On a Roll and Collaborative Growth

By Angel N.

Hello everyone. Looks like we’re on to our second week. So far, SSP has been pretty interesting, and I’ve enjoyed challenging myself. Something I really love is that everyone supports each other. In the beginning of the program, I felt like I was the only one struggling, but I soon realized after conversing with others that everyone’s struggling. SSP isn’t meant to be easy. It’s structured in a way that encourages us to collaborate with each other and basically struggle together while bouncing ideas off each other and having an eventual eureka moment. In this first week alone, I’ve learned to ask for help when needed, and I’ve been able to see the true power of teamwork. It can be a bit difficult to ask for help in front of everyone, so if you have difficulty with that, I recommend making use of your campus block. We’ve also had the opportunity to learn from a variety of people and situations including guest speakers.

Specifically, to start off our second week, we had the honor of having Dr. Paul Pottinger as our guest speaker. I, personally, learned more about infectious diseases and how it relates to our current situation with COVID 19. We also discussed the variants and the need for better communication between people and health care workers. Dr. Paul Pottinger explained things very well and his views of the need for increased trust in science and education in the public. It was also interesting to analyze the hypocrisy of the judgements people made with Ebola and the cultural practices that contributed to it and compare that to COVID and the cultural practices and choices we make that contribute to its spread. I thought it was brilliant and his points resonated with me.

Following our lecture with Dr. Paul Pottinger, we went into our class activity block to discuss Protein Purification. With this, we learned about how to use ion chromatography to isolate a target protein. As fascinating as this was, I struggled a bit with it at first. This is where asking for help can be a tremendous benefit to your education. In addition to asking for help, I also made an effort to discuss my thoughts with my group to come to a common conclusion. It’s important to note that you don’t always have to come to the same conclusion as your group, but the discourse should be there to guide you along the way in making your decision.

All in all, my experience with SSP has been great so far. It’s been great learning from my peers and seeing my growth in such a short amount of time. If there’s anything to take away from this, it is that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. Struggling together is a part of growth.