A #TBIN August Interview Response

Photo by Surface on Unsplash

[1] What’s a new technique or topic you’d like to try writing about?

I am still trying to figure out how to write a limerick. I might need to call on limerick master TC Hails (here and here) for help. I’ve gotten as far as “there once was a girl whose man wouldn’t shake / so all their fun times *something* fake … oh well I’ll keep plugging away at it.

[2] What are your top three values in life? What are your main values?

Great questions as always, Lucy Dan 蛋小姐 (she/her/她)! I started to write a piece on my top 10 guiding principles in my life a while back… I should finish it. Here are 3.

  • Do onto others as you would have them do…


How I address these misconceptions as a Neuro Ph.D. candidate

Profile of a plastic see-through brain in a conference room. Another clay brain is seen beside it, but out of focus. A person in heeled boots is also walking by.
Profile of a plastic see-through brain in a conference room. Another clay brain is seen beside it, but out of focus. A person in heeled boots is also walking by.
Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

I asked my non-scientific family and friends this question:

What is one of the biggest assumption you have or had about me as a neuroscientist or about neuroscientists in general?

Here are their answers (lightly edited for clarity):

  • DM — That what you do could never be understood by someone, not in your field/someone who isn’t a high-ish level scientist
  • YD — That you are “ smart” and able to understand human behaviors.
  • TW — That you are all super smart and all you do (enjoy) is STUDYING.
  • YA — That you spend more time in the lab than your…


Prose Poem for ‘Not Wanting to Say Goodbye’ Prompt (3 of 3)

Woman in a white dress looking out of a window longingly. Photo by Edson de Assis from Pexels.

Saying goodbye to grandma always led to my tears. I’d ball until my eyes were red, nose runny, and face excretions ran down to my shirt. She’d remind me that I’d be back. She’d pray for our journey back to our home as well as our return to her. I always thought I’d outgrow this. But here I a mini adult balling when I leave my parents' home. I’ve learned the lesson that with age, time with loved ones is increasingly more precious and fleeting.

My love, I cry when I leave you too. I remember when our lunch liaisons…


Prose Poem for ‘A Long Embrace’ Prompt (2 of 3)

Couple embrace each other in front of mirror. Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Hugs were a currency in high school. We doled them out to only the most worthy. An extended hug with my best friend’s boyfriend led to mixed feelings on my part. I had to confess. It’s sisters before misters after all. Luckily, she understood. His hugs slipped into unexpected teenage dreams. A conversation later confirmed it was all smoke and mirrors. My friend and I both found that out. He married someone else. I’m happy for them.

I thought my teenage-style long hugs days were over until you. After extended chats and we-aren’t-dating dates, we embraced for a time longer…


Prose Poem for ‘Interlocking Fingers’ Prompt (1 of 3)

Photo by Git Stephen Gitau from Pexels

I remember the first time our hands grazed each other. It was as if a spark of energy ran through me. Handing you my phone to look at was an opportunity for just a sliver of time when cells on my hand and yours could embrace. I was happy to even be so close to you.

I remember the first time our fingers laced together walking the city streets. Were we dating yet? I’m not sure. It felt right. I had previously judged the longevity of previous romantic relationships on how their hands interlocked with mine. If my slender and…


A poem about getting a headache

Photo by Morgan Housel on Unsplash

Like a cracked egg
on the sidewalk
after a long, hot day,

My brain is the
processing speed
of an old laptop,

Y’know the one with
no internet that takes
a year to boot up.

My brain is a
home full of
people on Zoom.

Each call
important, but
inevitably each

starts glitching. My
brain is a vessel
carrying all this

information that
definitely won’t
hit an iceberg.


A haiku and reflection about being tested by nature

Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash

Tree in place of roof

Nature shook us to the core

House is not our home

Just about a decade ago (in August), my family and I were finishing up breakfast. On the news, we were watching Hurricane Irene’s outer band spiraling our area when — crack, bang, crash — lightning hit, and our neighbor’s tree fell. The roof of our home caved. Luckily, the tree landed on a support beam sparing all of us and much of the house. It was a shock. …


A haiku and a peaceful reflection about traveling by train

Photo by Balazs Busznyak on Unsplash

Seat by the window

Towns flying by in a blur.

And I think of you.

Author’s Note: I love taking the train. It is by far my favorite method of travel. I get a sneak peek into other’s lives. I see someone washing their car in a driveway. I see a child and dog playing in a park. I see business people waiting to cross the street. I see more than one billboard for cheap divorces ($399). I see dilapidated houses and an abandoned car. There are tall empty workplaces that may not be filled again. …

Ashlea Morgan

I‘m a writer ✍🏿 & neurobiology Ph.D. candidate 🧠 studying a mechanism behind how we think & behave flexibly. Grateful 🙏🏿 for family, friends, & food ❤️.

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