Being the Change | # 4

 

Growing up people would always tell me to be the change I wanted to see in the world. This always sounded so cliché. It still sounds a little cliché. Sometimes the truest things are cliché maybe they are this way because they are hard to argue, and everyone loves to argue. But it is very true, I need to be the change in the world. I intend on being the change I want to see in the world. It’s one of the best things. Like there is the opportunity just sitting there waiting for someone to take it up. I am graduating in December, so I feel more optimistic about taking up sitting opportunities than ever.

Becoming a research assistant has wildly changed my life. I think my life was heading in this direction anyway, but I think working in the lab really expedited the process. As things in life become more hectic, scary and uncertain I feel that I need more “quiet activities” these quiet activities have become my solace. Every so often I have days where I am in the tissue culture room in one of the biochemical hoods for 2-3 hours. This is usually a plating day for an experiment that overlaps with a treatment or cell harvest day for another experiment (I am starting an experiment and ending another one the most time-consuming part of an experiment). Based on what I am doing I can listen to my music, but most of the time I do not. This has become my quiet time. During the school year, I feel so so exhausted having to spend all day surrounded by people and constantly talking. I usually go from class to tutoring to a student org meeting and then to do some homework and then to bed (repeat x 15 weeks). These days feel very long and productive, but I also feel like I listen to people talk all day and talk all day myself. This quiet time is so golden. In my silence, I think about how I am finally being the change I want to see. My hands are putting good work into this world and one day someone is going to benefit from it. I am hoping the treatment I have been working with is able to move into clinical trials within the next 6 months. As we move towards the end of the manuscript it feels like we, as a group, are troubleshooting problems at top speed.

My favorite Ted Talk is a talk about vulnerability by Brene Brown. This talk is very very popular. The first time I watched this talk was about 15 years old. Brene begins this talk discussing how her publisher wanted to call her a storyteller instead of a researcher because she felt the word “researcher” wouldn’t attract people. I thought this was something in the humanities where the research is usually more moral, opinionated and ethically driven. Here I am 7 years later, and I feel like a storyteller.

One thought on “Being the Change | # 4

  • August 14, 2018 at 9:06 am
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    Hi, Uche! I’m glad to hear you are gaining some valuable experience over at your internship, and I am especially glad to hear that you are getting to work with some good data.

    Let’s start with that. I loved how you discussed data in your third post. I actually just decided to take a fifth year so I can add a major in Data Science, so I agree wholeheartedly with your description of “good data.” (I enjoy baseball data in particular, but obviously, data is universal across fields!) I was also surprised to hear you are already on (or past) your 33rd experiment. I’m not sure I have participated in 33 experiments in my life!

    It makes me really happy to read that this position has changed your life. This truly sounds like it is your calling and I am so excited to hear that you have grown a passion for this research you are doing. I can tell that you will accomplish anything you set your mind to the way you passionately write about your research.

    I’d be curious to hear more about how you feel like a “storyteller” as a researcher. You have definitely told stories of your research through these posts, but I’d love to hear how you feel your actual experiments and write-ups tell stories (especially as somebody who is quantitative but not particularly a scientific guy outside of data and computers). Keep up the fantastic work 🙂

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