Book Review: The Kind of Love That Saves You by Amy Yurk
Can you believe that I got this book as a Christmas present from my in-laws in 2001? Well, after that hoop-la over Mourning Ruby (maybe my fault because I bought the thing and shared it with Keven, but I don't think so) you might understand why it's taken me 3 1/2 years to finish this whopping 225 page novel. When I began to read it in Feb 2002, I had just learned I was pregnant with Juliette, our first child. About 20 pages in, I got this feeling that it wasn't a good thing for me to be reading with my particular hormonal imbalance at that time. (Note: I probably had known what the book was about at some point, like when I put it on my Amazon wishlist months earlier, but after I receive a book as a gift I don't re-read its description or dust jacket - don't want too much information, like with movie trailers).
Anyway, I was right. The novel is about a woman whose husband dies suddenly in a car crash when she is three months pregnant and about the two tremendous friends she has to help her through her grief and her pregnancy. Written as a series of letters to her unborn daughter, like a journal, the stages of her grief are very convincing - from shock, depression, anger, etc., all juxtaposed against the stages of her pregnancy. Constantly, as she mourned, she wondered what her feelings were doing to her unborn daughter. At a time when most mothers (including me) are joyous and anticipatory, she was a powerful mix of fearful and needy. The baby was all that she had left to keep her solid.
Enough with the plot. Time for the rough stuff. I cried, yes, and I laughed at some of the pregnancy humor that I had experienced and forgotten. However, the first-time author worked with characters that were too formulaic. Perhaps because of the journal format and the resulting first-person limited perspective, everything was resolved very quickly. An argument or issue detailed in Entry A was resolved in Entry B (as you would, really, updating a journal once you had something new to write about). But it left out some of the psychological wonderings of her friends & family who might have given more depth to the protagonist. Also, it was too Sisterhood for my taste--with the prerequisite Spa Day, too much chocolate, and discussions of female sex toys.
In the end, the grief she experienced didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. Maybe if had been about a woman with two toddlers whose husband dies suddenly.... Or, maybe if I haven't become somewhat desensitized while exorcising demonic old reads about death and dying....
Anyway, enough with the grief lit. On to #3 of my seven "Unread Novels Lying Around the House" summer project: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (one that maybe some of you have read and can comment on too!).
Saturday, June 04, 2005
Book Review: The Kind of Love That Saves You by Amy Yurk
Friday, June 03, 2005
The Euro 2005 women's football starts on Sunday with Sweden v Denmark, and then England v Finland in the City of Manchester Stadium at 7pm GMT. This one should be the least difficult of the three the women have to play in the group phase so hopefully we'll get a result.
Posted by Keven at 10:17 PM
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Via Brit-Chick MBA I just read an interesting article concerning the factors that go into Business School admissions decisions. Seeing as the the purpose of the admissions screening is to determine which applicants would contribute the most in school, and to the business world afterwards it would be of use to anyone who was looking to apply to schools, but also anyone who was looking to be successful in the workplace.
The part I found most eye-opening was where they discuss identifying "red flags" in the admission in the Application process.
One red flag that is often ignored but should be taken seriously, said some symposium participants, is excessive contact with the admissions office. Termed “Hassler Syndrome” by one participant, extreme dependency on the admissions office may signal a lack of self-confidence that manifests itself as neediness. This trait may show up later in the learning environment, when the student is unable to contribute meaningfully to classes and work groups and becomes known as a “net taker.” The same person may be a drain on career services, unable to take initiative in a job search.
Another characteristic of unsuccessful admits that can be detected in the admissions process is arrogance. Is an applicant rude to admissions office staff? Does he think his grades or GMAT scores make his acceptance a sure bet? Watch out, said some symposium participants. People who exhibit arrogance as applicants rarely change. They may be unable to work as part of a team, may have unrealistic expectations about their job prospects, may have a sense of entitlement when it comes to student and career services, and may put off recruiters with their self-centered attitudes.
Other hints that an applicant may not be successful are inconsistencies between the application and what the applicant says in interviews, odd personal interactions, and applications that seem to change on the basis of what the candidate thinks the admissions office wants.
So basically if you want to make it to business school you want to avoid appearing needy, arrogant, inconsistent, a suck-up, or just plain weird. In fact it would probably be good to avoid being those things in the rest of your life as well, just to be sure.
Posted by Keven at 10:22 PM
The Conservative magazine Human Events has put together a list of "The Most Dangerous Books of The 19th and 20th Centuries" voted for by conservative academics, public policy leaders, and people they met at local book-burning events/witch hunts/etc.
The Communist Manifesto
Quotations from Chairman Mao
The Kinsey Report
Democracy and Education
The Feminine Mystique
The Course of Positive Philosophy
Beyond Good and Evil
General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money
The Population Bomb
What Is To Be Done
Beyond Freedom and Dignity
Reflections on Violence
The Promise of American Life
Origin of the Species
Madness and Civilization
Soviet Communism: A New Civilization
Coming of Age in Samoa
Unsafe at Any Speed
Wretched of the Earth
Introduction to Psychoanalysis
The Greening of America
The Limits to Growth
Descent of Man
The first three are the usual suspects. But then we go off into la-la land. Unsafe at Any Speed? Silent Spring? On Liberty?
Posted by Keven at 8:47 AM
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Lindsey is currently reading this book by Helen Dunmore about a woman whose 5-year-old daughter dies in an accident. One of the biggest changes that come about when you have children is that suddenly your life is not the most important thing you have. Yes you may say that you value other lives ahead of yours beforehand and you might actually believe it, but it doesn't come close to the almost primal instinctual feelings you have towards your own offspring.
And from my understanding for a mother it's even worse.
Which is why this sort of thing should be banned. Yes it might be great literature and a stunning read. It may be "beautifully observed" - Daily Telegraph, or "a fascinating - often brilliant - novel" - The Times. But it's dangerous. It shouldn't be allowed near the hands of anyone with small children.
Posted by Keven at 11:58 PM
At least that's the plan.
We applied for student family housing as soon as I was accepted back in December so I'm hoping that we're pretty safe. Unfortunately we won't find out until a little closer to the start of school than I'd like. We seem to have virtually everything sorted out except for housing, both here in Cincinnati and in Madison. Just the small things then.
I'm sure it'll work itself out though. Positive thinking never (rarely) fails.
In the meantime, here's another photo of Eagle Heights.
Posted by Keven at 11:07 PM
In shocking news Trent Reznor was said to be "happy" after being awarded $3,000,000 in damages from his former manager.
In other news Nine Inch Nails' new album will be released towards the end of the year in time for Christmas. Entitled "Blue Skies are on the Way" it will include cover versions of "I'm so excited" and "The sun has got his hat on"
I can't link to the picture of Trent beaming but you really have to see it, it's great. My favorite quote...
"I felt I had an accountant I couldn't trust," Reznor testified.
Posted by Keven at 10:49 AM
I found this story disturbing for two reasons. First, what better do they have to do in Peru except watch a child's surgical procedure live on TV for 4+ hours? Second, while the doctors consider this a complete success, it's very upsetting to consider the last line of the story:
"Rubio said Milagros would need up to 15 years of corrective surgeries to reconstruct and repair her sexual, digestive and other internal organs."
I have two little girls. I would go through this too. But this kind of extreme illness would dominate the rest of our collective lives as a family, perhaps even more-so than an outright early childhood death. Thoughts?
Posted by Carrie Lofty at 7:14 AM
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
It's a long story, and it has two weird turning points.
In my search for somewhere to take an MBA I have considered (some more seriously than others)
- University of Cincinnati
- Miami (Ohio) University
- Xavier University (Williams)
- Northern Kentucky University
- Northwestern University (Kellogg)
- University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (Ross)
- Ohio State University (Fisher)
- Oxford University (Said)
- Duke University (Fuqua)
- Cornell University (Johnson)
- University of Virginia (Darden)
- Harvard Business School
- Purdue University (Krannert)
- University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Michigan State University (Broad)
- Notre Dame University (Mendoza)
- University of Chicago GSB
- Indiana University (Kelley)
To begin with I was only considering the schools around Cincinnati; UC, Xavier, Miami, and Northern Kentucky. Then I took the GMAT. 720 was about 80 points higher than I expected and while it doesn't mean much on its own it did start me thinking, was I setting my sights too low?
So I attended Xavier University for a couple of semesters, taking courses in Accountancy, Marketing, Statistics, and Finances and coming towards the top of the class in all of them, and even more surprising enjoying them.
It was at this time that weird turning point number one occured. A comment on Crooked Timber talking about the three levels of business school in the United States, (Part Time/ Regional/ National) and what they were for. Up until then I had really just thought of all MBAs as interchangeable and had not really considered what I was going to school for. Until that point I figured I just wanted to be somewhere else on my career path. It became obvious that I was not going to get where I wanted with a part-time degree.
It was at this point that I started looking at the rankings. BusinessWeek, WSJ, US News and World Report. I put together a list of schools where CEOs go, where tomorrows multi-millionaires are today's indebted students.
But then came the second weird turning point. At the back of the MBA Jungle book there is a transcript of a chat between various students, academics, and recruiters. One of the recruiters was talking about how she hires for entertainment companies in New York. She said that the only place she goes is SUNY Albany, despite not showing up on any top 10 list, because it has a great entertainent business course. Taking to heart the idea that considering that I had no intention of entering into the Investment Banking, Finance, or Management Consulting fields it might be a good idea to check out which schools offer marketing research specific courses and where market researchers are hired from.
Wisconsin-Madison, Texas, and Georgia.
Not a long list, and considering that I planned to move to Chicago after completing my degree there really was only one choice if I wanted to remain within Market Research, and to be honest it would feel like a waste to throw away seven years in one field and start anew.
Of course, the full tuition scholarship helps, and the 100% job and internship placement success for the A.C. Nielsen school doesn't hurt either.
I have been told by several people that they respect me for taking such a risk, particularly with a family in tow. But I really don't see this as a risk. I should come out of school debt-free (ish), much more marketable, and with the potential to double my salary. All this after spending two years in a city regularly placed at the top of liveability rankings and learning things that I enjoy immensely.
I'm now 73 Days to moving to Madison, it feels like 73 years. I can't wait.
Posted by Keven at 9:26 PM
This blog is now attached to the League of MBA Bloggers so I guess I should start writing some posts specific to my upcoming Business School experience. One of the reasons why I decided to go back to blogging was my lack of success finding blogs to read from students of second tier schools. The league has 10 from Chicago GSB, 7 from Harvard, 7 from Stanford, 18 from Wharton, but none from current students at Wisconsin. This is a shame as although it's interesting to read about those at the elite colleges, I'm not sure how much of their experience transfers directly to those just outside of that elite.
Posted by Keven at 2:41 PM
Monday, May 30, 2005
Since 1998 several members of the University of Wisconsin Political Science Department have been running the Wisconsin Advertising Project. A study into political ads run on television. Not incredibly interesting unless you're a political science major, but there is a page of historic TV ads in real media format. From the "I Like Ike" ad from 1952, to the Clinton anti-Dole ad from 1996 "Wrong in the past, wrong for the future".
My personal favorite is the Howard Baker ad from the 1980 primary campaign at the height of the Iran Hostage crisis:
Posted by Keven at 10:19 PM