Think I’ll Go To Boston

Sometimes a change of atmosphere is all it  takes to charge up on inspiration and aspiration. I’m sitting here in one of Boston’s numerous cafes, and I feel so much clarity and such a resounding sense of motivation. I’ve done in ten minutes what I would have taken at least an hour to do in Williamsburg. Not to hate on the burg but it does get draining after weeks cooped up in an office. New sights and sounds always help me re-focus. And this is what is happening.

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The Summer Lab

The tiny rats I prepared with alcohol intubations during the end of the semester were big enough for the experiment during the second week of July. By then, they had already entered their adulthood and ready for the experiment. There were two sets of litters ready for the experiment, each of which consisted of 8-10 rats each. I ran the experiment for two weeks- one week for each set of litter.

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Research is a Process!

As I have been completing the interviews for my project, the fact that research is a process has definitely become evident.  For one thing, my carefully labelled and categorized informed consent forms and interview questions do not fit every person that I interview.  One watermen that I interviewed no longer works on the water commercially, and he only did so part-time.  Another one not only works on the water, but has also had experience as a scientist and has taken part in the regulatory process.

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Wrapping up Research

One of the most difficult parts about writing the final report on my project has been there are so many aspects to it! There is the teacher to student communication side, there is student to student, there is linguistics, there is educational policy, there is cultural classroom protocol – all of these tie into what I learned in Bosnia this summer. In my attempts to capsulate my research and experience, I will focus on what will be most helpful to a future teacher/tutor entering a similar classroom setting – one of cultural diversity. I hope this report will be a resource for tutors in the Williamsburg community as well as the future Bosnia Project volunteers.

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Learning from Partners

One of my greatest research resources has been my coteacher in my Bosnian classroom – the students from the University of Sarajevo. Our relationship with our co-teachers has had its share of communication issues, but we see them every day and have a fun working relationship as well as friendship. We have so much fun with our co-teachers that sometimes it is hard to concentrate on work together – and also, with the culture more focused on human interaction than work, the co-teachers are rarely the ones to initiate the planning. From these relationships I am learning more about how Bosnian education culture is different than the United States. Even seeing their struggles with their college professors makes me reflect differently on my own interactions and experiences at college that I have left unexamined. I take for granted the good and the bad because I forget there may be other ways. Working with the co-teachers has been an eye-opening experience into the different styles of education in the world and how this can have ripple effects on the workforce, the social and political attitudes, etc.

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