You know how if you have to be somewhere early in the morning and it’s super important then you can’t sleep the night before? That was me. I finally went to sleep at 3am and then I was an hour late for my 9am appointment. The courtroom was full and on one side were white people […]

I thought the good friend test was who do I tell that I got a job at Harvard. But I ended up telling everyone. Then I thought maybe the good friend test was who can I reach out to when I’m having a total breakdown? But again, the answer is everyone, because no one solo […]

I don’t make Nino pay child support and I pay him back for almost all the money he spends when he’s with the kids. He just sent me an accounting for all the times I haven’t paid him back in 15 years. I owe him $8540. I told him he has to wait because I’m […]

  When I announced I’m doing research about autism at Harvard, people said, Academia requires too much patience! You’ll lose your mind! Undaunted I came up with a new paper every week for the first year. The papers were awful, but as a writer I didn’t mind writing to learn. So it turned out that […]

That Gen-X time latchkey kids were encouraged to collect rodents

In the 70s my family’s knowledge of plastic exceeded our knowledge of gerbils, so we bought two girl gerbils  and a plastic Habitrail cage because it didn’t look like a cage at all. The two girls made babies, and started eating them. We thought that meant the cage was too small, so we bought more […]

Claudia Goldin won the Nobel Prize for the truth about women and work. Whooo hooo!

After 20 years of blogging, learning to do academic research was a steep learning curve. People told me to ask for help from professors at Harvard because they’d feel obligated to help me because I’m at Harvard as well. In fact most did not even feel obligated to reply to my email. But Claudia replied. […]

Lessons from the bottom rung of academia

I’m scared to talk about my job at Harvard because of imposter syndrome. But I know from experience that writing here and talking about myself incessantly is the way to beat it. If I post about things that make me nervous, then the people who are going to call me out will do it right […]

9/11: What’s still the same

I still have not seen a video of the towers falling. But I started reading commentary about it this past year. I have never stopped thinking about the people jumping from the towers. Maybe because after the second plane hit, my brain couldn’t comprehend anything really, it was all abstract and unreal. But when my […]

This guy said I charge too much for coaching, then he showed up to my door

There are some people I’ve been coaching since they were in high school. Usually their parents pay for the first few sessions and then I get overinvested in the kid. So I have to stop and ask myself: “Does this family have $30,000 for me to coach the kid for a year?” Sometimes the answer […]

The Barbie Movie crushes the pyramid scheme

I was an early adopter of a bad attitude toward Chief — as soon as they announced they’re “a network of 2000 female executives on their way up.” I don’t think there are 2000 women in all of corporate America who want to climb up the ranks to be CEO.

© 2023 Penelope Trunk