Showing posts from December, 2023

Learning to Rest

This last semester was an interesting one, and that extended to my lab work. I found myself in a spot this last semester where it was really difficult to get even the most remedial of tasks done. However, I’d still push myself to get what was needed of me finished as I had given my word that it would get done. I found myself getting closer and closer to complete burnout from schoolwork, research lab work, and my personal life. Thankfully, our research lab has become a close-knit group and Dr. Dean allowed me to take the time I needed to feel better.  My primary task throughout the semester was putting together a lab manual. This was an interesting task as it was hard to think about what I wish I had known before joining the research lab. Truthfully, a lot of what I know now and what I knew before joining the lab have kind of merged together so it was hard to differentiate between new and old knowledge. I also maintained my role as being the main minutes taker during meetings which is a

Research Roller Coasters

This fall semester working on human trafficking arrest data compilation and analysis was a rollercoaster of successes and minor setbacks. For most of the semester, I was tasked with analyzing data that I had previously compiled from county arrest data. I was specifically looking for any further information regarding the arrestees. I hoped to find news articles or arrest websites with descriptions of the facts of each case. This was to attempt to find out more information to categorize an arrest as human trafficking. However, finding this data has proved to be extremely difficult. Many of the cases result in empty searches, with news articles discussing particular arrests only ever directly quoting the charges that have already been recorded. For a small number of cases, I did find information clarifying the facts of the arrest, however there is still little to no public information on the human trafficking issues intersecting may of the arrests. Some of the searches have resulted in po

Mental Health in the Lab

My work in the research lab lately has been centered around our adjudication in Central Illinois presentation. After narrowing down arrest records to find cases which could have been human trafficking but were charged as a lesser statute, I am now looking into each individual case, trying to find information to determine if it could be a case of human trafficking. Though I believe this work is extremely important, that is not to say that it is easy. In fact, the mental toll it takes to look into these crimes (which are most often sex crimes against children) can be quite severe. No matter your job, it is always important to take care of your mental health, but that is especially true in this line of work. Though this project could very easily overwhelm me, I have found a few tricks to keep my sanity. First, I put on a show or background music while I am working so if I need a break, even for just a moment, I have something else to focus on. Though usually my background shows include th