Marginalia, Graduate Blog

It’s STILL Winter Break…

Katie Kather

Aww Library Books

Aww Library Books

Okay, by the time you read this, classes will have just started back up. But for now, I am still in the throes of the longest break of my life. Forty-five days of doing nothing is enough time to cycle through a nice melancholy, but I didn’t want to be bummed out and bored for almost two months, so I made a plan, which I will share with you.

First, I feel like I should explain that I’m not actually lazy. I worked on campus last semester, and considering no one’s going to hire someone for 45 days, I took my freebie. Let’s face it, I haven’t had a true do nothing break since I was…15 years old? Hint: that was over a decade ago. I figured I was due. Plus I’m expecting to never have one again.

But enough rationalizing. Who wants to hear how I filled my days?!

Reading, Duh

I read three books and a lot of news.

I started with a book I naively bought mid-semester. The Good Girls Revolt is about how the women of Newsweek sued their bosses in the 1960s and basically started a movement. Girl power!!

Next, I read Angel of Death Row, a memoir by Andrea D. Lyon. She was a defense attorney and all around amazing woman. This book fired me up, and I decided Lyon is my new hero.

My New Hero

My New Hero

Last, I read The Devil in the White City. Two words: woah creepy. I had nightmares every night, yet could never put this book down. I love historical nonfiction, and this book mixed Chicago history with the story of a serial killer from the late 1800s.

Projects

I taught myself some basic code and built an e-portfolio. Up until this point, I had always used WordPress, but I wanted to give myself a competitive edge. Journalists in the field told me this was how to do it.

I also cleaned my “office.” If you don’t think that counts as a project, you have no idea how bad a miscellaneous room can get while you’re in grad school.

My very pregnant sister visited from Texas, and I was in charge of decorating her baby shower. If you’ve ever been on Pinterest, you know how complex and competitive this can be.

Baby Shower

Baby Shower

One project that took the entire break was dealing with my insurance company. I won’t get into that here, but suffice it to say I hate the words “pre-existing condition.”

Gym

I bought a membership at a gym across the street from my apartment over Thanksgiving. I thought proximity issues were the reason I hadn’t been going. Well, it turns out proximity (poor guy) was just a scapegoat. I went over Thanksgiving break, and then I never went back until the middle of winter break.

Gym

Gym

I never know what to do at the gym besides run on the treadmill, despite a binder full of Women’s Health workout plans. I asked my boyfriend to help me out, and he made me my very own workout plan! It is very exciting. The only problem is I can’t walk down the stairs now, and I live on the third floor. I’m hoping this passes the more I go. (I’m told that’s how it works.)

J-term and Other Things

I didn’t participate in J-term, but I don’t want you guys to think Columbia doesn’t offer some amazing classes. Some of my cohorts went to Ireland! In fact, you can expect a guest post on that trip next week.

I visited one of my best friends in Grand Rapids (she has the cutest baby ever), went to New York for my Grandma’s funeral (sad face), and started an internship at the Chicago Reader.

Wow, now that I type it all out, I don’t feel like a bum at all! What has everyone else been doing?

It’s STILL Winter Break…

Okay, by the time you read this, classes will have just started back up. But for now, I am still in the throes of the longest break of my life. …

Journalism MA Katie Kather, kathryn.kather@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

The Graduate Experience