Best Things I Read This Week(ish): XXL Edition

In the spirit of getting back into the swing of things on this blog, I present to you The Best Things I Read this Week*: XXL Edition.

*As you might’ve guessed, this edition features readings from more than just this past week.

On Writing

Between dealing with my own writer’s block and planning a course that asks students to take on the persona of “writer,” I’ve appreciated finds like this: How to Be a Writer by the wonderful Rebecca Solnit.

Rereading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott has been a much-needed inspiration, too. I highly recommend all writers read this book. Here’s a lovely Brain Pickings post with some details.

Since I’m always fascinated by how we talk about truth in writing, I enjoyed this essay, “Writing Against the Fact” by Justin Lawrence Daugherty.

On (un)Happiness

The Oatmeal put into comic form all my issues with what I call “The Cult of Choose Happiness” in this wonderful piece “How to Be Perfectly Unhappy.”

On Friendship

The loss of friendships has been a theme in my writing for a while now (Gravel: A Literary Journal was kind enough to publish a flash nonfiction piece of mine recently on this same topic), so this essay, “Becoming the Ghost” by Iza Wojciechowska hit home when I read it this morning.           

Immediately after reading that one, this Brain Pickings piece, “Reclaiming Friendship,” appeared in my Facebook feed.

On Disability, Trigger Warnings, and Teaching

A lot of my research in teaching and for my master’s culminating activity centers around disability. Here are a few of the things I’ve read recently that have made an impact.

Re: Trigger Warnings, a hot-button topic on campuses: I love Erika D. Price’s suggestions and explanations on why she uses trigger warnings. (Pair with Roxane Gay’s essay “The Illusion of Safety/The Safety of Illusion”)

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an ongoing special report series on Disability on Campus (some of the articles I read and liked recently are now available only with a subscription).

This NPR article, “Mental Health in Schools,” focuses on secondary ed, but offers useful information for college instructors, too.  

When considering how to approach accessibility in the classroom, this article, “Suggested Practices for Syllabus Accessibility Statements” was a great starter.

On Race

I’ve been struggling a lot with issues of race – how we talk about it, how to be a good ally, how to speak up, how to be anti-racist in my classroom. I hope to write more about this topic specifically, but in the meantime, here are some of the things I’ve been reading related to race.

Leslie Jamison uses her trademark empathy to discuss this “summer of vulnerable and brutalized bodies” in her powerful op-ed, “Rape, Race and the Jogger.”

Decentering Whiteness” has been an incredibly useful for me in understanding how I might make a difference in my pedagogical practices.

A friend posted a link to this blog which discusses 28 Common Racist Behaviors and Attitudes.

Happy reading!