Thursday, May 14, 2015

(The End) I Feel Like a Course 20! (But I Don't Know if I Like It!)

A Brief Recap of Past Blog Posts
Module 1
*1) Preconceived notion = hate research because of UROPs, but confused because I liked seeing the results of module 1.
*2) First presentation ever nerves!!! 

Module 2
*1) Wow! 20.109 IS a CI-M aka, let me spell it out, communication intensive! Not just a lab class!!! (The horror!)

Module 3
*1) The teaching faculty won't be there to make up for your mess-ups forever, or even a semester longer. :( 
*2) I don't know what's going on outside of classes, my ideas aren't novel (although I'm glad they were reasonable enough to be done), and BE is SO MANY DETAILS!!

Feelings about Research
So I entered 109 hating research. 
I ended module 1 still disliking it, but seeing the joys of positive results. 
I ended module 2 thinking the material was super interesting, but realizing that there's a TON MORE to research than just the benchwork. 
I ended module 3 realizing I didn't/don't really know much about research besides benchwork.

How do I feel now? I'm not sure. I still don't like benchwork for the reasons I said before-- it's unnerving to be stuck in the same room doing the same assay for hours on end, if not for days or more. But I always told myself that the results were what I thought were awesome, not the day-to-day.

But now I know that the day-to-day is a lot more than just benchwork at my UROP. I've had a glimpse into the literature digging, the literature reporting, and the idea finding. Does this change anything?

I wish I knew! I think I've just refined my initial thought: I love the big picture of bioengineering, but the details drive me crazy. The ideas are awesome to see, read about, and come up with, but having to actually carry them out? With all of the parameters that need to be optimized, all of the variables? With all of the troubleshooting and, more importantly, repetition if things go wrong? ACK, ACK, ACK.

So I suppose that I would like to be a professor with an army of smart postdocs and grad students... without having to be either of those to get there! But knowing I can't actually do that makes me question what I actually want to do and is actually a feasible option.

I love(d) 20.109 because I feel so much more informed about what life as a bioengineer actually entails, but unfortunately, I just really have no idea whether it's actually a life I want, nor do I see an obvious perfect fit still. Ack...

Addendum on Public Speaking Fear
I also took Intro to Acting this semester, which helped me conquer a lot of social inhibition! Do recommend for the sometimes-meek!

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