Blog Post #4: Obstacles

During my summer program I had a number of different experiences inside the lab. I learned many techniques and became friends with many different people. However, there were some obstacles along the way. The biggest obstacle was perhaps the learning curve of being in the lab. Since i had only just finished my freshman year at UofM, I was still a novice in terms of actual lab research and knowing the in’s and out’s of how different molecules work. The only science course i took during the school year was CHEM 210, but my lab is more biology focused rather than chemistry focused, so i was still left in the dark about most of things i was doing in the lab. Of course thought the summer my technique of the experiments improved, but my understanding of them did not. I knew how to do the experiments, but i didn’t know how they worked. At that point my mentor noticed my lack of understanding and started to assign papers to read and bi-weekly lab meetings in which I had to present the things I was reading about. It was a really beneficial thing to do, because it forced me to read about the things I was doing and actually learn what was taking place when I mix certain chemicals. It also helped me with my public speaking. Although the crowd only consisted of member from my lab, It was still good practice to speak aloud about everything I was doing. I will admit reading all those scientific papers was taxing, only because they are not meant for my type of audience (not knowledgeable enough to figure out the difference between Gateway recombination and regular cloning), so there were many terms and phrases I had no clue how to describe. It felt like I was looking up the meaning of every other word. It did help, but it was also a very time consuming process.

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