Summer had come to a close. Post by Sophie Salas ’15
Our summer at MDIBL has now come to a close, and what a summer it has been.
The last week was super busy with the symposium, mini golf, our final dinner, and a sunrise hike up Cadillac, not to mention the last minute lab work we needed to finish.
Looking back over the past eight weeks, I know I’ve learned a lot.
No, we didn’t meet our original goals, revised goals, or even our re-revised goals, but troubleshooting each roadblock taught me more than a breeze through the summer could have. Sure it was frustrating at times, especially since I’m used to classroom labs where each experiment has been tried and perfected over the years, but it is all part of doing research. I definitely learned about “real” research and what it is like to work in a lab. You test a hypothesis the way you think would be best, which may or may not work. If it doesn’t work, you learn that there’s a better way to test that hypothesis and you try something else.
The best skill to have is resilience, which I’m still working on and will continue to work on next year during thesis, when I’ll face more setbacks, I’m sure. Bill Gates’ said: “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” I couldn’t agree more. While I can talk about what we didn’t achieve for days, I can also talk about what we did achieve. I improved my microscopy skills immensely, I learned the detailed mechanism of oxidative stress, I learned how to properly care for and breed zebrafish, I learned about all the little tasks that make up lab maintenance, and much, much more. I also gained a lot from being in a place with some many scientists. Every Monday we listened to a talk given by a researcher at MDIBL. There were also frequently afternoon talks from visiting scientists about their captivating researcher. Being surrounded by scientists made MDIBL special in a way I’ve never experienced before. This summer overall was quite the experience. While we didn’t meet our goals in terms of research, in the bigger picture I’ve gained skills and learned life lessons that will surely help me in the future. Plus I got an awesome free t-shirt.