Books That Will Almost Make You Want to Stop Watching TikTok…

As the year comes to a close and it somehow still feels like March, we thought you might need some books that fill you with joy and keep you entertained. It’s quite the understatement to say that 2020 has been a strange year, and we’ve probably all spent a record-breaking number of hours staring at screens for work, school, and entertainment. You know when you scroll through TikTok for 15 minutes but somehow two hours passed? Here are some books that will make you feel the same way!

Click on each book title for links to access through the University Library, or check out your local public library.

The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang

The Wang family is super wealthy. At least, they were. When they lose their fortune, the Wangs pack their few remaining possessions into an old car and drive from California to New York. Filled with humor, charm, and a healthy dose of awkward reality, this book will also fill the void of Schitt’s Creek being over.

 

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Hahn

Whether or not you’ve seen the Netflix film adaptation, this book is worth the read. Lara Jean Song has written a letter to every boy she’s ever loved, and they’re all tucked away in a secret box. Somehow, her letters get mailed and now she’s being confronted by all her past crushes that she may or may not really be over.

 

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
(not available through UIUC, link goes to Champaign Public Library)

While everyone in her small town is completely obsessed with prom, Liz Lighty just wants to escape to college. But winning prom queen comes with scholarship money, so even though she thinks she’s too poor, too Black, and too awkward for her classmates, Liz decides to do whatever it takes to win that prize. She doesn’t like the spotlight, but she does like spending time with the new girl who is also running for prom queen…

 

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

If you love dramatic reality shows, this book has that same addictive, guilty-pleasure feeling. Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nick, but he fails to mention that his family is outrageously wealthy and their home is more like a palace. Since Nick is one of the island’s most eligible bachelors, Rachel finds herself with a target on her back in this world of gloriously insane wealth. After you read the book, there’s also a film adaptation!

 

When We Were Vikings by Andrew MacDonald

Zelda is a 21-year-old Viking enthusiast born with fetal alcohol syndrome. She lives with her older brother, Gert, and traverses life’s difficulties by adhering to some simple rules and ideals. After finding out that Gert has some questionable methods of making money, Zelda embarks on a heartwarming quest and discovers what makes a hero.

 

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

For a non-stop joyride, look no further than this novel about the son of America’s first female president. Alex Claremont-Diaz is charming and popular, in fact, he gets along with everyone – except for England’s Prince Henry. The two long-time nemeses make international news after causing a commotion at a royal wedding, and now they have to stage a fake friendship to do some damage control. The two have more in common than they realized, and their fake friendship evolves in a way that could have serious consequences for them and their nations.

 

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

This graphic novel is filled with fall vibes, friendship, and fun. Deja and Josiah have worked together every fall at the world’s best pumpkin patch, and this is their last shift together before they head to separate colleges. They decide to turn it into an epic night, eat all the best snacks, and finally talk to the girl Josiah has been mooning over for the past three years. Finding the girl isn’t as simple as they expect, but Deja and Josiah find lots of adventure along the way.

 

We hope you enjoy these books, let us know what you think!

 

Written and edited by: Nicole

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Dystopian Novels That Don’t Feel Like Fiction…

Escapism is great. Many of us have been watching a lot of Great British Baking Show and playing Animal Crossing through the pandemic. But sometimes, in the face of crises, it can feel satisfying to watch or read something that reflects what’s happening around us. Often, we are drawn to fiction that vocalizes something we have experienced but have never been able to fully understand or explain. Maybe that’s why these books feel so comforting and exciting right now. The following novels are all fictional, of course, but their apocalyptic and dystopian plots resonant a little bit more than usual. If you’re looking to pick up novels exploring what it’s like to live through pandemics, climate change, and political turmoil, check out some of these titles.

Click on each book title for links to access through the University Library, or check out your local public library.

Black Wave by Michelle Tea (2015)

This apocalypse novel takes place in California in 1999, but in a version of 1999 where the world is officially ending in a year because the environment is too messed up. Michelle, the main character, leaves the San Francisco Queer scene for L.A., trying to escape drug problems and failed relationships. But with only a year left, people begin dreaming collectively, and the lines of reality are increasingly blurred. Somehow, this book will quell your existential dread about climate change, at least temporarily.

 

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler (1993)

Written by science fiction icon Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower takes place in a dystopian version of California in the 2020s. The state is plagued by fires, water shortages, drugs, lack of jobs, and violence. Meanwhile, teenager Lauren Olamina struggles to survive and to protect the people she loves while living with hyperempathy, a condition causing her to feel the pain of others. Meanwhile, she develops a new religion she hopes can save humanity. Needless to say, there is a whole lot going on in this book, and its iconic for a reason.

 

The Last Man by Mary Shelley (1826)

Frankenstein author Mary Shelley’s dystopian apocalypse novel is set in the late 21st century after a plague has destroyed humanity. The plague first hits warmer regions of the world, sending refugees north to England. But eventually it spreads and kills almost everyone, along with other climate disasters like floods and extreme weather. Eventually, the narrator is the only human left on Earth, and the book is ultimately about isolation, something many of us have become more familiar with lately.

 

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas (2018)

In this near-future dystopian novel, abortion and in-vitro fertilization have become illegal in the United States with the Personhood Amendment, which grants rights to fetuses. The book follows five women living through the consequences of this legislation. If you liked The Handmaids Tale, this one’s for you.

 

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin (2015)

Another one about climate change. This sci-fi novel takes place on a planet with one supercontinent and a fifth season that hits every few centuries, bringing devastating climate change along with it. Other planetary woes include a complex and oppressive caste system and a collapsing empire. Meanwhile, a woman tries to rescue her daughter as the world falls apart around her.

 

Zone One by Colson Whitehead (2011)

Written by Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad, Zone One is another novel about a pandemic. In this one, the virus is finally receding, but the zombies it created are still roaming Manhattan. Civilians team up to try to rid the island of zombies and resettle the city.

 

Severance by Ling Ma (2018)

Candance Chen is a millennial and a first-generation American living in New York City during a pandemic of Shen Fever, a fungal infection originating in China. Her boring office job is replaced with a cross-country trek for survival. It’s a science fiction satire of capitalism, with some eerie similarities to the pandemic we are all living through.

 

A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker (2019)

In this science fiction novel, the government has made large public gatherings illegal due to virus outbreaks and terror attacks. Luce Cannon was a successful musician until concerts were banned, but she still plays illegally. Rosemary Laws, on the other hand is used to doing things virtually, until she goes out scouting musicians for her new job. This one isn’t exactly dystopian, but music lovers missing live shows will appreciate this story about sharing art and connecting in difficult times.

 

If you need a break from reality after reading these almost-real-life novels, check back next week for books that are easy to escape into!

 

Written by: Izzy

Edited by: Nicole

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Be Well: The Art of Self-Care

The student art gallery in the UGL is inaccessible to all of us for the time being. But we didn’t want to let that stop us from showcasing artwork by some of the talented students at our University. After a call for submissions this summer, we have selected a couple of pieces to exhibit here. Both works beautifully align with our theme Be Well: The Art of Self-Care. They go beyond the idea of self-care as something you can buy, like an expensive facial or a fancy candle. Don’t get me wrong, expensive facials and fancy candles are great. But truly caring for ourselves and our communities, especially during a pandemic, requires digging a little deeper into the meanings and possibilities of self-care. These artists show us that engaging in self-care can mean asking yourself difficult questions and responding with compassion and remembering that all our well-beings are interconnected.

Samuel Feathers

Red flower with branching vines on a speckled grey/black background. Paint drips down from vines, the flower, and the top of the painting.

“everything’s greener when you’re colorblind” Simulated watercolor. 2020.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

“Done during the initial weeks of COVID-19 before I could go home. During that time, I was isolated alone on campus. I already was having respiratory issues from unrelated causes, so paranoia was starting to set in about getting infected, and it got me into a bad head space. For me, it’s super important to go out and make the best of a bad situation, but stopping to smell the roses in this case felt dangerous. As I got to a better place mentally, I started viewing the piece differently. Starting out, I could only really focus on the grime and imperfections, the flower and green vines were secondary. Now, the petals and gold of the flower are what I look to first. There’s pleasant and rough parts to it, but they are all mixed together. Like the quarantine, what you focus on determines how you interact with it. Do you make a choice to focus on the positives, or do the negatives grab your attention? Keeping that question in mind is how I make sure I’m taking care of myself.

It fits the theme not in a depiction of self-care, but as a question. How are you choosing to interact with the world right now? Are you choosing to focus on the bad? Or are you treating yourself with love and compassion and focusing on the good in the world, even though it is scary and confusing right now? It’s so easy to get down, so treat yourself with care and make a conscious effort to stay positive!”


Tiffany Teng

A person wearing blue with their head tilted back receives a massage from their mother, seated above them, wearing green and a cross necklace.

“Her Healing Hands” Watercolor. 2020.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

“Remember the healing and provisions that your friends and family have restored you with throughout your years together, and use it to look after one another as sheltering in place threatens to wear us down.

I recently had a migraine due to various factors including a lack of self-care. So, I gave myself a day of rest but didn’t feel well until my mother responded to my discomfort with an incredible head massage. As independent and self-reliant as we may want to be, we’re relational beings. We can’t uphold our well-being on our own. Part of self-care is not only knowing our own limits but also knowing that our well-being is made up of relationships. The relationships we have with family and friends are the passages that bring us love and care from others to build up our health.

Part of being well is knowing how to practice self-care with others. This piece illustrates one of the moments I relaxed with my mom, just chatting and massaging one another. In those moments, I often feel comfortable and at peace.”


Thank you to the artists for sharing their work. If you’d like to keep viewing, making, and learning about art from a safe distance, check out these resources:

 

Written by: Izzy

Edited by: Nicole

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Digital Book Display: Black Lives Matter

There are countless lists of books addressing issues of systemic racism, internal bias, police brutality, and the prison-industrial complex, but the books themselves might not be as easy to find. Many of these books are on backorder or have overwhelmingly long waitlists, as bookstores and libraries around the country are facing a demand larger than their supply. Having an abundance of people wanting to educate themselves is an excellent problem to have! Following is a list of books (in no particular order) that are available online for free, so you don’t have to wait to start exploring these important topics.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Written as a letter to his teenage son, Coates explores his own experiences confronting American history and ideals. Intensely personal, this book focuses on lived experience and finding one’s place in a world while carrying generations of pain. This book is temporarily available in our library catalog through HathiTrust, requiring your NetID and password.

This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color edited by Cherríe L. Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa

This collection is a feminist anthology on the intersectionality of gender, race, sexuality, immigration status, and other identities. A mix of personal essays, poetry, interviews, and stories, this book brings to focus the importance of a feminism that liberates all. This book is temporarily available in our library catalog through HathiTrust, requiring your NetID and password. 

Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis

Looking at the history and evolution of our prison system, Davis breaks down complex issues in an easy-to-understand way. She examines the interactions of politics, economics, race, gender, and incarceration, and offers new ways to think about crime and punishment. This book is temporarily available in our library catalog through HathiTrust, requiring your NetID and password.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (audiobook)

This critique of the criminal justice system challenges the belief of a post-racial society. Well-researched and thoughtful, Alexander discusses many issues faced by Black Americans and examines the intention behind our systems. This audiobook is available in our catalog through RB Digital, requiring you to create an account.

Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly about Racism in America by George Yancy

After writing an op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Dear White America,” Yancy faced backlash beyond his expectations. This book asks white Americans to face the ways they have benefited from racism, and it looks to understand why his article was met with so much controversy. This book is available in our catalog through ProQuest Ebook Central and can be read online, or downloaded using a third-party software.

Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? Police Violence and Resistance in the United States Edited by Joe Macaré, Maya Schenwar, and Alana Yu-lan Price

From specific stories to policies and research, this book looks at how the recent police killings of Black individuals fit into a larger context of policing. It has contributions from many writers and offers solutions to the institutional treatment of Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, mental illness, pregnancy, queerness, and more. This book is temporarily available for free through the publisher.

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi (audiobook)

Covering the long history of racist ideas in America, this book displays how racism was purposefully created for power and economic gain. Kendi offers an understanding of how we got here, and gives us tools for how we can move forward. This audiobook is temporarily available for free on Spotify. 

Let us know what you think!

 

Written and edited by Nicole

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Quarantine Diary 9: The Small Joys

Hear ye, hear ye, to all the inhabitants of the world, especially the readers of the UGL ‘Quarantine Diaries’. It’s me, Tath, another Graduate Assistant at the UGL. I’m writing from my apartment in Urbana with my windows open, even though it’s cold. Someone told me “being present with the temperature is being present with yourself” and I have developed a small crush on that thought. I do not know how many weeks shelter-in-place has been in effect.

I wanted to be finished with my large assignments several weeks ago, but have instead been spending time biking around Urbana. Although living in Chicago for five years before moving here, I am just now beginning to understand what flatland means as a kind of psychological condition. It’s not actually flat, you can see some rolling hills on the country roads just northeast of Urbana but they’re always a little out of reach, or actually in the middle of an early-season cornfield. 

My eyes are in legitimate pain from Zoom meetings but I like FaceTiming with my sister’s cat, Dusty Butt.

The cat, Dusty Butt, climbing on top of hanging clothes.

Other small joys?

Peppermint Tea:
It just rules. There is no tea I like better. Even Vanilla Rooibos doesn’t compare.

Rewatching the Sopranos:
Anthony Jr. is sick and there’s nothing I want more than to see him wearing the same Marilyn Manson shirt I wore all through middle school through college – the album cover to Family Portrait. Also high-key love Carmella and really really wish she and my mom were friends. In the mid-2000’s at the height of the Martha Stewart, Barefoot Contessa cultural phase, themed homemaking books and cookbooks were published kind of often (as opposed to today’s regional/cultural fusion trend). The Sopranos has not one, but two, whereas something as epistemically massive as Napoleon Dynamite only has a scattering of recipes across the internet. I’m vegan but I’d probably step to Carmella’s ziti.

A tweet that reads: "season 01, episode 4: AJ wears his first band shirt and it's a Marilyn Manson one. Plus, he rocks his room with several posters of Ulver, Moonspell, Nevermore and Stuck Mojo. What a start. #numetal #thesopranos" and has photos of the shirt and room

Reconnecting with an ex who is an actual rockstar.
I won’t tell you who they are but when I saw their picture in December’s Art Forum Top Ten my heart skipped a beat. They are also a rockstar at phone calls, and have good critiques of seltzer. Of seltzer, I highly recommend the Instagram page @seltzerflex.

Geoguessr
This is a Google Maps oriented game where you guess where you are based on your street view. I have guessed within 30 meters of where I have been dropped. You always know when you are in Australia, but inland regions of Mediterranean countries look eerily like Mongolia.

Skyrim
I’ve been homesick for my native Western Massachusetts since like 2013. Skyrim helps fill the void a little bit because culturally it’s the same place (for better or worse, although without the paranoia), and geographically even closer to a replica of home. My hometown looks like the outskirts of Whiterun.

A water-wheel turning in Skyrim

Falcon Cam
Sometimes I wake up and check on these falcons on top of UMass Amherst’s W.E.B. Dubois Library.

 

Written by: Tath

Edited by: Nicole

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Quarantine Diary 7: TV and Tutorials

Hi, I’m Simone! As the semester wraps up, I have attempted to get into Westworld, at the suggestion of a friend. I have finally arrived on the current season, season three. I have binged watched every weekend for the last three weeks. While I do not think it will ever be a favorite show of mine, it is interesting. I now understand all the memes and references on YouTube about Ford (Anthony Hopkins’ character), so that’s a plus. However, my favorite way to relax and destress has been YouTube. I am a devoted watcher of Desus and MeroCinemaWins, and CinemaSins and I am lucky that they are still posting (I am a movie nerd, sue me 😉). 

Kind Of Wink GIF by Desus & Mero - Find & Share on GIPHY

I am ever hopeful that soon the shelter in place order will be lifted. I signed up on the TRX website for a teacher training course and unfortunately, I do not have TRX cables or the ability to hoist TRX cables in my building. Thus, I am hoping that I will be able to take the course at a gym facility in May, if the order is lifted.  

However, when I am not trying to destress by watching television or exercising (I am quite fond of the Les Mills BodyCombat series), I found a great library resource created by Scholarly CommonsMallory Untch has put together a series of resources that are downloadable. One I have been exploring in depth is Python Anywhere. It’s a free website where you can code in the python language. If you have never coded before (I am a novice, as well), there are many helpful sites like W3 Schools, which has a tutorial on Python that you can test out on the Python Anywhere console.  Right now, I am trying the tutorials on tuples. There’s also a hands-on tutorial hosted by Matt Harrison through PyCon 2020. 

Hack Coding GIF by Matthew Butler - Find & Share on GIPHY

I hope wherever you are that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.

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Quarantine Diary 3: A Few of My Favorite Things

Hello! Nicole here. I’m currently sequestered on top of a mountain outside of Boulder, CO, which is beautiful even though I’m extra stuck inside due to 16 inches of snow. I am very thankful to have a nice view and good company, but it’s been a struggle to focus on work and school while the world is filled with much uncertainty. Every night I go to bed thinking that tomorrow I’m going to be productive, work on finals, and exercise. Every morning (or afternoon) I wake up and…don’t. At first, this made me feel guilty and, on top of the regular stress and anxiety, I’d be mad at myself. Recently I’ve decided to be kinder to myself and embrace just doing what I can. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but these are unprecedented times. I also realized that almost every conversation I was having was filled with worry and negativity, so I’ve started asking people about the best things they’ve been doing during quarantine. So for this blog, I’ve decided to share five of the best things that I’ve done these past few weeks! Or months or years or however long it’s been. 

The outside table covered in a mound of snow

Isn’t it supposed to be spring?

Sourdough Cinnamon Buns

My partner has a sourdough starter that I am not trusted to maintain (I was gifted one and promptly killed it within a week). My attempt to make sourdough bread was a disaster – it turned out like if someone tried to bake playdough, aka it was completely inedible. However, these cinnamon buns came out so delicious that I made them twice in a week. They take a whole day to make when you consider the rising time, so the sense of accomplishment is extra high. I don’t have a mixer, so I got the therapeutic experience of kneading the dough by hand. An excellent way to get out some frustration. Plus, you might get flour all over your kitchen and by the time you clean it up, you’ve really spent an entire day not laying in bed. No matter how they turn out, I’d call that success. 

Watching Movies

It takes a lot of time to watch all the extended editions of Lord of the Rings, but 12 hours seems like nothing these days. Wow, those Hobbits really understand my quarantine eating schedule.There’s also 12 hours of special features if you want to be that annoying person who interrupts the movie every few minutes to share exclusive, behind-the-scenes info as if you were there. Fun fact, did you know that every single piece of chainmail in the movie was handmade? They linked almost 7 miles of rings together, and the whole process took 2 years! After Lord of the Rings, Star Wars was the logical next binge. Can we all agree that Episode I is the worst, and Rogue One is the very best? 

The Getty Challenge 

Recreating famous art using items/people around your house? Yes, please. I was certain my creation would turn out horribly, but I laughed a lot and it came out less terrible than expected! Even if you don’t participate, I would recommend checking out what other people have created for a good laugh.

Rosetta Stone

We have free access to Rosetta Stone through our university, and I’ve been saying that I’m going to use it to learn Spanish since September. Obviously school, work, and Netflix were higher priorities, so I never got around to it until now. I haven’t done it every day like I planned, but that’s okay because we’re being nicer to ourselves, remember? I do a 15-30 minute lesson a couple of times a week, and then I proudly point at things, say the Spanish word for them, and expect my partner to tell me what an inspiring genius I am. 

Reading

As a librarian-in-training, it feels obligatory to mention books. I am not reading as much as I thought I would; some days it’s hard to find the motivation to pick up a book instead spending infinite hours on TikTok. I’ve been finding it easier to get into light-hearted or short reads, so here are a few suggestions that might make you feel happy and distracted from the real world.

Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. When this book was recommended to me, I read the description and assumed it would be eye-roll inducing. After reading it, I have been hypothetically shoving it at everyone I know. Seriously, it’s what the world needs now and always, and it might make you laugh out loud.

Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda. These are daily/nightly greetings, reminders, and words of encouragement that will make you feel like someone is giving your heart a hug. Don’t we all need some hugs right now?

Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson. Ok so this is not completely light-hearted, some of these poems actually made me curl into a ball and sob. But there is also so much hope and love, and I will recommend an Andrea Gibson collection any chance I get. Unlike what I was forced to read in school, their poetry is relatable and easy to understand.

Even though libraries are closed, there are still ways to get books! Look into your local library’s digital options, hosted on apps such as Libby or Hoopla. You can also support local bookstores by purchasing through Bookshop, Indie Bound, or see if your bookstore is still selling online. 

I hope you’re all finding enjoyable things to do during quarantine too! 

 

Written and edited by Nicole

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Handwashing Entertainment

At times like these, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminds us that handwashing is critical! In order to keep yourself and your household safe we know that we should be washing our hands frequently and especially any time we have left the house, touched something that is new like a delivery or groceries, or are handling/preparing food. However, did you know that to be truly effective when washing your hands, you should be scrubbing for a full 20 seconds? This information was just as true before COVID-19, but is critical now as we all seek to stay safe and be responsible in preventing the spread of this virus.

So exactly how long is 20 seconds? And are you expected to stand at the sink counting multiple times a day when you’re already bored and restless with cabin fever? Never fear! We have curated a list of monologues, songs, quotes, and movie scenes to get you through handwashing for days! Our goal? For twenty seconds to have never been more entertaining and for your hands to have never been cleaner. So turn the water on, lather up, and repeat after me…

Monologues/Movie and TV scenes:

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope | Princess Leia hologram speech

“General Kenobi. Years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire. I regret that I am unable to present my father’s request to you in person, but my ship has fallen under attack, and I’m afraid my mission to bring you to Alderaan has failed. I have placed information vital to the survival of the Rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit. My father will know how to retrieve it. You must see this droid safely delivered to him on Alderaan. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”

Star Trek | 1966 introduction sequence

“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before!”

Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Act 5 Scene 1 | Lady MacBeth’s speech

“Out, damned spot! Out, I say!—One, two. Why, then, ’tis time to do ’t. Hell is murky!—Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?—Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.”

Pride and Prejudice | Darcy’s first proposal to Elizabeth

“In vain I have struggled, it will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you. In declaring myself that I am fully aware that I will be going expressly against the wishes of my family, my friends, and I hardly need add, my own better judgement.”

The Office | Bird funeral eulogy 

Bird Funeral - The Office GIF | Gfycat

“What do we know about this bird? You might think, ‘Not much, it’s just a bird.’ But we do know some things. We know that it was a local bird. Maybe it’s that same bird that surprised Oscar that one morning with a special present from above. And we know how he died, flying into the glass doors. But you know what, I don’t think he was being stupid. I think he just really, really wanted to come inside our building to spread his cheer and lift our spirits with a song.”

Songs and Lyrics:

Parks and Recreation | “5000 Candles in the Wind”

“Up in horsey heaven, here’s the thing

You trade your legs for angels wings

And once we’ve all said good-bye

You take a running leap and you learn to flyyyyy

Bye bye Li’l Sebastian

Miss you in the saddest fashion

Bye bye Li’l Sebastian

You’re 5000 candles in the wind.”

Toto | “Africa”

“It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you

There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do

I bless the rains down in Africa

Gonna take some time to do the things we never had”

Or, try these handwashing lyrics:

“It’s gonna take a lot to wash germs away from you

It’s something that a fifth of a hundred seconds could do

I bless the sink down in my bathroom

Gonna take some time to do the things we need to do (ooh, ooh)”

My Chemical Romance | “Welcome to the Black Parade”

“When I was a young boy

My father took me into the city

To see a marching band

He said, “Son, when you grow up

Would you be the savior of the broken

The beaten, and the damned?”

Lizzo | “Truth Hurts”

“Why men great ’til they gotta be great?

Don’t text me, tell it straight to my face

Best friend sat me down in the salon chair

Shampoo press, get you out of my hair

Fresh photos with the bomb lighting

New man on the Minnesota Vikings

Truth hurts, needed something more exciting

Bom bom bi dom bi dum bum bay”

The Killers | “Mr. Brightside”

“Jealousy, turning saints into the sea

Swimming through sick lullabies

Choking on your alibis

But it’s just the price I pay

Destiny is calling me

Open up my eager eyes

‘Cause I’m Mr. Brightside”

The Lion King | “I Just Can’t Wait to be King”

“I’m gonna be a mighty king

So enemies beware

Well, I’ve never seen a king or beast

With quite so little hair

I’m gonna be the main event

Like no king was before

I’m brushing up on looking down

I’m working on my roar

Thus far, a rather uninspiring thing

Oh, I just can’t wait to be king”

Hamilton | “My Shot”

“I am not throwing away my shot

I am not throwing away my shot

Hey yo, I’m just like my country

I’m young, scrappy and hungry

And I’m not throwing away my shot

I’ma get a scholarship to King’s College

I prob’ly shouldn’t brag, but dag, I amaze and astonish

The problem is I got a lot of brains but no polish

I gotta holler just to be heard

With every word, I drop knowledge”

 

Well, that’s all for now folks. We hope you were able to find some handwashing inspiration and entertainment!

P.S. Another quick tip from the UGL: consider tracking down that hand lotion your aunt got you for Christmas three years ago that you never opened. Frequent handwashing and hand sanitizer use can be damaging to your skin, so keep that skin hydrated!

 

Written by Jayde

Edited by Nicole

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Fall Break in Champaign-Urbana

It’s a beautiful time of year around Champaign-Urbana! If you’re lucky enough to be around the C-U for Fall Break, there are plenty of exciting events for everyone to enjoy. From participating in holiday festivities to cheering on the Illini, make sure to check out these events happening around town next week:

The Festival of Trees

Join the Junior League of Champaign-Urbana for the 2019 Festival of Trees on November 22nd-24th at the Hilton Garden Inn Champaign. Over 100 trees and wreaths will be on display, so you can get into the holiday spirit. Purchase raffle tickets and enter for a chance to win all of the vignettes on display or place a silent bid on select trees and packages. Special events include the Family Winter Ball on Friday and breakfast with Mrs. Clause and Santa on Saturday.Image result for buddy the elf gif

 

Holiday Card Photo Op at the Virginia Theater

The Virginia’s beautifully decorated Mezzanine Lobby is opening on Monday, November 25 for photographs this holiday season, free of charge! Bring your camera or arrange to have a professional photographer meet you at the theatre to capture a special memory for the whole family. Drop by or call the box office (217-356-9063) to reserve your 15-minute slot (space is limited).Related image

 

Parkland Jazz Combo Concert

The Parkland Jazz Combo will be performing Monday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. at Parkland College Theatre’s Second Stage. Led by Kevin Hart, the ensemble will perform selections from artists such as Frank Foster, Pat Metheny, Charlie Christian, Paul Desmond, and Jeff Lorber. This concert is free and open to the public.Image result for the aristocats orchestra gif

 

Fighting Illini Men’s Basketball

Stop by the State Farm Stadium to cheer on a promising Illini Men’s Basketball team, as they play against the Lindenwood University Lions! Join the Orange Krush on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. I-L-L!

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Fighting Illini Volleyball

Check out the Fighting Illini Volleyball team versus the Northwestern Wildcats before they head to the NCAA Tournament. You can watch them play in Huff Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 7:30 p.m. Go Illini!

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Pathways of Light

Take a little trip off-campus and come out to the Aikman Wildlife Adventure Park in Arcola, IL with your family to enjoy a stroll through a lovely pathway of Christmas lights. Start your Christmas shopping early by purchasing gift certificates for your family or friends, and experience one of their animal adventures. A plus: Iced sugar cookies and hot cider will be available! The Pathways of Light will be open during Fall Break on Nov. 29 and Nov. 30, starting at 5:00 p.m.Image result for christmas lights gif

 

Written by: Morgan

Edited by: Nicole

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Shelf Control

It’s Banned Books Week! Our library system has one of the largest collections in the country, so come celebrate your freedom to read by checking out a book that has sparked controversy. Books are often banned from schools and libraries for sexual content and violence, but we wanted to explore some of the stranger reasons books have been taken off the shelves. Please enjoy five book bans that made us laugh, and click on the titles to find the books in our catalog! 

1. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

In 1969, child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim wrote that it could be traumatizing for children to read about the character being sent to bed without dinner. This led to the book being banned in schools and libraries throughout the country. 

 

2. The Dictionary                                                                                                           

Yes, you read that correctly. Both the American Heritage dictionary and the Merriam-Webster dictionary have been taken out of schools across the country for defining “provocative” words. While controversies over this reference book began in the 1970s, it was banned as recently as 2010 in a California school district. 

 

3. The Diary of Anne Frank                                      

While this book has been banned several times for sexually-explicit passages, it has also been challenged as “pro-Jewish propaganda” with claims that Anne Frank never actually existed. The most head-scratching reason for banning the book came in 1983, when the Alabama State Textbook Committee called it “a real downer.”

 

4. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White                                                             

Parents in Kansas in 2006 got this book banned because of the talking animals. They complained that showing lesser creatures with human abilities of communication is highly disrespectful to God, and it must be the work of the devil.

 

5. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.

This innocent picture book was banned by the Texas Board of Education in 2010 thanks to a misunderstanding. The author happens to have the same name as a Marxist theorist, and no one “bothered” to check if it was the same person. What a great reminder of the importance of doing your research.

All of this content was found on The Week’s 17 most surprising banned books, so check it out if you want to see more!

Written and Edited by: Nicole

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