Hi. Yes, I am alive. Yes, I am apparently hustling backwards when it comes to the transition from coursework phase to research phase. Of course, I didn’t know I would be the sole TA for 200+ students until right before classes started. To be fair, I *could* have made a last minute schedule/planning change but I was doing the unsmart. Just a few more weeks left in the quarter, though. I can make it. (Right?)
A few kind-of-a-big-deal updates (because someone told me that eyes still manage to land on this site… Hey, y’all, hey!
- I have an awesome new job as the Grad Assistant for the Safe Space program at UChicago’s Office of LGBTQ Student Life! Basically, I train people on how to be supportive of us queer folks, both on campus, and in their personal lives.
- And yeah, I totally got to introduce CeCe McDonald when our office brought her out to speak. She & her little sister are fantastic. So many hugs!
- I was selected as an Urban Doctoral Fellow for the 2014-15 school year! It’s super exciting because I get peer and advisor feedback on my pre-dissertation research project (aka the research I have to submit for publication before I’m allowed to do my dissertation) AND $750 in support to present the paper at a conference!
- I am still disabled. I can’t get into the details because legal matters are still pending. That said, I did have knee surgery and am managing to get around without a cane, at least for the time being. (Injured joints be trippin’ in the winter.)
- I **SO** wanted to go to Ferguson, MO to support the activists there but medical advice, legal matters, not wanting to be in the way, blah, blah, blah… I’m doing all my supporting remotely for the time being. And stopping people from saying ridiculous things IRL when I hear it. (Pro Tip: Don’t let mainstream media be your only source for news, folks.)
- I passed my qualifying exams! This is a MAJOR feat because 1) quals and 2) I was on hydrocodone the whole week. (OMG, the nightmares…)
- In the process of writing my exams, this happened…
— On A Tweet Break (@AmandaMichelle) September 3, 2014
- I have a dissertation chair AND a second committee member! There are two others I want to add to round out the team but I want to have my proposal done first and the struggle is SO real right now. The reasons are ones I won’t get into here, except to say it really doesn’t have to be this difficult. Alas, there’s nothing I can do to change matters, so I’m working to do & get what I can out of the current situation. And to be honest, I’m getting more than I expected, so YAY!
- I need to find a new community partner for my research because the relationship I was shooting for doesn’t seem to be working out. These things happen so I’m not upset… but I’m totally nervous about how long it might take to find the right connection. Yay, complexity of human relationships!
- I also (finally) met Rae Lewis-Thornton!!! We’ve been tweeting each other for YEARS (4? 5?) and have been planning tea for the whole 3 years I’ve lived in Chicago. Two people with ridiculously busy schedules + both managing chronic health issues = recipe for scheduling struggle. But I got my hug! (She gives GREAT hugs! And her talk? Yeah, if you wanna address HIV/AIDS, book her.) In case you don’t know, Rae is kind of a big deal.
- And, finally: I HAZ DOGGEH!!! His name is Dilla. Because of course it is. He’s a shelter rescue and is the most adorable creature on the face of the planet. (Yes, even cuter than YOUR adorable creatures. Who gon’ fight meh?) From kennel cough to giardia to I’m-gonna-pee-right-here-and-look-at-you-snarkily-cuz-I’m-a-jerk to OMG-gimme-ALL-the-cuddles, we have been across the street from the road to Hades and are on our way back. My bank account, on the other hand…
- I HAVE to give love to @OhDianeMarie, @wyzwomyn, & @Auragasmic for campaigning to raise extra doggeh funds for me. Granted, there was a different (much more expensive to adopt) dog I was competing for at the time but everyone was incredibly gracious to give, even without knowing whether I would get that particular dog. Folks gave anyway, knowing that I’d put the money to use. And has it helped with those medical bills! (We also ended up having to spring for private training lessons because he’s so traumatized he couldn’t see another dog down the block without having a full-blown terror episode.) Dilla & I are not out of the woods just yet but the extra $230 was most certainly a blessing put to good use.