Horror – English Class

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I’m currently in Week 3 of a 10-week English class about Horror as a genre.  One of the texts we are using for at least one assignment of “Everything’s Eventual” by Stephen King.  The story we examined is “The Road Virus Heads North” which I found to be a unique concept, an interesting read and difficult to put down.  This publication ‘Eventual’ has 14 dark tales and whether it’s required for the course to read the whole book or not, I intend to read each one in my own time.  I will now add Stephen King to one of the many authors whose works i’ll read and can’t wait to go to my local used bookstore “Bookman’s” in Tustin to buy his collection.

In the beginning of the semester I wasn’t sure about this genre for me but I already knew I liked suspense, now horror can be added to that list of what I like to read.

On another note, I have a another class that required me to highlight and take notes electronically on a kindle version of a book then save those notes to Evernote and post them electronically to Blackboard for an online class.  Let’s just say i’m frustrated to say the least because it wasn’t working for me.  When I get any instructions on how to work technology, I can’t follow quick explanations–I need the person doing the explaining to give me time to view my screen at each step to make sure i’m on the right page OR the right part of the page.  I’m concerned because I could have gotten 100 points on this exercise and darn it at the last minute all I could do was save everything onto a blank MS Word page and attach it but i’m not satisfied with that.  Even though the assignment was turned in, i’m still intending on trying again to make it work.

This is a reminder that not everything is going to work as I want it to but it’s pretty unusual for me not to get something to work–as I don’t usually have difficulty following directions.

Overall, school is very busy as I took 4 classes this semester whereas I took 3 last semester.  I feel as though I am really having to focus on alloting my extra time to make sure I pay adequate attention to all my classes.  Thankfully Spanish had some success this week with a few quizzes I took and passed.

Bye for now.

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German Writers in Exile

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This semester, one of the classes I took was a history class in Nazi Germany. Not only did I want to take this course because I’ve already taken enough American history and wanted to learn about the history of another country, but I wanted to learn something new about Hitler that I hadn’t already heard before, throughout my life.

Now, having completed the course, I found there was so much more to the Jewish holocaust than what I was previously aware of. It is understandable that most people consider the Jewish holocaust to have been a very inhumane way of treating anyone, much less concentrating that treatment largely on one group of people which in effect was genocide.

Reportedly, 6 million Jewish people were killed at the hands of the Nazis which is an unspeakable number of people. We also shouldn’t forget that Africans suffered a fate just as terrible, having been transported across the Atlantic to America, across the Sahara Desert, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.  A total of 60 million Africans either died or were enslaved because of the slave trade that took them to various parts of the world.

Mistreatment of any group of people in this manner is a crime which caused some Jewish people and some Africans to revolt. Africans revolted by forming a mutiny, attempting suicide or refusing to eat.  Many Jewish people went into exile to flee the constraints of Nazi Germany, some of the writers in Germany fled to America, one in particular,  Lion Feuchtwanger, continued his writing career and resided in Los Angeles in his later years.

Lion Feuchtwanger a notable writer and German citizen who was born Jewish, enjoyed a successful writing career while in Germany which continued once he relocated to the United States. His written work includes: The Devil in France, Proud Destiny, a trilogy covering the life of Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian of the first century: Der jüdische Krieg (1932; Josephus), Die Söhne (1935; The Jew of Rome) and Der Tag wird kommen (1942; The Day will Come, also called Josephus and the Emperor).  Feuchtwanger personally acquired a large collection of the various editions and translations of the works of Flavius Josephus spanning 400 years of printing.

Posthumously, the Feuchtwangers have a testament to their life experiences by having Lion’s collection of books and writings maintained in an archive. As reported by the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library website at the University of Southern California (USC), upon his death, his widow, Marta donated his entire collection of 30,000 books, papers to the USC Doheny Memorial Library, which has one room devoted to his collection.  Approximately 8,000 of those books are housed in his former residence in Los Angeles, whereas the remaining 20,000 are house at USC.  The collection contains rare books, correspondence, manuscripts and photographs and archival material on other German-speaking exiles, and a personal collection of works written by other notable authors such as: Cicero, Juvenal, Ovid, Sophocles, Thucydides, Virgil, Xenophon, among others.  Feuchtwanger had in his collection texts covering: Incunabula about printing, the French Revolution, the Enlightenment period and German literature.

According to Michaela Ullmann, Exile Studies Librarian at USC’s Doheny library, Mr. Feuchtwanger’s collection is so vast that what you see housed in the one room is only a small portion of the collection; the remainder is also housed in the archives located in USC’s Grand Avenue Library Depository in Los Angeles.

I am grateful for the many sacrifices made by our ancestors whether they endured slavery and racism or internment in concentration camps and censorship of their work. I am glad that I had the nerve to venture outside of what is familiar to learn more about how widespread genocide is and what a terrible crime it is against mankind.

 

University of Southern California. University of Southern California: Lion Feuchtwanger and the German Émigré Experience. 2017, https//libraries.usc.edu/locations/special-collections/lion-feuchtwanger-and-german-émigré-experience.

“German Exile Literature.” Leo Baeck Institute, William Weitzer, Executive Director, https://www.lbi.org/collections/library/highlights of lbi/german-exile-literature. Accessed 22 Mar. 2017.

“The Middle Passage.” Digital History, Steven Mintz, https://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu. Accessed 4 May 2017.

School Progress-1st Semester

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I am half way through my first semester of college, working toward my B.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.  I chose this school because I preferred a traditional college with an online Bachelors Program in English, which offers literature courses while still being affordable.

I enrolled in:  Spanish (since 4 semesters of a foreign language are required), College Writing and for my History class I chose Nazi Germany.  Not that i’m usually interested in Nazi Germany, but i’ve taken my share of American History classes and I wanted to venture out and try something unusual and challenging.

My Spanish class lasts 10 weeks out of the 15 week semester so i’m almost done with that class.  The variance in the length of classes will make it nice and allow me to shift my time and allow for more concentration in the other two subjects i’m taking.

My grades, thus far are more than decent; which i’m very proud of.  I like the balance I have among the classes.  History requires a lot of reading and a little writing; English requires a little reading and whole lot of writing-editing-revisions etc.; and Spanish requires a lot of studying and use of an online textbook which I like.

Overall I am enjoying school and feel that my preparation ahead of time was necessary but i’m not using every handout I printed…though it’s good to have them.  Hopefully, with the grades I have so far,  I intend to maintain them and i’ll see if a scholarship or grant are in my future.

Bye.

Bungalow 2 by Danielle Steel

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One of the many modern American authors whose work I enjoy reading is Danielle Steele. I particulary like the way she tells a story that captures my attention in a way that it’s hard for me to put her books down. I find it easy to read one of her books within one week, even considering my busy schedule.

Bungalow 2 is one story, written by her, that I have read more than once. The main character being immersed into a career of scriptwriting was especially fun to read about. The plot of how this opportunity changed her life and forced her to deal with human temptation and disappointment was a surprise. I really appreciated this read.

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Educational Pursuit in my 50’s

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I previously wrote about returning to school to receive my B.A. in English which is an achievement I hadn’t completed in my youth.

After going through the somewhat nerve-wracking process of submitting my application and waiting to hear if i’m accepted I will begin my journey in the Spring of 2017 at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell Online program in English.

To say i’m excited is, of course, an understatement.  As stated previously, I am organizing my binders ahead of time with all the help I could find.  On the internet, I found many “free” pdfs of pages to help me organize and prepare for:  exam/study prep, reading lists, assignment list, weekly planner, and a project planner–to name a few.

Whether I am a particular type of learner that requires things to be organized to facilitate learning or not, I just really appreciate organization in as much of my life as possible.  Some of the websites I found “freebies” on were:  Saralaughed and  Just a Girl and her Blog.

Finally, i’m using the remainder of the year to complete organizing my desk area so I won’t be distracted by too much clutter or unfinished business like filing paperwork, etc.

Bye for now.

Return to School – Prep for Adults

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I have decided to return to school to complete my B.A. degree in English.  After much consideration to the cost of accumulating student loans, and balancing that with other parts of my life including working toward a home purchase, finishing school may seem daunting. Because  I feel the need to have the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a major life goal, i’ve applied for an Online English degree program at a reputable school.

I completed my AS degree from University of Phoenix a few years ago.  I have, however, chosen to complete my degree at what I deem a more traditional school on the East Coast.  I’m still waiting to hear whether i’m accepted or not so I don’t want to jump the gun by saying “which” school.

I recently began to organize my binder in preparation for the syllabus, assignment list, class calendar and other documents and to arrange my study area.  I also came across an ebook sold by Sara Laughed titled “How to Succeed in College”  which retails for $ 8.95.  Two of her chapters deal with Motivation and Procrastination…two areas of concern for me that prevented me from finished school when I was younger.  She also mentions in one other chapter how to take Cornell notes, which look promising as a tool I could benefit from.  I believe I will enjoy the advice she offers and look forward to applying it to my studies.

As I embark on this journey, I look forward to learning new things and embracing what I believe to by my life’s purpose of becoming a librarian.  I wish other students well, especially mature adults like myself who are returning to school.

Frank Yerby – A notable African-American author

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Frank Yerby, an African-American author, wrote several books among which include: The Golden Hawk, The Saracen Blade, Benton’s Row and The Treasure of Pleasant Valley. These four published books are currently for sale @GenreReads on Etsy.

The Golden Hawk – Published by Dial Press in New York; Copyright 1948; Typography by Meyer Wagman; 312 pages in total. Twenty-Eight Chapters. According to IMDB (Internet Movie Database), made into a move in 1952. This story tells of the seafaring adventures of French privateer Kit ‘The Hawk’ Gerardo during the Franco-Spanish-English war of the 17th century. In the movie adaptation, Director: Sidney Salkow; Writers: Robert E. Kent (written for the screen by), Frank Yerby (based on the novel by). Stars: Rhonda Fleming, Sterling Hayden.

The Saracen blade, was also adapted into a film. According to IMDB (Internet Movie Database) the plot of this story is: Pietro is an orphan who is raised by a family friend in 15th century Italy. When the friend is killed by the same nasty baron who murdered Pietro’s father as he led the peasants in revolt against the baron’s tyranny, Pietro vows vengeance against the entire family.

For this film which debuted on June 6, 1954 the Director was William Castle; Writers included De Vallon Scott, George Worthing Yates and Frank Yerby.
Film Credits: Sam Katzman, producer; Henry Freulich; Cinematography; Gene Haylick, Editing, Paul Palmentola, Art Direction.

Budgeting is now fun!!

I am one of those people who has tried operating within a budget for years.  Many of the methods that are written about somehow seemed to lack personalization–at least for me any.

I recently joined a group headed by Tiffany Aliche known as The Budgetnista.  Her method makes budgeting fun and contagious.  She teaches a method of Setting a goal, devising a date to reach the goal, planning how to achieve it and sharing it with someone to be held accountable.  I realize she uses techniques that others may have used before but somehow the combination of how she presents it is creative.

As a result of being in this group for only three weeks, i’ve already devised and implemented several of her suggestions including monitoring my credit more closely.

Another benefit of the group is how we all learn from each other and get pointers on what methods have worked best for us.  As one other group member stated, it has become contagious and she can’t help but read what the group is discussing daily.  Many, if not all of us are reading this site more often than the regular facebook page.

What was once a chore for me to do, is now actually fun.

The website you can find her on is http://www.thebudgetnista.biz

 

Quilting books

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I am currently reading books about quilting that I find quite interesting including “The Winding Ways Quilt” by Jennifer Chiaverini.  My next read by the same author is “A Quilter’s Holiday”.

I personally have only made on wall-hanging quilt to date but intend to try and make a larger quilt when I update my sewing machine.

The fascination with quilting has seen a resurgence in recent decades as it is now considered folkart, a part of storytelling, an extension of personal creativity and a way of handing down a family heirloom to children and grandchildren.

While learning about the members of the Elm Creek Quilt Guild, I found their personal history and friendship warming.  One quilter’s daughter in particular, Gwen, began to dismantle a discarded pineapple quilt found in a box only to discover it’s history stems from a prominent family from Richardsport, Kentucky.  The history of the family and the quilt unfold after she does research at the local library.

Any reader would greatly enjoy this story and any of the several others written by Ms. Chiaverini.

WindingWaysQuilt-ChiaveriniQuiltersHoliday-Chiaverini