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How Many People Does it Take to Screw in a Heart Valve?

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 I’m just going to apologize in advance for the lack of variety in this weeks post, but two things stuck out to me this week as exceedingly blog-worthy.  I want to build some suspense, so I want to start by talking about the first major catheter based surgery I was able to observe.

            So, up until this week, I have spent an excessive amount of time in the cath-lab.  I’m not complaining, and everything done in the cath lab is super cool (this week we had to intubate the guy I mentioned in last weeks post to do his procedure), but this week raised the bar as far as procedures I have had the opportunity to see.  I went to work Wednesday with the plan that I would see a trans-catheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), but I did not know when or where.  After spending my morning in the cath lab with Dr. Shenje attending; Jeff, the nurse in charge of organizing all TAVRs, came and hooked me up with some scrubs.  He then led me down to a floor I had never been to before, which is where all of the security procedures started. 
The cath lab is pretty relaxed about access, I generally wear semi-formal attire and everyone is fine with that, however the hybrid-OR was an entirely new experience.  To even get past the first doors into the wing that had the hybrid-OR, I needed to be wearing scrubs and have a OHSU nametag.  Next, to make it into the observation room, a room entirely separate from where the patient is, I needed to be wearing a hairnet.  Finally, to be in the hybrid-OR itself, which Jeff and I reached after walking down many sterile white hallways with windows overlooking the Willamette, I had to dawn a lead protector to block the x-rays used to position the valve, and a mask to ensure that I wouldn’t infect the patient.
After finally making it through all of the necessary procedures to ensure I wouldn’t muck up the procedure, I got to enter the observation room.  Here, I saw 17, yes 17, people working for a single patient.  These people were anesthesiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, cardiovascular interventionists, fellows, nurses, x-ray techs; you name it, they were more likely than not in that room. 
Once the procedure had started, I was able to enter the room (accompanied by Jeff of course) and move around to see what the doctors saw.  Lou, the nurse handling the valve before it was given to the cardiovascular surgeon, showed me how it worked before he compressed it to fit into the sheath that would ultimately carry it to its destination: the aorta.  I then migrated over towards where Dr. Gupta was and I got to see something I never expected to see: a heart beating in someone’s chest.  This procedure was done trans-apically rather than trans-femorally, so the valve was inserted straight through the apex of the heart, which meant clearing an access to the heart through the chest wall and fully exposing a portion of the beating heart.
After this life-first for me, Dr. Gupta and Dr. Slater (the attending cardiovascular surgeon) inserted the valve before inflating it to replace the old, damaged valve.  Needless to say, the procedure went off without a hitch, and all said and done the patient went in and out of the hybrid OR in under three hours. 
Now, moving onto something else (because I’ve already spent my 500 words on one topic…), I saw hands down the most intense case of heart failure in the cath lab to date.  A man had come in the week prior with heart failure.  Long story short, he had ignored the tell tale signs of a heart attack, and allowed his heart to break down to a point where very little tissue was salvageable.  He had already had a pump installed to bypass the left ventricle of his heart and pump blood to the body, but Dr. Tibayan, another attending I’ve followed, had to implant a tandem to bypass the right as well.  By the time I saw the patient, he had two pumps effectively replacing the function of his heart entirely.  It was so strange to see the blood come out of this patient, be pumped by the right heart tandem, and sent to the left heart (where another pump was keeping the blood flowing to the body), I still have some trouble comprehending how incredible it is that we can even do that with modern medicine.
And that, boys and girls, is why if you feel like you’re having a heart attack, you don’t ignore it.  Thanks for reading!


Pretty intense, Nick! I like

Pretty intense, Nick! I like the tye-dye scrubs :-)

Dr. Petty's blog: interesting!

Thanks, Nick, for such detail in your blog. I imagine that the "suiting up" gets to be routine after a time, but what a complex environment to work in. Your description of the number of people needed in the room helps me better understand how medical bills can grow so large for this kind of a procedure. I wonder, too, whether you've been privy to conversations (which you doubtless cannot share) about the ethics of transplantation and costly surgeries for higher risk candidates. Who gets rejected, and how is it decided?

Thank you for the photos! See you soon.
-Sue P.


This is why I'm never considering doing anything medical
Also you look cute in the last picture. Put it somewhere else besides this blog.

Week Three!

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 This was a fairly short week because of the zoo trip, but we still got a lot done. My favorite part was putting together my own recipe-- I put together a few different ganaches at home, and recreated my favorite one in the kitchen with Jeremy's help, as I mentioned in the previous post. The flavor of my truffles has changed over the course of the week, and I now realize it needs a little more work. Some other flavors we/I experimented with were spicy mango and basil truffles-- both delicious. 

In addition to chocolate, I've learned a lot about how to cook everyday foods. Eggs, soups and stews this week, all of which will come in handy next year. i've been coming home and trying them out, which has been a lot of fun.

Because of a mix-up with a large order of chocolate that came in, we had to measure out ingredients for recipes containing white chocolate for nearly a whole day. Three large bags we recieved were close to their best-by dates, so we made several batches of recipes that need that kind of chocolate. To do this, we measured the ingredients (usually butter, cream, chocolate, invert sugar, and glucose, with some variation for flavors) into bags, then vaccum-sealed them and put them in the freezer to be melted and emulsified when they are needed in the future. A small side note- glucose is the biggest pain to work with. It comes in a large bucket, and is a clear substance (I can't think of a word to properly describe the texture of it, somewhere between honey and corn syrup, but much stickier and stringier) that seems to exist just to stick to things it shouldn't. It makes up a very small part of any recipe it's in, but measuring out exactly 17.5g of glucose is rather tricky.

I'm bummed that the project is nearly over, the past three weeks have gone by so fast!

Second week (more chocolate)

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This second week has been very similar to the first, although everything is going smoother now that I know what I’m doing (or at least more than I did). Thankfully, Jeremy is a very talkative person and we’ve amused ourselves while measuring out ingredients or running ganaches through the enrobing machine by talking about human nature, politics, Woody Allen movies, cooking techniques, and all topics in between. Today at lunch (Vietnamese sandwiches) we had an in-depth discussion about how to properly make a meat or vegetable stock with good deep flavor and how to properly sear meat. I have a feeling this all will really come in handy when I’m cooking for my section mates at Whitman next year. Jeremy is considering moving the business from a small kitchen with no storefront to a larger location downtown, with room to sell the chocolates to hungry/hedonistic passers-by. Earlier this week, we went downtown and spent an afternoon touring a potential location. It was really interesting to see how the space looks now (really trashed and with some very poor interior décor choices) and imagining how it could look in the future, with all of the awful ceiling tiles and linoleum removed and replaced with a cleaner kitchen, seating areas, and some color of paint on the walls that doesn’t make anyone who walks in want to walk right back out again. I also formulated my own recipe for a ganache this week: almonds, vanilla, and a little bit of honey in a milk chocolate ganache, enrobed in dark chocolate. I’ve attached a picture of this, along with some of the other slightly defective chocolates that I was forced to take home and give to friends. *sigh* Life is so difficult. Along with my chocolates (nothing on top) we have here the Portland Porter (three little grains on top), the Spicy Passion (white chocolate), Mint Tea (dried mint leaves on top), a water ganache (the round one by itself) and several kinds of tasty ganache left over when the ganaches were cut into squares for enrobing. My chocolate turned out fairly well, though I plan on tweaking the recipe a bit more. Maybe I’ll bring some of these in for my presentation. Sound good? This week has been just as great as last week! I’m learning more every day, and having fun to boot.


I can help test your chocolate...

Just trying to be helpful! These chocolates look really good super-sized. What made the other chocolates defective? They look just fine.

Week One at PICA!

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For my senior project I'm working at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA)! It's a non-proft organization based near Powells in downtown Portland. (here!) They run year round exhibitions, have a stellar resource room full of rare art books, and are best known for a festival they run in September: the Time Based Arts Festival (TBA)

I landed at PICA just as things were starting to really heat up for the Time Based Arts Festival. When I got to work on Monday, Beth Hutchins showed me bike parking and I got to sit in on a lengthy meeting regarding prep for the event. Everyone at the meeting placed post it notes of ToDos for the next six months. Each month was more filled than the last in a sea of sticky paper. The meeting ran a couple hours. It was perfect preparation for jumping into the organization.

After the meeting Kristan Kennedy, the visual arts currator, showed me how to set up the current installation at PICA. Right now PICA is exhibiting the priemere installation of Andrea Geyer's "Three Chants Modern": a video piece exploring women's role in institutions for modernist art like MOMA which was founded by a group of women who credited themselves by last name. The ~20 minute video loops throughout the work day and can be heard all around the office. It's very powerful. 

Afterwards, Roya: my off campus mentor and the community engagement manager at PICA, showed me my desk at PICA and introduced me to my first project. 

PICA runs a grant giving system called the Precipice Fund. The Precipice Fund gives money to up and coming artists, art galleries, and collectives. Recipients include 12128 Microresidencies a contemporary exhibition space on a boat docked in Portland, the Experimental Film Festival in Portland, Container Corps, an art publication studio and many many others.

My first project at PICA had me turning Precipice fund updates from grantees into blog posts in Wordpress. I learned quite a bit about navigating Wordpress as a tool and formatting text for blogging. The work should be surfacing over the next few months! 

Since PICA requires a lot of community outreach, my second project had me researching local visual, performance, and liberal arts teachers in the Portland area and compiling their contact information into a spreadsheet. I dug through multiple college sites to find professor focuses and emails to pull together a more complete image.

My third and most recent project has been centered around pooling together evidence for out of country performance visas. To get into the USA and perform you need a specific performance visa. To get such a visa you basically need to be able to prove that you're well enough known nationally to cross the border. The system is fairly old fashioned so internet articles are less convincing than print sources. I've been pooling together articles proving that artists are well known internationally by digging through online databases for articles and googling for reviews.

I also came in at an interesting time because someone had stolen thousands of dollars worth of books from the resource room the week before I got there. The books were taken out and sold to Powells. Powells is now returning the books as they pull them off their shelves. Part of my work has also been helping to clean resources up. That means I've been tallying some expenses and helping to figure out what's around and what's not. 

It's been a very productive week and I'm looking forward to whatever comes up next! 

Thomas Newlands


Grand Theft Art-D'oh!

Incredible… I cannot believe someone would be stupid enough to steal from PICA and sell just down the street to Powells. Come ON people.
Ditto what Chris said. PERFECT spot for you. Will set you up for all kinds of great professional / job / internship opportunities in Chicago and beyond.

Yay Thomas!

Tell Roya that the group you're putting together could become a FB group and then I can join, too!

Very cool

Thomas, would there be any more of a perfect senior project for you? PICA seems like it is a great fit! I am really happy for you and excited to read more in the coming weeks! Bravo.


Neat :D
I'm glad your week was productive!

Week One Completed

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  Wow, I don't even know where to start with this week.  I guess I will break down how I have been spending my time, before moving into a specific experience I had this week, then I will end off by looking forward at the weeks to come and what my senior project has in store.  Unfortunately, this week included a lot of time away from my senior project courtesy of the AP Chemistry and AP BC Calculus tests, however that did not deter me from spending as much time possible by Dr. Gupta's (my mentor) side.  While with Dr. Gupta, my days were evenly divided this week between Marquam Hill and the Center for Health and Healing on the waterfront. 

The different locations entailed very different experiences.  When on Marquam hill, I spent my time at the catheter lab.  Here I changed from my formal attire, which I have been wearing on a daily basis, into scrubs (thus allowing me to blend in with all of the residents, fellows, nurses, and technicians).  At the catheter lab, or cath lab for short, patients that are looking at the possibility of heart surgery have their heart examined using a host of different probes attached to the ends of catheters, basically long wires that can snake up the veins and arteries to get to the heart.  Dr. Gupta, and his fellows, can then enter through either the femoral artery (located in the groin) or the renal artery (located at the wrist) to check the pressure in the different compartments of the heart, check the coronary arteries (arteries that feed the heart itself), and even biopsy the heart.  I have attached a picture of the catheter lab, and you can see the massive x-ray machine used to watch where the catheters are going once inserted and take pictures of the heart and its associated veins.
When I wasn’t up on Marquam Hill, I spent my time down on the waterfront in Dr. Gupta’s clinic.  Here I consulted patients with Dr. Gupta on the viability of trans-arterial heart surgery.  These surgeries can take many forms, but the most prominent I noticed during my first week have been stints and valve replacements.  Additionally, the FDA has just recently approved a new procedure in which a clip can be used to fix a leaky mitral valve, putting what Dr. Gupta and his team are doing on the very cutting edge of cardiovascular catheter medicine.  Anyways, patients would be evaluated through echocardiograms, CT scans, angiograms, and frailty tests to determine whether a catheter based surgery would dramatically increase their rate of living.
So far, the work in the clinic has definitely been my favorite part of my senior project.  The range of patients coming in don’t vary by age too much, with the average age landing somewhere in the mid to upper 80s, but the life experiences they have and the stories they tell are absolutely incredible.  Just today, one of Dr. Gupta’s patients (who was 92 years old) was telling stories about his time working on lights for The Tonight Show.  He even brought in a clip of The Tonight Show where Johnny Carson, then host, brought him on and gave him a proper goodbye.  Other patients have told stories about stadiums turned into relocation camps for the Japanese during World War II, and the list of interesting life experiences does not end there.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the personal element behind Dr. Gupta’s job: all of the different people that come in and all of the different stories they tell.
As for moving forward, I know I will be spending a lot more time in the catheter lab watching procedures performed and a lot more time in the clinic meeting with patients.  However, Dr. Gupta has mentioned the possibility of me being able to actually watch a trans-arterial valve replacement (TAVR) or a mitral clip, which would be fascinating to see first hand.  But that about wraps up what I have to say for my first week.  Next week I will check back in with a more personal-experience driven blog, but I think to be able to vicariously experience what I’ve been doing, the little technical details add a lot, so I think this first blog needs to reflect what I have been learning this first week.  Any whom, until next time. 


Thank you for the post!

I appreciate the background information. Can you get close-ups of any of the equipment? Are you in the Cath Lab on a regular schedule? (I'd love to see it when I visit.)

Thank you for the comment!

Hi Becky!
So I'm scheduled to be in the cath lab with Dr. Gupta tomorrow, the 12th, and the 22nd. Other than that I will either be watching procedures or at the clinic down by the water front. I haven't seen much of the equipment up close, but I will try to get some up close and personal pictures in this upcoming week. Do you know what day(s) you're planning on coming in to visit?

Week 1 Interior Design

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The first week has been really fun, I am starting to learn the ropes and learn what is done on the job. The very first thing I did after getting set up at my desk in the picture below is we went to a sales call. We meet with a client and discussed what she wanted. She was looking for her living and dining room to be reorgsnised and possibly partly refurnashed. Since then I have gone to many sales calls and in construction sites that Jason is working on. I have also spent much of my time on a program called sketchup making 3D renderings. So far I have made my college doorm room to learn how to use the program. I then made a few diffrent options for a wall that is being added into one of Jason's clients bed room.I have also been using a program called AutoCAD which is used from everything from making blue prints to designing engins. I have been using AutoCAD to make blue print esque floor plans for several of Jasons clients.


More please!

Hi Walker, this is a fun start to such a great project, but we NEED to see more. I am eager to read and see more about all that you are up to. Please check out the blog guidelines and finish your post for the 1st week ASAP. Looking forward to it!

Your blog

Dear Walker,
Hi! Thanks for writing! Your C and C wants to know where you are working!! Thanks. We look forward to reading more! Kate

More pictures! More details,

More pictures! More details, please!

Test Test 1 2 who do you know that is blue

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 Hey hey hey, this is ian Fyfield and im here to say, how are you this fine day?


What's up?

Ian: please blog and let us know what's happening.



All Good Things...End When i Want Them To

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            It’s a bittersweet end to the whole experience. I will miss the bizarre stories and interesting people I got to meet on a daily basis. Originally nervous, I wasn’t sure what to expect when coming in, but I think I ended up right where I was supposed to be. With a less than ideal social experience at Catlin, I loved being in an environment where I felt comfortable. I found people like me, not racially, but personality wise. I finally exhaled; Of all places, I didn’t expect to find peace in a tattoo shop, but being around creative, art-loving, unique people gave me a sense of home.
            My mentor traveled to San Francisco this week for work and family, but the other guys in the shop found plenty for me to do. We had a guest artist from San Francisco come in Monday. He was Black, so it was nice to be able to talk to someone of color in a racial (and gender) dominated profession. I think he specialized in neck tattoos because that is all he had booked for that day. He had worked with Dan in California and came to pay Portland a visit to temporarily escape the fast-paced California life. I heard some interesting stories from him as well. It was also fun to hear the differences between Portland and San Francisco through a tattoo artist lens. For example, many women in Portland have neck and face tattoos than he expected. He also saw the word “VEGAN” tattooed a lot on people (face, head, arms, etc.). Having a fresh face in the tattoo shop is always entertaining.
            Hugging Dan Monday afternoon as our semi-final goodbye really hit both of us that the project was ending. Neither of us expected it to go as well as it had and I think we both liked having me in the shop, each for our different reasons of course. Not wanting the experience to end, I secured myself a part-time internship for the summer so that I can finish up Jerry’s box of designs. I’m excited to be able to continue working there and learning more about tattoos, hearing stories, and figuring out how I can wiggle my way into the business. Talking to Dan, who has many connections, there is a possibility of working in a tattoo shop in San Jose when I leave for college. I’ve got to somehow find a way to learn how to use a tattoo gun so I can put the smiley face on the back of that guy’s head!
            I answered the phone for the first time this week! Movin’ on up! It was nerve racking. I’ll just let Mali or Nick who work the front counter handle that. I am also working on a consultation design. Hopefully I’ll finish it before the presentation Thursday. Dan gave me a concept and references for a lady’s tattoo he will be inking this month. When I’m finished we’ll go over it together and see how well I did. It’s all good practice for me later. It will help me when designing some of my family/friends tattoos.
            Not looking forward to being back on campus, but I can proudly say I have completed senior year and successfully finished senior projects. Go me!


Peace in the Tattoo Shop

Hi Kassi -- Thank you for the wrap-up entry. You received glowing reviews from the guys at the shop, so I know they felt the same way you did about the "fit" of this project. It's wonderful that you have found a passion that you would like to continue to pursue in some form later on. I'm also glad to hear that you got a few different perspectives on the industry and got a lens on how the industry intersects with regional culture, with race, with gender, and with diet (!). I'll be interested to hear about your continued explorations of this art form. Thank you for making this such a successful project. Congratulations -- Brett

Matt Junn Senior Project: Physical Therapy and Internal medicine BLOG 2

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In addition to working with an internal medic, I am also following a physical therapist. On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, I work with Dr. Mir at the internal medicine clinic, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I follow physical therapist Jim at Westside Physical Therapy. By interning in both internal medicine and physical therapy, I am able to observe how different areas in health care collaborate. Dr. Mir refers many of his patients to Westside Physical Therapy, most commonly sending patients with cases of diabetes or back and knee pain.

However, unlike my time at Dr. Mir’s clinic, I do not commonly see diabetic patients trekking through a weight loss program at Westside Physical Therapy. The most common case I see at physical therapy is recovery from joint or muscle pain. Many of the patients I have been seeing these past several weeks were sent to PT because, for example, they were in a motorized vehicle accident, had torn a muscle while playing basketball, or had to do knee replacement surgery.

Although the patients are referred to PT for a diverse number of reasons, most everybody has a somewhat similar plan for recovery based exercises. Patients will do both cardio and strength training workouts at PT. A PT patient during a strength building session would first start off with biking for 5 to 10 minutes. They would then warm up a specific portion of the body in order to prepare for the specific muscle training that fits the patient’s case.  Then, the patient would enter a muscle workout, where the PT will guide the patient through various exercises that will help strengthen specific muscles in need of recovery. During cardio, the PT will help a patient keep fit without damaging any of the tissues that are related to the patient’s case. They would start out with a bike session of about 5 to 10 minutes, and then enter into various cardio exercises.

That is the basic gist of what I have been observing at Westside Physical Therapy, and what I have been doing other than internal medicine these past several weeks.


Great photos!

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the update! I'm glad to read about what you've been doing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The experience sounds quite a bit different from what you've observed with Dr. Mir. I'm looking forward to hearing more about it on Wednesday. Great photo gallery, too!!!!


One more Q from 3-D!

Claudia: What is the single most surprising thing you have learned from physical therapy?

From 3-D Art Class

Hi Matt!

Our 3-D Class has some questions for you:

Eva: Would you ever consider working physical therapy?
Chris: Has this experience made you interested in medical illustration?
Hayle: Have you been doing any art related to your project?
Max: How tall are you?
Elizabeth & Abby: What do you like better internal or physical therapy and why?

We really enjoyed reading your blog and sharing it in 3-D Art today!

Chris & The Gang

To Eva: Physical therapy was

To Eva: Physical therapy was very interesting, and I loved helping patients get through the most important stage of their healing process, so physical therapy could be a career possibility.
To Chris: Yes and no. Yes, because I love drawing, and if I end up becoming highly interested in the medical field, medical illustration will be the perfect job for me. No, because, from what I've seen in anatomy books, every single drawing is highly realistically rendered, but I don't see much freedom of expression in the illustrations. I appreciate art more for the liberty of expressing yourself rather than the ability to draw something successfully.
To Hayle: Other than doodling in my notebook, no.
To Max: 160.02 cm
To Elizabeth & Abby: Both are very interesting that it is difficult to choose one from the other. Both impressed and interested me equally and both are very helpful in having a patient feel better.

Magic Tricks and Tattoos

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Ever thought it was possible to levitate? I didn’t either until watching a guy get his palms tattooed. Originally standing, he slowly rose out of his chair hovering inches from the seat with the angriest look in his eyes. The needle didn’t travel far; only a few serifs and swirls were able to get touched up. The customer had the words “keep calm” tattooed on the palms. He came in originally to get the tops of his hands inked (birds of course since they are so popular). After finishing he decided he should get the faded lettering redone to make them look more finished. After observing what looked like excruciating pain, I have come to the conclusion that the palms might just be the most painful spot on the body to get tattooed. The downside about the palms, or anywhere on the hand for that matter, is that the hands go through so much each day and are constantly being exfoliated, which is not good for the tattoo. The more time it has untouched and left alone, the better the outcome. I also learned that is why knuckle tats and wedding rings on fingers always look bad; tattoos on hands don’t stay fresh for very long.
            I also secured some “skin” this week as possible canvas. The friend of the guy getting palm tattoos offered me his head to experiment on. Well, the palm tattoo guy actually offered his friend’s head space, but his friend agreed. He wants a smiley face engrained into the back of his head. Being in the tattoo shop has definitely increased my desire to learn how to tattoo and now I know I have at least one willing soul to risk their head and let me create art on their skin, permanently. I’m thinking if it doesn’t work out, if I can’t figure out how to put a circular shape on and egg shaped head that his hair will grow over it. Then, when I improve as an artist, I can cover up my own tattoo and make it so much better.
            I’ve learned that Atlas and Dan’s name goes pretty far around here. The shop is known globally and the name holds a lot of clout. The artists are already booked up until September and people come in constantly for walk-ins. The shop is also very friendly because when they don’t have time for a walk-in, they refer the customers to other good tattoo artists in town, which helps the other artist’s business as well. When the shop first opened, it was one of nine in the city. Now that Portland is full of tattoo shops and required a tattoo license from a school, shops have popped up all over the place. Though there are more competitors in the game, I don’t think they put up much competition because Atlas is so well known. I hope I can get my business (whatever that may be) to gain that much respect from people. That won’t be for a while though…


Better your friend's egg-shaped head than your own...

Thank you, Kassi -- another great narrative. Those pictures make me wince just to look at.... Hands, eyelids, facial tattoos, etc. -- I don't know how people endure them. It has been a pleasure to follow your adventures. When you accomplish your first tattoo or your art gets used for a tattoo for the first time, I hope you will consider sharing the glory (if the subject agrees, of course).

More great stuff!

Kassi, you sure do write well. I must say your lead sentence intrigued me to keep reading! I can't wait for your presentation. Thank you thank you!


Week III with the AD!

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My sole task for Sandy this week was the complete cataloguing of uniforms - an immense task, but one that will inevitably save everyone involved with athletics a few headaches. I began by photographing all of the uniforms I could find in the weight room closet, front and back, and after condensing them all into one document, began to organize them. I paired the home and away uniforms for each specific team with one another so that someone looking at the document could easily find what they're looking for. After pairing up the uniforms, I then set out discovering whose uniforms were whose - whether it be JV or Varsity, Boys or Girls, Middle School or Upper School, every uniform had to be labeled. I am still in the midst of this process as I am typing this. The reason for all of this is so in the future, I can create a large spreadsheet the holds all of the data regarding which uniforms have been turned in and which haven't. Sandy is still relatively new to Catlin, and thus isn't familiar enough with each uniform to know which is which. Hopefully I will be able to have pictures of the uniforms alongside the data, so that anyone can know when tracking down uniforms what they look like, and which ones are missing. That's really all I worked on this week - it was a shorter week and Sandy was also out on Thursday and Friday, which severely limited our interaction. Hopefully I'll have a juicier final blog post, but for now, that's where my senior project is!


Comments for 3-D Art

Hi Evan,

Our 3-D class checked your senior project blog, and we have some questions for you:

Max: What has been the hardest aspect of helping out with AD?
Zach: How was the track meet?
Eva: Who primally does the work you are doing/ helping out with?
Claudia:Why did you choose to work in the Athletic Dept?
Elizabeth & Abby: How many hours do you have to complete?
Hayle:What is it like behind the scenes and not as a player/ student?
Chris: When are you coming to get your 3-D projects?

Week 3: All GLIDEZ On Me

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So week 3 has come and gone, and now its time for another installation of rap pun titled blog posts about my experience working with GLIDER. Unfortunately, I was not able to work with GLIDER nearly as much as I would have liked to last week, because of several events that were out of my control. I worked a full day last Monday in the east side office on a new blog post about trends in employee tenure. Using information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the blog post was supposed to demonstrate how workers are working more jobs over the course of their lifetime, and that lack of job security has interesting consequences for our modern economy. I have to draw my own conclusions on what this means for the "millenial/Gen Y" work force. It was a challenging blog post that realistically would've taken all week for me to do well, but several things prevented me from finishing this post last week. After the day off on Tuesday, when the seniors went to the zoo with the first graders, the GLIDER team went to San Francisco to go to a conference called "Under The Radar" to pitch to VCs and companies that might be interested in their service. They stayed there from Wednesday through Friday. I planned to work from home, if not for the AP fiasco (my entire Calculus II class had their BC scores cancelled, so I took my retake test Thursday morning and had to spend my entire day from home on Wednesday studying for it.) For that reason, I was really only able to work on this blog post on Monday and Friday last week, and wasn't able to finish by the end of the week. It might seem ridiculous, but that's life, and I have to roll with it (or GLIDE with it.) I'll be working on this blog post into next week, but I really want to have an awesome last week with GLIDER, so I plan on taking in as much as possible before my time is up and working really hard. At some point in the last week, we'll move out of the dark, gloomy east side office we share with Sprintly into the new, entirely our own office in the Pearl, which I am very excited about. According to Justin and Eli, the conference went really well; everyone loved what they were doing and they had a ton of engaging conversations from people who wanted to get involved. Not much else to report now, but I promise my blog post following the end of my last week will be spectacular.


creative types and many jobs

Hi Ben,
Please send me your blog post when you're finished - I am eager to read your thoughts. I believe that the jobs of the future will be the result of innovative thinking and innovation constantly requires changing course. The fact that most Millenials will have multiples careers in their lifetimes reflects the need to always pursue new knowledge and opportunities and to constantly develop one's skills. Although less stable, I think of life of many mini-careers seems pretty exciting as long as you're in the driver's seat. See on on Thursday at 1:15 PM.


Is the photo you posted Glider's logo? I think it is very very good, and I wonder about the creative process behind making it and selecting it. Will we get to read your blog post? Can you embed a link into your Catlin blog? Unfortunately I don't think I will be joining Meredith at her site visit to Glider next week - Thursday is a busy day for me. I hope it goes well and that you finish up strong! I don't know the plans for the senior class for the following Monday and Tuesday, but if you need to put in a few more hours at Glider to cap off your project, perhaps you can work around what is already scheduled on campus...

Week II with Sandy Luu

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This week was a wild one. I fulfilled a lifelong dream, grew a few gray hairs, became a fence-posting master, and suffered temporary deafness due to my proximity to gunfire. Are you on the edge of your seat, chomping at the bit for the next details (especially about those fences)? Read on.

The most intriguing part of this past week, by far, was assisting in the district track meet. It gave me the best glimpse at what an athletic director's job really is, and how he/she interacts with coaches. Essentially, Sandy is like the coach of the coaches. She has to make sure everyone is doing alright and they're happy, but also that they're staying within the rules and treating their players correctly (as well as fulfilling their coaching duties). An AD has to know most things about most sports, not being an expert in any particular discipline but having enough knowledge of the sport's workings to make unbiased and intelligent decisions. This is also important because she's readily accessible on-campus, and is therefore often sought out when there are questions or issues regarding sports. She has to be prepared to deal with these, because coaches aren't always on campus. I have really garnered a lot of respect for Sandy and her line of work. It's not always a thankful job, but it's an absolutely essential one. Even though I'm most likely not pursuing a line of work in her field, I want to apply Sandy's work ethic wherever I end up; keeping everyone happy, but not over-extending oneself and having to retract on your previously overzealous statements (i.e., don't promise what you can't deliver). This is also particularly relevant to someone such as myself who hopes to become involved in international diplomacy one day.

Now, back to the track meet. On Thursday, the day before the meet, I loaded all of the necessary gear into the Gator and drove it down to the announcers booth, where I helped Catherine (Sandy's assistant) to set up the tech hub. In doing so I got to pilot the glorious Gator, if only for a short while. Those scant few minutes were a blur of joy (because really, once you've seen Facilities whirring around in them, their allure is truely ineffable). I was very impressed when the tiny wooden frame with a scoreboard on it was turned into the meet's center for organization, time management, and number crunching. It was obvious everyone involved knew what they were doing. Next, I had to set up the camera at the finish line, making sure that everything was plugged in properly and that nothing was blocking the camera's view.

My task on Friday was to follow and aid Sandy wherever she needed the assistance while also learning her roles in the operation of the meet. I began by setting up the blue and white fences that separate the field events from the crowd. This was a fairly straightforward task that simply needed doing. Afterwards, things started getting dicey, as we soon realized that the starter (i.e., the person who shoots the gun to start the race) was misinformed about what time he needed to be here and had to be rushed to the starting line of the first event. To make matters worse, the system which tracks the start of the race and sends said info to the announcers booth was having serious issues. This was really frustrating to all of us, as it was the most up-to-date system available and it still wasn't functioning. Fortunately we managed to get everything running again before the runners had to wait too long.

That's all for this week!


Hats off to Sandy, our incredible AD!

It's fantastic that you're noticing not just what Sandy does, but how and why she's doing it, and you're seeing how these skills apply to other careers!

Great Helper

Evan, you did a great job at the track meet. It's always nice to work with someone who is willing to put in the work whenever necessary. Keep up the good work!


It was a great day on the track and you were a big part of that success.
What is your next project with Sandy? Putting things away? Making an inventory?
Thank you for your long detailed blogs. i enjoy reading them.

I'm set for breakfast... for the next year!

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This week was very exciting! I knew my way around the bakery and understood the process, so the bakers trusted me to work with the pastry dough a little more. Although my alarm was still set for 4:45, I decided to start waking up to something brighter! I hooked my ipod up to my alarm clock and woke up to Britney Spears’ lovely voice singing her 2000 hit: “Lucky”. With a catchy tune in my head, I was ready to start another day at the bakery.

On Monday, I worked with Ruth in the morning because Shiho, my mentor, wasn’t working. She let me do a lot! I watched her make a couple of pastries and helped her make a couple different kinds of croissants and brioches. There are two “bakes” in a day’s work. The “first bake” is around 6 and the “second bake” is at 10. Basically, all the pastries are prepared and baked around these times, so that there are two waves of fresh pastries coming out and the supply on display is refilled. After our first bake, the bakers usually start making fruit tarts, éclairs, or cream puffs. They have a specific number that they’re suppose to have on display and so if more tarts are sold the previous day they have to make more to reach the required amount for the display. So I helped Ruth cut up fruit for the fruit tarts! I cut up a huge box of strawberries. Then I learned how to cut kiwis and a pineapple! It’s actually a lot easier than it looks. I’ve always been a little intimidated by pineapples, because they’re so big, kind of clunky, a little thorny, and so odd. I never knew exactly how to tackle the shape and what angle to go about cutting them. But Ruth taught me and I cut up all the fruit she needed for her tarts. I had to rush out of there though, so I didn’t get to help with their final assembly.
I worked with Ruth again on Tuesday and helped her make all of the morning pastries. We finished working with the pastries pretty early, so we were able to start with the fruit tarts sooner. La Provence makes a couple different sized tarts: there are really mini ones, your traditional mini ones, and then the larger 8 inch ones. Sorry those sizes aren’t super exact. Ruth put out the crusts and then I filled each with the vanilla custard. To fill the pastries and tarts, you have to use a pastry-piping bag. Now, I haven’t had a lot of experience with piping bags You know how you get a tart and the custard is nicely “swirled” on top? That’s the work of a piping bag expert. Let’s just say, I’m not an expert yet. They weren’t bad! Ruth said they were great, but unfortunately they didn’t look like the demo she showed me. It takes some expert wrist twirl and then the perfect amount of custard squished out of the bag to create that beautiful tart. Fortunately, I covered all of them up with strawberries and other assorted fruits. Hopefully I’ll have another try at them this week!
Wednesday was a pretty easy day. I worked with Ashley, who is actually a baker in training, so we help each other out a little. She asks me how the other bakers do it and she teaches me the techniques she’s figured out. It’s interesting to see the little differences in each other their preparations. For example, they all use something to put on their hands so that the dough is easier to work with. Ruth uses excess egg wash, Amalia uses water, and Ashley goes at it with nothing on her hands. The pastries turn out a little different every day depending on which baker is working. Regardless, everything is DELICIOUS!
On Thursday, I was working with Ruth again. We made pastries, and I helped out even more. Doing whole trays of croissants and brioches. But disaster struck when we realized we didn’t have any icing for the cinnamon rolls! The delivery truck was supposed to come with a bucket of icing, but the order was lost and we had no icing! Luckily Shiho was there and taught us how to make icing. Baking Tip #1: Icing is easily made in a mixer with powdered sugar and the tiniest amount of water (depending on the consistency desired). You can also add a little vanilla, but Shiho said it doesn’t really make a difference. With the problem solved, I moved on to help Shiho assemble macaroons. They have so many different kinds of macaroons: chocolate, coffee, espresso, raspberry, passion fruit, lemon, vanilla. I can’t remember them all! I had to take out the crumbled macaroons that were still on display and replace them with new ones. I learned from Shiho that it’s good to put out the pastries that came out smaller from the oven, so that the customer feels better when they get a larger one. Shiho has made it her job to help me learn about bakery, but also the managerial and philosophy behind restaurants and bakeries.
Friday was a busy day. The bakery’s busiest days are on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and sometimes Mondays. The amount of pastries being made is always larger, so that means I get to do a lot more! I helped Amalia with the pastries, working for the first time with apricot croissants. Then I assembled a couple of chocolate creations for Shiho. I had to glue together a mini Eiffel Tower onto a sheet of chocolate using melted chocolate. It was delicate work. I had to get the tower to lean off the edge a little and then carefully transfer a tray of them to the fridge where they could set. Then I packaged madeleines. Putting eight into a bag, sealing it with ribbon, and putting a La Provence sticker on it. I did a couple of those before I had to leave for ballet!
I’ve made it my goal to try every pastry by the time senior project is over, and Shiho has been paying me with free pastries! So far, I’ve tried a bear claw, a raspberry croissant, a cinnamon roll, a walnut roll,  a palmier, and of course their plain and chocolate croissants!


Hi Maggie

Maggie, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit yesterday at La Provence. It's quite a place! Thank you for being so generous with your time, and please thank Shiho for me. Lunch was delicious, as I had expected. But I am going to have to come back and get some pastries and bread. Thank you for sharing your experience with us and for writing such an interesting and detailed blog. The photos are great, but they make me hungry (ha!). I know it's hard to get up at 3:45 AM so that you can be at La Provence by 5 AM. It makes a long day for you. It is evident that you are having a great experience and that you are learning a lot. Bravo! Roberto

Thanks Roberto!

It was great having lunch with you! I hope you come by and try the pastries, they're delicious!


Dear Maggie,

I'm so delighted to see what a great week you've had.Your blog has inspired me to make some icing, too. Many thanks for sharing!



I hope the icing turned out well!

Week 2: Swing down, sweet chariot, stop, and let me GLIDE

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I had a very busy second week working with GLIDER. Between juggling the two projects I've had to work on that I described in my last blog post, Eli was in and out meeting with investors, on the phone with potential business clients, etc. (he even added over two more hours to his work day.) Meanwhile, Justin and Cameron are as busy as I've ever seen them. So I'm glad to be of any sort of help, and I'm learning a lot observing Eli managing this company.

The first project I worked on was helping Eli research and compile a list of businesses with over 100 employees that have been seeded by venture firms that Eli is connected with. I had to find out the names of their CEO, COO, VP of Sales, VP of BD, and their sales operations managers are (which wasn't easy, the information on linkedin often differed with the information on databases like crunchbase and on the company websites.) I think that next week either Eli or I will be reaching out to some of these people to try to pitch GLIDER to them so they can use it in their actual businesses, as an alternative to having to manage their contracts and sign deals the way they currently do.

The second project I've been working on has been helping Justin with content for his blog, The Future Of Work ( The blog is meant to be a stand-alone project that discusses how "smart enterprise" tools are disrupting enterprise as usual. The premise is that, today, because of how seamless and successful consumer tools like Facebook and Twitter are, workers expect the same quality of performance from the tools they have to use at work. Often times, the IT departments of their work give workers tools that they'd prefer to substitute for technology they are more familiar with, so when workers bring in their own technology to be more efficient to work (BYOD = bring your own device), the IT departments and CIOs can be the last to know. Services like GLIDER that are making work much easier and far more efficient are disrupting entire industries. I spent the majority of last week working on a blog post that discussed this (it'll get published next week), with links to various articles and a big shout out to one of my all time favorite comedies, Office Space. I also helped on a running series called "The Business Setup" that showcases the different technologies that modern businesses use to be more efficient, like Github or Hipchat. I've learned a lot of interesting things by managing this blog, like the "Flesch-Kinkaid Readability Test," which uses a formula that involves ratios between words in a sentence and syllables in a word throughout the text to indicate how comprehensive and difficult the reading is. For example, on a 1-100 scale, a blog post should score above a 50 (fairly easy to read or skim). The text in blog posts can't be like text from Dickens or in Heart of Darkness, which would probably score close to 0, if not in the negatives.

Next week should be a little less busy. Besides the senior/first grade trip to the zoo, the GLIDER team is going down to San Francisco for another tech conference that would introduce them to more VCs and angel investors called "Under the Radar," so I'll be working from home those days. We also move into the new office in the Pearl next week, which I'm excited about (more food options for lunch), so I suppose I'm helping Eli move furniture on Monday.

A quick anecdote about the week: on the second floor of my building, there's a modeling agency and I always see the two women who scout potential models walking out of the building at the same time as me whenever I'm on my lunch break. So they invite me into their office one day after work to have my picture taken and meet their boss, and when I come in to see the open casting call, I literally see some of the cutest girls ever, who aren't even that much older than me. So I come in, everyone's all smiles, I'm making nice conversation with this blond girl on the couch waiting to have my picture taken, when they tell me that I'm too short. (Really hurt my pride with that one.) It's not like I've ever felt any desire to model, but I feel like it would be funny to have girls see my face going into an Abercrombie. Knowing me, the whole thing would be very ironic. Anyway, this story has made for some funny jokes in the GLIDER office, and hopefully I get into more funny encounters in the new building in the Pearl. 

Here's a video featuring GLIDER from the Wall Street Journal:!B800F8EB-BBAC-4262-A09C-8B9F7316F78F

Here's an article about GLIDER from Tech Crunch about GLIDER's launch at Disrupt in NY:

In the picture below, Eli is writing something up on the whiteboard and Cameron looks super engaged.


Heart of Darkness shout-out!

I was glad to read the bit about the readability test, and see some of our brunch conversation make it in your example!

I'm also glad that the project is going well, and that you're keeping such a positive attitude about the stuff you're learning. Way to go, Ben!

And great to see you yesterday!


Interesting links...

Hope to be able to read your published article this week. Like Meredith, I would love to be able to hear more specifics about what you are working on, if you can tell us without violatting confidentiality. Do you feel that GLIDER is meeting all the requirements for being a successful start-up, as outlined in the WSJ piece?
And I loved the story about beiing "discovered" as a model!
I plan to come with Meredith on Friday, if I can find a sub for the AP exam I am supposed to proctor!

Project deets

Hi Ben,
I'm looking forward to visiting on Friday at 11. It sounds like a fast paced and evolving environment. I'm glad you are able to help work on developing connections for Glider. I'm fascinated by the readability ratings for blog posts. It sounds like you're thriving and enjoying the start up culture!
Take care,