Thursday, October 02, 2008

To Kill a Mockingbird.

Everyone reads it in high school. I read it for the first time in junior high sometime. This spared me from having to later write a paper on it when my teacher discovered I had already read it for pleasure and assigned me another equally enjoyable book to do my report on instead. I really liked the book the first time through. I re read it my senior year of high school between the reports of MacBeth and Frankenstein (oh the joys and woes of DVK's class). I still remember enjoying it immensely. I began to wonder if I liked these books when I was younger because I understood them and truly enjoyed them or to make myself seem well read for my age? I think it was the latter, honestly. I did have a lot of good insights for a high schooler when it came to Literature, but I didn't fully understand the books I read. I could piece together things well enough, but I hadn't experienced enough life yet to truly grasp the underlying meaning, the reality behind the words. The every day life protrayed through these works written 50 years ago. I moved from the Baptist bubble (Baptist is my high school, not necessarily the religion) to the Liberty bubble (again, my college not freedom). I still gained a lot of insight and knowledge and life even at Liberty.

So I re read To Kill a Mockingbird. And it appalled me. Which is the generally intent. It is so much different being around so many southerners down here too. Pardon me, I hold no grudge against southerners. I enjoy them actually. But being around pure blooded Confederates who are proud of the fact this many years later... it just boils my blood. I have had a few choice encounters with some "tough guys" who thought they knew so much about life since they were big bad college boys and came from old southern confederate families... until a little Asian girl stopped them in their tracks. I wasn't about to let their talk stand. They still believed there was a difference between blacks and whites. Mixed marriages were foul in their eyes. They were somehow better than their black "friends". Yes, they called them friends. How's that? And To Kill a Mockingbird just about torn apart my heart. It's a good thing I didn't live back then. I probably wouldn't have lived for long, I'd have shot too many stubborn men. I discovered an interesting thing through all of this though. Even though there's supposedly some sort of rift between Asians and African Americans (I learned about it in my Sociology class but never knew about it prior... I've never had any trouble), when it comes to whites vs. blacks I find myself siding with the blacks. I feel more a part of them than I do whites. Which is weird because those of you who know me know I'm about the whitest Asian there is. Born in Korea but American through and through. But I'm still in the "minority" (althought the Asian Invasian is still growing... wink) and therefore I can appreciate the struggles of the black community... even in today's society. Hate spurs on hate. It's so hard to be a Christian and forgive sometimes.

I liked it. A good read. It made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me want to start some form of political reform, of what I'm not sure. I highly recommend it. It's also one of my sister's favorites. She named her cat after one of the main characters, Atticus.

My mom sent me a surprise package today with three new books, some candy Matt and I don't budget for which is a treat, and a new espresso colored Vera Bradley backpack! I had wanted this backpack before but thought I'd wait. Then it was discontinued and I couldn't find it anywhere. My mom found it at a Hallmark store that was clearing out all its old Vera stuff. I LOVE it. I have a conference to go to for teachers on Saturday and it will be perfect for it! So excited. I love it. I love my mom too, and not just because she sends me surprise packages. My parents and in-laws are really something else. We have been so blessed.

Happy crisp fall!

Rebecca Iveson

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