Monday, April 20, 2015

Mod 2: The is not a drill

           After completing Module 1, I thought I was ready for anything 20.109 had to throw at me. I had written what I thought was a full scientific report. I had my writing ripped apart for its wordiness and impreciseness. I felt like I could finally empathize with all the scientists that have experienced the feelings of rejection when they get a bad review from a scientific journal. Then, I rallied to create a new version of my paper and put Module 1 to rest. Before I knew it though, Module 2 was coming to an end, and it was time to embark on my next scientific writing journey. However, this time there was no chance for revision. If the “reviewers” didn’t like my paper, that was it. This was the real deal. The pressure was on.
            The upside to all of this, however, was that we were finally focusing on a topic that excited me. Cancer research is what I want to do with my life; it’s my passion. Therefore, though this report was going to be a challenge, it was a challenge I was excited to take on. As we were doing this module, the cogs in my brain were turning. I could truly see how all of this applied to our everyday lives. I couldn't wait for each lab day when we would get our new results. Analyzing data was no longer a chore. I could see the impact that this research could have, and even if our results ended up not working out, experimenting with a purpose was exciting. Cancer is something that has affected almost everyone in some way. It’s a disease that is complex, powerful, and devastating. Researchers all over the world are working to combat this monster, and for this module, we got to be a part of the team, the team fighting for a cure.
            So, as I set out to start writing this report, I found that the most enjoyable part was actually my least favorite part from the last module: discussing the results. Where in Module 1, I felt unknowledgeable and a little purposeless, the results in Module 2 showed real promise. As I was interpreting the data, I could grasp how the data translated to cancer therapy. I could see how this data could be used to help people, and at the end of the day, that’s what matters. I became a bioengineering major to help people. I want to perform research that will have a positive impact on the lives of the people around me; I want to be a force for change. This module reminded me that I can do that. Performing this module, I could see my dreams coming to life. Writing this report pushed me intellectually. It left me exhausted and sleep deprived. There were times when I felt like I could never finish it, but it also reinforced my belief that I had picked the right major. I am grateful to 20.109 for reminding me why I chose to study bioengineering. In this semester that has truly challenged me more than I ever thought possible, I feel renewed. However, now it’s time for a nap. 

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