Debbie Knight

Whatever you do, be passionate!

In observation on October 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Overheard while standing in line for lunch:
“They gave me $40, but I would’ve taken $5. All I care about is linguistics.”

I’m not sure if the guy standing in line ahead of me was a tutor, a consultant or a young enthusiastic professor, but he said the above statement with passion.

Now, as a biologist, I’ll admit I don’t know much about linguistics. But I do understand about being passionate about what you do and not really caring how much you get paid to do it — you know, as long as the bills get paid (you have to be practical, after all).

In fact, that passion has kept me in an academic research lab for over 20 years — often times, for little pay. And, yes, there were times early in my career when I had to moonlight to make ends meet. But I’m not complaining. I find research engaging. And, on most days, I find its challenges rewarding.

I admire this young man’s enthusiasm. I hope it drives him and serves him well throughout his career.


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