leslie nikole
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Courtney, Jason. Jimmy went in to see the Pigoons. Illustration.

I totally didn't realize that school would be over on December 6th. I was just about certain that I was at least going to be trudging to school until the middle of December. Another bonus, I don't have any exams post-end of classes. Of course there will be final exams, but only held during class time. December 6th is my last day and I could cry with happiness. It's nice to have the routine and structure, but a break would also be nice. It's not over just yet; I'm still working on bettering my grades. Being a B+ student by the end of it all actually looks like it might be possible.

I've got no complaints and no bad blood brewing. The weather is still pretty mild and the leaves on the tree in my front yard haven't all dropped off yet. That shouldn't be a cause for concern, but this is Montreal and it is the end of October. Those leaves all should be on the floor by now. This long and mild, and exceptionally rainy fall is only the proceedings of an awful winter. Last winter, there was snow basically falling by the pound every second, following an equally mild autumn. A lot of people think I'm crazy, but I was talking to this older lady at work who said she kept her own little almanac and noticed the same weird and worsening weather patterns. I don't know what to call it, but it's science!

If anything, my biggest accomplishments are slowly starting to pop up. Tonight my college's creative department completely redid the school's webzine design, where I've got a short story published. I've got a pretty good part of my mini-thesis done – including attending a conference held entirely in Spanish, and understanding just about every bit of it sans translator). THE CANADIAN SPOKEN WORD FESTIVAL, TO BE HELD BILINGUALLY (FOR THE FIRST TIME!) IN MONTREAL (FOR THE FIRST TIME!) WILL BE HELD NOVEMBER 4TH NOVEMBER 9TH IN MANY DIFFERENT VENUES IN THE PLATEAU/MILE END AREA! You might spot me posturing around downtown, which if you do and it looks like I'm struggling, please do the right thing and help me because my parents made me too short. I'm up to date with my readings, officially completing my GoodReads challenge of reading twenty-five books this year (and counting, currently at 27) and getting through Coconut, a novel written by Kopano Matlwa, chosen as the November read for the Literary Fiction by People of Color group also on GoodReads. Reading Coconut is honestly like being in a boxing match; one second I'm just reading a funny story about the main character and then the next second she's dropping mad knowledge. Definitely did a lot of jerking back and staring at the page in awe with this one. I feel like people who liked Americanah (which at some point I will actually finish!) would like Matlwa's debut novel, focusing on growing up black in what is post-apartheid South Africa on paper but with residual low-key apartheid attitudes. For class I'm also jumping way ahead and getting into Oryx and Crake earlier. Before this class it was on my to read list, but just like with Never Let Me Go, having it on my reading list definitely catapulted it to the head of the line. It's cool so far, I'm only about a third in. I feel like this book is really just a foundation for what's to come (because it is in the MaddAddam trilogy), which is sort of annoying because I want to know what happens already! Maybe I'm just being impatient.

That would come to no surprise.

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