Who am I?
I am currently working as Medical Laboratory Scientist (ASCP)CM. I received my certificate from ASCP in June of 2015.
I also have a MS in Physics and Bachelor’s degrees in Medical laboratory Science (from Austin Peay State University) and in Physics and Math (University of Memphis)
Although I’ve done most of my research in biological fields, I received my Master of Science in Physics from the University of Memphis. Without getting technical, I basically studied how a species of bacteria moved, which is actually a lot more interesting than you might suspect. My work in that area (completed with Dr. Mark Ospeck, and Dr. Ed Stevens along with some data from Augustus Mealor) went into a paper we published in The Biophysical Journal.
After I got my degree, I taught physics for a year while I worked to put out another paper. Before I could manage that, though I latched on to an opportunity to be part of an interdisciplinary program at Vanderbilt University. The program was intense, and very biology heavy. I started research in a laboratory that worked with flies, because it was new and interesting, and I was hoping to bring my physics knowledge to bear on some of the problems, but as it turned out, it wasn’t a very good fit for me. My stipend ran out, and now, without funding I was something of a ronin scientist, a scientist without a master.
Now, as a Medical Laboratory Scientist, I do various standard tests on patient samples in a hospital. In many ways, its more of a technician position, but there are still opportunities for research and it gives me exposure to the technology and research going on on the front lines of science. Eventually I may go back into academia, but I’m finding it refreshing to have a solid steady income, doing something with small easily accomplished goals, that is of definite benefit to people. Scientific research is great and necessary, but there are times where it feels tedious and pointless, and it’s good to be able to do something more straightforward.
My most recent published work is “Always Hungry”, a short story published by Dark Oak Press in an anthology of strange werewolf stories called Luna’s Children: Stranger Worlds. I’m rather proud of how much I was able to put into it. It’s one of my favorite stories that I’ve written.
I’ve also had a short story of mine titled “Company Positions” published in the magazine The First Line in 2007. You can still buy the issue here.
I’m bad about sending my stories to get published, and I’m using this blog as a way of pushing me to do that. I only post stories that have been rejected, so the only way to keep posting, is to send more stories. Of course, I curtail this a little by only posting a thousand words of a story at a time, but it still puts some needed pressure on me.
I still consider myself a member of Word Catchers, an excellent writer’s group based in Memphis. I’m three hours away now, so it’s difficult to make meetings, but I’m still friends with many of the people there and we still talk about writing.
Aside from writing short stories, I’m working on a sci fi novel that I’ve titled Disconnect. I’ve written a very unfinished version for Nanowrimo, but I’m hoping to have a draft done by this time next year.
I’m also looking into becoming a freelance journalist, but I don’t know how far that’s going to go.
When I was an undergraduate at the University of Memphis, I satisfied the volunteering part of my scholarship by tutoring math. I found the work very satisfying, and it helped me in my studies. You don’t really know something until you’re able to teach it to some one. It’s an experience that’s both humbling and fulfilling at the same time.
I tutored for several years, and then I started teaching physics labs. Although we were supposed to go over everything at the beginning of class and then have the teams do the experiments on their own, I always found that they never paid enough attention for that and usually just went from table to table, explaining how to do everything as questions arose. This way I got to use some of my one-on-one tutoring experience. I felt like the students got the concepts better as well.
After I got my Masters degree, I stayed on for year to teach Physics as a class. I enjoyed the creative aspect of that. I got to come up with tests and powerpoint presentations and it gave me more confidence in the area that I had my degree in.
For a few years I taught math part time for a university that I won’t name in case I want to complain about them in a blog sometime. The university is mostly known for their online classes, but I teach an on-campus course, partly because I feel like I need the human interaction, and partly because I just haven’t bothered to apply to teach online. Every class is different and I try new techniques to try to get the students motivated and willing to learn, which is difficult with math, even for people who have a reason to take the course.
There are several things I always end up saying. Math is difficult, but what you can do with it is amazing. Math is like a language, the more you use it, the easier it is to understand. And finally even if you never use mathematics anywhere else, what it teaches you is how to methodically solve a problem, which, on the surface, seems impossible.
At any rate, I enjoy teaching, but I also feel that I haven’t yet lived enough to teach without being a little hypocritical. I always want to share my knowledge with others, but I’m still learning, and probably will be the rest of my life.
Zorknot is a pseudonym I came up with while roleplaying with a friend of mine. I was pretending to be a mischievous alien, and I enjoyed myself so much that I started using the name online. I still use the name today because it reminds me to approach life with a sense of humor and to seek out the exceptions to every rule.
On this website, I share some of stories I’ve written, the things I’ve learned, and the experiences I’ve had while trying to figure out the intricacies of the universe.