It all started with a biology project.
For the AP Bio course I’m taking this upcoming school year, there’s a lot of summer homework. There were two projects in total on the list- both concerning our natural environment and organisms inhabiting them. I have until August 5th (Tuesday) to finish both of them, along with a bunch of reading and study guides. I’d like to say that I got a super early head start on all this homework, but… I didn’t. Oops.
The instructions for the project I was working on today were quite simple, in some sense: I was to go out and photograph organisms from certain domains, kingdoms, and phyla (my teacher gave us a list of eighteen different categories). I managed to find most of what I needed around our house and at a nearby park, but then there was the matter of marine creatures- sea stars, jellyfish, you get the idea.
At first I was panicking; how in the world was I supposed to find all of the things I needed in such a short time? But living near San Francisco does have its perks.
First thing in the morning (… okay, maybe not first thing… it was more like 10:00am), we headed out on our way to the California Academy of Sciences. We actually hadn’t been there in quite a while, about three or four years, so going back was ridiculously exciting. Huge science-oriented places like this one are one of the things that seriously unlock my inner nerd- just walking around and looking at all the incredible exhibits was awesome.
The first part of the museum (is it a museum? I mean sort of?) that we went to was the aquarium. Luckily, we found most of the species I needed for my project down there- I seriously must have taken at least fifty billion photographs of all the different animals.
After the aquarium, we headed up to watch a show in the planetarium/theater place, where I flailed in awe of dark matter as well as the amazingness that is Neil deGrasse Tyson (he was the one who did the voiceover). Good gravy, the universe is massive.
Watching that show got me thinking- they were describing how the universe is so huge that it could literally stretch on infinitely. From where we are, we can only see so far, right? But if you look at it from another point of view, another galaxy entirely, there’s a whole different window opened up. Places that we can’t see from here are visible because the light stretches that far for them. And similarly, there are places we can see from here that maybe we wouldn’t be able to see from another galaxy. And if you keep thinking about the different perspectives, you would realize that the field of view would just keep on expanding. There would always be something more to it than meets the eye.
People are the same way.
We’re obviously not going to know every single thing about a person from just a single meeting. Different perspectives are required to see what they see, to know why they see what they see.
Life is full of perspective, just like the universe.
On a completely different note, I feel the need to say that I bought myself two things from the gift shop that I am very pleased with. The first would be a giant penguin stuffed animal (my sister was looking at me very strangely, but my argument was that fourteen years old technically means I’m still a child). The second is a box of lemon drops with a picture of a snake named Lemondrop on it.
I still do have a few things on my checklist of organisms to go photograph for my biology project (though I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to find a couple of them). Wish me luck, I’m going to need it.
And don’t forget to check out a local museum-type thing soon, because often times, it can open your eyes up even wider to what’s around us and how we got here. Maybe it’ll even provoke some deep thoughts on the meaning of life.
I hope you enjoyed these delightful pictures of Lemondrop the snake- I’ve put some more pictures from my adventure down below just for fun!
Have a fantabulous weekend, nerdlings,