X is for Xbox #AtoZChallenge

I bought an Xbox 360.

When I bought it, my one friend said, “Oh, Lord. Now I know we’re not going back to work any time soon.”

My other friend said, “Why do YOU have an Xbox?”

There are two reasons:

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W is for White Noise Machine #AtoZChallenge

I was going to write a post extolling the virtues of my white noise machine before the pandemic started. My best friend and her (now) ex-husband got it for me for Christmas. I wanted it to help me sleep on the nights the silence was too loud, and it is pretty good for that alone.

My daughter and I are in a one-bedroom apartment and having a white noise machine pre-pandemic was a godsend. For one thing, we’re on opposite schedules, which meant she and her friend would be hanging out here in the middle of the night when I was headed to bed. The white noise machine would drown out their late night TV and movie watching as well as their loud conversations about said TV and movie watching.

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V is for Vampire Diaries #AtoZChallenge

I have started accidentally watching Vampire Diaries.

I know. I KNOW. Believe me, I know.

I know this brings up a lot of questions.

First, how does one accidentally watch a show? Second, vampires? Third, seriously VAMPIRES??? I mean, honestly. I know it’s a pandemic and all, but whew.

The first question is easy. My daughter is the one actually watching Vampire Diaries and because there is just the one TV and the one living room/work area, I am often in the room while she’s watching it.

For people who know me well, the vampire thing is a real conundrum because I hate vampires. I mean, I *hate* them. I HATE THEM. SO MUCH. And yet, this stupid show has sucked me in. Do you know why? Because it’s a really, really good teen soap opera. My biggest love combined with my biggest hate.

It probably doesn’t hurt that the vampires are all very, very good looking.

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U is for Uncertainty #AtoZChallenge

Okay, so I actually 100% hate uncertainty. It is probably one of my least favorite things ever, and this stupid pandemic is full of uncertainty. We don’t know exactly when it’s going to end. We don’t know exactly how it’s spread. We don’t know exactly how long it incubates. We don’t know anything! It sucks!

uncertain
I don’t watch Rick and Morty but perfect pic is perfect (source)

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T is for Teaching #AtoZChallenge

Welp, I said in the O is for Obligations #AtoZChallenge post that teaching would get its own letter and here we are.

I am very grateful for my job. And not just because I’m still collecting a paycheck, which is definitely a part of it. No, I am grateful for my job because it gives me focus and purpose and helps to shape my days, much like I said about the obligations in that O post.

I am, thankfully, experienced with online teaching and recently completed another round of training in distance education. That made the transition to emergency remote instruction just a little bit smoother for me.

remote teaching 2020
source

But, of course, it’s more than that.

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R is for Recommendations #AtoZChallenge

I love giving recommendations (book or otherwise), and I have been asked more than once for suggestions of what to read during this time. So, this is the post with all the recs! I was going to attempt to separate them into categories, but I just labeled them instead. I put pictures if I had them handily available because it would have taken forever to find pictures for all of them. Also, these are only the books I’ve read in the past five years. I mean, this list could go on, but I had to stop myself somewhere.

If you’re interested in any of them, please support a book and mortar bookstore that serves your neighborhood. Most are still taking orders and doing delivery. Bookstore Link can point you in the right direction if you don’t already have a bookstore in mind.

And this will be mostly children’s lit because you know how I roll. So here we go.

Comfort/Fun Books to Read during the Pandemic

Black Canary: Ignite by Meg Cabot (middle grade, graphic novel)

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (YA)

Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot (mystery)

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (middle grade mystery)

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (YA fantasy)

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Q is for Quiet Time #AtoZChallenge

I have been really busy since the pandemic started. I am always really busy but it’s been shocking just how busy I am even when I’m not leaving home to go anywhere. A lot of it is my fault: I fill my days talking to people and watching TV and being online.

A couple of weeks ago, though, I went for a walk and didn’t turn on music, or call anybody, or listen to an audiobook or a podcast. I just walked and took in what was around me.

One day, my daughter turned off the TV and said, “I’m tired of TV.” And that was that.

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It’s Monday and P is for Psychotherapy! #IMWAYR #AtoZChallenge

That’s right: It’s a hybrid post. What I thought was motion sickness today was really just a migraine set up, so I don’t have it in me to write two separate posts. If you’re just here for the A to Z stuff, it’s at the end, so you can scroll scroll scroll.

Last week was spring break, praise the Lord. I took the entire week off from work: no grading, no emails, no course prep, nothing. It was nice. I spent two days doing some deep reading–in part because I had to limit my screen time, but also because I just wanted to read. The motion sickness/migraine madness meant I unfortunately couldn’t catch up on blogs like I wanted to. However, I did manage to watch Parasite, which broke my brain, and I also started a rewatch of The Bernie Mac Show (both are on Hulu), which is bringing me so much joy. I mean, honestly, there are not enough BMS gifs out there and my heart, it weeps.

WEEPS.

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O is for Obligations #AtoZChallenge

I’m glad I still have things to do.

My biggest obligation right now is, of course, my job, which will get its own letter. But besides actual teaching, I’m actually a little grateful for the meetings. Go figure.

See, the thing is that meetings and scheduled calls give my day some structure. And sometimes, they force me to get out of bed when I may be more inclined to just…not. In the Before, I always had places to be or people to hang out with and the loss of structure hasn’t been great for me. I often spend my days wondering what exactly I did all day–and that’s even when I do have work. Like, I know I did things, but I often used my calendar to SEE what I did and have a record of that. With nowhere to physically go, I don’t have times to physically be places, so I don’t have activities on my calendar and therefore don’t know what’s happened in my day.

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N is for Naps #AtoZChallenge

Can you believe I almost couldn’t figure out what to pick for N? I mean, honestly. I am a champion napper. I was before the pandemic, and I probably will be after the pandemic.

joey nap
source

Part of this is because I’m severely sleep deprived, sure. But the other part is that I love naps. In fact, I took two yesterday and still went to bed at my regular time.

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