As a form of procrastination, I tend to read lots of books when stressed and/or in a time of transition. Thus, in the months of May, June, and July, I've devoured over 30 books and counting (as the other Random Round Ups have also shown). I also watch a lot of the same shows over and over. Yet, for this round-up, here are three new things I got to do~
A dear friend recommended the "Brooklyn Brujas" series multiple times. And finally, during a random night when I was going for a "light read" before sleep, I picked up Zoraida Córdova's Labyrinth Lost, and promptly stayed up all night reading it. I loved the book for the incredible world-building that happened, and the unapologetic use of language without translation. There are other gems to gush over, but it's definitely one not to be missed and even better: there are two more to read after you finish this one!
Friends know I'm an avid fan of Korean dramas but I've realized that over the years, my tastes have shifted. One of the areas I've grown to love are "slice of life"-type dramas— no dramatic plot line, no horrible villain— just people living their every day life. Hospital Playlist is exactly one of these types and one I've so very much enjoyed. As an added bonus, my shifting tastes have matched my mom so we got to binge this together. And, for folx who want to know where to watch this, they're on Netflix!
Minor Feelings. Whew. I have been eagerly anticipating Cathy Park Hong's Minor Feelings since reading Jia Tolentino's book review. I cannot talk about this book enough. I adore this book; I adore Cathy Park Hong; I adore all of it. And I think, beyond just feeling seen, while reading, I love the writing: the sentence construction, the evocative words, the sharp commentary, the ways the words on the page pierce my very heart and soul. I feel like my life changed while reading this book and is changing still, as I continued to reflect. Can you tell I'm a fan? ;)
I've done a couple of other things too, during this month of a new job and transitioning to faculty life, but for now, I'll highlight these things as my random roundup. Stay tuned for later updates~
It is official. I have completed the requirements of the doctoral degree. I am still having a hard time describing how I'm feeling. Crossing the "Ph(inishe)D" line and being "Ph(inally)D(one)" feels both elating and somewhat of a shock— perhaps I am still expecting for someone to jump out and say "gotcha!" and revoke my degree. I might also be in shock given that the school year is starting in two weeks and I am knee-deep in lesson planning and that transition as well.
But to go back to the dissertation, whenever I read my old posts or look through my Instagram regarding the doctoral journey, I realize I must sound like a broken record because my posts all talk about how important my community has been. And yet to stay a broken record, I can't help but think how true this is. I would not have made it here without the friends, colleagues, femtors/mentors, and family in my life. Several of my committee members laughed and remarked how my acknowledgments might have been the longest they ever read. ... which makes sense, give that they were 19 pages— longer than some of my of my actual chapters. (For background, I wrote them over two years whenever I had writer's block with the other sections of the dissertation). The pages were warranted because this dissertation is truly a labor of love and such an incredible testament and reflection of the relationships that carried me.
Admittedly, dissertating often felt lonely and lonelier still as the pandemic necessitated distance and caution. My community rallied around me with texts, virtual cafes, encouragements, phone calls, and "kat"ch-ups as a way to remain connected. Maybe that's also why this feels... not quite. I crossed the finish line during a (seemingly never-ending) pandemic which means we aren't a crowd of mass communal celebration. But today, with texts and celebrations, and a video round of libations with family, I am slowly getting used to the fact that I have indeed Ph(inishe)D.
In a year, I read somewhere around 100-200 books. I don't have a TV and I use reading as a form of escape, and I especially like reading outside of academia. It also helps with improving my writing :)
When I'm trying to concentrate, I like having background music that's super dramatic. For some reason, instrumental music is instrumental (pun!) in helping me concentrate. Most of the songs are Korean-drama OSTs (original sound tracks), w/ a few classical music scores in the mix!
I don't categorize anything other than my "random round-ups" because it takes too much work (insert laughing emoji).