7-ish Resolutions

Grad school has been crazy y’all. I’m SO thankful for the things I’ve learned (oceanography, genetics, bioinformatics, etc.) and discovered about myself (that I really like coding and science communication). Conferences and workshops have given me the opportunity to travel (to the UK, Germany, and the far corners of the U.S.) and connect with new people (shout-out to the Phytonerds!). However, in the pursuit of constant productivity, I’ve let the things that keep me happy and motivated fall by the wayside… it’s this masochistic cycle, in which I believe that I’ll somehow be more productive if I deprive myself of the things that I enjoy. The sheer joy of metagenetic gut content analyses can only keep you going for so long, so it’s my New Year’s resolution to be less “productive” with the aid of the following activities. So, I’m counting on you—dear internet friends and acquaintances—to keep me accountable!

1. Writing

Although I would still never describe myself as a “writer”—even aspirationally—and had given up on this blog for most of 2017, I do get a lot out of freeform writing. I’ve also realized that I can at least rant with a purpose, putting my oceanography training to good use in order to promote the sustainable use of marine resources, as I did in my series on sea vegetables… who knew kelp could make such great desserts?!

2. Hospitality

2017 was a pitiful year for Yeh-family hospitality… I think we only hosted like 4 parties and had <10 lunch/dinner dates with other couples (we’re scared of single people, apparently?) at our house. We can do better than this, so I need more people to demand that we cook with/for them, okay?

Chinese New Year Gathering with grad students hailing from the U.S., Denmark, Iran, and China.

3. Coding

This is dangerously close to the kind of productivity that I’m trying to build boundaries around, but picking up a language like HTML would be a great way to exercise this skillset that I have been using solely for bioinformatics. Maybe I’ll even re-do this blog myself?

4. Music

A gorgeous ukulele obtained through a fortuitous connection to a ukulele factory in Taiwan.


Ukulele, specifically. Because (1) I have one, (2) I’ve always wanted to play a string instrument (but played the clarinet instead because it was the cheapest instrument), (3) it’s like the only instrument that you can just casually carry around and whip out at the drop of a hat.

5. Cross-training

I still run semi-consistently, but would love to incorporate some more interesting sports into my routine like yoga or rock-climbing. Also, I’m still holding out hope that Jimmy will get bitten by the “Gainz”-bug, and I wouldn’t mind doing a little more weight-lifting myself!

6. Art

A cartoon that I illustrated to accompany an opinion piece in Spec… it had something to do with the Core…

Mostly drawing. Many years ago, I was an illustrator for the Columbia Spectator (the newspaper of Columbia University), and developed a great-for-print cartooning style that combines pencil and ink. I’ve really only used it in recent years to make a handful of notes for Jimmy’s lunchbox. My mom also happens to be an artist, so I should maybe stop wasting the artistic abilities that I may or may not have inherited from her?

7. Video Games

This is a joke. If you know me at all then you know that Jimmy’s video games are the bane of my existence and this is NEVER HAPPENING. Perhaps I’ll employ more creative in my tactics to lure Jimmy away from the computer?


3 thoughts on “7-ish Resolutions

  1. Good luck with the uke playing – it’s a fun instrument to learn & even better if you can find a local group to join. Have a look at our website for ideas (details in my signature block) – lots of freebie links to sites & resources, especially good for beginners. Happy strumming! Jeanette


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