Science writing in 5 minutes intervals

This is a very brief contribution to the #SCIMOM project

I’ve been told that storing information in your own head and not sharing it is silly, if not selfish and wrong.  Why learn things if you are not going to share it.  I both disagree and agree with this statement.  Anyone that loves to learn can have a moment when they think “wow…, I’ve never seen that before,” but not have a venue to share that information—they just enjoy it.  If you have ever seen a kid’s face when they are tickled with a new finding, you know all about this.  These moments are personal and don’t have to be shared.  But those moments can stack up, and build up pressure within a person until she/he will burst unless it’s shared.

Anyone with a backlog of information in need of escape can understand the desire to teach, to parent, to write, to create art of some form.  There are so many fascinating facts about typhoid, TB, penicillin, fungi, and other infectious diseases that I wish to share with receptive readers.  But like an understaffed office I need to piece together what I have in the time I can steal.  

There are rare moments where I can complete a post during a 2-hour preschool session, but background reading, outlining, connecting thoughts, networking, job searches, making dinner, enforcing snack and homework rules, and “no you can’t bring that into the house” moments all compete for the same 24 hours.  Sometimes I ask the kids for just 5 minutes to finish reading a paragraph about resistant bacteria or vaccine or dengue fever so I can then answer their questions—without distraction.  Possible transition sentences enter my mind while poking holes in potatoes and throwing them into the oven. 

The kids’ questions, along with middle school research papers, and elementary science and social studies projects have all stimulated a desire in me to teach again.  Family, in the way that my husband and I wish to raise our children, provides a challenge in designing a way to teach.  Writing, for me, is one way.  But, you do not have to be a parent. You do not have to love to write.  You don’t even have to love science [gasp!].  You have to find your passion, find a way to act on it, work hard at it, continue revising your plan, and share it—even if it is done in 5 minutes intervals.


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