Quote of the Week

This is  probably is my favorite quote, which can be used in almost any situation

“So it goes”

Title: Slaughterhouse Five
Author: (the great and late) Kurt Vonnegut

This quote, usually said in reference to death in the novel, is stated 94 times. I, however, like to use it ironically. For example, a friend complains about not getting a raise/new job/scholarship. I say “So it goes” as a reference to bad luck and the unfairness of the odds that we will probably never get everything that we want in life – which no one really wants death. Only after extreme stress, depression, and a few life changing traumatic events such as going to war, losing a limb, watching other people you know die.

How do you use this quote? Does it have any other meanings? Can this quote be positive?

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Quote of the Week

Starting off a new series, Quote of the week. One of my favorite things about reading is that people (fictional or not) think differently and have different connotations to words. Reading helps me understand people and life in a different way.

These posts will be formatted in the following manner:

“[Quote Here]”

Title: of book/publication it’s from

Author: of book/publication it’s about (an interview with an author…etc)

A paragraph description of the actual meaning followed by a paragraph of my interpretation of the meaning as it relates to real life.

The last part will be discussion questions about the quote that readers are free to answer in the comment section of the blog.

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Lean In: Book Review

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Sheryl Sandberg has received more than her share of publicity as being Facebook’s chief operations officer. With her new book out, Lean In, it’s becoming more difficult to not hear her name on a regular basis. She has made her mark in the technology world. She hit the book world with both feet running. The book also produced something else, an organization, Leanin.org which Sheryl encourages everyone to visit at the end of the book.

The book starts off with Sheryl stating that her grandmother went to UC Berkley, her mother went to college, and Sheryl herself went to Harvard as well as Cambridge. This sent a message of “if you don’t come from a well-educated and financially stable family, you will not be as successful as I am”. Even though she puts it sweetly, it’s kind of a kick to the face. Sheryl Sandberg is what Peggy McIntosh would call “White Privilege”.

The only thing lacking in this book is cultural diversity, or any diversity other than males and females. The American office corporation is mostly populated with white Americans. This is addressed once in the book when an African American business man spoke with Sheryl after she’s been quiet at a business meeting and told her to start speaking up as the only female in the meetings, just like he had to speak up as the only African American in the meetings. Along with needing more women in the workplace, we also need more diversity – more people of different backgrounds.

Before I started reading, I thought the audience for this book were middle to late 20’s who either had an entry level position or for women who have been in the office for a few years. I was wrong. Even though the book offers insight and advice that everyone can use, the book is mainly for older women who are higher in the office work chain that, usually, already have a family and are being passed up for promotions.

The overall theme of the book can be summed up as women’s lack of speaking up in the workplace. This generally covers everything from isolating yourself in meetings to not speaking up during meetings because you are surrounded by people who are higher in rank and of the opposite gender. Women also make sacrifices to their careers by having families and making time for their families. This makes receiving promotions more difficult for women, according to the author. While women need to lean in more at meetings, men need to lean in more at home and help around the house. Sheryl is talking about gender equality.

There are many issues addressed in the book. Sheryl covers feminism, gender equality, business, family, career, leadership, and research. This book was put together beautifully. It flowed and had more than enough research to back up her opinions. She points out, however, that this book is not a self-help, directions on how to be successful, or a mentorship book. This is Sheryl’s manifesto. This is her life, her experiences and journey. With hard work, dedication, a few lucky moments, and some connections, she got where she is today. This book may be Generation Y’s The Feminine Mystique. No one has not tried to start a movement of this scale since, not until Sheryl Sandberg.

The reason Sheryl starts out the book with her grandmother is not only did her grandmother go to college in the 1940’s, but to also illustrate that not much has changed for women since then. The things that have changed are due to women standing up for themselves and letting their voices be heard. We have more choices in life. We get more options for picking our careers, but we still get paid less than men. Men are still preferred for most high paying jobs or jobs with power such as lawyers, doctors, and government officials. This will not stop until we all make the conscious decision to treat everyone equally and end gender stereotyping.

Overall, it was an insightful book filled with research and experiences – good and bad. It’ll be a good reference book one day for the future generations to look back to for life in the early 21st Century.

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The Fault in Our Stars Book Review

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I started reading this book while on a flight from Orlando to Chicago before the July 4th weekend. I got half way through the book in the 2 hour flight. Honestly, I was distraught that I had to wait days in order to finish the book; however, I had an adventure to participate in a city I’ve never been in.

I finished the book while on the flight back home from Chicago to Orlando. It took everything I had to keep the tears from being abundant and noticeable to the passengers next to me, both of whom were men.

This is quite possibly the best love story I have ever read. Two ill teens coming together, bonding over a mutual friend, and apparently an amazing and fake (fake as in does not exist in our real world) novel, An Imperial Affliction, that they both loved and managed to travel to Europe just to meet the author, Peter Van Houten. I wish I could read this amazing fictional book just to know the obsession that Hazel, the main character, has with it. Plus, how does this fictional book end with no ending? That bothers me greatly.

The story is beautifully written and inspiring. There’s so many amazing quotes and life lessons to be learned throughout this one book that only took about six hours in total to read.

Upon goggling this book, I am thrilled to see so much fan art and retail sales via t-shirts, magnets, upon other things and trinkets. Some of my favorite fan art will be on this post. I will give all the credit to the artists and designers along with a link to their webpage that is embedded onto their works of art:

http://amy-liu.deviantart.com/

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http://maskedzone.deviantart.com/

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http://shadowfax913.deviantart.com/

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http://loorae.deviantart.com/

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http://tylermeows.deviantart.com/

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My Bloody Life

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This book showed me a world I have never ever been a part of. It almost seemed like a horrid fantasy land, like Edgar Allen Poe’s vision of Oz, but it is not. It is a real place in the United States. It is a city known as Chicago.

Gangs are dangerous in multiple ways and that is the main message of the book. It takes you on a journey from Reymundo’s childhood all the way through his teenage years. The book is captivating, in depth, vivid, and shocking. It is difficult to put down due to the fast pace spiral Reymundo goes down – his own personal rabbit hole. He just keeps falling deeper and deeper going through the levels of gang involvement, decrease time in school, and his increased use of drugs and violence for different purposes and reasons.

Overall, this is an amazing book. The only other book that has exposed me to a world I have never known before and found this captivating was The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.

I am looking forward to reading the squeal to this book, Once A King, Always A King. 

 

 

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Midterms

Alas!

I have not forsaken ye. College assignments and work have been getting in the way, ya see?

After this week is over it is Spring Break! I plan on reading for some of the break. Hopefully, I can finish reading A Casual Vacancy and My Bloody Life. Ironically, the first book mentioned has a Social Worker character, and the second book is a book I’m reading for a social work class. 

I’ve been looking to expand my writing portfolio by being either a guest writer or contributor on other blogs or websites. If interested, let me know by posting a comment here. 

Thank you!

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.  I’d like to thank everyone for viewing my blog despite the fact that I haven’t posted any new content recently. 2013 will be better! Thank you for such a wonderful 6 months!

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 98,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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