Tech Autobiography: One Glass of Milk

First, I would like to introduce my favorite drama The Surgeon, Bong Dal Hee briefly because it portrays my dream. In this drama, the main character Dal Hee suffers from heart disease and criticism from people because of her trivial background. However, she endures all hardships and problems to eventually become a cardiac surgeon. As I was watching this drama, I could easily associate myself with this character, because I am in the midst of achieving the American dream. As a foreign student in the United States, I knew I would face many problems and challenges as well as criticism like the character I described above. Dal Hee had a fixed goal to achieve, and it was this drive and dedication that helped her to endure all obstacles. I also have my goals that I would like to achieve in my life. Goals cannot be achieved without an earnest effort. No matter how positive and enthusiastic one is, in reality, consistency, sincerity, effort and passion towards a fixed objective are required to succeed.

I took my first step towards my American Dream when I moved to the United States about four years ago. From the time I boarded the airplane, I was very enthusiastic of the fact that I can learn a new language, culture, and be in place full of surprises. I believed that I was ready to meet both a new environment and new friends; however, I found out that I underestimated the difficulties that I would face in this new environment. I was not well-prepared to encounter language barriers and the American beliefs and customs. My poor English pronunciation and inability to express myself in an impromptu manner eventually led me to feel  that it would be impossible for me to become an influential leader in America—until one day, I had a glass of milk.

When my mother noticed that I was struggling in school, she came into my room on one particular night with my daily night snack: a glass of warm milk. She said, “Woo Yaa, drink this warm milk; this would calm your mind and relieve your stress. As you know, milk helps you to calm down and makes your bones stronger.” When I had my last sip of milk, I realized that my mom reminded me that everything has its own role to serve; milk has one main benefit for people – it contains a lot of Vitamin D and calcium that helps to build stronger bones inside our body. Drinking one glass of milk would not influence our body significantly, but it daily habit of drinking a glass of milk over time may provide sufficient nutrition to our body to build stronger bones. From that point on, I promised myself to become “a glass of milk” to people that has been consistently motivated me to move forward. Like Dal Hee in the drama, I tried my best to overcome all the barriers I faced; like a glass of milk, I want to be involved in the growth of biomedical technology with gradual contribution and efforts.

During the hot summer days in 2010, I was interning with National Institute of Health, learning how science and medicine affect people’s lives. Fascinated with all the scientific research, I was eager to learn and understand everything I saw. The most interesting article I discovered during my internship was the Da Vinci surgical system. I was drawn by the cutting–edge technology and soon became engrossed. Da Vinci system is a robot assisting doctors in surgery. By performing delicate surgery procedures that doctors are not capable of doing, it shortens the time of recovery and increases the chance of successful surgery. With those advantages, many doctors have suggested this surgical system to their patients. Aspiring to be a biomedical engineer, I felt this article gave me another reason to be passionate for science. Now people can use the delicate machine or robot to treat diseases effectively and minimize the damage to human organs caused by contact with human hands during the treatment.

In the article Technology Matters, the author David E. Nye says, “One way to define ‘technology’ is in terms of evolution.” The Da Vinci Machine is a hybrid idea of both engineering and medical science that I want to pursue. Although the machine is already in use in the practical field, I would like to study more about this machine in order to make it better and more effective. Before I chose my college, I encountered the dilemma of choosing the school most appropriate for studying both the medical science and the engineering aspects of the machine. After researching many schools with biomedical engineering, I became engrossed with Georgia tech’s biomedical engineering with pre-med program. I believe that my freshmen year at Georgia Tech will be the first step of achieving my dream of inventing my own medical machine.

Unlike Nye, I believe the primary purpose of technologies is to pro­vide necessities, such as food and human’s health. For now, my primary objective of life is to serve other people by contributing something positive daily even though it may look insignificant initially. More specifically, I would like to help people physically and mentally by contributing in the improvement of the Da Vinci Machine as well as other medical equipment. Also, the biomedical engineering department at Georgia Tech is a great opportunity for me to maintain and grow my passion and motivation towards my goals. As a freshman at Georgia Tech right now, I am ready to face next challenge. So, cheers! Have a glass of milk!

By Olivia Lee



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