Hi, my name is Annaliese Divney — Anni for short! I am a Senior at Notre Dame taking AP Biology. My academic twitter is @adivney17, feel free to check it out. Here’s a little introduction video for more about me!
Becoming Biology’s Best Friend
~ End-Of-Year Reflection ~
At the beginning of this year when I chose the name for this blog, “Biology’s Best Friend,” I truly had no idea how much I would come to love biology. Working on this blog and studying bio have genuinely become some of my favorite things to do! I am very proud of how far my blog has come. As of now, I have over 25 posts and 16 followers and, although that’s not a whole lot, it means a lot to me!
Working on this blog has helped better my skills in many different aspects that will most definitely help me in the future. First, it has helped me with my writing skills. Throughout my entire school career, I have never gotten the chance to write like I have on this blog. In a sea of MLA format and formal essays, blog-style writing is a refreshing reminder that personable writing is just as important of a skill to develop and practice. Being able to write in the first person and share my opinions in a more relaxed writing style has made my writing much more well-rounded and engaging!
Second, this blog has greatly improved my video making and editing skills. Making all of the videos that I’ve made for this blog and class has made me so much more comfortable and natural in front of a camera! Granted, I still may not be 100% perfect, but the difference between videos I made before this year versus videos I make now is like day and night. I was so awkward and couldn’t make a single video without reading from the script. Now I know how to edit videos and memorize the main points I want to cover so I can say everything I want to say but not read directly from the script! If you any evidence look no further than comparing my About Me video to my Dear Future Team AP Bio video! I am so grateful for the improvements that have come from this year-long project.
Last August, I remember thinking how this blog was going to be very simple because I literally knew nothing about making a website or blog. Formatting might as well have been a different language to me. Now I can confidently say I learned A LOT! Doing something that took me an hour to do at the beginning of the year, such as adding a post link to a drop down menu, now takes me approximately 30 seconds. I know I’m not a tech expert and I have no idea how to code or anything like that, but I consider my skills much more developed than they were 8 months ago. I actually hope that I have to do something like this in college or later in life so I can show off my new tech skills!
I love how this is work that I can keep forever. At the end of the year for my other classes, I move the documents to the trash bin and throw away the papers. But this website has let me leave my permanent mark on this online community. I’ll be able to come back and revisit my work and maybe even show it off to others!
I’m finding it hard to pick one favorite post of mine because I put so much hard work into all of them! However, I did find a couple that I more deeply related to. My reflection on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is one of my favorites because of how much I
enjoyed reading the book and watching the movie. As I say in my reflection, I think the story of Henrietta is crucially important for everyone to know and learn. Another one of my favorites was Diana Nyad’s Ted Talk about never, ever giving up. This was such an amazing talk and I have carried the message with me up until now and I don’t intend on letting it go anytime soon. I also loved all of our hands-on adventures! My Adventure at the Tide Pools and hanging out with Adorable, Awesome Arthropods were two more of my favorites!
And of course, I can’t forget my favorite Above and Beyond: Strawberry DNA Extraction! Although this experiment isn’t extremely advanced, all of the complicated subjects and lessons it encompassed helped me review and remember the content. Plus, being able to play with and observe actual DNA was really awesome (you can tell in my video that I was absolutely fascinated by it).
The most rewarding project was definitely the stop-motion video about meiosis that I made with Natalie Smith. This video took two class periods to film. And editing took an extra long time too. Being able to step back and see the end result after putting all of our time and effort into it was so amazing!
As I look back on this year I can feel myself start to get sentimental and emotional. This class was absolutely amazing and I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. I am not sure what my future plans for Biology’s Best Friend are, but I already know that I’ll keep this site in my mind and heart. Next year I’ll be studying Global Disease Biology and Environmental Science (Suprise, suprise! Anni’s gonna keep studying bio, who would’ve thought?) at UC Davis, and if I ever do anything particularly fascinating maybe I’ll write up a quick little post about it!
AP Biology has done so much for me, from preparing me for college and a hopeful future career in biology to providing the opportunity to create an awesome website and digital portfolio to giving me a wonderful, amazing family to learn and grow with. I have nothing but endless love and appreciation for Mrs. Girard and my AP Bio family — I’ll never forget this.
Dear Future Team AP Bio…
Hi everyone, as the school year comes to an end Team AP Bio has been making videos to pass on our advice to future AP Biology generations. Here’s a little of my advice, I hope it’s helpful! The gist of it is to stay on top of assignments, use your resources, and have fun. Thanks for watching!
PS: I’m sorry the audio is so wack in the video, I don’t know what was up with my computer!😬