Life in the City

by Guest Blogger,
Tyler Kokjohn, Ph.D.

BirdIt was a bleak winter day in Chicago; one when the weather could not decide if it wanted to rain or snow, so it was doing both halfheartedly. I was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Illinois-Chicago seeking respite from failing experiments, feeling sorry for myself about how tough life could be.

Sitting on the wet granite steps at the center of campus, I heard rustling. Thinking it must be a rat out early on a dark day, I glanced at a nearby metal mesh garbage can and found the culprit. Only slowly did I realize the rat I had envisioned skulking about was actually a pigeon. Perhaps the shabbiest pigeon on our planet, it was almost black with grime and laboring hard to yank a clearly long-deceased French fry out of that garbage container. Thinking how the city…

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