How I Keep My Bullet Journal

So, I’ve been promising to write a blog about bullet journaling for months now and since I made that promise, my bullet journaling style has changed like three times—which is really the point of bullet journaling. I feel like there are so many resources out there that my limited writing time seems silly to spend on it, so instead of an overview of bullet journaling, I want to share my method for organizing my bullet journal...

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Research and PhD Progress Update

Photo by Mikayla Mallek on Unsplash

So, I’m not sure I even mentioned this on the blog, but I passed my qualifying exams back in August, so I am now officially a PhD Candidate in the English Department. I’m still in the process of writing my prospectus, although later this week I am scheduled to attend the Dissertation Bootcamp, where I plan on completing my draft. I’m a little behind, which is stressful because I have three papers I have to write this month—my prospectus (20ish pages), my paper for WLA, and my paper for SAMLA.

I know a lot of people (mostly my family) are asking when the heck I’ll be done with this degree. Please keep in mind that this is a FIVE-YEAR PROGRAM. No, I’m not graduating yet. I’m right on time for a fourth year. I still have this and another academic year to write my dissertation and I plan on moving as fast as I can, although my health seems to be getting in the way.

So, other than DBC this week, what am I up to? Here’s a sample:

  • I’m still working on my “elevator speech” (2 minute spiel covering what my dissertation is about and what it will accomplish), but I’m excited and working through my argument. As a preview for the future post when I will give my elevator speech, I’m talking about post-oppositionality, Chicana feminism, and mujerista theology. Exciting stuff.
  • My paper for the Western Lit Association conference is titled “Responding to the Revolutionary Urge: Las Hermanas and Claiming Hispanic Women’s Liberation Theology as a part of U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage” and will be part of a panel on recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage with my dissertation director, Dr. Priscilla Ybarra, and her friend, Dr. José Aranda. I’m excited and nervous and mostly stressed. But, it will be my first time at WLA and I’m sure it will be great.
  • I have attended SAMLA (South Atlantic MLA) twice before, but this will be my first time chairing a panel. I’m working with Dr. Kelly Walter Carney on the ASLE panels at SAMLA, which I’m excited about. Having been to SAMLA before, it’s a lot less stressful. Plus, I won’t be presenting in front of my director, so that’s a bonus right there.
  • I’m also still teaching two courses in the English Department, an American Lit course and a Comp II course. My students are great and they keep me busy for sure!

I’ll keep ya’ll up to date as I continue to progress through the PhD. 

Link Love

Every week, I curate a list of the best links and articles to make you think and keep you informed. Enjoy!

Every week, I curate a list of the best links and articles to make you think and keep you informed. Enjoy!

Thoughts on this week: It's been a long, hard week over here at the PhDog house filled with lots of work and catching up. But Gary and I are both good, our car is now fixed ($2,000 later), and we are blessed with amazing friends, including a new friend and her adorable pup. We have so much to be grateful for. 

What I’m Reading in real life: Transformation Now! Toward a Post-Oppositional Politics of Change by AnaLouise Keating. I'm reading this for my dissertation--it will likely be one of the most formational texts I read. I love reading Keating's work because it feels so familiar, so much like myself. I'm so grateful to my director who introduced me to her work. 

What I’m watching: I finally finished The Handmaid's Tale, so Gary and I are back to working our way through Elementary. So good. 

What I’m listening to: Not much, to be honest. Still my usual Pen Addict Podcast. 

What else I’m digging: This nail polish that I bought because I was obsessed with it when Kara over at Boho Berry was wearing it in her daily journaling videos. I'm not really a nail polish kind of girl anymore, but I've gotten many compliments on this one! 

My Writing

This week: Bullet Journal Set Up for October 2017

What I read this week:

Popery (Catholicism/Spirituality/Religion):

Pens/Pencils/Stationery:  

Paperbacks (Reading, Books, and Writing):

Academia, Education, and Teaching: 

Life in General:

  • Women Aren't Nags--We're Just Fed Up: Emotional labor is the unpaid job men still don't understand. (Bazaar): I appreciated this article on emotional labor, even as a single woman. Read this: "According to Dr. Michele Ramsey, Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences at Penn State Berks, emotional labor is often conflated with problem solving. “The gendered assumption is that ‘men are the problem solvers because women are too emotional,’" she explains. "But who is really solving the bulk of the world's problems at home and in the office?” As the household manager for my husband and three kids, I’m fairly certain I know the answer." As the person who has often been referred to as mom by people older than me, I, too know who is doing the problem solving, whether in the office or in my former home. I can relate to the partner who walks around a mess ten times a day because they expect me to clean it. It's confounding, exhausting, and insane. 
  • Why your morning habits are standing between you and your goals (The Mission): I'm really working on waking up earlier and being productive in the mornings because I know it's my sweet spot for getting lots of shit done at once. Unfortunately, I also haven't been sleeping well and like naps in the mornings (I am my father's daughter). These methods do help. What do you do to make mornings productive? 

  • I Sold My Wedding Dress To A Guy Named Jeff (Ravishly): An excellently written piece. 

Tough Stuff: 

  • 21 Powerful One Sentence Reminders To Read When You Are Doubting Your Growth And Healing (Thought Catalogue): These are helpful. "Your trauma does not own you and it never will; remember that when it is trying to convince you that you are forever broken." I need that reminder often. 

  • The Gift of Presence, The Perils of Advice (On Being): I love this paragraph: "Here’s the deal. The human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved. It simply wants to be witnessed — to be seen, heard and companioned exactly as it is. When we make that kind of deep bow to the soul of a suffering person, our respect reinforces the soul’s healing resources, the only resources that can help the sufferer make it through." I have a friend who really struggles with this. He wants to fix or save everyone. I struggle with that, too, to be honest. But recently, in my severe depression, he's found that hard. I needed someone to just sit with me, to be with me while I suffered. I didn't need someone to fix me. It's a hard thing to do, to make space for someone in their suffering. But it's a true expression of love. 

  • Please Stop Infantilizing Me — Especially In The Workplace (Ravishly): So, let me tell you a story. During my second year in grad school, a new campus minister joined our team at the Center for Faith and Vocation. Now, he knew I was going to Notre Dame for my MA. He knew I was a full time campus minister. He *knew* this. But a few weeks into his time there, he saw me coming from my Starbucks hours on campus (man, I wish that was still a thing) and asked, "Are you coming from class?" I managed to stop myself from responding angrily and just said that no, I was coming from my Starbucks hours. 

    This article is SO TRUE. People, even people who know you, sometimes peg you into this intern/student/child role just because you're a woman, especially for women under thirty. It's a constant struggle for me to not remind people about my multiple degrees, awards, and my recent publication everytime they do this. I have to take it in stride because even though what they're doing is incredibly insulting, they will overreact and be insulted if you call them out. So, here's my call out to everyone who does this: PLEASE JUST STOP. It's better for everyone. 

  • Gabrielle Deydier: what it’s like to be fat in France (The Guardian): This was so eye opening. It's sad that even in the States, where obesity is literally the norm, this same attitude is more common than you think. Did you know that people are statistically more likely to assume you're unintelligent if you're a fat woman? I did. Yes, even though I'm in a PhD program. Yes, even though I have an MA from one of the best schools in the country. It's so sad--and so problematic. 

  • Why we need to listen to undocumented poets (PBS): SUCH an important topic! 

  • An Empowering Way to Respond to Hurtful People (Thrive Global): This is an excellent article with some great advice. I am trying to be grateful for the teachers I've met who have shown me how not to be. 

Just for Fun: 

Simplicity and Minimalism:

  • Defend the Sacred (Barefoot Five): This line: "I could spend all day talking about how twisted up things are. I could also go on and on about how corrupt the system is. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I could easily write a book on the current state of the planet and how desperate the situation has become..." Preach, sister. Preach. 

Money, Budgeting, and Finance:

Dogs:

Link Love for September 15, 2017

Every week, I curate a list of the best links and articles to make you think and keep you informed. Enjoy!

Every week, I curate a list of the best links and articles to make you think and keep you informed. Enjoy!

Thoughts on this week:

What I’m Reading in real life: My class is reading Jack London's The Iron Heel and I'm reading mostly as research for my prospectus (due today!). 

What I’m watching: I have finally given in and started watching The Handmaid's Tale. I had watched the first episode over the summer and the premise was too much for me to handle right then. The trauma from being diagnosed with PCOS and then losing my nieces and nephews has made issues around babies really hard for me right now. 

What I’m listening to: I've recently started listening to my favorite music group again, Rising Appalachia. I love them so much. 

What else I’m digging: I'm really getting back into my fountain pens again. If you didn't see my recent post on instagram, I just inked up a ton of pens. 

My Writing

Four years ago: What I’m Reading Right Now (PP&P)

What I read this week:

  • Favorite Article of the Week: You’ll Never Be Famous — And That’s O.K. (NY Times): I very much enjoyed this article, both from the message and the use of literature as an example of life experience. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on these words: "The most meaningful lives, I’ve learned, are often not the extraordinary ones. They’re the ordinary ones lived with dignity." How very true. I wonder, in the end, will my ordinary life be all I imagined? 

Popery (Catholicism/Spirituality/Religion):

  • The Obligations of Grace: Part 1, The Reciprocity of Grace (Experimental Theology): An interesting reflection on faith v. works. Be sure to read the second one, too. 

  • Why Mourn The Confederate Dead, But Not Nazi Ones? (Political Theology Today): This is an excellent theological reflection on an important question in our current moment. "The Confederate monuments and flags function in an active context with a deep history. We can only sanitize them if we engage in a particular form of forgetting and memory. Doing so requires having a very short memory (forgetting the use of Confederate symbols during the civil rights era and current White terrorism) and a very long memory (recalling one’s great-grand-ancestors in the battle trenches while forgetting what they fought for)." I hope we can use our memories correctly. 

Social Justice: 

  • Insensitive or Racist? (Inside Higher Ed): Know what drives me crazy? When we have to have an entire study to prove that people who say racist things are racist. "The study, published in the journal Race and Social Problems, defines microaggressions as “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative racial slights and insults to the target person or group.” Focusing on those who use microaggressions, rather than those who are on the receiving end, the study found a positive correlation between uttering microaggressions and harboring racist attitudes." No shit. 

Pens/Pencils/Stationery:  

  • What *Is* Modern Calligraphy? (The Postman's Knock): I love this wonderful explanation of the differences between types of calligraphy. 

  • SF 2017: A Fluffy Pawspective (Hand Over That Pen): This is literally the best pen show post ever. 

  • Kaweco Perkeo Fountain Pen Review (The Pen Addict): I was excited to see a review on the Perkeo because I just broke down and bought one. I wasn't keen on it at first, but I like it now. I bought the cotton candy (of course) and am enjoying it as part of my current carry. 

Paperbacks (Reading, Books, and Writing):

Life in General:

Tough Stuff: 

  • What I Learned as an INFJ After Pregnancy Loss and Infertility (Introvert, Dear): I related to this article on many levels. I'm an INFJ and I feel like this writer really gets me. And, as someone who was diagnosed with PCOS almost a year ago (and had another cyst burst only three weeks ago), I live in perpetual fear of infertility. Then, there was this: "As an INFJ personality type, I’m much different. I replayed all the events in the hospital in my mind seemingly thousands of times a day. I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t shut my brain off. I relived the pain. I relived the fear. I relived it all, trying to find some sort of understanding for such a traumatic event." That sounds exactly like me after the situation with the sociopath. I have replayed the events of that time over and over and over again, looking for understanding in a situation that simply isn't logical or reason-driven. There is no understanding to gain. But i keep at it anyway. Her talking about being misunderstood and alone also rings super true with me. 

Art and Other Pretty Things:

Academia, Education, and Teaching: 

  • An Academic Use for Social Media (Edutopia): I love teaching with social media. Although I've taken a break from teaching with twitter, I now use Slack in all of my classes. I think this post is really interesting: "When we look at 21st-century learning skills, it’s important to see students as co-creators in their own learning. Social media is the outlet where most of us, including students, get the majority of our information. It’s important to integrate digital platforms and social media tools in the classroom to bridge the gap that we have between traditional approaches to teaching writing and the 21st-century communication skills our students need to develop." How do you allow your students to be co-creators of their learning?

  • Two things that made me think this week (Patter): I appreciated this article discussing imposter syndrome because it's a serious problem around my department. Everyone is so self conscious that they feel the need to be constantly "competitive" (read: catty) instead of just buckling down and doing their research. The results are about as good as you can imagine. I wish imposter syndrome were taken more seriously and graduate students given resources to help deal with it. 

  • Feeling Like an Impostor Is Not a Syndrome (Slate): Another helpful imposter syndrome article. 

  • How Schooling is Used to Determine who Has Value in White Society (RBR): This is an important article on a topic that I am becoming more and more aware of. I'm sick of the belief that because someone is "college bound" they are more important, valuable, or moral. I've met plenty of college grads with less brains than the average dropout, not to mention less talent and drive. It's all about opportunity and the choices we make before our brains are developed enough to make solid choices. 

Simplicity and Minimalism:

Dogs: 

Bullet Journal Set Up for September

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As you all know from reading my posts, I'm a bullet journal addict. I absolutely adore my bullet journal and it has helped me get through some of the worst days of the last few months. It's my hobby now, I guess. 

Anyways, I know that I STILL owe you a post explaining how I use a bullet journal, but in the meantime, I wanted to share my September Set Up with you. 

 

Cover Page: 

This was my first time playing with a water brush with my tombow markers. I'm not absolutely in love with the look, but I really enjoyed the process. 

This was my first time playing with a water brush with my tombow markers. I'm not absolutely in love with the look, but I really enjoyed the process. 

Each month, I have a cover page with the month name and some goals for the month. This month, my goals were largely based on my 18 Things to do Before 2018 (post to be written). I enjoy making each month a little different. In the past, I've done wreaths, arrows, and geometric shapes. 

 

Month at a Glance:

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The month at a glance page tells me everything I need to do for the month. This one isn't complete, but it gives you an idea of what my monthly page looks like. 

Monthly Tracker

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Each month, I have a tracker where I track the habits I want to work on and the chores I need to make sure do. Here's mine for September. I've added a lot of items this month because the semester has begun and I desperately need to be productive. What goals do you put in your habit tracker?

Health Tracker

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The health tracker for this month is much more intense than what I usually do, but after a few really bad scares last month, I knew I needed to monitor myself better to be able to describe what was happening to the doctor. What symptoms do you track?

Sleep Log and Gratitude Journal

This sleep log page is based off the one that Kara from Boho Berry included in her August journal. 

This sleep log page is based off the one that Kara from Boho Berry included in her August journal. 

I have been having a hard time getting enough sleep, so I always track my sleep. 

My gratitude journal is an important part of my mental health care. I write down anything from "snuggles with Gary" to my friends' names to "I woke up this morning." It's good to keep things in perspective. 

Line a Day and Boho Berry Challenge

I have to admit that I'm not even remotely happy with my "Boho Berry Challenge" page, but my printer is out of ink and I got impatient and wrote it in instead of waiting to print it at work. 

I have to admit that I'm not even remotely happy with my "Boho Berry Challenge" page, but my printer is out of ink and I got impatient and wrote it in instead of waiting to print it at work. 

The line a day page is new for me this month, but I'm hoping it will help me keep track of what happens in my life. 

Finance Tracker

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One thing that I'm really working on right now is getting better at keeping track of money and budgeting. Using my bullet journal helps me remember to pay bills and keep track of debt that needs to be paid. 

Week 1/Weekly Pages

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Each week, I have a page with an ongoing to do list and a schedule then daily sections (usually 3/page) with my to do list for that day as well as the weather predictions. 

All in all, this set up has helped me stay organized better than anything else I've ever tried. 

How do you stay organized? Would you be interested in a bullet journal? 

Link Love for September 6, 2017

Every week, I curate a list of the best links and articles to make you think and keep you informed. Enjoy!

Every week, I curate a list of the best links and articles to make you think and keep you informed. Enjoy!

Thoughts on this week: I can't believe we've been in school for a week now! I'm finally getting back into the swing of things and enjoying my students. It feels like time has passed so quickly!

What I’m Reading in real life: Caesar's Column is the book that we're talking about in class today. It's fascinating. 

What I’m watching: Last week, I finally finished all three seasons of Fresh off the Boat, so I'm mostly watching Elementary

What I’m listening to: I'm still digging The Pen Addict Podcast all these years later. Also, I've been revisiting the work of my favorite band, Rising Appalachia

What else I’m digging: I'm loving my bullet journal set up from September, which you can check out here. I'm also loving some recent bujo accessories I bought, especially this super cute pug bookmark from Shop Paper Covers Rock

 

My Writing

Three years ago: God is Good (Spiritual Uprising): This was a sweet memory to find in my blog archive. 

Four years ago: Another Book Recommendation: Into the Depths (PP&P): I loved this book. Maybe I should pull it out for another read through. 

What I have read lately:

Best Articles:

Popery (Catholicism/Spirituality/Religion):

Pens/Pencils/Stationery:  

Paperbacks (Reading, Books, and Writing):

Life in General:

Art and Other Pretty Things:

Academia, Education, and Teaching: 

Simplicity and Minimalism:

Parenting: 

Dogs: 

Some Syllabi for those Who Miss Being in School

One of my favorite new trends among activists of late is the move from blaming people for being ignorant to genuinely offering help in learning more about the issues that impact us most. One way this has been done is to write syllabi for these issues that offer texts that can really explain what is happening in the world and where these issues come from. 

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Link Love is BAACCCKKK and we are ABD!

Every week, I curate a list of the best links and articles to make you think and keep you informed. Enjoy!

Every week, I curate a list of the best links and articles to make you think and keep you informed. Enjoy!

Thoughts on this week: It's been one hell of a summer and I can't believe it's almost over. This summer, I have gone through a lot of stuff, but I'm starting to feel a little more solid. My exams are over (I'm ABD!) and Gary and I are preparing to write our prospectus. 

There are a lot of articles on here and I have a file on my computer of many more I'm trying to work through that I saved this summer, so be prepared for LOTS of link love in the weeks to come! 

What I’m Reading in real life: White Rage by Carol Anderson (I'm reading this one because the author is coming to speak to us about teaching race at UNT. I'm also reading So Far From God by Ana Castillo, which I started but didn't have time to finish before my exams. I'm loving it. 

What I’m watching: My friend Megan got me into the Bachelorette, which will surprise most of my friends. We just watched the finale. I'm also making my way through Elementary for the first time and rewatching Leverage

What I’m listening to: I'm still really into the RSVP podcast. 

What else I’m digging: Working for Rover. Getting paid to take care of people's dogs is like the best thing ever. 

What I've been reading online:

Favorite Article of June: The Kids Are Alright: How Two Artists Built a Goat Farm into a Viable Business (Modern Farmer): I want to highlight this one because LIFE GOALS MAN.  

Favorite Article of July: She thought she was Irish — until a DNA test opened a 100-year-old mystery (MSN): This is a super cool story. 

Favorite Article of August so far: Art Every Day – Everything I Painted in June (Little Blue Boo): I have to admit, I find Ashley's aesthetic absolutely perfect. I really admire her and I wish I had time for something like this. 

Popery (Catholicism/Spirituality/Religion):

  • From Groans to Glory (She Reads Truth): A dear friend shared this with me and I want to share it with you. I especially relate to this line: "In the first chapter of his epistle, James tells us to “consider it a great joy” whenever we face trials because the testing of our faith produces spiritual endurance (vv. 2-3). Trials are accompanied by hope. Hope is a gift. Hope is critical, and the gospel gives it to us in unending supply... One day our groans will give way to glory. While we wait, we place our hope in Jesus." It is particularly difficult for me to hold on to hope. What do you do to remember to have hope in Christ?

  • How (Transgressive) Beauty Will Save the World (Experimental Theology): This makes a good point. We say that Christ is the epitome of beauty, but we still seem to be turned off by the transgressive quality of that beauty. 

  • The Politics of Inhospitality—Genesis 18:1-15 (Political Theology Today): I think a lot of people could benefit from reading this. I particularly appreciate the following: "What the United States desperately requires is a reorientation of our ethical imagination, a rediscovery of hospitality as a principal ethical category. But radical hospitality will require much from our risk-averse culture. It will require, as the philosopher Jacques Derrida was wont to insist, both a preparation and the impossibility of preparation. “It must even develop itself into a culture of hospitality, multiply signs of anticipation, construct and institute what one calls structures of welcoming, a welcoming apparatus.”" How can we better foster a spirit of hospitality?

  • The Language Trap: Otherness and Reality (Experimental Theology): I appreciate this: "Economists like to trump conversations by saying that the language of economics is simply describing "the real world," the world "as it is." This gives the language of economics epistemological power, as "reality" is the ultimate trump card. The person who describes "reality" is the one who is telling the truth. But Mark's comment was this: "Economic language isn't descriptive, it's performative. It doesn't describe the world, it creates the world."" How do we allow language to create barriers or support injustice and call it "reality?"

Pens/Pencils/Stationery:  

Paperbacks (Reading, Books, and Writing):

Movies and TV:

Life in General:

Tough and Awkward Topics: 

To Make You Laugh:

Art and Other Pretty Things:

Academia, Education, and Teaching: 

Environmentalism, Farming, Food, Health, and Nutrition:

Dogs:

Link Love 6.14.17

Every week, I curate a list of the best links and articles to make you think and keep you informed. Enjoy!

Every week, I curate a list of the best links and articles to make you think and keep you informed. Enjoy!

Thoughts on this week:

What I’m Reading in real life: SO MANY COMPS BOOKS. 

What I’m watching: I'm really into the new tv show Downward Dog. Watching it on Hulu. 

What I’m listening to: The Sacred Ordinary Days podcast

What else I’m digging: These super delicious gluten free chicken strips, my bullet journal (blog post still in the works), working for Rover, and snuggling Gary. 

 

My Writing

Two years ago: 

Three years ago: Let It Go (Spiritual Uprising)

Six years ago: The tale of my travels and the start at Notre Dame (PP&P): I kind of can't believe it's been that long. 

 

What I read this week:

Popery (Catholicism/Spirituality/Religion):

  • Prison Diary: From the Revivalistic to the Ethical (Experimental Theology): This talks about the struggle of shifting from justification to sanctification, perhaps one of the most difficult shifts in our daily life. 

  • For the sake of our democracy, go back to church (or synagogue, or mosque) (Dallas News): I love this line: "It's like belonging to a family. The enduring genius of that primeval institution is that in families we learn to live with people we didn't choose. Similarly, in churches and synagogues and mosques (when they are healthy and diverse) we learn the same lesson." I think that this is an important and challenging part of being religious. I noticed that the author is Catholic. I don't think that's a coincidence. It's all too easy for Catholics to feel like we don't belong or to not get along with their parish culture (ahem) but we still have to go. 

Paperbacks (Reading, Books, and Writing):

Technology:

  • How Billionaires Stole My Mind (Raptitude): So, I'm not sure that I could really handle a technology detox because it's part of how I get my work done (okay, a huge part of my distraction from work, too), but I like this idea: "For the next 30 days, I will not be waking up to a torrent of images, opinions, jokes and fears from around the world. The first step was to get the most addictive apps—Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, for me—off my phone. I still have accounts, and will still use them, but I’ve set them up so that I can’t reach them from my bed, or from waiting rooms, coffee shops, and sidewalks. And they can’t reach me in those places. All my social media use will be done “2007 style”: when I want to use one of these services, I have to go to my desk, and manually “log on” by typing in my username and password. At least for the next 30 days, social media will no longer have an all-day, or even everyday, presence in my life. I want to use them like the tools they used to be, picking them up when I need to use them and putting them down when I’m done." I don't have a lot of these apps on my phone, but I will admit I've given in to the app addiction more lately. Might give this a try! 

Life in General:

  • A to-do list trick (Modern Mrs. Darcy): This looks like a great idea!

  • Bad at remembering to take care of yourself? These 25 tips can make it almost automatic. (Upworthy): I struggle with this a lot and hope that this will help others like me!

  • We Really Need to End the Stigma about Introversion in the Workplace (Introvert, Dear): This reminds me of one of my most frustrating moments as a campus minister interacting with another campus minister. I was at Naz Farm and made a comment about how I'm an introvert--I was telling my duckies I was going to go get introvert time and they could come get me if they needed me. Another CM turned to me and said that I couldn't be an introvert because I was so bubbly and friendly. I had to explain what introversion really means (not shy), but I really wanted to punch him in the face and be like, well, our job REQUIRES us to pretend to be extroverts, but all the best CMs are introverts underneath!

  • The Best Walking Workout for Non-Exercisers (Fitbit): Kind of obvious, but a good reminder!

  • The Disease of Being Busy (On Being): Oh my gosh, I had forgotten this phrase that I used to use all the time with students. How fitting to be reminded that I am a human being, not a human doing right now: "Tell me you remember you are still a human being, not just a human doing. Tell me you’re more than just a machine, checking off items from your to-do list. Have that conversation, that glance, that touch. Be a healing conversation, one filled with grace and presence." 

To Make You Laugh:

Academia, Education, and Teaching: 

  • 8 Tips for Teaching With Mentor Texts (Edutopia): In our program, sometimes we struggle with mentor texts that don't match our learning objectives. I'm spending a lot of time thinking about this as we prepare for the next term. 

  • At Northwestern, Not Just Adjuncts Voted to Unionize (Chronicle of Higher Ed): Good information here. I'm glad that others are standing up for adjuncts!

  • Rebooting Industrial Era Seating (Edutopia): This is something I think about, too. At UD we had tables that allowed us to sit in a circle. Now, I have to take time out of every class period to have my students move their high school-sized desks into a circle. We need a new norm. 

  • Detours and Diversions — Do Open Access Publishers Face New Barriers? (The Scholarly Kitchen): Interesting thoughts. OA is a big topic in lit crit circles. 

  • Double-Edged Sword of Dual Enrollment (Inside Higher Ed): I have a lot of opinions on Dual Enrollment classes and community colleges, both from the perspective of a current instructor at a large research university and as a former dual enrollment student and the daughter of a former community college student. I think that there's a lot of room to improve a system that should be serving both its instructors and its students better. 

  • I'm Never Assigning an Essay Again (Inside Higher Ed): I'm in love with this essay and can't wait to see how I can adapt his ideas to my student's work. 

  • How Acaddemia Uses Poverty, Oppression, and Pain for Intellectual Masterbation (Racebaitr): This article is very challenging for me, as a white woman studying Chicana and Native literature. I was struck by this statement: "One of the tragic consequences of a traditional system of higher education is working with colleagues who claim to have expertise on the topic of social activism, but who have never experienced any form of intervention. I am referring here to those academics who have made careers out of the pain of others by consuming knowledge obtained in marginalized communities." I think it's good to consider these perspectives as I go forward with my dissertation. 

Simplicity and Minimalism:

Money, Budgeting, and Finance:

Environmentalism, Farming, Food, Health, and Nutrition:

Dogs: 

Link Love

Every week, I curate a list of the best links and articles to make you think and keep you informed. Enjoy!

Every week, I curate a list of the best links and articles to make you think and keep you informed. Enjoy!

Thoughts on this week:

What I’m Reading in real life: This weekend, I read five books of poetry for my reading list. At least I'm making some good progress! If you want to see what I'm reading, check it out on my instagram feed. 

What I’m watching: I just finished the latest season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I thought it was good. I'm also rewatching Young and Hungry to prepare for the Netflix launch of the new season later this month. 

What I’m listening to: I'm still listening to podcasts. RSVP is my latest favorite. 

What else I’m digging: Dog sitting for Rover! Dudes, if you have a dog and need someone to care for them, check out my dogsitting page.  

 

My Writing

Two years ago: I want Stan Lee to be My Adopted Grandpa and other musings on Dallas Comic Con 2015 (Popery, Pens, and Paperbacks)

 

What I read this week:

Popery (Catholicism/Spirituality/Religion):

  • The Politics of Traversing Difference—Acts 2:1-21 (Amy Allen) (Political Theology Today): I hate to spoil this wonderful article, but I have to share with you the very end in case you don't click through (but do, it's a beautiful story)."This, I believe, is God’s wish for the Church as a Pentecost community—not that we settle upon one common (or colonized) way of doing or communicating things, but rather, that we recognize the one power, the true Power, is broader than any one (or group) of us. I believe that God’s will for the Pentecost community is that we live together in our diversity (not in spite of, or overcoming it). To the colonial, homogenizing force of the Roman Empire, this must have been quite a threat. To the post-colonial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural churches in Namibia in the early 2000’s, I heard this message proclaimed and celebrated with hope. For us, today, in 2017, what do these politics mean? How might we live together and grow together across our differences, with God’s Holy Spirit as our guide?" What a great reflection on language and the Gospel message!

  • How to See an Old Church (Experimental Theology): I loved doing this when I was in Rome. 

  • Paving the path to social change guides the life of young Indiana sister (Catholic Herald): Loving this article shared by my college spiritual director about my sister and friend, Tracey, who she didn't even know. Tracey and all my sisters inspire me daily. <3

  • What Would Jesus Resist? (Historical Jesus Research): Read this. 

  • Prison Diary: How To Stay Cool (Experimental Theology): Why does no one care about this very important pro-life issue?

Pens/Pencils/Stationery:  

Paperbacks (Reading, Books, etc.):

Writing

  • How To Connect With Your Writing Tribe (The SITS Girls): I'm still looking for a writing tribe, but this is a good article!

  • When It’s Hard to Maintain Your Focus (Writer Unboxed): I found this article really helpful because it's sooo hard to focus right now on writing, reading, anything. But we have to keep going! 

  • Surround Yourself With Success (Writer Unboxed): This is a really great tip for writing and academia, and it's weirdly harder than you would think. Academics get burned out so easily that they spend more time complaining than really talking about each other's craft. I'm blessed to have one really good friend who talks with me about her dissertation and I talk with her about my reading. It's been so helpful!

Life in General:

  • Why a Pets at Work Policy Is a Good One (Fitbit): I'm blessed to have a dog who can go everywhere with me. I wish that everyone was able to bring dogs to work!
  • What makes you switch your ways? (Unclutterer): One of the things about recovering from what happened to me over Christmas break has been figuring out how to change my life, my habits, and everything else that fell apart or contributed to my life falling apart because of the sociopath. It's good to think about methods of motivating ourselves (and others) to change. 

  • There's an Important Reason We should be Having More Meaningful Conversations (Introvert, Dear): I really appreciate this great article and the ideas for how to go deeper in conversation with people. 

  • Critical Thinking Series: Reading as the Arena of Critical Thinking (Decolonize All the Things): I'm seriously thinking about giving this to my students on the first day of class in the fall. "If you don’t understand the benefits of reading or why it is useful to you and crucial for your own self development then you aren’t likely to take advantage of reading lists which are crucial to sustaining an anti-colonial political awareness to then apply to your actions.  Below  I discuss the importance of reading to critical thinking and praxis.  One of the greatest benefits of the methods of critical inquiry is NOT so you can argue with others but for you to argue with YOURSELF. " So important!

  • Our Mothers as We Never Saw Them (NYT): A great article. 

  • The Real Problem With Being Child-Free and Unmarried In Your Mid-30s (Huffpost): So, I might not feel the same way about my future as the author, but I do relate to this: "I realize I should probably sound more apologetic when I tell people I’m not married. Perhaps I should try a bit harder to make those around me less embarrassed when they meet me. I’m a disgrace. I’m a single lady. I was about to get drunk on lots of prosecco. I’m always the wedding guest — not the bride. And I don’t even own a cat." I guess I'm doing better than he because I don't drink a lot and I have a dog, but still. Stop judging!

Tough and Awkward Topics: 

To Make You Laugh and Smile:

Academia, Education, and Teaching: 

  • Accreditation Is Broken. Time to Repair It. (The Chronicle of Higher Ed): So, accreditation organizations are also running out of funds because they ARE LITERALLY NOT PAID for the work they do. "Why is the accreditation system falling down on the job? Because, as my research shows, by and large accreditors don’t have the budgets or staffing to do their job properly. Despite the tremendous burden of guarding the roughly $120 billion awarded each year in federal student grants and loans, a review of tax filings shows that the 12 main accreditors spend a shockingly small amount on measuring quality — just $75 million in 2013. For comparison, Corinthian raked in $1.3 billion in taxpayer money in one year. That is 17 times more than the combined sum that all 12 accrediting agencies spent monitoring quality at nearly 7,000 campuses over the same period." So, why are these people the ones harassing us into submission for preposterous accreditation requirements while our students can barely read at an 9th grade level?
  • Who Defines What Is Racist? (Inside Higher Ed): This is problematic all the way around. I would hate to be in that atmosphere right now. 

  • Analyzing Black Lives Matter Without Black People Involved (Inside Higher Ed): Ummm??? Who made this decision?

  • When Things Suck and You Still Have a PhD To Do: 7 Tips to Get Stuff Done (Academic Mental Health Collective): This line particularly spoke to where I am: "There is no shame or failure in being realistic about what you are capable of in this current moment. The amount of work you do is not a reflection of you as a person – whether that amount is high or low. It can be hard to believe this and drop the self-judgement. But if it’s going to make life easier for ourselves, doesn’t it make sense to do so?" There was a lot of shame involved in changing the dates of my exams, but I had to be honest about what I could do in that moment. I'm so grateful for a director who understands. 

  • Clinging to the Core (Inside Higher Ed): It's not often that my awkward little alma mater makes a large academic site, but when it does, it's because there's a huge hullaballoo going on that common sense could have stopped. "The university’s president, Thomas W. Keefe, acknowledged the idea has been enveloped in drama. But he said that Dallas needs to explore new ideas" Yes. Like getting a new president who doesn't refer to alumni as brats or students as dogs. Ahem. 

Simplicity and Minimalism:

  • A different kind of childhood (Restoring Mayberry): I have often enjoyed reading the posts at Restoring Mayberry, but this one, perhaps, more than any other, connects with my soul. He describes the friends he sees when he comes back to the states in this way: "One way or another, they grow angrier every year; they know in their bones that something has gone terribly wrong. Most of them know they’ve lost something, and search for it in different ways. Some of my friends build things in their shed, or cook, or in some way find pleasure in creating something. Some read books about people who lived more traditional lives, anything from Amish romances to medieval fantasy. Some drive off on weekends to hunt or fish, something to get them back to nature, and draw far more from their surroundings than from the animal. ... Some of these approaches do more good than others, but I don’t mock any of them; all these people, I think, are trying to fill the same void." What do you think about this article? I would love to hear your thoughts!

  • Here's How I (Painlessly!) Purged 80 Percent of My Closet (Apartment Therapy): So, I really enjoyed this. I've been getting rid of A LOT of things lately, and hoping to get rid of even more in the future!

  • I Planned My Wedding in 5 Days. You Could, Too. (NY Times): THIS. IS. AWESOME. 

Money, Budgeting, and Finance:

  • How To Stretch Your Dollars (Living Well, Spending Less): As usual, there's nothing truly enlightening in this, but it's a great reminder. 

Environmentalism, Farming, Food, Health, and Nutrition:

Dogs: 

Link Love for Memorial Day

Thoughts on this week: So, the last week has been a busy one for sure! Gary was sick on Thursday, so we ended up at the vet. I've joined Rover, a dog walking and care app (for $20 off your first booking, use the code GARYTHECUTEONE). I've been reading and writing a lot this week, and am still not caught up with my reading list. But all in all, it's been great. My friend, Heidi, is back from Mexico. Dayna and I spent a lot of time working before she went out of town, so now I have double pup snuggles with Berk here. Life is good...

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#kaitreadsforcomps Mini Reviews #4-5: Shifts in Drama and Feelings of Instability: the Beginning of the Cold War Fear

 

#kaitreadsforcomps #4: Shifts in Drama

This reflection will discuss several plays of the 40s-60s:

  • Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, 1949
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams, 1955
  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee, 1962
  • Deliverance by James Dickey, 1970

To be honest, I didn’t actually enjoy a single one of these plays. I can see how they were working to change the way that the average theatre patron thought of drama by discussing topics often left out of polite conversation, but at the same time as a resident of the 21st Century, I have a hard time appreciating it. For me, the ideas of families falling apart and the clash between “civilized” and “barbaric” cultures (shown through rape, no less) aren’t really dynamic, new, or interesting. I see enough of this in reality. Outside of their importance in terms of a shift from propriety to a more open discussion (which I admit is very important), I see no reason to ever read or watch these again. That’s all I have to say about that.

 

#kaitreadsforcomps #5: Feelings of Instability

This reflection will discuss four texts:

  • “The Morning of the Day They Did It” by E.B. White (1950)
  • Lie Down in Darkness by William Styron (1951)
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953)
  • Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Eugene O’Neill (1956)

Really, this list could be broken down futher into realistic instability (Styron and O’Neill) and early dystopian instability (White and Bradbury), but I’m keeping them together because I think they’re participating in the same conversation.

“The Morning of the Day They Did It” by E.B. White is one of the texts on my list that I had read many times before. I love it. It’s a super short story, so you all should check it out. It was published in The New Yorker in 1950 and is honestly pretty prophetic. White discusses both the dangers of nuclear war and the problems of genetic modification in this short fiction. While I’m sure it’s not the absolute earliest piece of dystopian environmental fiction, it’s certainly up there. This text certainly indicates that there were feelings of instability about the environment and the dangers of war earlier than I had imagined.

Of course, everyone is well aware of the 1953 great, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Again, we find the fear of instability expressed this time concerning the dangers of censorship and illiteracy as well as the loss of knowledge of the humanities. Perhaps all the people in our political administration should consider this as they cut the funding to all humanities grants—or perhaps they already have.

Lie Down in Darkness and Long Days Journey Into Night are like the connection between these dystopian texts and the plays mentioned above. Here we are discussing the taboo, but it is not simply for the sake of discussing it, but out of an acknowledgement of the culture of fear.

I think that all in all, what we see here in both of these sections is the beginning of the Cold War narrative of fear. The downfall of the family, the suspicion of knowledge contrasted with the necessity for it, the general degradation of culture—Cold War culture.