My fourth grade teacher Mrs. Petersen taught her class how to keep a journal, and I have kept up the practice since 1976.

I have a record of my training–as a human, a scientist, a citizen of the United States, a non-observant Jew.  A Daughter, sister, wife, mother. Reader, writer, talker, listener.  Professor, teacher, leader, follower, experimentalist, theorist. Success story, and cautionary tale.

I need grounding in these crazy times, and I have science and stories to share. Also my points of view. Maybe some of this will be useful to others.


Today–on day 12 of my self-quarantine, having returned from Spain via Madrid and London during the early waxing days of the coronavirus pandemic–I start with my daily renewal of vows* as a writer, and a needed review of my job**.

UCLA Mission: Education, Research, Service

*I discovered this idea of the importance of daily vow-renewal too late for my marriage.

Some things come easier to me–I don’t need daily review on my roles as mother, daughter, keeper-of-home. The caregiving roles are hardwired in me.

Early love was easy and there was no need to reflect on the daily intentions. But marriage was hard and I did not have the practice established.

Same with writing. I want to write, to build my skills as a writer, to hone my craft, so that I can share with the world. So starting a few months ago, most mornings after making coffee and writing in my journal, I renew my intentions as an academic writer.

**It’s the same thing with my job–some parts of my job come naturally to me and other parts do not. But I will share this now:  I love learning new things, especially in physical sciences. I love students and teaching. And listening to the data–it is as intuitive to me as loving my children.


Sponsored Post Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new courseThe Blog

Are you new to blogging, and do you want step-by-step guidance on how to publish and grow your blog? Learn more about our new Blogging for Beginners course and get 50% off through December 10th. is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.