Posts Tagged ‘ Wentworth ’

College Week 2 and Why I Don’t “Like” The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao

No, I have not deceased. I am, in fact, very much alive and well. I’m currently in my second week of classes. As much as it felt like we “hit the ground running” I’m still bracing myself for what I anticipate to be a tidal wave of work.

I’ve been doing ok so far — except for the fact that I haven’t been taking the time to properly list my assignments. That had not really been a problem until today. Last night more precisely, I realized that I had not even looked at the reading for my bio class which I had today. I ended up reading a couple chapters of bio in between classes today (mind you that Tuesday is one of my two busiest days).

I did fine in class but also decided that there will not be a repeat performance.

The issue is that it takes time to plan your assignments. It takes time to implement software solutions to keep all of your work organized. I started doing this last week. It was taking a lot of time, I was tired and had a couple assignments due so I just did them and got some sleep. I guess I’ll be revisiting discussions of how to get WebDAV working on my server…

I finally know why I don’t like (to put it mildly) Junot Diaz’s book The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I’ve distilled my intense dislike for the Pulitzer prize winning novel. I can sum it up in one word. Disappointed.

We have been discussing the book in my (awesome by the way) English class (along with themes such as deliberate living and social programing).
Today, Junot Diaz came to the school to do a reading and answer questions about the book.
As I was listening to him talk it all kind of fell into place. Even though he seemed to distance the book from his own experiences growing up, I saw a lot of very direct parallels between the characters and symbolisms in the book and experiences/characters in his own story. I understand his book much better, more deeply. While I whole heartedly agree that it is very complex and excellently crafted, the reasons for my persistent disillusion with this book came clear.

It is simply this. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is like a defeated hero. The book is boldly written and it’s very structure begs a critical, deeper-than-the-surface consideration. It sets out boldly to accomplish great things – things which it ultimately (after many painful reiterations of the same struggle) unceremoniously surrenders.

The worst part however isn’t the surrender – it’s the fact that he, in his novel defines success as (or finds success in) the very things he sets out to so boldly challenge.
Granted that this could be a device – a means to an end – but according to the author, his goal (and what he seems to think he has accomplished) is victory.

For example, he says that he sought to bring out that life is difficult but beautiful. As the reader – the beauty was completely lost on me (something for which I blame the author’s lack of bring it out). He attacks, head on, the issues of his culture’s (sudo) definition of manhood. He does this (in his own words) by creating a character which is the antithesis of this macho “manhood”. He says that this is an exploration of who people really are – a foray outside of the “mask” that people wear to fit in. In the story, you might think that this character would embrace who he is and find success outside of the prescribed cultural “box”. Wrong. In order to accomplish “manhood” (symbolized by getting laid) he has to become the “macho man” that Diaz rebels against.

So, either we conclude that the author miserably failed to deliver – allowing the spirit of the novel to fall flat on it’s face and grovel in the dirt of tragic despair, or that it was simply written to be a celebration of the morbid and tragic.

*sighs* I think that’s it for now. I need to go to bed. Hopefully I’ll be able to dig something out of this to use as a spring board for my essay… I have to incorporate some aspect of the book…

Physics at 8… I need to read the lab report.



Thanks Mommy!!

I finally have a roommate and suite mates 🙂

I stayed up far too late last night and spent today paying the price. In fact, I had just gotten up (or almost just) when two of the girls and their families arrived… Lol.

My mom took me out tonight and we got a bunch of kitchen stuff.
Our suite now has a well furnished kitchen. (I added to what everybody else brought.)

I can now really and truly cook. Everything is going to be alright. 🙂

It’s not that I cook a lot – it’s just that eating food I’ve prepared always gives me an extra confidence boost. I know I’m running on the best fuel possible.

Thanks Mommy! 🙂

I still have to do grocery shopping. I plan to do that Wednesday. My roommate did hers today. I have 4 classes tomorrow. I start at 8 and my last class ends around 5.

I’ve decided that I am going to try to join WIT’s crew club. I’m finally going to adopt a sport. 🙂 They have both men’s and women’s competitive rowing teams. I figure that since I get up early and usually exercise, this activity would fit in well with my schedule. They practice in the early part of the morning so that folks can be back for 8AM classes.


It’s far too late for this…

Good morning all,

It’s far too late for this. I should be soundly sleeping by now. Instead, I’m frantically writing html for my website. I think that possibly, as the syllabi and pre-class assignments roll in, I’m panicking and trying to get as much extra curricular (other life) stuff done before all of my time is monopolized.

I don’t think it’s gonna work however…I have orientation all day tomorrow and I’m gonna be toast. Well, maybe not cause I got to bed early last night…(I’m shaking my head at myself).

I should go to bed and get up early to do this.


P.S. Ooo! I just got a good idea for my website 🙂 – no, I’m not going to stay up to implement it…

Mosquito Ladies, Summer Reading, Murdoch and the BPS

My summer reading for Wentworth came today. 🙂 They assigned the Pulitzer Prize winner The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
So far, I find the narrative style to be a bit brash, and the entirety of the first 7 pages (chapter 1) discuss a superstitious curse and how powerful and unavoidable it is. I’ve also started to wonder if epithets aren’t just a tad bit overused (and I’ve only been reading for less than 5 minutes). So far they aren’t as widely used as in A Million Little Pieces. I’m hoping for a great underlying structure and relevant points. I always feel a bit jaded when reading fiction as there are so many great stories that actually happened, but this one looks promising.
So far, so good. Here it is 🙂

My first Moleskine notebook. (No, I’m not sure what all the hype is over Moleskines but I got this one because I heard that they are good notebooks, it was on sale and I needed another pocket note receptacle. I love it so far.)


This is one of my other, self assigned summer readings (along with Campbell’s Biology, physics, chemistry, some literature, inventory lists and a yet unknown Calculus book).

The Boston Public Schools is planning to relocate two high schools. As the daughter of a Hyde Park BPS teacher, I disagree with this move (for reasons I don’t currently have the time to discuss). Click here to read the article

Today, I went to the clinic so my physician could sign some papers for school. The “mosquito ladies” took some of my blood 😦 I miss it.

Why is this Murdoch story dominating the news? The fact that you control the news does NOT make you news! And the whistle-blower is dead? Who could have predicted that? With much power comes much corruption.

The nice folks from Wentworth reopened the English test and called me, saying that I could take it any time in the next few days. It’s done 🙂

Day 21
69 Dayz to go

Of English, (not) Blogging and College Wishlists.

I need to set aside blogging time – time that I can use to write about interesting things (not random, mundane life notes).

I am almost “bursting with excitement” today because one of my friends is having a baby! (I mustn’t say anymore just yet…online baby window shopping lol 🙂 )

Other than that, I’m working on getting out of a English 020 night class. I was accepted late, talked to the admissions office then tried to take the school’s online English placement exam but couldn’t, emailed them, didn’t get a reply, called someone today only to find out that the exam went offline yesterday. I had tried to take it over a week ago. By default, I have to start in an English 020 (remedial) night class, and I’m no longer eligible to test into English 1 Honors (English 125). I explained my situation to the woman at the office. She was friendly and said that she’d ask if I could be considered for English 125. I also (hopefully) will be able to take the placement test before classes start.

I was able to confirm that my name is on the housing wait-list and that I have a physical next week.

I’m looking for scholarships. If you know of any – please pass the information on!

I got the names of my books today I’ve put/am putting together a wishlist of the things I need for school. Click here to view it.

I’ve also been working out a tad little bit. I think I’m getting stronger 🙂

Day 16
74 Dayz to go

July 6th…and the fireworks continue

Hmm…July 6th. Some part of my brain has (subconsciously) been thinking that it’s August 3rd. I’m really not sure why.

Another fireworks video in tribute to those of my neighborhood who firmly believe that the fireworks should go on. I also took this video at this year’s Boston Pops Spectacular.

I talked to my financial aid counselor today. She was really nice. The aid – not so much. It does help however so I’m going to take courage and find a job. I can’t work during the school year since my aid package already includes about 75 hours of work study per semester. I’ve spent the majority of my day researching scholarships, and getting information on loans. In fact – I plan to spend large portions of the next week or so glued to my computer screen, looking for ways to buy that which I can’t afford: an education. (Audible groans)

To be honest, it’s almost funny (and tragic) how poor I am – or how little money is worth – or maybe it’s a combination of both. Oh well, I should make friends with England’s new princess or a celebrity.

I flubbed my health insurance waiver form which probably means I have to wait until next week sometime to get it fixed. At that point I should also find out who my academic adviser is so I can register for classes (before every last one is filled – I already am going to have a significantly less-than-optimal schedule). I think I am registered for micro-biology. (Celebrates.)

On to happier topics. 🙂 I am now an official member of the National Society of Black Engineers, and have a pending membership to the Society of Women Engineers. I feel accomplished. Unfortunately, all of the software I have access to as a NESB student is for Windows. I wish they’d fund copies of Bootcamp for Mac users (like myself).

Of things that are incredibly difficult: “we will remember the Lord our God… “who maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;”

I refuse to become overwhelmed. 🙂

Classes in the morning. TIE Project meeting in the afternoon. Job search: engaged.

First week: done.
82 Dayz to go

The eternal optimist

I have exactly 15 minutes to write today’s post if I am to post it before tomorrow (grr…time zones :-p ).

Big news: I got my acceptance letter from Wentworth Institute of Technology today! Bigger news is that I also got a $10,000 annual merit scholarship! Biggest news is that, starting in September, I will be a Biomedical Engineering major at WIT!

I’m am very excited and immensely grateful. This is truly an “in spite of” moment. In spite of everything that has happened this year, in spite of everything I didn’t know, in spite of the fact that the department was full – God is good.

The title of today’s post is from my father, quoting something the President said once: “I am the eternal optimist”. My father was very instrumental in making my application successful, and that has been his attitude throughout. He’s a “the glass is half full” kind of guy and he encouraged me to keep working on it, put my best forwards, and keep trying even after we were told that the department was full.

I’m thankful for my mom and Amon for helping me craft my application, and to all of my recommenders, supporters and friends who have been there when I wasn’t. I’m also thankful for my brother and their enthusiasm regarding me getting into school so one of them can have my room (which isn’t happening by the way 🙂 )

I want to mention my lil’ brother and one of my best friends, Jemuel since today is his birthday. “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you…happy birthday to youuuuuu – happy birthday to you!!)

Big day.

Day 2, 88 days to go

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