Education: The Greatest Gift You Can Give Yourself

As some of you may know, I started back to college in January with the intention of getting my degree in one of the biological sciences. Working for the JREF as their volunteer managing blog editor has been very inspiring for me. I learn so much by proofreading and editing articles before they are published. But, even though I could always find sources for evaluating the information if I had questions, I wanted to know more.

At the age of 46, going back to school is daunting. My life experience gives me the advantage in my Lit class but in Biology and our labs, I feel like a total noob. The other students are so much more familiar with lab procedure than I am. Fortunately some of the others have taken me under their wing and we do labs as a group. Measuring and marking test tubes is a new experience. Even in high school, we didn’t have labs like these. One of the experiments we did was to test for lipids and I couldn’t fathom WHY vegetable oil wasn’t reacting the same way milk did.

Yes, yes, I know. Lipids are animal fats. For me, that somewhat embarrassing misunderstanding led to learning. I will ALWAYS remember that lipids are animal fats because of that. That same sort of embarrassing error is the reason I will remember that viruses are not considered living organisms. Viruses do not self-replicate and must co-opt the DNA of other organisms in order to reproduce.

These are just a couple of the things I’ve learned over the past several weeks. I’m looking forward to exploring the cell and learning more about how everything fits together. As i learn, I’ll share my experiences in weekly posts right here, so stay tuned as the Fledgeling Skeptic takes wing once more.


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