we are always asking the world if we do in fact exist.

A while back a friend of mine proposed the following theory: I’m actually a Saiyan, but because my body isn’t taking enough damage in battle to level up as it ordinarily would, it has to take the initiative to fight itself so I can achieve my next power level. I wouldn’t say I’m over 9000 by any stretch of the imagination, but.

But like always I’m using humor to minimize how far this situation spiraled out of control.

One month and one emergency surgery later, I’m healing well and readjusting to basic movement and day-to-day living, and my mood is so improved that I can only think my exacerbated depression lasted so long not because of Lyrica withdrawal, but because for three weeks my body was struggling to inform me that it was dying.

To summarize:

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calling a spade a spade.

Lately I’ve been thinking about a horizontal eyebrow piercing. It’s an idle thought. I doubt I’ll ever modify any part of my face. My reasoning has less to do with how it might affect my employment opportunities, however, and more to do with issues like my tendency to develop raised scars, or the number of times I faceplant on my laptop or my bed, which can’t be good for healing. I’ve dealt with some difficult healing processes with the tattoos and piercings I already sport, and right now I’m not willing to modify my sleeping position further.

Talking about body modification may seem like an odd entry point to a discussion of information transparency in academia, but bear with me.I recently attended a conference that, historically, I have loved passionately; it occurs at the end of the academic year and feels like a simultaneous respite and revitalizing force, nonstop intellectual stimulation that is–dare I say it–diverse, poetic, truly interdisciplinary, fun. This conference inspired me to wholeheartedly embrace open access despite what it could do for my employment possibilities. It inspired me to rethink my philosophy about information transparency such that I wouldn’t feel hypocritical about it, and to be at peace with the notion that these choices–like all the choices I’ve made preceding this moment–could potentially affect my chances at tenure-track employment. This initially seemed daunting, but in truth, I never expected to be employable in the traditional sense of the word. I’m a writer. I’ve narrowly avoided being a starving artist, but I embarked on this career path knowing it was a distinct possibility, the point being that I’ve always been willing to sacrifice certain potentials in furtherance of a large goal that I’ve always perceived as fulfilling to self and community. Deciding to post drafts and publish only in open-access journals seems minor in comparison to that first, enormous decision.

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