10 course readings that are totally worth it

{source}

In college, if you aren't sleeping, eating or pretending to work out while you actually order in Mexican food with the roomie, you're reading. You're reading a lot.

If I could have told my pre-college self one thing, it would have been to welcome hundreds and hundreds of pages of reading a week with open arms and settle in. Each semester one of my goals is always to try to read a book or two for fun, but honestly once school is in full swing, I'm just trying to keep up.

It's unfortunate, but sometimes the work gets too overwhelming that I don't really get to enjoy what I'm reading and learning. And it's something I'm working on--because I do believe passion is a key part to success and personal development. I should engage with course material as best as possible. It would be a shame to go through the next four semesters of work and not stop to smell the roses.

Today I decided to take a look through the past four semesters' worth of folders, computer files, books and syllabi. It was an interesting walk down memory lane--the last two years at Yale, as told by my crazy reading schedule. Some book and article titles had me cringing, some I don't remember at all (sorry professors!) and some I can't help but smile at.

Here are a few of my favorites. These are the readings that engaged me most in class discussions. I find I keep them in mind constantly--eager to discuss the material with anyone who'd listen.

1. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. This is one of my all-time favorite books. I read it for fun my senior year of high school and was thrilled to see it on the syllabus for my freshman year English class. Set in a dystopic near-future, Never Let Me Go tells the story of Kathy, Ruth and Tommy who unravel the secrets of their seemingly idyllic childhood and face the future society has coldly set out for them.

2.  Style: the Basics of Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams. This book had some really useful tips on writing concisely and effectively. It was a life-saver when writing my essays. I kind of wish I had bought the book instead of rented it--I could definitely use it now!

3. Righteous Dopefiend by Philippe Bourgois and Jeffrey Schonberg. I read this for my cultural anthropology class. A lot of times we think of anthropologists running off to far-away, exotic places to study the people, culture and traditions. Righteous Dopefiend did a wonderful job showing how each society needs to look itself in the mirror. This ethnography delves into the lives of homeless heroin addicts living in San Francisco--shining light on issues many Americans don't like to face, like violence, tensions between races, and a social and government system that is often unforgiving to the  plight of those who simply fall through the cracks.

4. Les Rites de Passage by Arnold van Gennep. I've only read sections of it, but this is definitely making the list. Van Gennep's exploration into the stages of rites of passages, particularly the liminal period, has changed the way I look and observe even the most simple and mundane of worldly activities. 

5. Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? by Lila Abu-Lughod.  Wonderful article and a perfect introduction to our class discussion of cultural relativism. 

6. Death Without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday life in Brazil by Nancy Scheper-Hughes. Again--I've only read parts of this but can't wait to get my hands on my very own copy. Scheper-Hughes investigates the lives of poverty-stricken women living in the shanty-towns of Brazil. It made my discussion section question our standards of love and the lengths people are willing to go to survive. 

7. Urban Diaries by Walter Hood. When sociology and architecture mix: accounting for life's realities in architectural design. 

8. Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity. My seminar class started reading this just as the Boston Marathon bombings occurred. The authors develop an interesting theory of cultural trauma--how societies engage with and collectively react to unexpected, identity-shaking events (like the Boston bombings and September 11). 

9. "A Crisis About the Theology of Children" by Robert A. Orsi. This article provided an interesting interpretation of what's caused this outbreak of church sex abuse scandals. As someone who didn't know much about the scandals before and made quick judgments about the adults involved, I appreciated Orsi's take on the matter. 

10. Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics by Marc J. Hetherington and Jonathan D. Weiler. The authors present the idea that the American political polarization we see today is rooted in people's approval or rejection of authoritarian values. This is a fascinating look into how personality traits--characteristics that are arguably static throughout our lives--can predict political affiliations. 

It was kind of hard to choose just ten! 

Have a lovely Tuesday! 

xx marisol 

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

/* Posts ----------------------------------------------- */ .date-header { margin:0 28px 0 43px; font-size:85%; line-height:2em; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#357; } .post { margin:.3em 0 25px; padding:0 13px; border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:1px 0; } .post-title { margin:0; font-size:135%; line-height:1.5em; background:url("http://www.blogblog.com/rounders/icon_arrow.gif") no-repeat 10px .5em; display:block; border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:0 1px 1px; padding:2px 14px 2px 29px; color:#333; } a.title-link, .post-title strong { text-decoration:none; display:block; } a.title-link:hover { background-color:#ded; color:#000; } .post-body { border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:0 1px 1px; border-bottom-color:#fff; padding:10px 14px 1px 29px; } html>body .post-body { border-bottom-width:0; } .post p { margin:0 0 .75em; } p.post-footer { background:#ded; margin:0; padding:2px 14px 2px 29px; border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:1px; border-bottom:1px solid #eee; font-size:100%; line-height:1.5em; color:#666; text-align:right; } html>body p.post-footer { border-bottom-color:transparent; } p.post-footer em { display:block; float:left; text-align:left; font-style:normal; } a.comment-link { /* IE5.0/Win doesn't apply padding to inline elements, so we hide these two declarations from it */ background/* */:/**/url("http://www.blogblog.com/rounders/icon_comment.gif") no-repeat 0 45%; padding-left:14px; } html>body a.comment-link { /* Respecified, for IE5/Mac's benefit */ background:url("http://www.blogblog.com/rounders/icon_comment.gif") no-repeat 0 45%; padding-left:14px; } .post img { margin:0 0 5px 0; padding:4px; border:1px solid #ccc; } blockquote { margin:.75em 0; border:1px dotted #ccc; border-width:1px 0; padding:5px 15px; color:#666; } .post blockquote p { margin:.5em 0; } /* Comments ----------------------------------------------- */ #comments { margin:-25px 13px 0; border:1px dotted #ccc; border-width:0 1px 1px; padding:20px 0 15px 0; } #comments h4 { margin:0 0 10px; padding:0 14px 2px 29px; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; font-size:120%; line-height:1.4em; color:#333; } #comments-block { margin:0 15px 0 9px; } .comment-data { background:url("http://www.blogblog.com/rounders/icon_comment.gif") no-repeat 2px .3em; margin:.5em 0; padding:0 0 0 20px; color:#666; } .comment-poster { font-weight:bold; } .comment-body { margin:0 0 1.25em; padding:0 0 0 20px; } .comment-body p { margin:0 0 .5em; } .comment-timestamp { margin:0 0 .5em; padding:0 0 .75em 20px; color:#666; } .comment-timestamp a:link { color:#666; } .deleted-comment { font-style:italic; color:gray; } .paging-control-container { float: right; margin: 0px 6px 0px 0px; font-size: 80%; } .unneeded-paging-control { visibility: hidden; } /* Profile ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #profile-container { background:#cdc url("http://www.blogblog.com/rounders/corners_prof_bot.gif") no-repeat left bottom; margin:0 0 15px; padding:0 0 10px; color:#345; } #profile-container h2 { background:url("http://www.blogblog.com/rounders/corners_prof_top.gif") no-repeat left top; padding:10px 15px .2em; margin:0; border-width:0; font-size:115%; line-height:1.5em; color:#234; } } @media handheld { #profile-container { background:#cdc; } #profile-container h2 { background:none; } } .profile-datablock { margin:0 15px .5em; border-top:1px dotted #aba; padding-top:8px; } .profile-img {display:inline;} .profile-img img { float:left; margin:0 10px 5px 0; border:4px solid #fff; } .profile-data strong { display:block; } #profile-container p { margin:0 15px .5em; } #profile-container .profile-textblock { clear:left; } #profile-container a { color:#258; } .profile-link a { background:url("http://www.blogblog.com/rounders/icon_profile.gif") no-repeat 0 .1em; padding-left:15px; font-weight:bold; } ul.profile-datablock { list-style-type:none; } /* Sidebar Boxes ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { .box { background:#fff url("http://www.blogblog.com/rounders/corners_side_top.gif") no-repeat left top; margin:0 0 15px; padding:10px 0 0; color:#666; } .box2 { background:url("http://www.blogblog.com/rounders/corners_side_bot.gif") no-repeat left bottom; padding:0 13px 8px; } } @media handheld { .box { background:#fff; } .box2 { background:none; } } .sidebar-title { margin:0; padding:0 0 .2em; border-bottom:1px dotted #9b9; font-size:115%; line-height:1.5em; color:#333; } .box ul { margin:.5em 0 1.25em; padding:0 0px; list-style:none; } .box ul li { background:url("http://www.blogblog.com/rounders/icon_arrow_sm.gif") no-repeat 2px .25em; margin:0; padding:0 0 3px 16px; margin-bottom:3px; border-bottom:1px dotted #eee; line-height:1.4em; } .box p { margin:0 0 .6em; } /* Footer ----------------------------------------------- */ #footer { clear:both; margin:0; padding:15px 0 0; } @media all { #footer div { background:#456 url("http://www.blogblog.com/rounders/corners_cap_top.gif") no-repeat left top; padding:8px 0 0; color:#fff; } #footer div div { background:url("http://www.blogblog.com/rounders/corners_cap_bot.gif") no-repeat left bottom; padding:0 15px 8px; } } @media handheld { #footer div { background:#456; } #footer div div { background:none; } } #footer hr {display:none;} #footer p {margin:0;} #footer a {color:#fff;} /* Feeds ----------------------------------------------- */ #blogfeeds { } #postfeeds { padding:0 15px 0; }

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

10 course readings that are totally worth it


In college, if you aren't sleeping, eating or pretending to work out while you actually order in Mexican food with the roomie, you're reading. You're reading a lot.

If I could have told my pre-college self one thing, it would have been to welcome hundreds and hundreds of pages of reading a week with open arms and settle in. Each semester one of my goals is always to try to read a book or two for fun, but honestly once school is in full swing, I'm just trying to keep up.

It's unfortunate, but sometimes the work gets too overwhelming that I don't really get to enjoy what I'm reading and learning. And it's something I'm working on--because I do believe passion is a key part to success and personal development. I should engage with course material as best as possible. It would be a shame to go through the next four semesters of work and not stop to smell the roses.

Today I decided to take a look through the past four semesters' worth of folders, computer files, books and syllabi. It was an interesting walk down memory lane--the last two years at Yale, as told by my crazy reading schedule. Some book and article titles had me cringing, some I don't remember at all (sorry professors!) and some I can't help but smile at.

Here are a few of my favorites. These are the readings that engaged me most in class discussions. I find I keep them in mind constantly--eager to discuss the material with anyone who'd listen.

1. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. This is one of my all-time favorite books. I read it for fun my senior year of high school and was thrilled to see it on the syllabus for my freshman year English class. Set in a dystopic near-future, Never Let Me Go tells the story of Kathy, Ruth and Tommy who unravel the secrets of their seemingly idyllic childhood and face the future society has coldly set out for them.

2.  Style: the Basics of Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams. This book had some really useful tips on writing concisely and effectively. It was a life-saver when writing my essays. I kind of wish I had bought the book instead of rented it--I could definitely use it now!

3. Righteous Dopefiend by Philippe Bourgois and Jeffrey Schonberg. I read this for my cultural anthropology class. A lot of times we think of anthropologists running off to far-away, exotic places to study the people, culture and traditions. Righteous Dopefiend did a wonderful job showing how each society needs to look itself in the mirror. This ethnography delves into the lives of homeless heroin addicts living in San Francisco--shining light on issues many Americans don't like to face, like violence, tensions between races, and a social and government system that is often unforgiving to the  plight of those who simply fall through the cracks.

4. Les Rites de Passage by Arnold van Gennep. I've only read sections of it, but this is definitely making the list. Van Gennep's exploration into the stages of rites of passages, particularly the liminal period, has changed the way I look and observe even the most simple and mundane of worldly activities. 

5. Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? by Lila Abu-Lughod.  Wonderful article and a perfect introduction to our class discussion of cultural relativism. 

6. Death Without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday life in Brazil by Nancy Scheper-Hughes. Again--I've only read parts of this but can't wait to get my hands on my very own copy. Scheper-Hughes investigates the lives of poverty-stricken women living in the shanty-towns of Brazil. It made my discussion section question our standards of love and the lengths people are willing to go to survive. 

7. Urban Diaries by Walter Hood. When sociology and architecture mix: accounting for life's realities in architectural design. 

8. Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity. My seminar class started reading this just as the Boston Marathon bombings occurred. The authors develop an interesting theory of cultural trauma--how societies engage with and collectively react to unexpected, identity-shaking events (like the Boston bombings and September 11). 

9. "A Crisis About the Theology of Children" by Robert A. Orsi. This article provided an interesting interpretation of what's caused this outbreak of church sex abuse scandals. As someone who didn't know much about the scandals before and made quick judgments about the adults involved, I appreciated Orsi's take on the matter. 

10. Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics by Marc J. Hetherington and Jonathan D. Weiler. The authors present the idea that the American political polarization we see today is rooted in people's approval or rejection of authoritarian values. This is a fascinating look into how personality traits--characteristics that are arguably static throughout our lives--can predict political affiliations. 

It was kind of hard to choose just ten! 

Have a lovely Tuesday! 

xx marisol 

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home