I went to the immigration department to do my visa stuff and went to school late afternoon. Just before I entered the lab, I saw almost everyone were inside. I opened the door of the lab and saw the only empty seat was the dustbin seat haha wtf! It was then I realised the seat determination system is only temporary. So, I had to take the dustbin seat on that day because I was the last one to go to lab that day and obviously, nobody wants that seat. If I'd know that, I wouldn't have gone to the lab so early on that first day haha!


Journals and reference books. which will soon become my best friends.

Later that evening, we decided to determine the final seating for us. Guess what method we used?

We used the most common way Japanese people usually use when they wanna make a decision - rock, paper, scissors. Yup, I am serious. When we were deciding on the research theme recently, another guy and I wanted to do the same theme, so since none of us were willing to give in, we used the same method and my rock beat his scissor. I think the rock gave me good luck because I finished second out of four people in the game when we were deciding on the seating. So, my seat remains the same as the one I got on the very first day : )


The two cylindrical machines are used to measure thermoelectric materials, while the two white machines on the floor are called planetary ball mill.


Machines to conduct photocatalysis experiments. The equipments here cost hundred of thousands of dollars, and some cost millions!

Samples of the materials used in our research, which are kept in a tight vacumn container.


More chemicals kept tidily inside the cabinet.

We had a welcoming party for the new undergraduate students, which was also attended by our three supervisors, post-graduate school students, and doctorate students. The party lasted for more than three hours, which include a self-introduction session. As usual, the first question I got was about my height.

It was also through this session that I got to know that the aktiviti sambilan for people in this lab is playing futsal. They are all in really high spirit that they are already planning to have the first futsal session of this year as early as next week. Sweet! Another thing is, one of my lab mates is doing a part-time job at Tokyo Disneysea. So, next time whenever I wanna get the fast pass or get some souvenirs, such as Duffy the Disney Bear, I know who to look for already haha!


コー ヒー飲み放題 (drink-as-much-as-you-want coffee) at the coffee corner. Too bad I am not a fan of coffee. I might soon turn it into milk corner haha!


Our lab can sometimes being turned a low-cost hotel, minus the shower room and room service haha! There's a bed and it looks kinda comfortable actually. 
Will try it one day whenever I feel lazy to go home!


The mascot in our lab - Winnie the Pooh with his pot of honey, plus an orange deer who tersesat-ed from dunno where lol!

Praying hard that one year from now, I will be able to come out with a successful paper : )


sakura said...

nice insight on the start of ur 4th year. がんばって!

Robinn T said...

aiyar things will turn out fine, especially for you. Just be careful of the constant earthquakes hitting you these days.

Cieri said...

I wanna kirim a (or 2) duffy can la kan?

Baguette Queen said...

Awesome.. welcome to the pathetic no I mean, challenging life of a researcher a.k.a. scientist which sounds cooler ha ha.....

calvin said...

@ sakura:
thanks! i hope it will be a smooth and memorable final year for me : )

calvin said...

@ tempus:
i guess you've regard me too highly already hehe. but i take that as a compliment.

will be on alert at all times, as things haven't exactly stabilise yet now >.<

calvin said...

@ cieri:
if you really want, i can try ask him next time as i wanna get some as well haha! xD

calvin said...

@ baguette queen:
haha! i think the last term (scientist) made me feel so much better and gave me more semangat to work hard this year =P

Cieri said...

please! I do want duffy. menyesal gile xbeli masa pg TDS.and no,I wont visit TDS again.

calvin said...

@ cieri:
i suppose you know that duffy is only available from the store inside tds, right? but why are you not gonna visit the place again? >.<