In the second grade, the first unit that the teacher taught in my class was about dinosaurs. Of course I knew about dinosaurs before that fateful unit but learning all about the different kinds, their different characteristics… it was in that moment when I realized what I wanted to be when I grow up: A paleontologist.
That was the first time I had even heard of that term. There are people who get to study dinosaurs every day?! Sign me up! My dream of a becoming paleontologist lasted for the rest of that year. I don’t think I told much of anyone, even though that is the ideal occupation many desi parents have for their kids* but slowly, the dream to become a paleontologist faded by the end of that school year.
I still loved dinosaurs though, which is why I devoured Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park when I read it when I was a kid, a year or two after the book came out, and I loved it. There was just one thing however: I never learned about velociraptors before I read Jurassic Park. This was not covered in the dinosaur unit! I think there was even a moment while I was reading the book that I thought the raptors were made up. Obviously they aren’t but was there some sort of conspiracy as to why I didn’t learn about them in the second grade along with all of the other dinos?
I think I know why: If I had learned about velociraptors in the second grade, I would have been terrified of them. They are freakin’ scary and the stuff nightmares are made of.
Yes, there’s the Tyrannosaurus Rex which is a bad dinosaur that consumes other dinosaurs but you could totally see one from a mile away. Raptors on the other hand are crafty dinos that can set people up and figure out how to open doors. When the movie released in 1993, it reinforced the fact that that one should fear raptors much more than the obvious, villainous T-Rex.
The long awaited sequel to the movie Jurassic Park, Jurassic World is coming out this Friday and I’m really looking forward to it. There’s a scene in the trailer where it almost seems like
Andy Dwyer Burt Macklin Chris Pratt has actually tamed velociraptors to be part of his squad. I don’t know how that is possible, this could be the raptor PR machine is in full force, but I guess we’ll have to see what’s up with this previous feared animal. Maybe they are just waiting, plotting, until they can take over the world.
I’ll find out soon enough.
Relevant to the post, from XKCD’s archives:
*Hahahahhahaha! *wiping away tears from eyes*