If you read the title and are now disappointed, I’m sorry (I think). This blog has all along been a year-long project for my AP Language and Composition class where we had to blog three times a week, just about every week, 300 words minimum. If you think I posted that frequently just because I felt like it, you’re a crazy person. When we started blogging it seemed like it was going to be really hard to come up with something to say about books every week. However, I managed my time accordingly and got it done. I really actually have enjoyed blogging a lot more than I thought I would, and that’s why I say this isn’t goodbye. There are two ways that this blog could go, and over time I will probably determine (along with your opinion, dear reader) which way I would like it to go.
Option 1: I think I have written about this before but I would like to change the title of my blog from ‘Always Reading’ to ‘Always’ and then have different categories like ‘Always Reading’ to write about books, ‘Always Watching’ to write about movies, or ‘Always Living’ to write about life. This would make the topics on my blog broader and more open to a wider audience of readers, which sounds pretty exciting. It would give me the chance to blog more frequently and be a little more active in the blogging world. Who knows where that might take me? I just wouldn’t want to commit to this and then find that I have nothing to say.
Option 2: I would keep the blog just as it is and just write about books whenever I finish them. I don’t have a lot going on this summer so I would really like to do as much reading as possible. There are a large number of book blogs out there but what makes them great is that they are all so different. This, however, would make my posting schedule really infrequent as certain books take a longer time than others (and watching Hulu can become pretty addicting).
These are the options that I am torn between. I will be posting soon about a book I just read called Inventing English by Seth Lerer. After that we will see where blogging takes me. Feel free to comment below on what you think I should do. After all you are the people that read my blog, and you should probably have some say on what you read.
Handwriting is one of those things that makes a person completely unique. Everyone’s is different and special. However, in the age of technology, we could be losing aspects of ourselves that define who we are. Handwriting has historically been a sign of gender, patience, and even occupation. Boys are notorious for having illegible handwriting, whereas girls are known for perfect penmanship (but not all of us put hearts instead of dots on our “i’s”). However, some people cross these boundaries, because I have seen some guys have beautiful, fully readable handwriting. If you have the time, your handwriting will be nice and neat; however, if you are rushed, the words are all slurred together and hard to read. Doctors are big names when it comes to illegible writing: everyone has made a joke to their friend with the bad handwriting that they should look into the medical field. Along with that note, signatures are unique and important and there are many ways to make it your own, especially through cursive. I remember when we were learning cursive in third grade and we were told that that’s all we would use during high school (which ended up being a total lie). When writing essays, handwriting can make or break your grade. If the teacher can’t read it, they probably won’t give you an A+, even if it is what you deserve. For some reason, every year I like to switch up the way I write my letters. In previous years I would write an “a” how it looks when typed, but now I write it without the top hook. My “g” never looked how it was typed (I don’t think anyone does that) and now the way it looks reminds me of graffiti. The way I write makes my handwriting exclusive, something I can call all my own. With the introduction of computers and cell phones, we have a universal, electronic handwriting. Sure, you can choose different, snazzy fonts that add character, but nothing like handwriting on notebook paper does. I fear that someday, future generations will only use keyboards to write, losing the ability to pick up a pencil and develop a handwriting that makes them individual from the rest. To me, this will be a sad day. I know people that can no longer read cursive, when will come the day where they can’t read handwriting because they are used to text on a computer screen? Personally, I think more essays should be written rather than typed. It adds character and incorporates the personality of the author. You can tell a lot about a person by their handwriting, and hopefully we won’t reach a time where we can’t write anymore.
I just got back from work, so bear with me on the fact that this post is about movies and not books. Should Hollywood continue to remake classic films, especially if they’re based on books (see, now it relates)? Last year, The Great Gatsby was released. Now this movie is based on a book that already has a film adaptation. I’m not saying that the newest version is lame (because it was AMAZING) but I’m saying that it’s strange that people think we need to do more remakes. Footloose, an 80s classic was recently remade with a little bit of a more modern edge. This was all fine and dandy but hardcore fans may have seen this as just trying to revive something that didn’t need resuscitating in the first place. I just think it’s strange that there is an apparent need to remake movies that already have been made. Like how long are we going to wait until we start remaking the Harry Potter movies? Now that I think of it, you don’t see authors doing that with books. Why do we remake movies? Is it a marketing gimmick to make fans buy more merchandise then they did when the movie first came out? Or is it to bring back those feelings you get seeing that movie? When and if they do remake the Harry Potter movies, I will probably be as emotional and excited about them as I was when I was young. I’ll be like that parent who freaks out when an 80s song comes on the radio that they remember. Maybe we remake movies because we have no choice to, we’ve run out of originality and creativity, the spark of imagination is gone. When that happens, I don’t know what we will do. Probably remake more movies.
Lately for some reason, this has been bothering me. I used to be able to do things years ago, and when I try to do them, I just can’t seem to with the same talent that I once had. For instance, take drawing: growing up, I thought for sure that I was going to be an artist. I took a lot of art classes and was always drawing in my free time. People would compliment my works and I felt that they were good and would be able to get me somewhere in life, even though I didn’t know at the time how slim the chances were of a young artist becoming a millionaire overnight. However, a couple of years ago, I got too busy and was focusing more on my studies in general and I didn’t have time for art, something I had once loved so much. Now, when I try to draw something, it is never as good as I could’ve done it years ago. This saddens me to know that I have lost something that I enjoyed so much. Also, I used to play piano. I would spend time practicing, having a natural knack for playing by ear. However, I gave that up in 4th grade for basketball. Now I pursue neither basketball nor piano, and the latter is something I regret. My grandma always wanted me to play piano so I feel obligated to her as well as myself to play. Now, when I see a piano, I don’t even know where to start. Hopefully I can get back to it someday. Why do we lose talents that we seemed to love so much? Maybe we should start focusing on flourishing the talents we love and enjoying them in the process so we don’t end up regretting things in life.
Everyone always says it’s the best four years of your life, the ones you’ll never forget, and I for one agree. So bear with me because this is a cliché post on everyone’s favorite thing to hate: high school. Personally, I freaking love high school, I love every aspect of it, even the drama. To me, that makes it so much more like high school. For some reason when I say these things, people think I’m crazy and need serious help. But high school is honestly one of the best things that ever happened to me, like if I would’ve been homechooled I think I would’ve ran away. I love the work and the people and the craziness of it all. Especially in my school, where not a day goes by that something spontaneous happens. However, like all things in life, I’m going to have regrets. I’m going to regret that I wasn’t as involved, that I didn’t join show choir, that I didn’t meet more people. But we have to look past those regrets and remember all the great times we had with the people we did meet. We have to remember that even through the bad times, high school is temporary. Life goes on. But even so, we need to cherish it while we still can because it is truly, I believe, the best freaking four years of anyone’s life, especially if they choose to make it that way. So do what you want, try out for the musical, take another AP class (since you already have five, why not even it out at six?), ask that guy you’ve been fawning over to prom, because when you have your high school reunion, you want to say, “I can’t believe I did all that!” rather than, “I wish I would’ve done more.”
These days, everyone is focused on the science, medical, and mathematical fields. After the USSR launched Sputnik into space in 1969, the Space Race between us and them was on. NASA was founded and jobs in science and math were highly sought upon, all to produce better and faster technology that would make us unprecedented globally. Nowadays, and even locally in my own school, there are classes specifically for S.T.E.M. jobs, or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These jobs, for some reason, are highly fought for. A lot of people I know are going to major in different branches of engineering. Rockwell Collins is a local industry where I live and many people need degrees that relate to S.T.E.M. jobs. However, the people racing to become physicists and chemists are trampling the people who want to be writers or historians. I would like to major in history education when I go to college and hopefully end up teaching world history to high schoolers. We need to know our roots before we create new branches. People may ask why we need to care about history or reading, and I honestly can’t answer that. I just care about them because I enjoy them and I want other people to do the same. History is so intriguing to me, you can learn all about the past, a place you can never ever travel to (unless the science people I mentioned above figure out time travel or the Tardis pays a visit). My friends at least understand my love for the past because they bought me an AP world history textbook for my birthday. But some people will never understand. This goes for writers and musicians as well; people who want to publish the next great American novel, or write a hit song that will stay at the top of the charts for weeks are looked down upon, and even scorned by society, especially by those older than us. Maybe it is because of their experience, or maybe it is because they had similar dreams that had to be given up for practicality and security. Schools also discreetly force science and math into curriculums in the hopes that it will spark something in a student who isn’t willing. Personally, I believe by the time you’re in high school or if you know for sure what you want to do, you should be able to plan your coursework accordingly. I always joke that the only math I really want to know is the history of math, not math itself. Basically, governments support and fund science because it is seen as an economic and technological gain to them. History has shown what can happen when governments get too hungry for war and defense. The Cold War is a good example of this. The USA and USSR were the superpowers of the world at the time with the nuclear means to completely obliterate each other. There were many close calls, especially with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. This is just one event that we can use to tell future generations the consequences of increased technologies used for negative purposes. In conclusion, I believe that more emphasis should be placed on history and especially the arts, like how many times do your parents get excited when a song from the 80s comes on? People remember places, events, leaders. When equations and formulas fail, history makes up for it.
Everybody wonders where they are going to go when they die. Christians believe that if they believe in God they will go to heaven when they die. Buddhists believe in reincarnation, that their soul will continue in another living organism. These concepts of life after death are interesting and can also be controversial. Author Mary Roach turns away from the spiritual aspect of life after death and does in-depth research on the physical in the book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. In this book, Roach introduces the reader to what happens to their physical bodies after they take their last breaths. Some bodies are naturally donated to the science and medical field so students can learn more about how the human body functions. Others are used for unorthodox purposes, like crash test dummies, or even to prove a point about the crucifixion of Jesus. This book was astoundingly factual with a whole lot of comedic relief from some of the more gory sections of the book. The author used footnotes to enrich what she was talking about and I feel that I learned a lot while reading it. It takes a lot of complex writing to make the reader feel nauseous from gore and laughter at the same time. I’ve never been into morbid and gory books but this one was definitely an exception. In my previous posts I have talked about how I really like historical novels, whether it be fiction or nonfiction. This book also involves the historical side of cadavers and I found that really interesting. Now before you judge me for being interested in dead bodies (I’m Hayley, not Hannibal) read the book. I never thought a book about cadavers would be hilarious but this one proved me wrong. Basically, if you are looking to read an educational but hilarious book about dead people, this would be the one to go with. This book has also been considered kind of controversial because of the lighthearted way Roach talks about the dearly departed. I liked it however because we as a society always make death a serious event, at least in America. In Mexico, they celebrate Día de Los Muertos, where they are happy that the deceased had a good life with great memories. If you have read this book, what do you think about the author’s nonchalant perspective on depicting the dead?