The Superpower that Has No Name

There’s a fair amount of popular/professional literature out there about librarians’ supposed superpowers. There are numerous articles about librarians saving the world, and then, of course, there’s Batgirl. You can Google it (yes, we ‘brarians Google from time to time. 🙂  )

Tonight I’m thinking about my own superpower. I wasn’t gifted with one of the exciting ones–but when it comes to useful superpowers that empower students, I lucked out. Maybe this is a superpower that you have, too?

Here’s the secret: I don’t get bored. Really. You can explain the most esoteric, detailed academic concept to me and I think it’s fascinating. (Don’t try mansplaining anything to me, though; that’s different.) In fact, I think that your engagement with the topic is cool. I want to hear how you hope to change the world with your knowledge–because I know that you have plans, or at least some powerful starting points.

Like many bona fide superheroes, it was part chance and part upbringing that helped me to hone this superpower. I sprang from two generations of talented phytopathologists (Google it.)–my Dad researches wheat and corn, and my Grandpa researched potato fungus. We are a family that does not hesitate to discuss science over the dinner table. Also, I get that sometimes it’s the tiniest details, shrouded in science and magic, that have the biggest implications for the world. Sometimes you have to tell me what those implications are, though.

How can all of this be empowering to students? That part is easy! I’ll gladly listen. I enjoy serving as the “educated public” to whom you explain your science. I love hearing about the work that you hope to do one day, and how it could change the world. I can connect you with resources for your research. I can also tell you stories of other students who have made it in the past–just ask.

Oh, yeah–and I don’t expect that you have the same superpower. You have your own superpowers. When you find a career that’s a match for your powers, that’s when you’ll know you’re in the right place. That’s your wisdom for the day. 😉

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