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KAPAL-워싱턴중앙일보 공동주최 '바이오캠프' 에세이 수상작

[워싱턴 중앙일보] 기사입력 2018/05/09 15:06


정다영 학생이 존스홉킨스의대 강당에서 자기소개를 하는 모습

정다영 학생이 존스홉킨스의대 강당에서 자기소개를 하는 모습

When I was in fifth grade, I heard that Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” In my ten-year-old head, I always thought this was a deep saying, but Bio Camp was the first time I really saw Keller’s quote come to life.

While touring and learning about the National Institutes of Health, Johns Hopkins, and Macrogen Clinical, I visualized those three locations (and life science in general) as a burrito. I thought of every staff member, scientist, mathematician, and worker as the ingredients inside the burrito. There are a variety of ingredients that come in all shapes and sizes, and they make up the burrito itself. Likewise, each person brought their unique experiences with them to come together with other professionals and work towards a common goal.

One meaningful point I realized was that your nationality, race, religion, age, or any other physical factor did not matter. It was more about your dedication, determination, and effort that decided whether you would have a place in the team. At the NIH, there was a wall with Nobel Prize winners who had been funded with grants from the NIH. While tracing the entire wall with my eyes, I recognized that there were scientists from all over the world who had been awarded.

Also, many times, the scientists worked in international groups to break the language barrier and achieve their common goal of discovering something revolutionary for their field. This reminded me of Helen Keller’s quote once again. Each of the scientists, as ingredients, might have been bland or lacking on their own, but when they came together, they formed a flavorful harmony and created something greater.

Furthermore, within the employees of each location we visited, I witnessed the same diversity and environment of acceptance. The fact that Johns Hopkins Hospital was one of the first hospitals to open up to African Americans was one of the most representative examples. During a time of racism and segregation, they did not judge or have a bias towards patients based on outward appearance.

In the end, I realized that it does not matter what you are like as an individual ingredient, because the final product is wrapped with a tortilla, which covers everyone and leaves nobody out.

When the finished product is presented, the ingredients are not visible, and all you can see is the burrito as a whole, which is the proof of the teamwork of all within. Through the time I spent at Bio Camp, I surely realized not only what it meant to be a member of a team in science, but also what it meant to be a true person and member of society. Because what I saw, heard, and felt was so impressive and meaningful, I am certain that I will remember the unity of the employees and the burrito-like nature of the scientists for many years to come.

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