I haven’t blogged in over a month. I’ve been way too busy with work stuff, Science On A Postcard stuff, friend stuff and family stuff. It’s been a busy month, and I’m determined to get back into the swing of regular blogging – so I’m kicking off with a look back at the good things that happened during April.
April’s excellent human of the month was my counsellor. I started person-centred counselling in the first week of March, and fully expected to be attending weekly appointments for at least the next few months. I’d planned to transition from weekly, to fortnightly, and then monthly appointments, with the aim of feeling more myself by the end of the year. I’ve spoken about how I’ve tried counselling before, that didn’t work out for me so I expected this attempt to take a while for things to begin to settle and for me to see improvements. Turns out, when you find the right counsellor things can start to feel good pretty quickly. I had 6 sessions in total, the last one just a few weeks ago, and I feel like my brain is finally allowing me to enjoy things again. April wasn’t 100% excellent headspace-wise, but I feel like those sessions have helped me a lot, and for the first time in a long time I’m looking forward feeling almost entirely positive.
I also met Dr Claudia Antolini in April! I’ve followed her on Twitter for a while and she will also be one of the speakers at Aberdeen’s Soapbox Science event in May, so it was wonderful to finally meet her and talk all things science communication, inclusion and diversity. She’s a fantastic science communicator and if you don’t follow her on Twitter, you should.
I knew that this category would leave me underwhelmed every month since I listed places in Berlin and Washington DC in my January ‘Good Things’ post..
Does ‘in the air’ count? My partner took me flying in April, and we had a very lovely time. Though he did make us go upside down without warning me which was a little alarming to say the least.
April was pretty quiet in terms of travel, I went to Edinburgh Science Festival, but I’ve mostly stayed in Aberdeen. That said, I’ve really enjoyed working in coffee shops lately – I find that I can get on with work without being interrupted. The fact that I’m sat at a table with my laptop and strangers may see me not working means I’m more likely to knuckle down and get on with things. Also – cake and coffee.
Cult of Coffee has been my favourite, because look at this cake platter.. To be clear: I did not eat this by myself, and I went home and had a nap afterwards. Even between 2 we didn’t finish it, but holy cow it was delicious.
Book(s) of the month
- Non-fiction: This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay – I avoided reading this for a really long time because I thought the hype would make my expectations too high for it to ever be good enough. I was wrong, it’s a brilliant book and it made me laugh and cry at multiple times throughout.
- Poetry collection: Crumb-Sized: Poems by Marlena Chertock – This blew me away. It’s beautifully written and weaves science throughout without being overwhelming.
- Podcast: Polarised – How Change Happens with Doris Kearns Goodwin, Cass Sunstein & Roberto Unger. I mentioned this podcast last month too; Polarised is a podcast from the RSA that aims to investigate ‘the political and cultural forces driving us further apart’. This episode didn’t disappoint, and I’ve become a loyal listener.
- Article: Why people believe the Earth is flat and we should listen to anti-vaxxers by Elfy Scott for The Guardian. The strapline for this article is so perfect: ‘Science communication has lost its sense of empathy and misunderstands how fear can alter a person’s belief system’. Read it, read it again, and then change the way you do science communication accordingly.
- YouTube video: Honest advice for surviving your 20s – Leena Norms
Full of terrifyingly simple tips that I wish I’d been given in list form on my 20th birthday. (Seriously though, why is cooking rice so difficult? And how have people still not realised the pants-tights-pants is the best?)
One specific moment
- As some of you may know, I have an Etsy shop (Science On A Postcard), and this month I went to my first local Etsy meet up. There’s a group of volunteers in Aberdeen running our local branch; they put together the Etsy seller fairs, they put on super useful creative workshops, and they have lots more creative and business experience than I do. I had a bloody lovely time at the meet up, and my favourite moment of the entire month was walking into the meeting and someone I didn’t know saying ‘oh cool, you’re from Science On A Postcard!’. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy because this tiny little business is reaching people that I haven’t nagged to buy stuff – incredible!
- This month I’ve had a Masters student working with me and it’s been so, so good! I still feel like an academic baby, but the first few weeks of working with a Masters student has been amazing for my confidence. I do know stuff, I do have experience, and I can share those skills and experiences with other people. Also she’s a fab student and I’m super excited to see how the project comes out, so that helps a lot.
What did you love about April? Leave a comment below and let me know 🙂