Monthly Archives: May 2013

Changes on the horizon

As many of you reading this know, there are big changes for me on the horizon. After a mad scramble to graduate from college on time (which I did! with a 3.0! yay me!) I am preparing to move to Gainesville, Florida with my sweetheart at the end of June. He got an awesome graduate fellowship in Plant Pathology at the University of Florida, and his research is beginning in two weeks. Between his stipend and our collective graduation money, we have a small cushion to rely on while I am DANCING THE UNEMPLOYMENT TANGO, which at least makes the summer less terrifying.

If the caps lock didn’t clue you in, I am anxious about not having a job yet. I know I’m not nearly alone in this – lots of my friends who just graduated don’t know what “the next step” is going to be for them yet, and the only reason so many DO is because my friends are going straight to grad school in numbers out of proportion to the general population. I’ve had a job interview, with a second interview promised, and I know that means I’m having better luck than a lot of my peers.

But the fact remains that Facebook keeps asking me to “complete my profile” by adding employer information, like Thank you, Facebook, for noticing that there appears to be an employment-shaped hole in my life! If you used those powers of observation more often, you’d stop giving me targeted ads for maternity clothes! It is nervewracking. And that is why I am updating this blog: because it is an important professional resource, and specifically because I am applying to be an editor at Rookie and they would like to see a link to your blog, if you have one. Hi, Rookies! Thank you for the incentive to drag my blog into the post-graduate future!

I’m actually quite lucky to know where I’m living next year – we’ve signed a lease! – already. Narrowing my job search to Gainesville rules out opportunities, but it also keeps me from being paralyzed by the idea that I should be applying to EVERY JOB IN THE WHOLE WORLD. The pool of jobs I’m qualified for in Gainesville is big enough that I haven’t lost hope, but small enough that I get to feel like a pretty big fish.

Beyond the need for a nine-to-five job, I am grappling with what to do about ~my writing career~ while I’m no longer in school. My Pitt News column had a great following, and if I could somehow bring that audience over to this blog – and somehow magically transform their interest into money – that would be fantastic. But without interest (in the form of regular hits) or money, it’s hard to write 800 words a week about anything.

Of course, this is a vicious cycle. I don’t have any hits because I don’t update often enough. I don’t update often because I feel as if no one is reading.

In the coming weeks, I am going to try to develop some sort of plan for overhauling, making the most of and eventually monetizing my blog presence, and maybe figure out a strategy for working on my longer projects more regularly.

In the meantime, my tweet at Sheryl Sandberg (facebook CEO of “Lean In” fame) was featured in this Buzzfeed round up (’s like being internet famous, right?


Belated Farewell Column!

Other things I forgot to post to this blog while I was busy scrambling to graduate from college include my farewell column to the Pitt News, featuring my thinly-veiled thoughts on the Druids, musings on being both opinionated and crazy, and helpful hints that a woman is not going to touch your genitals tonight.

Sometimes the cruelest thing you can say to someone is “There’s nothing wrong with you.” When you’re struggling with symptoms — mental or physical — that make you miserable and impair your daily living, those words sound like, “There’s no relief for this. It’s always going to be this bad, and if you were a stronger person, you’d just be able to deal with it.” That is a cruel lie. If you are suffering more than you are enjoying your life, then something is wrong — whether or not it’s diagnosable — and you don’t have to live like that.

Backlogs: Fossil Fuels! Preteen Thongs!

So I am behind on this blog again, but here are some of my backlog columns in case you missed them! On the controversy over Victoria’s Secret making sexy underwear for children – and the fact that being squicked out is not a solid place from which to advocate:

“The Victoria’s Secret tween line does not mean that middle school girls will — all of a sudden — be wearing racy underwear. Many of the young girls who will shop the new line were already wearing racy underwear, no doubt some of it from Victoria’s Secret; after all, people don’t exclusively buy things that are marketed to them directly, and of no demographic is that more true than girls who want to seem older than they are.

It also doesn’t mean that any of these girls are doomed. Girls with whom I went to middle school wore thongs, and many of them turned out fine. I, for my part, insistently purchased and wore a red string bikini at age 12 that I now cringe at the thought of such a young girl wearing, and I would venture that I also turned out OK.

That young teens and preteens want to feel grown-up and experiment with sex and sexiness is less a symptom of a sick society than a developmental fact. That intimates stores would want to corner that eager market is perhaps an inevitability of capitalism. But one thing’s for sure: The urge to control, condemn and punish young people — especially young women — for wanting to be grown-up and sexy has failed, thus far, to produce the desired result of adults with healthy sexual expectations and boundaries.”

On fossil fuels being an unsexy investment choice for Pitt:


After all, “sustainable” isn’t just a catchy buzzword. It means that an environmental practice can continue. Fossil fuels are unsustainable, not only because they are huge polluters but because there is a finite supply of them. Investing in fossil fuels is an exercise in prioritizing short-term reward over long-term stability. We can do better.