Thirty-some years ago, I was born, and my parents called me Erin. They wanted a good Irish name for me. Although others don’t typically call me anything else, I will also respond to the abbreviation people have created: Er. I grew up in New Jersey (not the Jersey Shore), and I lived with my parents and two older brothers. I think my primary goal in life was to excel academically because there really wasn’t much else to do. I seriously didn’t live a very exciting childhood, and any story I could tell, except perhaps the one about why I chose to drop out out of preschool, would ultimately be pretty mundane.
After I dropped out of preschool, I went through the normal public education system in South Jersey. I graduated summa cum laude from my high school in 2008 and consequently was given the opportunity to fuck up reading someone’s name during diploma roll call. (My counterpart, who read all of the female names, also messed up one name, but she gracefully corrected herself with a “Pardon me,” while I just rolled with it.) Then I wandered off to Syracuse University, where I earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and a minor in mathematics. I graduated Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, in 2012.
I spent about half of my twenties as a PhD student in chemistry at the University of Wisconsin. Fun fact: I actually entered university with every intention to become a high school chemistry teacher, but I suddenly realized during my second year that thinking about teaching high school made me angry and unhappy. The plan changed to go to graduate school and figure out what it means to be a physical chemist. So I did, and then I got tired of turning knobs and staring at an oscilloscope by the time I was ready to write my dissertation. And so I wrote that dissertation and attained my doctorate, but afterward I shifted focus to chemistry education research, rather than physical chemistry. After a brief stint in Michigan as a postdoctoral researcher, I accepted a position as an assistant professor of chemistry and science education, leading me to move to the Pacific Northwest.
Somehow I made it this far, despite not being sure I’m actually cut out to do science, and I’m kind of surprised that in the process, everyone hasn’t realized I’m a moron.
What I would really like to do is write a novel composed of good-quality literature. It would be my only novel. As a result of my one novel, I would be a reputable writer, and I could convince someone to publish my poetry. However, this will probably never happen, and as such, all of my mediocre poetry gets shared in this online format. It is probably neither beautiful nor innovative, but at least it’s honest. It’s something I love. Writing is unquestionably my first love.
I guess chemistry is my second. I only went into chemistry because my hairdresser asked me what I wanted to teach, and I found myself saying, “Chemistry,” and at that moment, I knew it was right. I was a little caught off-guard.
This happens to me a lot.
I really like Kurt Vonnegut, by the way, and that’s probably all there is to know about me.
About This Website
Tralfamadorable.com was purchased from GeekStorage in June 2013. It is my personal writing portfolio, I guess, because here I house my creative works. I hope you find something you like, and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or two if you feel so inclined. Please remember that all of the writing you find here is my original work, penned (or typed) from my mind. If you wish to share or use my work for some reason, I ask that you properly attribute it to me, and I would prefer if you would ask or let me know about it first. Thank you!
What I write is mostly inspired by my personal experiences or people in my life. My writing style has changed over the years, and I have become more experimental in recent years with inspiration from the likes of E. E. Cummings and, in some ways, Gertrude Stein1. Any abnormal typography, strange punctuation usage, or unconventional capitalization is, more than likely, intentional.2 I would like to be published one day. Now I just have to keep writing!
The writing here used to be housed on many previous websites, including ErinDuffy.Nu (April 2011-2013), KillerJewels.Com (March 2010-April 2011), LoveChem.net (2008-2010) and Slant Rhyme (erin.letters-to-you.com, 2007-2008; erin.falling-dreams.ca, 2006-2007). Special thanks to the following websites and the people behind them: GeekStorage, WordPress, and the various WordPress plugins that I use, for this website would not be possible without them. And super special props to Caroline Moore for this frickin’ adorable theme because I am too lazy to make my own these days. It seems quite fitting for numerous reasons. Maybe you don’t know them, but I do.