Discuss an accomplishment,event,or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

The summer before my freshman year of highschool I walked onto the soccer field promptly at 8:02 am and learned how to march. From 6th to 8th grader I sat myself in the cool air conditioned room of my choir class and sang my heart out until even my choir teacher had to tell me that She’d heard enough. I had learned how to sing music but I hadn’t ever taken any risks where my music capabilities stood. And I thought what’s better than joining band?

For the whole summer from June to August I was outside everyday with a marching bass drum strapped onto my chest and I was terrified. Terrified of messing up and terrified of not living up to my goals of branching out into a new domain of music. As time progressed throughout the summer I began to feel hopeless in my goals. Where all of my other peers and upperclassmen were understanding their music and learning how to march with much more grace then I could muster I wondered if I’d made a mistake. If I’d attempted to do something that I wasn’t ready for and for quite some time it took hold of me until my junior year.

Within my time of Freshman to Sophomore year I hadn’t felt I was good. I had always stressed and been bitter about having not achieved the goals I had set out so early on to achieve. I had even scored a seat in last chair my freshman year. I continued to wonder what I could be doing better and then audition season rolled on in. I knew in order to feel as if I had truly made something of myself I needed to practice. Every morning promptly at 8:00 I threw myself into learning notes and rhythms and accents. For the first time in a really long time I could feel myself getting better. I smiled every time I learned a measure I didn’t know before, I started at my music and realized that it made sense. So I pushed and pushed and more than anything I was proud to say I got third chair.

This whole process would take me 3 years of learning and tears and struggles. I had come to realize those early morning practices or those 10 minute breaks of practicing my rolls on a snare meant something. The reason I never felt the growth wasn’t because I wasn’t growing but instead my vision of perfection blocked my views on what success meant. Whether or not ninth grade me knew it at the time the experiences I had gained did nothing but shake a way a piece of me that surely needed shaking.

Advertisements

The Innocence of Childhood and Coming of Age Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye story follows the struggle and the vicious life of victim hood that Pecola Breedlove faces. With a viciously abusive father, a mother who does nothing, and a brother who runs away at every turn, Pecola must learn how to live growing up in a society where little black girls like her are scorned for their “ugliness” and like yellow haired blued eyed girls live in the comforts of the world. This not only showcases the tolls of black lives but puts it on the face of a Good ole American backdrop. Through The Bluest Eye, Morrison presents the prejudices faced by African Americans after the Great Depression.

Growing up as a child is an already daunting task forced upon each and every person in the world. The things that come about in childhood are what can decide a person’s life for better or for worse as they age. Pecola in The bluest Eye faces a severely different kind of challenge being a little African American girl growing up in Lorain, Ohio following the end of the great depression. On page 38 one of the very first lines is:”The Breedloves did not live in a storefront because they were having temporary difficulties adjusting to the cutbacks at the plant.They lived there because they were poor and ugly…” This line demonstrates an unique challenge that Pecola faces being described by the author as not only poor but as ugly. This type of thinking on the part of one’s own self is a dangerous and often difficult way for a child so young to grow up knowing. Another page where Pecola is brought up again for her lack of beauty is on both pages 46 “ Every night,without fail,she prayed for blue eyes.”, “‘ I am cute! And you ugly! Black and ugly black emos. I am cute!’” These two lines exemplify a state where children of a black background are treated as lesser. Pecola must face while growing up a need to be beautiful using the standards of whiteness while also having to face insult to her own blackness. A intricate layer of hate for oneself on top of others contempt for you destroys the innocence within a child who is growing up just as it did Pecola.

Another trial faced by Pecola was her abusive father.  Her father’s betrayal and Pecola’s obsession with blue eyes blinds her from seeing that people’s inability to look at her has nothing to do with her actually receiving blue eyes from Soaphead that she thinks occurred but instead their overarching disgust with her father having raped her. This leads into a series of thoughts in Pecola’s head where I can only assume she has begun to go crazy. “Just because I got blue eyes,bluer than theirs, they’re prejudiced.” (pg.197) or “Will you come back if I get them?” “Get what?” “ The bluest eyes. Will you come back then?” (pg.204). These lines shows off so aggressively the trials Pecola had to suffer with. As a little girl growing up in this time she was constantly being confronted by not only her own blackness and never finding acceptance among those who should have accepted her the most but the living with a secret that she can’t comprehend how much this is ruining everything able her childhood. This lack of love and care is what will define her. These beauty standards and this longing has stopped her from getting the chance to be a little girl who’s just growing up and trying to deal with a period. The worst is that she is then impregnated by her father and then loses the baby. “ And now I see her searching the garbage—for what? The thing we assassinated?” (pg.206). This is amazing that she could even not go fully insane but even in the end she still gained no love or anything in the end.

Finally while this book showcased the struggles of Pecola another theme that tied into Pecola’s was the self loathing of black people within in her own community. The use or derogatory and divisive language about themselves show the hate and disdain for their own blackness. At the end of the book a line that stands out the most to me was the end where Toni Morrison ties the principal of the book into one line. “ And fantasy it was, for we were not strong, only aggressive; we were not free, merely licensed; we were not compassionate, we were polite; not good, but well behaved.” (pg.205) This line made this whole story make so much sense. This owning of what they really were and how they were their own worst enemy because all they did was pretend. They were warped into the brainwashing of the white culture of America. This book taking place in the backdrop of a good ole American country was what allowed for white culture to over take what even blacks saw as beauty.

The longing to not be persecuted and instead be accepted has pushed even black to hate themselves. The saddest part is how even in today’s world these themes presented in Toni Morrison’s book are still being presented and represented all of the time in what we watch, The shows we enjoy, and the people we choose to hang out with. While this is the story of Pecola this is also the story on every little black girl in the United States that had to suffer with never knowing why her brown eyes and coils were so despised. This desire to bring down little blacks girls is the themes of this book. The creating of self loathing is what is thrown in the faces of black kids all over the country and what Toni Morrison did was express it through the lives of one girl. She was the face and voice stuffed out and all those around her were the complacent sheep that did nothing but saw everything. Toni Morrison through the master piece shows you what it means to be black and all of the ugliness that it contains in the most artful and well thought out manner.

 

Bibliography

 

Burton, Zisca Isabel. How to Write about Toni Morrison. E-book, New York,

    Bloom’s, 2008. This source gives clean and concise examples on how to write

    an essay about The Bluest Eye. The source also gives many indications to

    what are important parts of the book. There is also a in depth discussion

    about explanation of characters for you to look back on and understand.

 

Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. New York, Vintage Books, 2016. A book written

    about the hate that a little girl named Pecola must endure all of her life

    for not being seen as pretty. She has to fight each and everyday and as you

    see in the book she progresses from a quiet and contained girl to one who

    slowly falls into a world of insanity due to the abuse and the hate she

    receives. In towards the end of the book when you find out why she has

    these set beauty standards it breaks your heart to see someone struggle in

    such a deep and personal way.

 

Sugiharti, Esti. Racialised beauty: Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. PhD

    dissertation. ehlt.flinders.edu.au/projects/counterpoints/PDF/A14.pdf. This

    was a doctorate level thesis that was created to address the study of

    Afro-American and Indigenous People. She is writing in a way to not only

    look at the life of the people but also to address at the same time the

    feminist point of view that has been seen only from the point of view of

    white feminists. She also uses this as a way to establish what blackness is

    to people.

Guns on Campus

Dear Editor of Dallas Morning News,

Dennis McCuistion, a clinical professor of corporate governance at The University of Texas at Dallas, has the belief that campus carry not only keeps students safe while on campus but also keeps those around and the overall campus safer. This as it stands is a dangerous lie that not only lead to school shootings such as Virginia Tech, Columbine and The UT Tower but continues to prepatuaute a false narrative that more guns on campuses across this Nation will in turn lower the number massacre related incidents.
Originally introduced in 2013 by Texas State Senator Birdwell Senate Bill 11 (formally known as Campus Carry measure filled in the 2013 Legislative session) was created to allow Student 21 and over the right to carry concealed firearms on their persons. On June 1,2015 Governor Abbott signed SB 11 allowing students with a handgun license to carry. This Bill went into effect a few weeks prior to the start of the 2016 school year on most Texas Campuses. However this bill was not met without reprehension on college campuses in particular UT Austin. Not only was to bill met with distaste amongst students on campus with widespread protest, professors giving up their jobs over fear of teaching in classrooms of over 300 students and not knowing who had access to their legally granted firearm but even Its own President Gregory Fenves struggles to keep together a school he had only just recently become President of “I don’t believe guns belong on campus.”, “We had more than 3000 comments on this from students and faculty,and they overwhelmingly opposed it.” These reasons alone justify the irrationality of the campus carry law butra factor greatly studied is; How will a disgruntled student with license to carry react when she,he or they feel as if in some way there have been
disrespected in a classroom. Not only is the fear justifiable but very true for a campus such as UT where one of its very own students in 1996 shot 49 people.
Now more specifically to the facts of the matter using States where the laws are similar and vary to that of the State of Texas. There as of now are 9 States including Texas that allow for campus carry on the other hand 21 other states do not allow campuses carry with a few variation to even these laws. This to me is a testament to what we should and shouldn’t allow on campuses. In the State of Utah and Colorado similar concealed campus carry laws were enacted in both states and not only lead to a rise of crimes committed on campus but additionally in both the state of Colorado (25 to 36 percent) and Utah (an increase of 50 percent) the numbers of campus rape cases increased where across the Nation the number of campus rape cases had been decreasing by a rate of 3% a year according to a study done by The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus group. These number alone are striking and it is not at all difficult to imagine to level of devastation it could cause on Texas Campuses with Public Universities having thousands of students everyday who have the right to carry in specified locations around campus.
The Campus carry law is an egregious farce to line to pockets of Gun sellers all over the country. Not only has the public seen time and time again what allowing people to gain guns through any means has done outside of our educational institutes but many of us even no someone or multiple people who have lost their lives to gun violence. Even knowing this we are now allowing for the State legislature to bring these ideas onto our campuses and the idea is all together heart-wrenching. I have a strong belief that there is no logical reasoning behind the Campus carry laws and all in all we must not create situations of easier access but instead of higher accountability and care.

George Wallace Rhetorical Analysis: A Segregationist

In his 1963 Inaugural Address, Governor George Wallace Of Alabama uses his position as Governor, his knowledge of the Alabama crowd, along with his strong speaking skills, and his use of his own logic on segregation in order to bring forth his message of the continuation of segregation to the Alabama crowd.

In George Wallace’s Speech to the Alabama crowd, he begins by first creating a level of comradery with the crowd. ” I want to thank those home folks of my county who first gave an anxious country boy his opportunity to serve in State politics.”(pg.1) He establishes to the crowd he can understand and relate to them well enough to start off by giving thanks. By using this way to address the crowd he creates a welcoming atmosphere that draws in the viewer right away before he dives into his speech on segregation. Following this, at the end of the page, he remarks:” I hope you’ll forgive me these few moments of remembering… but I wanted them.. and you.. to know, that I shall never forget.”. He not only thanks, those not present but the crowd in front of him. He also adds in an extra factor and that is letting the people know who voted him into power that he will also never forget them. His uses of addressing the crowd and knowing the audience at the very start of his speech allow for him to not only carry out the speech but get the audience fully engaged in him.

Following the start of his speech, Governor Wallace brings his position in as governor in right away. ” This is the day of my Inauguration as Governor of the State of Alabama. And on this day I feel a deep obligation to renew my pledges, my covenants with you… the people of this great state.” This start to his speech establishes multiple things to the audience not only is he making a point to lay out his position but he also uses the chance to use words such as “obligation” and “pledges”. This uses of language strengthen his position as Governor. This allows for the audiences to feel trust in him but also in his position. He is stating to them that he has a plan for them and he is in no way going to forget about it but instead make a point of enforcing and keeping to the promises he made to these people. He then goes on in a later paragraph to list off the things he has promised to the people and also plans to keep and enforce. “I have said to you that I would eliminate the liquor agents… I shall fulfill my duty in working hard to bring industry into our state…”. Altogether his use of these statements solidifies his position as Governor and makes the crowd trust in him more. His position as Governor allows him to actually pass these rules so he is able to strengthen his position.

Throughout the rest of his speech, Governor Wallace uses his logic on segregation to make his ideas clear and concise to his audience. First of all during this time not only was segregation and integration enormous topics of discussion but also at times lead to the death of people all over the Nation. According to NPR, the level of segregationist and anti-segregationist tensions had risen. “: The year was 1963. Civil rights activists were fighting for equal access to schools and the voting booth, and the federal government was preparing to intervene in many Southern states.”. Even with this knowledge of intense segregation issues arising Governor Wallace put forth his own views on segregation.” I say… segregation now… segregation tomorrow… segregation forever.” This line carries an incredibly large weight that Governor Wallace had intended to present to his audience. He inserted this line well after he had given his thanks but still into the beginning of his speech so that is was able to have its effect on those in the crowd. His logic on segregation also was lined with the crowd he was speaking to which helps to tie back to his overarching point of segregation.

Governor George Wallace became the Governor of Alabama in 1963 and during his Inaugural Address to the people of Alabama, he gives his thanks and his appreciation to them for appointing him into power. However, to get to his goal of implementing pro-segregationist beliefs he uses his power as governor, his logic of segregation and his strong language and speaking skills to get his point to his audience about the need for continued segregation in the state of Alabama.
Bibliography
All Things Considered. NPR, http://www.npr.org/2013/01/14/169080969/
segregation-forever-a-fiery-pledge-forgiven-but-not-forgotten. Accessed 10
Jan. 2013.
History. 14 Jan. 2017, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/
george-wallace-inaugurated-as-alabama-governor. Accessed 7 Mar. 2017.

.

The Great Gatsby: Nick

Nick’s character was made to be the narrator of the book. Why do you think the writer Fitzgerald choose him as the narrator of the book? To someone who had never read the Great Gatsby how would you describe Nick? How would the story have changed had Gatsby been the narrator of the book instead of Nick? Thinking on the ideals of the American dream what part of it does Nick represent?

   I imagine, first of all, even Fitzgerald himself had the idea of using another character to narrate the “The Great Gatsby”. I believe Gatsby since the title of the book is the “ The Great Gatsby” but I think while writing it began to make the most sense to tell this story how he wanted to– to really explain his perception of life that he was aiming for he needed someone outside of the world almost entirely. Tom was out of the question because he would have, first of all, made a terrible narrator, he held no substance except being an ass. Daisy was out of the question too, because she was the love interest of the whole story so that would make it another impossibility it would be weird to narrate your own love story. Gatsby was at times to unstable and I believe the story would have been to mess to understand from his point of view, and Jordan was too far outside of the main story to really hold a good representation of what was happening. Nick was perfect because he truly understood both sides of the coin. He knew what it was to see people with money(pg.6) “I had a view of the water, a partial view of my neighbour’s lawn and the consoling proximity of millionaires” and to himself understood what it was to not have a lot either(pg.6) “ My own house was an eyesore, but it was a small eyesore, and it had been overlooked,”. He had a unique of view of being basically a middle-class individual who could understand the world with and without money.
   To someone who has never read the Great Gatsby just know you will more than likely at the beginning think that Nick is a whiny bitch. Particularly with the way he describes his house on page 6 and his incredibly obvious pompous attitude. I have yet to truly like him, but later on in the story, really in the last paragraph of page 131 to the end of the book your opinion of Nick changes. At this point, I could not understand his overall personality at the beginning of the book, but at least now I have come to appreciate and see the loyalty he had within him. So if anyone were to ask me what I thought of Nick he’s that one friend who amongst all of your friends will follow you to the ends of the Earth when nobody else will. He’s the kind of person that’s so mean to you but will lend his shoulder to you to cry on for as long as you need. And honestly the most important, he will make sure to be the one to lay down that flower at your tombstone every year even after people have long forgotten about you.
   Now had Gatsby been the narrator I can guarantee this book would have been a hot mess. If I thought Nick was bad I know Gatsby would have been unstable. Gatsby’s character was a sad, twisted way of bringing to life the idea of rising up to be that part of the “American dream where you are a successful human being but all anyone is willing to remember is where you came from and not where you’re going. Gatsby had he been the narrator would have had extremely biased ideas where Nick was entirely objective and just stated what he saw. For example, this line(pg.52) “He was balancing himself on the dashboard of his car with the resourcefulness of movement that is so peculiarly American-” in the eyes of Nick he was going based on his gut and his objective understanding of the world from both point of views that he has very closely got to see: Those who have experienced the “American Dream” i.e. the very wealthy upper class living off of old money and those who were from the new money. The pioneers of a new “American dream and I could imagine even a line as simple as this in the point of view of Gatsby would have been something more similar to this. “ In the moment of arriving at Nick’s house, I tried my best to sit back as the wealthy do.”. Now maybe not exactly this, but I believe that there was something lacking almost entirely in Gatsby’s mental state.
   While imagining the American Dream more so to be a satirical idea, today I imagine at one point to many Europeans, Africans, and Asians that had entered the country at this time the American Dream was something to be admired and people strived for to the best of their abilities. The chance to live in a free society where your ideas, opinions, and abilities to live with your family, provide for your family, and enjoy life based on your skills are things that any person who came to America that time was there for. However, this is hardly true. The struggle that Nick narrated from Gatsby’s love turned obsession with Daisy.(pg.124) “‘ Of course she might have loved him just for a minute, when they were married – and loved me more even then, do you see”’. To the death of Myrtle (pg.113) “Her life violently extinguished, knelt in the road and mingled her thick dark blood with the dust.”. To most importantly the death of Gatsby at the end of this book(pg.132) “ It was after we started with Gatsby towards the house that the gardener saw Wilson’s body…”. The fact that Nick was the one to explain this all made me think of him as the life part of this whole “American Dream”. Nick is the part of the American Dream that life plays out in. He simply embodies what life is where it is heading. Life always continues on even as each person strives for their own American Dream. Life attempts to interject at times but truly allows each and every person to let their life play out.
   The Great Gatsby in my mind leaves much to the imagination, and as I stand I can’t tell whether that’s a good or bad thing. I feel that there’s so much leftover unanswered, but all in all, I hope Nick’s life gets to carry on and he eventually finds his happiness amongst all of the mess he was forced to face.

Rhetorical Analysis

Donald Trump is billionaire business man born in The City of New York running  for the President of the United States in the 2016 election as the Republican nominee. He has had varying positions over what it means to be a political candidate and in this speech given by Donald Trump, to a group of Republicans about Sexual Assault, Mr.Trump attempts to respond to these allegations through his use of Pathos, Lagos and Ethos. He also continues to press a variety of other issues as he felt necessary. Though not necessarily through or concise. This is only a transcript of his exact words as presented to the group of Republicans by NPR.

To begin Mr. Trump address the group with a welcoming “Wow. What a group. What a group.” (Pg.1)He is using this friendly greeting as a way to boost the moral of the people in the audience. He makes a point to make those present feel as if they are amazing and doing something extraordinary by just being within in his presence at the rally. He makes great strides in also using words such as “Our”, “We”, and “You”. He use these words and statements to establish a camaraderie with the audience and address how important they are to the election. He also very clearly understands how to work crowds,
particularly those in his favor through ways such as bringing up the circumstances surrounding his political opponent Hillary Clinton. Mr.Trump uses words like “crooked”(pg.2) and “Clinton Machine”(pg.1) as ways to make the message come across that she is not someone to be trusted. He does this multiple times in order to create and address the crowd as people who are important to the cause and mean a lot to the Republican community.

Within his message he has a theme that makes the people feel fear. Now depending on who is asked this could be seen as good or bad way to press hit political views. Within his speech he uses lines such as  “The political establishment has brought about the destruction of our factories, and our jobs, as they flee to Mexico, China and other countries all around the world. He knows the people he is talking to are workers who have lost there jobs to hose abroad and he is bringing in that level of anger that is within these people. He understands fully that these people are trying to get jobs and by bringing it up in his speech he makes them feel what he is saying and gets his point across well and thoroughly.  He also brings to topic the character of his opponent “WikiLeaks documents, in which Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends and her donors.” He uses this in front of an all republican group because he knows that this is what they want to hear. Even when the purpose was to talk about the sexual assault against him the people in the audience get the message. They know what the purpose of the speech was but the rather hear him speak on other topics which is how Mr.Trump is able to get his message passed thorough the audience so well.

Donald trump is able to continuously get his point across because of his credibility to the people he is presenting to. His is known as a business man and the people he is presenting to need jobs. He promises to deliver jobs ” I will give them their hope, their jobs, their education. I will give them their security back.” He acknowledges them. He makes them feel like he has the ability to deliver jobs to them and with his background as an Billionaire and a known business man his credentials is what gets them to believe him. He carries his credentials in the businesses that he has owned which gives him the ability to do well in this speech.

Donald Trump came in to this speech and was supposed to talk about the accusations against him. He instead came and talked on a multitude of ideas and was able to make it work well with the audience in front of him.

 

 

Artist Statement

The point of my poem “Wants of Life” was to be able to express my feeling of anger and frustration and my wants. The things that I want to see one day I made a point to address them in my poem. So it was a response to the book but also my response to the world as it is.

Wants of life

I want to live in a world where equality means equality

Where you can say I love being white and you can say I love being black

I want to live in a world where I never have to fear for the thought my brother might not come home

I want to live in a world where it’s ok to have friends and a significant other who aren’t  the same race as you

I want to live in a world where jokes are funny even when they hit a touchy subject

I want to live in a world where actual issues are solved instead of on Twitter

I want to live in a world where fear does not come with the price of being a race

I want to live in a world where Asian and Hispanics are also seen in this narrow world of black and white

I want to live in a world where corruption and greed cease to exist

I want to live in a world where people don’t tell me how great of a country Africa is

Where happiness is found in the most mundane of obligation

I want to live in a world where thinking of tomorrow brings joy and the past of lessons learned

I want to live in a world where my children never know the fear I once saw on the faces of people in the TV screen

I want to live in a world where racism is only a thought to those of the past and not of the present

I want to live in a world where I never feel the need to write poems like these

I want to live in a world of peace.

Claudia Rankine’s Citizen Proposal

I will be writing a poem as a response to the way that I felt over the book Citizen by Claudia Rankine.

The big idea will really just be my thoughts on the current structure of race relations in America and how I one day hope to see the world not following the level of racial division arising in The United States.

I want to say that I understand that we all don’t have the same point of view of whether or not race in America is currently good or bad I just want people to see my view.

I imagine my audience to be teens that are in their teens and heading into adulthood. Who believe in seeing a better world like me.

Assertion: Learning to read and write

“She was an apt woman; and a little experience soon demonstrated, to her satisfaction,that education and slavery were incompatible with each other.” Federick Douglass in this statement in stating to you who his mistress was and the type of rhetoric she had about slavery and education. I stand by what he was saying about this women. Though from the perspective from those around them at the time this idea was not an uncommon one and, he makes note of this himself, I believe what he is saying to be a factual statement of who his mistress was as a person. Though the only thing I felt was wrong with the statement itself is that during this time and place Federick Douglass was purely looking at the world from the view of a slave. He had yet to receive and formal type of education and his ability to create such a definite answer as to the content of her character showcases why his mistress was so incredibly incorrect in her ideals. To be able to establish those type of observation disproves the statement above that slaves and education were incompatible with one another.