We’re Going to Need More Books #IMWAYR

My last post about prepping for courses to start in mid-February is like a time capsule into another world. Live theater? Flights? I mean, one of those things is still happening but the other most certainly isn’t–at least not where I live. Although I am course-prepping again because our school switched to remote instruction a week and a half ago, so I guess some things don’t change.

I am going to ease back into blogging by doing a reading update because I have a lot to say but am not quite sure where to start. So I’m going to start where I always start: books. I mean, I have two stacks of library books that will go back to the library…someday? I’m not even sure when because all of our local libraries are closed. On the plus side, I definitely checked out some books I have been meaning to read–a couple of them graphic novels–so I am going to make those my priority after I finish the book I’m currently reading (and that I assigned to my children’s literature class): Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly.

hello universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

Over the past month, I read the following:

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Plays and Marie Kondo

School starts today, and I am about 75% ready. More importantly, though, I’m requiring one of my classes to blog every week, so I figured I better get back into it myself post haste.

Here’s what happened since my last update:

1. I won the lottery to see the touring production of Frozen, which means I got to see it for $29 (once the fees were added in). My seat was to the side of the stage so some of the action was cut off, but for $25, I have so few complaints. It was a lot of fun, and it was interesting to see how they changed the production to make it work on stage (rearranging scenes, adding scenes, more songs, different ways of getting the characters in the same room, etc.). The biggest change was that they made Elsa and Anna’s dad less terrible than he is in the movie, though he’s still not great. Oh, and Elsa’s motivations and fears are just a little bit clearer.

The best part was probably the young woman behind me who LOST HER MIND when “Let It Go” started. The gasp of joy she let out when those first few notes started was just such a highlight. (It also helped me forgive her for singing along with the other songs prior to that–just a little.)

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My New Normal

1. I didn’t post an update last week because I told myself I hadn’t really done anything, which was insane because my friend and I were seatfillers at the Creative Emmys. I mean, that is literally a thing I did, and I was all Kanye shrug about it. I don’t even understand HOW when I sat directly behind Amy Sherman-Palladino (she offered to scrunch down in her seat so her hat wouldn’t block my view), Phylicia Rashad basically walked right by me (okay, okay, she was like three rows away, but OH MY GOD, I almost passed out from the proximity), and Sterling K. Brown came by to say hello to someone in our section. Just, you know, stopped by for a chat.

Also, ASP and her husband brought their Emmys back to their seats, and those things are beautiful and massive and can definitely be used as weapons. So, you know, that is also a thing that I can now say: I saw an Emmy up close and personal. Also, a Wayans brother. (It was Shawn.)

2. I posted a couple of things:

3. My friend and I also went to a taping of Kelly Clarkson’s show, which was quite delightful. I mean, it’s Kelly. She is adorable. It was a lot of fun, though it was FUH-REEZING in the studio. In fact, the set photographer was wearing an actual winter coat, and I may have, very classily, put on my leggings under my dress as soon as we got in the studio.

My friend was all, “Seriously, you couldn’t do that all those times you went to the bathroom?”

To which I could only reply, “It wasn’t cold then!”

So anyway, if you want to see me in the audience of Kelly’s show, it’s the episode with Mike Colter that will be airing this Tuesday, Oct. 1. It’s syndicated! Or you can watch it here.

4. I also went to see a stage production August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean, which I was not familiar with at all. It was awesome. I really need to read more of his stuff. More plays in 2020, perhaps?

5. And, of course, I read some books:

EducatedEducated by Tara Westover

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very well-written memoir and super engaging. I listened to the audio (my first Julia Whelan, which is surprising because she is pretty prolific, and fantastic), and was immediately hooked.

This is also VERY triggering, which I was not prepared for. I was just so not prepared. But I did feel compelled to finish the whole thing, which just goes back to how engaging the story is. So, there’s also that.

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The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew, #1)The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had, surprisingly, never read this book before so was shocked that Bess, George, and Ned weren’t in it. What madness is this???

I liked that, though! I mean, it’s a little slow to start, but Nancy is truly On Her Own, so that is really appealing. I mean, my girl legit saves herself from every single scrape she is in while finessing an entire community including the dad of the girls who hate her, so queens gonna queen, basically.

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IMWAYR: Strictly a Reading Update

I’ve finished four books since mid-June. I was going to say that can’t be right, but also the summer slump is real, so.

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe (Sal and Gabi, #1)Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.5 stars, rounding up

I really liked the characters in this book, and I think it has a great narrative voice. I just feel like it took me so long t read and finish it, so there was something that kept me from engaging with it completely. Part of it, I think, is that there’s A LOT going on in the book and it’s not always clear how all the threads go together or Hernandez spends a lot of time on one thing and takes too long to get back to the other. So, pacing, basically.

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I love Dulé Hill. That is all.

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.

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The Teacher Becomes the Student Who Be Clubbin’: January Wrap-Up

1. I went to a club with my friend last week because it was 90s’ night. First of all, the start time for the event was 10 p.m. AT NIGHT. And yes, I said that like the old person that I am.

Her: Did you nap?

Me: Of course! I have to take a nap just to make it to bedtime.

Anyway, we had fun, but the music was not great. We found at when we got there that it was a mix of 90s/00s, and at the end of the night, we both thought of songs that should have been played.

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It’s Monday! What are you reading? on an actual Monday! + #AMonthofFaves

Wow, so much happened in the past week that I don’t know where to begin.

1. The big thing is that the semester ended! I gave final exams, I graded graded graded and then graded some more.

end of semester bingo

My friend sent me the end of semester bingo card from social media, and I asked her if every square could be “Grading until you cry” and “more grading.” Because that was my main mood.

Oh, and also this:

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Goal: fewer work dates, more play dates

1. A lot has been going on this week. I asked some friends how they were and what was happening, and then I listed two things for myself and thought of a bunch more. But then I remembered I have a blog.

you_have_a_blog
Not really, Willy Wonka, and to be honest, I don’t like your tone. (source)

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Can you show me the way to Santa Fe?

Whew, I have been busy.

1. Last week, I went to Santa Fe, New Mexico for the first time ever. My friend had a work trip there, so she invited me to crash it, and I did.

It was very brown. And cold. But! I got some culture. I went to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture as well as Meow Wolf and the Loretto Chapel to see the miracle stairs. The museum was great because I had an awesome tour from a delightful docent who kept talking about “fiesty lady archaeologists.” (Also, have you heard of archeaoacoustics? I hadn’t until she told us about them.) Plus, because the museum has been largely curated in cooperation with Native groups and is focused on their history and culture, it is way less rage inducing than going to the National Museum of the American Indian.

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I forgot to give this post a title, so now it has one

1. In case you missed it, I welcomed the new year by buying a car, establishing some goals, and just generally being awesome:

2. The non-working part of my vacation is officially over since I spent today doing some course prep/lesson planning. My goal for this semester is to bring back fun assignments so that grading isn’t as much of a chore.

The problem, of course, isn’t finding fun assignments, but fitting them all into the course schedule. My ambitions are so grand, but the semester is always too short for me to do everything I want to do.

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