The Impenetrable Nature of a Thick Skin

Multiple times during my scientific and professional development, I've been told about the necessity of a "thick skin". The intent of which is to not let negative feedback or constructive criticism upset you. The expectation is that you will not let things effect you emotionally, but you will fix the problems outlined or follow the... Continue Reading →

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Hurry Up And Wait

I first heard the phrase "hurry up and wait" to describe the nature of life for actors on a film set. I was an extra on the set of "Olympus Has Fallen" for one day back in 2012, filming in rural Louisiana. As extras, all of our attention and energy was needed while filming sequences,... Continue Reading →

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Am I Ready?

My anxiety levels are extremely high. Last month, I wrote about everything I have to do this summer and now, I'm in the thick of it. I finished up my experiments last Thursday and we finished packing the lab the following day. That's not to say that my experiments gave me all of the data... Continue Reading →

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The Cost of Calm

"Whoever said money can't solve your problems, Must not have had enough money to solve 'em" -Ariana Grande, "7 Rings" With mental health struggles so prevalent for graduate students, graduate programs and support networks are putting extra emphasis on mental health awareness. My graduate program offers workshops and counseling to its students, providing training and... Continue Reading →

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Planning to be Overwhelmed

For most students, across all levels of education, the summer represents a time for relaxation and recovery away from school and class responsibilities. Particularly responsible students may hold a summer job to earn some money and occupy their time. Graduate students don't get that luxury. We work year-round, whether in class, in the lab/doing research,... Continue Reading →

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Self-Awareness in Depression

I have chronic anxiety and periodic depression. My anxiety is rooted in my schoolwork, research, and other aspects of my professional life. My depression is brought on by pain in my person life. Over the past few weeks, I have been struggling through a breakup from someone I really cared about. The reasons for the... Continue Reading →

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Research is a Recipe

I don't think of my research as being daunting. Interesting, challenging, and frustrating, but not daunting. However, conversations with people outside of research makes it seem like that is how everyone else perceives our work. I think that perception is part of the reason so few people try out research programs in school or enter... Continue Reading →

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Talking Science

Science communicators are diverse individuals with various skills and functions while talking about science. Each type contributes to the public's perception of and knowledge about science.

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A Story A Day

As the end of the semester, this past week included unexpected adventures, unavoidable hurdles, and delightful surprises. In its culmination last night, I knew I needed to write everything down to make sense of it all and thought I might share it with anyone vaguely interested/willing to listen. My next few posts, which will be... Continue Reading →

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Beaten Down

While it's been an unspoken truth for decades, much recent attention has been paid to shedding light on the significant numbers of graduate students, specifically PhD students, who suffer from anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. However, news of our high rates of mental health problems comes as no shock to any PhD student.... Continue Reading →

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Inherent Creativity in Science & Tech

I recently finished reading another book recommended by a career/professional development specialist. This one, titled "A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future" by Daniel H. Pink, presents evidence of why "left-brained" jobs are becoming obsolete (in the U.S.A.) and recommends skills that can be developed for individuals in those careers to become... Continue Reading →

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I Make People Uncomfortable

I recognize that I have an imposing stature. I am 5'11" (1.80 m) tall and was, up until a year ago, fairly overweight. Outside my family, I grew up surrounded by people who were smaller than me. Between my size and my love of school, I became a social outcast at a very young age.... Continue Reading →

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Time, Love, Memory by Jonathan Weiner

Based on the recommendation from one of my professors, I recently finished this wonderful book by Jonathan Weiner. "Time, Love, Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior" beautifully walks the line between scientific and journalistic writing. It is the rare breed of book which is very well written and easy... Continue Reading →

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People Over Politics

I have never been sexually assaulted or raped. I have been harassed, stalked, and patronized, but nothing that has given me nightmares; just the nature of being female. There are probably many reasons why I haven't been the target of a sexual predator (anyone who commits assault/rape is a predator), but any justification of my... Continue Reading →

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