Oh October, I have such mixed feelings about you! We’re nearing the halfway point for the semester (at least at my university), and I have to say that so far this is shaping up to be the most challenging semester so far regarding scheduling. One class (the one I sometimes refer to as “the straightforward one”) has a semester-long independent research project, which is moderately interesting, but requires a lot of extra reading on top of the weekly assignments and quizzes. The other class I am taking (“the chaotic one”) has three multi-part assignments each week, one of which we don’t learn the details of until the beginning of the week. It’s impossible to work ahead and extremely time-consuming. At this point, each week feels like I’m just doing the minimum to get by as far as assignment quantity. Usually with an ongoing research project I would try to have much more work done by now – especially knowing that soon I will add a third class into the mix (it’s only 1 credit hour, so hopefully not too much more to balance, but still).
All that said, I don’t really have time to make substantial goals or a non-school-related TBR list. My goals could probably be summed up as “handle all the school things and the project I’m managing at work.”
- Christmas in the Alps by Melody Carlson
- I’ve had this on early reserve (like pre-ordering but through the library) since I learned about it, and we got our copies in last week. I’m not sure if it’s realistic to keep this on the list, but since I am going to check it out soon, it gets a tentative slot.
- Finish reading Wildlife According to Og the Frog (According to Og #3) by Betty G. Birney
- The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas by Maria Garcia Esperon
- You Are Not Your Own by Alan Noble
- Another library reserve, this one by one of my former professors who a few years ago wrote what would become one of my favorite nonfiction books: Disruptive Witness (I know, I still haven’t properly reviewed this book even though I’ve read it multiple times. Sometimes the hardest books to review are the ones that have the biggest impact.)
- Competing Spectacles: Treasuring Christ in the Media Age by Tony Reinke
- This is probably one of the books I’m least likely to complete this month. It was recommended based on my reaction to Disruptive Witness.
- For my children’s lit class: 10 juvenile nonfiction books, 5 international or multicultural children’s books, 2 Coretta Scott King medal winners, and 5 children’s books about folklore/myths
Other October Goals
- Make substantial progress on my research project by selecting (and reading in their entirety) at least 15 of the necessary articles. My topic is digitization in music libraries, so I know it will be a challenge to find the amount and quality of articles that I need, but hopefully not impossible.
- Complete the library program plan website I have to create for class
- Keep up with the weekly readings, quizzes, and other assignments
- Fill out the paperwork that will determine whether I graduate in next May or August
- Manage the staff pumpkin decorating contest at work 🎃🎨🏆
- I’ve already outlined all of the posts I want to write here this month, and it’s a lot given the amount of other things I have going on this month. Rather than a numerical goal for posts each week I’m just going to say my goal is to keep up with the highpoints of my outline.
- Watch 3 sessions from a virtual library conference (facilitated by the library I work at)
- Celebrate a few birthdays and prepare for those that are in November
- If time, put together a cute Halloween costume (I’m not really a fan of Halloween itself, but I appreciate the fact that my work allows us to dress up for fun once a year!)
- I would like to be an iced coffee, but I don’t think I’m going to have time to put that together this year. My fallbacks are Nancy Drew or Anne Gilbert.
- Is it reasonable to put sleep on a goals list? I would like to not be completely exhausted all the time, although I have accepted a certain degree of caffeine reliance at this point.
Somehow there ended up being a lot more in this post than I expected! Hopefully that is a good thing. Having it all laid out in bullet points makes it seem manageable (my color-coded planner sitting beside me doesn’t hurt, either).
As a side note, my intent with mentioning so many of the things that keeping me busy isn’t to earn your pity or to appear impressive or anything like that. I just want to be honest with y’all about what is going on and keep you in the loop so that you know what to expect from this blog. And, sometimes maybe I enjoy walking the line between book blog and lifestyle blog. I’ve found that by sharing pieces of my “real” life along with book stuff, there is more interaction and it feels more like an ongoing conversation than when I just post review after review in something like a void.
What’s up in your life this month, Reader? Is there anything particular keeping you busy in this season, or is life itself enough? Someone mentioned recently that “life never stops being busy. Things never actually ‘calm down.'” and I keep coming back to that thought. What do you think? Is your life always busy, or do you find periods of calmness and rest?
Until the next chapter,