am I getting stupider?

When I was about to graduate from Michigan State University I was afraid of my brain turning to mush in the 9-5 world so I asked one of my professors “what can I do to make sure I don’t get stupider after college?”  Dr. Kotzin, a wizened Jewish woman whom I had taken an intro to philosophy class & a class on Aristotle would wheel her briefcase down the busy sidewalk to her office as I asked her questions about class and feminist theory. When I asked her the question, she looked at me intently and with a little chuckle said “keep reading, don’t ever stop reading!”

“Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths.” -Bertrand Russel

“Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths.” -Bertrand Russell

About two years ago I was invited to join a book club with some women from the Grand Rapids area.  They invited me in as their “token outsider” as I began calling myself.  By this I mean that I was and am the only one in the group that didn’t go to Calvin College or work at Calvin College- in case you didn’t know, Grand Rapids is dutchy-dutch-ville and everyone seems to be connected through Calvin College somehow. We dubbed ourselves “read wine” as in- “we read the book and now we’ll have a glass of wine and discuss it!” get it? the past tense of read sounds like red, as in red wine! Nerd alert!

Last night we met to discuss the book “The Memory Keepers Daughter” a disturbing and beautifully written book about the secrets that destroyed a family. It reminded me a lot of Revolutionary Road.

thumbs up! I'm such a cheeseball...

thumbs up! I'm such a cheeseball...

Book club is mostly a chance to hang out with friends, eat and drink yummy things but also to make sure we aren’t getting stupider by reading and discussing books regularly.  o.k. so we really just talk about old Saved By The Bell Episodes and the blogs we read. Some of our favorite books have been:

the legacy of the architect of the Chicago World's fair & the mayhem of a serial killer who lured women there to murder them! creepy, true yet fascinating!

the legacy of the architect of the Chicago World's fair & the mayhem of a serial killer who lured women there to murder them! creepy, true yet fascinating!

Eat, Pray, Love- we loved her writing- didn't like her as a person so much! This book will give you the travel bug!

Eat, Pray, Love- we loved Elizabeth Gilbert's writing- didn't some of the choices she made! This book will give you the travel bug!

loved this book! you can check out her blog at www.orangette.blogspot.com. So many great recipes!

loved this book! you can check out her blog at http://www.orangette.blogspot.com. So many great recipes!

notice a pattern? We've really liked reading books about FOOD! When we do this, we'll usually make recipes from the book we've read.

notice a pattern? We've really liked reading books about FOOD! When we do this, we'll usually make recipes from the book we've read.

We typically just come with recommendations we’ve heard from others, check the NYT bestseller list or NPR’s recommendations.  We’ve felt like Oprah led us astray with her recommendation of “Love in a time of Cholera” which none of us liked, so we don’t trust Oprahs’ pics so much anymore.

thumbs down Oprah!

thumbs down Oprah! Boo to Love in the Time of Cholera!

Next month we’ll be reading Stealing Buddhas Dinner which is a memoir set here in Grand Rapids, MI! You can bet we’ll be making some Vietnamese food or Asian food in the very least! Anyone have any good recipes that would be a nice addition to the night? What has been a book you’re really enjoyed recently? Yours for watching Saved By the Bell reruns getting smarter every day.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “am I getting stupider?

  1. Dear Jess,
    I like your blog a lot and I have been meaning to comment! I have a few comments on this post:
    1. You are not the “token outsider”, you are more like our “token theologian”. 🙂
    2. If there was (and there probably is) a book on Saved By the Bell, I would read it and recommend it for Book Club. So many lessons to be learned from those crazy kids!

    Sincerely,
    AC Slater

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s