I didn’t always want to be a professor, but when I learned what a professor did (or what I thought they did), I decided
it was exactly the profession from which to do the things I wanted to do. My early career dreams primarily revolved
around three things: I wanted to be an actress, an activist and a writer.
Reality got the best of me, and I decided none of those things were viable career paths. Or at least not financially
lucrative career paths, which was a necessity for someone who grew up working-class with a single mom. By the
end of college (which I attended by the grace of loans and persistence), I was enamored with the professors who
taught me theories to make sense of my positionality as a woman, a poor person, a queer femme, a white person,
etc. I also witnessed professors publishing books as well as doing activist work on their days away from the campus.
And they got to perform, in a way, in front of the students they taught. I felt like it was a legitimate dream career, and
I was nothing short of elated when I was accepted tuition-free into a master’s and then a Ph.D. program.