So Caylin and I totally disappeared off the face of the earth…
But… we’re back now and things are going to be better than ever.
I’ll tell you why:
- First of all, we just finished up our finals and ended our freshman year of college. Why does that matter? Well, we’re on summer break until next September and we’ll have so much more time to read and blog, and most of all, actually do things with our lives. College + poor time management skills = failure. Summer + poor management skills = semi-decent success.
- Second of all, in the small amount of time that we did have this past semester, we read some really cool books, including some that I read for my English class on Ethnic American Literature, which I am so excited to talk about!
- Summer. I mean… warm weather, lots of time, pretty flowers… need I say more?
So let’s talk about that nasty little thing called a slump…
As Dana talks about on her blog DanaSquare, blogging slumps happen. I’ve been in a blogging slump for the past few months and it’s about time to fix that.
But, I’ve also been in a reading slump, which sucks. The only books I’ve had time to read lately were books from my English class, and they were amazing books but I didn’t get to read anything that I wanted to.
I think the main problem, in my case, is that I simply don’t make time for blogging or reading. It’s not that I have no time at all, its that I have less time than I’m used to, due to classes, work, friends, etc., and when I do have time I end up doing other things, like watching Netflix. That’s definitely something I’m going to work on this summer, seeing as I’ll have so much more free time without any classes.
Also, I’ve been dying to talk about my English class and the books I read for it, so here they are:
- The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
- Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
- Blue Boy by Rakesh Satyal
- Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
- Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
My class was Literature of Ethnic America, so the books were about and from authors of varying ethnicity within the US. I think what I liked most about this class, except for the content which was obviously the best part, was that my professor kept the discussion open-minded and created a safe atmosphere for everyone.
There were several themes that kept popping up among the works we read in class, such as colonization of the mind, trauma, and legacy (or in some cases, the legacy of trauma). These books are all unique and amazing, but the two I enjoyed most were Caramelo and Ceremony. They both had flashbacks and jumped around a bit with the scenes, which at times made the books a bit harder to comprehend, but overall it was interesting.
Note: just because I’d never heard of the term before my class, I wanna sorta define colonization of the mind for anyone who is unfamiliar with the term. Colonization of the mind is when outside forces (society, parents, etc) influence someone into believing that they are somehow wrong because of who they are (their race, gender, sexuality, body type, etc) without being explicitly told. Or, as my professor used to say, it’s learned shame of who you are. I found this concept to be very interesting and sad, and it’s definitely something worth looking into further, beyond just what it means in literature. Also, keep in mind that my definition of colonization of the mind is one that best suits the way it’s going to be talked about here, and that there is far more meaning to this term than I’ve mentioned.
I think the main point of this course was to emphasize how important representation is in literature (and media in general). I was aware of this before I took this class, but I don’t think I really understood it. Any class that focuses on diversity (as limited as it is at times, unfortunately) is a class worth taking, in my opinion, but if it’s at all possible for you, I recommend taking a literature class that is focused on diversity because reading really puts you in the shoes of the characters you read about, creating empathy and understanding, and novels are way more fun than textbooks.
Lastly, here’s what I’m currently reading and what I’m super excited to read ASAP:
After reading Ceremony, my professor showed us an interview of Sherman Alexie (click to watch it on Youtube – it’s great!) and because I enjoyed it so much and loved Ceremony, she recommended I read the Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and so far I LOVE it. It’s very witty, and I look forward to reading more of his work already, especially his poetry.
What I’m Excited to read ASAP:
- Winter by Marissa Meyer
- Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
- This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Anyways, I feel like I went all over the place in terms of topics in this post, but I just got really excited about summer and I clearly loved my English class – all in all, you should totally check out those books I mentioned above and comment below about your summer plans or books you’ve enjoyed lately or look forward to reading soon (especially if you’ve been in a slump like me).