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Archive for March, 2009

Every little girl who loved to read and grew up in the late 80s/early 90s had one common dream: to one day have a Beauty and the Beast Library of her own.

The best self-present ever: a monument to all that is literary, complete with rolling ladders, stair cases, wall-to-wall books, and big comfy reading chairs. Also with a bay window and cushion, if I feel like reading by a scenic view.

I am no exception.

I’ve already described my ideal day to many as one where I can settle down with a good book, a cup of tea (or hot chocolate, depending on my preference that day), and read. Usually this would happen at a bookstore (I prefer a local bookstore or Barnes and Noble; what can I say, I’m a sucker for new books), but it’d be much more convenient to have my own library. I guess these “reading days” have been a long tradition for me. My dad and I used to spend a good 5+ hours at B&N or the library when I was little; when I was a bit older I’d spend afternoons reading underneath the skylight in my uncle’s attic; and last summer, I’d spend a couple hours with Albert and Anna at Kramer’s or our apartment in DC. Unfortunately, with school going on I usually lose the time/energy to read for pleasure. On the bright side: I’m beginning to enjoy my school books more and more (in fact, some of them are a pleasure to read). Still not the same though.

I guess  B&N and Morrison Library will do for now. But someday, I’ll have that library. Any donations to this cause are welcome. 🙂

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Sometimes, I wish that I could put everything (work, clubs, etc.) aside and just study. Words cannot adequately describe the giddiness that comes over me when I accomplish a load of studying, or the feeling of excitement I get when I open a  textbook, take a deep whiff of “new book smell,” and dive in.

If there’s anything I have discovered during college, it’s that the world is painted in shades of grey. I’m confused now more than ever. Decisions that were once black and white are suddenly hard to make. How do you balance economic efficiency with dreams of equality? Safety and the right to privacy? Responsibility and forgiveness? I’m arguably still a romantic, but I have also been dared to examine a text or idea and draw my own conclusions. As a result, I have discovered that I am not the liberal I thought I was, and that I am increasingly hesitant to fire off criticism prior to considering multiple perspectives.

My favorite class this semester is a rhetoric course entitled “American Idiot: Anti-intellectual Discourse in Modern American Political Culture.” The class has prompted many questions of identity, all of which I have yet to find answers to. What does it mean to be truly American? Does it mean that you’re a greedy capitalist, a gun-toting fundamentalist, or a person unable to control your impulses and desires? Does it mean all three, or none of these? What does it mean to be authentic? Why do we celebrate the rugged, primitive self-made man?

Someone once told me that college isn’t supposed to teach you how to do things, but that it’s supposed to teach you how to think. In my experience, college has continually questioned my assumptions about the world. It has forced me to reexamine what I really believe in and why.

And I’m loving it.

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