What did you want to be when you went to college?
When I first went to college I was interested in human rights law. In England you don’t do generalized eds, you have to have specialized abilities. My plan was to do sociology and convert it to a law degree. But I didn’t want to spend three years just doing law. Let me do sociology because that seems to apply to human rights law, and I will do a one-year conversion to a law degree. When I was 18 or 19, I was like am I really going to do what I really want to do, law can be a constricted and a problematic field in many ways, and in sociology you can actually make some changes if you try.
What was your first job after college? How and why did you get into your current field?
After college I took a year off. Gap years are common in the UK. I knew I was going to graduate school and I was pretty sure I was going to either Australia or the US for graduate school, I had done my study abroad in Australia. I took a year off and became a rock-climbing instructor, so completely unrelated to what I did. I was on a college team and it was an easy fun job and having some time to breath not being in education. I strongly recommend it to folks going straight from high school to undergrad to grad school and to real life is a lot so having some time is really nice. I went to graduate school and got funding here in a program that studies gender and sexuality which is my focus, so I made a leap to Atlanta.
What is your favorite phrase?
I have quotes on my [office] wall, and my favorite one on here is; “Gender really is a universe. And we need to accept that we are all but mere stars. A part of one great galaxy”, and that is by slam poet, Lacey Roop. I really like that kind of imagery: that gender is not a two-binary concept, kind of like a galaxy.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Read peoples mind but being able to turn it on and off. I don’t want to have other peoples thought all the time because that wouldn’t be fun, but to be able to like “what are you thinking”, especially when students aren’t talking in class, it would be really great to, like, know what is going on in their brains. It would be a very cool research project, “inside people’s minds”. (Oxford, GA.)