Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What do you want to be when you grow up?

When I was a kid I wanted to be an egyptologist. I was clearly a super geeky 8 year old, and had been reading about ancient Egypt and various early 20th century archeological expeditions that had taken place there and I was hooked. Of course I had no sense of how to actually go about becoming an egyptologist, and I don't recall ever asking anyone how I might do that. Eventually I settled on the ever so much more practical career path of Religious Studies ;) And thus ended my dreams of becoming an egyptologist.

My daughter, only slightly younger than I when I dreamed of reading hieroglyphics and digging up treasure in the desert, wants to work with bats. Specifically she wants care for and rehabilitate injured bats, and to work on eradicating major disease threats to bat populations, such as white-nose syndrome (which hopefully will have been dealt with by the time she's ready for such a career!). She plans to move to Austin, TX and work for Bat Conservation International.

Being the kind of parents who like to give advice whether our child has asked for it or not, Robert and I usually take the opportunity to discuss the kinds of schooling she might need if she wants to achieve her goal whenever the topic comes up.

So the other day, as we were walking down the main road on campus after lunch and Liel was declaring her intent to help bats, we talked about science education, bachelors degrees and masters degrees, biology and zoology, research specialities and sub-fields.

"When I grow up", Liel said, nodding, "I want to help save bats! So I will need to get a degree in biology or zoology-- whichever-- and a basket."

A basket?

Yes, a basket. So that she can safely transport injured baby bats. Naturally they'll be wrapped in blankets, like these guys.

She says she knows where she'll get the blankets from: I'll knit them. And she's pretty sure she'll be able to find a good basket when she needs one.

I know a lot may change for her in the next 15-20 years, but if my little bat goes to work in bat conservation someday, you better believe I'll be buying her a basket, knitting her blankets, and grinning like crazy. I know she probably won't need those things, but who can resist a girl who's career goals include baby bats and a basket??

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