Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Kafka on the Shore's Message About Learning Through Hard Times

As we humans continue to venture through life, we discover new things, set ourselves up to achieve new goals, and discovering our capabilities, learning new and important lessons in our lives. Unfortunately, a majority of the most important lessons of life are hard learned, learned from negative experiences relative to our own self-responsibilities and mistakes. This is something that I discovered both while trying to achieve my reading goal, and something I discovered and related to while reading my current AP title book, Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami .

Currently, my schedule and general activity of the moment has delayed my motivation/time to continue to fulfil my current reading goals, which was 5 books for the end of the semester and exploring more outlandish genres, but was I unfortunately confronted a lot more issues for accomplishing the reading goals I desired to achieve as the semester progressed. There were days I couldn’t read the 20 pages I set for myself because of tedious study sessions, other days I would suffer sleep exhaustion, and other days reason beyond my circumstances interfered, and I realized I didn’t know what I was doing or focusing on at times while I was reading.

This did not however, managed to mar my ability finish reading at least 3 books (The Hindi-Bindi Club by Monica Pradhan, Attack on Titan: Lost Girls by Hajime Isayama , and Mother Theresa by Navin Chawla ) so far, and currently almost finishing 2 more books (Living withSomeone Who’s Living with Bipolar Disorder by Chelsea Lowe and Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami) before the end of the semester.

While reading Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami, I realized that the majority of the negative issues that I experienced were also very similar to the ones that the story recognized and explored. One of the most important issues that I was intrigued by was how the main character experienced an overwhelming sense of self-reliance and responsibility that decided on his survival. One line that highly interested me and expanded my understanding about how of life was this line: “Nobody can help you. That’s what love’s all about… You’re the one having these wonderful feelings, but you have to go it alone as you wander through the dark. Your mind and body have to bear it all. All by yourself.” (108)

Not only did this line highly related to me and my predicament regarding my self-discipline to achieve my reading goals, but it also served to me a general reminder that every single individual is completely responsible for his/her self, and that most of the time people (including me) cannot always rely on other people to help us if we are not willing to help ourselves by facing our own challenges head on. Negative times in our lives do not necessarily correspond with negative outcomes on one's life, it can merely invite one to seek out strength in one's self more tenaciously than previously before,

 Overall, the message of Kafka on the Shore conveyed further enriched my understanding of the importance of our negative aspects of our lives (such as being alone in times of peril) actually being capable of serving greater purposes to us in the long run; that we are destined to face our own issues.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

How The Hindi Bindi Club Relates to Me

Growing up as a first-generation American is challenging. With two different cultures, two different ways of thinking, and two different lifestyles, there is no navigation for what to follow or who to listen to. From a third world country to a first world country, learning to adjust to differing gender roles, family roles, and traditions can be extremely challenging to face and accept as differing opinions of future generations emerge.

Unfortunately, this is a dilemma that my family and I have experienced after my parents and grandparents moved from Cambodia to the United States. Many immigrants that have migrated to the United States must learn to confront widely challenging cultural values that United States encourages them to adopt in favor of their traditional ones, and differing family values is one of them,

The Hindi-Bindi Club by Monica Pradhan has a strong understanding of the cultural dissonance experienced when generations of different values and lifestyles confront one another. One line that highly resonated with the conservatism I observed in the older generation of my family was this line: “No respect for family. You live in a disposable society. Bored with your clothes? Throw them out, get new ones. Your electronics and other luxury goods become outdated? Throw them out, get new ones. Dissatisfied with your marriage? Throw it out, get a new one. It’s all the same to you isn’t it? You have so much, yet you’re never satisfied. You obsess with what you don’t have. You want it all. You believe it’s your right. You think only of your own happiness, and nothing of duty.” (106) 

This line is special to me because I think it ecasulates the contrasting opinons of the true value of commitment and indpendance that most non-native populations (including me)  face. Older generations will always hold younger generations as reckless and ungrateful for their oppurtunities, as well as irresponsible for not providing full fledged commitment to their duties. However, younger generations will always value self importance and independence over traditional values, and this creates dissonance between the two.

Over all, I was able to realize how prevalent this cultural issue was in other people's lives, making The Hindi Bindi Club by Monica Phadhan a very relatable book for me and my experience as a first generation American.

Friday, April 7, 2017

My goals, ambitions, and desired achievements

Salutations! My name is Sophie Sun, and I am a student of Ms.Mayo's English 2 Pre-Ap class at Hebron High School. Ever since I was little, I loved to read a lot, as I enjoyed learning new information about the world, as well as being immersed in fictional ones. The things that I enjoyed the most as a child was learning about Ancient Egypt, rocks and minerals, or even things such as anatomy and physiology to sate my immense curiosity of world. Unfortunately I declined in reading for pleasure as I grew older as a result of trying out new interests and hobbies and losing interest.

Now that I am determined to take back my love for reading for the sake of survival in high school (and college), I decided that I will have to set goals for myself in order to solidify my path to being a bibliophile. Every single day I will require myself to read at least 20 pages of a book each day, as well as at least reading 5 books this semester. I also want to try to experiment with more genres that I would not have actually considered, such as reading more adult fiction or even philosophy books. Who knows? Perhaps I will find new subject that will interest me.

I should also continue to look at classic authors and writers that I haven't managed to catch up on, such as continuing to explore the various the works of H.P Lovecraft's and Franz Kafka's short stories (such as The Trial by: Franz Kafka, or The Call of Cthulhu by: H.P Lovecraft), as well as trying to find various books that will suite my taste of racial, cultural, and social diversity (which Akata Witch by: Nnedi Okorafor and The Hindi-Bindi Club by:Monica Pradhan has managed to excite my taste again.) Finally, I will try to read more biographies of influential people in history, simply because I have lot of those books at home, as well as sharing a veracious appetite for learning about history and the people that it involves, including reading Hun Sen: Strongman of Cambodia by:Harish C. Mehta, Julie B. Mehta, Mother Theresa by: Navin Chawla, and many more to improve my understanding of history.