Shaina Lately: The Big Ol' Catch Up PostDecember 12, 2016
|A blurry photo of me, ostensibly doing field work in eastern Washington but mostly enjoying snow.|
Welp, the thing happened. I officially went blog silent. I knew graduate school would be a huge investment of time, tears, and brain cells, but I had the tiniest sliver of hope that I would keep up at least a trickle of reading and posting. Men We Reaped for Social Justice Book Club? The most wishful of thinking. All of the books I packed up and shipped across the country? Graciously keeping track of all of the dust in my apartment.
My graduate program gobbled me up in September and, with yesterday's submission of a 60-page report, only just spat me back out. Now I'm sitting here, a little bit dazed and rumpled, wondering what the heck to do with myself now. Because, guys, so much has happened.
1. I have learned so. much. I have more than 200 pages of Microsoft Word documents, including two real, actual, useful projects for local and state health organizations, to show for it.
2. I have started making friends. The way my program is set up makes this just about inevitable (you can't spend 6+ hours per week with seven other people without getting to know each other), but y'all know how hard this is for me. I can say without reservation that I am going to carry some of these people with me for the rest of my life, and I feel so lucky to have them.
3. Trump got elected. I spent a couple of weeks deep inside my own head, trying to figure out what I personally could do to make the world better, even in the smallest of ways, especially for my friends and peers of color. I succeeded sometimes and I failed at others, but I tried. I am going to keep trying.
4. On that note, I feel more certain than ever that I am on the right path, personally and professionally. I went into this quarter determined to be open, to learn, and to get the work done. I'm leaving it with more confidence than I have ever had that I can handle all of the stuff this life thing wants to throw at me and that I can handle much of it in way less time than I ever thought possible. I am amazed by what trust in myself, my colleagues, and my loved ones has produced in the past three months.
All right, anything else? Oh, BOOKS. I have read a grand total of *drum roll* FOUR books since school started.
- FEED by Mira Grant
- The Shadowed Sun by N. K. Jemisin (audio, narrated by Sarah Zimmerman)
- Kindred by Octavia Butler (audio, narrated by Kim Staunton)
- Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man's Education by Mychal Denzel Smith
That is just over one book per month. I cannot remember the last time my reading numbers have been this paltry, but thankfully, everything I did read was wonderful. I'd like to give a major shout out to Audible for getting me through half of that list while I did dishes. (RIP apartment with dishwasher.)
All right. I'm off to drink tea and do laundry, because apparently that's what the first day of winter break is for.
And how are YOU? Please tell me, because I have not been reading your blogs.