Hack Your English Class with Book Summaries from SparkNotes
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SparkNotes is a way of life. Instead of reading or in conjunction with reading, you can utilize their book summaries to get a full grasp of whatever literature you're studying in class. It's particularly popular for studying Shakespeare.
Hi Auntie, My friend and coworker—let's call her Suzie—borrowed $200 from me about 8 months ago. It was for her medication, so being a good friend I lent it to her after she promised that she would pay me back when she got her next paycheck (in 2 weeks). Since then, Suzie got a new job and a small raise. I asked her many times to pay me back, but she kept saying that she was paying off her credit card debts and was broke. Yet, she had money to get her hair and nails done occasionally. After repeatedly asking her over many months and telling her how angry I was, I only got $50 back from her. So, she still owes me $150. A few weeks ago, she lost her job, her friends, and revealed to her family that she had an eating disorder and is going into treatment. I feel bad for her, but honestly whenever I think about her, I just get so angry over the fact that she hasn't paid me back. Her family is wealthy while mine is not, and I have worked very hard to save some extra money. I don't know what to do since she is in a vulnerable spot right now and doesn't have an income anymore. However, I've waited long enough and she always had some excuse for why she couldn't pay me back, even when she had a job. Should I be a good person and forget about they money she owes me? Should I keep asking her? Should I tell her parents (she's 22 but still lives at home)? Should I take her to small claims court? Am I a bad person for not being sensitive to her problems right now? This entire fiasco has made me hate her even though I know it's just money. Please help. Well, let's start there, darling, with the whole "just money" thing. Because yeah, sure, it's just money. It's just money that you worked hard to save, that you could have used for virtually anything, and that you ended up paying for the privilege of being taken advantage of (and being taught a harsh, expensive, unpleasant lesson about the dangers of lending to friends.) Of course you're pissed—not because of the cash itself, but because your friend was apparently willing to take it off your hands without any intention of paying you back. Which is why, just for the record, it's good practice to never lend money to anyone unless you're prepared for your loan to become a gift—because often as not, that's what happens. (It's also why some people refer to the money you lend to a friend and never see again as a "stupid tax," because that's how it makes you feel.) So, are you a bad person for not being more sensitive to your friend's problems under the circumstances? Um, no. Most definitely not. You've already been sensitive to her problems to the tune of $200; additional sensitivity is neither required nor expected. And if you no longer care to invest in this friendship, then that's okay, and it doesn't make you a materialistic or ungenerous person. As you pointed out, the money isn't the big deal; it's the fact that she apparently feels no compunction about ever repaying you, even after eight months, even after you've asked repeatedly, even after you told her you were getting truly angry at being taken advantage of. In short, it's not just that she didn't care about your finances. It's that she didn't care about your feelings, either. (And if she'd ever apologized sincerely instead of blowing you off or making excuses, you'd feel differently about both her and the money, no?) And with that out of the way, here's the deal: your friend is never going to pay you back except, possibly, under legal duress. I'm sorry. But since that's the case, unless that remaining $150 is such a financially significant sum for you that it'll be a genuine hardship not to get it back—and unless it's worth more than the time you'd have to spend in small claims court to try to recoup it—then yes, I think you should let it go. Not for her sake, but for yours, because the emotional cost of carrying around this kind of resentment is so steep. (And whatever you do, please don't involve her parents. Everyone in this scenario is much too old to go tattling or be tattled on to Mom and Dad.) The best thing you can do is chalk it up as an expensive life lesson and move forward. The path that frees you from continuing to dwell on this is the path you want to take. And considering that you've been un-paid-back for the better part of a year now, you know you can live without the money—so maybe all that's left is to stop being angry about it. Got something to say? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at email@example.com. Want more info about how this column works? Check out the Auntie SparkNotes FAQ.
As you and I both know, Shakespeare wrote a lot of things, but he didn’t write everything. Unfortunately, there are some people who are not us and therefore don’t know that. As a result, the Internet is just full of T-shirts, posters, and cross-stitch patterns touting Shakespeare quotes that Shakespeare never actually said. Today, I’d like to correct a few of these pernicious misconceptions. So let’s make with the correcting!
We all like to think we’d be sirens (I mean, luring hapless sailors to a watery grave with naught but the sound of my voice? Ideal. Sign me up), but the truth is that most of us are probably gorgons with snakes for hair and no real friends because we keep turning them all into stone. [viralQuiz id=462]
"Woman does a thing, society freaks out" is one of my favorite things that can happen in a book. Obviously "villains monologuing unnecessarily" is my second-favorite thing, and it’s a close second, but terrifying ladies striking fear into the hearts of men will always win with me. (My third-favorite is "dog saves the day," but that’s a different article entirely.) I’m particularly fond of this trope when it happens in classic literature. That's because, more often than not, the women are doing things that by today’s standards would be quite normal—like laughing loudly or driving a car or taking an unchaperoned promenade through a garden with a handsome cad. So, in the spirit of that, please enjoy the following 7 instances of women being normal while the men run screaming for the hills.
Now, there are a number of reasons you might have clicked this slideshow, including but not limited to: You want to scope out some potential colleges without actually visiting them, because who has that kind of time? You want to find your college on this list so you can yell at me about all the stuff I forgot to mention. (You can do this if you want, but I’ll definitely cry.) You have no interest in college; you’re just here because you heard there might be snacks. Unfortunately, I can’t provide snacks. (I’m sorry. The technology just isn’t there yet.) What I can provide is a look at some of the top colleges in the U.S. It’ll be like a college road trip, but without all the walking, all the campus guides with that perky but terrifying “camp counselor” energy, and all the fun facts you’d have to share with a semi-circle of total strangers who you will never see again. Looking for one college or university in particular? We’ve got your back. Click below to find it faster: Arizona State University — MIT McGill University — UCLA University of California, Riverside — University of New Mexico University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill — Yale
Nowadays Shakespeare is considered the height of high-brow literature. But what you may not have known is that the guy was, at any given moment, trying to see how many dirty jokes he could pack into a single five-act play. (The answer was usually “a lot,” sometimes bordering on “TOO MANY. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WILL, KIDS ARE GOING TO BE READING THIS.”) And even if you already knew that Shakespeare was the rough equivalent of an eighth-grader constantly shoehorning “your mom” jokes into every conversation (sidebar: Shakespeare is often credited with making the earliest known “your mom” joke), there might still be one or two of these filthy, filthy quips that went way over your head. Let's talk about those quips.