My Eleven – A Quick Get to Know Me Post

Sick Day || Magpie Making Do

So the weather here in Northeastern PA has been frightful, and school has been cancelled. I’m usually conflicted about snow days now that I’m on the other side of the desk. Part of me is always thrilled that I have a day off, but the other part of me is annoyed as hell that my lecture schedule is going to be all borked up. This time is a little different though, because I’ve been stricken with an awful head cold of some sort. Bottom line is, if I went in and lectured yesterday, not giving myself any time for recovery, I basically would have been condemning myself to a whole semester of being sick.

So I’ve been wrapped up in bed for the last two days, concentrating on getting better and being very thankful that I can do so. This lazy sick day seems to be the perfect opportunity to answer a blog survey I got from Jenn over at With Luck Blog. I’m still getting this place up and running, and surveys like these seem to be an excellent way for everyone to get to know me as a blogger a little better. So without further ado, here’s…

My Eleven:

1. What is your favorite thing to do when you’re feeling stressed?
Either knit or read. But both are sometimes problematic. Depending on the pattern I’m working on, sometimes knitting can be stressful in and of itself, and sometimes reading doesn’t really help either. So often what I’m reading is work related, and even if it’s not directly related to teaching, the subject matter is still History, and due to my areas of interest tends to be kind of bleak. My apartment-mate makes fun of me all the time for how depressing our book cases are – filled with books about the Holocaust, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, war memoirs, and war crimes of various origin. So sometimes the most effective tactic is to just do nothing… just curl up on the couch with Jim (the boyfriend), a bowl of ramen, and watch some mindless TV.

2. It’s 2014. What invention are you still waiting for them to come out with?
An android smart phone battery that lasts more than a day of normal use. The fact that this is not a thing drives me so crazy. It makes me really miss my old Nokia phone from high school – it didn’t do anything beyond call, text, and play snake, but it lasted 4 days on one charge!

3. You’re in control of the thermostat–at what temperature do you set it?
65, if not lower. I am a huggggeee couch cuddler. I love burrowing under blankets. And actually, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t have heat at all in my bedroom – there’s nothing like sleeping under a pile of quilts.

4. If you could go back and say something to yourself, what would you say and what age would you say it to?
I’d tell my 18 year old self: “stop ignoring that little nagging voice in the back of your brain that keeps doubting the intelligence of continuing your relationship with your HS boyfriend despite going to different colleges. It senses an incompatibility that you don’t seem to want to recognize. Hanging on is going to have a negative impact on your ability to enjoy college the way you should. Also, do a semester on the Rome campus and stop being so afraid to tell people you don’t like being a music major – you’ll be much happier once you switch to English.” (#collegebaggageandregrets #gradschoolwassomuchbetter) Buuuuutttt, then again, those mistakes have helped make me who I am today, so maybe I wouldn’t say anything at all.

5. What toppings are on your perfect pizza?
Mushrooms. Lots and Lots of mushrooms. But nice, sautéed ones, not the crappy ones Domino’s uses. And extra cheese. Lots and lots of cheese.

6. What was the first book that changed your life?
I have a ton of favorite books, but I’ve got to say that the first book that actually changed my life was Art Spiegelman’s Maus. I was probably about 15 when I read it, and the emotional toll that book had stays with me to this day. It was the first time I really grasped the humanness of history… that it’s not all just fascinating facts on a page but that it was lived, by real people, just like you and me who had families and emotions and felt pain and joy and heartache. Like, I always sort of knew it, but not really, if that makes sense. There was just a disconnect there. A broken circuit of empathy that Maus connected. Ever since that day, I’ve had a special place in my heart (and in my research interests) for first-hand accounts.

7. What actor/actress would play you in the movie of your life?
I’d probably pick Jenna Fischer. I really really relate to the character of Pam on The Office in terms of her personality, and it’s pretty proven that Jenna Fischer is ace at playing a character with a personality like that. Plus, I think we have sort of similar face shapes…

8. List three things you want to accomplish in the next five years:
1) Either get into a Ph.D. program or figure out an alternate route to financial stability (not that a Ph.D. would at all make me financially stable, but still). 2) Set up an Etsy shop to sell my pysanky. 3) Get back into research and writing.

9. What’s the last show you binge-watched?
The Office. I’m on season 6 now! Next on the list is Parks and Recreation… after I catch up on Sherlock that is.

10. What drink or food item is your go-to guilty pleasure?
Ramen noodles. Oh my goodness, I love them. Even our crappy American $.25 versions. I do try to throw veggies and stuff in there when I make them so that they’re not completely nutritionally empty though.

11. Do you feel that your current age fits you?
Not really. I’m 26, going on 27 in a few months and I don’t really feel like I should be closer to 30 than 20 now. I honestly don’t feel any different than I did when I finished my M.A. and started teaching at 23. Better and more confident at my job, yea, but other than that… I’ve never really felt my age though. I’ve always felt like there should have been some definite day where I suddenly felt like an adult – some threshold I crossed, some definite moment, or a birthday where all of a sudden everything changed and I felt different than I did the year before. I’m still waiting for that to happen.

That said, every year the freshmen seem to get younger and younger, and every year my pop culture references go over more and more of their heads… I realized the other day that I’ve been playing cello for as long as some of the younger freshmen have been alive and that was a little horrifying… so maybe I have crossed that threshold after all.


So there you have it. I’ll keep the survey chain going, and invite you to answer the questions too! Let me know if you do – I’d love to get to know you all better as well! And I’ll steal a page from Jenn’s book again here and say, if you don’t have a blog, answer a question or two in the comments!

Come visit me at!


  • withluckblog

    PARKS AND REC! PARKS AND REC! PARKS AND REC! I was just telling Dean that I think it’s even better than the office. It’s the first show in forever that actually makes me laugh out loud. (and whyyyy isn’t there a better version of a slim battery yet?)

    • Magpiemakingdo

      I’m really excited for it. I probably won’t let myself start until spring break hits though… I just have this gut feeling it’s going to be a “watch for 14 hours straight” kind of thing, and I CANNOT afford that kind of distraction this early in the semester!

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