Review: The Divine Nature of Basketball: My Season Inside the Ivy League

Yale
Follow Yale through the 2011-12 season

Let me be clear before the outset of this review: I did not attend an Ivy League school, nor did I previously have an appreciation for it. Save for a few friends who worshiped Penn hoops, my loyalties remain in the old Big East and the current ACC. So it is with that lens that I review Ed Breslin’s The Divine Nature of Basketball: My Season Inside the Ivy League, his look at the 2011-12 Yale Bulldogs basketball team, led by head coach James Jones. Breslin petitioned Jones to be a special assistant coach, essentially shadowing the team throughout the entire season. What follows is an insiders look at one of the more entertaining Yale basketball seasons in recent memory.

It’s clear within a few pages of reading that Breslin eats, prays and loves college basketball. Breslin devours media guides and watches intently through practices. Throughout the course of the season, Yale basketball completely consumes his life and his passion oozes through the pages of the book. His enthusiasm is contagious, and it’s hard not to become a Yale fan, too.

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Keats connects with beauty

John Keats, in “Ode on a Grecian Urn” and “Ode to a Nightingale” attempts to connect with two objects of immortality to escape from the rigors of human life. In “Ode to a Nightingale”, Keats attempts to connect with a bird’s song because the music knows nothing of aging and mortality. Keats has the same motivation in “Ode on a Grecian Urn” while trying to connect with three separate images on a mysterious urn. Connecting in this sense means to either fully understand the object or become the object itself. For example, when Keats attempts to “connect” with an image on the urn, he attempts to fully understand the origin of the image. While his attempts to connect with the two objects fall short, he nevertheless makes an interesting conclusion about the ideals of beauty and truth.

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Not titled “Sense or Sensibility”

Polar opposites. Night and day. Hot and cold. These are just some adjectives and nouns that are on opposite sides of the spectrum. The words are perfect ways of contrasting the characters of Marianne and Elinor in the novel Sense and Sensibility. Sense, defined as the ability to be aware of things around her describes Elinor. She is the calm, quiet and collective sister, who makes decisions based on practicality. Sensibility, or the trait of being affected by changes in surroundings fits Marianne. She’s the foolish, whimsical and irrational sister, driven by passion and emotion. Both characters are put in similar situations throughout the book and, true to the title, act with sense and sensibility.

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