Sunday, March 16, 2008

Teaching myself marine biology

I am so deeply in love with learning about marine life that I am thinking of going into marine biology research after I finish my PhD. It would be great if I can merge my work with my hobby. It would be so wonderful.

So I picked a marine biology textbook from the library, and started teaching myself. Of course I don't really have a proper plan what to learn first and what next. But I just pick any interesting chapter and start reading. I reckon when I go into marine research, I would have to compete with people who have a really proper training in marine biology. So I must get prepared.

I have asked myself this: just because I am not enrolled into a marine biology program now, does that mean I could not become a marine biologist ever? The answer is obviously no. With whatever resources that are available to me now, I could still get myself prepared. Like start reading a marine biology textbook! Of course, it is easier said than done considering how busy I am with my PhD work at hand. But I am trying.

I have this imaginary situation in mind:

I am a teacher who lives in the smallest, remotest village in the remotest, severely resource-limited, and far-way-from-shore country in the world.

And one day, a student comes and tells me, 'I want to become a marine biologist one day, can you help me?'

And I guess I can't tell him, 'Look, wake up! We are poor and resource-limited. And we can't send you to a place where you can get a proper training. So forget it!'

I would say this: 'I will try my best and teach you all that I know of marine life, however limited it is. Just because the situation is not the best now, it doesn't mean we have to give up on your dream. No one knows what will happen in future but we can surely try our best now. And enjoy every moment doing it.'

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