So, a lot has happened this month (I saw Hamilton! Went to the movies! Read very few books!), but most of that has been eclipsed by my stomach issues (STILL) and figuring out what to do about them. But before I get into that, I’ll explain my post title first.
At the end of last semester, I was talking to my office mate about how I have to tell my students stuff a ton before they get it (if they get it). For example, I had my students print out their papers all semester, and I would always tell them to print it out and read it when they were revising or editing.
The day after class (but before they turned in their final papers) a student came to see me to look over her final paper with her printed draft. “Oh!” she said in surprise. “When I print out my paper, I notice stuff about it that I didn’t see when it was on my computer.”
I’m sitting in the laundromat so now seems as good a time as any to update. (Wifi at the laundromat? What a time to be alive!)
A lot has happened since I made my executive decision not to finish my daily blogging challenge for April:
My mom visited for two weeks. We went to Santa Barbara, one of the many (!) overlooks on Mulholland Drive, and met a cousin neither of us had met before. We also had dinner with one of your favorite new authors and mine and pre-gamed for a trivia night. (My mother has no interest in trivia so left after pre-gaming.) It was a great visit.
I went to the LA Times Festival of Books. I met so many wonderful authors for the first time: Gayle Forman, Rick Riordan, Jason Reynolds, Mary H. K. Choi, Aminah Mae Sofi, and some others I can’t remember now. I also saw some of your favorite YA authors and mine on some excellent panels and added soooo many books to my TBR. Everybody I talked to kept calling the event Bookchella, and it was accurate. It was reader nerd bliss.
The elimination diet is going along, slowly. I lost about two weeks of reintroduction time because I ate something that disagreed with me and had no idea what it was. (I did not prepare adequately for the Festival of Books, basically.) Anyway, I have learned that I am definitely, 100% lactose intolerant and that I can tolerate avocado (and like foods) in small amounts. Same with cauliflower (and like foods), though less of them than avocado.
I have spent the past two weeks nesting because my daughter will be here for the summer. After being on my own for nine months, I’ve had to do some things to make my apartment hospitable to two people instead of one.
I still have spring breakitis, I think. (Part of it is that at this time last year, I was completely done with teaching for the year. What a difference a change in school makes.) This is my way of saying I’m way behind on grading. Still, my post on selfish teaching holds. Grading has been a lot easier since I’m doing assignments that I want to read.
I signed up for TSA Pre✅. I am sure this is the best decision I have made so far this year.
I have very strong feelings about the Jane the Virgin season finale (SO STRONG), so I hope that writing this blog post will kick off some blogging mojo so I can talk about it here. Because I do want to.
I really hope Kevin (Probably) Saves the World doesn’t get canceled.
So a thing I have been doing lately is watching old episodes of Chopped via Hulu while I cook. The show requires very little concentration and, somehow, the four–usually professional–chefs running around in a panic soothes me as I very slowly try to figure out what I’m doing in my own kitchen.
Anyway, this has led to me saying things like “This needs some crunch, a bit of texture” and then adding pumpkin seeds to a pasta dish. Surprise! That little bit of crunch made the dish better.
So, I wasn’t going to participate in the Slice of Life Challenge this year, but when I turned the page of my Steal Like an Artist calendar to March this morning (a minor miracle in itself since I usually don’t remember to change the calendar until several days–if not weeks–in), it only had this text in all caps:
PRACTICE PRODUCTIVE PROCRASTINATION
This was especially meaningful because (a) I have some writing projects I want to get done, and (b) I know from doing these month-long daily blogging challenges (last year I did three) that they help me in other areas of my writing life.
So here I am. I filled out the participation form today.
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.
1. I didn’t “win” NaBloPoMo because I missed a day, but 29 out of 30 ain’t bad. Memo to self: write posts the day before and schedule them to go live the next day. That’s how I was successful at the Slice of Life challenge this past March.
2. I forgot to link up to all my posts from last week on my Monday post, so here they are now:
I am not participating in NaNoWriMo, but I did decide today to blog every day for the month of November. What better way to start than to catch up on all the blog posts I didn’t make during the last two weeks of October?
(Also, I only have 20 minutes to crank this out, so let’s see how it goes.)
1. My daughter came to visit me for her fall break and the whole thing was an adventure. She missed her flight, we rode public transportation, she got sick, and then some other stuff happened that I don’t remember because I didn’t blog about it. The short version is adventure! The long version is lost somewhere in my brain.
2. I finished two books (er, abandoned one actually):