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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

The Sunday Salon -- Feb 28, 2010

The Sunday

What? February is over all ready? How can that be when I hardly read anything this month? The only major recollections I have of this month is waking up every morning at 6, working like a zombie for the whole day, and sleeping only at 10-11.

Did you know that as the semester progresses, students start feeling more depressed, sullen, frustrated, sometimes even walk with an outright "I don't care" attitude, all the way till the last month, when the happiness factor slowly spikes up? If I had to graph it out, it would resemble a very biased bell curve. Of course, that only relates to the coursework part of campus life. I know we have a lot of fun otherwise, but even that dwindles considerably.

Right in the second week of classes, I was shocked to see so many students reading out of their notes in buses, and bus stops. The library and all reading lounges were already brimming with students working on their assignments and preparing for their tests. Alright, I know I am not taking any courses this time, so I shouldn't act surprised since that's precisely what I went through during all the previous semesters. But tests already? I'm hoping they were just quizzes.

If I have my sources right, the next week is a midterm week. And then it's Spring Break. (Though Spring is far from having peeked in here! It's still snowing!) Ordinarily, Spring break is a cause of celebration for me. It falls at about the right time, right at the peak of semester gloom or frustration. Not so for me. I have a paper due on March 22nd, and unless I do some ground breaking research this week, or at least impart my work done so far a little dazzling effect, I will be having some sleepless nights during the days leading up to the paper submission. So I bet you can already see what I will writing in the last Sunday Salon post of March! :)

Anyways, it's a beautiful Sunday today, might as well enjoy it while it lasts! I didn't complete any reading last week, unless I count in The Fellowship of the Ring, which I will finish tonight! Today promises to be a busy day, being month-end. Really, February being just 28 days is quite a tragedy. It shouldn't even be considered a month. Were the month inventors so stingy, that they couldn't give it 2 more days from some other month? On the plus side, I'm glad February is not a vacation month (like December or any of the summer months)!

Over the last week, I got quite a bunch of awards from some great bloggers!! I'm mentioning a couple here, the rest, I'll feature next week.


Vicki @ Reading at the Beach splashed me! Thanks, Vicki!! :-)
Here are the rules:
  • Put the logo on your blog/post.
  • Nominate up to 9 blogs which allure, amuse, bewitch, impress or inspire you.
  • Let them know that they have been splashed by commenting on their blog.
  • Remember to link to the person from whom you received your Splash Award.
I'm splashing:
  1. Cheryl @ The Books I Read
  2. Danielle @ There's a Book
  3. Ash @ English Major's Junk Food


Marce @ Tea Time with Marce gave me the Happy 101 Award! Thanks, Marce!! :-)

The rules are that I must list 10 things that make me happy and then pass it on to 10 bloggers.
10 things that make me happy, hmm... this is quite challenging to write when I have some research deadlines gnawing at my throat, but I'll give it a try!
  1. No surprise, reading makes me bery bery happy! And of course, blogging, but you already knew that?
  2. I love tea more than coffee! Though I probably drink more coffee than tea. Tea makes me feel classy and lady-like and gracious and graceful (ahem), coffee just brings me down to reality! And the smell of brewing tea leaves, hmmmm, that's a real delight to my olfactory senses!
  3. Ok, let's see, I love going to Bollo's, which is a coffee shop near Downtown Blacksburg. Their coffee is soooo ooohh, such bliss! Definite must-visit for coffee-addicts and sleep-deprived students!
  4. Did you know I chat with my parents 3 hours everyday? Yeah 3 hours on gtalk or yahoo messenger! Long distance phone calls are too expensive. Then again, I am not a phone person. Anyways, those 3 hours each day are uncompromisable, unless there is a matter of the greatest urgency.
  5. I love being the first to wake up, wherever I am. Would you believe that if ever I hear someone already up and moving in the house, I get a real panic attack and have to be up right then? That's something that gives me sleepless mornings!
  6. I am the first person to enter my research lab every morning. I will be there usually from 7.45 to 9 am, before the next person walks in. It's such a great feeling having the usually-crowded lab all to yourself, for that one hour in the morning!
  7. I am obsessed with order. Even when I have the liberty now to not live on a routine, I still am. I work the same hours, go to the gym, eat my meals and read, at the same time every day! I am such a predictable person!
  8. I LOVE the morning coffee hours on weekends. Sitting at my table, having my cup of coffee and reading or writing blogs just form my favorite combo! Can you wait a minute? Just writing this post has made me want some coffee, so let me go set the machine.
  9. I love shopping for clothes and books. Last year, I was so obsessed with clothes that I bought too many of them. Now they are all sitting in my wardrobe, some still with tags on them waiting for me to wear them! I came to the US with 3 large suitcases. I'll be lucky if I can fit all the things I have now into 6 large bags!
  10. Though I am not a chatty person most of the times, I still enjoy the times I spend chatting away with family and friends. There's nothing better than sitting down and joking with people you love, at least for the moment, forgetting all the pressures of life and only remembering to live and have fun!
Now that wasn't so hard! I'm passing this award on to the following bloggers and I look forward to reading what your top happy moments in life are. Since I have passed a lot of awards recently, I will choose only 5 this time.
  1. Emidy @ Une Parole
  2. Aleksandra @ Aleksandra's Corner
  3. Lynne @ Lynne's Book Reviews
  4. Dana @ Rantings of a Bookworm Couch Potato
  5. Cat @ Tell me a Story
Another note: Bernice L. McFadden, author of Sugar, is giving away copies of her new novel, Glorious to the first 75 bloggers to sign up at her site. In addition she has a contest running, where 3 lucky bloggers win a $50 Amex Gift Card + more goodies! Go check it out!

Happy reading and Happy Blogging!

Read other Sunday Salon posts.


Aarti said…
Good luck with your research! I can well remember my time in college and your bell curve sounds about right :-) Have SOME fun on spring break, at least!
Unknown said…
How funny, Aths, I just happened to be reading your blog through my Google Reader and saw that you passed this award on to me. I'll have to get right on it, listing my 10 things and passing it on to others. Thank you, thank you for "awarding" me :)
bermudaonion said…
The middle of the semester does seem to just slog along doesn't it. I know my son is looking forward to spring break. My husband loves Mill Mountain Coffee in Blacksburg and brings some of their whole beans home when we visit up there.

Have you and your parents ever tried Skype?
Harvee said…
Congrats on your awards! Happy reading!
Oh Aths, some day we must meet...order, routine, shopping for books and clothing, talking to our parents often...all good things. :-)
Ash said…
I talk to my parents pretty much every day, although I don't rely on my parents as much as other people I know who rarely talk to their parents. Weird how that happens. I'm definitely feeling a slump in my mood right now, but two more weeks until Spring Break for me! Thanks for splashing me... hmm usually I'm angry when people splash me. Good luck with your research!
Good luck with that paper!

Three hours every day! How do you find time for that?!? I'm impressed!
Cat said…
What a lovely surprise - thank you so much, Aths. :-)

Good luck with the research and I hope you find time to relax and read over your break.
Eva said…
Good luck with your paper! :) My school had 3 10-week terms instead of 2 15-week semesters, so we always had finals before Spring Break. On the plus side, there was no homework to think about during vacation!
The1stdaughter said…
Congrats! And thank you so much! I feel terrible it's taking me so long to get back to you, things are just crazy right now, but thank you thank you! Hopefully I'll be able to pass it on some time this week!

Good luck on your paper too by the way!
Thanks for the award! I'm looking forward to passing it on.

Une Parole
Athira said…
Aarti, thanks! I hope to. :)

Lynne, awww.. you're welcome, I'm glad you spotted it on time, seeing as I'm so late! Bummer!

Kathy, I have to check out that coffee shop! We do use skype for our voice chats, but most days, it is just text-chatting!

Book Dilettante, thanks! :)

Helen, ooohhh, girlfriend, are we by any chance twin sisters separated at birth?? That's a lot of similar tastes!

Ash, That's definitely weird! Haha, I hate being splashed too, I shut myself in a room, if anyone's having a water party!

Jennifer, thanks! :) Don't ask, I multitask! :P

Cat, thanks a lot!

Eva, I'd rather spend a break on a break than study while I could *should* read! Though 3 exams a year? Hmm!

Juju, thanks! :)

Danielle, no problem! :)

Emidy, you're welcome! :)
Cheryl said…
Thank you so much for the award Aths! I am so honored!
Athira said…
Cheryl, you're welcome!! :)
Aleksandra said…
Congratulations on your awards & thanks a lot for the award! :)
Athira said…
Aleksandra, you're welcome! :)