And this is it... the last Q&A for the 2021 calendar year. To say this was my best year yet is an understatement. Never did I think in the beginning of the year would I have embarked on such an adventure! You all had a LOT of questions about how I feel about the year and so on... so lets get right into it.
Remember, I only answer questions that I haven't answered before or that I have new answers for so if you've asked something and I didn't answer it try searching for it on my blog with a few keywords and I promise you'll find it!
Your hair looks amazing! What are you doing?
Thanks! What I've seen really make a difference the last few weeks is overnight moisture mask and sleeping with a silk bonnet. Plopping is key, too.
What would you say your home decor style is?
"Modern coastal" is the vibe I'm going for in the house I'm saving up for.
Do you miss living in the USA?
I do miss some aspects for it - like my family and friends, some easier shopping, being near cultural food - but I really love living in Australia.
Are you planning on staying in Australia full time?
Pretty much full time, but I plan on coming back to Puerto Rico/Florida/Mexico for a few months a year to help give back to my communities. I don't ever want to lose those ties!
What is your "why"?
It's a combination of wanting to showcase our natural world (the diverse ecosystems and the diverse people who work on them) to those who can't afford to see it in person, a desire to help others achieve their dreams, and make a fear of failure. How's that honesty for ya?
What skills do you want to learn this upcoming year?
Ha! I just sent a whole list to my advisors and mentor, haha. I'll be doing some online courses on spatial mapping and R programming this year.
What shows are you currently watching?
Harlem, cheesy Holiday movies and shows, School of Chocolate, and a bunch of true crime shows.
EDUCATION & WORK
Would you ever start your own line (clothes, jewelry)?
Yes, I would love to team up with some professionals to make an eco-friendly line of clothes or nature-themed jewelry.
Would you ever be a professor?
Now that I am not going to be gone for a few months (that I know of... haha) this upcoming year, I have been wanting to dip my toes into teaching classes. I always learned better through active learning — think activities and discussions — versus just staring at a board and listening to a professor drone on, so I definitely want to be a professor/teacher that cultivates an active participation culture. And while I will be an authority figure, I hope to be approchable so that they can seek me out for questions or advice.
Depending where I end up teaching, I might also be the first Latina professor that some have, so I want to normalzie the idea that Latinxs are scholars, knowledge producers, leaders, experts, etc.
What would you teach if you were a professor?
I would love to teach...
Would you be worried about anyone recognizing you from social media in one of your future classes?
Not at all. This blog, my social media platforms, are my brand and (one day) business. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to separate my digital work from my academic work, and I am okay with that. I do both and I want people to see you don't have to "choose."
How do you balance your academics with blogging and being an influencer?
I have set academic hours and don’t do that work outside of those hours. But I am looking at trying to delegate more and hire additional support in some aspects of my life.
Are you worried about the final year of your PhD?
A little bit, yes. But I have advisors and mentors who will help me during this time.
How did you choose Curtin for your PhD?
I went to Curtin because the professors I was interested in working with seemed like a good fit for my research interests and it was in a place I desired to live. I can’t recommend Curtin outright to everyone because I don't know your particular interests and life goals. The best advice I got was "you don’t apply to a school, you apply to a program."
How do you get better at academic writing?
I actually have been reading a few books that are helping me learn to write. I also read a lot of published literature in my field to look at structure (e.g. better understand how experienced writers organize their thoughts and lay out their results and arguments).
Are sharks doing okay?
A third of shark and ray species have been overfished to near extinction, according to recently published scientific study.
What shark do you wanna study next?
Tiger sharks, pleeeeeease.
If you didn't study sharks, what else would you study?
Wolves and other predatory animals.
Are you doing long distance with C?
Yup. Have been pretty much our whole relationship.
Do you think you'll get married to C in 2022?
No, I'll be quite busy with my PhD to plan a wedding. Plus, he hasn't proposed.
AS ALWAYS, THANKS SO MUCH FOR SENDING IN YOUR GREAT QUESTIONS! BE SURE TO KEEP UP WITH MY INSTAGRAM STORIES TOWARDS THE END OF THE MONTH TO GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN FOR THE NEXT Q&A!
Hi! I'm Melissa, an Australian-based Latina science educator, podcaster, and freelance writer. I spend a lot more time on Instagram and Twitter, but blogging is my first love. Thanks for stopping by — I hope you stay a while.
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