Rekindling the love affair with science.

Is it possible to do that after having children and a rather long leave of absence? I really don’t know. I do know this is the right time for me to figure that out.

I feel like I’ve been walking through life half asleep since I gave up my career for my girls. If you’ve read my introduction, you may understand why I left in the first place. But I’ve slowly begun to wake up and evaluate this season of my life.

Apparently I’m not the only one to lose a little of the passion in their relationship to science once children enter the scene. In her last post in December of 2007, the Mother of All Scientists can certainly relate to this quandary and had taken to heart some sage advice from another wise woman in the science field, Miss Prism.

I’d like to see if I can rekindle the love affair I had with science. Of course, with three young children, I have a bit more of a challenge to find my way back.

To emulate Ms. Prism’s “5 Tips to Rekindle Your Love Affair with Science”, I resolve to:

1. Talk more.
Predominantly now it’s with my girls, who are now old enough to get interested in small science experiments. I have a list of goals for them in my other blog, Growing In Peace. This small step is actually very thrilling to me, because in renewing my relationship to science, I may even spur them on to a relationship of their own with science.

2. Try something new.
Honestly, I would love to see if I couldn’t find a way to work at a museum, even for a short time. Even if it wasn’t actually doing lab work, I would love to work on exhibits. When I was in high school, I sent away for an application to work a summer at the Smithsonian Institute. I really considered doing it, but my mother didn’t want me to. That was the first of many disagreements my mother and I had. I had attended a few meetings at the Field Museum of Chicago about 7 years ago to discuss DNA analysis (using PCR techniques), for identification purposes of their animal specimens. It was a great series of meetings. I wonder if I could hook up with something like that again. But they probably would shun my lack of current credentials. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to try to look for opportunities.

Failing that, I have a budding interest in amateur geology. Well, I’ve always had an interest, but now have the desire and time to study. Fortunately, I have a great mentor in this department, a colleague of mine at the crime lab who has a great home collection of geological specimens. He’s already promised to send my girls some fossils.

3. Get away together.
Being close to the Windy City, I’m sure there are opportunities to find lectures, or even start the process of informational interviewing to see what I might like to jump into next.

4. Listen to each other.
I want to start listening to NPR’s “Science Friday” at home. No, I won’t expect my 3, 4.5, and 6 year old to listen to it, but we did have a set of cordless headphones somewhere if I can dig them up. As much as I like listening to Laurie Berkner, I do tire of the same songs all the time.

5. Develop outside interests.
I’ve spent recent months blogging, so my writing skills are blossoming again after a very long season of neglect.

I don’t know if I really can get fired up again, but I sure would like to try.

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