We were discussing policy making in class today and it just fueled my anger at public university education even more and convinced me, once again, what a huge waste of time it is.
History? I understand making us take history. I would prefer it to be world history, for the sake of being more well-rounded (which was required in my private university), over US history, but so be it. That I can handle. But Texas history? Not to mention Texas government? My mother and I have agreed on this since I had to take Texas history in middle school when we moved here - and now even more so since I am older - that making me learn anything about this god-awful state is insulting to my intelligence. Completely serious. Who cares? Is the percentage of people who stay in the state great enough to warrant needing to know anything about Texas? And god, if we are in political science, do you think we are majoring in it to stay in Texas? NO.
So, I'm sure the state legislature passes these kinds of things to make us well-rounded students. But forcing kids into 12 hours of American and Texas government and history? What a waste of an education.
These were the specifics that we talked about in class. But those I can live with. The one that angers me the most is science. We have to take 3 science classes PLUS labs. As regular core curriculum for the school O_o I know. What? So, government can make you more well-rounded, a responsible citizen, able to apply some of what you learn. Science does NOTHING. What is the point of making us take SO much? Other than sucking up our money. Loyola made us take a science. One. For non-science majors. No lab. That is enough for my liberal arts education to consider "rounded". I won't go into the fact that that class I took doesn't count because it didn't have a lab. But honestly, are there no other classes they can make us take that are better than 12 hours of science?
And what can you do about things like this? Nothing. The lobbyists are the idiots who have the ear of the government and are completely and totally removed from what is really necessary. I wonder how these people got so deluded. What kind of person is in the interest group that thinks Texas government and history at the college level is totally needed? Seriously. Some people that go to the school aren't even from Texas, I'm positive they don't care, and some of the people are going to leave as quick as possible, and I'm sure they don't care either. And even if you are from Texas and plan on staying there, I'm sure they don't care either! And most of the teachers don't want to have to teach huge classes of people who don't want to be there. Who are in these interest groups? That's what I would like to know.
I have nothing against education. People won't listen to student lobbyists because they are convinced we just want to go to university and avoid being educated. Which is ridiculous. I didn't have a problem with the required classes I had to take at Loyola. There was a little something from everything, enough to make you well-rounded, but the classes at this school are so far over the top that it borders on ridiculous and has already passed infuriating.
I would like someone to explain the necessity of this. I should write an article to the school titled "Why public university is a waste of time".
My sister thinks I'm a snob. I'm simply convinced I'm not an idiot.
Book # 9
Book Title: Christ the Lord
Genre: Religious Fiction
# of pages: 301
My rating of the book, F- [worst] to A [best].: B
Short description/summary of the book: From Amazon:
In crisp, straightforward prose, Rice leaves the gothic
behind and explores the mysteries beneath the childhood of Jesus. At age seven,
the boy and his family leave Egypt to return to their home. They find
themselves caught in a revolution after the death of the first King Herod,
ruler of the portion of the Roman Empire that includes Israel. Although the
historical and cultural details are authentic and well done, it is the character
of Jesus that drives this novel. He feels like a typical seven-year-old, but
he's also suddenly discovering abilities that no one else possesses. He brings
clay birds to life, makes snow fall, and even resurrects a dead playmate.
Stunned by these odd happenings, he turns to Joseph and Mary for answers. When
they are not forthcoming, he's forced to hunt out clues through local legends,
rumors, and a strange spirit that taunts him in his dreams. The story is told
from Jesus's point of view, and the strength of the book weighs heavily on
Rice's ability to make him believable both as a child and as the son of God;
she does a winning job. The wisdom of all things religious fills Jesus
completely, but he's naive about day-to-day events: he can't understand why a
young girl he used to play with prefers at age 12 to learn about weaving and
rearing children. This new direction for Rice is both bold and reverent, and is
bound to please fans and newcomers alike.
I really liked the book, I’ve always loved her style of writing though, it’s so…readable. Everyone knows that I’m not a Christian, but it didn’t make this book less enjoyable, and I’ve always loved the stories. She is so good with characters and stories and did a really good job with writing Jesus as a boy. I kind of thought, however, that some of the other character weren’t very… faceted. Joseph and Mary seemed very one dimensional. Very quiet and passive and easily overlooked. Definitely not very interesting. Most of the other side characters were better, but strange that Mary and Joseph weren’t, I don’t know what kind of point she was trying to make with that, but it really didn’t leave you feeling attached to their characters (that’s probably blasphemous to say). Man, and when they start listing off family that they see, there are just too many names and I found myself skipping over them all.
The book wasn’t preachy at all, which was a relief, even some of her vampire books got preachy (Memnoch comes to mind…). I don’t know what else to say about the book, it was good, but not great and it didn’t leave me with much feeling at the end, like an aftertaste that you can sometimes get from reading. Maybe because it covered such a short period of time, and all in all, it seemed that not much happened. He has a dream with the devil yelling at him, but it was quickly forgotten and never looked at again, which happens with a few things in the book. A lot of the things that happen that seem important just get quick little mentions and are barely look into it again. Intense looks from John who was in about 2 lines and then shipped away, but strangely dwelled on at length a long time later (length in this book being about 4 lines) by Jesus who really wanted to see this person (for some reason) who he barely met. Confession from his brother that really doesn’t affect you but seems like it was supposed to be moving. His little miracles get about a sentence, short compared to his dwellings on figuring out the story around his birth, which would usually seem less important compared to killing people and bringing them back to life, creating birds out of clay that he always just sort of passed off as nothing, or curing blind people, etc. The secrecy that of Jesus’ parents that the book pretty much entirely revolved around definitely got tedious at times.
But good, as far as recommendations go, I wouldn’t tell someone not to read it. If you have time, it is interesting, don’t expect the page turner that some of her previous books were. And remember, the time period covered is only about a year when Jesus is 8 or so, so….you know nothing will happen at the end of the book. I felt it had more potentional.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
Submitted by Glory.
Oh dear god, I was just talking about it last night with my sister while we were watching the Oscars. I am embarrassed to say that I was madly in love with Leonardo DiCaprio. I ran an online newsletter, I have a box full of stuff, books, biography videos, pictures, posters, magazines, EVERYTHING. It's really...ridiculous. I'm hoping that one day it'll be worth something. And he was so much cuter when he was younger :P
Needless to say, I've been over that for YEARS. I still have that box of stuff somewhere in my garage though. All girls have those consuming celebrity crushes when they are like 10 though, that's how those teenmagazines still make money.
Yes, I occasionally read those trashy popular books, lol
Book # 9
Book Title: The Secret History of the Pink Carnation
Genre: Adventure, romance, historical fiction, chick lit
# of pages: 426
My rating of the book, F- [worst] to A [best].: A (I’m obviously very open minded with books, I hardly ever come across ones that I’d give a bad grade too.)
Short description/summary of the book: As always, courtesy of Amazon:
The French eventually unmasked the Scarlet Pimpernel and the
Purple Gentian, famed spies in the Napoleonic wars, but as Harvard graduate
student Eloise Kelly discovers at the start of this breezy historical romance,
the identity of the Pink Carnation remains a mystery. Working in London on her
history dissertation, Eloise gets access to a trunk of papers and documents
from the early 19th century. She dives into this treasure trove, and suddenly
the reader is plunged into a novel within a novel, told from the viewpoint of
Amy Balcourt. Amy, exiled to rural England with her mother, now wants to
avenge, with the help of her cousin Jane, her father's death at the hands of
the French. She hopes to be in league with the Scarlet Pimpernel, who
heroically tried to save her father. Willig, a Harvard graduate student
herself, does a good job painting a picture of the tumultuous era. She also
makes the sparks fly between Amy and the Purple Gentian, a dashing English
nobleman in charge of Egyptian antiquities for Bonaparte. But when the Pink
Carnation's identity is finally revealed after many obvious clues, the reader
wonders why it took Eloise so long to get it. More critically, Eloise's
appearances come to seem like awkward intrusions into Amy's - and the Pink
Carnation's - more intriguing story.
A friend of mine recommended this book to me, and since I had half a day to sit around and do nothing, I decided to pick up a book. Well, this was my third one, I had read some chapters from a few others before deciding that I wasn’t in the mood for those. And then I remembered my friend’s recommendation. And I picked up the book and finished it front to back.
Talk about a fun read! These kinds of books are always fun. There is just never a slow moment and they are so entertaining. I always read these kinds of books in one sitting. This one was great, adventure, mystery, and masked men. Can you get any better? Definitely the funnest book I’ve had the pleasure of reading in the historical romance genre, I’m sure I had a smile plastered on my face for the whole thing. I think there may have been one or two moments that sort of screamed trashy romance novel, but it only made me cringe for a second in its ridiculous sappiness and didn’t take away from the read at all :)
And wow, looking at the reviews on amazon, a lot of people didn’t seem to like this book! I hate it when people go into books like this expecting amazing literature. Some people just take things too seriously.
Currently reading :
Hopefully my textbook for Sociocultural Anthropology
Book: Show us the latest book you bought, borrowed or received.
I have to say, I spend an obscene amount of money on books. Every week. It's really quite remarkable the collection I have managed to accumulate, and I won't even go into the books my english major sister has acquired. That being said! I have recently gotten onto this kick about trying to get good deals on Tolkien books off ebay and I just ordered
Book # 8
Book Title: Fried Eggs with Chopsticks
Author: Polly Evans
Genre: Travel, Memoir
# of pages: 300
My rating of the book, F- [worst] to A [best].: A
Short description/summary of the book:
From Publishers Weekly
Evans reprises the light, kooky formula she adopted with her debut travelogue (It's Not About the Tapas: A Spanish Adventure on Two Wheels) in this account of her solo trip across China. Armed with Wet Wipes, a smattering of Mandarin and tips from friends in Beijing, she travels by bus, train and even a mule from Beijing to the polluted Mongolian city of Datong before zigzagging south to Shanghai, then on to Tibet and ending in Hong Kong. Attracting attention along the way as a waiguoren, or foreigner, she marvels at the "alluringly foreign... but also... hellishly frustrating" country while vigilantly rubbing her hands with antibacterial lotion, a habit that doesn't prevent a nasty cold. In restaurants, she orders by pointing to others' meals; in squalid public restrooms, she holds her breath. She learns a little kung fu and calligraphy, eats stewed dog and drinks yak-butter tea. Though Evans beefs up the story with historical nuggets on the Mao regime and more, her jaunty style often verges on the cartoonish, as with her impressions of unintelligible Mandarin: "gobbledy gook." Evans's sophomore effort will make an entertaining companion for armchair travelers who enjoy women's magazine–style travel writing.
/ / / / /
I feel as though I should comment on the bad reviews that are found on the Amazon site for this book. It makes me wonder whether these people have ever traveled through China. I lived there for a year and traveled for probably half that time and I have to say, knowing the language, the culture, and the food doesn’t really make much of a difference. Her complaints aren’t her being shallow, they pretty much make up traveling in China. Not to mention these things would have been sugar-coating the adventure. These kinds of things are what traveling in China is all about!
And the person who says that she didn’t plan and just went
day-to-day OBVIOUSLY has never traveled in China. Planning is not only nearly impossible, but probably a stupid
thing to do. All you need to do is buy
a plane ticket to somewhere, or book a hotel and then have your train show up
10 hours late to your destination. You can’t buy your bus ticket more than a day in advance and are
screwed if the bus just left 10 minutes before you got there. She did plan as much as possible, she knew
the general destinations she wanted to go to, that is about as much as you CAN
do. If you aren’t flexible when
traveling around China, be prepared for a slow, painful, agonizing
death journey. Now, more language
classes may have helped a bit, but trust me, not very much.
I’m enjoying this book tremendously. Much more than the previous travel memoirs I’ve read (and I read quite a few of them). This one goes to so many places that I’ve been to! Which is exciting, and it’s so new that I can really relate, like the Starbucks in Hangzhou (which I have a mug from, lol). While ‘Foreign Babes in Beijing’ was about living in Beijing (and probably wouldn’t be interesting to people who hadn’t lived in Beijing) this book is ALL about travel, which, in China, is an adventure on its own. I traveled a lot while in China, so all her stories about trains and buses are like looking back at my old life. And all the problems that she had and horrible experience that really make it fun (or unbearable….ask my sister). Her joy at finding a McDonalds after a few weeks on the road (god, I just remember my Silk Road trip, I went to TGIFridays the DAY I got back to Beijing), the god awful bus rides she took, even her boat ride to Suzhou that took 13 hours instead of taking a bus which only takes 4.
I’m sure this book would be more enjoyable than ‘Foreign Babes’ to most people, whether they have been to China or not. I’m trying to get my sister to read it, she had a horrible time traveling in China, but I think it would amuse her, mainly because of the author’s descriptions of her hardships on the road and inability to speak Chinese. I found myself laughing out loud through many parts of the book, it was a fun read.
“Eating a fried egg with chopsticks, I thought as I say on the bus to Nanjing some hours later, bears small-scale similarities to the greater trials of traveling around China as a foreigner. It is frustrating and frequently ludicrous. Sometimes it is funny. Small tasks take infinitely longer than they should. You look ridiculous, often. But in the end, pride shattered, patience tried, and seemingly against all odds, you do in fact arrive. And then somebody comes along smiling, and points to the easier route you should have taken.”
And for those of you I have just met, my travel journal, not nearly as witty, but it has some pretty pictures :P
What is one of your favorite poems?
Submitted by marvel is my pen name.
I have quite a few, I'm a huge fan of Stephen Crane. I suppose I'll put down the one that there is a line from in my vox heading :)
I met a seer.
He held in his hands
The book of wisdom.
"Sir," I addressed him,
"Let me read."
"Child -- " he began.
"Sir," I said,
"Think not that I am a child,
For already I know much
Of that which you hold.
Then he opened the book
And held it before me.
--Strange that I should have grown so suddenly blind.
I never really understood the concept of petitions, I feel like they never really work, especially against something like the Chinese government. Like they are going to change because of a bunch of online signatures? Yea right.
I did just get an e-mail from Care2 with a petition to 'End China's Human Rights Abuses in Tibet before the 2008 Olympics'
If I know anything about China, they will never end their abuses towards Tibet, and I will venture to guess that public outcry will only make it worse. That is the impression that I get.
Never the less,
Sponsored by International Campaign for Tibet