Honestly, cooking/ recipe blogs are the only blogs I read. Even so, I often ‘Skip to the Recipe’. I like to bake; my pet is a sourdough starter called Doug (they/them). My wife and I are vegan and we like to cook, though we can be quite territorial in the kitchen.
Hi, I gave myself my name Hazel. I grew up by the name of Xiaohui (晓慧 – pronounced as see-yao hoo-oui), and started calling myself Hazel a year before moving to the States for my PhD at Duke University. The intention was so that people wouldn’t hesitate to connect with me just because of my hard-to-pronounce name that I didn’t even get to choose. So, the first 26 years of my life, I lived as Xiaohui (I still do, officially) in Singapore, and baby Hazel is only 6 years old (yes, I’m turning 32 this year). This sometimes gives me the feeling of having dual personalities, not just because of my name, but also I’ve grown so much to learn about my authentic self and my identity since living outside of my home country. I’ll leave the journey of my gender identity and being a queer scientist + international academic as a cliff hanger to my upcoming posts.
I’m a second-year post doc at KI. I study aging while trying to find interventions to slow down or maybe even reverse aging i.e. “biohack” our aging systems. Sounds like a Black Mirror scene. No, that’s just (non-scientific) sales talk. Science is hard, many of my peers can vouch for that. But communicating science often brings me the joy of doing what I do every day. It’s often when the science is eloquently communicated that I feel that all the hard work is justified. I like to deconstruct sophisticated concepts/ ideas to help people construct their own.
Of course, other than stories about science, storytelling on our lives and perspectives as researchers is the reason why I decided to come to this sharing platform. Being a queer Asian in this international academic arena can be complicated and hard to navigate. And I would like to share my personal experience on that. Hope you, my readers can gain a unique perspective from my text. Thank you for coming!
Queer | Vegan | Scientist studying aging | Exploring writing | Curious about everything