girls,science, etc.

Marivonne Rodriguez N052FG at TAMVM1.TAMU.EDU
Wed Jan 20 16:31:02 EST 1993


I find this discussion about boys vs. girls in school quite interesting,
because I never had to deal with that. I went to an all-girl school, where I
was encouraged to do my best purely for the sake of being the best one can be,
with no gender attachment  to such a pursuit, not that such attachment is
always the norm in a mixed environment. I mean, I was never told:*You are femal
e so you should excell to show people out there that women can.*  But rather it
was more like:*Excell, because *you* can and *you* should.* Although whenever
we had math and science competitions with the all-boys schools, theyd always
win! :\ But we did our best and no one ever ever told any of us we couldnt be
this or that because we were girls. I wanted to be an astronaut for the longest
time before I developed a keen interested in Biology, which became translated
to:  *I like Biology therefore I should go to Medical School and become a
doctor...* How or why that translation occurred I dont know. That was sort of
the mentality in my school: Biology = Medicine. Has anyone else heard of this
before? It wasnt until the summer between my Junior and Senior years in college
that I realized research is what I wanted to do with my life, after having work
ed in Monsanto that whole summer. During that summer, I kept telling myself:
*Hey, noone told me about this, this is fun!* When working on my Masters, my
lab consisted of up to 4 grad students and a tech, *all female*, and our male
advisor. We never had a problem being heard! ;) Now, working on my Ph.D., Im
the only female in our 4-people lab, so things have been interesting from time
to time. But the 4-year Masters student in our lab admits Im one of the people
with the most incredible motivation hes ever seen, asking me where he can get s
ome so he can get done with his Masters! ha! Many of my students have asked me
why I went to grad school, to which my honest-to-God answer is: I went to grad
school because I want to know everything...

I guess the point Im trying to make (in such a roundabout way, for which I
apologize) is that although Ive never had anyone tell me I cant become this or
that because Im a woman, I dont think that could have ever stopped someone that
has always been so wound up about doing her absolute best as I am. Im also
quite opinionated and big-mouthed ;) which has helped quite a bit in getting th
is far. Someone said something about personality playing a role in succeding as
a woman. I have to agree there. Then again, Ive never been a faculty member in
a university, so hell is yet to come. ;)

Marivonne Rodriguez



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