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Why did you apply to HASTAC?
When I first learned about HASTAC, I knew almost immediately that it would help me attain the resources and community I needed for a very lofty goal I have! I’ve always wanted to create a learning resource specifically for neurodivergent students, one that is catered specifically to us! Growing up neurodivergent, it was always really difficult to conform to the learning standards of my peers, so I want this to be an easily-accessible resource for any student, and I knew HASTAC would be just the organization I needed to help me make that happen!
What has been your favorite course so far as an instructor or student? Why?
I haven’t had the chance to teach any classes, unfortunately, but I took a literary theory class last semester about embodiment and it was wonderful! It gave me the opportunity to look at literature about the body, and has even informed the MA thesis I’ve been writing this semester! I love thinking about how various writers look at the body and portray it in their works. At the undergraduate level, I took a class about Emily Dickinson (who is my favorite poet of all time) and Paradise Lost, both by the same professor. This professor was amazing, and really shaped the kind of thinker and scholar that I’ve become- I owe a lot to her!
What do you want to do after you graduate?
After I graduate, I think I’d like to go into the publishing industry! I’ve always had a close eye for detail, and helping others to get their works out into the world gives me the opportunity to continue reading and loving literature while also getting paid to do it. Hopefully, one day, I’ll get to write books of my own, but I’m taking things one step at a time.
What’s something that people would be surprised to know about you?
Goodness, that’s a hard question to answer, since I tend to talk a lot! I think people would probably be surprised to hear that I have synesthesia! It’s a condition that combines senses, and I have two forms of it: Grapheme-Color and Auditory-Tactile, which means that all words I read have a color, and I feel every sound I hear.
What are some things that you wish you knew before you got into graduate school?
I wish I had known how to slow down, I think. A lot of time, people in grad school might feel as if they are wasting their time if they do not have several jobs on top of classwork and other responsibilities, but I think that knowing your limits and knowing how to take time for yourself is really crucial when doing graduate work.
How does digital scholarship fit into your research or teaching?
Digital scholarship is a huge part of what I do every day- honestly, I’m not sure I would even be able to go without it. Making use of digital resources and scholarship created by my peers is how I’ve thrived in an academic setting, and I think it’s part of why I’m so adamant on creating a digital resource for other neurodivergent students.
What do you hope to accomplish with your research or teaching?
Since learning how to make use of technology as a part of my education instead of pushing it away in favor of more “traditional” routes, I’ve learned so much about how I process information and how my learning styles differ from others. I think, at its core, my research is mainly to help streamline that process for other people. Nobody should have to feel like an alien in an educational setting, and nobody should have to conform to a style that does not work for their brains. So I’d like to use my research to help include alternative thinkers in the learning experience, so that it can be a positive and welcoming experience for all. At the end of the day, I want to help those that I can understand.
What are you currently reading, watching, or listening to?
What am I not, really? My newest literary obsession has been the Locked Tomb series by Tamsyn Muir, starting with Gideon the Ninth. It’s a sci-fi novel with an enemies to lovers sapphic romance and it is so gut wrenchingly beautiful, I cannot recommend it enough!
What’s something we should ask you? What’s your answer?
How can I help the neurodivergent learners in my life?
This is the best question that anyone can ask me. My biggest recommendation is to ask them what their needs are! Neurodivergent people are not a hive mind, and we all have individual needs, but reaching out and asking how you can help will really make a huge difference. Sometimes, in a world that does not seem quite ready to accommodate us, offering that hand can mean a lot to someone.