Friday, May 27, 2011

Who do you tell?

I recently had a meeting with a dean that I admire. One of the things we talked about was my adjustment to the new university. We are in between department chairs and I'm anxious about my future. I told my prior chair about my RA, and he responded the right way: understanding, support, and empathy. I am concerned that our future chair might be biased. This is a valid concern considering the candidate pool here. I told the dean about my concerns, and I told her that my RA might generate bias from a new chair. She then gave me the advice not to tell anyone about my RA. She said that people here look for weaknesses in women, and this is an easy weakness for others to latch onto. I don't know how I feel about that advice. I don't shout it out to the world, but I can't hide it forever - especially if I'm trapped in a flare. I'll sit back and wait for a new chair...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hawking Interview

NY Times published an interview with Stephen Hawking today, and I found this Q/A to be very inspiring:

Q. Given all you’ve experienced, what words would you offer someone who has been diagnosed with a serious illness, perhaps A.L.S.?

A. My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit, as well as physically.

Hawking has a point. I try to leave my regret behind. It doesn't come naturally, and I have to consciously set it aside. But, I take joy that I can still do my job and do it well.