This Blog is also about Our Work (#actuallivingscientist)

Rachel recently used the analogy (METAPHOR? KY SCHOOLS TAUGHT ME THINGS I SWEAR) that life can be a feel like a circus act of spinning plates in the air. All the tasks and goals we balance in grad school are different plates, and we also want to keep ourselves and our relationships healthy and spinning. This blog is about our life, but as scientists our work is a large part of the equation. The amount of focus we can dedicate to Sweet Tea, Science waxes and wanes as the number of plates we have in the air changes. We’ve learned over the years to be gentle with ourselves and each other during times when the STS plate needs to be ignored a bit. Our lives are ramping up in exciting ways as we both near the end of the PhD chapter that’s kept our plates and heads spinning for the last 5+ years. (Y’all, Rachel is SO close to being my Dr. Bestie!! ::hearteyes::)

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Carving Out Time: Spring Semester

Academic “spring” may begin at the start of the semester in January, but March is always an exciting time as true spring is just around the corner (spring equinox, holla). This period of time can get very busy for graduate students. It’s tempting to get ALL THE THINGS done before summer hits: comprehensive exams, getting out that manuscript, and that other manuscript, securing summer field work or internships, and a whole slew of other goals. Keeping track of everything we hope to get done means a litany of lists. Both of us love to make lists, lists for groceries, packing, what needs to be done around the house, around the office, lists of code to run when it finally works, lists of things that could be wrong with our R code, all the lists. One of our favorite lists has got to be the List of Fun Way to Relax After Finishing a Thing. It’s very tempting to put off a lot of things while you’re hyper focused on an academic goal, but we think it’s important to carve out time for at least some of the fun things along the way. We also always love hearing how others deal with the constant work-life compromise struggle and warding off burnout.

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Sweet Links ParTEA (February 2019)

We had a great month at STS! Rachel’s post, PhDogs and their Graduate Students (Part 1), was an absolute hit and we look forward to continuing this series and exploring other PhD Pets! Anyone can contribute to future posts with this form. We expressed our love for Friend Love and shared several tips for supporting your platonic relationships. Meridith shared her #NEONdata: A Recap experiences and information on how you can sign up for the next series of workshops! This month’s shared reads are best paired with optimistic thoughts of an early spring thanks to PA hero, Punxsutawney Phil. Let’s raise a glass for Phil and springtime!

This article provides great guidance on how to deal with and mitigate representation burnout that comes from being the first, and often the only, person of a particular identity in a new space. This is also a necessary read to folks who want to support people dealing with this type of burnout.

This interview with Robert Bullard is a important reminder of the uneven burdens of pollutions in different communities.

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