Perhaps I talk about my high school experience too much to strangers, but it was just such a fun/ny place, and it landed me a pretty good spouse, so I will continue to hype it up. In that vein, I feel inclined to mention that I am running for a position as an At-Large Member of the Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA) Alumni Association (IAA) Cabinet.
Officially, my reasons for applying and my interest in the position is as follows:
Since graduating from IMSA, I have spent much of my time in foreign countries pursing various degrees. Based on these experiences, I would like to help build upon the international scope of the IMSA community. Specifically, I am interested in helping with Intersession and the College, Career, Choices Forums. During January 2011, I had the opportunity to host an Intersession class and to participate in a College, Career, Choices Forum, and I would value the opportunity to work more closely with these programs to expand the variety of options (particularly those in the humanities and international arenas) available to students and promote the continued success of both programs for the future.
Unofficially, the reason I want to get more involved is because of something that happened at a January 2011 College, Career, Choices Forum. The Forum consisted of about 10 dudes and one lady. One dude was Jim Jim, but the other 9 were some variation on “engineering at the University of Illinois.” As the only lady, the only non-science (if we are counting psychology as a science, which we will for the sake of embellishing this anecdote), and the only non-U of I student in attendance, I felt it was my obligation, nay, my moral duty, to point out that the drinking age is lower in foreign countries (hooray, Canada!), study abroad is lots of fun, I get paid to study comic books, going straight to college after IMSA is not the only life choice, and other vitally useful information for the young, impressionable IMSA students. Needless to say, not all of these comments were met with the critical acclaim that they so obviously deserved from the various mature adults in the room, but this lukewarm reception got me thinking.
While I recognize that the plural of anecdote is not data, and my one College Forum experience may not be representative of All Life At IMSA, I had some extensive conversations with a few foreign language teachers and history teachers about the seeming over-emphasis on science (understandably!) at the Illinois Math and SCIENCE Academy, particularly in Alumni initiatives, after my Forum experience. Instead of writing a scathing letter to the school paper (although the thought did cross my mind) about how the humanities are abused and no one takes us seriously and blah blah blah I still get paid to read comic books, I figured I would get more actively involved in IAA activities and lead by example, brag about the comic book thing, etc.
If, as an IMSA alum (they count anyone who spent a full semester there in their membership!), you would like to endorse my bid for power, or if you simply want to exercise your democratic rights as a member of the ever-growing IMSA community, or if you want to get involved (something that is likely easiest for the Illinois residents among us), please visit their website and do something.
If, as a scientist, you are wicked jealous of my grad study pursuits, know that there’s always room in the
Land of Misfit Toys School of Canadian Studies for folks with an interdisciplinary bent.
* Addendum: It seems that nobody wanted to run for Vice President, so I’m also running for that position. *