Today, I did not watch, listen, or engage with the Ford, Kavanaugh hearings. Yesterday, I did for a bit and even that small amount was distressing, upsetting, and triggering— the last of which, is unfortunately, an all too of a familiar reaction for many women (and some men) I know.
An amazing scholar I know, shared her thoughts about today and I'd highly recommend reading it:
And from what I gather, now slowly working my way back to social media after distancing myself the whole day, it was the same story of the same lessons that were never learned— of how "boys will be boys" and let's discredit, disparage, and discard women's voices, feelings, opinions, and their entirety. Today is tiring. Tiring for women. And likely even more tiring for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
And I think the first thing that I have come to realize is how much this entire process— academia, publications, pipelining, all this— is a labor of love. It sounds incredibly cliché, and in a lot of ways, it is, but even to get the point where I was able to consider publishing, was a feat of love. My undergraduate years were marked with anxiety, perfectionism, and at times, crippling self-doubt. Not much has changed more than 10 years later.
And research feels personal— IS personal. I filet myself and say, "Here, please critique this life's work that is built on experiences, thoughts, and beliefs of myself and the people I love." So last year, when I started thinking of this framework, a framework to critique colleges and universities on their responses to issues of campus racism and student activism, I viewed it as a theoretical possibility (read: dream), not the reality of an actual paper in front of me. I went through the process of believing it was not good enough, which of course, stems from believing I am not (good) enough. And those questions and struggles are not gone, just because there's something with my name on it now, and is likely a blog post for another day. So for me, this experience as a labor of love because it required me, not just to love my work, but to try to love myself and get myself to be vulnerable in ways that I avoid doing.
Additionally, this publication process was also labor of love because of all the people who loved me through it:
That is the time stamp of when I turned in my dissertation prospectus to my advisor.
For those of you who may be like, what are these terms: the dissertation prospectus is, at least in our program, a summary/overview of our dissertation plan. With my advisor, this two-page prospectus is what we use then to form our dissertation committee— the body of people who will guide and (hopefully) ultimately approve your research. In a lot of ways, this is the (in)formal declaration that you are ready to begin dissertating.
The whole process feels like an out-of-body experience, and as I'm sitting here at Philz (a coffee chain), typing away, I don't think it has hit me yet that I sent it in, (and by no means, is the prospectus approved.) And yet, in celebration of small victories because every step counts, today, at 1:07PM, after a summer of anxiety, fears, procrastination, cleaning, rest, vacations, relaxation, and more, I sent a prospectus over.
In a year, I read somewhere around 100-200 books. I don't have a TV and I use reading as a form of escape, and I especially like reading outside of academia. It also helps with improving my writing :)
When I'm trying to concentrate, I like having background music that's super dramatic. For some reason, instrumental music is instrumental (pun!) in helping me concentrate. Most of the songs are Korean-drama OSTs (original sound tracks), w/ a few classical music scores in the mix!
I don't categorize anything other than my "random round-ups" because it takes too much work (insert laughing emoji).