Christmastime Reflections

This week,  I shook up my family’s television & movie comfort zone.  While we watch a lot less television than the average American family, I like for us to have one or two programs that we watch together: to stimulate conversation, to diversify our free time activities, to give me an excuse to hug my…

End of another era

Approximately seven years ago, I left a rapidly growing medical practice for an uncertain future. I didn’t have a plan.  Come to find out, I didn’t have much of an idea about my core identity either, because what I had was so integrated with my profession. The year(s) after I left medicine was (were) very…

Why I’m going to stop listening to generic career advice

This week I’ve decided that I’m done listening to generic career advice because, frankly, very little of it is applicable to my life. I was reading a Thesis Whisperer post earlier this week that pretty much reduced me to tears.  Don’t get me wrong – if you are a generalizable early academic career woman, it’s a MUST…

A few thoughts on audience

Listen, wait, be patient. Every shaman knows you have to deal with the fire that’s in your audience’s eye. — Ken Kesey The first time I really thought about audience was as a physician, when I realized that my performance depended entirely on my patients’ performances and mattered only in as much as I was able to…

On having your dissertation defense live-tweeted

For the gift of their expertise, care, and time in live-tweeting my dissertation defense, I owe Valerie Holton and Lee Skallerup Bessette more than I can say.  This post is dedicated to them. For me, the story starts with Bonnie Stewart‘s dissertation defense. She livestreamed it, and because I care about her, her research, and…

A Letter to Myself Before Defending My Dissertation

It was never about the degree. You should remember to say that to yourself that when you start your defense presentation and again while you wait in the hallway for the committee’s decision. You have an MD. You graduated with top honors from medical school, got through a particularly malignant residency program, carved out a successful…

An updated look at “Leveraging Social Networks”

It was something of a fairytale cluster-f***, the first time I spoke on leveraging social networks.  The original speaker had an emergency and I was asked to jump in with about two day’s notice.  That timing does not sound like much of an issue for an academicky person.   However, this was one of my first…

Dissertating while connected: A reflection

As those of you who follow me on Twitter know, I finished writing my dissertation on New Year’s Eve.  I still have to defend it of course (and I’m sure there will be some rewriting involved), but I feel like I’ve finally come to the point where I know that I won’t quit before the…

DLRN#15 – Notes from Day 1

Yesterday was the first official day of the first DLRN15, a conference meant to “explore the nuances” of uncertainty in higher education (as it evolves in the age of digital technologies).  As far as conferences go, this one has an intimate, boutique feel to it.  It comes from more than its size (small, at 100-120 attendees)…

Making Oneself Useful

Earlier this week, I spoke to a class of undergraduates on how to build and leverage social networks. As I thought about what to say, one big (new) question came up for me: Leverage means “use to maximum advantage” and in the context of social media, leverage usually  indicates “to influence.”  So is having influence…

A Story of Twitter and Friendship

Just recently, Alan Levine posted a request for short videos – videos of people describing their special online connections. In contemplating this request, I immediately jump to my online friend, Maha Bali. My story is kind of quiet, and probably doesn’t have the kind of splash Alan needs or is looking for, but it’s an…