Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Essays’

“What The Dog Saw” is full of interesting topics, mostly in social sciences, written with brevity, joy and wit that guarantees you not to raise a yawn and, even, to hold your urinary bladder. Recently, I have been craving for essays and, as I was walking in our school library’s aisle,  I came across with Malcolm Gladwell, an intellectual man whose works have consistently appeared in “The New Yorker”.  I thought essays have to be dull, boring and colorless for it to be an essay, at least that is what school teaches us, but as Gladwell shows us, that is not at all necessary. He gives us a compelling, down-to-earth stories. Stories that would have been rotten if it weren’t for Gladwell’s attempt to write about it.

What The Dog Saw (2009)

This book, Gladwell’s fourth one,  is an anthology of his selected essays.  He talks about the dominant presence of Heinz ketchup,  the inventor of the contraceptive pill, the legendary dog-whisperer Cesar Millan, the famous serial killers like Ted Bundy, just to name a few. After reading the book, I felt rich receiving a swimming pool of information. As an accounting student, I consider the “Open Secrets” a treat. It talks about accounting ethics and the “peril of too much information”, well it talks about the giant company Enron. Gladwell reveals to us how Enron manages to survive their debt for long and as his later essay “Talent Myth”, he shows us that despite  the Enron’s employee star system, of being innovative and pushing the limits, it still manages to fail. “It never occurred to them,” Gladwell later writes, “that, if everyone had to think outside the box, maybe it was the box that needed fixing”.

His essays yank us from passive mode to an active one and you find yourself searching for facts if these things might actually be true. I didn’t search for authenticity because I’m convince when the book notes “every one of these stories was rigorously perfected by the copy and fact-checking departments of The New Yorker magazine”.

Gladwell lets us to think for ourselves and encourages us to challenge the current view, to be skeptic, he might as well challenge us for his views, which makes the book altogether fun. At some point, I was having a mental debate with Gladwell when I refuse to acknowledge his differentiation of “choking” and “panicking”. As for me both are different levels of panicking.

Did I mention that this book is as compelling as your favorite fiction book? Though it doesn’t read like one, “What The Dog Saw” delights you from its diction and well-structured sentence. A good way to spend your afternoon.

 

 

Read Full Post »

In the Philippines, a country with 7,107 islands, we have more or less 130 languages. Only thirteen are well known. I happened to speak Cebuano, my dialect. It was widely spoken to our village and I grew with it. If there were a speaker of another dialect, I doubt if he is a commoner. He’s either having a vacation or just happens to pass by. Generally, I don’t need a dictionary to learn a word since the language had already worn out my ears but, now, I think I need one.

Sitting in a pew, last seat last row, I carefully listened to the priest’s sermon. It was about looking what we have done these past few days; I understood that. Then, it was now having a devotion to God; still, I understood that. After a while, the priest started using foreign words. I was utterly confused and what was more confusing was nobody felt the same way as I did.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Image by cubemb via DeviantArt

My mother always calls me when she is in the front of computer. Her annoying and yet pleading voice kept me detached in everything I do. She asks question I’ve already answered and demonstrated, numerous times. It is always how to log-in on Facebook, how to upload a photo, how to find the address bar or, in worse cases, how to turn on the computer. She is persistent to learn but I was not persistent to teach.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Today is Easter, as you all know. In the past few days, I have been at the church to attend a mass. I was not keen to go because I prefer sitting in my wooden chair and facing my computer head on. This is my 17th Easter and I know nothing about it.

I felt good whenever the mass is over but most of the time I feel sleepy during the mass. When somebody is speaking, I can’t really concentrate in listening. I have been told that it is effective to focus on the speaker’s face but not to me. My vision goes blurry and it hurts if I force it. I reckon this is due to my abuse.

I tried to shut my vision and just listen but after a while something kept cramming in my head. They came because part of me wants them. The idea of what will I do after this mass, what page am I in the book, what will I write. I’m guilty of thinking selfish things in times of mass. But mostly I’m guilty because I know it’s wrong and I kept doing it.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: