In honor of fine literature everywhere, go read a banned book. Some that I’ll recommend:
- The Catcher in the Rye (the classic banned book)
- Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
- Anything by Judy Blume, if you like young adolescent fiction, which I do. Her books appear on the most challenged books list yearly, and she is one of the most challenged authors. I particularly like Iggie’s House, Blubber, and Tiger Eyes.
- A Wrinkle in Time, which I can only imagine was challenged because it suggests that there may be life elsewhere in our universe, and does not attribute creation to God? Fact is, Madeline L’Engle is a remarkable author who, like C. S. Lewis, imbues her work with good old-fashioned Christian morality without coming out heavy-handed-ly and shoving it down the reader’s throats. In the last book in the series begun by Wrinkle, titled A Swiftly Tilting Planet, the entire Murray family sings dona nobis pacem around the Thanksgiving dinner table, while they pray for peace.
- Any book with frank discussion of adolescent physical changes. This would include number 2, above, as well as the What’s Happening to my Body? books.
- To Kill a Mockingbird, which I imagine is on the list because of its use of a particular ethnic slur. (Huckleberry Finn is on the list for that reason, too.)
Note a theme? Young adults, adolescents, children, are the ones whose literature is most affected by book challenges. Adults have the freedom to choose what to read and what to ignore, and the freedom to be as closed-minded as they wish. But childrenchildren have such a small voice in these matters. Bless the American Library Association for recognizing that all books are worthy of being on library shelves, even those that parents may object to for ridiculous reasons.
Today I panicked and realized that I did not have a timer I could use for the LSATthe one I’ve been using for study is my kitchen timer that has a very loud beep.
$32 later (32 DOLLARS?? Unbelievable!!) I have The Silent Timer. Now I have to get used to it. I certainly has several features I won’t be using, notably the “push the red button after you’ve answered each question” thing, allowing you to track how many questions you’ve answered and how many you have left. That’s assuming you take the time at the beginning of the section to see how many total questions there are and plug it in. Mrph…that’s funny. Almost as funny as expecting me to push the red button after answering each question.
Since I sit for the LSAT in less than a week, and since my friendly writing and editing prof really wants to meet with me soon (like last week, so I’m seriously overdue) don’t expect much from me this week.
I’ll post my LSAT impressions on Saturday, sometime, since I fully expect that I’ll go from the test to either 1) the remainder of [Big Unnamed State] University’s football game (which starts at 11:30, damn them, rendering worthless my $55 ticket which I probably can’t even scalp for face value due to the opponent), or 2) the remainder of my friends’ tailgate party.
In either case, I will drink (somewhat) liberally, if only because it will be OVER. I’m looking forward to having the test behind me so that I can begin to concentrate on applications and my personal essay. No matter how much I say I’ve been working on it, I haven’t really been able to look past the damn standarized test. I think once I’ve taken it and the results are out of my hands, I’ll have a little more impetus to work on the rest of that law school stuff.
Meanwhile, if you have Payton Manning on your FF team, you are a lucky bitch/bastard. That’s all I have to say about that.
In today’s Straight Dope column, Cecil Adams writes two things I don’t thing I’ve ever read from him before: a small bit of profanity (mild: “son of a bitch”) and a psuedo-extreme sexual reference (“Does he give great head?”).
It was the latter, which comes first in the column, actually, that caused my jaw to drop open. I know that The Straight Dope is published in lots of papersmostly of the free, alternative varietybut still, it’s published in many papers. The phrase “give great head” is not one I ever would expect to see in a newspaper of any stripe.
I’m not saying I’m offendedin fact, I think it’s hilarious, particularly in the context of the response (yet another reason to eschew vegetarianism, particularly the vegan variety)I’m just a little astounded.
There’s your thought for the day.
Dogbert’s not-so-secret ambition is to conquer the world and enslave all humans. He anointed himself St. Dogbert, and as such takes special delight in exorcising the demons of stupidity.
Gmail is still pestering me with invites. If you don’t already have Gmail (and if you don’t, what rock have you been under? Unless, of course, you think Gmail is too creepy.) please, please, PLEASE take them away from me.
Oh, and if you’re going to ask for an invite from me, please have the courtesy to use it. Seriously, I want to get rid of them, and when I send you one and you let it expire, well, that’s just rude.
Last night I went to study for the LSAT at one of my favorite watering holesI was hungry and they have good pub food, and I also really wanted a beer.
So there I was, on the patio, drinking my beer and munching on my chicken strips, slogging through Kaplan’s LSAT 180. The table next to me was populated by two guys having a drink together, and I didn’t even notice them until one of them got up to leave and said something about having a mediation today. Ah, I thought, lawyers having happy hour.
The next thing I know, the remaining fellow intones over my shoulder, “Don’t do it.” I turn to look, and he’s got a sort of wistful smirk on his face. He says it again, “Don’t do it.”
Continuing, “We noticed as soon as you pulled out your books. We’re both 10-year litigators, and we’re already bitter. Don’t do it.”
I said, “Oh, I want nothing to do with a courtroom. I just want to teach.”
He replied, “Just watch out. We’re bitter. We have lots of money, but we’re bitter.”
What I can’t figure out is why anyone would go through the hassle of three years of law school, BarBri, junior associateship, and thousands in student loans if they don’t actually want to do what they are doing. Or, rather, I get it, but I don’t know that I appreciate the bitter species intruding on my happy (perhaps delusional) desire to teach lawyers to write better.
I’m having difficulty remembering what day of the week it is. This does not bode well for my productivity.
Another practice LSAT and, despite actually finishing the games section, I didn’t get any more questions right and pulled off the same exact score as my last practice LSAT.
I keep reminding myself that this particular score is a GOOD score, that it will get me into many schools, if not the schools I most want to get into. I keep reminding myself that I have a good GPA that will help, and my personal statement will be stellar. I am, in other words, pumping myself up. I worry that I may be setting myself up for a fall, in fact.
So in the back my mind, I remind myself that if I get into a school that is not at the top of my list, I can always attempt to transfer.
It’s hard to have grand ambitions that will be at least slightly thwarted by not attending one of my top choice schools. I am optimistic, but I am also trying very hard to be realistic.
I’m not generally very good at reviews, but I recently enjoyed two movies and a novel that I’ll share some general comments on.
Firstand I admit it’s a little out of date, but I didn’t really make it out for the summer movie seasonwe rented 50 First Dates this weekend. I should preface by saying that, in general, I can only take so much Adam Sandler. He’s funny and endearing and all that, but often the humor gets to be a little too much. Still, this was a cute moviea good rental, in fact. Sweet and charming, and there were some damn funny lines, one in particular delivered perfectly by Dan Ackroyd. (Who is another comedian I can usually only take so much of. Thank goodness he seems lately to be restricting himself to small, juicy roles.)
Second movie: Hero. We saw this last night at the local have-dinner-while-you-watch-the-movie movie theater. (We had some free tickets and a buy-one-get-one free dinner coupon. A cheap evening!) OK, I like kung fu movies. I loved Crouching Tiger. I don’t really have an opinion on Jet Li, but he’s certainly talented. My one beef with this film was that it seemed like a flim version of a story that might have been recounted by one of the main characters in Crouching Tiger. (Or, even, with a stretch, Kill Bill.) It hardly seemed worth a whole movie. Very symbolic throughout, though, with some beautiful cinematography. I’m glad we didn’t pay regular movie prices for it, but it was nice to see on the big screen.
Lastly, the novel: The Time-Traveler’s Wife. I am only 3/4 of the way through this book and I already have the feeling that I may cry at the end. I have a sinking suspicion that, while it may not have an unhappy ending, it probably won’t end with sweetness and light. But it’s marvelous, nonetheless. The writing is really excellent, particularly the author’s use of dialog. I am eating the book up, far too quickly, really, since I just started it Saturday afternoon, and I wish I weren’t almost done with it. I’ll probably reread it.
So there are my opinions on three things, and, if you think about it, a brief recap of my weekend.