When I was in high school, I was deeply torn between my loves of journalism and science. I dreamed of becoming a marine biologist, and I looked at the hours spent in the school newspaper lab as perhaps a fallback, maybe more of a hobby.
I loaded up on all the life science courses my school could offer, then I talked my biology teacher into designing an independent study course for college credit my senior year.
That, however, proved my downfall. Though I mentally had little problem with dissections, I quickly found an unrealized physical problem. The combined aroma of deceased shark and formaldehyde set my eyes watering and my normally strong stomach reeling. Day after day I tried, but I could not overcome the involuntary reaction.
I had visions of suffering through undergraduate and graduate school, running to the nearest trashcan in every lab. It just didn’t make sense. I finished the course, graduated and declared a communications major in college.
I’ve never regretted the choice. I have had amazing experiences, and I believe I’m where I’m supposed to be. What’s more, I’ve come to realize that what I loved about both science and journalism was likely their shared process of asking questions and sharing answers.
Still, the chance to go out in the field with real scientists and write about their work always gives me a little thrill. That’s why this issue of Pacific magazine has been so much fun: tagging and tracking birds of prey, visiting a microbiology lab to learn about antibiotics in soil and groundwater, and learning what Pacific University students, faculty and alumni are investigating about our world.
I hope you readers enjoy their process of discovery as much as I have.
Jenni M. Luckett
Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org