An Earnest Desire to Save the World

“TEACHER seeks pupil.
Must have an earnest desire to save the world.
Apply in person.” –Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

2012-07-24 15.29.45

As I continue to creep (crawl? stumble blindly? drag myself?) toward the completion of my PhD I have begun seriously contemplating what exactly I want to do when I grow up.  Progress has been slow and circuitous, much like this essay.  But I feel calmer than I did when I first realized “Be an ecologist!” had stopped being enough of an answer.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  

Regardless, I’ve been trying to take steps toward actually figuring this thing out for myself.  A bit of soul searching, a la Chelsea’s advice about a happiness brainstorm, really helped.  I’m happiest when I can travel but have a solid home base to return to, so I’m no longer prioritizing an academic career and the period of post-doctoral transience that usually comes along with it.  I’m happiest when I’m collaborating with lots of different folks who I can teach and learn from all the time.  I’m happiest when I can do public speaking and science communication, and I’d love to find a position where this is encouraged, valued, and incentivised.  I’m happiest when what I am working on makes a tangible difference.    Continue reading “An Earnest Desire to Save the World”

Meridith and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Qualifying Exam

I’ve made my way all the way to the end of my 20th year of schooling without much in the way of seemingly insurmountable challenges. Sure, the post secondary life is peppered with exams (SAT, ACT, GRE), finals, applications processes, and so on, but while all of these have caused me stress in the past, none even compare to my qualifying exams of my PhD program. This past May, after a year of courses and months of studying, I tackled three days of intense examinations which included a day of two 3-hour Stats Theory exams and nearly 48 hours of a take home applied project. I went in with months of studying, waves of support from friends and family (thanks!) , 6 pages front and back of notes to use, and even a belly full of sushi. I come out… completely and utterly defeated.


Failed like I failed to keep it together during
this episode of Dr. Who.

Continue reading “Meridith and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Qualifying Exam”

2014 Reflections, Resolutions, and Round-Up

Hello, 2015! Rachel and I are living it up with our lovely friends in Boston. This year has been wonderful thus far, but we wanted to take a few moments and reflect on the great things that 2014 brought to us.  One of the most rewarding things for us, in the last year, was starting this blog.  From the launch of our Tumblr blog in January of 2014 to occupying this space in May, we feel so blessed to have this space to share our experiences as travelers, learners, and burgeoning female scientists!

Starting the new year sharing the same physical space is always a blessing for us as a creative duo.  We’ve been discussing our ideas/hopes/dreams for the future of Sweet Tea, Science, and you can rest assured that we are cooking up some exciting content for 2015!

We are so thankful for all of our fantastic readers and everyone who has read and shared our posts in 2014.

The top five STS blog posts from our inaugural year are as follows:

  1. STS and the Super Science Side of Tumblr’s TA Tips 
  2. Getting a Motivational Makeover
  3. Tricks of the Trade: LaTeX
  4. Ten Tips for Tackling that Thesis!
  5. What’s in Her (Field) Bag?
What’s in Store for 2015:
  • More guest posts
  • Rachel getting married!
  • The continuation and conclusion of our Amazing Besties National Park Road Trip Series! (About time, right?)
  • Meridith’s qualification exams.
  • Tons of photos of Rachel’s quality time in the marsh!
  • More science travel and conference visits!
  • Lots of Tumblr posts all week long in addition to weekly blog posts on Tuesdays! 
Thanks for the love and support this year. We’re also eager to hear all about your plans and motivation for the future, so make sure to drop us a comment/note/tweet/carrier pigeon!