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What Will You Be When You Grow Up?

ScientistPerhaps it's just me, but I recall being asked that question A LOT when I was a kid. Strangely, my own kids don't remember being asked so much. But there was no doubt in my mind what I would be one day, far off into the future, when I stopped being a kid and transformed into a full-grown man: a SCIENTIST!

I was obsessed with science as a child. My kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Abels, taught me to read in a single day via the magic of phonics. Science books were soon being devoured. And I was fascinated with things like bugs, crawdads, tree leaves, birds, and various things I found living in the dirt while excavating with Tonka equipment.

Ergo, needless to say, someday I would ply my trade by wearing a white coat, being surrounded by loads of laboratory equipment, and making world-changing discoveries.

How many of us wanted to be astronauts like John Glenn?Well, like with most of us, life took a different turn for me. I spent twenty-three years working as an electrician. It was a decent trade, but hardly what I envisioned as my life's work when I was seven years old.

Fortunately for me, my love of science somehow translated into an affinity for all things computer. So I was able to make an incredibly rewarding career change at the age of forty to professional web programmer. I don't wear a white coat to work, I wear khaki slacks and polo shirts. My discoveries don't change the world, but they do help the profitability of my employer. I'm not surrounded by beakers and test tubes, but do have lots of Dilbert cartoon on the walls.

Above all, I enjoy my job, which was what I DID envision myself doing at the age of seven.

Had we gotten our wishes, the world would now be full of firemen, astronauts, ballet dancers, cowboys, policemen, and perhaps a handful of scientists.

That's how things turned out for me. But what about you, friends? What did you see yourself doing when you grew up? And how did it turn out for you?

Please share your thoughts with the rest of us. The floor is yours.

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