Getting from housewife to DG nerd
When I was a little girl, my grandparents—both of whom had college degrees—asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I froze. I had no idea. I blurted out my mother’s career choice, the only thing I could think of at the time. Housewife.
At the young age of six or so, I was told I needed an education. There’s nothing wrong with being a housewife, they said, but you should have something to fall back on. Pretty progressive for people born in 1915 and 1916.
I’m pretty sure I didn’t actually think being a housewife was the life for me. (Not that there’s anything wrong with being a stay-at-home mom.) I just had never really thought about much past dancing to a Buddy Holly tape cassette with our neighbors, the Holtes, and eating peanut butter sandwiches on what we called the picnic rock.
If you’d told me, back then, that I’d end up writing about ethanol and distillers grains, I’d have looked at you just as blankly as the second before I blurted out housewife to my grandparents. Chances are, they’d have looked pretty blank too, should someone have tried to explain my future career choice. I’m pretty sure they were thinking nurse, like my aunt, or teacher, like my grandmother.
But here I am, writing about distillers grains. And doing it enthusiastically too. I explain to people that I’ve become a bit of an ethanol nerd. The more I learn and understand the process of producing ethanol and its coproduct the more interesting it becomes.
It’s too bad though. It makes for pretty poor party conversation. “You know that waxy coating on cucumbers? They can make that out of distillers grains you know.” Talk about blank looks. How about this one, “Corn oil extraction happens at the front or back end of the ethanol production process and results in a feedstock for biodiesel production.” Not the kind of stuff that gets you a big crowd of hopeful conversationalists.
That’s OK. When I come across really cool nugget of information I can always share it with my coworkers, also a bunch of nerds. (For some reason they don’t like it when I call them that, however. Denial.) Or, I can always write about it in The Scoop.
Come on, share your nerdy news tips about DGs with me at email@example.com. I know you want to.