Thoughts on this week: This week was basically a shit show. My illness has gotten worse recently and I'm really struggling with humaning right now. But at least I have time to read?
What I’m Reading in real life: High Aztech by Ernest Hogan
What I’m watching: Frasier, because my friend Mina got me into it and it's sooooo good.
What I’m listening to: Gary's snores
What else I’m digging: Sleep, mostly, and also the variety of apps that bring food to me already prepared
Three years ago: There is no room for ego in Love (Spiritual Uprising)
What I read this week:
Redeeming the Unwanted Single Life (Ethika Politika): As a single Catholic, I definitely relate to what the author terms as the seven sorrows of the unwanted single life. It's a misery to be surrounded by Catholic friends with their perfect spouses and ten children knowing that my friends are secretly whispering about what's wrong with me and how I'm not a real woman, just as I hear them whisper about other single women. I'm not sure, however, that the author succeeds in his goal of redeeming this experience.
Smoke Taint: Lessons in Providence (Conversations in the Vineyard): I love this: "It is during times of chaos we have an opportunity to grow in (at least) two ways. We learn to rest in Providence and we grow in hope. Resting in Providence simply means we accept the situation while we grieve any losses because we believe God’s benevolence and wise care undergirds all of life, even the hard stuff. If we allow it, chaos can also activate a seed of hope in us that works towards a new, and potentially, more beautiful normal." I am working on leaning into Providence.
Pens (Pencils, Stationery, Handwriting):
- The Hidden Messages of Colonial Handwriting (Slate): I had no idea that a couple centuries ago, you could tell a person's class based on how they wrote. This article is absolutely fascinating.
11 Reasons You Should Ditch Your Smartphone For A Planner (Buzzfeed): Heck yes.
Paperbacks (Reading, Books, and Writing):
- The Hidden Horrors inside Jane Austen's novels of love (Lit Hub): I particularly find the bit about dear Mr. Woodhouse interesting.
10+ Times Writers Took Book Dedications To Another Level (Bored Panda): These are brilliant.
Danielle Steel’s Desk Is Unlike Anything You’ve Ever Seen (Vanity Fair): I never thought I would care about an article with Steel's name in the title, but this is amazing. #lifegoals
Harry Potter Hogwarts House 16 piece Dinner Set (Think Geek): If anyone wants to buy me the Ravenclaw set, I wouldn't say no!
Movies and TV:
- Getting Frizzled (Monsters and Molecules): I adore Miss Frizzle. I'm working on getting a Frizzled wardrobe (thanks to cowcow on Amazon). I can't wait to watch the new series!
Life in General:
- The New Mid Life Crisis (Oprah's Blog): I have to admit that although I'm a "generation" behind these women, this sounds all too familiar and similar to the experiences of my peers. I'm pretty sure that the number of women in my age group that I know of who aren't on or were previously on anti-depressants could be counted on one hand. It's not a mid-life crisis--for us, it's just life. And it doesn't seem to be changing. This particular paragraph really hits me: "Nearly 60 percent of Gen Xers describe themselves as stressed out. A 2009 analysis of General Social Survey data showed that women's happiness "declined both absolutely and relative to men" from the early '70s to the mid-2000s. More than one in five women are on antidepressants. An awful lot of middle-aged women are furious and overwhelmed. What we don't talk about enough is how the deck is stacked against them feeling any other way." Truly, I think the deck is stacked against all of us. How do we fix that?
My Life as an Unhappy Overachiever (Thrive Global): This article also sounds familiar. I think that about half of the students I encounter in my classes probably will experience the same when they end up in the careers they dream of entering. I particularly appreciated this: "I know now that I was caught in a cycle of achievement, of working hard for someone else’s dreams or expectations, and not my own. It was only when I accepted that I needed a quieter life, needed to reframe success on my own terms, and figure out the tool kit I needed to get there, that I could find joy at work. Becoming “less successful” set me free." Mother Theresa talked about how we should seek to be faithful instead of successful. I wonder how that would look for this young woman.
People Are Loving This New Word To Rival The ‘Mansplaining’ Phenomenon (Huffpost): I'm not going to lie, hepeated is a word that every woman I know needs to internalize--especially in academia.
Girls, Don’t Become Boy Scouts (NY Times): I might be a little behind in posting this, but good points made here.
What I Don’t Tell My Students About ‘The Husband Stitch’ (Electric Lit): This is an important article on many levels, not least of all the fact that when a woman tells you she smells something dangerous, you should listen to her.
How I Learned Not To Confuse Occasionally Feeling Sad With Failure (The Financial Diet): I think that this article is super important--especially with where I am in my life right now. I like this line: "The problem is not associating happiness with success. The problem is doing it so emphatically that we are then assuming sadness is equal to failure. And it is not." I think it also goes deeper than this. It's easy for me to think that because my mental illness is keeping me behind in my work that I'm a complete failure. But I'm not. I'm living with a severe illness. Even being alive is a success.
Relationships and Community
Kristen Bell Says This One Toxic Behavior Almost Destroyed Her Relationship With Dax (Pizza Bottle): This reminds me of a lot of relationships I've been in where I failed to do what Dax did. Setting boundaries is the most important thing in relationships.
Tough and Awkward Topics:
Study finds 75 percent of workplace harassment victims experienced retaliation when they spoke up (Vox): I have to admit, this doesn't surprise me one bit. When I had to file paperwork against a coworker for harassment, I ended up being harassed even worse and accused of "turning in" others for minor infractions (I didn't). I may well never speak up again. Why should I?
What It's Like to Grow Up with Elite Neo-Nazis (Vox): This is both fascinating and terrifying.
How to Be Better: 5 Things I Hate When I’m in Crisis (Sweat Pants and Coffee): Also, this.
Dear Men: It’s Not Okay To Hit On The Girl Who’s Paid To Be Nice To You (The Financial Diet): Why is this still a thing we have to talk about? Why don't people have common sense?
To Make You Smile:
It's Confirmed: Women are Higher Beings (Vice): I mean, sort of. But not all women for sure.
Tiny Hedgehog Goes Camping, And His Pics Are The Best Thing You’ll See Today (Bored Panda): Seriously the best thing ever.
Guy Photoshops Himself Into Childhood Pics To Hang Out With His Childhood Self, And The Result Is Just Too Realistic (Bored Panda): I love this. Such a brilliant idea. I wish I could do this!
Academia, Education, and Teaching:
The ideal PhD researcher has no baggage (London School of Economics): I think the fact that the university (and often tenured professors) see PhD candidates in this light is sort of a "no shit" article, but the complexity of PhD life is represented as well. I'm blessed with a director who acknowledges my humanity, but I see this from other faculty in my department every day.
Facing poverty, academics turn to sex work and sleeping in cars (The Guardian): Guys, this is real life. WE NEED TO FIX THIS.
Universities are broke. So let’s cut the pointless admin and get back to teaching (The Guardian): Seriously. Too many admins. I mean, if they could fucking communicate and do their job it would be one thing, but given that interdepartmental communication is still a shit show, I think that the admins (the well paid ones with titles like Vice Dean of Whateverthehell) need to be let go and that money needs to go to the professors above.
The Lowdown on Longhand (Edutopia): I love this article and I hope to integrate more longhand writing into my classroom. I particularly love this paragraph: "When students take notes with their laptops, they tend to mindlessly transcribe the data word for word, like speech-to-text software. But verbatim transcription is not the point of taking notes. What’s lacking in their note-taking-by-laptop is the synthesis, the reframing, and the understanding of the information. Students who transcribe with laptops form shallow connections to what’s being presented to them, while those who take notes by hand process the information and represent it in a way that makes sense to them. They’re learning." Such important information.
Unicorns Were Real, But They Were Also Pretty Scary (Ranker): OMG.
IKEA Just Launched A Pet Furniture Collection, And Animal Lovers Want It All (Bored Panda): Umm... Gary NEEDS all of this.