Learning, writing at Stanford

For those of you who don’t know me personally, I wanted to take the time to share what led me to the San Francisco Bay Area. This means telling you about my job.

I have the privilege of spending my 9-to-5 hours during the week at Stanford University, where I work as a writer in the Office of University Communications.

Working at any university is enlightening. But working at a university like Stanford is like sitting in the front row of a parade of revolutionary, transformative changes.

And I don’t just get to watch. I get to talk to the Stanford’s faculty and students who pioneer those changes and write about them and their work. It’s truly the best part my job.

Stanford’s Main Quad on a sunny day. (Alex Shashkevich Photos)

Over the past several months, I’ve gotten to write about some very cool stuff. Here are a few of my stories:

  • The day after the 2016 U.S. presidential election, I wrote a story after talking to several Stanford experts about the political divide in the U.S. and their views on what it may mean for the country’s future.

I also get to be a witness to and a recorder of pretty epic events.

When our office found out that Nobel Prize-winning Stanford economist Kenneth Arrow died last week, I had the honor and the challenge of writing an obituary about his life and accomplishments.

And when U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg came to campus in early February, I got to be in the crowd. I was a bit awestruck and tried my best to remember and hear every word said by this inspiring, 83-year-old woman, who stepped onto the stage of Memorial Church in heels. So badass.

“If you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself, something to repair tears in your community, something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you,” Ginsburg said during her speech. “That’s what I think a meaningful life is — one lived not just for oneself but for one’s community.”

The ceiling of Stanford Memorial Church. The photo was taken right before U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg took the podium.

Anyway, it’s been great to have the opportunity to learn and write about a slew of different humanities and social science-related subjects. I almost feel like I am a student at Stanford in a way; but instead of stressing out about exams or tests, I write stories after learning something interesting and cool.

People on campus definitely take me for a student wherever I go. That lady at the cash register at the food court I frequent during lunch will probably keep asking me if I have a student ID card for a while…

But all of this is a privilege I am grateful for.

A fountain in front of Stanford’s Hoover Tower. The water was dyed red (more like pink to me) in support of Stanford’s football team.

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