Thursday, June 08, 2017

On Not Becoming A Paleontologist

My very first career - decided upon as of 8 years old - was to be a paleontologist.

I loved dinosaurs.  I had a fairly large collection of them that I would arrange on my fabulous cave playset (purchased from Sears and Roebuck) in various poses and forms - the old style ones that had only plastic colors (blue stegosauri, brown T. Rexs).  I had almost all the dinosaur models from Aurora.  I had several books that I read and re-read.  I wrote stories about them, developed narratives for them as they marched across the plastic sheet with ponds and trees and up over the plastic cliffs.

Frankly, I am not quite sure which this career field fell out of favor.  I want to say it was by the time I entered high school for reasons I cannot fully appreciate - after all, it is not like I ever came up with a better career path (to this day).  Perhaps I just got bored with them and moved on to other things - now that I think about it, this was about the time that Role Playing Games entered my consciousness.  Somehow in the longer run, I wonder if this was the better choice.

Would I have been happy with a life as a paleontologist? Oh, probably not.  The career field is pretty limited and it involves either a lot of begging for funding or working for low wages.  But if I think about it there is plenty that I might have like as well:  doing something I found engaging, traveling to desolate places and spending weeks away from .

I still have my original dinosaurs tucked away in a box - they have served me and served my children and hopefully will someday serve my grandchildren. I am sure that now they have some small monetary value (simply from the virtue of being old) but I will probably never part with them - not just from the fact that they have nostalgic value but for the fact that in some small way, they started me down the path of imagination and learning that I have continued with to this day.


  1. You know, I have nothing from childhood. But I kind of wanted it that way, no good memories! But I do remember thinking two things 1. I wanted to be a physicist, working mostly with weather systems, and 2. I wanted to be a farmer! I was humiliated and discouraged into taking sciences, so that turned me off completely. Horrible family! And the farmer, well, I was actually embarrassed about that dream, silly me. Now I'm on my way to being an urban or maybe rural hobby farmer. If only I'd stuck to my guns!

    1. Rain, Meteorology was one of my favorite college classes. So interesting, and so useful! I can remember cloud types now and that is about it, although the weather where we live now is far more interesting that that where I grew up.

      And yes, I am turning out to be a hobby farmer too! We never know what might have been, we can only know what the might yet be.


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