Annie Harmon '13
My experience as a biology major over the past three years has been defined by the very best kind of absurdity.
When I enrolled in introductory biology as an uncertain freshman, I never expected I that I would someday spend hours identifying katydids under a microscope—by their genitalia. I never could have predicted that I’d get to spend a whole afternoon carefully making caterpillars out of modeling clay, or count thousands of frog eggs during summer research. I’m sure my roommates never expected to open our shared refrigerator to find jars of dead insects and bags of plant samples. And yet, as a biology major, I’ve gotten to experience these surprising moments of absurdity, and more. My classmates and I ran around a perfect tropical rain forest searching for flowers, then gleefully spread them all over the classroom floor to classify them. I’ve caught wild rare iguanas with my hands and held the friendliest wild tarantula you’ll ev er meet.
Every biology major should have these moments in which we step back and think, “Well, this is the strangest thing I’ve ever had to do for a class! And I’m actually getting graded for this?” In a way, the absurdity and the surprise define the way I feel about my chosen field of study. These moments remind me that the natural world is endlessly marvelous and eye-opening, and I can never be sure of where I’ll end up if I keep jumping at every opportunity to study it. My classes in Talbot have prepared me extremely well to observe and study organisms in logical, controlled ways, but I also love those moments when, despite how much we love the science, we temporarily forget all about it and are overwhelmed by the simple feeling, “I can’t believe I’m here, doing this, in such an amazing world.” I am so grateful to the professors who have made all my absurd moments possible. I have never been more confident that I chose a g reat major, department, and college.