At the urging of many in our fair town (OK, two persons, but still…) I’ve decided to take a crack at writing again. Some of you may miss my father’s column. I can tell you right now that my writing will most likely cause you to miss his even more. But that’s all right. I am my father’s son, but I am not my father and cannot fill the space he left in life or in this journal.
And that is how it should be. Writing should be unique to and representative of the writer. My experiences and perspective are different from those of my father so the stories will be different. But I can give you clues as to what to expect when reading my drivel.
I am a scientist by education and trade. I am terminally educated meaning that I have a doctoral degree in biochemistry, not a fatal disease. This may place me in the category of an “intellectual elite,” but those who know me well can vouch that I am neither an intellectual nor elite. I knew at a very early age that I would be involved in the sciences in some manner. I love discovery. Untangling the meaning in books, wondering how a clock works, or what happens when you combine grapefruit juice with your brother’s glass of milk were some of the drivers in my childhood. I also learned consequences from discovery, such as having to drink said grapefruit concoction as punishment. But those contributing to the stores of knowledge often endure persecution, hence I suffered gladly.
Scientists are actually quite funny people and many amusing incidents occur in the laboratory. The combination of curiosity, availability of lab rats, various toxic chemicals and high quantities of caffeine often results in high jinks and hilarity plus occasional disciplinary measures from department heads.
I enjoy arguing for the sake of argument. I will at times take a position that I don’t personally hold in an attempt to see the other side of the argument. Do not put me in a box. Predictability is boring. So if I write something that appears extreme or not part of this community’s standards it is only because I believe in stretching one’s self in an attempt to understand another’s viewpoint. Keep that in mind before sending the scathing email or firebombing my house. I write to cause thinking. If you want only that information with which you agree then look elsewhere and be assured, you have my sympathies for your one dimensional life.
As I am not yet retired, writing may take a back seat to making a living. I will strive to provide material but the well may run dry at times. Do not despair or celebrate if my column is absent, it will eventually return. I refuse to write just to take up space on a page. “Quality over quantity,” I always say. The quality part may be debatable, though.
So, “Hello, good to see you again!”