I’ve redacted my name from this page temporarily…my name will be back here in 6 months or so.
I’m a middle-aged mom of four who stayed home (more or less) for the fifteen years following my college graduation. Now that my children are older, I’ve returned to grad school to study environmental geochemistry. I study how microbes affect the chemistry of natural water systems.
Why was I an unlikely grad student? You can read about the hurdles I faced as an applicant on my very first blog post.
Why am I still an unlikely grad student? Because I have so many experiences that most grad students don’t–like writing a book, being a featured speaker at (unfortunately, non-scientific) conferences nationwide, running a small business, and homeschooling my children. I like to think that the latter, in particular, has shaped who I am–I’ve turned myself into a completely independent learner, and also helped me understand to a large extent how students learn.
Everyone on this blog has a pseudonym. The people you’ll hear most about are UnlikelyDad, my (now-ex) husband from 1990 to 2011; our boys Al (1992), Nate (1994), Lew (1997), and Will (2001). Another main character is SL, my research advisor before I came to MyU–not just a boss, but a real mentor. We still keep in touch. My current advisor is Dr. Hand-Waver, frequently shortened to Dr. HW.
The picture in the header was taken as I left port for my very first research cruise near the tail end of 2011. This was a highly symbolic journey for me: I’ve felt like this whole grad school journey is a bit like leaving a safe port and heading off into the wild blue yonder. The seas on our cruise were fairly rough, but I got a lot of work done and loved every minute of it. Just like the last few years of my life.