I Am

Allergic to Sperm

The semester after taking Autobiographical Writing, I took Advanced Fiction Writing and Honors Biology. While I now felt like writing was the right direction for my career, I had always had an interest in science growing up, and I wasn’t quite ready to close that door.

I loved biology since 7th grade, when I took Mrs. Makhlouf’s class. She made biology so fun and so cool. She was also a wacky teacher (I say wacky endearingly); she named the school’s skeleton—a real skeleton who lived in a locker—George and scared everyone with him. Just thinking about him still creeps me out, but he also succeeded in teaching me important concepts. I learned you can tell when a person is a male or a female just by looking at the size of their hips. George was male—small hips. That spring, I learned that pollen is flower sperm, and I remember I pointed at the yellow pollen on the car and told my mother, “I am allergic to sperms” and laughed. I thought it was cool and funny at the same time.

I took biology again in the 10th grade and still liked it as much as I did when I took it in 7th grade. My teacher wasn’t as fun as Mrs. Makhlouf, but I still saw how amazing biology was on my own. In 12th grade, I took Anatomy and Physiology and loved it! It was also one of my best classes. I felt a bit grossed out by my first dissection (a frog in the 7th grade), but as I grew older, my interest overcame that icky feeling. My all time favorite dissection were the sharks. They were as long as the lab tables. Some groups had pregnant sharks, and one group in particular was performing a C-section, taking out the baby sharks one by one. There were at least 20 babies. I was so jealous I was not in that group, but the whole class joined in with them on the fun. I also liked when we dissected a sheep’s brain and heart.  

Anatomy and Physiology confirmed my love for the nervous and reproductive systems that started in 10th grade. I am a visual learner, therefore colors and pictures of anatomy models made it easy for me to understand and memorize body systems and cells. The only part of Anatomy and Physiology that I did not like were the diseases and illnesses of the system. I loved learning about how each and every system works. I was the dorky biology girl who and still this day has a favorite cell—the sperm cell. They are cute because they look like little fish.

Graduating high school, I was interested in being a biology major and then becoming a biology teacher. Taking the biology course at Suffolk, I found and I am the better at the human body and body systems than ecology and evolution. Bodies are more tangible. By the end of the semester after taking Autobiographical Writing, I had to take another science class. I still wanted to know and explore the question of maybe still being a biology major. However, at the end of that spring semester, studying for biology for my final, I realized that I would rather spend my time writing for four or more hours than studying and memorizing biological facts. After that semester, I knew which direction I would choose.

Biology still has a special place in my interests. I love nature, animals, and the core explanations of how we as humans physically function, but I chose not to pursue science as a career. Writing weighed more in my heart.

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