Sonntag, 11. März 2012

The Magical 11 - Blog Tag

First off: Thank you all so much for the sweet comments on my reading slump post! I have received a lot of great advise and also encouragement from you, and while I haven't dared to really open a book again yet, I've got this feeling that I won't be able to keep this up for too TBR pile looked at me quite seductively again today.

Anyway, Darlyn tagged me some days ago and since I couldn't think about anything else since then, here are the results of my insane brooding.

The Rules:
1. Post rules.
2. Post 11 fun facts about yourself.
3. Answer questions from the person who tagged you.
4. Make up 11 questions for people you tag.
5. Tag 11 people.
6. Let them know they've been tagged.

The rules command it, so: 11 Fun Facts about myself

1. Whenever I'm giving a presentation my teachers assume I am nervous because I'm speaking so quickly. I am not nervous in the least, I love speaking in front of an audience, I always speak so quickly, I just tend to forget that most people aren't used to my spaeking pace

2. I am a TV series addict. Blame House, it all started with him! I have seen every single episode at least three times and I own all of them on DVD. When there weren't any new episodes available in Europe I began watching other stuff: that's how Bones, The Mentalist, Gilmore Girls, How I Met Your Mother and Scrubs followed.

3. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien was released exactly 42 years before my birth. This is something I take a lot of pride in.

4. I am an absolute expert in Faerie mythology. When I was a little girl I devoured all books about it, so if you want to know something about changelings, glamour or the Otherworld, just ask!

5. Both of my grandfathers were police constables. They knew each other, but they did not introduce my parents to each other. My parents met at as opponents in a competion for shooting-sports.

6. I love Ikea. Seriously. My mum and I go there at least once a month, eat in the restaurant and dawdle through the shop. We hardly buy anything, but I adore the atmosphere. Don't laugh.

7. When I was eight I read a survey about the best universities in the world. That was the day I declared to my parents that I would study in Harvard. Of course things have changed a lot since then. The new goal is Cambridge!

8. I am angry with my parents for not being English. I have actually used that as an argument during discussions. My life would be so much easier if English was my mother tongue!

9. I have an odd relationship with musical instruments. I've always loved music, but didn't play anthing until the age of 13. When I took the entrance exam for piano lessons at the conservatoire I was the oldest applicant. The other kids were all about 6 years old.

10. My brothers, my sister and I were fanatically obsessed with The Lord of The Rings. This went so far that we spent whole days in the woods, fighting with canes and shooting with our self-made bows.

11. What impressed me most on my trip to Ireland were the dry stone walls which cover the whole island. They were built entirely without mortar and some of them are over 5000 years old!

Now, off to Darlyn's questions

1. Did you become obsessed with a boyband in your teen years? If so, which boyband?
Since I am still in my teenage years it would be fatal to answer this one! No, seriously: I am really militant when it comes to music. I ardently love rock, especially alternative rock, but I can't stand pop music. Listening to it makes me cringe.

2. Who is your favourite Austen hero and why?
Oh, this is excruciating! Now I have to admit the ugly truth I have kept secret for years:
I passionately, wholeheartedly and fanatically HATE Jane Austen!
I don't understand what all the fuss is about; the only thing she does masterly in my opinion is stretching a story for 200 pages out over 500!
Okay, to be fair: I have only read one of her books, the much beloved Pride and Prejudice, which traumatised me for life. It took me one and a half year to finish it because it was so plain boring. Yes, Mr. Darcy is a snob and the oh-so-great Elizabeth has to learn to think before speaking, but, honestly, that's just not enough to fill 300 pages.
So, sorry, but I don't have one.

3. What is the weirdest thing about you?
Again a tough one. There's just so much to choose from! I guess it's the fact that I name everything. Literally. My phone is called Jem, my iPod Lorelai, my parents' car Jabi and my sister's mattress Lorry.

4. What is your dayjob?
Student. Very exciting, isn't it? I have two and a half years of school left and no idea what I am going to do afterwards. The dream would be studying English Literature in Cambridge, but my English is just not good enough for that. See Fun Fact number 8.

5. What is your favourite poem?
I like a lot of Robert Frost's and W.B. Yeats's poems, but my favourite one is from The Lord of the Rings:

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken:
The crownless again shall be king.

Anyway, I have to admit that I actually prefer the German translation to the original, probably because I have known it since I was a little girl. I know you don't understand it, but I have to write it down here nonetheless:
Nicht jeder Verirrte verliert sich,
Nicht alles was Gold ist, glänzt;
Die tiefe Wurzel erfriert nicht,
Was alt ist wird nicht zum Gespenst.
Aus Schatten ein Licht entspringe!
Aus Asche soll Feuer loh'n!
Heil wird die zerbrochene Klinge,
Der Kronlose steigt auf den Thron
6. Why did you start blogging?
About half a year ago I came across o's blog completely by chance and was stunned. I had always loved reading, and wanted to read more classics, more "valuable" books, but I had no idea where to start or how to keep it up, since classics were of course great and educating but rather boring nonetheless.
She was so enthusiastic about the classics, she read them for pleasure and all of her posts and thoughts were so sophisticated that I couldn't help admiring her. Some weeks later I had begun working on my own blog.

7. Who is your favourite Disney princess?
Mulan all the way!!! She's tough, she's kick-ass, she's chinese. What's not to love?

8. Who is your favourite actor/actress?
Jamie Campbell Bower. Remember that name! He has had a tiny appearance as Gellert Grindelwald in Harry Potter, as Caius in New Moon and alongside Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd. Not only is he cute, an amazing actor and can sing, he will also be the new Robert Pattinson or Daniel Radcliffe in one or to years since he is playing the main character in the movie adaptation of The Mortal Instruments.

Picture From
Click To Visit

9. What is your favourite film genre?
Thrillers and crime movies! Blame my mum, I grew up believing that The Silence of the Lambs was the cherry on the icing of modern cinema.

10. Which Pixar movie do you like best?
Definitely A Bug's Life! This movie makes me laugh every time I watch it, and no, I am not too old for it!

11. The BONUS QUESTION: Answer any question that you really, really, really want people to ask you. Well, then:
What sparked your love of reading?
When I was in kindergarten my mum started reading the first Harry Potter novel aloud to me and my older sister. She read one chapter to us every night and that was the beginning of my love affair with books.
Years later I learned that my mum only chose the Harry Potter novels for her children because there was so much religious controversy about them!

Here are my 11 questions:
  1. If you could live in any age (present-day included) you wanted to, which would you choose?
  2.  Is there a literary character you identify with?
  3.  The world is divided into two different kinds of people: those who plan their own funerals and those who don't. To which do you belong?
  4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
  5.  How do you manage the balance between reading and going out?
  6. What is your favourite quote?
  7. The eternal question: Which is better, Oxford or Cambridge?
  8. Is there a song which has a special meaning to you?
  9. What is your favourite quote?
  10. Romantic comedy or thriller?
  11. Why do you read?
My victims The people I tag are:
  1.  o from Délaissé
  2. Diana from Autobiography of an Anglophile
  3. Melanie from Dear Helen, Dear John
  4. Jean from Howling Frog Books
  5. Caro from Reading against the Clock
  6. Trish from Desktop Retreat
  7. Reading Rambo from Reading Rambo
  8. Danny from Reveries on Literature
  9. Bear Allen from The Black, White & Read Book Challenge
  10. Amanda from Simpler Pastimes
  11. Soffi from Nothing worth having comes easy
I hope you don't suffer too much! Have fun!


  1. Hi, Cassandra! Here are my answers:

    1.Present day.
    2.Several—but for some strange reason, the character I’ve ever identified most with is Sue Bridehead from Hardy’s Jude the Obscure.
    3.I belong to those who DON’T plan their own funerals.
    4.Cape Cod (or London or some picturesque place in France or Africa or Spain)
    5.I usually don’t permit myself to go out unless I’ve completed my reading… not always though
    6.Don’t have one
    7.Depends. For the humanities, Oxford. For math and sciences, Cambridge. However, I have a personal preference for Oxford, and will hopefully be studying there next year. I actually find out whether I was admitted or not this week. I’m quite anxious to hear the news already!
    8.Strawberry Swing by Coldplay
    9.Don’t have one.
    11.Because I love reading.

    1. Sue Bridehead! This is something I didn't expect :)
      Coldplay is an amazing band, I am really relieved you didn't choose romantic comedies!
      Good luck for Oxford, it would be fantastic if you were admitted and I am really curious to hear the news. Hopefully the postman hurries up!

  2. Being an expert on faerie mythology sounds awesome - you should write a book like Jonathan Strange one day! :P

    Good luck with getting to Cambridge to study English lit. I'm from the UK and one of my school friends read veterinary science there, she says it was the best years of her life.

    1. Don't laugh, I actually started one once. I wrote about three chapters before I gave up :D
      Thank you, I am going to need it. It seems like there is nothing better in the world, but for the moment it's just a fantasy.

  3. Ah, thank you! :) I shall do this later, going to ponder on some of the questions... (apart from the Oxford / Cambridge one, of course - TEAM CAMBRIDGE! I wish I had have gone there!)

    1. Thank God! Cambridge all the way! Oxford is just so overrated in public opinion in general.

  4. Here you are, my friend:

    I love your IKEA story and your Cambridge goal!

    1. Thank you, for the quick reaction! I'm going to check it out immediately :)

  5. Awesome post! I love fun facts 4, 5, 8 and 11. I always speak too quickly as well, and of course people never understand what I'm saying. Le sigh.
    Thanks for tagging me! I'll post my answers within the week :)

    1. Ah, a fellow sufferer! It's not our fault that not everyone is up to our pace, is it? :)
      I'm waiting curiously for your post!

  6. My confession: I have never been to Ikea. It's two hours away and I've just never gone. Everyone else loves it though.

    My two girls are in their playing LOTR phase now. They put on cloaks and go play hobbits/elves/Eowyn outside. Passing cars are Black Riders. I'm pretty sure I'll be sewing an Eowyn dress this Halloween!

    I do not see how your current level of English should keep you out of Cambridge. If you can read Jane Eyre now you can do it, and you've got time to practice (practise, since we're talking Cambridge!). What are your chances of spending a summer as an exchange student in an English-speaking country? I spent a year in DK at 15/16 and was pretty fluent by the end.

    1. Oh my God, Jean, you have to go there! Seriously! Two hours is pretty much, but perhaps you have some errand in the area one day?

      That's awesome! Looking back the LOTR phase was one of the best times of my life and I'm really glad that your girls experience it too. I'd really like to see that Eowyn costume :)

      Thank you, but unfortunately my spoken English isn't half as good as my written, and even that is nowhere near perfect. Of course I'll be practising, but I'm not very optimistic. English literature in Cambridge is supposed to be a demanding course for native speakers
      and my chances of spending more than one or two weeks abroad are really small at the moment. I have three siblings and money is not inexhaustible, so even studying would only be possible with a scholarship. But I am always free to dream! :)

    2. Two hours is not all that far if you live in California. I was just down there over the weekend--it's just that there's always a bunch of stuff to do. This time I took my daughter to an eye specialist (that's why we went), spent a good long time at the homeschooling store (which is pretty much a fairy wonderland of happiness--I suppose my version of Ikea!), and would have liked to go fabric shopping.

      I understand about the money! I have four siblings and I have no idea how my parents managed to send me and three others abroad. Well, they used our college accounts. But they HAD college accounts for us! And we were not well-off.

  7. I loved reading these fun facts (and I'll post a response on my blog soon).

    I can understand that Jane Austen is not everybody's cup of tea. But if you ever feel like giving her another shot, I'd recommend trying Persuasion. It's shorter and more concise, for one. But I also think there's a mature writing style and characterization present in Persuasion that just isn't there in her earlier novels (Pride and Prejudice among them).

    I definitely think you could get into a fantastic English programme in the UK -- yes, even your beloved Cambridge! There were loads of international students on my MA course, and I feel confident stating your English is better than that of many of my fellow students. And you've got two more years to practice and further your language skills! :)

    P.S. Good luck this week, Danny! I think Oxford would be lucky to have you.

    1. I'm waiting eagerly for your post!
      I think I am going to follow your advise and read Persuasion, it truly seems like the one Austen novel I could like...but perhaps I will put it off a little longer.

      Aw, you're flattering me! :) Unfortunately you wouldn't say that if you had ever heared me talking...
      No, seriously, I have loved Cambridge ever since I spent a week there with my class some years ago, and I couldn't imagine anything greater than studying there. I am definitely going to use these two years well and hope it will be enough. Liking Jane Austen definitely wouldn't harm my chances :)

  8. Oh, I'm going to have to think about some of these! (This might take some time...) Thank you!

    A Lord of the Rings fan! I love that you played LOTR games with your siblings. Fun. When I was in elementary school (before I knew Tolkien's books), a friend and I really fell in love with E. B. White's The Trumpet of the Swan, which inspired much of our recess play.

    As for Cambridge, dream as big as you can! You still have time to work on the spoken English, and if you make it there, with the command of written English you already have, I think you will find that the spoken follows quickly. I had a university roommate from Ukraine who barely knew any English the first time she came to the US, as a high school exchange student. By the time I met her, she was fluent. Listen to as much English as you can (music, TV, whatever), and practice wherever you can. And remember, even native speakers aren't perfect!

    1. As long as you don't forget it, take as long as you want! I'm deadly curious, but working on my patience :)
      I think it is amazing how books can influence us even when (or perheps especially when?) we're still so young. Imagination clearly is our greatest gift!

      Regarding Cambridge all this encouragement is really great. Thank you, I am going to give my best! I am taking part in a language contest the day after tomorrow, so we'll see what I am actually up to :)

    2. I used to teach English to adult immigrants as a volunteer when I lived in Georgia to help them prepare to become American citizens and/or to attend college. If you have the ability to Skype, and if it is okay with your parents, we can work on your spoken English together and get you ready for Cambridge. I may even allow you to giggle over my German, if you ask very, very nicely. :)

  9. It took me a few days, but I finally posted my response:

    Thanks for tagging me, Cassandra! This was fun. :)

  10. Okay, I finally have my response posted:

    Thanks, Cassandra!

  11. Thank you so much for answering these questions. Also, I think it's very cool that your birthday coincides with the release of the Fellowship of the Ring. It's like you were destined to love LOTR.

    I loved reading about how o's blog inspired you to start your own blog. Without blogs like A Literary Odyssey or A Room of One's Own, I don't think Your Move, Dickens would even exist in the first place. So, here's to hoping we inspire some young ones in the future! :)