Some time ago, there was a meme going around about the last word of one's dissertation.
Well, I just completed a draft of the final chapter, and my tentative last word is "scientists." (OK. The last word of the text is "scientists." The last word on the page, in a footnote, is something entirely different. See below.)
A couple paragraphs for context:
Recall the hope of Atwood’s Lesje: she wants to wear the badge of science, to become a member of the museum and scientific communities. I saw the same kind of passion, albeit more naïve, among elementary school students, especially girls, who approached me on many occasions to ask, “Are you a real scientist?”
I didn’t want to lie to them. No, technically, I’m not a real scientist. I was an English major, failed poet, and cultural studies grad student trying to earn some extra cash by creating vinegar and baking soda volcanoes and explaining what coprolites really are. (1) But I did want to empower them. So instead of saying, no, I’m not a scientist, but I wish I could have been because it would have opened all kinds of doors and worlds to me, and you should never, ever give up your dream of becoming a paleontologist, I said something else, something that always made little girls smile.
I said, “We are all scientists.”
(1) Petrified poop.