I was 13.

Fresh out of Elementary School and into Junior Highschool. My friend and I decided to do a Science Fair project on Genetics, for the local "Sciencefest". After countless hours of research and experimentation (we got some E. Coli from a local biomedical lab, and did a few experiments with UV radiation) we had a pretty neat project, for a couple of eighth graders that is.

The day of the competition rolled around, and we started to get excited. All the other projects paled in comparison to our carefully crafted display and research (we thought, after all we were 13 and easily impressed with ourselves). After careful deliberation the judges reached their decision. Lo and Behold we had won!

Then came the real surprise. Michael Smith, a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry was in attendance, and since we had won we got to meet him! Of course this blew our 13 year old minds to pieces.

After calming down a little bit, we were escorted upstairs to the VIP balcony, where Dr. Smith was. Of course we were in AWE. Here was a man who was everything that we had ever dreamed of becoming, a scientist who had reached the pinacle of his profession. A man who had won a NOBEL PRIZE!!!!

As we approached him, timidly, our knees shaking with nervousness, overwhelmed by his prescence, he looked down at us, and smiled.

The head of the Science Fair introduced us to him, and told him about our project. This Nobel Prize Winner reached down to me, took my hand and shook it.

"Young Man," he said, "Your fly is open"

Years later I worked under him as a sysadmin at the Center for Intergrated Genomics, which did work on the Human Genome Project. He does not remember the event in question. I do.

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