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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Ten Books that I have read so far this summer

1. And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini 

2. Atticus, by Ron Hansen (from a reading list) 

3. Power and the Glory, by Grahame Greene (from a reading list) 

4. Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger (from a reading list) 

5. The Man Who Was Thursday, by G.K Chesterton (from a reading list) 

I have read it before and I hope that I have the chance to study this novel in a class. It would make for a good class discussion.

6. A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion, by Ron Hansen 

A really intense novel and based off the historical events of the murder of Albert Snyder by his wife, Ruth Brown Snyder and Judd Gray (Ruth’s lover). Tons of references to the Biblical Story of Cain and Abel.

7. Hitler’s Niece, by Ron Hansen 

The most disturbing book that I have read in a while. I don’t recommend this at all- dry and boring. I wanted to keep reading it even though it was really boring. I wanted to finish it.

8. Love in Ruins, by Walker Percy  (from a reading list)

9. Grendel, by John Gardner (I see this every time I go to Barnes and Noble) 

Re-telling of Beowulf from the perspective of Grendel.

10. Exiles, by Ron Hansen 

You will see this list again at the end of the summer when I post how many pages I have read and the finished list at the end of the summer.

Right now, I am really into Ron Hansen. He is a Catholic writer, who places religious themes throughout his books and writes a ton of historical fiction. Some of it is strange but he tackles topics that people would not normal discuss.

Books that I am currently reading:

The Moviegoer, by Walker Percy 

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Posted by on June 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Thoughts on Books

Last night, we had a really great staff meeting. It was helpful and informative of what needs to get done at the Yogurt Place. My boss/ the owner made a really strange comment about a costumer, who was suggesting a different name for the Customer Reward program that we have.

“She had obviously read too many books and one of those yoga-type people.”

Not really a direct quote, but I laugh along with the rest of the staff. Later, after I got home I was thinking about the meeting and this was all that I could focus on. Basically, my boss was describing me. I would never suggest to a business what they should call something because it is not my place to do so. The part about books and yoga is true. I have been practicing yoga for almost 2 1/2 years now and I read about a book per week (maybe more). This also got me thinking about the value of books in our society. On the extra credit assignment, that my old professor gave us our freshmen year. It states:

People don’t read enough. Language and storytelling is important, but more important is the task of critically considering what we read. Therefore, the only extra credit available throughout the semester will be the following assignment: Choose one of the books listed below. Read it, and write a 3-page response. Once you have selected a book, check with me, your professor, to receive your response prompt. Once you have completed your response, you must then come and talk with me, your professor, about what you have read.

In the course of the semester, I did four of these bad boys but I read other things that were not on the list. People tell stories all the time though blogs, Facebook status, and tweets. I am guilty of all three but I also read books and think about how they relate into our society. That is what I have loved about my English classes at Private University. The way literature relates into our society, for example we spent the whole semester talking about place and the place in which we live in. It was only in till after the class was over that I realized how important the conversations we had in class were in relation to all parts of life such as marriage, travel, history, and class structure. People in my class were able to relate to the novels that we read in class and think about it in terms of their own life.

I love talking to professors (and people) about the things that I read. I would always make sure to have a book in hand when I go see my English professors. I want to hear their comments about what I am reading and the thing that I loved about my old professor was that he would always ask or comment about whatever I was reading. He even let me borrow a book from him, one time. My other profess0r and I discussed poetry (often something to do with what we were reading in class or mentioning that he saw me at the T.S. Eliot lecture). Both my professors, have given me booklist/ reading list to read from. I have one for place, dystopian, and the one mentioned above. These list open me up to new ideas and new authors.

Maybe that is why, I love doing my Telling Stories With… series because stories are important and we should think more about them and why is this story being told.

As I was reading a blog post the other day about a parent commenting on how much her son has already read this summer/ per day and worked on his workbook. She mentioned something about summer reading programs by public libraries. The summer reading program at the Austin Public Library is that if you read five books your name gets enter into a drawing for an e-reader or canvas bags. Well, I just started on my third card. It is not even half way though summer break.

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Posted by on June 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Feeling Down (Unsure about things)

It all started yesterday, when I went with my mom to put some money in my savings account/ money that my mom was gifting to me start an investing account (complicated). We were talking to the financial advisor, who goes to our church and is a really good family friend. My mom mentioned that my sister was getting a car and that my parents were going to get me one as well. This is the confirmation that I have been waiting for the past two years. I have not asked for anything really for Christmas and Birthdays for the last two years. I have asked for little things like a new alarm clock to replace the one that was not working or a new book. I did get a new phone in October which was my birthday gift from my parents. Naturally, I had been waiting for this confirmation that something was going to happen.

Last night, I started to plan out things to do when I got back to school. For example, I am arriving a week earlier in order to help out with Welcome Week and meet my kids which I am excited for. I am though moving in two days before this happens and was thinking I could spend sometime exploring Private University town. Get some Frozen Yogurt, go see a movie, or pick up dinner. Also if I needed to pick up something from Target or HEB, I could. I could also start a week early on church hunting and get settled before Welcome Week begins.

I was also planning what kind of car, I would like. One can dream, but it is going to be what my parents pick out in the end.

tustin-37a

Ford Fiesta Hatchback

I love the hatchback but would settle for the normal car version.

Just forward to a little bit over 24 hours later. We were at dinner tonight and my mom brought up that my sister was looking at a Toyota Yaris. She mentioned that they had not been getting good reviews. I asked, well I have been looking at a Fiesta. No response. The conversation went back to my sister and something about the Yaris. The thing that bothered me the most was I was looking right at my dad when I said it and my sister immediately after I had finished speaking jumped into the conversation bring it back to herself. I repeated myself and the conversation turned again back to my sister. I was reminded on the quote from a song, “Flowers in Your Hair”, by The Lunineers.

Cause it’s a long road to wisdom
But it’s a short one
To being ignored

I have felt this ignored feeling all summer at least since the third week of being home. Mostly, I have just been hanging in my room working on homework, reading, and messing around on my computer. I feel it at work, when I am working the night shift by myself. I got yelled at for staying too late at work, only ten minutes after 11 pm on Monday because something went wrong with the cash. The incident left me embarrassed and unsure if I can do anything right. I was also yelled at in front of costumers and another employee. I also was feeling bummed because I left my sister my ticket to see Khalad Hosseni (author of The Kite Runner) speak and I got my book signed but was really looking forward to hearing him speak about his work.

I know that I should not having gotten my hopes up about the car but I am not just sure how to act anymore should I be surprised or feel down about the situation.

The only thing that seems to be going good is summer school. I have 2 1/2 weeks left.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Summer Stress

Right now, I am taking Chesterton advice, “When you feel overwhelmed, write it out. For writing is always the best reliever of stress.” combined with my best friends advice, “stress eating helps too”.

I really did not think that French would be this difficult, I understand what we are doing in class but I struggle with spelling, pronunciation (vowel and nasal sounds), and new vocabulary. After receiving a low quiz grade and then not doing well on the quiz for Friday (misspelled words that I know how to spell and simple vocab. words that I know). The class is 2 hrs. long which does not bother but I spent so much time on the quiz that I did not get a break which left me very discouraged and beating myself for the rest of the class. Pronunciation is getting worse/ better, it is difficult to decide which. I can tell time really well, the days of the week, numbers, and I am currently working on the alphabet . I don’t really like to talk because I feel embarrassed when I get things wrong. It did not really help that my professor was telling us stories on Friday about past students, who were blind, that took French and got an A.  I just feel that I could do more, more preparation then from what I am already doing. On days that I work, I come how about 2:30 and rest till 3. I start homework around 3 and work till about 6. I have dinner at 6ish with my family and then study after dinner for 30 mins. and then I go to work at 8-11. On days that I don’t work, I have the whole evening to work on French. That has only happened once this week since we started on Tuesday.

I haven’t bothered to start on history in till today, I took yesterday off to relax and read my book. I have a test next week, go figure on the same day as my French exam. I am in-between dropping the French course and taking a new language at Private University in the fall. I am talking to my professor on Monday and going to try and go to tutoring on Monday (depends on how the conversation goes).

I have been trying to ask my sister for help but I not sure if it is me or her but every time I ask for help she gets in this mood. She told me yesterday, that I lack self-confidence which made everything worse. I also made myself sick today from the amount of crying that I have been doing. I have had to be more vocal to my parents about how I feel. When my dad was driving me home on Friday from class because my sister needed the car, I was sitting in the backseat crying and my dad turned around when he was trying to move over lanes, and asked what was wrong.

I feel like if I drop the class, that says something about that give up when things get tough or don’t ask for help. I am not sure if all the stress, stomach pain (making myself ill from being stressed out), breathing problems, back pain (holding tension in my upper back, my mom was giving me a hug today and she could feel the tension running all along my back), tension headaches or crying is all worth it.

Just some thoughts, on the flip side I feel guilty because my course was close to $1,000 and the text book was $300 plus the audio. I also registered for a Greek class at Private University, just well because I have no idea what to do. Somehow, I could stay in my French 1 class that I am also registered which was all in case the credit did not transfer.

I also don’t know if I am being selfish because I want to time to read books and write blog post. Beside this post, I have been working on a post but I have no time to write.

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2013 in Uncategorized