Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Weekly (well, sorta) Book Review #4

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson Mccullers is a literary masterpiece, no matter how many people in my North American Literature class loathed it.

The novel begins in a small town in the thirties with a character by the name of Singer. Eventually, the reader comes to realize that everything about this character is ironic, including his name, as he cannot hear or say a word. Singer's specialty is allowing people to talk to him. Four characters in particular poor out their souls to his unspeaking body. Because he reads lips, each character gets the impression that Singer understands them better than anyone ever before. However, Singer sometimes reveals that his true understanding is very minimal. Some 400 pages later, the conclusion is that everyone is lonely and needs someone to talk to.

For me, such a book was very important for my understanding of how people work. Each character, including Singer brings something to the table that feels completely normal and real. For me, this novel taught me more than any textbook ever can. Listening is an art that involves putting your own thoughts second. For a few minutes, a true listener has to become like Singer is, silent.

My review for such a book has to be a good one, however, be warned. This book is definitely not for everyone. I think I was one of the only people in my NAL class to enjoy it. It is slow to begin with, and feels extremely long. Although, I assure you that the characters that are explained the most are the ones that should be. Each of them is very interesting and well-developed.

I give this novel 10/10, however, for most it would be closer to 6. You see, this book hit me hard in a respect that I've been thinking about for months. For many people, this book is full of explanations that are completely worthless to the "main story". But I implore you to read the book and tell me what you think. I enjoyed it...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sickness Sucks

Have you ever awoken from deep slumber and decided that you simply did not want to go to work/school? You aren't really feeling that sick, but school or work just doesn't seem to work in your mind. So you miss school/work for one day. The innocence of such an act is obvious.

Have you ever awoken from a troubled, horrible slumber with a restless mind that doesn't seem quite up to reality? A few moments later, you realize what day it is, and that the idea of getting up and going to work/school is one that seems pleasant. Therefore, you get up, excited for the new day, repeating the fact in your mind that you will make it there without completely falling flat on your face. However, as soon as your feet hold you in the upright position, you're bombarded with the realization that you feel completely disgusting and although school/work brings you much excitement, there is a slight chance that you may faint before you even get close to the building.

Destiny Quebec is a student-run conference held once a year at my school. I attended most meetings (we met every thursday at 7:30AM.) and participated in the overall planning of the event. On April 22, I awoke with the latter problem. I was so excited for the conference, but the moment I got up from my terrible sleep, I realized that making it to school would be a miracle. My cough was undeniable, I shivered while my body was hot to the touch, I was dizzy and my headache was so intense that I was convinced that my head would explode before I could put on my uniform.

Destiny Quebec happens ONCE A YEAR, so I couldn't miss it. Despite the fact that I was close to death, I did my very best to shrug it off and took the early train to school. Samantha Nutt spoke at the opening assembly, and I'm not sure if I can tell you much about what was spoken. The entire assembly, I was shivering, holding my head in agony and trying very hard not to fall asleep. I went straight to the nurse when the speech finished.

My temperature: 40 degrees Celsius. (102.2 degrees Fahrenheit), and the nurse sent me home.

I stayed home the rest of that Tuesday, as well as Wednesday and Thursday. I promised my dad that I would force myself back to class on Friday so that I wouldn't miss too much of the important expensive education that he was paying for.

On the 25th of April, I awoke from a horribly troubled slumber with an undeniable cough and a nose that did not stop running. I was still slightly dizzy as well, but I had promised my father that Friday would involve class, so I reluctantly put on my uniform and trudged my way into the classroom.

I entered the library (my first period class was English, and we were researching for our orals) on that dreary spring morning and my teacher asked me -twice- how I was feeling. I coughed and wiped my nose on another kleenex before answering the question the second time. I felt as though I was dying...

Math class was a joke. Although we were supposed to be doing an assignment of about three pages, I stared at my desk for one hour and blew my nose until there was a pile of kleenex about the size of Mount Royal on my desk. Later I would realize that the only Math I had done the entire class was the first question: the example.

My complaints were replied with the same phrase repeated in several different accents and expressions: "Meg, if you're feeling so bad, go home."

But I wanted to be at school. I wanted to learn. I didn't like wasting the thousands of dollars spent on my education.

Therefore, I decided that a visit to the nurse would be my only destination. Home was kilometers away, and I wished to keep it that way. My science teacher warned me that I had missed three classes when I asked to go to the nurse the next period. So I stayed.

Let's just say that I did not learn one thing in that class. I should have gone straight to the nurse the moment that I found myself asking the same question for the third time. However, I made it through the entire hour and found my feet walking swiftly to the nurse's.

My fever was apparently 38.5 degrees Celsius this time. (101.3 degrees Fahrenheit) and I was sent home for the second time in 4 days.

I hate being sick. Taking a day off as explained in the first paragraph is nice and everyone should have that opportunity. However, being actually physically sick is something that I would wish on no one. I had more sleep in the six days that I was sick that I have had in the past three weeks.

I'm not complaining about the sleep, but of the things I missed. I apologize to Samantha Nutt and to all the speakers that I missed at the DQ Conference. I apologize to my science teacher and the many (stupid) questions I asked in my diseased state. I apologize to my dad who had to come get me not once but twice in the middle of the day. Most of all, I apologize to the friends whose presence I missed in the week that I felt under the weather. I know it is hard to live without me.

By the way, I am still coughing from time to time, even now. Prayers are appreciated for my complete recovery.