Winter Break (Day 11, Year 4)

Friends, guess what? I’ve been on Winter Break since December! Like all college students, I am spending this time working (need cash for booze and old lady night cream!), catching up on my sleep (the cholera last week really helped with that), making my family do my laundry (thanks, Mike!), taking selfies with friends (obviously!) and ignoring the list of amazing things I said I would do on Winter Break (like create a professional writer’s website with minimal exclaimation points and maximum professional-type things). 

I only have about a week left until I go back to Hopkins. Unfortunately, I do not have a fun apartment above Brewer’s with my bestie, but I do have a lovely four-square home with my husband (and wine in the basement), so I guess it’s sort of the same thing.  I probably will not start my writer’s website. I’ll think about it a lot. And then maybe I’ll make it in a panic when I am pitching some amazing publication that expects me to have grown up things. 

Or maybe I won’t. 

During the break, I’ve had several people ask me about school and how I like it. This includes the superintendent of our school district (I know, it is super weird. He doesn’t even read Yoke!). I have no idea what sort of answers I’ve given. I am certain they’ve been positive because going to graduate school as an old lady has been one of the best decisions I ever made. I have three classes under my belt—two core classes—and one workshop (Personal Essay and Memoir). The program is nine classes, which includes a residency and a thesis class. Each class has felt like three undergrad classes—we read, write, and discuss it all endlessly. 

And I love it. I wish it was 90 classes. Of course, then I’d be living in a subsidized apartment in the basement at Brewer’s because I’d spend all my money on tuition. 

I’ve grown so much in my writing. I’ve learned so much from my instructors and classmates and I’ve pitched and pitched and know that I need to pitch more stories. I think this experience has helped me begin to plot a writing path forward while also expanding my writing wheelhouse in ways I never imagined. I found I love writing about nature—this semester one of my classes is nature writing. I am excited for the upcoming challenge of profile writing. I love writing about cancer research—and I can make a difference using this skill for communications and marketing for Alex’s Lemonade. And at my heart I am an essayist. I love sharing my insights and connecting those to science. 

Oh and I am getting good grades. I told my mother this and she, again, asked me when I was finally going to become a realtor.  (This is an ongoing conversation.) But, she did follow up with, “Anything you want to do, you can do. Just set your mind to it.”

And you know, I’ve set my mind to this science writing thing.