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  • Anna Wang

My Daily Monologue (December 2022)

Dec. 1, 2022

We started reading Lucille Clifton's poems. She's the last writer of this semester's "American Literature after 1900." I like her looks. She looks like an intelligent lady. (Day 150)



Dec. 2, 2022

Four papers will be due next week. I don't know how I can magically turn up four papers. But tonight, I just want to watch a movie. "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself." (Matthew 6:34) That's what I learned from this Christian school. Tuition is well spent. Haha. (Day 151)


Dec. 3, 2022

My phone knows me better than myself does. Today it pushed a TED lecture about positive thinking to me. I actually watched it. Now I know I must not feel guilty when watching a movie. Instead, I should think that I'm learning English even when watching a movie. (Day 152)


Dec. 4, 2022

Now when I watch a British movie, I find dialogues like this affectionate: "Let's go to a little inn in Brighton." Jane Austen didn't like Brighton herself and only arranged for the immoral characters to go to Brighton. Still, the mention of Brighton drew me closer emotionally to the movie. (Day 153)


Dec. 5, 2022

I listened to a motivational speech today. The gist of it is that "you should think you are someone instead of going to become someone." So instead of thinking that I'm going to write papers, I should think that I am papers. I am titles, introductions, body paragraphs, conclusions, and citations. (Day 154)


Dec. 6, 2022

Even old people have potential. I used to think that I couldn't drink coffee after 4 pm, nor could I write after 8 pm. But when I'm under pressure, I can do both. (Day 155)


Dec. 7, 2022

I met a classmate on campus, and we commiserated together for the papers and finals. We parted with a mutual encouragement: "It will be over soon." (Day 156)


Dec. 8, 2022

The principal of my son's school warned the parents of the existence of ChatGPT. I asked my son if he had heard of it. He answered that it was helping some of his friends now. It can even code for his friend's science project. "The programmers are coding themselves out of job," he said. (Day 157)


Dec. 10, 2022

Yesterday I did not journal. I was busy writing a paper that would be due at midnight. I ended up submitting it at 1:30 this morning. I felt terrible for losing on both ends. I could have taken a few minutes to journal. The paper would be late anyway. (Day 159)


Dec. 11, 2022

Rain and hail are symbols that I haven't finished the paper which was due two days ago. (Day 160)


Dec. 12, 2022

Lionel Trilling's comment on Austen: "...no other work of genius has ever spoken...so insistently for cautiousness and constraint...No other great novel has so anxiously asserted the need to find…a refuge from the dangers of openness and chance." I couldn't agree more. (Day 161)


Dec. 13, 2022

For the final project of a class, I made a 3-minute video. Two hours before submitting it, I found out that the requirement is at least 5 minutes. I'm scrambling to add two more minutes. (Day 162)


Dec. 14, 2022

When I was studying for the finals, I crammed in my head what would normally take me two months to learn in one day. (Day 163)


Dec. 15, 2022

What kind of image does the word symposium conjure up? Scholars dressed in business suits seriously discuss an academic subject? It's a Greek word meaning "drinking together" and later evolved to "convivial meetings" and "free conversation." It seems that back in ancient Greek, academia is a drinking community. (Day 164)


Dec. 16, 2022

Finished all the finals and papers. Waiting for my grades to come out. Now I feel a tad depressed. Don't know what to do without a school to go to. (Day 165)


Dec. 17, 2022

Yesterday was the last day of this semester. I should have returned all books, but I left them at home, so today I had to drive to school again. Traffic backed up at the school entrance; it turned out that today was winter commencement. I was just going to school to drop off books, but I got to take a look at the ceremony—a big surprise, in a nice way. Suddenly I began to wonder what Freud would say about my leaving books at home. (Day 166)


Dec. 18, 2022

Enjoyed being a vegetable the whole day. (Day 167)


Dec. 19, 2022

It's very hard to do nothing. I decided to read starting tomorrow. (Day 168)


Dec. 20, 2022

Today I read "Teaching a Stone to Talk." My professor used one essay from this book the past semester, and I instantly fell in love with Annie Dillard. However, I didn't have time to read the whole book even though it is thin. (Day 169)


Dec. 21, 2022

On the #WinterSolstice, darkness had swept across the city before commuters returned home. This evening was when the most cars were caught on the roads; the most car lights swarmed in the murky air, floating, blinking, the most unsettling. (Day 170)


Dec. 22, 2022

My son is applying for colleges. When he answers their questions of "why us," he has to rack his brain to find out the merits of each school, singing their praises and calling every school his one and only love. "I have no decency left in me," he sighs. (Day 171)


Dec. 23, 2022

While I was watching a detective TV show, a character yelled to another character, "You bastard! I'll see you rot in Hades before you get my publishing house." I was like, "Hey, I know Hades. Read it in 'The Aeneid' last semester. Seems my tuition well paid." (Day 172)


Dec. 24, 2022

Went to a friend's house to celebrate Christmas Eve. A famous musician from China was present, along with her violin. She encouraged us to sing along. I googled for the "Silent Night" lyrics and sang to my phone. (Day 173)


Dec. 25, 2022

Annie Dillard noticed that the writing of the polar explorers, even in their private journals, maintained a fine reserve. She wondered, after reading a great many accounts, if they were not selected by physical fitness but by their prose styles. (Day 174)




Dec. 26, 2022

The last day I drove to school, I passed houses in the middle of holiday decorating. Inflatable Santa Clauses lay flat in the garden, on the roof, waiting to be blown into shape. It was ten days ago, though it felt like ages. I wonder how the Santa Clauses are doing now. (Day 175)


Dec. 27, 2022


The thirty of us who went to the same school in China had a WeChat group. Yesterday, one friend suggested we enlarge our English vocabulary. Everyday, she would find a word from the dictionary, and we made a sentence using the word. The first word-of-the day was "abase." I made a sentence: "The CCP abased itself by a sudden rollback of its notorious lockdown." All gave me thumbs up, calling it a model sentence. Today's word was "accolade." I was in the middle of thinking when someone noticed that our WeChat group was restricted. This must be the consequence of yesterday's model sentence. The discovery inspired me, and a new model sentence was born: "The shutting down of our Wechat group is the ultimate accolade of our wisdom." Another model sentence is born. (Day 176)


Dec. 28, 2022

I told my son: "I'm going to the gym." He responded, "Okay. I'm going to college." I laughed. He asked, "Why did you laugh? Don't you think I can find a college to go to?" I receded, "Of course, you'll find A college." He shrugged, "See? I simply stated the truth." (Day 177)


Dec. 29, 2022

Today my original intention of journaling came back to me—the book I'd wanted to write but not yet started. Going to school is but a part of my preparation for this book. I must not confuse goals with means. Winter break is the time to read the books I need to read. (Day 178)


Dec. 30, 2022

When asked what he wanted to eat to celebrate the end of 2022, my son described a snack he'd eaten in China when he was small, and I figured it was a steamed lava custard bun. We drove 1.5 hours to the restaurant 70 miles away, ate there for an hour, and drove 2 hours back. (Day 179)


Dec. 31, 2022

I'm so glad that some people, just like me, think New Year's Eve is just a normal day. At our school, the writing students and alumni gather online every last Saturday of the month to have a "Writers Gonna Write" session, and today we met again. (Day 180)




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