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April 23, 2024

An interview with R. Kelly, EPS professor

By VERONICA REARDON | October 20, 2016


COURTESY OF REBECCA KELLY Professor Rebecca Kelly in her element on a hike in scenic Ireland.

Ever wondered what your professors are up to on the weekend? We at The News-Letter have got you covered. Last week  asked Dr. Rebecca Kelly what she likes to do on the weekend. New to the university,  Kelly is an associate teaching professor in the Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS) department,  the director of the Global Environmental Change and Sustainability (GECS) program. She also does awesome things in and out of the classroom.

News-Letter: What is your favorite weekend activity?

Rebecca Kelly: I would say hiking, and I am new to the area so I’m still learning what some of the good places are to hike.

N-L: Have you been hiking anywhere around here yet?

RK: Well I’ve been to Lake  Roland Park and Oregon Ridge, and I did a trip out to Harper’s Ferry, which I had done before. Gunpowder, and Catoctin Mountain and Patapsco, those are all on my to-do list.

N-L: Awesome! Have you gotten out in Baltimore at all?

RK: I am so not a city person. I have lived in a rural area for a long time, so when I think about fun things to do on the weekend, I flee the city and go in the opposite direction pretty much.

N-L: How did VA compare to Baltimore then?

RK: Oh that’s apples and oranges. I was in the Blue Ridge Foothills there, so lots of hiking.

N-L: You must miss it.

RK: Oh I do, I do. Actually, over fall break, I’m going to go back to visit some friends and go hiking in the Blue Ridge. It’s hard to beat the mountains, I’m a mountain person.

N-L: What weekend plans do you have coming up?

RK: So I bought a new house when I moved here over the summer, and it needs some work. So, I like to do my own DIY home improvement stuff. I am a power tool user. Woodworking is one of my hobbies. I’m going to try to get a wood shop set up at some point at least to do some little stuff.

Another thing I like to do is bake my own bread. I’ve been doing it for years, and my brother thinks I’m totally crazy. He likes to use his bread machine. For the whole wheat stuff, I’ll actually buy whole grain wheat and I have a grain grinder so I grind it myself. I use white flour as well. I just enjoy doing that and I’ve gotten spoiled to where I cannot eat store-bought bread, and from a frugality standpoint it’s also really expensive to buy really good gourmet bread. It’s harder to get your hands on.

So I’ll bake six loaves at a time, and I’ll stick five of them in the freezer and work my way through, so about every five weeks or so I’ll bake all day on a Saturday or something. Tomorrow’s baking day.

N-L: How do you balance work and play on the weekend?

RK: That’s very dependent on where you are in your career and what teaching responsibilities you have and where you are in your semester. So if you’re new to teaching, everything takes forever, you’ve got so many things to do and so many decisions to make along the way.

There’s a big creative element in designing activities and even just writing lectures and powerpoints and stuff, so that can take up an enormous amount of time. So, early in my career, I would go weeks on end without having much free time, but at this point in my career, I’m just trying to work on life-work balance, which is challenging for everybody.

I’ve just decided I deserve to have weekends. It’s not like I never do any work, but I try to keep it to like the mopping up, like oh, I just need to put something together, but I try to keep everything during the week and during working hours.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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