Honors Biology 2
April 28th, 2005
My project was an odd one. It started off as a typical experiment, morphed into a common practice of procrastionation, and ultimately turned out to be an offshoot of Mr. Michel’s inquiry project. Throughout the whole process, I learned a lot about myself (or at least re-afirrmed known facts) and about nanotechnology. There were many hardships and many helpers, and even a few obstacles too. Read on for a sordid tale of surprise and intrigue!
I began my project by picking air quality off of a sheet (similarly to how most of my projects begin). I was not particularly interested in air quality, but that’s not to say I was particularly disinterested either. Of all the “biological” subjects I could think of, it was the most appealing. After researching more about indoor air quality, I started to get a bit more interested in the topic (especially after taking note of the irony that some air cleaners made the air dirtier) and I designed an experiment to measure Bellingham High School’s air quality. I had intended to conduct my experiment as I stayed after school waiting for debate to start, but I kept putting it off. (I’m a fairly devout procrastinator, and I’m not quite sure why. I guess one could say I work well under pressure, but that doesn’t mean I ENJOY working under pressure. It’s a love-hate relationship, to be sure.) I had a lot of other concerns on my mind at the time, such as debate, issues going on in my life and other class work, so the LTP took a backseat considering it wasn’t due until ‘all the way’ into April.
However, halfway into March, I realized that I hadn’t done anything on my LTP. So did Mrs. Crissy, who took me aside and talked to me about changing my idea. At the time, I was disinterested in biology and more interested in physics – specifically the science of time travel. I had thought to write a report on time travel but never got around to starting. Meanwhile, in Mr. Michel’s class, the Inquiry Project had been well under way. I had chosen nanotechnology as my subject of choice, but I wasn’t particularly interested in it and didn’t know too much about it. I’d heard about it once (tragically enough in a videogame) and thought it an interesting concept to learn more about. Fast forward to the week before spring break – I’d been having a bit of a mental break down, which with Mr. Smith and Mrs. Johnson helped me through. I’d promised to turn in some work for Mr. Michel on the Monday after spring break but that didn’t happen, so I ended up trying to do 15 analyses the night before they were due. I found an excellent site on nanotechnology and my passing interest turned into a very acute interest.
On Monday the 25th I realized that I didn’t have enough time (or desire, now that my interest in physics was taking a backseat to nanotech) to write up a report on time travel. However, I also didn’t have enough leeway in the confines of the Inquiry Project to talk about all of the implications of nanotechnology – there’s simply too many and my paper would not be focused enough. I thought I might be able to use some of the research from Mr. Michel’s class (and some I couldn’t use for his) in order to write up a paper for my LTP, considering that nanotechnology has a lot to do with biology. I asked Mr. Michel what he thought of that (sharing work between classes is risky business) and he encouraged it. I asked Mr. Smith to help me get into contact with Mrs. Crissy to check things over.
I received the ‘go-ahead’ from Mrs. Crissy to write on Tuesday and thus began dilligently working on Wednesday. (Yes, I procrastinate to the absolute LAST minute.) I ended up working for 10 hours total on Wednesday, and for about 3 on Thursday. (As of this writing, it is 12:33 AM Friday morning, and I still have work to do when I get to school.)
All in all, I did learn quite a few things from this project…namely, that I lack the willpower to overcome my procrastination problem. However, I did learn some useful skills too. I learned how to read and analyze articles (particularly dense ones, as the ones used for the report had a lot of ‘meat’ to them) and I learned a lot about MLA formatting (the hard way). Most importantly, I became more knoweledgeable about the future landscape of humanity. I honestly do believe that the world will change, as the experts predict…perhaps not to the extent of some claims (being able to enter crazy virtual realities, etc) but I do believe molecular manufacturing is inevitable, and that it will bring collosal change.
If I could’ve changed anything about my project, I would’ve asked about doing a report much earlier on. I assumed that the LTP required experiments, and it’s a little challenging to actually do experiments on or with nanotechnology (or say, time travel) so I figured that reports were out of the question. I learned that I should be more aggressive in finding ways to do what I’d like to in school – this certainly has applications for my future, when I’m forced into another situation where I might not like any of the options ‘given’ for a particular project (but the project has the freedom to allow for creative pursuits). Also, I would’ve allotted a lot more time to additional research. As it stands, I only have sources from one web page (my Inquiry Project has more, but those articles were rather elementary compared to the ones seen here) and that’ll likely hurt my grade/credability.
I don’t have enough room left to talk about my personal problems…I close with saying “thank you!”