There are times when all my roles in life — mother, graduate student, writer, and professional — threaten to draw and quarter me. I’m pulled in different directions and the pain of not doing my best at anything rips me apart. Then there are other times that epiphanies happen, and could only happen, because I see the world from so many angles.
It started with the note home from school. The anticipated but dreaded permission form for my daughter’s puberty class. The coming-of-age embarrassment of all children when they start to stink, have to think about a bra, or experience “nocturnal emissions”. Nocturnal emissions? When did wet dreams get such a fancy name? I reread the note to make sure it meant a boy waking up in sticky sheets. Yep. The note clearly said “nocturnal emissions.” Apparently it’s not just new math these kids are learning, but new puberty too.
That same week, I had to submit my graduate school capstone project proposal. I’m leveraging a work project on alternative fuel corridors to examine how the climate impacts of the World Cup and Olympics could be mitigated by utilizing alternative fuel. It’s a great proposal that hits the sweet spot of a school project for me: something that extends a work project and gets me credit from both school and clients. As I was researching my proposal I found some fascinating journal articles that discussed the importance of delivery timing during mega-events. The goal is to ensure that souvenir and food deliveries don’t impact spectators getting to events, and one of the strategies is to make deliveries at night.
Without warning, my writer brain engaged. I had the perfect proposal topic. If I shifted my focus to the Women’s World Cup happening in France this summer and refocused on the temporal aspects of the study I could title my capstone: Calculating Nocturnal Emissions resulting from the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
Now who wouldn’t want to read that?