1. Okay, so I know I mentioned that I hit a parked car this summer, but did I tell you that I ALSO hit a pillar in the parking garage of my complex? Well, I did. Which means that I have dents on both sides of my car now. Because of that, I came to the conclusion that I must not like my car very much (I mean, I am not this careless in general) so got it into my head that I would sell my car and buy a new one.
Do you know what happens when you have dents in both sides of your car? The value of your car goes down. So that means I can’t afford the car I want, which means I have to keep my car, which means that I need to take care of it. So I guess I’m reporting both dents to the insurance company so I can stop being mad at my car for not being what I want.
(To be fair, the fact that my car is dented is not actually why I don’t like it that much. It always feels like it’s dragging. Anyway, the lesson is the same. I need to take care of the things I already have.)
Also, to be honest, I probably latched onto this idea because therapy is uncomfortable so it’s much easier for me to focus on something way external like buying a new car instead of fixing my own actual life.
2. Evergreen memoir title: I Am So Far Behind on Grading.
3. On the plus side, things are slowing down a little in one of my classes, so I may (maybe???) be able to catch up a little bit. If only course prep weren’t (a) more fun than grading and (b) more immediately pressing.
4. What I need to grade, a list:
- three sets of in-class essays
- a set of take home tests
- two sets of book reviews
- a set of summaries
I am also collecting a second set of summaries tomorrow.
Because why not?
5. Anyway, here’s what I’ve read since my last update post on Sept. 16 (!!!):
Made it to pg. 142 and had to tap out.
Listen, I know India has a bajillion people, but I still found it very hard to believe that a super shady dude wouldn’t notice (view spoiler). I mean, I can suspend my disbelief but apparently not that much.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The first (and last) time I read this I was in college. All I remembered about it was the hurricane and (view spoiler).
I didn’t know how I felt about this book when I was reading it, but in the end I found it super empowering. Every time I read Zora Neale Hurston, I always think I should read more Zora Neale Hurston and this was no exception. I am here for writing unapologetically black stories about unapologetically black people whose blackness is not a burden to bear but is just a fact of their lives and is not defined by the white people around them. I mean, this is basically written completely free of the concern of a white gaze, and I am here for it.
I am also here for her anthropological style of storytelling, though I wasn’t always sure how I felt about that either–by which I mean she presents some stuff without commenting on it. For example, the reasons the men beat their wives or some of the posturing and relationships between the light and dark skinned black people, so it’s more like she’s presenting stuff she’s noticed about the way these groups interact and the ways they react but I didn’t get that moment of commentary that I feel most novelists would give it. And for some of it I wanted a comment! But on the other hand, I’m glad she didn’t! So you know, that’s a thing.
Also, I was particularly struck by the difference between how Hurston had Nanny describe her own continuous rape by her owner (“made me let down mah hair”) vs. how she describes her daughter’s (Janie’s mom) rape (“he had done raped my baby”). Jesus, the resilience of black women. I am just here to tell you. (Well, ZNH did, but you know what I mean.)
Oh, it was also fun to read this after having lived in Florida because I recognized all the places Hurston mentioned. Apopka! Maitland! Etc! What a thrill.
Excellent book. Read it. If reading the dialect bothers you, check out the audiobook which is narrated by Ruby Dee (!!!).
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a solid collection that I found pretty impulsively readable (as in, I would start a story and then just read the whole thing.) Almost all of them are about tough choices and shitty relationships, so, you know, life.
The weakest link for me was probably the title story, but, overall, I liked all of the stories–probably because they all have that thread of loneliness and melancholy throughout. However, the collection isn’t without hope as the last story is super forward looking while celebrating the past.
6. I am also behind on TV because of course. But still I leave you with this accurate representation of me at my nerdiest, posted by the good people of the Psych Out of Context Twitter feed.
I know that’s right. Have a great week, everyone!