Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

41J-r6SgC2L.jpg– My mother taught me that reading is a kind of work, and that every paragraph merits exertion, and in this way, I learned how to absorb difficult books. –

– My lab is a place where I move. I stand, walk, sit, fetch, carry, climb, and crawl. My lab is a place where it’s just as well that I can’t sleep, because there are so many things to do in the world besides that. My lab is a place where it matters if I get hurt. . . My lab is a place where my guilt over what I haven’t done is supplanted by all of the things that I am getting done. . . My laboratory is like a church because it is where I figure out what I believe. –

– My papers do not display the footnotes that they have earned, the table of data that required painstaking months to redo when a graduate student quit, sneering on her way out that she didn’t want a life like mine. The paragraph that took five hours to write while riding on a plane, stunned with grief, flying to a funeral that I couldn’t believe was happening. The early draft that my toddler covered in crayon and applesauce while it was still warm from the printer . . . there’s still no journal where I can tell the story of how my science is done with both the heart and the hands. –

– It came to me that as hospital workers, we were being paid to trail along behind Death as he escorted frail, wasted bodies over difficult miles, dragging their loved ones along with him. –

–Every oak leaf on Earth is a unique embellishment of a single rough and incomplete blueprint. –

– On some deep level, the realization that I could do good science was accompanied by the knowledge that I had formally and terminally missed my chance to become like any of the women that I had ever known. –

– You may think a mushroom is a fungus. This is exactly like believing that a penis is a man. –

– Vines are not sinister; they are just hopelessly ambitious. –

– I eventually learned that in Georgia, when someone walks up to you wearing overalls with no shirt underneath them, it is unlikely that something good is about to happen. –

– I know that I am supposed to be happy and excited. I am supposed to be shopping and painting and talking lovingly to the baby inside me…Instead I grieve long and hard for the part of my life that is over now that this baby has come. I should revel in expectation, and daydream in circles about the mysterious identity of this person coming together inside me. But I don’t, because I already know him. –

– Every living cell is essentially just a tiny bag of water…There will never be enough water for all the cells that could grow. Every living being on the Earth’s surface has been conscripted into a never-ending war over a total amount of water that equals less than one-thousandth of one percent of the planet’s total. –


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