Tuesday, April 20, 2010

last blog

I thought Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid was just great! The writing and illustrations were smart and very funny. In fact, I rather enjoy reading children’s books from time to time because I think that they have a lot to offer everyone. Reading this work as an adult may even have many benefits that may only come with time. Maybe it is because of the distance from this age, maybe because, in retrospect, one is better able to understand things that a child may not yet fully be aware of. But whether one is a child or not, this book is sure to provide entertainment as well as great meaning.

I thought our discussion of one quote in particular really encapsulates a lot of what Kinney, and Kalman for that matter, are doing. “I just hope someone doesn’t start the Cheese Touch up again, because I don’t need that kind of stress in my life anymore” (10). And it is true that, while this grotesque slice of old cheese may not seem to be of any real significance to some, it may be everything, or at least something very important, to someone else. It certainly is for Greg and his classmates. But rather than judge the source of one’s stress, it is important to simply recognize that something such as stress is universally recognized. Who is to say what is important when it is something so subjective and personal? What matters is that something is important, to someone anyway.

Kalman’s trratment of the dilemma of time, namely that we would like to stop it as well as leave it in motion, speaks very much to the stress of the Cheese Touch and even life for a middle-schooler, for anyone really. It is kind of like thinking about dying: sometimes is seems really scary and unimaginable, but then even scarier than dying is not dying. That time might go on forever is definitely not a comforting alternative. So I think that Kalman’s ending is very lovely and true: To simply “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Otherwise, life and the human conception and grappling of it may easily become overwhelming.

In our conversation about the authors we have been reading and the ways in which they express and put forth the ways we as human beings hope to construct our lives, I am once again reminded of the most surprising thing I have taken away from the semester. It might actually be more appropriate to extend this to my life as a student up to now being that I will be graduating in just twenty-five days. But I do not know if I would necessarily say that it is surprising, though it is certainly one of the most important things I have learned so far. The process of creating a life is what seems to be what life is actually all about. Amy Sedaris understands this as well. Setting goals is great, but sometimes people tend to forget that they are indeed living in the process, that life is not representative of achieving a particular dream, but that it exists in the striving and in time.

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