Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Climbing the Mountain of 20.109

Coming into 20.109 has been like climbing a mountain - a mountain jagged with rocks you have to climb over and beasts you have to battle - but once you get to the top, the view is sort of worth it.  In this blog, I'm going to attempt to present a treasure map to get to the top of this mountain.

The Journey part 1:
You've just entered the lab.  You've found a lab partner and pick a team color.  Now to begin the journey up the mountain.  But wait, which way do you go?!  Well, lucky for you, like Dora the famous explorer, you have two helpful items:  a map and a backpack.  Vamanos!
Image result for dora the explorer backpack and map
This map of course is the information-packed Wiki that we so delightfully get to use.  Unfortunately, this map is sometimes very overwhelming or, if your a newb like me, it may not be clear enough, so that's when you can turn to backpack - Shannon or the other sections TAs.  Like Backpack, the TAs have everything you need.  And they can answer all your questions!  Now, I understand asking questions can be very scary; at least, it was scary for me as my lab partner and I needed to ask like 20 questions a lab.  We would look over the protocol and be like:
 Image result for spongebob question
So we needed to ask for further directions! But the TAs are here for questions, and though you may feel silly for asking some maybe very basic questions, at least you're that much closer to getting to the top of that 20.109 island mountain.

The Journey part 2:
Along the climb there are going to be lots of rocks to make you stumble and fall.  The point is to watch out for these rocks, and as long as you keep an eye out and stay on top of them, you'll be able to continue making those steps to get to the mountain top.  These rocks are the many smaller assignments of lab notebooks, methods papers, and data drafts that you get assigned for weekly homework.  Of course, we can't forget the boulder of a journal club presentation you have to climb either.  However, through this rock climbing (or stumbling) you slowly begin to develop the muscles you need to climb on the mountain.

The Journey part 3:
Wrestling the beast.  The beast of an Abstract and Data Summary.
  Image result for bear beast meme
This will not be an easy battle.  But hopefully, you've come prepared with strong muscles for scientific writing and knowledge from your friends Backpack and Map, and you're ready to rumble!  Do not try and defeat this beast in one day; it will take much longer than that.  And of course, you may not fully conquer it, but at least, you'll temporarily stun in and be able to reach the top before having to truly fight it as you turn in your final draft.

So now you're at the top.  You've done it, you've finished Module 1.  You've successfully learned all about gull gut microbiomes and designed a primer to detect flu.  Isn't that awesome?!?! Now go enjoy the view!
Image result for mountain sunset

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