By Arjun Tambe
Phage hunting is by far my most “chill” and most unique class this semester. For starters, there are no lectures. My learning in this class comes from me doing my experiments and following the lab procedure on my own. If I have questions, then all I have to do is holler and someone – a TA or Dr. Schildbach – will be able to help me, but the lack of structured timing in the course allows students to get the hang of working independently.
The self-paced quality of the course is really nice; I like how if I get good results quickly on a certain step, I can move ahead, but if my phages are being very stubborn and not making a web plate, it’s okay for me to spend a few lab days trying to find one. This is a great course for people that want to pursue research in a lab or explore the natural sciences. But wait, it’s Hopkins, so everyone’s exploring the natural sciences, and everyone wants to pursue research in a lab! But since most freshmen come into Hopkins never having using a micropipette or a centrifuge, phage hunting is a great way to get your feet wet and learn something new.