A very well written article with some keen observations.
When I was in Year 7 at school I said to my mother that I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian. Her response: “You have to be good at science to be a veterinarian. You’re creative, like your father.” By inference I took that to mean “you’re creative like your father therefore you will be crap at science”. I had always been at the top of my class in all things, but at that stage of schooling I had not had any science teaching so there was really no way to know if I would be “good” at it or not.
In year 10 I topped my chemistry class with a score of 96% however with my mother’s words from 3 years earlier still ringing in my ears I did not do chemistry in year 11 because I was convinced that I achieved my mark simply because at year 10 level chemistry must be easy and that I would not understand it at a higher level. Further, my mother’s remarks made me instantly shelve any idea of being a veterinarian.
I went on to do a degree in music performance and had a career as a symphonic cellist. After 10 years that career ended (for many and complex reasons).
With no background in science I went back to university and gained a Bachelor of Science degree with honours averaging 90% over the entire course and winning many medals and awards. After a brief stint working as a biochemist I realised that going on to do a PhD in biochemistry and a life in research was not for me. Instead I enrolled in Vet school. 14 years after graduation I am still a veterinarian and I love what I do (and I’m good at it!).
I was also told that I could not draw (which I absolutely can!), but have had solo art exhibitions in Australia and Amsterdam……