Friday, November 2, 2012

It's Been Awhile...Life Update!

So for those of you who have absolutely no interest in me outside this blog...sorry! This isn't really my typical kind of blog post. It's more of an update on my personal life for my good bloggy friends, who've mentioned that they would like to hear from me every once in awhile. Other than leaving the occasional blog comment or tweet, I've been failing at this miserably! 

Most of you know by now that I'm currently in graduate school, working on my Masters in Literature. I also have a graduate assistantship at my university, which allows me to teach two sections of first-year composition. It's a fantastic program, because I don't have to pay a dime for my Masters' tuition! Furthemore, I get a (tiny but welcomed) paycheck along with a tuition waiver. It's a pretty solid deal all around!

Teaching for the first time has been an incredible learning experience. Don't get me can be difficult and stressful at times, but I feel like I'm learning just as much being in charge of a classroom as I am when I'm playing the role of the student. Going into this semester, I had quite a bit riding on whether or not I would actually like teaching. While I'd already committed to getting a Masters, let's face it--there's pretty much no valid reason for me pursuing a Ph.D. in Literature unless I want to teach college. And if I hated would probably be time for me to do a little career reevaluation. 

Thankfully, I've really enjoyed my teaching experience so far. It's had its ups and downs and frustrations, but overall, I've considered it to be a mostly positive experience. With that in mind, I've officially decided that I will be applying for Ph.D programs once I near the end of my Masters. I have to admit...the thought of getting a Ph.D kind of terrifies me, but I don't feel like I'll be finished with learning in another year and a half of graduate school. So I'm making the plunge! Or, at least, I will be. :)

My own classes have been going pretty well. Due to the classes that were offered this semester (and scheduling conflicts), I'm actually not taking a single literature class this semester. Instead, I'm getting my other English requirements out of the way (courses in linguistics and teaching composition). While I like and appreciate my other classes, literature is my true passion, so I'm looking forward to next semester, when I'll be taking a seminar course on Victorian children's literature and pop culture, a course on literature and medicine, and another seminar on critical theory!

To get a Masters in lit. at my university, we all have to take comprehensive exams in two areas of literature. I've finally picked my two: post 1798 British Literature and Children's Literature (bet you guys are surprised by that last one). I've still got a lot of outside reading to do for comps, so that's another thing on my plate. I could be taking them as early as spring!

I know that those of you who aren't pursuing some sort of degree in English were probably ridiculously bored by the previous six paragraphs, so I thought I'd spend a little time talking about the things I've been trying to squeeze in on the side, which, hopefully, will be of more interest to you!

On My Nightstand

The Darkest Minds

Okay, so we already know that my reading outside of class is extremely limited, but I attempting to read these two books at the moment. I have to admit, I've been going at a super slow pace because finding the time to read non class-related books has been practically non-existent, but I'm trying! One of my colleagues in the graduate assistant office highly recommended What is the What, and I've been wanting to read The Darkest Minds for a LONG time...especially considering how much I enjoyed Bracken's first book, Brightly Woven. I'm only about 20 pages into each of these, but I'm hoping to finish them soon (ish).

On My TV

My TV-watching time has also been pretty limited, but I like to use episodes of my favorite shows as "rewards" for being productive. (For every three hours spent grading/studying, I get to watch an episode)! I've been so stoked for season 3 of The Walking Dead! I'm always sad that there's only one episode per week. I've enjoyed the new season so far, though I have to the moment, I'm liking the storyline with Rick and the gang better than the one with Andrea and the Governor.

I did a review of this show back at the beginning of the August, and Season 3 started up at the end of September. Once again, if you haven't started this show, you should at least give it a try. It's charming, in a slightly gritty, suspenseful, sort of way!

The Walking Dead and Haven are the only two shows that I'm actually caught up on. I have a crap ton of episodes from other shows sitting in my instant queues on Netflix and Hulu! There are also a couple of new shows that I've wanted to try but haven't gotten the chance to watch yet:


Have any of you watched Arrow or Beauty and the Beast yet? If so, what do you think? Something I should try?

Also, I've become totally addicted to the band Imagine Dragons. Their latest album is fantastic. 


So this post hasn't been at all coherent or eloquent, but that's what's been going on with me lately! I can't tell you how much I miss you all! Stepping back from blogging was necessary for being successful in my other areas of life for right now, but I miss it a lot. I'm hoping to maybe get to do a little blogging over Christmas break. Hugs!


  1. NATALIE! I am so, so glad you're enjoying grad school. (I'm also laughing a little that linguistics is not necessarily your favorite class. It's kind of a bitch, isn't it?) I wish you THE BEST OF LUCK with everything, and I hope to see you again during the semester break. :)

  2. Yay! Hi! You go girl!

    Nice to hear from you and I'm so with you on Haven. I heart that show.

  3. She's alive! And doing great, it seems! I'm glad to see you have a system going that works well for you.

    What is the What is apparently a really good book! I've had it for a while now but haven't finished it. I met some of the Sudanese "Lost Boys" during my undergrad when I was doing anti-genocide advocacy. If you like it, maybe try A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah. :)

    And YAY for The Walking Dead! Yahooooo! Loving the prison setting, hardcore. Creepy! And you should watch Arrow merely for eye candy. Great stress reliever! :)

  4. Congrats, Natalie! I'm so happy to know that you're doing so well. As someone who's at the end of a PhD program AND has been teaching Uni for a few years, I'm absolutely thrilled by your career choice. I'm a bit more introverted, so as much as I like my job, I struggled with exposing myself like that at the beginning, but teaching wasn't what I originally chose at all. I was actually hired to work on a research project, but then they sort of redirected me to teaching as well. Ah, well, all in a day's work. :)

    Anyway, I've been thinking about you and wondering how things are going. I'm happy you posted an update. :)
    Hope to hear from you soon. Hugs.

  5. Downright awesome that you're working on your lit masters! I envy you . . . in a I'm-happy-for-you-but-I'd-like-to-do-that-too kind of way.

  6. Yay! I loved reading this update on your life! This makes me want to go back to school and take English classes! I'm so glad that you've discovered that you do enjoy teaching. :D I'm not cut out to be a teacher, but I've felt it could be fun to teach a literature class. Hehe.

    Thanks for the update Natalie! Can't wait to hear from you again when you have time. Good luck on all your classes and teaching. :)

  7. Hey Natalie!! Nice to hear from you. I'm glad your Master's is going so well. I'm getting everything together to applyfor graduate school at the moment. I'm doing Library Science to be a librarian, but sometimes I wonder about getting a PhD. Certain professors make me want to be a teacher, but we'll see. Maybe further in the future.

    Yay for being able to enjoy some fun stuff here and there! I like one song by Imagine Dragons, so I guess I need to listen to them more. :)


  8. Hi Natalie! Glad that your doing well in your graduate course. And enjoying your teaching! Good luck for it all!

  9. Oh yay! Thanks for the update! I was wondering how you were doing. I'm glad things are going good. When I hear peoples college stories it makes me a little sad that I never went, but I guess its never too late, right?
    I hope things continue to go good for you!

    1. Hey Candace,

      It's definitely never too late to learn or go back to school. I've gone back for degrees more than once and I always see people of various ages. It's not just for young folks!

  10. Aww...I'm so glad to hear you're doing well and enjoying it too! I haven't had a chance to watch Arrow or Beauty and the Beast yet either, but they both look great and I'm planning on checking them out...looking forward to your next update!

  11. While I teach elementary and not something near as fun as college I understand completely! Congrats on deciding to persue your PhD that's somewhere on my agenda for the future. Best wishes in life and literature!!

  12. I'm so happy you are going for you PhD! WHEE! Can I call you profé? :) I know you are totally rocking everything.

    I have actually stopped watching the Walking Dead. I donno... they sort of lost me after a bit. Needed a bit direction, but I have heard that the new villans have livened (heh) up the show a bit. I may need to start watching agin. I have watched the new CW shows and I'm enjoying Beauty and the Beast so far.

    Please continue your updates!!

  13. I'm so happy for you, Natalie! How exciting that you're going to go for the Ph.D!

    Oh yes, loving the storyline with Rick and them more than the other.

    I'm glad you let us know how you are doing. Don't be a stranger.

    (poor Patient Zero...)


    OK, so HUGE congrats on deciding to pursue your PhD and... it's just so good to hear from you, and hear you're doing well. Teaching sounds... wow.

    Good luck! ♥

  15. Wow, a PhD! That's intense stuff - so glad everything is working out and that you're still motivated enough to keep learning!

    It was lovely getting an update - can we talk about last week's Walking Dead episode? I cried. Like, I needed to call my mom and make sure she was ok, cried. And I agree - I much prefer Rick's storyline to Andrea's; I've never like her.

    Much love! <3

  16. Congrats on school! I'm glad things are going well for you! Good luck on your PhD!!!

    I am totally LOVING Imagine Dragons! That album is fantastic! You should also try Lana Del Rey if already haven't! She's my latest music obsession!

  17. Glad to hear you're doing well! The tuition waiver is awesome... grad school is costing me a ton of money!

  18. Wow! you rock girl!That is so impressive. Getting a PH.d. is intimidating I haven't been able to convince mysel to do it and now with two toddlers...well it may be a Few years...I miss you on the blogosphere but totally understand why you aren't blogging much, Best of luck in your endeavors!


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