First, the apology:
Sorry for not posting for so long. I have been busy (which isn’t an excuse) and then I got another concussion and was out of commission for awhile (which comes as close to an excuse as I can get). Either way, I am gonna work hard to get all caught up and then stay that way.
Now onto the interview. I’d like to say it began when I arrived Romberg Tiburon Center (the RTC of the title) but truly it began as soon as I left Drake. I only just recently got my license and though I had MapQuested how to get there, the trouble was in getting there on time. Not wanting to make a bad first impression by being late to the interview I had to leave school even earlier than I am allowed to. Even still I was cutting it close. By the time I got to Paradise Drive there was little time left. I broke more speeding violations than I’d like to admit going down that winding road. Luckily, I arrived with a few minutes to spare, determined to schedule our next meeting a little later.
To enter RTC you first go down yet another winding road. It’s densely forested on both sides until you go around one last bend and see this wide open complex. It is on the shore of the San Francisco Bay and the view is incredible. The first few buildings you see look run down, your eyes are next drawn to an imposing concrete structure. All of these are legacies of its days as a Navy base and fishery. But soon the more modern buildings come into view, as well as a complex of tanks that I later learned were used for experiments by the researchers here.
Not quite sure what to do next, I entered the biggest-looking building, hoping to see a front desk where I could ask to find Al Marchi, with whom I had an appointment. No such luck. Instead it was filled with busy-looking scientists who were determined not to be disturbed. Plucking up some courage, I asked someone where I could find Al. He looked surprised for a moment, then pointed to a door to my left. “I’m pretty sure he just went in there.” Encouraged, I walked through the door to see a large room, filled with equipment and dirty glassware. Things were humming and whirring and there was a distinct sense of chaos throughout the place. On the far side were two offices: one empty and one with a man hunched over a computer, typing away furiously. The door was open, but even as I walked up he didn’t notice me, so I knocked on the door frame. He looked up, smiled, and said, “So you must be Dash.” Any nervousness I had evaporated. He was as friendly as he had been on the phone. Instead of sitting me down and grilling me (which is what I feared) he seemed intent on making sure that RTC was going to be the right fit for me. We chatted, then he took me on a tour of the lab. He showed me all of the equipment, rattling off names like it was no big deal. The only one I recognized–Mass Spectrometer–betrayed how precise (and how expensive) these machines were. The mass spec alone cost $20,000 easily.
For the rest of the interview we walked around all of RTC and talked. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but it went well. We set a date for the start of the internship, shook hands, and I made my way home.