Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Down in the DM

If I had to guess how many scientific papers I've read in my lifetime, I would say "one helluva lot". But despite the exposure I've had to research articles of all shapes and shades, when the time came to write one of my own, I felt like a literal fish out of water. 

We're talking hyperventilation and muscle spasms.

Not actually, but I was pretty lost.

It's a tale as old as time, and I had to learn the lesson same as everyone else... Synergy ain't easy. I never knew how difficult it could be to take the numerous and scattered ideas, data, analyses, bits and pieces of research that I had been compiling over several weeks, and turn them into a comprehensive, 12 page whole.

I thought that I was doing everything right. I started early, I went to office hours, I dutifully employed the improvements recommended by my instructors and my peers. And in the face of all of that, I still struggled to pull together my Module 2 Research Article.

My salvation slid into my DMs like**, "Hey girl! Have you started the report for 109?" It was my beloved lab partner, reaching out with a question about the assignment. Fast forward 5 days, we're seated together, working on our individual research articles, but frequently piping up to resolve each other's queries, big and small. In those moments, I realised that my most valuable take away from this module, and from this class, would be how to collaborate with a fellow researcher, while still crafting a final product that I could call my own.

To be able to bounce my thoughts and worries off of another person, without fear of judgement or sounding silly, was integral to my successful completion of this module. I know now that "individual completion" does not have to mean "afraid and alone", and everything is easier with a friend.

**Please see the following examples of how it went down in the DM: 24 Extremely Smooth Ways To Slide Into Someone's DMs

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