First grade, I think. We were learning about planets, solar systems, galaxies, stars, asteroids… So many worlds to learn about and I wanted to explore them all. So, I dreamed that, one day, I would be an astronomer.
I was six. Everyone had slum books, we wrote in each other’s slum books and, in that part where you’re asked what you want to be, I consistently wrote: “To be an astronomer.”
In the second and third grades, we moved to other areas of science. But the stars and the solar systems were calling out to me. I borrowed library books. Everything there was on astronomy. And I read them on my own time. We had a set of encyclopedia at home and those volumes became a supplement when I ran out of library books to borrow.
Then, I can’t remember when, I found out that to be an astronomer meant one had to learn physics too. And that meant learning math — not the kind of math that made sense but the kind where you added, subtracted, multiplied and divided with letters instead of numerals.
The next time I signed someone’s slum book, in that part where you’re asked what you want to be, I wrote: “To be a lawyer.” Continue Reading