Tuesday, February 12. 2013
NOTE: This isn't yet finished, but I'll open it now and keep updating until it's done.
For writers, this was where some sort of dusty magic lived, and people came looking for it as if visiting a religious shrine, leaving an offering and hoping something intangible would be given in return.
We covered three short pieces of literature over the course of our first Nesting Doll Day last week: W.C. Heinz’s Death of a Racehorse, Gare Joyce’s The Cult of Death of a Racehorse, and Wright Thompson’s Four Nights at Elaine’s: The Last Will and Testament of a Great Saloon. Each of these works will thread their way throughout the semester in the form of references and connections to our larger works (i.e., our novels and films). On their own, however, their immediate value lies in the writing prompts they’ve provided for us.
I gave you a different prompt last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I’ve replicated each here for your benefit below.
Tuesday: The Mirror
A couple of years back, I set about re-reading American Mirror, and only then did I think about the title. When I bought the book, one of my life’s great bargains, I presumed that it was your basic metaphor: the author holding up a mirror to look at brave men. That, it turned out, was too obvious, too easy. No, what Heinz did was a little more complex: He handed the mirror to others and captured them looking in it.
Many of my past students have insisted that they don’t want their funerals to be sad, dire affairs. They’d prefer for those who gather to honor their passing to celebrate the life they were able to lead, to remember their times together fondly and take comfort in having known them while they could. It’s a noble sentiment, and one that Wright Thompson seems to subscribe to: when Elaine’s closes, his friends go to celebrate, not just the bar, but their pasts, presents, and futures: “It felt like the end of something, and a beginning, too.”
I’ve often wondered whether those students, so intent on having their existences celebrated, had taken the time to consider how they would be celebrated, what would be celebrated – whether, indeed, they’d lived lives worthy of celebration. (It’s one thing to assume, rightly, that people will miss you if you go…but have you pursued a course that would have people saluting you in absentia?)
Thompson raises his glass to Elaine, to Willie Morris, because he had something to say about each. In Elaine’s case, he shares a small anecdote – the “Did I do good?” tale – that captures a snapshot of that particular woman’s nature. In Morris’s, he’s toasting a man whose accomplishments he admired and whose influence helped shape the course of his own career. Joyce raises his glass to W.C. Heinz, a man he felt – strongly – deserved more recognition than he’d received. And similarly, Heinz documents Air Lift’s demise in order to preserve a memory of a life that’d otherwise have been forgotten.
If we’re raising our glasses to you, how would our toasts unfold? What would we say?
(NOTE: No sarcasm, biting humor, withering self-deprecation, etc. The prompt concerns celebration specifically; if you’re going to share something, it needs to fit the prompt.)
Wednesday: Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices
A bar is its own world from the sidewalk, with blurry figures and muffled laughter, the melodic little music of whiskey and ice. The door is never as heavy as you expect it to be.
Thursday: Light Something
…The next morning, I told my parents about [North Toward Home]. My mom smiled. It was one of her favorite books, too. My dad was friends with Willie [Morris], so a few days later, my own copy arrived with an inscription. He also sent me New York Days, in which he talked about his writing life, and a lot about a bar called Elaine’s. Those two books lit something…
…I thought about reading North Toward Home almost 20 years ago, setting into motion everything that’s happened since. I thought about the places writing has taken me, and the places I’ve yet to go. I thought about Elaine.
The guidelines for this specific post are as follows:
Title your piece in two parts. To the left of the colon, identify which of the three prompts you’re responding to; to the right of it, give your piece its actual title. (For example: Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: Where the Streets Have No Name)
The piece you post needs to clearly be superior to whatever you would’ve produced by hand during the 25 minutes or so of class time I allowed you to dedicate to your rough draft. Your post should be at least three seven-sentence paragraphs long, and punctuation, grammar, and mechanics all count towards your grade: Please try to post insightful, specific, and polished pieces.
Make sure you include a note to the person who offered you suggestions and feedback during the drafting stage. Name them explicitly: “To Iris: I took your advice regarding my discussion of my father. I think you’ll find the new portrayal more rewarding and complex; in retrospect, I agree that I sketched him a bit shallowly. Thanks as well for the suggestion regarding my introduction; I kept most of it because I liked it, but you’ll see that the transition between it and my first body paragraph is substantially smoother.”
Written feedback for at least two of your peers is required! Congratulate them, praise them, ask them questions...reach out! There’s no comment limit for this thread, so if you feel like talking to your peers, follow your instincts! Check your work to see if someone left feedback for you, and start conversations with your readers – and classmates!
(Note: While the feedback posts don’t have to contain praise, you shouldn’t worry about offering grammar fixes and critical suggestions regarding repairs. Discuss the ideas and substance of the post. If you feel compelled to comment on someone else’s form, it should be because you want to express your appreciation for some nifty mechanical trick they pulled off. Leave the writing instruction to me, please.)
One more thing: as you develop as writers, your pieces should look more and more constructed. By that, I mean they should demonstrate not simply knowledge of writing as a craft, but an awareness of how to make your work truly profound. As we move through the semester, practice writing not simply as students, but as creators. Experiment with writing, in other words, as writers do.
Finally, please remember to nominate two of your peers for their excellent work.
The due dates for the respective components of the assignment are as follows:
+ Your main post is due to both the blog and Turnitin.com by 11:59pm on Thursday, February 14th.
+ Your feedback is due by 11:59pm on Friday, February 15th.
+ Your nominations are due by 11:59pm on Sunday, February 17th. (It’s a three-day weekend. Don’t forget!)
As always, write well, think well…and good luck.
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Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: When the Body is Still Body and Soul is Still Soul, Nothing Meets
There was laughter…
There were arguments…
There were comfort, happiness, tear and ashes…
It has a marble table with wooden chairs around. It settles perfectly next to the concrete basketball court. Though it is located besides the always noisy basketball court, it appears its isolated serenity in a unique way. I don’t remember how many gossip were told on that marble table, how many couple broke up on that table, how many tears were dripped on it and how many of us had celebrated the departure of one another at that same exact table.
On a sunny day after school at the marble table, I gave him my cross necklace. I covered his eyes and put the necklace on him. He laughed at my childish ways.
On a rainy day before lunch at the marble table, he told me I am too much for him. He cannot stand the overwhelming jealousy whenever he saw me talking to other boys.
On a Saturday at the marble table, he sat next to me when I was crying alone for some reason that I don’t even remember.
One day at the third table, he talked engagingly to this girl with dyed blonde hair. He seemed happy.
I don’t remember when and which table it was at, he told me that everything is over.
It was all blurry when it happened.
I did not cry. I did not fight. I did not argue.
There were only ashes of the burned letters from him under the grey sky at the third marble table.
“No you can’t find nothing at all if there was nothing there all along” (Crooked Teeth, Death Cab for Cutie).
The marble table outside school café was where I realized the comfort and security that I held so dearly were like smoke. It only existed a few seconds then it was gone with the wind. The ashes were the only evidence that we have passed through there together. They mean nothing if there was nothing in the beginning.
It was not love.
It was meant to be betrayed.
It was a beautiful lie that we have both believed under the arch of sky at the marble table.
The small and temporary pleasure and peace that Winston and Julia hold were like the comfort he and I longed from each other. The relationship is just an empty shell with no hearts in it. The two don’t understand each other, or should I say they don’t really care about each other. Winston’s old life with his mother and his beliefs seem have nothing to do with Julia.*(“Ignorance is strength”)* The bond they build with each other is simply physical pleasure that helps them to shatter their loneliness.
The room is important to them. It is the only place they can be exposed fully without the third pair of eyes. Maybe not love but it gives them security, identity and independence.
“Both of them knew — in a way, it was never out of their minds — that what was now happening could not last long. There were times when the fact of impending death seemed as palpable as the bed they lay on, and they would cling together with a sort of despairing sensuality, like a damned soul grasping at his last morsel of pleasure when the clock is within five minutes of striking. But there were also times when they had the illusion not only of safety but of permanence. So long as they were actually in this room, they both felt, no harm could come to them. Getting there was difficult and dangerous, but the room itself was sanctuary.”(1984, George Orwell)
It gives plenty to them and it takes all of them away.
It builds them and it destroys them.
The power of love in the end is beaten by the fear of rats…
It was a beautiful lie that they have both believed under the arch of sky at the second floor of an antique shop.
People come and go, but the places remain. Different or similar stories may have happened in the same place. Either way it has left a mark on the soul. The significance of the marble table and the second floor of the antique shop is not because we have passed through them but for the memories that make us deep in thoughts.
There he was standing far at the edge of the basketball court, looked into my eyes and walked away.
There was nothing there in his eyes…
There was nothing there all along…
The marble tables next to the basketball court are not the same kind of places as Elaine’s or Winston’s secret room. It doesn't build people’s dream. And it doesn't give comfort nor does it take it away. It is a place that nobody would write about. It is a place that no one would give a second look when they pass by.
But it holds memory. The cold marble stone that build the tables and the wooden chairs have witnessed my growth, my childish ways, my attitude, and my departure.
And nothing can stain the marble table. Its plainness and boredom are what make it special. I hide my memories in it so no one would notice. Part of me was left there to make it permanent. When the ashes flew with the wind, the moments stayed and carved inside the marble tables.
The second floor of the antique shop gives Winston identity.
The third marble table right next to the basketball court was me.
Maybe they all seem meaningless. But somehow, someway even the most meaningless appears to be worthwhile at some point.
Maybe the small comfort that Winston shares with Julia is after all the best of both their lives.
Maybe four years of self-dependent life has made me reevaluated what has happened.
There was something there worthy enough for me to remember till today; even it’s just a weak smile once a while.
After all, the meaning of life is to live as much as possible in a finite amount of time, right?
“And I do believe it’s true
That there are roads left in both of our shoes
But if the silence takes you
Then I hope it takes me too
Where soul meets body”
(Soul Meets Body, Death Cab for Cutie)
Thank you for the suggestions and some detail comments. I indeed have added a new perspective in the end after I have thought about the other books I have read. I hope the final draft does not contradict what I have sent to you. And Thank you for the Summer Finn hint. But I think I don't have deep enough understanding to fit that specific quote into this post. Of course again, Thank you for the help and some really good discussion there with you.
Ok Katie, I swear I will be the first to post on next week's blog!
Your writing can really appeal to the emotional side of people. All the imagery, the way you set up this writing, really brought the piece to life. It's very sad when someone you entrusted your feelings with betrays you of your affections. I guess it's just that we're too young to know what love truly is. You made the right decision in "not crying, not fighting, and not arguing." A guy like that isn't worth your time. A talented girl like you will eventually find your Mr.Right.
I love how you connected yourself to Julia and Winston and your statement that "It was a beautiful lie that they have both believed under the arch of sky at the second floor of an antique shop. "
I'm just wondering how do you manage to post so early every time and with such good quality.
haha..Well, it is a secret that I am able to upload the minute when the blog is up. It is also because when you tons of time, you just have the privilege of sitting down to read and write which I have always enjoyed.
So, yah, time management might be the only tip that I can tell you how I am able to do what I do.
And also thank you for reading my post. It was a beautiful memory doesn't matter if there was a point or not. And I think it is why that I still remember it vividly whenever it slips into my mind.
Well hello again Katie -_-
Once again you get the first post...I will get back at you lol. Although your post is perfect as always, in my opinion, its flawless.
My bad, Clarence...
And thanks for the high opinion of my work. I do try really hard to make it interesting. I am glad you have enjoyed it.
Dang Katie, each week your post get better and better! You're story was pretty "awww". Nonetheless, another great post again. Keep up the great work!
Thank you for the encouragement, Riyan.
I shall keep the spirit of Gryffinidor and bring Hufflepuff to glory.
I truly cannot stop commending you in your fervor for making great posts each week and always being first. There is never any hint of rushed writing, but always seems so effortless when you put your thoughts to words. I've said this before, but I always admire how you continually make such relevant connections with the literature we read and even the funky songs that Mr. Feraco listens to. When I write my blogs I somehow talk on and on about pretty much myself and forget to look at the big picture like you do! And that's the whole point. You're really smart. And your name can be said with 3 letters, which is very cool. I know you'll keep up the awesome work!
Ha. I remember you and your comments. Thank you for keep reading my stuff.
I do hope that I am improving and keep catching you eye. And I like his funky music very much but only that specific album...
The Mirror: The Other Side of an Obstacle is a Wonderland
In the eyes of many, elementary school days were halcyon times when heavy workload was nonexistent, and being a child was a breeze. *Yet*, from my perspective, undergoing the learning process in elementary school was one of the toughest times in my life. During first grade, it seemed as if all the other kids were able to follow the teacher's lectures and instructions quickly while I had difficulty grasping what exactly the class was supposed to do. I often had to ask my first grade teacher questions to ensure I had heard the instructions correctly, thus leading her inquire my parents if I had attention deficit disorder. After being informed of my problem, my mom advised me to strengthen my understanding skills by reading more to practice absorbing more information and even bought math and English workbooks for me to enhance my academic level.
Vigorously reading from an eclectic range of subjects and working out of the workbooks has molded me from a girl referred to as a "dope" by her classmates to a hardworking "nerd", who began displaying immense progress at school, as I soon found it easier and easier to understand subjects when proceeding to each consecutive grade due to my diligence and hard work. Whereas other kids were loafing around afterschool, I always went to my elementary school's library to take comprehension tests on books I finished reading to maintain my understanding skills, resulting in my winning recognition at my school for gaining plentiful points from my reading tests.
Thus, the initial "problem" my first grade teacher addressed served as a strengthening impetus to propel me to do my best in everything, constantly reminding me to work hard and be knowledgeable, so I could avoid being belittled. In fifth grade, my final year of elementary school, I was rewarded with my teacher's praise for my outstanding achievements among my peers as I always scored well on my tests. A girl, who had previously called me a dope, even asked me for tips on improving her test scores. My response was, "Hard work, consistency, and praying to God are the keys to success in anything."
Akin to my being a "late learner" in school subjects, I initially found music to be too complex a matter to fathom. When I had my first piano lesson, it appeared as if I could comprehend the placement of each key since I was able to play a song smoothly after weeks of learning it. The problem was, however, I could not distinguish one note from the other once my teacher introduced me to a new song, and I had to relearn the entire key placement concept. The "new song equals fresh note-learning" cycle continued for about one year, and my mom had to quit my lessons at last.
Two years have swooped by as swiftly as lightning. A new destiny had awaited me, not long after I had turned seven, when my relatives and I dined at my uncle’s house to celebrate the Fourth of July one year. The redolence of the lobster lemon butter sauce gradually diffused into the air as the plate containing the lobster with its sauce oozing slowly around it like a stealthy snake slithering down a rock was being set on the table. As we were indulging ourselves with the palatable dishes, my uncle announced his recent discovery of an excellent piano teacher for his son, my cousin. He advised my mom to let me take piano lessons with the teacher, and after considering his suggestion, my mom asked for my opinion. Although I had previously experienced much failure with the piano, I decided to take a shot at it once again…
I had my first group lesson. Surprisingly, the musical notes were apparently much clearer this time, and I practiced playing the piano for one hour every single day, enjoying my capacity to understand the position of each key to the left and right of Middle C. My level of incredulity was further heightened when my piano teacher asked my mom to consider allowing me to take private lessons as she felt I had to potential to join a competition. She asked me the amount of time I spent on practicing each day in order to play each song so "harmoniously", and once she heard I practiced an hour a day, she smiled at my mom and said, "No wonder she stands out from the rest."
From the outset, I began taking private lessons and set my practicing period up to two hours a day, receiving compliments of my improvement from my teacher, and about half a year later, my teacher said, "You are ready for the competition."
*It was finally time to show what I have got*. I stepped onto the stage, took a bow, took a deep breath, and placed my fingers on the piano once my mind was cleared of all else with the exception of my piece. Shubert. Romance. Flowers blooming. Death. Sorrow. Redemption. As I played my piece, I associated my feelings with feelings I should have felt when experiencing the above events as the music’s mood bade me to. Fingers slow down. Heart remains excited. The last note and the end of my being in the spotlight.
I stood up, took a bow, saw my parents clapping enthusiastically with their cameras directed at me, and went back behind the entrance to the stage. Meanwhile, a contestant behind me exclaimed with a wide grin, “That was great!” I smiled back, wondering if my hard work would really pay off, if the judges also felt the same of my performance. After a few more pieces, the competition was finally over.
The distributing of the certificates took place. "Victoria Tong," the lady presented me with my grotesquely-shaped trophy and certificate, "congratulations, you won the title of Honorable Mention." My heart leapt in delight as it seemed as if my dream became true. Something I thought was impossible to truly be familiarized with and dealt with as music turned into an element of pride in my life. As we were heading back home, my mom said, “I am so proud of you. See how God worked in your life? He can truly bring a stone to life.”
She was still musing over this a few days ago.
To Alma (who offered me suggestions): I took your advice in adding how others, including my parents, felt watching me play. I feel your advice added much more meaning to my piece as it gave me the idea of my last two sentences. Thanks for your suggestion. It really brought more light into my piece.
I really love the details you give here. It is amazingly written. I have no idea why people skip over this piece. I am touched by your hard-working and humble personality.
I am impressed indeed. Great job.
I really don't know what to say anymore. I hope more people would give a chance on this piece. Length doesn't mean it is boring. Great stories can be made up by 3 sentences or 300 sentences. Details and insights are well displayed in a long piece of work.
I applauded for this post.
Thank you so much for appreciating my efforts and my writing.
Hey Victoria! Oh my, I read this in class and it was good but it turned out to be great! Good job, and i'll say it again I love how you have this amazing passion for music!
Thank you for reading my blog, and thank you for the comments.
Likewise, I really like your post, and your expanding on your memory of the park with details truly made it a unique place where hope is eternal.
The use of symbolism was really neat. I liked how you said you sat on a "horrible bench" you "really disliked" and "looked forward to leaving", showing how you wanted to get out of your situation to revert back to being your own self where you felt most comfortable.
The last paragraph was beautiful. I love how you ended the piece with the short, yet memorable phrases.
your hardwork has always impress me, actually i want to turn myself into someone like you,
well, i need sometime,
also, your story about yourself is very interesting,
i like your writing style, and also the life you have been through, it is real without any decoration,
at least i see it even from the back of the words
well done, hope to see your next post
The Mirror: Who Am I To the World
With all of the death and violence in world, I began to look at my life. I thought of Christopher Dorner who killed a deputy and looked to kill several other people. I thought of my dad's procedure tomorrow to test if he has cancer.
Life can end at any moment.
I can end at any moment*
“How will people remember me?”
“If I die, will people care?”
“Will I be like Airlift, full brother of Assault, who never got a chance to live up to his potential?”
“Will I be like Willie, who left a legacy of people that thought of him for the rest of their lives?”
Honestly, I do not know.
My close group of friends will remember me. They will think of the many adventure that we have gone on. They will recall my positive attitude, my smile and the weird habits that I have. The one memory they will hold closest would be the day we spent at the beach.
I can clearly remember the blue sea and the cool air. We would walk across the beach for hours, talking and laughing. We played in the water and dried off on the sandy shore. We really grew close that day it highlighted my summer.
It is a day they will never forget
My core team will think of all the deep profound moments we have had. I hope they will remember my passion for my faith. They will remember every Monday night that we spent together, planning for the next meeting. All of games of pool, failed attempts at painting and family like atmosphere are what they will think of.
The one memory they will remember most is the first ever retreat we planned. Hours of meetings and building and preparing did not even come close to the outcome of that weekend. Those three days changed the lives of 54 high school students. What they found was more than we could have ever hoped.
Their lives were changed.
It was an experience they will never forget.
My family will see how I grew up. They will remember the timid three year old who had hearing problems and who broke his nose at McDonalds. They will see the slightly taller 8 year old who is scared to go to camp. They will see the sixteen year old, driving his first car. They will see the seventeen year old Eagle Scout, who learned the value of commitment and love of helping others.
Perhaps the most prominent memory that my family will have is the 4th of July too years ago. We were watching fireworks at Lacey park and it felt like there were thousands of people there. When the last of the fireworks had gone out, my family had decided it was time to leave. As we walked back to our car, I saw something was wrong in the crowd. I ran toward the sense of commotion to find a women around the age 40 on the ground. Instinctively, I rushed forward to help her. I went through all of the first aid I knew, I talked to her until help arrived and I made sure she was ok. That day, my parents saw that they had not failed at being parents.
I was a person the world would never forget.
I have not lived a perfect life. Far from it. I have had many times where I fell short expectations.
There is more to life than failures.
There is more to my life than my failures.
I live my life without regret. Every day, I do my best to be the best person I can be. Although I have my short comings, the legacy that I leave behind will be more than that.
I live to inspire others to be nicer to one another. My motto is “Life is too short to be mean to someone. There is always room for a random acts of kindness.
I do not want people to remember Bobby the saint.
I want people to remember Bobby who struggled in his life.
Bobby who always gave his best effort.
Bobby who wanted to leave the world a better place.
I want them to live a better life because of the way I lived mine.
Thank you for choosing this prompt for me to expand upon. At first, it was my least favorite one. As I wrote more, it surpassed the other two I wrote. I changed my into from the one you read in class to fit my tone and to bring in the reader better. Thank you again,
I agree that "there is more to life than failures". No one has lived a perfect life. You will definitely be "a person the world would never forget." It doesn't matter that you are not perfect; what matters is you try to live a life that can be an example for others to follow to make the "world a better place."
Your parents must be proud of you for striving to help others, like the 40 year-old woman, out. If everyone followed your steps, the world would be more of a Utopia.
Best wishes to your dad. May God bless a family that brought up such a helpful son to humankind.
Thank you for reading and for your feedback. I agree that the world would be a better place if everyone started going out of there way to perform an act of kindness.
Bobby, I know you a little bit from St. Rita and youth group, but I'm glad that I read your blog this week. Your work gave me more insight on who you are as a person - you seem like a great guy. I really like your final sentence, and you wrote a very strong blog this week.
I hope I get to know you more, and apologize for my immature behavior at times.
Hey Michaele, I am glad you enjoyed what I had to say this week. I really liked my last line too. We only live for so long and if I only live for myself; I am not living a meaningful life. That is why I do my best to live a life worth following. I fail and fall sometimes. But that is life. The key is to get up and keep on striving for what I am fighting for.
That is very true! Thanks for such a great response.
Some questions to think about:
What are your plans to stand out and make a difference?
When would you know if you've made a difference?
Hey Bobby. Man, did I like your post! The way you started out in the beginning, that was seriously... serious. It really got me thinking. Life is very short. Too short to be mean, and too short to be spent without love. I really respect that of you because I actually enjoy being mean sometimes. You are truly a very kind person and I definitely will remember you as a very adventurous guy who is really fun to do silly things with! And... I THINK I KNOW ABOUT THAT DAY AT THE BEACH I want to wink very badly but I know it's not allowed. That's very a very precious moment you spoke about there and I just want to take a picture of you two and put it on my wall. Aside from that, after reading this post, I now know how truly kind a person you are and you have awesome ideas that you've put down here that really make one think. Good. Job.
I am really glad that you enjoyed what I had to say. I totally agree with you that "Life is very short. Too short to be mean, and too short to be spent without love." I think that we all need more love in the world. It all starts will small actions, like buying someone lunch like macaroni and cheese. Or just being there for a friend. Avalanches start off small but gain speed as they go along. If everyone starts off doing small acts, those acts will gain momentum. Pretty soon, the whole world is nicer and better place to live
This was phenomenal. I was totally gripped from start to finish. The anecdotes that you put in shows me so many different aspects of your life, and I really think that was a perfect way to write this. I like how you can very plainly say your parents have not failed, and by what I'm reading, they sure haven't! Truly excellent.
Thank you for taking time to read what I wrote. I am really glad you enjoyed it. I really took the time to reflect on my world and my life. I think that is important to do every so often. When we know who we are we can figure out what we want. Once we know that, we are already half way to meeting our goal.
Hi Bobby, this was such a powerful and meaningful post. I liked how you organized it and how you incorporated the quotes to make it more complex. It was very interesting to read so keep up the good work!
The Mirror : Be a Bro
People come and go. They see me; they know me, at least my name I hope. But what they remember about me will always be a mystery.
In the beginning, I never thought about how people would remember me. If anything, I was that little "nerd" that everyone in math class cheated off. However, at a young age, labels didn't matter to me. I didn't feel the pressure of others judging me, and only thought that people gave me attention, rather than insults. I was clueless and didn't realize the truth until I reached middle school.
The innocent life of elementary school betrayed me, as I matured into middle school. The thoughts of others began to swell in my head, and the attention I once thought became hurtful comments. Not only did I realize I was a "nerd" in middle school, I also realized how people called me names such as "push over," and "loner." I couldn't understand how people could act this way jokingly, and not realize the meaning of its context.
Is this how people saw me back then?
I didn't know what to think. I let the comments continue, letting people treat me how they wanted. It came to the point where I didn't care how people treated me, and only began sinking into the shadows of middle school. I didn't want to be remembered by anyone except my family. I only had my brother who I still cared that would treat me the way I truly am.
Middle school became a blur, and I moved into high school. I still fell into the shadows, hoping no one would recognize me and only pass through high school to graduate for college. I didn't want to hear the insults again. It became that way, until I hit Sophomore year. I lost the only person I still cared, and drifted further into a hole. I fell into the blank of nothingness and began wondering why I was still alive. What purpose was there if I didn't want anyone to remember me.
What's the point?
However, I still feared death, and that proved that I had a reason to be remembered. There was still something I had that could be shown to others. What was it that I could show?
I began to climb. I began to climb out of the hole I dug for myself, and started to creep out of the shadows. Slowly, one by one, people began to recognize me. Some insults did return, but they weren't was harmful as before. I pressed forward, still searching for what I wanted to be remembered as; what I could show to people. Searching, brought me something I didn't have before. It brought me people to care about, and the values of having a friend. More importantly, it brought me the old feeling of having a family.
Was that it?
Maybe I had already shown it during my search of what I wanted to prove to myself.
Maybe I did see what I wanted when I still had someone to care about.
Maybe, I wanted to be that brother.
Those insults became faint memories. However, instead of insults, names began coming up in my life. "Joe," "Joey," "Joshua," "Josie," etc. However, one name stood out for me, and I'm still glad when I hear the name. What I wanted was to be a brother to others, so they have someone to be cared for. Life isn't meant to be forgotten, and I refuse for others to be lost like I was. I want everyone to have a reason to be remembered, and at least be that one person to be there to remember him/her.
Hence the name "Broseph."
I like the way you wrote your post:) It is easy to read and easy to understand or at least for me it is.
Nice Blog, very inspirational. Im glad after are the hard times you went through you powered through it and became the person you were destined to be “Broseph”.
Your experiences really stood out to me and kind of reminded me about my own post. I've gone through what you've gone through in elementary school and middle school. Those kids were just mean with all that name-calling!
I really like the way you concluded your piece by explaining the origin of "Broseph".
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: The Secret Garden
The trail is rugged—merely a shadow of its former self. It’s only two and half feet wide, and weeds and bushes grow from the walls of the mountain. Each branch is an obstacle of beauty that smells of sage and mountain bay leaves. As the trail winds, you reach a washed out crossing created by flash floods of rain. I must leap into the river-like crevasse then climb myself back up the walls of sand to get to the other side of the trail. This is only a small hindrance, in which the destination makes worthwhile. The trek just takes me 20 minutes, but not with out noticing how the trail had diminished since the last time I saw it. It seems there is nothing you can do about a trail that has been long since forgotten by its owner from 60 years ago.
It is magic. My magic. My own Secret Garden.
The trailhead opened as I walked into a coliseum of olive trees, which were the remnants of an old olive farm. Each tree creates a ceiling that is mended with the next. The sunrays rained down from the leaves onto the overgrown grass that surround the room of trees like a carpet. Though, this carpet does not reach every corner of my olive grove. There is a straight deer trail that runs along the abandon sprinkler line which had once nourished everyone of these trees, and under each tree is a patch of compacted dirt that has been made by the oval shaped bodies of sleeping deer. This gigantic room filled with trees looked as if it were preserved solely by magic. It was beautiful.
“I am sure there is Magic in everything, only we have not sense enough to get hold of it and make it do things for us…” (The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett)
This place was my fathers, my brothers, and mine. Ours. When I walk all the way to the end of the grove, on the edge of the hill is the one old oak tree. It overlooks all of Los Angeles, and on most days you can see Downtown. Here is where I can sit on the project that we had together. Our project was the swing that we handmade. When I was about thirteen I told my dad that at the point of the grove, where an old oak tree lay, is the perfect spot for a swing. So, my dad made it happen. He found a dusty old bench on the side of the road, and picked it up and put it in his brand new truck. He brought that ugly bench, and with his trusty handyman skills, sawed off the legs. Finally, after cleaning it up and making sure all the nails were sturdy, we made a day trip up to my Secret Garden of Eden. My brother and dad carried the bench up the hill, on that treacherous deteriorating trail, and got to working. I watched as the sweat rolled down my dads face on that smoldering summers day, though the oak did help him out with shade. He tied rope to the arms of the bench in the shape of a triangle so that the front would have support too. Then, just as the sun began to fall, he wrapped the rope around the tree and tied it off. The task was complete, and we smiled as we swung on our bench, watching the sun set on beautiful Downtown LA.
That place. That Secret Garden of mine. That is the place that makes me happy. The grove that was “thought to be forgotten” would never leave my mind. The thing is, I have every opportunity to go to the place that makes me feel like a child, and I don’t. I am afraid to see that since my last visit it has turned to ruin. I have not been to my Garden for a few years now, and I fear that without my help the trail to it has disappeared. I am going to make it a goal of mine to go back to my whimsical room made of olive trees within the next few weeks. Maybe it will bring me back to the days where freedom to be a child was in my imagination, and my Garden was my castle.
I really enjoyed reading your post. It had so much imagery. I can just picture myself there. Your place like a very nice and peaceful place to just be in. After reading you post, I want to be in a place exactly like that. Really liked your post.
Wow Emily! That was fantastic. I could see every last detail in your words. I want to go there so bad! It sounds so awesome.
It will not be the same if you ever go back but just be grateful that you had those memories. Hopefully the secret garden can evolve right alongside you. I’ve shared my magical place (the cabin) with you now you better take me to the secret garden soon!
Your home sounds beautiful...
I love your vivid imagery, it just enhances to how beautiful and how important that home is to you.
Hey Emily oh my god your garden sounds so beautiful and amazing. Do you really have to swim across a river to get there? That's just so magical the imagery in this piece has totally touched me. Please please please you have to take me here and show me your garden some time it sounds so wonderful.
Haha thank you Dominic. No to the river. Imagine it to be like a river with no water. So the walls and sand are all there but the water is gone. Yeah it is such a beautiful place, but I need to go give it some TLC and fix up the trail before I bring anyone. I am fairly sure the trail is half gone haha.
I really enjoyed reading your post! I loved the way you described the place you love as a dream and how great it is pulling me in to it as well! Good read!
The Mirror: Anyone Can Play Guitar
Everything you believed is a lie
Everyone that you loved is a death-burden
So you take comfort in him
And you are receptive to stark wishes
No longer struggling to declare your stand
You would inflict no harm to others
They are unaware and in a loop of futile events
You are everything, they are nothing
(They Baying of the Hounds, Opeth)
The great philosopher Thomas Hobbes had always revolved around one idea throughout his life—that humans are self-interested, fragile creatures that would claw each other to receive what they please. So thus we need the rule of an absolute authoritarian to avoid “the war of every man against man.”
Is this what I need? Is this what I want, for some person to breathe down my neck as I fall acceptance to his or her stark wishes? Is my ability to reason so fragile and my spirit so weak that I might mentally break? Will I descend on the staircase of madness and go berserk?
I am fused just in case I blow out
I am glued just in *case I crack out
(Blow Out, Radiohead)
One would be afraid—afraid of what is abnormal, of what is out of line. They are afraid of the extraordinary. They (ones who follow the leader) know nothing but conformity. They fear change because they know not of change, so they stick with their normal, boring lives, sitting comfortably in their chairs, worrying not a thing.
But I am not one who fears of such things. I am not one’s drone. I am not a puppet of some sort. I shall not follow the words of a parent, or any authority for that matter, which may oppress me or discourage me from what I truly believe is good. My reason is firm not fragile, and my spirit strong not weak, Mr. Hobbes. My restless spirit is a wild one and it refuses to stay in place. I do not ask for anarchy (for I respect a fellow brother or sister’s right) but for freedom.
Freedom to be an artist.
Freedom to be a jet pilot.
Freedom to be the front man in a punk rock band.
Freedom to be an astronomer.
Freedom to be a musician.
Freedom to be whatever I please.
It would be quite unfortunate for me if death suddenly came knocking on my door so soon, for I would have left things undone. But I would leave this earth satisfied, knowing that I was in the pursuit of my own destiny and having met outstanding individuals that shared the common goal. I do not wish for my funeral service to be one of lament, nor one that merely is a reflection of my life. Rather, I wish mine to serve as an aspiration to the attendants. Let them know that despite having to experience physical and mental abuse, neglect, resentment, and loneliness, I endured. I came out alive and well and looked toward the distant yet bright days ahead of me. Do not listen to the words that I have heard.
“March, you can’t do this.”
“March, you’re not good enough.”
“March, you’re nothing.”
Do not let a tyrant rule over you. Do not let society give you standards. Don’t be afraid of the unknown. Create your own standards and attempt to exceed them. Embrace the unknown and accept the fact that change is good, for what is the point of living a human life without taking chances?
If the worm does turn
And if London burns,
I’ll be standing on the beach with my guitar
I want to be in a band when I get to heaven
Anyone can play guitar and they won’t be a ‘nothing’ anymore
(Anyone Can Play Guitar, Radiohead)
Thanks Nelson, I actually finished this one and didn't leave you at the top of a rollercoaster. XD
Sup March, the first thing that I thought when I saw your post was "Heck yeah, Opeth!!"
I liked the uplifting message near the end of the post, but I feel that "I shall not follow the words of a parent" should have been worded differently...less straight forward...I thought you were being a rebel until I saw the line "what I truly believe is good"...lol
Other than that, nice post!
Hey March, first of all i love the Thomas Hobbes quote. Secondly what you're stressing is a great idea. The idea that people should just tune out what others are saying, and go for what they really believe they want to do. It's a great message!
very nice post. Loved the Radiohead quotes! I really like the multiple uses of repetition throughout the post
You didn't leave me at the top alright. You created a free fall with a 10 point landing.
Blurry figures and muffled voices: Winners Circle
Growing up I spent everyday either practicing or playing baseball. It is hard to pin point a certain day that our games were played on because they always changed, It is hard to remember every game that I have ever played but what I do remember are the celebrations. Games were always different but the place of celebration after was always the same; Lampost pizza. It wasn't nearly as big as Chuck E. Cheese down the street but it was better.
It was like a sports bar/ pizzeria.
It had big televisions always showing a game whether it was baseball, basketball or football.
You could always hear clattering as all of the kids would run around with their cleats on from their games earlier.
It had a few arcade games in the backroom which was usually dark as the light switch was accessible to all that could reach it. I remember playing games with my friends while being huddled around by younger kids that had no money and were easily entertained.
The walls were covered in jerseys and pictures of old little league teams that had won their championships back in their days. It was a place of joy and happiness as everyone turned into one big family there. It was a place you would look forward to after a long day and a long game.
My biggest memory of lampost is the day I had won the championship for a team in which my father coached. It was the best day of my life. Everyone had gone that night players,parents, siblings, grandparents even family friends. We were the center of all the attention which is a kids dream. Everyone had a smile on their face that night and everything seemed to go so much slower as memories were constantly being made. The night was most memorable because my father had given me my prized possession that night; The game ball in which was given to my dad for putting so much time into the team. He gave it to me with the writing " we finally did it". I will never forget that moment as I'll will never forget that night or place. Lampost brought happiness to everyone that went and it brings everyone together. It holds my deepest memory in which I shall never forget. This place not only means a lot to me but all also all those that have gone there to celebrate and rejoice.
I enjoyed reading your post, i can feel your emotions while reading reading this. pizza places with gaming machines are always the best place to celebrate while we were young and those memories will never be forgotten!
i can honestly say i remember when i used to go their to lampost as well after my baseball games. And your 100% correct, because the environment was just somewhere any kid in the world would love to be thanx for the read bro
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: A Touch of Eternal Silences
It is* time*,
The hour hand of the clock starts to rotate backward.
The sun goes back from the east, vanishing on the western horizon of the land
My soul sinks into the ocean of the memory.
It is the Friday of the week in autumn.
That brown tree starts to wear its golden coat under brilliant shine of sunset, trembling its branches among the cool wind from the north, as if winter has come.
A golden leaf slowly descends down to my page, as if a fairy’s prank. I finish the last sentence of that page and close the book.
“It is time home,” I say to my friend,
He closes his book and stretches his arm, then says,”Alright, let’s go.”
So we walk into the building together, until the last bit of our shadow quietly merged into the shadow of the building, and *that is all the conversation we made before we wave our hand to each other inside the elevator*.
He live in 16D and I live in 17F, however that one floor difference does not exist anyway between our heart, there is nothing between me and the other side of him.
My mother has her best friend in her life, they do not meet together very often; however, they never stop their afternoon-tea time once a month. My mother’s best friend always comes on the last Saturday afternoon of that month, when almost all of their works are finished during the first half of the month. They usually chat with each other for no more than 30 min; then, they would like to open some classical music and enjoy the red tea. An interesting fact is that teatime is always quiet, nothing more than the sound of music and of the tea set. They do not even look at each other, they are sort of enjoying their own stuff, and once the sun approaches the horizon on the east, they say goodbye and goes back to their own life. I believe this kind of teatime would started before I was born; I cannot figure out if she is my mother’s best friend, or worse friend until I meet him who live one floor below me.
Our relationship does not turned out this way immediately after we know each other. We meet each other at kindergarten, but we become friends when we are in primary school.* At first*, we never agree with each other, we constantly fight between each other. I even tried to ignore him, but somehow, he never goes off my vision. After we step into 4th grade, *that strong disagreement between us disappeared*; we start to communicate and help each other out. *The longer we know each other, the longer we understand each other’s mind. I see an identical soul behind his eye and mine*. We are alike, deeply in our mind, but different out on the surface. As time goes by, relationship between us changed from arguing to accepting, quieting down in sound but strengthening in strength.
I also spend time playing with other people in our school. I am kind of person who become active once I get familiar with other, but there is an exception. I somehow calm myself down in front of him, but *I do not feel any uncomfortable*; instead, I feel relax over our relationship.* His existence is already part of my life*. Some people say that a true friend is those who can chat with you, laugh with you, argue with you, and fight with you, but I cannot fully agree, because I experienced that growth is a process of quieting down, a process of precipitate our experiences under the base of the ocean of memories. And as we step forward, we start to host our own little convention. Every Friday after school, when all the school works are done in the past five days, we goes home and brings our book to the big trees in front of building. We read our books under the shadow of the tree, until the brilliant shine of sunset remains us the times; then, we walk home and farewell each other at the 16th floor in the elevator. We do not speak a word during this process, every time, every time, until I move to U.S. when we are now having a distance of an ocean between each other’s life. I feel uncomfortable at first, but I still do the same thing at the Friday after school, and I believe he does the same as me.
Now I can understand, she is my mother’s best friend.
Because they accept each other’s existence as if accept the mind they own themselves.
We did not leave each other any kind of object,
And there is no There there,
However, that place does not exist there,
Instead, it exist here in both of our memories,
While it is preserved eternally somewhere on our soul.
Your intro was catchy and vivid.
The afternoon tea your mom and her friend has "once a month" is a really cute and interesting event. It is nice to enjoy a friend's company and delight your senses in music and tea.
I love how your mom's friendship connected to your own view on friendship and your realization that "she is your mother's best friend" when you "meet him who live one floor below" you.
True friendship is when you really understand each other, and you're lucky you have a friend who is probably doing the same thing as you are on "Fridays" despite your "having a distance of ocean between each other's life" (neat phrase).
thank you for replying me,
i am so surprised that you are the only one who knows the meaning behind,
i am glad to hear you
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: My Sanctuary
"My Sanctuary, my sanctuary, where fears and lies melt away..." - Sanctuary, Utada Hikaru.
Pop. The sound my earphones make after they get ripped off my ears. I turn and there is my little sister asking me for some markers.
"Where are your markers?"
"I don't have any... can I have yours?"
"Please, Please, Please !!!"
"If I give it to you, will you go away?"
"Yes! Thank you!"
After muffling a groan I turn to face the piles of paper on my desk. Great, one project for Spanish tomorrow and three test on Friday. Joy. As I lean back on my chair, the song playing on my I-pod is still blasting from my earphones. "My Sanctuary, My Sanctuary..." Where is my sanctuary? As I close my eyes, an image begins to form in my mind.
Whoosh, Whoosh, I open my eyes in time to see a small wave crash onto the sand. The water rushes to my feet, gathering around me and then retreats quickly back to the ocean. The smell of saltwater lingers in the air, embracing my body. Ah, I know this place, Pohaku beach, my sanctuary. As I explore my magical place, I can feel the mixture of sand, shells, and sea glass cover my feet. I bend down and grab a handful of it, letting it run through my fingers. It feels cold and rough, but as the sand slips away, the pieces of broken shells and colorful sea glass are revealed. Even though the shells are broken, you can still see the beauty. I brush off my hands and continue down the short expansion of beach towards my special rock. It's difficult getting there. I have to climb these misshapen rocks and it isn't as easy as it seems. Some of the rocks are rough while others are too slippery, but finally, I have reached my special rock. It is bigger than me and it looks like one of those weird modern chairs you see in the furniture stores. The rock itself is smooth and slippery like a seal, but I can still relax on it without falling off. As, I glance around, all I can think about is how peaceful everything looks. The sun's reflection glistens over the vivid blue of the water, and there is a little breeze that carries the scent of saltwater. This is it, my sanctuary. The one place where I feel at peace with myself. I can always come here to relax and think about life. It is my Elaine's. As I close my eyes and lean back against the rock, I can feel a smile appearing on my face. The sound of the ocean begins to grow faint and is replaced by the sound of my name being called.
" Jie, Jie, JIE!!" (older sister)
I wake up with a start and my chair crashes to the floor.
"Here are your markers back. Can I borrow a pen?"
"Just take it."
After my sister walks out of my room, I let out a huge sigh. "Why can't I be there now?" With a groan, I reluctantly get up to fix my chair. My I-pod is still on the same song, repeating, "my sanctuary..." This time I smile to myself and think my sanctuary is Pohaku beach. Every time I go to Hawaii, I would always go there to escape from everybody. As time goes by, the beach hasn't really changed, but I know that I have in some sort of way. This is my senior year, I guess it is time to make one more trip back to my sanctuary to see how much I have matured.
"Let's see how far we've come..." -Matchbox 20
Note: Thanks to Karin and Iris for telling me to paint a picture with words. I tried to add more imagery and details to make everyone feel as if they were really there. I hope I made you guys proud.
Hey Eman, your post caught my eye because of the strikingly similar titles. They're almost identical! - but the content is different.
Anyways, nice post. I enjoyed reading it. I liked the dialogue, it added depth to your writing.
Good blog man. There was a lot o imagery in this essay and I could feel like I was right on the beach while I was reading this post, everything seemed so real and vivid.
Thank you so much. I am glad you were able to imagine what Pohaku beach looks like from that paragraph. Thanks again for reading my blog.
Thanks for reading my post! I'll return the favor!
This blog is incredibly appealing to my senses. It feels as if I were looking right into the water or climbing on those slippery rocks. I just love the way it makes me feel like I'm part of what you're describing. Beautifully written!
Your post was really enjoyable to read. I am really impressed. I could definitely paint a picture of your happy place. It is really well written. I also enjoyed the quotes that you used. Keep up the good work. Also, I find it funny how you talk to your little sister because that is exactly how my brother and I communicate to each other.
Hi Eman, your post was really interesting to read. I can actually relate to your conversation with your sister because that's what happens to me! I can imagine Pohaku Beach from your writing...sounds really beautiful!
Your imagery is so vivid and your writing is so fun and whimsical. I like it
I love your post, it made me feel almost as if I were even there. Sometimes we do need to escape from everything and everyone for a while. Great job!
I enjoyed reading your post. As i started to read it i got more into it. good work.
Thanks to everyone for reading my blog. I really do appreciate your comments. Have a good weekend!!!
Hey Eman I really liked your post it had such wonderful imagery I almost believed I was at the beach. My favorite place is the beach too I love the smell of the sea, the feel of the sand and the ocean waters. The ebb and flow of the tide the rhythm of the waves just sends out vibes of peace and calm. So thank you for taking me back there with your writing.
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: My Room, My Sanctuary
“Finding a sanctuary, a place apart from time, is not so different from finding a faith.”
-Pico Iyer, Falling Off the Map: Some Lonely Places of the World
It may seem kind of lame, but I must admit, my favorite place in the whole world would be my bedroom. After having a room to myself for years on end, I’ve turned a “boring old room” into “my” room. It’s spacious, cozy, and most importantly, it’s a place that I could call my own.
In my room, everything is the way I’d like it to be.
It’s an extension of my personality – it reflects who I am.
It’s the definition of a comfort zone, a sanctuary, if you will.
The walls of my room are lined with posters of my favorite bands and movies – Led Zeppelin and Harold and Kumar, to name a few. Alongside these posters, I’ve hung some shirts with crude humor to the wall. One may say it lacks taste, but whatever- I like it.
There’s a lava lamp on the nightstand to the left of my bed, to the right, there a dresser with a turntable on it. I know it’s the 21st century, but I like this kind of stuff – I’d rather have a turntable than an iHome. – I guess you could call me Miniver Cheevy.
On the windowsill there’s a line of novelty sodas, like “Leninade” (Lemonade with a picture of Vladimir Lenin on it) – the bottles “glow” when the sun’s behind them. I think it looks kind of cool.
In my closet, I have some papier-mâché masks from Mexico – they’re kind of weird, but I like them. Besides these masks, there’s a mini gumball machine; once again, it’s random (I know), but I like it.
As you may have guessed, I like novelty stuff.
I think it’s interesting.
Just from reading this brief little description of my room, one can tell that it’s unique. You won’t find another place quite like it. It’s a place of my own – it’s mine, all mine.
“…I never realized how much beauty lay around me in my parents’ house, in the half-cleared table, in the corner of a tablecloth left awry, in the knife beside the empty oyster shell.”
I wouldn’t call my room “perfect,” it has its flaws – but I’ve grown accustomed to them. One may say I’ve grown to like the flaws – after all, they’re merely insignificant annoyances. I know that I’ll appreciate everything to a greater extent once I move out.
One of the things that used to bother me was my stucco ceiling – it’s hideous, or so I thought. At times, when I can’t sleep, I’ll turn on the light and just stare at it. If you squint and use your imagination, you can make out images on its surface. Of course, the fact of the matter is that it’s just an ugly ceiling – but whatever, I’ve grown to like it.
Another thing that used to bother me is this little hole in my wall. I made this hole one day, it was an accident of course – anyways, long story short, I was shooting a slingshot at some sweaters hanging in my closet… I missed by an inch. Now there’s a hole in my wall!
When this first happened, I was scared – my parents would have been so mad! Being the sneaky kid that I was, I never told them about it – instead, I just put a little Scooby-Doo sticker over it. They never found out.
Looking back, I think there’s a funny story behind that hole in my wall. Now that I think about it, I laugh rather than feel scared. I’ll miss that little hole when I move out.
I’ll miss things that only someone who’s been in my shoes could understand.
I’ll miss things others would consider insignificant.
The annoying sound of my dog’s nails tapping on my hardwood floors in the dead of night- the sound that wakes me up no matter how deep of a sleep I’m in. I’ll miss that too. While it may be irritating to me now, I know I’ll miss that sound when it’s gone.
I’ll miss everything about this place.
“How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”
As I write this blog, I take one final drag on my cigarette. I extinguish the butt in a copper toned ashtray that sits upon this little desk of mine. I look about my room and think momentarily…
My room hasn’t changed – it’s been the same for a while now.
But I have a greater appreciation for it.
I know it won’t be mine forever.
I stare at my ugly stucco ceiling.
I stare at my little hole in the wall, hiding behind the ancient Scooby-Doo sticker.
I stare at my dog sleeping in his little bed on the floor.
I’ll miss these things.
Sooner or later, they’ll merely be things of the past.
-Special thanks to Christian Pawley for suggesting that I include addition details; i.e. what do I like/ dislike about this special place of mine. His suggestion led me to include more details in my writing.
(wasn't sure whether to include this in my actual post or not)
You are right, our titles are so similar but the content is different. I love your description of your room. You were very detailed and it is a fun blog to read. Keep up the good work.
Thanks for the comment, I'm glad you liked reading my post.
Powerful quotes James, nicely done!
I'm glad you have a place like your room to rest.
How has your room changed your life? (I know it may sound like a dumb question, but how has it been significant in your life?)
Well, to answer your question (which isn't "dumb," by the way), my room hasn't really impacted my life.
It's just grown on me as the days go by - I've grown accustomed to it, so to say. It's where I'm most comfortable.
To put it simply, my room is my "home within a home."
I get what you mean! Again, thanks for the great read!
I'm glad that there is another person out there that takes value in the small, seemingly insignificant things in life. I appreciate the fact that you pay attention to the smallest details. I think that's what the world needs more of-- people that appreciate every single detail of life. Life would be so much easier and happier for them. Thank you for your great post, I really connected with your writing.
I like the Led Zeppelin Poster
Thanks for the comment, March. I'm glad you read it - and I'm glad there's a fellow fan at our school; nobody likes the "old" stuff anymore.
Haha, I totally look for images in the stucco too. Glad to know I wasn't alone on that. You've got some gorgeous imagery in this post. Thanks for the read.
I really liked your post James good job. The way u described your room was great. Good post and great imagery!
Light Something: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Tucked in bed and ready for a goodnight sleep, I asked my mother to pull out *The Hungry Caterpillar*. It will never be the same as it was back then. The story of a caterpillar constantly eating more and more changed my perspective on life as I grow older. A story this simple seemed so simple in my toddler days, the caterpillar eating its way through the different types of food through the book. It’s not just a simple story of a bug eating different foods but it’s a stage of life that we all go through. Things change, I change, and it has brought so much meaning to me. My mother has not read me this book since the first grade, but I remember it clearly as if it were yesterday. The story of the hungry caterpillar that just kept on eating and eating brought back many memories and a new meaning to me that will stick with me forever.
I have learned so much from a beautiful little creature. A hungry caterpillar can mean so many things. It’s a different way to approach life. In my case, a feeding caterpillar is like a child hungry for knowledge. It’s the same thing as children being curious and wanting to take on as much information as they can with their innocent questions. It’s like a child asking their parents “where do babies come from?” each time the caterpillar eats a new type of food it’s like a child experiencing a new thing in life. With each bite, the caterpillar grows larger and stronger; the child in comparison is mentally stronger and more knowledgeable about life.
In the end, they still have to grow up. The caterpillar eats and eats and ends up sleeping in his cocoon. He rises and becomes a beautiful butterfly. What I have come to realize is that no matter their age, children will always want to quench their thirst for knowledge. While they are in their teenage years, which is the equivalent to the cocoon stage, teenagers are constantly pushing people away from their small and exclusive spherical bubble. They are always looking for excuses to escape back into their own selves and become recluses that shy away from the world. However, at the end of each storm, there is always a rainbow that follows. When they finally come to their sense and are ready to break open from their shells, the teenagers become adults and have a better grip on understanding the fundamentals that occur in the real world.
Jacky Lu (Response) – Thank you Jacky for giving me some tips on how to improve my sentence. I took in consideration and did my best to edit this post; I tried to merge the ideas that I should include in this short post. Your advice has helped me read through my post again and again so that I am confident with what I can produce.
It was an interesting read on one very famous caterpillar. Your post makes me want to go back and check if the story really has the elements you discussed in the blog. When I do, I'm sure I will find them.
Hey Clarence, I really enjoyed reading your post - I remember that book. That book was one of my favorites as a little kid.
Reading your post brought back nostalgic memories of reading that book. Nice post.
Wow Clarence, love those comparisons. It's so true how teens are so reclusive and comparing them to cocoon shells was excellent! When I picture Arcadia High students, I can literally imagine the students hiding in their cocoon shells studying and studying for hours. I guess when we finally metamorphose into adults and go our own paths, we will all have different wing colors and pursuits in life. You've just made a childhood classic an astounding metaphor for life. Awesome job.
The Mirror: Growing Up
What will I be remembered for?
The boy that did not fit in a little box made of ticky tacky. The boy that wasted all his time trying to be perfect and failed at it. The boy that stepped away from his mask and did not know how to interact with the world. The boy that took his first steps on his own and became a man.
Growing up I had more than my fair share of mistakes and I only created more by trying to cover them up. I made mistake after mistake but each time I never took the blame. I would find something else and I hide behind it so that I would not get hurt. This never worked. I only ended up hurting myself more as well as the people around me. Then one day I decided that this was not the person that I wanted to be. I wanted to be someone that people look up to and can rely on whenever they need help. I no longer wanted to be a coward so admitted that I was afraid of making mistakes and always ran away from trouble. That was my first step.
The only difference between the cowardly and the brave is that the first runs and the latter stands. To make my next step I had to stop running and stand up for myself, I had to accept that I will make mistakes and I had to embrace the fear of what might happen when those mistakes came. The funny thing was that I started making less mistakes and the mistakes I did make no longer stung so much. In fact they helped me because I learned from them and I realized that the people that cared about my flaws did not really matter. The people that mattered the most did not care about my mistakes and they helped me head in the right direction. My second step was not made alone.
I now had friends that I could lean on and for the first time I felt like I had someone on my side. I was now faced with a new challenge; how would I return the favor? These people I can rely on whenever push comes to shove but will I do the same? Do I put myself in front of my friends or do I help them rise to the top? Again I was lost and again I found an answer in something I would have never done before. I decided that my friends were more important than myself and I will do my best to put a smile on their face when days are dark. When they fall it will be my hand that sets them on their feet and when they are hurt I will carry them home. I pushed my friends in front of me and made myself a man.
To Adrian: Thanks for telling me elaborate on the steps it took to become a man since it really helped me add enough content to this prompt. I think you will find it interesting.
This is good bro, im glad you took my advice. I had this problem too. I honestly can say what you have just wrote has influenced me and will benefit you in the long run. Because I believe when we get older we will simply have a handful of friends that we will be able to call our "friends". While we're realizing who is who and sifting through those who only take advantage of us; will we then be able to understand the means of a friendship not simply of publicity, but for the strong mental alliance, support , and accountability. Thanx for the Read NICK! I hope we stay seat partners
i like your writing,
i liek your process of growing up because i have been through this also
at the same time, i wish you care about yourself too,
a person who cannot take care about himself cannot take care about his family, because your friends and family will worry about you
do something for you, and do something for your friend, then you will be fine untill the time you life called
"Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: The End of Home*
The air never seems to be a stable temperature; either an artic tundra or the crater of a volcano, just the way Dr. Sutro likes it. Hung around the room is the succession of our school’s history; every president from the beginning of Arcadia High School’s faces are there, looking down on every incoming council. The first woman ASB president, the first Asian president, the first African-American president hung up all around me.
I look at the history hung above me and laugh when I see the Caucasian man from the 70’s that looks exactly like my friend Glen Liang, last year’s Taiwanese Pep Commissioner. I hypothesized with the rest of ASB what the orangey slime stuck to the northwest corner ceiling was. We went on a savage hunt whenever someone said, “I need a stapler”… nobody really figured out we never had one. All these moments have been engrained in my memory as the best year I experienced in high school. It’s something I treasure more than anything in the world, and it took place where I treasure more than anything in the world.
... It was an adventure in there every single day last year.
C-1 is still there, still serving the same purpose, holding the same meetings, with the same faces hung all around.
But, somehow, it’s not the same.
The place I hold dear to me is a time, last year to be specific. It was the place I spent everyday sharing laughs, building friendships, and ultimately making a difference on this campus; C-1 was the home of my place in Arcadia High School. It was where I spent most of my days and it was where I belonged.
However, it’s not so much as the physical building that I love so much, but what the building stood for. It stood for a time of discovery for me; when I finally knew what direction my life was headed. It was where I saw the apex of my high school career and where life began to turn in the right direction.
Without ASB, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. People like Dr. Sutro and Mr. Tung influenced me more in that one year than I have ever seen in my entire life. C-1 was where it all happened.
C-1 is due for construction and modernization at about the time I leave for college, possibly sooner. When that happens, the memories will go with it. It’s probably a welcome change for me since I’m moving to a new part of my life as well, and ASB will move onto a new school with a new class. Although, a new place will be sprawled out to replace C-1, it’s no longer what it meant to me anymore.
All the memories and times will remain with me forever, but “C-1” will never be “C-1” anymore. It will continue doing it’s job for years to come, but my C-1 moved on along with me.
Thank you, William Perez, for helping elaborate on this topic. My statements before your revision were bold and misplaced. You helped me put in words what the room actually meant to me and not let any biases of this year ruin what the image of the room represents for me.
I have to say, yet another great post. I love your writing style, becuase you have the ability to draw the reader in. I especially liked what you said about C-1 moving along with you. Anyways keep up the great work.
Wow, very nice detail! I really love your emphasize on home being more than just a physical infrastructure. I found that so eye-opening because inevitably, these places will change and perhaps disappear forever but the memories and experiences we hold will stay with us for far longer. I guess that's what truly makes home more than just a residence.
I really like that you chose to make your special place more of a group of significant people rather than just a class room. The way you described your experience makes me think that its like your second family. Awesome work!
Light Something: The Book and the Song
During a pleasant November day I remember walking off to school expecting to drag my way through another lesson, but when certain time came and a magical hour stroke my teacher told us that she would read a story for us. Dropping the workload that we had that day, the students in our class pushed as the desk to sit on the floor as she read, “The Green Book, by Jill Paton Walsh...”
From that moment on I could not wait for the next time she picked up that book to read the next part of the story. It brought to me knowledge that our world never stays the same and is undergoing change. A change that if not stopped our whole planet would collapsed under the pressure we give it. It taught me humans are much like our world and our world shapes us. It is from that book I learned that life is ever changing and nothing ever remains the same, even our own memories change. As the characters in the story slowly forgot about the old lullabies I learned that the past we so proudly remember may not even have been our own past. All of this learning and self discovering brought great joy and horror for me. This is just another key that helped made me who I am today, a person questioning the reality of reality.
The orchestra “God Only Knows” sums up most of my perception of reality. It is a surreal song that questions the listener’s passion for life while playing god like orchestra in the background. I first found this song when I was a mere sophomore in high school while watching the anime The World God Only Knows or TWGOK for short. Listening to the dancing patterns of the medley that combines beautifully with the lyrics brought greater knowledge of the working of the world and that became the problem, it was merely knowledge.
I had to find a way to make use of the knowledge at take action with it, but that was not possible as long as the knowledge stayed as knowledge. While the books and songs may light the way, it was up to me to make use of the knowledge gained by the light and turn it into an experience.
Thank You March N. It looks like I manged to light it.
This was interesting to read. I'm glad that book made you change the way you think about life today and gain new knowledge about reality. Good job on your post!
Thank you for taking the time to read it. I still have a far way to go, because this story is incomplete. I can not complete a story that is not finished itself!
If I may, I also want to try testing this.
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices
A bar is its own world from the sidewalk, with blurry figures and muffled laughter, the melodic little music of whiskey and ice. The door is never as heavy as you expect it to be.
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: Grandma's House
From the sound of the pans clanking together, to the food being tossed up into the air.
There is no Place like home
All of the pure memories, strong and bold are the ones that last forever and never grow old.
Never cold, never dull
We have always been distinguished as a noble family from what I have been told.
As you take your first initial step into the house you get a vibe that many can never describe,
Whether you define it as Modern or antique, it is irreplaceable and unique
The colors of the house define the mood white and bland. Which all tied in within the complexion of the tables colors similar to sand.
Love, Passion, and dignity lies within the house, which somehow allows welcomed and unwelcomed guests to open up to your true selves.
As you enter, the weight of societies minor dilemmas of immature tedious ideals is forgotten.
What ever that is feared outside the house is embraced, and dealt with in a manor of as grown significant of society would view it.
It is not the house of the broken but the house of repair and relieving from despair.
There is no place like home.
Adrian, I read your blog both last week and think week. I enjoyed reading them both times, and think that you are improving as a writer. I hope you continue to work hard at these blogs, and that you continue to grow.
P.S. You posted twice.
I see where your topic was going (it seemed like you were trying to describe something that really hits close home) but maybe more vivid imagery which could truly reveal your passion about your grandmother's house would have helped. Watch out for some grammatical mistakes, but overall it seems like you've improved from what I've read last week.
I think you did a really great job writing this.
I haven't been to your grandma's house in so long and reading it made me feel as if I was there again.
This was a great read; very sweet and simple and to the point.
Thanks for the great read!
Also you posted twice!
I also love that comfortable feeling of home.
Nice blog bro!
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices
A bar is its own world from the sidewalk, with blurry figures and muffled laughter, the melodic little music of whiskey and ice. The door is never as heavy as you expect it to be.
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: Grandma's House
From the sound of the pans clanking together, to the food being tossed up into the air.
There is no Place like home
All of the pure memories, strong and bold are the ones that last forever and never grow old.
Never cold, never dull
We have always been distinguished as a noble family from what I have been told.
As you take your first initial step into the house you get a vibe that many can never describe,
Whether you define it as Modern or antique, it is irreplaceable and unique
The colors of the house define the mood white and bland. Which all tied in within the complexion of the tables colors similar to sand.
Love, Passion, and dignity lies within the house, which somehow allows welcomed and unwelcomed guests to open up to your true selves.
As you enter, the weight of societies minor dilemmas of immature tedious ideals is forgotten.
What ever that is feared outside the house is embraced, and dealt with in a manor of as grown significant of society would view it.
It is not the house of the broken but the house of repair and relieving from despair.
There is no place like home.
i agree with pretty much everything you said. and i really liked the line "Whether you define it as Modern or antique, it is irreplaceable and unique"
Light Something: Ranae Et Bufo
Most people learn and extend their conversational vocabulary through reading. By reading through line after line of text, children, teenagers, and adults alike learn new words.
In kindergarten and first grade, I had a problem. My vocabulary was so low that it was actually difficult for me to have conversations with other kids in my class or with friends during recess. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Kerger, tried occasion after occasion in order to figure out why I had so much trouble; my IQ was normal, so I didn’t have any mental illnesses, I wasn’t shy, so my quietness wasn’t by choice, she was stumped.
About a week after giving up on it, Mrs. Kerger asked me how many books I had read in the last couple of months, and of course my answer was zero. After deciding that this must be the cause of my inability to have conversations, she enrolled me in a before-school program called Title One. I remember, every Monday and Wednesday I would go to her classroom in the morning, about an hour before school started, along with about five or six other kids. I don’t remember what happened inside these meetings, but I know it fundamentally changed me for the better.
The first legitimate book I ever read was Frog and Toad. It is a series of short stories meant for children. Even though it might not be very impressive for a first grader, I was very very proud of myself because I had never read a full book before. In addition, this book did very much for me in the future. It made me like reading.
Because of Title One and Frog and Toad, I fell in love with books. After realizing I could read, it helped me, and I enjoyed it, all I would do at home after school was read. I would constantly ask my parents for more books day in and day out. I. Loved. Reading.
Ever since I read Frog and Toad, reading has been a fundamental part of my life. Before, I had never realized how important reading was to life. After I had fallen in love with books and had started reading on a regular basis, my ability to converse improved dramatically and after a few months; I was a normal kid.
Frog and Toad was the book that started it all; the book that opened up the world too me. Even my adolescent mind realized that the world could not run without literature. Even Abraham Lincoln consented that reading is an enjoyable necessity through his quote “the things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read.”
Frog and Toad is the book that has affected me the most throughout my life. I have read a gajillion books ever since; my bookshelf is filled with at least 50 books and I have many more lying throughout my house. I owe my childhood to that book. Frog and Toad, thank you.
Thank you Alex Ye for your criticism. Unfortunately, I could not heed some of it, especially the part where you told me to describe how Mrs. Kerger changed my attitude towards reading. I thought that was good advice, but I simply could not remember because it was over a decade ago. I also appreciate your advice on what to name the piece, I was stumped. Thank you!
You perfected this! Reading this through a second time really cleared things up for me! It's really encouraging to read your submission. Your story just really jumps off the page and it's something I never knew about you!
I really liked your book selections. I read them too, yet I had not obtained nearly as much insights as you have!
I love the story that you started off with. It's amazing that reading a book can completely change a person, like it did with you. Reading is very powerful, in both a learning tool, and just a way to relax and escape. I'm glad to see that reading has been integrated into your life.
Hey, we're pretty similar! One book kind of set it off for me, and I've been reading like mad ever since. Good to know you found a sort of haven in reading. It's pretty awesome being able to immerse yourself in another world for a bit!
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: The Bed I Never Slept In
Balancing myself on the smooth, wooden steps, I would slowly hoist myself up into my secret hideout.
I never entered often enough to master the initial climb.
The linen coughed a dull, faint aroma. It still smelled manufactured, as if the bed cover had just left its case, three years after purchase. In reality, the cover was simply untouched, its natural scent uncorrupted by the scent of human.
My foot would sink just slightly into the mattress when I reached the top, but not enough. The springs sang a creaky tune; the rest of the room listened in silence.
Not yet four feet, I easily ducked into the flap hanging near the center of the bed, attached to a fake, wooden roof that barely touched the ceiling. Inside I had a small, pink backpack, full of confidential materials such as journal entries and silly love letters. I would sit in the peace and quiet, sifting through papers, relaxing in my own privacy. Sometimes I would write in the darkness, but no longer do those documents exist. In total I probably spent only a couple of hours in that enclosed space, but significant hours they were.
All my home adventures took place in my little hideout. Sometimes I would ransack my mother's jewelry boxes and crawl behind the flap to examine the treasures. When my mother screamed my name, I would exit through the flap on the other side, and then ride the slide to the floor. She would sigh and claim back her possessions, and I'd scramble back up the slide.
Once I brought my glow in the dark stars and spent the afternoon taping them to the ceiling. Then I turned off the lights, lied down on the hard mattress, and pretended it was night time. Staring up at the fake stars glowing gently in the half-lit room, I created my own constellations.
When night actually came, I never stayed. The crickets chirped, summoning the other bugs I feared would hurt me. My mother's bed was safer, because no creepy crawler ever entered her room. My bed was my secret haven during the day, dangerous terrain at night. When my parents tore down that bed, it still had never fulfilled its purpose.
Looking back, I wish I still had that bed. It was my hiding place from my public life, the portal to a different kind of life.
If I could, I would climb up the stairs again. I would cram myself into the space underneath the flaps. I would sit on the slide and take the two second dive down. Then I would climb back up, and reminisce.
But I still would not sleep in that bed. If I did, the bed would not be as special anymore. It wouldn't be the bed of my childhood, because it would smell too much like me, the me on the outside. When I was up there, I could forget the Joanna I showed everyone else and embrace the Joanna I chose to hide.
(Thank you to Tim for suggesting that I add examples of my adventures and clear up the ending. While you will notice the direction I took this piece changed slightly, I believe through your suggestions I managed to squeeze out what this bed actually meant to me. I would appreciate more feedback from you because something about this post still doesn’t satisfy me.)
Once again, you impressed me. You put so much detail into your descriptions of the bed and all of your settings. You make the words jump off the page; you make it seem real, as if I'm there experiencing it too. Very good job!
This was a touching piece, and what really hooked me to this read was the description and detail you put into the introduction of your story. It made it really easy to visualize your sanctuary and made it so much clearer to understand the significance of its place with you.
Now it seems more like a hideout. Or rather the base of operations for the 5 year old girl creating constellations. That's quite the god-like task. Did you name them?
I did! Unfortunately, I forgot the names. This is one of those things in my life that has taught me to always keep records of my little adventures, so at least those constellations ended up teaching me a lesson.
Also, thank you to all who commented!
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices
Ever since I was little my parents would always take my sisters and I to a park. To us this had always just been a park nothing special about it. The truth is that we didn’t like to go much, but of course as any kid we went because it was a sure thing that we would get some delicious ice-cream.
Sponge bob popsicle.
The warm summer sun.
The burning slides, swings, and monkey bars.
What more can a kid ask for when there’s candy, freedom, and something to play with. It almost feels like that is paradise and it can’t get any better. But little do we know of what life really has for us along the road.
Time passed by and soon I was about to start middle school. Days passed by so slowly and my anxiety only increased with the thought of finally switching of to 6 classes, having break instead of *recess*, and being able to buy something for lunch instead of just eating cafeteria food. I felt like life was about to begin. Now I’ve never been a problem child so I never thought problems would come to me, soon enough I found I was wrong. Suddenly girls that I thought were my friends didn’t like me anymore, yet girls who I thought almost hated each other became best friends. All of them wearing make-up with curled or straightened hair. But not me. So what about me… I felt like years had passed during only one summer and that I stayed behind and wasn’t able to keep up with everything. Of course though as the days in school passed by I became embarrassed of being the one left out, the girl who didn’t use make-up didn’t care about her hair, the clothes she wore, or even the backpack she carried. Soon enough I learned how to *be them*.
I put make-up on like them.
Did my hair like them.
Dressed like them.
I even spoke and acted like them.
My parents noticed my drastic change and had a talk with me. “Be yourself” was always at the end of those lectures. To how I saw things it was the old standard parent talks, it was “whatever they don’t understand.” Until it happened. Everyone who I thought liked me and who I thought was my friend stopped talking to me I didn’t know why but smiles and hellos in the hallways turned into pushing and eye rolling. So one of my “friends” comes up to me and says that no one is going to talk to me anymore and why? Just because of the way I dressed, acted, spoke, moved, and even walked. Little did they know I was just trying to be one of them. Everything became like a never ending spinning spiral, any little thing could be your entrance but you never really found the correct way out. So there goes my mom trying to make me understand once again what she had been telling me all along. “Be yourself.” We went back to the old park she told me of when I was little, careless, free, and alive. Only this time we weren’t at the kid’s playground under the warm playground and the burning slides, swings, and monkey bars. We found ourselves sitting on some bench that I really disliked. It was a horrible spot and I always looked forward to leaving.
I realized I didn’t really like to dress like those girls with nice skirts and flats it just felt uncomfortable. Neither did I like my hair in a poof or eye shadow. The year ended and during the summer I had time to think about me. We had to move to a new house and that’s the city where I would start my 7th grade. I started fresh, a new me. It turned out that the new me was someone that many people liked way better and I even liked myself better. Suddenly family problems came along. To private to say but the problems were there. It felt like the whole world came down on me again. My grades in school went crashing down, my home life wasn’t so great, and even relationships with friends weren’t going so well. There was no solution, there was no hope.
Once again, I returned to the park.
Sitting next to my mom.
Sitting on the exact same ugly bench.
From a distance you see green all around and on sparkling water that reflects the light from the sun you can spot a bit of white and as you get closer there’s those beautiful almost perfect looking swans gathered in a group. Some of them in couples and others just alone. Then right in front of them there is always that one bench that isn’t the best choice but is always my favorite choice no, it is covered from the top with tons of trees that lean over it giving it complete shade and right when you’re about to rest your arm there’s the spiders little barrier web that stops you and all around you wherever you step there’s twigs and leaves but none of that matters. It’s all okay because when you look straight ahead you have the best view of a perfect sunset and of those beautiful almost perfect looking creatures and it’s just breath taking it becomes the perfect place to think, cry, laugh, relax, but most of all it is the perfect place to “be yourself.” During my hard times it has given me hope and strength but I know that this place won’t always be safe, sooner or later for some reason which I might not even live to know. It might be destroyed one day and a parking lot or mall will sit on top of it then later with time it will have been forgotten new generations won’t know about it. But for me,
That one pond.
That one bench.
That one park.
Will always exist. At least in MY MEMORY
Victoria, thank you so much for your advice, I thought about it and it added many more things to my piece. I tried to do the explaining and describing just as you suggested.
A wonderful writing on an important life lesson that is easy to ignore. I like the imagery you put into the piece and could almost imagine sitting on that bench of yours watching the sunset.
Light Something: Survivors Amongst Beasts
Day 1 - Shock:
The plane was plunging towards the ground and I knew that Brian and I think quickly. Brain grabbed the flight console and took control of the plane, but he didn’t have any experience with flying so we knew that we were going down.
We promptly realized that this was a life or death situation, and we had to crash land the plane. I looked around and jolted out of my chair when I saw a small patch of water in the distance. The forest was dense, so I knew that was our only option.
I screamed, “Look over there! There’s some water, that’s our best chance of surviving this!”
Brian replied, “ Ok, ok I see the water, calm down Mike. We are going to get out of this alive.”
Brian slowed the plane down as slow as possible without having the plane drop out of the sky like a brick, and we slowly descended towards the water. The last thing I remember was Brian muttering, “Brace yourself for impact,” then everything went black.
Day 53 - Wake up:
I woke up from what I thought was a dream to find myself lying down in a make-shift log cabin. The air was so cold that I could see every breathe that I took. I tried to get up but soon realized that something was very wrong. I looked down and saw that my leg was wrapped in a splint. My next instinct was to scream, and I shouted, “Help! Where am I? Can anybody hear me?” Suddenly, the door to the cabin swung open, and Brian was standing there with a thick winter jacket on with a hatchet in his hand.
Brian explained everything that happened to me since the plane crashed into the water, and told me that I was in a coma for two very long months. When the plane crashed I hit my head and lost consciousness, Brian had lifeguard training so he was able to swim me to safety. At the time of the crash, all Brian could savage was the hatchet his father gave to him. He took care of me for two months and made a great shelter for the both of us. It’s now winter, and he said that my leg should be healed by now, but I know that it’s going to be very weak for a couple days. The transition will not be easy, and I thought of saying, “Brian we are not going to survive,” or, “Why don’t we give up,” but saying so would be too dangerous. Some things shouldn’t be said, because thoughts can be dangerous towards society. Instead, I kept my sinister thoughts to myself, and took a positive approach towards this situation - adversity will help both Brian and I grow as men.
Day 80 - Tenacious:
I’ve overcome my hurt leg, and I feel a lot stronger now. Brian and I have insulated the cabin to make it more comfortable and safer. There are bears, wolfs, and moose in the forest and we need to protect ourselves from all of the potential threats out here in the wild. Brian and I have gone through a lot since my last note in my journal, and I think that we are really going to survive. Brian and I were attacked by a moose a couple days ago, and it was a very vicious battle. The moose rammed Brian with his huge antlers and hurt his arm, but I eventually killed it with the spear that I made. The battle was scary and very dangerous, but we now have enough meat for a very long time. Prior to our encounter with the moose, we were struggling to find enough food to eat, but we’re confident that we won’t have to worry about getting enough nutrients anymore. The meat is stored outside so the freezing weather preserves it from rotting away. Brian and I also fought off a couple of wolves that tried to take the meat from us, we are really starting to get the hang of being survivors amongst beasts.
Day 99 - Reflection:
Winter just ended, and I’m so glad we don’t have to worry about cut wood for the fire anymore. The meat we collected from the moose is now gone, so Brian and I have been fishing lately. I made some line with vines that I found in the woods, and Brian used a small soda cap that he found in his pocket as a hook. We have not had any luck lately, but practice will hopefully make us better fishermen. While fishing, I’ve had a lot of time to think about my life and the time I’ve spent in the forest. I’ve come to realize that hope is the factor that is keeping me strong. Without hope, I don’t think that I would still be alive right now.
Hope that I will be with my family again.
Hope that I will get to play hockey again.
Hope that Brian and I will leave this God forsaken place someday.
At times, I think that I have ignored the reality of my situation, but the hope has helped me endure hardship. Brian heard a plane in the distance the other day, and while it did not see us, it gave me hope. People pass over us every now and then, and as long as we stay alive, someone will eventually find us. All I can do is hope while keeping myself alive.
Day 155 - Joy:
The past two weeks have been very tough, and we hit rock bottom. Things only got better yesterday when Brian had an epiphany, and he remembered that the plane had survival equipment inside of it.
We needed to dive into the water to retrieve anything it had to offer.
After many failed attempted, Brian held his breathe long enough to pull out a survival kit. Brian came out of the water with the kit and we were taken by the excitement of the moment. I was jumping around like a kid who just won a game of tag.
This was the first good thing that happened to us in a long time.
We ran back to our home and ripped open the kit to see what it had to offer. We were very lucky to find essential survival needs: a sealed meal, a knife, rope, a sewing kit, a compass, and GPS device. Everything was great but the GPS broke from water damage.
Rather than adapting the poor conditions Brian and I were facing, we worked to change them. Finding this survival kit will help us stay alive for a long time. Until the next time, Mikael Corbovsky.
Brandon Kim, thank you for giving me great writing tips. Your guidance helped me write this blog, and I’m happy with what I wrote. Your ideas were very helpful and I hope mine were helpful for you too. I wrote this blog about the book “The Hatchet,” by Gary Paulsen. It’s based on the novel, only it has a new character - Mikael Corbovsky. I have read and love Gary Paulsen’s work, his novels have inspired me in many ways. Thank you for the help BK - feel free to come next door if you need any help! I would also like to thank Katie Q. and Yuta T. for their wise words of wisdom.
I am glad that you pull it off. It is great. I really enjoyed it. And they you present it really engaged me into the story. It is interesting to see you try to put concepts and insights into the story... The message does stand out. But maybe next time, try dialogue to display your insight instead of narrative. I think that will come out better, more integrated.
Thank you for the great read.
Thanks again for the support, I almost backed away from writing this. I'm glad I followed through and wrote this.
Thanks for the suggestions too!
Wednesday: Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices
A place that I would immediately rush to, if I heard it was closing down, would be my favorite music store in Korea Town. The store is named Music Plaza. I have visited that music store so many times that the people who work there remember me. Since 5 years ago, I go at least once every other month. I have been there so many times that the people who work there recognize me. I have visited that place with many people who I know and love so dearly. I have been there with more than half of my friends and many of my family members. Whenever my friends would ask me where I get all my Korean pop merchandise, such as posters, CDs, photo books, DVDs, etc, I would always suggest this store first.
I remember the first time I have ever visited this store. I stared at everything with amazement. My eyes doubled in size when I saw how much Kpop merchandise they sold. The moment I stepped into the store, I felt like I crossed the line to heaven. I remember stepping in with lots of curiosity, not knowing what to expect. The moment I entered, I was greeted with a friendly hello by one of the very friendly and young employees. Also, I remember hearing squealing and giggling coming from the many other girls in the store looking at their favorite idols and pointing at their favorite member. Also, I remember hearing the sounds of Korean music playing in the backgrounds. Most of the Korean songs playing were songs that I didn’t know at all. I also remember just looking around like a lost puppy. I kept picking up different items and looking at them with curiosity. I didn’t know where anything was. I would look through racks, not knowing any of the artists because I just liked 3 groups at that time. I was new to the whole Kpop world. Then after about 25 minutes I finally found what I was looking for. I happily skipped to the counter and purchased my very first Korean CD. I was so happy. I cradled the CD in my arms like it was a baby. I thought to myself, I will treasure this forever. Since that moment, I thought to myself, how could I have lived without liking Korean music before. I realized how much I missed out in my early childhood.
This store has brought me much happiness. Whenever I look at the products, I buy immediately, but later on I realize that this store always causes me to go broke. I would spend so much money here in only a few minutes. I would always joke around and say it would be cheaper if I just ate the money myself.
Also, whenever I enter the store, I would not want to leave. It takes my dad about 10 minutes to drag me out of the store. For example, one time I went with my dad to this store so I could buy some CDs and it was right before lunch. I could hear my dad’s stomach growling and I knew he wanted to get out of there as soon as possible so he could go eat. After about 30 minutes he told me to just pick something to buy and then we can go to eat. I kept protesting and saying 5 more minutes. After about another 20 minutes of my dad trying to get me out of the store, he finally gave up and told me to just meet him up at the food courts whenever I was ready. I gave him a quick okay and continued looking at everything. I ended up meeting him about another half hour later, when he was already done eating. When I met up with him, I was holding around 5 bags filled with CDs, poster, dvds, and little things like keychains, cheering towels and folders.
Whenever I am there, I feel like I belong there. It feels just like a second home to me. I feel so comfortable in that one store because it has everything I really like there. It is my happy place and I would definitely rush there immediately if I knew that it were to close down.
Note: Thank you Meera for your advice. I made a pretty big difference in my writing. I was able to write a lot more after you gave me your advice. Thanks for telling me add a lot more detail and to change some things around. I really appreciate it.
I love your blog. I can totally imagine you with 5 bags of kpop stuff. Anway, I liked the details you provided and how you described this store as a second home. To me, it seemed like you were a kid in a candy store everytime you went there. Good Job!
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: Biophilia
The icy breeze eases my pain of chronic sitting. The soothing zephyr along the pile of rocks melts away all the stress. When I sit on top of those rocks above the water along with my brother, time seems to stop. But then it would start again, faster than ever. Why is time so irritating? It always seems to speed up the best moments and slow down the most tortuous ones. But that didn’t matter here at the Oxnard marina. Nothing did. Hopping around scavenging for lost treasures under the mountain of rocks and tossing random nearby objects into the crystal water to hear the resonating splash under the sunset, I was in my own world: a world of stress-less, school-less peace. I didn’t care when people on sailboats passed by and kayakers stared at two crazy kids digging, throwing and having the time of their lives on a rocky shore. They don’t understand how it feels to finally escape and taste freedom away from the cities. There was just something about the gleaming sky, sparkling water and verdant patches of vegetation that awoken a deep sense of longing in me; yet, I’ve never been or seen anything like this before in my life.
Perhaps this is what my AP environmental science teacher was referring to when discussing biophilia, the intrinsic bond between man and nature. I still cannot understand why the simple contrasting colors of vibrant green and blue out in the open field lights a fire so deeply in me but I do know that I would never forget this place. Every other week or so when I had little homework in elementary school, I begged my parents to take the one hour drive all the way here just so I can watch the sun set and the moon rise with my brother; I cherished every moment I had because while I was young and naïve at the time, I realized that this place would soon merely become a memory.
Years passed and once my transition to middle school began, homework and responsibilities began to pile up tremendously but still, I refused to allow school to steal away my utopia. Not even my own home brought me more comfort than being on that shoreline and I fought with all my might against losing that paradise.
Then high school arrived and everything changed. I haven’t felt the soothing breeze of the marina in over six years. It’s gone. I have no idea whether the dock is still existent but it might as well not be. It will now perhaps forever remain a part of me as what I feared most: just a memory stored in a couple of neurons somewhere in the back of my brain.
Maybe one day I will find the time to visit Oxnard once again and satisfy my ever-growing nostalgia. But until that day comes, I will always have hope and appreciation that I had the opportunity to experience such a beautiful scene in my life.
Note: A special thanks to Eric Kwok for advising me to enrich my description of my childhood memories there. It definitely made me sound more nostalgic, which was my exactly my intent, and picturesque. Without your advice, I would've done more telling than showing.
I love it when I learn from these posts. Biophilia seems to be quite an interesting topic indeed. As I was reading your post I really felt your love of this marina and I suppose your love of nature. I'm more of a city person myself so I was amazed that you were able to make me want to see this place for myself.
Thanks for the read. I hope I will learn to write as descriptively and passionately as you do.
Light Something: A Seized Passion
Admit it; there was a point in your life where you actually loved-not liked- but LOVED reading. You would turn each page, eager to find out what had happened next in the plot. Whether the reading was fictitious, investigative, or whatnot, you had wanted to keep reading. Everyone at one point had such a passion, including myself. Today, I find myself dreading even the thought of assigned reading and hesitant to even open the first chapter of a book, but there was a time where I would beg my parents to go to Barnes and Nobel so I could continue with the next installment of my favorite series.
I remember waking up early every morning before school, crawling into the arms of my giant teddy bear, and begin to immerse myself within my books. These books always brought me away to extravagant lands filled with many different, exhilarating scenarios where the protagonists (I would always replace the protagonist as myself and make him my sidekick) had to be smart, brave, and cunning. This series that I sit here and feel an immense rush of nostalgia come over me would be The Magic Tree House series. No child could ever claim that these books were not exciting-heart-racing. The idea that you could be warped to anywhere in any point in time to experience history live and then have to resolve the presented conflict; no kid could hate these books.
Above all else, I felt security within these books. I felt a sense of protection knowing that I could get lost in a world all of my own when I needed to. When the real world would look down on me, I knew I could just retreat to that tree house which could take me away to anywhere.
Then the change came.
Everyone else started to read longer, more complex novels such as the first Harry Potter book. These children would walk around boosting and flaunting about their supposed high school reading level. I fell into this “higher reading level” group, but I still very much enjoyed my Magic Tree House books. I started to feel ashamed by the fifth grade that I was still reading these books which were deemed for children. So one fateful day, I boxed away my immaculate collection and moved on. I lost a large part of myself that day.
I began to read “tougher” books such as Harry Potter, but it was not the same feeling. I stopped finding myself reading from dusk ‘til dawn, but instead dreading the act of reading. I started to dread any school assigned reading that the curriculum called for. Most school assigned reading, to this day, I find dry and not in my taste. I started to lose a once passionate feeling for literature and began to think of it more as a chore, not the escape mechanism that had enraptured me.
I find myself thinking “When did reading get so boring?” and I guess it’s when I stopped reading what I loved. This halted pleasure has yet to rejuvenate to find itself back into my bloodstream, but it remains dormant somewhere between my subconscious and my childhood.
NOTE: Alejandro Humberto Morales- I took your advice and decided to make this piece more of an emotional narrative than my previous simple writing. Thanks for the advice.
Hi Brandon. I thought your blog post was great. The fact that you built up your immense love for The magic Tree House, and then proceeded to tell how you lost your love due to just "growing up"really struck home with me. I completely agree with you in that we lost something as we grew up. We lost our innocence and dropped everything once we noticed others of our peers moving on, which forced us to go along with them. I too have lost my passion, but every-so-often I will pick up reading in the summer when I know I have the time to leisurely just read what I want and when I want. Maybe reading in the summer time could bring you back to your passion for reading? Just a suggestion. But anyway, fabulous job.
Nice job this week BK, but where's my thanks? I'm just kidding, nice read!
Blurry Faces and Muffled Voices:There is something about four o ‘clock.
The air is crisp. The sun is not yet orange but not yellow anymore, a color painting the mountains that dark purple. The bats have not come out yet to feast on the miscellaneous bugs that fly around the trees. The birds are singing and the dogs are barking at passing couples walking on the road. They are always smiling with their “blurry faces and muffled laughter”. I often watch them from my front window. There isn’t a worry in any one of their steps. Free, happy and breathing in the mountain air. A city could never provide that air, the smell of the pine after a rain and the clear freshness that my cabin can.
There is something about four o’clock.
The pasta sauce is on the stove; only made on special occasions, which needs constant stirring. The smell travels so fast in our once horse stable modest cabin. Everyone has to stir every time they pass by the stove, guest or family. It lets off one of the most beautiful aroma I have ever experienced. It smells like home. I often sneak a bread dip here or there before the noodles are cooked. That is the best part of dinner, the little bites of stolen sauce on your piece of bread.
The little things.
There is something about four o’clock.
I can almost feel it. There are really no working clocks anywhere. The one on the stove was always wrong due to power outages and the coffee pot would get confused between night and day if set to a timer. No one ever really knows what time it is. It doesn’t matter. You get up when you were ready and go to bed when you please. The work is done for the day and it is time to relax at four o’clock. You can do what you want then. I normal sit in the hammock just listening and breathing. Then slowly drift off into another world in my ear phones or just by staring at the passing clouds. Or sitting in the living room just watching the dust light up when hit by a ray of light from the window. Only a place like this could show you such wonders passed up by the naked eye. It is harder now to get lost in the moments. Without even noticing my face is fixed on my I phone screen and my finger moves like a reflex presses the home button to revile the time.
Still, there is something about that cabin. It’s so small but it brings people together. It means so much more to me then a vacation home. It is a place where friends would grow closer and families tighter. It was a place where my whole family was happy. It was a place where I ate dinner with my father and woke up to my grandparents just next door. It was the only place where I ever saw my parents kiss. Things as you can imagine are different now because I am growing up. My family has dissipated, parent divorced, grandpa is gone, and my grandmother’s mind is so lost that she really isn’t here anyways. My uncles are away and the cabin that belonged to my grandparents is now deteriateing. The paint is chipping off of the wood and the panels are warped from the snow. It is so hard to watch. It’s so hard to remember what once was because it is gone. My cabin though is still there, warm and inviting, cute and small, old yet perfect.
Still, I know what it is like at four o’clock. Regardless of who is in my presence or who is missing, or what the condition of the cabin is like, four o’clock is a time to relax. My grandfather taught me that. It is a time to breathe in the present and make more memories of this wonderful gift that I have been given.
What once was a stable is a place more close to my heart than anything.
Hey friend. So, I am so proud of you. This blog is great, and I know that it truly came from your heart. It is so descriptive, and even though I have been to your cabin, reading this I can picture it all over again. Four o'clock IS a great time of the day, and I completely understand what you mean when you say "there is something about four o'clock." I also know that it is a time where you remember all the great times you have had with your family... AND ME in your past. So, amazing job!
wow, just like emily said, i have been there but reading this made me feel like i eas there all over agian. I love reading your blogs becuase its a side that i felt like ive never seen before. I have known you for awhile and yet your writing is so new, if that makes sense. But anyways, i felt connected to you in a weird way while you were discribing the comfort you felt being in a place you love. awesome awesome job!
Light Something: The Endless Cycle
Whenever I come back to school from any kind of break, I tend to daydream and end up being unproductive. I don’t pay attention to class that much and I slack off too much. “Why does Jacky even bother showing up to school?” you may ask. Well, there’s a number of reasons, but the most appropriate answer to that question is parental control. My father wants me to be make money, and my mother is always pressuring me to be more like my brother. Either way of trying to motivate me, my parents want me be successful. So my mother “forces” me to go to school so I could learn many things instead of just sitting there in front of a computer every morning to night.
The consecutive days that I spend in school feels like 6 periods of jai (not that I’ve been in jail, of course), like wasting away until my time is due. It gets so boring until I hear either of these forbidden words: “test, essay, quiz, exam.” These words remind me of the future scolding I’d receive if I ever do not do well in one of these words. So, I’m indirectly pressured to pay attention to my class just to do well in the imminent tests.
Lately, I haven’t been slacking off during class times. I tend to ask a lot of questions relating to the subject and take notes when needed. It’s like I’ve been serious in all of my classwork. This happens frequently when it is in the middle of the school week. I start to crave for knowledge: I want to know more about how to (anti-)derive functions. I want to know more about how American government really works behind public view. I want to know more about programming computers with Java. I want to know more Chinese characters. I feel like something in me lit up.
It’s the last period on the last day of school for the week and I crave for more knowledge, but the end is nigh. Stories are told in this period: be it science fiction or the teacher’s wisdom. I listen on to these stories like campers telling ghost stories in the night. Then after the story, work, concerning to the class, is to be done. This work is the last class assignment of the week that contains all the things that I have learned so far. Suddenly, I hear “see you on the other side of the day,” and the bell ringing. My appetite for knowledge is gone from that bell, which did not give me a new subject to look forward to but time to slack off with. I have no more desire to learn anymore. Something that lit inside me has stopped and vanished. I am back to square one: break time. And I may never know, this same cycle of boredom might happen again in my adult life.
Thanks Clarence C. for letting me read through your blog when we were still at the drafting stage. It was a great example for me because I needed to learn how to even start my blog with a good sentence instead of one that makes no sense from the top of my head.
Thanks Albert H. for the advice you've given me. I tried to make my story more into the mood of the prompt like yours, but I don't think I'll ever be able to pull it better than you.
I could definitely relate to this one! School can be a real drag at times, but there are always those moments that I'm glad to be at school (when I learn something I'm incredibly interested in). I do feel enlightened to do the work, but once that bell rings, it all dies out and it can be difficult to start all over again. It's especially hard since we're seniors too! I could relate to a lot of this post. I'm pressured by my parents to be more like my brother too.
Hah! I never knew someone can also be in the very same position as I am. Now I know that I'm not that alone when I share my stories with this class. I'll be sure to express more of myself in the future blogs.
The Mirror: To Me, Every One of Me
If I were to die and to be celebrated, people would celebrate me for being me.
Why so broad though? Why for something so vague?
Because what I would be toasted for would vary from person to person. Because I am not defined by any one thing that I have done.
If I stepped in front of a mirror, in a proper reflection of me, it would break into pieces, fragments. And in each shard of glass I stand before, there the many versions of myself.
To some I will be toasted for being the helpless romantic. A love-craving and woman-crazy genius that turned his craze into videos that left women cooing for more and men discontent with envy.
If you’ve watched APN and have wondered who created the romantic skits you’ve seen. The vast majority are my adorable creations. I’m immensely proud of my work, but it leaves the same effect on me as it does to my male viewers. It’s ironic how the creator of these “cute” and “sweet” videos comes from the mind of a man with next to no romantic experience of his own. This irony is also an advantage for it is my ignorance that I can create stories people wish to see. To be the video mastermind of love I must not know what love is.
To a special few I will be toasted for being there when they needed someone most. For being someone who would listen, so they could be heard. For being the hand that picked them up when they fell. And for being the friend that helped them carry on.
The relationships I’ve had with certain people, many would wonder how in the world would people from two different niches ever meet yet have any sort of intimate relationship? I guess I’m naturally trustworthy, even to those who don’t have the best opinion of me. Somehow, someway people naturally open up to me. It’s odd because it’s similar to having a known criminal walk into a bank vault and having the bank personal giving away the contents of the vault without a second thought. But it’s nice knowing that I could be there for someone when they needed me. That they had this stranger to be there when no one else was.
To others I’m just another one of a million other band geeks. Yes one of those people, the ones who come to school before teachers and leave long after they do. Just another face in group of four hundred strong.
We’re a family, my fellow band members and I. I was taught by my veterans. Not to just march or play music, but as a person. In band I learned to be open, to give everything my all, and to put the group before myself. And as time went by the teachers moved on and the student became the teacher, and the teache0r taught the new students. But no matter the which year, whether it was with the seniors from three years ago or the freshman now, three years later we’re always together as the AHS Marching Band. Together through the rubber melting sessions in the summer and the blistering winds of morning rehearsals in the fall. Together through the battles in a foreign land. And together we shared the riches of victory. There are a lot of different groups in the band but we always stuck together as a whole, as a band, as Arcadians, and as Apaches. I was a flute, a woodwind, a loading crew members, and a member of the Arcadia High School Apache Marching Band.
So a toast to me.
To the romantic.
To the director.
To the friend.
To the band geek.
I've had the privilege to have already spent part of senior year with you so I have an understanding-albeit a vague understanding- of you.
In your post it seems at times you come off a little narcissistic. There's a way to speak highly of yourself without boasting and crossing the fine line of being respectable. I know that you're not as ostentatious as your post comes off across, so I feel like it's a bit of a misrepresentation of your character.
The other bit of advice I'm going to give you is to be a little more organized with your thoughts. You seem to jump from characteristic to characteristic.I think your post could have been stronger if you picked a central theme that really embodied who you are.
All in all I still felt a great deal of your voice being projected, so kudos for that. I enjoyed the way you ended the post, it was creative and I felt a great deal of closure.
I do agree with you that it does sound a quite narcissistic of me to describe myself in that fashion. But I figured that since this is going to be a celebration of me, a little(or a lot) of flattery wouldn't hurt.
I thank you for your criticism and will take a note on my organization in the future.
To Jessica Liang: Thank you for recommending this topic to be my post.
To Joji Matsubara: Thanks for the criticism and advice on detailing my characteristics into stories.
As opposed to Ryan ^^^^, I didn't see this as narcissistic. In my eyes, it sounded more nostalgic. You sound like its already all over and it's halfway through the summer before college and you miss it all. However, we still have a whole semester to enjoy all the programs and groups we're a part of. You don't have to be, you shouldn't be nostalgic yet, because it's not over.
I have one piece of advice for this though. In my opinion, since it's a toast to you, it should be more about you. You should boast about yourself; you can't really do it at any other time, so do it now. You didn't really write too much about your achievements. After reading it, the only achievement I can remember was you writing about you creating the cute little skits in APN. You should have added more achievements/reasons you'll be remembered in my opinion. Otherwise, good job!
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: A Full House Changes You
I have probably been to Full House Seafood Restaurant twice as many times as I have gone to any other place. My family would always go to eat dim sum (individual foods served in steamed baskets or plates) on Sundays during the lunch hour, and we would always be seated without taking a number. Connection has its perks, and I will never forget Full House Seafood Restaurant.
The heavy glass doors are pulled, and I enter the restaurant. The first thing I always see, the only thing I see, is the huge fish tank that has been there ever since I can remember. Contained in the tank: two Arowanas. When I was smaller, I would always strive to touch the tank. The bottom of the glass tank was too far up back then.
After being seated, my parents would always order a cup of ice for my sister and I.
Then, carts and carts of steamed baskets fill our tables.
The waitress murmurs the name of the foods that are contained in her carts.
"Yes," my father says to one.
"No, I don't want it," my mother says to another.
During my birthday, Full House Seafood Restaurant was the way to go.
Arriving back from vacation at 9:30 at night, Full House Seafood Restaurant was the way to go.
Holiday dinners? Our stomachs cried Full House Seafood Restaurant.
We stopped going to Full House after a couple of years. Cafés, American food, and restaurants filled our weekend lunches and dinners.
However, after an amount of time, we finally returned to Full House.
I enter the restaurant once again. I open those glass doors, feeling the coldness of the circular metal door handle.
I see the tank. It is the same as it was before. The same two Arowanas swim freely back and forth. This time, they are bigger and longer. The algae has built up over the years on the bottom of the sea green gravel, but everything is normal.
Now I enjoy my hot and iced tea. I like eating the food that was served there, compared to when I was little when I felt it was a drag to go "drink tea" every weekend. This restaurant has not changed one bit. The only thing that has changed is me.
This is my Elaine's.
To Cheyenne: Thank you for giving me great feedback on this prompt. I added some more sensory details so that you can actually picture the place and the feeling of the writing as a whole.
Thanks for reding my blog. Anyway, I know the place you are talking about. My family loves to go there for dim sum as well. I can also relate to what you said about it being a drag to go at first but after some time you really began to enjoy going there. Good Job and keep up the good work.
Once more thanks for reading my post. I've never thought of Dim Sum that way so it just brought new light to an old place. Reading your post makes me want to eat some right now. I can already smell the sweet soft smell of custard bun.
I agree that tea is the worst when you are young, but as I grown older I have a strange new love for it now. As a kid I would always keep away from the tea until it was time to leave. Then, I would quickly drink up all the currently cold tea (not wanting to waste it) and chew on the ice to remove the tea taste.
Your post reminds me of my own family and how we have this single restaurant that we always return to. I must agree, as a child, I LOVED to tap fish tank glass to watch the fish freak out. It's always nice to return to a place that stays the same while we change to remind us of how we used to be!
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: How White Crumbles Can Keep You from Trouble
Fifteen miles away, not even close. We have no reason and no business to ever go back. Ever.
Yet we called that place home for over 10 years. And those 10 years were only for me, the youngest in the family; it'd be around 18 or so for my mom and dad. The world revolved us and the sun always shined, at least, it did in my memories.
It's been nearly 8 years since we left our house in Rosemead and yet I still have all kinds of dreams about the place.
Except, it's not my home anymore. It's someone else's.
I checked. Multiple times.
There wasn't even much good about the house anyway.
It wasn't that big, 2 stories, 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, gray carpet; I'll never forget the gray carpet.
The ceilings were all made of that weird, white, crumbly stuff; and when we tried playing ball or badminton indoors, we would never fail to hit the ceiling and let the white, powdery crumbles rain down onto the carpet and onto our heads. Somehow, whenever we played our childish games we consistently made sure-- though always by accident-- we would hit the ceiling more than once, again and again, and the crumbles always fell, no matter how many times we'd cue the rain. It never seemed to run out of that crumbly white stuff.
I honestly thought at some point we'd strike it so much with our handballs and badminton birdies that eventually the ceiling would come down on us or, rather, it would finally run out of the crumbles that so effortlessly came down and there would be no more left to descend. But that never happened.
That type of ceiling, I never found out what it was called or if it even had a name, bothered me when I lived in that house. To my childish eyes, it was ugly, useless, annoying, and interfering in our rowdy game time. It looked a little like popcorn; weak popcorn that fell on the floor and forced you to pick it up or hide it so no one would know you'd been playing recklessly. I would stare at it in my bedroom at night and hate it, look at it when playing and fear it.
But when I moved out, and had a new room, I'd stare at the ceiling at night and would see nothing. It was smooth. I remember trying out the new ceiling with a fresh new handball and watch it soar up and smack the new contender.
Nothing. Nothing came down, nothing happened.
I moved on with my activities, pretending that the new ceiling was better; it finally was how I wanted it to be, not raining down nonsense on my parades anymore, but now it was still, silent, lifeless, unresponsive.
I wonder why my Rosemead house was so special. I found out a little later that the city of Rosemead is actually pretty ghetto, but I had no idea of that as a wandering youngster until I moved to Arcadia. When I was a kid living there my imagination always ran freaking wild and I thought of the most outrageous things.
I thought my house was alive. It protected me, always had fun in store for me, hosted a new adventure, new ideas, a colorful life.
I didn't realize until I moved into my first Arcadia house that the crumbles falling down were like a way for the house to communicate with me, to be a part of playtime. It would be there when we were having the best times being ridiculous to let us know that we were, in fact, ridiculous. To show us how silly we were, my sister and I, to show us we were getting out of hand, because with a smooth ceiling, you'll never get any feedback.
It's crazy to think, but it taught me something. My first guidelines. In doing certain things (especially as a child), we have to know our limits. We have to be shown when we're doing something wrong. In my special case, when we played with our bouncy balls too wildly (try to think purely) the ceiling would respond with its crumbly white rain, signaling us to calm the heck down. And we'd try to. We listened to it.
Moving away from that house was like growing up. It was growing up.
When we moved to our second house, more north, in a different city, to a house with smooth ceilings, that response we'd get when we played ball stopped. We had to know our limits on our own this time. And by the third house all the way up here in northern Arcadia, where a friend of mine calls it “Narnia” since it's pretty far up, where I'm farther than I've ever been from my first house in ghetto Rosemead, where I've stopped playing games, where I've learned to grow up and try to be mature, here, in this house, the real learning and living begins.
Fifteen miles away never seemed so far.
TO MICHELLE HERRERA (WHOM I DID NOT FORGET):
Thanks for the advice about which subject to submit the blog on. I got so many ideas from the "Blurry" subject than I would have thought. We all have our ideas of home, and it is indeed always wonderful.
When I read about the popcorn ceiling, I couldn't help but think about how my experiences with those ceilings are surprisingly similar; I would always throw stuff at it, and the flaky white crumbs would fall on the floor, and I would try to pick up as many as I could so that my mom wouldn't know what I was doing...except my popcorn ceiling still exists above my head right now...
...and the crumbs never run out.
..anyway I liked what you had to say about your old home, especially how you worded your post...very descriptive and enticing.
Your blog was really well written, I really enjoyed reading about your home. Where we are raised is a huge part of who we are. In those walls we learn about our world and about ourselves. my favorite line is when you say that your new house is, "where I've stopped playing games, where I've learned to grow up and try to be mature, here, in this house, the real learning and living begins." That is such a great analogy for life. As important as childhood is, there comes a time when we have to put aside our childish nature and face the world that we live in. You did an amazing job!
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: Time Well Spent?
Weathered by time and concealed by the foliage of trees above, the most important place to me is a small concrete block behind my garage. 15 years ago, as my house finished its construction, that block hadn’t set yet. My father saw this as an opportunity to preserve the memory of my childhood. He took me to it, picked me up, and stood me up on the block, forever engraving my small, delicate footprints. Next to it, he scratched in the date, and left it to dry. Now, at 17 years old, looking at it, I can’t help but think about how much I’ve grown and changed throughout the years.
The footprints aren’t just a fun childhood memory. It’s a marker of time . Forever documented in the concrete weren't just my footprints, but who I was. It’s a representation of my blissful innocence as a child, and how, through time, the world has molded me into the person I am today.
But what’s really important to me aren’t the baby footprints, but the perspective they have given me. From these small, tiny little footprints, I learned that life, when it comes down to it, is insignificant . 108 billion people have ever existed on this earth and only a small, almost nonexistent percentage of us make it into the history books. Now I don’t mean you have to go and become the next president to have a fulfilling life. But ask yourself, what makes your life meaningful? What about your existence makes you significant in the billions that came before you, and the countless after you ?
The footprints serve as a reminder to make use of the time I have. In a blink of an eye, my childhood has come to an end and I’m on the verge of adulthood. Another blink and I’ll be 50 with, hopefully, a family of my own. And in yet another, I’m on my deathbed thinking to myself, what have I done in this small window of time given to me? Do I feel satisfied spending my time the way I did? What I’m essentially trying to say is: Treasure your time because you won’t get it back. Your time, as I see it, is no different than currency. Budget it, spend it, maybe even invest it, but never, ever , waste it.
Note: Thank you James L for reading over my first draft. You told me to make it somehow more significant than just a simple block in the ground! Haha. I spend some more time after that trying to find some deeper meaning it had in my life!
I like how your baby footprint reminds you of how little time people actually do have. Yes, we are all limited through time and its best if we use it wisely. But instead of currency, time feels more like distance to me. We can spend 5 minutes doing something wrong, but we can also go back and fix it. I completely agree with you that we can't walk back in time; I'm just saying there could be another route to take fix that. It could be a shorter path or a very long road. Who knows? I just don't like the idea that you're spending time carelessly (you don't even know the price and how many left is there to spare!).
The Mirror: What The Meaning of My Name Should Leave Behind
What will I be remembered for? In my seventeen years of life, I have tried to be a funny, loving, caring and truthful person. I always try to speak my mind and do what is right. Sometimes it is hard to be that type of person when you are influenced so much by a devilish world that is full of takers and non givers, but I try. I have accomplished so much in my lifetime and I am still so young. I have made a lot of friends and lost a few along the way.
If I could turn back time, I probably would because there is so much I would want to change from where I am standing right now. That right there would be my first instinct. “ To turn back time,” but if I take time to think about it, even my flaws and misjudgments have molded me into the man I am today. To be honest, I kind of like the person I am at the moment. I would have never experienced things if I had not made that certain “bad call” or got into some sort of trouble. People learn from mistakes and that is one of the things I want people to look back on when I’m gone, and understand that I, like everyone else in this world, was flawed.
I remember back in school when I was very young, like six or seven, I would get into fights with my little school yard friends over the dumbest things like who will run and get the ball that went over the fence, or “Why did you tell on me?” Little things like that. Now that I am older I could see that half the things we thought were important then, are not even nearly as important today, and that is what I feel about high school. What we think matters so much to us right now at this moment, will not even be remembered by anyone when we all move onto college.
In the future, when we are all grown up I would like people to say, “Hey I remember Christian Pawley. He attended my high school.” I want to be remembered by the people who attended my high school even if they didn’t know me all too well. I would like to be remembered as someone who was great to be around as a close personal friend, and someone they could always talk to. I would like people to have that image of me all their lives. I know that could be wishful thinking, and may be too good to be true because people don’t always get along. This world is an imperfect place. If we allowed each other to be nicer and kinder toward each other, there would be no wars or fights between nations, either. However, that is just the way people have learned to take care of their problems. I’m not saying it its right but that is just the way it is.
In my mind I should be remembered for all those things plus a lot more.
If I were to die and leave this earth today I wouldn’t want people to cry or mourn over me. I would like people to rejoice and think of all the happy and fun times people had alongside me. I want to leave the image of myself as a nice, kindhearted, giving friend that people can depend on implanted on the people’s minds especially my dearest and closest friends. I think I have somewhat succeeded. I know my friends will forever remember me as that person.
As a son, I always do what I am told by my parent. I try to be the best that I can be. Not knowing what the future holds for me, I intend to work even harder to be a better person than I already am, and accomplish a lot more. I want to try to be much more outgoing and more self confident. I have been working to be less shy so I will be able to make a lot more friends. I have been working on not allowing my anxiety to get the best of me by always second guessing myself.
I want to be remembered by my teachers as a person who was great to be had in their class and always did his work to the maximum potential. I know I will be remembered for all my good deeds but I want to also be remembered for my flaws as well so people understand I was never perfect.
-Much Thanks to James Tahara for helping me out with the list the character traits that I would probably best be remembered for. This helped me find the direction that I wanted to take this blog into. It also helped me think of more ideas along the way in the essay.
I really enjoyed your post because it was personal and very meaningful. I liked how you said you want people to remember you for your good deeds and flaws, because that is what makes you human. Great post and keep up the good work.
Great post! thank you for sharing your personal experiences
The Mirror: Obstacles Shattered of Unspeakable forces
Solid as a rock, roots sunk into the ground, perseverance is what I’m known for.
Going through high school, life became so different; the ability to sneakily text in class, to join many extracurriculars, going through puberty, studying and having all nighters and making new friends, but for me, it is choosing the path to follow God. Freshmen year, was the year I chose that path and pursue and persevered it.
Following God, there were many factors that impede me, one of the factors were my parents. My parents hated Christianity, they didn’t like how it was taught, and they didn’t want it running in the family. When they found out I was Christian, life became terrible for me at home, for one thing the trust that I had with them went out the window. Even though my life was terrible at home, that didn’t stop me from pursuing God.
I may be asked, “what didn’t stop you from pursuing God because your parents hate it?”
What kept me pursuing God still, was the power of perseverance and prayer, it kept my fire lit and powerful. Through that, my parents took awhile to finally accept me and know that God has made a difference in my life and that I will keep pursuing that path.
My parents, however were not just the obstacle that impede me, persecution were other obstacles that made things for me difficult also. Persecution, is a burning ball full of negative energy that was shot at my faith. I was always persecuted for variety of things, one thing was that I became a Christian and not go to church. Not going to church and staying a Christian made other people mad. The typical stereotype of how EVERY Christian should go to church was something that I was always attacked for.
How did I deal with it?
I persevere and fought through it, and prayed that I will say the right words to persuade others that I am a Christian because I believe in God.
With so many obstacles to pursue God, I still kept fighting and standing up. Perseverance was tough, through all those factors added up, my faith could’ve been destroyed, but because of that and prayer, I didn’t let that happen to me. Because of the many times I fought to stay on that path with God, people called me a walking testimony*. Throughout the years I was in high school, people have came to me and asked,”Brian how did you stay up and pursue God?” What I said was, ”*Perseverance and Prayer because staying rooted and becoming unshakeable you could overcome things that strike your faith.”
Being a person full of faith and persevering through huge obstacles is what I’m known for.
Like I said in last weeks blog...I LOVE HOW YOU ARE SO INTO GOD.
I'm very proud of you for staying with him and committing because it is a hard thing to do with all that is going around.
Way to go!
Thank you for a great read.
I can't wait too see what's in next weeks blog! (smiley face)
I am amazed at how far you have come to follow your faith in God. God has impacted you a lot and I am glad that you fought for what you believed in even if your parents are against it. Indeed you showed a lot of courage and confidence in what you believed in, I hope you continue to uphold your strong bond with God.
Blurry Figures and Muffled Laughter: It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This
I looked down at the bell schedule, then pulled my schedule out and over to see my first period, and then checked the school map as I blindly walked through the halls. I repeated that same routine six times a day everyday for at least a month until I finally had it memorized. I was only eleven years old, but I felt like an adult. My fifth grade teachers told me that I was no longer a child and that I’ve grown up. Now, it seems like I hear that every year from every teacher. But I was going to a new school where I had more independence, where I was treated like a young adult. It was only Middle School and I was only a baby-faced little boy. Academically, there weren’t many memories, just nightmares. Socially, it was where I established myself. But my best memories didn’t come from the times I were required to be there, school basically, it came from the times I chose to spend my own time there. It came from the times I stayed afterschool to be with friends. It’s continued to be the times I go in the evening.
“Hey, can you stay afterschool today to ball?” “Uhmm. Yeah. I’ll have to ask first though.” Every week, this would be a routine exchange between my friends and me. This is where the memories begin, where the flashbacks clear up and encompasses me. The six asphalt full courts. The courts everybody loved. The courts with double rims. The unintentionally formed cliques. The strength I didn’t have. The shots I took where I pushed off with two hands because I couldn’t shoot a regular jump shot. That’s what it started with. Now it’s “Hey, you down to ball at FA this Friday?” “Yea, but can I get a ride?” “F’sure.” Now, it’s different groups of friends. It’s different people of different ages, race, and gender. It’s one main middle court for the best pickup games. It’s the sore body I wake up with the next morning. Now, it’s a textbooked shooting form. Now, it’s the courts that still haven’t changed.
It was only a block away from my house. It was new. It was a replacement. For about a year, I started going to the gym. I ditched the asphalt courts for a smooth maple wood court. It wasn’t the same. Mentally, I wanted to go back to the rough, rugged pavement. Physically, it was better, maybe. No, it wasn’t better. It didn’t have the six courts. It didn’t have the faded lines. It didn’t have the weather damaged blacktop. It didn’t have the sun shining in my eyes blinding me.
I went back for more memories – the memories that deceived me into giving up a gym. These courts have watched me grown. These courts have seen my best and my worst. This place was and continues to be my childhood. I was deceived, but I wasn’t misled. I would pick these courts over a gym any day.
And as the lights black out at 9:30pm, I run over to sweater, wallet, and phone. My friends ran over to theirs as well. Once the lights go out, it’s pitch black, and some people see it as a chance to take anything they can get and run. “Where the hell did my ball go!?” one of my friends screamed. We all broke out laughing as we headed out to our cars. This place is my Rucker Park. This place is F.A.
Note: To James L., thanks for letting me know that I could develop this into more of a story than I could with the others and also helping me delete some extra unneeded parts.
Light Something: Seven Letters to End a Life
Suicide. One word, seven letters. Out of the hundreds of thousands words in the English language, there may be no other word that stirs up as much emotion as the word suicide. Also the emotions invoked seem to be on the opposite sides of the spectrum. On one hand, there is a lot of hate (I tired to think of a better word, honestly) towards suicide, and rightfully so. Suicide is a coward's way out. It is seen as despicable and selfish. However there is another view to suicide. Pity. It's difficult to really comprehend why anyone would want to do something as drastic as taking their own life, but many people do, and they all have their reasons.
DISCLAIMER: I do not condone suicide. If you have these feelings, please talk to someone about them, there are plenty of people who would be willing to help.
There's only a limited amount of things to do as a study room volunteer for the library, especially when my phone is out of batteries. So, I picked up a book, and read. It just so happened to be Thirteen Reason Why by Jay Asher. In the book, Hannah decides to commit suicide, but not before see creates thirteen tapes which gives a story of why she decided to kill herself. She sends the pair to a single person, and tells them to pass it to the next person who Hannah talks about on the tape. Eventually the protagonist, Clay, receives the tapes, and he begins to see a completely different side of the girl who killed herself.
Honestly, I really wish I hadn't read this book. It was just a random book which I picked of one of the empty desks. It looked interesting so I read it. The book depressed me horribly. But it did open my eyes. Suicide is a major problem in teens, and especially students. According to Save.org, suicide is the third leading cause of death for people within our age group, 15 – 24. Whether it be from bullying, pressure, or depression, suicide is a real issue, and the symptoms aren't really easy to spot. Just because someone puts a smile on, it doesn't always mean that they're happy. So it has made me aware of my actions, even to people I don't know. Every simple action, every single word could make a difference. That difference can save a life.
I realize how fortunate and lucky I've been to not lose a friend to something like this, and I hope that no one has. But the truth is that this happens almost everyday. But, it's something we could so easily prevent.
A smile, a wave, or a simple gesture could help save a life.
And to Yuta: Even though you are the TA thanks for taking a look at mine. I tried to make it less dark and depressing, not sure if that worked.
I like your writing how to talk about this subject and it is serious and that I'm happy you are thankful that you wouldn't let people do such a thing
The Mirror: Never a Dull Moment
"You have to hit it harder! Is this how you want to look like if this was the last time you could ever dance?"
My dance teacher yelled at us constantly for not giving it our all in a dance. I know that if I knew it would be the last time I danced, I would make it the best I have ever danced in my entire life. But, I don’t know when that will be. I don’t know when we will leave this Earth, I don’t know the time that our hearts will stop beating or when we will take our last glance at the world, at our friends, at our families. Do you? Does anybody?
I think about this constantly because we, as ordinary humans, don't know when our last breath will be. We don't know that maybe Tuesday morning would be your last run to Starbucks or tomorrow will be the last day you will see your friends or tonight will be the last time you see your parents. The thought of this frequently makes my skin crawl with fear and keeps me up at night because I don’t know when my last goodbye to the world will be.
And by that time:
Will I have given my all in a dance?
Will I have done everything I wanted to do?
Would I have lived my life with no regrets?
To be honest, I am glad that we don't know when our life will be taken from us. It gives me a purpose every single day to make it different and to make myself better and more satisfied each day. It makes every day an opportunity to do diverse and daring things. Sticking to one type of schedule and doing the same things every day is boring and tedious for me. So, I like to do little things to make my life a bit more adventurous like trying a restaurant that I haven’t been to or trying a new drink that I've never tasted before or something even simpler like changing my route to get to classes to see new faces in the hallway.
If I were to die tomorrow, I want the people that will attend my funeral to say that I have lived my life happily and satisfyingly. They will say that they are glad that they have met me and gotten to know me and that I have influenced their lives in some way, whether it is good or bad. I want them to remember that I have given my passion and my all in everything that I do. And that I have inspired them to do simple things to make their lives more fun and adventurous.
“Why choose to live ordinarily when you know it can be so much greater?”
Note: Thank you to Eman for reading mine and commenting that I should cut down the unnecessary parts and expand on others.
Great post. It was really meaningful and inspiring. I liked how you said you didn't want to know when your life will end because it gives you a purpose to make yourself better. Good Job!
Thanks for reading it and for giving me useful feedback! I enjoyed your post as well.
U liked how you setup your story and the way you spaced it out. It caught my eye and I started to read it.
I enjoyed reading your post. it was very inspiring. good job
The Mirror: No more Mr. Wallflower
“A toast to Nicholas Alfred Falabrino. He was an example for us all. An inspirational Eagle Scout and a revolutionary cinematographer. If only others would follow the same ethics and morals as he put on the big screen, the world would be a more logical place. He will be greatly missed.”
Now THAT’S a toast, isn’t it?
I can only hope for a speech like that.
I can only hope for a life like that.
What would that speech sound like if I don’t accomplish my goals?
Would it sound something like “A toast to Nicholas Alfred Falabrino. He followed in his father’s footsteps of running the family business. Had an average car, average house, average wife, and an average family. May he rest in peace.”
I never want that kind of life. I know most would kill for a life like that, but I need something more to be satisfied with my life.
I can’t settle for an average life.
I want to be remembered.
And I’ll work at achieving that status until the day I die.
At this rate, I don’t know if I will reach that status. I’ve been a wallflower for most of my life. I don’t take opportunities, I wait for them to take me. I’m not known for much. Most people still know me as the short quiet kid from the back of the classroom. I don’t get many chances to show people that I’m much more than that.
But that’s all I really need. A chance.
A chance to show people I have an opinion,
The awkward teenager stage needs to end.
It’s time for my story to be written.
Coming from the same career path and idea of not wanting to live a passive life and the desire to become known I understand where your coming from and what you are trying to say.
You could still go more in depth into what you would do specifically, what films you would make, etc.
Enjoyable read and I pray that I will never have to do this but if I were to make a toast to you my friend, I would make sure it is toasted properly. Cooked evenly with butter.
Hi, Nick. I like how you have the ambition to make great accomplishments throughout the rest of your life. People who have such determination often attain success. As long as you continue to strive for excellence, I am sure that you will be remembered for your impact on the world. Nice post!
I agree with you. I think that all you need is an opportunity and the ability to recognize the opportunity to do something great.
Myth/Sci-fi- Period 6
14 February 2013
Light Something: Technology
It was freshmen year in Mrs., Casey’s class. She had begun to talk about the outside reading books we had to read and that she would test us on. I do not like to read books, it just is not my thing, so when I heard this, I was dreading it. I knew that I did not have a choice so I tuned in and started to listen to the options she had to offer. As she listed them most of them sounded terrible to be honest except for one that stood out to me, Fahrenheit 451. When I heard this name I was curious to know what it was about. After class I talked to Mrs. Casey about it and she told me about how it was about the corruption of technology. I knew then that if I had to read a book this is the one I wanted to choose.
As I started to read this book, I started to discover new technologies of the future that I had never even heard of before. Like the televisions are the walls and follow you wherever you walk in the house. I also learned that books are illegal and the firefighters burn all the books they find. When I read this I thought it was ironic that a firefighter would start a fire. It showed me that technology became too advanced and from this point on in my life I would not let myself be controlled by technology. I did not want myself or my life to be based on technology, I wanted to be free.
Technology influences everyone and everything around us. It has changed the world and not always in the best of ways. In Fahrenheit 451, technology rules everyone’s lives. It controls everything they think, talk, and do. The main character strives to be different and to question why things are the way they are. It inspired me to be closer to nature and to once an awhile lookup at the world and see what is truly out there.
NOTE: Special thanks to Antonio Ramos for helping me to elaborate on my possibilities.
I liked reading your blog, becuase it was interesting what you wrote about technology. It is true that everyone loves spending time on their phones, laptops, etc. I really liked how you ended your blog, by saying you wanted to be free. Good job.
Light Something: Pictionary
Books give us a break from reality. It allows us to once in a while step out of our lives and step into someone else’s shoes. We can experience love, happiness, enlightenment, friendship, and etc. from all the different stories that people has created. These stories give us hope and we can learn a great deal from them. Each story holds a special message that the author has intended to put in there, it is uncovered by us when we fully understand and acknowledge the intentions of the stories. There are so many different stories waiting to be discovered, yet there are so many stories still waiting be be unfolded...
I remembered it was the first day of elementary school and I entered as a third grader. As a new kid and a non-English speaker, I didn’t fit in right away. I had difficult time communicating with my classmates and teachers. I didn’t know how to initiate or respond to a conversation, so I spent most of time alone. Even in class, I would pretend to listen to the teacher while I doodle in my notebook. When it was recess or lunch, I would always sit under one of the big oak trees where none of my classmates played in that area. Sometimes I can sit under the massive oak tree for hours just staring in a distance and listening to the cool wind blowing through the green leaves, leaving a trail of the wind song behind. However, the soothing music always has an end and my moment of comfort is always disrupted by the laughter of girls and boys running and chasing. I envy them. I never thought that cultural and language differences can be such a big restriction from doing all the things I love.
I walked home slowly, thinking how each day would just drag on like the day before. There was no escape from this reality; even when I turn to books when times are bad, now I couldn’t even use that as an escape, because well, I couldn’t understand the language. I’ve already tried really hard memorizing the alphabet and some basic words, but sometimes I just lose the motivation to reach my goals. There were just too many limitations and I felt like a bird caged in.
I opened the front slowly, knowing that my mother is probably taking an afternoon nap I had to be very careful not to wake her up. As I tiptoed across the kitchen floor, I grabbed a can of soda from the refrigerator and tiptoed into the living room (also known as the library). I picked up one of my Aunt’s college books, and examined the cover while taking a sip of my soda. To my disappointment, I didn’t know what the book was about due to my illiteracy. I angrily took a big gulp of my soda and scanned the table for interest books. Then, I came across the book…
It was beautifully designed, with a sleek cover and bolded words that read PICTIONARY. I put my soda down and held the book with both of my hands. I slowly peeled open the first page. I will never forget how beautifully everything was drawn. I flipped through the pages, oohing and ahhing at the every page. It took me a while to figure out that this book was a dictionary except the definitions is drawn, not defined by words. And at that moment I understand.
That book sparked something inside me. I realized how art can intertwine everything together. It didn’t matter what ethnicity or what language I spoke, what matters was that I understand the meaning of the drawing. Art is not a race or language, art is art.
That night I asked my aunt if I can keep the book. She said yes.
I took the book everywhere I went; when I have nothing to do, I will crack open the book and start rereading every page. I even tried salad for the first time after reading it in the book. The book had taught me to overcome my cultural differences and build up some confidence in myself. It wasn’t long before I built up my courage and made some friends of my own. With the friends I made, I slowly let go of the book. I no longer need the book because I can stand on my own now. I am very thankful for this book, even if it wasn’t a book that contained plots and character, nonetheless, this book has given me a great deal.
It was the summer of 2005 that I donated this book. I hope this book will help whoever gets a hold of it, just like how it had helped me.
To Xin Gu: Even though you told me to write about Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices, I took a leap and wrote about Light Something. I feel that the content of Light Something had a great impact on my life and thought it would be a great chance to write about it.
Bang bang bang....
Congratz. You have won the last comment of the night of KTQ.
So, I see where that artistic talent come from. Picture books are indeed important. I remember I enjoyed them so much when I first go here. I was like "I can actually read english!" Laugh out loud.
But seriously, I love your imagery, your narrative voice, your insights. Great job Mary!
"Mary has a little lamb, little lamb...."
I can see that how that book has influenced you. I'm glad that you chose this topic, because I can feel how it has a greater impact on your life.
Nice use of imagery! I enjoyed the read!
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: Where change happens
The green lawn is still the same; the building has not changed at all for the past five years. When I walk into the inside, there still stands the same security guard who helped me found my bicycle four years ago. I never knew that I have a feeling for this place until Mr. Feraco told us to think of a meaningful place. I have spent a lot of sweet and sour moments at Arcadia Public Library.
I remember how my mom forced me to study in the library a few years ago, but I ended up playing online games with my friends every time. Back in middle school, I always walk to the library with agony after school and did nothing until my mom picked me up around five PM. I could not concentrate on doing homework or reading because I hated sitting quietly without touching my computer. It was a horrible habit. I never had any remarkable memory of the library. Worst thing happened in eighth grade. I locked my brand new bicycle on the bike stand in front of the library, but it was gone after I got out of the restroom ten minutes later. To me, studying in the library was always futile.
As I transitioned to high school, I barely entered the library for the first two years. I did not even want to pass by the library because it evoked bad memories of the past.
Gradually, I matured and started to think differently.
Home becomes a too distractive place for me because of my computer, TV, games, texting, etc. One minute, I'm doing my homework, but the next, I'm chatting with friends. I urge for a quiet and bright place where I could focus. Once again, I entered the library; however, everything seems different to me. The exact bookshelves and tables don't look repugnant anymore. I started to understand why my uncles and older cousins go to the library periodically .
Library is a productive place now.
I finished my countless homework that would usually take me four hours in just one hour. Last summer, I took two SAT tests every week in the library and reviewed old tests. The result came out to be better than taking SAT classes. It becomes my favorite place now.
As I grow older and enter adulthood, going to the library becomes a part of my weekly routine again, but now I'm not forced anymore. It is a "must-go" place to replenish myself.
To Calvin: Thank you for your advice regarding providing examples. It's not that vague anymore. I added more details.
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: Portal to Elsewhere
While Odysseus’ Odyssey saw him trek for years finding his way home, our Odyssey keeps us close to ours as we paved our journeys. Though the car is painted black, there are almost always remnants from our adventure, whether it is mud sputtered near the wheels, flies squashed on the window from when we sped through highways, or a loose rope from where we attached the bikes. It is our home away from home, the ship by the docks, there as we start our adventures, there when our journeys end. It wasn’t exactly the Enterprise, with all the gadgets you could possibly think of. It wasn’t the car with the flash that called for oohs and ahhs as it drove by. It was steady, reliable, from getting us from point A to point B to holding all our belongings after a Tetris styled battle with the trunk. There is something to be proud of in the car that never failed when it was called upon.
The center left seat has always been my claim since the summer of ’04, when the car still carried that strong leather aroma. It is strategically located closest to the thermostat with easy access to the tape and CD compartment still white from some paint spillage and convenient positioning that fits the contours of my body when I stretch every inch of it. Sure, I have sat on the other chairs on several occasions, even the driver seat a few times. But, the center left seat of the black Honda Odyssey will always be the most familiar, carrying the most memories. It was, and will always be, my seat.
In that seat, I peered outside to see Half Dome.
In that seat, I had, and spilled, my first boba milk tea. My dad was not happy that day, to say the least.
In that seat, I saw my brother off as he took his first steps into college.
In that seat, I carried my trophy home from L-patterns.
In that seat, I heard the sloshing of the first largemouth bass I caught.
In that seat, I found out about my first college acceptance.
The Odyssey held the window to the outside of my usual enclosed surroundings, providing both a window and the means of escaping normalcy.
No matter what our surroundings were, from tall trees to tall skyscrapers, the inside always kept its familiarity, from the Lazy Susan in the compartment under our feet that got stuck from time to time to the little crevice on the side of the car that served as a better head rest than the one provided by the chair. With every instance the GPS system uttered “Make a U-turn, if possible,” with every time I reclined the seat like a lay z boy chair, came the reminder that this Odyssey was ours.
To Annabell: this was my attempt at personalization. Thanks for your advice on shortening up the section about the chair and incorporating it into the car as a whole; I tried but could not find a way to take it out altogether.
Matt, this post sounds somewhat...forced? uncomfortable? Perhaps you should've let me check your final draft before posting. I quite like the Odyssey/Odyssey play and Tetris imagery though!
Why....Feraco....Why deleted my honest comment?
Before you delete this one, I shall state that Matt and I have already communicated before this comment. So I did not hurt his feelings if that is concerned...
So the deary father has deleted my quite honest comment. I will make this one more "delicious". No matter how many times he deletes my comment, I still keep my opinion on the voice of this post does not sound like you at all. And I do wish you have take my advice on writing about the book instead of the place despite the fact it was kind of a late advice. Just to correct my misspoken from the deleted comment, you do not suck...And you know that you can do better. I believe you can still write with your logical voice on personal prompts.
Matt..you are a slyth. You have more to say than this.
Light Something: Level Up
Subject: Timothy T.
Birthplace + Current Residence: Arcadia
Extent of Travels: Pacific Ocean (West), Las Vegas (East), San Francisco (North), San Deigo (South).
Duration of the above travels: From a few hours up to a week, typically less than three times a year.
Initial Conclusion: Since Arcadia is a relatively sheltered city in terms of being affected by occurrences of rest of the world, the subject has at most seen only glimpses of the “real world.” Thus it is unlikely that he has a true appreciation for the life that he was essentially born into – one that is filled with opportunities for advancement and the blessings to be able freely walk down town without any worries of being mugged. He leads a life that is free of a constant struggle to meet basic needs and free of a constant wondering of whether or not there will be a tomorrow.
People may be limited in how far they can travel, but words – especially in this digital age – can cross oceans and continents. Some of these words are trivial (enter text/instant messages). Some of these words inform the citizens of country A about what is going on in country B.
Some of these words can even change lives.
One collection of words that has had a transformational impact on my life is a memoir by Esther Hautzig titled The Endless Steppe. Hautzig is a Jewish woman who was born in Vilna. Hautzig lived under very comfortable circumstances. Her life could be seen as a mid 20th century version of what many of us Arcadians are blessed with.
Then, in 1941, when she is still a child, WWII reaches her hometown along with Soviet soldiers. They force her and her family to onto a cattle car and ship them to a labor camp in Siberia. Life as she once knew it was no more; Hautzig and her family are crammed into home with another family and they must slave away at different jobs for the Soviet Union. For a girl that came from comparatively high circumstance, Hautzig is able to adapt to her new surroundings fairly quickly. As an adolescent, she experiences the harsh realities of war; whereas, someone like myself simply hears stories of “what war is like.” She may go to school, but outside of school there is little fun to be had. She and her family must do their assigned jobs in order to have some scraps placed on their table.
Clearly, there is a stark difference between “feeling” and “hearing.”
When one goes from high to low, one instinct is to preserve as much of the “high” times as possible. For Hautzig, it is her pride. When the wife of a high ranking army officer (and thus someone who has access to goods that most people in the town do not) comes to Hautzig to have a sweater knitted in exchange for “a bag of flour, a pail of good potatoes, and several liters of milk,” she has no choice but to accept the deal, despite the insulting way the woman interacts with her (Hautzig, 167). The woman notes that the milk is only because she recently acquired a good cow.
When the woman returns several days later, she has grown larger and cannot fit the sweater Hautzig knitted as the measurements were made to fit the woman’s several-days-ago size. While the woman does not scold or yell at Hautzig, she arrogantly reasons that Hautzig should have reasoned from hearing about her cow that she would naturally gain a bit of weight. This is crushing blow to our heroine’s pride as she struggles to restrain her rising anger and hysteria.
But she does it.
When times are hard, sacrifices must be made. Hautzig balanced her pride with her existence, although the experience was still a hurtful one. While I (knock on wood times three) have not had to go through difficult times such as these, the heartfelt story that Hautzig tells is one that I was able to grow from. Neither of my parents had to go to a labor camp, but their childhoods were way more difficult than mine was even if the technology differences are accounted for. They raised me to count my blessings, be grateful for what I have, and always remember who I am.
Hautzig’s story took these moral codes to next level. I used to, on occasion, compare myself to my more fortunate friends who always seemed to have newest toys, gadgets, etc. While I had heard my parent’s words, there was always a deep, internal jealousy and longing for what I didn’t have. From The Endless Steppe and the many other stories of its kind that I read, my appreciation for my life as it is grew. I learned to be grateful for what I have and not what I lack.
Final Conclusion (at the time or writing): While this child has not actually experienced “real world,” he is not ignorant of what is possible. That being said he also isn’t a library of knowledge on how to survive on the streets. It is safe to conclude, however, that is he is an educated, responsible, and insightful member of our society.
Thank you to Joanna, who suggested I give my post more structure by adding some sort of beginning and conclusion that did not involve analyzing and connecting the book.
Note 1: “The Endless Steppe” is meant to be italicized, but I don’t know how and the directions below the comment box do not appear to include italics instructions. Please forgive my technological ignorance.
I think you did a good job with the analysis and the intro and conclusion were a nice touch. It kind of made me think of a Pokedex page.
Really? A Pokedex page? The title is actually a Pokemon reference, but when I crafted the intro I was really only thinking "data file" (which I realize is what a Pokedex entry essentially is). This just shows that Pokemon is not as obsolete as some people claim it to be.
Thanks for the feedback.
I really like what you did with the intro and conclusion! In a way it ties into the first prompt, which helps me see how the three prompts are intertwined. (Because, in all honesty, I had no clue prior to this)
The book you've written about sounds pretty interesting. That you made me want to read it attests to the quality of your post.
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: Behind the Wheel.
My favorite place that I just love being at is behind the wheel. Okay, this is where I think I belong, the true place that I think is my calling. It's just something that I've never felt before. It's a place where I can just press down and be free. It just takes me where I want to go and I just go. The vibration of the car is just a feeling like never before. Its extraordinary. It makes me want to do this every single day for the rest of my life. To drive off and never turn back.
Ever since I was young, I could remember loving cars, and loving how they looked and sounded. I was very easily fascinated by them. I would always plead to my dad to let me sit in the driver's seat. I would pretend to drive and make the car sound effects. I grew older and decides that I wanted to learn how to drive. I believed that I was ready to learn. Just the feeling of opening the door from the driver's side drives chills down my spine. Turning the key and opening the door that will lead me to my future. Is I go in I get comfy and feel as if I'm at home. As if I'm where I'm supposed to belong, my calling, my destiny.
Is I go down the streets I can feel the road under me. I can feel the road through the tires and through the engine and finally I feel it at the steering wheel. I push myself a little to go fast, I want to go fast, I think I'm my mind, but I can't. it me place of Zen, a place to call my own, no one can bother me here, the time that I have with my car and me is now.
NOTE: I want to thank Alec Morrison for adding a few comments and giving me a few tips to finishing it off right.
Hey Antonio I really like your piece. It resonated with me and although I don't think of the car as my special place I under stand the feeling of wanting to go somewhere and just drive some place. No limits, no borders, no curfew.
The Mirror: A Voyager to Our Joy
"To the flare of the firework, the piston that pushes, the knot in the shoelace, the one that thinks outside of the box. Michael Ochoa is a boy turned man all on his own. A giver of light in his own way he constantly gave to people what they needed. For most of his closest family and family he found ways to complete parts of them. With him there no one was ever able to feel alone. Michael offered good company, encouraged excitement, and distanced depression. Michael wasn’t someone to be there for just one thing, he was able to be the lead of many accomplishing moments.
July 4th of summer ’11
Basically a month since we had school. If there was a certain point for students have school not even cross their minds, it was Independence Day. Mike planned for all of us to meet up at the Rosemead Carnival. Still unsure where exactly we were even at. The group poured in slowly and finally we all debriefed on what interesting things we have seen so far. A couple low budget rides and games. Michael went to every game so confident and come out winning less than what he paid for. He showed us he wasn’t paying for prizes, but for the amusement. With that charm he had he used it to even get a couple free games that prolonged the entertainment.
Suddenly we had more fun than we thought we would have. With our wallets spent and our bellies full, the main event was still yet to come for us. We were dead set on staying till 10 in the evening. None of us wanted to depart and spend the rest of the day in our rooms so to stop the boredom we had been dealing with we went exploring. We spotted some train tracks with huge hills alongside to safely walk on. After a couple hundred feet of walking to see where we would go, Mike saw a box out in the open. Seeing him sprint at it must’ve meant there was something special about that box.
A single puppy, all alone, whimpering for who knows how long. Considering the dog is covering in flees or ticks, Michael took off his cardigan (no cardigan should ever again be used like this). Wrapping the small pup in his cardigan we were able to not catch the attention of anyone back at the carnival. In the bathroom they washed the puppy over the sink and got him clean. Good thing the day was hot so the cold water could not make the poor lost dog sick.
With a couple hours before the firework show, we all played with the new puppy and patted his fur. Michael also had time to find out where the pup would go after that night. So, he told his friend that lived nearby and volunteered at the animal shelter in Pasadena thought to give him the dog so he can be treated well, vaccinated. Then he immediately got to finding him a home for proper attention and care.
Now, that day was a prime example of the good that came from our dear friend, Michael.” – Anyone of my closest friends.
Hey mike I liked your post this week I liked the story telling aspect part of it and how you made your own eulogy.
I wish you had connected your story back to the eulogy though. The way it ended with that quote was kind of abrupt like to me it was as if you had just ended it saying yup that's what I'm like. You didn't really tell us how that story reflected your character or really why that's the story you want people to remember. It was still an interesting story though so thank you for sharing it.
Light Something: Over thinking
Growing up, especially in middle school; I used to be so afraid. I was afraid of not being with the right group of friends. I was afraid to not have the best grades and I was deathly afraid of making a fool out of myself. By that I mean wearing weird clothing or when I’m at the lunch table do I really look like a chipmunk when I’m eating. When I walk in the hallways, I wonder what people think of me.
I never ever wanted that to be put upon me, it became such a bad habit that my self esteem was rock bottom.
My mom ended up buying me this book called Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for teens by Richard Carlson. When I was first handed this book I looked at it and threw it on the ground. I thought, wow…how stupid. My mom just never understands!
I got this book when I was in seventh grade.
A year later, I finally picked up the book and read it. It was about all these scenarios that happen from middle school up to high school. It mentioned all the things I used to worry about and perhaps the things I would worry about.
I felt like while holding this book I had the cheat sheet on how to “stay cool” throughout my teenage years.
I know this might sound cliché but this book is the book that even now I still look back to and re-read over and over again. Not only because it really helps me out but because my mom got it for me as well. She took the time to just help me and knowing how stubborn I was she got me that book.
I guess this book just became my security blanket.
Because every day now in the morning I always tell myself…
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
NOTE: Thank you Bobby for helping me pick this prompt and for editing it. Thank you for giving me the courage to write this and making sure that I don’t second guess myself and thank you for always wanting to know more and making me feel like my writing is something worth reading.
After reading this post, I sure wish I had a book like that one! I will never forget how much I hated middle school and all the peer pressure stuff. Fitting in was always the name of the game, and it sometimes required us to act unnaturally.
It's a very comforting feeling to hear the words "Don't sweat the small stuff" ESPECIALLY during all our college apps and etc.
I thought it was great how you changed from that moment in life to something else and more outgoing, and u push
We all face death and it is a scary thing for us to face, and in that fear we forget to actually think about how people will remember us. The way they remember us is how we live on; it’s our legacy. We need to live our lives in a way that people can gladly remember.
I’m young, quiet, and live in the suburbs. What on earth could I have done so far that people would remember?
I’ve actually lived a pretty significant life for a teenager. I guess my parents didn’t want me to waste a moment of my life. My first time going out of the country was when I was 2 months old and ever since I’ve traveled every year. I am lucky enough to have seen what I have seen and I also think that seeing the world has made me a better person. It has changed who I am and how I look at life and even death. I’m not afraid to die because I have things to be remembered for.
Anyone who knows me would automatically say I was the soccer player, the fishing person, the private school kid, and the girl who loves the Philippines. If you were to ask someone from Monrovia who I was they would all say that I was that strange quiet girl who loved soccer and made varsity without any connections, just buy hard work and dedication. They would also remember me for the girl who got straight A’s and helped everyone else with schoolwork as well. The one who everyone liked, but left for Arcadia High School half way through the year leaving the soccer team before the season even ended. My Monrovia memories were the greatest. Arcadia was a bit of a different story. Anyone who knows me from Arcadia would remember me as the soccer player who got cut, the one who went to the Philippines and missed 2 weeks of school, the girl who was set on going to the Philippines for college, but changed her mind last minute for young love and to be closer to her parents. All of that has been my life.
Although I am quiet and strange, I have lived my life in way that people will remember. I am not insignificant. People will remember me.
NOTE: Thanks goes out to Christy H. for guiding me in which prompt to use and for her great tips. Thank you for making sure i do not write in a way that comes across badly, your tips helped me greatly.
I really liked that line “I’m not insignificant.” It says so much on how you live your life, not as a (passer by) which I have done too many times. Awesome job and never forget that everyone is a bit strange!
I really enjoyed reading your what you wrote. It was honest, sincere and straight down to earth. It is really good to reflect on the people we were in the past and see how we are now. As important as it is to know what other people think of us, it is better to know how we think of ourselves. I am guessing that you are happy since you have young love. I know you will not be forgotten. Although I am still getting to know you, I will not forget you. I am more than excited to get to know who you are. I know you will do great things in life. Nice job,
I like reading your post. I remember we had English together in sophomore year and you helped me in schoolwork. Thanks. I will remember you as a friendly and hardworking girl. good job
Light Something ; These are Words to Swallow Down
I got back into reading in the summer before sophomore year. It was a typically hot and humid day in Hong Kong and also infuriatingly boring. I was finished with the required reading I had to do for my English honors class; The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy I actually read twice, since I genuinely enjoyed the book.
Hong Kong is actually a fairly boring place lest you have money to shop at all the malls. I did not have the money to do this, so I usually sat around by the television or reading; the shows did not interest me very much and as I said, I had already finished my required reading.
Then I decided to try picking up another book, something that might actually impress me.
I found The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, the tale of little Flavia de Luce and the mystery that swings into her life. The book contained a charming protagonist, a plot that begged the reader to read on, and enough twists and turns to drive the story into something delightfully clever.
Admittedly this book is not the greatest I have read, but it was good enough to bring me back into the literary world. I got hooked on words all over again.
Flavia remains one of my favorite characters. For a girl that’s just eleven, she is extremely intelligent and indulges a lot of her time in chemistry figuring out its complexities. She is also a painfully stubborn child, a trait that both benefits her and hurts her in the story. I loved how she was though: smart, witty, and headstrong. She is one of those characters that stay with you, regardless of time, and she has.
If you know me well, you know I read way too much; I just finished The Snow Child the other week really. I wonder if I had picked up any other book in that store I would still be reading now; had it not been The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, had it been something less stunning and impressing, would I have picked up more books afterwards.
I’m glad the one I took out of the bookstore was this particular book, as I’m not really sure any other book would have affected me the same way.
Thanks Oscar for helping me finish up this blog with some nice tips and editing.
One should not judge a book by its cover (and thus title) but the titles you presented seem appealing. There must be more to the story than just one character that gave that book the power to revitalize your drive to read books? Some kind of message that the author was trying to send perhaps?
It takes one, like tipping over dominoes. I can relate to you on the getting back into reading journey. My book happened to be Schindler's Ark. From my experience, the right book can push you quite a ways.
The Mirror: Forgotten Music
Every day, I pass through life with music running through my veins and arteries. My body, an instrument. My feet, the groove. My ears, the observant observers. My heartbeat, the everlasting tempo that clicks to the beat of my life. My ears are always awake listening for patterns in sound. Ceiling fans, footsteps, keyboard strokes, clicking pens, and running water translate into notes. The possibilities are truly endless. Every second, a new pattern presents itself. There is never a time where I reach complete silence. When all is quiet, the beating of my heart provides the new groove.
One could probably tell that music has been a MAJOR part of my life.
Some might call it a natural talent, but I call it a cursed blessing. It drives and motivates me at school every day, but also keeps me up all night. It provides extra stress, but also frees me from it. It haunts me, but also protects me. It slows the feelings of life. Minutes become hours. Days become years. I feel like I’m trapped in suspended animation. It provides the final straw to the haystack.
One day, that straw will fall, and I’ll be free.
If my hourglass of life depleted tomorrow, I’d want to depart silently as the final grains of sand fell through. Once my time runs out, I can finally achieve complete silence.
We always ask ourselves, “What do I want to be remembered for?”, but what’s the point of being celebrated if we can’t even be alive to appreciate it? Life is short, and we’re meant to enjoy it before we die. I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot for myself in the musical world. There were moments of pride and joy. I’ve been recognized in my family as “the drummer kid”. Of course, I’d probably be remembered for that, but for me, everything happens here on Earth. When I die, my brain will die, causing all my memories to be wiped instantly. I won’t be able to think. I won’t be able to feel. I won’t be able to see how much people remember me. I’ll probably rot and be fed to decomposing organisms.
Here’s the thing, I DON’T want to be remembered. I’ve tasted beauty. I’ve met beautiful people. I’ve enjoyed the luxuries of living in a country without poverty. I could conclude that I’ve lived a complete life. Trying to be remembered is a hopeless attempt to achieve immortality. We can’t live on, so we try to leave as much of ourselves behind for the future generations to see.
Funerals are always sad no matter how much we say “I want parties and happiness!” Tears of joy are actually tears of sadness. People dress in black to mourn the lost person. Would they REALLY wear clown costumes and fruit hats? We could only trick ourselves into happiness by believing in something that only might be true.
So, I wish to do something.
If I could do anything (I mean ANYTHING) before the final grains of sand fall through, I’d erase everyone’s memory of me. If I could pull this off, my funeral would be just as I planned it to be.
I enjoyed the first half of your post when you mentioned that music is a major part of your life (for I too revolve around music), but the second half got me scratching my head... Do you really want your existence to be forgotten? Of course, your funeral would be saddening (as with all funerals), but surely your friends and family will be happy to know that they've known and shared moments with you.
Hey, Albert. It's remarkable how you tend to relate everyday sounds to musical notes. Also, your statement that you do not want to be remembered caught my attention, since most people prefer to be remembered. Although I understand that you wish to eliminate people's sadness, I think that your friends and family will want to remember you. Overall, your post is well-written. Nice job!
You are a really great writer. I started reading your post and could not stop until I finished reading. I think you are noble for wanting to spare your friends and family pain of your loss. But wouldn't it be better for them to remember you so they can be better people thanks to you? Part of what makes music so amazing is that it isn't forgotten. Cultures all over the world have music. From the drumming in Africa to the Europe's famous pianists. Music is always around us. In a way, so are the people we love. The car I drive is not mine but it was my great aunt's. Before it was hers, it was my grandmother. Although I do not always think about it, that car reminds me of them. I remember their love for me and how they would want me to be. I am not sad when I think about them. Rather, I work on my struggles, overcome my obstacles to make them proud.
Thanks for the feedback! I guess I was a bit extreme on this one. Nevertheless, it was a post I enjoyed writing! You guys have good points about how they will remember all the great times we shared together, and how it's not completely sad. It looks like I have EMO written all over this post! Hahahaha!
Enjoy life while you're alive; once you're dead, you're dead. Your post is a little extreme, but it makes sense to me.
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: Land of Fantasy, Escape from Reality
Some people only use it for sleep. Some people don’t even like their bed at all. Some people complain that their bed is ruining their backs. Some people use it for love making…(ok Calvin what are you doing, stahp)
My bed is my land of fantasy…my escape from reality.
Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
(Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen)
I have always had a fascination with scale model cars ever since I was a little kid…I probably have a hundred of them…I had these Winnie the Pooh characters that somehow fit perfectly into my cars…especially Tigger…he had his arms up and with an excited look on his face…perfect for wreaking havoc with my cars…I built a fort thing with my pillows and they roughly resembled a house… I “parked” my cars in there. I played around with my Winnie the Pooh characters…I put Tigger in my blue model BMW Z8 and being the Tigger he is he crashes into the house…it comes crumbling down and everyone inside dies…
I roll up my blanket and push it to the side so that it resembles a mountain…my pillows add on to the effect…I had a Transformers Viper that worked well in simulating a wrecked car since I can distort it and bend the doors and wheels around…I place Tigger (note how Tigger is always the victim…not that I have anything against him or anything…) in the car and being the Tigger he is, he crashes straight into the side of the mountain…I crumple his car to simulate the accident…he is trapped inside…life slipping away…
My badminton racquet served as a plane…thing…without wings...(it’s hard to imagine how creative our minds were back in the elementary days) I place my assortment of Winnie the Pooh characters on it and they take off…fly away…then a malfunction cause the plane to come crashing down into the simulated mountain that I created earlier…they all die…
My bed sheets and pillows were most often a light blue…they resembled the sea…home where Uncle Lobster is. Uncle Lobster is a stuffed lobster that I have had since I was seven...red, soft, and squishy…he never really fully resembled a lobster. Sure he had two claws and a tail…but he was too round and cute to resemble a lobster…of course I had other stuffed animals too but they paled in significance compared to Uncle Lobster…he ruled them all…
I arranged my pillows into a U shape, to resemble a kitchen. I had all the things I needed to prepare a meal…an orange cardboard tray/box thing served as a plate for my meal, my badminton racquet as my cooking pan, a couple of round pancake shaped coasters made of cork material served double duty...as my stove and as buns for when I make sandwiches…my stuffed animals as the main course…I first prepared my meal by marinating Uncle Lobster and then cooking him occasionally flipping him in the air…not how lobster is prepared but oh well…then I place him into my orange box thing…he fits just perfectly…I then cook the vegetables and the side course…green string and a mini stuffed crab…I place the freshly prepared crab and veggies on the side…next to steamy Uncle Lobster…
I had cooked Uncle Lobster for dinner.
I’m sorry, Uncle Lobster.
Fast forward ten years later and my mind no longer functions the same…sure the bed is still there…sure my bed sheets and pillows are still blue…sure I still sleep with Uncle Lobster by my side…but those fantasy lands that I would escape to back in the elementary years are long gone…I can’t even arrange my pillows into a U shape and envision a kitchen anymore…
But my bed now serves a different purpose. In a way still a fantasy land…an escape from reality…I go to my bed to contemplate. I go to my bed to think about how my life is unfolding…is this how things should be? What am I doing with my life? What do people say about me when I am away? I go to my bed to be comfortable…my squishy, fluffy blanket and my bouncy, springy mattress work together in perfect harmony to make me fall asleep in seconds… (Only to be struck by sleep paralysis and some intense episodes of strange hallucinations…I have no idea how to make it go away...please make it stop)…When I am lonely…I am in bed…I roll my blanket into roughly the shape of a human and I cuddle… I talk to my pretend blanket girlfriend… (Please don’t laugh)
My land of fantasy.
My escape from reality.
But whatever happens my bed will always be with me. Sure, it won’t be the same bed…eventually it will have to be replaced and I will have to seek a new one…I will have to seek a new land of fantasy…
“Sit n’ Sleep will beat anyone’s advertised price or your mattress is FFRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE…”
(Sit n’ Sleep)
I can rest assured that there will always be a bed for me. Uncle Lobster, on the other hand…is irreplaceable. I am going to keep him until I die.
To Justin: Thanks for advising me to be more descriptive and to give more insight…even though I completely scrapped everything I wrote initially because I realized I used it in my first blog already…
(And sorry for using ellipsis everywhere)
Hi Calvin, this post really caught my eye because you structured it so brilliantly. Also, I can definitely relate to the part when you described your bed as a place that we can make up stories and adventures but now we are absorbed in deep and philosophical questions. I enjoyed reading this post. Great job!
I really enjoyed reading your post. It evokes my childhood memories. I had so many scale model cars when I was a kid, and I always ran to bed when I was scared.
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices – The Brilliant City of Darkness
Finally, the engine stops.
One baby step at a time - out of the silver-painted Toyota van - where my two sandals met with the cold cement.
Ironically, what was even colder was the blustery wind whirling around my face.
I took one step forward and tripped. My knee scraped the unforgiving terrain; first impression of sin city - my knee bleeds profusely.
After I applied the band-aid to my rather large injury, I stood straight up and dusted my shorts, only for some random sheet of paper flying at mach-speed to smack the entirety of my face.
I ripped it off.
The wind was strong that its breath brought the pamphlets to life. They swarmed around the bustling populace and scurried off into the wind.
Like the papers that sweep across the city-scape, I must move or else
All right, here I go.
DAWN OF THE FIRST DAY
I begin my stroll across the strip, with hands in my pockets, I do not even try to look upwards.
I am scared: Scared of looking up at the unknowns.
I am surrounded by the unknowns; the denizens of this land. The areas where their faces should be are shrouded and blurred.
There's no one to talk to. I'm all alone, out on the middle of a vibrant and jubilant, albeit sinister metropolis.
Headaches chase me; they never stop.
It sucks to have a splitting headache that follows me wherever I go. It's too painful to even think, so I walk down the street, not even trying to process the environment around me.
The model Eiffel Tower?
Nope, I walk past it with my head staring at the ground.
That iconic medieval Excalibur castle?
Nope, I just keep strolling with no purpose.
The water show with water gushing like geysers in some intricate pattern?
I can never appreciate the wonders around me. So everything that is vibrant, full of awe, and enchanting in one's eyes can mold into dullness and ashes for mine.
DAWN OF THE SECOND DAY
Okay, fresh start - I take the first few steps out of The Palazzo hotel room. I take the elevator down to the ground floor.
That stench of second-hand smoke suspended in the air never gets old (No, don't get the wrong idea, I hate cigarettes).
The sunlight brings warmth to my skin, but that is the only source of heat. Everything else is cold. The ground below me, the unknowns that "perform" on the streets with promiscuous intentions, the smog from the first car engines of the morning, and even all the unique resorts. I groaned and walked again.
I'm waiting for my eyes to open to colors and life.
I'm waiting for my head to repel all of these headaches.
I cannot even enjoy anything that is supposed to be phenomenal.
That is my biggest gripe with life.
The world is so cold and desolate. Nothing is alive. Las Vegas, I came to you to try to cure this sickness. Why can't you impress me with all your exotic resorts, colorful decorations, and exhilarating performances? If Las Vegas can't even cure me, then what will?
It's all blurry figures and muffled voices. The light is scarce.
I'll try again, and again, and again, until my eyes finally obtain the color I've been looking for.
I give credits to Calvin Lang for providing me with some incredible insights that I have worked into my blog.
I really enjoyed reading your post, there is a lot of images making me feel like i am actually there. I can actually picture myself in your position walking the steps you are taking.
Just a thought, but to stop the headaches, have you tried taking care of yourself physically? like eating and sleeping properly?
Nice take on the topic Warren, remembering a place for all the wrong reasons. I'm sure you'll go back with sans headache and have a better second impression.
your imagery is amazing. i always feel like i'm watching a movie when i read your posts. good job!
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: Reminiscing About the Past
Back when I was in preschool, my dad was training for his medical license, and since we had only one car, my mom would have to go with him to work and then wait for him to finish so she could bring him back home. Consequently, every now and then, my sister and I would have to spend the night at my great aunt’s house. My great aunt’s "house" is similar to the first place my family ever called home: a tiny two-bedroom apartment that hardly had the room for a kitchen, bathroom, and living room. Still, her apartment has a coziness that comes from the people living inside it, a warmth that is greater than the limits of the walls. For me and my sister as children, it was both a comfort and a castle, full of security and adventure.
The year was 1999. My sister and I arrived at my great aunt's house for the first time and immediately rushed to the candy jar we saw calling us from across the room. Excitedly, we dug through that candy jar as if we were mining for diamonds. Once we found a candy that appealed, we compared the sizes and wrappers of our treasures, not knowing or really even caring what the candies actually tasted like. And later, when it came time for dinner, the part of day that we both dreaded since neither of us enjoyed eating, we raced to see which one of us could finish dinner the fastest, just so we could be done with the "ordeal" and then do what we really wanted to do -- watch a movie! My sister and I lay down with our blankets and pillows on the floor, preparing for movie time while my great aunt searched through her drawers for a good movie for us. She chose a movie she thought we would like, and oh did we ever! We didn't know the title of the film, so we just called it the “doggy/kitty movie.” We loved this movie so much that we watched it every time we went there and never got tired of it; I am surprised that the VCR tape didn't break! In fact, we were so obsessed with the movie, we knew every scene. And when something bad was about to happen, my sister and I would hide under our blankets, while our great aunt would playfully try to scare us in different ways. Eventually, every visit would end with our great aunt telling an original bedtime story that she would make up on the spot. Some of her stories I even remember still, but all of her stories, whether remembered or forgotten, I will forever appreciate.
Why did I choose this place out of all places? The answer is simple: this place and time in my memories feels even more like “home” than my own house does. Knowing that the place you’re going is a relative’s home makes you feel comfortable and carefree, able to express yourself fully without any awkwardness. Even now, no matter how stressed or tired I am from the pressures of the world, right when I step into my great aunt’s house, I immediately feel relaxed, almost blissful. Even when I can't be there physically, just traveling back to that specific time and place in my mind not only brings back the closeness I shared with my sister, but also our innocence and heartfelt laughter and affection. I truly cherish my great aunt’s "castle," for I always feel a sense of warmth and love when I go there or I think of it because I am reminded of her and my sister's unconditional love. When my own parents were too busy to raise my sister and me, my great aunt was always there to provide abundant love and comfort. I often wish I could travel back in time to relive my childhood again, but since I can't, I just close my eyes. Her house in my memory is a scrapbook of my happiest moments..
Note: Thank you Michael Lo for reading my round draft. You told me to describe why I like this place, instead of just simply describing how this place is, and also correcting my grammatical errors.
I really liked your post James! When I read it I didnt feel disconnected to your story. Your childhood memories of living with your great aunt was touching in that I while reading it, felt like you really consider your great aunt's home more of a home, compared to where you live. Good job!
Blurry Figures & Muffled Laughter: Down The Brick Road
Walking past it, you would only see another coffee shop off on the brick streets of Amsterdam.
Several steel tables sit at the point where the sidewalk ends and where the property starts, only to be
parted by a brick path up to the coffee shop. Chairs spilled around the tables while a few closed umbrella stands, only to be used during the unexpected showers of summer. The brick path leads to a lone stone step only to be accompanied by a small chalkboard and on it were the special deals of the day written in both Dutch and English and in colorful chalk. Entering the shop, it was reasonably lit by a few bulbs which were attached to fans. The fan blades always slowly turning, I was still never clear that if it was broken or it was always on. The brick walls were adorned with old photos or framed new clippings. There were cushioned booths and tables in the back of the shop, while couches and bean bags are up in front, squeezing up next to the large windows. In the center was a bar, in the back, behind wooden doors, the kitchen. Stools lined around the bar and a menu hung above the bar. Music blared from the speakers, but only loud enough the scarce traffic and the noise from the outside.
That was The Shop.
I never really was sure that if it was it’s name. I only remember that it was called that by my friend, who I was visiting during the summer. The Shop was close to the private school, where my friend is attending. While there’s still class during the summer, The Shop was one of the place where students go to hang out. The environment was unmatched. I mean, the students are all quite inviting and they would all say hi. The workers are no older than college students and most have attended the private school, so it was a place where everyone knew everyone. I have never see so much comradery, not even in at our own schools. The walk down the brick road all the way down from the school was like walking down the yellow brick road.
To Ryan: Thank you for telling me to add a stronger connection in my work.
Really like the imagery in the first paragraph. Especially when you mentioned the music. Very nice post
Great story Joji! The Shop that you describe is really home-friendly; it makes me want to go visit that place. Greeting whoever passes your way gives a better feeling than passing by people, unintentionally ignoring them. But it's too bad that you don't remember the name of The Shop. I would've enjoyed a place like this to lounge around and buy some snacks. And the details you talked about in your first paragraph makes it one of the best hangout places I would visit often with my friends.
Light Something: The Real World
Everyone is plotting, suffering or dying. You have three choices; you bend the knee and live another day, you try to gather followers who support you or you die. Life is just a game, "A Game of Thrones". The players are you me and everyone around us. You can trust no one and nothing except that everyone will lie and that everyone has their own agenda. There are no noble people left, everyone with a shred of honor or decency is dead and nobody here is free from sin or guilt. Revenge is a staple like bread and water its manufactured and fed to everything human. Life is cruel like "A Game of Thrones".
People in the world, the real world, are cruel and vicious. Everyone has their own agenda and they are willing do to anything to further their own goals. Its kill or be killed, you want that job you go rip it out of your competitions hands. You go out and utterly obliterate them in order for you yourself to be happy no one cares about the other person they are the loser and you are the winner. The people around you, none can be trusted, they all want what you have and like you, they're willing to do anything to take it. Your best friend, your closest ally is your worst enemy. The person you give all of your secrets is the most dangerous creature alive. You have given them the weapons that will be used in your inevitable down fall. Take them out before they take you out. The softest quietest and prettiest of people are the ones who aren't afraid to go for the kill. These are the planners and the plotters, the most cunning the ones who wait in the dead of night when everything is in the perfect moment to strike for the jugular.
Done, it was so simple too, don't ever let your guard down because everyone is plotting your demise in order to further their goals.
Friends are scarce; your supposed allies would sacrifice you in a heartbeat if their heads were placed upon the rack, if they were compromised and could feel the caress of a blade, the slight tingle of an axe; the itching of a noose. They would squeal, your allies would sing like a canary for all of your enemies and put on a performance titled "The Down Fall of You". The more you trust, the more ammunition you hand out to everyone who will not hesitate to use it against you. The problem with the honorable, noble and good people is that they trust others and they believe that there are others just as decent as them. They even fool them selves into thinking that everyone around them is honorable, which is their downfall and why they are dead because they were fooled and betrayed.
If they don't realize their mistake in time then they are killed; if they do realize their mistake then they are one of us and share the same guilt we do.
There is a hierarchy in this world. Never forget that you are replaceable and that if you mess up you will be replaced. You will work for your lord and bend the knee to your queen. The game is subtle you are always planning to get ahead as well be like the quiet people except don't be too quiet or people will get suspicious. Bend your knee and suffer through your pride eventually it will be you up there on the Iron throne and you will get your fifteen minutes if you are smart enough. Trust is fatal you can't trust anyone and yet you must trust people or even better you must get people to trust you. People are selfish but if they see that your desires are inline with their desires they will follow you they will help you but remember the moment you aren’t useful or your plans end up being too close or even too far from their plans they will sacrifice you, so be on the look out and don't hesitate to sacrifice them.
Life is "The Game of Thrones" everyone is fighting to be on top. Everyone wants to land that huge promotion or get that Christmas bonus or employee of the month. What ever it is, be it a simple promotion or the Iron throne its self, there are multiple people wanting it and everyone is willing to fight kill and die for it. People who are good are rare in this world. Everyone wants to sit on the Iron Throne and get their fifteen minutes but at what cost.
PS. Thank you to Kayla and Mickaela for helping editing my work and advising me.
Kayla thank you for the discussion we had about how our memory about our pieces was somewhat lacking. It helped put in perspective that I really couldn’t remember too much about the original book I wanted to write about so instead I decided to go with one that was more recent and I could remember better.
Mickaela thank you for your advice on formatting and your opinion on my piece was greatly appreciated considering you’re an experienced Feraco student. I decided to take your advice but at the same time blend it with some of my formatting from the last blog.
So thanks to you both!
No problem, your blog was great the first time I read it and it is great now! It said a lot about you and made me think about the dark side of people. I’m normally fighting for the good in people but you pointed out some interesting things. Keep up this good work!
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: The Park, The Childhood
Where to go after dinner? Where to go on week days? Where to go on weekends?
The Park, that is.
My parents were always busy with work so they rarely had time to take me to places. One place, though, was always the place to go. It was where we bonded as a family, where we relaxed, and where we exercised. We would always walk there because the park is so close to where we live.
The crisp air, the radiant shades of orange and red covering the white clouds in the sky, and the gusty wind mark the time of the day, the time to go to the park. Riding my scooters, I hurriedly make my way to the stop sign and wait for my family to catch up. As they slowly walk to where I am, I anxiously run to the next stop sign and turn back to see where they are. All I see are blurred figures and echoing voices warning me about the speeding cars. They’re just too slow, too slow to catch up with me. I decide to go ahead and enter the world of “muffled laughter.” The first thing I see after reaching the last stop sign of the road is a vast, green land filled with people of different ages, backgrounds, and passions. Everyone here enjoys doing whatever they’re doing; being happy is all that matters at the moment. For me, my first stop has always been the punch-ball court, which is separated by a tall, white wall. I truly love the sport (maybe not considered as a sport by some) even if I play with people whom I have never met before or people whom I will never have acquaintance with. Simple as it sounds, the atmosphere of the park makes me forget all of my troubles. It is a place where I can relax, play, and dream.
Once again, I step into the park where I spent most of my childhood. It is different; words cannot describe the strange feelings I have when I step into the place that I was once so familiar with. I don’t feel like I belong here anymore; I look out of place when I sit on the swings. The monkey bars are no longer the monkey bars I once knew; my feet can touch the ground. The place is still the same, old park but I am not the same, playful kid, who didn't have to worry about college acceptances and grades.
I will never forget the memories that I've made in Live Oak Park.
To Mary: Thank you for your suggestions. I decided to write about the park, a place that played an important role in my life. I appreciate what you said about my other piece.
Okay wow. You are amazing for writing about the park because, not going to lie, the park is amazing. It's a great place to simply stop and think, or remember the past and experience nostalgia.
Hey Xin! I was shocked when I first heard you went to Live Oak Park a lot in your childhood, because I visited that same park frequently too! I wonder if we ever met there before.
Anyways, your description of the park seems warm and inviting. I had my fair share of calling that park my home.
I still visit that park and I do feel different as well compared to my childhood. So much time has passed, and it isn't the same anymore.
When you say how the park is the same, but you aren't, it hit me as well.
Thanks for the read!
Light Something: The Seemingly Eternal Darkness
“Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere.”
--Elie Wiesel, Night
I remember seeing the book Night for the first time when I borrowed it from the school library. It is a thin book with a plain, purple cover. I did not think much of it, believing that such a short book would be an insignificant piece of literature. I had no idea that it would eventually alter my viewpoint on human nature.
During my freshman year, I learned about the Holocaust in my Modern World History class. My history teacher lectured about the causes and effects of the Holocaust. The history textbook discussed horrific events that took place in Jewish communities. I was, and still am, appalled by the idea of slaughtering people because of their religion. People do not deserve to be punished for their beliefs, as long as those beliefs do not cause harm.
The imagery in Night gave me a better idea of what life was like in a Nazi concentration camp. It also made the story more realistic. Ironically, the events that took place during the Holocaust seem unrealistic. At some points in the novel, I felt as though I was no longer reading a true story. The endless pain and suffering that the Jews had to endure seemed too harsh to be real. When I finished reading, I had to remind myself that the events documented in the book were actual events.
Elie Wiesel wrote an eye-opening novel. It helped me realize that human nature can be unimaginably cruel. I have been raised in a community that does not tolerate discrimination. After reading Night, I became aware that the world is not the way it appears to be. I was puzzled by why people would treat each other so harshly. The best explanation I have come up with can be summed up in one word: fear.
When people are afraid, they often act unreasonably. Adolf Hitler was afraid that the Jewish population would ruin Germany’s rise to power, so he tried to wipe their existence from the face of the Earth. The Nazis were afraid of being punished for not being loyal to Hitler, so they followed his teachings.
The Nazis’ unreasonable actions in Night helped me gain a new perspective on the concepts of injustice and oppression. I suddenly realized that I had a lot to be thankful for.
Wiesel undoubtedly endured many hardships. He starved until he looked like a skeleton. He was forced to run for miles and miles in the snow. He lost his entire family. I cannot imagine what my outlook on life would be like if I suffered the way he did. I do not want to believe that the discrimination depicted in Night will likely occur in the future. I feel committed to prevent such discrimination from reappearing in the world. If I ever see injustice and oppression similar to those in the Holocaust, I will make the effort to end their progression. The world may never be completely free of cruelty. However, people can still attempt to limit discrimination by standing up for their own moral values.
To Aaron Li: Thank you for suggesting that I expand on how my viewpoint on oppression changed after I read Night. I added some details about my thoughts on injustice to further discuss the book’s impact on my life.
I remember reading that book in 9th grade. The book really opened our eyes to how cruel people can be. I think that book also changed my perspective on human nature. We, as a whole, can make a difference and make this world a better place to live for future generations.
Blurry Figures and Muffled Voices: Peace And Serenity at it’s finest.
A door is slammed shut. Muffled footsteps filled the quiet atmosphere with tension, anger, hatred.
“I hate you. I hate this place.”
In all honestly, I hated my house. It wasn’t a place I could find peace or order; instead, the air was filled with tension, and at any second the whole house would snap. And every time that happened, I walked out. I couldn’t, or, didn’t want to handle the situation at hand so I thought running away from my problem was the solution. At the time, it did.
“I’m never coming back home. I hate you all.”
Running away didn’t do anything, if anything, it made things worse when I came back home. Painful consequences are resulted from foolish actions. So in an attempt to get away, I decided to walk around, as long I wasn’t at home. At the moment, anywhere was better than home. It was ten at night, the night breeze blew past my, sending constant shivers down my spine. My jacket was too thin, but I wasn’t cold. It was hot; I was burning, my anger fueling me.
I ran to the park, sat on top of the slide, and just stared.
I couldn’t think straight, so I didn’t want to do anything reckless. My mind was filled with thoughts, and ideas. I couldn’t think straight and the wind was freezing. My eyes started tearing up.
“I hate this. I hate this. Why me? Why?”
Then my dad came out. He brought his coat for me. He helped me, he talked to me, he showed me the way. He showed me he loved me. He showed me my family loved me. Around eleven he told me to think about it, and left me there with the house key in my house. I stayed for about thirty minutes, just sinking in what my dad said. Maybe he was right; I know I was being irrational, but at the time, it didn’t seem so. I took one more look at the park before I left. I thought to myself:
This park is my place. I felt at home.
David, your inputs were funny and valuable all the same. I’m glad you helped me out because it made me structure my post. It was easy to talk to you too since you’ve been to the very same park countless numbers of time and you could input your feelings toward the puny park in that corner of the street. Without you, I don’t know. Thanks David!
Blurry Figures and Muffled Laughter: Not Only a Restaurant but a Home
It is in the middle of a busy little street right in the middle of my hometown. In the noisy and loud outdoor mall that surrounds it, it stands a quiet point in all of the madness. They make the food they make with such simplicity yet they make each meal seem so different and special. It all looks the same from the outside but the moment you bite into it you see the difference that every torta that they make has.
You walk in to order something and you feel right at home. They make you feel like you’re in your own kitchen looking for something to eat. There aren’t any fancy tables or expensive food. It is just a bunch of simple tables and simple chairs along with chalk board menu covering an entire side of the restaurant. The people that work there are always the nicest ones there and they make you feel right at home.
You sit at the table and you look around the little building and you get a cozy and warm feeling. You never forget that friendly atmosphere when you walk in with your friends and it feels like your walking into your own house. You start to go in so much they remember your face and they remember the food you prefer and in the end all you have to do is walk in and you are already getting served. They make it feel like a home and you never forget your home.
Myth/Sci-Fi – 2
14 February 2013
Light Something: An Inferno In Us All
Souls blown apart by tempests. Trees bleeding and coffins screaming. Your senses betraying you in a slow torturous plague.
The shores of Hell were a sight to behold last semester. It was encapsulating. Every second with that book was something I will never forget. From the gripping imagery, to the dark and disturbing tones, it seemed to show that this book and I were a match made in Heaven, as ironic as that sounds.
Its funny, I'd never enjoyed a book enough to actually drive myself to study all night before. I spent hours reading, ensuring myself that I could memorize as much as I can and ace that test. It was the first A on a test that I had been so proud to receive.
You know, for a book that goes to tell you to “abandon all hope ye who enter here”, this book is what gave me hope in so much of my life. In my dark hours and sleepless nights, I grew at least a small amount at ease knowing that the next day was a lesson in the world of a genius. The wonders and sights in The Inferno were something that shooed away hurt, and left my mind focused on something worth being focused about.
The Inferno was a wonderland. It was a light of hope in the darkness of itself. It was a world of demons and monsters. One that gave me the strength with my own demons. It was a world of endless pain that relieved my own.
So through the years, the good and bad will be right next to The Inferno. Hell will be my greatest motivator, and it will create a spark in me when I need it most.
It will light something.
Thanks for being a cool guy and enjoying me talk about The Inferno so I could get some inspiration. I appreciate it a lot. Stay fresh, hombre.
I decided to scroll up after reading "Double Fudge" and I saw your title "Inferno in All of Us" and I had to read about it.
I'm so glad that you have found a book that you are so passionate about, the way you write about it, and my favorite part is when you said, " this book is what gave me hope in so much of my life. In my dark hours and sleepless nights, I grew at least a small amount at ease knowing that the next day was a lesson in the world of a genius." and also, " The Inferno were something that shooed away hurt, and left my mind focused on something worth being focused about."
I just love how this book made you feel so much better about yourself and changed your way of thinking into something so much better.
Also, your writing is amazing, it's very deep and I can really hear your voice.
Thank you for an amazing read!
I would love to know more about how the Inferno affected you and why!
Double Fudge. My first thought was yum double chocolate dessert, when my friend told me about a book she liked. When I first opened the book in middle school I expected it to be something related to the delicious chocolate in my mind but it wasn't. The book was quite interesting to me as it talks about the consequences Peter, the main character, goes through as a 7th grader with a younger brother. The more the brother hangs out with his little brother the closer they become. The book was quite interesting to me as it describes the difficulties, consequences, and advantages of being an older brother.
In the book, I learned that being an older brother, sometimes have to put up with their younger siblings no matter how annoying and crazy they are. I started to learn that being a big brother, at times is very tiring and exhausting but at the same time quite entertaining. Even when a younger sibling has a phase like Fudge, Peter's younger brother, who is obsessed with money. When a younger sibling unexpectedly asks a question such as, "What's money?" or constantly asks why they can't do this or that, when I myself don't know the answer. Being an older brother our younger siblings tend to expect us to know every single thing and expect answers. Without knowing the answers I would get irritated and annoyed at the fact that I am unable to answer my sibling’s questions.
After learning from Peter it is better to go along with your younger sibling and let their little minds go wild. Whenever my younger siblings ask me a question that I do not know how to answer I would ask them, "What do you think?", and whatever they said I would agree with them.
To Joseph Chong: Thank you for giving me an idea on how to write the story.
As I finished my blog post, and I refreshed to start on my comments, right smack at the bottom I read the words, "Double Fudge." I was hooked from there. This brought back the biggest rush of memories I've had in a long time. This was so great. A bit short, but nostalgic nonetheless.
Your comment totally caught my attention as well as it did David's. "Double fudge" I really thought it was about chocolate too...
I love the fact that this book changed your view on how to treat your younger siblings because I am the youngest out of four and I would be that annoying and crazy little sibling.
I wish I had this book when I was younger to give to my older siblings in hopes that it would change them too!
This is a really sweet post and very cute. I'm sure you're an amazing older brother!
Thanks for the great read!
Hey Brandon, first off, no problem! But really, the whole idea itself is yours truly.
Anyways, interesting to hear a view from an "older sibling." I am the youngest in the family, and I did tend to act this way towards my older brother. But it's interesting to see that this is how the older sibling may feel or see.
It's not much different than a younger sibling's view in my opinion.
The Mirror/Light Something: Little Woman
There once was a girl who was told she couldn’t
That she couldn’t succeed as an author (Don’t be ridiculous; they don’t make any money)
That she couldn’t keep up with boys (Girls can’t play video games!)
That she couldn’t play first in band (He’ll never let her)
That she couldn’t lead (No one will listen; she’s too quiet)
That she couldn’t speak up (It’s not her time and place)
That she couldn’t make a career in film (That’s a rich, white man’s world)
There once was a girl who did
Who did beat guys in video games and sports
Who did play first
Who did become section leader
Who did get in to film school
Who did her own thing (Someone will always be unhappy)
And her name wasn’t Matilda (or Sophie, Jane, Naasica, or Liesel)
She was me.
So here’s to the girl who tries to follow God’s will
The crazy girl dancing in kindergarten
The Green Team champion
The winner of the Spelling Bee and Geography Bee
The silly girl looking for love
The dog lover
The snake sitter
The Pokemon master
The obnoxious sister who acts a little like a brother
The stubborn daughter who makes her parents proud
And here’s to the stories that empowered me to be myself, because to be comfortable in one’s own skin seems to be one of the trickier things in life these days.
Hi Warren: I agree that my original intro was pretty controversial. I couldn’t tone it down enough to be sufficiently school appropriate and not confrontational, so I took it out and wrote a different post altogether. I’ll try to keep your advice in mind when I write better researched posts in the future.
Wow, i loved your post, it caught my eye as i was scrolling up and i had to stop. I feel like i understand who you are a little bit. I love that you could beat the boys at video games!
Mirror: Remember Me
I only care for why my family, future husband and future kids remember me by. When I grow up and I’m 52 living my life, I know I will not look back randomly on who I had fought with, who I de-friended, or who I had a crush on in middle school.
The only people who will matter to me are the people whose phone numbers I will have in my phone at that moment in time. If you are a part of my life I would hope that you would have remembered me for always speaking my mind and telling the truth. I’m not talking about the little white lies that I told my mom, so that I could spend the night at a friend’s house. I mean, generally in my adult life, I had been an honest person who speaks their mind.
I know at this point in my life I have lied, who hasn’t but I am growing and learning from that and as an adult I know that I will do my best to be the most honest person I can be, and speak my mind freely without losing who I am inside.
All I ask is for my family to stand by me; if they do that I’m sure I will be remembered for exactly that.
“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”(Mark Twain) I can honestly say my spot is where I would disappear to when I was sad or mad. I would bury my art supplies into this little hatch underneath this pile of bushes. It was completely hidden where no one could see it. Sometimes I would sneak over and just paint for no reason. Thoughts and thoughts that scramble into my mind would go onto this wall.
“People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.” (Thomas Szasz) I began as a kid hunting down my beloved get away spot since I was 6 years old. Fighting with older siblings and watching my parents scream at each other was not the best vision. Back then there wasn’t really much there for me so I would just sneak away imperceptibly so that I could be myself without showing my tears.
Imagine this. Places that just hold all of your insecurities, laments, and laughs that are bound to your affection once upon a time. As a kid I would always think I was a princess locked up in a tower until one day I wondered off searching in my “big” forest in the alleyway in the side of my house. Not knowing what it was or where I would end up at I did not care because that was a spot I could do want I want with my own regulations. I guess it was my little art wall bringing all my art supplies with me and drawing on the walls where I hid. I could analyze and annotate every spec of crack between the walls and every twist and turns you had to make just to get to that certain wall. It was calling me call me crazy but that wall was like home. Just being able to feel so peaceful does wonders for your soul. It did to me.
Now I sit here in this alleyway filled with blowing dark green ivy trees as the leaves drop down one by one flowing in every direction. Whenever I place myself in a certain spot I can smell the pinecone aroma scent sweeping through my nostrils. As the wind blows I can feel the calm breeze flow through my skin, while sitting here thinking I lay down on this soft grass tickling my layer of olive, peach skin. Scanning the surface view I can see two lovely squirrels playing tag, running back and forth from the bottom of the ground to the top of the leaves, and continuously I gazed at them circling the tree about twenty times.
Closely piercing my deep light, hazel brown eyes I see the water drops dropping from the leaves up above and one landing on my nose. The cold touch of the water made me laugh. I had that certain cold yet warm laugh that was remorsefully hysterically. Searching around some more I could see that there is the tree semi- circling around me trying to protect me from rain. It was my umbrella. That is my home... “Home's where you go when you run out of homes.” (John le Carré). This is my home.
The Mirror: What Do I see?
When I look in the mirror what do I see?
Do I see the same flaws and mistakes everyone else sees?
Do I see the person I want to be, or just a reflection of failure?
Many times in my life I have wondered what have I accomplished in my seventeen years of living in this world. I try to look at my greatest moments and my biggest mistakes. All of these things factor into what I see in the mirror. Many times in class we discussed how we want people to remember us. The fact of the matter is, I don't know...
For me, making decisions is tough. So it's even harder when I have to decide what people will remember me as. I really do make an effort in trying to figure everything out, but I feel as if I don't even know myself sometimes. I look in the mirror and I see goals, and aspirations to be something more and greater, but reality hits me and I'm left disheartened, wondering what to do next.
On a regular day, I'll wake up, eat and wash up. I'll step out the door and start walking to school with the hopes of doing something productive. However as soon as I take my seat for first period, those plans drift away. I wonder to myself why? I feel as if a part of me has already given up and only a quarter part hasn't, but in the end the part that has already given up only seems to exist in me throughout the day.
So what do I see when I look in the mirror?
Do I see the person that has given up?
Do I see the person who has lost his hopes and dreams?
Maybe, I don't really see myself.
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