Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Help Me Out? (And a Brief Life Update)

Hey guys! 

So the new semester is underway, and things have gotten quite busy even though it feels like we've barely started. First of all, between now and my last "life update" at the beginning of November, I've been dealing with some health problems. Basically, at the end of November, I started having severe back pain--so bad at times that I was starting to lose feeling in my legs and had trouble standing up. Long story short, I went to the doctor, had an MRI done, and found out that I had two protruding discs in my lower back. Winter break consisted of three corticosteroid injections (giant needles in your back are a LOT of fun, I'm telling you), an arsenal of different medications, lots of physical therapy, and a number of trips to the doctor's office for follow-up appointments (and one after I had an allergic reaction to Celebrex). The problem is much more under control now, but I'm still on muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories around the clock, and if I sit for too long, I DEFINITELY notice it. It's nice to have the back of a 90 year-old woman at 22! The biggest thing that bothers me is that I have to take it easy. Too much bending, lifting, sitting, standing, or walking can put me in muscle spasms for hours, and I'm not used to taking it easy, especially since I started graduate school and teaching, but hey, it could always be worse. 

Anyways, what I REALLY wanted to talk to you guys about was one of the projects I'm working on this semester. As a graduate teaching assistant in the English Department, one of my responsibilities is to help collaborate on the textbook for next year's Writing I (ENG 110) classes. At our university, we have what's called the "public affairs mission," which comes with it's own theme every year. I'm mentioning this because English 110  ties into this theme every year. The upcoming theme is "global perspective," (you can get a definition of exactly what that is by clicking HERE. One of the things I have to do is find an article (or two, or three) that fits this theme to include in the textbook for next year. And, as a book blogger and avid reader, I would LOVE to submit some articles dealing with those areas. I have a couple that I'm looking at, but I know you guys read just as much (if not more) bookish-related posts than I do, so why not ask for a little help and expand my search?

 Here are some really basic specs for what I need:

1) Some sort of blog post, news article, scholarly essay, video clip, etc. that can be tied back to the theme of global perspective in some way, shape, or form. Again, you can find a brief explanation here if you need it. The article doesn't have to be scholarly. We use an amalgamation of sources!

2) Leave me the link (or title and author) in the comments! Feel free to submit as many as you can think of! If I don't end up submitting it for the textbook, there's a pretty good chance I might end up using the material in my own lesson plans!

3) The article doesn't have to be related to books. Though I love to talk about books, I know you guys read a LOT of other interesting things as well, so feel free to submit anything that fits in with the theme! 

4) Keep in mind that these articles are going to be read and analyzed by first-year college composition students (most of my students wind up in the 18-20 year-old range), so try to avoid articles that are aimed for more advanced students (say, Masters or Doctoral students). 

And that's it! I would love, love, LOVE, if you guys would chip in. After all, the book blogosphere represents such a wide variety of cultures, worldviews, and (keyword!) perspectives too, right? 


  1. Oh no, I'm sorry to hear about your back, Natalie. *gentle hugs* I'll keep a lookout for anything that fits what you're looking for.

  2. I'm with Christy. I will keep my eyes pealed for you.

    SOOO sorry about your back.
    I've been there.
    Both my husband and I have back issues.
    We keep our issues at bay with some pricey but totally worth it helpers (orthopedic pillows, a Sleep Number bed, and an inversion table).

    Good luck! :)

  3. I actually thought of this, but I'm not sure I can help. Good luck though, it sounds like a cool project in my opinion.

  4. This sounds like an awesome project! I can't think of anything off the top of my head, but I will keep my eyes and open and send you anything I think you might be interested in.

    SO sorry to hear about your back! I remember you saying something about the muscle relaxants awhile back. :( Glad it's a little better at least. I hope you continue to improve!

  5. So sorry to hearing about your back problems. Chronic health problems are hard, but you can handle them. I know. My husband has very serious chronic lung problems.

    I'm wondering if you could do something on the importance on multi cultural characters in literature. Stacy Whitman is a editor at Tu Publishing that focuses on multi cultural fantasy and sci-fi for YA and MG. I'm going to give you a link to her blog but if you google her, I know you'll find some of her guest posts on this subject. Here's the link:

    Good luck!

  6. (((((((((( hugs ))))))))))))))

    Back pain is the absolute worst! My sister deals with it and I just can't imagine.

    I will keep a look out for articles!

  7. I'm so sorry to hear of you pain! ((Gentle Hugs))

    "Speaking" of which... how about chronic pain as a subject. That is something that is very global. I remember reading an essay about chronic illness. It's called the Spoonie Theory" It might be something to use.

    There is also a whole bunch of stuff of the Vick dogs (pitties) at Bad Rap I have seen this as global since more stories have come out about destroying dogs based on "looking like" a pit. Lennox was the most recent and famous from Belfast. Even if they never have shown agression. What can I say, I wuv the puppies. :D

    Hope it helps and TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! <3!

  8. I'm sorry about your back.

    Here's a blog post on children and global perspective:

  9. I don't think I can help you but I can say that I'm so sorry about the back pain! I hurt mine several years ago and it was where I would lose feeling in my legs and I would completely fall over sometimes. I worked at a nursing home too... we never figured out the problem but I don't really think they actually tried. I do keep it bearable by regular back exercises. Just keeping the muscles stretched and strong. I hope yours starts getting better so you don't have to deal with it for years.

  10. Back pain is the worst! I'm so sorry.

    I fell on a tree stump (don't laugh) years ago and I still get back pain if I sit too long, exercise the wrong way or don't stretch. Nothing as bad as what you're going through though.


  11. I will keep a look out for articles. The project sounds fun. Like so many others, I'm really sorry your having health issues. Back pain is very hard to live/deal with. I hope that you get better soon! Good luck on your project and teaching!

  12. Sorry to hear about your back! I hope that you start to feel better!!!

  13. Oh you poor thing, hun! I hope you're feeling a lot better. And defo stay away from Celebrex - that stuff has caused big problems for so many people.

    Take it easy :)

  14. I'm sorry you spent your winter break in so much pain! Back pain is the worst because you can't really do anything. About the articles, nothing really comes to mind right this second, but I will think about it. I promise to keep it in mind.


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