In June 2013, my old experiences all had new twists and my new experiences were in old familiar places, reminding me that change is sometimes my only constant. This may sound scary to a lot of people but I have always been one to embrace and thrive versus avoid change.
I started the month attending the Capital City Jazz Festival with my husband, his gracious fraternity brothers, and my 2011-12 roommates. I got to hear old and new favorite artists Babyface and Gregory Porter! While we had a great time as always there were a few key friends missing because they are making important educational changes in their lives. We missed them but are proud of their change and decided to do things a little differently ourselves. Normally, hubby and I attend both days of the jazz festival, but this year we only attended Saturday because on Sunday and Monday, I had an opportunity to attend the Society of STEM Women of Color Conclave, where I interacted with scientific family from UMBC, Spelman, Mississippi State, Howard University, and Puerto Rico. It was great to be inspired and motivated about the intersection of discrimination and education, network and work on upcoming projects with sister doctors all in one place!
At the end of June, I presented an annual graduate funding talk with my colleague Patti at MSRP. They new twists were new changes in the talk, a new room and as always a new group of students excited and encouraged to pursue graduate degrees and funding! The very next week I attended and was the author on two papers at the ASEE Annual conference. While I have cited ASEE publications, this was a new experience in an old place; it was my first time attending this conference but it was in my undergrad hometown of Atlanta. It was motivating to reconnect with classmates and their families and some of my many real-blood cousins in Atlanta. One of my friends from undergrad recently published his dissertation as a book. We met for a breakfast book signing and loosely planned intersections of our work.
All in all, change is constant in old and new experiences but balance is absolutely necessary to be a change embracer or to live life effectively whether you love change or not. This is what I remember when the challenge of change tries to get difficult (because of course you all know it does) but that’s another post.