We're thrilled to have three summer interns in the Corporate Communications team, all of whom will be blogging right here throughout the months ahead. You've read Melissa and Stephanie's posts; now, here's Isis Washington, a rising senior at St. John's College (that's her on the right!).
I try to live vicariously through the characters in books I read. I tend to internalize stories and turn into real life situations, which help me deal with the daily facets of life…including all kinds of individuals!
Here are the five books that most influenced me:
Super Rich by Russell Simmons: As a music mogul and entrepreneur, Russell Simmons deals with a hectic schedule and makes a myriad of serious decisions daily. His yoga lifestyle as well as his eclectic personality give this book an enlightened vibe with a little twist. This book gave insight into how to control uncontrollable situations and how to bunker down and focus on the task at hand. I finished this book during a fencing competition, where I hadn’t been fencing well. Thanks to that book, I didn’t become upset because I had internalized the book’s message and figured out what it meant to me. Two days later, I made it to the final bout, competing for a gold medal!
Harnessing Anger by Peter Westbrook: Growing up I never thought I would be a fencer, but a single day at a skating rink sealed my fate. That day, I found out about the Peter Westbrook Foundation. In the book Peter talks about his journey to the top and becoming a six-time Olympian. Peter’s book serves as inspiration to anyone trying to face the odds and achieve things deemed impossible. Peter has had the ability to change so many people’s lives through his kind spirit and emphatic need to give back to others. This book was a stepping stone to how Peter changed my life and a precursor to all the places I will go.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker: The Color Purple is one of my favorite novels-turned-film. I honestly love this story. Alice Walker captivates you with Miss Celie’s story and how Celie finds a way to overcome her woes. Celie also learns a lot of life lessons that give her the knowledge to overcome her situation at home. I saw the movie first and knew I had to read the book; the best part is that many of the most memorable quotes in the film are original Alice Walker quotes.
Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume: I grew up obsessed with Judy Blume books. Once I started one I could never put it down. Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great is one of the books I really related to in elementary school. Sheila was afraid of everything including, dogs, spiders, water, and horses. I was (am) also afraid of spiders and this book didn’t serve as a solution to the problem, but more as a compromise. I decided, like Sheila, I would not let anyone know I was really afraid. When the moment came, I could face my fear of spiders if absolutely necessary. One day I was tested at school; a spider was crawling on the table and my friend got really scared. I found a napkin crushed it and threw it away. I was just like Sheila when she overcame her fear of water! Though I was still afraid, I had accomplished what I needed and my reputation was no longer on the line.
Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey: Captain Underpants jumpstarted my serial reading phase in elementary school and middle school. The book series was perfect for a little kid with mischievous thoughts. Though I was nowhere near as bold as George and Harold, the mischievously mystical plots and comics kept me engrossed for at least the first five books.