Origins

The Origins of Skin Memoirs
Skin Memoirs was born on Friday, October 11, 2005 at 12:58am. Her original name was  Beautiful Women and Lanzones and readers could find her at: http://reinaelena.blogspot.com/. Though she went through several aesthetic iterations, when she went into hiding (the last entry was posted on Thursday, August 13, 2009 @10:43am), she looked a little something like this:

Lanzones1

As you can see, it has taken me a long time to muster up the courage to write semi-scholarly again. When I created Beautiful Women…, I wrote the following in my inaugural piece:

I figured that I should have a blog that was somewhat academic. (Also, my running life just isn’t that interesting, really.) Although this is my feeble attempt at being (somewhat) scholarly, please don’t be surprised if these entries end up being fluffy banter. For some reason, I’m a lot better at fluffy banter than at actual academic writing. With that, I welcome you to Beautiful Women and Lanzones. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Beautiful Women… was an important outlet for me. I met incredible people, many of whom I actually got to meet when I went overseas for my research trip. It gave me a voice and a way to understand my research, as well as my life. It was a great way for me to process grad school and what was going on in the world. Granted, it was not always beautiful. There were times a post would ignite hate in strangers, or I would vent a seemingly unreasonable frustration. Still, I learned a lot from sharing my thoughts in a public forum. When Beautiful Women… ended, she ended because I was entering the academic job market. At the time (even now), having a blog was frowned upon. Therefore, I closed shop. In retrospect, closing shop also meant silencing my voice. Since then, I’ve been lost.

Unlike Beautiful Women…, Skin Memoirs will be less fluffy banter and more of me understanding and connecting what’s going on in the world to my various research interests. Often times, there is a silent buzzing in my head that is spouting out a million ideas about something I ran in to – an article, an image, an experience. I created Skin Memoirs to make sense of that buzzing, to humanize and make peace with the research process, and to again, develop my voice. On my terms. As an academic, not everything we write or think has to or will be published in the latest and greatest journal. Our work can and should focus on critically engaging in the everyday world around us. In addition, I wanted a way to re-visit some of the work I did in Beautiful Women… After some conversations, Skin Memoirs seemed to make the most sense.

I often tell my students to not be afraid of their voices, that there is power to the words they write and the emotions that run through their veins. Yet, for so many years, I kept mine in the dark. Skin Memoirs is a tribute and a thank you to my students, colleagues, friends, family, and other amazing people in my life who have encouraged me to take ownership of my own voice and words.

A lot has happened to me since 2009. How I understand the world and how I make connections has changed. In turn, the world – especially with respect to social media has changed. I am just another voice in the mix.

I hope you enjoy what Skin Memoirs has to offer you.

Maraming Salamat (Many Thanks),
Joanne L. Rondilla, Ph.D.
South San Francisco, CA

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