Last Day @ Ito-Lab, NAIST

Leaving is never easy. It comes with the burden of saying farewell and not knowing when you will be able to meet again. I spent two weeks here in Japan as an intern in the Foundations of Software Laboratory under the Graduate School of Information Science (IS). Professor Minoru Ito and Assoc. Prof. Naoki Shibata were my mentors.

I was working on a traffic simulation project. I started out clueless about Simulation of Urban Mobility (SUMO). One of the students, Jiaxing Xu helped me out with my project. I was able to present my progress during last Thursday. All IS interns also presented about what they did in the laboratory. Prior to my presentation I was able to take photos with the other students in the laboratory. From left to right:  Ojetunde Babatunde, Alyssa Vintola (Me!), Prof. Ito, Tomoyuki Ueda & Takuya Tominaga.

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These were the people I interacted with during my internship at the laboratory. It was nice to meet these senpai. I will never forget our late dinners in shokudo (university cafeteria), the time I surprised Ueda-senpai and asked him to explain his research in English, the time they taught me how to order small serving of rice at the cafeteria, how to say “See you tomorrow!” and other simple Japanese phrases. Although my stay was very brief, I really enjoyed it. 🙂

Yesterday was my last official laboratory day in Ito-Lab at Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST). Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take a photo together with Xu-senpai and Prof. Shibata. They were not around. But I was able to take another photo with Prof. Ito. (The pics are not with me yet. I will update this post as soon as I get them.) Also, I got to take pictures with the two “TOMs” I got confused with —- TOMoyuki and TOMinaga : >

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Before leaving the laboratory, the two of them gave me souvenirs and gifts as a farewell treat :”>

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I was indeed an honor to be part of the Foundations of Software Laboratory even for a while. :> Hope to see you all soon in the future! But for now, I say farewell to my spot in the laboratory…

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Along the River Seine

After all the hard work we put into our presentations, Schneider Electric took us to Paris for dinner. Michel Orlhac, SE’s VP for Marketing, acted as our tour guide as we drove along the Champs-Élysées. We were along the Champs-Élysées when I caught my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower.  We also passed by the Arc de Triomphe. But what took my breath away was the sight of the Eiffel Tower as we drove by. Someday, I will be back to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. But for now, it shall have to wait.

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Once we got to the docks the riverboat was not there yet. We took the time to get to know more about the other participants and the people from Schneider Electric. We could not mask the excitement that we have while we marvel at the scenic  view.

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The riverboat finally arrived and we found ourselves aboard Le bateau-mouche Capitaine Fracasse. We wined and dined while we cruised along River Seine. The sun sets really late in Paris but when sun did set and the moonlight shone, Paris was simply a breathtaking sight to behold.

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We passed by Eiffel Tower, Le Louvre, Notre Dame and many more interesting architectural structures. But perhaps one interesting thing that I noticed were the young Parisians who were sitting by the river, holding a bottle of beer, enjoying chatting with friends and just having a good time. It must be good to be young and feel young in Paris. One thing I wish I could do is just blend in and get lost at the heart of Paris. But nevertheless, I feel blessed to have been given the chance to cruise along the Seine.

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Throwback Thursday: Friends, Birthdays and that Sophomore Year

The Aegis (yearbook) write-up is due soon and I am trying to dish out all the best memories I have in the Ateneo to date. I to realize how throughout the years, my decisions have become more calculated; how they have become decisions that would constitute the future. But there was a time when I did the most random things even before the term YOLO (You Only Live Once) existed.

I must have been very lucky to have met people in the dorm, especially my roommates,  that are as crazy and random as I am. Going back through the things that compose my list of randomness, most of them occurred in my sophomore year.

The time Gem and I were bored in our new room, UDS 207.

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The times when we had picnics on the Cervini cliff.

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The times when we celebrated birthdays.

We used to organize birthday surprises and eat out to celebrate a roommate or a friend’s birthday. Topping my list would have to be Joey’s 18th birthday. We gathered at midnight on the cliff and  surprised her with a cake and 18 paper roses.
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Later that day, we had dinner at Pizza Hut Katipunan.

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P.S. Belated happy birthday, Joey! I was supposed to post this on your birthday. Sorry I didn’t make it on time.

 

Smash(ing) Glee

Funny how there was a scene on Glee that made a reference to Smash. After all, Rachel’s character is still in the constant search for stardom in the Broadway scene. But that Smash reference was just a low blow considering that the show was cancelled. I really wanted Smash to return for a third season. If Glee is getting a run at it, why can’t Smash? The first two episodes of Glee have been terribly disappointing. Not that I don’t like them doing covers of The Beatles songs. It is just that the plain old high school drama is not cutting it anymore.

If given a chance to pick between the two shows, I would have picked Smash over Glee.  (I am sorry to all Gleeks.) I really used to love Glee when it was just starting out. But it kills me to see what’s happening to the show. As someone who is part of a choir, I still appreciate the music that the show has to offer. And as someone who loves to watch musical shows, production or what not. Smash’s plot had got me interested. Even if it was only focused on producing a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe, I liked how the intricacies in creating the whole production was highlighted in the episodes of Smash’s first season. The second season of Smash was also able to show the interplay of competition in running a show on Broadway. But what I loved most about the second season was the fact that it also focused on making dreams come true on Broadway – from the perspective of a producer, writer, actress, director. Another reason why I would give it to Smash would be the soundtrack. While Glee does covers of songs already popularized, most of the songs feature on Smash were original and were written for that specific scene/episode.

Here are some of the songs on Smash that I love:

1. Love I Meant To Say

2. I Can’t Let Go

3. Broadway, Here I Come!
4. Don’t Forget Me

5. Heart Shaped Wreckage