By Matthew Brown
I didn’t learn about Phage Hunting until the beginning of O-week. I was attending a Biology Major seminar for Freshman when the professor giving the presentation mentioned that there was a Freshman only class called Phage Hunting that allowed people to gain research hours. The class sounded interesting and engaging and I eagerly went home and checked out the class on ISIS. Anyone know the probability of getting into a class with a waitlist of 20 people? Well, I don’t, but is not good. Due to this, I had to listen to my roommate and two other kids in my dorm talk about how much they loved the class and the wonders of being in a bio lab for a semester . . . I was not happy.
But then came the day we had to choose classes for second semester and I realized that the Tuesday/Thursday section had one open spot. One. The problem was that I knew of more than one student who wanted to be in the class. Was it even worth going for? For me yes it was. So at 7am on a Friday morning I chose my classes and to my surprise I got into the class, despite ISIS slowing down due to the mass overflow of students online. I was really excited because I finally had the chance to do a lab I knew that I would enjoy and that also would not cause me to use the devil that is Chem21Labs.
Unfortunately, the first few weeks of phage did not live up to my expectations. I wasn’t working in the lab and instead I learned more about how to install Windows XP onto a Mac. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, annotating comes along. Its not that annotating isn’t interesting, I actually find it cool, it’s just not what I envisioned when I signed up for the class.
Fortunately, I finally got to work in the wet lab. Despite making some really basic mistakes such as not working around a flame on the first day or letting an applicator touch the desk and then using it (stupid, I know —- Tegan made that clear), I was and still am happy. I am really enjoying isolating my very own phage and the fact that the lab is so relaxed is wonderful. Everyone is showing the same love for bio that I yearn to be around and it only excites me more. I’m upset that I only have one more week left with Phage Hunting because I have thoroughly enjoyed the little time I have had with it, (EXCEPT for paper discussions. I can’t say I have enjoyed or will miss them). I will miss this class a lot because I think it’s a great way to foster the love of science that a lot of kids come to Hopkins with and I would highly recommend that any freshman interested in science in the slightest take this class.