This post is based on the blogging prompt “What do you think of when you think of September?” from IndieBizChicks’ September Blogging Special.
Is September half empty or half full? I can’t quite decide, but I am happy it is here even if it is already half over! September makes me think of fall, of course. You can smell the colder air approaching and the weather has been much more hospitable to running. I hate to say good bye to summer, but I have a feeling that autumn is going to be a good time, too!
September also makes me think of school. I am no longer in grad school (thank god!) and I do not have any children returning to school, but it still feels like a month for learning. Maybe that is why I have been adding so many books to my reading list! Right now, I am working my way through Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, and I am determined to finish it even though it breaks my heart every time I pick it up. After that I MUST read these five books:
- The Lampshade – I read the excerpt of this non-fiction book that was in the last issue of New York magazine and I am so totally hooked… is the lampshade a Nazi artifact made of human skin?!!
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – A nonfiction pick that has been on my list for a while… “a tale of medical wonders and medical arrogance, racism, poverty.”
- The Warmth of Other Suns – Another nonfiction book that I learned about in New York magazine (love that publication). I am really into historical nonfiction lately and this book would be a new perspective for me: the twentieth century migration of African Americans from the South to the North and West.
- Let the Great World Spin – Finally a fiction pick! This National Book Award winner has gotten rave reviews and tells the story of New York City in the 1970s. Must read.
- The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival – This is a brand new addition to my list. It turns out that the author, Ken Wheaton, is on my Team In Training and he just told me about his book last night. I am fascinated by Louisiana culture and religion in general, so it seems like a perfect match for me!
I wish I could say that I am going to read all of these by the end of September, but that is way too ambitious for this slow reader. I will do my best to get them all finished by the end of the year! Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What other books should I add to my reading list? Besides learning, what do you think of when you think of September?
I have been closely following the presidential campaigns, politics, and general news over the past few months – as many have – and among my many concerns and questions, one small detail has been really bothering me. Basically, why is Barack Obama’s law education (at Harvard, none the less) and his experience with constitutional law (teaching it at the Univ. of Chicago) not counted more strongly toward his general readiness to be president? I watched this short video by Lawrence Lessig today about Governor Palin’s level of experience compared to previous US vice presidents. It may have some flaws, but it is interesting to watch and learn about past candidates. Of course, people commenting on the video try to argue that Palin is more experienced that Obama. Perhaps some believe that is a valid argument, but why doesn’t anyone ever counter with Obama’s education and law experience? Is being an educated lawyer really that much of a liability? Is being extremely experienced and knowledgeable on the US constitution and law not something that could help a president? I actually find myself being very personally offended that graduate-level education (and teaching at a college level) is not valued by the American public. Am I missing something?
It is Take-your-sister-to-school day for Adam. I am currently sitting in on his Immunology Review lecture at KU Medical Center. Most of it is going over my head, but it is interesting to see all of the stuff that med students need to learn. It is complicated. Right now the professor is talking about antibody-forming cells. I am learning a little bit…
I graduated this weekend from the University of Oregon with my Masters of Science in Arts Management. Travis’ family and my parents came to town for the event. We have had a wonderful time! We ate out at lots of local restaurants, shopped downtown, climbed Spencer’s Butte, went to Saturday Market, ate cake, and went to an o.a.r. concert… and we spent lots of time talking and visiting.
Above is a photo of me and my mom and dad at King Estate Winery today. It was absolutely beautiful and the food was delicious! We took our time eating outside since it was such a beautiful day. I had Salmon and Pot de Creme. I would recommend trying it out if you live in Eugene.
On Father’s Day we all climbed Spencer’s Butte. It took us a few hours to complete the round trip hike, but it was worth it for the view!
This is a photo of Chelsea and me with our matching umbrellas at the Saturday Market before graduation. We were just about the only people in Eugene using umbrellas, but at least we looked cute!
Travis’ family had to leave this morning because they are driving home all the way back to Kansas, but my mom and dad are here for one more day. I am sad to see everyone go because we have had such a fun time, but Travis in I will be in Kansas City in a little over a month for my brother’s wedding. In between now and then, I will be squeezing in a four-week trip to Italy!
I had my very last graduate school class today. It was a final presentation for Museum Education. It all went well, but I thought I would be feeling more. Like more relieved, or more excited, or even more sad. I never get very sentimental about life events. I may be broken in that way… or maybe it is just that I always have exciting new things on the horizon that keep my mind occupied.
My final research project presentation was yesterday. It was kind of a big deal, but it turned out to be no problem and everyone’s presentations were so good! We all had power points and I made a little booklet to go with my presentation. Many of my fellow students had much more profound topics than mine on Internet Marketing Strategies for Indie Crafters, but I am still happy with my project. After the presentations were complete, we gathered for a 2007 group photo. I am very excited that I have completed one more step toward graduation!
I am leaving in a few minutes for a field trip in Salem. I don’t really want to go. School is really getting on my nerves lately and I am afraid I am going to blow up on the trip. I have just had so many projects due, and everyone is complaining (including me), and I am worried about our stupid research presentations on Friday. If there wasn’t only three weeks of school left, I would seriously be considering throwing in the towel. I guess I am just really cranky. (The cute little bird has nothing to do with school, just put him here to cheer up this post…)
Am I ever happy! I just dropped off the final draft of my research document. 113 pages of writing and graphs. Whew! It feels so nice to have it turned in.
I wish I had something something inspirational, something fabulous, to tell you… but this weekend has been lazy. lazy & easy. I worked on my research paper (chapter five – can you believe it?) on Friday after going to a presentation at school by Randy Cohen from Americans for the Arts. Actually, he was inspiring. I take back my first sentence. He gave us lots of reasons why arts are important to our country – the social and economic reasons. Then, I had a Saturday morning meeting with my research adviser, and he said I am on track and almost done! how sweet!
What else did I do this weekend? Hmmmm. Ate at Bagel Sphere, shopped at the Saturday Market and Passion Flower, watched Smokin’ Aces (wouldn’t really recommend it), stayed up late talking with my sweet husband, exercised twice, shopped at Ben Franklin Crafts, made a new matchbox for a new Swap-bot swap, packaged up some stuff to take to the post office, worked on home work, but didn’t finish (Sorry, Sarah. My paper will be done by tomorrow!), worked on some wedding invitations, but didn’t finish (Sorry, Amber and Aaron. I will have a prototype mailed out to you by Wednesday!), watched Super Size Me (would recommend it), and did laundry. whew. kind of boring. sorry. I hope to have a more exciting life in the future, but I’m not promising anything.
This is a photo of some of the many books, articles, and magazines that I am using as references in my research project. I feel like I have spent my whole spring break going through them and highlighting things and marking pages. I am currently trying to finish out the literature review section of my research project, and it has been difficult. I am not very experienced in the area of research (I was an art major, for goodness sake!), and I do not feel like I am making enough progress. Currently I have cited 67 references in my literature review – from books to websites to journal articles to zines – and it seems like they each just generate more sources that I should look at. It is difficult to keep my focus narrow and just complete this project.
What I really can’t comprehend is that I only have ten more weeks of graduate school, then I graduate. I am going to be extremely happy when that happens! Of course, I have to finish my entire research project, give a presentation on it, complete three more classes, and publish another issue of the Bulletin in that time. Hmmmm… wish me luck.