All posts tagged: graduate student

On not suffering (much) in graduate school: Part 3

Oprime aquí para leer la versión en español. Oprime aquí para encontrar la parte Uno y acá la parte Dos. Todo tiene su final, nada dura para siempre. Tenemos que recordar que no existe eternidad… (“Everything has its end, nothing lasts forever. We have to remember that there is no eternity…”) I failed to include that Héctor Lavoe and Willie Colón’s song in my virtual thesis presentation (or defense). How nervous I was that day! I even forgot to record myself. So, I guess that could consider it an exclusive event. The nice thing was that I presented from my room in our house in Juana Díaz, Puerto Rico; the place where I have lived for more than 20 years. The not so nice thing was that I did it a few weeks after the passing of grandma, who was so excited for my graduation. There have been many other not-so-nice moments since I started that quasi-limbo called, “graduate school”. I have navigated many of them in a way that has reduced hurtful feelings. Others …

On Not Suffering (Much) in Graduate School: Part 2

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.

Being Idle is not an Option: Reconciling my Academic and Political Duties

This is the original version of my Working Life Essay published on Science on August 29, 2019. Click here to read the published version. It was Wednesday, July 17th, and I was alone in my room, in front of my computer with four windows open on the screen. Thousands of Puerto Ricans were marching to Old San Juan that day, demanding governor Rosselló to resign. The leak of the egregious chats between him and his colleagues was the catalyst that motivated people to take their bodies to the streets. Beyond dehumanizing comments, the governor used the chat for political means, a potentially illegal action. Furthermore, and worse, in my opinion, they sneered on those who died because of Hurricane Maria. I stayed up late every night following what was happening. I wanted to talk with all my friends that were marching; with one dear friend of mine who suffered police violence during these protests. Day after day, I was following the news from the time that I woke up; feelings of anger and angst in …

On Not Suffering (Much) in Graduate School: Part 1

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.