It should be fairly obvious to any longtime readers of this blog that my “Reading Challenge Extravaganza” from a few years ago is mostly extinct. However, I have set some new goals recently to make the most of my remaining free time before returning to school in the fall of next year.

I’ve made it a goal to read at least 5 books a month. My attention span is sporadic and I typically read multiple books at once so the following books have all been started if not halfway read already but this list I intend to finish this month:

The Two-Income Trap by Elizabeth & Amelia Warren (2003)
“More than two decades ago, the women’s movement flung open the doors of the workplace. Although this social revolution created a firestorm of controversy, no one questioned the idea that women’s involvement in the workforce was certain to improve families’ financial lot. Until now. In this brilliantly argued book, Harvard Law School bankruptcy expert Elizabeth Warren and business consultant Amelia Tyagi show that today’s middle-class parents are suffering from an unprecedented and totally unexpected economic meltdown. Astonishingly, sending mothers to work has made families more vulnerable than ever before. Today’s two-income family earns 75% more money than its single-income counterpart of a generation ago, but actually has less discretionary income once their fixed monthly bills are paid. How did this happen? Warren and Tyagi provide convincing evidence that the culprit is not “overconsumption,” as many critics have charged. Instead, they point to the ferocious bidding war for housing and education that has quietly engulfed America’s suburbs. Stay-at-home mothers once provided a financial safety net if disaster struck; their move into the workforce has left today’s families chillingly at risk. The authors show why the usual remedies–child-support enforcement, subsidized daycare, and higher salaries for women–won’t solve the problem, and propose a set of innovative solutions, from rate caps on credit cards to open-access public schools, to restore security to the middle class.”  – Amazon.com

It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of  Extremism by Thomas E. Mann and Normal J. Ornstein (2012)
“Acrimony and hyperpartisanship have seeped into every part of the political process. Congress is deadlocked and its approval ratings are at record lows. America’s two main political parties have given up their traditions of compromise, endangering our very system of constitutional democracy. And one of these parties has taken on the role of insurgent outlier; the Republicans have become ideologically extreme, scornful of compromise, and ardently opposed to the established social and economic policy regime.

In It’s Even Worse Than It Looks, congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein identify two overriding problems that have led Congress—and the United States—to the brink of institutional collapse. The first is the serious mismatch between our political parties, which have become as vehemently adversarial as parliamentary parties, and a governing system that, unlike a parliamentary democracy, makes it extremely difficult for majorities to act. Second, while both parties participate in tribal warfare, both sides are not equally culpable. The political system faces what the authors call “asymmetric polarization,” with the Republican Party implacably refusing to allow anything that might help the Democrats politically, no matter the cost.

With dysfunction rooted in long-term political trends, a coarsened political culture and a new partisan media, the authors conclude that there is no “silver bullet” reform that can solve everything. But they offer a panoply of useful ideas and reforms, endorsing some solutions, like greater public participation and institutional restructuring of the House and Senate, while debunking others, like independent or third-party candidates. Above all, they call on the media as well as the public at large to focus on the true causes of dysfunction rather than just throwing the bums out every election cycle. Until voters learn to act strategically to reward problem solving and punish obstruction, American democracy will remain in serious danger. ” – Amazon.com

(This book is highly disturbing so far. Worth the read for anyone interested in the bitter details of the kinds of practices that our elected officials frequently engage in to thwart their colleagues. It’s disgusting.)

Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber (2011)
“Every economics textbook says the same thing: Money was invented to replace onerous and complicated barter systems—to relieve ancient people from having to haul their goods to market. The problem with this version of history? There’s not a shred of evidence to support it. Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom. He shows that for more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods—that is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era, Graeber argues, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors.  ” – Amazon.com

How to Build Healthcare Systems by J.A. Muir Gray (2011)
“The horizontal arrangement of healthcare services into primary, secondary and tertiary services is no longer useful or fiscally prudent. How To Build Healthcare Systems offers a fresh approach to the question of how to organise healthcare services so that they deliver value – to patients, providers and payers.” – Amazon.com

Responding to Healthcare Reform: A Strategy Guide for Healthcare Leaders by Daniel B. McLaughlin (2011)
“Responding to Healthcare Reform clarifies the complexities of the ACA by explaining the underlying theories that shaped it, describing the act’s impact on the role of the healthcare organization, and offering direction for strategy formulation. Written for healthcare executives, it focuses on the sections of the bill that are most pertinent to provider operations.” – Amazon.com

Healthcare Operations Management by Daniel B. McLaughlin and Julie M. Hays ( 2008)
“This book is about operations management and the strategic implementation of programs, techniques, and tools for reducing costs and improving quality. It not only covers the basics of operations management, but also explains how operations and process improvement relate to contemporary healthcare trends such as evidence-based medicine and pay-for-performance. The book’s practical approach includes real-world examples to illustrate concepts and explanations of software tools that solve operational problems.” – Amazon.com

Shew. The last two books are actually textbooks. I’m attempting to make up for my lack of healthcare industry education so that I can better prepare myself for grad school.

LET’S DO THIS!

Finally. It’s happened. The inevitable and patent **click.**

After years of torturing myself, hemming and hawing, freaking out, scared to death of making a wrong choice and/or failing, of not truly knowing my purpose in life, I’ve finally found what I want to do with my life and career.

While I want to say something to the effect of “get a PhD in Clowning Science” I honestly can’t joke about this right now. Hell must have frozen over. I know. Don’t cry.

For a couple years now, I’ve been in search of a graduate program that would allow me to draw upon the variety of skills I’ve developed over the course of my lifetime. I have experience in various domains – marketing, sales, customer service, project management – as well as a degree in biology with an emphasis on the interactions between science and society. I’ve known for some time that I didn’t want to work in a lab and I definitely didn’t want to be a doctor.

I’ve struggled with social anxiety disorder my entire life (which typically results in incessant embarrassing babble in social situations, totally fun) but I made a commitment to myself last year that I would put myself in situations and positions that would force me to assume a leadership role. To my intense surprise, I found that I enjoyed it immensely.

Since graduating in December, I’ve scoured university graduate programs all over the country trying to find a program that would incorporate my skills, talents, interests, and experiences that would provide me with a promising career and future in which I could continue to develop my leadership skills. Deep down inside I know I have it in me to be a fantastic leader and innovator. I love solving problems and looking at complex structures to see how all the parts fit and work together. I like having my hands in 100 pots at once and I enjoy being pulled in multiple directions.

I found the perfect degree. Master of Health Administration. It may not sound fancy or amazing. It might even seem kind of dull. However, after years of endless searching I’ve found the right fit. An MHA is basically an MBA for health care. Graduates of MHA programs learn how to finance, organize, and manage health care delivery services. They are the people that run hospitals, health care consulting firms – they are the leaders of the operational side of the health care industry.

People. I totally want to be Cuddy when I grow up.

Anyone that knows me knows that I change my mind a lot. I have anxiety about everything and I constantly change my mind. Honestly this little personal quirk is what has allowed me to learn so much about so many different disciplines which (I hope) will contribute to my success in this program.

So I guess the natural question for me would be, why health care? Why not just get an MBA?

The answer to this is twofold:

1) I love science. I love biology. I love medicine, I just don’t want to be a doctor. I love all aspects of science – history, philosophy, specializations – you name it. Getting into the business and financial side of health care will provide me with an additional avenue to learn more about science and medicine.

2) I developed a passion for science and technology policy during undergrad. I would love to pursue a policy degree but decided against it in favor of a broader and more encompassing program. I want to help people. I want to innovate and reorganize and shake shit up in the industry. I want everyone to have access to affordable, efficient health care. I want to be on the frontlines. This degree will help me do that.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a passion like this. The last one I remember was when I discovered History & Philosophy of Science through an undergraduate class. Lit a fire under my ass like you wouldn’t believe.

Well guess what people? Someone just placed a sun under my ass and I’m rocketing towards the edges of the universe with how high I am on this feeling.

I swear, I’m not on drugs. I’m alive. I’m awake. I’m excited and hopeful.

I’m ready to take on the fucking WORLD.

Now who wants to write me an awesome reference to get me into JHU? Anyone?

I just read this article, What Geneticists Think You Should Know, concerning the increasing availability of patients to have their genome sequenced and the debate surrounding what type of results a patient should receive from this.

Summarized thusly, the article states that some experts think that patients should only receive results pertaining to genetic diseases that have viable treatment options, while others take a more liberal opinion on the matter. Some experts think the lab should decide on which results to send while others believe this decision should default to the patient’s doctor or the patient directly.

These issues, while valid and important, barely skim the surface of the potential types of issues that could result from the availability of such genetic information. It makes me ask myself, would I want to know what my chances are of developing a debilitating disease? Part of me says of course but another part of me wonders how that information could change my perspective on life and living. For example, if I found out tomorrow that I have a 75% chance of developing lupus (my father suffered with it for 13 years), how might that affect my decision making moving forward? Would I want to give up on life and sink into depression? Would I want to go and do all the things I’ve been meaning to do, like travel, go to culinary school, and live for a year in France (or Italy, I’m not totally picky)? Would it make me think differently about bringing children into the world with the possibility of passing the gene on to them?

Beyond personal issues, I also think about the potential abuse that could result from insurance companies having that type of information. Gattaca comes to mind, where the probabilities for genetic disease dictate the opportunities for citizens regardless of personal performance. Should this type of possibility be safeguarded against with patient protections and sanctions against discrimination and abuse by insurance companies?

Sometimes it seems like we are living in a world of science fiction with all the advancements that have come along and keep coming. Part of me says YEEHAW let’s do this! While another part of me fears for the future and what some of these advancements could mean for us as a society.

Would you want to know? Should we just because we can?

 

 

I honestly thought I’d have more time/energy/motivation/inspiration/<insert whatever other word here> to blog after I graduated. Obviously this thought was misguided.

Since graduating in December I’ve read a few books, worked my ass off (to the tune of 40+ hours a week, from home), watched a few television shows, and have been working hard to lose all the weight I’ve gained over the last 10 years.

I realized this morning that it’s almost May and my post-graduation goal list is still fairly full. Part of me feels guilty about this but part of me also recognizes the fact that I needed a serious break from studying and research and generally having shit-to-do. Plus my new workout regimen has been wiping me out a bit…

It’s almost May. It’s time to start getting back into the swing of things. As usual I’m doing a grad school dance and trying to figure out which direction to go. Leaning towards Ohio State and a couple public health programs their graduate school offers. I can’t decide if I want to follow passion or pragmatism. I know everyone says to follow passion because you’ll be happier, but I kind of want to be able to afford to live. I’d be a terrible teacher and I’d rather not go the academic route.

I need a mentor. Seriouslah.

It’s my last semester as an undergrad. I applied for graduation yesterday and it felt….good…I guess. Part of me is relieved but another part of me is scared shitless while still yet another part of me is perfectly fine with all of it.

I’ve decided to take some time off school after I graduate. Pay down some debt. Possibly get a second job. I’m going to focus on myself for a bit – I have a graphic novel idea to flesh out, a few stories I’d like to write. I’d like to become a steady blogger as well as get more into food & cooking. Possibly find a local sangha or start or join a local meditation group. Rediscover myself post-college, as it were.

I feel like a sponge with a limitless capacity to fill itself. I’d love to keep going to school just to do it but I’ve reached my loan aggregate and can’t take out any more money. I just don’t feel ready. I’m still waiting for the moment (if it ever happens…) where all my life and academic experiences will coalesce into a definable thing that I can put towards some kind of career.

Is it normal to feel like you have no fucking clue what you are doing or what you want to do???

I am more confused than ever about which direction to pursue.

I decided against the Fulbright to Sri Lanka, however, due to a few minor things that when compiled became major enough to warrant revisiting the topic more seriously.

1) I don’t really want to leave my husband, house, and kids (read: animals) for such a long period of time.
2) I would turn 30 (eeeeeek) while in a foreign country practically alone.
3) I’m not entirely sure how much of a stipend I’d actually get so I don’t know if my financial situation could handle a drastic cut in pay.
4) The final Twilight movie comes out while I’d be gone…..(SHUT UP)
5) I want to travel the world and experience new countries, places, and people on my own terms and I want to do it all with my husband. While the idea seems awesome, I think at this point I’m romanticizing what it would be like to live in a developing country for a year and how everything would be on someone else’s terms. It’s not a vacation, it’s real, it’s teaching, it’s a contract. For a year. In a foreign country away from family and friends and whatever else have you. While I’m sure it would be completely amazing, I want to travel and see the world on my own terms and I would love to do it all with my hubz.

So I’m kind of back at square one. Fuck.

Beyond frustrated. Mostly with myself and my lack of direction. It’s not even that I have no direction – I just have too many directions and the inability to choose the one I feel fits the most. How the fuck do people make these kinds of decisions????

Help…..

PS. The idea of going for a PhD is not entirely gone. I am not opposed to graduate school, I’m just not sure what I want to do.

I feel the need to update my reading list again. I’ve been on a classics kick lately and have downloaded quite a few public domain ebooks. In the last year or so I’ve wanted to go back and read all the typical literary classics that most students are required to read that I never had to read. Books such as Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, Little Women, etc. I feel like I’m missing out on some important rite of passage. I also don’t feel as if I can consider myself well-read until I read some of these classics.

I recently finished Jane Eyre and loved the crap out of it. I’m slightly obsessed with 19th century gothic fiction now and have been looking for more books like this. If anyone has any suggestions, please leave them in the comments and I’ll add them to my growing list.

I’ve been in the process of re-reading the Harry Potter series in preparation for a Harry Potter class I’ll be taking in the fall so this has been taking up most of my reading time. Once I finish that I have a whole new list of books I’d like to read plus a few that have been on the list for awhile. I still have a list of science fiction and dystopian stories and novels to read.

Here’s to a productive reading summer!

Lady Gaga’s new album “Born This Way” was released today. Now, some people I know are sick of hearing about Gaga and think she’s nothing special, saying things like “Madonna did it first” or that she’s “just another pop clone.” I’d like to present a slightly disorganized and somewhat emotionally charged case as to why I think those people have no clue what they are talking about.

Pop culture is a strange animal. It’s damn near impossible to predict what kinds of artists, musicians, products, etc, will catch on and take flight in the mainstream population. There are no exact rules to follow when attempting to establish a new artist. Depth and talent can sometimes mean absolutely nothing (think boy bands or Ke$ha) as hits are made at all levels of depth and artistic ability. Record labels are constantly manufacturing “talent” and marketing the crap out of them in an effort to turn them into cash cows. However, there is a difference between selling a lot of records and selling a lot of records through connecting to people.

What the world has seen with the rise of Lady Gaga, in my opinion, is nothing short of incredible. In less than three years, New York club kid Stefani Germanotta went from being a mostly nameless pop song writer to international number #1 recording artist. Everyone knows who she is. Everyone can recall at least one outfit she’s worn or knows a song or two. Even if you don’t personally like the music she creates, you can’t deny the fact that the woman not only a) has ginormous girl balls, but b) has got the IT factor all the way to Jupiter and back.

I discovered Gaga almost 3 years ago when I happened to see a billboard of her debut album The Fame at a Virgin Megastore. I like to check out new artists so I gave her a chance. While I don’t normally get into mainstream pop music, she was different. She was raunchy, ironic, and her initial image was a little intriguing. She didn’t look like another Christina or Britney. I was also impressed by the fact that she doesn’t lip sync. I was doubly impressed to learn that she has played piano almost her entire life and writes all her own songs. These are key points to what separates Gaga from other mainstream pop acts: her image, style, and music are self-generated. A few other factors serve to make Gaga a powerhouse artist from beginning to end.

The first factor she incorporates is an element of nostalgia. Gaga is able to pull from a variety of musical influences and melt them together into catchy pop hooks that are infectious and easy to remember. With a splash of 80s electropop, a little disco, and a dash of Bowie, Mercury, and New York City club kid glitter, Lady Gaga presents a musical package that is both simple yet deliciously complex at the same time. Drawing from a variety of powerful musical influences allows her music to reach a much wider audience because each person can hear a little of something from their individual musical tastes and it draws them in.

The second factor is a memorable image. The thing most non-fans typically know about Gaga is that she wears a lot of crazy outfits. Haters like to complain that she does this just to get attention. This is true. But it’s not the entire story. Getting attention is important if you are trying to build a brand, an image, a face. With so many choices for consumers in the music industry, you have to stand out or you will get swallowed in the sea of artists. However, she’s not JUST wearing crazy outfits. She’s wearing actual pieces of ART. My husband is often baffled by her costume choices because he thinks she looks ridiculous, and while she does sometimes “look ridiculous,” she’s presenting much more than just a clothing choice. She’s presenting an opinion, a viewpoint, a snapshot, a creative screen for us all to look through. Fashion is another artistic and creative outlet, like painting, drawing, sculpting, or film making. Fashion is an art. It’s not just about how much one can spend or how “good” one looks. At the end of the day, regardless of whether or not she looks amazing or silly, you remember her don’t you?

Another important factor that she brings to the table is a message. I’m not talking about the kind of message that you get at the end of a sitcom or fairy tale, but a tried and true personal message from her to her fans. While that message has evolved over the last three years, there is something that has been consistent throughout. It sounds cliche but “Be Yourself” is a powerful and universal message to many people, regardless of age; especially to youth but still applicable to adults. Identity is an intensely driving force in most people’s lives. One could even say that identity formation is THE driving force of the first 3 decades of one’s life (if not longer). The message that Gaga brings to the table is that you can be yourself, whoever you are, and still be successful, loved, happy, and fulfilled, and that everyone deserves the freedom to do so. The second part of this message is especially prominent in her new album Born This Way in that identity is fluid and constantly shifting, you can be WHOEVER you want to be. You can change whenever, wherever.

This is something that I think we forget as adults. It’s something I struggle with on a daily basis. While we are busy trying to fit into some imaginary status quo of growing up, fitting in, doing whatever society supposedly dictates is acceptable for us as adults, we forget to just live our lives, we forget that we are individuals. We forget that we are creative and personal and passionate. That we have the capacity to reinvent ourselves, to be whoever we want and at the end of the day our identities are malleable, they are creations, they are living, breathing works of art and each and every one of us is special, beautiful, and perfect in our own way. Gaga celebrates this at every level.

This is an extremely powerful message and Gaga lives it every single day through every single outlet of her life: through her wardrobe, through her music, through her interactions with her fans. I think this is part of the reason why she’s skyrocketed to fame across the globe. Almost every person can see a little bit of themselves in her because she puts it all out there. She is like a reflective canvas of the darkest and lightest parts of humanity. You can relate to her in so many different ways through so many different avenues. It’s intoxicating and she knows it. While many current pop artists have attempted to copy the music style (electropop, etc) in an effort to reproduce Lady Gaga’s success, this last part is the piece that’s typically missing and it’s this piece that will keep many pop artists from establishing icon status within the industry.

You can’t just lip sync to a catchy hook someone else wrote and expect to be a living legend for the rest of your life. You have to touch people, you have to dig your heels in and connect, and unfortunately not many artists have this ability. Lady Gaga has this ability in spades and this is why I think that if you can’t recognize this quality in her artistry, you are going to be left in the dust in the wake of the Gaga Monster. I honestly believe she’s going to be bigger than Madonna. But that’s a whole other blog in and of itself.

I’ve been having something of an identity crisis lately. I graduate this December. I’ve been seriously contemplating my post-graduation plans and seem to be doing this chaotic feverish dance among what I think I should do, what I truly want to do, and not knowing for sure if I really know what I want to do. Or who I want to be. Or who I even am at this point.

A few prospective choices lay before me:

1. Graduate school. I have been contemplating a professional master’s in science & tech policy. However, the program is quite new and being “professional” might hamper future endeavors. But it does look quite attractive, only requires a one year commitment, and seems to fit well with what I’ve studied in my undergraduate career.

2. Travel. I’m contemplating applying for a Fulbright scholarship to spend a year in Sri Lanka (maybe). If I get chosen, I will get paid to live in another country to teach English while completing an individualized research project. I am hoping to expand on a paper I wrote last semester regarding the intersection of technique and religion in Tibet, only looking at modernization and Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The opportunity to immerse myself in Theravada Buddhist culture straight from the source makes me want to pass out from excitement.

3. Other graduate school options. This is where I am at a loss. I can’t find anything remotely attractive and perhaps that’s because I don’t ultimately know what I’d like to do with my life.

I have been absolutely crawling out of my skin these last few weeks. Bogged down by having to make decisions that could affect the rest of my life and career. Scared to death of making the wrong decision. Scared of failure. Terrified of not being good enough, smart enough, informed enough. Terrified that my future colleagues won’t like me. Terrified of being so terrified (stupid, I know).

I have this mold in my head. This archetypal ideal of the perfect successful student. One that studies all the time, knows the answers to all the questions, knows exactly who they are and what they want to be or do, understands all the readings on the first try, and effortlessly glides through academia without ever feeling uncertain about anything. I feel like these students are everywhere around me and I just don’t measure up. These thoughts and feelings plague me on a daily basis and keep me awake at night. I feel like I have to be this student in order to succeed in graduate school.

I read an article for my science and tech policy class today that examines the relationship between scientific research funding and funding of the creative sector to create innovation, the idea being that simply funding scientific research cannot by itself breed innovation. While the article was focused solely on economic innovation, it made me think about academia and how there seems to be this rampant, staunch traditionalism that is whispered to students in various forms that they must conform to certain criteria in order to be successful or accepted professionally.

While graduate programs seem to be highly individualized there is still this air of conformity and structural rigidity that is unspoken but uniformly followed, sometimes with horrendous results. I’ve read many statistics lately about very unhappy graduate students, students dropping their programs, and graduates being unable to find sustainable work. Some might say this is most likely the student’s fault, through a lack of focus or ambition, etc, which I am not in a place to refute, but I don’t think this is the entire picture. From everything I’ve heard lately, many students are simply not prepared well enough in their undergraduate education to face the demands of graduate school. This says to me there is some inherent flaw in the way universities are structured and perhaps an issue with this traditionalist attitude that many superiors seem to hold.

Innovation, to me, means having to break out of traditional structures. I’ve never been much of a fan of traditionalism, in any form whatsoever. I’ve been told I’m irreverent on a few occasions (and to some extent take that as a compliment). However, I don’t believe I am truly irreverent. I value my experiences, my colleagues, my professors, my academic institutions to the utmost degree. Some of those people will never know just how much their words affected me and my choices in life. Some will never know the gratitude I have for their wisdom and advice even if I don’t always agree.

But I have decided something today.

I’ve decided that I don’t want to be created from a fucking mold. I like to think of myself as passionate and driven to succeed in whatever way works the best for the maximum amount of people. I like to solve problems. I like to help people. I’m a voracious learner with a thirst for knowledge so large I could probably swallow the ocean in one gulp. I like to know every angle of an issue before I make decisions, when possible. I consider myself to be cunning and hungry for life. I want to travel and see the world. I don’t want to know every answer right away because what fun would that be? I want to be renewed, revived, and reborn again and again with new experiences and brand new questions. I want to find new ways to help people, to solve problems, to be a leader, to create communities. I want to love and live like I haven’t gotten the chance to in the last 6 years of intense college education. I don’t want to sit around for another 6 years attempting to fit myself into some ridiculous mold of what I think, others think, I should be.

If someone could please find THAT graduate program, let me know, k?

And I still have no fucking time to blog!!! Imagine that. I decided to wedge something in anyway.

It’s needless to say that my last post about blogging over the holidays was a complete lie. Shortly after Thanksgiving a tragedy struck my new family (read: in-laws) and my husband and I have been trying to put the pieces back together ever since. Lots of traveling, tears, heartbreak, and emotional breakdowns, however, I think we will all be alright. Shit happens, right?

On top of family issues, school as usual has been super busy. I’m close to beginning my first rough draft of my honors thesis. Super scared and super excited all at the same time. As usual fears of being judged and looking stupid outweigh my excitement most of the time. Yes, I actually lose sleep over these fears. No, I have fucking clue how to deal with them but to just push through and try not to dwell. Some of you may know that I have a PhD in Dwelling On Stupid Shit. Dr. Ashe, Dwells On Stupid Shit Extraordinaire. I’m sure this warrants some level of therapeutic intervention but like always my pride and stubbornness keep me from seeking professional help.

It’s looking like I will be graduating in December. Hurrah! Coincidental too because it will be the 10 year anniversary of the completion of my FIRST semester of college. It only took 10 years but at least I have tons of experience in a multitude of fields and for that I’m grateful. I will graduate with a BS in Biology & Society. I have my sights set on a professional Master’s degree in Science & Tech Policy. I’m still trying to decide on that path, however, I’m incredibly satisfied with my time at ASU, all the professors I’ve been lucky enough to meet and get to know, and the program I chose, so staying at ASU for another year to dabble in S&T Policy will be fun and exciting I hope.

The closer I get to graduating the more wistful I feel. It’s the end of an era of discovery and finding my place in this crazy ass world. It’s now time to get really serious – thinking about my future, what I want to do, what kind of career options I might have. I try not to let it freak me out. It’s been a long, hard road, full of mountains of anxiety, depression, highs and lows, ups and downs, disappointments and exhilarations but ultimately richly rewarding. I’ve learned so much about myself, people, and the world, I wouldn’t take any of it back. Not the anxiety attacks or lost sleep, none of it.

I will have a 9 month break between graduating and starting graduate school. I hope to get some creative projects done during that time (music, writing, blogging, lots and lots of baking) so I look forward to the free time.

BAAAAHHHHHHH. Until then, the lack of updates will most likely continue!

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