Please excuse my late blog! I would have updated sooner, but my seventeenth birthday was yesterday (thanks for the birthday wish, Mr. Gosney!) and I finally gave myself a day off from reading. Just to let everyone know, Jessica’s birthday is this Saturday—mark the date!
My apologies go out to Mr. Gosney. After all you’ve done for the ILC—take pictures, chauffeur, and for me, one special favor which I may not name—I forgot to mention you in my previous blog! Here’s a special thanks from me: THANK YOU MR. GOSNEY!! And if I haven’t said it yet, thank you Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenberg, my parents… everyone!
With my increasing excitement comes increasing anxiety. There are only 2 ½ weeks left before the awe-inspiring experience begins, and I simply cannot contain my enthusiasm and, at the same time, fear. I yearn for independence and opportunity, but I’m simultaneously afraid. Will I be overwhelmed by the workload? Can I survive 3,000 miles away from my family and closest friends?
I’ve finished two books since my previous blog: The Art of War and The Post-American World. The Art of War has twice been encapsulated in earlier blogs by Yohanna and Jessica. Like Jessica, I’d like to note that Genghis Khan possessed the qualities that Sun Tzu echoed in his book; I repeatedly found myself thinking about Genghis Khan while reading it. According to Sun Tzu, for example, “Living off the enemy brings one closer to victory.” This is displayed through Genghis Khan’s looting tactic; after attacking every city, his army steals its goods, providing food and luxuries for all to enjoy. The Art of War also stresses the importance of loyalty to victory: “Success depends on the troops’ utter loyalty.” Throughout Khan’s reign, not one of his commanders betrayed him—one of the reasons for his military and economic supremacy. After reading this book, my respect for Genghis Khan increased even more. Perhaps he knew about Sun Tzu’s lessons and put them to use!
The Post-American World, written by Fareed Zakaria, argues that America’s piece of pie in the global economy is diminishing, albeit its power has not decreased. Developing countries, particularly China and India, are on the rise, surpassing the U.S. in myriad ways—the largest plane, the tallest building, the largest movie industry, and the list goes on. While America’s economic and military hegemony remains unmatched, the modernization of China’s and India’s economies has increased their global power potentials—hence a post-American world and, as Zakaria puts it, “the rise of the rest.” He also presents an optimistic attitude toward the future, believing that international violence is at its lowest point, standards of living are rising, and America will continue to thrive along developing countries.
I’m currently working on The Peloponnesian War. It lacks the suspense and excitement present in Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, but hopefully it will pick up speed later on. I’ll have another update when I finish reading it!