Librarians love serving on worthwhile committees so it should be no surprise to anyone reading this post that I leapt at the opportunity to volunteer to serve on the Parental Leave Subcommittee in Fall 2020. The Parental Leave Subcommittee is a subcommittee of USAC, the University Staff Advisory Council, Vanderbilt University’s staff advisory group to administration. The purpose in forming the Parental Leave Subcommittee was to evaluate Vanderbilt University’s current paid parental leave policy for staff, with the goal of preparing a proposal to present to administration on how to improve upon Vanderbilt’s current policy. My service on this committee became even more timely and relevant when I became pregnant with my first child in September 2020.
I taught my last class of Advanced Legal Research for the Spring 2021 semester yesterday (and what I hope is my last class of teaching in the middle of a global pandemic). Even though Advanced Legal Research is research focused, I thought it worth my time and my students’ time to impart some words of wisdom that is applicable to not just the graduating class of 2021, but also to all of us who are hopefully soon going to emerge from underneath the veil of the threat of COVID-19 and head back into the “real world.” So, for all of you out there who are ready to graduate from COVID-19, this one is for you.