It’s Monday, and I’m not freaking out.

I don’t think anyone’s favorite day is Monday. Seriously, if anyone has figured out a way to be positive about the end of the weekend, let me know.

It’s sad to think about the freedom and flexibility of the weekend being over so quickly. It has become especially sad this semester since every Sunday has been darkened by weekly due dates for different subjects. In the midst of homework, quizzes and exams, it is not uncommon to experience a few breakdowns. Anyway, today I’m writing about one of the least unpleasant assignments college offers!

What I’m reading for school:

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Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

I can’t fight the sun. I can only watch helplessly as it drags me into a day that I’ve been dreading for months. Katniss Everdeen, p. 3.

(Don’t you appreciate how Katniss feels the same way about this day as we all do about Mondays?)

I decided to re-read this book because I just love Peeta! This is my favorite book of the Hunger Games series, so I thought, “why not!?” I know some people like Gale the most, but in all honesty, I like this book the best is because of the interaction between Katniss and Peeta. Come on, people! I mean Gale is cool and a loyal friend to Katniss, but Peeta has unconditionally loved her since she was five! So cute! Anyway, I am still on page 35 out of 216 pages. This far I have not been disappointed. Collins doesn’t fail to develop characters thoroughly and make us love or deeply dislike each one of them. I am really looking forward to seeing more action though.

What I’m reading for myself:

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Back on Track: A 40-Day Journey to Spiritual Renewal by Jimmy Allen

Halfheartedness doesn’t work in male-female relationships, athletic competition, academia or anything really. It certainly won’t cut it with God. Jimmy Allen, p. 66.

I started reading this a little over a month ago and I try to read it every day. For those of you who are looking for a deeper, more sincere relationship with God, this is a great read! It has really changed the way I see myself. In just 102 out of 169 pages, I have learned about joy, consistency, prayer and much more.

 

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Did The Hunger Games reach its true potential?

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I won’t close my eyes…As my last act of defiance, I will stare her down as long as I can see…I will not cry out, I will die, in my own small way, undefeated.  Katniss Everdeen, p. 164

Suzanne Collinsbook The Hunger Games” is about the dystopia into which North America has transformed after war and natural disasters. The country of Panem is divided into twelve districts and the Capitol. Collins narrates that the once thirteen districts had rebelled against the Capitol and lost, resulting in the obliteration of District 13 and a yearly celebration used as a reminder of the districts’ impotence against the power of the Capitol. This celebration consisted of a girl and a boy between the ages twelve and eighteen being presented as tributes by each District. All of the tributes had to fight to the death until only one victor remained and was granted a lifetime of comfort and fame.

Our main character, Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen-year-old girl becomes the female tribute and leaves behind her mother and sister to the care of her friend Gale. From the start of the book, we learn that Katniss is a skilled hunter, and this gives her friends and family hope that she might return. The other tribute from District 12, called Petta Mellark, is the son of the baker. We quickly find out about the history of our tributes as a romance starts to develop. After a couple ceremonies, the twenty four tributes are delivered into the arena. From the moment they arrive, the massacre begins as Katniss struggles to survive in the arena, not being able to differentiate acting from real feelings toward Peeta.

I read this series in Spanish back in 2012 when the first movie came out. Reading something in your second language gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the details that the author meant for you to understand. These details can be easily ignored when reading in your first language because, somehow, we become numb to our words and assume we know the meaning because of the context, when often enough, we don’t. I watched the movie before I read the book, and I thought that the details in the book gave life and depth to the story and the characters of the movie. I really liked how detailed Collins was in describing Katniss’ inner dialogue and how vulnerable and real Katniss is. In the first book, Katniss is this portrayed as a protective, loyal and brave sister and friend. We learn how life has made her tough and taught her to be aware of her surroundings wherever she is. She shows her compassion, humility and loyalty continuously. But she is also real. She is hurt, confused, angry, unfair, afraid and deceitful. She is not a perfect role model; instead, she is flawed and messes up. Another thing I think is outstanding is that the story was unpredictable. Collins gave her readers a real ending to her first book. She didn’t make it all good and perfect, but she also didn’t come up with a miserable, tragic ending. I think the ending is more indicative of reality. Life is rarely extremely good or extremely tragic. Collins did a good job helping the audience connect with Katniss and immersing them in her world where fear, hunger and violence are the sad reality. In only 212 pages, we learn about her everyday routine, her experience in high school, her family situation, her relationship status, her convictions and her interactions with her acquaintances. In my opinion, even the romance between Peeta and Katniss is well developed and even more convincing because of the conflict.

 

After reading the book, I realized that the constant inner dialogue Katniss has is essential for the audience to empathize with the gloomy main character and her situation. This makes the rhythm of the movie become slow and maybe even boring if one ignores the internal battle Katniss is going through. The scenes in the movie that show the Game Makers in the control room manipulating the arena’s conditions and traps are wasted, in my opinion. Instead, they should have invested this time in developing the relationship between Peeta and Katniss, which is almost overlooked in the movies. Another thing that is significant in the story-line but ignored in the movie is that the people from the districts are starving. The actors don’t look like they have starve their whole lives. Only a small comment is made about the hunger that District 12 faces on daily basis as the tributes walk into the train after the reaping. After observation, this struggle is disregarded.

Altogether, I think this is a good book that describes the challenges Katniss goes through in a realistic and vulnerable way. In my opinion, the adaptation to the movie lacks the emotional depth and detail the book offers. Overall, I think this was an entertaining book that can be used as food for thought and the adaptation was as faithful as possible in such limited time.

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Ten Things You May (or May Not) Care to Know About Me

My name is Cami, and on this first post, I’m going to tell you ten random things about me.

1. I am from La Paz, Bolivia. This is a beautiful city at 12,000 ft. of altitude in the middle of the Andes. After I tell people where I’m from they often look puzzled and say, “Nice! Where in Africa is that?” If you are wondering why I’m bringing this up, it’s because Bolivia is in South America. Not Africa.

2. I love cats! I think cats are the funniest and sassiest little fluffy creatures God has created. I know some people don’t like them. That just makes the world a sad place. Some say that cats are mean and conceited. They probably never had a cat, or they terribly annoyed the one they owned. Cats are sweet, loyal and charismatic. Everyone should own a cat. Seriously. They make you a happier individual. (If you are allergic to cats, it’s okay. I am too, and it doesn’t stop me.)

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3. I am a Christian. I love Jesus. I am ALWAYS eager to talk to whoever about him. I’m amazed at his character and the way he interacted with those around him. I think he is awesome and worthy of getting to know.

4. I don’t enjoy eating spicy food. I do not understand why people would choose to make eating the food that is supposed to nourish them a painful process. Seriously, people. Why?

5. I love chewing gum. It helps me not eat out of anxiety and not worry about the calories. It’s the best of both worlds!

6. I am an ESFP. I have taken the Myers&Briggs personality test more times than I can remember trying to prove it wrong. ESFP are supposed to love the spotlight and live for the audience. This couldn’t be less accurate for me. I enjoy loud conversations that include a lot of laughter, but I would be perfectly happy wearing an invisibility cloak as well. I know a lot of people feel the same way. They’re told they are an extrovert or an introvert but they don’t feel like one all the time. It’s like being stuck in between.

7. I got married to my best friend in the whole world six months ago. I can be very cheesy and I’ve learned that that’s okay.

8. I have grown to love carbonated water in the past couple of years. I know it tastes weird but now it just tastes like fun water. I like to think that the tears produced by its gas are tears of joy.

9. Coffee doesn’t help me stay awake. I know. It’s tragic.

10. I overthink things. I overthink them to the point of paralysis. I plan everything (even the way pots and pans are supposed to be arranged in their drawer), notice that things are not going according to the detailed plan, and completely abandon the mission and just let things fall into place (literally).

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