Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Personal Growth

My senior year has been one of the most hectic times in my life. I’ve had to balance everything from AP and honors courses to being a captain and a president of a club along with the process of applying for college and fitting work and a social life all into this busy schedule. It was very hard for me to get into a consistent school schedule with everything going on in my life and at times I became very unfocused especially in the beginning of the year when I was trying to establish a balance of all these activities. As my year comes to an end I’ve noticed my own work in English class become better.

            English has never been my strong subject. I always know what I want to say and I always have very strong opinions but it’s very hard for me to get it down on paper. It is also very hard for me to open up in front of a large group of people that I’m not comfortable around because I have a fear of being incorrect. Although I believe I could have improved a lot more if I put more time and effort into the course I do believe I have improved a great deal over the year. My first explication of the year, which I put on the blog, was the “red shift”. This explication showed that I needed a lot of work in this area. I worked hard on many of my explications. And even though I never really scored high on them by my last explication that I wrote this year on A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man I really felt I was finally able to grasp all the parts you need to cover in an explication. Even though my grade wasn’t that high on this paper I feel like I executed the paper in a more efficient way. I still need to work on the details of the explications but I finally feel as if I understand the correct way to set it up.

            One of the assignments I really feel that I showed my progress in was my College Essay. I was able to reflect all of my feelings and my experiences in a short essay. I think this piece was one of my best writing assignments all year. This is because I was able to put my own personal story behind my writing. This made me a lot more enthusiastic and passionate about my writing.

            The one thing that stood out at me from the beginning of the school year was my journal entries from summer reading. I read two books and both sets of journal entries only took up one page back and front for each book. Now as I look at my journal entries I realized that one entry would take up the amount that four or five did in the summer. This not only shows that I have made more of an effort in my work but it also shows I have widened my thought process and I analysis work better than I did in the beginning of the year. My work has become more extensive and I have an easier time at finding the deeper meaning in all of the pieces we have worked with. Before this year I struggled to find the deeper meaning in any work because I was never sure how to find it. But over the course of the year I have learned how to interpret an authors work through symbols and other literately techniques to find this deeper meaning.

            Throughout High School I have been the kid who could not study and slack off enough that I did the work but not to my best effort and still pull off good grades in hard classes.  But as my senior year is coming to an end I realized that I could have done a lot better. I realized that if I applied myself more to my study’s I would probably be higher up in the class rank. It’s not that I couldn’t do the work throughout my senior year but its that many times I found myself less focused with it because my friends weren’t home focusing on it. I would often wait till the last minute to complete assignments because I was either too busy with another subject or I was too busy with outside activities. So when I stayed up till 3 in the morning to finish that 12-page explication the only person I could blame was myself. That’s why I can truly say I am taking a lot away from this English class and its a lot more than writing. I picked up better working habits that I will hopefully carry with me to college so that I wont be up all night typing a paper or cramming for a test. 

Ghetto Nation Blog Post

Hey guys…I am catching up on the ghetto nation blogs before I get to come one people. 

Chapter 7 “school me” of the book is one of the longest chapters in the book but it addresses many issues. The author goes into great detail about the schooling systems in different communities and how it affects the students. She starts off at a local high school called the Boys and Girls High School. It is the end of the year and the students are overly concerned with asking classmates “didyapass?” The author shows that these kids don’t care about their grades as long as they pass and they don’t have to attend summer school or stay back. She shows the flaws in the school system because these kids are not motivated to achieve any thing higher than the lowest standards set for students. 

“Everyone thinks I’m gonna drop out, my grandmother and ma tell me all the time”(148). The author goes onto show that these kids are not even given motivation from their families. How is a child supposed to want to achieve when everyone around them is putting them down? It is unrealistic to think that a person is going to be motivated with negative energy around them. If someone is trying to succeed they are not going to want try when everyone is telling them they can’t to it because they are going to start to believe that they can’t do it.

“When it comes to education…there is a general consensus that something isn’t working. It’s something worse than a money-deprived school system, overcrowded classrooms, and declining test scores; it’s something in the mood…” The author is trying to show that you can’t always blame the school on the poor performance of students. The first source or the problem is most likely the students attending the school. When a student does not want to perform it doesn’t matter what school a child attends and how good the school is you have to break the mentality of the student for anything to get anywhere. The author goes onto show that a good school called Shaker Heights was still having a problem with black students performing well. The author went on to show that is wasn’t that these students were less smart than the white students it was that they didn’t try as hard. This was because their parents did not push them like other parents did. It was referred to as “low-effort syndrome” there parents did not stress the importance of homework and did not communicate with teachers. Also the teachers were to blame because of their low expectations they let the black students slip through the cracks with no punishments. It goes to show that we have no one else to blame but ourselves when it comes to a lack of education. It’s not the condition or the location of the school. It is the attitude of the students, the parents, and the teachers that work within the walls of the school. If expectations and standards were set higher then students would perform to a better potential then they do now. 

Although education is what is considered most important to young adults many live with other priorities first. “What am I most proud of? Being alive.” Accomplishments in some neighborhoods are not how well someone did in school, but how long they can survive literally in the neighborhood that they live. When eight of your friends are killed in shootings is school really your first priority? But at the same time do these kids have a choice to hang on the corner or to be in school and make friends with people who wont get into situations where they are going to be gunned down on the corner. It comes down to the people pushing these kids. If no one is going to push a kid to attend school then why not take the easy way out. If there is no one telling you that you have to go to school and punishing you when you don’t are you really going to challenge yourself. Especially when everyone is telling you that you aren’t going to make it anyway. 

I think that the author is trying to show that the environment that we live in effects the education that children get. It’s not always about how good the school is and how much money the school has in funding, it’s about the attitude of a student and if they have encouragement to achieve.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Explication

A Portrait of The Artist As A Young Man: Light

In a Portrait of The Artist As A Young Man Stephen Deadulus is a young man who is maturing throughout his young adult hood. Stephen is a young man who was brought up in a good family. Throughout out his childhood and young adulthood he begins to question and wonder about the many things life has to offer. His curiosity and knowledge of religion and politics that surround his country Ireland push him towards growing up. In the two passages on page 49 and 67 the author James Joyce suggest that the images of light refer to the emotions Stephen Deadulus is feeling throughout his maturing stages.

The first passage takes place after there is speculation that a group of boys stole the altar wine from the church. “The fellows were all silent, Stephen stood among them, afraid to speak listening.”(49) James Joyce shows Stephens hesitation to speak up for himself he is very timid around the other boys in the school. After hearing the news Stephen feels a sense of “sickness”(49) and “weak”(49). Stephen is in shock of what he is hearing because he knows that punishment will be server. Stephen is also in silent because he is questioning the actions of these boys “How could they have done that?”(49) James Joyce shows that Stephen is not a troublemaker and obeys authority. Stephen’s mind is unable to give reason to these boys’ actions. It shows that he has never been involved in such behavior. This shows that he is maturing realizing the wrong in others and recognizing the consequences that come along with a persons actions.

James Joyce offers Stephens emotions throughout his use of light. When Stephen is afraid or nervous in a situation James Joyce uses dark images to express Stephen’s emotions, “ He thought of the dark silent sacristy.”(49) Stephen sees this Holy place dark because he is scared of what really lies within the sacristy. But Stephen also sees the importance of the sacristy but the dark image represents the untouchable for him. He believes that this is a place he is not worthy of entering or destroying because it is bigger than he is as a person. “There were dark wooden presses there where the crimped surplices lay quietly folded.”(49) Joyce continues to use these dark images to represent the sacristy. This represents why Stephen questioned the boys who would have stole the wine because he sees it as something that should not be disturbed. He is showing maturity through his reaction to this event because he understands how wrong this incident is within his religion. “It was a holy place”(49) that should not be tampered with. 

James Joyce also shows Stephens maturity through his fascination with a character Mercedes from The Count of Monte Cristo. “The figure of that dark avenger stood forth in his mind”, Stephen sees this avenger of unreachable or not worthy of him. Yet the passage shifts and he imagines a “bright picture of Marseilles, of sunny trellises and of Mercedes”. The “sunny” represents hope and exploration for Stephen. James Joyce is able to use progression of imagery through color. This helps to show that Stephen is maturing and becoming more interested in sexual activities. He is stepping out of his boy hood into adult hood with his a new adult imagination. This imagination is much different then Stephens past imagination it is much more mature then his childhood wonders. 
He imagines him self “older and sadder, standing in a moonlit garden with Mercedes who had so many years before slighted his love.” James Joyce now shifts Stephens’s imagination to a disappointing time he was turned down by Mercedes his love but is now confronted by her again. The “moonlit” garden shows to aspects the dark of the night represents the untouchable for Stephen. He was not willing to have Mercedes the way he wished. But the light from the moon represents the hope in Stephen for Mercedes. He is hopeful for her return. Even though faced with the darkness of the night the light from the moon gives him happiness. James Joyce uses a conflict of light and darkness to show Stephens realization, which is able to show his mature thinking.

James Joyce represents Stephens’s maturity through his images of light. With his shifts from light to darkness he is able to come across new life lessons. With the wine he is able to see the horrible sin through the darkness of the light. Through Mercedes he is able to see hope, love, and new ideas of sexual activities proving that he is coming out of boyhood into adulthood.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Explication

In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man the author James Joyce suggest that Stephen Dedalus is trying to develop into an artist by letting go of his struggles with women in order to solely focus on being a genuine artist. Throughout the novel Stephen struggles between the love and lust of a women’s image. He cannot separate or define either of the two, which creates conflict through his search to become an artist.  By focusing on the imagination of who his ideal woman is, James Joyce, through Stephen Dedalus, creates the center of his own conflicts that eventually lead him to exile his homeland.

As a young man Stephen is unsure about the security he feels with his mother. He isn’t sure how to separate himself as his own being from his mother and the comfort she consistently offers and at times, overwhelms him with. Jacques Lacan’s theory of child development explains the psychoanalytic theory behind Stephen’s struggle. “During the Mirror period, the child comes to view itself and its mother, later other people as well, as independent selves,” Beyond the other adolescent inner conflicts that Joyce provides Stephen at Clongowes, it is the motherly affection that coincides with growing up that Stephen has the most trouble with, especially in trying to be an artist. “Such constructions, according to Lacan, are just that: constructs, products, artifacts-fictions of coherence that in fact hide what Lacan called the “absence: or “lack” of being” (269).

As a student he is ridiculed by many of the boys that represent a paternal threat because of the parental love he feels for his mother, leading him to be unsure of what to say, or even how to react to their bullying.

Tell us, Dedalus, do you kiss your mother every night before you go to bed?

 Stephen answered:

 I do.

 Wells turned to the other fellows and said:

O, I say, here’s a fellow says he kisses his mother every night before he goes to bed. (27)

Stephen openly admits to kissing his mother before he goes to bed but the response he receives from the boys only makes him more insecure about his answer, forcing him to change his mind under the adolescent and yet paternal scrutiny.

            The other fellows stopped their game and turned round, laughing. Stephen             blushed under             their eyes and said:

            I do not.

            Wells said:

            O, I say, here’s a fellow says he doesn’t kiss his mother before he goes to bed. (27)

Stephens “blushing” exemplifies his anxiety and uncertainty about how he should have reacted to the question of if he kisses his mother. This uncertainty shows the affect that women have in his maturing. Even at this time in his life, the fact that he kisses his mother is holding back his ability to socialize and connect with other boys his age, despite the threat they pose. He is unable to relate to these boys because he does not understand how to let go of his need for a motherly figure in his life. He is still connected to his mother and yearns for her security, especially during this struggle at Clongowes.  This causes him to shy away from the boys and it stops him from being able to “raise his eyes to Wells’s face”(27) proving that Stephen is overtly ashamed with himself and not confident when it comes to facing or associating with the other boys. This damper on his social endeavors secludes him from the rest of his peer, which in essence, allows Joyce to give Stephen a different thought process in the maturing stages of his mental ability throughout his adolescence because his ideas are not shaped through other’s thoughts but his own mind and imagination.

            The cold slime of the ditch covered his whole body; and, when the bell rang for study and             the lines filed out of the playrooms, he felt the cold air of the corridor and staircase inside             his clothes. He still tried to think what was the right answer. Was it right to kiss his             mother or wrong to kiss his mother?

Even though Stephen is soaked with “slime” he cannot stop focusing on the struggle within himself between his love for his mother and the want to fit in with the boys at school. “The cold slime of the ditch” in a way, symbolizes a mother’s womb, which comforts Stephen to think about his mother. This emphasizes Stephens need to “kiss” his mother; the kissing is a reassurance of his mothers comfort which reassures his security. Stephen “develops a conviction that women are bound by the generative demands of the species, and the presence of his own mother becomes a reminder of contingency, the shame of his animal nature and the threat of personal extinction.” (Suzette Henke 319).  Henke’s feminist take in her essay shows Stephen’s inability to separate himself from the comfort of his mother’s womb and how he labels women to certain roles as other beings. One of these roles is Stephen’s assumption created by Joyce, that women comfort their children.

            Stephen wants to rid himself from all of the motherly figures in his life “biological, ecclesiastical, and political” (Suzette Henke 331) and in order to achieve this he pushes away from his mother creating frustration and conflict between him and his mother. “The image of women metonymically absorbs all the paralyzing nets that constrain the potential artist” (Suzette Henke 331).  Stephen starts to feel his mothers ridicule about his perseverance in his quest to become an artist. This causes a strain in their relationship that also leads to his eventual exile.

            Mother indulgent. Said I have a queer mind and I have read too much. Not true. Have             read little and understood less. Then she said I would come back to faith because I had a             restless mind. This means to leave church by backdoor of sin and reenter through the             skylight of repentance. Cannot repent. Told her so and asked for sixpence. Got  three             pence. (220)

            In this passage it is clear that there is significant separation between Stephen and his mother.  Joyce uses fragmented sentences to highlight the fragmented relationship Stephen now shares with his mother and while his mother thinks Stephen “reads too much”, he believes he has “read little and understood less”.  Through this misunderstanding, Joyce portrays the reluctance Stephen’s mother has towards the importance of Stephens love for the art of literature The clash also exemplifies the separation of their thought processes because she believes it is unnecessary for him to indulge himself in his books. Their argument then turns to faith, which is the “ecclesiastical” mother that Joyce uses as another mother Stephen is trying to escape. This shows that his mother does not truly understand his desire to become an artist. She is limiting him to his “faith” she claims he has a “restless mind” that portrays her lack of understanding of Stephen’s ambition and quest to become a genuine artist. She believes his restless mind will lead him nowhere and tries to convince him that his only success will be through his faith. But Stephen openly disagrees saying that he “cannot repent”; this only distances their relationship even more so because what his mother believes is right for him, he refuses to accept. It ensures Stephens need to break from her because her motherly traits will only set him back in his artistic ventures.

            The issue of Stephens mother trying to defy him by only giving him three pence when he ask for six shows her reluctance towards him, showing the real change in their relationship.  This is because usually a mother gives into a child and makes them happy. His mother is unwilling to give into Stephen because Stephen is not doing what she wishes at that point in his life as a young adult. The break in the relationship shows the intensity of Stephen’s will to achieve becoming an artist which makes it easier for him to break away from his comfort zone and become independent with no security, leaving his friends, other family, and beloved E—C.

            15 April: Met her today pointblank in Grafton Street. The crowd brought us together. We             both stopped. She asked me why I ever came, said she had heard all sorts of stories about             me. This was only to gain time. Asked me was I writing poems? About whom?  I asked             her. This confused me more and I felt sorry and mean. Turned off that valve at once and             opened the spiritual-heroic refrigerating apparatus…(223)

            Stephen is a young man that has longed to be loved by a woman. Yet he tries to shut women out of his life “she asked me why I never came” indicates his reluctance to peruse any women in his life. The turning off of “that valve” shows how Joyce shuts off Stephen’s emotions towards women. He does not allow himself to feel for any women because he does not want emotions to get in the way of his art. His “spiritual-heroic refrigerating apparatus” represents himself trying to save himself through what he thinks is a heroic action but this action is cold and machine-like, also representing his heartless venture through life because he is unable to love a woman and be loved by a woman in fear of it taking over his ambitions through art, including E—C and his mother. This apparatus proves Stephen’s only true function when it comes to emotions, which is shutting them off in a way as to freeze them and turning away from any feeling he has towards relationships. This is his true “psychological flight from woman” (Suzette Henke 330) because he is unwilling to show any sexual or physical emotion towards this girl.

            Yes, I liked her today. A little or much? Don’t know. I liked her and it seems a new             feeling to me. Then, in that case, all the rest, all that I thought and all that I felt I felt, all             the rest before now, in fact… O, give it up, old chap! Sleep it Off! (223)

            Stephen suddenly has a change in emotions throughout his journal entry. He seems to realize that he can have emotions towards a woman but he is still uncertain about this. “ I liked her today”. Not a common affair to Stephen, Joyce gives the impression that Stephen is unwilling to truly open to women.  Stephen is unsure about his emotions, towards E--C “A little or much? Don’t know.” Making him unable to pinpoint his level of feelings for a woman because he is scared to truly feel anything. “It seems a new feeling to me” shows that Stephen hasn’t yet allowed himself to feel this way for anyone. This scares him and lowers his confidence in his feelings, adding to the escalating fall that he feels he must delve into by exiling the political mother, his motherland, Ireland. He tells himself to “give it up, old chap! Sleep it Off!” ultimately showing that Stephen does not take his feelings serious. He thinks they are something that he can simply sleep off, this is because he is not aware that it is ok to have these feelings.

            Throughout the novel Stephen struggles with his emotions with women. He cannot separate his desire for women and his role as an artist, which causes internal conflicts. Stephen sees women as an object that will hold him back from becoming an artist. He feels a desire to “flee from all women who have served as a catalyst in his own adolescent development.” (Suzette Henke 334).  Joyce shows Stephen’s need to truly separate himself from women through his development and maturing stages that suffered greatly through his relationships with women. Stephen believes that the only thing that a woman will bring to his life is a set back. He cannot explore his art without being distracted by the lust and love he feels for any woman.  He believes that all women are weak like him self and that he must fully leave them in order to be successful. 

            Stephen tries to fulfill his dreams as an artist by forcing himself to shut out all mother figures. He wants to be in full control of his art and he wants to control the woman through his art. This is the only way he will ever be able to be in control over women. This is because women have the ability to create through nature whereas men do not. Therefore Stephen longs to create his ideal women through his text. Joyce shapes Stephen’s imagination of what an ideal women is, past interactions with them. He is forced to draw his on conclusions on women through his own actions creating a sense of uncertainty and lust that he chases thorough his adolescence. His final exodus is a reflection on the conflicts James Joyce introduces to not only Stephen, but to the readers, as an artist himself.

Red Shift

In the poem “Red Shift”, the poet Ted Berrgan suggest that emotions shift as life moves through different stages. The speaker becomes more hostile as his story progresses through different circumstance of his 43 years of life. In the poem the speaker reminisces about his past experiences and he shows different emotions.

            In the first three lines the speaker goes into detail about the setting of the poem. The speaker reveals, “The air is biting, February, fierce arabesques”(2) this is the speaker first showing of emotion because winter is generally regarded as a depressed time of year. This depression brings the speaker to remember his past and elaborate on his feelings about it.

            In lines six through nine the speaker talks about “Frank” and “Allen”. He says “it’s Heavy with that lightness, heavy on me”(7-8) the speaker feels influenced by these men who have paved the way for him. The speaker believes that their great accomplishment force him to perform better because they have set the standards high. He feels pressure as he is trying to “heave through it”(9) as not to be held down b others expectations.

            In lines ten through sixteen the speaker goes back “twenty years ago” (11) and he seems to experience a different kind of emotion. “Looking at the smiling attentive women, & telling. Who would have thought that I’d be here” (12-13). The speaker is feeling love and is amazed at how he never thought he would feel this way in his lifetime. “Love, children, hundreds of them, money, marriage-ethics, a politics grace” (15-16) he expresses in happiness the elements that make up his life at this moments.

            In lines nineteen through twenty-four the speaker becomes more hostile. He starts of by setting the time and place “6th and Bowery in 1961”(21) where he was just a boy. The speaker then goes on to say “that pretty girl nineteen, who was going to have to go…to burn, & to burn more fiercely than even she could e=imagine so to go”(21-22) this girl broke his heart. The speaker’s first heartbreak of his life is still burning in his memory.

            The speaker then goes on to express his feeling for a “painter” (24) in lines twenty-four through twenty-eight. This “painter” seems to take the pain of that heart break away “I would never & never will leave alone until the day we both vanish”. This “painter” is a close person who the speaker feels dearly about. The speaker is positive that the painter “will never leave me” (27) this is feeling of trust and faithfulness.

            In lines thirty-one though thirty-four the speaker struggles with an issue of death, “When will I dies? I will never die, I will live to be 110”(31) He seems frightened by what his future holds for him. The uncertainties of life seem to upset him a great deal. He doesn’t want to be forgotten in the memory of others “I will never go away” (32).

            In lines thirty-five through thirty-nine the speaker becomes angry towards someone. “ I didn’t ask for this you did”(35) someone is blaming the speaker for their mistakes. He goes on to say, “I came into your life to change it & it did so & now nothing will ever change”(37-38) he seems like he has no regret for what he did for this person. The speaker truly believes he did the right thing in this person’s life and is happy with the way it turned out knowing that nothing will be changed.

            The last lines the speaker seems to go into depression. “Alone & crowded, unhappy fate, nevertheless I slip softly into the air”(40-41). The speaker comes back to reality after reminiscing to realize he wasn’t happy with the way he has lived his life so far. He is letting “the world’s furious song flow through my costume”(42) ad he isn’t living to his full potential.           

            The speaker in this poem expresses many different emotions throughout his life. He has loved, lost, trusted, and accepted life’s issues. He is only “43” and still has time to fix his mistakes and better his life. The speaker’s depression is motivation to keep living. 

Hamlet Predictions

I think that the character Hamlet will have many external and internal conflicts I think many of his conflicts will rise between him and his uncle. Also I think the ghost of his father will be a major factor in how Hamlet acts throughout the play.

Tis Sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet, to give these mourning duties to your father”

This passage shows the conflict between Hamlet and his uncle. His uncle is insensitive to Hamlets feelings on his father’s death. This conflict between the two characters is most likely going to escalate throughout the ply. Hamlet does not agree with his uncles handling of his fathers death and his marriage to his mother. 

Midterm Open Response

             The narrator characterizes Susan Ward’s attitude towards her life in Milton thought his use of imagery on Susan’s thoughts and emotions and his juxtaposition of women today compared to Susan Ward. The narrator is able to shed light on Milton and to exemplify Susan Ward’s strength in the town.


            The narrator shows Susan’s love for Milton and her want to stay in this town. “Milton was dim and gentle, molded by gentle lives”(4) this was where Susan felt comfort and securities. This comfort and securities as the narrator shows is through the “gentle lives” being lived in Milton. Susan was “sunk in her affection for home” showing that Susan deeply loved Milton and was not interest or concerned with living in any other place. Any troubles within her life “could not more than briefly interrupt the deep security and peace” which only created a reassurance in the town for Susan.


            Many women would have left there towns and not returned but Susan had resisted being “a women with no real home”. Instead of being “moderns, carrying little baggage of the cultural kind”, Susan would not live with out a home because she didn’t want to lose her families culture and more importantly she didn’t want to feel lost. Milton’s securities provided a place of comfort and reassurance that Susan had somewhere to return to, unlike the modern women who had nothing to go back to.


            The narrator shows Susan’s deep love for Milton through her willingness to stay there even without her husband. She stayed there because she felt secure and comfortable within her surrounding and her family’s memories. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Creative Writing

Here I am at 12 am in my tired frame The air is hot and stickyon the way to the dark summer streetscape I drink some clear liquid which goes down smoothly And walk to have swagger and to step In. The streets look for you, or me, or she Who tries to become me, it’sReflecting badly on me. I seeThrough it, them as They are sitting in the sand and sipped on clear liquid now 2 years almost ago, and the man took what I had away from me my dignity, & telling.Who would have thought that I’d be here, nothing in this world means everythingto me anymore, like it used to when we used to be together everyday.Up in the air is what we are now More than ever before? Not that it matters, to you in your disguised coateyes penetrating making sure your not notice & uncovered in that room. Not that you can decide between who was going to have to go. careening into uncertainty so. To go & to alone you alone imagine so to go. Not that person who from very first meeting I would never & never replace anyone Into the life of mine & so demanded to the world & who will never leave me. Not for you, nor money nor even for fame and fortune which is Only our human lot & means nothing. No not here There’s a song “living for the moment”. But no, I won’t do that I am 17. When will I die? I will never die. I will live to be 115, & I will never go away, & you will never escape from me Who am always & only a object. Despite this demeanor. Spirit Who live only to haunt. I’m only human, & I am living & I didn’t ask to You made me I came into your life to love And you betrayed me This is not how I expected you Dishonorable & untrustworthy no fate, nevertheless I am still standing The world’s will go on without you and me.

Creative Writing

Independent project

Route 128 or formally known as the Yankee Highway has years of history behind the roads on which many Massachusetts residence drive daily. The highway is a beltway around Boston. It is 69.1 miles long and was constructed between the years of 1936 to 1959. It was once called the “high way to nowhere” and passes through many towns and cities and connects drivers from Hull on the south shore to Gloucester on the north shore.

The concept of the route 128 was to pass through local streets of towns and not through the downtown areas. Many then called it the “highway to nowhere” but in its defense it would help connect people from Boston to urban areas. This highway was the first Circumferential Highway built during this time period.

During the time period of 1936 to 1942 parts of the new four-lane route 128 was built. Although with the start of World War II the high was put to a complete halt. In 1948 the construction of the highway resumed. Under the newly established Federal Highway Act (1944) the Federal government paid for half of 128.

Although the commissioner Callahan called for a six-lane highway with 12-inch lanes they highway was built with four lanes. This was thought to be useful for the next 20 years estimating that only 15,000 vehicles per day would travel on this road by 1970 but by 1955 the average already reached 30,000 vehicles a day.

In 1951 a 22.5-mile stretch was formed from EXIT 20 in Wellesley to EXIT 44 in Lynnfield. This stretch was built on hills on the outskirts of Boston. Different designs for bridges were used to accommodate the lands used. In 1953 the Danvers rotary at Exit 11 was built under difficulties due to swamplands. Lands on the outer parts of Boston slowed down the construction and forced a need to construct new and different roads and bridges. Even though it slowed down construction in some areas it was also a good location. This was because it did not affect homeowners in the area because it was in rural areas. Also the land was at a low cost and became very covenant to build on. It connected the city to the suburbs and helped the movement from the city to the suburbs by making this area of suburbs very covenant to the working class.

The overall cost of the highway was estimated around 63 million dollars.

The new highway attracted business along the highway that offered restaurant and automotive services. In the 1960’s the highway attracted many new businesses. It became home to new industrial parks that housed high-tech companies. The area was a good place for these offices because they had room to expand but they where still in a reasonable distance to places like MIT. It was then noted as “America’s Technology Highway”. The population in towns around 128 quadrupled in the 1950s and doubled again in the 1960s.

In my visual I represented the road signs and pictures of the highway in 1950 and the highway today. I represent the name “Yankee highway” in the visual because it is the original name. Also the word “rural” is used because the highway was built in rural areas outside of Boston. The picture that the word in placed over is a picture signifying this word. The picture in from the 1950s and the highway are shown surrounded by a dense layer of trees. The other chose of words that I used was “highway to nowhere” and it is placed over a recent picture of the highway. The highway is empty in the picture and looks ongoing possibly to “nowhere”. The other two pictures are road signs representing the Highway going to Gloucester, which was the starting point of Route 128. The middle picture has a sign that read “end 128”. This picture takes place in Gloucester and represents that the highways end, the other end to the highway is located on the South shore.

My research of this project consisted of finding the origin of route 128. I looked up how and when the high was formed and received information on why the highway was built. Through my research of route 128 I learned interesting facts about the formation of the highway. Although collecting information was hard at first I was able to find reliable sources online though search engines.

College Essay

Childhood Memories

I was eight years old in the third grade; my sister was eighteen in her senior year in high school. My sister had made what many people would call a “mistake” and became pregnant. This affected my life greatly. I was young and didn’t quite understand how this would affect me for the rest of my life but it did. It made home life difficult because my sister was always there for me after school when my mom was working late. After a couple of years she moved on with her life and moved out. I had to become independent.

Although my parents were always there to support me, they both worked jobs with long hours. My parents were divorced when I was nine months old and I have always lived with my mother. She always provided everything for me but worked several jobs. I learned how to cook dinner and do household chores around the house.
Seeing how one “mistake” affected my sister’s life so greatly made me more cautious about the decisions I made in my own life. Unfortunately these events in my life had a negative impact on me too. I grew up hearing that I was going to end up just like my sister for a long time. For half of my life I felt like I was growing up in her shadow and that everyone doubted my ability to achieve. This really affected me when I was younger. I wanted to break out of the box people placed me in and show them I was a totally different person.

My family put me down many times over the course of my life. They thought that since I wasfrom a city and had a public education I would end up no where. I took their negativity and made it positive for myself. I strived to do the best I could in school. My dad pushed me. I managed to get good grades and excel into Honors and AP classes throughout my high school career. Not only is it a great feeling to prove to people that I could do something they said I couldn’t. But it’s even more rewarding to know that I achieved it through my hard work and dedication to what I believed in.

Today I am seventeen years old and my sister is twenty-seven. She now has three kids and is unfortunately divorced. Her own “mistake” shaped my life greatly it made me cautious but also showed me that I cannot categorize people by where they come from or who their family is. I realize that I can’t let the harsh statements from people set me back. Instead I should use it as motivation. Thankfully through these hard times I have been able to maintain a close relationship with my parents, my sister, and my three nephews. More importantly I have become a positive row model and active person in my nephew’s life. Providing them with the attention I wasn’t always granted growing up. I try to attend most of their sporting events, baby-sit when needed, and visit on birthdays and holidays with hopes that they realize what took me many years to realize that there is always someone there for them.

I was lucky enough to have both my parents stand by my side and care about me. Moreimportantly I had my dad’s side of the family throughout my life to support me and to help me through hard times. Today I am a young adult who is ready to succeed more in my life.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Blog Work

I found the passage on page 31 pretty interesting. Cora Daniels quotes one of Missy Elliot’s songs, which I have heard before myself. It says, “ Wake-up”: “I got the Martin Luther King fever/ Ima feed yah what yah teacher need to preach yah/ It’s time to get serious” then goes on to say, “If you don’t got a gun (it’s alright)/ If yah makin’ legal money, (it’s alright…)…” Cora Daniels then goes on to tell readers that this was never released as a single. Meaning that this song was never played on the radio and if it happened to slip through the airways it wasn’t during peak hours of listening time it was most likely on a late night DJ mix. So if the public wanted to hear the message that this CD had to bring they were going to have to purchase the album to find out. But what does this say about our society? To me it says a lot. That little passage represents a lot more than that little part out of a song can ever represent. It shows that good messages in the media are not showcased. That song could have been played throughout television commercials or the radio sending a powerful message to young adults across our country. Instead we have commercials like JCPenney having “eight-year old all-American white kids break-dancing to ‘Baby Got Back’ to sell backpacks” (8) So we are only influencing our society with bad messages, should we expect any different results then the ones we have? I doubt that that one song would have made any difference to anything. But it’s the point that once again we are settling for what sells over what is right or good for the community. Would it hurt for the media to send a positive message through music or television once in awhile instead of showcasing the bad. I think the author is showing that it is our own faults for what our country is turning into. And you can only put so much blame on the children because the adults who are the big CEOs and mangers of these companies are the ones supporting the songs like “Baby Got Back” so that they can make money. They don’t care is their next television show promotes things like sex, drugs, and crime or their star appearance selling Vitamin water promotes that he has been shot nine times (don’t remember the exact page she references 50 cent but it is in there). As long as they are driving home in that 90,000-dollar car to the multi-million dollar house it is no pain inflicting them. This just goes to show that the media has just as much to do with how “ghetto” people act as the ghetto it self does.