School and the Cost of Books

Taking a break is nice. I like to relax for a little while and let myself recharge. Especially when it comes to school, since early February can be a very busy time for assignments and such.

I hate to admit it but I spent more time goofing around and reading comic books, than getting ahead in my work. Honestly, I wish I had made the decision to get ahead in my readings but I didn’t like the books we were currently doing for school, and I wanted to take a break from reading novels. Being an English Major takes the fun out of books. A large majority of my classmates agree with me. There is a difference in being allowed to choose what you want to read versus being told what you have to read and not only do you have to read it, you have to tear it apart and find all the possible metaphors, and focus on the ideas behind the text…. Let’s make reading fun again? Can’t we do it where we study a book for a month, and really go into depth with it? Rather than cramming an entire novel in one week? I had books I was interested in reading, but couldn’t get to because I had to read a book I absolutely hated for an essay due the same week. The thing with English is that as long as you’re attending class, you can get a rough idea of what the book is about (depending on your professor).

Thinking about reading shouldn’t make me cringe. It should make me excited, like it used to when I was a kid. I still love to go to Chapters and browse, but now I find that I’m leaning more towards buying comics because it doesn’t drain me. Most of the time I finish them within a half hour. It doesn’t bother me that I finish them quickly, but I don’t feel the need to rush my reading, and I don’t feel as though I am obligated to continue with a book that I’m not enjoying.

I have several novels that I’ve either bought for pleasure or that have given to me as gifts, and I haven’t had then chance to read any of them.

Sometimes if a book for school doesn’t interest me, I don’t even bother purchasing it from our bookstore because it costs too much money. I can’t justify buying a novel that is $30. I have bills to pay, and I need to eat. I try to find some of the books at Chapters and for some reason they never have them in stock. I find this a bit strange…and of course, I have more own theories as to why this is, but it is possible that it is just that these books are unpopular.

At least when one is studying Shakespeare, it is easy to get access to his work online, as it is free to the public domain. It doesn’t cost a penny. If I don’t already own the play, I can pull it up and read it, or watch/listen to a performance on YouTube. I don’t have to worry about missing anything, and I don’t feel any sort of stress because I didn’t have the money to spend on the play.

I can’t understand how they can charge so much for books? The textbooks that my sister purchased are around $100 each. She needed about four of them for the entire year. With English and Language studies, they make you purchase several books between $20 and $30, weekly and or biweekly, in order to get the same amount of money out of you that they would with someone in Business, Psychology or Mathematics. It’s ridiculous the amount that they charge us for books on top of our classes, and for many first year students, on top of their residence fees.

As students, we shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not we should spend our $100 monthly budget on food or books.

The reason that myself, and many other students that I have spoken to about this, have stopped purchasing all of our books at the beginning of the year is because one cannot guarantee whether or not they will get their money’s worth out of the book. Why am I going to purchase a $60 Anthology on 20th Century British Literature, when I only need to read 3 pages of the entire textbook? Why would I spend $25 on a novel that I have will not have time to read, and may possible dread if there will be approximately 15 novels throughout the entirety of the course and I will have to option to write on at least 10 of them for the exam? Of course I’m going to choose buying food and paying my rent over spending a ridiculous amount of money on books that I may not read.

This is why it is easier to buy one or two books at a time for my courses, versus getting all of them at once. On top of that, you don’t get you $400 back. I attempted to return my books to our school bookstore last year, and got $42 for them. Many of the books they wouldn’t take back because they weren’t sure if they’d be used next year. For books that I had spent over $20, I may have only received 10 cents for them. Some I got a $1 or $2 for. It was ridiculous. From now on, I feel as though it would be better if I sold my books elsewhere or if I donated them. The majority of the books I’ve been forced to read for my courses, I really haven’t enjoyed. There are a few gems that I plan on keeping in my collection, but the remainder I’d rather get rid of. I don’t have a need for them, nor do I have the space. Still, it would be nice to earn back some of what I had spent on them, as they weren’t cheap.

I didn’t plan on writing this, but it has been bugging me all year.

I hope you’re all enjoying the weekend,

R.

Break Time

I’m finally on break from school. After this week I definitely need it. I plan on making the most of my time off, editing, writing, drawing etc. I’m glad I can finally take a breather. Only two months to go until school is over. Woo!

Hopefully I can get ahead on some of my readings for school as well, while I’m off…and fix my sleep schedule. No more staying up till 3 am. It can’t be good for anyone to be staying up past midnight and then get up early in the morning.

Until next time,

–R.

Why School? Why?

Although I told myself that I wasn’t going to order food again for the rest of the month…I ended up doing so due to the fact that I’ve spent my week doing homework and I’m completely drained. I’m not even finished my work yet…although I hope to be able to relax by at least 8 or 9pm.

After my busy day tomorrow…I’ll be free. Free I say!

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Until then, back to work.

–R.

You Feel Me?: Conveying Emotion in My Work

At the moment, I am currently working on an essay.

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“Where did all this homework come from!” (Image from Golden Time).

 

Fun right? Well, the information I’m gathering is kind of interesting. I also think my topic and thesis are cool…so that’s a start.

I did update my novel the other day with a really humorous chapter. I don’t think I’ve ever actually laughed that much while writing. I don’t know if it was because it was late at night and I was tired, or because it was actually funny. I’d like to think it was actually funny. I’ll find out when I edit later.

Whenever I actually feel what I’m putting down, I know that I’ll be satisfied with the final product. That’s why I don’t like to write about things I don’t know about…it isn’t that I refuse to do so, but I feel like it isn’t genuine and I don’t like to force emotion into my writing. I want the emotion to be real. If I’m not feeling anything, then I don’t think it is worth keeping. It took me a lot of trial and error when writing romance between characters when I first started.

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(Quote from 2D-Kun. Golden Time).

 

I know that there are some twelve and thirteen year olds out there who are in relationships, and claim to know everything there is to know about love. I wasn’t one of those kids. I’m not afraid to admit to it. I had people I liked, but I’d never dated anyone. My first experience with heartbreak was when I was sixteen…and it wasn’t because I was dumped.

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“Boo hoo! My heart hath been broken!” (Found on Google).

 

I wasn’t in a relationship at all.

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“Stop. Get some help.” (Image From Golden Time).

It was that experience that opened my eyes to this flaw in my writing. I stopped trying to write about those types of intimate relationships, because I finally had some understanding of how they actually worked. Instead I wrote what I knew. I knew about liking someone, but not wanting to ruin my friendship with them. I knew what heartbreak felt like, and realized that I am capable of jealousy…an emotion I hadn’t truly felt before to that degree. When I started to write the things I knew, I was actually feeling the emotion in my words.

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I didn’t have to pull a rabbit out of a hat to write about these things because I understood the feelings I wanted to convey. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been able to write about different aspects of relationships. Either things I’ve experienced, or that people close to me have gone through. Sometimes, I’ll admit, using another persons experience is difficult but it is still better than trying to conjure up some plastic emotion that you have no clue what to do with.

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Boo from Monsters Inc.

 

Just because you write fiction doesn’t mean that you can’t be honest.

 

Anyway, I’d better get going. I still have a few more articles to look at.

Till next time,

–R.

Why Stress Out When You Can Write?

I’m in the mood to do some writing right now, and although I have to prepare a rough thesis for this week I find that stressing over what to write goes away when I write something else first. So a little novel-writing tonight, and hopefully after some more brainstorming I’ll have a good idea as to what I want to do for my thesis.

I’d like to see what my characters are up to. They’ve been begging me to give them attention lately, but priorities…homework comes first (or at least…I try to put it first).

Until next time,

–R.

Rejection Letter

So I received the dreaded rejection letter, which included no feedback from the editing board. I know right? Annoying.

My Dad seemed pretty concerned that I would forever be discouraged from writing, and so he had Mom call me. Last time he did that was when he thought I was upset over a breakup. I told him I wasn’t angry at least three times before my Mom called me the next day to ask about the rejection.

“I’m not mad. A little disappointed, but otherwise I don’t care. At least I tried.” I told her, while standing in the basement of the library.

“Good. You don’t wanna let things like that get to you.”

And that was that.

I understand why my Dad worries about me, but when it comes to the things that I love there is nothing that can discourage me enough to stop. I couldn’t possibly stop…my work is an extension of who I am. I’m a writer. I write.

There are people who get hundreds of rejections on a single work before it gets published. It isn’t the end of the world.

“Don’t let your dreams be dreams.”  — Shia LaBeouf.

–R.


Yes, I used to watch shows about Pharaoh’s playing children’s card games….

Poetry Festival Contest

Originally posted on POETRY FESTIVAL. Submit to site for FREE. Submit for actor performance. Submit poem to be made into film. : Deadline February 15th. Submit a poem that’s about something DARK and get it made into a movie. Accepting any poetry in any genre or length that’s about DARKNESS in any way. All poems will be…

via DARK Poetry Contest (Winner gets poem made into film) — WILDsound Writing and Film Festival Review

Thought some of you guys might be interested in entering this contest!

–R.