This past month (February 2020) was utterly insane! I was on the go non-stop with traveling out of town on weekends. And, you can probably guess where this may go…traveling is not conducive to a good reading month. Well, at least it isn’t for me. So, rather than have a February Reading Wrap-Up, I’m going to have a February Non-Reading Wrap-Up. Let me tell you a little bit about my month!
On February 1st, I posted this rather ambition TBR (To Be Read) stack to my instagram. I had planned to read:
1.) The second book in The Expanse Series by James S. A. Corey, Caliban’s War
2.) & 3.) Two ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) sent by the lovely Minotaur Books: Tasha Alexander’s The Shadow of Vesuvius and Charles Finch’s The Last Passenger.
4.) & 5.) One backlist title and one ARC sent by BookSparks for author Alexandra Monir’s online book tour. The Final Six is the first in the series and The Life Below was just published in February. The book tour was for TLB.
6.) Another title is the final book, Ruin and Rising, in a Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy. I’ve been reading this trilogy since November. I figured if I broke it up over the course of three months I wouldn’t get burned out. The only thing that has happened is I haven’t been able to finish said trilogy.
7.) The last book on my list was Woven in Moonlight, which debut author Isabel Ibanez was kind enough to send me back in January.
Unfortunately, my brain and eyes were a little bit larger than the actual time I had. I did, however, get one book read: Dallas Woodburn’s The Best Week that Never Happened (see review here.)
But, what, might you ask, took up so much time during the month of February?
Well, let me tell you…
First, there was my teaching responsibilities. Fellow instructors know the drill… come up with, write, and give lessons, grade papers, field emails, and routinely run through WTF? went wrong with the lesson because not a single student seems to understand what you were trying to teach them. Oh, and I had to get a teaching portfolio together; I had to get a teaching philosophy written, my CV updated, a teaching reflection written, my syllabus, paper examples, and prompts together.
Next, I had my personal class obligations. That meant a little reading about academic publishing and rhetoric and composition as well as little writing on those subjects. Don’t forget to add a smidge of wearing my fancy shmancy imposter syndrome suit. You should see me. I wear it well.
However, those two things–aside from the teaching portfolio–are typical of my months during Fall and Spring semesters. What wasn’t typical is that fact that something major happens during the month of February almost every year…
Yes, Mobile, AL Mardi Gras. I may no longer live in Mobile, but I still love the Mardi Gras season. I just passed my third year of being an associate member of a women’s non-parading organization.
Our ball was an absolute blast! The theme was “Where in the world is Carmen?”, which played off the name of our Queen. Different groups dressed in costume to represent different countries so we could explore the world during our tableaux trying to find Carmen.
However, since I’m only an associate member, I got to dress up in a beautiful floor length gown, wear elbow length gloves (not pictured), a Mardi Gras mask, and beads. We also got to eat at an unlimited buffet, partake in the open bars, and dance the night away to a live band. If you haven’t experienced a Mobile Mardi Gras ball before, you most definitely need to! Especially since Mardi was founded in Mobile…sorry New Orleans, we’ll never stop fighting you on that topic.
The following weekend I had my cousin’s family bridal shower. During Christmas break, she asked me to be a bridesmaid and I obviously said yes! How could I not say yes to standing by her side on her big day?
I got a wedding dress made out of toilet paper, but ultimately ended up looking more like to mummy bride. They went hella conservative with my dress. My sister at least got a strapless TP dress.
But, all in all, it was a good time. I got to see family I don’t see too often, and I got to sharpen my charcuterie board skills.
Last but most definitely not least…
And probably my biggest accomplishment of the year…I presented scholarship at my very first conference! It was exciting and nerve-wracking all at once. The paper I presented is titled Imagined Indias in Rudyard Kipling’s Kim and Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. I argue that Rushdie’s postcolonialist text responds to Kipling’s colonialist text by filling in the blanks of and correcting Kipling’s gross misrepresentation of the British’s colonization in India. I connect magical realism, power and authority, and mimicry and imitation to show how both author’s create an India that is based off of “outside” visualizations of India.
Well, that was my February: traveling, partying, celebrating, and presenting. I hope I don’t have another action packed month like that for a while because I don’t do busy-busy. How was your month? Did you get a lot of reading done? Or, were you like me and had an event filled month that took up a lot of time?
Let’s talk in the comments!