Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shameless promotion!!

As you may have noticed, I reconfigured things on this blog o' mine. There are links and more links...yes, I like links. However, there are two links I would appreciate my dear followers to take close notice of. Under the heading My Other Blogs are two links. They are, as should be deduced from the heading, my other blogs!

Enthralled by the Written Word is my blog for the books I am reading and my thoughts on those. This one is quite new, as of I think last Friday. Updates will probably be few and far between simply because I'm a busy college student. The moral of this tale is that I should have started this blog in the summer when I was reading three books a week. Oh well.

Jaded Poetry is my blog for, you guessed it, my poetry! I have some poetry on my LiveJournal from awhile ago, and I should probably link to that on here, but my LJ became sadly neglected, so I moved everything to Blogger. This blog, also, will have rare updates. I will do my best.

Monday, September 20, 2010

musings no. 2

The fourth week of school has begun. This isn't the halfway point, but it is the halfway point to the halfway point! This is a good thing. However, somewhere in the middle of last week, I began to lose most of my original motivation. This is not a good thing. I'm struggling to recover this motivation, but it has disappeared without a trace. Now, I certainly do not mean that I'm not doing my homework, completing it on time, and turning it in! Goodness, that would be so uncharacteristic of me. No, I just mean that it has become rather difficult to sit down and begin the homework. Once I've started, it isn't so bad. Especially when I have good music to listen to. (Movie soundtracks work well for this sort of thing.)

Part of the issue is that the weather is changing. Autumn is my second favorite time of year, following winter. Yes, winter is my favorite season. Don't judge me! You see, I am not a fan of summer, because I don't have much use for hot weather. I hate summer clothing, I really do. Shorts are not for me, nor are tank tops or sandals. That's just the truth. And I can't stand getting a lot of sun, because I burn easily and also I don't like having a tan. So when the weather changes and the coolness of fall sweeps in, I bask in it. I love my hoodies and jeans. Bonfires are, of course, a must. And then there is the hallmark of fall -- the leaves losing their uniform green look and becoming a blaze of reds, oranges, and yellows. Who doesn't love that?? God's creation truly is amazing.

So yeah, the weather's changing, and I'd prefer to be outside enjoying it, rather than inside studying. As much as I love Latin and my other classes....right now, it's extremely hard to pay attention to what I need to be doing. I suppose I could take advantage of the cooler weather to curl up under a blanket with a cup of apple cider or tea and read my homework. That's not such a bad alternative.

Friday, September 17, 2010

To read a book for the first time is to make an acquaintance with a new friend; to read it for a second time is to meet an old one. ~Chinese saying

Greetings, my friends.

Yes, I have created another blog. I have two already, one for my thoughts and nonsense, and the other for the poetry that I write. This one, however, is where I will record the books I read and what I think about them, and of course, if I would recommend them to you. I probably won't update this blog often, especially while in the midst of college, but I shall do my best. This first post is going to pay homage to a series which became an instant classic when the first book was released --

Harry Potter.

I reread (again!) the entire series in a month, just shy of a month ago. Let me tell you, seven books is a lot to read in that amount of time. But I had set myself a goal of finishing book seven before classes began. Unfortunately, I did not quite meet that goal, but I was finished within the first week of class! Now, I reread this series not only because the first part of the seventh movie is being released in November, but because this is a series which holds such a dear place in my heart. I feel as if Harry Potter and Ron Weasley are my best friends. I don't include Hermione Granger in this merely because I feel as if I am her. In all the literature that I've read in my life, there hasn't been a character I could identify more closely with. Maybe a close second would be Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables, or perhaps Jo March in Little Women.
Why is it that stories like that of Harry Potter and his struggles against Lord Voldemort stick out so strongly in our minds? I think it is because in stories like these, good triumphs over evil in the end. The bad guys may win some of the battles, but they don't win the war. That's not the way it works. We as humans want something like this. In spite of all the bad things in our world, we want to know that good will win out. We want to have that hope.
Being a Christian, I do have that hope. It is the hope for eternity, that all that is unclean and "bad" will be destroyed in the end. So many Christians who see the Harry Potter series as promoting the occult need to look more closely. These are not books about the magic specifically; the world the story is set in is magical, but there are clearly defined lines between good magic and Dark magic. This is no different than Chronicles of Narnia, or Lord of the Rings.

My point is, I love the Harry Potter series and the characters as if they were my own friends and family. I can return to Hogwarts School at any time in my mind if I just open one of the books. I think this is what great books are supposed to be -- close friends that we may turn to at any moment we need them.

Monday, September 13, 2010

"He studied Latin like the violin, because he liked it." ~Robert Frost.

Languages intrigue me.

I sometimes wonder why I never began studying another language seriously before this semester. Currently, I'm enjoying Latin. Actually, I'm probably enjoying it more than is strictly necessary. And I am determined to turn my mind to learning Old English, as well. I have no idea when, of course. But there are books available for self-teaching. I think once I've had a semester of Latin, many more doors will be open to me.

The study of linguistics is often called philology, I think. Did you know that J.R.R. Tolkien was a philologist? He knew so many languages, not to mention the many he created! That man is one of my heroes. I'm going to study Quenya, the language of the Elves of Middle-Earth. I know, I know, it's not a "real" language -- but does the fact that it is not spoken naturally here on earth that it isn't a real language?

There are so many languages I want to learn. German is one of them, for sure. Old English. Latin (which I'm so glad to finally be able to say I've started!). Old Norse would be really cool. And I love Gaelic. Italian is another I'd love to learn, if only for the sake of reading Dante's Divine Comedy in the original poetry. (No, my love affair with that classic work has not dissipated any.) I would also love to master Japanese, but I think I'll stick with knowing a few words and characters here and there. I pick stuff up from manga and anime anyway. The only language I do not care to learn is Spanish. This is probably because it's becoming so ridiculously prominent here in America that I just don't like it. And besides, once I know some Latin, making the transition to Spanish might not be too hard.

What is it about the formation of languages that fascinates me so? Letters which form words which form sentences which form ideas. Expression. Just so much to think about! I guess I just want to expand my knowledge of the world, and knowing foreign languages is such a stepping stone to what is beyond the borders of my tiny corner of it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

musings no.1

After three more classes today, I will have two weeks of this semester behind me. I have two quizzes today...that should be interesting. They are just quizzes, however. And I have studied religiously! I've been keeping up with my homework already better than I did in the past three years of college. This surprises me, but I guess it shouldn't. My goal (graduation with an English degree) is nearer to me now than it was even a year ago; thus, I work all the harder because I see that finish line. True, it won't be over yet! I have another degree to work towards once I complete Concordia. But this is what I've been working towards, the MLS, Masters in Library Science. It's rather funny, but for all that I could have done anything with my life that I wanted, God pushed me in the direction of librarian. And he brought me to Concordia University Wisconsin for more reasons than I knew could be when I first visited the campus. It's like the puzzle pieces are finally fitting together.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

nostalgia~ (a prose poem)

I want the days of hopscotch and blowing bubbles that went shining into the sun. I want to go back
to when going down the playground slide was like
an exhilarating fall to earth. Do you remember when the weather turning cool and the leaves
falling in cascades of color was as magical as a hot summer evening
 with fireflies lighting up the darkness? Why is it that we look back and childhood seems to be so rosy and
 beautiful? It's not like there weren't bad times along with the good.
Maybe we just remember the good more strongly because our brains
 are wired that way. Maybe we just remember the good more strongly because that's the way our society is.
Or maybe it's just that sense of protection, of love and joy that only a child
 untouched by the larger worries of the world can know.
Jesus said to have faith like a little child.
I think I know what He meant; we need to trust in those above us and allow them to shut out the world sometimes. Is this what heaven will be like? Maybe, but we won't know until we're there. Some days I'll think about my childhood, about the awe
and wonder that I knew as I discovered the world. And that it's beautiful, all around.
A touch of nostalgia comes to me when I see a chalk drawing on the sidewalk
and I smile as I remember the days of hopscotch and blowing bubbles that went shining into the sun.