Saturday, March 21, 2015


I’ve learned a lot of things in 20.109. I’ve learned short snippets of information that make me feel more scientifically literate, like how to pronounce Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. I’ve also learned about some of the challenges in current scientific research, like consolidating data from different experiments in genomic databases. I’ve learned how to load gels, perform Western blots and do UniFrac Analysis. Which is all really really cool.

I guess these are the sorts of skills that I would mention in a resume or talk about in an interview, the kind of information that earns you units and degrees.

But at the end of the day, here are the most important things I feel like I’ve gained/am gaining from the class:

Embracing Uncertainty. 

No one actually knows the answers to the questions we are asking with our research. Not PI’s, not the people that have worked in science for their entire lives, and certainly not the students. Which is kinda terrifying. But it also makes me feel like I am going into a field where there is room for me to contribute. It is what makes me over-analyze our protocol, ask questions during pre-lab, and gets me excited about “doing science." 

Thinking outside the box

In our analysis, in the questions we ask, and in the way we deal with problems that come up in lab. 


Usually, on a weekday morning when I have eight hours of class to look forward, my reaction  is something like:

But thankfully, this is how I feel when I talk to my lab partner and the other awesome students and instructors in my section

(dramatic reenactment) 

I feel comfortable asking them questions and talking about school, or pretty much anything else. They've taught me how to communicate about science and how to share a lab space. And they are one of the best parts of my semester. 

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