1. What/ who influenced you to go in to science?
Good question... I've often thought that I was just plain destined to get into science, because it matches my personality and thinking patterns so well. But there were lots of people who helped me to discover this compatibility.
I got interested in biology through loving cute animals, so I would have to cite James Herriot and David Attenborough for sparking that interest. And of course I have to thank my Mum, who watched all the wildlife documentaries with me, and successfully argued with my Dad that we should get a cat.
As my knowledge of biology matured, I became interested in smaller and smaller units of life - from cute lion cubs down to organs, then cells, then finally viruses and genes. I had an amazing biology teacher by the name of Ann(e) La(w/u)rence (sorry Miss, can't remember the spelling!) from the age of 14-18 - I've actually been planning a series of posts about great teachers, and you can bet she'll be in there - who was incredibly animated and enthusiastic about her subject, but especially about genetics and evolution. And once she taught us those things, I stopped searching for smaller and smaller things to investigate, turned 90 degrees, and headed off into an in-depth exploration of genetics. I guess if she hadn't intervened, I might have continued on to chemistry and then subatomic particle physics...
2. What would you do/be (besides science) if money were not important?
I'd be living on a sailboat (summer) and little rustic cabin (winter), travelling around the BC coast and writing a book.
3. How did you know your hubby was "the one"?
When we first met, I was halfway through a two-year postdoc / work permit. So when I met this hunky Canadian carpenter at a big group dinner one night, I didn't automatically think "long-term relationship", let alone "future husband". But I really enjoyed talking to him, and when he gave me his number, I was more than happy to call him up (after the obligatory two day wait, of course) to arrange a date.
Still not thinking any further ahead than a month or so at a time, we started to see more and more of each other, and the more I got to know him, the more I liked him. The first time I knew we had something really special was on our first overnight kayak camping trip, about five months into our relationship. We went skinny dipping at midnight (yes, in the sea, in Canada, in May - just about worth it for the awesome phosphorescence) and then snuggled around a campfire on the beach.
But the first time I knew he was "the one"? We were hanging out in my shared house on a rainy Saturday afternoon, playing cribbage. He said something that made me laugh - and it kills me that I can't remember what it was - and I just suddenly realised that I wanted to spend all my rainy Saturday afternoons with him, and that I would be delighted to find myself playing cribbage and listening to his silly banter when we're both in our eighties.
I told you it was lame.
4. Are you planning on having kids anytime in the future?
As discussed before, I have multiple reasons for this choice, the primary reason being that I just innately and emphatically know that it isn't for me.
Plans can change... but I am at least 95% sure that if you come and find me in 10 years, I still won't have any kids.
I'm VERY excited though that two close Vancouver friends are pregnant (after years each of trying, they'll be giving birth two weeks apart - wonder what was in the water that month). I've already told them both that I want to be a very active and involved Auntie.
Kids are awesome - as long as you can give them back.
(On my research retreat last week, I had four female colleagues (aged 30s - 50s) separately ask me the same question. When I gave my answer, all but one said "oh, you really should, you know". So the next time someone tells me that they have kids, I want to say "oh, you really shouldn't have done that, you know").
5. What is the most embarrassing drunk thing you have ever done?
OK, this is pretty shameful. One drunken night in my shared student flat in Glasgow, my flatmate and I somehow got into a discussion about the Seven Deadly Sins. Except that we weren't sure what they were. Her version (from her Catholic school education in Ireland) was different to my version (from the movie Se7en, heh), and we had no Bible, encyclopedia or internet to hand.
So... we went to the phone book and got the number for a local convent. Because we were drunk and the answer just simply COULD NOT WAIT, we ignored the fact that nuns are mostly in bed well before 11 pm, and called the number anyway. (When I say we, I mean that I dialled, but she encouraged me and assured me that the nuns wouldn't mind).
Me: "Oh hello, I was just wondering if you could tell me what the Seven Deadly Sins are?"
Nun: ".............................no." (click).
We looked the answer up on our other flatmate's computer the next day. My version was right.
Now it's your turn! Do you want to be interviewed?
If you do - here are the rules:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me" AND leave your email address (or blog link) in the comment!
2. I will respond by emailing you (or commenting on your blog with) five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. (If you don't have a blog, I can post your answers here).
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.