Hello, everyone! Soooo, it’s time for one of those posts where I fill you in on how I’ve filled my time lately. (The more I look at that last sentence the more I can’t decide whether I love or hate how many times the words “fill” and “time” appear in it.)
Anyway, here are some of the things I’ve been up to in October and November!
For a journalism project, of course. DO I EVEN DO ANYTHING THAT ISN’T SOMEHOW RELATED TO A JOURNALISM PROJECT NOW? MY LIFE REVOLVES AROUND IT. (I actually adore these classes, but at the same time I’m going to be so happy when they’re over because the homework and projects are so demanding!)
I photographed a reading of Crime and Punishment held to A) kick off the Iowa City Book Festival and B) commemorate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Dostoyevsky’s classic novel. My favorite professor (AKA the one who taught Wonder Woman Unleashed last semester) organizes a different reading every year for the ICBF and since it’s my goal to make as many of these enormous journalism projects about books as possible, choosing a topic for this assignment was easy!
The reading took place over two days and lasted a total of 23.5 hours! (And that’s actually one of the shorter readings my professor has held, to give you an idea of type of huge, madcap plans she’s so fond of making… and, thankfully, good at pulling off.)
As you can see above, there was food involved in this thing! AS WELL THERE SHOULD BE. And as you can also see, the camera I borrowed from the journalism school is really really good! Ahhhh I need to finally buy my own DSLR.
You can find a photo slideshow of the event, as well as a mock press release, here.
2. Had professional headshots taken
Free photography sessions are held for honors students once a semester and since I forgot to sign up last spring, I made sure to get them done this fall! #adulting
I look super gay in these photos and also a lot like my dad.
Now I have something nice to use if/when I need a profile picture for a class website or a publication I write for. (I’m hoping to start submitting some of my work to some bookish and/or LGBTQ+ websites soon!)
3. Made a video
This was also for a journalism project! My most recent major assignment for Intro to Multimedia Storytelling was to create a video story that included at least two interviews plus some B-roll. I continued my bookish theme with a project about the Haunted Bookshop, my favorite bookstore in Iowa City, and learned a lot about the joys and struggles of running an indie bookstore in this day and age.
If I could do it over again, there are definitely some things I would change – the footage is sometimes blurry and the sound quality is questionable at times – but overall I’m really happy with how my first ever video turned out. I’m so grateful to the staff (+ cats) of the Bookshop for their help with this project!
4. Wrote some things for Her Campus at Iowa
I was too busy to pitch ideas for articles the first few months of this school year but now I’m on top of (almost) everything in my life and back with some new articles! I made a list of 8 Thoughts You Have When Registering For Next Semester’s Classes and interviewed my friend Elin (a “stage manager and meme lover extraordinaire,” as the headline says) for a profile. I missed writing for Her Campus so I’m really happy to be doing that again!
5. Participated in an open mic night
TFW OPEN MIC NIGHTS ARE YOUR IDEA OF FUN ON A FRIDAY NIGHT. #englishmajorproblems
Actually, I joined this more or less on a whim because it was the Friday after the election and I’d had a shitty week and needed something to distract myself so that I didn’t mope around all evening. It was held in my dorm by the English Society and the Living Literature LLC, so I thought why not go? A lot of people read stuff they’d written about the election, particularly about what it is like to live through all this as a woman, a person of color, an LGBTQ+ individual, et cetera. Which was so heartening to hear!
I read a longer version of the piece I created at a writing workshop led by Roxane Gay. I’ve been expanding the piece, which is inspired by a quote from the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TEDTalk “The Danger of a Single Story,” over the past few weeks.
This was a nonfiction piece, as are most of the things I write. I don’t write poetry and rarely have the time/inspiration/motivation to write fiction anymore. However, one really cool thing that happened after the open mic was that multiple people told me they loved my poem! This made me laugh and I had to explain to them that it was actually a super short essay, but it did get me thinking: I’ve learned a lot about sentence structure and beautiful writing in my Prose Style class this semester, so it’s not entirely surprising that my writing has something of the poetic in it.
I’m now seriously considering turning my essay into a poem, just to see what happens, and reading the yet-further-expanded version at an LGBTQ+/feminist open mic night later this month. The reason I don’t write poetry is that I never know how to start or what form I should follow, but suddenly it doesn’t seem so difficult if I can use bits and pieces of things I’ve already written.
Whew, I’ve certainly been busy. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like I do anything special or fun or important, that my time is entirely taken up by turning in reading responses and reviewing vocab flashcards and getting up far too early in the morning to do it all, but that’s not true: This post proves otherwise.
What have you been up to these past few weeks?