Marine Biology

Free response/Open question

Two communists and a fascist sit on my desk. Every morning they greet me, staring with gigantic, famished eyes from behind their acrylic wall. "Here you go, boys" I chime merrily as I give them the day's rations.

On a whim a few months ago I drove down to the local pet store and bought three Bloodfin Tetras from a lady whose idea of a good fishnet was her clenched fist. After an initial scare, when one of my new fishy friends was practically turned into salmon mousse before being released from said fist, I pranced out of the store with a bag in my hand and a happy feeling in my heart. Now every morning Joe Stalin, Benito Mussolini, and Mao Zedong greet me, having been so christened by the tank's water.

Far from being a mere spur-of-the-moment decision, my little dictator desk buddies represent a personal interest that makes me unique. I became interested in marine biology when I read Shark Lady, the biography of ichthyologist Eugenie Clark who studied shark behavior around the world. On my sixteenth birthday, when most of my friends were asking for cars, I asked for SCUBA diving lessons. Now, with a fresh certification card tucked into my dive log, I could walk with the fish just like Eugenie.

For three summers...

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