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Week in Review: Peace and Conflict

After the chaos of the last few weeks, I have finally had a bit of a slowdown this week. I returned my students’ papers last Monday and, even though their next paper is due on Wednesday, I will get a little break from teaching because I’ll have “Reading Days” on Thursday and Friday (no classes in the English Department), and the following week a few lessons that are mostly student-led and don’t require a ton of preparation on my end.

All this is to say that I’ve been able to enjoy my life a little bit more and find a little peace. I’ve especially felt it today (Sunday as I’m writing)–the weather has been gorgeous, and I’ve felt productive without feeling the pressure to constantly do more than I’m capable of without losing my sanity and my health.dscn2154The greatest thing dragging me down, honestly, is the thing that has been dragging my nation down: the hateful rhetoric, the revelation of scandal after scandal, the divisive discussions that have been flooding social media, and the repeated reminders of how horrendously men in positions of power feel entitled to behave toward women. I cannot remember a time in my life where my nation has been so bitterly divided, and I’ve been trying to stay out of it, but I keep being tempted back into the fray each time another bomb drops. And then my heart is hurt when I watch friends for whom I have great respect side against me.

There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to check Facebook anymore; just read recipe posts and force myself to find time for this thesis I’ve said I’ll write.

In the meantime, here were a few joys and highlights of my week:

  • Taught three lessons.
  • Had the joy to meet a number of my students in my office outside of class. Maybe partly because they’re facing the shock of getting their first grades back, but it’s still always a joy to me when they come and talk about what’s going on in their lives and how the class is going for them.
  • Graded a lot of “process work” (small assignments that add up to a small percentage of the course grade.) And I mean a lot.
  • Had a bit of an emotional breakdown over a tempeh burger with sweet potato fries and posted about it on the blog.
  • Also had the pleasure of announcing my very exciting upcoming blog event, No-Shame November! I’m so excited to read all of your contributions. Check it out if you haven’t had the chance to
  • Also posted a recipe for some humble, but very delicious, low-FODMAP chicken meatballs.dscn2098
  • Tried a few new recipes, including these Healthy Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash Boats from My Little Tablespoon that were to.die.for. and this delicious Creamy Polenta with Tomato Ragout and Eggs from Salubrious RD. Both turned out splendid.dscn2126
  • Went to two spin classes.
  • Went dancing in Denver on Thursday night at the Mercury Cafe.dscn2144
  • Did a lot of work for my communications internship with the English Department, including transcribing an interview and covering a professional development workshop. The most fun part of the internship has been creating posts for Instagram–we’re doing Booktober.dscn2130
  • Bought a pair of warm, insulated gloves for 40% off at Sierra Trading Company after arriving at work on Friday morning with my hands in downright pain from the cold.
  • Met a professor and some folks in my grad program for wine on Friday afternoon, which for some reason left me feeling very ill, but after a three-hour nap I somehow recovered enough to go to a party on Friday night. (The party was called No More Pain III. You had to wear all black and drink Fireball. I wore black but drank exclusively water.)
  • Hung out with my favorite neighbor. Because I can’t keep one at home. (Roommate and boyfriend both have allergies.)dscn2169
  • Went to the park and did my homework on Sunday afternoon. Gorgeous.img_20161009_160250
  • Watched the presidential debate.
  • Took way too many pictures of autumn leaves.dscn2147 dscn2164-2

Hope everyone else had a great week, and that you’re finding peace. Especially, for my American readers, in the midst of this tumultuous time.

Want to see what other bloggers were up to this week? Check out Week in Review over at Meg’s.

Do your hands ever start to hurt when they get too cold?

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  1. I’m making a point to spend a lot less time on social media lately because all of the hate is pretty depressing. At least it makes more time for my senior thesis, though! I’m glad you’re finding time to relax amidst the fall business–things are going to be pretty hectic for me this week but luckily midterm break is this weekend! 🙂

    1. Joyce says:

      Way to stay on the bright side, Claire. Enjoy your midterm break and the extra time to work on your thesis. Or just take a break. 🙂

  2. I bought arm warmers for the cold weather. They’re knitted and fitted and lovely for keeping off the chill.

    I watched the debate too, and I’m so tired of the politics. It’s awful and last night was particularly disgusting.

    I’m glad to see you found some peace, did some dancing, spinning and a little bit of party going, although I’m sorry you can’t have a cat. You can hang out with Oscar anytime.

    Happy Monday and thanks for linking up.

    1. Joyce says:

      Arm warmers sound perfect for now that the weather gets cooler. I will accept your offer to hang out with Oscar, thank you. We will become fast friends.

  3. I definitely can’t read about politics on social media, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. No sense in arguing. But on a positive note, your food looks delicious. Those spaghetti boats sound tasty, I might need to try those soon!

    1. Joyce says:

      The spaghetti squash boats were definitely delicious–I highly recommend them. 🙂

  4. Cora says:

    Ugh. This was SO nice to read, Joyce. I am so, so thrilled life is finally slowing down at least a bit for you and that you are feeling a bit more peaceful. You’ve had such a big, exhausting, roller coaster of a last month. I really hope this new pacing can last for a while.
    I’m so excited that you tried and liked my alfredo recipe! I’m still pretty surprised and proud of it. I now need to make that polenta tomato dish. I have so many similar type polenta dishes pinned but have yet to try one out. Here’s to another good week!

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