The Natatorium

An emporium of oddities from around the world, complete with somewhat informative plaques that almost never match the item they are meant to be describing.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Back Where I Belong

Today was the first day of classes, and while the semester seems somewhat daunting at times, I finally feel like I'm back where I need to be. I've felt strangely on edge all summer long... perhaps it's because I knew so many things were about to change (which always causes me anxiety) or because I simply had too much free time to sit around and fret about things, or maybe it was just hormonal imbalance (which is looking more and more plausible by the day). The bottom line is, at this point in my life, I strangely enough feel more sane when I'm in school than when I'm not; I might even go as far as to say that I like the person I am in the world of University than the person I am when I'm just working part time and become preoccupied with my social relationships. It's a somewhat disturbing revelation in some aspects, i.e. is it really a good thing to like yourself better at *work* than in *relationships*? But I suppose I've known that for a long time. It comes down to confidence. I'm confident in the academic arena. It's my turf, and it makes me happy. In personal life, I'm afraid I can't say the same. I've never been confident socially, and this summer seems to have magnified that.

So in the end my summer was not particularly restful... it's the school year that is my salvation from the summer, not the other way around. Although, at the beginning of the summer, I felt like the summer was saving me from tense social relations with my school friends. So maybe I just need a break with things get too involved on one side or the other, maybe I can't stay in one social "place" for too long, or maybe my life's just been weird lately. This summer I was so afraid of "losing" friends that I kind of created my own destiny... true, one was set to leave anyway, but the other... was at least partially my fault. Mostly his fault, but partially mine too. I always try to hold on too tight, and it just makes everything worse. All of this only makes me believe even more that London will be *really* good for me.

Fortunately, I *did* do more this summer than create and deal with psychological and relational issues. I also read 7 books. They are:

"The Last Temptation of Christ" by Kazantzakis-- richly described "realistic" account of the life of Christ, if he had been as "human" as the rest of us.

"War's End" by Sweeny-- informative accound of why the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan. A "true history" from someone who lived it.

"The Gender Knot" by Johnson -- from my Intro to Women's studies class, a perfect introduction to the problems of patriarchy and how gender inequality still pervades our society. Friendly and frank.

"City of Ladies" by de Pizan-- short Medieval defense of women, which were continually slandered in philosophical and moral works of the time. one of the first pro-women texts.

"The Female Brain" by Brizendine-- brand new book exploring the neuropsychiatry of the female brain. Based on relatively new findings about how hormones affect behavior, great for anyone who wants to know why women sometimes act or feel the way they do (and why sometimes their reactions differ greatly from those of men) but is by no means a doctrine.

"Oscar and Lucinda" by Carey-- beautifully written novel with an original plot. A fantastic read.

And I can't remember the last one. But anyway.

What did you read this summer?


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