Books, day in the life, updates

School's Out

…well, it’s not actually.

But heck, it sort of feels like it. I’m taking just two courses this summer, both what my program calls an FDIS, or Faculty Designed Independent Study. One study is on Chicago authors and the other is about issues facing women in prison. Cheery, yes.

I love FDIS courses. I’ve done two others now – one was back in the winter of 2006, for which I wrote a mammoth paper comparing the three versions of King Kong. The other involved writing and designing a newsletter. Both experiences were a lot of work, but also very freeing. In my old age, I’ve come to really relish working at my own pace, and without instruction or interruption. I’m a loner, Dottie, a rebel.

So, for me, this summer is a lighter load than if I had two, or even one regular weekly course. For the first time in a long time, I have time to really focus on myself a bit, and on my life outside of my academics.

Although all this academic work has paid off, I must say. In April I was inducted in Golden Key International Honour Society and in May I was invited to join Alpha Sigma Lambda, an honor society for adult students. What all this means is that I am in the top 10% of the University, and the top 10% of my program. I sort of hate tooting my own horn like this, but I can’t help but share the goodness. I’m really proud of myself. I mean, you should have seen my grades back at IU when I was a traditional student. Not good. Stinky, really.

But now I am seriously, almost fatally invested in my schoolwork. I live for my GPA. And I love to write, which is a huge component of my program – so, it’s like I have to do well. There’s just no other option.

Um, not that I’m putting any pressure on myself.

What to do with my summer vacation then? Well, a few weeks back, we put up new shelves in the living room:

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and now I know where all of my books are! There were boxes in the garage, and piles in the bedroom, piles, piles everywhere and now they are sorted and organized. Woo! Now I can spend the summer reading stuff I forgot I had, as God intended.

For instance, I was happy to find a big old pile of Calvin & Hobbes collections in our mutual libraries. I’d forgotten I’d ever bought any, and apparently Darl had also been picking them up here and there in the years before we ever moved in together. I don’t remember acquiring most of them, so I suspect the majority are his, but I do recall riding my bike into downtown Hometown in the summer after eighth grade to go book shopping at City News Bookstore. I found The Essential Calvin & Hobbes on a sale table and spent a whole $10 or so on it. I’m not sure, but it may have been one of the first books I ever bought for myself. I’m happy I still have it.

With all this book organization, I had to find something to do with the multitude of duplicate books, old textbooks, and Tom Clancy novels we pruned out of the collection – enter Bookmooch! I love it I love it I love it! I’ve given away eight books for the sheer pleasure of giving and creating space for new books in my house.

Like the Better Homes & Gardens cookbooks from the 1950s that I just need to collect.

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Ground meat, anyone?

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