My Summer of Phun

In the 3.5 months of summer break from my #PhD program I have felt more human, and was able to participate — and enjoy — more incredibly inspiring opportunities than I had in the 8 months of the Fall and Spring semesters combined.

Could I have taken classes over the summer, yes; should I have taken classes over the summer, probably! But looking back now, I am so glad I did not. Sometimes it really is ok to just live life for the fun of it! The things I list below I would never have had the time or energy to do if I had been taking classes, and these experiences will only make this upcoming school year that much better!

So, lets take a journey through the wonderful summer of 2019 and relive the phun:

  1. I co-wrote an op-ed piece with two amazing colleagues: Outrage isn’t a strategy

2. I went on a road trip with my kid (and we saw the Avengers)

3. I went out, on a school night, to a design slam event for Philly Tech Week!

4. My dad and his wife came up from South Carolina and spent a few days with us. We went and visited my sister at a her fire station at the Philadelphia Airport.

5. I went out to another event — during a school day — TEDx Philly.

6. I wrote another commentary on what it is like to live as an adult with #foodallergies (spoiler alert, it fucking sucks!):

7. I went out again — on another school night — with my family to see the amazing photojournalist and marine biologist Christina Mittermeier at the Kimmel Center

8. I started doing yoga again — and outside on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

9. I bought a brand new bike and started riding again!

10. I had some free time to mess around with Twitter data and data visualization.

11. I had the honor and privilege of going to the UN with a group of inspiring nurses to discuss how nurses can lead health policy.

12. I wrote a section of an upcoming Scientific Statement for the American Heart Association.

13. I went to an amazing Design conference and got to go on the school night extracurriculars, which included a Mural Arts Walking Tour!

14. I did a Twitter take-over of the 500QueerScientists account to show #ADayInTheLife of a nurse innovator and resuscitation scientist! #rocur #scicomm

15. I presented at the CESTEMER conference in NYC with my friend and colleague from First Person Arts.

16. I was accepted to #NASASocial — a 2-day behind the scenes experience leading up to the Falcon Heavy launch at Kennedy Space Center. It was a mind-blowing opportunity for a NASA geek such as myself! You can read all about my experience here.

17. The wife and I went to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me at the Mann Music Center. It was seriously one of the funniest shows ever! They were on fire!

18. The kid and I spent the summer biking around our lovely city, including biking over to the Philly Pops at Independence Hall for July 4th.

19. I protested…

20. My sister, my mom and I went to see the great American treasure, Lionel Richie at Radio City Music Hall in NYC. It was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been too!

21. I went out on another work night to hear the inspiring photography and photojournalist Carolyn Jones talk about her work highlighting the profession of nursing.

22. I went to Knoebel’s Amusement Park with my wife and kid and our two friends. That place is one of the best kept secrets in this county. I highly recommend it. We spent the first day having so much fun, we decided to go back for a second day. It is a throwback, pay-as-you-go, amusement park.

23. I went on a lovely road trip with my wife. For the past few years, while our kid is away with her grandparents, we get in the car, pick an area of the eastern United States as a destination, and then drive. We see what we see, we listen to music, enjoy each other’s company, and decide where we are going to stay over and where we are going to go next as we drive along. It is truly one of my most favorite things we do as a couple.

24. I won a thing and got to celebrate that thing with other winners, colleagues, and students from Penn Nursing.

25. I went to the Eagles Preseason Game with a friend, again, on a weeknight. For those who don’t know, I bleed green. Unfortunately they lost but who cares, its only preseason. #GoBirds

26. I went for a nice long bike ride with a friend, on a weekday!

27. I went to beautiful Chanticleer Garden in Radnor, PA. If you haven’t been, check it out. This is seriously going to be my new secret, writing place. It was incredibly beautiful, with a number of perfect little nooks for reading and writing!

The Fall 2019 semester begins tomorrow. It is back to the grind of working, teaching, and schooling — but I am more than reinvigorated knowing I have taken full advantage of everything my summer of 2019 had to offer. Here’s looking forward to summer 2020!



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Marion Leary

Science geek. Passionate abt Philly, resuscitation, social media, scicomm, innovation, art, & helping others.