Struggling for Work-Life Balance

Struggling for Work-Life Balance

Of all the questions people can ask, I never expected, “How do you get it all done?” to be the most common. I never thought I’d be the person anyone referred to when they said, “If you need something done, give it to a busy person.” I often feel like I’m struggling against a hurricane rain of tasks, and periodically a wind hurled cow will land on my productivity. Still, I’m somehow keeping things moving, and I have to admit it’s largely because I give myself permission to say, “I’m sorry, I can’t.” I suck at the whole work-life balance thing. I’ve trained people to know I work random hours that sometimes add up to all hours. Colleagues have no qualms looking at my calendar and adding a...

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Temp

Temp

I was born in December 1973, 1 year and a few days after the United States’ last crewed mission to the moon. I have been engaged in research astronomy since I was 17, and have spent the entirety of my career being one of the youngest in the room. I’m still called “young lady” in professional meetings, and teased for not remembering Carter (or Johnson or Nixon). While the millennials are coming up behind me, fighting to define new paths, my generation is still getting lost in the shadows of our light hogging senior peers. At some point, I keep expecting things to change as my generation becomes “senior”, but that change seems to be on hold – maybe permanently – for many (most?) of us. The reasons are complex and are...

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Living in the Shadows of the Apollo Generation

Living in the Shadows of the Apollo Generation

I was born in December 1973, 1 year and a few days after the United States’ last crewed mission to the moon. I have been engaged in research astronomy since I was 17, and have spent the entirety of my career being one of the youngest in the room. I’m still called “young lady” in professional meetings, and teased for not remembering Carter (or Johnson or Nixon). While the millennials are coming up behind me, fighting to define new paths, my generation is still getting lost in the shadows of our light hogging senior peers. At some point, I keep expecting things to change as my generation becomes “senior”, but that change seems to be on hold – maybe permanently – for many (most?) of us. The reasons are complex and are...

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Imagineering a new reality without abuse

Imagineering a new reality without abuse

Friday was one of those days that started out entirely normal and ended in a total paradigm shift. It was the day Geoff Marcy’s wrong doing woke us all up, and it was the day Chris Ford helped me see what “right doing” can look like. As I am so often, I was traveling. In this case, I’d flown to San Fransisco for a board meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. This is a board I sit on with many astronomers and astronomy supporters who I deeply respect and who are in their different ways working to promote engagement in science by diverse audiences. Like also happens so very often, Friday was a day when my social media stream was exploding with news of a prominent scientist who had done a thing (or in this case, many things, see...

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Despite…

Despite…

Despite being a mistake. Despite being defective. Despite the moving. Despite the bullies. Despite the dyslexia. Despite being a latch-key kid. Despite being a girl. Despite the teachers who belittled. Despite health problems. Despite being a Tom Boy. Despite that attempted rape. Despite the abuse. Despite the guidance councilor who said no one cares what happens to a white, middle-class honors student girl. Despite going to public schools. Despite the lack of scholarships. Despite working in college. Despite that summer with no where to live. Despite health problems. Despite being a girl. Despite the TA who kept getting too close. Despite the professor who was always too close. Despite the biased tests. Despite having to choose between working for the serial...

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#DragonCon 2015

#DragonCon 2015

This time next week I will be at the nerd festival that is Dragon*Con. Please feel encouraged to join me and some of my closest friends (and about 60,000 strangers) for 4 days of science, science fiction, and fantasy. There are only 4 real rules: each day you need 3 hours of sleep, 2 meals, and 1 shower (and to wait in a lot of lines, including lines to exit and enter buildings). Prologue of Random This is a weird year for me. Since 2008, every time I’ve gone to Dragon*Con I’ve been responsible for some sort of a booth. This year, given budget cuts, I’m going to Dragon*Con without a project team, and there will be no table. This is… odd. It also means that for a first in many years, I’ll be free to go to things and hangout, and I...

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