Life Update

Junior Year Spring Quarter: Life Update 3/28 – 4/3

New quarter. New classes. New me!

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(Seriously, how cool is this?!? The new show premieres tomorrow and new episodes will be available for free on iTunes!)

After an all-English winter quarter, I’m taking a much more diverse schedule for spring: Intro to Lit (20th century), upper-div Genetics for my Biology minor, an Advanced Fiction creative writing workshop in preparation for my Honors thesis, and a Chinese History course for my GEs. Classes look promising so far. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that, after lamenting the lack of Her Campus-colonized classes like winter, I had a friend in every class! (That might be more than I could say in high school.)

I’ve been a little indulgent my first week back. In between the housemates, catching up with old friends, and Her Campus hangouts, I’ve eaten out no less than three times, with very good Mediterranean food, all-you-can-eat sushi, and Thai food. I’m bracing myself to work a little harder this time around, though–both academically and creatively.

SCHOOL RECAP: 

Obviously, most of this week has been introductory material. So far, not bad, though.

♦ The class I was most nervous about was upper-div Biology, but we started off with Mendelian genetics–I can do that!

♦ The first few weeks of Modern Lit seem focused on early 20th-century poetry, and we spent most of our time discussing a poem I really like, “I, Being Born a Woman and Distressed” by Edna St. Vincent Millay. (Also want to give a shout-out to “The Golf Links” by Sarah Norcliffe Cleghorn and “A Certain Lady” by Dorothy Parker.)

♦ 5,000-some years of Chinese history start with the only recently unearthed Neolithic civilizations, like the possibly-fabled Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties, as well as the core schools of Chinese philosophy: Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism.

♦ Advanced Fiction is really interesting–we meet only once a week, but for 3 hours at night, and it’s a smaller class than the regular workshops with only 13 students. After workshops where I’ve been first and in the middle of critique rounds, I signed up to give late runs a try. The professor is Pam Houston, a published novelist who is shaping up for a great quarter. On our first day, she had us think of “glimmers”–everyday, possibly mundane moments that stay with you and provide creative fodder. (Mine might be somewhat distasteful for some people so I apologize in advance–back in high school, I went to the bathroom and discovered a ton of blood and toilet paper in the water, figured some slob didn’t flush her menstrual mess, and flushed the toilet to do my business, then sat down and discovered a broken coat hanger on the floor.)

BOOKS/MOVIES/MUSIC RECAP:

This week was great:

I finally started the books I won in the Badass History giveaway, starting with the one I’d already had my eye on: A TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS! This YA anthology is edited by Jessica Spotswood and features short stories by such heavyweights as Marissa Meyer, Marie Lu, Beth Revis, and more. The unifying theme? Badass girls in American history. It sounds awesome and holy historical heroines, it was. There will most definitely be more words on this. (Bonus: this week a sequel was also announced, The Radical Element, with Stacey Lee!)

I watched two movies, both fantastic. GRIZZLY MAN is an astonishing documentary by Werner Herzog on the life and death of Timothy Treadwell, a bear conservationist and documentary filmmaker who spent 13 summers living amidst grizzly bears in Ketmai National Park, Alaska, against the park rangers’ admonishment, and was eventually killed and eaten by a bear along with his girlfriend in 2003. BLANCANIEVES is a Spanish black-and-white silent film (from 2011, like The Artist, one of my favorite films ever) that retells the Snow White fairy tale in 1920s Spain. It is absolutely enchanting. There will most definitely be words on this as well! 

As for music, Alex Turner and Miles Kane reunited as The Last Shadow Puppets to release their second album, Everything You’ve Come to Expect. My favorite tracks are ‘Miracle Aligner’, ‘Everything You’ve Come to Expect’, ‘Used to Be My Girl’, and ‘The Dream Synopsis’.

WRITING PROGRESS:

I finally started recalibrating my WIP for Draft 3. It’s been brutal. I’ve been using my free Scrivener trial to outline. So far it looks like new subplots, combined/cut characters, and reworked action scenes. So it goes.

I could’ve made better use of my time thus far, but the weekend’s only halfway done.

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