Society

I’ll be spreading my wings tomorrow. I’ll be flying out. In other words, I am going to move tomorrow, not only for the first time in my life but I’ll also be without my parents for the first time. I am not much of a poet; in fact, it felt wrong to write this passage as I generally do not enjoy how pretentious poetry can come across. The only time I allow myself to do so is when writing my character, the ten-year-old smartass who likes to impress people by coming up with synonyms.

Maybe there is not much of a point to this post, except for me rambling. What I really wanted to do was to share my favourite song, as for a change, poetry seems to describe what I am feeling right now: Eddie Vedder’s Society. I do not have much – not because I can’t, but because I do not need anything. There are not much things in my life I enjoy that much, and the ones I do enjoy, I already own. The only thing I want at the moment is a quiet space for me to write, where no one is going to disrupt me – although that never happens anyway. When I am writing, I feel safe. For those who hadn’t picked up on it by now, I am slightly depressed. At the moment, I just feel like running… and listening to some music.

The word “running” in the last sentence was actually a mistake, as I meant to say “writing”. However, I guess this describes what I’m really feeling. I’m trying to get away from society for a bit. I’m getting anxious. I’ve never done this before!

The more useful posts will be back in a week. There’s no Internet connection yet in my new home.

My Sources of Inspiration, Part V: Boredom

This might be a terrible idea, but one of my main sources of inspiration is boredom. To be honest, I do not have that much going on in my life. Yes, I will be moving out in two weeks, but for now, I am stuck in my home town where I am supposed to study for my exams. I definitely study for them, but that does not take that much time. In fact, I have way too much freedom at the moment. While it is amazing not to have to show up at university for days, it also can get quite tedious when you are all on your own. Coupled with depression, it makes for long-winded days. No parties, no hanging out – everyone is studying back in our university city (well, it is only 15 minutes away, but they are too busy). Still, this boredom works as an amazing source of inspiration for me. Looking at pictures at the Internet is not all that interesting anymore after a week. By then, I want to actually do something. Being bored is what gets my mind racing. It makes me dream of the most horrifying tales I could ever come up with. While my life seems a little empty right now, my mind itself is full of life. Maybe it’s because of my studies, but I am starting to doubt that; translation philosophers are not the most interesting people when you try to write stories on aliens, vampires and urban legends. I love urban legends, let that be clear. Today, I spent most of my time looking up shadow people and black eyed kids, just because I could. My boredom is forcing me to spend my time doing things, whether it is external or internal research. The gears are turning. I am ready for anything.

Writing and Speaking

I am a writer, not a speaker. I know how to write and typically do so effortlessly. However, a great writer is good with language in any shape or form – a great writer should be a great orator as well. I am neither of those, but the latter quality certainly is lacking in my case.

Today I had to take an oral exam in order to show off my proficiency in English, on a topic I had never heard of. That was part of the challenge: a great orator is someone who can talk about anything for hours on end without knowing the slightest detail on the subject. In the real world, it does not work like that. My oral exam may not have gone horrible, but as soon as I got out of the room, I was trembling all over and hyperventilating. In my writing, it probably is not visible, but I naturally am a shy person. I do not like speaking in front of groups, especially when it comes down to a pass or a fail. Maybe this means I can never be a writer, as writers are supposed to be able to talk about their work with ease… However, if I love the subject, I love spreading its message. I believe that hating oral exams mainly means I can never be an orator – and am a relatively normal person.

EDIT: I failed…

Why Canon Literature Should Not Be Mandatory

Right now as I’m writing this, I’m commiting one of the sins of being a writer. Everyone knows about canon literature. Writers typically also agree that these works are an important part of the literary history and therefore should not be forgotten. I agree with that. I also agree with the idea that reading is good for one’s education and personal growth. However, forcing young people to read against their wishes might not be good for the rest of their lives as readers.

As a young child, I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I loved to be wrapped up in a world that was unlike my own. Reading was about exploring the unknown at my own pace. At that time, my own pace was quite high. It was not uncommon for me to read a book every single day. It was the best feeling in the world for me, and part of why I wanted to become a writer myself. I desired to provide that amazing feeling to other people as well. Over time, however, reading changed into something that I never had time for, due to being busy with secondary school. The only moment I actually read books was when I was forced to do so. Of course, the choice was not for the student to make. The educational system determined what was appropriate and what was not. It is not strange that most books were deemed inappropriate, but the list of what was, was very short. The canon literature did not fit my ideal of being able to wrap myself up in another world. In fact, it was about the exact world I already lived in, although time and place varied. Like I said before, I am a sinner to the writers’ world. I did not enjoy Animal FarmTo Kill a Mockingbird or The Scarlet Letter. I also did not enjoy Shakespeare’s famous Hamlet, or Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. While I did not like reading them, I do understand their importance to the literary history, although I haven’t read enough to be able to entirely grasp it. I also do appreciate the effort that is put in to make these works available to young readers.

I may have picked the wrong study. Reading canon literature is not enjoyable for me, while it is an important aspect of the first year. However, I know I will be able to drop it as soon as the next year approaches… and I am not sure if I would actually want to do that. It is not that I do not like reading. I enjoyed Emma Donoghue’s Room and Samantha Hunt’s The Invention of Everything Else. The books are not the problem; in reality, it is the attitude of forcing students to read.

I wonder if my teachers liked books themselves. At least, they did not come across that way at all. Reading books was something we were forced to do. It was not meant to be fun, we had to do it as a chore. I doubt that anyone enjoys doing chores. Being forced to read turned it into something bad, something no one wanted to do again after school. After all, reading only had negative connotations. All the fun, the juvenile wonder and the idea of reading being an expedition to a place far from home were gone. That is why canon literature should not be mandatory. Yes, it should be available to young readers and yes, it should be encouraged. It should not be mandatory. If the only way to get students to read anything is to force it down their throats, maybe something is off about this attitude. What I’m going to say next is horrible as well, but anything mandatory will never be cool. As long as reading is mandatory, it will never be cool and never be something young people would want to do – until they are old enough to feel like they can choose for themselves again.

I am sorry for sinning.