Two weeks ago, I came back to the US after my holiday trip to Germany and France. This moment when you stand in front of the frosty immigration officer who makes you press all your fingers onto the dirty glass of the fingerprinting scanner, takes a webcam photo of your travel-exhausted face, and then scrutinizes your papers. This moment alone always makes me feel like an illegitimate intruder. But of course, it always goes well for me. This last time the immigration officer, still with her poker face on, noticed that my visa would run out in 3 months. Yes, I said hurriedly, I need to reapply. Ever wondered why they make you do this, the officer asked. I looked at her, slightly alarmed. To make a shitload of money out of you, she said, looked up, and smiled a friendly smile. I also smiled, relieved. We both laughed, and that is how I re-entered the United States of America.
A year (and a few days) ago Sho and I launched CogTales, and what a year it has been. Thanks to you all, be it as readers, guest posters, or in the comments, we’ve grown quite a bit in this short time. Posts covered research practices, personal experiences, an ongoing R course, and even a successful kickstarter campaign! Our most popular posts were actually those where we shared a personal story, be it about becoming an expeRt coder or standing up in a big room to ask the tough questions. This shows that those stories matter and are of interest, so we will continue to share the experiences and opinions of junior female researchers in cognitive science. If you would like to tell your story, just get in touch!
To a fantastic 2017!
We PhD students and postdocs frequently move around the world, often in 2- to 3-year intervals. That is wonderful, people say, and I would not disagree. But we also have to face personal, psychological, administrative, financial, or professional obstacles each time we fly into a new life.
I’ve moved to three new countries so far. And I am currently in the process of moving to the fourth, namely from my first postdoc in Paris to my second in Philadelphia. So I’m taking the opportunity to share my experiences, starting with a story that Kafka would probably be proud of. It’s the story of how the post’s loss of my visa and passport resulted in me still eating baguette instead of burgers (and it’s developing into a personal, psychological, administrative, financial, AND professional obstacle, despite the fact that being forced to continue drinking wine in sunny Paris is not the worst fate in the world).
“But Christina, there are so many blogs out there about Cognitive Science, women in science, being a scientist, doing good science! Why do you think we need yet another one?”
Well, I agree, there are many great blogs out there that address almost everything I care about. But as Sho writes, very few do so from the eyes of a “early career researcher” who happens to be a woman interested in brains, babies, and so much more.
I love reading blogs, and when I need a little break, I often find myself scrolling through science blogs. Or fashion blogs. The former are mostly written by men (with the occasional blog by a senior female colleague). The latter are mostly written by young women. And the thing is, I find myself spending way more time reading through the latter. Not because I love fashion more than science. But because I can better relate to the bloggers’ perspective, and it resonates with me.