Today's the beginning of the end. My official last day as a research lab tech at my MGH lab. In less than 2 weeks, Robin and I will head off to Palo Alto in our new Prius, cat in tow.
Many things are on my mind. I'm relieved because I finished making the 4 clones I've been working on for over 2 months. I'm sad because I'm leaving behind labmates that I like, whom I have enjoyed working with, and who have taught me a lot. I'm grateful because I've had an amazing mentor for the past year and a half who has been supportive and just wonderful to learn from.
But most of all, I'm amazed at *how much* I have learned. Yes, I've learned how to do ELISAs, use an RNAi library, stimulate immune cells, lyse cells and run IPs/gels and western blots, assay via FACS, stain and plate cells for microscopy, cut DNA with restriction enzymes, ligate DNA into vectors, transform and grow bacteria, do quantitative PCR, mini/midi/maxiprep DNA, among many other things. But more importantly, I know WHY I did all those things, understand how they work, why I might want to do them, how to vary conditions, etc etc etc. I feel like I have the biological equivalent of a machine shop at my disposal; I can go to any lab, pick a problem, and start dissecting it.
I'm armed and ready. Grad school, here I come.