Here's some of my progress so far::
Right now I'm in the process of moving from one home to another. Hence my general absence. Things are still far from "prime living conditions" at my new place, but I'm working on it. In the meantime, I don't have time to make fancy updates here, or even to think of anything blog-worthy.
Here's some of my progress so far::
Maybe I'll be able to write something in October, once I'm fully moved-in.
How had I never heard this until about 5 days ago, shopping in Winner's?
Wow. And the original's pretty great too:
After by far the most tumultuous summer of my life, I'm trying to get my brain back in gear for teaching. I came in to the classroom this afternoon and it's quite the struggle. My mind is just in too many places right now.
For one, I'm moving. On Thursday morning, I'll be able to move in to my new apartment in Agassiz. That's astoundingly stressful. I haven't lived alone for a decade now, and here I am moving into a little apartment away from my family. I'm terrified.
For two, BC's rolling out its new curriculum. Almost every course is like a fresh start. As a result, I'm suffering from flashes of imposter syndrome, where I keep expecting people to come through the door and say, "I found you out! You don't know what you're doing! You don't belong here! Get out of this classroom right now, you fraud!"
For three, umm... isn't that enough?
I could have used a summmer that felt a little more like a Bebel Gilberto track.
I'm spending the next week or so in my hometown of sorts, Victoria BC.
I say "hometown of sorts" because I don't know many people here anymore. Beyond my immediate family, most of my friends have moved to other locales. Despite my many years at UVic for my undergrad, and a few summers at UVic for my graduate degree, I haven't really built up many regularly-maintained friendships here. It's hard to see a city as my hometown when I can so easily wander the streets with such anonymity.
So I'm trying to find some other ways to enjoy the town. Yesterday, I attended a MeetUp with Victoria Verse, a little poetry group here in town that weekly meets at a coffee shop to write some poetry. This week's goal was to write some sonnets. I felt this might be useful for me because I'm teaching Writing 12 this year, and meeting with some writers might help me get my own creative juices flowing a little.
Which it did. Here's the sonnet I wrote:
The poem describes the terrifying moment last summer when I dragged our dog, Rosita, underneath our pickup after she jumped out of the box. Fortunately, she's in good shape now, despite many scars on her legs and belly. I'm happy that I will likely get to live with her when I move to Agassiz on the 1st.
I haven't had a hometown, really, since I moved from Victoria. When I move to Agassiz, I will have lived in most of the small communities in the Upper Fraser Valley: 6 years in Hope, 1½ in Harrison Hot Springs, 1½ in Chilliwack, and now Agassiz for a few. However, I don't think any of these have gotten to constitute as a "hometown." In my last few locales, I haven't really gotten to know the people who live around me. I've isolated myself from my communities for this reason or that reason.
Self-isolation isn't necessarily a problem on its own. However, I feel like I need to do a far better job at "getting out there" in the community, even if I don't know if I'm going to live there for very long. I'm glad to have things like MeetUp for learning about different groups because I spent so many years in organizations that arranged my friend groups for me: churches, schools, and universities gather semi-likeminded people together so your friend pool is significantly smaller. I'm going to have to learn how to extrovert as I step out on my own. Again.
This time, I've worked my way through a couple more non-fiction relationship/self-help books, but I've determined that a novel is next.
Jenny Lawson's Furiously Happy
A good humour book with some serious undertones, as all good humour works. The serious chapters, however, were the best. FINISHED READING JUNE 30
George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (audiobook)
I may be an English teacher, but that doesn't mean I've read all of the canon. Some parts of the English Literature canon have been tough to stomach; 1984 has always been a rather daunting book. So I listened to it and I'm better for it. However, as I said in the video, I think Huxley's Brave New World dystopia is more accurate and complete. FINISHED READING/LISTENING JULY 4 2016.
David Sedaris' Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls (audiobook)
I have loved practically everything I've ever read from David Sedaris. This was, as always, packed with caustic, observant commentary. My favorite section was a brief article entitled "I Brake for Traditional Marriage." Wow. Just wow. FINISHED LISTENING JULY 7 2016.
Nina W. Brown's Coping with Infuriating, Mean, Critical People: The Destructive Narcissistic Pattern
Brown's book was interesting for multiple reasons, most importantly its focus on the self and what it calls "healthy narcissism." The book is very careful to make sure that the reader cannot just blame others for what might very well be their own problem. If you're hoping to read about others' narcissism, the book pushes you to first and continually confront your own narcissistic characteristics. FINISHED READING JULY 11 2016.
Joseph Heller's Catch-22 (audiobook)
I didn't know anything about Catch-22 when I first saw it on the audiobook list at the library. I just knew that it was a classic and it was very long. The audiobook was an excellent way to soak up the text and hear its many social and out-of-order layers. An excellent listen, and I look forward to feeling like I have the time to read it properly one day. FINISHED LISTENING JULY 21 2016
John Gottman's Why Marriages Succeed or Fail
My Family Justice Counsellor recommended this to me, so I picked up a copy. An excellent read I kind-of wish I'd read years and years ago. I'm going to keep a copy on hand for reference. I talked a little about reading it here. FINISHED READING AUGUST 8 2016
Mark Goulston and Philip Goldberg's Get Out Of Your Own Way
Another self-help reference text. The chapters are short and well organized, and each follows a predictable pattern that makes it easy to take on. I started reading it a few months ago, but only finished it in August. Again, a book I'll most certainly keep on my shelf. FINISHED READING AUGUST 13 2016
Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behavior
I read my novels slowly. This wasn't my favorite Kingsolver text, but it was pretty good. Sometimes I felt it tried a little too hard, but I might be too jaded right now. If anything, it gave me a little more appreciation for understanding how it feels to be a woman who has made decisions based on others' expectations, or based on fear. Dellarobia's journey to independence was the part of the story that I most connected with. FINISHED READING AUGUST 18 2016
The Internet Archive
YouTube: ephemeral ideas