10 course readings that are totally worth it
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.