Chapters 1 and 2

From the writer’s perspective it seemed that he was reflecting on how nothing in his life was what society considers “the norm”.  Nothing was typical about his life. He skated by in life with minimal drive to do well academically, his aspirations were to be a zookeeper as a child and only as an adult male did he want to be a fireman when everything in his life was falling apart and he wanted to wash his hands of it all by burning it up.
He worked jobs that paid the bills, not that he enjoyed doing.  He was married and divorced and then fell in love with his current wife of whom their relationship and love for each other seemed to be the first thing in his life that he worked hard to develop and grow (by talking on phone, writing love letters, and enduring a long distance relationship).
They ended up marrying and he had to prepare himself for fatherhood of which he never imagined would come of his life especially because he only knew how “not” to be a father.  He was prepared, however, to hopefully be a better father than his own as he knew his own child would change his mentality that he only knew how not to be a father.
The obvious statements of thinking you are preparing for a baby but there really is not PREP for having a baby until they enter your lives provides some foreshadowing for how he and his wife could never prepare for how drastically their lives were about to change.
The author seems to suggest that he is beginning to grow up and have some ambition in life as he is now married and expecting a child and that his life might be turning more into the societal norm of getting married, having children, etc.
–Melanie Gillenwater, SLP at Coral Ridge and South Park TAPP

12 thoughts on “Chapters 1 and 2

  1. Jane says:

    I agree that in these chapters the author demonstrates that he has always done what he needed to do to “get by”. And with his second marriage and the coming of their child, the author seems to finally be finding outlets for passion. I think it’s not a coincidence that he started to find passion in writing at this time as well.

  2. So far, the author’s style of writing is easy to read. I also find that I am engaged and curious to hear more about this journey with his daughter. I think it’s difficult for first time parents to prepare themselves to become a mother/father as no one can explain how life drastically changes. I doubt the author will have a tough time convincing this group what an important role communication plays in the parent/child relationship throughout this book. I have a feeling this book may tug a bit at our heart strings!

  3. Karen says:

    I was interested in learning his back life story etc. but I was somewhat impatient in that I wanted to know more about the “monster” and Schuyler! I find that the author needed to share this backstory though so we could see how his past affected his “future”. All parents are hopeful for what their child will become and start immediately thinking about their future. We take for granted health and happiness without planning for any possible problems.

  4. Jane says:

    I agree with Karen that I was becoming impatient with some of the backstory. I am much more interested in Schuyler than I am in him. I do see the importance of knowing a bit of the background, but some of it seems slightly frivolous.

  5. Kim raho says:

    I found myself seriously laughing out loud at his dry humor and comparisons. It is definitely written for my generation. I also wrote a note in my book, that I thought it odd that he was married for 10 years to his first wife and no discussion of children was mentioned. Maybe because they married so young. That just seems like a long time for it not to be brought up in a relationship.

  6. I found myself thinking how unprepared we are for everything in life–we just don’t know it. Relationships, marriage, children,–even going from college to working. I find his writing engaging but like Jane and Karen–I want to know more about their current journey.—Melissa

  7. Carrie says:

    I am happy to be reading a book. That sounds odd, I know. After work, sports, homework, cooking, cleaning up the kitchen, doing laundry, tucking in, etc, I find myself looking at my phone or, once a week, a zombie movie, for mindless entertainment. I won’t say that I had forgotten how nice it is to read a good book, as there are a few on my nightstand that have been there for months…and months, giving me guilty looks but not succeeding, sadly, in convincing me to turn off off or set aside my electronic device. I guess it seemed like too much effort. Gasp! I sound like our students! So I am glad about the book study.
    Now about the book…… I find it very entertaining and incredibly well-written. It is easy to believe that the author had a perfect verbal score on the SAT. Maybe I am easily impressed. I’ve enjoyed learning a bit about Kalamazoo, Detroit, and The Armpit of Texas, and have found the author’s journey to be interesting. I pictured him as looking like a guy I knew in high school. He was very intelligent, sarcastic, a little quirky, a little bit of an A, the kind of guy who listened to the Bare Naked Ladies. I Googled images of the author and guess what….he looks a lot like my high school acquaintance, who by the way I found a little intriguing……because of him and his buddies, I have one or two Bare Naked Lady songs on a Playlist ….. Looking forward to Chapter 3 ……..

  8. Rachel says:

    I found the first two chapters to be a little slow. Probably like Karen and others stated, I am anxious to get into Schuyler’s story (I did enjoy learning how she received her name and spelling!) The author is easy to read and I did find myself chuckling a few times throughout the story of his past. I am looking forward to really getting to know Schuyler and follow the author’s journey as the father of a child with communication needs.

  9. Chelsea says:

    Loved this book. I am somewhat of an obsessive reader. If the book is engaging, I drop everything else to read! Suffice it to say, I have already finished the book 🙂 The first 2 chapters hooked me. Clever writing and I was intrigued to figure out what the ‘monster’ was.

  10. Marie says:

    I am typically an impatient reader so after the first couple chapters of a new book I find myself either digging for more or closing the cover for good. With “Schuyler’s Monster”, I think that the heavy foreshadowing kept me wanting to read more. Like Melanie said, the author wrote about how his life was finally falling into place (becoming “normal”) just before another big shock.
    I think that the concept of what is considered “normal” in life will be a major theme in this book. How people have to adapt to changes and how people have to create their own sense of normal and stablitiy.

  11. Erin Ruppelt says:

    Just reading the prologue of the book, I was already interested about Schulyer. I like his writing style and definitely keeps me engaged. I enjoyed reading the background of his life regarding jobs, relationships, moving, etc. I think showing his life leading up to Schulyer being born sets the scene and shows that his life wasn’t necessarily “easy” before her and how it will most likely get harder. Like others have said, you can’t predict the future and because of that you don’t always know how to prepare for the future. So many mentions of “monster” makes me want to keep reading to find out what happens with his daughter.

  12. Candra Grether says:

    Like Kim, I love the author’s writing style and his dry humor in the first two chapters. Maybe it is because the MSD classroom just outside my speech room at one of my schools has been talking about figurative language a lot lately, but all I kept thinking about when reading these first two chapters was “personification” everywhere! I love the life-like qualities that the author has given to Schuyler’s disorder. Her monster. I am late in the book club game due to a very busy last week and a half but look forward to reading the next two chapters over our long weekend!

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