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Cultural Event: Lia Purpua

I went to the ‘guest reading’ cultural event, which featured a writer named Lia Purpua. At the beginning, she announced the winners of a writing contest that she’d been the judge for. She told us a short synopsis about each of the winning essays. After that, she began reading one of her essays. At first i thought “Oh great, this is going to be so boring.” But actually, her essays were great. They were incredibly descriptive and insightful. I especially enjoyed the first essay she read. The essay began with her and her children at a carnival; her sons wanted to go see the Smallest Woman in the World. However, her daughter, didn’t want to go see the woman. It bothered her sons that the woman just sat there and was looked at. They didn’t understand why people paid to see her and they were worried about her. Then the essay went back to when Purpua was in college. She described how she hated walking past this particular area on the street because of the way the men looked at her.  She was envious of men in general because they didn’t have to deal with what she did. Eventually, this tied back to Purpua reading the Little House on the Prairie books to her son. She didn’t think he would like reading about Laura Ingalls and her sister. But in the end, he actually loved the books and wanted to be Laura.

At the beginning of the essay, i wasn’t really sure where she was going with it but she ended up making a very interesting point at the end. I loved this essay.

The next essay she read didn’t really stick in my mind as well as the first one. I think i missed the point of the second essay. In it, she described her experience of going to a morgue for a day and watching autopsies being performed. It was a little bit gross and frankly, i didn’t enjoy hearing about the layers of fat some dead guy had.  She seemed pretty fascinated with watching them remove organs and such. I wasn’t quite as fascinated hearing about it.

Overall though, i really enjoyed this event. It’s probably one of my favorite ones. I took creative writing in high school so writing is still an interest of mine. Purpua was also a good reader, so it didn’t feel like she was reading essays as much as just telling a story. At some points, her writing went off into overly descriptive rants. I thought they were a bit unnecessary and when she did i was just impatient for her to get back to the actual story. This was definitely worth my time and was actually kind of relaxing. I don’t think i would have gone if i hadn’t been required too because it really didn’t sound that appealing. But now that i’ve gone and actually really liked it, i plan on keep my eyes open for future events like this.

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