The Week of 110%

I attended a conference in Cleveland last weekend, which is why I missed posting my regular Sunday morning update. Although the conference was fulfilling--an opportunity to learn and make connections with generous, passionate, and activist colleagues--the result was that I had no time for relaxation and recovery and went straight into this week feeling behind on my work. It has been twelve straight days of cranking it out, particularly now that I'm teaching on Mondays and Wednesdays. I did go see a movie with a friend last night, and I've given myself a few hours this morning to drink my coffee, listen to jazz, and read the paper. So I feel restored and ready to dive into teaching tomorrow. 

Here's what captured my attention this week...

I'm reading: I've been immersed in the two texts I assigned to my students: Tyler Anbinder's City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York and Mitchell Duneier's Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea. I also dipped into a book that I'm embarrassed to admit I should have read years ago, Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration. I am incorporating sections into an in-class activity my students will do to learn about the creation of segregated black neighborhoods in northern cities in the early twentieth century. 

I'm listening to: I'm still listening to a lot of Tom Petty these days. I enjoyed an episode that Slate's Hit Parade podcast did on Petty and Prince, punnily entitled Le Petty PrinceI was unaware of how the two artists' careers intersected throughout the years, and host Chris Molanphy helpfully contextualizes their decades of hits within the context of rock n' roll history.  

I'm watching: Last night I saw Frederick Wiseman's new film, Ex Libris, on the New York Public Library. Beyond being a fan of cinéma vérité generally and of Wiseman specifically, I adore libraries, particularly the NYPL. I actually began graduate school with the intention of writing about how the institution historically provided health information and wellness services to immigrant New Yorkers! At three hours and 17 minutes, Ex Libris is a bit too long and drags at the end, but for the first two and a half hours it is a joy to go behind the scenes in several branch libraries and in the research rooms at the Schwartzman building in Bryant Park. Wiseman shows how the library provides education and access to knowledge to voracious learners all across New York, be they children building robots in the Bronx or adults listening to a lecture about Karl Marx in Greenwich Village. 

What are you reading, listening to, or watching this week?