My favorite knife came from my mother, a paring knife from a set of cutlery she and my father purchased together when they were married. When I’m slicing an avocado, even though their marriage failed, this decision to purchase knives is somehow a success through me.
My mind can get a little overwhelming at times. It doesn’t know when to stop or rest, and I don’t think it cares. I think it’s pretty invested in self-preservation. I wake up in the morning to the dull recovery from yesterday’s processing and creating, with dream reels rolling credits in the background.
Some mornings after I’ve had enough coffee to reach the present moment, I tie on my Brooks and hit the pavement for an intended 3 miles, inevitably turning into 6 or 8. Endorphins quiet my mind. Not since Crestwood Middle School Track & Field have I cared how fast I can run a mile. I’m about finding a good pace and seeing how many miles I can run. I’ve wanted to run a marathon ever since living 45 minutes outside Boston and quitting smoking.
I ran a half marathon last year and thought, that’s probably far enough. So, yeah, people who qualify for the Boston Marathon are my heroes. I can’t imagine how many years it would take me to be able to qualify for that race, but I’m pretty sure I never would. I know a woman who ran it 3 times as a bandit before she raised enough money for a number. She told me about salt tablets, peppermint candies, Vaseline, taping my feet; it was all so hardcore. Anyone who runs 26 miles in a row, at any pace, has a resolution I respect.
I can’t wrap my brain around why anyone would choose the Boston Marathon for a violent strike. I understand attacking the World Trade Center, financial symbol of the United States, western capitalism, and puissance. I’m not saying that was any less tragic or senseless; I’m saying I understand it. But the finish line of a race where people thrilled to finish in four hours are met with chaos and injury? It’s an especially shitty attack.
And after the fact, everyone is shocked. No one has any idea what the hell is going on. No one ever saw a fucking Crockpot filled with bomb or the asshole that put it there. There’s a part of me that hopes we never find the person or people responsible for this. I hate it when the media cycles repeat themselves to make those people famous. It’s so frustrating and who really feels like they can do anything? We’re all just waiting for the next carnage and praying that we’re somewhere else at the time.
Just discovered this.
If I could tell by looking at your computer that you incorrectly saved your files two days ago, I would not be teaching this lab for a peanut & cookie crumb salary.
I am crawling out of the pit of despair.
I am a super mega dork.
Also, I got to meet with one of the leaders in my field and he answered my questions for an hour.
So yeah, it was a good day.
I wear many different hats as a PhD student, some easier than others. But I am always professional at the right time and less so if that’s appropriate. We don’t get a lot of feedback in general that’s not related to improving research efforts. So it really meant a lot to me today when someone I consider to be one of my many “bosses,” and who I haven’t seen in a while, said to me, “It’s always good to see you.” And then reiterated at the end of our meeting, “It’s always good to see you. You’re always a hard worker and a positive person.” Made my day.
So here’s the thing. I was teaching today for the first time in a long time, after attending a class filled with computer engineering grad students where I was one person away from being the only woman. I teach digital image processing. I teach people how to do analyses on satellite imagery. I teach science. And I remembered today, after being a student and then being a teacher, how important it is to see people that look like you doing what you are interested in doing.
I remembered going to a Tech school that was predominately male and pursuing science when I was the vast minority. I am still the vast minority. But I also remember feeling more confident and less out of place when I got further into grad school and met women who are good scientists.
I want the women in my class to know that they can be great scientists. And in a weird, cool way I know that the fact that I am their teacher is sending that message without me saying a word.
Honest to God, I can’t tell if I don’t like my job or if I just get cranky after I work long hours for several days in a row. I think I like my job when I’m away from it or when people ask me what I do. It sounds cool. But then when I am sitting in my office, usually isolated and alone— monastic is as monastic does when getting a PhD— I start to get antsy and just want to do something else. It is absolutely no help whatsoever that I need to keep going to the internet to find more journal articles, research, citations, what-have-you, and on the internet it appears that fellow monastics are interacting! OH HEY. Nice photo. Funny quip. Interesting perspective, friend. Blamo. Concentration shot. And who really cares about invasive species in the Everglades anyways? Oh fuck. I am supposed to care about that right now.
Writing a scientific article on species distribution models is just as frustrating and not as fun as writing some good fiction or a dense poem.
Also, it’s been pouring here for days. The pool has been closed for weeks. And I am getting SHACK HAPPY. I feel like I could run a half marathon right now. Right in this moment. I have so much energy from sitting and doing DATA ENTRY.
When all is said and done and I have this damn doctoral degree in my hand, I am going to fall over dead at how much goddamn work I crammed into a few years. In interviews when people ask me what my skills are, I will reply, What AREN’T my skillzz? Yeah with two z’s, motherfucker.
I’m certain a beer at this point can only make this paper better.