Don't worry, I'm getting to the point.
So all throughout high school, my plan was to be a veterinarian. I took the appropriate classes, AP Bio and chemistry, all that shit.
Went to a college with an excellent biology program. I even worked at a zoo for awhile as an assistant keeper. People would take their children there and point to us while we cleaned up after camels and wallabies and cougars and such and say, "Now son, this is what you'll do if you don't go to college." All I could think of was, "Bitch, the only reason I'm here is because my professor gave me a recommendation, and I'm a volunteer." Most of us were.
So science in high school is completely different from college. In high school, you know, you're distilling water and pouring shit in cylinders and making moles out of floss and felt.
But in college, it occurred to me: I wanted to be a doctor. Not just an animal doctor, I mean, I will be giving dogs drugs and creating medicine and researching shit and cutting things open.
For me, the act of dissection was depressing, but never gross, and it's not like I'd never skinned a rabbit before (feeding time at the zoo was always a party). When you make sure the lives of animals are a part of your life, their deaths are a part as well. It's inevitable. After watching old schoolhorses get euthanized and newborn fawns freeze to death (deer and elk from South America have a reversed gestation period, so fawns are born in November and some can't handle the cold)...I mean, there's only so many carcasses you can throw on the back of a truck before you get desensitized.
The problem is this: I am not good with knives. "Steady" and "accurate" are two words that lie in constant opposition to my everyday behavior, so I'll just add them to the list of shit that we know I am not. I wasn't allowed to cut my own birthday cake. Ever. Ask my family, go ahead.
Balancing equations was never a problem (not that it was easy, but I could learn those things without directy injuring someone). I had a grasp on the theories and how they needed to be proved, and I can memorize shit pretty well.
But the practical application of what I'd learned in class? I fucked up every single time. Constantly staying late, redoing labs, having pissed off partners. Accidentally slicing open pigeon veins, dropping kidneys and kickin 'em across the floor. My hands were never steady, my flask always boiled over, nothing ever properly oxidized. Even when everything in the experiment went smoothly, I inevitabley skipped a critical step, and instead of white powder I'd have Silly Putty.
Oh, and I am horrible at writing up lab reports, because I'm incapable of professional writing. This goes along with my inability to follow directions.
I can't even bake cookies, or pancakes. Not if measuring is involved. Once things become exact, I become fucked.
The biggest issue, I think, is that I've never been good at playing the game. Teachers want things to be done this way: well, fuck that. I'm better at doing it this way. And then the teacher says, you did very well, but that wasn't really the assignment. Well, fuck you, Teach. Directions erections shmirections, is what I say. My way is more fun and you know it. It wasn't about rebellion, either. Maybe a little. That was just a pleasant side effect.
It's like that at work too, co-workers can attest to that. I'm pretty sure I drive them nuts, because I am not good at professional behavior (but then again, that depends on your definition of professional. I find my behavior more professional then theirs, so it's all fucking relative, now isn't it? Go stamp your own damn envelopes, because that sign I made is fascecious, and there's no way I'm doing it for you, since I'm not your assistant. Fuckwads.)
This is when my uncle says, "You think you can just run around doing things however you want. That's not how the world works. I don't understand your head. Why can't you just be normal? There is a way for people to behave. You can't just live in the sky." Shut up, Uncle Dick, I'll live there out of spite.
And that is why I am not a veterinarian.