I have two big papers left to write, due Sunday by 11pm.
One is a theme paper about “some aspect of multicultural literature for youth (children or young adults)” which includes an annotated bibliography of 15 relevant children’s and/or YA books. It has to be between 1700 and 2000 words, excluding the bibliography. My topic is multiethnic Muslim resources for children and young adults. I think I’ve picked a decent group of 15 books. I hope I have anyway. Do I have 2000 words on the subject? We’ll see. I have to let it roll around in my brain for awhile.
The other is a 6-8 page paper on two YA books (I chose The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Weedflower) comparing and contrasting the books and discussing a common theme, current issues of interest to young adults which they address or one of the adolescent “developmental tasks” we’ve covered in class. I have to read at least 8 articles or books that discuss the books I chose or otherwise would help in discussing the books. “These other works may include class readings, peer-reviewed academic articles, readings related to young adult development, book reviews, author biographies, etc.” (All quotes thus far are from the assignment prompts.) I’ll either write about their common themes of life on a reservation or internalized oppression… or I’ll write about the developmental task of independence… or I’ll sneakily cover all of the above since I tend to write rather concisely in papers and will need to fill 6 to 8 pages somehow. Don’t know yet. Another thing to let roll around in my brain.
But instead of working on either of those, my brain is all over the place today. The focus I had earlier yesterday seems to have disappeared today. Is there such thing as occasional A.D.D.? Maybe I’m just burnt out on academic paper-writing? That’s probably more like it. I have been writing a lot of papers.
Yesterday after I posted on here I intended to take a nap. After tossing and turning for 20 minutes I gave up on that idea. I read the required chapter for one of last night’s classes. I read another children’s book about Ramadan. Then, instead of working on yet another assignment, I did a silly thing and checked Netflix. It suggested that I watch Nutcracker: The Motion Picture… so I did. Obviously you have to like the music to want to watch the movie. And I do. But other than that, I realized that I’ve never seen any version of the Nutcracker and only vaguely knew what the story was about. This particular version… I love the costume and set designs. It figures that they were by Maurice Sendak.
And while I watched, I marveled at how fluidly the dancers moved and the strength it takes to perform a lot of the movements. Plus, I could never manage a good pirouette, so those always impress me. I took Beginning Ballet one semester back in Undergrad. I am proud of myself for trying something I knew I probably wasn’t going to be any good at. (And that I was probably “too old” for.) I managed an A-, but I can’t brag about that too much since the teacher graded mostly on improvement and attendance. When you start out barely being able to walk without tripping over your own feet, you have nowhere to go but up in the gracefulness department, and anyone can just show up. I had started the class hoping that at some point I might look something like this, but I was always pretty sure I looked more like this. Oh well.
Anyway… I looked it up and there is indeed a Nutcracker book illustrated by Maurice Sendak. I’m pretty sure I saw it as a child in my library, but I don’t remember having actually read it. I will now though.
Today I’ve been thinking about writing. How I don’t do it anymore just for the fun of it. I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words for assignments over the years, many on topics I couldn’t possibly care less about, but I haven’t written just for the fun of it in maybe 5 years. But shall I spend my break between semesters writing?