Office Hours: Tabitha Green
Anthropology M.A. Student at Georgia State University
What inspired you to attend grad school?
I was truly interested in breaking down stigma within the cross-section between the Albino and African-American community in terms of social interactions, social dynamics, through ethnographic and genetic research in the Southern U.S.
Tell me about your proudest grad school moment. Why was it special for you?
My proudest moment would be when I did my first interview and it felt like I finally had a true grasp on my research. My program, like many other Graduate programs, lasted 2 years. In hindsight, it almost did not feel long enough. Upon completion of my degree, I wish that my program was long, as I wanted to continue my research.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten while in grad school?
The best advice I could give any individual in grad school is to not procrastinate. It sounds cliché, right? Oh – it is, I understand. Believe me, I do. But for every moment that was wasted, I made up for it through late nights studying and early mornings regretting it. I would say the best thing is to make sure that you manage your time wisely and to keep a very good schedule. That schedule will benefit you from start to finish. I know we as students have things come up and need to take breaks, but a schedule for when you have to read or write will make those small breaks worthwhile.
If you had to describe your Black grad experience with one song, which one would it be, and why?
I would say Good Drank by 2 Chainz. Now this may sound a little funny, but hear me out on this one. If you listen to the instrumental of the song, it’s fairly melodic because of the piano, but when you add in the lyrics, it becomes a white noise after a while and either gets you hype for your day. That one song got me through my comprehensive exams, entirely. The song in general is great, but the vibe I got from it just put me in a good mood. I grew up listening to my mom playing the piano and there was something about the harmony in that instrumental that stuck for me.
What has been your biggest obstacle in grad school? What strategies have you used to try to overcome it?
My biggest obstacle during grad school was deciding to work full time my entire time while in school. Luckily, I work at a flexible company that allowed me to take time off when needed, so I did not struggle when exams came up, or when I really needed to stay home or be on campus. For strategies, I would always have my laptop with me and work whenever I found a break or I would read or write during my lunch break at work. I also would work and take classes on opposite days as I found it easier to take breaks from work or school.
If you could go back to the first day of grad school, what advice would you give to yourself?
If I could go back, I would tell myself to be a little more organized and to be more forgiving for my own faults when it came to my shortcomings.
How do you think your identities have informed your graduate experience?
I was the only Black woman in my cohort. With that being said, I believe that I was expected to perform higher. I think it shaped my grad experience to be more uplifting, if anything. It made me work harder, but there were times where I found myself competing with my cohorts when I knew we should have worked together.
What has this experience (pursuing a graduate degree) taught you about yourself?
Going to grad school taught me that I was able to be broken down to my core, but that I was built into a strong and better version of myself. I am grateful for the experience.
How do you intend to use your degree in the future?
I intend to embargo my work so I can publish portions of it as I am graduating in a few weeks. In the near future, I hope to do some guest lecturing on my research to enlighten individuals on the social stigma that surrounds albinism.
What’s something that you would tell someone who is interested in pursuing a similar path?
I would tell them that the research is rewarding. Leaving an everlasting imprint in academia and being able to help those through ethnographic research, along with growing as an academic is truly what makes graduate school worth it.
Feel free to reach out to Tabitha: firstname.lastname@example.org