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Scholar Highlights for Week Ending May 31, 2014

June 23, 2014

Blair in Germany

Blair in Germany

Blair Johnson

I am overwhelmed by the vast amount of English speaking people not only in my institute but in Berlin in general. After talking with my colleagues I found that from first grade they are required to take English as a second language and once in high school must begin taking a second foreign language as well. Me and one colleague in particular, a Bachelor student around the same age as me, seemed to relate to each other about how his English classes in school did not help him truly understand the English language. He stated that he only truly began to understand when he began watching movies and reading novels in English. Over time, we have enjoyed practicing our language skills on each other. He states that he must become very fluent in English in order to become successful in his scientific career.

Ebone Monk

I have lost count of the number of times I have had to explain that I am from the United States and that both of my parents are also from the United States, and that their parents are also from the United States. When I finally get the point across many people will shout in exclamation “Oh, Obama!” or “Beyonce!” I have also had a few interesting encounters attempting to explain the why my hair is curly or that my little Afro-puff is just the way my hair comes out of my scalp and I didn’t curl my hair. While I was getting my library card the lady processing kindly asked if she could touch it, and who I am I to deny the simple pleasure of touching the puff. After, she confirmed to everyone in the room that it was nice and soft!

Ebone in India

Ebone in India

Maya Bryant

I feel like I’m becoming a better scientist every day that I work in the lab. Things that I found it harder to do last week are now a breeze. Twice in our experiments we had to repeat a protocol because our results turned out a little too far from our predictions. These errors could be due to the light in the room interfering with our fluorescent-based experiments, pipetting solutions too fast with leads to adding an incorrect measurement, and of course human error. The other day, I made a mistake in the lab where I tore the gel a little while performing the gel electrophoresis protocol. Thankfully, my mentors didn’t get upset with me. They reminded me how this is a learning experience for me and everything can be fixed one way or another. Now that I’ve settled in here in Cordova, I’m ready to travel; the best is yet to come.


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