Success is not a straight path

Throughout the semester of Phage Hunting this has become my motto that I have sticked to the entire time. Since the beginning, I have failed to even obtain evidence for the presence of phages. I was stuck like this for the first two months of the course. Because I have continued to try to find phages, I have now obtained data from my restriction enzyme electrophoresis and an image of my phage from an electron microscope. I’m now in the process of archiving my discoveries, something I thought I would never be able to do in the first few weeks of phage hunting.

Phage hunting has taught me that the only way to succeed is to learn from failures and mistakes. In every plaque assay that I created I would always end up with a nice bacterial lawn with no evidence whatsoever of the presence of phages. I would end up with this same result for two months straight. Day in and day out I would follow the same procedures for isolation to end up getting nothing again. I even had to collect four different soil sample from different places across campus At one point a slight glimmer of hope appeared in which a small clear spot was observed on one of my plates. However, that hope was soon dashed as when I streaked the clear spot to test if it was a plaque, it simply turned out to be another bubble. At this point I was completely disappointed as I’ve spent a month and a half wasting two and a half hours every Monday and Wednesday to end up with no results. At that point I was ready to drop the course as I felt as though I would not end up with any data to create a presentation or write a final term paper.


However, through some divine intervention, also known as Wendy, I was finally able to obtain a phage that I could isolate and finally begin the process of getting to know my phage. I had been looking forward to doing this since the beginning of the year. As I began to isolate my phage I felt more and more like I was becoming a scientist. I finally felt that the time I spent each day was actually worth it as now I was finally producing results that I could measure and observe. Since the day I finally obtained my phage and I going through the entire project with no other obstructions. I had isolated my phage through streaking and calculated the phages concentration. I then got to finally see my phage when I viewed it under the electron microscope. At that moment I realized that despite all of my failures I was still able to find my own phage and characterize it. This made me believe that success is almost certain, it only takes a certain amount of patience, determination, and stamina to finally reach it.


Success is not simply a straight path that you can follow easily. It is in fact a series of paths that mostly end in deadens from which you must blackout from and start a different path that will again most likely end up in a dead end. However one of those paths will finally be the correct one and success will finally be found Many of today’s discoveries could never have happened if the person simply gave up their work. For instance Einstein was not simply able to conjure up his well known equation E=mc^2 in a matter of a single day with no mistakes. He had to spend many months experimenting and deriving equations that simply were not correct. If Einstein had decided to give up the first time he failed he would have never been able to calculate any of his commonly known and frequently used equations as well I would never have obtained a picture of a phage that I was finally able to find and isolate.

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