Aug. 11th, 2012

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So I finished another book called "Spindle's End". Something made me think of the Robin McKinley books I'd always seen in the bookstore but never got around to checking out, mostly because I'd had too many experiences involving buying books and then deeply regretting that fact, and these were never at the top of my list.

And now I'm just really pissed off because the Internet in this place sucks and for some reason my user ID on my Dad's computer doesn't have a fully-functioning mouse, and neither of us can figure out why that is. Currently, I cannot use the mouse to scroll down and I don't have a right-click function.

Sigh.

I really liked "Spindle's End". It took me back to "The Hero and the Crown", which was one of the best birthday presents I've received, and that book she wrote on Robin Hood, which was one of the best Robin Hood tellings I've read. Of course, reading "Spindle's End", which is a retelling of "Sleeping Beauty" is making me strongly rethink my possible rewrite of the tale. Admittedly, mine was going to take place in the far future (or just in a very advanced culture), so it's not like they would be very similar…

I don't know. I'm not that tied down to the Sleeping Beauty retelling. At least not as much as "Iron Hans" or "Little Mermaid".

Hopefully, at long last, I will finish "Bridge of Birds". I've only had it for weeks at this point. From a reading perspective, I'm not that anxious to finish it, since it is very funny (although the ludity of it is kind of getting to me, so ehhh…), but I would like to finish up the mound of library books I have so I can return them and get to the mound of books I have sitting in my closet waiting to be read.

Some of the things I liked about "Spindle's End" included the way McKinley used world creation. She devoted a great deal of narration to humorous and insightful descriptions of the nation in question. The magic system she created was unique while also fitting into some of the "classic" fantasy systems from older writers, which was fun. And her characters were all great. The story actually reminded me a great deal of "Out of Oz" and the other "Wicked" books. I felt like the voice reading the book in my head was the same for both books. It also switched between characters in a similar way, and involved an adult growing older and coming into their own, as well as a child growing up into a young woman and taking center stage and bringing in sensibility and a bit of selfishness and a bit of caring and an attempt to hold on to sanity and what parts of the world she understands and it's just… incredibly fun.

So there's this poll on the page that shows up after I log in (most of the time) and it asks "Which is more important? Gun-control or protecting citizen's rights to own guns?"

Of course, people always think these things are mutually exclusive. If you have gun control laws, people can still own them. The point is to make it harder for people who might do BAD things with them have a harder time of getting hold of them. It also hopefully pushes for allowing people with at least basic intelligence to have them over people WITHOUT basic intelligence.

The opposite of having gun control laws is not having gun control laws. The opposite of protecting citizen's rights to own guns is not protecting citizen's right to own guns. It is not citizen's rights to own guns and gun control laws, respectively.

I think that now that I have freed myself from the shackles of having Gladiator as my favorite movie presents an interesting quandary. What is my favorite movie? I could say "Princess Mononoke". Heck, before "Gladiator" was my favorite movie, "Twister" was my favorite movie. While that's still a great movie... times have also changed.

Does it matter? No. I'm just curious.

So I wrote a really, really, really short "story" thing last semester or so and, as an experiment, posted it on fanfiction.net, to see how the process worked. It was the least original and shortest complete piece I had, and the one I'm least embarassed about other people POSSIBLY reading it. I didn't think anyone would read it. For some reason, people have. Heck, I've gotten two reviews on it. And the second one, hard as it was to understand through the poor English and bad typing, told me about a typo I'd made in the description. So I went back and fixed some stuff and I feel a lot happier now.

Part of the reason I put it up was because I found out about the beta reading section of the site. While it makes a lot of sense to have something like that up on the site, I never thought of or found it before so... eh. I like editing, and a lot of people on that site could use at least ONE more pair of eyes on their work before they submit it. Sure, it might still suck, but at least people could READ the thing instead of piecing together poor spelling and typos or getting confused over scenarios that just make zero sense.

I was going to put up another experiment to hit the limit that would be let me count as a beta reader... but then I started the LSAT classes and all the library books started piling up and I started having even more doubts about my career choices and, well... who has time to read bad writing anyway?

Most people, apparently. Judging by the sale rates of "50 Shades of Grey".

Plus, they have TONS of beta readers. Probably 75% of which should not be beta reading anything, judging by some of the profiles I read through. People who can't write good English should not be trying to edit things in English. There are other languages on the site. I saw Hebrew, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, and tons of other languages. It's not like it's English or nothing.

Use it as practice? Um... then you should have a note that says "needs second opinion after work, because unsure about validity of changes or any missed problems". The reason translating texts in foreign languages in foreign language classes is useful is partially because you'll have a teacher there to point out at least most of what you got wrong so that you LEARN from the experience. If all you're doing is looking over something you only partially understand, fixing the things you THINK are wrong, and then handing it back to someone who probably knows even less than you do about the language, then you're not really doing anything. Sure, translating stuff on your own is good practice. But if you don't have anything to check your progress by, you're not getting anywhere.

I'm really, really, really rethinking the whole lawyer thing. No, I'm not thinking about the medical school thing. It's apparently just as bad. Still not considering the teacher thing.

I checked out this book about figuring out what it is you want in life. It hasn't been very helpful yet, but hey, I haven't delved into it deeply, so who knows?

I've been looking over some fields of things that matter to me. Although I don't really want to be an optometrist, something in the field of optics and maybe dealing with new kinds of glasses and alternatives to glasses would interest me deeply. I really, really, really don't want to go blind any time soon or any time in my future. If there was a way I could further a goal involving making sure that NEVER happens... well, I have an interest in that. Becoming a research scientist in that field would be interesting.

Saying I would be interesting in doing something with cancer research is really too generic. There are so many types of cancer and so many ways to be involved with that problem that it's just... I imagine myself walking into my career adviser's office and saying "I want to do something involving cancer research" and having her look at me in confusion. She could actually probably help but it just... it's weird. It's like law. I have no idea what I want to practice. I don't even have a good idea on what my options are. I have no idea what type of cancer I would focus on. I don't think I would try to head support groups or work in a hospital diagnosing patients and running chemotherapy or anything but... a research scientist involved with working on a cure of some kind for one of those would be great. HIV also comes to mind as a possible focus.

Then there's math. It always comes back to math. I went from knowing next to nothing about how to make the logic games in the LSAT work to nearly mastering them in this time. I get that that's the point... but it's my best subject of the three sections, followed by Reading Comprehension and then Logical Reasoning. I know that this really doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things, but I've just always felt like there was a neon sign screaming in the back of my mind that I should have done a career that was math related. Of course, whenever I think of that, the first two fields that come to mind are chemistry and physics (the first of which doesn't really make sense, but whatever). I really, really, really don't want to be a chemist, much as I know we need those now. That's one of the fields people are throwing money at kids to get involved in. Physics... just never interested me. While saying you want to be a physicist is nice, I have no idea what research I would work on. Since my parents are both engineers, that field screams at me. Everyone I hear about who's getting a job in college or right out of college is some sort of engineer.

I'd be interested in Astronomy. If it made any money to speak of and if it was one of those throw money at you fields. I'm pretty sure it's not.

Right now it's not even a big money job that's the problem. Heck, if I didn't go to law school (and, with my skill set, it's highly unlikely I'll go to medical school), a big money job at the start of my career life isn't the problem. Would it be great to have? Yeah. YEAH. YES. But right now I just want to increase my chances of just GETTING a job. Heck, at this point my chances of even getting to wait tables is on the low side. Without the need to pay off big debts from a money devourer like law school or medical school, things would be easier, but I'll still be paying for an apartment (or wherever I live), food, a car (or whatever transportation I use, assuming I don't just walk everywhere, which is assuming I live close enough to my job to walk - did I mention that a job where I could work from home would be really awesome?).

After I look at the perspective that I really want to get a job after college and I don't want to be under debt for the next thirty years after I leave college (at least), there's the fact that I want to do something that MATTERS. And, as far as I can see, adding more lawyers into the system is not work that matters to me. Adding more scientists into the system is. I'm surrounded by news of the latest technological advancements or discoveries. We landed yet ANOTHER thing on Mars. We're seeing increasingly better from our little rock by the sun into the depths of the universe, and spotting entirely new celestial masses and objects. We've got new theories about diseases, problems with vaccinations and attacking new forms of old diseases, fears of a new endemic, global warming issues and dealing with any number of problems around the world concerning human waste and pollution. And I wanted to spend my life making someone pay me by the hour to look up how they can get out of being sued for more than x amount of money?

I want to do something that MATTERS. I want to know that, by the end of my life, I contributed to human history and left the world at least a slightly better place than I left it. I don't have to cure cancer, solve world hunger, save the planet from global warming, create replacement eyes... or do any of those big things out there. I just want to get involved in that. Be one of those people pushing for an answer rather than someone on the sidelines, earning a living, hoping others will do the work for me and help save MY life somewhere along the line.

This is part of the reason I considered joining the police or the military. Those people do things that matter. They protect lives. They're strong and ready for most things that come their way. The fix things that need fixing.

How I wish there WAS a neon sign telling me what to do with my life. "Go be an engineer". "Go work on optics research". Something. Anything. Wouldn't that be nice? I'm not one of those people who wants to explore the world and find my own way. Go backpacking through Europe or Asia or South America and see things. Take a trip to some far-off spot and realize that nothing we do matters or something. We have a limited time on this Earth and I want to get to what I'm needed as fast as I possibly can.

I think that it's about time I was useful somewhere.

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