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Reading List

I decided it would be interesting to try to keep track of what books I’ve been reading, all in one place, so I’ve started the new “Reading” page. It would probably have made more sense to wait until January, so then it would be all new year, new slate, but I’ve been reading some good books this month and I didn’t feel like waiting anymore. I’ve never liked starting things in a new calendar year just because anyway.

I’m listing the books in reverse-chronological order, because this is a blog, after all, so the book I’m reading now should be at the top. Right now, I’m putting little notes next to the books about what I thought of them when I’m done. If I do a full review of any of them either here or at Geek Buffet, I’ll link to it. I pondered coming up with a star rating system, but I doubt I could be very consistent about my criteria for such a thing when I’m mixing fiction and non-fiction, work books and fun books, all in the same list.

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New site design

As you can see, I changed the site design. New template, new header image. The new image is from my month in China, from the bamboo museum we visited near Hangzhou, I believe. Like it?

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Ego Inflation

I kid you not, someone today apparently got to this blog using the search string “famous people who majored in spanish.”

I expect the autograph seekers to be pounding down my door any day now.

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Fair Warning

I’ll be at the beach this weekend, so the chronicle of my trip to England will continue Monday. Sorry.

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Self-Introduction Day

I can’t help it. Every time I have to write something like this now, I think of it as a “self-introduction class,” as in, what I had to do 40 times (literally) when I was teaching English in Japan. So forgive me if at any point I lapse into “foreigner English.”

Anyway, hello, my name is Dana, and I will be your blogger here. I’ve started this blog because I needed a new, more eclectic bloggy home, because as much as I’d like to have some sort of unifying theme to my posts, and possibly my life, I have come to acknowledge that that’s not happening anymore. So it’s time to embrace the fact that I no longer have to direct my thoughts in any particular direction, and my mind is free to wander to its heart’s content. Or something like that.

Basic information: I am 5’4″ tall, have brown hair, brown eyes, am from northern-pale-people ancestry, and am one of the seemingly few actual native North Carolinians (2nd generation!) living in the state. My main hobby is reading. I do other stuff, too, like watch TV shows I used to like via Netflix and cross-stitch, but mostly, I read. If I had more money, traveling would definitely be a more frequently indulged hobby, as well.

I majored in Spanish while in college, because I love learning foreign languages, and I knew I’d be taking four years worth of those classes anyway. After graduation, I promptly put my degree to use… by moving to Japan. (My Spanish is still much better than my Japanese.) Then I went to grad school and ended up with an MA in TESOL, which wasn’t really what I wanted, but it turns out that my intended field of study only exists inside my head, and in the rest of the world has been hijacked by classes about language teaching methodology. So now I’m using that degree… by working as the assistant manager of a bookstore that specializes in books about autism. Straight lines are boring anyway, right?

Where I used to be:

Dana Goes to Japan, July 2002-July 2003. (Sorry this now looks kind of crappy; Blogger changed their display, and left this old template behind. Maybe I’ll move it to a new, prettier, more organized home someday.) My year in Japan, teaching English for the JET Programme. My life used to be so interesting…

Linguistic Life, August 2003-March 2007. As you might assume from the title, it was intended that this blog focus on all the interesting linguistic-y things I was learning in grad school, plus more teaching ESL and random life stuff. The linguistics ended up being less prevalent than I’d have liked, but it’s almost four years of my life, so I’m sure I wrote some interesting things in there somewhere.

I was also very briefly in China, but I ended up not having much time to blog while there, and then didn’t go back and fill things in later like I’d planned. But the template is so pretty! All hail Mark, for designing it for me. Dana in the Middle Kingdom, June-July 2004.

Now, though, I have a split personality. I will be putting stuff here that’s just about me, my life, or things that don’t seem aimed at a general audience here. You’ll have to come back to see what that includes, if it’s not immediately obvious. All general audience intellectual rambling goes to the group blog I nominally run, Geek Buffet. That’s where I’ve been writing for the past month and a bit, so go there and run around until I update more here.

So anyway, I don’t know exactly where this blog is going, but you’re welcome to read along. 

Soon to come: My trip to England! (Only a month late!)

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