Summer often signifies a time for rest and relaxation. In that spirit, we’re taking the month of August off from our Said & Dunn posts. However, before we break, we thought it would be fun to revisit one of our most popular blog posts to share the latest on how current lab members do summer: past, present, and future. So enjoy this Q&A and be on the lookout for our first post back in September, when we return to Said & Dunn, rested and ready to go. 

By: Members of the Dunn Lab


1. What is your favorite memory as a child?

Every summer my parents used to take my sister and I to the county fair, which happened annually in our town, and we would look at the animals, go to the circus, and play on this big train they had. My sister and I loved the circus so much that we preformed our own 'circus' our living room afterwards. - Liv

We used to take road trips out to Colorado to visit family in the summers. It was a long drive, but I loved seeing my cousins, checking out the old family homestead, and hiking up in Rocky Mountain National Park. - Becky  

Going to Good Harbor Beach with my babysitter, who was from Gloucester, Boston- accent and all, and younger sister. We would go all day, leaving at 8am and returning around 5 or 6 pm. Exhausted, we would crash and wake up to do it again the next day. - Clara  

Swimming for hours on end in the pool and going to the golf course with my dad. He would golf and I would look for animals. - Janine

(From left to right) Picture 1: Liv (right) and her sister at the county fair, Picture 2: Becky (far right) on her Colorado adventure, Picture 3: Clara visiting the beach, and Picture 4: Janine swimming in the pool

2. What’s your favorite summer tradition?

We used to have a corn roast the last weekend of August before school started and invite everyone we knew. We bought hundreds of corn cobs from the nearby farms and basically just had a party. - Alex

My family would fill up the freezer with ice cream the first day when it got hot (the idea is to slowly eat them throughout the summer. But usually not that slowly, because there's me). - Yiwen

Going hiking and eating s'mores by the campfire. - Emma

Each year I would take swim lessons at my Aunt Eileen’s house with my siblings and cousins. We’d spend most of the day learning the stroke and how to perfect our dives, then finish the day with jeopardy and Mac & Cheese. - Olivia

(From left to right) Picture 1: Emma (left) and her brother, Picture 2: Olivia getting a medal from her aunt after swimming lessons, Picture 3: Erin riding her toy horse on a summer day

3. What’s your favorite way to beat the heat in the summer?

 Eating lots and lots of ice cream! - Erin, Olivia, and Krista   

Lots of fresh juice and cool linen, and of course enjoying solid A/C where possible. - Karmel

Plenty of trips to the beach, lots of soft serve, and ice-cold lemonade. - Tannu

Definitely swimming! - Clara, Natalie, Janine, and Liv

(From left to right) Picture 1: Lake Winnipesake - where Karmel likes to relax, Picture 2: Olivia (left) and her sister swimming, Picture 3: Clara enjoying some ice cream, Picture 4: Liv sitting on the beach

Krista’s ube and mango ice cream

Krista’s ube and mango ice cream

4. Favorite ice cream flavor?

Chocolate is my go-to flavor generally, all year round. But in the summer, I like going to pick fresh strawberries and then make ice cream from them. I found a terrific recipe - appropriately entitled "The best strawberry ice cream recipe" - and think it's amazing. - Erin                                                 

Chocolate chip cookie dough or ube (purple yam) and mango ice cream. - Krista

Pistachio when it’s done right (e.g., Toscanini’s). - Yiwen          

Americone Dream from Ben and Jerry's and Thai Iced Tea from Honeycomb Creamery in Somerville, MA. - Tannu

5. Summer vacation bucket list?

Picking blueberries at a local flower farm. - Karmel

Get married - check. Go sailing with Andy Clark. - check. - Alex

I have wanted to go to Italy so badly recently- the food, scenery, and history are such a dream. Hopefully in a few years I can make it happen. - Clara

Finishing Carl Zimmer's book "The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity". Attending my "adult summer camp" in Vermont (where my husband and I spend the week swimming, running, biking, eating, and chilling). - Erin

(From left to right) Picture 1: Blueberries from Karmel’s picking adventure, Picture 2: Yiwen standing on the Great Wall of China

6. Are you a pool, lake, or ocean person?

 Ocean! Love salt water and the sound of waves. - Karmel, Yiwen, Olivia, Tannu

All of the above, but I’m partial to the lake. I grew up swimming in Lake Erie for as long as I can remember. - Liv

Pool for swimming, lake for being out on the water, ocean for lounging. - Becky

All of the above. - Alex, Janine

(From left to right) Picture 1: Alex spending time fishing, Picture 2: Becky (right) playing at the beach, and Picture 3: Liv ready to swim in the lake

7. What song makes it feel like summer for you?

Permanent Vacation by 5 seconds of summer - Krista

Anything by Taylor Swift - Olivia

‘In Summer’ from Frozen - Emma

Anything by the Beach Boys - Clara, Natalie

8. What is one book everyone should read during their summer vacation? 

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Liv

Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams - Alex

Lobster is the Best Medicine or other comic books by Liz Climo. They are so adorable and they make you feel relaxed and happy. - Yiwen

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren - Erin

9. What are your plans for the rest of summer?

Spend time at the local pool, beaches, and my in-law’s lake house in Minnesota. - Natalie

Heal my broken collar bone. – Janine

Work on my college applications and be a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding. – Krista

Relax!! - Tannu

(From left to right) Picture 1: View from Natalie’s in-laws lake house, Picture 2: Natalie jumping into a pool, and Picture 3: Tannu dancing and having fun

10. What are your highlights of summer so far?

Natalie’s cat after her annual funny hair cut

Natalie’s cat after her annual funny hair cut

Our lab outing to Portland, presenting at MGH’s Science Slam, and getting the SPARC Grant. – Becky

Starting a new job, getting married and going on our honeymoon, and getting our cat her annual funny hair cut. - Natalie

Celebrating my birthday (i.e., walking into my office and seeing my desk covered in cat memes). – Yiwen  

I was a bridesmaid for a lovely friend of 12 years and got to see my brother get married in a wonderful, traditional wedding extravaganza. My friends and I have started going to the beach early in the morning and packing picnic breakfasts, we call it Beach Quiche. I've started reading more regularly again and love being a part of the world authors create. – Tannu

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