By Edita Bardhi
When I first heard about ESU’s 2017 One Book, One Campus, “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls, I was just as interested in reading it as anyone else.
In fact, I was thankful for getting the opportunity to read yet another One Book, One Campus selection.
Although this organization is namely for freshman, it reaches out to everyone.
As a junior, I have come to read three of ESU’s One Book, One Campus selections. They are: “Your Face in Mine” by Jess Row, “The Circle” by Dave Eggers and “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls.
Each one of these books are motivational in their own ways.
Amongst all three books, “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls happens to be one that inspired me the most.
At first, this book expresses a story about a young girl, Jeannette, who has grown up in a poverty-stricken family.
She is forced to make her way through life while living with three siblings, her parents and an unguaranteed future.
A plot as such is something people must consider often.
Frequently, we do not realize just how fortunate we are to have the things that we do because we expect it to be given to us.
Food. Water. Clothing. Shoes. Cosmetics. Furniture. Cleaning products. Technology. Tools. School supplies. House decorations. Access to medication. Housing. Education. Jobs. Transportation.
These are all things in which we have either easy access to or the ability to find them.
However, there are still a countless number of people in the world who struggle to survive with only one pair of jeans or a limited amount of water.
Sometimes, the struggles do not have to be that intense.
Instead, people may simply be struggling to earn extra cash to replace their old ripped jeans, use high quality beauty products, more healthful foods.
As one individual, I cannot force people to change their perspective, their attitudes, their lifestyle or their willingness.
Above all, I cannot force people to become thankful for the things they have in life.
However, I can say this.
Reading this memoir has given me much comfort, understanding and realization toward life.
It showed such relevance to life and the way in which we live.
Perhaps, it shared a different side of living that most of us are not familiar with.
Once again, we become so accustomed to what we have that we forget that there is a whole different world outside of it.
In addition to reading the memoir, I attended Walls’ visit to ESU on Nov. 2.
During that night, she spoke with such compassion that it touched my heart.
At times, I would catch myself tearing up at some of the things she said.
Her speech overall reminded me of the well-known quote,
“Don’t be ashamed of your story because it just might inspire someone.”
It reminded me so much of it that I just had to tell her.
She was delighted to hear such a quote.
Now, “The Glass Castle” was certainly a memoir about Walls’ childhood; however, while reading it, I was able to relate to her in certain ways.
Like Walls, I have spent most of my life confused, stressed and worried about my family, my life and my future.
It wasn’t until I left for college that I began believing that my life had a sense of direction.
Thus, her memoir gave me faith about my own life.
In other words, it showed readers like me that a negative environment does not have to be permanent if we don’t want it to be.
There were certain things in the memoir that caught my attention drastically.
One particular one includes: “Lori was working as a freelance artist and specializing in fantasy, illustrating calendars, and game boards and book jackets,” on page 274.
As a sibling to three, my youngest brother has a passion for drawing, and is currently majoring in Art Studio in hopes of becoming a freelance artist.
This sentence reminded me of when my brother would ask me for paper, pencils, erasers and more.
Sometimes, it became hard to share for that I am a writer; thus, I needed them, too.
Overall, ESU’s One Book, One Campus reading is a positive attribute to students and everyone alike.
The organization gives students an opportunity to read various stories and learn about different things.
At times, the books chosen may affect students in such a way that it opens their hearts.
“The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls was certainly a book in which met the organization’s goals, and much more.
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