happy pride month, and apologies for the late blog post! i know it's heresy for someone who wants to write and publish things to not be much of an active reader, so i've been trying to get a bit better at that. i also often struggle with articulating exactly what it is i like (or dislike) about the things i read. so, i've decided to round up my main reads from 2022 in the hopes that it'll get my brain in a literary mode of thinking.
books are listed in no particular order, and reviews are based on my personal tastes as opposed to any sort of "objective" measurement -- a book might be well written but id i didn't like it, i didn't like it. i most likely have very strange, eclectic ways of thinking about books as someone whose education wasn't really focused on fiction reading or writing. additionally, it's been between 8-18 months since i've read most of these books, and either i didn't take notes on these books or my notes got deleted for some reason, so reviews may be vauge or inaccurate accordingly. if you wanna chat about books, whether reading or writing them, i'm totally open to DMs on tumblr or twitter or even discord if we've already linked up there.
click on the TL;DRs to read each review.
Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport
TL;DR: has good starting points and steps to follow as a handbook of "how to unhook your brain from the internet" if you're seriously committed to doing that, but his philosophizing on the topic and his examples of people who do digital minimalism "right" rubs me the wrong way.
i'm not going to go into too much depth regarding the effectiveness of Newport's "digital declutter" when i tried it, you can read that here.
Cal Newport is a academic-tech guy, and it really shows in some of the framing and anecdotes in this book, even if i think the general thesis of "your screens of whatever flavour are designed to hook into your neurons for profit and sucks up all of your downtime and you-time" is solid and well-argued. for example, Newport spends the better part of one of his theorizing-chapters discussing Henry Thoreau's cabin retreat (the "Walden Experiment") as an example of slowing life down and the economics of your personal time by reducing "clutter" -- but it feels like Newport takes for granted the actual circumstances of Thoreau's experiment, as in, what sorts of (hint: often feminised) labour went unremarked upon in the construction of this cabin? there's also the constant citing of tech executives' habits as positive examples of how to digitally declutter your life, again, without critical thought of how their free time is predicated on the exploitation of others' time. in general there will be a lot of "jesse what the fuck are you talking about" moments, especially in the section about finanical independence (there's a mention of private landscaping as a "virtuous hobby" which makes me retch whenever i read it).
THAT BEING SAID.
i think it's worth picking up a (free) copy of this book to give his 30 day digital declutter program a try -- you don't need to agree with Newport's grand assessment of why you should live your life "more virtuously" or want to be like the people he points to as good examples of digital minimalism to reclaim your brain and time from social media. if you want more discussion of the idea of Digital Minimalism from a regular, normal person and not some silicone valley-brained zenmaxxer, check out omulou's Digital Wellbeing page, which is where i learned about newport from. as with any self-help book, a great deal of skeptisism and critical thinking about what the author thinks your life should look like is needed, but it's a good starting point if you're completely swamped in online and need concrete steps to guide you in digging your way out.
How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell
TL;DR: connecting the internet's influence in your day-to-day life to the alienation of capitalism via the "attention economy". more community-oriented and less likely to frustrate you than conventional self-help books, with a slightly vague-on-purpose closing statement.
i also brought up a couple thoughts on HTDN in my aforementioned blog post where i talked about Digital Minimalism, and i read it in conversation with that book. HTDN takes a different approach to the philosophy of unhooking your brain from the internet than DM, one that jives a little bit better with my own outlook on the world -- unhooking not just for your own benefit, but cultivating your ability to refuse capitalism and neoliberalism's insistence on individuality over communal care. crucially, Odell acknowledges the privilege it requires to pull back from engaging in society and turn inward, or the pitfalls of walling yourself off by analysing the failures of communes who promised a more fulfilling life if only you cut yourself off from society for "simpler" living. to Odell, refusal -- of the attention economy, of capitalism, of individualism, you name it -- is a right, and like most rights, it is not equally distributed when it should be. one example of this Odell uses is Rosa Parks; Parks' well-known refusal to give up her seat to a white bus-rider came at a cost to her health and employment opportunities, and she needed communal support of refusal in the form of financial support, pushed for by militant unionists within the NAACP. How To Do Nothing isn't literally about how to do less things the way most productivity-inclined self-help books are, but about adjusting your focus in a way that may be seen as "unproductive" but is community- and world-oriented. not to keep comparing this book to Newport's, but i think the philosophizing about why, in the grand scheme of things, you should unhook from the internet, is much more effective and relevant to the average person than "uhhhh these rich guys can unhook from the things they created so you should too".
on a personal level, though, i had a lot of trouble taking what Odell said to heart while reading this in a particularly bad state of mind. if you're the kind of person who struggles to connect to the people around you even when you're genuinely trying, or who is deliberately isolated from your community by your circumstances (abuse, lack of covid protections, physical distance, etc) parts of this book may be frustrating for you. the conflation between suicide and isolation as "flawed" methods of refusal frustrated me when i first read it, and i still find myself confused about why Odell would bring suicide up on page 68 and not elaborate why it is on the same level as "flee[ing] to the mountains".
Wendy by Walter Scott
TL;DR: art school-flavoured emotional rollercoaster for people with social anxiety, will be much scarier if you're also in art school.
a professor of mine brought up Wendy after an in-class critique as a comparison to my work, and it was a fun-but-terrifying read. not that this book is anything close to what you would expect from the genre of horror -- it's mostly a comedy-slice of life book -- but the social situations Wendy finds herself in inspire the deepest of dread within me, in a "oh god i shouldn't do an MFA i never want to be that socially awkward or rude" way. it's enthralling in the same way watching a car crash is, in a well-constructed way. i really like the upswing of "oh wow, wendy's being normal for once" paired with the nosedive of "girl shut UP". also, most of the time i like how the artstyle is very unrefined, owing to its initial idea being drawn on a literal napkin; it's nice to know that not all graphic novels have to be super polished or technically correct, though there are some early-on pages where it looks like Scott just drew in the wrong DPI or accidentally scaled down the image or something. if you're looking for a tight story or impressive art style, look elsewhere -- this book's strength is in the way the characters grip your social common sense by the throat and make you go "what the FUCK are you doing"
Ducks: Two Years in the Old Sands by Kate Beaton
TL;DR: autobigraphical graphic novel about internal migration within canada, very compelling and i have a favourable view on it due to its timing in my life, though some of what it critiques could also be applied to itself.
it's september 2022, and i'm taking my last two classes that i need for graduation that also let me get a minor in labour studies: Work and the Environment, and Work and Migration. on the docket for both classes is a week studying the phenomenon of people in atlantic canada migrating to the alberta oil sands for work. in the 5.5 hour gap between the two art classes i'm working as a teaching assistant in, i'm scrolling twitter, and drawn & quarterly posts about the release of beloved canadian cartoonist's latest work. it's kismet timing.
i love the bleak, dreary colour scheme beaton chose for this book, it feels apt for all of its settings; the fog of nova scotia, the dust and grit of the oil sands, the misery the workers feel (and inflict) in the camps. nova scotians going to alberta is very fact-of-life to katie in 2005, but she doesn't know much about it beyond the work being hard and the money being good. we're shown the culture of misogyny that's fostered in the camps -- but also, beaton's despair over what she endues being done to her by people who come from her own homeland, and how the isolation makes people do things they normally wouldn't. your appreciation of this book will probably hinge on how much you feel beaton's talk about how the isolation influences the misogyny is apologism vs understanding. as well, some of the strongest critiques of the camp are buried in the back quarter of the book, when beaton and a coworker come across a video of Celina Harpe talking about the effects of the oil mines on her tribes' health and environment. this has prompted some people to raise an eyebrow about beaton's framing of the harms of the oil sands being centred on the workers; they're not wrong, but there's only so much an autobigraphy can cover, and to beaton's credit she has been publicly naming and shaming news organizations who interview her about the book and cut out her discussion of the desecration of indigenous peoples' land and health.
i think this book's biggest contribution is shedding light on the culture of the camps and how one copes with it, especially if, like me, you weren't even aware of the atlantic-alberta migration phenomenon beforehand. there's a great essay and/or research oppurtunity about the connections between how workers are treated, how much money is generated (and paid out), and the overall amount of harm an industry creates somewhere in here.
Persopolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
TL;DR: comic autobiography with the 20/20 hindsight of an adult and the straightforwardness of a young girl who knows herself to be right about everything.
persopolis was a book i picked up on a whim from a local bookstore, just having a general idea that it was an autobiography about Satrapi's childhood in Iran. i would recommend reading it not from the mindset having a young girl teach you about the history of her country, but of her trying to make sense of her present with the information she has at her disposal and which she learns over the course of the comic. her rebellious nature is simultaniously nurtured by, and rubs up against, her parents, and is challenged in the face of the many atrocities that happen to/around her. i'm a big fan of Satrapi's flat black-and-white style, use of iconography (particularly with Young Marji's dreams of becoming a prohpet) and patterns. all-around strong book, i feel a little let down by myself that i don't have much else to say about it other than "good book"!
Self-Directed Learning: A Guide for Learners and Teachers by Malcolm Knowles
TL;DR: interesting book to consider for developing/taking courses (or other learning opportunities)
i picked up this book for free because one of the professors in my faculty was retiring and wanted to get a bunch of books out of her office, and as someone who works with kids from time to time i was interested in ways of teaching. the book is split into three parts. the first part is aimed at learners that outlines why you should be interested in self-directed learning, with prompts to help you figure out how to get what you want out of your learning. part two is aimed at teachers, and explains how to facilitate self-directed learning with a general outline of how to structure a university course around self-directed learning. the third and final part is an appendix of learning resources for classroom use.
this is one of the books i picked up over a year ago at this point, and i didn't make any notes on the pedagogy he talks about, so the specifics are fuzzy, but i found it interesting in that i could see elements of this book in the professor who i got it from. since it's fairly old (1975) it's worth digging up a pdf of this book to peruse if you ever plan on teaching any sort of course if you want ideas on how to structure your class. helping students build the skills to be able to teach themselves, to be curious about the world around them and to apply their critical thinking skills, is one of my personal goals whenever i am in the role of an educator. that being said, i would recommend looking for more recent books on the subject.
Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton
TL;DR: its about the art world of people with well-established, relatively well-paying art careers pre-2008 recession, and it shows, but it's still a wonderfully voyeristic read for those of us skeptical of the space.
like Knowles' Self-Directed Learning, Thornton's Seven Days in the Art World was a book i picked up from my retiring professor's library, an the encouragment of a classmate who thought i'd be interested in it, so shoutout to hanan for that :) it also means this is another book i read a hot minute ago and don't have notes on.
each chapter of this book is an ethnographic review on a different setting in the contemporary art world that may elude laypeople:
- an art auction in new york, focusing on the notion of contemporary art as a cash grab or investment
- a critique at calarts, investigating the reputation of art schools as picky, elitist, or otherwise laundering obtuse concepts
- an art fair in switzerland -- similar to the new york auction, but focusing on the consumer-side of buying art than the seller-side
- the announcing of the winner of the Turner Prize at the Tate Museum, and the bureaucracy and competative nature of these things
- the head office of the artforum international magazine, investigating how the culture and critisism around contemporary art and among contemporary artists is built
- a studio visit with japanese artist takashi murakami and the artists who actually do the labour of making the art
- finally, the 2007 venice biennale as the denouement of the art world, the supposed end-goal of international fame and intermingling of artists, sellers, buyers, and audience
i appreciated reading this book because it cemented for me that the "mainstream" art world is probably not one i want to be a part of. it's already something that feels foreign to me as someone working more with comics than "fine" art, but i think this book confirmed that for me definitively. it's just Weird. i like the outsiders perspective it gives, though typical of interviewers who attempt to be "neutral", sometimes i wished she would comment on the fact that the people she's interviewing (save for the students in the CalArts chapter) are well-established and wealthy -- i'm always hankering for a labour-focused analysis of art though. this is most egregious to me in the studio visit chapter, where i found myself wanting Thornton to talk more to the people who were physically creating murakami's work rather than talking about his studio as an idea-generating space.
it's also important to keep in mind all of this is happening right before the 2008 financial crisis, which Thornton comments on in the seven questions she asks/answers in the afterword.
Manhunt by Gretchen Falker-Martin
TL;DR: good action and visceral horror in both the zombie sense and the human sense, and it's fun to read about violence enacted against TERFs, whether infighting or trans revenge. 50/50 on how this book mixes Contemporary Online and the post-apocalyptic scenario but YMMV.
manhunt is quite possibly one of the best novels i've read by someone i have blocked on twitter -- not hard considering this category is a grand total of two people and the other one is Queen of TERF Island Joanne Rowling, but even outside of this category this book gets a rating of "pretty good" for my tastes. i devoured this book on my lunch breaks at work over summer 2022 in the span of less than a week. it's been almost a year now since i've read it, but giving it a skim now i can tell that one of the reasons i ripped through it was because i wanted to know everything about the world Falker-Martin had built from the ashes of gendercide genre. she shows, very quickly, the stakes beth and fran are up against and what they do about it. the only way for the two scrappy trans women to avoid succumbing to T. Rex is to kill and consume their past, metaphorically speaking (literally speaking they must kill the warped, zombified men and consume their testicles), which symbolizes what i took away as the emotional heart of the story: no matter how many times you kill your past, there's always someone looking to drag it back up in order to kill you. this becomes quite literal in the roving bands of TERFs who can only see trans women as shackled to their "violent" past as "males", enforced by the violent present of the zombified Men. i think this was a good deconstruction of the "gendercide" genre, because the horror comes from what happens when you can only think in cisgender terms about what "gendercide" means. i think i like the characters as vehicles of how different people thrive and die in this setting, so the personal relations between all of them take a backseat for me, but i can also see the appeal for others: ~messy~ (whatever that word means nowadays) t4t romance and sex -- where t4t could stand for its usual "trans 4 trans", or the more complex "TERF 4 trans".
i flip-flopped back and forth on some of the editing and framing devices. there are some awkwardly-written sections that i feel could have been given another editing pass; an early example is that there's a POV shift between chapters 1 and 2 that goes from beth lining up a shot on a TERF, to a jump cut to beth and fran running away from the TERFs from fran's POV, and then after a paragraph goes back to a flashback of the actual shot, then back to the present, and it makes the passage smell a little bit Marvel-esque "well that just happened!" to me. there's POV shifts and time jumps, and they work about 70% of the time, but the other 30% they make me scratch my head or go "i wanna get back to the zombies now". to the author's credit though, this early weird editing choice is the only one i can recall off the top of my head -- but it being so early coloured how i read the rest of the book.
i'm also not a fan of how contemporary Online gets referenced in this book. please take me with a huge grain of salt here -- this is mostly informed by the specific way i find the author annoying online, but a lot of the references the characters make during the in-canon current-day to tumblr-esque "callout culture" or Pride Month Discourse are just eye-rollingly trite to me. i understand why they're there, though -- they're examples of "benign" transmisogyny that follow the characters even after the internet has collapsed and have shaped their lives, but there are also moments of offline transmisogyny that are about the same caliber and hit harder, like the "cis girl realizes she kissed a trans girl and starts a whisper chain about it" scenario. again, it's a personal thing, and i can see why others feel it works. i just want to see ways of making that point that don't make me think "how long has it been since the internet died?". these kinds of references land better for me in writing set in the present-day, including the flashbacks within manhunt, but they do reinforce the theme i identified in the previous paragraph of dragging up your past to kill you.
finally, to end this on a positive note and push back on some of the bad-faith critiques i've seen of this book after putting forth my own (hopefully good-faith) crit: i think more people should write about TERFs meeting gruesome ends. i won't spoil too much, but in the climatic fight at the end, there's a beautiful sequence where a Queen TERF (a different Queen TERF than Joanne, who is dead by the start of the book from her own transmisogynistic hubris) gets her shit royally pushed in. i wanna see more of that in the world. don't let my handwringing about the book's minor vices fool you: if you can stomach it, everybody should pick up manhunt to bathe in the glory of trans violence.
TransFag Home Video by O'Neill
the following review is for an 18+ erotica short story. it is NSFW and contains uncensored slurs. click to read.
TL;DR: hot and bodily and full of ways to make your chest ache -- almost too much so for me to be able to appreciate the scenes between the erotica.
transfag home video labels itself as a "force-masculinization gay trans erotica". i have a feeling the "force-masc" part of that, a play on force-fem, is at least a little bit tongue-in-cheek and meant to play on the reader's assumed desire for their own transmasculinisation. in both the porn and the interstitial scenes, the author invokes the strong desire of wanting to embody masculinity that many pretransmascs may have repressed. the erotica parts definitely do their job, and i don't think i've ever read any porn of transmascs that elicited such a strong sensation of my body reacting the same way as the characters' -- very good writing on that part. repression and the explosive desire it creates is a very big part of this short story. the reason that i guess the "force-masc" is in part ironic is because there's not much "forcing" in this story, aside from jason's mom forcing him to detransition. to me, it makes a delicious dessert out of transphobes' fears of "social contagion forcing our girls to trans themselves into parodies of faggots" when jason convinces the (i THINK unnamed, or at least the not-named-danny) protagonist to put t gel on his dick to grow it and rubs the satisfaction it brings (and his tdick) in his face, and is more about the characters releasing inhibitions in getting what they want than forcing the other into doing anything.
in fact, the porn is actually almost too good, in that i, shamefully, found myself skimming the more safe-for-work scenes to get to the next tdick-frotting scene, which means the characters' motivations were muddied for me. there's backstory between the protagonist and the deuteragonist that's half-spelled out and half-implicit, and the implicit parts are thing you might only get quickly if you were trans on certain parts of online at certain times. particularly, the backstory draws on 2012-2016 "transmed/truscum" tumblr circles, a group i only skirted the edges of and was mainly only encountered through mutuals-of-mutuals-of-mutuals. i had a bit of a hard time untangling which characters is the "former transmed" and which is the "ex-friend whose life he accidentally ruined", which, i will leave a space for you, my reader, to respond "skill issue lol", as reading is certainly a skill.
i THINK jason is the former-transmed and the protag is the guy whose life he ruined, based on the convo where the protag mentions getting his place of work doxxed. to spin my confusion into a positive about this work, i think it's excellent that this short story is well-written enough to invoke such aching, yearning, hot feelings in the reader without having to explicitly spell out "this is who's who, and this is how you're supposed to feel".
special shoutout to the list of content warnings on the itch.io page, my favourites are "a burning sensation on your penis" and "so much coercive hair-pulling that he may as well be in Ratatouille".
Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe
TL;DR: a memoir that is very honest and open with the reader, kobabe isnt afraid to share doubts with the audience while still being firm about the parts of eir life that make em happy
in case you live under a rock, maia kobabe's gender queer: a memoir is a graphic novel memoir that has been under near-constant attack by conservatives for kobabe's descriptions of eir sex life in relation to eir gender, as well as being an openly trans person writing about being genderqueer from a young age and how other kids may also be in the same position as em, in a book aimed at highschool-and-older readers. i picked it up for this reason; as a trans person who has worked with kids (albeit mostly younger than the intended audience for this book), i wanted to see exctly how overblown people's fears about this book were. my answer is: very much so. given the age range this book was originally marketed to, it's perfectly understandable for this book to go beyond the basic sex-ed level of discussions about sexuality and talk about the more emotional, personal aspects of sex.
i don't want this whole review to talk about the controversy, so here's my thoughts on the book on it's own merits:
gender queer starts with a short prologue of kobabe doing an MFA in comics (god i wish that were me) and being confronted by a class in autobiography, which ey abhors. after much initial resistance, ey realise that eir reluctance to talking about emself is because all of eir "inner demons" are gender-related, e pulls off the paper covering eir "embarassing" autobio comic, and volia, title page. thus the original concept for the book gender queer is born. i love this little meta introduction, and it eventually becomes the opposite bookend of maia emself becoming a teacher of comics, albeit for kids in middle school, not grad students. there's plenty of creative compositions and panelling in this book, and all-around it's a visual treat to read. i also really love the colouring in this book, care of maia's sister, phoebe kobabe. it also feels uncanny the amount of times maia talks about something and i go "e's just like me fr", which is why i'm glad this book exists, because if i'm thinking it, then surely there are many young (pre)trans kids also thinking these things, which (i said i wasn't gonna talk about the controversy and yet here i am,) is the exact reason conservatives want this book gone.
there's a few things that i want to poke at critically in this book, though. one, the structure is a little all over the place, probably a consequence of trying to fit a lot of different scenarios and topics in a highschool-sized graphic novel; you might think a 250-page long book is a lot, but with drawings as large as kobabe's (enlarged to show luxurious detail), it can't cover as much ground as a 250-page prose autobio. two, there's a scene where kobabe's lesbian aunt accuses maia of retreating into transness as a form of misogyny, and in trying to push back against her, kobabe leans heavily on the "born this way"/"brain sex vs body sex" narrative after reading the book Touching a Nerve: the Self as Brain" by Patricia S. Churchland. kobabe feels relief at the idea that eir transness is biologically predetermined, likely because this would make explaining to eir aunt the "why" of em being trans in a way that circumvents the "you've been transed by Big Misogyny" argument eir aunt puts forward. however, i don't think kobabe should have been left at that. i'm loathe to rely on these types of arguments, because it can easily spiral into pity-based "acceptance" or outright eugenics, and i don't like being on the defensive of "we're not transing kids, just helping them understand themselves" as opposed to "so what if i wasn't born trans, i get to choose to be happier like this, especially if my peers and mentors showed me this way to happiness". especially given that this book is aimed at highschool students, i don't want to discourage kids and teens from talking about how their trans peers and trans/affirming teachers helped them, in whatever way, "become" "more" trans.
Enacting Transbutch: Queer Narratives Beyond Essentialism by [sarah] Cavar
TL;DR: one of the first essays i've read that takes non-academic online trans spaces and memoir not just as ethnographic evidence, but as queer theorisers in their own right, deserving of their own critical engagement. an embracement of the line-riding and border-hopping between transness and butchness.
all cards on the table: sarah is an online buddy of mine and the reason i'm even writing this blog post in the first place, because of ær quarterly book recommendations tagging me, among others, to join in. i didn't know æ was an accomplished academic when i first followed ær blog. and sue me, enacting transbutch isn't a book persay, "just" a thesis essay, but i still turned it into an ePub and read it on my phone while on so much tylenol in the disasterous aftermath of my late-2022 strike and back injury, so it counts.
to start, i'm glad cavar starts off ær essay outlining the anti-black and anti-indigenous history of how the western (white) gender binary was constructed. imo pretty much any sort of deconstructive analysis of gender requires understanding that the very foundation of contemporary gender is rotten, and thus any appeal to "normative" gender relies on that racist logic. gender as a cultural understanding, and thus not having any "real" consistent definition (to the chagrin of TERFs who slobber over the phrase "adult human female") is integral to cavar's transing of butchness/butching of transness in this essay. additionally, like i brought up in my review of maia kobabe's Gender Queer, i appreciate cavar's troubling of the "born this way" narrative, even when analysing memoirs of transess that use that framing.
anyone who's talked with me about labour and unions knows i'm a sucker for coalitions. when i talk about coalitions, i don't mean it in the sense of "two separate groups of people coming together", i mean it in the sense of "the enmeshment between two groups of people that are commonly seen as 'separate' through their shared goals" -- the blending of boundaries and rejection of the idea that there can never be people who occupy the space of "both/and" between those groups. transbutchness, the way cavar theorises it, is the both/and-ness of the coalition between trans people and butches. cavar pushes back against narratives that threaten this coalition, such as "butch flight" or "the tru-trans". i liked reading this essay because it feels like gripping the current mainstream narrative's of a plea for coherency by the lapels and saying "but what if we don't want to be coherent? what if coherence under the current State Of Things isn't desireable?".
finally, it feels very meta that, by meeting sarah through tumblr completely unaware of ær academic research, i get to read about how tumblr itself is a (web)site for queer theorycrafting and spreading the delights of the depths and breadth of transing one's gender. while not the main point of the essay, cavar's citation of tumblr users, whether for oft-sidelined discussions of transmisogyny or examples of people who embody trans/butchness, is a welcome boundary-pushing of who is deemed "acceptable" to listen to as authority on the matter.
thank you again for the encouragement, sarah :)
and i think that's it. this is probably one of the wordiest blog posts i've written thus far, and i feel like i've pushed my critical thinking skills as much as they can go at this point (for those of you who found them lacking, i give you permission to mentally insert a laugh track; no hard feelings). i can't say when i'll do another book review-type blog post next -- probably a much shorter post on the books i picked up at TCAF. however, i also can't guarentee anything on account of family stuff going on right now. i have very little energy to do much of anything; shamefully, i haven't even worked much on any sort of art since mid-april. in the past, i've tried to give myself the space to regain art-energy by working on other projects. this book review blog post has been one of such projects. though my expectations are tempered, i can see small signs of recovery -- last night, i drew a couple things in my sketchbook.
i also graduate with a bachelor of fine arts and minor in labour studies next week. perhaps my next blog post will be about how much my last year at my university has made me regret that past 5-or-so years of my academic life because of the administration's treatment of students who dare speak up against them. but for now, i hold my tongue. it'd be a bad look for them to take my degree back from me if i say something they don't like, right?