19 January 2012

Notes and Two Book Reviews

Today, I finished all my tasks in the library and I took the opportunity to take rest and sleep at the sofa. As usual, I'm not feeling well and this time, my body hurts and I have a headache. I wasn't able to dry my hair this morning and so I have to spend the rest of the day with my wet hair tied and tucked inside my veil. And the headache is in. I might only dry it once I come home. I however, like this place since I am let within my own and I finish my tasks without distractions. It's a lot of freeing to know that in this place, I don't feel a lot of pressure. The lessons and letters were already packed in the envelopes, and the envelopes were printed with names and all of them are ready to be checked and be sent soon.

Med. School

I visited AUF last Tuesday and I personally inquired about the requirements. My NMAT score passed in their cut-off and here I am, trying to figure out if I'll proceed to preparing for the requirements. It's an additional headache to think about the tuition fees my parents have to shoulder again if I'm going to proceed to enroll this year. Decisions still have to be weighed over regarding the fees. But I am determined in pursuing to become a doctor. How I wish the tuition fees aren't those expensive!! How I wish there would be no longer the dreaded class reports! Hopefully, there will be open doors so that too much difficulties can be passed through. I am not entirely closing my options


I had already finished reading Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. As a whole, I found it a lot interesting and psychologically insightful. Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikoff was a personally alienated but intelligent student who broke the bounds of law. In his desperate attempt to prove his theory, he carried out the plan of killing an old woman usurer. I however, disagree with his theory that great people become famous as results of their crimes. He believed that he identified himself as one of those great people which gave him the right to commit a crime. In this case, my view is that, people of renowned achievement and leadership introduce new laws, new concepts and innovations to their society, but the fact and necessity of having to kill human beings are only means when there are people who oppose these leaders who are bringing about these societal changes. Therefore, Rasknolnikoff's reasoning about crime is flawed, since the act of killing precedes the changes he want to see in his society. And in the end of the story, he admits that he has 'failed in his mission.'  

After Crime and Punishment, my next book reading is Heidi by Johanna Spyri. It is a wonderful story for all ages, a very lovely piece with many adventures to see and lessons to learn from. Heidi went to lived with her grandfather on the Swiss Alps and there, she was surrounded with high valleys, verdant meadows, flowers, bright and clear skies with the shining sun, fresh mountain air, and many animals. They lived on a little, but well-kept hut and Heidi had a room on the upper portion of their hut, with a nice bed made of sweet-smelling hay and covered with thick rugs. Her room has a small rounded window where she could see the sky and the valleys, the sun when it's shining, and the moon and stars before she goes to sleep. Everyday, she would play with the grazing goats and she all gave them names. She made friends with Peter the goatherd and his grandmother. Heidi became very sad when she was brought by her aunt to Frankfurt, to be a friend of an invalid girl named Clara. There, she accompanied the girl with her lessons, but Heidi was mistreated by the housekeeper because of her unfamiliarity with city manners. Heidi soon lost her appetite and as the days and weeks went by, she had trouble sleeping and cried almost everyday as she longed to go back home to her grandfather and see the beautiful mountains, be with the animals, and visit Peter's grandmother. She was losing her hope, until Clara's grandmother arrived and taught her to have faith in God and never lose hope. Eventually, Heidi was allowed to go back home. Clara, her father, grandmother, and Clara's doctor visited Heidi and the mountains after which Clara recovered her health and was able to walk. Heidi was happy again, as she learned a lot of new things such as reading, and she helped the people around her regain hope, faith, and happiness.

I read these books before I go to sleep, and I learn a lot of new things through reading them - Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novel is set in Russia, while Johanna Spyri's Heidi is set in Switzerland. It's like traveling to very far places and being able to learn a lot about their homelands and ways of life. I am also somehow reminded that though these stories were written so long ago, they still deal with the same lessons and issues of us being humans - emotions, modes of thinking, sadness, hope and renewed faith - which are always universal no matter how long time has passed and the the distant places between.