All posts by Becca

My Love of Reading

This first week (+2 days) of the new year has been pretty great. I’m still on break, so I haven’t been doing a whole lot but bumming around, which is fantastic. I’ve worked with my mom twice, but other than that I’ve been content to spend most my days seeing friends and getting a good start on my 2013 goal to read 52 books this year.

I’ve finished three so far, all in the Graceling Realm series: Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore, which I would highly recommend to fantasy-lovers. Graceling is about a girl named Katsa who lives under the command of her uncle, King Randa of the Middluns. In this realm, on rare occasions, children are born with what is called a Grace, an extreme talent. Katsa is a Graceling, and her Grace is to kill. Catchy, eh? I really couldn’t put the book down, and flew through it in a little over a day. I felt fairly similar with Fire, the prequel to Graceling. Though in the same realm, it had a fresh new kingdom, story, and characters that I just soaked in and I finished that one easily in a day. Bitterblue, the sequel to Graceling, was a little more work for me to get through, but I still liked it nonetheless.

I started Eragon yesterday, the first of the Inheritance Cycle series. It’s a book that I’ve always wanted to read but hadn’t gotten around to. I’ve done that with a lot of books, I’ve realized. I’ve always thought they sounded good and wanted to read them but didn’t have them or have the time, or whatever excuse. For example, I didn’t read the Chronicles of Narnia until 2011, or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory until last year. Just classics that I should’ve read, but didn’t, and want to, but haven’t.

I recently signed up for a Goodreads account. Well, I’ve actually had it for a while, but I haven’t really used it because of one reason or another. I’ve always just listed the books I’ve read (at least the last couple of years) but I think I’m going to start recording them there as well. I like the stats and it keeps all the books I’ve read all in one spot and I can get recommendations from friends and see what they’re reading as well. If any of you have a Goodreads account, I’d love to follow you, or be your friend…or whatever it’s called. :P

It’s pretty ridiculous what a good book can do to me. I just curl up in my bed with it and don’t come out until I’m about to pee myself or starve. Okay, maybe not to that full extent. :P I like to read in my room since it’s the quietest place. I’ll sometimes come out to the living room, where my mom and dad tend to hang out just to be in their presence since I don’t get to see them when I’m away at school.

One of these days I’m going to buy myself a Kindle. I’ve been wanting one for a while now, just can’t get myself to fork over $100 for one. But I just think it’d be convenient to be able to carry with me and a lot of the e-books are much less than the print copies. And the Kindle would be great for long trips (which I tend to take frequently) and in the car in the dark. The one that I want (the paperwhite) has a light which would be perfect for that.I ‘m sure I could come up with some other reasons, but those are the ones that I’m using to justify buying one, haha. One of these days! Maybe after I’ve been working for a while as a treat to myself.

I had to get my driver’s license renewed a few days ago. I don’t know what I was thinking when I went. Actually I take that back; I thought that it was going to be similar to renewing a library card of a liscence plate, where you go in and they give you a new sticker and you slap it on the ID and voila! It’s renewed! So my mom was laughing at my reaction when I found it I had to get my picture taken again. Thankfully I had showered before I went (I was feeling especially bummy that day) but had just thrown my hair back in a sloppy ponytail. Haha, the things I have to learn the hard way. But now I can drive for four more years! Woooooo.

Fall 2012 Semester Review

I thought I’d do a bit of a review of my classes last semester, more for myself than anyone else. As this was my first semester of college, it was pretty, uhm, interesting, I guess, and I would definitely say a learning experience.

This semester I only took 12 credit hours, which looking back is something that I regret- I wish I would’ve taken more to make later years less of a burden.

1. Arts & Science 100

This class was just a joke. At the beginning of the year, since I started as a French major, I was in the College of Arts & Sciences, so this class was a requirement. However, I kid you not, I had lectures on how to read a textbook, take notes, and even a sex education class. Yes, in college, where we are all 18+. We did a lot of career projects and papers, to get more of an “idea” of what we want to do after college. My instructor was nice, but she was overly enthusiastic about class assignments. Sometimes I felt like I was in preschool and she was handing out coloring pages and crayons, excitedly telling us what we were going to do. I’m pretty sure I would have preferred coloring though. The only useful thing I got from that class was a booster to my GPA and an updated resume.

Credits: 3
Final Grade: A

2. Psychology 201

This class I really enjoyed. It was just an introductory Psychology class, and I had never taken Psychology in high school, so I was interested just by the mere fact that I didn’t know much about it. My professor was really sweet, and was very helpful but sometimes had a hard time keeping the large class (around 100 students) quiet. This class was more biology driven, which was also kind of annoying since I’m not one for the sciences, but I overall really enjoyed the class. It’s made me even consider psychology as a minor, but I need to think that over a bit more.

Credits: 3
Final Grade:A

3. French 211

Simply, this class was hell and my professor was the devil. He was a stereotypcial Frenchman: rude, snobby, condescending, and couldn’t understand a word I said in his language. I really hated this class; I dreaded going to it each day, since it was basically class-driven. What I mean by that is he would come in with a vague topic, and we would have to keep the discussion going. Which would be fine if it were an upper-level French course, but this was the first course after elementary French, so none of us were really prepared for that kind of discussion.

Questions were not welcome; a girl that sat next to me asked once what a word meant and he freaked out, started yelling at her for not knowing the word, and then told the whole class that this was a French class, not an English class. Well now that that’s cleared up. On another occasion, another student asked for clarification of some instructions he had given us. Our professor then proceeded to announce to the class that he gave instructions in French because that particular student had bad test grades. Uhm, what? Neither did that answer his question, or make any sense. He just liked to be a dick.

This class was also pretty writing intensive; I did more writing in this class than in my Honors English class. The compositions were pretty difficult, but somehow I managed to get at least a B on all of them. At the end of the semester, I had a solid B, but he rounded me up to an A-, which was completely surprising and very kind of him, the first nice thing I’ve ever seen him do. But I’m not complaining; I’ll take it.

Needless to say I’m not taking anymore French in college, which is kind of sad since I used to love it so much. I still do to an extent, just not enough to go through more levels of hell, probably with the same professor.

Credits: 3
Grade: A-

4. English H225

I was pretty nervous going into this class, since it was an honors class, but my professor was very likable, in a quirky sort of way, and really communicated with all of her students. The class turned out to not be very hard, and it was largely discussion based, so we really didn’t have to do a whole lot of writing.

The big project we had to do was a ten page research paper on ‘Writing about Writing and Research.’ In other words, we had to write a research paper about writing and research. Fun, huh? It wasn’t too terrible after I picked my topic, which was the intertextuality of the first Harry Potter book. Since I love Harry Potter, it was king of fun in a dorky kind of way to see the connections between it and other literature.

Though only downside of this class was that I already had credit for it from a college-credit course I took in high school, and somehow my advisor got things mixed up. So I was able to get the credits as an elective, instead of just a repeat class, which is better than nothing, but it was still kind of a waste. At least it was easy.

Credits: 3
Grade: A

So overall, I achieve a 3.925 GPA, which I am very proud of. Would’ve loved a 4.0, but I can settle with this being my first semester of college and having the devil as a professor. :P