Hi! I’m Jordan, a twenty-year-old bibliophile and your host here at Whimsical Desperation. Welcome! I’m from Chico which is a small city way up in “what do you mean that’s in the same state as San Francisco/how can you possibly have the same accents?” Northern California. I’m currently on a medical leave of absence from Bryn Mawr College, where I study history. (Also, how to make wreaths out of flowers and have school sing alongs and go traying. We’re cool like that.) I actually adore studying, which means you probably don’t want to talk to me during finals, and I plan to keep doing so for a while longer. I manage to read a fair amount for fun outside of my studies and I love discussing it. I also enjoy writing, and while my attempts at fiction remain heavily guarded, I’m happy to share my thoughts on reading and writing with anyone who wishes to partake of them.
So, a little more about me:
- I read. Not quite indiscriminately, though sometimes it feels like that. Basically, I read new books and old; used and e-books; library books and books snatched out of someone’s hands at random (not quite); genre fiction and literary fiction; essays and poetry; books of history and current events and popular science; chick lit and science fiction and murder mysteries and dystopian literature; children’s books and classics; the Great and the Good and the oh-my-gosh-but-it’s-Fun. I read primarily in English, because it’s easiest, but also a bit in Spanish and German and I’m trying to expand the percentage I read in French. (Oh, and I also like languages and language. A lot. I sort of collect them. It’s actually getting to be a bit of a bad habit, from one perspective.) I’m happy to grapple with Heinrich Boell in German one day and then get down with Amanda Brown the next. And that’s just books. I also read history articles that have nothing to do with what I’m studying downloaded from JSTOR and struggle through my friend’s astronomy article and accumulate NYRBs in my room at home until I think I’m going to drown and flit from newspaper to newspaper. Basically, I’m open to reading almost anything, provided it has some redeeming features. I just love books.
- I write. I write random reflections in my journals that will probably end up becoming blog posts now. I write papers (and papers and papers and papers) for my academic work, and stretch out the days they take so that I can write something everyday. I write fiction, and barely show anyone it, but think about it all the time. You know that scene in The Seagull when Trigorin talks about how to be a writer is to be obsessed, to have the entire world possessing you with ideas and filling your head with voices (in a hopefully non-schizophrenic way)? I get that. I get that so much.
- I roam. I like to travel and I’ve been fortunate enough to get to do a fair amount of it. As a young child, I traveled with my family throughout the United States, before taking my first trip abroad at age nine. As a teenager, I lived with my parents in London and Moscow. I’ve also traveled throughout much of Europe, and to Israel and Mexico. Most recently I spent an academic year at the University of Oxford as a Visiting Student at St Edmund Hall. I think travel is the perfect complement to reading and writing — there’s really something about seeing the places you’ve long read about, following in the footsteps of your favorite authors, and soaking up the art and history in an immersive way. Perhaps even better are the ways that travel changes you and the people you meet. I know it’s cliche, but it’s cliche for a reason. I can’t wait to see more of the world.
I’ve also been sick recently, and while it wasn’t my original design, I’m going to be using this blog as a way to keep friends and family updated on my condition. I don’t have any kind of firm diagnosis yet, but I’ve been dealing with nausea, vomiting, malnutrition/unintended weight loss, and episodes of temporary quadriplegic paralysis. I’m currently being treated at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. I’ll keep you updated on my progress.