On Aquariums

Aquariums are kind of awesome. Before you ask, no, my research this summer has nothing to do with aquariums or any kind of aquatic life. And no, I did not choose a random title because I’ve been banging my head against the wall, trying to figure out how to write this post (although I’d be lying if it wasn’t a tempting option). The reason I bring up aquariums is because they act as a powerful medium through which I can explain to you the complicated jumble of expectations and hopes I have for this summer. Doubtful? Watch this.

As I tried to solidify this soup of thoughts, I noticed a common theme that stood out from the rest: the hope of what could be. I’ve always loved science for as long as I can remember: I devoured any book or video I could get my hands on as a kid. As I think upon it, my fascination with science was like that first step into an aquarium. I am talking about the wonder and amazement of seeing that weird but entrancing underwater world, from the might and power of its apex predators to the mystery and oddity of its glowing deep-water residents. My yearning to understand science was like that of the child pressing their face against the glass, trying their best to pop through and embrace the unknown. This summer, I hope, I’ll finally be on the other side of the glass. In the readings, experiments, and conversations that this fellowship can facilitate, I will no longer be staring through aquarium walls but swimming alongside these wonderful and mysterious beasts known as science and research. I would no longer be the child sitting by the wayside, astounded by but alien to these wonders, but instead become the diver, with a robust understanding of the creatures I swim by and, because of this, an even greater awe at these beasts of the watery deep.

So yeah, aquariums are kind of awesome. But science, research and the possibility of entering them that this fellowship offers me: They are more awesome.

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