Reading Lists and how I prepare for my Final Year at Warwick – OurWarwick
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Reading Lists and how I prepare for my Final Year at Warwick

Elena Sandu
Elena Sandu | Language, Culture and Communication Contact Elena

Every summer I tend to plan everything I want to do in advance, as holiday means free time, leisure, fun. However, this year everything changed as I managed to get a three-month internship in Bucharest, the capital of Romania. I have never lived in Bucharest before as I am from the seaside, city of Constanta. Nevertheless, I wanted to update you guys on the whole moving situation, how I adapted, what my daily work schedule looks like, how it is to be living in three places at the same time and so on and so forth.

I will start off by saying that I have always been dreaming of traveling the world, living in as many cities as possible, experiencing as many cultures as possible. What I didn’t know back when I was 18 is that all this lust comes with heartache, missing people, being alone long periods of time, adapting to various traditions, practices, new educational systems, corporate environments and eventually adulthood. It can feel scary, frustrating, lonely, overwhelming at times, but also exciting, wonderful, stimulating and I do feel like the good outweighs the bad.

In terms of my reading list for this summer, so far I have read two books written by Elif Shafak, whom I can declare as one of my favorite contemporary authors: The Bastard of Istanbul, which tells the story of Asya Kazanci, a young woman, the titular bastard, living in Istanbul in a house of eccentric and loving women, one called Zeliha (Asya’s mother) who has never revealed the name of Asya’s father, and much of Asya’s identity is tied up to her being a “bastard.” But her identity as a woman, as a Turk and as a daughter of Istanbul will be challenged when a bold Armenian American woman, Armanoush Tchakhmakhchian arrives on her doorstep. Raised between her Armenian family in San Francisco and her mother and Turkish stepfather in Tucson, she, like Asya, struggles with identity. I will try not to be a spoiler, but another important character for the storyline is Armanoush’s step-father and Asya’s uncle whom she has never met, Mustafa, Zeliha’s brother.

The second book I have read this summer is entitled ‘The Flea Palace’, another book by Elif Shafak, a picaresque story happening in Bonbon Palace, Istanbul, a neglected apartment block, home to ten wildly different individuals and their families. The underlying garbage theme emerges throughout the book and influences the lives of the inhabitants. Istanbul’s citizens are once again the central part of Shafak’s œuvre d’art, which possess various philosophies of the mundane life of the New Rome.

Some other books on my reading list are: ‘An Indecent Proposal’ by Jack Engelhard, ‘Central Park’ by by Guillaume Musso, ‘Honour’ and ‘Black Milk’ by Elif Shafak, ‘Adultery’, ‘Veronika Decides to Die’, ‘The Witch of Portobello’ by Paulo Coelho.

As far as preparing for my final year at Warwick, after studying for two years Russian (1st year- Russian Beginners Accelerated: Russian 1+2 and Russian 3 in my 2nd year) I have been thinking lately about studying again French and maybe looking for a master’s degree somewhere in Europe (not necessarily France, since I have mentioned French haha).

A final thing I wanted to address in this blog post is DISSERTATION. Many final-year students at Warwick start researching early for their dissertation. Since I have a marketing internship in Bucharest, I have been thinking lately about observing some of the activities/ conversations happening around my work place. In any corporate environment, linguistic misunderstandings may happen due to different communication styles that can cause irritation and distrust between the parties concerned. Hence, my dissertation might be about communication styles at work and how they influence different people to react in various ways.

Elena Sandu
Elena Sandu | Language, Culture and Communication Contact Elena

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