Since I was a child, I have always been intrigued by the natural world. Although we lived in the city, we had a garden from which I spent many hours, sitting on my swing, watching the butterflies flitter about, ladybugs nesting on leaves, and the leaves sway in tandem with the breeze.
Perhaps my calling as a scientist was lost somewhere in the school system. We were streamed in a rather cruel practice, placing the academically superior children in the science stream while others, the ones slower to bloom, were placed in the arts stream at the wee age of 14.
But I never let go of my passion. I picked up general science books written for the layperson like those by Paul Davies
and John Gribbin
. I thought long and hard about the nature of things.
When I returned to college at the age of 21, I struggled with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics but managed a sufficient grade to enter the Astrophysics program in the University of Toronto.
But something in those first 2 weeks in Physics 100 and Calculus 100 struck fear in me and I changed my enrollment to an Arts degree in Philosophy majoring in Logic instead.
Sometimes I wonder where I would have been if I have remained in the program.
Still, I read extensively. I studied the Philosophy of Science. I turned to Carl Sagan
to teach me about astronomy and Richard Dawkins
and Steven Pinker
to teach me about life sciences. And I discovered the wonderful world of speculative poetry.
There I sung the joys of science in prose and rhyme and for a time, I revelled in it. But real life caught up and I put on hold my passion to earn my living.
As a mother now, I seek to bring the same love of science to my young son. I hope that even if he does not become a scientist than he will share the same passion for the natural world as I do.
(Cross-posted to My Sci-Edge Blog
, a lifelong fascination with science
, Paul Davies
, John Gribbin
, Richard Dawkins
, Steven Pinker
, speculative poetry