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The Dog Ear: New books, new semester

By Alyssa McDonagh
On January 21, 2013

As we embark upon a new semester, we enter another segment of our lives. For some of us, this is the last semester of our college career. For others, we still have time to figure out what we should major in. Regardless of where we are, everyone is constantly battling time flitting away, whether we realize it or not. We are counting down the minutes until lecture ends, the hours we have until our homework is due online, the days until the first exam and the weeks until Spring Break. Crossing off days on calendars and turning the page to a new week in planners, we are incessantly keeping track of time.
While keeping track of time is necessary, it is more necessary to realize the value of time. Mitch Albom's novel, "The Time Keeper" addresses this conundrum. Albom introduces readers to Dor, the first man to ever count time, now known as the mythical Father Time. Unfortunately, Dor is punished for trying to measure time. Once he is released from a cave that serves as a form of purgatory, he is sent to Earth to save a teenage girl and an old man. In saving them, he must teach them that time cannot be controlled. However much we might want that power, it is worth more knowing that each day is precious than to struggle to control the speed at which the days pass.
Albom writes a modern day story reminiscent of Aesop's fables that I heard as a child. I had a children's treasury version of Aesop's fables and was probably more impressed with the use of animals as characters in the tales than the underlying message. However, those entertaining fables taught me important lessons. It is the concise nature of fables that makes their messages more powerful and that is exactly what Albom triumphs in doing as well. It is a small book of only 240 pages with many short chapters, but "The Time Keeper" is a book that allows to you to finish quickly and simultaneously impresses you with its message. Other authors ought to take hint from Albom on how to write a powerful but shorter novel.
This is a book worth reading, especially for college students. We are in a limbo of wanting to grow up and move out of our childhood homes, but at the same time, crave staying at home with the ability to stay in bed as late as we want and have home cooked meals. "The Time Keeper" helps you recognize that realizing what is important and what isn't is crucial to being satisfied with your life.
Classes you take will help you know what you don't want to do with your life. You may not figure out what you want to do, but if you can know what you don't want, that's a big step. If you find yourself doing something you can't stand, stop. It's not worth frustrating yourself if you can use the time to do something memorable. When you look back on your college career years from now, you should be happy with how it turned out, the friendships you formed, and the things you did. As Albom made clear in his novel, we are given a limited number of days for a reason. Make the most out of this semester and every semester to follow.

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