I saw this thread on Twitter and invited Fay Lin to submit it as a guest post for the blog. Thank you, Fay.
Fay is a 4th year PhD candidate in Biochemistry at UCLA, where she uses math modeling to study biological networks in immune response. Outside of research, she is a passionate mental health advocate in higher education. Follow @xiaofei_lin.
WE ARE STILL SOLICITING POSTS FROM WOMEN OF COLOR, ESPECIALLY BLACK WOMEN, MOST PARTICULARLY ON ANYTHING RESPONSIVE TO THE CURRENT PANDEMIC AND FINANCIAL FALLOUT. PLEASE EMAIL ME WITH PROPOSALS, IDEAS, DRAFTS AT GETTENURE@GMAIL.COM. WE PAY $100 FOR ACCEPTED POSTS.
Dear academics – Please avoid the following phrases during COVID19:
1. “It’s a great time to work on coding/writing/etc.”
For some, working from home has challenges such as child care, mental health struggle due to social isolation, etc., which make it MORE difficult to work. Stating “it’s a great time to work” is NOT inclusive.
“There are opportunities for remote work available to help you continue your research while social distancing.”
2. “I feel sorry for students doing virtual PhD defenses.”
It’s important to mourn lost experiences due to COVID19, but putting down the virtual space is not helpful. While virtual events are not the same as in-person, they still entail many benefits of social gathering.
“Transitioning to virtual PhD defenses is understandably difficult for individuals who were looking forward to celebrating the occasion in person. Let’s make the most of the virtual space and support each other in all ways that we can!”
3. “I feel bad that I haven’t been more productive “
As researchers, we are conditioned to consistently think about productivity. Remind yourself that we are in a GLOBAL PANDEMIC. This is NOT normal. It is OK to not be productive.
“Productivity has been difficult during COVID19. I’m striving to adapt my work habits while also showing kindness to myself for struggling.”
HOW we say things matter and makes a HUGE difference to our mental health. I encourage everyone to remember your resilience and maintain a positive mindset to the best of your ability. These are tough times, but we WILL get through it.