During a meeting for the show I’m helping Mike Fujito with for Gannon’s Fringe Festival, our writing supervisor asked us to name off the first word that came to mind and I said “microbiology.” I was discontented with my own brainstorming. When did I get so boring?
If you’ve even held a casual conversation with me this semester, you probably heard me mention the class. It took over my life, which I promise is not an exaggeration or a bad thing. Everything I learned to date directly applies to my future plans and I found the bulk of the material interesting. Still, I had to adjust greatly to the workload and the test style.
That’s not what I want to talk about, however. I’m in a three-year program for medical technology and I had to get signed into this junior level microbiology class. I’ve only taken two other biology courses and I didn’t have all of the necessary prerequisites to register normally. This wouldn’t irk me so much if it would be a one-time thing. It is not.
Because ecosystem biology and evolution (EBE) is considered such an important class for biology, I will have to sign in to the rest of my biology classes until my course regimen at Gannon is satisfied. The other sophomore stuck with me agrees that someone should sit down and decide what medtech students really need.
The reason it was so hard for me to come into micro this semester was that I had to take it without the courses usually needed beforehand. I think students in my “program” should take an introductory course to microbiology before taking the 300-level class their sophomore year.
It would certainly be more relevant to take an overview on things such as viral transmission and antibodies before jumping right into the topics at an upperclassmen level. Sure, the challenge is great, but it’s not fair. Animal form and function was the last biology class I took and the only sections that matched up were the blood typing lab and our chapter that talked about blood cells in the immune system.
Most of the other students in my section have the advantage of taking genetics their sophomore year and have a firm understanding of protein structure and cell processes. I have a vague memory of what ribosomes looked like from molecular and cellular biology my freshman year. You’re not expected to purge information, but that was a whole year ago. Not all of the information was solidified. I was reminded of my disadvantage each time my instructor zipped through a “review” topic and reassured us, saying “You guys are all bio majors, you know this stuff.”
Contrary to what my major title sounds like, I am not studying to work behind a computer screen and manage X-rays or patient files. I want to be a hospital lab technician and work with analyzing blood and running diagnostic tests like ELISA assays for specific diseases. After my experience this semester, I can definitely say my problem-solving skills have slightly improved — but part of that includes the hope that students coming into this program won’t go through the same thing I did.