A personal essay

It was, in fact, a dark and stormy night. Bullets of rain pummeled down — creeping into my shoes and dripping onto my mask. My Lyft driver had taken the wrong turn and was waiting for me six lanes away. Instead of making the very legal u-turn, he asserted that I should cross over the poorly lit road at a highway entry point. I had made this dash before, but never at night, never in the rain, and never while holding a pitch-black umbrella.

I was exhausted though and wanted to go home.

I had been working late in the…


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.

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…


My September Q&A with The Brain Is A Noodle

[1] What do you love most about the experience of writing?

I really love getting into a flow. Being in a flow state while writing is one of the best feelings. I don’t know exactly where the words will take me, but they are leading me to a destination and I’m happy to go along for the ride.

[2] What’s your favourite candy?

My favorite candy… I guess dark chocolate. I love dark chocolate in almost every candied form — covering nuts, nougat, caramel, or good-old chocolate-covered chocolate. I don’t like raisins, as mentioned before, but that's about it. Otherwise, I’m a big fan. Please send chocolates!

[3] What’s the story behind one of your scars?

I have two matching scars right below my knees…


A haiku and note about the effects of climate change in the city

Subways fill with tears,

Mother reigns lamentably

watching our mean ways

Author’s Note: On the August 29th,15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we witnessed another hurricane, Ida, batter the gulf and particularly Louisiana. On September 1st, the New York metropolitan area’s felt the effects of now weakened tropical storm Ida. The flooding in the NYC subway in Ida’s wake was the third this summer, and as hurricane season lasts well into November, it may not be the last before year's end. Yet, some on social media decry these storms and their effects as not human-driven.

We know it is disproportionately lower-income…


RELATIONSHIPS

A poem about being by myself

Solitude

is time I borrow

for and

against myself to

recharge

my introverted

batteries

and, reconnect with

my first

true love and

longest

life partner,

Me

Author’s Note: I’ve taken a page from Nia Simone McLeod’s chapter and am spending some time recharging and reconnecting with myself this weekend. I have unmistakably found myself showing telltale signs of stress and its good pal, burnout, was certainly creeping up behind it.

I need to remember this journey is a marathon — “sprinting” towards my career or life goals is only effective in short bursts and anything longer leads to “injuries”. …


A personal essay about the discomfort of standing out

Being unique in a uniform space was uncomfortable for me.

Imagine a little Black girl of tropical, Jamaican heritage in wintry Trois-Rivières, Quebec — she’s struggling to learn le français québécois while every other student in the class is learning English. (FYI: little girl = me).

At 6 years old, my family moved from chic, cosmopolitan Toronto to what my younger self might describe as an enchanted forest located in a snow globe.

Like a green M&M in a bowl of blue ones, I stood out. And, it wouldn’t be the first time. My family relocated again to the south…


An essay about re-entering the world of us

Allow me to re-enter this world where he and I make us. Allow me to fit the correct key into the lock. Allow me safe passage home.

Missing and longing make the return home sweeter. What could be greater than coming back to a love that you left? What could be better than coming home to love?

Our furnishings allow for a good night’s sleep, delicious meals, not-so nutritious snacking, and cuddled-up tv bingeing. Having furniture now makes me all the more grateful for all the home-making comforts. As my partner suggested, we needed to “feel the vibe of the…


A heart-to-heart about this not-so-humorous heat

The number of T’s
Indicate the heat index
The A/C’s steamy

This heat tho…

I love summer. But friends, it’s hot-t-t (emphasis on the “t”)! My delirious thoughts go to what my A/C must be thinking. Thoughts like “girrrl… you gonna be paying me overtime cuz… I’m busting my butt for you!” I will be paying approximately $10000 extra on my electric bill this month but it’s #WorthIt!

This heatwave 🥵, however, is no joke and it got me thinking.

It’s getting hot in here

We have been experiencing around-the-globe heatwaves (spanning Europe, the U.S., and N. Africa). In fact, 40+ countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and…

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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