My Thoughts on The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

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~ This post may include spoilers ~

“But what I mean is, lots of time you don’t know what interests you most till you start talking about something that doesn’t interest you most. I mean you can’t help it sometimes. What I think is, you’re supposed to leave somebody alone if he’s at least being interesting and he’s getting all excited about something. I like it when somebody gets excited about something. It’s nice” (Salinger). 

Holden Caulfield spends a majority of the novel  trying to be heard. No woman in a bar, taxicab driver, prostitute, teacher, or nun in a restaurant at any point feeds Holden the reassurance he’s after. Adulthood worries him. Loss of innocence is his unspoken fear.

I like what he says to Mr. Antolini in the passage above. Holden has a problem with his Oral Expression class because by creating such strict limitations on the students’s speeches, Mr. Vinson is prohibiting them from exploring their own thoughts. To Holden, this means specifically being forced to hide his insecurities, quiet his mind, and pretend like everything is okay- three things that Holden has never seemed to be capable of. 

One of my favorite things about Holden is his sympathy.  “I like it when somebody gets excited about something. It’s nice.” He says this more like a little kid than a sixteen-year-old boy; as if it’s an authentication of his still childlike mentality.

-Jacie

Healthy Eating, Procrastination, and How I Find Them Related

Some day, I plan for a well-traveled version of myself to create a select list of places in the world where I am not allowed to worry about what I eat.

I can now confirm that New Orleans is the first to make that list.

Typically being an avid health nut, I gave myself permission to let loose for one full day while on a college visit in New Orleans. For 24 full hours. After six pralines, two cups of sweet coffee, a beignet, and a chocolate-covered apple the size of both of my fists combined, I started to feel the repercussions of the sugar rush and the formation of a food baby. Although I meant what I said about not letting myself regret it (and oh, I so did not regret a thing), it did get me thinking.

The healthier you eat, the better and more energized you feel.

The worse you eat, the more lousy, tired, and inflated you feel.

If the facts are so plain, then why on earth do we have this perpetual desire for unhealthy, sugary, and deep-fried foods?

My answer to this made me think of an article I once read about procrastination. In the most basic and unscientific way possible, procrastination is basically the “long-term success” part of your brain fighting against the “immediate gratification” part of your brain.

In other words, I know that I’m going to regret this cookie in the morning, but caramel chocolate chips. 

Or, I know that I should start my page-long spanish assignment now, but blogging.

So in summation, until someone figures out how to shut up the “immediate gratification” part of our brain and let the “long-term success” part just do it’s job, college students’ papers will remain being written at unnatural times in the morning.

Here is a much more clear and totally amusing explanation of procrastination.

 

-Jacie

Pralines, Hurricanes, and [Vegetarian] Gumbo: A Moment in New Orleans

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From birth to legalization, I’ve spent my first 18 years of life in sunny Southern California.

Until yesterday, I’d never heard the words “praline”, “grits”, “gumbo”, or “jambalaya”, and my best guess at what a hushpuppy might possibly be was some sort of Hostess product like a Ding Dong or a Sno Ball.

The profound difference between Los Angeles and New Orleans was mind-boggling. I entered another world.

Walking down Bourbon Street, taking in the aberrant fragrance of liquor, smoke, and fried food, while thunderous jazz escaped the wide open doors of bars and clubs out into the night’s brisk air – I could have been on a different planet.

My favorite moment happened while sipping cafe’ au lait on the deck of the world famous Cafe Du Monde. Nibbling at my praline and dark chocolate encrusted apple, I sat making jaunty conversation with my party of three, enjoying a background music of smooth jazz from the street musicians behind us.

As their song came to an end and the applause from their collected audience began to lull, the saxophone player seated center began to speak:

“Thank you, all, thank you. Now, I’d like to introduce everyone here in the band, I really would. But I can’t. I just met them!”

With a buoyant laugh, he began playing once again and the crowd clapped as the rest of the performers joined in and the music took off.

I smiled at the saxophone player and the five other musicians in the bunch that didn’t even know each other’s names, and I let the ambiance of New Orleans welcome me in.

-Jacie