I’ve been trying hard to keep up with my goals as I started my full-time position. It was difficult the first month when I was first starting my new job, of course, but I feel like I’ve really started to adjust and am learning how to accomplish more tasks after 5:00 p.m. and on the weekends.
Since I wrote my last list, I’ve read the following books, putting me at a total of three fiction books and 10 nonfiction:
- The Gathering by Anne Enright
- Zen Mind, Beginners Mind by Shunryū Suzuki
- The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
- David & Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
- Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
- The Gangster of Love by Jessica Hagedorn
- The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
And I can now communicate in very basic Spanish. Hopefully, I’ll have the opportunity to travel and use it soon.
The biggest news is that I’ve totally completed one Alt. Grad School goal: Publish three freelance stories. All three were published in Iowa City alternative press magazine Little Village in 2017.
- Profile of Jane Elliott, an anti-racism advocate famous for her Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes exercise she performed in her 3rd-grade classroom the day after Martin Luther King Jr. died. Jane is 85 and has lived in Iowa her whole life. I had the privilege of interviewing her in her home in Osage.
- Profile of Bridget Fonseca, a 24-year-old who graduated from the University of Iowa and started an organic farm with her partner Jake Kundert.
- Current affairs story about young women getting IUDs, a long-term birth control method, because of their fears about the changing healthcare system.
And one last goal I made headway on during these first two months… I’m training to run a 10K (6.2 mi) in 60 minutes or less. On Aug. 27, I completed my first 5-mile run and on Aug. 31, I was able to run 5 miles without taking any breaks to walk, which took about 55 minutes. This may not be a major feat for all runners, but it was big for me! I’ve been slowly increasing my running capacity over the last two years and it’s encouraging to see that, though very gradually, I was able to reach this point. I remember when two or three miles was a significant challenge. Reaching 6.2 miles in 60 minutes will require me to average faster than 10:00/mi, which will not be easy, but I’m confident I can get there by June 1.