One thing at a time
At the Disability office at SFSU, there was a bookmark that calmly recommended ‘One thing at a time.’ Dr. Baldwin talked with me about preparation for oral qualifying exams and the scope of my thesis prospectus, and recommended his version. “One crisis at a time.”
Some ideas have been developing since my master’s thesis, and feel like a logical progression toward the goal of being able to answer questions of evolution in this group. Others are somewhat of a departure from systematics, and are less well articulated at this stage. I don’t know how other people write, but every potential thesis chapter definitely does not spring fully formed from my brain, it comes out as odd misshapes. Sentences that include notes to myself, find and insert citation here, random marginalia. Sometimes I write in notebooks in the field and later transfer it all together inside a larger structure, and sometimes I close my eyes and type everything listening to dubstep.
I am reading on edaphic endemism and serpentine for a committee meeting this week. The books have been sharing the window sill with my pet serpentine rocks. The state rock of California, yo. The button was given to me by Dr. Judy Jernstedt, my academic advisor at UC Davis, who signed all the paperwork that let me stay in school. The debts I owe and can never repay.
That gratitude includes my debts to Dr. Ellen Dean, who gave me botany training and a job at the Davis herbarium, and took me out in the field to show me what serpentine looked like at Payne Ranch. And she still gives the best advice ever.