Week 8: Final Week
Hello, I am Zhen Hao, writing the final blog post! If you recall, I started writing the beginnings (Week 1) and now I will write the endings of our stay at Stanford.
8 weeks flew like a breeze. All good beginnings must come with an end.
1. Night Cycling
Abu and I paid our visits to Stanford Shopping Centre at night (11.30pm)! It was a spontaneous decision to do so because we were so tired of doing our final project. The night was cold. The streets were empty. All we had were our bags and bikes. And time. We donned on our jackets, hopped on our bikes and stepped on the bicycle pedals. We raced past the scenic Main Quad, Computer Science Building and Stanford Hospital. It felt like our own paradise. When we reached the Stanford Shopping Centre, the exterior lights were still glowing yellow. The shops were closed and there was no one in sight. It felt like an empty Paris. Brightly lit, romantic and exquisite. We felt free and rich. We booked the whole shopping mall. We owned a sleek red Tesla. We had supper at a luxurious cafe. It felt like a dream. I felt that my life was fulfilled.
2. Tesla Drive
De Rong and Glenda went on a test drive at Stanford Shopping Center. I thought I was rich but they were richer – they have experienced the car. The functions of the car were autopilot and collision detection. According to them, the most amazing thing was a powerful yet smooth acceleration.
3. NUS Dinner
For the last week, the NUS students invited us for dinner. When I arrived, the porch was decorated with fairy lights and little flags. We dug into pasta and Tin Pot Creamery ice cream over friendly banter and rap battles.
1. Final lessons
We thoroughly enjoyed most of our courses. We have seen passionate, dedicated and knowledgeable professors pushing the frontiers of science and humanities, meanwhile ensuring that their students learned from it. I liked my astrophysics course. My professor is a particle physicist who turned astrophysicist. Our professor took the class to the LIGO lab where we had a little tour where the engineers introduced us to the machines and the physics behind it. It was fascinating and I didn’t think I would have such a chance.
2. Final projects
The last week also meant submissions of our final projects. Abu and I who took the astrophysics course had the opportunity to research about life on other planets. Abu wrote a research paper about habitable zones, whereas I worked on amino acids that formed life.
3. Final exams
The last 2 days were dedicated to last-minute exam mugging.
4. Final goodbyes
Finally, it was time to bid our goodbyes. Good times must come to an end. The exchange was really meaningful for me; I learned how to communicate with these exchange students, learned about their cultures and practices. I gained insight into their thinking patterns and attitudes toward life. I learnt their language and their social systems. From this exchange, I reflected a lot and I gained a lot of experience in planning trips, connecting with people and also had a lot of fun. 🙂