On Quitting Grad School (And How Burning Man Helped)

Last August was the beginning of my third year in chemistry PhD school and things were not going well. I was having trouble staying motivated, couldn’t seem to get to work on time, and once there I would pitter around till it was time to leave again. I resorted to buying one of those polygonal … Continue reading On Quitting Grad School (And How Burning Man Helped)

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On Mucus, And Growing Up To Be A Scientist

When I was a girl, maybe 11 or 12, I had a kind of embarrassing problem. It wasn’t something that happened all the time, but every once in a while, when I’d go to the bathroom, I would find… stuff… in my underwear. I didn’t know what it was or where it came from. I … Continue reading On Mucus, And Growing Up To Be A Scientist

Becoming Hermione: A Personal Story About Magic, Science, and My Dad

Some of my earliest memories are of me and my little sister staying up past our bedtime so that Dad could read us just one more chapter of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone. Dad would gather us up with blankets and stuffed animals, doing a different voice for each character. When we got older, … Continue reading Becoming Hermione: A Personal Story About Magic, Science, and My Dad

Is A Nightmare Before Christmas Actually About Science?

With Christmas just around the corner, families will soon be coming together with a warm cup of cocoa to watch a classic, possibly for the umpteenth time. A Nightmare Before Christmas was originally released in 1993, but has since gained an almost cult following during Halloween and Christmas alike. But this year, I encourage you … Continue reading Is A Nightmare Before Christmas Actually About Science?

My Magic Words For Confronting Pseudoscience

The people we choose to spend our time with often help us define who we are. While most of my time is spent with scientists, I am also deeply connected to the festival community. I have spent the last five years developing my relationships equally between the people I’ve met in STEM fields and those … Continue reading My Magic Words For Confronting Pseudoscience

Tips For Surviving Grad School From “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”

As a graduate student in chemistry, I have limited free time—I like to spend it not working. Sometimes I watch TV, and my favorite show to binge is Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Jerry Seinfeld’s bite-sized Netflix episodes consists of hilarious people talking about funny things over a good cup of joe. At least, that’s … Continue reading Tips For Surviving Grad School From “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”

The Magic of Chemistry: What I Learned About Doing Science From Talking With A Magician

If you ever want to see a chemist do a magic trick, ask them to pour a liquid from one weird container to another—they will probably be proud to show you that they can do it without spilling a drop. Because of the intellectual work scientists are known for, it is easy to forget that … Continue reading The Magic of Chemistry: What I Learned About Doing Science From Talking With A Magician