Miranda Chase, Summer 2015
It has been many months of expectations, wonders and butterflies in my stomach. I have been waiting for my PhD program to start at UMass Boston since there was still snow on the ground. Now it is mid-summer and things are almost ready. This is a little bit about what I have been up to during this preparation phase.
My husband and I bought a condo. This was certainly a big step in our lives. The US is becoming my new home. Even though it has been hard to be happy about Brazil in the past few months (massive corruption scandals), that is the place where most of my identity was formed. I like to think of the PhD as my personal bridge between the two countries: I will be learning about the great lessons that others here have to share and will be researching about my dearest place on Earth, the Amazon basin.
This summer has been busy with packing, cleaning, painting walls and starting a new garden. I also volunteer for a non-profit organization (Remineralize the Earth). My responsibilities involve overseeing translations and organizing a database of scientific papers on topics related to sustainable agriculture, stonemeal technology and climate change. But most of all, this has been a period of preparation and anticipation. Undertaking a PhD on issues of environmental policy goes beyond a personal interest or even a career – it is a commitment to something important. It is about fulfilling a sense of duty that we as humans, and me as an individual, can do more for our societies and our planet. I believe that my children (whenever they come) will live in a world that gets better every day, and I will work towards that.
Finally, it is important to say how excited I am about meeting the other students, faculty and staff members! I greatly look forward to spending time with everyone, listening to their stories, and learning about their interests. Being part of such a strong group will certainly challenge me and help me go beyond what I could do on my own. I can’t wait to start working on collaborative projects and to enjoy a wonderful PhD experience with all of them!