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Since my school days, long before I started working on a microbiology PhD at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, I have kept a handwritten journal to log my thoughts and feelings as a means of self-expression. My journal helps me to piece together disjointed everyday experiences so that I can ultimately reflect and learn more about myself and the world. This habit has inspired me to maintain a scientific notebook for each project I work on. The notebooks stay behind in the laboratories I’ve worked at, for others to consult. I have found a handwritten scientific notebook, annotated with detailed observations, to be irreplaceable. Looking back to when I was an aspiring scientist and writer, I now realize that keeping two journals, one at home and one in the lab, has taught me to observe the natural world and record my thoughts in an organized manner, often through small but persistent bouts of writing.