Join us for our wrap up discussion of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao! Haven’t had a chance to finish the book? Haven’t even started it? Curling up with a good novel is an excellent way to spend a long, holiday weekend (and sneak away from family!) Bronx Extension Center: Wednesday December 3rd @ 4:30PM Manhattan Campus: Wednesday, December 10th @ 4:30PM
What scares us? In a blog post, two writers, Ayana Mathis (left) and Francine Prose, talk about their encounters with terrifying books. Interestingly, both refer to books they first read as young children.
Shawnese has lived in Teaneck, NJ, and Harlem. She learned about MCNY when her cousin graduated from here with a Masters in Public Affairs. The school felt at home for her from the first day. She liked the small class settings, which allowed her to really know her professors, and the class schedule worked with hers. She is only in her first Purpose as an undergraduate in Human Services — she takes classes at the Bronx Extension Center but one day she hopes to do her Masters here as well.
Our first discussion group of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is just around the corner. We just wanted to throw out some questions to get you started thinking about how we may want to shape our conversation. And that’s what this is — a conversation, a chance to think together about the book and to get to know one another.
People have been coming up to me and to the Writing Specialists and saying how much they love the book. So, we know that at least some of you are enthusiastic. Some of you totally devoured it! For the purposes of our discussion, we’ll assume that not everyone has finished, so we will just be discussing the first half of the book or so.
*What stands out for you about the book so far? *What do you think about the style in which the book was written? There are multiple narrators and footnotes and there is a lot of slang. How did the author’s decisions about aspects things affect your experience? Why do you think the author made these choices? *Which character do you relate to most closely? Why? *The book deals with all sorts of themes, from being an alienated teenager to domestic violence, what themes stand out for you?
Post your responses here, and we can talk about all of these things and more in our discussion group!
Bronx Extension Center: Tuesday October, 22 at 4:30 pm Manhattan Campus: Wednesday October, 29th at 4:30 pm
This animation explores the various arguments for reading literature. Curious about how the simple act of reading Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao can make you a better person? Check out this groovy animation created by The School of Life.
What if success isn’t about “doing it right” and is instead about one’s ability to tolerate failure? As this New York Times article “What if the Secret to Success Is Failure?” by Paul Tough details, at the prestigious private school Riverdale Country School, the headmaster champions characteristics such as grit, curiosity, and zest over specific academic skills as the true route to achievement.
I returned back to school because I was tired of feeding and believing my redundant excuses such as “I’ve been out of college for over 18 years”; “How would I repay my student loans?” And “how would I juggle full-time employment and being a full-time student?” But my truth was I was scared, scared to fail, scared to challenge myself. I initially allowed fear to dictate my life and halt my destiny. It left me in a debilitating place in my life because I was trying to figure out what was my purpose; I struggled for quite some time trying to understand why I was so unhappy and angry. I blamed others for my emotional and unpredictable mood swings. I did some soul searching and realized why I was unhappy and angry, I wasn’t pleased with the job I’ve been with for 9 years, my life felt so monotonous without a purpose or a reason and I didn’t feel like I was making a difference.
I knew what I was passionate about, but I needed to understand how to execute it. I truly believe I was given a gift, and that’s to give back to those in need. I want to provide support and understanding, but for me to assist someone else with support, I have to provide support to myself. I have to begin the process again of believing in myself, knowing my worth and knowing that all things are possible. I started feeling good about myself again because I realized this was my new beginning.
I knew very little about Metropolitan College of New York, so I decided to do my research. MCNY offered Human Services with flexible course schedules, so the only thing that was left for me to do was to enroll. I was still apprehensive because fear was still my security blanket, but I told myself there will be no more excuses; I have something to prove to myself and to see through on my passion; I needed to start living my truth.
September 13, 2014, I began my journey at Metropolitan College of New York as a full time student, majoring in Human Services. I will admit, I have a very challenging road ahead, but I’m following my passion because I believe that’s what I’m meant to do. Taking the time to evaluate who I am has definitely changed my perception of what I’m capable of doing. All things are possible if I believe in myself and stay focused and determined. I’ve been standing in my own way for quite some time, but I’ve made a conscious decision to get off the bench and begin playing on the court.