Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The End of an Era

It's hard to believe that today was it. A twelve minute presentation (and couple hundred calories' worth of snacks #fig&olivecrisps4EVA) later, my classmates and I finished Mod 3 and all of 20.109 (aside from the wrap-up luncheon on Thursday).

As much as I struggled with some of the assignments for this course, reflecting back upon this semester made me realize just how much I've grown as a scientist. Now I know how to run Western blots, set gates for flow cytometry plots, and roll out active material to make cathodes for a coin battery. Additionally, I've grown as a communicator, and although I know there's much room for improvement, I can now confidently parse a scientific journal article and convey its message to my colleagues if need be. Going to the BE Comm Lab was immensely helpful and I'm glad I was introduced to this resource because it's definitely something I will refer to in my future studies. But *most importantly*, I've honed my Google Drive skills and have ~almost~ mastered Google Slides' 294938 tools. I believe that's an accomplishment in and of itself.

In all seriousness, Mod 3 was my favorite, just like the instructors mentioned that it would be at the beginning of the module. It wasn't just because my advisor was the lecturer, though Angie Belcher rules. I'd never once thought that bacteriophages could be applicable in digital materials, let alone be used to construct an entire part of a battery. I'd always regarded them as these nuisances that would infect bacteria and make them their slaves, if they didn't kill them first, since that's how AP Bio and 7.03 defined them. I always recall this episode of Jimmy Neutron on Nickelodeon where Jimmy and his friends enter their classmate Carl's immune system Magic School Bus-style to fight the bacteriophage that are making Carl and everyone around him sick. (talk about throwing it back to the TV shows of my childhood)

In the end, this class taught me a lot, and it made the late nights I pulled semi-worth it. One CI-M down, another one to go, and we're none the worse for wear.

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