Sunday, October 12, 2014

One DNA engineering summary coming right up

     Module one taught me what it really means to be an engineer and a scientist. It also showed me why MIT is so hard, and the amount of work one can do in a straight set of 24 hours. When I began this class, I was merely an pile of facts and protocols. Of course, I could apply my knowledge to tests and experiments, but what I found out between three and five in the morning on Friday, while knee deep in what has been my most challenging assignment so far in college, was that I could not yet effectively communicate my knowledge. I currently am only half a true scientist.

     Working on the DNA engineering summary, I saw that my focus in the class had been skewed. It is not so much about understanding the protocols used and the experiments conducted (although it is essential to know these things) as it about learning to communicate to others the significance of this knowledge. If I had had this epiphany earlier, then I would have always kept my ultimate engineering summary in mind while carrying out my work. In retrospect, I should have been making as many of the figures as I possibly could for my summary before it was even officially assigned. This probably would have helped me save some time so that I could devote more time to data analysis and writing in general after finally obtaining data from the flow cytometry assays. And, maybe I would not have had to pull an all-nighter (although it was kind of fun since it was my first one, and now I feel like a real engineering student).


     As I continue with this class the main question I will ask myself is: How will I relate to others what I am doing now? (or, in context, how will this fit into my next big assignment?) Overall, this past module was an exciting roller coaster ride, and the summary (now that it is actually done) was fun. Now, I look forward to tackling Module 2 and becoming a well-rounded scientist.


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