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The definitive host: A Biological Lament and a Realization of Thought

The definitive host

de·fin·i·tive host (duh-fin'eh-tiv) n. 1) An organism where a parasite undergoes the adult and sexual stages of its reproductive cycle 2) Someone you go to for interesting stories and/or facts, and puts on one hell of a dinner party 3) This blog, devoted to science and other geeky subjects

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Biological Lament and a Realization of Thought

A few words will sum up the end of my week nicely:

Pot-luck. Professor's house. Alcohol. David. Talking.

As you can imagine, some of these ingredient's do not bode well together and cause a rather volatile mixture. The potentiality of disaster just increased exponentially with every passing minute, as I was constantly in conversation while I kept imbibing alcohol.

Some stuff was taken out of context of what I meant, and that is all. I explained it to those who got worked up, and I believe all is well in the world. Let's just chock it up on the list of "Embarrassing things David has done."

Now, on to the true purpose of this post.

The first term is almost done, and it has been an interesting, intriguing, stress-filled and whirlwind of an experience.

In the last term of my undergraduate degree, I decided to change everything. I stepped back from the world of Biology/Zoology, and took a clear look at myself.

I LOVE Biology, I really and truly do. I felt that I was put on this planet to learn, study and teach it to others. I also love animals, as they are a constant source of amazement and inspiration to me. They are something I enjoy immensely to learn about, as anyone who knows me well can attest to.

I miss Biology and Zoology. I miss it very much. I miss the lab work, the experiments, the thrill of a test working out properly, of understanding a difficult biological concept ... all of it.

I loved learning about the subjects that interested me. Biology, Zoology, Ecology, Microbiology, Physiology, and many more. Not many people know the excitement of getting a slide JUST right, perfecting an enzymatic assay and getting results that show something you cannot explain and having to solve that puzzle.

I don't miss a few things, but we all look into the past with slightly rose-tinted glasses.

And yet, I decided to pursue a different path. One that was drastically different from anything I have ever done before. It was, and still is, a drastic life change.

It is not an easy thing to do, to change the direction you thought you were going to head in life. Believe me, it is harder than you think.

A recent conversation with another person in my program really highlighted this for me. I had not thought about it too recently, as I had delegated it to the back of my mind, until she brought it up. This conversation made me think about the changes that I have made in my life, and if I still would make them.

Science is what I love, it's the field that I believe I was born to work in. Writing is a past-time, something that I have enjoyed doing since I picked up a pencil and started creating my own stories. The mixture of these two concepts into a possible career path, into scientific journalism, was a revelation, and the closest thing to an epiphany that I have had in my life so far. I want to do this, I am going to do this. This is what I want, this is what I am going to do and I am going to do EVERYTHING I can to make this a reality.

So, to the person I had this conversation with ... thank you.

It made me really think about the vastness that I, and everyone else in the program have accomplished in the short time we have been here. We should all be very proud and excited for what happens next.

To the future.... and come what may.

Below is a picture I took from one of my slides when I worked with frogs. This is a cross-section of a kidney. The blue stain represents DNA, the green is an ion pump and the red is for the proteins that glue cells together. Not many people have seen this, and I thought it would share it. I did everything to make that slide what it is, and I know it is not the best that it could be, but I'm very proud of it, as it was one of the last things I did.

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At November 15, 2008 at 9:55 PM , Blogger Laura said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At November 15, 2008 at 9:56 PM , Blogger Laura said...

Isn't that odd, I was googling "alcohol, Biology, Journalism, Life Change, and Potluck" and this post was like the first post! The other hits were all, 'I'm an alcoholic journalist who doesn't understand my body and never brings the right thing to the potluck.' or, even weirder, Scientology Conference 2009.

At November 16, 2008 at 1:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved the blog - it was well-written and interesting! Glad to read that you are happy with your choices =)


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