First Half of 2019 Recap- mostly school, snippets, and screaming

First Half of 2019 Recap- mostly school, snippets, and screaming

*swoops in like a blazing phoenix*

GUESS WHO’S NOT DEAD?????

So the last few months HALF a YEAR has been crazy busy. Which would explain why my last post WAS A 2018 RECAP. Now the year 2019 is now officially half over. And I am not freaking out about this at ALL.

Anyway, here’s a bit of a recap of what I’ve been up to in the past six months.

 

Writing

Being an English major with a writing emphasis means, shockingly, that I am required to do a lot of writing. Unfortunately, a lot of this writing is literary analysis papers and such. But! This past semester I got to take TWO creative writing classes: poetry and fiction.

I started the semester feeling super insecure about writing poetry, because I’ve always thought of fiction as being… my jam. So if I’m writing poetry am I just a fiction writing pretending to be a poet?? Can I write poems?? What even is a poem anyway?????

But then I wrote some poems! And I actually really like some of them!

poem snip
from “How to Hold the Sky”
poem snip 2
from “Homage to Jon Foreman”

 

In my fiction class one of the short stories I had to write was historical fiction, which I’ve always wanted to try but have never done because RESEARCH is TERRIFYING. But you know what? Librarians exist and they are actual heroes.

I knew I wanted to write about “mental institutions” in Nazi Germany, but I didn’t know what the actual story was going to be. Then I came across this in my research:

“On 28 March the town of Idstein was occupied and the last witness to medical killings at the nearby Kalmenhof asylum came out of hiding. Ludwig Heinrich Lohne, a mildly disabled teenager, had been used to do odd jobs and had seen the nurses stir the Luminal powder into the children’s food. He had had to dig their graves and drop their bodies out of the trapdoor in the bottom of the little reusable coffin he had made. Lohne was used to being beaten and bullied in the asylum, and his front teeth had been knocked out, but in January he had seen how the epileptic patient and housekeeper, Margarethe Schmidt, had been injected and left to die in the locked air-raid shelter. So when the doctor sent for him, Lohne fled and hid in a barn until the Americans came.”

Witnesses of War, Nicholas Stargardt

To which my response was: Why, HELLO there, child. You look an AWFUL lot like a PROTAGONIST. How would you like to be my son?

If you want to know what happens in my story, it’s basically the quote above, dramatized across 20+ pages.

odd jobs snippet

So, in a nutshell, this last semester took a lot of my creative energy. I’m feeling pretty burnt out and haven’t really written anything very exciting since the semester ended.

 

Reading like a Proper English Major

My professors have always said that it’s really important to take notes while you’re reading a book for class: underline things, write in the margins, etc. I don’t usually write in books, so it took some getting used to. But I am pleased to report that starting I making margin notes!

ht snip 1

ht snip 2

ht snip 3

As you can see, I had some very astute observations to make in the margins of Hard Times.

 

Theatre

I was in two shows this spring!

Two shows! Overlapping each other! This is sane, yes?

The first show, put on by the university theatre department, was an original play written by a university alum. There were pirates and there was fight choreography and also pistols that shot confetti. I had a very small, non-speaking part. I mostly sat on the side of the stage and played “Go Fish” with a few of the other actors for most of the time that I was on stage. But I understudied two roles….and then ended up going on as a character I had NOT understudied for due to a backstage emergency.

scooter.gif

So! That was exciting. The whole cast and crew was SO AWESOME at helping me figure out what the heck I was supposed to be doing as well as picking up all the lines I dropped. It was a CRAZY experience. Would not recommend, but also kind of fun if you can get past the terrifyingness and the monstrous STRESS.

The second show was a community theatre production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance. Clearly this was the season of pirates. I got to be a pirate AND a policeman and it was FANTASTIC. Love the cast. Love the show. Love everything.

 

Music Jammin’ Tunes

Firstly, I’ve started referring to everything as “Jammin’ Tunes.” So there’s that.

It’s always:

Me: “Hey, can you turn on some jammin’ tunes?”  or:

Me: “Ok, it’s time for some jammin’ tunes.”  or:

Sister: “What do you want to listen to?”

Me: “I don’t know. Something jammin’.”

I don’t know why I am like this.

Anyway! Here’s some Jammin’ Tunes I’ve discovered in the past few months that I may or may not be obsessively listening to:

Scared of the Dark by Lil Wayne, Ty Dolla $ign, and XXXTENTACION (because SPIDERVERSE, GUYS!!!)

What’s Up Danger by Blackway and Black Caviar (Did I mention Spiderverse??)

Come and Get Me by Lecrae (It’s just SO JAMMIN’)

The Search by NF (One of my all time favorite NF songs. It’s super jammin’, plus so many moments where I just want to scream because the lyrics are SO STINKIN’ AMAZING)

….So yes, I’m a little obsessed with rap music right now. But I listen to non-rap too!

Demons by Imagine Dragons ( *screams “I can’t escape this now, UNLESS YOU SHOW ME HOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW*)

Against the Voices by Switchfoot (I just love Switchfoot. Switchfoot forever.)

….Perhaps you prefer something softer? I also listen to softer music!

Grow As We Go and Run Away by Ben Platt (It’s EVAN HANSEN.)

Vice Verses by Switchfoot (I’m having introspective FEELINGS)

….Or what about musicals? I listen to musicals!

Wait for Me and Chant from Hadestown (Singin’ La, la la la la la laaaa. LA, la la la la la la)

 

WELL. There you have it.

I didn’t talk about books in this post! I know! I hope to do a (late) mid-year freak out book post soon?? So hopefully that will be forthcoming.

I hope to be posting more! I hope to be reading everyone’s blogs which I haven’t been able to do for a LONG TIME! I’m happy to be BAAAAAACK.

 

How has the first half of your year been? Do you ever fall off the face of the blogosphere for a few centuries? Have you ever had a crazy theatre experience? Have you discovered any jammin’ tunes lately? Do you make notes in the margins of books? Super insightful notes? Do tell!!

10 responses to “First Half of 2019 Recap- mostly school, snippets, and screaming”

  1. YES Grow As We Go and Run Away are definitely on repeat all day eeeevery day. I’ve only heard When I Grow Up from NF’s new album… surprised Emma hasn’t introduced me to that new song yet.
    Your margin notes have such depth and insight. I am thoroughly inspired. 😉 and now I know I MUST see Spider-Man Into the Spidervers because now 2 of my bestest friends have expressed its amazingness!

    Liked by 1 person

      • So, Emma actually DID tell me to listen to the Search. I listened to it 2 times today and as soon as it started I thought Ohhhhhh I remember now! But it took a 2nd listen to REALLY let it sink in. And I’m gonna watch Spidervers right now! Uber excited 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. omfg I had a similar experience with understudying in December, and it was SO STRESSFUL. You poor soul. And wow judging two shows sounds exhausting hgfdfh

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like poems-I like how the second part of “on your own anonymity” completely changed how what the previous words “if you’re getting drunk every night.” I also like how that happened with “we both know no one will miss it” did that to “pluck a star from the sky.” Wow, your historical fiction story. Also, thank you for mentioning that you felt insecure at the beginning of the semester. I am not close to the end of high school yet, but thinking about beyond, I already feel that insecurity about writing.
    Hahaha, I love your annotations!!
    Wow wow, your shows sounded like amazing memory creators. I have never been part of a show, but changing that senior year and playing a basically nonexistent part in the spring musical is something that’s been running through the back of my head.
    Ahh I’m excited for your mid-year freak out book tag-no matter how late it is. :))

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I really enjoyed writing poems for my class and it was cool to actually write some that I feel really proud of. There will always be those insecurities, but don’t let them stop you!!
      Both of the shows I was in created amazing memories 🙂 Oooh, you should be in the spring musical! Being in the chorus of a musical is a lot of fun- you don’t have lines but you get to sing and come up with your own reactions to what the leads are doing.
      Hope to get around to that mid-year freak out book tag soon!

      Liked by 1 person

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