Mid-Semester Essay Topics

Samantha Finkbeiner
3 min readOct 18, 2020

As we have approached the halfway point in this semester, it’s a good time to reflect on what we have worked on so far and what some good topics would be for my mid-semester essay. There were three main themes this semester that interested me more than the other topics; the topic that interested me the most and I felt like relates the most to my life is the theme on Perspectives.

So, a little background, I am currently in a specialized therapy called Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. This therapy is designed to help individuals like me who have either Borderline Personality Disorder, or some sort of difficulty regulating emotions and urges. This therapy has helped me to see others perspectives in life, that’s not something that I naturally knew how to do; so I felt like this theme would be a very personal and good mid-semester essay topic. I also think that watching Hidden Figures gave me more anxiety about going into research than I did before, so I think that for a mid-semester essay it might be relevant to focus on the differing perspectives in the science field; more specifically I’d like to focus on what the difference is between the perspectives of a Principle Investigator over a research assistant.

The second theme that I might pursue for my mid-semester essay is the artistic expression of scientific concepts. I think that this class has shown how possible it is to use artistic expression as a teaching tool in a University setting. Most college classes feel so bland and are really hard to sit through, let along actually learn; by using artistic expression I think these courses could become so much more engaging and create a better learning environment than the “memorize facts for test” environment that I feel that I find myself in too often.

We recently did an artistic expression assignment for class and we had to write a song/poem and relate it to what we’ve been doing in class and it helped me kind of deal with my imposter syndrome a little bit. I work as a research assistant and I’ll be publishing a paper on my research as the first author and I can’t help but feel like I’m a bit in over my head. But I tried to write a poem from my perspective and then from the perspective of my PI. The morning before this class I had a meeting with my PI and we were working on my personal statement for graduate school, she kept telling me how proud she was of me and that I had all of these great strengths. I feel like writing a poem from both perspectives helped me to accept my imposter syndrome and move past it (kind of).

The third theme that I’m considering for my mid-semester essay is how global politics are shaping how research and scientific discoveries are being done. I think as a research assistant it gives me some reasonable ability to be EXTREMELY nervous about the United States and the restrictions that they are putting out to limit scientists from coming to the United States. I don’t really want to do my mid-semester essay on this topic ONLY because it makes me so angry. But I think that it would be a really interesting and a good topic to touch on.

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