Daily life changes when you set foot in Woods Hole. There is a beauty in your surroundings and energy in the air that invigorates you. The days are long (8am to 2 or 3 am most days!) and we have a full schedule but we are all so excited to be here – to learn – to question – to move the field forward.
A typical day in the course starts with morning lecture at 9am. The lecture is broken down into two parts, the first part is general information about the model system we are working with and the second is about the current research project in the speaker’s lab. After lecture we head to the ‘Sweat Box’ where the students ask the speaker questions. This includes grilling them about their research, it was said this session is like a qualifying exam for the professors! We can also use this time to ask them about their career trajectory and for career advice. We then break for lunch; two students take the speaker to lunch where they get to talk more in depth about science and life.
After lunch we head to the lab, we get a ‘cookbook’ for each organism; this includes information on how to take care of them and many protocols. In this ‘cookbook’ there are instructions on how to fertilize the egg, manipulate the embryo and the organism as well as a list of reagents and tools that are available to us. We then brainstorm ideas in groups and have full access to the teaching assistants, professors and course directors to plan and execute our experiments.
We break in the early evening to take a run, shoot some hoops or practice softball for the annual softball match (watch out physio) and eat dinner. Two students also get to take the speaker out to dinner at a local Woods Hole restaurant during this time. Then it’s back to the lab to continue our experiments into the wee hours of the morning!
How do we survive this schedule for six weeks? We drink a lot of coffee!
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