The Scientist


“I think you should consider medical school.”

I was 26 at the time and only two months from finishing my second graduate degree. But, still, my advisor’s words were tempting. And, let’s be honest, coast has never been a word in my vocabulary.

In that moment, I saw two paths my life could take. In the first, I could work hard and sacrifice for a dream job in obstetrics and gynecology. Or I could make my way back into the classroom – likely to teach language arts (the field where my initial training occurred).

For many days, life begged the question: Science or the arts?

When I was a senior in high school, our tiny school system allowed us to view a folder that contained schoolwork we had created over our entire K-12 academic career. I immediately searched mine with purpose. In less than a minute, I had recovered my treasure: a picture of a blonde girl’s face with obnoxious nostrils. The caption read “scientist”. I remember drawing this portrait in Kindergarten, but all of childhood’s rich memories had prevented me from recalling what I had stated I wanted to be at age 5.

Ironically – just a few months before my elementary masterpiece was revealed – I had all but sealed my professional fate. I would major in English and follow a career in secondary education. Honorable, though not overly ambitious.

I wanted to make good grades in college, and literature had an irresistible pulse. So I studied, socialized, and secured summa cum laude.

But I never forgot that picture.

Life is funny. As it turns out, I became a writing teacher who married a scientist. I admire the work he does, but my path has allowed for flexible mothering – a much larger dream. And words, of course, continue to be a passion.

Four and a half years ago, I chose not to take the path of increased resistance. Truthfully, I was ready to take my foot off the pedal. And, for the very first time in my life, I ceased academic acceleration. But what I couldn’t see then was that the car was still moving – to sights I could never envision.

My husband and I still laugh at the numerous and unexpected detours. And those loud and imaginative children in the backseat? They have been us all along.

One Year Ago: Antidote for a Mother’s Pride

5 thoughts on “The Scientist

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and the nomination. I always enjoy your insights and am so glad to have crossed blogging paths! I didn’t even take chemistry in college, so you can imagine how long it would have taken me had I actually tried to go to medical school in my late 20s 🙂 Thank you, always, for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Shoot — I just realized that we chose the same WordPress them. See what I mean about being you in a parallel universe?

    Ok, another one: My English professors thought I had a knack for writing and kept urging me to become an English major. I strongly considered it and wanted to teach high schoolers how to write — so I almost became an writing teacher as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The STEM Needs the Flower – Unlearning

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