Catalyst? Feed-back?

As I am doing an internship under an Assistant Professor, I was given this task of teaching the basics of Molecular Biology to the new post graduate students. I never wanted to do teaching because I am a type of person who don’t believe in controlling the kids. Given a chance, I start to enjoy with them. I can’t even act as if I am strict to them.

Since those kids are from Physics background, I cannot expect them to know anything about Molecular Biology. As I advanced this session on proteins and their functions, I had to use the word “catalyst” and “feed-back regulation”. Although Biology seems to be the first major problem to learn for them, the second major problem is their language (They are not so good in English…). So I had to tell them very simply, lively and with day-to-day examples.

For introducing the term “Catalyst”, instead of saying “they speed up a reaction”, I said “Catalysts in a reaction are like the girlfriends in your lives”. The immediate reply from one of them was “So does their role relate to motivating a reaction”. I was so happy that the boy grasped the concept so swiftly. But then there was a funny and contradictory question to me. “But mam, girl friends are also devastating and put an end to the guy’s life sooner”… 

I had to be witty enough to reply now. I thought for a while and said “Somehow even if you are pessimistic, catalysts also puts an end to the reaction by fastening the reaction sooner, on a positive note…”.. Now I said,  “To put it in other words, Catalysts in a reaction are like Good girlfriends in your life”.

Next concept is Feed-back. I plainly said “Feedback reaction is something like your friends who do group study with you during exams”… One guy asked me a doubt.. “But mam, friends who study with us influences both positively and negatively…”

Things went on easily for me now to say “Exactly… Likewise, a feed-back regulation can be positive or negative depending upon who the friend (catalyst) is and what the environment (less/more substrates or less/more products, etc) is…”

Now, I am loving teaching. ❤

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