The SURVIVOR Project

Read the true stories of sexual assault and abuse survivors, paired with their portraits. As told by the survivors and transcribed by Arnold, survivors take a stand to voice what they have gone through in hopes of others never having to go through it themselves.

Susan Arnold presents her second published work, The SURVIVOR Project.

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Stop Degrading Liberal Art Degrees

At what point did I, or we, if this applies to you as well, accept the stereotype of liberal art majors? When did we stop defending ourselves? Reading Silva’s essay opened my eyes. I had already known that the stereotype against English majors existed, but I never realized how strongly it prevailed.

As a double major in Photography (an art degree) and Writing (an English degree), I receive double the amount of heat. I jokingly switch between the two depending on the situations I am in. (For example, being with my two very left-brained biology degree friends while they discuss anatomy: “What? I’m an art major!”) The fact that I switch between my majors and willingly degrade myself to those with “harder” degrees, shows just how much this stereotype has permeated into daily life.

In the essay, Silva states “But as far as I’ve seen, none of the stereotypes of a STEM or hard science major undermine their future and choices. That’s exactly what the stereotypes and stigmas surrounding liberal arts majors do.” Throughout my college career, I have had people assume that I want to be a journalist (I do not like factual writing), doubted that my Writing major was a real degree (‘It sounds fake.’) and ask what I plan on doing because neither of my degrees guarantees me a job. When in all actuality, everything that we associate with on a daily basis deals with writing or photography, specifically social media and advertisements.

I believe in the art of storytelling. And I also believe that I can change society, even if that change is small. The moment I stop doubting myself, my abilities and my degrees is the moment that I start to change the minds of those around me.

Week Five in London!

Day One

We went to Hampton Court with the social program. It was awesome. We walked all around the palace, saw the King’s apartment and the Queen’s apartment. We went through a maze and saw the magic garden. It was also sweltering hot.

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Check out this fireplace! It’s been used to cook the King’s food since Hampton Court became a palace. Look at the soot all the way up to the ceiling.

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What an average menu would look like for the King.

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This clock, in Clock Court, is based on the moon.

Day Two

Syd and I attempted to see the Changing of the Gaurd, but the city was so packed and it was so hot, that all we saw were the sweaty backs of heads.

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Can you see how many people were there?

After that failure, we tried to find the vegan market and also failed. The market was closed for Pride, which we ended up in the middle of. We sort of gave up after that. It was so hot that I was sitting in my kitchen (using the WiFi) and sweating. I did homework and watched Netflix for the rest of the day.

Day Three

This was one of the greatest days of the trip. The social program took us to Bath and Stonehenge in an AIR CONDITIONED coach! Sleeping and studying on that coach was such a nice time, I never wanted it to end. I wasn’t sure what to expect at Bath, but the museum was really cool. There was an audioguide that explained all of the artifacts, there were the spring and the bath themselves. I even got to try some of the magical healing water. It was so hot! 40 degrees Celcius…that’s about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Stonehenge was phenomenal. I was expecting it to be underwhelming, so seeing it bigger and grander than I imagined was awesome! If you ever have the chance to go there, I highly recommend it!

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The baths are lined with lead, so all of the water is extremely contaminated. Not only is it too dangerous to ingest, it is also too dangerous to even touch!

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Please, if you are ever able and love history and mysteries, go here!

Day Four

I started the morning booking tickets for the sky garden. My class had a Mrs. Dalloway excursion, where we followed the path Virginia Woolf laid out in the novel. After class, I went to the Barbican Museum to see a Dorothea Lange exhibit and see the famous Migrant Mother. A lot of Lange’s work was phenomenal and some of it was not very good at all. I ended the night by going to trivia night. We didn’t come in dead last, so it was a great time!

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We think this is the area where Mrs. Dalloway lived.

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We stopped at Hatchards, the oldest bookstore in London!

Day Five

I went to class and did some homework before trecking to Camden Market for a little bit and then going to a Georgian restaurant and trying the acharuli khachapuri, recommended by Sydney. Essentially, the meal is a bread boat filled with egg, cheese, and butter. It was incredible!

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If you can eat this, do it. If you can’t find something similar that is allergen friendly.

Day Six

The last excursion for class. We went to Highgate Cemetary and walked around looking at the graves of famous people. After class, I went to the Natural History Museum and the London Museum. I saw the Rosetta Stone, a life-like T-rex, and Queen Cleopatra. I tried bubble tea for the first (and last) time. Then a group of us sought out a place to watch the game (World Cup). Wednesday was the first and last time I really cared about soccer. England lost to Croatia, who I thought played a little bit dirty towards the end.

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The whale!

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The Queen.

Day Seven

After class, I spent four hours in the library writing my papers. Then I went to the gym. Then Caleb, Sydney and I booked tickets to Dover to see the sea, and tickets for Incredibles 2, because it’s FINALLY releasing over here!

‘The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett’ Review

This is a book that I rented from Overdrive, and I am so glad that I didn’t waste my own money on it.

The protagonist, Hawthorn, acted like a twelve-year-old for the entirety of the novel. It was very stand-offish to read a YA book that had somebody who acted like a middle schooler as the main character. She was never focused on anything, except obsessing over Lizzie Lovett. She was rude, inconsiderate, childish and didn’t take anything seriously. She was vengeful and misunderstanding. Frankly, she treated the characters around her like trash and they didn’t deserve to be treated that way. She was self-obsessed and self-absorbed and the only thing that stopped her from thinking about herself was her ridiculous fantasies.

Furthermore, all of the characters were flat. The was no development beyond ‘mean popular girl’ or ‘outcast best friend’ or ‘professor dad’ and ‘hippie mom’. The only interactions between Hawthorn and her father felt forced. It was as though the dad existed to fill a role, not to be a character.

The title for this work should have been “Probably Maybe” because it was written more times than the words “Lizzie Lovett”.

To be honest, I’m not sure how this work was published, let alone how it has a 3.25 overall Goodreads rating.

The Problem With Forever | Review

When I first started this book, I listened to the audio version, I was excited. The prologue was full of action and intrigue and made me want to continue on and learn more about the characters.

And then the actual story started.

First off, I noticed that the prologue was in third-person and the rest of the story was in first-person. That threw me off. I thought that there was maybe something wrong with the audiobook. I was really excited for the storyline to continue through from the prologue, but it almost instantly took a different turn.

It took over half of the book to figure out what had happened to the main character, Malory, through segmented flashbacks. The flashbacks connected to the prologue, which was good and bad. Good because there was a connection between the actual story and the very beginning. Bad because the flashbacks were choppy and incomplete, a contrast to the straightforwardness of the prologue. It should not take over half of a book to understand why the protagonist is the way they are. I wanted to know far sooner.

I was also looking forward to this being a coming of age story that came full circle. That did not happen. It was rather slow and turned into a love story and I don’t think it ever came full circle. I feel like half of the book could have been cut out and it would have been the same story, that’s how excessive and slow it was.

Overall, the beginning was great and super intriguing, but the slowness and the falling back into typical love story YA cliches ruined the book for me.

‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ Review

And my obsession with Wonder Woman continues!

I have wanted to read this book since the second I discovered it was coming out. And I was not let down.
‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ shows a different Diana and Themyscira than the one that Patty Jenkins showed us in the movie. We see more of this ‘Cult Island,’ as it is called, and we learn more about the Amazon way of life, rules, and regulations. The Amazons and their culture is more developed than in the movie. I really enjoyed seeing Diana in this light, and I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t develop that any further.

In ‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ Diana is innocent. But she is also a kid; seventeen to be exact. She fights being the youngest of her people and being a teenager in modern day New York. That is something that I really enjoyed about the read, Diana was relatable in a way that isn’t really relatable. She doesn’t know how to work a smartphone, has never seen anything plastic, and has never flown in an airplane…but the way she feels about all of these new things is so relatable because we’ve all been there and experienced new things.

The ending was a twist that even I wasn’t expecting, and I’m pretty good at expecting twists. And that’s exactly what brought this book to five stars. The writing was well done, the characters well developed, which I enjoyed. But the twist ending worked. It didn’t seem far-fetched and fit character personalities. The twist ending was a real make it or break it moment; depending on how Leigh Bardugo handled the situation it could have gone off the rails and ruined the entire novel. But it didn’t. It tied it together really well and mended my heart (that had shattered a few pages beforehand).

Over 5/5 stars for a well-written ending that knew it’s characters.

‘The Female of the Species’ Review

Now, I don’t just give out five-star ratings. But I absorbed this book. I first spotted it about a month and a half ago at a bookstore and finally purchased it yesterday. I read the first three chapters last night before bed and finished it just a few moments ago, in only twenty-five hours.

Instantly gripping and constantly compelling, this book was a rollercoaster of a ride. At first, I was a little bit frustrated because there were parts that were a mystery and all I wanted to know was the answer. As I continued to read I was transfixed (it’s cram-before-exams week in college, to give up any time is a rarity, so you know this is an honest review). I fell for all of the characters, even those who aren’t protagonists.

I felt that the depiction of high school was a bit exaggerated, but the language and thought process of the characters seemed incredibly accurate. McGinnis did an incredible job making me care about the characters so much so that I cried at the end; she painted villains as heroes and did a good chunk of storytelling through dialogue. Though the topics of the book are a bit on the heavy side, and some passages can be triggering to some audiences, The Female of the Species is a pretty easy read, the longest chapter wasn’t more than five pages.

McGinnis did justice to the split point of view narration, developing each protagonist in their own way and making sure that none of their personalities blurred together. While reading, I never felt like any part of the book was over the top or unbelievable and writing something like this could have easily gone that way.

 

Rating: ★★★★★