065: Food systems, communicating science and taking care of yourself in academia with Luis Alexis Rodríguez-Cruz Click here to listen “In this episode, Courtney speaks with Luis Alexis Rodríguez-Cruz, a PhD candidate in Food Systems at the University of Vermont. They discuss Luis’ unexpected path to his research on Puerto Ricans farmer adaptation and food security following Hurricane Maria. Courtney and Luis also talk about Luis’ efforts in science communication, sharing his research in Puerto Rico and beyond. Finally, they discuss a blog post Luis recently published on “How to not suffer (much) in graduate school” and his take-aways for taking care of yourself in academia.”
This is the final reflection written for the University of Vermont course, “Writing Across Disciplines”, taught in spring 2020 by Dr. Caitlin B. Morgan. The essay was written in May 2020–Thus, when it says, “this semester”, “now”, etc., it refers to January-May 2020. In the start of the semester, I wrote that I would focus my efforts on writing a piece centered on a food systems story for my Writing Across Disciplines course. Moreover, I stated that I would allocate time for daily writing. Now in the future (May 2020), which, like Luis Rafael Sánchez says, “always comes dressed as the present”, I can say that I have not followed my plan thoroughly. I wrote the food systems piece, but it has yet to become what I want it to be. I allocated time for work, but found myself often not writing on such times. Nevertheless, I have written what I wanted or what I was assigned to write. In this present-future I can say that my structure is an unstructured one, and it works. …
Presiona aquí para leer la versión en español. I wrote a piece in 2018 about the strategies and habits that helped me go through my terrible first year of graduate school (2017). I started that piece with a verse by Sol Fantin: The problem of time is not that is short, but swift. Time has passed, and what I wrote is still valid. It is important to know why we want a PhD or Masters before throwing ourselves in, to be informed about the place before arriving, and to develop a meaningful relationship with your advisor. Moreover, one should create healthy habits, and build a community of friends and people that support one another. Here I expand on that list with new strategies, and I reinforce some that I mentioned in 2018.
Oprime aquí para leer la versión en español Sol Fantin, Argentinian poet, writes that the problem of time is not that it’s short, but swift. My friends know that I mention that verse all the time. Last August 28, 2018, was my anniversary as a PhD student at the University of Vermont. My intention for doing a PhD stills the same: to become an independent researcher. We must remember that to have a PhD is just that: to have a PhD. So, what do we want to do with that degree? Why we need it? It’s very important to answer those questions before embarking on such a mission. I started my PhD in food systems at UVM very excited, but it hasn’t all been very beautiful.