After the end of my KSJ Fellowship at MIT, but before the resumption of my job at The Chronicle of Higher Education, I found myself in a position to do some professional writing for the first time in a while. I’ve missed writing, so I was happy to get back to it. But, I was also a bit nervous; For the most part, it had been a few years since I last wrote something for publication. I didn’t want to embarrass myself to peers, editors or readers.
On the other hand, I was excited to put those muscles back into action, to learn about the topics I’d be writing about, and to try out some new reporting and writing tools.
Continue reading “Tools for Reporting and Writing”
Today we held a memorial service for my mom, at which I delivered the eulogy below. Special thanks to Alex Newman, Amy Eisman, and Rose Engelland for the feedback they provided as I worked through putting this together.
It’s been 78 days since my mom died… one more day than the years she lived. On each of those days, I’ve made a conscious effort to conjure different memories of her.
Continue reading “Goodbye, Mom”
Not all of my fellowship experiences merited a post, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worthy of mentioning. As I start preparing to move back to the D.C. area, I’ve been thinking about some of the things in Cambridge I’ll miss and some of the small moments I won’t soon forget. Here’s an incomplete collection:
Continue reading “Post-Fellowship Potpourri”
I’m a list maker. I make lists in notebooks, as text files, on the Notes app, on the backs of envelopes. Most of the lists are tasks. Trash, laundry, ironing, thank you notes, buy present for niece.
Some are for the store. Yeast, milk, juice, apples, oranges, curly pasta. I have lists of movies to see (Pirates of Somalia, Novine, Coco), books (The Welt, How the Hippies Saved Physics, Tribalism, Don Quixote), places to go (Walden Pond, Mt. Washington, Alaska), and names of cats, should I ever get another cat (Pitney Bowes, The Honorable Fluffy McFluffyface, Doug).
Another list I’ve been keeping is “fellowship stuff to blog about,” which still has a few outstanding items. (Incidentally, blogging about the fellowship has also been item on my task list. It’s like list Inception.)
So without further ado, here is a list-eliminating roundup of some of the outings I’ve had and have been meaning to write about, but haven’t done until now.
Continue reading “Fellowship Leftovers”
Before it started, I knew it would end. That is the cruel nature of fellowships. As soon as they start, the clock starts ticking. The end is ever-present, always approaching, taunting you from the very beginning.
Continue reading “Fellowship Finale”
One of the classes I occasionally sat in on this spring was the D-Lab course on Weather, Climate Change and Health. In the class, students worked on projects that could contribute to solving problems at the nexus of, well, weather, climate change and health. Throughout the semester, students took field trips, including building solar trailers to help Puerto Ricans still without power following Hurricane Maria. One of the field trips was an early March sojourn to the Great Blue Hill Observatory.
Located in Milton, about 10 miles south of Boston and not far from Quincy and Braintree, home to former president John Adams, Great Blue Hill is known as “Massachusett” by native Americans. It gained its English name when settlers saw the 635-foot-high granite hill’s blue cast as they approached by ship. Continue reading “Great Blue Hill Observatory”
When I was at USA Today, a colleague and I had an idea for a series of multimedia stories: “Tales from the Trade Show.” The idea was that there is a conference or expo or trade show for just about everything. Turns out Vice did it — or at least, two episodes. There’s PackExpo for those who are looking for the latest in packaging equipment. There’s the Adult Entertainment Expo. Do not expect that link to be safe for work. And, of course, Vent Haven, the world’s largest convention for ventriloquists. I’m guessing they don’t have a high demand for guest passes.
In Boston, one of the biggest conventions of the year come in March with the Seafood Expo of North America. This I had to see. Continue reading “Surfing Through the Seafood Expo”
Most of MIT’s buildings are known not by name or by address, but by number. Building 10 is the iconic dome with the large grass courtyard stretching to the Charles river. Building 54 is the 295-foot tall, I.M. Pei-designed concrete block that looms over campus and from which pumpkins are dropped at Halloween. Building NW12 is the nuclear fission reactor.
Continue reading “On a Fission and Fusion Mission”
During one of our first tours of the MIT campus, I took special note of a strange brick with an enormous tube protruding from its side. Over the door, it read “Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel.” I had to see inside.
Continue reading “Winding back time”
This past week marked the last seminars of our fellowship. Cue the sad music. So, to ward off the feelings of loss and abandonment, here’s a look back at our most recent, and final, seminar subjects. Continue reading “The Seminar Stretch”