Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Little Things that Matter

I have a feeling that I will have sequels for this topic. This post will be dedicated to the lab I am learning in now. There are a lot of things – small, little, minute things that made everything beautiful! Remember my friend told me the only thing that changes inside a Biochemistry lab is the numbers on the machines. I never thought I will really like a Biochemistry lab. Not that I hate it, but i expected myself to bore to death inside a Biochemistry lab for a hyperactive person like me – but things turned out quite surprisingly…

Today, after I filled up my water bottle in the non-academic staff room, on the way back to the lab, the lab door opened with bright light coming in from outside and a silhouette of someone walking at my direction. When I saw who was it, it was the professor. At the same time, she already asked, “ Ça va?” My mind was like ‘wow, she can react so fast’. However, I am not that slow either, “Ça va bien,” I said. As a professor, she is quite busy and I think what matters most is her smile whenever I see her. When one of the other student can’t get the expected result, she came over and asked her not to give up and cheer her up, telling that student not to let the result get her down. She’s a rare professor who still wears a warm smile, no matter it’s from her heart or not – because, it has already bring all the comfort I need to pursue my passion. I wish I will be good one day, qualifying myself to work and help in her lab in the path of future…

My 2nd mentor told me his parents will be here for his convocation and can’t guide me for some time. Deep inside, I know, I will miss this good teacher. Looking back, he’s a strict teacher sometimes, funny lab mate sometimes, and even a senior whom I can share my problem with. There were times when I doubted he even actually want to teach me anything. In times, during some chat, he actually told me the reason why when the professor was finding people to teach me, of all people, he chose to teach me. Because, he had walked the path I am suffering now. He came all the way from low CAP situation as well. He said that he know how it feels and hence would like to help me. Seeing and sharing what he had experienced, he reminds me that, on the road of battling towards my future, as a student who was not very good at examinations, I am not alone. He told me to be proud of my craziness, because I am unique with my own craziness – very few had that. He had a lot of advices and support that is so deeply strengthening my strength to fight against odds as I walk the boulevard of future…

Although my main mentor is the 2nd mentor, but my 1st mentor showed me a lot of good examples. When 2nd mentor is not around, when professor asked whether he can guide me, he is so willing to do that. Through the days, he guided me when I had problem. He explained the things to me in a different way and in some way, easier for me to absorb. Funny as he is, both he and 2nd mentor did added quite a lot of laughter into my lab days. Even when I am doing things and have doubts, he’s always there to answer it. He is just like a nanny with 2nd mentor, checking if I had burn down anything inside the lab. Due to my close-to-autistic personality, I don’t usually talk to people – and it’s these 3 people I mentioned who made the days. Especially the mentors, who played multiple roles indirectly…

Sometimes, my work did finish before the office hour and I stayed back inside the lab. What am I doing? I was reading books recommended by mentors and also papers by UROPs mentor. Other than that, I make repetition in revising what I will be doing for the same thing. Initially, I did repeats gel casting procedure. But most of it, I think, staying inside lab enabled me to learn a lot of things. Through other people’s conversation, I know what’s happening inside the lab, what’s the progress of the research and I even learn several different techniques described by different experiences. By looking around, I can learn how things can be bent around. For example, it’s the same western blot – but different people has different techniques and different precaution. Just look, sit back and think of the rationale and modify it – then, add them into my experimented protocol – try it out. I believe, slowly, I will be able to find the most suitable protocol to me. This is just like arts, everyone has their own style – not good to copy, but by looking at them, you can feel the distance between you and your style is getting closer and closer…

There are still a lot of stories behind this short period of time. Few hours later, I will be heading to lab again – hoping to learn more things and experience more things and find more interesting things… such as a smile, a pipette tip, a gel, a protein or whatever – I find things are so wonderful inside the lab!

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