While I have learned a lot through my research at TRIP, another important part of my experience has been the career talks. Before TRIP, I was very focused on becoming a doctor. This goal has not changed, but I am now thinking more seriously about trying to combine clinical work with research. I was really inspired by many of the career speakers, who had found unique jobs that capture their interests. I think it is important when planning for the future to think outside of traditional career paths, and find something that will truly be enjoyable. I also enjoyed hearing about the journeys the speakers had taken to reach their current careers. Frequently, it feels as though there is an exact path that must be followed to be successful. It was comforting to hear from people who did not follow straightforward paths, or know what they were to do as high school students. I think this lesson will be important as I pursue my own career.
However, in my negative geotaxis assay-- which tests fly activity-- I did not see promising results at first. My control flies and my flies that consumed bitter gourd were equally active. These flies were only on the diet for 3 days, which may have not been long enough to see a difference. Therefore, I tried to test the offspring of my experimental flies and found that 85.7% offspring that consumed bitter gourd were very active while 61.7% of my control offspring were very active.
If there is one thing I have learned in this program, it is that struggling early on should not dissuade you... instead of backing down from the task at hand, I asked for help and advice and watched my skills slowly grow."
If there is one thing I have learned in this program, it is that struggling early on should not dissuade you.
My first time sorting flies didn’t go very well. I couldn't flick them into the vial, I mixed up males and females, and I let them drop into very wet food.
Instead of backing down from the task at hand, I asked for help and advice and watched my skills slowly grow.
The same can be said about the larval memory assay. On a particularly busy Thursday, I mismanaged my time and found myself learning the larval memory assay at 4:45. Even before I got larva out of the vial, I knew I would be very late that day. With Dr. Amanda Purdy by my side to help me, I learned the assay by doing two conditions at a time. Although frantic, I learned the steps of the assay, albeit messily. I lost flies left and right, ruined the agar plates almost immediately, and lost track of how many trials I had done, but at the end of the day the assay was learned. Over the next few experimental days, I kept at the larval memory assay, and by the end of the program I could do it with ease.