Summer undergrad induced diabeetus

Every summer, Bad Horse sends me a summer undergrad or two to brainwash 'mentor during a summer research experience'. They start out as these cherub faced kids, and three months later, they are a step closer to getting their PhDs in Horribleness.

Some labs dont have good luck with their students. Unmotivated, annoyed kids that would have rather spent their summers doing nothing, but applied to the program because it would 'look good' on med school applications or something.

Some students dont have good luck with their labs. Spend the summer doing a protocol they dont understand (no one explained it to them) for a project they dont understand (no one explained it to them) by themselves (lab members have other shit to do).

But apparently Bad Horse is pleased with my work, because he keeps sending me students, and the students appear to have a lot of fun and learn a lot. Mentoring these students is a lot of work and very time consuming (I give them long lunch breaks so I can catch up on my real work), but it is very rewarding.

And by 'rewarding', I mean the summer undergrads bring us food.

One summer our student would always bring us cookies (real cookies. not that snickerdoodle crap). Another summer, our student was from Nepal, and she made us traditional Nepalese food (NOM!!!). This summer, I have two students. Theyve only been in the lab a week or so, but one made us chocolate chocolate-chip cupcakes (or, as we called them at 9 am, 'chocolate chocolate-chip muffins'). The other one, his parents came to pick him up for a visit on Friday. His mom brought us this box she said was 'desserts'.

Now, normally I would be like 'YAAAAY!', but this family is Taiwanese.

Asian desserts... *squint* Asian desserts arent like our desserts. One of my most traumatic memories was taking a bite of this Asian 'dessert' at this one picnic... I burst into tears because what I thought was a 'chocolate filled pastry' was really this doughy abomination filled with bean paste.

Bean paste.

So I opened this box as if it contained a pissed off cobra.

And I found like a dozen confections from a local hoity-toity bakery.


Love having summer undergrads!


More like this

We had an impressive haul this year, 3 undergrad project students who made cakes at the end of their projects, all iced in Science! designs. So we got a cell, a virus and an SDS-PAGE gel :-)

I actually like the Taiwanese bean-paste filled things...


For the record, I cannot stand it when people pronounce the word "diabeetus". I've never heard anyone in person say it that way, either - it's always on TV or radio.

rfguy-- Ive just decided liking those bean paste thingies are a bannable offense at ERV. OUT! GET OUT!! LOL!!!

Dude. My undergrad minions, summer or otherwise, have never brought in food. Not one of the ~5 I've overseen. I totally did when I was an undergrad, though. What the hell.

Well. I just baked orange biscuits yesterday. And chocolate cake last weekend.



all my undergrads ever gave me was a receding hairline, ulcers and a very strong hatred for humanity.

Hey, I LIKE red bean paste! Mochi w/ red bean paste >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> just about anything else (except maybe maple sugar or palm sugar)!
You just need to be 150% conscious of the fact that it's NOT chocolate before you bite into it.

By TotallyUncool (not verified) on 13 Jun 2010 #permalink

You work for/with Bad Horse???!

"That's so hardcore."

If you don't like bean paste might I point you towards another delicacy? Almond paste (especially the German & French varieties of Marzipan).
That stuff should give you an instant sugar rush.

By who_cares (not verified) on 13 Jun 2010 #permalink

My then-gf-now-wife and I were at Rockefeller Center in NYC, walking around looking for a snack. Spotted a Japanese bakery with these amazing-looking desserts - jewel-colored fillings in something translucent. Sign said they were made of 'sweet bean paste.' Sounded kinda interesting. So we stopped in and bought a couple, unwrapped them on our way out and began eating them on the sidewalk. And...stopped. And looked at each other. And screamed "EEEAAUUGGGHHH!" And threw them in the first garbage receptacle we could find as if they were radioactive.

Lemme try to explain this as well as I can for those who've never had the 'pleasure.' You know when pizza cheese reaches just the wrong temperature so you swallow a slice and half the cheese goes down your throat but the other half stays in your mouth and THE TWO HALVES ARE ATTACHED so you're gagging? **That** is the consistency of sweat bean paste. I have never eaten snot (swear, really), but I know instinctively the texture of sweet bean paste is just exactly that of snot.

And don't even get me started on the taste....

Marzipan is a completely different thing that doesn't even belong in the same conversation. The main ingredient is almonds (which is something, unlike beans, that you can easily think of as a dessert constituent), it actually tastes good, and you can even make art out of it.

Stick with Vietnamese deserts, nom nom nom. You have a sizable Vietnamese community not to far away.

By BeamStalk (not verified) on 14 Jun 2010 #permalink

I get about a hundred applicants but I don't like the way most of them act (entitled).

I will if they beg beg beg me, take a summer intern from time to time.

I took rural internships which were awesome. I learned a ton of procedure, met everybody and ran a satellite office in a tiny town by myself so when I started working in a city with the wrinkly good ol' boys I was amazed that they only took lawyer's or judge's kids that weren't expected to do anything.

The sprouts would sit around the office with their feet up eavesdropping or talking to their buddies on the phone until it was time to go out and pound beers.

Not on my watch.

1. They must bring me sausage kolachi.

2. They must appear before the bench (a small claims default that has already been rigged with the judge and opposing counsel) only to discover that there is nothing in the file and the name and date are wrong a.k.a. The Dance Without Pants.

3. They will received a sexually inappropriate unprofessional nick name and be introduced by it to judges and attorneys "Have you met my intern, Mr. Fluffy Cuddlepants?"

4. They will draft a will and a civil petition and be laughed at and demeaned while we edit their work and throw it away.

5. They will be yelled at and yelled at and yelled at.

6. They will receive meager and laughable "gifts" of money.

7. They will go out and buy me more sausage kolachi.

So far we haven't "graduated" any evil bozos. They all are pretty good lawyers who learned the first lesson of my shop.

If you start feeling like you are all grown up and you know what you are doing....quit. Because you aren't, you don't and a good lawyer never will.

Everybody worth working with feels like an imposter most of the time.

By Prometheus (not verified) on 14 Jun 2010 #permalink

We had one kid bring us assorted home-canned pickles from his parents' farm. Probably falls somewhere on the worthy snacking spectrum between the bean curd pastries and real cookies but not at all adequate on the sucking up scale.

One kid brought us four reams of old cotton Strathmore paper.

"This was in my grandmother's garage. She didn't want it and I thought you guys could use it."

I was so touched I put the bolts back in her chair and took the cellophane off the toilet for the day.

By Prometheus (not verified) on 14 Jun 2010 #permalink

Prometheus, you devil. You must have worked with my brother.

+1 on the "Loves those dough balls stuffed with bean paste, rolled in sesame seeds and deep fried." Love 'em. Not as good as my peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, but up there.

@prometheus #14: that last line reminds me of my brother. Does sfx for "V" and similar stuff. Feels like a fraud because they pay him so much. :-)

Abomination? Bean paste is delicious! :D

Isn't chocolate kind of like a bean paste? Or maybe it's bean fat.

By Smurfette (not verified) on 15 Jun 2010 #permalink

Dessicated carbonized bean dust mixed with hot bean fat....and venial sin.

By Prometheus (not verified) on 15 Jun 2010 #permalink

We have a Chinese employee who loves bringing us "delicacies from home", all wrapped with exclusively Chinese writing. Some of the sweets turned out to be soy based jerky. Very much an acquired taste. But the only thing worse than Asian deserts is the breakfast food. Cold slime describes the more edible form of it.
I'd admit to liking the deep fried bean paste balls, but I'm already on auto-spam filter and don't want to get perma-banned ;).

Hah, cold slime is what Chinese people think of oatmeal. The breakfast porridge is much better hot than cold.

The filling in the fried sesame covered balls is usually lotus seed paste.

By Smurfette (not verified) on 15 Jun 2010 #permalink