Monday, November 30, 2015

Finals Week (and a half)

It's that time of the semester again.

Just turned in my historiography for my Civil Rights Movement class, but I still have a seminar paper to write for my Amiri Baraka class, an annotated bibliography for Women and Social Movements, an essay to write for African American Literature 1850-1900, two essays to write and a final to take for Civil Rights Movement.

So if this is my last post until...say...a couple of weeks from now...it's because I'm buried in these last assignments.

Hooray university!

*laughing hysterically emoji*

*passes out from exhaustion emoji* 


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Thanks again for reading 
Alana

Friday, November 27, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

WWW Wednesday: November 25


IMG_1384-0
 
Each week, Sam over at Taking on a World of Words asks the following three questions: 
What are you currently reading? 
What did you recently finish reading? 
What do you think you’ll read next?

• What are you currently reading?
  • African American Literature 1850-1900: all done! 
  • Amiri Baraka and the Black Arts Movement: Amiri Baraka's S.O.S. Poems 1961-2013
  • Civil Rights Movement: journal articles and books for class and my Historiography assignment
  • Women and Social Movements: journal articles and books for my annotated bibliography  assignment 

Pleasure/Other Reads: 

Still listening to J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye (catching up on my TV shows at the same time...) and reading some rad prose and poetry submissions.


• What did you recently finish reading?

  • African American Literature 1850-1900: Paul Laurence Dunbar's Selected Poems
  • Amiri Baraka and the Black Arts Movement:Amiri Baraka's S.O.S. Poems 1961-2013
  • Civil Rights Movement: journal articles and books for class and my Historiography assignment
  • Women and Social Movements: Lisa McGirr's Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right

Pleasure/Other Reads: 
Had a submissions reading-a-thon on Saturday and Sunday. Read about 60 prose and poetry submissions in all.   


• What do you think you’ll read next?

 
Still haven't decided what I want to read next, but our contest is starting soon (more info here if you're interested). So whatever it is, I'm hoping for it to be a quick read so I can be ready to go on 12/15
As for audiobooks, next up is the Lorraine Hansberry Audio Collection

Once school gets back in from Thanksgiving Break, I'll finish reading Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque of the Red Death and Macbeth alongside the 10th and 12th graders I work with respectively.  




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Alana

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Thanksgiving Themed Freebie

 

This week's Top Ten list from The Broke and the Bookish: Thanksgiving Themed Freebie (I'm doing Ten Bookish Things I'm Thankful For...because tis the season ;) )

1. Audiobooks: they're literally the only way that I've been able to keep up with pleasure reads with all of the books, articles, and essays I have to read for my classes.

2. A job that allows me to listen to audiobooks: when I work my full shift, I'm averaging one book a week, which is amazing. Absolutely amazing. Thankful for the time and chance to get out of the academia realm and escape to another world.

3. Overdrive and YouTube: my top 2 go-to places for audiobook listening. YouTube is just amazing on so many levels, but I love Overdrive because I can listen through my local library for free (perfect for me because to check out a physical audiobook costs money where I live). 

4. Sequels: Go Set A Watchman and Lila are my two favorite books of 2015 and they're both sequels. So glad that both were written. This leads me to...

5. Series: along the same lines as sequels, I have fallen in absolute love with entire series (Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove comes to mind, but there are others) I don't know about everyone else, but when I get invested in a story and its characters, I get in-ves-ted. I love getting more than one chance to enter their world.

5. Adaptations: some of my favorite movies (Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Godfather) were adapted from books or stories. Adaptations remain some of the only movies on my must-watch list.

6. Bus rides: I made the drive home once since moving here. Since then, I'm all about Greyhound. This averages an 8-10 hour ride home which gives me pppplllleeennnttttyyyy of time to read or listen to a book (for some reason, on a bus is the only time I can read on the road...not sure why) 

7. The Internet: specifically Facebook, Buzzfeed, and Twitter because I don't go a day without stumbling upon a link to an amazing story, post, or article. I learn so much every day just by liking different people and organizations and get to read some amazing work.

8. Lazy weekends: it's been a while, but every now and then when I have nothing going on for the weekend, there's nothing better than putting on some football, grabbing a book, and just chilling all day. I can't wait to not be so busy so I can experience it again. 

9. My friends: I've gotten lucky to make some amazing friendships with people who also love to read. I never go too long without getting a book rec from someone (which then gets added onto my ever-growing To-Read list)

10. My parents: Both were bookworms and my mom still is. As a kid, I always had more books than toys which was good because I could read all day, but would only play with a toy for a few minutes before I got bored. My parents didn't out and out instill much in me, but my love for reading came directly from them.


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Thanks again for reading 
Alana

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Photo Of The Day: November 18-22

 11/18: Still Standing 
 
 11/19: Night Photoging
 
 11/20: Sick Day
 
 11/21: Post Blur 
 
11/22: Sunday Morning Sighting

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

WWW Wednesday: November 18


IMG_1384-0
 
Each week, Sam over at Taking on a World of Words asks the following three questions: 
What are you currently reading? 
What did you recently finish reading? 
What do you think you’ll read next?

• What are you currently reading?
  • African American Literature 1850-1900: Paul Laurence Dunbar's Selected Poems
  • Amiri Baraka and the Black Arts Movement: Amiri Baraka's S.O.S. Poems 1961-2013
  • Civil Rights Movement: journal articles and books for class and my Historiography assignment
  • Women and Social Movements: Lisa McGirr's Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right
Pleasure/Other Reads: 

I'm currently listening to J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye in addition to reading prose and poetry submissions.
• What did you recently finish reading?

  • African American Literature 1850-1900: Charles W. Chestnutt's The Marrow of Tradition and Paul Laurence Dunbar's The Sport of the Gods
  • Amiri Baraka and the Black Arts Movement: essays and pieces from the S.O.S.--Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader
  • Civil Rights Movement: journal articles and books for class and my Historiography assignment
  • Women and Social Movements: Stephanie Gilmore's Groundswells: Grassroots Feminist Activism in Postwar America
Pleasure/Other Reads: 

Got about four hours of submissions reading done last week and also read Edgar Allan Poe's Cask of Amontillado alongside the 9th graders I work with.
• What do you think you’ll read next?


It's the end of the semester for me, so my next read will be a pleasure read (just not sure what yet) in addition to poetry and prose submissions

As for audiobooks, next up is the Lorraine Hansberry Audio Collection

I'll also be reading Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque of the Red Death, Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience, and Macbeth alongside the 10th, 11th, and 12th graders I work with respectively.  
 



Thank you for taking the time to read my latest entry. Please feel free to follow and never miss another post by clicking here

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Thanks again for reading 
Alana

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Photo Of The Day: November 16 and 17

11/16: Reflections 

11/17: Pit Stop

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Quotes I Loved From Books I Read In The Past Year Or So

 

This week's Top Ten list from The Broke and the Bookish: Top Ten Quotes I Loved From Books I Read In The Past Year Or So

1. "I don't believe that the big men, the politicians and the capitalists alone are guilty of the war. Oh, no, the little man is just as keen, otherwise the people of the world would have risen in revolt long ago! There is an urge and rage in people to destroy, to kill, to murder, and until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, wars will be waged, everything that has been built up, cultivated and grown, will be destroyed and disfigured, after which mankind will have to begin all over again." --The Diary of Anne Frank

2. "When it comes to God's existence, I'm not an atheist and I'm not an agnostic- I'm an acrostic, the whole thing puzzles me." George Carlin's Brain Droppings

3. “'You see, baby, you have to protect yourself. If you don’t protect yourself, you look like a fool asking somebody else to protect you.'” I thought about that for a second. She was right. A woman needs to support herself before she asks anyone else to support her.” Maya Angelou's Mom & Me & Mom

4. "Sometimes you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read that book." John Green's The Fault In Our Stars

5. “It’s life. You don’t figure it out. You just climb up on the beast and ride.” Rebecca Wells' Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

6. “'I don't know if I can face this. You know. The party and the ceremony, and then the hour after that, and the hour after that....But there are still the hours, aren't there? One and then another, and you get through that one and then, my god, there's another. I'm so sick.'” Michael Cunningham's The Hours

7. “Prejudice, a dirty word, and faith, a clean one, have something in common: they both begin where reason ends.” Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman

8. "To the cheater, there is no such thing as honesty, and to Republicans the idea of serving the public good is counterfeit on the face of it — they never felt such an urge, and therefore it must not exist." --Garrison Keillor's Homegrown Democrat : A Few Plain Thoughts From the Heart of America

9. “A dysfunctional family is any family with more than one person in it.” --Mary Karr's The Liars' Club

10. "But much more often, our lives are formed by decisions within our control, though it may not feel that way" --Suzy Welch's 10-10-10: A Life-Transforming Idea

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest entry. Please feel free to follow and never miss another post by clicking here

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Thanks again for reading 
Alana

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Photo Of The Day: November 10-15

 11/10: Through The Fog
 
 11/11: Falling
 
 11/12: Vacant
 
 11/13: Friday Night Sunset 
 
 11/14: En Route 
 
11/15: Sunday Walk Sighting

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

WWW Wednesday: November 11


IMG_1384-0
 
Each week, Sam over at Taking on a World of Words asks the following three questions: 
What are you currently reading? 
What did you recently finish reading? 
What do you think you’ll read next?


What are you currently reading?

  • African American Literature 1850-1900: Charles W. Chestnutt's The Marrow of Tradition and Paul Laurence Dunbar's The Sport of the Gods
  • Amiri Baraka and the Black Arts Movement: essays and pieces from the S.O.S.--Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader
  • Civil Rights Movement: journal articles and books for class and my Historiography assignment
  • Women and Social Movements: Stephanie Gilmore's Groundswells: Grassroots Feminist Activism in Postwar America

Pleasure/Other Reads: 

Submissions, submissions, and more submissions :)


What did you recently finish reading?


  • African American Literature 1850-1900: It was Fall Break and we had to write essays, so we had a brief break from reading anything. 
  • Amiri Baraka and the Black Arts Movement: essays and pieces from the S.O.S. Reader
  • Civil Rights Movement: journal articles and books for class and my Historiography assignment
  • Women and Social Movements: Jennifer Nelson's Women of Color and the Reproductive Rights Movement

Pleasure/Other Reads: 
 
Submissions, submissions, and more submissions.



What do you think you’ll read next?


  • African American Literature 1850-1900: Paul Laurence Dunbar's Selected Poems
  • Amiri Baraka and the Black Arts Movement: Amiri Baraka's S.O.S. Poems 1961-2013
  • Civil Rights Movement: journal articles and books for class and my Historiography assignment
  • Women and Social Movements: Lisa McGirr's Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right 

Pleasure/Other Reads:  

 You guessed it: submissions, submissions, and more submissions. 


Thank you for taking the time to read my latest entry. Please feel free to follow and never miss another post by clicking here

You can also email me by clicking here or follow me at the following social media sites: 

Thanks again for reading 
Alana

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I Still Need To Watch

 

This week's Top Ten list from The Broke and the Bookish: Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I Still Need To Watch

*for this one, it's basically ten book to movie adaptations I need to see after reading the book first (I really don't like to watch a movie with a known book before reading it...I'm a little peculiar when it comes to this, but seeing what I read on the screen is a really cool experience that I don't like to miss out on.)

1. Muriel Spark's The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie: Three words: Dame Maggie Smith.

2. Stephen King's Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption: let me tell you how hard it's been to avoid the film adaptation considering that it seems to be on TNT at least once a week since forever.

3. Lionel Shriver's We Need To Talk About Kevin: I've heard good things about the book and the movie; I just haven't gotten around to it yet. 

4. Charles Dickens's Great Expectations: I read the abridged version of the book in 9th grade (kind of glad I didn't know there was a film adaptation...otherwise, probably wouldn't have read the book, which I ended up really liking)

5. Thomas Keneally's Schindler’s List: Not sure why I've stayed away from these, but I have. I hear both are brilliant. I probably should be in a right frame of mind before diving into them though. 

6. Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being: I almost watched this on one of the cable movie channels (actually, I would have, but I forgot to schedule the VCR to tape it...yep...showing my age again....) It's now in the Netflix queue and on the to-read list.   

7. Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains Of The Day: I've heard this is a good book, but I'm not familiar with what it's about. Either way, I have a policy of watching any and every movie with Emma Thompson in it. She's in this one, and that's a good enough reason to read it and see it. 

8. Cormac McCarthy's No Country For Old Men: writing that conference paper on McCarthy has caused the bug to hit me. I now want to read all of his books and see the film adaptations for the ones that have been turned into movies. I just chose No Country...since I remember that as the one that had all the Oscar buzz a few years back.  

9. Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire: I've never been able to read plays, but I found the audio version not too long ago, so I'll give it a listen before watching the movie.

10. Louisa May Alcott's Little Women: I've started the book so many times over the years, but have never made it past page 50. This is on my Winter Break To-Read List though. I will get through it this time around (I hope). 

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest entry. Please feel free to follow and never miss another post by clicking here

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Thanks again for reading 
Alana

Monday, November 9, 2015

Photo Of The Day: November 9

Memphis After Dark

Monday Musings: W.I.P. (Thesis Project)



It's crazy to think that it's already time to start thinking about writing my thesis and forming a committee. In some ways, it feels like I just got here and I'm already preparing to leave. Some days, of course, I feel like I've lived every decade of my almost two years in the program (tis the life of a grad student I supposed). 

But while I'm supposed to be thinking ahead, I still have another year before I should even be thinking about writing my thesis. However, since I have post-grad plans, everything is being pushed up so I don't have every single thing piled up to do this time next year. That being said, it's good that I've just about plotted out the collection of short stories that I want to use for my project.

This is actually the third idea I've had for a thesis project: the first one was a story that I've been working on since I was fourteen and figured having to write it for graduation would finally give me the motivation to finish what I started. The second came from a short story I wrote in my Forms of Fiction class that I absolutely fell in love with, but had a hard time developing it into a full-length story.

Third time is the charm I guess because I know what I'm doing more or less for all ten of the stories. Some are more advanced than others because I had ideas for writing them as independent short stories before realizing that with a tweak here and there, they would fit into my concept.

I haven't actually started writing yet, but my project is inspired partially by August Wilson's American Century Cycle (I'll have ten short stories total, each taking place in a different decade in the 20th century) and If These Walls Could Talk (interconnectivity-wise...each story, while independent, will somehow tie into the others (I guess that would make them interdependent???) )

For the first time in a long while, I'm excited to be writing again and can't wait to get started. I'm not sure how it's all going to turn out yet, but I am happy to at least have some kind of game plan ready to go to make what will end up being a whirlwind third year a little less chaotic.


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Thanks again for reading 
Alana

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Photo Of The Day: November 4-7

 11/4: The Long And Winding Road 
 
 11/5: As Seen On Campus
 
 11/6: Pop Arty Heart Shaped Box 
 
11/7: Saturday Night Sunset

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Photo Of The Day: November 2 and 3

 11/2: Commute Sighting 
 
11/3: Good Morning

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel

 

This week's Top Ten list from The Broke and the Bookish: Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel

*changing this one just a tad smidge bit and adding titles from authors that I've only read one book from but it's made me want to read more from them*

1.Jessmyn Ward: I had to read Salvage the Bones for AA Lit 1989-present and it's really made me want to read something else from her; I just haven't had the time to do so yet

2. Sylvia Plath: I've read The Bell Jar so many times, but I've never read her collections of poetry or her Unabridged Journals. I own the latter, but haven't read it yet.

3. Jimmy Carter: being the history geek I am, I especially love presidential history. Out of the ones we've had, Carter is one of my favorites for a multitude of reasons, but the only book I've read from his is A Remarkable Mother which is about Miss Lillian (who by the way, sounds like the coolest woman ever). It would be nice to read something more about him.

4. Patricia McCormick: I fell in love with Cut when I was in high school, but I haven't read anything else from McCormick. She has four more books to choose from, so they've been added to the (ever-growing) to-read list. 

5. John Green: Though I own Looking for Alaska (and have for quite some time) I've only ever read The Fault In Our Stars from him. I have a renewed love for YA/NA though, so I imagine that I'll be reading a lot from him in the not too distant future.

6. Zadie Smith: a friend just let me borrow White Teeth (thanks Claire!) and I already can't wait to see what she'll publish next.

7. Toni Morrison: I know I know, but I've only read Paradise so far. This one is especially bad considering I used to live with my mom who has every single one of her novels. I just never got the chance to read them.  

8. Alice Walker: I know I know (again). And I'm someone who heard about another book from her before I heard about The Color Purple. I've only read the latter though and have done so more than once...the first time when I was ten...which was...well, different for a multitude of reasons. Thankfully, I did read it again because there was so much I didn't understand the first time that I got during subsequent readings.

9. F. Scott Fitzgerald: Just got to The Great Gatsby a couple of years ago, but I need to go ahead and read more from him as my interest of literary movements in Interwar America continues to grow.

10. Jeffrey Eugenides: Loved The Virgin Suicides and its film adaptation, so it'll be cool to see what else Eugenides has written since then.


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Thanks again for reading 
Alana

Monday, November 2, 2015

Monday Musings: A Medley of Musings


A Conundrum: 

I'm faced with a conundrum of sorts: I'll have to re-take my GRE before applying for Ph.D programs. The original plan was to use the scores I used for my MFA apps, but my score isn't high enough. Thus, the conundrum: I now have options. Do I want to go straight into a Ph.D program, or do I want to serve in the Peace Corps (or another teaching overseas opportunity) first? Or vice versa. I'm not sure what I want to do and I don't have a whole lot of time to decide one way or the other.

An addition: 

Speaking of Ph.D programs, I've added a program to the perspectives list: the University of Illinois-Chicago. Yes, I'm going backward and not forward when it comes to making my final selection, but this will be my first and last time to cast a wide net when it comes to deciding where I want to go to school. 

No NaNo-ing:

So...this time every year, I say I'm going to finish the NaNo challenge and by day 10 or 11, I've petered out. This year, I'm not going to attempt it. If only because the amount of assignments that I have due this month is way too many to try to balance one more thing on top of it. Maybe I'll NaNo by myself over Winter Break. Maybe not. I just want to try to create a more organic writing experience for me without having to reach a number or be done by this date so it can get workshopped (part of my attempts to detox from writing like I did my first year and get back to writing for enjoyment instead of trying not to get eviscerated during critiques).

Tis the Season:

No, not Christmas (though I'm already starting to see commercials and decorations...#TooSoon) but registration season. Like this semester, I plan on taking four classes again. However, with a more favorable work schedule, I should have an easier go of it than I have this semester. I'll be taking my finally class for my certificate in African-American Literature and taking an addition A.A. lit class so I'll leave here having taken every class from 1850-present. I'll also be taking two more online history classes (U.S. and World History since 1945) and be two classes closer to finishing my cross-disciplinary option plan. My second year will go down as pretty crazy, but putting in the work now leaves my third year easier to get through...which is good since I'll be focused on writing my thesis and finalizing what I'm not able to do this summer concerning Ph.D applications (or teaching overseas applications). 



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Thanks again for reading 
Alana