Here I am at the Sanchez Library in Pacifica, thinking about ecology, waiting for the next few weeks to pass by so I can go back to school, and a group of youngsters are helping catch a hummingbird that strayed inside. One of the kids is carrying Mockingjay, the third in Suzanne Collins’ super-popular Hunger Games trilogy. Artistry and biology coexist in youngsters without the conflict they seem to bring out in me, and the difference is simple. As an adult, I need to make money to put food on the table. Although I recognize that both realms are privileged and I’d be lucky to make a living in either one, I have had to face the fact that I am not well-suited to be an artist, if only because I wasn’t pushed into the arts at an early age, as Mozart was. Instead, I was much more like these kids, pursuing my interests catch-as-catch-can. If I have any better claim on being a being a biologist, it is because I had the luck to grow up in a seaside town near a major public science museum, where I volunteered my high-school Saturday mornings and early afternoons taking care of the live freshwater fish collection (see the “about this blog” section). Although hindsight has made it clear which one was more important, I should also mention that my first naturalist-type job was at the San Francisco Zoo, on the Nature Trail. And that I had parents that were willing to support me through second and third starts at life with housing and counsel. I guess what I want to say is that I agree with yesterday’s “Mutts.”
UPDATE: the “Mutts” comic is gone. But it was great!