Scott Fulbright – TRANSCRIPT
I sat down to write a talk about sustainability, but then I heard an airplane. I became curious about where it took off from, where it was going, and why do only some airplanes leave white streaks behind them. As I’m thinking this, I look over at my two-year-old son, and he’s pointing up at the plane. That’s when I realized I have the curiosity of a two-year-old.
And having the curiosity of a two-year-old comes with some unique challenges. When I was in high school, I took the ACT exam, and the proctor said, “Please use a number-two pencil and begin.” All of my peers dropped their head and started filling in the little bubbles. I sat there, and I got curious about what’s the difference between a number-one and a number-two pencil.
I started thinking about nylon. What’s it made out of, and why is it so loud? Why do humans start to twitch when we get nervous? And most importantly, why does the girl behind me with the nervous twitch have nylon swoosh pants on? For six hours, all I heard was, “Shh, shh, shh, shh.” It’s times like this that I’ve had to contain my curiosity. I must’ve done OK because I got into college.
In my first year there, all my friends got internships in marketing and finance, but not me. I wanted to do Marine Biology – in the middle of Michigan. There’s no whales, dolphins, or sea turtles, but there is algae. You know, algae; the plant-like organism that grows in rivers and lakes? I became curious about algae, and I got an internship as an algal biologist. I quickly learned two things – one: algae are fascinating organisms that influence our everyday life; and two: girls at college parties loved talking about algae.