First time posting my picture. The occasion calls for it, I guess. So, here goes the story behind the picture and our grins.
I met Li Feng at one of the annual AERA conferences held in NYC in 2007. We were both dissertating at the time (yes, it’s an approved word).
Honestly, we were both miserable in our own way. Between sessions (of common interest), we ran into each other, smiled, introduced ourselves, exchanged our emails, and chatted for a few.
Then it all began. The chats became conversations, there were tears shed, some laughter too, and the sometimes synchronous nods and shaking of our heads. We had long stories to share about our ongoing experiences (read, trials and tribulations) in our respective PhD programs at our different institutions. BTW, we were both using longitudinal datasets for our respective dissertations and had much technical stuff to discuss too. Li used SAS and STATA while I was an SPSS gal (no judgement, please).
Misery definitely loved some good company that day.
We had some NY pizza, coffee, and ice cream. Shared more stories and parted ways.
We kept in touch periodically via emails, occasional phone calls, FB posts and DMs, and tracked our careers via LinkedIn posts but didn’t get an opportunity to meet until this week! I know, it was far too long. But life happened to us on both personal and professional fronts.
We have chosen different academic – career paths but always seem(ed) to have the same connection and common threads of shared lived immigrant experiences, joys, sadness, work and life – (im)-balances and expectations. Oh! and a fascination for grants. 😅😂
So glad to have re-connected with my very dear friend, Li Feng. I hope our paths will often cross as we advance in age and hopefully gain some wisdom along the way. We shall always have our stories and tears of joy to share.
The picture was taken at the Hyatt Regency hotel’s entrance in DC at the National Science Foundation (NSF)‘s Noyce grant annual summit that just concluded last week. What a great gathering!
Here’s to our friendship, Li! 🙌🏼🥰