Whew, it has been a minute since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday post. Did you know there’s a new host? And that today is the meme’s tenth birthday? Whew, time passes so quickly.
Today’s prompt is to pick a past TTT topic you’ve done and re-do/update it, which is perfect because I’m still mad about all the books/movies/TV shows being promoted as Black stories but that only show Black pain or Black poverty or just read my original post about it. In fact, I’m mad enough about it that I’ve had more than one conversation with friends about how stupid and annoying it is, and I have concluded (again) that Toni Morrison is right about racism functioning as nothing but a distraction.
Has it really been three years since the last time I did a fave quotations post? Ah, well, here we go.
1. A Raisin in the Sunby Lorraine Hansberry
ASAGAI: For a woman it should be enough.
BENEATHA: I know—because that’s what it says in all the novels that men write.
2. Fame, Glory, and Other Things on My To Do Listby Janette Rallison
It’s been a week and a half since Brendan broke up with me, but I try not to think about him. He only crosses my mind when I see Lauren and him walking around the hallways holding hands, or when they eat lunch in the cafeteria sitting so close together you’d think they were Siamese twins, or when I cry myself to sleep every night. But besides all of that, I’m doing really well.
No re-reads allowed, I am guessing. That would be a cheat, yes? So here are the ten books I’ve enjoyed the most (so far–there are still three days left!) this year. Also, there are really eleven books but two of them are by the same author, so.
On my LiveJournal, I would post my Christmas wish list every year. I was considering doing the same here this year but frivolity has kind of gone by the wayside as I dealt with the aftermath of the election (and the end of my wacky semester). But then Morgan’s superfun post (which is a Top Ten Tuesday post!) reminded me not to let those jokers steal my joy, and I had fun thinking about what I wish I could get for Christmas. (And these are all firmly wishes because I don’t expect to get any of them for actual Christmas.) Also, it was always fun to look back on my lists from the previous years and see what things I did acquire–whether it was for Christmas or no.
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is rewind aka pick an old topic and do or revisit it. Well, I’m rewinding all the way back to July 12th’s topic and sharing some random facts about myself.
1. As I get older, I have less and less tolerance for mean humor. That’s one of the reasons I had to quit watching Blackish, in fact. It just felt so mean to me.
2. The TV characters I relate to most are Dorothy Zbornak from Golden Girls and Peyton Sawyer from One Tree Hill. The book character I relate to most is Ursula Riggs from Big Mouth & Ugly Girl. Hello, let me show you my issues.
Thanks to Lenore at Celebrity Readers for suggesting this topic as a new way to talk about underrated books especially when underrated is subjective. An easy way to find this — go to Goodreads, your read list, at the top of your read list where it says settings you can add a column for # of ratings, then you can sort by that.
I put together this list a while ago, and I set a bunch of criteria for myself about which books I would include, and I have NO IDEA what they were. Books I haven’t really talked about on the blog before? Books published before 2010? Who knows? All descriptions from Goodreads.
1. Green Thumb by Rob Thomas (creator of Veronica Mars, btw): Thirteen-year-old genius Grady Jacobs thinks junior high is a snore. His radical science experiments have earned him plenty of national awards, but not a lot of friends. So when an invitation comes to join the famous scientist, Dr. Carter, in the Brazilian rain forest, Grady is on the next plane to the Amazon. But Grady’s ultimate field trip turns ultimately awful when he discovers what Dr. Carter is really up to: he isn’t there to save the rain forest — he is there to destroy it! Can one eight-grade science whiz put a stop to Dr. Carter’s evil plans? He can when he is joined by the Urah-Wau tribe of Indians and a supernatural power that no amount of science can ever explain.
# of ratings: 71 My comments: This book is so fun! Adventure stories for the win.
It’s freebie week! I’ve been talking a lot lately how I’ve read so many books that I can’t remember all of them. This post is inspired by the first book on my list, which I cannot remember AT ALL even though I gave it four stars on Goodreads. I mean, even reading the synopsis did nothing to jog my memory. So I wondered how many other books I would find in my Goodreads that I had rated pretty highly (with four or five stars) but could not remember reading.
The answer? Seventeen. (Obviously, there are probably some books I rated with three or fewer stars that I don’t remember, but that seems normal. But to really like a book–or even love it–and not remember it? Bookworm problems, I swear.)
Anyway, here are ten books I rated with four or five stars that I do not remember reading at all. Like…at all. Okay, maybe I remember seeing the covers before but that’s it. I have also included the synopsis from Goodreads. Clicking on the picture will take you to the book’s Goodreads page.
1. Clotel, or the President’s Daughter by William Wells Brown:First published in December 1853, Clotel was written amid then unconfirmed rumors that Thomas Jefferson had fathered children with one of his slaves. The story begins with the auction of his mistress, here called Currer, and their two daughters, Clotel and Althesa. The Virginian who buys Clotel falls in love with her, gets her pregnant, seems to promise marriage—then sells her. Escaping from the slave dealer, Clotel returns to Virginia disguised as a white man in order to rescue her daughter, Mary, a slave in her father’s house. A fast-paced and harrowing tale of slavery and freedom, of the hypocrisies of a nation founded on democratic principles, Clotel is more than a sensationalist novel. It is a founding text of the African American novelistic tradition, a brilliantly composed and richly detailed exploration of human relations in a new world in which race is a cultural construct.
5. I get to teach a lot of first-generation and non-traditional college students.
As a first-generation college student who didn’t understand or know anything about college except that I wanted to go, I love that I get to share everything I have learned about navigating college with my students. I have been where they are, and I understand a lot of what they’re struggling with. I also have the benefit of having a pretty varied college experience. I did the straight out of high school to college thing, but I also did the college after taking a break and college while working to support a child as a single parent thing.
6. I do not have to deal with parents.
Even though I teach dual enrollment students (high school students taking college courses), my engagement is solely with the students as college students. High school teachers, on the other hand, have a responsibility to keep parents informed of their students’ progress, etc. That is not something I have to do! In fact, I may have only spoken to one or two parents since I’ve started my job and they had to get express permission from their children for me to discuss anything with them. AND those calls often go to the dual enrollment office or my department chair, so it’s rare I get them at all.
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with parents, but, well, see next point.
7. I am the boss, and my syllabus is law.
My faaaaavorite part of teaching college is that I tell my students what they need to do and it’s their responsibility to do it. Period. When I worked for the K-12 public school system, I was told that even if a student wasn’t doing their work or whatever, you couldn’t fail a student until you talked to the parents and blah blah blah lots of other stuff (this may have changed–it was eons ago). I never liked that because my attitude is basically, “I told you what to do. Now do it.” And that’s what happens when you teach college! Because it’s in the syllabus.
True story: I have that comic up on my office door.
8. I get a winter break, a spring break, and a summer break.
Okay, so right now, the summer break is like a unicorn since I have never not taught summer school (this summer included–although, this summer I’m teaching an online class, so I am almost there). And, okay, yes, I do spend at least a week during my winter and summer breaks doing lesson planning and course prep. HOWEVER, those breaks exist and I don’t have to go into the office unless I want to, and I can make plans to travel and relax for the holidays, and I don’t have to request extra time off.
And since I don’t have to publish or do extra research, I can actually use my breaks (minus next semester course prep, sigh) to rest. Again, I’m not 100% there, but next summer, I should be living the dream. I can almost taste it.
9. I do not have to sit at a desk from 9-5.
While I am required to have office hours, I set them myself and they have not, as yet, required me to be in my office every day until 5 p.m. In fact, I may be able to completely avoid having office hours on Friday this upcoming semester. It’s pretty sweet, I must admit.
10. I have pretty awesome colleagues.
The only thing I love as much as teaching is probably talking about teaching. And it’s pretty great that I am surrounded by other professors whose primary work is teaching. We get to swap ideas and war stories, and (almost) everyone is fun, funny, and engaging. I have been blessed in general to get along with my coworkers, but I really and truly do like the people in my department as well as the professors from other disciplines who are in my office unit.
Also, our department secretary is the bomb. I can be pretty high-strung sometimes, and she has not once let on how much I must drive her crazy. She is a goddess among women, seriously.
Please comment and tell me what you love (or enjoy, if love is too strong a word, ha) about your job!
So I psyched myself out of blogging by saying I was going to keep it no pressure and then managed to put a bunch of pressure on myself. It’s just how I roll I guess. So, goals for this year:
1. No pressure blogging. I am requiring my students to post once a week, so I’m going to do that as well. However, I think regular reviews aren’t it for me unless I’m feeling really inspired. To that end, I’m going to keep up with It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (because I’ve gotten great recs from it, and I like the round up nature of it) and then I’ll blog in whatever capacity I see fit after that. It’s the only way, really.
2. Expand my reading horizons. And by that I mean branch out in my reading choices. I’m not going to stop reading YA, so that means I need to seek out more adult fiction
3. Blog about teaching. I haven’t done that, and I have a lot to say! For example, I did a really cool assignment using Mulan in my summer classes, I completely redid my creative writing class this past semester, and I’m trying something new with my blogging assignments. I want to blog about them! But I haven’t. So I need to make that a priority.
I have also decided to sign up for two reading challenges this year:
Since I did so well reading books by and about people of color last year (47!), I’m going to push myself even more. For this year, I’m still doing the fifth shelf (25+ books), but I’m going to make all of those books BY people of color. I do not read enough authors of color, so I want to change that. I will link up any books I read that are about POC, but as far as counting for my individual challenge, I want to focus on authors.
I also want 50% or more of my final reads to be by or about POC. Last year I was at 45% so I know I can top that.
I have also drunk the Kool-Aid and am doing Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge. My goal for this one is to have all of my books be by or about people of color except for (1) the horror category because I’m a wimp and will be reading Christopher Pike and for (2) the religion category because I’m all about Leah Remini’s memoir.