August 7th, 2008

as in a record of an event

[IBARW] I don't have a title for this.

I was putting together lists of books I wanna read and went back to oyceter's 50books_poc post because I knew she had linked to a number of book lists there.

In scrolling through denim_queen's 180 Expanded list, I was struck by the books I had read before or were on my list to read but which I wouldn't have thought of were I to try to come up with a POC reading list.

On the one hand I suppose it's good that I don't have like a little drawer in my brain of "POC lit I have read," but I also worry about the whitewashing that implies that I do.

Some of it I think is stuff that I think of as generally "foreign" rather than specifically racially other. I mean, I read Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Salman Rushdie because friends had raved about them, and even without the geographical foreignness of the setting, the stories they tell are a magical realism sort. But did I totally picture white people when reading Love in the Time of Cholera? Yeah, pretty much. 'Cause that's my default. Even though the names are obvious cues even if one were to ignore the various talk about location (which, not gonna lie, I often largely gloss over).

I definitely think it's important for me to learn about and be exposed to experiences other than my own, whether that means life as a non-white person in the contemporary USA, life outside the USA, or whatever. But to some degree I have to make a conscious effort to actually absorb all the information the book is attempting to convey, and not just let it turn into a story about People Like Me in some foreign circumstance.
hipster me

I still keep thinking it's one day later than it is.

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***

Tuesday, Cailin told me we needed to hang out, in part so she could give me the thing she got for me from Norway: "I told Katie about it, and she said, "Elizabeth'll love it!'  But it's kind of inappropriate, so I figured I shouldn't bring it in to work."  But she gave them to me at lunch today anyway.  SeigDamer.  Yeah, you can Google it.

Really slow day at work today -- which was weird after the surprisingly busy week up to this point.  Tomorrow I need to make sure I do all the stuff I've forgotten to do, since it's my last workday before my vacation.  I love that everyone's been like, "Have an awesome vacation," with no worries about any work that might need doing in the duration -- and truly I'm not worried, I just happened to remember one thing tonight which I should finish up before I leave.

(Also, I feel kind of like I work for the entire department -- what with AOM and then Laura asking if she could tell me faculty to ask me if they needed anything while she's out of the office tomorrow -- but in a good way.)