22 May 2015

Irene in College by Lori Goldson

Lori Goldson will be on tour May 18-25 with her novel Irene in College

In book 1 of The Life & Times Series, “Irene in College”, Irene comes face-to-face with the realization that college is anything but easy. At the mercy of an insufferable mother, pompous boyfriend, malevolent best friend, dim-witted nuisance, and an ineffable college professor, what would be easy about it? Come join Irene as she learns how to deal with it all.
Irene thought college would be the easy part—get good grades, make new friends, and say good-bye to a daunting past. Little did she know that the whimsy of life would have other plans for her!
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Oh, if only someone had warned me that there were more universal hilarities in the works at my expense. However, as time would tell, not just my being would be jeopardized.
Through the last few years of my high school career, I was told that I was very well adjusted considering all I had been through. My mother and I stayed in New Jersey, but moved to a smaller house and I focused in on a school as to not be stuck in house alone. I spent most of my evenings in the library, promising myself that I would get the best scholarship possible to honor my father’s “work hard” mantra. I didn’t want his death to be in vain, and have his only child to go on and be a loser after all he had done in such a short time. My father wasn’t even 40 forty when he passed.
In retrospect, there’s no telling what caused this unsuspecting string of events. It might be that I was born under a questionable sign. Through my childhood and adolescence, I had no close friends. While there were people I associated with, I did not have anyone I could call a true friend because I was socially suicidal on a regular just by trying to ensure myself some type of future. Going to the mall and beach and whatever else was not likely. I had no desire to pilfer away good time with nonsense, like wandering the walkways of the locales unless it was absolutely necessary. Interestingly enough, I had no companionship growing up. I emerged into young adulthood and start to have friends and even—dare, I say—a boyfriend, and found myself as the social butterfly.
But still, the social circle wasn’t as strong as it could’ve been, and I clearly had a lot to learn about life and who and what truly makes me happy. So, maybe Michaela, Emily, Nicolette, and myself were all “destined”—and I use that term loosely—to meet and become permanent parts of my life because if you had told me when I was 17 seventeen that a stranger would become my mentee, my enigma a closest friend, and someone I loathed my mother figure, I would have laughed in your face. Or maybe this is just the way God wanted it. I’ve learned he has an unsullied sense of humor. I know there are times I have just had to laugh with him because yeah, I guess it is kind of funny.
While I am still adjusting to what has occurred over the course of time and learning to appreciate the new-found camaraderie, I cannot help but wonder. One of the pitfalls of being a brainiac—you cannot stop thinking about stuff.
It was September of my sophomore year in college. Ah, September. The time of year I often yearn for as I get to do what I am best at—being a student. I suck at everything else. Girlfriend? Please. I didn’t have my first boyfriend until college, and to this day, we have a very weird and confusing rapport. I shudder to think of myself as a stereotype: self-conscious, full-figured nerdy female falls for the suave Dominican guy with an awesome body. I know, I know, too “hood- romance- novel” for me, too. Daughter? My mom kind of hates me. I think my birth had something to do with it, since, you know, it’s my fault she lost her figure and all. Friend? Eh, I guess I would need more of those to see how I fair in that regard. But school is where I clean up and make up for all of my shortcomings. And I was ready to get back into action, until a certain someone came and interrupted my night. I have a very real hypothesis that he started this whole thing…

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lori goldsonLori Goldson the Middle School Academic Director for the Philadelphia non-profit organization SquashSmarts.  She has been in education for seven years. During her years as a college student at the University of Delaware, Lori took a fondness to Latin American culture. She has traveled to Dominican Republic, Spain, Mexico and Puerto Rico. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Erik. 

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