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Day 330: My Old Life, At Night

I drove by the building I spent a year and a half in before the pandemic hit. I realize I won’t spend much more time here, as I’ll move and finish my PhD from California. But I had missed this building. Working from home has been isolating at the least. Driving by it at night gave me a peace, a sense of community albeit imagined, like ghosts walking through an abandoned building.

Day 253: Covid Events

In the spring I stepped in as the president of the Creative Writers Association at the university I’m at. Normally, we hold our monthly graduate readings at this great dive-ish bar across from the English department. But now that we are on Zoom for much of life, we have had to adapt. Welcome to my hosting station, from the living room. It’s interesting about how, a year ago, I wouldn’t have guessed this scenario. Is that wonder?

Day 125: Second Year PhDone

Here is what I wrote about finishing gear two. It’s a wonder I made it (ha). I wanted to finish today because it marked another year finishing on Cinco De Mayo.

SECOND YEAR of the PhD: complete ✅

Just turned in my second Final Portfolio amidst a global pandemic while being thrust into the role of a full-time stay at home mom. If this season has taught me anything, it’s that I can work quicker and more efficiently than I think. It’s taught me to enjoy what I cannot control, too. Being with Bennett so much has been like a second maternity leave.

And I have good news, which feels weird to share during this time. But I love seeing others’ good news, so I’ll share some too in pleasant spirits:

  1. I will be joining the OSU Writing Center in a leadership role as an Assistant Director (AD). I’m so excited because I love leadership and writing and this is a perfect mix.
  2. The wonderful OSU creative writers nominated and voted me to be the President of the Creative Writers Association (CWA) for next year. It will be like the ASB experience I never had. But in the best of ways.
  3. The English department awarded me a teaching award for outstanding pedagogy in First Year Composition. And it came with money!

When I deliriously applied to a PhD program as a new mother (and I only applied to one, this one), I never imagined I’d get to work and create with such a talented, caring, passionate, and dedicated group of people. I didn’t know what my life would look like when I became a mom, but it’s helped me see all the potential I didn’t even know I had. I’m grateful to my son and husband and our families and friends who support us. And I say “us” because this has always been a team effort. Thank YOU for supporting me, and let me know how I can better support and serve you. 💖🍾

Photo: reflecting that this is all coming from a global pandemic & stay at home order with a messy kitchen behind me. May we never forget what we made it through.

Day 68: My mom and sisters and girls in STEM

My mom and two sisters are women in STEM! I love that about them. Today, my mom gave a talk to young girls in STEM!

On International Women’s Day — I’m lifting all women who do it all and bring other women up with them. She’s a doctor and in the Army and says, “You don’t need your whole life planned. You just need the next step.” Happy ladies day to all the women I love, adore, look up to, and cherish! #girlpower #womeninstem #giveheratedtalk @ted

Day 58: An Engaged Audience

During the semester, I team up with fellow PhD students and give graduate workshops to other students across the university. Students come from all backgrounds — history, STEM, agriculture, psychology, biochemistry, and etc. We teach everything from the abstract to literature reviews and how to write about your research for public audiences. Sometimes it is hit or miss with audience participation. However, this week and last week, we have had incredible graduate students ask thoughtful questions, engage in our activities, and leave feeling like they’ve learned something of value. This is not always the case! Sometimes they’re disinterested or distracted. So although this may seem like a small wonder, it is still a wonder to have a room engage and participate with what you are teaching!

A side shot of the library, where we hold the graduate workshops.