Posts Tagged ‘geek wannabe’

Geek Tendencies

November 28, 2009

I wanted to be a doctor.


In junior high school, my peers started talking about what they wanted to do with their lives.  I had no clue.  Zero.  Zip.  Nada.*

But, for a couple years, I considered medicine.  I wanted to help.  So, I focused on sciences and math…and found I liked them.  And was even marginally good at them.

Just this easy.

Then I quickly realized I didn’t have the stick-to-it-iveness… the diligence… to be a doctor.  I just didn’t want to put in the work required.  Still, I hung in with taking advanced math and sciences through high school.

Going in to university, yet still unsure what to do with my life, I declared biology as my major… still clinging to those medical aspirations, perhaps?

Despite getting an “A” in my first lab and a high “B” for the course, I quickly realized that biology was not for me.  It was just too boring.

Second semester, I was undeclared for a major, but still took a heavy math and science course load.

Sophomore year, I decided to try chemistry, based mostly on having had advanced chem in high school which let me get an “A” in the basic college chem course — a matter of rote repetition?

Can I burn your bunsen, miss?

Things started out well that sophomore year.  But, soon, the demon named “Organic Chemistry”** quickly tempered that fast start.  I just couldn’t grasp the core concepts.  I could memorize okay, but without the basic understanding, couldn’t do the necessary extrapolations of free thinking solutions.  I ended up with a painful “C” in that course the first semester.

With a promise to myself to do better, I dug in to studying the second semester — I read.  I re-read.  I took copious notes.  I studied.

– – and was rewarded well for my efforts!!

…with a 32% on the first test…

Ahhhh!!!  I was devastated.  I had no more to give, yet had failed miserably.

I went to the professor for the course who gently suggested that chemistry may not be a proper career choice for me.  I balked…not because I didn’t know in my heart that he was right.  Rather, I said, “But, with a 32%, if I quit now I’ll get a ‘Withdraw Failing’ which will blast my GPA to hell.”

The professor offered, “I’ll make you a deal***.  If you promised to never set foot in the science building again, I’ll give you a ‘Withdraw Passing’.”


Not wanting to spend any more time than necessary at university, I looked around…what major could I finish in two years?

…and, thus, I graduated with a degree in business management, which has led me down my life’s path (so far).

But, in my heart still lurks the geek, yearning to experiment.

Oh, and I did sneak into the science building my senior year, taking an ‘easy’ astronomy course.

…hmmm…maybe I should have tried to be a physics major!

Still the geek


*And, in actuality?  Still don’t know…

**I’m sure any of you who took that course are, even now, cringing a bit at your experience with Organic.

***I got the feeling that he had made just such ‘a deal’ many times before over the years with students in similar circumstances as my own.