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12:28 p.m.

Lana feelsThe current mood of xengirl at www.imood.com

I may have just found a career. Or at least, a college major. On some strange impulse, after finding myself sitting at the table next to Chris Labonte (my crazy but brilliant biology teacher) at lunch today, I turned to him and asked what I would have to do to learn how to make enzymes. He didn't look surprised, which is why I like him. He didn't ask stupid grown-up questions, either, he just told me. I have a good start. Freshman biology in college unless I take the AP and test out. With hint-y eyebrows. Dear goddess, I wish I had the time to do that because I would love more than anything to go straight into advanced biology in college, and to spend more time on biology this year, cause I really love it, but I just don't have the time this year to do the extra work involved in prepping it. I've got the crazy history term paper, the literature not-quite-but-almost term paper, prepping for the AP French exam, as well as all my regular class-work and a few other semi-major projects, snowboarding, and the winter play, all in the next two months. There are not ten minutes in my day in which to prep for the hardest AP exam offered here, but something tells me I may end up trying anyway. Just to see. Or just because I asked Chris Labonte this afternoon what I would have to do to have a career in biology, especially neuropsychology research. He says I don't have to go pre-med, which was my biggest worry in pursuing a scientific career. The way he put it was, You just get a PhD instead of an MD. Just a PhD. It wasn't very long ago that I was considering not going to college at all, never mind grad school. And he looks me in the eye, and says like it's nothing, you just have to get a PhD. The thing is. For whatever reason. This excites me. It scares me a little, the idea of setting off on a real path, with real ambitions and goals, not just meandering through life the way I've been doing even here, sampling as I go. Really deciding, this is what I want to do, and here is where I'm willing to go and what I'm willing to do in order to get there. Making war on Alzheimer's disease so nobody will ever have to see the pain in their father's eyes that I see in mine when he looks at his mother. Finding cures and solutions or just spending my career immersed in labs and bunsen burners and computer analysis of data, and formulating theories and writing papers and maybe making a name for myself in my own little sphere. Chris says there will be work, jobs, research grants, in better and better numbers in the next 50 years, which will be my years. He says he'll help me find work this summer, in a lab. Doing research. He says I think like somebody who could be a really, really good scientist. Coming from him, that is a compliment of the highest proportions. I'm excited.

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