7:36 PM: Matthew vs. College Life

So, I'm an official AU student now, and since I'm not much of a drinker or partyer, I've decided that I might as well join the minority and try to get smarter while I'm here. I figured a trip to the library to check out some books was as good a way as any to start my academic odyssey, so I headed there right after my last class today. This is what I walked out with:

Optimal Human Being: An Integrated Multi-Level Perspective
by Kennon M. Sheldon

Synopsis (from amazon.com):

The phrase "optimal human being" is used to refer to the empirically documented features that tend to characterize high-quality human functioning. "Optimal human being" is a profile that is developed within this book by consulting what contemporary theorizing at different levels of analysis might have to say about what causes a optimal functioning.

Eleven Days in Hell: The 1974 Carrasco Prison Siege in Huntsville, Texas
by William T. Harper

This is a real life account of a group of disorganized inmates who took over a west Texas prison for a week and a half, and all the residual repercussions that arose in the sieges aftermath throughout the country. Think of it as the prison version of 9/11 (their worst nightmare come to life). Sounds interesting, and the guy who wrote it was there (he was working in the prison when the siege took place, and documented everything during it as it happened). He's been piecing together all the different accounts of the incident, and thirty years later, has finally released a book about it.

On the Road
by Jack Kerouac

I bought this book along with my other textbooks at Anders for $14. Two days later, I realized I was just wasting $14, since I now have access to a REAL library (the public library just doesn't cut it), and returned the book. I finally got around to checking it out today, and it looks good. Amazon.com describes it as "a cross-country bohemian odyssey that not only influenced writing in the years since its 1957 publication but penetrated into the deepest levels of American thought and culture." Several people have recommended the book to me over the last year, and I'm way overdue for a good read (Love in the Time of Cholera wasn't all it was cracked up to be).

I'm telling you guys all of this so that someone out there will hold me accountable, and make me write reviews for all three of these books. I've never written a "real" book review before, and I'm going to try my best to write a good, Plainsman worthy one, especially for On the Road, and Sheldon's book. I've got my hi-lighter and legal pad ready; now all I need is some initiative, and I'll be on my way to some journalistic experience.