Last updated March 28, 2022.
At the risk of making it all about me, I’m trying to do my very best eldest daughtering in the face of my mom’s leukemia diagnosis. She was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in January, and while the leukemia is in remission, each round of chemo seems to come with new scary side effects. And sometimes she ends up with a complication that isn’t clearly a chemo side effect. But regardless, she is in and out of the hospital often, and I’m trying to do what I can to support my dad and brother as they care for her. I’ve designated myself as researcher and person to make sure other people are getting their needs taken care of, but also trying to make sure I’m taking care of myself, too.
My son M. goes to an independent preschool where he has a small class and they have been taking excellent precautions to protect everyone on campus from COVID-19 transmission: required masking, windows open, fancy HVAC, UV stuff that burns all the germs at night., an only-when-well attendance policy. They recently went mask-optional outside, which has gone okay. They will go mask-optional indoors after spring break. I’ve asked that he stay masked indoors, because I am in at least 3 high-risk categories for COVID complications. His teacher has turned rest time from his least favorite time of day into something he looks forward to by giving him mandalas to color. His focus as he colors these is stunning. We’ve been playing a lot of Super Mario Odyssey together.
I’ve been co-owner of a home since 2012 but there are a lot of homeowner tasks I’ve been neglecting in the past 9 years so I’m catching up on those now, as well as trying to work out a regular maintenance schedule. Our tree-trimming is scheduled for next week. Pest control is tomorrow. I’ve got a quote on some electrician tasks that I’ll accept as soon as we have picked out new ceiling fans.
I’m still loving working remotely as a Postdoctoral Scholar for the Connected Learning Lab at UC Irvine. This is exactly what I trained for in my PhD. I have watched for years as UCI snapped up every scholar whose work I was following, never dreaming that I would be able to work there myself because I won’t move to California for family reasons. I’m working on a project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services to investigate scalable means for:
This is genuinely a dream postdoc for me and I’m thrilled to be part of this team.
I’m still consulting for Quirkos, a computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software company. My primary work for Quirkos is content development: writing blog posts and developing and co-hosting a podcast. I’m also working through ideas about other consulting clients and making plans to build a freelancing portfolio. My postdoc contract will end after a maximum of 2 years. I want to have the flexibility after that to pursue whatever amazing opportunity comes my way next, which means finding ways to pay bills that don’t require me to desperately accept a job that will tie my time down. For example, if I’d taken on a day job last summer, I wouldn’t have been available to apply for the postdoc in the fall.
I’m making an effort to include at least a bit of fun every day, but trying to fit in even more than that. Right now this looks like reading fantasy novels, watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, playing video games, cross-stitching, and crocheting.
I acknowledge that I live and work on unceded Lumbee, Skaruhreh/Tuscarora, and Shakori land. I give respect and reverence to those who came before me. I thank Holisticism for the text of this land acknowledgement.
We must acknowledge that much of what we know of this country today, including its culture, economic growth, and development throughout history and across time, has been made possible by the labor of enslaved Africans and their ascendants who suffered the horror of the transatlantic trafficking of their people, chattel slavery, and Jim Crow. We are indebted to their labor and their sacrifice, and we must acknowledge the tremors of that violence throughout the generations and the resulting impact that can still be felt and witnessed today. I thank Dr. Terah ‘TJ’ Stewart for the text of this labor acknowledgement.