“By definition, atmospheric or air pressure is the force per unit of area exerted on the Earth’s surface by the weight of the air above the surface. The force exerted by an air mass is created by the molecules that make it up and their size, motion, and number present in the air. These are important factors because they determine the temperature and density of the air and thus its pressure.” I was only a month into my Geography 120 class at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, a class dedicated to the study of Meteorology, but was instantly hooked by the first lecture. Perhaps it was genetic. No……I know what you must be thinking.
It had nothing to do with my (the absence of) eighteen fingers and toes this time. My father, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was a secret weather nut and he often engaged me knowing I was a captive audience. “Meg, it’s going to rain tomorrow! There’s a 30% chance of snow four days from now! Watch out this weekend, the temperature is expected to be humid and climb to hundred degrees…..!” Unlike many other places, Central Illinois did have some extreme weather, even an occasional tornado. Whenever something like that happened, there was a certain gleam in my father’s eye, as if a cage was opened and the weather beast had been unleashed.
As I sat there in an expansive lecture hall alongside almost 500 other students hanging on every word from the professor, I felt a sense of sadness inside. I had just realized in that moment that this topic that thrilled me, that would make a perfect profession for me, was unattainable. Authentically social and gregarious, I would do anything to be a meteorologist on television. I daydreamed of myself up there, holding a pointer with a map of the fifty states behind me, joking effortlessly with the rest of the news team. Then the daydream would end. I was convinced that no one would ever hire a two-fingered weather person to report the weather. And so, I became a history major and decided to go to law school. In the law, my difference wouldn’t matter.
Today we on the East Coast of the U.S. woke up to tons of snow and frigid temperatures. In anticipation of the event, weather men and women across the nation were in their prime, anticipating the “Hercules” storm. With a familiar gleam in their eye, they each declared regardless of broadcast station, “It’s the biggest snowfall for the year,” some of them reported yesterday with extreme animation. I laughed repeatedly at that phrase given it is only three days into the New Year. Before even a snowflake had hit the ground, school districts had already announced anticipated closings for the following day. Yesterday morning, as I rode the train to Manhattan with my friend Mike, the subject of the anticipated storm was on everyone’s minds. “Meg, what time do you think you’ll head home?” Instead of answering directly, I shared with commuting buddy my passion for Meteorology and my wish that I had pursued it professionally. “Why didn’t you?”he asked. “Ah, good question! I think you have given me the subject for my next blog post!”
I have come so far since those days of hiding my hands, believing that the public was not ready to embrace a difference like mine. Today I know better as you all know. I’ve learned to love to flaunt my hands and feet, and that you can’t expect anyone to see your difference as a positive thing if you don’t believe it yourself. In that vein, I figured I’d celebrate my two-fingered (and two-toed) life with my new 2014 list of the Top Ten Reasons It’s Amazing to Have Two Fingers. For those of you that missed the 2012 http://www.donthideitflauntit.com/glass-half-full/ and 2013 http://www.donthideitflauntit.com/top-ten-reasons-its-amazing-to-have-two-fingers/ lists, click on the links and enjoy!
Top Ten Reason It’s Amazing to Have Two Fingers (2014)
#10 When you raise your hand in class, you are almost always picked first.
#9 If someone needs extra help with manual labor, you are the last person they’ll call.
#8 You were practically born for speed texting on tiny keyboards.
#7 When you go to a reunion, you don’t need to wear a name tag.
#6 Your handshake will always leave a lasting impression.
#5 Your hands will never get caught in things 80% less than everyone else.
#4 You will receive far more back-rubs than you will be asked to give.
#3 Growing up, your teachers will take a shine to you– instantly!
#2 And then, when you are a parent, your kids’ teachers will take a shine to you–instantly!
And, the #1 reason it is AMAZING to have two fingers is………
This post is dedicated to weathermen Bill Evans and Lee Goldberg of Channel 7 Eyewitness news on ABC. Thanks for making me smile each and every day. Over here at Don’t Hide It Flaunt It, even though I didn’t become a Meteorologist, regardless of the day’s forecast my outlook remains sunny. Of course, feel free to reach out if you ever need a back-up. 🙂