Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Book Review of Simplified Writing 101: Top Secrets for College Success

What a delightful book this is to prepare students for college writing! (Simplified Writing 101: Top Secrets for College Success)

The author writes in a friendly manner. She explains everything, starting with the difference between her conversational writing style in this book and the academic writing style used in college.

I don't like to bore you because the author never does. But in case you would like to know what's included, she covers: word choice, sentences, paragraphs, punctuation, grammar, structure and form, revision, the final product, and even submitting and communicating with professors.

As an English professor herself, she knows her stuff. But in addition to that, she knows how to present it in ways that are clear, positive, and actually enjoyable.


Monday, December 22, 2014

The Weary World Rejoices

After seeing various news reports, and various reactions to news reports, I got wearily off the internet to go say a Rosary. Being Monday, I said the Joyful Mysteries, which, of course, brings Christmas close. As I finished, I thought of the line of a song, "the weary world rejoices". And it made me feel good and also gave me pause.

The world that Christ came into rejoiced because the promised, long-awaited Redeemer had come...the little bit of the world that knew that, rejoiced...Mary and Joseph, the angels, the shepherds, the wise men rejoiced. As time went on, more of the world rejoiced, rejoicing not because everything was beautiful, but rejoicing through tears and travails. 

Everything wasn't rosy all of a sudden because Jesus came into the world. Joseph and Mary had to take the child Jesus into Egypt, a foreign land with a foreign language, to save him from Herod's annihilation of the Jewish babies. (And I don't think they hopped on a plane.) 

The Pharisees were constantly on the lookout for ways to discredit Jesus, and the Romans controlled the land with an iron hand. 

So why, then, did the weary world rejoice? Because God sent his greatest gift, his only Son; He sent us light. He sent us a Redeemer and a Teacher. Not everyone would welcome him nor embrace his teachings, and some would embrace only the parts of his teachings that they wanted. We aren't so very different today, are we? 

Some would forget that he chose simple poor fishermen as his disciples. Some would object that he talked with sinners. But wherever he went, he spread his light, and he lightened burdens.  

Each year, we remember his coming. Each year, the world is still imperfect. But still he brings light, and he lightens our burdens. Weary as we are, let us rejoice, and draw near to the one who told us, "Come to me."