well march was a wild one, wasn’t it? what is normally my craziest month of the year turned into quite the opposite due to the pandemic. rather than working 20 out of 22 days – including nights and weekends – we cancelled all of our programming and moved parent orientations online and encouraged people to work from home as much as possible. i am still adjusting to the new schedule and figuring out how to continue engaging with our students, but i am super grateful to have a stable job, a safe home, and to continue to be in good health.
a week in new york, including 4 days with kat, alex, lauren, and jeremy during which we did all the things / an opportunity to slow down and take stock of my privileges / a lot of reading and cooking and zoom happy hours
two weeks of working remotely, social distancing, and self-quarantine meant that i read a lot in march.
just kids by patti smith. i have had this on my shelf for a few years and figured the best time to break it open was ahead of a trip to new york. i loved reading about new york through the eyes of smith, and i tried to walk a few of the routes she mentions while i was in the city. i had heard of both her and robert mapplethorpe but admittedly did not know very much about either of them, so i enjoyed learning about them as they discovered and learned about one another. smith is a beautiful writer, and i found myself moved more than i expected by their story.
it is our choices, harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
harry potter and the chamber of secrets by j.k. rowling. somewhere along the way i loaned this book to someone and never got it back, so i picked up a copy from the strand while i was in new york. even while on vacation and running around and catching up with friends, i finished this in a matter of days. admittedly chamber of secrets is my least favorite of the series, but it’s still a great book. there were definitely parts i had forgotten, and i loved getting to meet dobby again. i will forever be in awe of rowling’s ability to tell a story.
born a crime by trevor noah. i have had noah’s audiobook downloaded on my phone for years, but i picked up a copy of his autobiography while at the strand and soared through it when i got back from new york. i could hear his voice as i was reading, and i could so easily imagine him sitting across from me telling me his story. i loved reading about his mother and learning about the impact she has had on his life, and i did not want it to end. one day soon i will listen to the audiobook – he reads it – so that i can experience it again.
to repair the world: paul farmer speaks to the next generation by paul farmer. i have had this on my shelf for years, but when i was scrolling my bookshelf on day two of self-quarantine my eye fell on it and i realized this was probably the perfect time to read it. this collection of farmer’s speeches from commencement ceremonies and award ceremonies and conferences was super easy to read, and his commentary on the intersection of social justice and global health is so timely to what we are currently experiencing.
you look like a thing and i love you: how artificial intelligence works and why it’s making the world a weirder place by janelle shane. this was one of my next big idea club selections from last year, and i finally picked it off my shelf and read it in mid-march. i still don’t fully understand ai – nor was that the end goal for the book – but i did learn a lot, including that ai is still reliant on the humans who create it so we don’t need to worry about the robots taking over. yet. and i always appreciate a book that includes drawings and charts and comics.
the girl with the louding voice by abi daré. a recent book of the month selection, daré’s debut novel took me on a roller coaster of emotions. i knew within the first chapter that it would break my heart, infuriate me, and somehow also lift me up and give me hope, and it certainly did all of those things. told through the voice of 14-year-old adunni, daré’s debut novel about the dichotomies of life in nigeria is so well done, and i look forward to reading more of her work in the future.
some words are spoken and not heard. because the ears cannot accept them, the eye seems to see them.
a song flung up to heaven by maya angelou. the final installment of angelou’s chronological autobiographies, this book follows her journey back to the states from ghana and how she handles the assassinations of both malcolm x and martin luther king, jr, two men with differing tactics who both had profound impacts on her life and who both trusted her immensely. it wraps up as she sits down to write the opening lines of i know why the caged bird sings. i have loved learning more about all the things angelou did in her life and getting a glimpse into how her mind worked. the seventh and final book, mom & me & mom, dives deeper into her relationship with her mother throughout her life; i look forward to reading it later this year.
currently reading: just started harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban. it’s my favorite of the series, and i am trying to both take my time and enjoy it while also devouring it as quickly as possible.
the best things i watched.
the aforementioned social distancing also meant i had a lot of time for tv shows and movies that have been living in my queue for ages.
i finally watched three identical strangers on hulu. i am still blown away at the things that the adoption agency and the psychiatrists got away with, especially since they never published the study and it seems like it was all for nothing. if you’ve not yet watched it, i highly recommend it.
i am also continuing with my rewatch of seinfeld and watched star wars episode i: the phantom menace to kick off my rewatching of the entire series in chronological order.
the best things on the interwebs.
these two kids put on a cello concert for their self-isolating neighbor and i cried.
this is what concerns me the most about the lockdown in india. it’s going to take them a long time to recover from all the things going on.
chrissy teigen officiated the wedding of two of her daughter’s stuffed animals and it is everything you need right now. i’ve watched it twice. no shame.
dolly parton will be reading us bedtime stories for the next 10 weeks. we don’t deserve her.
happy april, friends. sending you hugs and good vibes and hoping you and your families remain safe and healthy.
note: the amazon links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase through the links i earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. thanks!