One thing that has been quite surprising to me during my time in Cambridge is the weather. Before I moved here from Houston, Texas, I had heard my fair share of horror stories about the “bone-chilling” New England weather. The day after what I call the “Halloween Blizzard,” my mother rushed me a care package full of gloves, scarves, and what I think may be a parka. I was ready for the cold and snow; however, since October, the weather has been quite nice. As the month of December begins, there is definitely more of a chill in the air, and I have embraced the opportunities to try my hand at dressing in layers, experimenting with various types of warm beverages, and cozying up to share warm experiences with my HGSE family.
Tonight, I attended a “Fireside Chat” that was sponsored by the HGSE Black Student Union. Professors Karen Mapp and Ron Ferguson sat in the middle of a semicircle made up of HGSE students and simply chatted with us for 90 minutes. To keep true to the theme, there was even a huge campfire projected on the screens in the meeting room. It really warmed my heart to hear the fascinating stories of two people who I one day aspire to be like. Professor Mapp shared of how she transitioned from the corporate world into education. Professor Ferguson talked about the challenges he faced in getting his dissertation topic approved. Both professors were also very candid about their varied experiences as people of color, both as students and later on as faculty members. Students were able to ask questions to gain insight and receive advice, and both professors were great about giving thoughtful, helpful answers. Despite having a million and one pages to write, I was glad that I was able to attend the chat. I left with “warm fuzzies” brought on by the sense of togetherness that I felt being a part of the HGSE community. I can’t wait for more moments like this!