Well. What a semester. It’s hard to adequately express how wild it has been to be a PhD student in the middle of the various social crises that have unfolded over the past nine months. A significant portion of the energy that I normally use for research has been diverted to some fundamental questions. Who does my research serve? What can I do to ensure that the things that I’m working on don’t simply exacerbate economic and racial divides? How can I justify spending this time and energy on something so distanced from the problems directly in front of me?
I’m a big believer in personal organization, and particularly in the value of keeping logs. Personal logging, or journaling, is, of course, not a new phenomenon; for centuries people have kept logs of their days in order to gain perspective, understand their emotions, and leave a record of their thoughts for posterity—or even themselves, at a later date. My journals tend to give a sense of my tendency to over-organize.