It is with great pride that I announce my initiation into the Order Of The Science Scouts Of Exemplary Repute And Above Average Physique.
It’s kinda like the Boy Scouts, except girsl are invited too. There are lots of badges for doing various things, all related to science, albeit some more directly than others. Here is my first one:
The “I actually grew up AND became a marine biologist” badge.
Out of the millions of children who aspire to work with dolphins and their ilk, this recipient is actually someone who does precisely that.
Well, I don’t in fact work with dolphins. Except in the sense that they’ve been present in the general vicinity at times when I was working underwater. I’ve seen them underwater a few times, which is way cool. But whether I meet the criteria depends, I suppose, on how one defines “ilk” in the above criteria. Insofar as their ilk includes all God’s creatures great and small who live in the water, I’m there.
Yes, I am a marine biologist and proud of it. Many a day, while skimming over the waves, or marveling at strange and beautiful creatures, or itching welts from sea lice . . . . well, maybe not then, but most of the time, I have been reminded of the old stand-up routine of Steve Martin — back before he made the financially lucrative transition from first-rate comedian to mild and mediocre screen actor — in which he would insult people, do tricks with a rubber chicken, play absurd ditties on the banjo, and what not and end by saying:
“And the most amazing thing of all is: I get paid . . . for doing this.”
I feel the same way. Hard to believe sometimes that I get paid for what I do.