Second Week

So I realized I didn’t do my normal first week back post. Last week was really busy, although I finally fully realized that while I was still nervous on the first day, a lot of my normal first day nerves comes from the adrenaline build up of trying to get everything ready for the first day. Somehow, mostly because I wasn’t substantially changing two of my classes, I got my class prep done before the weekend before. ¬†I’ve also been doing a lot more cardio since I decided I wanted to actually run a 5k color run in October, and I think that combined with getting the prep complete early made me a lot less jittery. Nervous, but not adrenaline jangly, and it makes a lot of sense. One of my best conference presentations came during a conference in Vancouver. I spent a lot of my down time, or when I needed to skip a session to decompress, walking around the town. I did the same this summer. The walking helped the nerves. Now if I can just keep that in mind as I put that promotions portfolio together and those other fall writing deadlines loom.

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Commonplace: Nick Harkaway, Angelmaker

“He considers himself, the wrong side of thirty-five and no closer to being who he wanted to be, if he ever knew who that was.

The stricture of Joe Spork is indecision, a departing girlfriend once told him. He fears she was wrong. There is no stricture to him, no core. No substance. Just a dozen conflicting drives which average out, producing nothing. Be a gangster. Be an honest man. Be Daniel, be Mathew, be Joe. Make something of yourself, but don’t stand out too much. Find a girl, but avoid the wrong girl. Mend the clocks, keep the old firm going. Sell up and run, leave London and head to a beach somewhere. Be someone. Be no one. Be yourself. Be happy–but how?”

–Nick Harkaway, Angelmaker

Summer Movies

There’s been a lot of angsty talk about how Hollywood is tanking this summer at the box office. Now, if you judge by big blockbuster films, well, maybe. (OR maybe they made too many. Seriously, who can afford to go see all of those films?) But when it comes to comedy and smaller indie films, the film industry has been hitting it out of the park: The Way, Way Back (still want to see), The Heat, The To Do List (still want to see), We’re The Millers (surprisingly hilarious and I didn’t hate Jason Sudekis’s character, which I was kind of predisposed to after enduring the awful Hall Pass), and now The Spectacular Now. I enjoyed 500 Days of Summer, written by the same team behind The Spectacular Now, although I disagree with the assessment that Summer is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She is perhaps one in the narrative of Tom’s life, but she isn’t in the narrative of her life. She’s upfront about what she wants, and her breaking up with Tom and then finding the person she wants to marry feels like the right choices for someone wanting a partnership and not to save someone. At any rate, here’s Tonya Riley’s excellent¬†review, which is now on the must see list.

Song of the Day: Sondre Lerche, “I Guess It’s Gonna Rain Today”

Appropriate on rainy day, especially one of the last days before the semester begins. I’m course planning, naturally. I’m a little nervous about my brit lit seminar. I’m being really ambitious with the course design.

Lerche captures the quintessence of a relationship in trouble, but also longs for it not to end.

Texas State Legislature and Its Rampant Sexism

Olivia Messer has an excellent, long piece on the rampant sexism of the Texas State Legislature over at the Texas Observer. Eye opening and horrendous, and as one of the commenters asked, why are the male legislators looking at porn on the floor while they’re getting paid by tax payers to be representing their interests?!?! Call and email your reps people, or get your relatives still living in Texas to call and email their reps. You may also want to call and email your rep for the state you live in just to make sure everyone is one the same page about this behavior, or any of the behaviors Messer describes, being intolerable.