Monday, April 21, 2008

Catching Up

Whew! My head is spinning. I've made up a test and graded a class worth of essays in the last couple of hours, and on top of that I have an interview for the permanent full-time version of my temporary full-time job on Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 eastern. Cross all your parts. I could REALLYYYY use some benefits and a guarantee that I won't be jobless when the next semester rolls around.

A while back, Kim from Bold. Blue. Adventure passed along the Blogging Friends Forever Gold Card, a sweet gesture to tell me she likes my blog and plans to continue reading. I have a boatload of blogs on my sidebar, all of which I will read as long as the bloggers keep cranking out new material. Off the top of my head, here are the bloggers that I'm passing the BFF along to:

  • Heather F. from A High & Hidden Place because if you hadn't noticed by now, we're connected at the bloggy hip. I love her to pieces.
  • Lisa from Bluestalking Reader is a constant inspiration to me in my writing and is constant entertainment.
  • Nancy from Bookfoolery & Babble is a long time blogging buddy from my Yahoo book discussion groups, and I couldn't be happier that she jumped on the blog train.
  • Amanda A. the kickass librarian/poet/mom extraordinaire. It just doesn't get any hipper than her.
  • And a new blog that I haven't yet introduced to the bloggy public: Book-It Blogspot & Zine, the brainchild of one my very favorite people ever. Dr. Susan Stewart was my thesis director and mentor, and she remains a close friend (we burn up the phone lines at least once a week). She's started Book-It, along with another prof of mine, Dr. Karen Roggenkamp, as a place to discuss children's and YA fiction, their respective scholarly specialties. The site will feature columns and reviews from middle and high school students, along with undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and outsiders like myself. I'll be writing a column for them coming soon! I'll keep ya posted.

And I can't forget Iliana, and Danielle, and Chris, and Purl, and Dewey, and Andi, and....

You get the point. Too many great bloggers that will be my BFFs. I love YOU ALL.

Next, in her recent "Living Responsibly" post, AndiLit asked about the five most important issues that I am focusing on - at least for today. I would say:

  1. The environment. Like Andi, I am incredibly focused on the environment today, and for me, it's not a passing fancy. I remember in my younger years, the first time recycling was hip, I jumped on the save planet Earth bandwagon in a big way. I read books about habitat conservation, animal extinction, etc. etc. The more recent wave of environmentalism simply stokes my fervor all the more. Although, all these years later, I'm far more concerned about the small daily changes I can make to positively affect the environment--reusable shopping bags, earth-friendlier bulbs, recycling.

  2. Local economy. I live in a small, rural town, and it's been affecting to see how stunted my local economy is. While corporations are chugging away and steadily hacking down the charm and ingenuity of the American Everyman, I try my best to revolt. I prefer to buy locally whenever possible whether it's produce, books, clothing, or housewares.

  3. Education. Because it's my business baby! In some ways the area I live in now is more affected by lack of education. Certainly the students I teach are wonderful and motivated for the most part, but many of them have been at a dramatic disadvantage for most of their lives because of poor and failing education. While No Child Left Behind doesn't seem to be helping in this particular area (or many more for that matter, I would guess), I can. By really talking to my students, by presenting material that is valid to their lives, I hope I can bring them increased interest in education and hopefully they'll pass it along.

  4. The American political climate. I'm more enraged, appalled and generally disgusted by American politics than ever before. I've never claimed to be a fan of the Bush administration, and as a result I rally for my candidate of choice (see sidebar). It's not only a candidate thing, though. It's a knowledge thing. This goes back to education, but I try to present information that can hopefully taunt my students into reading, investigating, and making up their own minds when it comes to politics. My ultimate hope is that they become more informed individuals and that they will carry their values to the polls.

  5. The humanities. There's a terrible epidemic in this country called "vocationalism." Along with it goes a lagging appreciation for the arts and humanities, and a disproportionate push toward the sciences and other "practical" studies. Not that practical is bad, nor is the motivation to get a degree in preparation for a specific career, but the slow death of a broad-based education that seeks to produce well rounded people is a tragedy. Let's all wear "I *heart* the Classics Department" t-shirts together, shall we?

Thanks to Andi for the push to put some of my passions down in writing. I could've written a veritable book about each one, but as it is, you get a drive by version.


  1. If those "I *heart* the Classics Department" T-shirts ever come into being, count me in on the fashion show!


  2. Your famous former thesis direction who uses the coolest books in her classes? I am so checking out Book It Blogspot & Zine.

    I'm very much with you on #1 and #5. I'd wear one of those shirts.

  3. I love your "Living Responsibly" list, Andi. Each one of those items spoke to me.

    In some ways, I feel like the future of this country is growing dark, but in the face of that darkness, there's a palpable growing energy among people. It's inspiring to be talking about these things, and to be talking about making actual changes to our lifestyles for ourselves and our community. I love the way you're thinking about it, and I am so on board with you!

  4. Hello. Just stumbled here via a blog crawl. I'm brand new to all this so find it both exhilerating and exhausting. I'm just wanting to say I'm with you on every count, but especially on issues surrounding local economy, and also the current politcal climate (horrendous), and the environment. What do you read in these regards? Michael Pollan? others? always looking for good books on these subjects. Thanks. TJ

  5. All the good parts are crossed, as always, for you. Even though I didn't get a Gold Card... ;-P

  6. Thanks for posting on this Andi. I heart you for all these posts, especially the last one.

    I send you good wishes for the interview, and positive energy from the Obama rally I attended in PA on Saturday. Aside from Bono, he's the man I'd most like to have fling spittle at me.

  7. Vocational courses help people to become workers. A real education helps them to become well rounded human beings.

  8. Oooh, I'm so with you on the vocationalism vs. humanities thing. I read an article once in which the author argued that liberal arts educations were no longer necessary and, indeed, incompatible with current American culture. Made me so mad.

  9. Awww! I love you too man!

    I'll be thinking of you Wed at 4. Marking it on my calendar so I won't forget. Although I know you'll be smashing.

    I bought some reusable shopping bags from Walmart! And I will be so happy when our local farmer's market opens up. It's only like a mile from my house! Yay for free veggies!!

  10. Okay, now, the veggies aren't free. I meant FRESH. Gah, I need some caffeine.

  11. Fingers, toes, arms and legs crossed for your interview. How can they not love you - they do know you don't they? :)

  12. AWWW. Thanks! I feel the same way. And everything is crossed for you!

  13. Will be checking out Book It Blogspot & Zine!
    And best of luck on the interview Andi!

  14. Good luck on the interview, Andi! finger crossed....and your post on the five things you are passionate about was really well-thought out and presented. I left mine on Andi Lit's post. I want a Classics t-shirt by the way (should they ever get made), as an English Honors BA graduate, I would gladly promote reading and learning!!!! and the arts, whole-heartedly. thanks for taking the time to tell us your passions.

  15. It's just 4.00 on Wednesday here in the UK as I write, so even though it's few hours early, I'm thinking of you in advance. If they've any sense they'll give you the job as you walk through the door.

  16. Hi, Andi--and thanks for (a) finally giving me a full name:) and (b) talking about our blog. Can't wait for you to contribute a piece to Book-It. And I came up with a catchy phrase: Book-It With Us, Won't You? I added it to the bottom of our pages. Because I have nothing else to do. Riiiggghhtt.


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