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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Nine Months Up, Nine Months Down

The baby is officially 9 months old!

Baby Smiles

When I was pregnant, I read a book called The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy

and I really liked it. I would totally recommend it. It has a fun sense of humor and makes you feel less alone if you don’t have a lot of mommy/pregnant friends (I don’t). It’s written by an L.A. resident, so maybe it has a few concerns that I didn’t have/feel while living in occasionally arctic New England and never feeling much societal pressure about my makeup and hair, but I still really enjoyed it.

One of its tips that I loved and want to share (but can’t remember the direct quote… although it was said a few times) is basically: it took you 9 months to gain the weight, don’t beat yourself up (or be surprised) if it takes you 9 months to lose it.

It really made me feel ok with my body for the last 9 months, especially the early months after her birth. I had been warned that I would still look 6 months pregnant when I left the hospital (and I did!), but I didn’t expect to look 4 months pregnant when she was 3 months old. But I rolled with it with the thought “9 months up, 9 months down.”

And you know what? I think it was totally right for me. The baby is 9 months old and I fit in almost all of my pre-pregnancy pants now, there are two hold-outs but whatever. My body doesn’t look exactly the way it did before, but it feels to be roughly the same size. I feel like I’m back to living in my old body, more or less. And when I see myself in the mirror, I’m no longer surprised by the reflection. The image of myself that I hold and the image in the mirror finally align again!

And the bonus of this mantra is that I didn’t beat myself up for no good reason while I was enjoying this tiny human being that my body incubated!

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Also, yay for fitting back into my old clothes!

Stairs of Nerdy Awesomeness!

I love this staircase. I want a staircase that I can do this to:

However, after staring at this picture for hours, I can’t decide what titles I would want to put there.

  • Should you go with classics so your friends are impressed?
  • Should you choose your favorite books so that you smile a ton whenever you look at the bookcase?
  • Should you stick to a genre or niche?

Which would you choose?

I feel like classics are the easiest, because there are so many that us nerds have been forced to read. I know Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte would be on my classic book-staircase, along with Fellowship of the Ring by Tolkien and Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Does Agatha Christie count as classic yet? Because I’d love to throw her in the mix, too.

I would probably have the most fun with favorites, but it leaves one open to so much judgement. My case would have Kurt Vonnegut (I can’t decide if I would choose Slaughterhouse-Five, Breakfast of Champions, or Mother Night because I love them all), Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice, something from Shel Silverstein, The Princess Bride by William Goldman (if you’ve only seen the movie, you are missing out: check out the book), and probably a bunch of autobiographies by comedians (Kathy Griffin, John Leguizamo, etc). I’m also loving Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury… but I haven’t finished it yet. Actually, I’m such a nerdy bibliophile that I would probably change a stair every time I completed a book.

If I chose a genre or a niche, I would absolutely do theater! I would have something from Oscar Wilde, Christopher Durang, Sarah Ruhl, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler… oh I feel like I could go on and on mixing classic and modern pieces.

In all honesty though, for me, I would never be happy with a staircase that didn’t include both Vonnegut and Wilde. I hate Wilde’s prose (I have been struggling with Dorian Grey for like a year now) and I hate Vonnegut’s play (don’t waste your time on Happy Birthday, Wanda June! Seriously, it’s pretty terrible). I’d probably have the weirdest mix, but it would make me happy (and probably confuse everyone else).

What would you choose: classics, favorites, a niche/genre, or a weird mix? Which books would you most want to include? 

Trying to Turn Disappointment Into… Well… Anything More Positive

About two weeks ago, I mentioned that I had a huge opportunity (for me) and I was trying to psych myself into it. I was very vague. Let me explain what happened.

I received an e-mail from a friend looking to hire an adjunct professor at a small, private, liberal arts college. At first I thought it sounded like a possible offer. After reading it about a dozen times, I realized it was an offer for an interview. The e-mail also included the syllabus the previous professor created and the time of the class.

I was daunted and intimidated for two main reasons. The first was the time of the class. Although it would only be a 3 hour per week job, the time of day and the way it was spread out over the week would require me to use a vacation day every week for 15 weeks (so basically all of my remaining vacation time for the year from my full-time job that pays the bills) or change my very structured hours. Hmmm…

The second daunting factor was the material. It was so highbrow and not very fun (read: not my style at all).

But I went in to the interview as prepared as I could be (I read half of the previous syllabus’s assigned homework – not bad for 2 nights of prep – and wrote down as many questions and ideas for making the class more “me” as I could).

Honestly, I’m not sure how the interview went last week. Benefits to me: the hours were still up in the air and could be changed. The syllabus needed a complete overhaul according to my friend/the head of the department. The school itself was lovely and I would have really liked to have worked there. I’m not sure how it went because I was interviewing with a friend… so of course he liked me, but did he like me for the position? I didn’t know.

We were scheduled to have a follow-up today. I may have spent the week creating a first draft of a new syllabus and a few drafts of lesson plans. Additionally, I read two books on information I’m interested in but isn’t really in my wheelhouse but would have been ideal for the class.

Today, instead of us meeting, I got an e-mail that they are hiring an internal candidate. I totally understand, but that doesn’t stop the waves of disappointment. Thinking about the lesson plans really made me want to teach them and I was excited to have students again (I was a high school drama teacher for a brief stint).

I try to stick to positive thinking… so how can I re-frame this experience?

  • It has shown me how much I really want this as my career
  • It has shown me that I should have more faith in myself – something that seems daunting at first can be learned and mastered
  • I’m better at writing a syllabus and lesson plans than I thought
  • I have a broader set of topics to teach than I thought I had
  • I get all my vacation days back…

I still don’t know how I can convince anyone (with hiring abilities) of a few of these things though.

I’m trying to “pick myself up and dust myself off.” It’s time to revise my self-image and refocus my actions.

Maybe what I can take away from this is that it’s time to be serious and go after what I want!

Lord of the Rings vs Harry Potter?

This is completely for all of my nerdy, book-loving readers.

I’m a HUGE nerdy, book-lover. I even took a Tolkien class in college, so when I came across this review on IMDB (I found it on Iwastesomuchtime.com), part of me was a little crushed. And part of me couldn’t wait to share it!

I really hope this kid found out that Tolkien died when Rowling was about 8 years old….

Flowchart for Summer Reading

Let’s be real, if you’re reading my blog, there is a really good chance that you’re a bit on the nerdy side and like to read (as do I). I feel this way because these are some of my most popular posts:

So I’m thinking that you may really enjoy this flowchart from Teach.com (and even if you like it here, you might want to click on the link because I’m sure they would love the page views, too):

So what do you think? Did this help you add any books to your summer reading list? I sure added some to mine.

 

 

Sunday Morning Snark – Grammar Matters

This doesn’t have anything to do with yesterday’s motivation; but I saw it on Facebook, loved it, and thought I would share. I hope you also get a kick out of it.

Saturday Morning Motivation – Learning

This weekend is all about research for me! (woo homework!)

I love this sentiment!

What is your weekend going to be all about? What do you consider yourself to be passionately curious about?

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