Have you ever gotten lost in something or somewhere? That’s where I’ve been these past couple weeks. After 3 years at Penn, a lot of days become quite predictable. On the weekdays you’ll probably find me on my sofa pretending to work and on the weekends I don’t even bother pretending. Predictable isn’t necessarily bad but there is a unique thrill to the new. And it’s exactly in this state of thrill combined with a little bit of procrastination that has led to me neglecting my blog. I’ve found my time here is a lot like eating a meal at a Michelin star restaurant. Thus far, I’ve been stuffing my face without thinking much about it. But, as the plate starts looking less full, I realize the food is so good that I am truly doing myself a disservice by eating it without taking the time to enjoy and reflect. Maybe this blog is exactly the place I should be doing that.
Here I owe a sincere apology primarily to Aparna. You have repeatedly been reminding to write this post with a gradually increasing firmness. I appreciate your patience and willingness to put up with my excuses. Hope you understand.
To be fair, if any of you lived in the guest house that I have been living in, you wouldn’t want to do anything that remotely resembled work either.
As for my internship, I am stationed here in Pondicherry, India. It’s a lovely coastal town with just a touch of French colonial influence. The restaurants are numerous and delicious, and the juices are fresh and cheap. That, combined with a set of sunny beaches, makes Pondicherry a great place to vacation maybe not to work though. I’m not quite sure which one I’m doing just yet.
Just south of Pondicherry, there is a hospital called the Aravind Eye Hospital where I am spending my summer. I won’t bore you with details; you can learn about the specifics from one of the numerous books, HBS case studies, or news articles written about the institution. In a nut shell, think Henry Ford’s efficiency innovations and assembly line concepts applied to ophthalmic medical treatment. Aravind treats as many ophthalmic patients as the UK – yes, the kingdom.
As a studying biomedical engineer, aspiring doctor, and die-hard nerd, I cannot think of a better place for me than Aravind. It’s been and going to be a fantastic experience.
Thanks to the generosity of Penn and Mr. David Toccafondi from the Digital Media Lab in Van Pelt, I also have a chance to explore Virtual Reality (VR) during my time in India. Virtual Reality is the technology being pioneered by companies like Oculus and HTC. If you haven’t heard of it, a quick search on YouTube will have you enthralled in no time.
While some of the VR tech can require a bit of investment, you can view some of my recordings and many others’ just using you phone’s YouTube app. As I figure out some of the nuances of editing virtual reality video, I will upload content to my channel and share a link.