Finishing Your Book When Life Is A Disaster


Welcome to The Academic Life. You are smart and capable, but you aren’t an island, and neither are we. So we reached across our mentor network to bring you podcasts on everything from how to finish that project, to how to take care of your beautiful mind. Wish we’d bring in an expert about something? Find us on Twitter : The Academic Life @AcademicLifeNBN.

In this episode you’ll hear: disaster stories, finishing a book project, poetry, and what resilience is and isn’t.

Our guest is: Jennifer Strube, a writer, educator, and licensed therapist who loves chronicling life's stories. After three master's degrees and a decade of teaching, she relocated west from New York City in search of open sky. An avid believer in the wild places, her work highlights the spaces that wake one up—the byroads of travel, the subtlety of everyday grace, and that impetuous ache called love. She is the author of the poetry book Wild Everything, discussed in this episode.

Your host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, a historian of women and gender. She specializes in decoding diaries written by rural women in the 19th century. She credits her ability to read nearly-illegible things to a childhood spent trying read her dad’s handwriting. She reinterprets traditional narratives through her blogs, podcasts, essays, photography, and poetry. She met Jen at a community supper c.2014 and they’ve been friends ever since. Their county has faced three disasters—the Thomas Fire, a deadly debris flow, and the Covid-19 outbreak—in the last three years. Somehow, Jen and Christina are both still here. Christina supports her resilience by taking photos in nature, which you can find here.

Listeners to this episode might be interested in:

  • Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger
  • Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
  • The Blessing of a B-Minus by Dr. Wendy Mogel
  • Why I Wake Early by Mary Oliver
  • Wild Everything by Jennifer Strube

Your Host

Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler is the creator, show host, and producer of the Academic Life podcast. She holds a PhD in U.S. history.
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