Sunday, May 1, 2011

Panic and Doom/Book Life 13: In Which the Recent Graduate Comes to Terms with Said Graduation and Buries Her Panic in Books

Well, here we are: the very first post-graduation blog post. As of about 10 pm Friday the 29th, I became an alumna of Florida State with a BA in Religion, minor in Women's Studies; a BA with honors in Women's Studies, minor in Religion; and a BA in Creative Writing, minor in Latin. Since then, I have had about 3 panic attacks and at least one minor breakdown. Yes, I'm happy and proud of myself; after all, this is something I've been looking forward to for quite some time now. The entire seven years I was out of school, all I could think of was getting back in and finishing what I started, and I finally did--three times over. But now, without homework and classes, I am utterly lost. When I graduated high school, I knew I was headed off to college, so everything was cool. Now, I have no plan. With the Religion department rejecting me yet again, I have been left to wander about in my own ruminations, and as anyone who knows me well will tell you, my ruminations are no place to wander aimlessly.

Thus, I have spent the last week or so since the official "hell no" from the department showed up in my mailbox going over and over my choices. First of all, I HAVE to get a job, which is much easier said than done in this town, open availability or not. Anna needs a break, and we need to pay bills. Second, I have to figure out what happens next. There is a short list of schools that I would love to attend for my MA/PhD, and there's also Teach for America, which embodies many of my most deeply held ideals about changing the world. Of course, any of those choices hinge on my acceptance to said program, none of which are simple to get into, and who wants to give me enough of a financial package. Right now, though, I just need a paycheck.

Okay, enough of my panicked existential angst about the future...since I am no longer writing papers and studying for tests, I once again have time to read whatever the hell I want for the first time in ages. :-)

Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card
"Who cares if a mathematician calls us dirty names like 'unreal'? They say such slanders about the square root of minus two as well."--Diko, in Pastwatch
I first read this book several years ago and fell in love with it. Normally, I am not that much of an Orson Scott Card fan--not that he isn't great, but just not one of my favorites. This particular book, however, is neither part of any of his series nor like any of his other writings as far as I can tell. Written from a far future vantage point, the human race has just been through a century of warfare, famine, and other horrors and is now living in a time of peace and plenty. They've developed what is called Pastwatch, which has built machines capable of looking at the past. As it progresses, they figure out that they are actually capable of changing the past as well, and one scholar discovers that Christopher Columbus may very well be the point at which all future conquest and evil began. I won't go on, because, you know, spoilers, but rest assured it is worth the read. Even if sci-fi isn't usually your thing, Pastwatch should be on your to-read list, if for no other reason than Card has discovered the most seamless way of working historical research into fiction than I've seen in a long time.

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