1) To document my attempt to read everything.
About a year ago, I was studying for an exam meant to determine whether I know enough about literature to teach high school English. Here’s an example of the kind of question you might see on that test:
Who is the author of the following excerpt?
“It was love at first sight.
The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him.
Yossarian was in the hospital with a pain in his liver that fell just short of being jaundice. The doctors were puzzled by the fact that it wasn’t quite jaundice. If it became jaundice they could treat it. If it didn’t become jaundice and went away they could discharge him. But this just short of being jaundice all the time confused them.”
a. Kurt Vonnegut
b. Joseph Heller
c. Tim O’Brien
d. Graham Greene
Now, if you’ve read Catch-22 that’s an easy question to answer. If you haven’t read Catch-22 (Go out and get it and start reading right now. Really.), it’s a pretty tough question. I was looking at the practice test and getting a little nervous. I have read a lot of English literature, I have a degree in it, but I haven’t read all of it. I chose to take the Nabokov class instead of the Faulkner class; and I took Chaucer instead of Milton. So, if I got a Faulkner excerpt on this test I was screwed. There wasn’t enough time to read all of English literature before this test. But I’m trying to now!
I put together a list of major works of British and American literature that I haven’t read and started reading them in chronological order. I will post the list and I’m taking suggestions. If you think I’m leaving out something awesome, let me know. There’s a chance it was left off the list because I have already read it, but let me know anyway.
2) I am writing a novel.
I find I am more productive if the approval of someone I care about is on the line, this probably results from a childhood spent seeking approval in the form of grades. So, let’s make a grading scale based on how many pages I write each day:
a. A = 10 pages or more
b. B= 8-9 pages
c. C = 6-7 pages
d. D = 4-5 pages
e. F = less than 4 pages.
I am going to post how many pages I wrote every day and you should be really mean to me if I didn’t write enough. Thanks.
3) Makeup trials and tribulations.
I own too much makeup for one person, largely due to stress-induced retail therapy purchases during my first year of teaching. I try to be very conscious of the chemicals I put on my body, but until recently I was just purchasing makeup without reading the labels. There’s some sketchy stuff in makeup. So, I am trying to replace all my sketchy cosmetics with eco-friendly/healthy alternatives. Many organic and eco-friendly brands are small and independent and don’t do a lot of advertising, so it can be difficult to find reviews of products. I think a lot of people, including myself, are reluctant to try chemical-free products, because some of them don’t work as well as what we are used to. I have had some very smelly experiences with natural deodorants. I am going post reviews of more natural products, so readers can learn from my mistakes and benefit from my successes.