Thursday, May 14, 2015

I am so done with this class

Things I learned in 20.109 (a non-comprehensive list (also, note: I have no more energy to put a positive spin on things))

  • How to cite journal articles without plugging everything into EasyBib (the lazy person's bibliography generator). It actually is now faster to type out the citation myself!
  • Better communication skills(?) Although, in my opinion, the more you write, the better you get, just from sheer amount of practice, regardless of the kind of feedback you receive. While we did get a lot of feedback during the course, which I tried to address in later drafts, I'm not sure how much I actually internalized to be really mindful of when I'm writing something for the first time. Most of the writing lectures seemed to reiterate ideas that I had already previously heard from somewhere else. 
  • Powerpoint presentations are 76% better when animations are used. 
  • Addendum to last point: the title of slides should have the punchline.
  • How to be less of a perfectionist. Secret: stop caring. I usually get very stressed out about grades, but this class definitely made me so overwhelmed that I just gave up and only focused on completing an assignment and turning it in as soon as possible. 
  • How to pull an all-nighter. Who needs supplements like coffee or energy drinks when you have panic and hopelessness to propel you? Bonus for pulling multiple all-nighters in a row. 
  • Sometimes, people in authority don't have all the answers. 
  • Strong bonds are formed from shared misery. Also, being awake at absurd hours with others, furiously racing a deadline to finish an assignment. 
  • Maybe Course 20 is not for me. (but there's nothing else I would do preferentially). I went through some mid-college crisis where I thought all of my classes were useless and I didn't understand the point of anything that we had to do. (This correlated directly with the amount of work for 20.109). 
  • Nothing is quite as motivating as trying to get out of lab as soon as possible.
  • I don't think I want to ever do anything related to the microbiome ever again. 
  • Flow cytometry is not that interesting. Unfortunately for me, I'll probably be doing flow all summer, only with 12 colors.

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