My Favorite Book Is: Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime; Guest Blog by Jarreau Freeman

My favorite book is my favorite book for many reasons. It’s not because it has some artfully crafted plot, takes place in a whimsical setting, or possesses a cast of dynamic characters, although the characters in the book are certainly quirky and endearing in their own right. Continue reading “My Favorite Book Is: Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime; Guest Blog by Jarreau Freeman”

My Favorite Book Is: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; Guest Blog by Blaine Tonee

Hello, fellow readers! The topic of this blog is supposed to be “My Favorite Book”, but since it’s been a while since I’ve read mine (The Road by Cormac McCarthy, in case you were wondering) I would instead like to share with you another one of my top picks. Last year, as a first-year high school teacher, I was both surprised and delighted to find Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on the tenth-grade approved reading list for my district and, as it was one of only three books on the list I had actually read at the time, I did not hesitate to add it to my curriculum. Now in my second year of teaching this book I have gained more insight about it than I ever really cared to know, but I can say for certain that I have a far greater appreciation for Alice’s Adventures now than I did when I first read it. Continue reading “My Favorite Book Is: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; Guest Blog by Blaine Tonee”

Why Lady Mary is the Main Character of Downton Abbey: Part 1

Downton Abbey has become a modern “classic” in the Golden Age of television. It’s variety of characters upstairs and downstairs make for a wide array of juicy story-lines. My main focus of this series of blogs, to bid farewell to our beloved Downton, is to analyze who the real main character of the drama is (and no, it is not the house). Continue reading “Why Lady Mary is the Main Character of Downton Abbey: Part 1”

Fictional Liturgy: Hogfather & Truth

The advent season is upon us and to countdown, the Keep Calm and Read On Blog will be hosting 4 weeks of Fictional Liturgy. Fiction, as discussed in a post I wrote for MuggleNet back in October, has the power to create empathy and teach the reader. It requires reflection. Good fiction contains wisdom. In these 4 blogs I plan to focus on a cultural issue and a specific work of fiction ranging from novels to films, while sprinkling in some personal notes from time to time. I wrote them as one would write a sermon…or at least how I imagine one writes a sermon. I do not claim to be a Biblical scholar nor do I claim these pieces of fiction I reference to carry more weight than the Bible. These posts will reflect my beliefs but I hope they will also reflect the message of Jesus and his vision of the Kingdom. Merry Christmas.

“All right,” said Susan. “I’m not stupid. You’re saying humans need… fantasies to make life bearable.”
REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.
“Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—”
YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.
“So we can believe the big ones?”
YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.
“They’re not the same at all!”
YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME…SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.
“Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what’s the point—”
MY POINT EXACTLY.”

Earlier this year, a scandal on the same scale as Cupgate (mentioned in the first blog of this series) swept the nation. Someone posted a picture of a dress and some people saw it as white and gold while others saw blue and black. It was as if the world had imploded. Friends became foes; families were torn apart and this all happened because they didn’t see the same colors in a photograph. Turns out, there is a scientific explanation to this mind bending phenomenon. So what can we take from this trying incident that rocked our nation to it’s core? What we see isn’t always objective. Not everything is what it seems. Continue reading “Fictional Liturgy: Hogfather & Truth”

Fictional Liturgy: Sarah, Plain and Tall & Feminism

The advent season is upon us and to countdown, the Keep Calm and Read On Blog will be hosting 4 weeks of Fictional Liturgy. Fiction, as discussed in a post I wrote for MuggleNet back in October, has the power to create empathy and teach the reader. It requires reflection. Good fiction contains wisdom. In these 4 blogs I plan to focus on a cultural issue and a specific work of fiction ranging from novels to films, while sprinkling in some personal notes from time to time. I wrote them as one would write a sermon…or at least how I imagine one writes a sermon. I do not claim to be a Biblical scholar nor do I claim these pieces of fiction I reference to carry more weight than the Bible. These posts will reflect my beliefs but I hope they will also reflect the message of Jesus and his vision of the Kingdom. Merry Christmas.

“Screw writing ‘strong’ women.  Write interesting women.  Write well-rounded women.  Write complicated women.  Write a woman who kicks ass, write a woman who cowers in a corner.  Write a woman who’s desperate for a husband.  Write a woman who doesn’t need a man.  Write women who cry, women who rant, women who are shy, women who don’t take no shit, women who need validation and women who don’t care what anybody thinks.  THEY ARE ALL OKAY, and all those things could exist in THE SAME WOMAN.  Women shouldn’t be valued because we are strong, or kick-ass, but because we are people.  So don’t focus on writing characters who are strong.  Write characters who are people.” – Madlori on Tumblr.com

Growing up, I always considered myself to be a tomboy. I enjoyed playing sports, drawing dinosaurs, and playing with Power Ranger figurines. But I also loved to create dance routines, play with Barbie dolls, and watch Disney Princess movies. None of this amounted to much in my eyes. As far as I was concerned, I was just being me. It became clearer and clearer the older I grew that their were social norms set aside for boys and girls. I can’t say I paid much attention to them nor did they bother me. But looking back, I can see where I was hindered and can see where I will be hindered in the future because I was born a girl. Continue reading “Fictional Liturgy: Sarah, Plain and Tall & Feminism”