Hello everyone! So today is my first ever guest post in the entire universe, how awesome is that? I was pretty indecisive when I thought about what to write for Allie and all of you wonderful readers, but I FINALLY decided! Today we are going to chat about:
The Life of a Cell and How it Paid my Bills
Like all good stories this one hails back to my undergraduate days when I was working my way through my bachelors degree and living off of top ramen. Yummy! ;) I was in my Sophomore year at the community college I was attending and had some grand plans to transfer to a 4- year university within the year, but in order to do so I had to knock out some science courses.
Boy, was I NERVOUS! I was a history major and so anything math or science related tended to give me hives, but I knew it would be better to attempt the class where I was rather than at a larger school. So like any good student I enrolled in Biology 101 and waited for the fallout, except that there wasn’t any.
Not a one.
Somehow, something clicked in my brain, and biology and I got along famously! So much so that I even contemplated switching my major to biology, because no matter what I was absolutely fascinated with everything I learned. I knew something was up when I got my hands on a copy of The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher, because let me tell you, I couldn’t put it down! The Lives of a Cell is a collection of 29 essays written by Lewis Thomas and from the first of it I was hooked. Reading Lewis’ thoughts on the mitochondria, or a how a cell comprised of “ecosystems more complex than Jamaica Bay”(Lewis, 4) was like magic to me.
My bio-love was the real deal, yo.
Fast-forward a year and I’m at a big’ Ol University by the name of Kansas State University (I love you, Bill Snyder) and I have bills to pay. Going to school out-of-state is always pricey EVEN with an academic scholarship, which I had. I was working at a grocery store and trying to snag another job when the opportunity to work as a peer tutor AND learning assistant for the university came up. Biology, it seemed was a subject that many people had trouble with, so I grabbed both opportunities and never looked back.
Five days a week I moved between working for the athletic department and the university teaching biology to anyone who needed the help. To say that I enjoyed my time as a biology tutor is an understatement because I freaking LOVED it. Biology explains how things live and why things are how they are. I love understanding the world and what makes it work so naturally biology excites me. For a little over 2 years I tutored biology and I was definitely in demand for my skills by students/faculty who even requested me by name.
I had become a biology rock star!
Me trying to bear hug a massive redwood during a camping trip in the Redwoods National Forest.
A passionate teacher is an effective teacher and teaching biology even strengthened my ability to teach history. So thank you, Biology, for feeding me, paying the light bill, and putting gas in my car. Oh, you little powerhouse mitochondria and semi-permeable cell walls, I could go on forever about how cool you are or how important you are for life. I really wouldn’t have been able to make ends meet or get my degree without my teaching gigs and I’ll be forever grateful for what my knowledge of biology afforded me both physically and mentally.
At my graduation with my then-fiancée, now husband. Thanks, biology!
Was there ever a subject that totally pumped you up and made you ready to take on the world? Were you ever able to use the knowledge you gained in the classroom to better your life outside of it? I know that when I make use of my classroom education I always feel like the school loans are totally worth it, don’t you?