Lots of hats- personal update. Also, the internet.

1 Jul

When I was 17, I interned at Boeing and did something with fiber optic cables and C and a manual.  I don’t remember much.  But that’s the last time I had a 9-5 job.  So now I’m 30 and had to have a little adjustment period over the past month- turns out adults don’t take daily naps!  I feel like adults are doing it wrong, but unfortunately now I’m an adult.  Like, very adult.  Full-time job and two kids adult.

After spending my day writing, I have a harder time writing after work.  I started this blog as a way to write and get out my creative juices while doing math all day, and now I do different things after doing writing all day.  One, I’m trying to get back in shape and eventually hit up triathlons again.

More relevant to you, I’m editing this blog for Engineers and Scientists Acting Locally. The blog is a way to encourage STEM students and professionals to become more active in their local government.  So that’s great!  On Tuesday I’m going to interview someone running for congress!  I just edited a piece by some nuclear engineering students who had a summit at the Texas Capitol, and handed off to someone else an interview with a person doing research for the California Senate (because I feel overwhelmed).  Honestly, editing this blog has made me feel more hopeful about our political status.  The City of Charlotte has all these advisory boards that I could just apply for and join- link here.   Maybe once I’m back I’ll to become more involved in my hyperlocal government, and let you know how it goes.  You could do it too!  Google ‘city name advisory board’.  Let me know how it goes.

On a fun note, I’m doing something totally different and out of my wheelhouse by running the social media for a puzzle hunt I’ve been doing for seven-ish years.  This is the puzzle hunt, it’s super fun and my friends and I have done it in Davis, San Francisco, Chicago, and Austin so far.  This September I’m going to SF again for it.  You can see me trying to be funny at https://twitter.com/playdash and on facebook.  It’s a lot of behind the scenes reaching out to people individually using email.

My friend Amy and I have been working for a few months on a book chapter for an upcoming volume, so whenever I get news on that I’ll update y’all (our draft is due in August).  It’s about all those women in mathematics conferences we and others have run.  I also visited IAS again this year, just for a day, to talk about these conferences.

Finally, I perhaps unwisely joined the board of the Family Community Association of our toddler’s new preschool.  We’re the FCA instead of the PTA because we want to be inclusive of families that are run by non-parents (grandparents, stepparents, aunts and uncles, etc.)  I think I joined solely because of that radically inclusive reasoning.  I’m in charge of Beautification Day, Bake Sale, and Snack Shack.  I love projects, and also we still have almost no friends in Charlotte, so I think ultimately this is a good idea, but at the moment it’s a little overwhelming with all the other volunteer stuff going on.

Also, I LOVE MY JOB SO MUCH.  I get to read scientific studies and then talk to scientists and then tell other people what’s going on?!  This is the perfect job!  My editor hasn’t assigned me a single story yet, I just pitch tons of cool stuff going on.  It’s SO FUN.  I think this list will update periodically with all my articles.  I also tweet every time I write something.  I’m hoping I can keep this up after the fellowship is over, either as a science writer for somewhere in Charlotte, or as a freelance science writer.

Final rambling thoughts: one of the great things about this AAAS Mass Media fellowship  is the community and camaraderie.  We all met for a few days in Washington for orientation, but now I have an internet group of friends whom I can vent to or find story ideas from or post silly gifs at.  I’ve been to a few weddings where people had a reddit table of internet friends, and at the time I was stupid and stuck-up about it, but now I think reddit is really beautiful.  You can find an internet community, and then you can even go to someone’s WEDDING who you met online and clicked with!  Wow!  I have at least one close friend I met on the internet (through this blog), who also introduced me to some real-life friends.

At orientation, we went around the table saying a controversial opinion, and mine was “I love facebook” because when I had my kids, I felt so isolated and so alone.  Either I was with professional working moms, or grad students who weren’t married nor thinking about kids, or stay at home moms who wanted to do that.  Facebook gave me a place to not feel alone, people who understood playing Candy Crush at 3 am when the baby won’t sleep or the frustration of trying to finish your thesis and realizing daycare is closed.  So, I’m sorry for quietly internally judging weird internet people, for I now am a weird internet person, and I love it.

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2 Responses to “Lots of hats- personal update. Also, the internet.”

  1. Ana Rita Pires July 1, 2018 at 1:49 pm #

    I’m so happy for you Yen! 😀
    (also, I too am a convert to Candy Crush these days…)

    • yenergy July 3, 2018 at 5:07 pm #

      RIGHT?! There were all these moms who were like ‘oh, i can catch up on reading novels when breastfeeding’ and that is zero percent what happened on my end. It was way better breastfeeding baby #2 because I had ipad games!

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