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A Reflection on the Semester

December 11, 2012 by

It’s hard to believe that it’s over. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous about this class knowing that it was going to be a good deal of biology, despite the neurochemistry name. Proteins, receptors, lipids, synapses…. As we say up here in Minnesota, ‘Ufda!’ I feel that I’ve grown in a lot of ways over the past semester.

The idea of a paper a week was very intimidating at first, but a 15 page scientific article no longer fills me with dread and foreboding (the last five pages are usually references anyway!) and my knowledge about the brain and how it works has definitely increased, although there wasn’t a lot there before, at least not a very in depth knowledge. I really appreciated coming together on Monday to a safe place and accumulate the things in the article that we did not understand. It made me feel less alone in the strenuous process of trying to get a basic idea of what the paper was talking about and gives a great method for getting deeper knowledge out of any paper that you read. Wednesday, or information day, when we all come together to give synopsis of the extra information dug up on subjects we didn’t fully understand always went quickly, but it was nice that if there was something that I missed it was on the wiki to be reexamined at a later time.

I think that Fridays were out “BREW” days (BREW is Concordia College’s motto ‘Becoming Responsibly Engaged in the World’). It was interesting to see everyone’s perspective on the subject as a health issue and how it relates to social issues, not just the pure science of it. More than that, it allowed us to reflect on science and its impact on society as a whole and moral dilemmas that occur within the scientific community.

On the whole, I have taken some new skills and improved other skills through this capstone experience. I have become better at reading and deciphering information from scientific papers as well as presenting that information in a relatable manner, both through the Wednesday information sharing sessions and through the blog posts. They say that being able to teach information is the best way to cement it in your own mind, and I cannot agree more. I think that this experience with scientific papers will help my own writing, better knowing what is expected in published papers. All in all, this class has been a good experience for me and I really appreciate the change in pace from so many other science classes that I have taken in the past.

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