Austen life Blog

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I’ve had to think too much about life lately…. September 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — austenlife @ 3:27 am

So, as you know, I’m trying to figure out what I want to do with life which is so much more complicated the older you get.  I asked my 7 and 8 year-olds that I work with and half of them either want to be a cop or fireman, and the other half wants to be a vet… it’s so easy back then (sigh).  I’ve discovered I even try to pick amazing careers for them because I want to be that person in their lives that inspired them and changed their lives forever…. Like this little girl Ella; I think she’s 5?  She loves to build with legos and tries to make the tallest towers that she can and she gets sooooo excited when it doesn’t fall down.  I have decided to try to inspire her to be an architect… I guess I just wish someone had done that for me and I had known what I wanted to be my whole life and I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Also, I keep having meetings with financial aid about consolidating my student loans to attempt to pay them off because my grace period ends in November (dun dun duuuuun).  For one, this is just depressing.  Two, it has made me mildly freak out a few times and again made me think too much about my future: Should I get a second job?  Would it even be worth it if it’s only minumum wage retail crap?  What am I going to do if I literally can’t make a payment?  How does it all work?!?!?  It’s enough to drive anyone crazy!  Plus, I still keep thinking about grad school because I really do like learning, especially about stuff I’m interested in.  So then there is the: But then I’ll go into even more debt!  When, where, how do you even take your GRE? (which thanks to Alyssa I now kind of know the answer to)  Oh and the all important, What would I even study????

AND now there is this kind of possible job… it could turn into nothing so let’s not get too excited.  However, when talking to the possible employer, his concern is my long-term commitment and if I will just move on if I figure out something I would rather do.  Which is definitely a ligitimate concern… especially in the state I am right now.  So then I sit there and have to think, is this really something I could do for a while?  Will I always be wondering, what if I had studied this or that?  It’s terrible!!!  Yet, it really is a great opportunity and I know I would be lucky to even have a chance at it so I think it would be great if it happens… but who knows.  I guess I just needed to vent tonight everyone, it’s just so hard to have all these crazy thoughts going on at once; I’m sure you can all relate.  It makes me think of a quote from Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix “One person couldn’t feel all of that, they’d explode!”- Ron Weasley. 

Book #2

Well now that I am done complaining I can go on to my next book I read over the summer.  If you recall, I had just finished reading the novel about Jane Austen’s life which provided a context for when her other books were written and the difficulties she had with that.  So I was inspired to read some of the other Jane Austen books that I had not yet read.  So Sense and Sensibility was chosen.  This is the story about two sisters, Elinor and Marrianne Dashwood.  Their father dies, leaving them, their mother, and their younger sister with little money and no place to live.  Of course being women in those days, they could not gain any kind of income either, so they are left to hope that family will provide them with homes and income.  Elinor is the extremely sensible, emotionally stable, conservative sister.  While Marianne wears her heart and emotions on her sleeve and feels everything 110%.  She tends to act without thought.  So this story tells about their lives and difficulties, especially involving men and love.  There are the usual difficulties, one sister falls deeply in love and acts irrationally and ends up hurt, while one sister is very sensible about her love but also ends up hurt.  However, as with the majority of Jane Austen books, it all ends well and both sisters find love and happiness.  This book is definitely your typical Jane Austen book and was actually her first published novel.  It has some of your typical characters, the young woman who is somewhat different from most women of the time, the charming man who turns out to be conniving, and, as always, those characters mocking the idiocracy of the time period in which Austen lived.  One thing that can be very frustrating about Jane Austen novels is the older language; back then they liked to use as many words as possible to say anything.  This can make it difficult to read, I have discovered that sometimes, if you’re not really following, it’s really easier to just kind of skim to get the gist of what is being said and move on… use those context clues!  So Sense and Sensibility was enjoyable and helped me in my path to reading each Jane Austen novel.

So that’s that for now…. wish me luck on life and reading of course 🙂

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Maybe I’ll be a book critic…? September 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — austenlife @ 4:13 am

So I feel like I’ve already failed at this blog stuff.  I did one post and disappeared… let me explain.  I have this great boyfriend, Josh, that I’ve been with for quite a long time and I love him dearly, BUT he’s not into this whole blog/social networking/telling people about your life stuff.  SO when he’s around it’s a little hard to be motivated to write.  Also, a couple of weekends ago we broke down and bought super mario brothers for the wii… which has basically consumed much of our free time, but it’s been AWESOME!  Am I making myself sound like even more of a nerd? I think I might be….

Anyways, one thing I really wanted to do with this blog was discuss the books I’ve been reading and will continue to read.  I feel like I am trying to fill the void that graduating from St. Edward’s left me with by reading… also I may be trying to maintain my intellect and vocabulary because I work with elementary school kids everyday and I don’t want them bringing me down haha.  Yes, I work in elementary after school care at the moment.  I am a “group leader” for about 13, 7-year-old children… who tend to drive me crazy sometimes but are actually pretty fun at other times.  I’m sure I will have many stories about them, but for now, I just have to share this because I live in Austin and I think this fits perfectly… One little girl in my group is named Happy.  When I saw this I thought it was great, I mean what an awesome, hippy, Austin name! BUT it gets even BETTER!  While looking at her paperwork, I discovered that her mother’s name is Happiness!!! Amazing!  And they are great, always smiling, always happy…. maybe everyone should be named really positive things and it will make all the difference in their lives!

So while I’m adding to my nerdiness… since graduating (May 8, 2010… I believe?) I have read seven books and am on my eighth.  I intend to tell you all a little about the books while telling you about my life, because obviously books are a big part of my life and I am even thinking I would like to somehow have a career in the book business?  I hope this does not bore you all too much and maybe it will give you some suggestions on what to read in your spare time. 

“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature.  If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.”   ~ Maya Angelou ~….. maybe this is what I’m trying to do….

So I shall begin, in the order that I read these wonderful books.  I have already mentioned my love of all things Jane Austen, which can only be rivaled with my love of all things Harry Potter/J. K. Rowling; therefore, the first book I read was “The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen” by Syrie James. 

1st book of the summer

This book was presented as a collection of writings found in which Jane Austen wrote about her own life and the great love she once felt but was never able to have.  This novel was very charming and fun to read, being a Austen lover, and was captivating enough for me to read it very quickly.  It added in many truths about her life and also many fictitious events, it also discussed her time period and the hardships of her actually attempting to write the novels that we know and love still today.  One aspect of this book that I was not a fan of though is that it seemed to be written, unconsciously I’m sure, with the idea that “hindsight is 20/20”.  Many of the fictitious events of Austen’s life placed in this book were supposedly the “inspiration” for many of the characters and events that fill Austen’s novels.  I just felt that it was somewhat easy for an author to create a character that has already been created for them, but somewhat in reverse…. if that makes sense?  For example, any of you that have read/seen Pride and Prejudice know of the terrible personality in the character Mr. Collins, the fact that he proposes to Elizabeth Bennet, who turns him down, and instead he marries her friend.  Well, in the Lost Memoirs, Mr. Collins is Mr. Morton, who is basically the same character and asks Jane to marry him, when she refuses, he asks her close friend.  So, as I said, I really enjoyed this book and would probably even read it again somewhere down the road, but I do think that the author lacked some originality.

Well… I do believe that I will leave the book critiquing at that for the evening.  I planned on doing more but I feel like I don’t want to discuss too much in one day, maybe I will do a book per post for a while.

So thanks again for reading, and thank you for letting me be a part of this cyberspace universe with my thoughts and feelings and stories.

 

Hello world! August 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — austenlife @ 4:12 am

Well I have officially joined the bandwagon by creating a blog.  I guess I can thank my friends Alyssa and Adriana, and the fact that I have just graduated college, have a part-time job, and nothing else to do.  The point of this blog is to entertain myself and perhaps others… who knows, maybe I will even learn something about myself while I’m at it.

So some things about me: I grew up in East Texas, never living anywhere else until I moved to Austin to go to St. Edward’s University, which I have adored for 4 years! My time as a hilltopper (yes you read that correctly) were some of the best times of my life.  However, I have just graduated from St. Ed’s with a bachelor’s in psychology (that does not mean I will analyze anyone, trust me, I don’t have the education for that).  Of course, this does not mean that I have any idea what I want to do with my life, or even if it will include psychology at all.  So right now my life consists of my part-time job in childcare; which always leaves me with plenty of stories, applying for “big girl jobs”, and reading books: I LOVE to read!

These are the things that lead to making this blog and to the name of it (which I cannot take credit for, that goes to my dear and clever friend Alyssa).  Since graduation I have read 6 books already (I told you I really like to read), and Jane Austen is a personal favorite.  So Austen life=Austin life= my life currently filled jobs, books, and just living.

I hope you enjoy! Let’s be friends!