I am now beginning week 5 of SROP and so far things are going well. On Tuesday of last week I went to Argonne National Laboratory with my mentor to help with/observe the sample fabrication process. The process was different from what I observed in my last project dealing with superconductors. Even the appearance of the machines were different even though they were categorized under the same group. The fabrication took the entire day but it is progressing. I am already observing/analyzing some diffraction patterns and will be, hopefully, taking more patterns to verify what we have now. So far, still on track!
My relationship with my current mentor is a bit different from my last mentor relationship. It is still comfortable to handle but there are differences. My last mentor relationship was more friend-like, with respect. In fact, I recently joined my previous mentor for lunch to catch up. My current mentor, although I feel awkward to say it, seems more father-like.
It is good that I am still on track. The Lorado Taft retreat was a somewhat interesting break from my work. However, I still tried to work while on the retreat. It was not very successful with no internet and few power outlets, which everyone was in line for. The thing I disliked most about the retreat was the bugs! I still have bites that I am treating as my repellent was not effective enough. The good thing, however, was being able to interact more with the individuals in the other research groups. I got to learn more about what they were doing and how it was different from my work. Strangely, even though their work was different, it could still be connected to my own work in some way. I will keep this in mind for future collaborations.