Friday, May 13, 2016

BE Communication Lab Meetings? 10/10 Would Recommend!

When I first heard about the BE Communication Lab, I thought it sounded like a pretty nice resource to have available. Unfortunately, things sort of ended there. The Protein Engineering Summary was an opportunity to receive feedback on one of my first major assignments in this class- but nothing happened. I was reminded about how helpful the Communication Lab could be for our Journal Club presentations. “I should probably make time to go to this one” I thought. Well, in case you haven’t read my other blog about how that presentation went for me, let’s just say that not much about my preparation for that presentation went well…. How about for the Systems Engineering Research Article- that assignment that is worth a modest 25% of my grade? “Wouldn’t it be nice to get feedback on all of this writing that I am uncertain about?” I’m sure it would have been nice. But no, Bremy once again didn’t find time to go and ended up working the entire weekend and most of Patriots day on it.

So I’m setting things up for you to predict whether or not I went to the Communications Lab for my final presentation project in 20.109. Your prediction may have been right. Except that now, our professors decided to make going to the Communication Lab a homework assignment for this final module. “Okay, I guess I really have to make time to go now.” I thought. Even then I kept pushing off the meeting, as I continued to feel pressed for time. I finally decided to follow up with my lab partner about scheduling a meeting. To my luck, she had already scheduled a meeting for that same day.

As soon as our instructor arrived, we got right down to business. After she had a gist for the project that my partner and I were trying to complete and what we wanted help on, she read our proposal ideas quickly and instructed my partner and I to draft our presentation slides. Our instructor was very helpful in pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of our proposal. She then helped us to connect our flow of ideas to how they could be organized onto the slides (which we hadn’t really started prior to the meeting) and proposed how we could go about best preparing those slides around the things we would actually say when we presented. I was amazed by the quality of the feedback my partner and I received in such as small amount of time. We went from not really being sure how to approach organizing our slides to having a solid plan early that allowed us to prepare better for the big day. I totally agree with the opinion some of my peers have that the homework assignment requiring us to go to the BE Communication Lab should have been given earlier. I likely would have benefited from multiple trips to this lab if I had realized earlier just how effective the grad students and fellows from this lab can be.

If you feel like you are going to be very busy around the time that you need to write your next 20.109 report, certainly avoid distractions:

But don’t avoid going to the BE Communication Lab!

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