The Secret Life of a Research Administrator | Karen Bone
“The Secret Life of a Research Administrator” column is meant to facilitate more personal connections between SRAI members through the Catalyst newsletter. If you would like to share with the community or know of someone who will, please submit your article here.
In February 2019 a friend of mine taught me how to crochet. Less than a month before, I had decided to take a break from playing roller derby (a sport I had enjoyed for five years) since in the next six months I would be changing jobs, moving, and getting married and did not think I could manage two hour long practices twice a week and the hour long commute to practice plus games and other league commitments.
However, I felt adrift without another hobby to occupy at least some of my time. So when my friend showed me her works in progress, I thought I would give it a try. She gave me a ball of navy yarn and a hook and taught me how to chain and single crochet. Later I learned that most websites recommend learning with light yarn so you can see your stitches and that some people actively avoid dark yarns. There’s even a meme that says, “If someone makes you something out of yarn, they like you. If they make it out of black yarn, they love you.” If the meme is true, then it’s further affirmation I love my now-husband because less than 6 months after learning to crochet, I made him a Batman “graphgan” in black and dark blue yarn as a surprise for his birthday. Since then I’ve made scarves, shawls, throws, purses, market bags, coasters, and other odds and ends. Most of my learning has been through videos, books, and trial and error since my friend and I don’t live in the same state anymore.
With crochet I get the chance to be creative with colors, stitches, and patterns and follow patterns others designed. It can be challenging such as when I step outside my comfort zone or relaxing and meditative when it’s something I’ve already mastered. It’s easy enough to take with me on a trip or, during this time of social distancing, do alone at home or over video chat with friends. Like research administration, it often requires attention to detail, problem solving, perseverance, and a willingness to learn.
It’s not unusual for someone to forget I crochet and ask how my knitting is going or for a stranger (prior to COVID) to ask what I was knitting at the local coffee shop. Perhaps I’ll take that up someday – after all, I have the yarn for it!
Authored by Karen Bone, Proposal Coordinator
Florida Atlantic University
SRAI Southern Section President Elect
SRAI Catalyst Co-Editor