We had a bunch of students come visit the blood bank today, on a “career exploration” field trip to the hospital. High school students, I assume, but I’m getting worse at judging the ages of the young as I’m getting older. Which is depressing, if I stop to think about it. So I won’t.

Normally the boss lady takes them around and shows them the workings of the blood bank, but she was in a meeting and we were caught off guard with only a 15-minute warning before the youngsters’ arrival. So the job was handed to me, in that everyone else basically claimed “not it” and disappeared.

I really enjoyed giving them a tour and teaching them a little about blood banking and transfusions, and how important the work is. I explained about blood types and why O is the universal donor, and I explained what the different parts of blood (platelets, red cells, plasma) are used for and why. I told them about quality control and attention to detail and why that’s so important in a lab. They asked a bunch of good questions, and some of them were taking notes – I’ve never seen anyone in the other groups bother to take notes! At the end of it, the teacher caught my eye and told me I did a great job, and I should consider teaching. If only she knew how often it crosses my mind!

I’ve thought about teaching, but I’d never make it as an elementary or high school teacher, and I’m not sure I have the right stuff to teach college science classes. But I know medical technology stuff pretty damn well and I’d love to share that with students entering the profession. It’s not out of reach – the main reason I haven’t pursued it as a career is because I want to get some experience in this field before I presume to know it well enough to teach it. Also, I think I might need a master’s degree, which is a big deal and not something I can tackle right now. But maybe I’ll look into it a little more seriously. Or at least consider tutoring students in the field, as a start.

I just love knowing stuff, and helping other people to also know that stuff. Honestly, this may be a little dorky, but one of the things I’m most looking forward to about having kids is teaching them stuff and watching the light bulb go on above their heads. That little moment of understanding is what it’s all about. I’m even looking forward to helping them with their homework. Except the math homework, which can remain securely on Dave’s list of responsibilities, because there is no way I’d be of any use dividing fractions.

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