Week 10, or 15 Minutes of Fame and Other Victories

This week was a haze of victories.

This semester, in spite of the never ending feelings of exhaustion and stress, has been a haze of victories, too. It’s hard for me to see the stars for the trees sometimes, which is why I’m so grateful to have this blog. I have no shortage of falls and failures to write about but it gives me such great pleasure to recap successes. In this semester alone: I finished writing my Master’s Thesis; I successfully defended it; I attended two amazing conferences back to back; I went to Comicon for the first time; I ran my first (packed audience) Lemon Project Porch Talk; I joined a club; and I met some amazing scholars.

But this week was nothing short of amazing.

The whole thing started with the amazing feedback I got about my BGDGS post I wrote about the Race, Memory and the Digital Humanities Conference last week. (Sidenote: Moya Bailey made a storify of it. Check it out!) The conference participants circulated the review, getting some retweets by my own professor, and the director of Conferences and Communications at Omohundro even plugged my review. I was thrilled by the new wave of traffic I was getting on the blog.

It didn’t stop there, though. By Tuesday, I had already written, edited and submitted an entirely different and more professional review of the conference to the Junto, a blog on Early America. A scholar I follow (and greatly admire) on Twitter solicited a review for them, so I happily obliged, always willing to get a little more exposure for my work. I woke up Wednesday morning to even more traffic on my blog, as people were following the link from the Junto article to my site. People were really reading!

By 9 AM Wednesday morning, I’d already launched another winner: my cousin Leah’s new guest column, “She Got Game,” went up on the site. Leah’s article was also bringing in traffic, but beyond the stats, it’s exciting to have a new permanent writer on the site. Every time we talk, we’re bubbling with enthusiasm about what our next expansion move is going to be. (Obviously, stay tuned, we have projects in the works!)

My Junto piece was performing so well that on Thursday the director of HASTAC asked me if they could republish my piece on their site. With 15,000 followers, who was going to say no to that kind of exposure? It hasn’t gone up yet, but I can’t wait to see my piece circulate on yet another site. Then, I found out that article had racked up about 2,700 views, which is probably the most views I’ve ever gotten on a piece. (Some of my Black Girl Nerds content might’ve picked up some views, but I never found out.)

I think the best part of the week was just the amazing responses to my work that I got on Twitter:

(Making my professor proud! #EqualityLabFellows!)

(When you might be a resource for other grad students! My, oh my. Thanks, SMU Grad History!)

(Getting a shout out from my old stomping grounds…)

And my personal favorite, a shout out from Karin Wulf herself:

So many things were happening in this exchange that I had via Twitter with the Director of the Omohundro Institute (aka my former “Big Boss” as an apprentice). She not only linked to my Junto piece, but also to my personal blog, while calling me a “Scholar to Watch” and pointing to some of my earliest pieces on BGDGS about apprentice life. That means she reads my blog, y’all. She read my Omohundro pieces from last year. Wow.

I know not every week is going to be like this. I know that most weeks are not going to be like this. Still, I thought it was well worth documenting what a really nice week felt like, so I can always come back to it when I’m feeling run down.

Looking to the future, there are only a few weeks left in the semester (5 if you count Thanksgiving Break, 4 if you don’t) so it’s getting to be every grad student’s favorite time of year: Finals Season. Fortunately, I’ve got some fun final projects to look forward to that I definitely will share at the end of the semester. Let’s hope by the time the next post drops, I’ll have actually made some progress on my finals. And if not… all’s well that ends well.

Leah 1 – Grad School 0

When I graduated from Towson University in spring 2016, I had no intention of going to Grad School. I was the friend that thought I would go start my dream career fresh out of college. Boy, was I wrong!

See, I have dreams of helping to run my family’s production company. My mother, brother and I have always wanted to open our own business. My mom introduced us to the entertainment industry at a young age and both my brother and I have been fully amazed ever since. My mom and I are usually responsible for coordinating/planning family events so we felt it was only right that we go into business together.

So. Here we are. Present day. I’m halfway through my first graduate school course and I am so happy I made this decision. I attend University of Maryland University College online and I am getting my Master’s in Business Administration. (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, I work full time, as an event manager at a national park). I started classes early this month and let me tell you, it has not been easy. Getting back into the swing of things after not doing any school work for over a year was challenging. My first paper, which was the second assignment, really had me rethinking my decision of going back to school. I was pretty nervous about this paper, which is a first for me. As a communications major in undergrad, writing papers was pretty much second nature for me. I wrote papers almost weekly. But this one five-page paper in grad school shook my nerves. I sent this paper to three people to edit and get their feedback. To my surprise, all of them unanimously said they liked the paper and the content was interesting. This gave me a positive reality check but once I hit submit, I was so regretting seeing my grade.

A few days later, I got the notification that my professor submitted her grades for the paper. I waited until I got home from work to check the results. To my surprise, I received “Exceeds Performance Requirements” (which is an A but we don’t get grades since it’s a foundation course). I was extremely excited! I realized that all the stressing and pressure I put on myself was probably not necessary because I know the skills are already there. *toots on horn*

This first month of grad school gave me a reality check and restored my academic confidence. Despite taking classes online, I am doing a kick ass job if I do say so myself. I happily jumped back into the school spirit, because the journey is only beginning… The Game Ain’t Over Yet!


I am the fabulous Leah Franklin. I’m a Spring 2016 Towson graduate and am currently working on my MBA online at University of Maryland University College. I love planning events, so I much that I do it full time. When I’m not planning, I’m at the beach, in the mall or quoting ‘Love & Basketball.’ My hobbies include adult coloring, dancing and cooking.