Year in Review: 2019 and all the changes that came with it

I kicked off 2019 by sharing a year in review post for 2018 so I thought it would only be fitting to do the same for 2020.

If you’ve been following along you’ll know that 2019 was one heck of a year for me. I had what were easily some of my top moments to date, but also really struggled through my first semester of grad school.

While I was tempted to not look back at the weirdness that was 2019, I decided that in order to fully embrace 2020, I needed to reconcile the good with the bad in order to remind myself that life is full of complexities.

So without further ado, here’s a look back at 2019

I finished applying to grad school, and got accepted lots of places but chose to attend Simmons University in Boston!

Over Spring Break, I went on a road trip to the Grand Canyon with my best friend, Katie.

At the end of March, I presented my original poetry at the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society convention in St. Louis. (I don’t have any good photos of this experience, probably because I forgot to save them, but it was such a cool experience)

I also became a published poet for the first time in March when my poetry appeared in K-State’s literary magazine, Touchstone.

In April competed in my fourth and final American Forensics Association National Individual Events tournament where I not only broke into outrounds for the first time, but place third in impromptu speaking, watched my teammate Nathan win a national championship, and was a part of the 11th place team.

Pretty quickly after nationals in April, Angie Thomas (author of The Hate U Give) visited K-State and I got the opportunity to sit on stage and ask her pre-selected questions!

I also found out in April that my poetry chapbook, The Transitory Plane, which I put together as my final project for my graduate poetry writing class in the fall of 2018 was selected as the winner of TCU’s undergraduate chapbook contest. I ended up with a ton of contributor copies, and still have a bunch left so hit me up if you’re interested in getting a copy!

I wrote and presented my honors thesis which was entitled “A Space for Engagement and Exploration: The Role of the Camp Library at Camp Kawanhee for Boys”

In May, I celebrated my four years as an English major and my three years working as the English department’s student office assistant at the annual department awards banquet where I was awarded the Undergraduate Leadership and Service Award and the Touchstone Award for Poetry.

I signed the ceiling at the K-State Collegian, celebrating an academic year of learning first-hand about student journalism and getting paid (hopefully not for the last time) to write book reviews.

Tell K-State’s stories, but don’t forget to tell your own story

I…just like…graduated from college??? After four years I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Kansas State University with a B.A. in English

I’m sure if you’ve read any of my blog posts, follow me on social media, or know me as a person at all, then you know that I have no problems talking about my summer job, working at Camp Kawanhee for Boys in Weld, Maine. This summer at camp, I had the opportunity to work in a brand new camp store and a brand new camp library. I was busy basically all of the time, but I wouldn’t trade a single crazy day with the campers or my crazy coworkers. I was also awarded the Walter and Jane Estabrook Staff Excellence Award at the end of the camp season (which was just the cherry on top of a great summer).

On August 27, 2019 I made the biggest move of my life when I boarded a plane so I could move to Boston to start graduate work towards an MA in Children’s Literature and an MS in Library and Information Science.

The fall included a plethora of opportunities as I got the chance to meet authors Rainbow Rowell, Leigh Bardugo, and Kate DiCamillo as they went on book tours to celebrate their new releases.

I also got to meet new authors at the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards, and volunteered at Leaky Con and the Boston Book Festival.

Then, of course, if you’ve been following my blog you’ll know that things got rough for a while. But even then, I spent November working on a middle-grade novel for NaNoWriMo and while I didn’t hit 50,000 words in November (thanks to having to board a plane when I was 300 words short), I did reach the goal on December 1, and have plans to keep working on the project.

In November, I also found out that I’ll have more poetry being published in 2020, and visited one of my best friends in New York City! Oh, and I can’t forget about this years take on my annual #HarryPotterReRead which had me considering the audiobooks of the series for the first time.

2019 was full of incredible accomplishments, but perhaps the biggest was that I successfully completed my first semester of grad school and living in Boston!

Looking Forward to 2020

I have a lot of things to work forward to in 2020, I have a forthcoming poetry publication with Wizards in Space Literary Magazine. I’ll finish my first complete year of Grad School! I plan on returning to Camp Kawanhee for Boys to work my third summer and grow in my commitment to kids and community while camp celebrates its centennial. I’ll start year 2 of grad school and hopefully have a chance to get some hands on library experience.

I also plan on reading just as much (if not more), picking up embroidery as a hobby, and continuing to write poetry and fiction (and maybe some essays).

As always, I’m going to try and blog more, and I’ve got a few good ideas for things I want to accomplish with this site! So stay tuned!

The Year in Books

One of my favorite parts of my 2018 year in review was last year’s infographic about the books I read. Here’s this year’s version!

I’d love to hear about your 2019 and the books you’ve all read!

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