Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Life Update: End of Summer

Hello, Everyone! It's been almost a month since I've posted anything, and I haven't posted much this Summer, so I thought I owed it to catch everyone up. It's been one whirlwind of a Summer.

I gained a wonderful boyfriend in May, who is more than I could have imagined. Shortly after that, I found out over the break that two of my close relatives are very ill. My grandmother is terminally ill with inoperable cancer, which came as such a shock to my family. She is one of my favorite people on this Earth, and I've had a special bond with her my entire life. She's not expected to have very long. It pains me to know that I won't have her in my life, but she'll always be in my heart. After that, we found that my aunt also has cancer. She just had an operation, so my family's praying for her recovery. On top of all this, we're dealing with other family issues, but I'm happy to say that my brother came home from Thailand early.

Now that school has started, I'm glad to have something to keep me busy. I'm pretty pleased with my classes so far. One of which is an undergraduate peer tutoring course. There are currently four people enrolled. We will be do readings and research, have discussions, and there is a possibility we might be presenting at a related convention! What's more is that we could be funded as writing tutors next semester! It seems so unreal that an opportunity like this would come as a Sophomore in college. I'm also taking courses in intermediate Spanish, World History Pre-1500, and Literary Studies.

In addition, October is coming up, so you know what that means. I'm planning my next costume, and there are no promises so far (I'm working Halloween), but I'm thinking Marie Antoinette... post decapitation perhaps? October is going to be hectic as always, but my excitement's growing.

This Summer has been so concentrated with events, and I'm sure there will be plenty more to come for the rest of the year. With that, I may not post as often as I did, but I still plan to continue this blog.

My grandmother, brother, and I and Grandma's 79th birthday

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What I've Gleaned from My Summer Reading

My Summer break is nearly over. With school starting back at the end of the month, I'm trying to finish the last couple of books of my summer reading list. On my list, I've read On The Road, The Bell Jar, The Moviegoer, The Old Man, The Turn of The Screw, and One Hundred Years of Solitude (almost finished). My last two books are The Seven Storey Mountain and Tropic of Cancer.

For me, fiction is not really an escape. It's a way for me to dive into different places and experience what is not possible for me at the time. There are lessons to be learned and insight to be gained, and it awaits inside the pages of books. 

Here are the lessons I've gleaned from my Summer reading books:

  1. On The Road by Jack Kerouac taught me that filling one's life with all the experiences youth has to offer does not make one's life full. 
  2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath made it clear that negativity doesn't solve any problems, and that it's okay to want something different for yourself than what society expects.
  3. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy showed me that we are all on a search for something, and while pastimes are nice to have, they shouldn't become escapes from more important things like relationships and spiritual growth.
  4. The Old Man by William Faulkner teaches that nature is unpredictable, and the forces of nature do not discriminate.
  5. The Turn of The Screw by Henry James shows us that ghosts aren't always "scary" in a stereotypical way, but they remain as they were in life, which is an eerie quality in itself. The story also exhibits the ambiguous nature of "evil."
  6. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez demonstrates that one generation is not much different from the preceding one, and that humanity doesn't change much. 

Fiction is like a lit candle in the dark, so take hold and keep moving forward.