Thursday, February 10, 2011

Finally, I Speak

I don't believe I fully comprehended the complete neglect I have inflicted on this blog until now: I have not written in almost a month! How terrible. For shame.

However, I cannot fully mourn how I spent the past few weeks, seeing as though they were definitely not misused: Prep for Finals, Finals, Recovery from Finals. Only recently has my heart fully began to beat at it's regular pace again. The only thing I mourn, the only true blemish of this absence from the blog, also forms a blemish on my Transcript; yes, my perfect sea of As is now polluted by a (probably justly deserved, though none the less depressing) B+, dropping my Cumulative GPA to a 3.979. However, I must move on, soldiering forth. I'm sure I'll make it through, permitting my continued adventures in the next three semesters of High School do not permit it to drop any further. At which point I can say nothing of what will happen to me.

Anywho, the rapidity with which I usually read books was seriously impeded not only by the enormous stress under which I was reading, but also due to the very books I was reading.

The first, The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath, proved no hurdle at all. I obsessed over the book to the point of reading it once (the first time I had ever read it) in three hours, and then spending two additional days going over it again, just to be sure of it's amazing nature. I had a feeling that I would like it from the beginning, simply because of the way it was put into my path: Last year, I had been discussing with my mother the enormous pressure I was under, as a student, a perfectionist, and simply as someone who thought too much, and how I felt like I really was going crazy sometimes, due to all of the responsibilities I was juggling. She told me to read The Bell Jar. I'm not sure how much it speaks to my sanity, but I identified with the character of Esther Greenwood immensely, and much of her thinking was familiar to me: in one part, she described all of her life in front of her like an endless, daunting sidewalk, and she just had to take it one square at a time. It looked a terrifying distance now, but at the end of it, she laughed that she once thought it so long. Honestly, that imagery pretty much carried me through Finals.

The second book I read was what prevented me from immediately jumping back online once test scores were all boxed away. Time after time, it has proved unsurmountable; however, I was determined not to fail again. I had to accomplish it. Yes, indeed, after four instances of half-way completion, I finally buckled up, and choked down what I beleive is the second-to-most boring Jane Austen book in the author's entire canon: Emma. It is unbeleivable how, among the set of Austen friends at my school, universally disliked that particular novel is; to the point where the only novel that proved to be even less popular was Mansfield Park. Many times attempted, never accomplished, Emma, had my friends pleading for my retirement from the novel from the get-go. However, after about a week and a half, I did end up finishing it!

Partially, my enthusiasm stems from a long love of Austen; however, I have to confess that my adoration comes out of a less classical corner: the book's plot inspired the TOTALLY amazing 1995 movie, Clueless, starring Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd (also known as, one of my Favorite Movies in the Entire Universe). If I loved Clueless, then I could most certainly tolerate Emma. The book, in my opinion, is still not one of Austen's best, but if I gained anything from reading it, it was a completely new appreciation of the movie. The big screen adaption actually does manage to stay relatively accurate, which is pretty cool, and I was easily able to draw correlations between the novel and it's media representation. Honestly, I'm not much of a fan of Gweneth Paltrow's portrayal of Emma, but Alicia Silverstone does a pretty darn accurate model of what she would have been like in the '90s.

[ To those who have NOT seen Clueless: when it comes to accuracy in a modern movie with a classical background, on a scale from Leo DiCaprio in Romeo + Juliet, to Amanda Bynes in She's the Man (based on Twelfth Night, no joke), the closest thing I can come up with is probably 10 Things I Hate About You (based on The Taming of the Shrew). And yes, I realize those were all Shakespeare, but they're the best examples I can come up with. ]

Anyways, I am now left with a lonely bookmark, and newfound self-assurance in my own powers of perserverance. I think I'll reward myself for overcoming both the obstacles of Finals Testing, and Emma, and watch a movie. :)

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