But really. Just between you and me? I’m in quite the pickle!
- Scenario one: I opt for the microbiome website.
- Scenario two: I opt for the I Realized I Was Old When… website.
- Scenario three: I do both and somehow survive through the process.
While Scenario One is the most obvious and practical, it’s also the least accessible. It’s hard to describe the problem this site would address because of all the jargon and science that needs to be prefaced. On one hand, building this site would literally make my job easier for as long as I study bioinformatics at the University of Michigan. On the other hand, it’s kind of boring. Not to me, but I assume to other people. The microbiome is cool, yeah, but is it cool enough to engage people at the showcase? Yes, it’s shallow to care mainly about how this will be received at a one-time event, but that’s partly what drives my creativity; the connection that follows.
While Scenario Two is the most accessible and creative, it’s also not practical after this class. While everyone in class seems to really enjoy the idea, to the point of wanting first dibs on merch, this website would only help me in a practical sense if I jump ship and switch to writing as my career choice, or at least incorporate it somehow into research.
This is possible, of course. There are dozens of opinion articles published in major journals every month, but I doubt they’d be open to how feisty I get.
Yes, I truly love both project ideas. One focuses on the science side of my life while the other focuses on creative writing. Yes, I could incorporate creative writing into the microbiome; I could synthesize the two, but it’d still be muted by the boring topic of microbiota.
My entire life I’ve contemplated this question: scientist or writer? At this very moment, I’m applying for a Ph.D. in bioinformatics while at the same time feeling the tug towards writing. Feeling the tug I’ve felt my entire life towards just writing. Of course this class has manifested itself perfectly into the very question I’ve hoped to avoid!
This is why I’ve clung to the idea of the oh, so beautiful Scenario Three. It allows me to exist in the in-between. I can satisfy my scientific urges by creating the microbiome website, while simultaneously being the daring, creative type I always find an excuse to be. I tried this, you have to give me that. I enthusiastically wrote my five-page proposal for the Microbiome website, fully fleshing out each bullet point. But once I turned my attention to the second website, I realized something: I’m exhausted. If I’m this exhausted just drafting up a second proposal, imagine the exhaustion after building two whole projects. I have to face the truth that each day I spend engaging with both ideas, I lose a day where I could have truly focused on one.
But is that such a bad thing?
During the Gateway, my first assignment grew from 8 pages to 24. I enjoyed throwing myself into that class. My semester is light enough that I could theoretically entertain the idea of doing both, but should I? Hey, even this blog post is already four times the minimum length required. Is that a sign I have what it takes to tackle both?
Honestly? I have no idea.
I need to get this under control.
Hopefully by next time.
P.S. if you read all of this, here is a gift: some inevitable Netflix recommendations!
- Maniac. A new Netflix original limited series starring Jonah Hill and Emma Stone. It’s a truly gripping sci-fi story about two people with little left to live for. Enter Neberdine Pharmaceutical & Biotech. They have a three step drug process (named A, B, C) which promises to lead you through your deepest, darkest traumas, have you confront them, and come out, well, normal. Jonah and Emma don’t care. Jonah needs money and Emma Stone needs more of the “A” drug, which she is addicted to. Little do you know, they have their own inner demons that find their way to the surface. They enter the company’s trio A-B-C drug trial and their story is told through an anthology of different genres and characters all while they sleep, all played by them. It is unlike anything released this year. (One season available for streaming, roughly 1 hour.)
- The Good Place. At first, The Good Place, is a happy-go-lucky comedy where Kirsten Bell plays a woman who just went to heaven. Unfortunately, she isn’t supposed to be there. The software which decides who goes to the Good Place or The Bad Place messed up. Kirsten Bell, who was a terrible person on Earth, finds herself accidentally in Heaven. The one thing is, they (i.e. the Architects who built Heaven) don’t know they made a mistake. The other thing? The Good Place isn’t what it seems… the entire show is flipped on its head at the season one finale. (Two seasons available for streaming now, 30 minutes.)
- High Maintenance. (This one’s on HBO, but who cares?) This is an anthology series about a weed dealer meeting the entire spectrum of humanity in New York, nearly every archetype of person. While at first the show might feel shallow and episodic, though still hilarious, the show has a way of revealing surprising connections about characters, when at first, they seem to just be a filler character for the episode. It has a way of showing you information about the dealer’s past, his family and love life without telling you they’re doing so. It’s incredibly frustrating, because they explain nothing. But the added mystery, makes the show that much more addicting. As a bonus, each episode has these incredible slo-mo shots that they play during the credits. It is a show like no other. (Two seasons available for streaming; 30 minutes.)
(Don’t worry, I won’t do this again, I’m exhausted.)