This Month of Grad School Was Brought to You By…

So I had an idea to get me posting on this blog again. Something that might not take the normal amount of effort, but might end up being something fun for you guys to read and for me to look back on.

So the grand idea is this: at the end of every month of grad school (starting in February 2019), I’ll post a list of what’s been getting me through the grind–the writing, the reading, the research, the prepping to teach, the teaching, the grading, the tutoring, all the “ings.” Grad school, so far, is one of the hardest, weirdest, most joyful things I’ve ever done. I’ve never felt so unsure of myself. I’ve never felt so confident in my abilities as a writer. I’ve never felt smarter. I’ve never felt so…not smart. I’ve never felt more inexperienced. I’ve never felt surer of my career.

You get the idea.

In short, grad school is a hot mess, but it’s the best hot mess I’ve ever stumbled into. I want to start documenting it properly, and what better way to document my life at this moment than with a list of the things I’m loving right now?

Let’s start! This should be fun.

My Desk At School 

My office/desk at school is the best. I’ve dubbed the space my Little Corner of Happiness, and my Little Corner of Happiness is growing and growing with trinkets from friends, postcards from travels, and piles of readings and sticky notes. Here’s a picture:

I look forward to getting my life together in this office every morning before I teach. I also love when students come to my office for conferences or to chat. We almost always have a conversation about Chip, my pencil mug, and the conversation sets a great tone for the meeting.

I love you, Little Corner of Happiness.

Maggie Rogers

Oh my word, I’m loving Maggie Rogers’ music. I “discovered” her this month when her newest album came out and it was all over my Twitter/Instagram feed. I gave the album a listen and I was hooked. The album, Heard it in a Past Life, is so, so good. She’s got a folksy quality to her voice, but the music she sings to is so upbeat and “dancey.” It’s perfect running music, perfect writing music.

Here’s a link to my favorite song, “Fallingwater.”

Exploring

A friend recently came to visit (hi, Allyssa!), and when company comes to town, you take ’em places! Exploring for a weekend made me realize how much my region has to offer–and how much I haven’t seen of it. So–exploring renewed my soul, exhausted my body/mind in the best way, and made me hungry for more.

Also, I got a new mug during our travels; I’m always pumped about a new mug. I got it from an art museum, and it has a quote by Mary Cassatt, an impressionist painter, printed on the side. The quote reads, “A woman should be someone, not something.”

Heck yes. Sipping my morning cup of coffee from that mug feels like consuming a warm cup of empowerment.

Sparkly Folders

I’m all about cute school supplies. I know plain stuff works just as well–often better–but, heck, I need some sparkle in my life, so I picked up two sparkly folders at Walmart on a shopping trip last month. One of the best decisions of my MFA, let me tell ya.

I love how the sparkles catch the light when I pull them out for class. I love how they glitter under the yellow glow of my lightbulbs in my apartment, in my living room as they sit on my desk. Can they hold a lot? No. Do they hold what I need? Yes.

Do they enrich my life? One hundred percent.

Astrology Chats & Charts

One of my friends (hi, Courtney!) and I have been into chatting about our astrology charts (is that the terminology?) lately, and I’m having so much fun with it. She’s my personal astrologer (AKA, she knows a lot more than me so she helps me out when it comes to figuring out what means what), and we have learned so much. I’m a Taurus sun, an Aquarius moon, and a Scorpio rising. Neat stuff.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

I recently bought an Amazon Fire TV Stick to convert an old TV into a smart TV, and holy cow it’s one of the best investments I’ve made. I love, love, love, love how I can play Spotify on my TV now. With that nifty little Fire Stick, I can transform my living room into the ideal writing space soundtracked by a perfect playlist–usually instrumental music, Broadway playlists, a few country artists (really just Kacey Musgraves or the Dixie Chicks at the moment), or the Waitress musical soundtrack, because I’m forever and ever obsessed.

Also, the Fire Stick is Alexa-enabled. I’ve recently discovered I’m obsessed with having conversations with Alexa, and that’s probably a bad thing. We’re pals. We like to catch up.

I promise I’m not crazy.

Ellie, My Dog, Especially When She’s Sleepy & Super Cute

Ellie’s always getting me through, but lately she’s been super extra cute, especially when it’s late-ish at night and I’m still reading or typing away and she curls up beside me on the couch and sleeps and smells all sleepy. That sounds weird–“smells all sleepy.” Ellie has a sleepy smell, and I love her sleepy smell.

Ok, I promise I’m not super weird. I’m just weird enough to go to grad school…

😉

I also love Ellie when she first wakes up in the morning. We’re kindred spirits–we don’t dislike mornings, but we’re definitely slow starters, a little pokey when it comes to attacking the day. She waddles (her gait’s naturally waddle-y) to eat her food, and then she cuddles up and sleeps in her bed for the rest of the morning while I get ready.

I could write a whole lot more about the other cute things Ellie does, but I’ll stop before I write an entire book.

That’s all for now, friends. Maybe I’ll be back next month! We’ll see.

I hope you’re finding fun stuff to get you through the grind. I hope you have a happy March–let’s hope spring will soon be bloomin’.

My Ellie.


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