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  • Writer's pictureEnid Gonzalez-Orta

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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