Sunday, 23 August 2015

Book Review: Quotes from The Absolutely True Diary of A Part Time Indian

As indicated from this post, I was clearly about to re-print the whole book but I want to keep things A plus between myself and Sherman Alexie. Also that post stood a chance of being as long as a thesis at the rate at which I was going. Therefore, here are some of the quotes that I want to remain forever engraved in my memory or in this case, my blog. Plus, you guys simply do not understand how philosophical this book is. I kid you not, this is one is for my lifetime. So, from where I left off;

I used to think the world was broken down by tribes," I said."By black and white. By Indian and white. But I know that isn't true. The world is only broken into two tribes: The people who are assholes and people who are not.

And I kept trying to find the little pieces of joy in my life. That's the only way I managed to make it through all of that death and change.

Do you understand how amazing it is to hear that from an adult? Do you know how amazing it is to hear that from anybody? It's one of the simplest sentences in the world, just four words, but they're the four hugest words in the world when they're put together.
You can do it.

He may not have loved me perfectly, but he loved me as well as he could.

I mean, you have to love somebody that much to also hate them that much, too.

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Yeah, I figured any nightmare would be better than my reality.

"I didn't know what to say to her. What do you say to people when they ask you how it feels to lose everything?"

In the middle of a crazy and drunk life, you have to hang on to the good and sober moments tightly.

Branch by branch, Rowdy and I climbed toward the top of the tree, to the bottom of the sky. 

My sister is running away to get lost, but I am running away because I want to find something.

He smiled mysteriously. Adults are so good at smiling mysteriously. Do they go to college for that?

I draw because words are too limited.

Have a good one!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Surviving College: What I Learnt My First Year of College

What it do, good people?

 Back to school is in a few weeks time, so there wouldn't be a dandier time to walk down memory lane other than now. Shall we?

Let me be the first to put it out there that this last school year technically speaking was not my first year of college. I did a diploma which took a year and four months to complete making that my very first year of college. Now, I am on to my degree, having completed my first year, earlier this year. So if you were a year or two behind me in high school and are thinking, "Say what!" now you know. If you weren't, well you also know.

It's no cup of coffee. The making friends, long classes, getting up early for class, cancelled classes. It does get a little overwhelming I'll tell you that much. During my diploma making friends was not so easy. That's what gave me the most anxiety. By the time I started my degree though, I couldn't care less, one of those been there, done that, bought the t-shirt type of situations. I thought about it less and eventually found my social circle.That's another cheeky lesson for you, do not overthink it. Hey maybe it found me. As for the long classes and getting up early, I wish there was an antidote out there because I am still dealing.

It gets easier. You'll probably find your kind soon enough; people you can vent with and share a light moment during that never ending class. They will be your lunch buddies, snack buddies, walk-home buddies, any buddy (get it!). After a while even a cancelled class does not sting as much and long classes will not necessarily be boring, they may be even be highlight of the semester.

Join a club or two to break the monotony. I am just going to go right ahead and say it, Model United Nations which I talked about here and here give you a week off from school. If that is not a good deal, point me in a direction towards one . That should not be a why you join though. You still have your fair share of school work to catch up on thanks to your, "leave of absence", but it is well worth it. Also most clubs give you that hands on experience way ahead of time in your career field, possibly even explore other options inside and out. This year I got the best of both worlds; some much needed leave and some hands on experience. You simply cannot go wrong with that.

Most people are cool once you get to them. First semester I barely talked to the people outside my social circle. But by the second half of the school year there were hugs all around, inside jokes, heart-to-hearts, roasts; bonds of some sort. Turns out we just needed some time to get to read each other, don't we all?

When you are sick rest. Of course don't be the person that goes overboard and misses nearly a whole week in the name of a mild case of the sniffles. In my case, last semester alone I had tonsillitis, sinusitis and some stomach situation which I will spare you the details and me the embarrassment. Fortunately (you have to look for even a little good in the bad) they happened at either, extreme of the school year where classes were not yet in full force or they were just winding up. While I was doing my diploma on the other hand, I twisted my ankle but limped through a couple of my classes since I had tests and what-not. Sometimes you just have to be a trooper.

Money will be tight. You know how Johnny Bravo would open his wallet and a butterfly would come out proclaiming freedom as the only contents of his wallet besides i.d., well I was not too different either. Of course there's no butterfly in my purse, I'm pretty sure that's cruelty to animals, but on the  buckaroos front I pulled through. This serves as testimony.

And finally...

Procrastination is the enemy. Especially when exams swing by. You will probably read that chapter later, huh? Or go to the library tomorrow. Mhmm. Tomorrow is usually the weekend before exams which has you collapsing under the weight of a few unread chapters that eventually morphed into whole books. This, if I follow through will probably counter this tale of horror.

I guess I made it through freshman year. Second year, we might as well get this show on the road.

Have a good one!  

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Book Review: The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

This has just been one of those weeks. A new internship, new schedule and time to adapt a new. Inspo has also been on the low, so has time but hopefully I will soon get into the swing of things.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian. Isn't this book something? But like most books I end up adoring, I didn't like it at first. For one, I new nearly nothing about it, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The temptation to put this read down was rife . but the guilt would have simply killed me.

It all began with 13 Reasons Why. Sherman Alexie loved it, so did I. If it wasn't for his remark on the cover of 13 Reasons Why, this part-time Indian and I would have never met. I don't know who to thank Jay Asher or Sherman Alexie, either way this was one killer find.

This book starts on a depressing note and the trend shows no sign of disappearing. If anything, the deeper you get into it the more dominant it becomes. Meet Arnold Spirit Jr. never mind that I only figured out his name 48 pages in, one of the most unfortunate souls the planet earth has ever seen. As the title suggests he is of Indian descent living on a reservation with his mom, dad, sister and grandma. His whole life is there and he cannot imagine his life any different. Besides his family, Rowdy his best friend means the world to him, despite the fact that they are polar opposites. There's not much to do or become on the res, thus in a bid not to become another res statistic he chooses life beyond it. Going to the predominantly white high school. Shuttling between these two areas that are worlds apart.

To the good stuff. The elephant in the room or should I say in the book,illustrations in this book are mad good and just add a certain pizzaz maybe even joy to this otherwise ball of depression. Like there's  this one that just cracked me up as he contemplated the answer to "Are you poor?", what about the "How not to act poor". Death by comic strips.

Part-time Indian really gets into it and I have to admit that's what I like about it. Life on a reservation has been painted out to be a dead end. Your future, that of your parents and that of your parents parents are no different. Unfulfilled potential fills the air. So does death, stalled lives after high school also dreams. Junior has this unique ability to see the best in everyone despite what is on the surface, what they could have been other than what they are. Hence the dreams.

Arnold Spirit must be the bravest teen in fictional history. Of course at the rate at which I read, this is subject to change but Arnold despite everything trudges on. His health  is in shambles,  well kind of, but it doesn't stop him from playing varsity basketball in his freshman year of high school. In the looks department, well you can be the judge of that, but from his self description he doesn't have a lot to go on but he dates the finest girl in school.He's the perfect target for bullies but with Jr. here, what you see isn't exactly what you get. The classic underdog tale. Earning himself a spot on my bad-ass list.

Capturing his personality in a few sentences, I refuse to. Ignore the fact that I just tried. You just have to read it to understand Arnold's spirit.

Out of nowhere, the people he holds dearest to his heart begin to die. No it's not an epidemic or an attack, it's just life. He seems like he can handle it but you start seeing his surface giving in. Complete with fault lines escalating to huge gaps. Sherman Alexie shows Arnold at his absolute best and worst.  From when his been beaten to an absolute pulp and his down and out both literally and metaphorically to how he copes with it all the hurt, the laughter, the tears, lists and most of all the support. Closing in the gaps, slowly but surely. Sealing in the fault lines. He really is a trooper with one heck of sense of humor.

In a way this book did it all. It doesn't need a prelude not even a sequel. Any more or any less would simply corrupt it. Honestly, it was enough. This is going to be one of those books that will be my go-to-guides when I'm down in the dumps, after the Bible of course.

I leave you with a couple of though provoking quotes courtesy of this part-time Indian:

"When anybody, no matter how old they are , loses a parent , I think it hurts the same as if you were only five years old...I think all of us are always five years old in the presence and absence of our parents"

"If you care about something enough, its going to make you cry. But you have to use it. Use your tears. Use your pain. Use your fear. Get mad Arnold, Get Mad."

"When it comes to death, we know that laughter  and tears are pretty much the same thing"

Imma have to stop myself guys and do what I do best, divide a lengthy post into two. Next time, expect some Part-Time Indian quotes.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Surviving College: What to do with your Weekends

This post was meant to go up on Saturday, here comes the was also meant to be scheduled...but my attempt at being organized has failed tremendously. Heck! It is up now and the weekend swings by ever so often.

Weekends are usually a great excuse to sleep in, laze around in your pajamas, chill, maybe hang with friends, stay up late and do your assignment(s) last minute. The problem comes in when all your escapades leave you starting the week even more tired than you finished it. Well it's time to break the cycle.

image from:

Set your alarm. I know, I know, it's the weekend. Here is where we agree to compromise. Set your alarm a few hours later than your usual weekly wake up time, of course at cock's crow is out of the question. The sooner you are up, the earlier you get to start your to-do list and the earlier you get to finish it. See, it's not all bad.

Clean and neaten up. If you are anything like me, early mornings leave your room in utter disarray. Clothes stuffed in the closet, my variation of folding and a spread, lumpy bed. The weekend is my time to right my wrongs. A little closet organisation, actual folding, sweeping, dusting, moping equals a sound mind. It takes between 45 minutes and an hour.

Then I proceed to the next best thing.

Laundry. I dread every minute of laundry but hey, what has to be done, has to be done. Usually I have a couple of things soaking and others sorted while I clean so that it's one of those in-'n'-out jobs. It isn't. Either way, there is no need to have a laundry pile giving Everest a run for its money.

Meal Prep. I live at home so I do not have to this. But  I did see Youtuber Jayla Koriyan do this and I thought, what a way to be organized. If you have no idea what a meal prep is, let me school ya, this is where you pre-cook and pre-package meals for your consumption during the week. Prepare a healthy menu of your choice, cook everything on it on a given day (the weekend), package it in Tupperware, toss it in the fridge and after one long campus day, pop it in the microwave, eat to your fill, then you can hit the books or the sack. It's all up to you. No hustle, no bustle.

Treat yo' self. Give yourself some TLC. From a lady's end, this would be the perfect time to detangle, wash, deep condition and style your hair for the week. A facial mask may also have my name all over it. If you are into mani-pedi's there could not be a more convenient time to do it. Easing into the chill part of the weekend and you don't even know it.

Chill/Hang out. You can either unwind solo with a good read, binge watch a series maybe even watch a movie. Or if you are one social butterfly link up with a homie or two and have a good time at a festival, party or one of those campus soi·rĂ©es . Did you have a doubt in your mind that the fun was never going to begin?

Schedule blog posts/videos. If you are a content creator who has to juggle this thing called college you probably want to write or film during the weekend since you are heavily swamped with work the rest of the week. The last thing you want is your viewers/readers thinking you pull a disappearing act every time school is in session.

Church. It is always god to show the Almighty your gratitude for getting you through the week and you just might be fueled with inspiration to tide you through the next week.

Assignments. We are kicking last minute assignments to the curb. Your professor is not about to leave any stones unturned as they test your understanding  of the latest topic of discussion thus the dreaded weekend assignment. Schedule some time to get this done. Reasonably early Sunday morn'/mid-morning is a good bet, leaving you ample time to enjoy a second dose of chill time and have an early, anxiety free night.

Sleep. This is one of those legit ways to re-energize for the week. A siesta on a Sunday afternoon does wonders while turning in early enough has you set and ready to roll come Monday morning.

Put some of these on your weekend to-do lists. You will not regret it.

Have a good one!