today is officially the first day of our summer vacation here, with endterm exams ending yesterday. that means i won't have classes to handle anymore for the next two months, although i will still be holding office as department chair for the last 6 weeks of my term. i will be officially taking my vacation leave during the last three weeks of may...
i started my vacation on the right foot. : ) i woke up at 6am today and went out for my long walk, which i haven't done for the last month! the two small kids were with me and they enjoyed running around and playing in the grass and picking flowers while i walked briskly and enjoyed the early morning breeze and light sunshine. then i took them to Jollibee (our local McDonald's here, even bigger than McDonald's on a per country basis!) for breakfast, after which paolo asked to be dropped off at his cousins' to spend the day playing with my sisters' children.
bea is now enjoying "Dora, The Explorer" on tv while i just finished showering. i have my work planned out for today -- a second visit to the ob-gyne for my annual pap smear results, my annual prophylaxis with the dentist, and my monthly facial at the skin care salon, in addition to cleaning out my closet, my bookshelves and organizing my paperwork. with all these done today and tomorrow (at the latest), i'm off to a good, relaxing and enriching summer and i can't wait!
what makes me particularly excited about summer is my summer reading list. our university library had a book sale yesterday and i ogled all the old and new books available for bargain sale. finally, i bought the following at only 50 to 80 pesos (50 to 75 cents) each!
take a look at the titles and the blurbs:
1. Lives of Our Own-- Secrets of Salty Old Women, by Caroline Bird, Houghton-Mifflin, 1995. "In this groundbreaking book, Caroline reports on the hitherto undocumented world of lively, productive, independent women who are inventing satisfying new lives for themselves, mostly after spending years in the traditional roles of wives and mothers." (although the book is about 55-something plus women, i certainly feel like the women described right now!)
2. Fire in the Belly--On Being A Man, by Sam Keen, Bantam, 1991. "With traditional notions of manhood under attack, today's men (and women) are looking for a new vision of masculinity. ... It begins with a frank discussion of men's unconscious bondage to Woman (not a woman), to the primal power that women wield over men. Only when men begin to learn the uniquely male mysteries can they go on to build nurturing, satisfying relationships with each other, with a mate and with a family." (so i can understand better how it is from The Other Side, and help "train" my men friends... until i get to My Man... heeheehee)
3. George Eliot: Voice of A Century, A Biography, by Frederick R. Karl, W. W. Norton, 1995. "Eliot, torn within by the contradictions between the desire to conserve the past and yet to change the limitations imposed by class and gender, proves to be a fascinating individual ..." (well, i think the reason for my choice is obvious. it strikes a chord within, and im hoping that by reading the book, i'll be provided with my own clearer roadmap in my own journey and blossoming as a woman, a writer, and a human being...)
4. Conversations with Maya Angelou, edited by Jeffrey M. Elliot, University Press of Mississipi, 1989. what hooked me was this blurb: "(Maya Angelou's) rhythmic, spellbinding cadence quickly draws you into her confidence as this admirably defiant artist tells you about her bewildering childhood... about black identity and self-image, about her romantic imagination ... about her personal commitment to the Civil Rights Movement, and about her rejection of all things that are negative." (sounds like me in that last part!!!)
5. Letters to Sartre:Simone de Beauvoir, translated and edited by Quentin Hoare, Little, Brown and Co., 1992. no need for a blurb. Simone de Beauvoir has been one of my personal heroines ever since i read her autobiography when i was only 17.
then, too, there are my two borrowed books from the library, borrowed since october of last year yet, which i only kept renewing but never managed to start reading:
1. Women, Sex and Addiction, A Search for Love and Power, by Charlotte Davis Kasl, PhD, Ticknor and Fields, 1989. " With this wise, compassionate book, women will learn to experience their sexuality as a source of love and positive power, and sex as an expression that honors the soul as well as the body."
2. Magdalena, The Sinner, A Novel, by Lilian Faschinger, Harper Collins, 1997. "One of the most original and controversial books to recently come out of Europe, Lilian Faschinger's Magdalena, The Sinner presents a headlong collision between eroticism and religion, men and women, freedom and conformity."
needless to say, for those who already know me and where i've been, the last two books reflect my state of mind since october, and the state of my concerns--exploring my sensuality and sexuality responsibly and with integrity, even as i grow to sexual and further emotional maturity...
notice a running theme through all the books? : )
i guess you can say that my summer reading list is my self-designed syllabus for growth.
mmmm... imagine the woman i would be after two months!!!