Whew, this past semester has been a bear. Also, it ended last Monday, I turned in my grades that Tuesday, and then the summer semester started that Wednesday. Basically, I was a mess for the past month because not only was I dealing with end of semester stuff, but I also went to a conference and a training and also a friend’s birthday out of town. Yes, that means I make poor choices (just the timing of the travel, not the events [and especially not the birthday trip]), but it also means I will make better choices in the future. Let us hope.
Along with the semester ending and a new semester beginning, I did read some books:
1. This past week was Teacher Appreciation Week, and I want to give a shout out to all my colleagues and teacher friends past and present. They inspire me every day and help me in so many ways. I was going to try to list just how they do that, but I realize that it would just be too much to catalog because it’s just that much and that often. I am just truly grateful to have so many awesome people in my life.
1. I went to a panel with the Jane the Virgin showrunner as well as several members of the writing staff. They played the clip of Jane’s reaction to the major spoiler that happened at the end of last season and then answered questions from the moderator (who was the show’s narrator!!!) about the process.
Two fun facts: (1) The whole season is planned in detail from the beginning. (2) They always reveal secrets instead of having characters keep them.
Whew, there is a lot to cover from the past two weeks, so let’s just dive in.
1. First of all, my brilliant daughter got accepted to not one, but two study abroad programs: one for the summer and one for next school year. The summer one is at a Buddhist monastery in China and completely funded through scholarships. The second is at a university in Japan, so she has started a GoFundMe to help cover the costs. Please click over, read her story, donate if you’re so moved, and/or share her page with others. Everything helps!
My daughter is also posting all of her pre-study abroad prep on Instagram and plans to keep it up while she’s abroad, so if you’re interested in that, please follow her there (@starless_knight39) as well. At some point, she’s going to start a vlog about all her adventures as well. I mean, the girl is on the move and living all of her dreams. I’m so proud of her.
I had high hopes of participating in the month-long Slice of Life Challenge, but my eyes had other ideas. So, basically, my eye fatigue or computer vision syndrome came back with a vengeance–just in time for the beginning of the semester AND the start of SOL. So even though I had already signed up and had every intention of blogging every day, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the commenting commitment and wasn’t entirely sure I would be able to post every day, especially since I knew I would have to do screen-free weekends to give my eyes a break. This also led to me not updating my blog at all for the past two weeks. Of course, that could just be typical beginning of the semester stuff.
Anyway, all of that wonky eyeball stuff also led me to getting glasses. More specifically, I got glasses that are specifically for filtering out blue light so I can use the computer without causing my eyes extra stress.
When I went to the optometrist to double check on the prescription I got last summer for reading glasses and ask about the computer glasses, the young woman who explained my prescription to me pointed out that I have a very slight astigmatism.
Now. This might not be a big deal to those of you who already wear glasses, but I have often bragged about my 20/20 vision. Do you know what an astigmatism means? No more 20/20 vision! But, I told myself, there’s a bright side to this diagnosis. Because do you know who else developed an astigmatism? Malcolm X. And he was a brilliant civil rights activist, so obviously I am (a) a huge nerd and also (b) in fine company.
But then I reminded myself that he got his astigmatism reading voraciously by dim prison light in order to educate himself, and I got mine from fooling around on the internet. So, you know, never mind.
In conclusion, I’m posting today because I got my new glasses. It’s a different world behind lenses, y’all.
In case you missed it, I went to a taping of The Price Is Right on Dec. 18, 2018. Even though today is Feb. 26 (five days after the episode aired), I am writing this post on December 20 while it’s still fresh, which means by now you should (could?) know that I was called to COME ON DOWN and be the next contestant on The Price Is Right!!!
So anyway, yes, that is a thing that happened, and I am STILL riding high from it! I also imagine I still will be in February (when this post goes live) because it was one of the greatest moments of my life. We are talking lifelong dream stuff here. I MEAN. Whew.
Full disclosure: I was much more lax with the deprivation than last time–by which I mean, I did do some online shopping and I read my emails from Goodreads. But, all in all, it was nice to turn down the noise that social media and the other words I invite in bring for a little while.
1. Now that I’m back to reading again, I have picked up where I left off in my reread of June Dreams (Book #1 in the Summer series–republished as part of Beach Blondes) by Katherine Applegate.
As part of the IBS Audio 100 program that I’m doing, the author asks that you rate your symptoms before starting, at the 27-day mark, and then again at the 100-day mark. After I completed the first 27 days, I decided that I should probably actually track my symptoms every day since I was mostly going by how I felt that week (which was fine), but I didn’t really have an overall sense of what I was feeling. There are a couple of apps specifically for IBS, but the one I chose is Cara because it’s pretty comprehensive.
Right, so, I have been tracking my symptoms and food for 38 days now, and here’s what I have discovered:
I am always stressed out
I always have a headache
My stomach always hurts/is bloated
The last one wasn’t that big of a surprise since that’s why I’m using the app in the first place. No, the big surprises for me were the first two. First of all, how am I stressed out EVERY DAY even right now when I’m on vacation? Second, I thought my headaches were under better control than that.
Hello, I am doing a reading deprivation again. It’s only the first full 24 hours. It sucks. The only reading I am doing is the reading I have to do for my online class. Also, my daughter is applying to study abroad programs, so I am reading her essays. Since classes start next week, I have put very clear boundaries around how long I can work on course prep since, yes, most of what I’m reading for that is my own notes but also some of it is the course texts. I won’t complain (much) since no one is forcing me to do this, but also: boo.
Besides finishing some books, the most important thing that happened this past week is that I went to see Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole, which was just…whew.