Michael Chabon keeps popping up in my feeds. First it was random mentions on Twitter (I didn’t pay much attention to those). Then it was the much-lauded essay about attending Paris Fashion Week with his son, Abe. I eventually read and loved the piece, but didn’t do any further research. Today it was a Buzzfeed piece by Doree Shafrir. I read it in fascination, slowly falling in love with this funny, thoughtful, geeky author.
Each time I saw his name, a memory niggled. I can very clearly see a thick, brightly-colored book on the shelf in my local library. My memory thinks that it is called Summerland. My memory also thinks that Michael Chabon wrote it. But each time that I read about him, I am less sure. There’s no mention of this book in the Twitter posts, the essay, the profile. The more I know—about his literary connections, about his current work—the less he seems like a man who would have written the middle grade book, which, if my memory serves me correctly, was about baseball. I start to wonder if I’m remembering the wrong author’s name. At one point, I even think I might be confusing the title with Ally Condie’s haunting middle-grade, Summerlost.
Finally, I resort to Wikipedia to confirm my very specific but now doubtful memory. The world’s free encyclopedia confirms that I’m right: Michael Chabon is the author of Summerland. It’s about a magical quest and baseball plays a big role.
I click through the references to see what reviewers of the time thought about Summerland. They’re not complimentary.
And these discoveries, while they reassure me that my memory for books is exactly as good as I expect it to be, trouble me. Figuring out why requires a bit of a journey. Continue reading
I’d barely gotten seated at the doctors’ office when the receptionist asked, “How old are you?” I smiled and told her I was 22. As expected, she immediately laughed and told me that I looked like I was 15 or 16. I explained that I get that a lot.
5 minutes later, the nurse asked about my emergency contact. I gave his name and number. Then she asked, “Is that your father?” No, it’s my husband.
This kind of thing happens to me a lot. I look young, apparently.
Oh, you’ll be thankful for it when you’re my age! You’ll be grateful for that someday! Continue reading
[Since I haven’t done this in awhile, a quick explanation. I collect quotes from a variety of places, but don’t have a good way of sharing or processing them. This series is my way of sharing what inspires and challenges me with others.]
It’s easy to pretend that the dominant narrative is insightful, based in reality and in sync with what we wish it was. Denying it doesn’t make it go away, though.
We can’t easily change the dominant narrative that people have about us, we certainly can’t do it by insisting that our customers or colleagues bring more nuance to the table.
Instead, we can do it through action. Vivid, memorable interactions are what people remember. Surprises and vivid action matter far more than we imagine, and we regularly underinvest in them.
Also, long titles have a long and glorious history, so don’t judge.
Seriously though, why read children’s literature? Why does a college student check books out of the children’s section of her local library? Continue reading
Do you ever wish you could give people a reality check? Really high on my list of said people would be Facebook couples. You know the ones I’m talking about. So, things I would tell them, if I could.
1. Literally no one cares about the 67 billion nearly identical and/or “cool” couple photos you post. Except maybe your mother/grandmother.
2. Nobody wants to read daily mushy statuses. We get it. You’re “happy”. You have a girlfriend/boyfriend. Now please shut up and stop telling us.
3. Private messages. Text messages. Email. Phone calls. There are a million other ways to tell them any of those things you posted on your significant other’s wall. Ways that will not trigger my vomit reflex.
4. Speaking of posts on walls – if you insist on posting about your separation anxiety (for the 50 minutes your bf/gf is in class), I will judge you. Not sorry.
5. If you insist on posting about your separation anxiety over the summer, I will laugh scornfully at your pain and refer you to my friends whose spouses are on duty overseas.
There it is. 5 things I would tell Facebook couples if I could. In case you’re wondering, this is not single bitterness either – I am happy in a relationship and I choose not to sicken my Facebook friends with it. And yes, I realize that I can hide/unfriend them and I do take those steps. But don’t you ever just want to tell people how it is???
/End rant. What do you guys think about relationships and social media? I barely scratched the surface here!
You know that saying about having the “best of both worlds”? I’m feeling it…in reverse. I don’t know where my home is anymore. Whether I’m at school or at “home”, I miss the other one. At “home”, I’m surrounded by strangers who have known me my whole life. At school, I’m just surrounded by strangers. At “home”, everything is comfortable, familiar. But I built habits and memories at school too. I miss my church there. I miss early morning walks. I miss working out with my best friend. But when I’m at school, I miss my little sister. I miss walking my dog. I miss the guy I love.
I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it will probably be this way for all of my college career. It is a strange waiting period – my parents’ home is no longer fully mine, but neither can I start building a home yet. I used to think that I wanted adventure, I wanted to go places. Nowadays, what I really want is a home – somewhere I feel is always mine, with someone who loves me. I used to think that I wanted a career. I had grand plans for going places, making a name for myself. Now I just want to build a home, cook for my husband, raise my kids. It’s strange how growing up changes our priorities…
I go back to school in about a month. I’m excited! I want to see my friends again. I have a crazy schedule this semester and I cannot wait to push myself again. But I dread it. I hate goodbyes. I’ll leave my little sister behind, missing her goofiness and the way she is always there for me. I’ll leave him behind and try not to stare wistfully at all the attached-at-the-hip couples at school. I’m torn in half – and I don’t see it changing for another few years. Sometimes growing up hurts….but I wouldn’t trade it. I just throw myself in and enjoy every moment I can.
My first year of college is almost over. Let that sink in….do you have any idea how far away this has seemed? All the times during childhood that college was only a far-off dream…and now my first year is done! With the finish line looming and various academic pressures removed from my brain, I have started brainstorming a number of posts about my conclusions from this first year. I say a number of posts because there is so much to tell that one post would inevitably be TL:DR.
So, what illustrious topics will this series of posts cover? Allow me to whet your appetite!
In no specific order:
friends * growth * academics * personality changes * responsibility * distance and relationships * respect * family
I plan to write most of those posts in the next few weeks, interspersed with my usual commentary on literature and some issues that came up in my studies. In just over a week I will be back home with loads of free time! Totally kidding…I will be home, but not with free time….the full-time job and 15 credits of online classes will be running my life.
Other students….observations on the end of the year? Is it stressful? Fulfilling?
Readers in general, any of the topics I mentioned seem especially interesting? Comment and let me know. 🙂 I might make it my first post!