Tag: Work

So I’ve Been a Little Busy

One of the jokes that my wife and I made as I got the new job is that I wouldn’t have time to get in trouble. Because, apparently, I tend to get in trouble when I’m not busy enough. I think it’s more like trouble finds me, and then I pay attention to it when I’m not busy. The times…

The Parent Ren, Part I: Clean As You Go

When I was a teenager, there was a lot of pressure for me to finish high school and get a job. The pressure didn’t come from either of my parents, actually. It came from my uncles and cousins. In our culture, education was one of those things that you did because you had to and not because you wanted to.…

One Thing I Promise You: Work

I’m in Atlanta for some training before heading out to Puerto Rico to chase me some Zika Virus. As an Uber driver took me to CDC this morning, we started talking about his life story. Mr. Mohammed arrived in the United States in 2000, escaping war in Sudan as a refugee. He told me that his oldest son came with…

Like a Chicken With My Head Cut Off

One of the things that I admire about the people who I admire is their ability — real or perceived — to multitask. The best of them can do it effortlessly. They come up with stuff that they’ve done and I’m left wondering how they did it. I’ve been trying to match that kind of multitasking, but everyone who sees…

It was worth the ream of paper

It had been a very busy night in the hospital when I got pulled into the lab manager’s office in the morning. Ray was a giant of a man. He was a gentle giant, but he was still pretty imposing. He made me look small, and, as one of my many father figures, I respected/feared the man. So when he…

Colombia, Day One

I arrived in Barranquilla, Colombia, early on Monday. One of the teachers at the local university where I am going to be teaching and working picked me up at the airport. The first thing I noticed was the extreme heat. It was extreme for me after a week of relatively cooler temperatures in Pennsylvania. As I stepped out of the…

Up at the crack of dawn

Today wasn’t the first nor the last day that I woke up before the sun came out. Between my sophomore and junior year of high school, I woke up at four in the morning to be out the door by no later than 4:45am. I would then walk two miles to the nearest bus stop. I lived in the “lower…

Days of a pandemic

I found these pictures in one of my hard drives today. They’re from the very early days of the 2009 influenza pandemic. I was the influenza surveillance coordinator at the state health department at the time. I decided that I was going to document as much of those days as I could. I didn’t have a good camera or good phone with a good camera. But I managed to take these candid shots. Enjoy…

2013: The Best And Worst Year Ever

I’d like to begin this look back at 2013 with a look back beyond the year and at two moments in my life that stand out. It will make sense in a little bit. The first moment takes place shortly after my second birthday. I’m in the kitchen with my maternal grandmother, my “Abuelita”, and she is standing in front…