graduated cylinders


I graduated this weekend. The ceremony was long, sweaty, and boring — but at the same time vital, I think, to understanding that a milestone had been reached, that something important had in fact happened.

I’d been so focused on getting into a PhD program that it hadn’t occurred to me until recently that what I was doing at school every day mattered and would amount to something,  » Read more

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Police Cruiser

While I’m walking around downtown, a (female) police officer comes up to me and says, “You look nice. You have a nice face. Very nice looking.” I thank her (because I don’t  know what else to say) and she walks off. Random though oddly flattering.  » Read more

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Wannabe Service Alien

I appear confident, but under the surface I’m afraid.

Disappointment is a persistent low-grade stinging in my chest, churning slowly, like a fist clenching in a space where it doesn’t quite fit. 

I fear I always screw things up with him. I never say the right things. How is it that I’ve worked all these years to be pleasing to men,   » Read more

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Good at Math is Better

nerdy ones

But only if they’re good at math. Or writing. Or some other intellectual pursuit.

There are plenty of so-called geeks without any specific talent who are lacking in social skills and/or obsessed with something in particular that leads to encyclopedic knowledge.

You want a smart one.  » Read more

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I’m Sorry

I have a confession: I’m a chronic apologizer.

I first became aware that it was a problem when I was a freshman in high school. A senior, one of the trombonists in the jazz ensemble I was playing in, was driving me around in her car, and I reflexively apologized for something small,  » Read more

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“I mostly feel terrible about not getting into grad school because it was the justification for my not working while I went to school, that I was going to work really hard so I could get accepted somewhere,” I told Spook as we drove home from Chicago.

“That wasn’t it at all,” Spook said.  » Read more

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Framing Effects

It’s been a rough semester. To the total surprise of all of the professors and research advisors rooting for me, I didn’t land a position in a PhD program for next fall, despite all of the things that make me an excellent candidate, lots of research experience, crazy great GRE scores and grades, and glowing recommendations.  » Read more

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Second City

I’m writing this in my head in a hotel room in Chicago. I can’t sleep. I hate it when I’m exhausted and turn in early only to wake up in the middle of the night with my body squarely deciding it’s only interested in a nap, k thx. But here I am.

It’s my first time visiting the city,  » Read more

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i-27d4775dda188d3c4c57ce61e8cb67c8-Arctic Creature 6 - nemertean pelagonemertes rollestoni

Skyspook: You say you don’t have strong opinions, but you do.

Me: Oh yeah?

Skyspook: It’s because it’s something you value about yourself , that you’re unopinionated, that you don’t have preferences. Even though you do.

Me: Ugh, stop that.

Skyspook: And apparently you’re ashamed that you’re proud of that.  » Read more

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