Tag Archives: Grad School


I went to a funeral recently for an awesome person and I found out all sorts of things.  I found out that she was a parachuting instructor in the Army.  I found out that she’d been to, like, every country in the world.

I found out that when she died from cancer in April, she had just completed her 8th university degree.

And I thought, “That’s so awesome!”

And then I thought, “I’m totally going to do that, too.”

So I will.

Thanks for the example, Irene!


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Filed under Conspicuously Overwhelming Note

I’m liking my job

I like my job a lot.  In fact, I could say that I love my job.

I don’t know if this will translate with anyone, but I love how I can make things that look beautiful–make things that show what our Earth looks like.

I can take a data-gathering flight in 2005–a flight that scanned a laser over the ground and sent me a massive text file with millions of entries that look like “2.4567, 1, 9876.”

Then I can take that little text file and make this:

A "bare_earth" LIDAR scan

You may think that this image is pretty boring, but I can go from here to make hundreds of beautiful, colorful images showing a little piece of the earth.  And let me tell you, nature can be really beautiful:

Decimeter contour lines of my research marshes: but that title doesn't sounds as pretty as the image looks on its own.


Filed under Hobbies and Such

Transitioning the PhD


It’s been a little over a year since I officially and contractually signed off my position as a PhD candidate at Boston University.  It was sort of a big deal to me, though the feelings I had when I signed and mailed that letter were surprisingly calm.  Regardless of whether or not I felt good about the decision (which I did feel good about), it was still a big deal because getting a PhD had been my life’s goal since I was in high school.  It was my “when I grow up” for years.  It was my envisioned educational future.

And, it was a big deal because I was proud of myself for getting into Boston, dag nabbit.  I’m still proud of myself for that.  And I’m proud that I spent two years of my life there writing my rear off.  Continue reading


Filed under Considering

Few things make me more angry/frustrated…

…than people who assume I left my PhD program because I “got married.”

How is that even logical?  …Maybe I don’t want to know how that makes sense to them.


Filed under No Good Day

Where the Girls Are

From Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media by Susan Douglas

“We can reclaim the word feminist from the trash heap it’s been relegated to by the media and remind them and ourselves that a woman who says, ‘I’m not a feminist, but…’ is, in fact, a feminist.  I agree with Susan Faludi, who said, ‘All women are feminists.  It’s just a matter of time and encouragement.” (294)

“Nonetheless, whether on the nightly news or in prime time, the battles between the simpering, sheltered wife and mother on the one side and the ambitious, independent, outspoken witch on the other pulled women in the audience to the middle, to the space between the two archetypes.  The space in the middle was not passive and helpless, nor was it masculinity in drag.  This space inside our heads and our hearts was filled with elements of each side, with compromises, with inner conflicts as well as possible resolutions.  The media referees insist on putting feminism in one corner and antifeminism in the other, as if feminism could never be in the middle, but what they fail to recognize is that feminism is the middle ground.  It may be filled with ambivalence and compromise, tradition and rebellion, but the space between the two cats–the space where we, the girls, are–is what feminism is all about.” (244)

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Filed under Considering, Feministing

Why I Might (May [Most Likely]) Not Finish My PhD

red-phd-gold-pip_2I realize I go back and forth on this topic a lot. Probably a few times a week…actually I’ve been doing it since about two and half years ago when I began my PhD.

And so, as a disclaimer, I want to make it clear now that it is very likely that in two hours I’ll be ready to hit the archives and book lists and think that those funny pillow hats are the coolest things in existence. And that I like red enough to want to have to wear a CARDINAL robe to every academic ceremony I attend for the rest of my life due to Boston U’s unfortunate color choices (pity them).

This flip-flop may very well happen. In fact, it probably will happen.

But as of this afternoon, I would like to lay down some of my reasons for possibly not completing my PhD in American Studies. Continue reading


Filed under Considering, Conspicuously Overwhelming Note, Feministing, Hobbies and Such, Matrimanity, The Oddness Within