The End Is Near

So yeah, one more day of classes.  Part of me is really excited to be done with this semester (except for finals, but let’s not think about those right now) and part of me is really going to miss the classes I took and the people that were in those classes.  Yesterday was the last day of my Literature and Empire course which was probably my favorite class this semester.  I loved the course, the books we read, the music we listened to, the movies we watched, and the stand-up comedy that we laughed at (yeah, this course was awesome!).  I also really loved everyone in my class which is very rare for me.  Everyone was incredibly intelligent but not overly pretentious and our discussions each class were in-depth and really interesting.  I never found myself daydreaming which is pretty unusual for me since I have a real problem sitting still for too long.  The professor was totally awesome and I know I’m really going to miss that class.  Hopefully my classes next semester will be just as great as the one’s I took this semester.

I just finished all the stuff I needed to do for my final portfolio for my Writing class.  Basically I had to write one new essay and revise one old essay.  Writing my last essay for this class felt really good and I think I did pretty well on it.  Revising the old essay was a little more problematic.  I decided to revise an essay that I had written about Robert Mapplethorpe and the line between art and pornography.  I love the subject and I really worked hard on the essay the first time around.  That’s probably why I didn’t particularly take to the comments that my professor wrote on my paper that I was supposed to take into account when revising my paper.  I’m a very stubborn person who likes to believe that she is right all the time which is incredibly far from the truth.  Anyway, the first time I tried revising, I got through about a page before getting angry and giving up.  I took a break, went on my weekly walk with my mom and then came back and managed to rewrite the rest of the paper.  Although I didn’t agree with all of the comments, I rewrote what I did think needed rewriting and I believe my essay is the better for it.  And that marks the end of my Writing class.  Tomorrow I turn in my portfolio and then I am done.  It feels really good.

In other news, yesterday I went to a workshop on making Japanese New Year’s Cards (Yes I know it’s early December but you can never start to early).  We learned about how the Japanese celebrate New Year’s (it’s one of the most important holidays in Japan) and then learned how to write the special Kanji symbol for the year of the serpent (2013).  And then we got to use calligraphy brushes to make our very own card.  Here is mine:



So the outline of the snake is the Kanji for the Year of the Serpent.  And then the L-Shaped symbol in the bottom right is my initial (Re) in Katakana.  I’m really proud of how it turned out and it was a ton of fun working with the calligraphy brush.  I’m seriously considering making some more of these and giving them out on New Years.

Because the workshop was off campus and I had to take two buses, I got a lot of reading done and I finally finished An Unfinished Business.  This book was short but took me a while to read because the subject is incredibly difficult.  This was my selection for Algeria in my Reading Around the World challenge.  An Unfinished Business is told through the diary entries of two brothers, Rachel and Malrich, who were born in Algeria to a German father and Algerian mother and who relocated to Paris.  While Rachel assimilated into French society, Malrich did not and lives in the banlieue where an Islamic presence is being felt.  Meanwhile, Rachel finds out that their German father was involved in the concentration camps and in formulating the gas that was later used on the prisoners in the Final Solution.  Unable to cope with this knowledge he kills himself and his diary ends up in Malrich’s hands.  Malrich draws the parallel between Hitler’s Germany and the Islamic ruled banlieue of Paris.  As he works to change his surroundings as well as come to terms with the crimes of his father, Malrich realizes the evil that comes from hiding the truth and chooses to fight for his and everyone in the banlieue’s freedom rather than kill himself as his brother did.  An Unfinished Business was a compelling read but it is extremely depressing and difficult in subject matter so don’t read it if you want something cheery.

Now that I have finished the first book of my challenge, I have decided to move onto Granada.  I’ve decided to read The Ladies are Upstairs  by Merle Collins.  It seems to be a collection of short intertwined stories which is a writing style that I particularly enjoy.  I’ve only just started so I can’t give an accurate idea of how the book is but so far I’m enjoying it.  We shall see.

And finally onto the knitting.  I have finished the CC stripes on Different Lines!  I did some heavy knitting yesterday — knitting in class (while still participating in conversations) and at work — and I am happy that the stripes are done.  Although I have a ton of stitches on the needle, I think the solid purple section at the end will go faster because I no longer have to do short rows which take up quite a bit of time.  Here is the shall as it looks right now:



It’s hard to tell how awesome it looks because it is scrunched up on the needle but believe me when I say that it looks totally awesome.

Here is how much of the orange Citrus yarn I had left after completing the stripes with an iPad for size comparison:



I still have a nice amount so I might knit one of the smaller items in my queue with it.  Like maybe this?  Okay, so that’s crochet but I think I can handle it even with my meager crocheting skills.  Plus, it would get another item off my queue which would be really nice.

Okay, this post was long.  At least there were pictures?



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