Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Reading Challenge 2017 Pt. 3

I know the year isn't quite over, but I am so happy to have time to read, to finish things I started. Here we are:
I read "Blink" for a speed reading class outside of school but at school. Not a fan of the book. Maybe someone else will like it, but I thought it and the class were tedious. Maybe I read faster at the end of class, but it was some valuable time I lost over two weekends. I think something like this is better in the Summer when you don't have classes or deadlines.

I read "Ishi's Brain" for my "Intro to History" class. I have a lot of thoughts on this book, this class, and the experience for another time but the book was frustrating. It did more to make me not trust historians than anything else I've read. You can easily blow off old writers as colonizers or people from an old school of thought, but when history does damage to a people, why do we keep that stuff in print? If the writer has some kind of personal angle, not an academic one, can you take them seriously? Should you consider it a legitimate work? I dunno. I'm being a bit vague, but I'm going to keep thinking about it.

I finally finished "The Heyday of Malcolm Margolin" which was a relief and happiness. It's one of these books I picked up and set down twice or so because I had other things and school to distract me. But I finished. It made me think about what good it does to work for a good company: a place where you get along with most everyone, that you are happy with your work and you look forward to the projects you get to do. I can only hope to find work like that one day again. Anyway, it's cool. It's good to have good work and I appreciated reading all the great stories that Heyday folks shared. I loved the stories Malcolm shared about his life in the Bay Area and in publishing. It was a good book. A keeper, (especially if you love books, the making of books.. or even California... or outdoors.. or...)

Of school things, I want to say "Colony in a Nation" and also "The New Jim Crow" (which I have yet to finish) was the best. "Colony in a Nation" reads super fast. It kind of compares the situation in Ferguson, MO. (and the rest of the country) to in the pre-American Revolutionary experience. There's a couple nice Franz Fanon quotes too. It was used for the Philosophy class I took but would have fit in any most any other class: American History, Political Theory, African American Studies (of course,) and others I guess. It's about Democracy and how there are two systems of justice. It talks about colonialism but it's also very relevant and current. There's a final chapter on campus policing which I thought was kind of out of place, but it too has a point to be made. The book is worth reading by everyone. It's written in a conversational style that is very approachable, so no deep academic rambling or words to look up. It won't change your life or make you lose 20 pounds, but it's cool. It'll give you some thinks to think on, maybe.

Monday, December 11, 2017

What's the Point

...of blogs?

I haven't updated since before Fall Quarter started. So busy! My first Quarter at the new school and it took some getting used to. I was worried I wouldn't get any books read, but I did. I didn't bother with #NaNoWriMo though. I can't imagine trying to write a poem every day in November when the papers and finals were coming up!

Now that the Quarter is over I have some time to settle and ponder this new college experience.

1. I miss the Semesters schedule, that's the first thing. How I feel about the new school is something I'm still working on.

2. I'm not crazy about the commute. I hate the commute. It's 3 hrs out of my life there & back.I know for many people it's much worse. Folks coming from Stockton or San Jose! Suffice to say when you have to go in for nothing other than office hours or worse: a night class where you aren't actually learning anything, it gives you pause. I'm grateful when the instructors give you a heads up early in the day when they decide they are too sick or need to cancel.

3. Social aspect: it's a commuter school, so again like IUPUI I'm not meeting a lot of people, and a lot of the people I'm meeting so far aren't especially keen to form study groups or hang around campus to socialize. I don't blame them. If I don't need to be there, I'm not. However, if I have classes, I am pretty much stuck on campus all afternoon until my night class. Bonus study time, which isn't bad at all.

4... to be continued.


Re the commute: I'm going to work hard so I can get into CAL for grad school. I imagine (& I may be wrong) people take history a bit more serious there, (so not just because going to city college had me spoiled to come home for naps!) Too many people going through the motions of learning right now at the new college. I was told that's a city college attribute, but it's more of the same at the upper levels, which I find kind of disappointing. I thought when you become a Junior you find classes with people who love history, love learning. I have my doubts.

But I'll be starting a new quarter in 3 weeks, so it'll be another chance to experience new things and new people. I'm finally getting to take some California stuff as well. I'll be taking a Native California Anthropology class for my "D6" (I think?) one of the random upper levels they require; so I chose that. Also, I am (IMHO) 'retaking'' History of California. I took History 19 with the most amazing prof. back in Spring 2014 but the new school doesn't consider it an upper level, so... *shrug* California (& the West) is my major so why not look at it as a way to have some fun? I may pick up something new?

I have 2 other history classes I am taking as well... No Geography, unfortunately! Hopefully, I will get to take some in the Spring, (I added it as a minor, so I certainly hope so!) The plan is a BA in History, Geography Minor and a Ph.D. in History (and a side MLS/MLIS) if I'm not dead by then. LOLz (Old lady Student joke, there...)

I am enjoying the learning, despite how long I waited to go back. Tip: if you get GI Bill money & quit, don't let it run out on you. Also, the longer you wait to go back, the more culture shock you get. At City Collge, you are more likely to run into people in their 30s and up. Not so much at the commuter campus, (during the day anyway.) I have days where I'm physically exhausted... the commute takes a lot more out of me for some reason.

Like at the City College, I get sad some days because I think I'm the only one excited about learning, and on many days, feel like a fool. I get tired of raising my hand. I get tired of participating. I also get the impression some of the profs hate being there as much as my classmates, which is also depressing. I have days when I don't want to go back, so I have to find the enthusiasm and energy in myself to do it. When I'm there it's the people that still seem happy to share knowledge that get me enthusiastic and motivated. Those people I am so very grateful for and excited to spend my time learning from.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Reading Challenge 2017 Pt. 2

goodreads 6/2017
20 books read.. 4 books ahead of schedule.

So far so good with the reading.. My last semester at BCC pursuing my History AA-T had me reading a LOT for my various courses. So now that summer is here I am hoping to read more things for pleasure if I am able. I plan to be taking an intro drawing class as a present to myself for getting my Associates for transfer..

For now I am relaxing my brain with some beautifully descriptive scenes of Southeast Alaska (Sitka into Wrangell Island) by John Muir.. "Travels in Alaska" seems like just the thing I need after pouring over Machiavelli and Nietzsche!

John Muir

I haven't figured out what is on my Summer Read TBR list yet but I think besides a mix of some of the many Heyday titles I've had waiting for me, I'll get to a couple books I purchased at the Cal Day Book Sale, and random books I've found or picked up on my walks:


We'll see, right?

Friday, June 02, 2017

Little Tomato 3 & 4

a couple weekly checks on my special German Heirloom..

Tomato 4
May 26th

Tomato 4
May 26.. some sprouting happening!

and.. today:
Tomato 5
June 2nd

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sacred Lands

Sacred Lands

as seen from the Shellmound / 40th Street Bridge..

These lands belong(ed) to the Ohlone people... now there's warehouses, railways, and a mall..

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Arbor Cafe


I pass Arbor on my walk back from the many visits to Kaiser over the last few months (getting blood work mainly) but on what was hopefully my last visit for a while, I treated myself to a nice meal of yogurt & tea in between appointments..

I had some of my last finals work to finish for school so Arbor is a good place to sit quietly in work. People are usually respectfully hushed when enjoying their coffee or lunch there.. and they have some large tables to sit and eat and have room to work.

Yogurt & hot tea

Strawberries were huge!
Yogurt Close
the granola was so good.. I didn't think to ask if they made it themselves or where it came from.. If I thought I could get granola like this from a package I would, but I definitely would order the yogurt and gronola from Arbor again.. so good. I was happy and the serving was plenty as an early lunch/late breakfast.. (which is what this was for me.)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Nigel Sussman


One of Nigel Sussman's many grafart pieces around Berkeley. This one seen from the #6 Bus as we make the turn onto Telegraph. This is on the Dwight Way side of Han's Bistro, (formerly Bleeker Bistro.) at 2498 Telegraph Ave.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

San Leandro Marina

Another lunchtime walk, this time in San Leandro..
coming in for a landing at OAK
..a beautiful, breezy day at the Marina, watching aircraft coming in for a landing at OAK

Friday, March 24, 2017

Reading Challenge 2017 Pt. 1

challenges 2017-03-24 at 8.47.25 PM
the results of my goodreads challenges from the last 3 years..

Another year, another reading challenge! I barely made my goal of 40 books last year. It was pretty difficult getting to my goal, despite all the reading I seemed to have been assigned. This year may be no different. I'm taking 4 classes this semester, of which half require 4 different books. I tried to get a head start during the holiday break in the early part of January and that seemed to have helped. I find it hard to find time to read for pleasure when I have several assignments converging, so many of the things I seem to be reading are related to the things I'm studying, and then of course, there's poetry. Thank goodness for poetry!

GoodReads 1 2017-03-24 at 8.42.05 PM
My 2017 GoodReads Reading Challenge

I'm 1 book ahead according to the challenge. The above include the 2 books from for my Political Theory class (The Republic, and The Prince), The Hero Twins book is a fun graphic telling of the Popol Vuh (which I'm studying in my Native Amerian Culture & Lit. (HIST33) class. The rest are things I kept myself busy with in early January while I was waiting for classes to start up again. The Hafiz and Rumi I came across at the Oakland Public Library, and were very nice decompression from classes.

I'll need to do papers on The Prince, and on Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian (not included in the count because I already read the book some time ago..) but I'll be reading Nietzsche and Foucault for the Political Theory class. I have a Political Thought of Hannah Arendt I'll take a look at on my own, and I'm currently reading Leonard Peltier's Prison Writings for my HIST33 class,(as well Tribes, Treaties, and Constitutional Tribulations by Vine DeLoria, Jr. for myself.) Along with my other history texts, I'll definitely have almost 20 books by the end of May, so totally possible, yes?

I guess we'll see!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Happy Pi Day!

Fat Apple's pecan pie!

A slice of Pecan Pie at Fat Apple's Berkeley (made with maple syrup!) So incredibly good!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Reading Challenge 2017

reading challenge 2017

This year I'm sticking with 40 books.. I have about 10 books I'll be reading this semester so that's 1/4 right there!