After many consecutive days of doing work in the lab, I have become very familiar with the tools and techniques in the lab, as well as many basic properties of DNA. Learning hands-on is not only fun and interesting, but is also one of the most effective ways to learn. I am essentially teaching myself when I perform my own labs and review and analyze my results. I can't help but feel like a little amateur scientist when I'm using various fancy equipment in the lab.
Today's lab involved using sterile methods to process the bacteria E. coli. This included making sure that the equipment stay as clean as possible and passing test tubes through a bunson burner to avoid contamination. One thing that motivated me to work as sterile as possible was the smell of the E. coli. The pungent smell just made me find the fastest way to work through the procedures and keep the bacteria under its lid as much as possible. The lab was the main highlight of the day. Later in the evening, I found out that there was a partner scholar panel and discussion in which the ILC was mentioned, but I was not given an invitation to attend, so I had no idea that such an event took place until it was over. Fortunately, at least one of my cohorts received the invitation from his RA and attended the event. I'm not sure if there was miscommunication or if there was a selection process, but I wish I could've attended the event. Hopefully, this will be more clear in the future.