Some updates on what’s becoming a busy and exciting spring:

  1. For various reasons, I haven’t attended quite as many concerts as usual this season.  I did manage to make it to a wonderful Handel and Haydn concert last February (Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto with Robert Levin; Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony).  Handel and Haydn always impresses me.  They are a fantastic period orchestra, and a major part of why Boston’s classical scene is so great.  Next year I do plan to attend more concerts, since supporting classical musicians is one of my priorities.
  2. I have pretty much stopped writing short fiction in order to focus on completing my first novel.  My novel is becoming quite long.  I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise, since most of my favorite novels are long.
  3. This year I’ve already read several great books.  I was deeply impressed and moved by Han Kang’s The Vegetarian and Fiona McFarlane’s The Night Guest.  I also finally got around to reading Megan Abbott’s early novels.  Die a Little and The Song is You were both excellent.
  4. I have continued taking graduate courses in environmental science.  My goal is to identify specific areas in which I can contribute.  I’m starting to think that waste management and land conservation might be good topics of focus for me.  Waste is something I find myself thinking about/noticing a lot.  It is a large but solvable problem that deserves more press.  And land conservation is a subject close to my heart, as I have always loved being in nature and its fragility frightens me.  Also, if you conserve land, you get the added benefits of species conservation and ecosystem services.
  5. One of the classes I took last semester was a fascinating course in marine biology.  Much of it was wonderful and even entertaining.  There are so many weird and remarkable species in the ocean, and learning about them was a joy.  Parts of the class were also pretty sad, like learning that most species of albatross are endangered.  I came away feeling even more strongly that preserving our planet’s wild spaces and biodiversity is THE primary challenge facing our generation.
  6. Meanwhile, watching videos and documentaries about wildlife has become a serious hobby.  Planet Earth and Blue Planet are both excellent.  There’s also tons of amazing footage on YouTube.  Below are a couple of my favorite videos of sea creatures:

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