What Have I Been Up To?

My apologies for disappearing all of the sudden from the writing scene! I’ve had a lot of things going on lately but am here to report the wonderous doings of my mind and life! I haven’t been reading too many new books, but have still had time to revisit some old books/series I love and find a few new movies and shows I’ve added to my favorites.

For those interested, here are some things I’ve been getting involved with lately I think you’ll find interesting.

I Found a New Job

First and foremost, I’ve been missing mostly because I suddenly got a teaching job at a charter school The International School at Mesa Del Sol in Albuquerque, NM. Part of you are probably thinking, “Wait. . . I thought you hated teaching Aubrey?” The other half of you are probably wondering what I actually am teaching.

To answer the first question, yes, I hated teaching before I went on my mission. I love to study, write, and talk about things that interest me. I discovered, however, how heartbreaking it can be teaching these things to kids who belittled and attacked what I loved. So I decided I didn’t want to go through that again.

Recently, however, I’ve been really concerned with the direction education in the United States is going. I wondered what I could do in response and realized I had the education and talent to teach in public schools. Turns out I wasn’t using these two things as much as I should have.

Therefore, I found a great opportunity to get a teaching certificate and stretch myself as an individual mentally and intellectually. I am currently teaching Russian language and cultural studies. To middle schoolers. Mmm hmm. It’s been quite an adventure these past two months! This is partially because I had to build the program from nothing in only a few days.

What have I been reading?

Firstly, let’s talk about the plethora of Russian fairytales I’ve studied the past few weeks! Let me tell you, they don’t disappoint. Before I started teaching my class, I vaguely knew about some of them because of one of my favorite series, The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden.

Some of the best I’ve had the pleasure of exploring in my six classes are “The Frog Princess”, “Ivan Tsaravitch, the Firebird and the Grey Wolf,” “Koschei the Deathless”, and “Vasilisa the Beautiful”. If you have read Arden’s fantasy series before, you will definitely enjoy going through these and other fairytales.

The Charlie Bone Series

I don’t know why, but when I go through stressful periods of change in my life I like to go back and read this series through. I find it intensely satisfying to read stories that have their heroes face evil and malicious intent but come out conquerors despite everything against them.

What I’ve always liked about Nimmo’s titular series is how she weaves in elements of fantasy with the Arts. Someone once asked me which book series I would enjoy falling into. I’d say this would definitely be the winner. Even if Bloors Academy starts off as a terrible school, I would have loved to have lived in their old city witnessing the world’s magic come to life.

Blissful Land

“Khang Zhipa is a 13-year-old doctor’s apprentice living in a mountain village in 18th-century Tibet. One day, when he gets back from collecting medicinal herbs, he finds a bride-to-be and her wedding party will be resting at his home for the night. The bride’s name is Moshi Rati and it turns out she’s actually Khang Zhipa’s fiancée from another land, here to stay! Enjoy this heartwarming slice-of-life tale woven by a kind-hearted boy and his mysterious bride.”

This delightful series came very unexpectedly a few weeks ago. I don’t know very much about Tibet’s history, but this series made it’s people and their culture come to life for me. Some might think this story is slow, or uninteresting. I disagree. I liked it’s easy-going nature and lack of toxic drama. If you like more historical manga, but don’t like excessive violence or drama this is the series for you.

I loved it for its breathtaking art, knowledge of ancient medicinal practices, and for taking its time to mindfully portray such a gorgeous culture.

What have I been watching?

So far, I’ve seen two new movies and one new series. (Like I said, I haven’t really been going out of my way lately to see new things.)

I usually don’t go see movies in theaters. No because I don’t love movies! I’m just picky. And busy. But I went to the theater with my family and watched this new adventure drama. It’s wasn’t the greatest movie I’ve ever seen, but it was fun, had cool effects and some nice twists to it. If anything I thought it was a Hodge podge of The African Queen (1951) with Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart and The Mummy (1999).

I will say, I like how the movie poster is sort of reminiscent of old adventure films from the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Shang-Chi was a very thought-provoking watch for me. I wouldn’t say the plot was revolutionary. It was quite predictable. But I liked the heroes journey Shang went through as he learned to balance the good he learned from his mother and the bad he inherited from his father. I’m a sucker for good marital arts in films, and this movie DOES NOT disappoint in that aspect.

I also thought his father’s story arc was deeper than it initially seemed. I wondered a lot about how we become biproducts of our ancestors and carry with us connections with these family members beyond this life. I also thought a lot about ENERGY in and outside the body and how we can learn to control it through meditative movement.

All in all, I would watch this again if someone pulled it up.

Yeah. . . for some reason I keep re-watching episodes from this show. Part of it’s funny, part of its gross, while another part tries to have philosophical moments mixed in with ridiculous editing and character designs. I still don’t know how I quite feel about this show. Maybe someday I’ll figure it out.

At first glance, this story seems like another rip off of snow white. It’s not. It’s more a story about two people from different worlds learning to live, grow, and love together. I remember reading this as a manga series about six years ago and loving its characters and story. I hesitated to watch the anime because. . . romance manga usually aren’t well voiced or animated.

Now, Snow White with the Red Hair is now officially one of my new favorite anime.

However, studio BONES did the animation and they went ALL OUT. The backgrounds are gorgeous and the fight scenes are well choreographed and paced. The story also flows very well and doesn’t feel too campy or corny.

What really sold me on this show was the English voice actors FUNIMATION chose. They did a phenomenal job working with the great character animators. The facial expressions and personality this show gave to the characters in this story blew me away!

I also think this is now one of my favorite love stories. Zen and Shiriyuki respect each other and love each other and their passions. They have goals and a vision for what their futures hold. They seen beyond self gratification and entitlement, common elements in forbidden loves stories, to how their relationship can and will effect each other and others around them.

All in all, I would definately check it out if you have the time!

Over the Garden Wall has yet again caught my interest

Over the Garden Wall always seems to pique my interest around this time of year. I start thinking about it’s curious episodes and hidden meanings. Then I start looking through YouTube essays, fan art, and Etsy merchants for ways to feed my passion for this series’ story and characters.

Here are a few cool finds from the last week or so!

I like this one because it went into depth about the literary and artistic Gothic themes interwoven throughout the episodes.
This was just an all-around good analysis of the series.

Hydro Flask stickers! You can guarantee I’ve bought these two.

I also found this amazing merchant BeneathTheLeaf who makes charm bracelets for a lot of different shows and stories including (DRUM ROLL PLEASE) Over the Garden Wall! I want to have one custom made for me. I think it is the coolest thing! Check out other items she has! She has a lot of variety and does custom designs.

I’ve also been perusing fanart! Because I’m a NERD. An art nerd.

There you have it! Everything here is basically what I’ve been looking through, studying and trying to understand lately. Once October comes around, well, I’ll have A LOT more to talk about. Until then, enjoy the rest of September!

2 thoughts on “What Have I Been Up To?

  1. Congratulations on the new teaching position! I hope all goes well with it – should be a blast teaching Russian instead of all the hokey-pokey that goes on in North American public schools these days. Best of luck on the mission!

    “Over The Garden Wall” is one of those series that I heard about as well from a few circles on Twitter. I haven’t checked it out yet, but from what I heard a lot of people enjoyed it and there’s apparently something Catholic-themed about it, they said? So good to know you found it worth the watch too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s