Welcome to Slash/Living!

(Also posted on the “About” page)

What is Slash/Living?

When people ask questions about our identity – what we do for a living, what hobbies occupy our time – we rarely answer with just one title or activity. We may actually even say the word “slash” – as in, “I am a day trader slash stand-up comic” or “I work slash run slash coach.” Simply put, “Slash/Living” is a blog devoted to documenting and encouraging the journey of living our slashes. I focus mostly on my slashes (it is my blog, after all), but I highlight other people’s slashes, too. If you want a bit more information, read on…

Why this blog?

Prior to this blog iteration, I have had two others – the first was a blog on grief that I started after the sudden death of my father in 2009. I started it to process my thoughts and share those with the people closest to me who, frankly, were a bit worried about my well-being. I kept it going for over a year.

The second was a blog about my dissertation process. If you have been in a Ph.D. program and have had the unique experience of doing a dissertation, you know how terrible it is (my condolences if you find yourself in this situation now). I started that blog because I needed to get into the practice of writing regularly (I was procrastinating something awful), I wanted a space to process the process, and, again, the people closest to me were worried about my well-being and if I would ever finish the damn thing (I did!). I kept it going for about a year, abandoning it when actually writing the dissertation took all my free time and then some.

Fast forward a few years.

I have wanted to start engaging in social media chatter about education for a while, as this topic occupies much of my head space. After a conference in October of 2015, I recommitted to twitter. But posting only about education was restrictive. I am interested in too many other topics. The idea of creating separate twitter handles for separate topics was too daunting, and ultimately, I wanted to use more than twitter’s allotted 140 characters to communicate. So I returned to the idea of a blog.

Around the same time, I read a few books in succession over the course of a couple weeks: Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection, Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy, Susan Cain’s Quiet, and then Marci Alboher’s One Person/Multiple Careers. I read them on purpose, but the order in which I read them was accidental, and the continuous conversation throughout them all was serendipitous. The take-away of the collection is this: embrace the imperfect, multi-faceted person you are and seek to live a life that nurtures and stretches you.

As with any “aha” moment, this message was one I have known and tried to live for a while, but having this idea pointed out to me in the pages of these books was a wake-up call. I cannot separate aspects of who I am any more than I can separate my organs from my body because each part influences another (well, except maybe my appendix – isn’t that useless?). My roles of school administrator, teacher, and mother all directly influence each other, for instance. My beliefs about education are formed by my classroom experiences as a teacher, and those are revised and reformed by my children’s school experiences and my experiences parenting them through those.

So here is how this blog works. I will post regularly and will categorize the post according to whatever slash(es) fit best. You will find those old posts on grief categorized as “Griever” and those posts on the dissertation as “Dissertation Writer” as well as “Teacher” as well as “Researcher.” You will find my Five-Minute Friday guided freewrites (my participation in another blog’s challenge) under “5-Minute Friday Writer.” More slashes will be added as needed, but expect to see some on health, creativity, and reading, for starters.

I promise each post will be under 800 words for easy reading. I hope you will comment and share as you see fit. I promise to reply.

Happy slash/living, everyone!

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VVH

I think I have known this for some time, but today reminded me of this knowledge: when dissertating (or really doing any intense writing), I became violent, vicious, and hungry. My husband has deemed it VVH and would like to design a t-shirt with the acronym. I did not find this humorous. In fact, I kind of felt like this:

Image

Now, when I say violent, do not think for a moment, dear readers, that I actually act on this impulse. I just imagine myself throwing furniture, stomping on my computer, and the like. And by vicious, I mean I have some nasty, childish thoughts. Like, “Oh yeah?! Well I don’t really want to write a dissertation anyway, and you can’t make me, you m*&^#$f%$#@!” directed at no one in particular. I am not proud of this. It just is.

The third one, though, is going to be a battle. Hungry. I want to eat EVERYTHING. And by everything, I mean nothing good for me. Heath bars. Oreo shakes. Rainbow Chip frosting right out of the jar. Big, thick chocolate chip pancakes with tons of butter and syrup. And then some more Heath bars.

It’s gross.

Maybe this is why I’ve avoided dissertating – because I know the chances of me succumbing to my inner fat girl are quite high. I have heard people post-Ph.D. referring to their “dissertation weight,” and I do not want to be one of them.

PhinisheD

Let’s engage in a fun logic/math/stats word problem, shall we?

Today I went to my first dissertation defense for someone in my cohort. The 2007 Curriculum & Instruction cohort consisted of 12 people – 7 women and 5 men. By the end of the second year, one woman and one man had dropped out, so that leaves 6 women and 4 men remaining. Now, the end of our fifth year, 4 have successfully defended.

Out of those 4, how many are women and how many are men? What ought the breakdown be, if everything else is equal?

I shall reveal the answer after I get some thoughtful responses!