I’m free. I am officially done with the school year and am out of Tucson for the next three months. No more trashed residence hall bathrooms, no more troglodytes making noise at all hours, no more oppressive heat, no more smelly hallways, no more mind-numbing homework, no more lousy food, no more frat people, no more funky water, no more bad public transit, no more model-thin pillows, no more small beds, no more cacti, no more repeat illnesses. I’m free, free, free. The only good thing about student housing was that I met my friends, who are pretty amazing. We’re split up for the summer, which sucks, but overall my mood is decidedly positive. It feels like the whole world is opening up. I told Phoebe I’d make a list of summer goals with her, but my only goal is to read and write every day, so instead I’ll share a list of books I want to read. I won’t get through them all, and the list doesn’t even factor in the carry-on suitcase full of books that’s flying back with me, but I hope to get through a respectable amount of them.

Summer Reading/Buying:

  •  Southern Writers: Flannery O’Connor (Wise Blood, The Violent Bear It Away), Margaret Mitchell (Gone With The Wind), William Faulkner (Absalom Absalom!), Eudora Welty (Collected Stories), Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian), Truman Capote (In Cold Blood, Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
  • Black Writers: Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye, Beloved, Song of Solomon), Maya Angelou (I Know Why The Caged Birds Sing), James Baldwin (Collected Essays, Early Novels and Stories), Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between The World And Me), W.E.B. Du Bois (The Souls of Black Folk), Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog, Father Comes Home From The Wars: Parts 1, 2, & 3), Lorraine Hansberry (A Raisin In The Sun), August Wilson (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone)
  • Nigerian Writers: Chinua Achebe (No Longer At Ease, Arrow of God), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Half of a Yellow Sun, Purple Hibiscus), Teju Cole (Every Day Is For The Thief), Wole Soyinka (The Lion and the Jewel, You Must Set Forth At Dawn, The Trials of Brother Jero, The Strong Breed), Julie Iromuanya (Mr. and Mrs. Doctor)
  • Western Writers: Joan Didion (The White Album, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, The Year of Magical Thinking),  John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath, Cannery Row), Lucia Berlin (A Manual For Cleaning Women), Lauren Yee (Ching Chong Chinaman, in a word), Carrie Brownstein (Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl)
  • Women Writers: Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth), Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway, To The Lighthouse, The Waves), Sylvia Plath (Ariel, The Colossus), Colette (Cheri, The Last of Cheri, My Mother’s House, Sido), Zadie Smith (White Teeth), Jane Austen (Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Persuasion), Marilynne Robinson (Gilead, Housekeeping), Kayla Czaga (Enemy of the People), Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale, Cat’s Eye, Alias Grace, Oryx and Crake), Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You), Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre), Elena Ferrante (The Neopolitan Novels 1-4)
  • Russian Writers: Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment), Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina), Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
  • The Chicago Manual of Style
  • As many plays on New Play Exchange as possible (namely The Kilroys’ list).
  • A million other books + short stories + essays + whatever catches my eye in the bookstore.

Have any other suggestions? If so, please comment, because I’d love to hear them.

Other Stuff:

  • God hates flight delays.
  • Expecting to keep my 4.0 which is nice. Have As in all the classes that have posted grades so far.
  • The next time I’m in Tucson, I’ll be living in one of the nicer neighborhoods there. My English teacher said it was full of yuppies, but I can handle that. And the house is so nice; it’s bigger, nicer, and in a better neighborhood than the home I grew up in.
  • Being at home for three months will be a drag :/
  • I’m gonna miss Phoebe, Corey, and Dominique. At least there’s Skype.
  • Also Kasey’s staying in Missouri to get residency, which is good since it’ll reduce her tuition, but it means I won’t see her either 😦
  • Wanna get a proper first draft of this novel done, so I’m gonna write for at least an hour every morning. Hopefully I’ll be a much stronger writer by the end of the summer.
  • Got some cool TV shows lined up for watching (My Mad Fat Diary, Freaks and Geeks, My So-Called Life) so that’ll be fun 🙂
  • Shopping! Water taxi! Sub-100 temperature! Cheap bookstores!