Image for post
Image for post

I recently went on a job interview for a faculty position at a local university, and the interview involved a teaching demonstration. The audience included a mix of faculty members and students, almost all of whom were white.

After the demonstration, I had the opportunity to field questions and receive feedback from students. I was prepared for softball questions about my experience and why I wanted the job; I wasn’t prepared for the comment I received from one of the only two black students in the room.

With hesitation, and perhaps with a bit of fear at voicing her opinion…


Image for post
Image for post

Fifteen years ago, I was exactly where some of you are.

I was a first-year college student with a tuition balance I couldn’t afford to pay. I reasoned my only option was to take a semester off, save some money and come back the following semester.

That semester off turned into a six-year break.

During those six years, I went from being a waitress, saving tips for school to being an administrative assistant at a local finance company with no clear plans for returning to college.

I’d later experience being laid off from my full-time job a week before Christmas…


Start by Ditching Your Vision Board

Image for post
Image for post

Everyone was excited. They sat at their stations gathering scissors, glue, and stacks of magazine pages bearing images of fancy cars, fancier houses, and celebrity heartthrobs.

The instructions were pretty simple. The vision board party host encouraged us to choose images that “represented the life we envisioned for ourselves.” No goal was too outrageous. The images, she said, were meant to inspire.

“You have to see yourself there.”

Nevermind if the guy I envisioned myself with was happily married with kids or the house that I wanted cost seven figures; nothing was off limits.

In between praising attendees’ creative choices…


Here’s What I Learned in the First Year

Image for post
Image for post
(Photo: Queen Muse)

In October 2017, I gave birth to my son. Four months later, in January 2018, I did the thing that everyone tells you not to do. I walked away from a well-paying corporate job in public relations to pursue my two passions: writing and teaching.

Part of me saw my son’s birth and the brief maternity leave that followed as a window to explore my career options. Another part of me dreaded the idea of returning to work six weeks postpartum and missing so many precious moments with my family.

What I did is not rare. According to BLS Job…


Image for post
Image for post

I’ve always paid close attention to my gut. So, even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend regular screening for colon cancer beginning at age 50, I had my first colonoscopy when I was 31.

After month-long bouts with anemia, constipation and bloating, my gut instinct told me something was wrong. My doctor agreed it was better to be safe and get screened early than to not know what was causing all the discomfort. It was unlikely, my doctor said, that I had colon cancer, but getting screened was the only way to know for sure.

Colon…


Image for post
Image for post

Everyone fears something. In fact, it is estimated that more than 19 million Americans suffer from specific phobia. But the things that we fear and the extent to which we fear them can vary greatly from person to person. While one person might overcome a fear of spiders during their childhood years, another might grapple with touching or even being near the creepy crawly arthropods long into adulthood.

In his role as the associate director at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety, David A. Yusko, Psy.D., sees dozens of patients living with a variety of debilitating phobias…


It’s a fairly common practice: you get good news, and you go out and celebrate. Getting married? Make a toast. Having a party? Take a shot. Whether it’s a wedding, a 4th of July getaway, or a summer vacation, more often than not, celebrations are likely to include some alcohol.

Though alcohol has become an integral part of many social functions, especially holidays, few people truly understand the damage that too many drinks can do to your body and your brain. Well beyond a buzz and a hangover, research shows that drinking too much alcohol too fast could lead to…


Image for post
Image for post

In the beginning, she had no idea anything was wrong. But after six months of negative pregnancy tests, Kathleen O’Neill, MD, GME’15, MTR’15 soon found herself in the same situation she was already counseling many patients through. O’Neill was at that time a fellow in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), and she was ready to start a family, just as she has helped many other women start theirs. Like many of her patients, O’Neill would be able to have children but not the way that most women do. …


A groundbreaking genetic study seeks to transform the prevention and treatment of glaucoma while reversing historical racial disparities in who suffers from the disease and benefits from such research.

Image for post
Image for post

(Photos by Peggy Peterson)

The human eye is a wonder. It is often said to be the second most complex organ in the human body, outranked only by the brain, and is responsible for transporting visual cues that help process everything from images and memories to thoughts and speech. Doctors who study the eye often find themselves tracing winding pathways among the more than 1 million tangled nerve fibers that connect each eye to the brain. Its inscrutability led some early physicians to theorize that the pupil was nothing more than an indecipherable black hole.

Glaucoma, one of the most…


My New Year Book Resolution

Image for post
Image for post
My book for 2019: Becoming by Michelle Obama

Every new year people all over the world set out to accomplish a set of often unattainable feats. Some call them ‘resolutions’. Others call them ‘goals’ because they believe that term is more actionable. I personally don’t think it matters what you call them. If you truly intend to do something new, something different, you have only one option: do it.

I’ve always recognized the importance of reading; to gain wisdom from other good writers; to go on an adventure; to consider a perspective that’s different from your own; to learn something new. As a child, I read almost incessantly…

Queen Muse

Dynamic Writer. PR Pro. Professor. Mother. Lifelong learner. Contributor @ Philadelphia Magazine. Founder of The Queen Muse, LLC. www.thequeenmuse.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store