It’s a little bit past mid-summer which means we WOW fellows are also close to mid-way through our internships. Being fully remote had its advantages and disadvantages, one of which was feeling like the summer has flown by. I believe that working online can be repetitive which is one of the reasons as to why it feels like time is moving extra fast. Other than this, I don’t mind working remotely. It gives me flexibility to work around my busy schedule and be able to work my other two jobs in addition to my research. However, remote research is a bit different than remote academic life. I personally did not enjoy online courses as much as in person courses because I felt like it was harder to pay attention and get work done. However, I do not feel the same about remote work. It absolutely can still be difficult to pay attention when doing my research alone in my room, but the weekly meetings I have with my post doctorate student at the end of the week motivate me to get my work done. In addition, knowing that I’m doing important and impactful work encourages me to keep up with the schedule that I make for myself.
Over this summer, I am able to strengthen many scientific skills and grow as a researcher. These skills include reasoning, critical analysis, and communication. I have been enrolled in courses at Brandeis where I had to learn these skills through reading and writing papers and creating poster presentations, but it is much more exciting when the work I am doing is related to my personal interests. Reading scientific articles about the arcuate fasciculus doesn’t appear to get old for me.
In addition to gathering the data needed for my lab’s project, I am also preparing to begin gathering data for my senior thesis. It is especially exciting in our lab right now since we are beginning to extract data from baby humans and we will finally have primate data sets to compare. We have already found some interesting observations, but these will need to be further evaluated before they can be reported. I will also be using the data I have collected so far in my SciFest poster presentation that is coming up in the first week of August.
Overall, the experience I am gaining this summer thus far is greater than I have anticipated. I knew I would be learning a great deal about how research is conducted, but I did not think I would be so closely involved in the project, let alone soon leading my own. I am looking forward to what the end of the summer brings. Make sure to look at my last blog post to compare the images of two different primates and see if you can spot any similarities or differences!