This week we begin our shark dissections. This is a time of year that seniors are not interested in doing much, but still have much to do. In our case, we have a spiny dogfish to examine, poke, prod, manipulate, and memorize. You will learn how an aquatic organism compares to our own bodies in structure and function. You will also learn about why their organs have evolved and adapted to allow these animals to survive in the water.
All of these things you will learn about the shark are interesting (at least to me), but the main lesson I really hope you come away with is the experience of overcoming your fears, your self doubt, or whatever it is that holds you back from trying something new. Sure its smelly, and slimy, and kinda gross at the beginning, but you are about to venture off to college on your own and you will be able to tell people you meet that you dissected a shark! Believe me, not everybody can say that. I've had students come back to me and tell me how dissecting a shark made them seem more interesting to potential dates! I can't think of a more appropriate use of this knowledge I am providing you then using it to gain attention from the opposite sex!
The shark is temporary. The unit will end in about two weeks. As you progress in life, there will be challenges, assignments, etc that you will have to deal with for a longer period of time than one hour a day for two weeks. Start building up your tolerance for such things now and embrace the shark. I have never said you have to enjoy it, but it is an assignment you must complete. As a professional, take it from me, there is always an assignment that you don't enjoy but still must complete. I wish I could tell you that if you pick the right profession that you will enjoy everything about it and never experience the dread of performing certain tasks, but I can't. There are professional athletes who are receiving millions of dollars a year playing a game for their profession that don't like some part of their job. It seems crazy, but that is part of going to work.
Your uneasiness about the shark will dissipate. Its just a small shark that is the next job on the list. It is not something that can hurt you. It cannot make you feel inferior. Believe me, it will not be coming back to life anytime soon to exact revenge on you either. You are bigger than this job and can do this because all it is is the next job on the list.
So lets cross this off our list and build up our toolbox to conquer the next big job that you don't want to do.