All of us wanted to be something when we grew up. Some of us wanted to be lots of things, and, by that, I mean that what we wanted to be changed about as often as we changed our socks. Or underwear. Granted, for some of us (especially the boys) that wasn't as often as it should have been, but that's the way it is when you grow up on a farm, right, and only change your clothes every three or four days and the water in the tub turns brown when you get in. You know, back in the days when you had someone to guard you from wasting time getting clean, since you were only going to go back out and get completely dirty again, right, by saying things to your mother like, "The dirt is good for him." [And, just, by the way, that's totally true. Science says so! No, seriously, not letting our kids be dirty is one of the big things some scientists are saying is the cause of the rise in things like asthma and allergies and having a weaker immune system in general.]
But I digress...
I wasn't one of those people that changed his mind a lot. I decided sometime between 3 and 4 that I was going to be a paleontologist when I grew up, and that's the only thing I ever wanted to be. Until I got to middle school, that is, and had to research the field rather than just the dinosaurs, and I realized I didn't want to be one after all. I had already discovered that I hated rocks, so that shoved paleontology right out the window when I came to the realization that I would have to know everything about rocks if I wanted to dig up dinosaurs.
The point, though, is that, as I was growing up, I collected a large assortment of books about dinosaurs. Because, you know, back in the day, that's how you did it. Of course, in any scientific field, books become quickly outdated, which was fine when I was a kid, because all I really wanted to do was read about dinosaurs anyway. But, when you're older, you want the most recent data and discoveries.
Which leads me to my next point...
When I abandoned paleontology, I switched to wanting to go into movie special effects, specifically, stop motion photography. Yeah, you can blame Lucas and The Empire Strikes Back. I'm pretty sure the Hoth battle still stands as the most awesome piece of stop motion work ever done. But guess what. There were no books on that stuff, because it was too new. So it became all about the magazines, and I started buying issues dealing with the stuff I was interested in, which, actually, was kind of few and far between, because special effects magazines all had to with makeup and monster masks and stuff. The library wasn't really any help, because they didn't keep those kinds of magazines, and, even if they had them, people were always walking out with them, so, see, the library didn't have them. It made it difficult to keep up with that kind of stuff.
My own kids have never had to deal with any of these kinds of issues because of the miracle of the Internet. Anything they want to be, anything they want to know about, any information they need is available to them. The most recent data, discoveries, experiments, whatever; it's all available without ever having to leave the house and without having to collect a huge collection of books or magazines that become worthless (scientifically) within a couple of years. It's a great and wondrous thing.
And, so, this is my A to Z topic: How To Be... Because, with the web, you can be whatever you want to be!