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A Blog Post from Emma...

As a transfer student coming into this Diversity of Microorganisms class, I knew the gist of how the class was going to go. I would be doing tests to classify microbes. I knew microbes affect many biological cycles in the human body as well as the environment. I did not know that I would discover some of my strengths and weaknesses doing research in a classroom setting.


A little bit of background about me. I am not the stereotypical Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics student. When I chose biology for my degree, I did not take the high school IB biology classes to help excel me into college biology. I felt that I struggled to do half of the work while the people who took those IB classes said the class was easy. It felt like I was learning a new language on my own. This made me empathetic to other people struggling as much as I was struggling to get good grades in these college biology classes. I did not have family who were doctors or were in biological research. I had to find my own motivation to want to be in biology. I, also, am not a microbiology concentration. This was a class that I chose as an elective to study research of microbes. Biological research like diversity of microorganisms has helped me discover information about soil microbes and my own personal growth.


I found that I needed to have a plan in my head before I could do the tasks in class in a timely manner. Before I went to class, I would stress about not finishing in time. If I didn’t have an overall purpose of what to do in class, most times I would have to wait until the next class period to finish. I would feel frustrated because I personally thought I was a slow person as learning and accomplishing tasks. With this class, I established my own objective each day. This helped me become more efficient. I finished before the end of the class period. Previously with my time management, I had this grand scheme in my head about how my research project was going to go. I was going to have replicates because replicates create more accurate statistical data. I was going to be able to do this all in the class period allotted. This was a serious fail. As the class progressed, things got more intense. I stressed more about time management. When I realized I had too much on my plate, I had to admit to myself that the grand scheme in my head was unrealistic. I learned creating an objective each day brought me back to a realistic plan of action. As a result of this fix, I had less occurrences of contamination. All my polymerase chain reactions were done correctly.

I learned about myself that I like to help and communicate with people. I know what it feels like to struggle. My background in the paragraph above is one of many ways that I have struggled in my life. Helping people by communicating and reassuring others by helping them with their own plan about life, classroom procedures, and many other aspects gives me a feeling of positive affirmation.


Now, reflecting on each of these paragraphs. I did not think my personal growth would grow this much just by taking a research-based class. I found out how much less stress I had when I had a plan of action. I determined how important to communicate with other people was for my personal growth. By taking diversity of microorganisms, I have learned many different topics about microbes and research, but I did not expect to overcome obstacles about myself.





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Soil! Many of the antibiotics we currently have are derived from soil bacteria. The diversity of soil microbes is vast, yet, we are only able to cultivated about one percent of that bacteria (Ling, 20

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