What a Difference Twenty Years Makes: Putting Kurt Cobain to Rest

I was a 15-year-old Western Washington high school student when Kurt Cobain died. I heard the news in Computer Applications class, where I was learning the ins and outs of Word Perfect. I remember being upset, or maybe confused is the better word, but I wasn’t devastated. And most of my classmates appeared to be affected, but not devastated. I remember one girl crying inconsolably, and I felt bad for her, but minus a small handful of kids who skipped afternoon classes for an impromptu memorial (I wasn’t one of them), life resumed, and it seemed to resume pretty quickly. Read More What a Difference Twenty Years Makes: Putting Kurt Cobain to Rest

Being Thankful, Now and Always!

It’s become oh-so-chic to make Thankful Lists. Oprah had people doing it a few years back. Various authors have people do it, especially around Thanksgiving. Psychologists have their patients keep their gratitude journals when they’re facing times of depression or discontent with their lives.

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Words of Encouragement

The last two weeks I have been posting about some fairly heavy stuff, I guess, like institutionalized sexism in the sciences in academia and the importance of finding the right level of stress for maximum personal satisfaction and productivity. I don’t want to minimize the impact of those topics or their effects on young academics (and especially those in the sciences since that’s where my experience lies), but I also don’t want to come across as completely discouraging. Read More Words of Encouragement

So You Want to Exercise, But Your Brain is Being a Discouraging Jerk

Almost everyone gets bitten by an exercise bug at some point in their lives. It makes sense: exercise can have many benefits, from allowing people to outrun zombies, to clearing out some brain bats, to giving them the muscles to heft around gigantic kegs of beer. Actually getting going and keeping up with an exercise regimen is a different story. It can be easy to get discouraged, and with that in mind, here are three tips for keeping up with working out. Read More So You Want to Exercise, But Your Brain is Being a Discouraging Jerk

About the Higgs Boson by a Biologist

Unless you’re totally and completely uninterested in any news whatsoever, you’ve probably heard about the announcement from CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) that experiments in the Large Hadron Collider have found some pretty strong evidence for the existence of the Higgs particle. Scientists will spend several more months to fully confirm the discovery, but right now things are looking good. But, as with much theoretical physics (now no longer quite so theoretical),the question remains – why do we care? Read More About the Higgs Boson by a Biologist

Women in Academia: How Universal are Our Experiences Anyway?

I talk about the importance of open, honest communication all the time but the lack of it is probably the number one problem I experience and witness in my everyday life. Time and time again, I talk to people, one on one, and usually totally unexpectedly, about the obstacles, challenges, and triumphs that they face in their department and university. Each time, I find my belief in the value of open communication about one’s experiences reinforced, but each time, I also find myself wondering how universal our experiences are. Read More Women in Academia: How Universal are Our Experiences Anyway?

Positivity Challenge Week 11: Thankfulness and Perspective

I don’t think it’s any secret that I frequently use things that are happening around me as inspiration for topics in the Positivity Series. I hope you’ll indulge me for a particularly personal (read: no lists this week, sorry) entry, dedicated to a very special co-worker. Read More Positivity Challenge Week 11: Thankfulness and Perspective