31 Questions with Bethany Meadows, our Graduate Assistant Director | AMA Series

A femme white person—with brunette hair, glasses, and a black dress—smiles as they drink her coffee.
  1. What would you say is one of your biggest career goals? Have you hit it yet?

I’d say my career goals shift frequently as I learn more about academia, the world, and myself. So, while I don’t have a specific career I have to have, what has remained constant is I want to be in a career where I 1) feel challenged but tasks are achievable, 2) there’s room for personal growth, and 3) I’m making a difference in the world. I’d say I’ve already had many careers that satisfy those conditions, including working in this writing center!

  1. At staff meetings, I’ve noticed that your laptop screen has a color tint/palette that I don’t often see. I’ve been curious to ask about this but haven’t gotten a chance to ask you what the color palette is and what motivates you to use this palette over other light and black mode versions?

I use the Night Shift function on my Mac, which adds an orange tint to block out blue light. I also use dark mode on my browsers and such too. I use it because I spend most of my day looking at screens, and it helps my body feel less icky at the end of the day.

  1. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

I am down for almost all flavors. My favorite flavor is offered one month out of the year at Graeter’s Ice Cream and is banana chocolate chip. For more everyday life, I like cookie dough or mint chocolate chip.

  1. When did you know you wanted to pursue a PhD?

I didn’t 😂 I’d say that when I chose to pursue a PhD, it was a really complex decision. I’ve written a lot about it in my scholarship, and the TL;DR would be that I went into the PhD without a lot of other options due to the pandemic, and I may have always made that choice in different circumstances, but it would be hard to tell. Regardless, I’m here now and I’ve learned so much and met so many wonderful people, and for that, I’m grateful.

  1. Who has been most influential in helping you choose your career path?

That’s a good question. I don’t think I’ve chosen just one career path forever, but I have had a lot of wonderful people in my life as I have gone forth. For instance, the different chairs I’ve had on my theses/dissertation have been extremely helpful and thoughtful folks. Also, my best friend has listened to me say, “I think I want to go into [new thing],” at 2am since college. My partner is always there to talk ideas through and remind me to stay true to my values.

  1. What is your dream car?

I don’t know if I have a dream car, but I one day would love to have a non-Tesla, plug-in electric car.

  1. If you were to choose a different first name for yourself, what would it be and why?

When I was 17 and self-published a novel, I didn’t want to use my real name so that no one would find me, and I wanted the name to be more gender-inclusive than gender-specific. So, I went into a round-a-bout way of making a pseudonym where I went from Bethany > Beth > Elizabeth > Eli. In the end, I went with Eli for that experience, and that’s the name I still use often while gaming. 

  1. How do you categorize games? And what’s your favorite in each category?

Broadly, I’d categorize them by if I had fun or not playing, but I also have a whole organizational system for my board games too. For example, each of my games is in a self-contained zipper pouch with a label. All those games are organized into bins, and I have a spreadsheet that lists them all. I built a bot to also help you chose a game when you wanted to play it. The categories I have on the spreadsheet and my favorite game in each are…

  1. Co-Op (The Crew)
  2. Party (Jackbox Games)
  3. Word (Catch Phrase)
  4. Strategy (Euchre)
  5. Fast/Timed (Sushi Go)
  1. What is your favorite video game/board game?

That changes all the time with my ADHD hyperfocus times. That said, some longstanding favorites are the Sims, Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley, Overcooked, Catch Phrase, and Euchre.

  1. Which Writing Center scholar has influenced you (your thinking, work, research) the most?

This is such a tough, but good question. I’ve read and listened to so many works that have changed my thinking. Overall, I think Nick Sanders is someone who has had a ton of influence on my thinking, work, and research. He is a great mentor and friend who always pushes me and the field to be better, and he is immensely thoughtful and a great listener and collaborator.

  1. What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

I’d say my house. I’m not sure if that counts fully since the bank bought it, but over time as I pay the bank back, it’ll definitely be the most expensive thing.

  1. Google states that the opposite of “coming” is “going”, and I disagree as they are synonyms in my opinions, but what are your thoughts on this?

This is really interesting. At first, I see that Google was building a binary between the two terms, but with your insight that they might not be antonyms, I am reconsidering. In one sense, a person can only physically be in one place at a time, so in that way, they must go in order to arrive elsewhere. However, in a deeper sense, that binary is unhelpful, as someone can occupy both simultaneously, especially depending on the scope (e.g., macro- or micro-level) that one views their actions. Ultimately, I see both perspectives and would say that I’m coming around to the synonyms viewpoint while going away from the antonyms side.

  1. What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

Check my phone

  1. What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

Venti Brown Sugar Shaken Espresso with Soy Milk

  1. How do you take your coffee (or tea)?

I always drink coffee with multiple shots of espresso, as per question 14. If I’m not drinking that and it’s coming from a pot, I get a little sad (because it’s not my shaken espresso) and try to remedy that with a pack of Splenda and some cream.

  1. What’s your morning routine like?

That depends on the morning, but I’d generally say that it looks like the following…

  1. Wake up naturally around 8am
  2. Check my phone for notifications
  3. Get up and take the pups out
  4. Take a shower and get ready for the day
  5. Take pups out again and feed them
  6. Check my email and Slack on the big computer
  1. Describe your personal style in three words.

Comfy, dark-winter palette

  1. What’s your favorite fashion trend of all time?

I’m not sure, as I’m not really into fashion; however, I think the more recent uptick in fashion that is more “do what makes you happy” is a great, more inclusive trend I love.

  1. What’s your go-to outfit for a casual day out?

Jeans, flip flops, T-shirt/sweatshirt (depending on weather)

  1. How would you describe your perfect day?

That’s a great question, as I one don’t really believe in the idea of perfect.  I tend to find that the best days of my life are ones that I could only recognize in hindsight rather than predict them. Some examples of those best days include when my hockey team won their first playoff series and I was there to see it, when I had 20 friends in my MA gathered at my small apartment right a week before the pandemic hit, or when I get to return home to see my mom after being apart for a long time.

  1. What’s the most inspiring book you’ve ever read?

I’ve read so many amazing books. I think one of the ones that sticks most with me is Dixon and Piepzna-Samarasinha’s Beyond Survival and Harris and Linder’s Intersections of Identity and Sexual Violence on Campus.

  1. What’s your favorite movie of all time?

My favorite movie if I need to cry is Saving Private Ryan. My favorite movie if I need to laugh is Waking Ned Divine.

  1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I’d love to live where I do now in Lansing, but maybe in a context where we, as a country, have less repressive political contexts and global warming response has been prioritized.

  1. What’s your favorite way to unwind after a long day?

Talking to my partner and friends, hopefully over food and games

  1. What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

This was a really tough question that I outsourced to my friends. They told me some facts would be 1) I was once (as I can best describe) electrocuted/struck by lighting while inside my own apartment [I was fine after but a bit stressed] and 2) that I have a background in Public Relations and serve(d) as Social Media Director for quite a few businesses and organizations.

  1. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

It was from a therapist from over five-years ago when I was feeling a lot of things about writing and teaching. She said, “Just because writing or teaching can always be improved, doesn’t mean that it wasn’t already great to begin with.”

  1. If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Be a person who future-you doesn’t mourn or feel guilty about.

  1. If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I’d want a superpower that doesn’t cause me extra stress by needing to be a “hero,” so I think I’d pick being able to be like Eliza Thornberry and talk with my pets.

  1. What’s the last song you listened to?

All of Noah Kahan’s latest album, but particularly “You’re Gonna Go Far”

  1. If you weren’t in your current profession, what career would you pursue?

Maybe midwifery or being an OBGYN 

  1. What’s your favorite travel destination you’ve been to so far?

Florence, Italy