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 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.

Day 56: Tiny Art that Inspires

I know I already shared earlier this week about the wonder of unexpected notes in the mail, but I couldn’t help myself to double dipping. My friend Jacqueline Alnes owns an Etsy shop called, PhDistance, where she creates the most inspiring art. Usually the art is paired by a quote. She recently sent me some surprise treats in the mail. I hung them up above B’s play kitchen, right next to our kitchen, so I can look at them every morning.