Wednesday, January 27

down with sameness

the soundtrack behind the Saturday yoga class I attend at the campus rec center has become distractingly familiar. 50 minutes of yoga, 50 minutes of lovely light music to go with it.

there is always The Beatles' "Blackbird."

and always a slow, haunting version of "White Winter Hymnal," with all its oddly disturbing lyrics.

and an instrumental arrangement of "Landslide," a song I don't care much for anyhow.

and this interesting mashup of of Coldplay and Taylor Swift. I like that one. but...

a part of my brain, every weekend, is listening for all of these pieces, waiting and waiting for something to not be there, or for something different to come through the speakers.

you'd think it'd be the opposite--new music selections intruding as distraction, shuffled playlists contributing to a sense of disorder.

nope.

I might be wired differently than most. sameness is not comforting for me. I like to rearrange my furniture, put different photos on the wall. my routines shift with the seasons and with the semesters. all good habits are inherently flexible.

the Saturday morning yoga routine this year has gotten disappointingly familiar, too. the instructor, who shares my first name but is at least ten years younger than I, pretty much always leads with cat-cow and spinal stretches, a nice child's pose, moves into a gentle vinyasa, a few warriors, vinyasa again, triangle, probably pyramid too, then tree poses, one last vinyasa, a plank variation or two or three, then pigeon, savasana, the end. and she'll close every practice with the same string of words, a relatively lengthy rote translation of namaste that sure, does seem profound upon first hearing, but trite after seventeen times or so--
"I honor that place in you in which the entire universe dwells; I honor that place in you which is of love, of integrity, of wisdom and of peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are One."
namaste.

the end of yoga practice is so peaceful. it's a moment you want to carry carefully with you into whatever you're about to do next.

but on Saturday mornings at the rec center here, we get a quick namaste at the end of yoga and a sudden, jarring transition to an apparently standard post-workout self-esteem building ritual: "give yourselves a round of applause for a great practice today."

so not peaceful.

maybe some people like to carry self-esteem building applause with them as they leave the gym. if you are a person of this sort, I would love to hear from you and learn about your world. me, I would rather keep things peaceful.

maybe I should fill out a few comment cards pleading for an end to the disruptiveness. would anyone else really miss that pointless round of applause if it weren't there? I doubt it.  

I might be wired differently than most. or maybe it's that I began yoga with teachers-in-training, and always had a new one leading practice every Friday at the community college where I worked. such variety, there was. one week very active, playful, power-yoga poses, and the next week very meditative chanting and breathing and focusing. I miss that. not ever knowing exactly what kind of experience yoga would be. being exposed to all sorts of yoga was pretty awesome.

but at the rec center here, there is one yoga instructor on Saturday mornings. she teaches one sort of class, a Yoga Foundations class, where nothing very different comes up from week to week.

I should visit other yoga classes, I guess. see if they lead practice differently. at the very least they probably have different playlists in the background.

Friday, January 15

spring semester, 2016

this, if all goes according to the sketchy plans I have sketched in collaboration with the English department and my advisor, will be my last semester of coursework. the last time I sit in a classroom as a graduate student.

it feels like a very different semester already. an edge. a transition.

the season and the weather seem to echo this. or at least that is the way I am going to write about it all.

today it is raining in spurts, like a chilly and unkempt spring. Tuesday's snow is long since melted. it'll be back this weekend. the universe is giving us yo-yo-ing seasons, somewhat drab all the way through, with occasional bright sunset smudges.

the trees are bare. my apartment windows open onto more distant views than they did in summer and fall. at night, more and more streetlights perpetually leak into my bedroom under the edges of the blinds. I notice the faces of buildings I have never seen from such an angle before. expanses of roads and curb and green up the hill peek out between branches. it's the same neighborhood. but different. a few days ago it was all white and grey, snow and shadow. today it's still grey, but more slick and shine, a little warmer, and soggy.

this semester feels different too, barer than others have been and yo-yo-ing in its own way. class on Mondays, teaching on Tuesdays, alternate thusly for the rest of the week. research meetings and office hours, writing time, scraps of reading, planning, list-making.

English 631 World Englishes, with Dr. Margie Berns
this is my linguistics requirement. it's been a long time since I took a class that met more than once or twice a week. World Englishes is a one-hour thrice-weekly seminar. short, but interesting. and full of students from other programs, too. it should be pretty chill and relatively basic, for my last bit of coursework ever. I am already pondering project ideas. various Englishes as used in online volunteer communities... or various Englishes as they are negotiated/tolerated in social media somehow.

English 699 Research Hours, with Dr. Patricia Sullivan
not a class, really, but a placeholder to make the registrar's office happy. the credits I earn here are up to me to direct. this is time to plan the rest of my graduate career and start writing a prospectus. what will it all be about? to help me figure that out, I'm revisiting some of my previous projects and pondering the feedback professors have given me. I feel like I'm off to a slow start, but maybe that's okay. everyone says not to compare yourself to your colleagues. so I won't. some of them have their dissertation projects outlined and their committees chosen already. I do not. but I will, eventually.

English 421 Technical Writing
I get to teach a new professional writing class this semester. my students seem pretty cool so far. they have plenty of experience to share and our discussion yesterday went pretty well. texting vs email vs. facebook, and how you figure out the best way to communicate (or not) using all these options.

I look forward to figuring out the rhythms of the next sixteen weeks. so many kinds of work-- teaching, researching, scholaring. there will be grading and analyzing and writing and reading. I need to think about making a reading list for myself. put deadlines on calendars. two more years isn't that long.

Tuesday, January 5

Blue Apron: reflections

back in November, which feels far more distant in timespace than it really is, a conversation began:
I mentioned a while back that Patti and I have been discussing food just for kicks, over in a messy google doc where I have too many distracted half-formed blabberings. it is fun though. we both love food and cooking, in our non-professional yet notably dedicated ways. so this fun idea to test out a meal subscription service fell right in line with the way brain was so increasingly fascinated by the things. they seem to be so popular, so talked-about. what does it mean?

this, "Is Blue Apron the Future of Home Cooking in America?" was one of the slightly more thoughtful, slightly (only slightly) less buzz-wordy pieces I came across. Jamie Weibe asks whether these sorts of mail-order services are "the future of home-cooked food" or simply "a mindless extravagance for wealthy Americans?"

do they have to be one or the other? likely not.

Patti and I scheduled our deliveries to come the same week, so that we could virtually cook together via Skype and talk through the one recipe our boxes had in common. she has a great write-up of her experience here. I have been slow about reporting back on my end, but I did take pictures!

they sent a little card with an apron-shaped bit of seedpaper. it's basil, it says. where shall I plant this thing? in a pot out by the back steps next spring? or in a shoe on my windowsill tomorrow?

the giant box I received had ingredients for three recipes, each one with a longer, fancier title than the one before. they are all in Blue Apron's online cookbook, so I've included direct links in case you are curious.

Tamarind-Glazed Cod with Lime Rice and Cucumber Relish (this is the one Patti also got to cook)
I had not heard of putting lime zest in rice before, but it was pretty delicious. that relish was great, too, but it made Way Too Much for the two pieces of cod and the little bit of rice. easier to precisely portion out fish and grain than whole cucumbers and jicama, I guess. 

it was fun cooking this one simultaneously as Patti did the same in her kitchen. there was a bunch of multitasking involved, and I remember we both did things in different sequences, slightly (I get very scatterbrained when I cook, sometimes, leaving things half-done and disorderly). I recorded our whole Skype conversation, in case I ever want to go back and look at it again for researchy purposes or anything. 

Beet and Barley Risotto with Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese (my favourite of the three)
this stuff was so good. but it took a good three times longer than the recipe told me it would. which knowing a thing or two about risotto, I suspected might be the case. perhaps it tasted so wonderful because I was so hungry by the time it finished cooking. strangely, my box had 3 whole beets instead of the 1 that was listed on the recipe card. not sure what that means, but I love beetroot so I will not complain.
I am determined to gather the ingredients for this one myself sometime, and make it again. perhaps I'll come back and do a price comparison when I do.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Pizza with B├ęchamel Sauce, Fontina Cheese and Arugula Salad

I quite enjoyed this pizza, and I could see myself recreating it on my own as well. at the end of it all, I had too much sauce for it--even though I stretched the dough pretty thin. in fact, I think there is still a tupperware thing of extra sauce doing nothing in my fridge. ah well. 
 
overall, I had fun with this. having a box of food to cook just show up on your doorstep is somewhat exciting, and it gives you every excuse to make a dish you've never made before. it is expensive though, as Patti's post mentions. she also pointed out just recently this breakdown comparison of Blue Apron's costs vs. other similar services. there are also the concerns about waste and carbon footprints; you can't not wonder about the environmental costs of shipping and of a thousand tiny plastic bottles, no matter how recyclable they are. 

the existence of Blue Apron and all the rest of these new companies raises plenty of questions besides those of cost, too. what gets me wondering most of all is what doesn't show up in the box, and what kinds of assumptions are being demonstrated by those decisions. how do all these lines get drawn? why is it assumed I will have salt and pepper and oil, but not oregano or ginger or a tablespoon of flour? who figured that out? why do the recipes leave me to chop and peel so many, many vegetables, but send me pre-mixed, plastic-wrapped pizza dough? chopping vegetables is counted more convenient than mixing up dough? maybe most people would agree, but it's still interesting to think about the factors behind that piece of the whole puzzle.

I may try out one more box of Blue Apron eventually, depending on what kinds of recipes show up in rotation this semester. it seems like a special-occasion sort of thing, to me. a reward or an escape from the mundane. new recipes, no need for shopping. no need to decide on which restaurant you want to eat at. an excuse to invite someone over for dinner. too bad Patti lives so far away now, or we could share Blue Apron in real life. that would be awesome.

Thursday, December 31

let the future take care of itself

presents. gifts. nows. time. times here and there. I am thankful and hopeful. it's easy to be that during these weeks of break, during this time of low obligation and high relaxation, of sleeping in and plenty of yoga and not having to go out into the dreary snow-spitting outside unless you really want to.

I am reading Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus. friend Chris sent it to me and said it was very me. I am not far into it yet, but I can see what he means. it is also reminding me a lot of my posthumanism class from last semester.

the blurbs on this paperback call Camus lyrical. and eloquent. it is a stolid kind of lyric eloquence, I think, almost plodding but just light enough to not feel like twenty pounds of paving stones.

"At the heart of all beauty lies something inhuman, and these hills, the softness of the sky, the outline of these trees at this very minute lose the illusory meaning with which we had clothed them, henceforth more remote than a lost paradise. The primitive hostility of the world rises up to face us across millennia. For a second we cease to understand it because for centuries we have understood in it solely the images and designs we had attributed to it beforehand, because henceforth we lack the power to make use of that artifice. The world evades us because it becomes itself again." 

and that reminds me of this quote:
a quote I read in Richard Power's Orfeo last summer when I should have been studying more dutifully for prelims. "Dissonance is a beauty that familiarity hasn't yet destroyed."

it comes at the same thought Camus does, a little bit. the unfamiliar is some necessary core to beauty. and alienation is part of that.

I have almost the whole Camus essay still to read though. there will likely be more quotes from it tossed into my everything notebook, as I read.


these are a $2.50 pair of goodwill shoes that I bought just before a Saturday lunch date last February. they are still sitting in my pile of shoes at the bottom of the stairs, but I think they are beyond wearing. too smushed and stretched and scruffy, lacking all the sturdiness a wearable shoe should have.

these are a not-quite-as-cheap-but-still-cheap pair of flipflops that I bought in Hawaii in 2009. I wore them past the point of unwearableness, until the sole of one split in half and tripped me as I crossed a busy intersection one day. these are not still at the bottom of my stairs in a pile of other more wearable shoes. I took photos of them and threw them out that very day.

I took photos of these trashed shoes because... because why? they seem sort of beautiful. though maybe that is more due to the backdrop of my autumn porch. I'm not sure. these shoes took me places. they became ragged and deteriorating and a little bit grimy, and thus more interesting.

time. nows. things that are here right now won't always be. shoes get worn out. everything does. there isn't any easy way of un-wearing shoes. newness. presents.

I have plenty of shoes and don't need any more. plenty of books, maybe, and for a week or so plenty of space for dreaming and sleeping in, too. what do I need? what wants will accompany me into a new January? which ones will got met and well-traveled and worn? good questions.

Wednesday, December 23

lists and dreams


eight days and a bit until a new year.

I have dozens and dozens of things to blog about. I have photos all lined up from my Blue Apron adventures (Patti has begun blogging about that already and I am way behind on my side). I have reflections on my final fall semester of coursework, and in-progress thoughts on winter break projects, and daydreams about future things. I have books I could review and places I could muse about.
when I have too many things to blog about, but haven't blogged in too long, and cannot decide where to start, it seems the best thing to do is set the vague list aside and throw something random together. photos usually work pretty well.

so. let us take a whirlwind snapshot tour of this amelia girl's past few months. summer feels both like yesterday and an entirely different country. I saw some new places. Kentucky in the spring. Michigan in May. New Orleans in June. Wisconsin in August. New England for October. 

ponds and gardens. lakes and boats.
we waded in Walden Pond. I collected a few acorns.
I saw some old places too. Indiana trails and creeks. city blocks and tucked-away parks.


and I went home for a wedding in September. met some new nieces and nephews.
my crazy brother's wedding day was perhaps the most windy day I have ever lived to see.

and I'm home again now, reshuffling and unwinding after a crazy semester, breathing in and stretching out before the next one begins.
there is snow. and chocolate. music and family.
I'll blog more about all the other stuff later. 

Thursday, November 26

give

ah, Thanksgiving. this calm little pod of a holiday to interrupt the gathering stress-storms of a soon-to-be-over semester.

I should be reading right now. How Forests Think, by Eduardo Kohn. 200 pages more to go til I'm ready to discuss the book's theories in posthumanism class on Monday.

this afternoon, there was the traditional Thanksgiving dinner-time "go around the table and announce what you are thankful for" ritual. friend Liz's dear family and friends gathered inbetween the turkey-eating and the pie-eating to make a collaborative gratitude-flavored list. it was so kind of them all to include me. I was glad to be there with such good people and such lovely hosts.

on one hand, to list all the million luxuries and privileges I am grateful for seems selfishly performative. boastful might be the best word, really. oh, look at all my abundance here. look look. it's too obvious that not everyone has so much.
so I don't want to go on and on. but I have been thinking about all the things I have learned and the people I have learned them from. family and roommates and colleagues and mentors--so many people who have shared their own skills and experience, whether in reading or baking or sewing or shopping or crafting or budgeting or art... writing... cleaning... saving... riding a bike... thinking... questioning...
those are the things I rambled about at the dinner table today as Liz's mother served me pie.

less important than all that awesome stuff is the chocolate, nice weather, blank paper, warm blankets, and washing machines. so many things. most of it shareable--especially the skills and experiences. and that is very worth being thankful for, too.

Wednesday, November 18

taste testing

from time to time I run out of podcasts that I feel eager to listen to, and let the ones I'm not so eager to listen to pile up in the little podcast app on my phone. I save those for times when I need a voice to fall asleep to. the Longform podcast guys have become falling-asleep podcasts, at this point. should I feel guilty about that? just a few years ago they were inspiring the journalistic fraction of my brain. hmm. ah well.

when I feel I have run out of all my staying-awake-and-actually-listening podcasts, I'll sometimes switch to music, but that's usually less interesting. so instead, I'll search for new podcasts. there are a ton. surely a few are worth filling my wakeful hours with. at least for an episode or two, right? to see what they're all about. give them a chance to grab me.

the other day I searched for rhetoric-related podcasts. for the sake of cramming even more relevant-to-my-degree stuff into my daily leisure time, of course. I found this one, was intrigued a bit by the way its title mirrors the well-known and longstanding NPR radio show in a rather ambitious sort of way, and tasted a few episodes. I unfortunately wasn't very into it. not sure why not. does it deserve a second chance?

more recently, this one showed up in my search results, and so far it seems more useful. shorter episodes usually = more likely to immediately entice, so that's cool. the bite-size overviews of one rhetoric-related thing at a time make it very straightforward. I've listened to three or four of these Mere Rhetoric episodes, and I think I'll keep at it. they're a good way to review stuff I learned in fundamental core classes in years gone by.

as I poked around collecting links for this post, I came across first the twitter account of Mere Rhetoric, and then via that, this article about even more rhetoric/composition podcasts. perhaps I will dip into those other two on Jen Michaels's list. I bet they are worth a try.

yet another rhetoric-focused podcast flew in with my email this week: Masters of Text. the show's most recent episode includes a segment that I myself am part of-- extra exciting! the organizers of this year's Feminisms and Rhetorics conference forwarded a message about the show from Ames Hawkins, its co-host. Ames included a bunch of us fem/rhet attendees in a piece about the conference and about making. go listen to the episode--"Vox Fabri, Vox Dea"--and see if you recognize my voice gushing about the carpentry demonstration I'd just attended.


the theme of the whole conference was making, and indeed much making of many kinds was showcased and discussed and accomplished over those four days. that carpentry demo, for instance, which was run by Maria Klemperer-Johnson, a contractor and entrepreneur from Hammerstone School: Carpentry for Women and Barbara George of Kent State University. we learned about measuring tapes and building conventions and how to drill holes in blocks of wood. power drills, at an academic conference! pretty awesome.



I don't know what I will do with this little double-knobbed board, but I made it. I'll let you know when I find a way to make it useful for hanging things on.

Maria came to my yoga panel, too-- she in her contractor's uniform and colleague/friend Jackie and I in our yoga outfits. we presented an interactive yoga-discussion, which went really well. some of the attendees were familiar with yoga, some were not, but we all talked a bit about crow pose and self-talk and the representativeness (or lack thereof) of #yogagirl, and the embodied, meditative, empowering aspects of writing and moving.

friend Jackie is working on a yoga-running-writing dissertation. it sounds like really great and interesting work. I'm really glad I got to work with her on the panel we put together. where she goes next with it will be way cool to watch.

I am not a runner. and I like yoga plenty but do not feel so very comfortable talking about it as one would probably want to be before writing a massive dissertation about it.

what I keep circling back to is food. food seems so central, so communal and yet so dividing at times. so universal and so personal all at once. maybe I should start looking into good podcasts about food. friend Patti and I have a ongoing messy google doc conversation about food and cooking going on at the moment, which despite its messy randomness is providing some really useful momentum for me. so thank you for that, Patti. I think it will be cool to watch where and how all my food-related thoughts go from here.

Monday, November 9

ungrounded

the woman next to me was reading The Martian. she remarked to the man beside her that it was a good book. ebook, that is.

outside the window (I always like to sit by a window on the airplane—always) the clouds looked like ice. tundra and snow crags. so solid. I know in my head that clouds are the furthest thing from solid, but it still looked like if the plane wanted to stop for a minute, we could have all gone out and danced on top of the sky.
of course we didn't. we couldn't have.

instead we flew, we landed, we waited around in a Dallas airport for a while. we eventually got on another plane and we continued on our way to Phoenix.

during the flight I alternately...
1. read from Tim Ingold's Being Alive,
2. worked on winding a few loopy hanks of handspun yarn into significantly-less-likely-to-tangle balls,
3. read from Felicia Day's memoir You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost),
and 4. looked out the window.

the southwest looks very brown and dry, and veined with dusty little crevices, most of it.
but there are pretty blue ridges off in the distance, casting shadows and halos.
finally the cracked, weathered wilderness gives way to artificial green bits. propped up human civilizations in the middle of a desert expanse. as we approached our landing, I noticed all the bright blue orbs of back-yard swimming pools and thought about all the infrastructure that makes so many separate household oases possible.

Ingold's book = everyday everything dipped in anthropology, and one of his observances involves the difference between transport and wayfinding. technologies like cars and trains and flying machines allow us to skip the patient, careful wayfinding part of travel and be transported from there to here, no fuss, no footprints, no in-between. I thought about this a lot on my flight to Phoenix and my flight home again. does calling the plane where I'm sitting an in-between of its own change the equation at all? does it put kinks in Ingold's dichotomy?

I don't know. probably not. I don't have to think about where the plane is going. I don't decide much about its journey. my decisions only concern what beverage the stewardess brings me and which ebook to let my eyes wander over. the school stuff I should be focused on? or the funny memoir of an actress geek?

reading used to be such a brilliant escape for me. writing, too. those worlds out there where things can be different and stories have shapes... pages where plot lines coalesce into solid art...

all my academic reading is not like that. academic writing is not like that either. what threads of escape there are in it—into new ideascapes or grand what-ifs or theoretical castles in the distance—come second to the confrontation of the scholarship. it's asking you to evaluate it, to take notes on it, to judge and weigh and respond to it. academic stuff wants to be used for something. it wants to work. it wants to accumulate citations.

I liked Ingold's book. his other book, Lines, was great too. unlike Lines, this one seemed long. but it has a whole chapter (chapter 3) about the uniqueness and value of being barefoot, and again, how technologies (shoes, in this case) have interrupted our connection to the earth in an unignorable way.

being in an airplane is perhaps the most spatially disconnected I have ever been from the planet. thinking about that may or may not get me anywhere.

the clouds melted, eventually, into cornsilk and cotton, less solid-seeming, more easily dissipated. not for dancing on. my yarn, eventually, ended up in neat spheroids, and my books, eventually, brought me to their closing pages.

I, eventually, hope to walk around barefoot more often. but spring time is still far, far away from here.

Tuesday, October 20

a string of well-spent days


some things are beautiful. and some things aren't. which is which really depends on where and how and when one looks at them. and who the one is.

friend Sherri today mentioned the existence of wooden bow ties. for the most part, I find them pretty ridiculous-looking. but maybe--somewhere in all the surprisingly extensive mass of so much crafted hipster neckwear--there are a few that look kind of lovely. like maybe this one.

depending on when and where and who you are, you may have seen the state of Maine. maybe through smudgy car windows. maybe from the slopes of mountains or ocean shores or city intersections.

I went there last week for the first time and saw it from all these points.
it is more than kind of lovely this time of year. I dare you to disagree.
friend Sam and I hiked a bunch. first, three (and a half ish?) trails in Acadia National Park. the Great Head Trail out around one of the park's peninsulas, then the way-too-crowded Beehive Trail, some of the Bowl Trail to skirt around a shiny inland lake, and most of the Gorham Mountain Trail. it was the most gorgeous October day. why did we have to quit hiking?
well, that afternoon we had to meet Eric in Bar Harbor. he spent the day climbing a bunch of ocean cliffs. and right after that we had to find Stephen King's house and eat lobster and drive north.
but I want to go back someday. let's pause fall-time, and life, for longer than a two-day break. I could spend way more time breathing in the ocean and blue and green and moss and forest.

after Acadia, we went up to Baxter State Park. we camped outside a town called Millinocket. where the highways are haunted.  
we hiked some more. clambering over rocks, trying to avoid the mud.
another gorgeous October day of course, drifting clouds, gentle sun.
it was nothing less than magical. the wind was wild. the world was wrapped up in colors, streaked with brilliance.
my shoes got muddy, my arms and legs collected some scratches, and all my muscles are still a tiny bit sore.

all this awesome hiking in Maine was sandwiched with nigh-insufferable amounts of driving and driving and driving. along our way, we stopped to visit genius brother John and his family. we took a moment to see Walden Pond in Massachussetts, where I stole a few acorns. nearer to home we veered off to see Kirtland, Ohio.

many miles covered, beauties appreciated, and memories made. 

Thursday, October 8

still somewhere


{ a corner of the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wisconsin. late summer 2015 }

heart in my throat.

that's a cliche figure of speech, not one I've used in description before. choking on your own life, your own inner core. very cliche, but it feels new to me. and maybe all the idiom dictionaries say it means extreme nervousness or fear. for me though, that part of the cliche doesn't apply. this feeling is not connected to the mild terror I feel about having to decide--actually decide for my very own self in some very focused and purposeful way--what to write a dissertation about and then figure out which faculty members will best be able to help me write it. this heart-in-my-throat-ness is rather a feeling with no meaning. not nerves, not fear, not sympathy, not sadness.

surely it's connected to something, but I cannot tell what.

this, starting this fall, is year three.

it's been a long summer, a long year. a long way since January and home and crafts. I have not stayed in one place like this since... oh goodness-- even this long in one place? in one town? it was early 2002. high school. I was eighteen. three years isn't so long. three years isn't hard to look back across. but since my long-ago high school life it's been snippets of much less time:

one year in Logan, Utah
one year in Exmouth, Devon
two years in Logan, Utah
three quarters of a year in Kidder, Missouri
half a year in Seattle, Washington
eighteen months in Alberta, Canada
half a year in Seattle again
two years in West Jordan, Utah
two years in Lubbock, Texas

and now...

now it's year three of my phd. three years in this cozy Lafayette, Indiana place. three straight years with only small breaks for visiting parents and siblings, for wandering in new cities and new woods, and a bit of going to conferences.

plenty of the things they told us about year three have proven true enough. I am in a daze and not sure where to work, what to focus on. I do feel very daunted. shaky about the future, even the future of three weeks away. I am sick of coursework on a level I did not think would ever be possible. even posthumanism class in some moments seems to slap me across the face with impossible drudgery.

I left the book in my office or I'd take a photo of this, but you'll have to trust me that on its last page, at the end of what Katherine Hayles has to say about How We Became Posthuman, I penciled in an awe-struck "will I ever write a book like this?"

and underneath that: "how?"

our next book for posthumanism class is Karen Barad's Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning.

I have read the preface and am already asking, again, "will I ever write a book like this? could I?"

a phd is supposed to be daunting, I guess. they don't want to hand them out to just anyone. you have to climb a good number of very tall staircases. wondering. climbing. uncertain. climbing. reading. climbing. writing. wondering.
“There are no solutions; there is only the ongoing practice of being open and alive to each meeting, each intra-action, so that we might use our ability to respond, our responsibility, to help awaken, to breathe life into ever new possibilities for living justly.”
   — Karen Barad. Meeting the Universe Halfway (x)