unpopular opinion: i dont have a macbook *gasps* *cringes* *faints* 

but honestly, it was the best decision i have ever made. i am in love with my surface 3 pro and how easy it is to take notes in class (+ also cram for exams, like these bio notes from spring finals week)

stay strong, my fellow PC lovers

USUK Soulmate AUs

I came up with a list of Soulmate AUs a year-and-a-half ago, when there were only four of these stories, so I think it’s time for an update!

Soulmate Watches

Soulmate Tattoos

Oops, I Lost My Soulmate

Ability-to-see-color AUs

Other Soulmate Stories

    Talk show host reveals abuse as a child, blasts the Duggars in frank, poignant response: Real talk. Sheryl Underwood, one of the hosts of CBS’s The Talk revealed that she suffered sexual abuse as a very young girl and offered a poignant, emotional takedown of the Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s repulsive response to finding out their son was molesting his sisters and a family babysitter.

    From her statement during the show:
    “I went through that [at] 3, 4, 5 years old … you know something is wrong and if nobody listens to you and nobody is going to stop it whether I’m asleep or not. I didn’t sleep. I learned how to stay up as long as I could. I may sleep at school, because nobody is going to protect me, so I had to protect myself,” she said.

    She continued, “Aisha you said that it didn’t help [the Duggars] to do this interview. What it really did was it helped us, the world, to see what happens to people when they’re in some type of family structure when the people you’re supposed to trust to protect you seem to be your co-conspirator in your violation.” Sheryl Underwood’s impassioned statement is well worth a watch. As her co-hosts note, hopefully her frankness will help other victims seek help as they recover: http://dlvr.it/B6bpR7

    I recommend this book for all educators to read before the school year starts. It’s about Claude M. Steele’s research on stereotype threat and how professionals, professors, and K-12 teachers can combat the effects of stereotype threat in the classroom. If you don’t already know, Steele performed experiments that proved negative stereotypes cause high performing kids to underperform in school. This is especially important I think if you are working with minority populations. I am planning to use excerpts from this text to talk about stereotype threat with my kiddos, how we can combat those negative stereotypes and then lead us into discussions about growth mindset vs. fixed mindset. This way, I hope I can get more buy-in for a positive classroom culture.

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    4

    Review: The Oven by Sophie Goldstein

     The Oven is a book I’ve written about briefly in the past - starting out as a serialized black and white comic in the Maple Key anthology, it was published earlier this year by AdHouse as a 2 tone black, white, and orange perfect bound book with orange gilding. At 80 pages, The Oven is one of Goldstein’s longest solo projects to date.

     In a future where humanity has destroyed the atmosphere, people live in overcrowded bubble cities with strict reproduction regulations. Eric and Syd are a couple that lives in one of these bubbles, but they escape into the outside world to live off the land and be able to have a family. But the transition from screen-looking, city-dwelling folk to raise crops off the land, butcher your own animals for meat folk is not the easiest for the couple, and as the story progresses, the change takes its toll.

     Goldstein has a fairly cynical view on utopia in The Oven - both the protected bubble and the scorched backwater field could be labeled as utopia by differing people, but each of the two settings is problematic. To live in the bubble is to be clamped down on and controlled. The alternative isn’t much better, with its hard labor and seemingly meaningless toil.

     As the two progress in their off-the-grid life, Eric isn’t able to cope as nearly as well as Syd. In one series of panels, Eric works furiously on the farm, and he’s advised to pace himself. “I just want to finish!” he says, angrily. But there is no finish in farming, just moving on to the next task.  This idea of hardship as a natural consequence of noncompliance is an interesting one to express in comics, and it’s smartly evoked in The Oven.

     The Oven is a comic revolving around the idea of transformation - the movement from futuristic utopia to backwater off-the-grid settlement is both transformative in the sense that what Eric and Syd do with their day-to-day lives changes dramatically, but it also changes the nature of the relationship the two have. The Oven also reminds readers that transformation has both a private and public face and cost; whether that is in the growth of a pregnant belly or crashing from drug overuse, we see these things play out through the course of the comic.

     Some of the story’s darker elements focus on drug use; Goldstein represents these drugs as a caterpillar in a crystalline cocoon that users must pry open to ingest. The theme of transformation is again echoed here, as Eric’s drug use is represented as him breaking into butterflies and flying away. (We also see these cocoons and butterflies in the endpapers of the book, a nice, if subtle touch).

    Smart, complicated, and dark, The Oven is a fine addition to Goldstein’s oeuvre, and a book you should be reading. Recommended.

    ——

    Sophie Goldstein redinkradio is a cartoonist and illustrator, and a winner of a 2014 Ignatz award for her minicomic House of Women, pt 1. You can find more of her work at her website.

    AdHouse Books adhousebooks is a publisher of comics based in Virginia. Check out their upcoming releases and new comics at their website.

    Why you should watch this:

    Here’s a little breakdown and a list of reasons why you should watch “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries”

    Breakdown: 1920s Australia. The Honorable Miss Phryne (fry-nee) Fisher arrives in Australia where, of course, mysteries abound. She uses her wits and bravery to help Detective-Inspector Jack Robinson solve crimes, much to his annoyance. The side-characters are wonderful but it would take too much space and defeat the purpose of a breakdown.

    Why You Should Watch It:

    1. Miss Fisher is incredibly empowered (from my point of view). She’s sassy and bold, is sexually empowered without being shamed or having the show center on that, and is very witty, intelligent, and brave.
    2. Her role as firebrand doesn’t change because of romance. This is in-part because she’s all about those sexy times and doesn’t chase anyone (on purpose), but her bold personality doesn’t fizzle out when there’s a romance involved. Basically, she doesn’t need a man to define her personality.
    3. The side-characters around her shine without overshadowing her, and she doesn’t overshadow them. That’s a freaking hard balance to strike!
    4. THE ERA ITSELF. The clothes, the houses, the parties, the cars, all of it is gorgeous and (seems to be) very well researched. While I don’t know too much about the 1920s, I haven’t seen anything on the show that I can pick out as belonging to a different era.
    5. It’s good. It’s so good. If you like exciting mystery shows that have a light-hearted feeling while still including some dark themes, if you like the 1920s, if you like Australia, if you like sassy characters and super cute romances, then you will like this show!
    6. Also I need people to talk about this show with. So get to it!

    Charlie and I really enjoyed slvhermit ‘s book, Brother Raven: and Other Tales from the Middle of Nowhere 

    It’s full of short stories that are very enjoyable quick reads. I love this format because I never have a ton of time to sit down and read, so I can grab a quick story or three and be on my way.

    Thank you Leland and Angelo! :]