I came into this summer initially wanting to focus on being able to ask tough questions in order to further myself as a scientist. When I originally came up with this goal, I thought that I would be coming up with some grand paradigm changing question, but I found that the questions I learned to ask this summer were even more valuable. I learned how to question myself at every stage of the protocol in order to understand not just how to do something, but why I was doing it, providing me with better insight into this project. So while I was not coming up with earthshattering questions, learning to critically evaluate myself and not just the world around me has increased my ability as a scientist.
Over this summer I have also learned that failure is not the end all be all. In the lab, I learned that while experiments may not always go the way that I think they should, I can still learn from them by seeing how this experiment failed, and in turn improving myself my learning how to fix it. From the talks, I learned that while some of these scientists experienced setbacks in their early years, they were still able to lead amazing careers because they did not let those setbacks define them. That has been a hard lesson for me to learn as whenever something does not go right in my life I obsess over it and think that it reflects my shortcomings as a person. But I have learned that science is built more on failure than it is by success, and a failure can be significantly more valuable than a success if you are able to learn from it.
Overall, this has been a fantastic summer and while my project did not go as expected, I still learned quite a bit in the last 8 weeks. I would like to thank Dr. G and Jason for allowing me to even be part of this program, and I would like to thank everyone at the Murphy lab for putting up with me for these last 2 months.