Working in the Xi laboratory provides an environment that helps develop my understanding upon the sciences and enhances my research skills. In addition to that, I’ve created relationships with my coworkers- especially my supervisor Jianfeng. The majority of them were raised in China, and they have particular mannerisms and unique styles to approaching questions. Since I was raised in the United States and grew up in western culture, mine are slightly different. I began to become enlightened about our cultural differences during conversation with them, which occurred over a variety of conversations and multiple different topics. I found a few of the things they said interesting, and noticed that it had marginally changed my perspective about that topic. So not only am I receiving scientific experience from my internship in the Xi lab, but also an appreciation for Chinese culture.
After many conversations with my coworkers, ranging from topics about the reactive oxygen species response in bacteria to the legal drinking age in the U.S. and China, I’ve started to gain more insight upon science and their culture. A scientific example includes my coworkers particular approach to reasoning. They have a slightly different way of writing out mathematic work and explaining the science behind the experiments we perform, but this new style is very exciting because it only adds new knowledge and ways of thinking to my repertoire. Additionally when we speak about culture, topics about the differences between the ways of life in China and the United States arise. We’ll speak about educational contrasts, or even subjects like the differences in teenage dating between each country. Learning all of this information widens my perspective on the world around me and helps me to understand how other cultures are.
After receiving these small tastes of Chinese culture I hope that one day I may be able to fully divulge myself into it, possibly by studying abroad or visiting China. But for the meantime, I’ll gain as much as I can from my co workers!