day 149. square pegs.

Reading East of Eden there are, of course, many passages of genius that I stumble upon, but so far none have been as genius as this passage:

Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of a man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.

East of Eden John Steinbeck

day 142. summer goals revisted.

I’m one night away from finishing Atonement, and as soon as I’m done I’m going to begin East of Eden. I chose John Steinbeck’s epic novel because I know I’ve heard a lot of great things about it, James Dean stars in the film adaptation, and because it’s a classic.

Last night, after foregoing my nightly reading ritual, I revised my resume. The last time I had updated it was when I was in high school and it was slightly embarassing to look at it with all of it’s pointless boasting. Junior Class Secretary; 4 years of Drama, Scholars Bowl, Junior Civitan, etc.

It was nice to write out a new list of accomplishments, a list of college activities, work and honors. I have this problem/paranoia where I assume that no matter how well I am doing, there’s someone, somewhere, doing better than I am. At whatever! Basically, if I get a 99% on a test, I’m convinced that everyone in the class got a 99.1% or higher.

These feelings are the remnants of a competitive spirit and greed. For a fairly long amount of time, I had this constant need to be the undisputed best, to have the best and to be better than everyone else–no matter what the activity. My entire happiness rested on where I stood with everyone else, and, not surprisingly, that didn’t end well for me.

One thing that I’ve learned because of those experiences is that your happiness cannot rest on other people–not even in a little way.

And isn’t that just the “duh” moment of the century? Sometimes, my revelations come and I realize that they’re not so much revelations as they are obvious observations. But, I’m learning.

day 137. and then there’s maude.

Well it’s happened. The Internet has just become a little weirder. How? Childbirth videos on YouTube.

Click on the link to the read corresponding New York Times article. My favorite quote from the article:

“My goal is not to scare anybody. But if someone is pregnant and they haven’t wrapped their head around the fact that there is pain involved, then they might want to start.”

I was a little creeped out by the idea of childbirth videos on the Internet, but after reading that, I’ve changed my mind. This is a great idea! Instead of conventional sex-ed classes, public schools should just show these videos. Who says scare tactics don’t work?

On a totally seperate subject, here’s a quick update on the summer reading progress—

Finished “Bridget Jones’s Diary” this morning, began reading “Atonement”. Have totally quit “Jane Eyre” at the moment. Liked it, but it felt too much like a chore having to sit down and read it.

I noticed that I’m on a little bit of Brit-lit kick. The narrative voice in my head has acquired a terribly phony British accent.

And then there’s Maude.

day 127. summer goals.

“Discover what’s important, make it happen, share your progress.”

Last summer I was an active participant on the Lucky Forum. The forum created a community of young women who could talk about a variety of topics ranging from relationships, web design, what you were you watching on TV to school, family, health and anything else you wanted to talk about.

It was such a great way to see the uncensored views of women my age and was also an interesting learning spot. I learned about amazing musicians thanks to the recommendations of some of the users. I learned interesting websites and stumbled upon numerous informative and hilarious blogs.

One thing that I had forgotten I had learned about because of the Lucky Forums was 43 Things.

43 Things is an interactive community that is centered around it’s members writing their goals, sharing their progress and cheering each other along on the way. I joined 43 Things on July 29th of last year. You can read my list of goals by clicking here.

Because the amount of free time I have during the summer is much more than the free time I have during the school year, I know that I should be taking advantage of this time as much as possible. In order to do this, I’m creating a “Summer To-Do List”.

On the list so far:
(1) Read Jane Eyre
(2) Learn how to cook a complete meal.
(3) Learn more about XHTML and CSS coding.
—create website design with this new knowledge.
(4) Finish reading the two books I mentioned here (Stephen King’s On Writing and the anthology I’ve Always Meant to Tell You) along with Rachel Zoe’s style guidebook A to Zoe.
(5) Go camping.

To Be Continued…