I have taken up reading again and I decided that since I have opinions on the books I read I might as well put them somewhere. After reading Great Gatsby in SL Lang Lit with Mr. Sweeting, I was recommended Hemmingway. I had asked a friend for recommendations and I told him that I had just recently finished Gatsby and I enjoyed it a lot, and also finished Steinbeck’s’ Of Mice and Men and really really enjoyed that. I said that I enjoyed their style of writing and evoking empathy with such a nuanced and subtle voice that is riddled with deeper meaning and analysis. So, I was recommended Hemmingway. I could not find the Old Man and the Sea in the library at my first attempt but I needed something to read so I picked up The Sun Also Rises. I have just recently finished it and, nothing surprising, also enjoyed it. I think because I picked it up for a light read, while I was reading it I could not pick up on the nuances and deeper meanings and so a lot of pivotal moments passed by me unnoticed. This is of course because of Hemingway’s writing style, called the Iceberg effect I think. This book was so good it made me read the whole SparkNotes of it and it wasn’t even assigned. After reading further literary reviews and papers, I found greater respect for the character of Brett and the author. Moreover, I have been used to reading older books (before this I had read Dickens and some old Japanese book), and so when researching online and finding that Hemmingway’s original manuscripts and notes were still intact and could be analyzed was fascinating to me. I also enjoyed the literary relationship Hemmingway had with Fitzgerald. While I was reading the Sun Also Rises, I also made connections to all the context and analysis we did in English class for Gatsby. I enjoyed this since after my IOC I was quite disappointed. Not only with my performance, but that I had prepared so much for getting Fitzgerald that once I was done I was not sure what to do with all my knowledge. Who was I to share how Gatsby was a figure of the American Dream and the graffiti on his steps at the end of the book draws reminiscent of America’s foundation of criminal activity and that the greatness of Gatsby was as figurative and hyperbolic as the same adjective being used to describe its muse?
Learning a new sport is really fun and I enjoy it. However, there are also many things that I found difficult. The motions are a bit difficult and since I have just started playing I am not that comfortable in those stances. Moreover, during rally’s your neck needs to be craned high for long periods of time. I am not used to this and so I will have to work on this. Moreover, I am not that used to move around the court. I have never been used to playing on courts as throughout my childhood I am more used to spatial awareness in fields. I was actually quite good at my spatial awareness on a field. I was good at it because I played football and my position became central defense for most of my childhood. I really enjoyed playing football and I try and play it whenever I can nowadays since I don’t want to lose contact with the sport. It is just so much fun to play and I am really thankful that I was part of a competitive team from young as this has helped me develop a fighting and competitive spirit. It has also helped me become a team player as I had to always be aware of where I am relative to the ball and also where my team players are.
In badminton, it is just me on one court. This huge difference has been a struggle for me to adapt to but I am enjoying the challenge. My calves aren’t as worn out as they would have been if I had taken up football this year, that’s for sure. Badminton, on the other hand, strains my biceps and core more. Badminton players must be very deft and agile to move around the court quickly. One of the largest differences I have found that has been the biggest struggle in my transition to Badminton is the time length. In football, I am used to playing for the long term – starting out slow, then a very intense play before break and intense to slow again. My brain has been trained to endure long sessions of playing and as a defensive player, I was never trained on having to score. As I got older, I started playing some more central, and I played attack once or twice in games just before I left the sport. It is a very different mindset and I enjoy both. In badminton, the games are much shorter, lasting 2 or 3 minutes. I was not aware of this. I have had to change how I play and think about competitive games because of this.