Independent or Not?

Jason Lam

Ms. Pahomov

English 3

5 January 2018

I like to think of myself as bright, smart, funny, a video gamer, a procrastinator, friendly, optimistic, resourceful, curious, accident prone, slow, organized, and independent. Being independent in life without the support or help of others is a big stepping stone for me. As a visually impaired person, I need help and support from my family, teachers, and supervisors. Of course now that I’m now a lot older than I was when I first became visually impaired, I am more capable of doing things and doing them by myself, but I’m lagging behind where I really should be on my independency. I was very lucky to grow up in a pretty big family where the adults did everything from mopping the floor, laundry, to cooking, and cleaning the bathroom. My brother and I didn’t really do any type of chore during our early childhood so we weren’t all that experienced in everyday chores. I’m not saying we didn’t do any chore or helped at all, but we weren’t really required to do them. Since I’ve been lucky to have others doing things for me, it was a hard transition from having people doing everything for me to being independent and doing things myself. One thing that comes with being independent is trust, specifically parent trust. My parents are not the most outgoing parents. They are caring and supportive to me. They are also very protective, maybe overprotective. One thing I wanted to change this year, for school, was transportation.

(Our conversation was in Chinese, so here is what it basically translates too)

“Mommy?” I asked.

She was looking at her ipad, and sitting on the floor. She replied, “Hmmm?”

I looked at her and said,“Why can’t I go on the subway to school?”

“There is no why.” she plainly said. She still kept looking at her ipad.

I grew annoyed with her reply. She always says this whenever I ask her why questions on a subject she doesn’t want to argue about or go into because she thinks it’s a waste of her breath. Tonight’s subject was about my change in transportation I made with my braille teacher/supervisor.

So I said, “Yes why!” “Why don’t you want me to go to school by myself?”

She finally looked up and said in a pretty calm yet bold voice, “We’ve had this conversation already. I don’t want you to take the subway to school because no one can watch you. Besides, when it gets cold in winter, there will be snow and ice that you will have to pull your school bag through, and you can slip and fall on the ice. Also, you have to wake up earlier to catch the subway, and it is more convenient and better for you to take the taxi to school.”

Even though she did make some good arguments, I still argued back with her. “But I can handle the cold, and I haven’t slipped on ice once in my entire life yet.”

“That doesn’t mean it won’t happen.” she rebuttled.

I looked at her with growing anger. I’ve always hated that I never got to do what I wanted to do. Yeah, sure, some people might consider a taxi as a luxury to a walk or SEPTA ride to and from school, but it’s really not.  

I said ”But the taxi is really terrible! The driver speeds, calls on the phone while he’s driving, curses and shouts at drivers that drive too slow for him, crosses red lights, and when it picks me up from school, it’s late.

I remember the time during my freshman year when I was waiting for the taxi, but it was late for some pathetic reason. I had waited for over 40 minutes for it when I decided to leave and head to my mother’s salon which was nearby. Boy was everyone annoyed with me.

“How come?” she questioned.

“I don’t like it when I hate to wait for the taxi because they’re late. They even lie about why they’re late too!” Unbelievably, the driver does lie about why he’s late. Once, I overheard him talking to a client on the phone about why he was late to pick them up.

“I’m sorry, traffic is just so bad.”

He said this as he was driving through an empty street! He wasn’t late because of traffic, he was late because he wasbiting off more than he could chew! He had so many clients that he couldn’t keep up with his schedule and just blames innocent traffic for his lateness. That’s why I don’t believe a word he says about why he’s late, he’s taking more clients than he can handle.

“That was just an honest mistake. Besides, you need to be more patient, son.” she said.

Be more patient? Is she kidding me? Would anyone wait for a taxi that is almost an hour late? Tell me if that is being impatient! I waited over 40 minutes before I decided to leave.

“He’s also driving me to school late now.”

“ Did you tell the office that you were late because it was the taxi?”

“I did, but I can’t keep on saying that!”

“Why not? If you’re late because of the taxi, then you got to tell them it was the taxi’s fault you were late and not you. “

“Ugh. I don’t think my teachers will keep on doing this for me every single day.”

She looked up at me and just gave me an expression that said all too clearly that she wasn’t going to change her mind no matter what excuse I told her.

So that was an unpleasant conversation I had with my mother a while back.

Still up to this day, I have SEPTA as my transportation to and from school and not the taxi. I’m not regretting my choice to switch even though it is pretty frigid and slippery outside, but sometimes and definitely before I switched, I did vacillate whether I made the right choice. Being independent is a hard thing for me even though I’m older now. Always having help and support at my fingertips was as regular as it could be. Of course, I’m not saying I’m ungrateful, in fact I’m actually happy that I had an easier childhood than most other kids in a responsibility sense. But on the downside to becoming an adult, I became really dependent on others helping me. I guess it’s never bad to ask for a lot of help, but is there a such thing as asking for too much help? Sometimes I do feel that way. I feel that sometimes when I ask questions or for help too much. It makes me feel guilty inside. It is a goal for me to be capable and confident of myself to do things that would otherwise require me to seek help.

YES, I know, it’s never a bad thing to ask for help, but it’s also never bad to do things yourself!

Comments (3)

Jason Lam (Student 2019)
Jason Lam

1) I used the skill asking questions. I asked my audience a particular question that was about asking for help. I wanted to ask tis question because I had a sort of problem with asking too many questions or asking for too much help. I just wanted to know what other people thought about it. 2) Another skill I used was framing device. I used it during the beginning of my essay when I was describing my independency. I wanted to try to use this because for me, it seemed like the hardest thing out of all the skills and that I didn't really know what it was. So for this essay, I tried using framing device to sort of make my story more mellow.

Deja Winfield (Student 2019)
Deja Winfield

learning more about his view point as well the struggles of having to take the taxi. we used to hear over the intercom "Jason your taxis outside" and then hear the rolling of his bookbag on the tile. we never view as a bad way to go home.

I like the technique of questioning. It makes the audience reflect on his answers.