I want PhDs to be able to communicate about their skills, interests, values, preferences, and strengths: who they are, what they need, and what fulfills them. Self-knowledge helps PhDs make conscious choices in all aspects of their lives that are aligned; they will know why they are doing something and whether they are acting in alignment with their values and commitments. When graduate students and postdocs are consciously engaged in the curation of all aspects of their lives, their academic work can be in balance and harmony with rest, play, movement, creativity, friendships, family, and community.
Tag Archives: identity
Accompaniment in graduate student development
Graduate students, postdocs, and colleagues are contemplating change, a process of dramatic and emotional self-examination, assessing their environment, weighing options, evaluating their aid systems, and assembling their supportive relationships. Their imaginations are wild with possibilities. They know they are approaching a choice to voice what they want for their true selves. They know they are preparing to, but aren’t quite ready to, decide whether to let a past version of themselves go and a new version emerge. I hold space for graduate students, postdocs and professional development coaches who are contemplating, considering, preparing for, and committing to change.
I am the snapping turtle
That late-summer evening in 2019, in cutting a snapping turtle free from lake weeds, I started the process of setting myself free from codependency and internalized oppressive mindsets.
I am my grandmothers’ dreams
I didn’t remember that I had this dream until I opened my email at the breakfast table this morning. I opened an email from pinterest of things I might like. Among the recommended pins was a picture of glass-bead earrings shaped like peacock feathers.
The dream rushed right back into my consciousness and I let out a deep sob. The river of tears seemed to emerge from nowhere and everywhere.
Despite the chaos and uncertainty of my health at that moment 20 years ago, I allowed my colleague to attune to me. I allowed his protection of space around me to create our own little bubble world that was perfectly quiet, still, and safe.
This moment of letting go was completely contrary to my default way of walking through the world, where I _always_ masking myself, attuning to others, and acting as their caregiver.
I have a childhood memory of owning a “Barbie suitcase.” It was a small case that could hold two Barbies and clothes, shoes, and accessories. The Barbie suitcase held the objects that mattered to me at that age and that I tended carefully. Its magic feels like tenderness, serenity, innocence, play, care, and reverence.
What would it look like if…?
If the wrong person knew our dreams, they could out-compete us, drive us out of the market, and squash our dreams. At the same time, no one can help us and support us in our dreams if they don’t know about it.
Beyond one-size-fits-all teaching tips
“We think graduate students have a story to tell about their teaching. How have you come to think about teaching as you do? What are the most meaningful teaching activities, accomplishments, barriers, and outcomes for you?”
What does educational development even mean?
I hope colleagues in educational development take some time to think about what “development” means to them and the work they do. I hope they will think about how the term “educational developer” fits or doesn’t, especially as many of my colleagues’ roles have expanded into mentoring and diverse career exploration. Maybe I’ve provided some insight into the work I do to make it legible to others.
Scholarship AS creative activity: Meeting your inner artist
I am currently reading The Artist’s Way, and it’s leading me to think about the ways I can guide graduate students as they explore their research, writing, and teaching AS creative activities and learn how to protect and nurture their creative spark.