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Salmon Wild Fable Tee from Target + PhD Life

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Happy Sunday! ??

These photos are from early February of last year, just before all of the pandemic madness.  Mike was still working in Seattle and had a place in Redmond, which is where these pics were taken. Little did I know, in less than two weeks I would be accepted into a PhD program at UO. Like most people, we have been through so many changes over the past twelve months!
I found this Wild Fable brand, salmon color, long-sleeve tee on clearance at Target. Check the bottom of this post for similar ones.

Since I have been consumed with my Phd program (as will be the case for the foreseeable future), I thought I’d share a school-related Q&A from my Instagram DM below:
I so enjoy your page and watching you embrace your gray hair. A couple of questions about your PhD program and how you’re enjoying it? I’ve written a few novels myself, and poetry.  I’ve actually been looking at the program at University of Oregon. Two questions: How do you like living out there? What are you planning on doing with your PhD in English? I thought, if I get one, what would I do with it?
1. To answer your question about living in the Pacific Northwest— (Washington State and Oregon) are BEAUTIFUL, but extremely white.  It’s the whitest place I’ve ever been and lived in, and I’ve experienced whiteness in multiple U.S. states.  If you are interested in moving out this way, you would have to be prepared for that and be willing to deal with it.
There are historical reasons why the whiteness is on a different level here. Different from, say, Indiana, which is where I grew up. I suggest watching this if you have some free time:
Also, I would google the right wing militia groups that are prevalent in the PNW (read more about this here).
2. How am I enjoying the program and what do I plan to do with my PhD??
That’s the million dollar question for PhD students. I am enjoying it a great deal, but I am exhausted and it’s extremely demanding.  Leaves little to no time for anything else. The whiteness of the program can be frustrating, but I knew that would be the case before I accepted their offer.  And they are trying to change that, hence bringing in more graduate students of color like myself. Overall, I feel tremendously grateful and fortunate to have the opportunity.
In short, I have big aspirations. A few of my academic idols include: bell hooks, Toni Morrison & Cornel West. They all write and publish extensively, yet they continue to teach (while Morrison was still alive, God rest her soul, this applied to her as well).
Most PhD students (at least in the humanities) have aspirations of teaching at a University. I share that goal, but, like most writers, I also hope to write and publish until I no longer can.
Hope this helps! I’m not sure what type of academic background you have or what genre of writing you do, but if you are a creative writer, a PhD might not be a route that you would enjoy. You may want to look at MFA programs instead. 

Well, I have to get started on my school work now. I have two weeks left of classes this term, and then one week of finals.

I hope you have a wonderful Sunday!



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Preview YouTube video Oregon Black History Timeline – Audio Commentary

amazon fashion PhD Life

White and Black Striped Pocket Tee & PhD Life Update

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Happy Saturday,

This white and black striped tee from Amazon comes in a bunch of colors and is $17. I am 5 “4 and wearing a size small.  It is snug in the bust (I am currently 38 DD) and shoulders, so I probably should have sized up.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing my Amazon fashion basics back in rotation, because I have more to come. ?? Wonder why I’m always posting items from Amazon? I find that my Amazon clothing holds up very well, is affordable, convenient, versatile and stylish. From a business perspective, it also sells well* and people seem to enjoy it! *I receive a small commission if you use any of my links to make a purchase.

PhD Program Update

It is the end of Week 6 in the second term of my first year as a PhD student. Being a student and GE (Graduate Employee) takes up the majority of my time by far, so I want to keep you informed about how it’s going. I don’t ever want to give the impression that PhD life is not all-consuming!

Each term is ten weeks, so these days, I approach and organize my life into weekly increments.

Time is passing quickly, and as expected, the program is intense and rigorous. It is both mentally exhilarating and exhausting. Yet, I continue to feel beyond blessed to have the opportunity to embark on what I believe is my life calling (in a fully-funded program at a major university!). I am grateful to have a system of support that includes my family and community in the English department.
What I’ve enjoyed the most so far:
Without a doubt, the best part about being a PhD student is that my course of study is entirely up to me! At this point in my academic journey, I have completed all of the required courses (with the exception of the foreign language requirement). So, everything I take is my choice and geared towards my personal scholarly goals.
If you are a geek about anything, imagine being able to take two years of classes in what you are most passionate about. It’s nerd heaven!
My research interests include*:
(Primary) –> 20th Century (Post WWII) African-American Literature
(Secondary) –> Afrofuturism, Medical Humanities, Critical Race Theory, and Memoir/Autobiography.
*If you want to know more about any of these terms, do a quick google search.
What I’ve found most difficult:
Balancing my business as a social media influencer (and meeting brand deadlines) with my academic and employee workload at UO (and more deadlines) has been challenging. That’s putting it very mildly. I’ve made progress and improvements this term. My goal is to feel confident about my ability to successfully and efficiently manage both without tremendous stress. I am approaching it as an ongoing process of making changes and improvements to my organizational strategies, time-management and coping mechanisms.
I am deeply invested in both my business and scholarly pursuits. If I can help it, I don’t want to have to choose between one or the other. Not to mention trying to find time to do leisure activities and family time! That conversation is for another day.
French is the second most challenging aspect of my life as a PhD student at the University of Oregon, but I don’t have the energy or desire to talk more about that right now.  For now, let’s just say I’m surviving it lol. C’est comme ça!
I have many many things that need to get done today and tomorrow, so I am going to get to it. I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day Weekend! ?



P.S. Questions about PhD life? Leave them in the comment section or send me a DM on Instagram.