Purposive Rambling

the journey is the reward.

Posts Tagged ‘reading

“Books are brain food.”

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That’s what the magnet next to my desk says. It’s very cute. It has a little book worm with glasses on it.

I think the saying on the magnet is true. Too true.

Reading definitely keeps your mind moving. Just like food keeps your body moving. For my brain, Thanksgiving came a bit early. I’ve read too many books in the past few days. My brain is experiencing a food coma. It’s tired. It needs a break. It doesn’t want to work anymore. It needs to sleep.


Written by Lisa

November 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Posted in Grad School

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Alex & Me

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I just finished reading Alex & Me: How a Scientist and Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence – and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process by Irene Pepperberg. It was a quick, sad but also uplifting, and interesting read. It was the kind of book that you just don’t want to put down. It makes you question what you know about intelligence and language and the distinctions between humans and other animals. It’s also a powerful story about perseverance. Pepperberg faced so many challenges in her journey to teach people about Alex’s capabilities. Many people would just give up. But she believed that what she was doing was important, and she believed that she could succeed. Very inspiring story.

Written by Lisa

September 20, 2009 at 11:09 pm


with 2 comments

Lately, I’ve been feeling very restless and a bit bored with life. Or, the everyday stuff of life. I am happy with Jon. I am happy with Sociology. I am happy with Indianapolis. I am even happy with reading for my qualifying exam! But when I’m laying down in bed each night and reflecting on the day, I feel bothered. With myself mostly. A lot of times I feel like I just half-assed everything.

Me to myself:

I didn’t work that hard. I read some, but I got distracted a lot too. I spent way too much time checking my email, reading the news, being a voyeur into people’s lives on Facebook, laughing out loud at adorable cats, and so on. Along with this half-assed work, I had some half-assed play time. I sat on the couch watching crap tv that doesn’t really add anything to my life. What a waste of time.

I want/need to do more. To be more. I want to feel like everyday is fulfilling and worthwhile. Sure, sometimes I just need to veg on the couch, but not every day. I want to be someone who works hard and plays hard instead of having a casual, uncommitted approach to both. That is getting me nowhere.

So yesterday I started on the hard-working part. Our Internet was down, and although I complained a lot about it, it was a blessing. I put my head down and read for my qualifying exam all day. I took a break for lunch, I took a break for dinner, and then I ended the day with enough time to watch a couple shows with Jon and read a couple chapters of Alex and Me, which is great so far, by the way. It was the most productive day I have had in quite awhile. And even though I was a bit antsy because I hadn’t been able to check my email, it was really nice to not have the distraction of the Internet. The trick now is to find the self-discipline to either ignore it or shut it down and give myself the big blocks of time that I need to get real work done on a consistent basis.

And as for the play side of things, Jon and I have agreed that we need to get off the couch more and stop treating tv like a hobby.

Written by Lisa

September 9, 2009 at 10:15 pm

My Lobotomy

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I just finished reading My Lobotomy: A Memoir by Howard Dully and Charles Fleming.

It was really nice to be reading a non-academic book finally! It’s been quite awhile since I did any reading for fun. Not that I don’t enjoy reading Sociology, but it’s for a different purpose.

This book is anything but fun, though. It’s horribly depressing. It’s all about Howard Dully surviving not only a lobotomy, but also an abusive childhood. His story of persistence through all of the harm that was done to him by the people that should have been protecting him is just remarkable. Nobody should have to grow up feeling unloved and unwanted. 

Reading this book reminded me of everything I have to be thankful for. I am so blessed to be where I am and to not have had to go through the pain and hardship that so many people face throughout their lives. It didn’t have to be this way, though. I could have been Howard Dully. Anyone could have. It definitely makes me want to make the most of this great life that I have and avoid negativity about the little things that really don’t matter. It also makes me want to be more compassionate to others. We really don’t know what people have had to deal with in their lives, and we really shouldn’t be so quick to judge.

Written by Lisa

May 28, 2009 at 4:38 pm