Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Shifting Gears

With the end of the semester nearing, the amount of work on my plate piles higher and higher. At a time when I am in most need of my mental facilities, I became sick. Thus, in my present daunting situation, I need to allocate my sparse resources between taking care of myself and exerting energy to prepare for exams and presentations. However, as I need to focus to complete all this work, I need to improve my view on the situation and self-motivate to get the work done!

Some of the positive parts of my semester:

I picked up my mod 2 report and was satisfied with the grade. I felt bad about turning the assignment in late, but I was trying to find motivation to work on the assignment. I tend to become discouraged when I begin working on projects and papers because I have the expectation of producing a great (maybe even perfect) piece, but in reality, I am still learning and right now is the time to practice. I realize when it comes to writing, I have some good ideas, but in order to build on and improve them, I need to write them down. Then I can mold and shape them in a more concrete manner rather than trying to deal with them abstractly in my mind.

I feel like I have learned a lot from this past semester (and year). If you had asked about what my biological engineering major meant at the beginning of the year, I would have given a confused look and said that biological engineering was engineering with a biological focus (circular reasoning for the win!). Now with the 20.109 experience under my belt (as well as other classes I've taken this year), I can say that biological engineering involves using existent biological tools such as genome libraries, protein assays, antibodies, phage protein structure and to develop and test new ways to solve problems related to health, energy, and synthesis of biomaterials. There's so many exciting experiments that can be done to try to solve modern day problems from a biological perspective.

Along with a better understanding of my major. I have become really excited about the different innovations in biology that are being researched in different labs on campus. I recently got approved for direct funding for UROPing at the Voigt lab this summer. I will be working to understand cell transcriptional circuits that involve the inhibition of different biological pathways. One of the best parts of the biological engineering majors is that it is so multifaceted: I've done work with seagull microbiomes and AIV screening, nonhomologous end-joining DNA repair assays and NHEJ inhibitor analysis, and dye-sensitized solar cells that that incorporate Au-nanoparticle binding phage, yet, there is still much more out there to learn about.

It took me a day to finish this post, and I feel a lot better than I was yesterday. I'm still worried for all the work that I have on my plate, but I'm ready. Bring it on!

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