A Vintage Marvel Calendar for 2015 (Oh, and I Say Some Things About 2014, Too)

Aaaaaaaand we’re back!

Here’s hoping that those of you who celebrated holidays enjoyed them. We’ve had an amazing few weeks here with visits from family and friends, late night chats, video games, presents, and So Much Food.

My darling husband managed to buy two of the things from my wishlist (The PrintHufflepuff robe and the Sam Brown print) before I’d even published it. And Little Jedi was more than content with his Lego sets, Skylanders, and books. Hilariously, he was annoyed when the dog woke him up Christmas morning—-until he remembered that it was Christmas. My mother-in-law managed to snag a signed copy of Not My Father’s Son (which was on my I-hope-Santa-brings-me-book-list), and my sis-in-law Lyn (and friend and Monster contributor!) bought this awesome double-sided book The Thorn and the Blossom.

On the day after Christmas, Little Jedi always leaves for a week with his dad, so after returning home from the drop-off, I promptly threw on my Hufflepuff robe and curled up on my very large couch with my pup and my books for lots of reading time. The Beginning of Everything, Not My Father’s Son, The Thorn and the Blossom, and The Summer We Fell Apart all got read in a week, me 1620516_648834879173_277836147_n (1)sitting on the couch in my bathrobe and eating marshmallows and just generally enjoying the reading for fun. I’d virtually stopped reading toward the end of my time in school, paralyzed by the work I had to do. It was nice to absolutely devour books again for the first time in a long while.

It’s been a trying but wonderful year, and it was nice to end it with several days of relaxation before my long-time friend (and Monster contributor!) Cat and her wife Heather came for a New Year’s Eve/Day visit. We rang in the New Year with a little champagne and a lot of laughs, and a very long game of Cards Against Humanity.

This year I:

  • Got Freshly Pressed.
  • Turned 30.
  • Got married. In Vegas.

    Vegas wedding photo by Erin Summerill Photograph
    Vegas wedding photo by Erin Summerill Photograph
  • Decided to place Little Jedi in a language immersion school and started that process. He’s now halfway through his first year of kindergarten.
  • Had a few health problems–a sprained ankle around the end of January, a bout of pneumonia in September, and a torn meniscus in my right knee in November.
  • Failed written comps.
  • Attended my first Halloween ball in New Orleans.
  • Passed written comps.
  • Failed oral comps.
  • Conceded that my heart is no longer in that work and left school.
  • Begun work on my next major project, which I’ll say more about as it comes closer to fruition.

And that was really quite a lot, most of it involving school and occurring between Halloween and December 10. This sort of upheaval meant, of course, that I haven’t gotten some things I wanted to do finished. Well, the upheaval of some of those things and my massive talent for procrastination. 🙂

I haven’t yet rearranged parts of the blog that I’d like to–a new header image, re-working the categories, and re-working some of the widgets–and I haven’t been writing as much.

And here’s a handy thing I found today. Last year, I used a 1975 Marvel calendar for my desktop background because it was fun and the days matched 2014. Well 2015 matches 1981, and it just so happens that Andertoons has the entire 1981 Marvel calendar up for download. Happy Christmas and New Year, Internet. 😀

Marvel-Calendar-1981-Jan

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21 Comments

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  1. As one MUCH older than you, who once abandoned a 4.0 Masters, comps and orals in the bag, (because life was nuts and I didn’t think thesis work would do much more for me – AND I had not yet received an official ADD dx) , I encourage you to rethink the decision to abandon a degree so close to the finish line.

    Unfortunately, the world just loves those “initials” and doors are sometimes closed to those who lack them – no matter how accomplished otherwise.

    Don’t let “time going by” make the decision FOR you. DO take the time to think about it when there is still time to do the work.

    Offered hoping to be helpful – not to tell you how to run your life.

    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

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    1. While I understand what you mean, and I would agree with you on the master’s level, I think a PhD is an entirely different game. Especially in English literature. The field is shrinking because of college enrollment rates and because adjunct positions are becoming the rule rather than the exception. The few tenure track positions that are out there are difficult to find and generally require relocation. I don’t want to relocate at this point, and certainly not for a university-level teaching job. It isn’t really what I want to do. The program I was in (like many) focuses so much on teaching that it excludes other job possibilities while training its graduates.

      Essentially, the only doors open to me with a PhD rather than the MA that I have are doors that are damnably small. For every full time position in children’s literature at a university there are probably a hundred or more applicants, some of them from much more prestigious school. The field is going to have to change in order to survive, stop training its graduates to teach at a university and nothing else.

      Long-term, I knew I wouldn’t be happy teaching. I always intended to work in editing and publishing somehow rather than teach. That’s not what our program usually focuses on, but I have felt pushed more and more to teach and nothing else in the last 2 years.

      Another part of the reason that comps were so difficult for me is that I chose my interest areas too early and wasn’t invested enough in them to put in the time and devotion to becoming *the* leading theorist on the matter. Without that, and without being able to deliver it in a job talk, there’s no real way to finish the degree, and I had a committee that refused to allow me to change my areas. In other words—I don’t want to look for a university-level teaching job in 19th century American literature or feminist criticism (jobs that are difficult to come by anyway) but can’t change those specialties, and so the actual piece of paper isn’t worth the cost at this point.

      To finish, I would’ve needed to pass the other half of comps (retake would’ve been in February) and then write a dissertation prospectus. I’d need to defend that, then write a 150-ish page dissertation. I was looking at another 2 years or so of work, and I live out of state, so after my funding ran out in May 2015, I would’ve needed to take 1-3 hours each semester, paid for out of pocket, in order to stay enrolled and working on the dissertation. It was just too much.

      Leaving is really a done-deal at this point, and I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. WONDERFUL!

        It does sound like you’ve thought it through very thoroughly (which I’m not sure I did, at the time). As I meant to imply but maybe didn’t make very clear in my former comment, you don’t have to defend your life choices to ME (or anyone!) – I simply wanted to ring in with another point of view.

        The fact that you are happier than you’ve been in a long time probably says it all anyway.

        Congrats – and Happy New Year.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh yes, I thought it through before leaving. I really hate quitting things, and so it wasn’t in my nature, even when I found it difficult, to quit. I first had the idea a full year before I made the decision.

          And I understand–I would give the same sort of advice, especially to someone quitting their MA. I think you’re right about the fact that I’m happier being a major indication that it was the right call. I felt that way from the minute I decided what to do, though discussing it with instructors was a bit nerve-racking. I suppose my emotions still really come through when discussing the decision because it’s so new, and it’s such a huge change. 🙂

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        2. Change is huge anyway – and this one, in particular, throws the doors wide open to . . .gulp, what?

          You are brave to put it out there on your blog – and I loved reading your response to my comment.

          Exciting starting anew – but a tad scary too, huh? So many options, especially after having your head in academics for a while. (I mean, “Who am I NOW and where do I put my next foot?” sort of thoughts – those were mine each time I changed careers, anyway – but they faded quickly as I took steps)

          My own MA would have been in theatre – and since I was off to NYC after leaving a marriage (and had made up my mind that I was NOT cut out for the politics of academia through my teaching assistantship), finishing my thesis seemed like there was not much it would DO for me but slow me down and keep me stuck in the past.

          I was certainly right as long as I was an actor/director — but little did I realize that even an MA in Home Ec. would have helped launching my *next* career! (totally unrelated as well – not to disparage anyone else’s educational choices).

          ALSO, once I discovered my fascination with all things neuro, I probably would have gone for a Ph.D. in neuropsych, but let the abandoned M.A. stop me (THAT and the fact that they would make me take statistics – totally dyscalculate as I am ::grin::)

          Best of EVERYTHING to you as you reinvent yourself and go for what makes your heart sing.
          xx, mgh

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Thank you!

          I’m watching friends and colleagues go back to school this semester, and I just realized that it’s the only one in memory that I haven’t been going back myself. It’s liberating, but it’s bittersweet.

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    1. Thanks! It’s nice to be back in the blogosphere. Now that I’m beginning to get my posting back on track, I’m going to start returning to my old haunts, like NOLA Femmes. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, thanks, and thanks! I’m glad to be back writing and reading again, and definitely going to enjoy unveiling this new direction as I see where it’s headed.

      Liked by 1 person

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