Friday, March 18, 2011


Yesterday I decided that I needed a book to read during my bath. For unknown reasons I selected Thomas More's Utopia, and since then it has been difficult to put it down. Admittedly, I am only on page 20, but that stems from the demanding tasks of being a mother and the less demanding but no less time consuming task of having guests in town. I am absolutely enamored with this book. What baffles me about this is that I "read" this book for a class in 2006 and I have no recollection of it whatsoever. Did I read it at all? I believe I was particularly bad about reading my assignments for that class, and somehow managed to muddle through. Did I try to read it? Did I get stuck? Did I give it a chance? I don't remember.

The question in my mind is whether I would have enjoyed it just as much back then or am I a different person with different literary tastes than I had back then? This was a great class that I squandered, in retrospect. It was an Honors class, which meant that our curriculum was entirely what our creative teachers wanted it to be. Our whole class was focused on the concept of Utopian societies. We read (and in my case I use the term liberally) Plato's "Republic," More's "Utopia," Atwood's "A Handmaid's Tale," and Orwell's "1984." I remember the last two! That is disgusting! Where was I for those first two books? If I didn't know better I'd think I was stoned through the first half of the semester! But no, I just didn't do the work. Slap a llama! Our semester project was to write a paper describing our own Utopia. At the time I had just joined the LDS church and did my project based on the existing structure of the church. Not that there is anything wrong with their religion, but it's not mine anymore, and it was a great assignment with a lot of potential that I just did not fully apply myself to. I really missed the point of engaging my brain creatively. I look back on the class and think about all the different ways I could have designed my Utopian society. Probably would have gotten a better grade too.

My academic successes and failures are by both counts monumental. When I've applied myself I've done excellently, receiving As from professors that didn't even average one A per class. When I haven't I've gotten Bs and Cs. And when I was sick I couldn't finish a class. I believe I've attempted three semesters that have resulted in dropping because I couldn't make it through the class, I was just too sick. Now that I'm trying to get back to school I have been mentally reviewing my academic history and find myself desperately hoping that I can regain the glory years, so to speak, when I wanted to be in school and applied myself. Here's to a summer semester. I hope I don't wuss out.