I’ve finished a couple of books these past two weeks (more on that below), but the one that’s had the most impact so far is Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professorby Lynda Barry. In fact, the book has inspired two activities I did in my class the past two weeks.
Activity 1: We’re working on poetry and some of my students submitted their pieces for feedback. I found myself making the same comment over and over (needs more imagery!), so inspired by Syllabus and “Variations on a Summer Day” by Wallace Stevens (snippet here), I came up with the following activity.
Are you participating in the #SummerSoLit Book Bingo challenge and looking for some books to mark off the Graphic Novel with a POC in it square? Here are some books you may want to read to fill that square (all descriptions from Goodreads):
Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson (also fulfills Muslim Female Author square): Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, Jersey!
My semester officially ended yesterday–just in time for the summer session to start tomorrow 😅😬. I signed up to teach a summer creative writing workshop because it sounds “fun,” and now that I have exactly one day to prep for it, I’m reconsidering my life choices 😂😂😂.
The good news is that it will be fun! The better news is that the creative writing coordinator has basically prepped the whole class for me. I just have to plug in some readings and, you know, do the actual work of teaching the class. There are worse ways to spend a summer for sure.
I don’t know what to post about today, probably because I had a bit of a nothing day. Still, though, I feel like I’ve hit a wall.
Today, I woke up, showered, ate breakfast, checked email, did a little course prep, took a nap, set up my gradebook (finally), had a snack, and now I’m just kind of twiddling my thumbs. I don’t know why because I have plenty to do to prep for the week AND I’m going to get a ton of grading tomorrow AND I’m behind on Canvas grading. But I just am where I am, I guess.
To end this on an up note, I am glad I set up my gradebook. Last semester, I used the provided attendance printout and just felt out of sorts all semester because everything was all scattered and not in one place. So I feel so much better knowing that all of my students’ information is neatly tucked in the pages of my gradebook. Whew.
Not because it was hard, but because (a) my daughter kept talking to me and (b) I kept getting distracted by The Oscars. And Twitter and Facebook. Also, I was trying to figure out which leggings to buy. Anyway.
Okay, I had to look at my calendar to see what I actually did this past week. Is that sad? It feels sad. I guess it’s a good thing I’m doing the Slice of Life challenge next month, huh? Anyway, that’s where I am. So yes, this past week I:
went to a Hamilton trivia night (my team lost)
went to the dentist
went to a search committee meeting for the church’s new minister
attended a plagiarism hearing as a witness
visited an astronomy class as part of the pilot Teaching Squares program at my school (and learned quite a bit!)
attended a student conduct hearing as a member of the conduct board
went to see a student production of The Drowsy Chaperone, which was super fun (I love a good farce and a good meta-narrative)
dropped in to a party I wasn’t invited to to visit a friend who was only in town for one night
went to the Women’s March celebration and activist fair held by the local chapter of the march
And that doesn’t even count my regularly scheduled activities (work, gym, etc.).
Traveling to the march this past weekend put me behind on everything. Sigh.
First things first, though: I didn’t make it to the actual march because on the way there, about two hours outside of DC, I got sick and knew I wouldn’t be able to handle the walking or the crowds.
However, I still had a positive experience because of all the awesome women in my life, most notably my friend Monique who was willing to brave traffic, etc. to pick me up from RFK at 7:30 a.m. when I told her what was going on and also a woman named Crystal on our bus who supplied me with Dramamine and anti-nausea meds when I got motion sickness on the bus ride home (before I knew her name, even!).
And, yes, that means I got sick on the way there AND the way back.
Anyway, the best sign I saw this weekend was black text on a white background that said, “NOPE.”
This book/series is definitely YA whereas Princeless could be classified as children’s, middle grade, or lower YA.
Anyway, I am a fan of groups of ladies being generally badass and am an ultrafan of POC women doing the same. Lots of good jokes in here (“not all men” and men’s rights makes an appearance) and a lot of fun. Also violence. And queer girls/women. And girls/women having varied interests (chemistry! cartography! dance! RPG! beating people up!).
Read this on the recommendation of a friend who said it transformed the way she thinks about running training. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how I would use it in my classes. Lots to think about here but really good stuff about the ownership of learning.
I don’t know what I’m reading. Wait, that’s a lie.
I’m still making my way through Furiously Happy–very slowly. Lawson’s writing style is a bit, shall I say, relentless. So I’m finding it difficult to sit down and read large chunks at a time. However, if it were a blog I could drop in on from time to time…well. You see where I’m going with this, right? Anyway, I told my daughter I would finish it, so I shall. It may take me until the end of summer, but I’ll do it. That’s just how much I love her.
Also, I just this minute decided to start reading The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan even though I have a ton of other books in my stack ahead of it because I know it’ll make me happy. So, that’s I am: eschewing all of the should-reads and going with my want to read. Just the way the book and summer gods intended.
I’m posting about fannish pursuits for the A to Z challenge, and I have been keeping up with it rather well. Here are the posts I’ve made so far (and, yes, I don’t even want to talk about how I’m a fan of exercise. I’m just going with it.):
[wrap-up-posts week=”14″ year=”2016″ category=”Blogging A to Z” listtype=”ul”]
As of today, I’m reading:
Yes, still with Necessary Endings. Maybe this will be the week that I finish it?
I also have three books from the library on my Kindle, but I haven’t decided which one to start. Do I go for a tried and true author? The second book in a series that promises to be fun? Or something probably a little more grounded and serious? It all depends on how I feel tomorrow. I don’t want to say what the three books are because I may feel like something completely different when it’s time to choose. SUSPENSE.
My eye issue has mostly resolved, so I should be able to keep up with blogs more from now, which is a definite yay. I missed posting last week, so this is a two-fer (though, technically, I guess it’s a three-fer). I read some books is what I’m saying. Let’s get to it.
Harriet Tubman is your OG, and you will respect her as such. Harriet Tubman is a complete and total badass. This book is A++ in showing that and giving an overview of her life. Two thumbs up, fine holiday fun.
Nathan Hale’s art is amazing, and he presents slavery in an unflinching and honest way, which is important given discussions around how children’s books are failing to do that right now.
Read Harder 2016: Read a biography (not memoir or autobiography)
I only have two complaints: (1) There were a couple of glaring typos in the first couple of pages and (2) the art work in the epilogue is completely different from the other chapters and it was my least favorite of all the art.
Otherwise, intriguing and an interesting/fun new take on Holmes.
Read Harder 2016: Read a non-superhero comic that debuted in the last three years
When I first started this book, I didn’t care much for the art–a little too dark and muddled. However, as the story progressed and Jessica’s came out of her depression, the art work shifted. It was subtle, and it worked.
I like Jessica. I liked this. And that ending? Man.
So. Here’s the thing. Marcus Samuelsson has led a fascinating life, and I enjoyed reading about it. But at one point, he reveals that he has a daughter, and he decides to be an absentee father while he pursues his dreams. Which, you know, is fine if that’s the choice he wanted to make. But all I could think as he was talking about his time gallivanting around the world as a chef is “Yeah, but what about Zoe?”
WHAT ABOUT ZOE, MARCUS?
So that tempered my enjoyment quite a bit.
Also, hot tip to all the absentee/deadbeat parents in the world: do not thank the parent who actually did the work of raising the child. That probably annoys me more than women who say their husbands are “babysitting” the children.
A good reading month! I read 15 books, 5 of which counted for the Diversity on the Shelf challenge. I am running at lower than 50% reads by/about POC, so I want to improve on that next month. We’ll see how it goes. I also read three 5-star books. Wouldn’t it be nice if 20% of my reads this year turn out to be 5-star reads?
As of today, I’m reading:
The Light Between Oceans is slow-going so far, but it’s for book club so I shall power through. I am not sure yet how I feel about Re Jane. I dig a lot of the changes the author has made (I especially love how she deals with the madwoman in the attic–brilliant!) (also, love the word play in the title). However, this Jane is planning to do something original Jane just would not do AT ALL, so I am not sure if I’ll be able to keep reading if this Jane does something the original Jane wouldn’t. I am not even particularly enamored of the original, but I guess even I have my limits. So. We shall see how that goes.