Seattle street art. Artist: Sydney M. Pertl (Author Image)

One Year of Quarantine: A Look Back

It was a Saturday. I remember, because that Wednesday, I had gotten back from my off days to learn that my students would be evacuated the following day from Nairobi, instead of throughout the upcoming weekend as we had planned…


Author Photo

My grandmother died on Thursday. A few weeks ago, she entered heart failure and was told to expect 1.5–2 years. She already had leukemia. Last Saturday, she tested positive for Covid. Now, she is gone.

M y grandmother was the only extended family around when I was born. Even her presence was unusual, because we were living in different countries at the time. Until I was nine, she was someone I had only vague memories of, probably talked to on the phone, and saw rarely. She lived in legend though as the woman who killed a black mamba in our…


“Expats” Working Abroad

Photocredit: Piqsels

I worked illegally in a formerly colonized country. The job description said the organization would take care of securing proper work permits for me. “Great,” I said to myself, “that’s settled.” When I arrived, I purchased a tourist visa. My organization said they could not apply for my residency permit until after I was in the country. Okay, first step — check. Several weeks later, they told me that they were going to apply for a research permit for me because that would be easier to get. Okay…I did not love that idea, but at least it was a step…


I reported a superior for sexual harassment. When I did my phone interview with HR, the woman asked, “Do you feel safe to continue working and living where you are?” At that time, I lived on the campus where I worked. My harasser’s house was about 100 feet away from mine. …

Alicia Houser

Sometimes writer. Often over-thinker. Never takes life too seriously.

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