Posted by: beansai | January 18, 2008

Starting up again

    Lately, I haven’t felt compelled to write much of anything here on Lit Bit. Naturally I checked out about two weeks before my vacation, and while I checked back in pretty much as soon as I got back, there was a lot going on and I’ve had a lot on my mind. Too much for me to sort and articulate coherently. But now I’ve got some things out of the way, like getting back into the flow of work, and starting off the semester.

    I just finished up the first week of classes, and all in all, it seems like it will be a fairly decent semester, as long as I don’t fall asleep too often in Shakespeare or space out during my 2.5hr poetry class that begins at 7 at night. Another plus to the semester is the fact that I only have classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Not like I have Monday, Wednesday, and Friday free (so don’t go getting jealous). I, of course, work on those days (and Tuesdays and Saturdays as well). But it is nice to not have class too many days out of the week or to have to get up at 7 in the morning.

    My two weeks vacay with my parents went pretty well. Honestly, we didn’t do much. In fact, most days my mom and I just hung around the house while my dad was at work. So while I lazed around the house, I did what I said I would: I read. Well, perhaps I didn’t do exactly what I had intended before I left. Instead of being productive and readnig tons of new books that I haven’t finished or even cracked open, I decided on the nice and easy route of re-reading the Harry Potter series…all of them….one right after the other. I actually began before my vacation and had a few books down by the time I arrived at my parents house.

    I’d have to say that my favorite part about the series is definitely J.K.Rowling’s diversity and uniqueness of her characters. Perhaps this is because I have always been fascinated by people and their personalities, fictional or not. Give me a movie with a bad plot but good characterization and I’m happy. I suppose I like books because you have better opportunity of getting inside the character’s head and really experience what they think and feel. This time around, I took my time reading the bigger books; since I already knew what was going to happen, there was no rush to get to the end.

    As I finished the last book for the second time, I was left with a heaviness. I get the same feeling of despondency after reading The Lord of the Rings too. Maybe I’m just too pessimistic, maybe I’m just too sensitive, or perhaps I just don’t handle loss very well, in any respect. Because that was all I could think about…not the happiness and what not…no, for me, what lingered most was the list of losses. I KNOW! I haven’t forgotten I am talking about a series of fiction books, but somehow, the stories I read entwine and ingratiate themselves into my being, and their loss is mine, their joy mine.

    I think how you respond to what you read (or watch, etc.) reflects who you are or aspects of who you are as a person. What exactly it means is open to interpretation, and I’m not even sure I could tell you what I would interpret my own reactions as. I do know though, that I don’t respond as severely to tales of happy endings and love and of that chick-flick magnitude. I mean I watch/read them and enjoy them, but driven to happy tears is something that I don’t do. I’m more likely to cry because I feel Frodo’s pain at the loss of the ring and the knowledge that for him, life cannot go back to the way it was. I cry more because Lucy Snowe learned to finally love and then death took that away from her…exactly what she had feared to begin with…it doesn’t matter that she has learned to live and move on in the end, not to me anyway. I’m not sure if any of this makes sense to anyone else, but there it is. And my dad wonders why I get so worked up about the books I read…if only he knew.

    So that was the majority of my vacation: chatting with Mom, occassional shopping, and immersing myself in the world of witchcraft and wizardry. Now I have been quickly flooded with booklists for my classes and have already begun reading some of the literature. One of the classes I am taking is a rhetoric class, and we are focusing on modern memoirs. Our first read is Jarhead: A Marine’s Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles. I am about half-way through it at this point and so far have really enjoyed it. It is certainly a mix of ironic humor and for me a sadness at the reality of war and the effect it has on the people involved, especially directly. Maybe it is just the mood that I have been in that brings me to see everything in a darker shade of grey. I will definitely give a review on this book once I am finished though.

    Another assignment for my rhetoric class is keeping a journal of our responses to the readings. We have the option to basically utilize any mode of keeping the journal. It can be a traditional paper journal/diary, a blog, emails, whatever we can think of. I’ve been seriously contemplating doing a Journal Entry series on Lit Bit to meet this requirement. I think it suits the site, considering that it is about the literature we are reading as well as my own goals and shortcomings as a writer. If you think this is a completely lame idea, let me know. I wouldn’t plan on strictly having Lit Bit as the Journal entries, I would do my best to disperse other material during it all, but it would also provide a more consistent posting of content here on Lit Bit.

    Well, my fingers are feeling thick and stiff with cold, so I am going to cut this entry short (HAH!…yeah that was a joke :)). I hope this long raving of mine was at least mildly interesting for some, and if it wasn’t, I’m sorry. I’m going to try to get back into writing mode, because I do miss it, and hopefully I will be back soon posting my Christmas goodies and whatever else I can think of.

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