Author Archives: Milie Fang, Biological Sciences / Pre-medicine

About Milie Fang, Biological Sciences / Pre-medicine

I am a senior and an acclaimed workaholic. While I like to keep busy academically, I really enjoy the simple pleasures of hanging out with friends and family, playing video games, or listening to music. When life seems to go well, allergies and eczema like to butt in and make me miserable. I hope to go into medicine so that I can have a better understanding of skin and the immune system to help myself, and to also help others facing the same problems I have faced since I was three.

Freedom Approaches

At last, the time has almost come when summer school ends and my actual summer begins. Now, you probably won’t consider two weeks enough time for enjoyment—but hey, you take what you can get! I just want to hang out with my brother and play Dungeon Siege on the PS3! Unfortunately we already watched all of the Dr. Who 11th season episodes that are out…we are waiting on the next ones. Dr. Who is SO amazing.

Unfortunately I have to keep this post short because I have a whole lot of studying to do. Darn chemistry likes to eat people for dinner, ahem. I finished writing my research paper for English 222 though! I’m excited to take English 212 (Fiction) in the fall, although I haven’t taken English 240 yet and apparently that’s a pre-requisite on the UIC Undergraduate Catalog. I’m just going to assume it’s false though because I asked around the writing center and everyone says you only need English 161.

Anyway, I guess I’ll post up my tentative schedule for the fall semester! I’m still going to volunteer with Rush and do research at the Applied Health Sciences building, but with the former I’ll be working more from home because it’s a hassle to walk all the way over there and find out I’m just stapling 2000 pages of paper (not fun). I asked my supervisor if I could move onto more meaningful things like writing papers or something. I originally got affiliated with this department (Rush Institute for Healthy Aging) because they needed someone to make a t-shirt design for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. From there, things just kind of added on and soon I made the logos, the posters, the flyers, you name it. Now, doing all of that for free was a bit too much. If you paid a person who worked for a graphics department company, you would probably have to pay at least 800 dollars. I did it for free. I don’t know why, but I guess I just don’t like taking money from people. Then again, they never offered. Ah whatever. I entered the UIC Maurice Prize Competition with the stuff I made. I didn’t win, but that’s okay. I can try again next year!

I am planning on getting credit for research this fall so that I can be eligible for the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Award. It would really help out with paying for college and they even give a bonus to my PI, which he really needs because our lab needs it. Seriously, a little box of RT-PCR Thermoscript thing was about 300 dollars. Crazy.

Anyway, back to my tentative schedule:

CHEM 232 – Organic Chemistry I
BIOS 222 – Cell Biology
HN 196 – Human Nutrition
HON 201 – Music Therapy and Music Medicine I
ENGL 212 – Introduction to the Writing of Fiction
ASST 270 – Sex, Love, and Marriage of Asians

The last class just sounded interesting. I hope it’s not too much work though because those top three classes are probably going to drive me into a hermit-living style! I might drop it because this is already at 17 credit hours, and I’ll be added 1 credit hour (more like 3 but you can only sign up for 18 credits max) for the independent research thing so I can hopefully get paid for research. Oh man, and I also might be a volunteer writing center tutor. Dang, next year I have an officer position in Society of Future Physicians. I’m excited to work with the nearby high schools to conduct presentations about health, but man it will be lots of work (by the way, I totally made that banner on the website header hehe). Jeez, and I have my regular part-time job from UIC Campus Housing as the web aide. I hope I can keep everything together!

Gah. Need to study…or maybe I will sleep…Tomorrow morning I am going to attend the Inaugural American College of  Wound Healing and Tissue Repair Conference at the UIC Forum. There will probably be lots of important people there and I’ll probably end up being the youngest again! I actually attended one of these seminars last year because I wanted to see one of the PI’s I searched at just to make sure he wasn’t some mad scientist or something, haha. And what do you know, he is my research PI at the moment and will continue to be in the next three years that I’m here at UIC! (:

Wow. Guess this post wasn’t as short as I predicted. This just shows you that I need to stay away from the computer when I study. Good luck to anyone taking their summer school finals! Crud, I better start taking down my stuff in my room at PSR because I have to move on Friday night! I plan on going to a Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert at Ravinia with my mom Saturday night and then Sunday I plan on going to Six Flags with some friends because I haven’t gone the entire summer! Raging Bull, here I come.

So much to do, and so little time…


This week has been half exciting and half awful. The awful part, you might have guessed, is chemistry. The wonderful, awesome part is surprisingly my growing love for English! We have a 7-9 page research paper due next Friday in my tutoring class (also the day I have my chemistry final, boo) and I am actually and genuinely delighted to start writing it…if only chemistry wasn’t ruining everything! I swear, chemistry needs to get a life and stop blowing up the whole world and smelling bad (I had a lab today and we had to deal with ammonia and hydrochloric acid, yuck). UIC should ban these hazardous chemicals; in fact, I think the world would be a lot better off without chemistry. We can keep organic because it has to do with life. Everything else…can just disappear. Need an explanation? I will write a wonderful post later about why the world would be better off without chemistry.

You know, this one time I went online in the Google search engine to see why I should learn chemistry. I don’t know how I got to a certain page, but some professor wrote “Now, why should you learn chemistry? To understand beer of course!” What kind of stupid answer this that? Beer and alcohol ruins families and other relationships. It’s just empty calories and can give you liver cancer. PLEASE think about your liver! =(

Okay, I need to stop my ranting. I have a chemistry exam tomorrow and apparently it’s extremely brutal. This post will have to get cut off soon, but in the meantime, I just wanted to update you all on the t-shirts! We got them last Friday and they are so nice. I wore one of them yesterday when I was on campus, doing all that school stuff. Please follow us on Twitter, Tumblr, like us on Facebook, and purchase from me if you’re interested! =) We have a website (look at designs here if you do not have a Facebook) where you can purchase too, but I wouldn’t want you to pay for shipping if you’re in Chicago so just contact me somehow. You’ll probably notice we do not have anything on the pages (well, my brother has updated the FB page). No fear. I am coming home this weekend and doing some awesome social media galore! Time to make fun marketing materials. I’m so excited.

Phew. All right I’m off to study. I have more to say but school is more important at the moment.

Hope everyone is having a nice cadence to their summers.

Tough Week

I screwed up in the lab for the first time, and it was such a dopey mistake. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that bad, but I definitely wanted to smack my forehead onto my desk a couple times. I was running a qPCR like I always do, pipetting a billion times into the wells (it seriously takes a good one to one and a half hours), and I put it into the beautiful Applied Biosystems computer. After waiting around for an hour and a half filling up pipette boxes with tiny pipette tips, I took my sunglasses and threw on some sunscreen, and stepped outside to face the blazing hot, sunny weather. If you’re wondering why I had to go out of the Applied Health Sciences building, the qPCR machine is in the UIC College of Medicine building, which is arguably close by…but on a day like this, you’d wish it was closer! The walk was almost unbearable to the point that I could almost hear my skin cells screaming in pain.

Anyway, I got to my machine and selected the wells like I always do, and usually the screen would begin to pop up with pretty colors onto a graph as I clicked from well to well…but today nothing showed up period. After suffering a mere panic attack (I had a couple of those today while I was pipetting into the wells…Margaret, a PhD student working in the lab with me and my lifesaver, sarcastically accused me of coming to the lab drunk since I was so clumsy today, which is obviously false because I don’t drink…no one ever believes me T-T), I immediately called Margaret and she asked if I clicked on a check box labeled “FAM” before starting the qPCR. I couldn’t remember if I did or not, but something strongly tells me that I forgot—and now I am just beating myself up with the fact that I messed up. I would forgive myself and just re-run it again tomorrow if I could, but I had just enough sample to run the qPCR today since I was going to move onto a new project. Sigh. I hope Margaret will save me and magically get the results from what I ran today.

Phew. Rough day and week overall. I had a quiz today for chemistry and I blanked out at the end because we had to find the electron configuration for Gd3+. I mean, seriously, who asks that?! Tutoring at the writing center was really intense because all of the SEWW students were eager to complete their portfolio to get into English 160, but they still lacked a good thesis and they always want help with grammar when that should be the least of their worries.

Luckily work has been treating me well. I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails from the NRHH and RHA committees about updating their website, and coding is one of my favorite things to do! Too bad I am too busy to do it on my own time, but that’s okay.

Sigh. Two more weeks of summer school left. Exam next week, 7-9 page paper due next week, and even more work to do. Each night though, I play on my DS to learn Spanish! I would take it as a class here, but I already got rid of my language requirement with Chinese…and I would rather take an art class than Spanish. I’m thinking about taking Polish or Italian my senior year though. Those would be fun languages to learn. Ah…I can’t wait to have my two weeks of actual summer break! Oh yeah, and supposedly the shirts come in tomorrow. I’ll post up pictures when I can! (:

I want to go to Europe one day…

A Week Without Zyrtec

I went to see the dermatologist Tuesday at the UIC outpatient hospital. My last visit was a month ago and they recommended that I see an allergist to see what else could be affecting my eczema. I totally would have made the appointment, but it just slipped my mind these past thirty days. I mean, taking two classes (science and English I might add) on top research, work, and volunteering is intense!

I had an exam yesterday and we got our results back today during discussion. The average was around 60-65. Sucks. I got a 79, which is a good score if you compare it to the average…but I was hoping for better. Then again, that test was like a slap to the face! I blanked out right at the beginning and just flipped each page until I got to the end. Only after starting from the beginning again I got a light bulb moment and things were good until the middle section, and then after that it was good. Ah well, gotta keep my head up. I’ve been doing well on everything else so it should balance out. I still can’t believe there’s only three weeks left. Soon I will get to enjoy my two-week break before the fall semester starts. Lovely.

I love Chinese motivation.

I guess there’s not too much going on at the moment since I was studying my butt off for the exam this past week/weekend. Tonight, I will drown chemistry out of my mind with a Taiwanese drama! I remember watching a few episodes of it two years ago…but school happens and you don’t have time for those things. It’s called Hi, My Sweetheart featuring Rainie Yang! She’s a very popular Taiwanese singer and she is so cute. Her character in the drama is totally hilarious because she’s some crazy goth girl that no one likes, and then this nerdy kid comes out of nowhere and wants to befriend her because he grew up never having friends. I love it.

I’m so happy it’s going to be Friday tomorrow! I don’t really have any plans, but on Saturday I got invited to a BBQ dinner with the doctor who is in charge of the research that I do in my volunteer work at Rush (not the research I do on UIC campus) and it will be with the other volunteers. We are allowed to invite our family so my parents will come. I hope it won’t be awkward.

I don’t know if you noticed, but I posted two songs (well, videos) from Imogen Heap’s new CD: Ellipse. It’s so good! =) Check it out. I’m listening to them right now.

Yeesh. I am seriously sneezing up a storm! I did make an appointment with the allergist if you were wondering, and it is this coming Tuesday. They told me that I am not allowed to use anti-histamines for a whole week! Ahhh allergies are so awful sometimes. Sure it’s better than having cancer, but it is quite annoying! :(

OH! By the way, the proofs came in for the t-shirts and looks like we’ll be getting them in a week! As a brief reminder for those of you who do not know, my brother and I are attempting to start a clothing company. I would have liked to have started in May or June…but maybe the back to school season will get us some sales. I shall make sure to post a link to the website when I finish creating the layout and inputting items. The designs will make you smile, regardless of our awesome logo (hehe…you’ll see). ♥

Chicago + Froyo

Even though this week was literally only three days, it felt like forever! I spent most of my July 4th weekend trying to finish up ARIS homework for chemistry (no firework watching for me sadly) along with vectoring images for t-shirt designs since my brother wanted to get those done soon. And yes, you heard right! My brother and I are attempting to create a t-shirt/clothing company. Obviously it is in the making and process, but it’s a fun thing to do when you feel stressed out from school—details will come soon when I get the website going (I can’t wait to code). I must warn you ahead of time, it is pretty awesome and you should purchase for yourself and loved ones. ;D

Now, the main reason I feel a tad stressed is because the summer session at UIC is really intense and I happen to be taking two courses: Chemistry 114 and English 222 (Tutoring for the Writing Center). Why am I taking the latter course when I only get elective credit, which could have been spent on an art class?! Good question! A part of it was because my English 161 professor encouraged me, and the other part was because I have always been fond of writing. It is another medium that you can take on and manipulate to express how you feel, given that you know the rules and what rules are okay to break thanks to your artistic license. I’ve been tutoring at the Writing Center as well as sitting in with SEWW (Summer Enrichment Writing Workshop) classes with incoming freshman to help formulate ideas and organize their thoughts in a more fluid and effective way. It saddens me a bit to see them ask me questions about what they should put in their paper to get an A instead of trying to focus on writing a well-written paper, but I hope with time they will enjoy writing.


Anyway, the point of that spiel was because this past weekend I had to write about eight pages worth of text for that class about my tutoring philosophy and a literacy narrative, which I wrote about the first time I noticed color (the writing center has a strong mission for social justice). My mind was exploding because I had no idea how to start a paper on my tutoring philosophy without having much experience and practice besides reading tons of articles on the theory of the writing center. Luckily, I talked about my papers with someone in the class (we had to cross-tutor for these assignments) and it was such an enjoyable conversation. I mean, my major is biological sciences and I am constantly surrounded by “the anal pre-med students” as Joel Brown calls us/them and it just isn’t the best environment. Many are just overly competitive and only care about the end result, making the pathway to that goal the least important worry. I love being in classes that involve non-science subjects because it makes you think differently and interact differently with others. There is only one other biological sciences major in my English 222 class, and everyone else is either an English major or an education major. Gosh, I am too busy.

I didn’t go to work Monday because of the holiday, but tomorrow morning I’m going in to check if I have any assigned tasks. I love working for UIC Campus Housing because they are so flexible, the staff is chill, and I get to make websites! I remember back when Xanga used to be popular I had my own website where I made layouts for people. I was seriously obsessed with coding and made one layout each day, maybe even two layouts a day. Too bad I don’t have a life now with all the studying I’m doing!

I kid. Today I finally took a breather and went to downtown Chicago! My friend Grace texted me and told me Pinkberry was giving away free yogurt as a promotion for their opening tomorrow, and man do I love frozen yogurt! I had to wait two hours in line and my feet and legs were really straining, but it was totally worth it. It was a nice treat because earlier today I had a quiz in chemistry (boo) and had to run a qPCR with new samples at research, which took a bit longer than expected. Yeah, I am exhausted. I am also disappointed in my Zune. I think I’ve had it for two or three years now, but it just randomly deleted all of my songs and videos and pictures! It’s really bizarre and I hope I can figure it out by tonight or tomorrow because it is such a great MP3 player, but if not…I’ll have to call up Microsoft to ask them what’s the issue. Ah, my phone is starting to act up too. Technology these days…

Here’s a picture of the front…after waiting two hours in the longest line ever. Oh well, free food is always delicious:

My yummy yogurt choice: Mango flavor with kiwi, strawberries, mochi, and a wafer!

Well, this is quite a long post…I suppose I’ll stop soon. This weekend will be a very chemistry compounded weekend: lab practical Tuesday, second exam Wednesday (I seriously JUST took one a week ago), and lots of lab reports and homework to do. Did I mention I don’t like chemistry? Man, and I have to write even more essays! I already miss home and my cute baby turtle Chompy.<3

“Throw your feet in the ayer, ay, ayerrrr.” – Chompy. Props to Flo Rida for original lyric.

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