Five things I’d change and a day when those things have changed.

Quickly list five things you’d like to change in your life. Now, write a post about a day in your life once all five have been crossed off your to-do list.

The quick list

  1.  change jobs
  2.  Become a better writer/presenter/educator
  3.  Become a better data analyst/statistician/scientist
  4.  Change academia to become a better place for scientists to do their best work
  5.  Get outside/explore more of the world, be less isolated.

The day when that’s happened.

I awake to my alarm clock in a hotel room. i’m in Melbourne, Australia on a vacation, scratching a bucket list item off. I’ve put off living a life that I would like for too long.

I’m here to explore, take pictures and write about the world I see here. Urban, agricultural and wild. Even though I no longer work in a laboratory doing bench experiments, I am still fascinated by how plants work, communicating the reliance we humans have on the plants (and the rest of the natural world) and writing about it for my own personal blog that has developed a modest following.

I will also visit the University here and confer with scientists about their lives, how they do their work and what the best practices they have in place are for getting their best work done. I may even provide some ideas that they may not be aware of as keeping the brains of scientists healthily innovating and doing their work is now part of my job. I write about it, I’ve presented about it to various audiences of scientists and policymakers, and shown them data I’ve analyzed after learning to be a proficient statistician/analyst about what it is that helps scientists do their work and maintain a their mental health at the same time.

I’m still introverted and need time for recovery. And so going for a walk in a park or nature preserve largely in my own head, occasionally writing things down in a paper notebook with a nice pen. I’ll definitely visit a vineyard or two while I’m here in Australia too. Grapes are a fascinating plant and though wine, like coffee may not be essential to our existence, they make our lives a lot richer and are plants that can bring people together to share a drink and discuss ideas.

As my day ends, I work on a writing project for a major publication. It’s goal is to better connect people with the plants they may not be aware are in their lives…to get people to not have plant blindness as without them, civilization as we know it wouldn’t be here.

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Author: Ian Street

Ian is a plant scientist and science writer relating stories of plant science and scientists on his blog, The Quiet Branches as well as other outlets. You can find him on Twitter @IHStreet.

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