Why I Teach

Hello. I am here to drop the babyscience.

A few years ago, at a big anthropology conference, I was a very nervous undergrad. I loved my science, and I couldn’t wait to get to every talk. But I also didn’t feel like I really belonged there. I was a “non-traditional” student, and I didn’t know where I fit in. Self-doubt followed me into every room, and every conversation I had.

It was in this context that I approached a couple of anthropologists whose blogs I admired, and told them I was thinking about starting a blog of my own.

Now, the individuals I consulted hailed from the “R-1” institutions of Fancypants University and the University of Geniuses respectively, and anyone in the right mind would have been intimidated to approach them no matter how nice they seemed. But I am a special brand of crazy. I freaking love my science and, as my friends will tell you, I can’t shut up about love to share it with others. But also, both of these people had blogs themselves, and I knew that, like me, they understood the importance of communicating this area of science to a public whose understanding of it is…lacking. (No, we don’t dig up dinosaurs.)

Well, they were not on board. “Maybe wait until you’re a couple of years into grad school,” I was told. “You don’t want to ruin your reputation before you even have one.”

Thus began my long, shameful walk back to the hidey-hole from whence I came.

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