Recommend one (give a reason for each choice):
Well, a play. Our Town by Thorton Wilder. I probably couldn’t say the right thing or enough of it to justify how amazing it is. Only to say that there’s something about life, as ambiguous as that word is to me, that I understood after I read it that I didn’t before.
Oh yeah, and I cried that horrific cry when you start hiccuping and blew a bucket’s worth of snot when I saw the play live for the first time. So, two thumbs up.
2. College/University/Personal Interest course
I always felt like I just wasn’t a “science” person and thus to my own detriment, avoided it like the plague. I realize now that not being inclined at a subject is only an indication to push through those difficulties. One of the only science classes I took in college was a required Physiological Science. It wasn’t hard, but for someone who had never taken the time to be open minded about the subject I’m not afraid to admit that what was considered a beginner’s class was absolutely brutal for me. That said, I think learning about your body’s functions on a basic level in addition to challenging myself to overcome my own personal stigmas about my ability to understand science was one of the most empowering things I did in college.
The second course was the basic English Composition class. Most English majors skip this because of high school scores (I think), but this was one of the classes that shaped my writing the most. Whenever you get into the more advanced level of a subject, it seems automatic to start skipping the fundamentals, but there’s unspoken value in going back time and time again to the beginning. This only made sense to me after I took this course. And yes, I realize all my writing is full of grammatical errors.
So I guess this is all to say that my recommendation is to take the beginner level course of the subjects you like best and least. Then slowly make your way in between the two and off the grid, because ultimately, everything is worth learning about on some level.
Damn you, short life and limited time!
Because I forgot that my window has been open all morning and I’ve been subjecting my neighbors to a repeat of it, “Every Other Freckle” by Alt-J. Not the love song you’d slow dance to in your living room but a love song all the same, intimate without being graphic, precise without being literal. I also feel like Alt-J covers are scarce, but I think Erika Wennerstrom from Heartless Bastards could absolutely crush it. Anyway, better to pick something I’m listening to right now than to go back in the archives of favorite music of all time, since there are far too many and I could go on about the subject for hundreds of Fridays to come.
4. Web Site
For an entire website, lifehacker. It’s not the articles themselves (many of which are insightful, or will lead you somewhere insightful) so much as it is the comments, which are often filled with people who look for the most efficient way to do something as if it’s their job. The comments are also great supplemental material when you read the article but feel like you want a sense of the opposing opinion, or an alternative solution. The writing is simple, straightforward, and easy to understand–never condescending or convoluted. This turns out to be the best part when you’re using the site to navigate your way through something you’ve no expertise in, like credit cards or computers.
For a section of a website, the How I Write series on The Daily Beast is so damn good. It’s a column by Noah Charney in which he interviews different writers (and you’re bound to find one with a writer you’re familiar with, if that’s important to you). I love reading about their quirks, their recommendations, and savor their advice like a message from beyond. It’s the shit, and if you have the slightest inkling of a writer in you then you have to lose yourself in this for an afternoon.
5. Something of your choosing (ie- author, video game, food, movie, etc)
One last recommendation–jalapeño cheetos. It comes in a bright orange and green package that only spells bad news for your health, but don’t let that deter you. You’re welcome in advanced!