Pursuing, Busy, and Tired: a Recap of January + February


“There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

 In these past two months, I'm not entirely sure if I was the pursuing, the busy, or the tired; after seemingly unending days of juggling class, homework, Model UN, musical production team, chorus concerts, SAT prep, debate competition, and writing for my blog and other publications, I am, without a doubt, exhausted. I don't know if I've ever been so tired, but the arrival of March (what, it's March already?) promises relief at its end.

I discontinued monthly recaps last year, but I decided to reintroduce them bimonthly because it provides enough time for me to share more substantive reading and blogging updates. I also decided to highlight  some updates on my other projects and activities, though, simply because I love my projects and seek a log to remember them and a platform to share them.

what I read

Across January and February, I read nine books. Occupation with my extracurriculars has already set me seven books behind schedule of reaching my goal, 100 books in 2018, but I am confident that I can catch up during the summer if I can keep the amount I am behind under ten books.

  • One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus: The first book I read this year, reminded me of how much I enjoy thriller stories and murder mysteries.
  • Warcross by Marie Lu: Didn't enjoy the romance aspect, but I could gush over Lu's world-- the modern cities were incredibly vivid.
  • One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake: Again, I was thrown off by the romance, but so much so that I felt it detracted from the story's potential.
  • The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed: An important story, right when I needed it. Review to come.

  • Yellow by Frank Wu: Read this for an English paper I'm working on, and I could relate to a lot of sentiments as an Asian-American. Also presented some insightful arguments I hadn't considered before.
  • What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton: A bit dense to read at some policy descriptions, but interesting to read about the campaign and small moments from Clinton's perspective.
  • The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro: Ending of this series became a bit confusing, but I loved the first book so much that I am inclined to finish the series.
  • 1984 by George Orwell: Scary, but made me think. 
  • I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo: Loved relating to another Korean-American girl in high school! Post about this experience to come.

noteworthy on clairefy

me, elsewhere

  • Musical production team: This year, I am acting as my theater department's Tech Day, Senior Show, and Student Volunteer Coordinator. I usually spend about three hours calling local businesses and nursing homes, arranging tech day and senior show logistics, organizing student ushers and waitstaff for show nights and parents for pick-up, and other related tasks four times a week. According to my spreadsheet, I've officially made more than 100 calls to secure food for the event (and this is only counting restaurants)! Tech Day is this Saturday, and show week is next week, so things are becoming busier than ever.
  • Model UN: I attended a conference a few weeks ago, and it was a blast as the United States. My partner and I participated in a joint Security Council and crisis committee, and we managed to pass a resolution. I had to run from the conference to a chorus concert, back to the conference the next day and a debate competition the following day, so I was worn out but glad for the experience. 

  • Best Delegate: I wrote an article to be published in the coming months on crafting position papers and brainstormed some more MUN articles I'll write when I have more time.
  • Debate: Oh my goodness. My best friend and I are public forum partners, and this is our first year in debate. We competed in districts this year, and managed to place second overall to move on to state debate! Districts was only our second competition ever, and we were shocked and excited to find out we could move on. I am nervous for states (coming just a week after the musical, too), and the changing monthly topic requires us to research and prepare new arguments, but I think it will also be fun.
  • Track: Finding time to exercise in between my projects has been difficult, but the season starts next week. Again, I hope to fulfill my resolution, to overcome race nerves and negative thoughts to rediscover the same love of running I held in my first cross-country season.
  • Academics: This week, I've had to work on two major papers: a government essay on the roles and powers of American presidents and an analysis of one, which capped out at nine pages, and my aforementioned English argument essay on Asian-American progress, which I will start editing next week. I've continued mind-mapping to prepare for tests. My SAT is also next Saturday, on a musical show day. 

wonderful posts I read 

Tell me-- how was your February? What's a book you really want to read in March?


  1. Wow, it sounds like you’ve been busy! It looks like you read some good books, though. I still need to read the Hilary Clinton one. Have a great March!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. Amazing post Claire!! I'm still reading What Happened, but I can already expect so many feels. You knocked out sooo many books these past months. IM SO PROUD/HAPPY!!

  3. Thank you for mentioning my post Claire! Wow you've been very busy and productive recently, I don't know how you juggle those activities! I want to get back to model UN so I'm waiting for that post on how to write a better position paper! :D

  4. I love that F. Scott Fitzgerald quote in the beginning of this post! If I had to guess, I'd say you've definitely been productive :) Happy March!

  5. Wonderful post Claire! It seems like you read a lot of books in a really busy month, you go girl!
    Megan @ http://wanderingsofabookbird.blogspot.co.uk/

  6. Such a busy year so far! It's been the same for me since I started my masters this year and wow, I'd kill for some peace! I haven't had much luck in the reading department either (which is mostly me sending any spare time I have on kdramas lol) but I'm so looking forward to One of Us is Lying, The Nowhere Girls and I Believe in a Thing Called Love (high time, I know) and I'm so glad you loved them all!
    Hope you have a great month ahead, Claire- and hope you juggle all these and more very, very successfully! Fighting!

  7. Yellow seems like a really interesting read. I think I'll have to look it up. Your theater work sounds so cool! Is it volunteering, or a job?

  8. What a busy month you've had Claire, the amount of extra curriculars you do on the side is insane (coming from an Aussie)!

    In Feb I travelled to Hawaii for a week -- it was a nice quick getaway, but definitely not long enough! Back into the swing of things at work now, and trying to pick up my reading pace this month. Just about to start Obsidio actually!

    Hope your have a lovely March x

    Joy @ Thoughts By J

  9. Wow! You have so much going on. I was tired just reading about it. I am such a Maurene Goo fan. Her books are delightful, and I also really enjoyed One of Us is Lying. The second Charlotte book was just ok for me. I am not sure what Cavallaro is trying to accomplish here, but I will definitely read the last book.