As a data scientist I work with sophisticated algorithms processed by high tech machines. For hours each day my fingers traipse across a keyboard as if I were a concert pianist preparing for my debut at Carnegie Hall. There are times when I am so in-sync with the applications I use to analyze data and solve problems that I am startled when one of my go-to functions isn’t available in the real world.
This is the world I live in and it is no more trite or fulfilling than anyone else’s world. What makes it unique is the work takes place in a late 19th century log cabin. The cabin was used as residence until the 1950’s when it was donated for the purpose of educational pursuits. The bones of the place are just as they were back then. A few updates have been made to make it work as an office space but overall the feeling and I have to imagine the smells are the same.
When I came to this job eight months pregnant, I was uncertain about how I would be able to breast pump in a space in which every room held office workers. Thankfully I knew the law and more importantly the leadership would be supportive and carve out a place. That place happened to be the crows-nest that occupied the second level of the cabin.
It’s a gorgeous room with windows taking up three walls. You look out at lush trees and an expansive lawn. Curtains were sewn by the president’s wife to provide privacy while I undertook the business of pumping. Twice a day I climbed the stairs and hooked myself up to the machine while watching squirrels run across tree limbs.
This wasn’t the first time I had pumped while at work. At a previous job I remember a day that made me feel like a super human. I was interviewing for a position that I was currently serving as the interim director. I sat in a room before a panel in which questions were lobbed at me from four different directions. Immediately after interviewing, I went into the adjacent room and pumped eight ounces of frothy milk for my infant.
My experience is not unusual. Women have been playing multiple roles and multitasking since we put the first baby to our breasts. I do find myself musing about the opportunities I have had to experience time old traditions in nearly as old places whilst interacting with technologies only seconds old in comparison.
Maybe those were the thoughts going through my mind as I sat in my blue and red patterned dress that I picked up from Target. I like to wear this outfit when I’m feeling patriotic but also want to be comfortable. It hangs loose so I don’t have to worry about any pulling or tugging. When I’m feeling like being really comfortable I pair the dress with some navy blue flats. When I feel like taking it up a notch I pair it with some tan heels.