May was quite an exciting month, as evidenced by my lack of blog posts over the last few weeks. The first few weeks of May were spent wrapping up my final year of college — taking exams, writing papers, giving presentations (and, of course, enjoying happy hour and dancing the night away with some great friends). On May 19, my hard work over the last four years paid off, and I graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Communication Studies!
Since then, I’ve moved out of my off-campus apartment and back into the house I did most of my growing-up in, and I have mostly been taking it easy. After four years with my nose to the grindstone, I wanted some time to relax, and it has been lovely.
However, it’s time to get back to real life — back to blogging, and back to my search for gainful employment! I’m hoping continuing to write this blog will keep my brain from turning to mush, keep me feeling challenged, and give me some purpose while I try to figure out what to do with my new degree. I spent some time evaluating where I want to go with this blog now that it’s no longer required coursework, and I think I have a pretty good idea of my future blogging schedule and content, which will be implemented once I catch up with all my book posts!
“People always think that happiness is a faraway thing,” thought Francie, “something complicated and hard to get. Yet, what little things can make it up; a place of shelter when it rains — a cup of hot strong coffee when you’re blue; for a man, a cigarette for contentment; a book to read when you’re alone — just to be with someone you love. Those things make happiness.”
I finished reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith the other day, and I fell in love with this quote. Francie blew me away with her youthful wisdom throughout the book, and this passage was one of my favorites. I love the examples she uses — how perfect are they?! — and she made me stop to think about the little things that make up happiness for me: waking up to sunlight streaming through my window on a Saturday morning, a kiss on the forehead, walking barefoot on soft grass, the perfect song coming on the radio, dancing, a steaming cup of jasmine tea from my favorite mug…
Dell, 1991 (first published 1969)
Paperback, 215 pages
“Listen: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.”
So begins Kurt Vonnegut’s most famous work, Slaughterhouse-Five. This novel is Vonnegut trying to find meaning in his experiences in WWI; he survived both the Battle of the Bulge and the 1945 bombing of Dresden, and he struggled for the rest of his life with the things he witnessed during the war. Slaughterhouse-Five is an anti-war novel that also isn’t an anti-war novel. As Vonnegut acknowledges in the opening chapter, one might as well write an anti-glacier book as an anti-war book — “there would always be wars … they were as easy to stop as glaciers,” he writes. And yet, it’s important for him to write about his experiences in the war, to try to make sense of them, and do whatever small part he can to make people understand the horrors of modern warfare. Continue reading →
1. “They have worries, they’re counting the miles, they’re thinking about where to sleep tonight, how much money for gas, the weather, how they’ll get there — and all the time they’ll get there anyway, you see.”
- On the Road, by Jack Kerouac. Continue reading →
As I mention on my “about” page, I started this blog in January as a project for my Social Media Marketing class; we were each assigned to pick any topic we were interested in to blog about over the course of the semester so we could learn firsthand about putting social media strategies into practice. I am really glad we did this project; I have really enjoyed running this blog, mostly because of the connections I have made! I love the sense of community in the blogosphere, and I have discovered some great blogs that I really like to read. And, of course, I’ve learned more about the world of social media. Today was the last day of class (oh dear, this is sounding like an “it’s been real, but the class is over so I’m done blogging” post — but you can’t get rid of me that easily), and I received a really wonderful surprise when I walked into the classroom at the ungodly hour of 8:30 this morning. Continue reading →