Life Lessons in Biology

Life Lessons in Biology


Santa Monica College Campus

I know, I haven’t really been good about writing my blogs here. And I am completely sorry for that. This semester has been a total nightmare from the beginning. School is extremely challenging this spring. Well, not all of school, just biology in particular.

Let me start by telling you. I’ve never been into sciences. Not because I feel like I’m particularly bad at it but I have had extensive contact with biology or chemistry. Granted, I’ve taken two years of biology and a year of physics but my brush with the sciences has been rather brief.

My scientific career was also significantly shortened by changing school to a high school that was more focused on teaching me business administration than educating me to become a scientist.

Needless to say, when I sat in my first biology lecture and my teacher started her power-point presentation on hydrogen and ionic bonds, I was overwhelmed. And when we started our first laboratory, I thought I was going to give up.


Basic Chemistry in Biology!

I’ve always tried to avoiding the American measurement system, but they forced me to convert inches to centimeters and fahrenheit to celsius. Luckily, I’m in the country, where they won’t hesitate to explain even the simplest concepts over and over again.

Now that it’s been about three weeks later. I’ve come to understand many of the basic chemistry that goes into biological processes and the lab experiments are pretty interesting.

However, it took me almost a week of not seeing sunlight and doing nothing but putting my head in the books for my first exam, which turned out to be a failure. I’ve extremely high standards for myself. Probably, because I’m not used to failing and I’ve just always been good at studying because I put intense effort into it. When I got my grade back (80%), I was devastated.

This was not the result I had expected for the amount of my time I had sacrificed. The result for the whole class were even more shocking. Almost 60% of the class had grades lower than Cs (which translates to a 4 in the German scale) and most of them had even failed the test. My 80% doesn’t seem so bad compared to other scores, but it’s nowhere near where I want to be.

I’ve learned to measure pH concentrations in our foods, looked at human blood and living plant cells under light microscopes and even made my own cheese, which tastes surprisingly a lot like cottage cheese.

This biology class hasn’t just taught me how the enzyme-substrate-complex works but it has given me a valuable life lesson. Even though I consider something a failure, doesn’t mean it really is. You just have to put things in a different perspective and look at it more closely. Just like you would look at a cell through a light microscope.


“Cottege Cheese” we made in the laboratory


Studying for Biology