i am: a teacher
I am currently teaching faculty at the Community College of Vermont. There, I serve an incredible collection of students in the Upper Valley, from gifted highschoolers to aspiring med students to working parents changing careers. Lately, I’m teaching Applied Math, Statistics, Anatomy and Physiology, and Nutrition. Occasionally I teach online with Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth L.I.V.E program, because fourth graders are just the funnest humans to work with on Zoom.
Go to my C.V. page to hear more about my teaching and professional work.
i am: a life-long learner
People always be asking me “Syl why are you in school again?” I could say that it improves my teaching practice (it does), deepens my content knowledge (it does) and keeps me in touch with the perspective of my students (it CERTAINLY does), but honestly: I just like school. They’re gonna give me degrees until I die or they run out, that’s the plan.
Currently I’m pursuing a Masters in Medical Sciences in Physiology and Pharmacology through UFL. Years ago I got my Masters in Mathematics for Teachers from U Waterloo. I’m open to suggestions for what’s next: get in the comments. I’m eyeballing something in philosophy maybe.
Go to my MOOC rec page for a list of frickin’ incredible classes you can take online for free.
i am: a community member
My neighbors may know me as the “that shy one who always has earbuds in and can’t use a snowblower right” but they are very kind to me all the same! We are all members of overlapping circles of community and care, and there are several I try to participate in, when my health and finances permit. I am a member of a union, have run for office in my community, and contribute to local groups (LISTEN, the UVDSA) and national organizations (the FFRF) that I think are doing good in the world.
In a more consumerist sense, I enjoy just how many people are making and selling good stuff in the Upper Valley. Each season I get to veggie up from Sunrise Farm, and would definitely recommend them for anyone looking for a heartfelt CSA.
Go to my local stuff rec page for a list of things I like to buy from people around the area.
i am: a hobbyist
I’m always making things, cycling through new hobbies with “throw yourself into what you’re into right now” energy that’s driven me since childhood. Right now, I’m learning how to garden from the ground up. Last year the rhubarb and squash did awesome, and the volunteer tomatoes and volunteer potatoes outperformed my wildest dreams, although I killed a perfectly happy peony. This year my goal is to rehabilitate the hydrangea, establish some proper strawberries, and not kill the figs.
With two artist parents, I have a lifetime of doodles and drawings around me at all times. The local thrift store at LISTEN is used to me coming and cleaning them out of all their frames. I love hanging art on the walls and I paint just barely well enough. The past few years I’ve been learning digital art, mostly to make anatomical illustrations for teaching but also just for fun.
Tabletop games and TTRPGs fit very naturally into the loves of my life: being a book nerd, a writing nerd, a drama nerd by turns. My gaming group plays CoC, Delta Green, and D&D5e. I love playing and I adore GMing/Keeping/DMing because it’s kind of like teaching but I get to make up everything. Currently I’m DMing Curse of Strahd.
i am: a human
Like everybody, I spend my time in a corporeal body. That body gets migraine with aura about once a week. Thanks to my patient students who tolerate me when I have language problems, photophobia, and dysmetropsia. I’m lowkey obsessed with migraine: it’s driven a lot of my reading, writing, and learning, not just in medical sciences but also in mathematics and philosophy. My favorite non-clinical reads are Migraine by Oliver Sacks and The Body in Pain by Elaine Scarry.
More broadly, I have an interest in clinical medicine of all kinds and a special interest in recording the things I have personal experience with. I think the world lacks for precise, medically-aware but human and expressive accounts of psychiatric and medical phenomena, at least ever since we lost Dr. Sacks.