Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The start of a new bout of travel

Hello, friends! It has been a while since I posted, and for that, I apologize. It has been a busy couple of weeks, but now I'm back to announce the beginning of a new adventure!

Starting tomorrow I will be traveling up to Lexington, VA by way of Gainesville, GA, Winchester/Sewanee, TN, Richmond, VA, and Washington, DC. I hope to have some interesting and exciting adventures in each of those places, so stay tuned for Road Trip 2010, as it will now be called.

Also, in the coming days, be on the lookout for a post regarding Harry Potter Land, which I have now visited TWICE and can speak about with great authority. There may also be Dublin and Legoland posts to look forward to.

So really this whole post, thus far, is just a teaser of things to come, but by announcing that I will be writing these posts, I am prohibited from procrastinating. School is back in session, and since academia has long been the motivating force behind my productivity, it's about time I give myself some homework.

Speaking of homework, a couple of weeks ago I recommended a few books that I think everyone should read. I, of course, have already read them all, but recommending them made me want to revisit a few of my favorites. Right now I am 300 pages deep in Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. The last time I read this fantastic book was the summer before I began college. In fact, I remember finishing it as my parents and I drove through the Blue Ridge Mountains for the very first time. How fitting, then, that I should read it again as my undergraduate journey comes to a definite close. Indeed, I am still reading it as I prepare to return to W&L as an alumna. As I mentioned in that recommendation, this book made me want to be an architect until I realized that it was the literature that gave me that feeling, which is when I shifted my focus to English and never looked back. As I read it for the second time, I am imagining my future as an English professor, teaching this amazing piece of fiction to eager, young literary enthusiasts.

The first half of the book is now heavily steeped in green ink, and I have a mental checklist of discussion points growing ever longer. The joy I'm getting from this exercise calls to mind a story my mother tells of how my uncle decided to become a professor after having spent years in promotional product sales: he was asked what job he would be willing to do for free. When you find that thing that you love so much you would do it for free, you know you've found the career for you. And let me tell you, after three, long jobless months of vague uncertainty about the future, that kind of discovery is very welcome indeed. Actually, it's also one of the themes of The Fountainhead: doing what you love, regardless of what other people think you should do and even if you can't get paid for it right away. Rand says that choosing a career you love is dangerous because people will see that love and try to take it away from you. Maybe I have a little more faith in humanity than she did, but to be fair, she grew up in communist Russia, and that's bound to make anyone a little cynical. Anyway, I've got a long way to go before I actually become a professor, and I'm still not quite ready to go back to grad school, but I now know for certain that I will go back, and I will enjoy it when I do.

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