A few weeks ago I was asked, for the first time ever, to referee an article for a journal called Classical and Quantum Gravity. For those of you outside the immediate realm of science and scientific research, being a referee means that you are given an article which was submitted to a journal and are asked to report back on its content: is it worth being published? how can it be made better? You become a guardian of science. Someone out there thinks you're good enough to know if this particular article is worth being published, and they respect your opinion (to a certain extent, obviously). You (and sometimes a second independent referee) become responsible for what scientific research is printed. That's a big responsibility.
Being asked to play such a crucial role in the scientific process was incredibly emotional for me: I went from being incredulous (me? really??) to being very flattered (they must like something I did!) to being terrified (what if I screw it up??) to finally accepting that everyone must feel this way at first, so why not give it a go?
After having written the report and having made my recommendations, I find that I've learned a lot. I felt that I was really capable of fulfilling this role and that I did in fact help to make an article a bit better.
Does this mean that I'm a real scientist now? Who knows?
Image: Heimdall, Guardian of the Rainbow Bridge to Asgard, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heimdall_(comics)