Small Minded

on Saturday, March 20, 2010


Although I have been working in the area of nature conservation for the last 15 years, I was originally trained as a biochemist and later did my doctorate in microbiology. In retrospect, my doctorate has not been very useful to me. It doesn't get me discounts at cinemas or restaurants, for example.

It also gets me no respect. When I tell people that I have a doctorate in microbiology, they usually respond by saying, "Oh, so you're not a REAL doctor then". Then, there is usually a short pause before they ask, "So what is a microbiologist anyway?"

I like to tell people that a microbiologist is someone who knows a lot about very little. Yes, I think that is a good definition. Anyway, as a service to young readers who may be trying to decide what to study at university or even for older readers seeking a career change, I have compiled the top ten reasons for doing microbiology. I hope this will help you.

TOP TEN REASONS TO BE A MICROBIOLOGIST

1. Microbiologist practice safe sex - we always wear protection and use sterile technique.
2. We know how to give you fever.
3. Self-diagnosis saves time at at the doctor's office.
4. We are really good at streaking.
5. We are used to different and diverse cultures.
6. Wanted to study to be a doctor but also wanted to party.
7. We know how to make small things look BIG.
8. The laboratory equipment can be used to make beer.
9. Get mistaken as doctors when wearing cute lab coats.
10. If we are really lucky, they will name a dreadful disease after us.

16 comments:

Joyce's Ramblings said...

LGS You have proven to be a man that knows little things mean a lot from amoeba on up to human.

Lorac said...

Hmmm... Lone Grey Squirrel Disease. Yup, has a nice ring to it!

Owen said...

How about "Mad Squirrel Disease" ? Sounds scarier than mad cow...

11. More apt to appreciate Larson cartoons...

12. When he exclaims, "Will you look at that dish!", he is not talking about a female.

13. Knows the difference between enzymes and hormones.

;-)
Hope all is well in the squirrel kingdom...

the walking man said...

It's a small world after all.

secret agent woman said...

I am NOT showing these to my soon - he still plans a career in this field and I don't want to scare him away!

mago said...

Damn, I'll never have a disease named after me!

Kathryn said...

LOL @ Owen, too. :)

My dad's doctorate was in agriculture & i remember a few of those "not a real doctor" comments. Now that he's retired he has dropped the title, because people who don't know him misunderstand.

It would be good to have enough brains to have a doctorate in something. I'm kind of slim on the ability to focus enough to complete that much education.

But i enjoy smart people. Which is why i enjoy the Lone Grey Squirrel. :)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Joyce,
Why thank you. But sometimes when someone is too preoccupied with the small things, they can also lose sight of the "Big Picture". Life is a balancing act, isn't it?

Lorac,
Ah, fame!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Owen,
"look at that dish!" Haha! Now why didn't I think of that!

Mark,
Small is beautiful.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

secret agent woman,
Why would your son be scared off? Those are all good points! What's wrong with beer, for example? Please allow me the opportunity to brainwash your kids. :)

mago,
There are better things to be remembered for.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Kathryn,
For me, the real secret of doing a doctorate is being able to take notes in a boring lecture while taking catnaps at the same time and then staying awake long enough to write a thesis.

XUP said...

I'm always very impressed when people tell me they're microbiologists or anything science or math related.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

XUP,
That's nice to hear. Nobody i know over here is impressed though! Maybe if I turn into a mad scientist microbiologist then they will show some respect; what do you think?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I think I like that last one best - having a dreaded disease named after oneself. If we're lucky.

So: Have they come up with a diagnosis for Lonegreysquirrelitis yet?

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

hearts,
Go to a mirror and look for green spots on the tip of your nose. Do it now. Go on! Go look.

The first sign of lonegreysquirreltitis is spending time in front of a mirror looking for green spots on the tip of your nose.

Spicebell said...

SHOOOTTTTSSS.....what??? people don't know what is a microbiologist..duh.. I guess they are from the dinosaure age. Don't worry I know what it is since I was 10 years old. I still tell people my dear uncle is microbiologist and he use to make drinking water safe for you guys.Proud to have Dr. Lone G. Squirrel as my uncle..

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