The OF Blog: Reviewing plans for the next couple of weeks

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Reviewing plans for the next couple of weeks

Since I'm under the weather again and haven't even picked up a book for most of the past two days, it'll probably be this weekend at the earliest before I get around to reviewing the books voted on recently in the reader polls. Also, it might be a week or so before I run another one of those book selection polls, just because I'm drained (I've lost nearly 10 lbs. since Friday night) and the final exam schedule at my school is less than two weeks away (needless to say, me missing right now is not the best of timing). On the good news front, my fever broke this evening and I managed to sleep three hours of uninterrupted sleep, the first in five days. Waiting for my meds to kick in so I can sleep again, so I thought I'd write this little post.

But since most of you (I presume) come here for what I have to say and not for stories of my personal health, here's a question to consider: In regards to reading and/or learning, what areas would you like to improve upon the most?

For myself, it would be my ability to understand and to relate to others. This desire has driven me to learn a second language (Spanish), to begin work on several others (the other Romance languages and Serbian), and to try to read stories where people such as myself (Caucasian males) are not the center of attention. Learned much over the past few years, but still have a lot to go. So if any of you have ever wondered where I come across certain books that just don't seem to be readily available, just know that it's through long hours of searching and questioning others.

But again, what about you? What would you like to do to improve yourself?


Eric said...

I decided last year now that I am done with my Masters in English that I wanted to fill in the holes in my Canonical reading. So I started a reading plan where I will read Canonical works by period and culture. I started with the Ancient Greeks. Next will come the Romans, then Middle Ages, etc.

I am finding with the Greeks it is sometimes hard to keep on track as other works capture my attention or I simply grow tired of the style and aesthetics of the period. So I have given myself space to take breaks and read something different or modern every once in awhile.

I would like to learn a second language. Maybe Hebrew (whose symbols I can already read, but don't understand the words I am actually reading). Maybe Spanish as that would be practical to learn for a job. Maybe Italian because there are certain authors like Leopardi and Dante that I want to read in the original. I need to really set myself goals and find an effective method of learning these languages. Any tips?

I have also recently wanted to break into new areas of the arts. I am learning more about Concert music, which I have always liked but never fully understood. I want to learn more about painting. I would even love to brush up on my math skills at some point, and science. In some ways, I feel like I am focusing too heavily on the Humanities.

Terry Weyna said...

I'm constantly annoyed at the number of classics I haven't read, despite having graduated college with a degree in Humanities (concentration in speech and English). I've not read Eliott's Middlemarch, for instance, and despite three major attempts, I've never gotten all the way through Moby-Dick. I've never read any of the Russians except Nabokov and a smattering of Solzhenitsyn, I've read the Inferno but no other works by Italians, no works by French authors except some Sartre and Camus, no Germans. And we're just talking literature here; let's not even get into philosophy or history!

My husband has a PhD in English, and has promised to give me a graduate-level seminar in Moby-Dick this summer. He's written up a syllabus and everything. We've talked about doing this for years. I'm looking forward to it.

Beyond that -- well, all I can do is spend every spare moment reading, and that is, in fact, exactly what I do.

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