Independence day

Hi, I’m Brittany and I’m a book-aholic.

Big surprise here: July was also filled with lots of reading. I remember July being a very busy month for me, but then I look back at my Facebook posts and I really don’t see anything but books. I probably read quite a bit, as it was summer and there is more free-time in the summer months. However, I was also teaching a GRE prep course, and I was mentoring an undergradaute student in the lab, on top of doing my own work. So yeah, I don’t know how I had time to read, but I am certainly an addict if I did.

But let’s talk a little bit about the knowledge I instilled in some undergraduates of colors (not a typo) that summer. I was only with these kids for 8 weeks, some I interacted with weekly, some I only saw once or twice. But the growth that I saw in them was remarkable. I often forget, even though it wasn’t that long ago, what it was like to be an undergrad and try to prioritize having fun the same way your friends do. I don’t mean that to be an insult, but I feel like coming to graduate school made me much more secure in who I am and what I want to do, not what I think I need to do.

The most important trait I noticed in that bunch was that I saw them take pride in who they were. The fact of the matter is that it was a rough summer for people of any color other than white (white is a color too… I should really post about that sometime. Somebody remind me later). With Donald Trump gaining strength, police brutality in the news everyday, hate crimes, you name it, it was rough. So to have a group of individuals who were proud to own who they were and knowing that I was part of that journey, for whatever role I may have played, was incredible.

So I know I started with talking about being addicted to books, and here’s what I will say to close that off: use addictions to make them healthy. Of course, you cannot do this with something like heroin, but with books you can use to to build your  knowledge from the books that you choose. You can pick up a book that makes you step outside of your comfort zone. You can share a book with a friend to help them grow. There are so many things that you can do for yourself and for others that won’t seem like work because you are totally invested and committed. I’m still trying to make this idea stick in my head, but I would argue that July provided the most evidence for this to be true this year.

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