Tag Archives: self-realization

Philosophy: A dead field of study?

philosophyAs time passes I find myself more and more captivated by the core values seemingly promoted by philosophy — the way of thinking about complex issues in relation to one’s self, one’s knowledge and how one conducts his/her life.  Being someone who considers themselves in relation to others a relatively deep thinker, I enjoy the act of metacognating (thinking about one’s thoughts).  Philosophy has many different branches — metaphysics, epistemology, etc.  Broaching topics from existence, the process of thought, knowledge etc., philosophy is generally thought to be a large field of science with many sub-topics.

Why is philosophy so broad in comparison to other sciences? Well, the simple answer is, it’s not. However, the longer answer is due to the fact that figuring out how to best logically reason out one’s own rationality requires a lot of different elements in order to do so.  Now, why is it that nowadays people speak of philosophy as a “dead” field?  How can a field that involves critical thinking, self-awareness and determining the important questions surrounding one’s existence be pronounced dead?  Unbeknownst to me until recently this seems to be the common notion surrounding this study of thought as well as other humanity-related subjects and liberal arts. Continue reading

Sophie’s Books that Make You Think

fault-in-our-starsReview #1 (The Fault in Our Stars)

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is a tragic, yet youthful and captivating book. It features a girl named Hazel Grace who meets a boy named Augustus Waters at a support group for people who have cancer. Augustus uses his wish that he received when he first learned of his cancer to fly to Amsterdam to meet a Peter Van Houten, the author of Hazel’s favorite book, An Imperial Affliction. Right from the beginning, Hazel’s sarcasm mixed with Augustus’s charm stuck to me, and have ended being two of my favorite characters in any book I’ve ever read. The writing was very unique, in that it used beautiful analogies, and was able to blend in a lot of humor despite its tragic topic. To any readers out there that enjoy a little mix of everything I would definitely recommend this book.

Review #2 (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky is in a perksWallflowerway very interesting in that it is vague so that you have to infer what is happening. This book is about a boy who goes by the alias name as Charlie who is beginning high school and decides to document his life through letters to the his friend, the reader. Charlie has no friends, except for Michael who committed suicide back in eighth grade. When Charlie begins high school he meets Patrick, Sam and many of their friends who teach him how to have fun.  I really enjoyed this book because it is in a way, a coming-of-age type of book that really introduces the reader to many different things that are important in realizing that happens to everyone. The author was able to expose the types of things that teenagers and people go through in life. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone of any age.

Lord of the FliesReview #3 (Lord of The Flies)

Lord of The Flies, by William Golding is chilling, and showed the savage side of a human. This book begins with a plane crash on an island, and a group of boys with no adults stranded. Humanity versus savagery is a big theme in this book. It quickly transitions from them trying to remain together as a group to a chaotic and bloody scene. This book was really creative in the symbolic representations that the author had chosen. And I found it really interesting to how the boys had divided the way that they did, and how much they had changed from British school boys to savages. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys symbolism and the capability of how savage a person can really become.

–Sophie, Columbia, Teen Adviser

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Wild: The book, and now… the movie!

WildDo you like hiking? Nature? How about reckless adventures? Emotional memoirs?

If you answered, “yes” to any of those questions, I recommend checking out the book, and now the film, Wild.

Wild, a first-person memoir by Cheryl Strayed, tells the story of her expedition on the Pacific Crest Trail in the summer of 1995. In the four years leading up to her journey, her mother died (Cheryl was 22), her stepfather and siblings became disconnected from the family, and Cheryl turned to drugs to cope with her loss.  After wandering around the country for several months, she comes home and divorces her husband.  Feeling that she has lost her path in life and having nothing more to lose, she decides to set out, alone, on an 1100-mile long hike from southern California through Oregon.  Having never backpacked before, Cheryl describes the physical and mental struggles that challenged and healed her along the trail. Told with the utmost honesty, reflection, emotion, and suspense, the story of Wild is a deep and inspiring exploration.

The book was published in 2012 and received critical acclaim from the likes of Oprah Winfrey and The New York Times.Wild

The film was released in December 2014 and stars Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern.  Overall, the film excellently captures the interplay between past memories and current challenges on the trail.  Witherspoon portrays Cheryl with true emotion, strength, and bravery.  IMBd gives the movie 7.5 out of 10 stars. That’s really good!

So, whether you’re an adventurous type or someone who searches for meaning in stories, a dedicated book lover or a film fanatic, I would recommend reading, or watching, (or both), Wild.  It might just make you want to take off on an epic hike of your own!

Check out the book!

Here’s where you can see the movie in the Seattle area.

–RuthMabel, Greenwood, Teen Blogger

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette – Comical yet dark

Where'd You Go, BernadetteTitle:  Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

Author: Maria Semple

Summary:  Bernadette Fox, Los Angeles native now Seattle resident, is the wife of Microsoft big-timer Elgin Branch, the mother of gifted Bee Branch, the alien to fellow Seattle moms, and a former award-winning architect. A novel stitched together by Bernadette’s very own daughter, it’s comprised of letters and emails that follow the whirlwind that notorious Fox finds herself swept up into, that even leads her to the ends of the planet.

I would rate this book 9/10 stars.  This witty, uniquely crafted satire can resonate with not only Seattle natives (who will probably catch on to more of the humor of the story), but with any other reader who may come from a less-than-ordinary family. Comical yet dark, Where’d You Go, Bernadette is a laugh, a cliff-hanger, a “wait, what just happened?” moment kind of story, that’ll keep you hooked until the very end.

I started reading Where’d You Go, Bernadette because it takes place in Seattle; my hometown, my motherland. You don’t find many books set in the rainy city, especially not ones that go into such depth and detail about the nitty gritty of this town as Where’d You Go, Bernadette does. Continue reading

Bad Teacher!

PowersMathHomeworktumblr_miqw96gvYB1r4g1p5o1_500Oh, how I dreaded 7th period my freshman year. By the time 1:25 in the afternoon rolled around, it felt like I was being sentenced to my own death. It wasn’t that Algebra II was the bane of my existence, because I’m not even all that lousy at math. It was my cold-hearted, mean, grouchy, short-tempered, overall horrible man I had for a teacher. I don’t know what was worse: his indescribably bad breath, or his almost hilariously unclear teaching method. By the time 2:15 finally arrived, my brain was scrambled and inexpressibly baffled by whatever lesson he had poorly taught us for the day. He was almost as dreadful as Ms. Trunchbull from Roald Dahl’s Matilda. This went on for nine months, four times a week, for forty-five agonizing minutes every day.

The end of the period was just as much a flood of relief as it was a blow at my self-esteem, as I trudged out of that classroom tremendously confused as well as angry with myself. Why don’t I just get it? I would think to myself. Am I just stupid? Continue reading

Teen Review: Their Eyes Were Watching God

TEWWGTitle: Their Eyes Were Watching God

Author: Zora Neale Hurston

Summary:  Tells the story of Janie, a Negro girl living in Florida at the time of the Jim Crow laws, who sets out to find love after fleeing an arranged marriage.

Why I started reading:  my teacher recommended it.

In a yearbook, the main character would be voted Most Likely To:  Find love whatever it takes.

This book reminded me of Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison because they both deal with the topic of racism, and in both stories, the main character goes on a journey.

Watch out for the plot twist!

–Christina, Northeast Teen Adviser

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