Even though “Fall” has been used ever since we started the semester about five weeks ago, it isn’t until a few days ago that the season officially started on the September equinox. I can hardly believe this marks almost four months since we started the GMI program. Even though the weather has not changed too much here in Houston, I can definitely say I feel a lot of differences after being in Houston for a little over a month.
After getting used to our busy schedules, classes have now shifted from the chaotic beginnings of “oh-my-God-Grad-School-is-so-different-to-anything-I-have-experienced-before” to a more manageable routine. We are finally (almost) switching from needs finding – a process we began at the very beginning of summer – to needs selection, where we filter and determine which needs may have a better chance to be addressed within the constraints of our program. This makes the dynamics of our GMI courses a little different for a month, focusing our energy as a team to a more analytical approach. I have also found that the elective I am taking, Team Leadership and Innovation, has served useful in understanding the way our team works and how I may contribute according to what my own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of my teammates’, may be.
This week, Erica, Jeanette and Dr. Richardson were visiting Brazil – I am sure one of them will write about it in their blogs next week (plus at this point all I know is that they’re ok from a picture they sent!) but I can say we have to be prepared for these weeks where we all travel but cannot leave our responsibilities behind; time can be an unforgiving factor if we do not plan ahead as a team and perform beyond our own expectations. Speaking of travel, next week it’s BMES for a bunch of us: Michael, Guiselle, Jorge, Dr. Richardson and I will be attending. This year’s conference will be in Minneapolis, MN on October 5th – 8th. I am thrilled to be able to attend since this will be my first time attending an event related to BioE and, come to think of it, I think it will probably be the biggest event I have ever attended overall (we don’t get too many large scale events back in Costa Rica).
Now that I mention Costa Rica, I will also travel there right after BMES, from the 9th to the 17th if all goes according to plan. It just happens to be that CINDE has organized a Life Science Forum from the 9th to the 11th. As I understand it, many big names in the CR MedTech Industry will be speaking, including Dr. Richardson as a guest speaker. I will be making the most of the trip by using the rest of the days I have to talk to a few people involved with the project I’m working on (currently called VisRefr) and looking for more networking opportunities, both for the GMI program and myself. I feel lucky that Midterm Recess is actually during that week so the amount of class I will miss is very limited, thankfully.
On a last personal note, living in Houston for well over a month now, I feel like the adjustment period is over. I have overcome quite a few nuisances easily with many unexpected tools at my disposals: for example, being able to order food online saves me the trouble of depending on shuttles or buses to go all the way to the supermarket and back. The kindness of my peers has also saved me numerous Uber trips already so having no car here has not been too much of a hassle. I do miss my country, my family and friends somewhat but I get to WhatsApp & Skype with them and even visit them relatively often so it’s all good! I can’t wait for the weather to cool down now (a little, my expectations aren’t that high) now that Fall has officially begun.