I mean, seriously, where? I ended my last post by saying I hoped to update more often and then somehow did not. I guess I just got in the weeds at work and busy re-acclimating to being back home and then just wound up not posting. I also hate starting posts by talking about how I meant to post but dropped the ball, but I really did keep meaning to post and somehow…didn’t.
Anyway, so here we are. A list to catch up (sort of):
1. I do have a voting story, which I plan to share one day. The short of it is “do not forward your mail if you leave town in the month before an election.” The long of it is a blog post I hope to write someday. I hope I can remember all the details.
2. So, yeah, how about that election, huh? Whew.
3. Also, as mentioned in my previous post, my daughter’s friend is staying with us now and will probably be doing so at least through the new year. My daughter is thrilled because she has always wanted a sibling and now the house isn’t so lonely during the pandemic. I affectionately refer to both of them as “The Twins” since they’re the same age (e.g., The twins went to the boba shop or The twins are watching a movie).
I’m finally home after my five-week (!) Eastern time zone adventures. There may be a lot to say about that some other day, but I have read some books and watched some TV & movies, so let’s get into that first. Also, if anyone is on Letterboxd, give me a shout so we can follow each other. (Or, you know, sign up and then we can follow each other. Either works for me.) My username over there is englishist.
Also, I guess I should confess that the new block editor for WordPress isn’t that terrible. I think last time I either got sent to some incomplete version of the editor OR I just was not in the headspace to deal with the change. Or a combo platter. Either one. The point is that it’s not that bad now. Is that because I am very enamored of the star rating block? Maybe. But also I have written/drafted my last few posts with the new blocks and haven’t wanted to throw my computer across the room, so.
But you’re here for the movies! So let’s get into them.
And only because I somehow got updated to the new block editor and almost LOST MY MIND with how confusing it is. Anyway, I am somehow way way back in the dashboard editor, so I am safe. For now. I didn’t finish the post I was working on (yet), but I wanted to get this posted first, so here we are.
Here. We. Are.
Here’s what’s been happening since my last check-in post:
Also, I am having a hard time remembering what I did this past week. Oh, I know why. It’s because I spent the first part of the week prepping my summer course and the rest of the week recuperating. I also participated in a virtual coffee date through the #RaiseThePercentage incentive and had a fun phone conversation and then a work date with a friend of mine. Oh and fun (unexpected) conversations with other friends! So that was nice.
No joke. I submitted grades on Saturday for the end of our spring semester. I was doing prep for my summer class that starts Wednesday, and I could not figure out what I had done in the class before. Or what I was planning to do. What are assignments? How does one organize a class? Part of it is that I’m teaching the class online for the first time. But the other part was that my brain was seriously just like, “I don’t know, man. You tell me.”
I said to my daughter OUT LOUD, “I am a terrible teacher who doesn’t know how to teach.”
I fell asleep then talked to one friend and then another friend and then my mother and then another friend. And that was all after going to a #BlackLivesMatter memorial protest and Target. So what I’m saying is yesterday (okay, technically, it’s still today since I’m still awake from after my nap) was a lot. But it was, all in all, a good day. Just exhausting.
There have been a lot of posts with anti-racist reading lists, which is great, and I appreciate people doing this work. In fact, my local independent bookstore posted such a list, and I wrote this response to their FB post since I have been thinking about this issue quite a lot.
I really appreciate this list, and I appreciate the inclusion of fiction, especially for young people here. I would like to remind you and your readers, though, that Black people think about things other than race and police/state violence and that adding in some fiction and nonfiction that show Black people just existing are also important. One of the issues Black people face is that we’re expected to constantly educate people about race and to exist as Black first, people second. Fiction books that don’t center race as the primary narrative are essential to building empathy in readers. Perhaps you can create a list that centers those fiction and nonfiction narratives–written by Black authors–as well.
Books by Brandy Colbert, Varian Johnson, Samantha Irby, Liara Tamani, and others would nicely fill a list of that sort. I also created a Twitter thread during Black History Month that has several of the types of books I’m thinking of. Black lives matter not just to address racism but also as fully lived lives.