Tech Fellowship Personal Statement

Grant Feb 14, 2024

Personal statement from the grant I submitted tonight. It feels like a personal manifesto of some kind. A little love letter to my own commitment. I struggled to get myself to apply to this and I'm glad I did. It was a lot of work, but as far as grants go, it was a fun one. Even quoting my own book of poetry 🤣 My sankalpa is to ask questions. ps in several other places in my application I mention being white alongside my other identities, just realized I didn't in this part #grant #personalstatement #artiststatement #fellowship #artist #scientist #swe #softwareengineer #entrepreneur #immunocompromised #disabled #nonbinary #chronicillness #newauthor #poet #polymath #multipassionate #generalist #flounder #founder

♬ original sound - Cakelin

“So I carry this 5
PM winter darkness
I would rather regift
On my walk home
I am every other person I pass
I am shifting tree fractals
And every question you ask”

-Pinterest Working Class from Mid Gaussian: Flatten the Hierarchy by Cakelin Fable

Facing the complex uncertainty in the world requires facing the complexity and uncertainty within ourselves.

My work is to ask questions.

I can dream and in order to dream, I have to question.

I am drawn to and embody the delightful friction of the unexpected. As a trans and disabled scientist, software engineer, and artist my body and identities do not fit anyone’s expectations. I have discovered the delight in my friction and experienced the darkest aspects of others and systems because of it. 

As an immunocompromised and covid cautious person, I have been indefinitely isolated and excluded from society. I’ve lost most of my social and physical contexts and had to rebuild from scratch. I am not here to lead or represent others, only to create and collaborate. My work can safely exist in spaces and relationships that I cannot.

Yet I practice for me as I practice for you, no matter what you believe, think, or do.

Where the world abandons, I welcome.

Bring me the styrofoam cold container from immune suppressing injections, old science lab notebook wire, curb-sided broken mirrors, chewed up charging cords, chipped hexagon tiles, forgotten poem pieces, and yarn from my once estranged mother. Bring me the messy data, the molecular structures with disorder, the broken columns in files, the health records with ethnicity as a blood pressure, the legacy database without foreign keys, the website that's impossible to scrape, the details of defining core metrics that even the company's founder will ignore. Bring me the multiple layers and pathways of immune systems, mitigations, and beliefs, our susceptibility to pathogens and propaganda, jargon and complex diagrams that bewilder and confuse. Bring me the founders and teams without funding or resources to pay for my services, the apathetic activists, the forced-into-it and uncompensated patient advocates, the polygon gargoyles, and goofball generalists.

I will find a home for you, a way to relate and connect with you, just give me time. I will make and become that time for all of us.

I am nothing but predictions that swirl my perceptions and contexts into the next stepping stone. A path I hope someone can walk, wheel, or limp through. A place I hope someone can rest. For all the turbulent waters and dangerous crossings that may come.

Why do we need gates and gatekeepers? So that some will step and others stumble?

We can dream and in order to dream, we have to question.

Hey, it's Cake. I launched a Redbubble shop! The feature image for this blog is from it.


Cakelin Fable

Polygon gargoyle. Spicy scientist, engineer, artist, and entrepreneur. Disabled, nonbinary, and bisexual. Host of Defective Detective podcast. Buddhist into books. Service dog pup Pepper Ann.

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