Perturbed by Pulitzer

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about my challenging journey to finish The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Over the weekend, I set out to finish the remaining 300 pages. I can’t remember the last time that I was this determined to finish a book and I was successful!

As a whole, the novel was interesting. It wasn’t great or life changing. There were definitely moments when I was highlighting and marveling at how Tart was able to write something so powerful. However, there were more moments of distaste and thoughts of “how many paragraphs can I skim without missing major plot details?” (Answer: usually three-five paragraphs.)  It’s not that the plot line wasn’t intriguing but rather, it was just very drawn out and the conclusion was glossed over in a “what is life” soliloquy.

Once I finally finished, I shared my thoughts on the book with a friend. After our discussion, I saw the announcement of this year’s Pulitzer prize winners. The Goldfinch won for Fiction. I was shocked. Apparently, the rest of the literary world had enjoyed the novel more than me and that’s okay. As my friend said, it’s better to have read the Pulitzer Prize winner before it was named the winner and maintain a true opinion. At least I actually read the novel while others can only speculate about how they would receive it. Their opinion is now swayed but I picked up the book before it was a winner.

So my message here is read whatever book you want, form your own opinion, and stick with it! Even if it wins a Pulitzer, your opinion matters somewhere (like on a blog).

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Opposite of Lonely

The other morning, I was skimming through my Twitter timeline and there was one tweet from Buzzfeed with the headline, “Reading and Mourning a Friend”. Intrigued, I clicked on the link and read a beautiful essay about a beautiful young writer who passed away too soon.

In 2012, Marina Keegan died in a car accident five days after graduating from Yale. She was 22 years old. The essay on Buzzfeed reflected on how Keegan had such a positive energy to her and she was also a brilliant writer.

Keegan’s family, friends, teachers and colleagues worked together to comprise a book of her short stories and nonfiction. The book is titled The Opposite of Loneliness, named after a pieceshe wrote for her graduating class.

As a fellow 20-something college student, I feel the pain of losing a classmate and the loss of an amazing writer. Even if you don’t buy her book, please read one of her pieces. Let’s strive to see the world through Marina Keegan’s eyes and keep her memory alive.

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Co-op Blues

Last week was my first official week back at school! That’s right, I am one of the few people who have a fall/winter co-op cycle. For those of you who thought that the spring/summer cycle was the best, you met your match: snow. This winter we had a record amount of snowfall in the Philadelphia area, resulting in a few snow days and even a couple delayed arrivals. My co-op was at the Drexel Writing Center so although I wasn’t in classes, I reaped the benefits of snow days without having to worry about the extra homework.

The switch from co-op to school is sudden and it basically happens without fanfare. On Friday, I was at a job and within two days, I was back to sitting in a classroom. Maybe I had hyped up being back in school so much that when I was actually in the classroom, I daydreamed about what was going on at my work. A few days ago, I had a job with a fancy title and now I’m back to being a student.

In order to cope with the loss of my co-op, I have been visiting the Writing Center. I was lucky enough to have a job where I felt like an essential part of the team. Also, my bosses were pretty awesome. So although I no longer have a co-op title, I’m happy to say that I am still a part of the Writing Center team by being a Peer Reader. A co-op is not required to be a peer reader after the six month period but I love the environment there so much that I chose to stay.

So for all of my fellow fall/winter co-op students who are experiencing the post co-op blues, I encourage you to keep in contact with your boss and the friends you made at work. You were there for six months, no one forgets that quickly! And remember, whether or not you have post co-op depression, in a few weeks we start looking for a job all over again!

For now, just try to enjoy the feeling of being back at Drexel!

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The goldflop

One day as I was browsing the bookstore on my Kindle, I noticed a recommendation for a book that was getting stellar reviews. As I read the summary for The Goldfinch, it seemed vague but I was willing to take the risk. Everyone was raving about the book and even other authors said that they wished they had wrote it. Here is where I’ll admit my mistake: I didn’t check the page numbers. I’m not the type of reader who cares about how many pages there are; if a book is well written, I will finish it in about a week, if not less than that. However, you know what you’re getting into when you pick up a book like Gone With the Wind or Les Misérables, which both clock in at over 900 pages.

No one warned me when I bought The Goldfinch that it has 775 pages! The number of pages shouldn’t deter me but with a vague description, I had little knowledge of where this book is going. In fact, I’m only at page 467 and I still have no idea where the story is going. This should excite me and when I’m constantly reading the book, it does. When I step away for a few days, I stare at my Kindle, wishfully hoping that I was done with it already and had moved on. I know once I finish it, I’ll be glad that I was able to push myself through it. For right now, I’m suffering through the remaining 305 pages.

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