Mission StatementPosted: December 9, 2011
After having spent the last six years in two different doctoral programs and earning two Master’s degrees in subjects that require extensive explanation to most laypeople (at the end of which everyone, including myself, is left asking why I would study such things), I’ve learnt an awful lot. Sure I know a few dead languages, but that’s not my concern here. Graduate school has taken me to very many places, not excluding the land of despair. But I’ve traveled all across North America, Europe and elsewhere, often for months at a time. I’ve taught for a summer in Taiwan, spent this past summer in Greece watching other people dig stuff up, and attended conferences in South Africa and Hawaii. All for free (or for getting paid to do so). And since my family is split up between Asia and the middle of the Pacific, well, you get the picture. I travel a lot and I’ve always traveled a lot. Academic travel grants have taken me to places I never would have visited otherwise and given me good reasons to be in those places. I am very rarely just a tourist. Being completely obsessed with miles and points allows me to travel even more frequently and with some level of luxury. I discovered this boon later on in my academic career, and not before a slew of random jobs that I held on top of teaching to sustain my constant travels (liquor promo girl, wine taster, mascot handler, airport employee, doing voiceovers for toys and talking gadgets, etc.). And so my mission is this: to help other nerds take flight. Being in grad school or on an academic budget need not suck. Along the way, I’ll review some of my experiences and report on important issues such as how to transport twenty pounds of fresh-picked apples over the Canadian border on Greyhound and how much raki one should stock up on when on Crete (a lot). I’ll also have guest bloggers chiming in from time to time, commenting on related aspects of the academic experience and offering recommendations on how to address them, including but not restricted to: bed bugs, alcohol, eating well, hypochondria, shoe shopping, destitution and filthy, unwashed undergraduates.