Weekly Update: 04/11/20

We just finished up week 4 of staying at home. In one sense, I didn’t have much going on before this; grad school and parenting a young child don’t really leave much space for doing things. But I’m realizing now how I do have even less going on, because I’m not even going on playdate outings or whatever.

We started watching Animaniacs with M, just in time to get excited for new episodes coming sometime ever.

Like so many other people, I’m growing weary of doing all of my communicating with people who don’t live with me via Zoom call. I do like being able to see people’s faces; I hate phone calls. But it’s wearying, right?

I found out that I didn’t get a dissertation completion fellowship from my school. That would have covered my tuition, fees, and health insurance, and given me a (very modest) stipend to cover living expenses. Because life, I have missed the deadlines for all similar awards. (Though I only found 4 I was eligible for anyway.) This has prompted a lot of questions for myself about what comes next, specifically in terms of being able to contribute to my family’s financial wellbeing, which is going to need a lot more help because our childcare costs are more than doubling next year. I’m reluctant to take a (eventually) face-to-face full-time job, because I want to be with my kid in the afternoons. He’ll get out of school at 3:15 and I want to be there to pick him up, not put him in aftercare or delegate that to somebody else.

So, what can I do, that will pay me, lets me work from 9 - 3, and is flexible enough to accommodate both dissertating and chronic illness? I’ve landed on freelance editing, which I did for a few months after getting my MSLS. (And maybe a little writing, but it doesn’t pay as well.) My current assistantship contract ends on May 15; I’m open to taking on new work any time after that. If you need an editor, get in touch. I’m hoping the university will be able to work with me to at least fund my tuition and fees, but tuition doesn’t buy groceries or pay preschool teachers, soooooo…

That was kind of the biggest thing that went down this week. I spent a day moping about it and not feeling like doing much else. But I did read some Internet things. Let me share them with you!

I will be soothed, actually

Why We Turn to Jane Austen in Dark Times I love Jane Austen. This does a great job of explaining how her works are soothing without denying that life is hard sometimes.

I try to check Tumblr’s Week in Review most weeks, because I want to know what people are fans of. When I saw #cottagecore pop up, I was intrigued. It’s kind of like… hygge with more fairy rings and fawns? And also, from what I’m reading, a queer-friendly aesthetic in a way some other Internet aesthetics aren’t.I wanted an explainer, and the Internet gave me one. And then it gave me two more. This has me pondering Internet aesthetics. I’ll let you know what I’m thinking about those as I develop my thoughts further. (But FYI, two of my favorites are vaporwave and [seapunk]aesthetics.fandom.com/wiki/Seap….)

Also, I’m fairly certain the appeal of cottagecore/farmcore is related to phenomena like the Joy of Missing Out and the general consumerist move toward coziness more broadly. (I even briefly thought, “Maybe I should crochet big cozy blankets and sell them for exorbitant sums.” None of us are immune to this sort of thinking, I fear…) Also I got a little grouchy reading about [grandmillenials](), who I guess seem to me to be wee babes rediscovering the New Domesticity and sharing it online as though Gen X didn’t already do that over 15 years ago

Currently

📖: Blue Mind by Wallace J. Nichols, A Conspiracy of Truths by Alexandra Rowland
🎬: ST:TNG in 40 Hours
🦸‍♀️: The Power of X
🎮: Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, Lego Marvel Superheroes 2

Kimberly Hirsh @kimberlyhirsh