Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Are you sitting comfortably

Well the book club I was arranging has fallen down around my ears at the moment due to being ill again. I had felt that I was doing too much and trying to run before I can walk but I kept on going - yeah I know you may call me foolish from now on ☺ I went to the doctors as I really did not feel well, I am still anaemic, I have high blood pressure - which is something I have never suffered from before, I have had a pounding headache, as bad as a hangover for 5 days straight now - so back to having more blood tests done and also being told I have a virus and go to bed. Thank goodness for books and my laptop ay. I don't know how work is going to feel, I don't get paid for sick leave now so it's a bit of a nightmare for all and the book club that should've been tonight has been put on hold. So.........I thought I'd make a little book review corner here today instead.

I have watched the Freedom Writers film quite a few times and it's always blown me away that one woman can achieve so much - that she really believed in something and I think that was the secret - she had faith in herself and her pupils and she truly believed in the good side of human nature. The children that the film was based on had obviously been through some very hard times but it wasn't until I read the book The Freedom Writers Diaries that I truly appreciated just what this lady Erin Gruwell and her students had done.

The students had been through some very testing times and had seen things that I personally don't think anyone should ever have to, let alone a child. Erin's teaching took a dramatic turn when she found a picture that was being handed around the classroom. It was of a class mate that was depicted as having huge lips because he was Black. Erin flipped. She likened it to Hitlers attitude towards the Jews and it led on to the Holocaust - something none of the students had ever even heard about. That was quite shocking to me.

Erin started to talk about Anne Frank and her bravery and how writing helped her through some very tough times, it introduced the power of the written word and also touched on gang culture making it even more accessible to these students.

The students studied the Anne Frank Diaries and also the diaries of a modern day Anne, called Zlata Flipipovic who suffered in Bosnia. All of this was about 'Ethnic Cleansing' an absolutely despicable part of human nature.

Through reading The Mammoth Book of Native Americans - I have realised that this 'Ethnic Cleansing' has been going on for years and always in a most brutal and sinister way. It also highlighted to me that it would appear human nature is going round and round in a circle, or a figure of 8 and surely that is the most tragic thing of all.

I would recommend all of these books and also a book by a man called Viktor Frankl who suffered huge loss under the Nazi regime but came out of it not bitter but a very wise man. His book Mans struggle for Understanding is a fantastic read - all be it upsetting at times.

It led me to think about how people are too quick to fight anything that is different and anything that they don't understand. Rather than looking at it as something to learn from and to work with. This kindof happens in society today all around us all the time. Kids are brought up with parents filled with bitterness and hate and it just breads even more of the same attitudes with the anger getting bigger as the root of it becomes more and more misunderstood. I think every child should be made to read the Freedom Writers Diaries and also a book called The Wave which is all about peer pressure. I have yet to read this book but will be doing so shortly - but the reviews of this are amazing and it would hopefully show teens today how ridiculous the whole gang culture and just accepting your lot is. Don't fight violence with violence - learn and move on in a better direction. The most tragic thing of all is if all these lives are wasted and that all these people died and continue to die in vain.


  1. very well said. Im sorry your ill again alice It hurts me more to see others in pain then when I myself suffer.
    I think children should have to be forced to read those book in a sence becuase the schools should simply teach it from the begining. History has a habit of repeating itself because the people just havent learned its lessons yet.
    the native american peoples history is something I learned long ago, they fought and warred between nations, but it was to live in peace, to have land and food, Not power over others. Today we only fight for power. these ten commandments are the same in most places. all peoples are trying to follow the same set of guidelines. like christians, these first two, i think is like follow no false gods or remain close to the great spirit, respect fellow beings, ie. love thy neighbor. But everyone now has to battle eachother over which god is better :(
    well I hope your test results come out okay. Maybe your high blood pressure is just from the stress of being sick and worrying.
    I think mine was high because I freakout in small rooms, regardless if the dr is a girl and nice. I still get nervous being touched, so of my BPs going to be high :)
    maybe your just worried about work an stuff ,)

  2. You are spot on with that sentance of how we only fight for power these days - that the real reason behind things has gotten lost. I've always said you should believe in mother nature as the higher power so have always been interested in the Native American way because it is so based around that but the injustices that have continually happened to them is beyond tragic. As for my health I think it's just the after effects of 3 ops in 2 years - my poor body hates me :o)