12. am i a vlogger now? (without the camera, of course.)
thinking about justice for Breonna Taylor and writing for public speaking
Hi there! 👋 I’m Ida, and this is tiny driver, a newsletter about research, pedagogy, culture and their intersections. Thank you for being here. Reply anytime, I love hearing from you.
It seems that the punches just keep coming with what is going on in the U.S. Breonna Taylor still does not have justice for her senseless murder by police officers, Tr*mp has nominated a person to the Supreme Court who would do some serious damage to our rights...I don't know. It just is all too much sometimes. It seems that since March I have responded with, "hanging in there," when people ask how I'm doing. I wonder when my arms will give out. I wonder when all of our arms will give out.
It also seems as though there's not much balance in the world, and because of that, I sincerely hope that you all are taking care of yourselves. Here are some resources that I hope will inspire resilience and forward movement for you all, even if it's just baby steps:
Minaa B is a clinical therapist that has amazing journaling prompts & free mini courses on her website.
The Holistic Psychologist's YouTube channel is a great resource for learning about mental health, and all her videos are under 5 minutes.
The Sunday Soother is a newsletter that talks about coping & self-reflection in an accessible way.
These little comics from Liz & Mollie make me feel less alone in my experiences of this year.
What’s helping you get through this time?
What I write.
I'm giving a talk that starts in 2 hours! If you're able, I'd love for you to join me for a talk about Iranian student activism in the 1970s. It is my very first talk over Zoom, and you know your girl's been practicing:
This talk is based on a chapter I wrote over the summer for an edited volume called American-Iranian Dialogues. Ask your university's history subject librarian to buy it maybe? I've heard from many folks not to publish more than 20% of your dissertation if you're going to be turning it into a book, so this research was done after I finished. (How I had the motivation to do anything in the weeks post-diss is beyond me.)
So, a lot of last week was spent turning a 25-page book chapter into a 30 minute talk. As you could imagine, the document went through multiple rounds of revision. First, I had to cut parts of the chapter that I couldn't include in the talk (turning 25 pages into 14 pages because 1 double-spaced page ≈ 2 minutes talking). Then, I had to add in transitions to fill in the cut parts to make sure that when I shifted points, it didn't sound too jarring. After, I added sign-posting into the talk for (hopefully) easier listening. And finally, I revised my sentence structure so that it (again, hopefully) doesn't sound like I'm speaking from a text that is meant to be read.
That last point—revising sentence structure—is the one thing that is taking me the longest to do. I'm writing this newsletter over the weekend, and I am still (?!) finding moments where language can be simplified or find that I am stumbling over my words. Honestly, I feel like a YouTube vlogger that is trying to sound natural by repeating themselves & editing it out in post. My apartment will be filled with silence until I burst out saying, over and over, "The dynamics present in the 1970 Consulate takeover and its aftermath are integral to two dynamics central to Iranian racial formation in the United States," or something of that nature.
So anyway, the moral of the story is: writing for reading and writing for speaking are two entirely different things.
Live footage of me all last week & weekend:
And if you know someone who would be interested in attending my talk, please feel free to send them this newsletter issue!
What I consume.
Item(s) of note.
A soothing image for you all:
Soothing nature wallpapers meant for your phone. (The above image was taken from the site.)
I can't believe that I'm recommending a Bloomberg article, but here we are. (On how brands are increasingly marketing themselves as "blands.")
This article gave me some much-needed, long-term direction.
What is a zettelkasten, you ask?
Fun fact: Girlie’s got hops. She is like a little lean sausage that can jump and boop my belly button with her nose.
As always, thanks so much for reading through, and I’ll see you in the next one!