Five Minute Friday: BUILD

Five Minute Friday Build

Five Minute Friday: BUILD

I was working with a story today as editor of the Sigma Xi SmartBrief. The story was about a type of yarn that expands and contracts in response to temperature, making it a potential component of temperature-management clothing.

Because we research every detail of the stories we use in order to identify people correctly and get the other details right, I looked up the name of the professor, YuHuang Wang, who coordinated the study.

I didn’t get a dry academic listing on his university’s website, though, I got his lab’s website. Once I was at his site, my heart expanded instead of contracting. From the moment I got there, it was clear that this man loves his work (if you’ve read my writing much, you know I am drawn to people who love their work (and how they ended up there)).

I had the sense that he is not there just for himself, but to build a place (his lab and its results) that is about more than science.

I hovered on the page of photos for the longest. There were picnics where lab members were barbecuing. There were little children running around. There was … a sense of fun and unity.

These people could create temperature-sensitive yarn without the overarching unity that this professor has clearly worked hard to foster, but how would they feel about it when they got home at night?

My perspective on how work fits with the other parts of my life has shifted a bit as I have gotten older, gained more work experience, and taken the unexpected four-year odyssey through caregiving.

For a long time, I knew I wanted to help people build a feeling about our mutual work that made sense for them (I know some people truly want to just do their thing and forget about it once they’re out the door (or — shout out to my fellow remote workers! — once they close the laptop), but I was not succeeding. I think I had my own internal work that needed to be done.

This is a different time, though. I have a little more mortar to help people put between their bricks. I know, too, why for so many people it matters deeply.

*Note: I had a timer malfunction; this was longer than five minutes!

Five Minute Friday Deep

Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via creator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.” (But I can’t resist spell checking, as you can imagine.)

6 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: BUILD

  1. Love this, Paula. I used to love teaching, but with the PC Puritans holding sway in education today, I’m equally glad that I will never teach again.

    Fancy a non-PC sonnet?

    When I taught it was easy,
    there were girls and boys,
    but gender-options made me queasy
    and I lost my practiced poise.
    There is ze and there is zir
    and vis and hirs abound.
    I suppose one day there will be ‘fleur’,
    and ‘xyrs’ – how does that SOUND?
    I don’t really give a flip
    about identity.
    To me it’s just an ego trip,
    “The whole world’s all ’bout ME!”
    If I once again had to call the rolls
    skip the PC pronouns,call ’em all a-holes

    • I always fancy sonnets from you. And you would have been welcome to have taught my children any time, Andrew. <3

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.