I took an extended leave over the holidays hoping to just relax for a while. I just needed to finish a few projects first. Well, one week left here and I still have a few projects to finish. My mind needs a rest! I have this annoying undercurrent of all things Covid, an over commitment to the work I enjoy so much and a nonexistent local support community. Time to do just me would be so nice right about now!
How are you doing? How well are you coping? I hope you’re finding ways to maneuver all this in ways that nurture your soul. Unplugging from the news has helped a bit. I like to be aware of what’s going on around me but, mediated sources embed so many distractions that I find they feed my anxieties. Between working on improvint both awareness and critical literacy, I’m currently finding it best to unplug rather than submit my consciousness.
What I really want to do moving forward is to blog more. I say this every year!! I try to commit to just one book review a month and I continue to fall short. I think about new features to implement or old ones to bring back and even though I do consider this blog to be the bedrock of my work, I fall short here. I can say with all confidence that as long as I’m physically and mentally capable, I’ll be right here and I will continue to try to be here more.
Friends, I turn 65 this year! I’ve been having some pretty incredible milestone birthday celebrations, one in Taiwan during a typhoon, another at the Grand Canyon with my family. This year, I want to trace my paternal grandmother’s path in Toronto and in London where she was born. I’ve got some writing I need to do and a quilt I want to make for myself. My 2022 begins with my first faculty position at St. Catherine’s University, and I just can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to teaching and learning again.
In youth literature, there’s always so much to be done for the sake of our children. While we’ve been uncovering the systemic ways oppression has been embedding in the stories, images, institutions, policies and practices that feed young minds these practices keep evolving in ways that allow them to perpuate imperialism. The right’s misinformation campaigns that have been gaining traction for years now targets children’s books in ways that again empowers anti-Black, homophobic, racist and anti-trans hatred. They’ve become experts in these campaigns that use private social media groups, billion dollar benefactors, coded language, personal and professional threats, legislation and political empowerment by running for local, state and national offices while the left does what?
Of what is the right so afraid that it causes them to silence others in such malicious ways?
What is the media’s role in all this, particularly in maintaining a division between the right and the left?
I will miss ALA Midwinter (January)and being with my people, my community! Maybe by ALA Annual (June) or even NCTE (November) we can gather again for some real self-care. Or maybe I’ll put some miles on my new little car and drive to Cincinnati, Chicago, Columbus or Champaign and rejuvenate with a quick little lunch visit. Until then, I’ll keep fighting the good fight and will keep finding ways to make difference in ways that matter. That definitely includes blogging!
Let’s have some fun and spread the joy!