Advanced Essay #2: Speaking the Body's Language


When were assigned this project I wanted to take a different approach to language. One that we all speak universally, the body’s language. This essay really allowed me to focus more on the gestures and bodily movements we all express while or instead of communicating. I pulled together a couple different scenes of memory in my life where body language played helped me understand the other person better, which I am really proud of. Something I can improve on is descriptive language and transitioning. I can work on them to make it flow easier and more enjoyable for the reader. I hope you enjoy reading!

Advanced Essay #2: Speaking the Body's Language

“You’re not allowed to touch the art little girl.” The guard looked at me condescendingly and touched his belt filled with many weapons. He didn’t appreciate a ten year old girl breaking the rules at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“I’m sorry I didn’t realize-”

“Oh I’m sure you didn’t.” He said with an annoyed look on his face.

I could tell he was striving to have some type of dominance over me. His body language said it all. The aggressive way he clinched his belt as he was looking down at me. His tone was loud and steady, it was just another way he proved that he had power over me. He was trying to establish that there were rules and I broke one. Also, the way he expressed this, not in a calm and slow paced manner, his actions were rushed and hostile. He wanted to be perceived as in control and a governing figure. We use our bodies all the time to express  the emotions that words cannot.

For example, a first time teacher might be standing to the corner of a classroom since they’re not comfortable with so many eyes on the them, backing into a corner as if to hide from the judgemental eyes. A nervous student getting ready for an SAT test would be chewing their nails and bouncing their feet up and down as it hits the bottom of their desk and they wonder if the effects of mental pain from staring at a text book for eight hours straight will be on the test because they’d score a perfect 2400. Whether it be body movements or hand gestures, it all plays a key role in how we “speak” to each other.  

We use our bodies to communicate every day which becomes  a language on its own. Whether we use it to affirm our power or status, or to hide the amount of anxiety we have, it is apart of who we are. There are a millions of different languages spoken all over the world, but the language of the body reveals more than words could ever.

Another interaction was when a man was standing in line in behind me at the grocery store. He was clicking his keys against his fingernails and lightly tapping his foot on the ground, this was communicating that he was in a rush. He then started to widen his eyes when he realized that I had a tremendous amount of groceries yet to be scanned. His shoulders slumped, defeatedly, he was about to step out of line when I smiled slightly at him, apologetically. He then smiled back and slightly waved, embarrassed, nodded in return and stepped back in line. This conversation, even though it lacked words, still had the ability to express his annoyance for the wait, my apologies for the amount of groceries and his regret for being impolite. We were able to express the emotions running through our heads with just our bodies. We are able to recognize what certain gestures and bodily positions mean, no matter which verbal language we speak.

“Would that be all hun?” she asked as she drummed her lilac nails on the cash register whilst chewing her mango flavored gum. I could sense she was uninterested and wanted her inevitable shift to end.  

“Umm, can I get a…” My voice trailed off as I frantically scanned the menu and blindly ordered.

“.. a number two.”

“One cheeseburger with extra pickles coming right up.”

Why did I order pickels? They were my least favorite food. Well, this was because of the impatient way she hit her nails on the cash register, begging me to hurry up. I picked the first thing I saw, her body suggested that she was irritated by me. The way she was leaning against the counter, made me realize she went through this everyday so the least I could do was hurry up the process.

I realize that I spend so much time observing others that I became accustomed in reading bodies before listening to their words. Noticing eye contact or lack of thereof can tell me a lot about how a person is feeling without them even realizing it. Or if someone interlaces fingers with their loved one, or grasps their hands forcefully, could speak to their relationship.

Just like my mother as she tightens her hands around mine before we cross the street, a motherly instinct adapted over millenniums, protecting their young ones. Or as she widens her eyes across the dinner table at a guests house for dinner, warning me of the inappropriate position of my elbows on the table and the repercussion I will face if I continue with this unwanted disobedience. My mother did not have to utter a word for me to understand her clearly. So I removed my elbows from the table and purse my lips tighter and lowered my head to communicate to her that I will not repeat this mistake again, lowering my head represents a slight apology to soften the blow. This interaction occurred silently, using only eye movements and bodily gestures for us two humans to have a full on conversation. Our bodies speak louder than “remove your elbows from the table” ever could. I understood her clearly, speaking the body’s language is something we are accustomed too, we speak this language long before we can ever verbally communicate.

On my way to school one day I scanned the  trolley filled with people, it was for the most part quiet. A baby crying, music blasting from the kid with his hoodie pulled over his eyes. A girl starting her first day of highschool with her humongous book bag filled her new school supplies and humiliation. As she frantically looks at the trolley window, wondering if this is her stop. She was wide-eyed like a child whom had just discovered where their mother hides the stash of treats.  I realized this was me last year my freshmen year, frantic on the first day of high school. I use body language as a way to communicate and understand people everyday. I rely on the body’s language more often than words.

As the great James Baldwin once said “Language, incontestably, reveals the speaker. Language, also, far more dubiously, is meant to define the other…” The power of speaking the body’s language is something underestimated and often overlooked. We rely on a person’s words to reveal their emotions. We use it to understand each other, and make assumptions on how they might be feeling.  Whether we realize it or not, body language is one of the biggest factors on how we are perceived. It is one of the most spoken languages of the world. If you stand with your shoulders straight and head held high, you would be viewed as someone who has pride or confidence. Rather than, someone who has their shoulders slumped and hoodie covering their eyes, could be perceived as not wanting attention. Body language can give you an insight on the person and how their feeling, this is often revealed subconsciously. With every wave, smile or adjoining of hands we are speaking the body’s language, a language that does not need words to express our desires, fears and emotions.

The "American"


My challenge for writing this piece was fitting in all of my ideas within the word limit. I am one who sometimes can add “fluff” to my writing, tying in background information that doesn’t contribute to the larger concepts discussed in my writing. For this essay in particular, I made sure to keep my ideas structured and start with my overview theme of Ireland and how our accents are seen as differences and not accepted in each other’s culture. Accents can make us feel disconnected from one another, yet it is the theme of the piece to realize we are all the same underneath and our cultural backgrounds make the world a more special place we can all come to appreciate.


The steering wheels are flipped, the sun never shines, there are sheep down every road, and their accents are strange. I grew up with a father who has a Northern Irish accent that when people recognize their eyes light up. They gasp and say: “Oh my gosh, you’re Irish? Is that accent real?!”. I smile back, boasting how I’m ⅞ Irish and I’ve been to Ireland over 8 times. I was different from everyone else. I had a special cultural connection that was all mine.

When I visited Ireland this past summer, I was one of the “American cousins”. One night, my family had a barbeque as a reunion for my dad to see all of his childhood friends. Other teenagers came in and out, always excited to meet me. “This is Emily”, my cousin would tell them. “Hi, it’s nice to meet you”, I would reply politely. As soon as the words fell off of my lips, they would crash against the floor and shatter into a million pieces leaving me covered in the word “American”. A hot, tingly feeling would reach my skin, turning my cheeks the color of a bright pink bubblegum. I remember constantly being asked to say the phrase “how now brown cow”. With my Philadelphia tongue, it rolled off sharp and quick. The Irish kids would laugh, or even  tell me it was adorable, like I was a two year old who had just recited the A-B-C’s for the first time. I felt like a child, being pushed to a level of inferiority as soon as I opened my mouth.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved Ireland and meeting all of the new people. I fit right in; that is, until I uttered a single sound. By the end of the trip I had gained a little draw in my tone emulating the native speech. I don’t know if this was from exposure to the dialect that it naturally shifted, or if it was my brain subconsciously forcing my tongue to contort until it began to ease into the rhythm of the Irish slang. I was called out for being different. Sure, I was different. I am different. I was raised in a completely contrasting environment. I was already in a foreign society, but being made fully aware of me not fitting in was like being the black sheep in a herd of white. Something that was accepted and normal in my own culture when thrown into a new world made me stand out. Irish culture is one where everyone wants to fit in. The girls had the same shirt from TopShop in varying pastel shades, with the same tight, black high waisted jeans and dirty Adidas sneakers. They all wore thick cat-winged eyeliner and straightened their hair. I wore similar clothes, enough to make me one of the crowd until I would speak. It was all about the tone of my voice that made me a target of cultural shaming.

I was not alone on my expedition of sticking out in a way society deemed as negative. Gloria Anzaldua showcased this idea perfectly in her work of How to Tame a Wild Tongue. She grew up speaking a different language, one that was even varied with the Spanish culture. Even inside of her own community of Spanish speakers, she was outcast. Once she went to college, it wasn’t enough to prove that she was smart enough to be there to be like everyone else. Instead, she had to change who she was to blend in. “At Pan American University,” she writes,  “I, and all the other Chicano students were required to take two speech classes. Their purpose: to get rid of our accents.”  The college wanted her to change who she was and make her conform to what their standards were of normal and beneficial.

In the modern world, differences are not being accepted. We pick and choose how we allow people to be, especially when it comes to culture and language. Being an outsider as an American in Ireland is a small scale example of global societies feeling the need to point out differences and make them appear as flaws. English and Spanish are taking over the world, destroying smaller languages and populations in its wake. Ancient languages are dying, because the majority speaks English and it’s seen as common and what is expected of everyone to know. We must change this perception and realize that our differences are what make the world such a special place. Travelling to Ireland taught me about a new culture and I got to have new experiences that help shape who I am today. In the end, it isn’t even about the accents, what words you say, or how you talk. It’s about what it says about us, and how we are all individuals who can learn from one another and our individual ideas of literacy.

Advanced Essay #2 Who Controls Literacy

Introduction: This essay was a step forward for me in terms of writing. I incorporated ideas that I had not looked at before. I delved into my ideas about literacies and I am proud of my idea as a whole. My goals were to be a more mature writer and I am not sure that I met my goal but I think I did a good job including quotes. In future essays I will work on meeting the approximate word length and work on being a more mature writer. 

Who Controls Literacy?

The upper class control the literacies used in society because their money controls the way society functions. People accept this and focus their lives on learning how to understand the forms of literacy used by the upper class. Businesses are built around this and schools force these literacies on students. Things like proper grammar are defined by money. An author would not write a book that does not use proper grammar because no one would buy it. The way people view things and respond to them in business, newspapers and in other mainstream media sources is to please the wealthy who ultimately pay their bills.  The forms of literacy used by the upper class are not useless, far from it but, society should not be restricted to using these forms of literacies.

Literacies used and enforced by the upper class is not always the best way for something to be. Kyle Wiens writes in I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar Yes, language is constantly changing, but that doesn’t make grammar unimportant. Good grammar is credibility, especially on the internet.”  Kyle Wiens proves that business owners use and follow this specific form of literacy. There are two reasons why people are so focused on acting the way the upper class has been. Reason one is that straying from the mainstream structure of doing business would not make business owners money. Reason two is that the mainstream way of conducting business is the only way people have been taught.

The root of this issue does not begin when people open their first business or write their first book. The root of the issue begins in the earliest stages of school. From kindergarten through 12th grade the majority of people are taught the same way using the same systems. The reason being is that change is hard to accept and the way people seem to be doing things seems like it is working. Hundreds of years ago the only people in school were the wealthy. They believed they were being taught correctly and the way they were taught should be the way other people should be taught. In Chapter 2 of the Pedagogy of the Oppressed it says “In the banking concept of education, knowledge is a gift bestowed by those who consider themselves knowledgeable upon those whom they consider to know nothing.” Essentially this goes back to the wealthy believing they were most knowledgeable and their ways of education will be the way of education for the middle and lower class.

In schools thinking and learning outside of the box is sometimes not accepted and those who do think outside the box are ostracized.  In I Just Want to Be Average it says “But mostly the teachers had no idea how to engage the imaginations of us kids who were settling at the bottom of the pond.” Teachers bore students with pythagorean's theorem something we will never use unless we become mathematicians and the time spent learning these sort of things is wasted. Why people do what they do and why certain things happen is not taught but should be. The upper class force these ways of learning on anyone and everyone. To get into college you must follow the structure that has been laid out by the upper class. To get a job people must go to college again following the structure and literacies of the upper class.

Once someone has gone through all of the education and has learned all of the literacies of the upper class they have a chance at being a successful. Still being successful requires someone to know how to act in certain situations. One day during the week I was in Antwerp I met a friend of my Dad’s, It was during the middle of the week. It was a cool fall day, I had filled what time I had by myself wandering the streets of the foreign European city. The sun began to slowly set along the horizon and I took at my phone to call my Dad. The screen felt cold against my warm fingers. After a few short rings my Dad picked up.


“Dad it’s Eli, it’s getting late when can we go to dinner.” I had not eaten much that day, I had to pay for my own lunches so I was incredibly frugal.

“I’m on my way back to the hotel, we are going to dinner with a few mathematicians.”

“Okay I’ll start walking back now, bye.”

“Bye Eli.” Excited to meet my Dad’s friends I rushed back to the hotel. A few minutes later I was with my Dad and his friends on our way to dinner. There were 5 of us, my Dad, Me, and three mathematicians, Marcy, Leonid, and Amnon. Leonid presented in a strange way. He made little eye contact, he was not wearing nice clothing and he seemed a little unfriendly. As the night went on one thing became very clear. Leonid was unquestionably smart. Later when my Dad and I said goodnight to everyone I asked if Leonid was successful. He was not, he was thrown under the bus time and time again. Most mathematicians have a lot of resources to work with and like my Dad do not have to pay themselves to go to conferences in foreign places. Leonid was different, he had no resources because no one wanted to work with him. His life had become ten times harder because he did not know how to present himself in society that is defined as presentable. Due to this math is potentially missing breakthroughs because someone who is a genius is undervalued and underutilized.

The upper class dictates what is presentable and what literacies should be used. Because of this society is missing potential breakthroughs and huge steps forward in society.

Mankind's Defeat by Meat


   Farmers have past down the farms to their families for generation which is a normal for most areas in rural United States today. Over the past centuries in the U.S. farming specifically animals has been prevalent and it is considered to be traditional . Although, as time passes so does the economy and need for a higher profit. Factory farming plays a huge role in impacting the condition of mankind. Farmers are making more efficient and more cheap ways to sell their animal produce. The way can lead to deforestation, air pollution, water pollution, fossil fuel, carbon emissions, and monocultures. When these farmer do this the tend to treat the animals with less care and humanity. This often leads to a lot of controversies and on farms of the treatment of animals but because of the more efficient and more cheap ways of getting animal produce which is factory farming.  

    Over 90% of the United States meat come from factory farms according to The Huffington Post. But are on the human scale, how much of an impact do the have of the health of people? Scientists have stated that noxious chemicals that are found in animal waste and preservatives can lead to the development of neurological problems and even birth defects. Furthermore factory farms can cause bacterial infection to the human body. For example, more than 50 percent of employees from Delmarva Peninsula in Maryland were infected with campylobacter, which is a type of fatal bacteria according to Dr. Ellen Silbergeld. Overall, most animals are treated very unsanitary which is unhealthy to the human body. 

    Even though, humans are impacted by factory farming in the ecosystem and depend on many animals for a source of food, animals also have a role in the ecosystem too. Without other farming animals such as cows, pigs, and chickens humans would remain to be vegetarian and would eat more healthy. For this reason, these animals portray why animals are impacting humans in the ecosystem. According to most animals from factory farms today do live not even up to 2 years. For example, pigs live up to 10-12 years in average natural lifespan but in factory farms they only life about 4-6 months, egg laying chickens live up to 8-12 years in average natural lifespan but in factory farms they only life about 18 months, and cattle lives up to 20-25 years in average natural lifespan, but in factory farms they only life about 12-18 months. Eventually, most animals factory farmed will develop stronger antibiotic resistant bacteria which will lower the population of a lot these animals in the ecosystem. These statistics mean that the animals that tend to be born and live factory farms in the United States have a lifespan the are impacted negatively due to the fact that the lives of the animals are almost quartered. Therefore, factory farming also reduced the lifespan of a large population of animals in the ecosystem. 

   In conclusion, factory farming plays a huge role in impacting the condition of today's ecosystem. Overall, the impact of factory farming has a negative impact on the mankind. While factory farming does save time and helps farmer gain a profit easily and would financially benefit from factory farming. Although, the animals in factory are treated very unsanitary which is unhealthy to the human body which harms the human race a lot in the ecosystem. In addition, humans that are impacted by eating the animals from factory farms which also impact the animal. Due to the fact that humans purchase and consume the animals, this causes company to make more efficient and more cheap ways. These methods of factory farming lower the lifespan of the animals.

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  2. @peta. “Other Health Risks of the Meat Industry.” PETA. PETA, n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.

  3. Table, Sustainable. “HUNGRY FOR INFO.” Sustainable Table Hungry for Info Factory Farming. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2016. <

  4. Good, Kate. “5 Ways Factory Farming Is Killing the Environment.” One Green Planet. N.p., 1 Apr. 2014. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.