Sunday, October 7, 2007

Outside Reading Blog- Week 3- Post #1

Happy Birthday or Whatever by Annie Choi

Section 3: pages 91-128
Ch. 7

In this chapter, we learn about Annie’s mother’s massive collection of catholic “junk.” From statuettes of the Virgin Mary to a grandiose picture of Pope John Paul II, her mother collects them all, despite the embarrassment and pleads of her children, Mike and Annie, to get rid of them. Although the 1994 earthquakes destroyed many of the statuettes, Annie’s mother replaced many of them quickly. Unfortunately when the children left home for college and such, the parents decided to move into a smaller house, meaning that not all the “Christian pride” could make the move. Annie took this as an opportunity of payback for when her mother gave away her numerous stuffed animals and therefore, gave away to charity, and even threw away, the majority of the religious collectives.
Ch. 8
Annie goes to college at the University of California at Berkeley, where for the first few weeks, her mother calls her every half an hour, literally. Soon though their conversation occur only once a week. One day in the middle of her second semester, Annie calls home in hopes of speaking with her mother, but to her surprise her father, who is never home, picks up the phone. He tells Annie that her mom has breast cancer and has had it for three months. Annie, both upset and angry that her parents didn’t tell her sooner, wants and asks to go home, but her parents want her to finish school. Though it was extremely difficult, Annie toughs it out until the end of the semester. Meanwhile, her mother suffers chemotherapy, an allergic reaction to medication, and a vehicular accident. Finally, Annie comes home, her mother surprisingly greeting her, looking strong, unlike the image that crossed Annie’s mind over the past months. Over the summer, Annie helps out her mom with basic tasks and contemplates whether or not to go back to school in the fall.

Biography of Annie Choi
Annie Choi was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley of California, just outside of Los Angeles. After completing both high school and Korean school, Annie set out to receive her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and subsequently, her M.F.A. in writing from Columbia University. Throughout her adulthood, she has had numerous jobs, including being a tour guide, an elevator operator, an assistant medical photographer, a sign language teacher, and a science textbook editor. In fact, it was her boss as a textbook editor that encouraged Annie to pursue a writing career. At the moment, Annie resides in New York City.
Bibliography: Both the photo and information came from and also the inside cover of her book Happy Birthday or Whatever.

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