The world we live in has vastly changed through the years. New ideas, new possibilities, new understandings of what should be done. Some may say for the better while others say for the worst. It’s all really a personal opinion on your take for how things are. This world has both good and evil co-existing to have a balance between the two. An equilibrium on a spectrum that should probably never tip to one’s favor, but through the years it always seem to fluctuate from being equal. That’s something that we all have to deal with, and I fear it’s only going to be an even bigger problem as I grow older.
In this image you have two hands. Both have blood on all of the fingers plus the thumb. This white man’s hands are held out forward as if he’s thinking about what just happened. Maybe somebody he knew just died in his hands, or he just got finished from making someone bleed from whatever he did. The possibilities are endless to what I may think happened, but only he could tell me the real story. The story behind why he now has blood on his hands, and what is going through his head at this point. Was it all a setup, was this all his plan, or is just all a misunderstanding on my part. Not everything is what is seems, but even with this glimpse of the whole picture, you would assume the worst or maybe that’s just something some people do.
We advance ourselves everyday. New ideas turn into new possibilities, which bring new promise to the world we live in. Our brains work together to show that the human mind is endless. From what we wear, to eat, to what we use everyday. Advancements in our technology make us superior to others, but also instills fear to those around it. It can be used to help or harm depending on who wields it. America embraces the idea of militarism, using it almost as a superpower. Warfare, new implications of drones to inflict massive amounts of damage, use for reconnaissance, and help to assassinate HVTs. They use the human interaction in order to pilot and ensure that with each strike they kill the intended target. A job where we have to come together for the greater good, but at whose expense for when civilians are in the radius.
Nonviolence, a new art that’s hard to master. A concept involving conquering fear, a inner peace to be reached, and willing and able to accept others. Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Park, examples of these things that can come to mind automatically. They valued nonviolence as their weapon to fight against the society they lived in. Each wanted to create a world where they would rather live in. One where you’re free. One where they no longer have to fight, but they only embraced nonviolence. They knew they couldn’t add to the fire already taking the lives of those around them, but still they had to keep the pressure for change. They evolved with the world around them to better fight, but still never breaking their promise. Maybe more need to follow in their footsteps to have a better chance at change. Maybe violence only adds more uncontrolled anger, but if able to control it, maybe there can be a new change. Just think about this, “how do we deal with extreme violence without using force in return…”
Engulfed in the way that society was created. Having the idea that you need to have both sides in order to have a “perfect society” if it even exists. Violence and nonviolence go hand and hand. Both need to exist in order for there to be a real balance. It’s like a yin-and-yang, good and evil, they co-exist for the balance to be complete in the world. Without a general balance it tips to one side and society falls off. A take over of one side whether good or evil, but usually it tips over to be more evil. Racism in America, enslavement, or just a take over of another country all categorize as the evil taking over. In their mind they may believe that they’re right, but for those underneath them now, they see them as wrong. It’s all determined by who is in power, and so with that I can’t believe we can have a society rooted in nonviolence. They need to both exist or who can say what’s right from wrong.
“There’s different strokes for different folks...”
A piece that she can never forget.
Her world, different from ours
From discrimination to segregation
From a time where 2 genders existed
Her life, one who’s expected to know how to care
While the other side knew to protect
Her eyes seized what the world threw at her
Her eyes gasping at what she found
Bodies paving the streets,
Screams swallowing her mind,
Her sisters crying for help,
But not all could be satisfied.
It was her world
She learned to live through it the best way that she could
She learned to toughen up to take what she could
Just anything else,
That was the job of her family
Have you ever felt like you have left reality. Like reality has completely lifted off from your body, your mind wandering to a dark place all because you hear a siren. I’m frozen in place, my heart accelerated, my mind blanked, and as the seconds slowly ticked by the door opens. I utter the words, “Hey Grandma” and she replies with her tears. Ideas flooded my mind of what was to come, but I wouldn’t have expected to hear “Fox was gone.” I had no idea how to react to the news. I didn’t know what to do or even what to say. The rage slowly consumed what was once “Kareem’s body”, the air seemed to flow around what emotions seeped out of my draining self control. The world became quiet as I stood there pondering if that was the truth, wondering how could he just leave like that. It was close to my mom’s birthday and we went out to get this new necklace, a diamond heart with a gold strip around it, and now he’s gone. I leave from my grandma's house with an emotionless face. As I start to walk home, a single tear glides down from my eye, trying to hug my cheek but only taken away by my humanity, and then I hear the words, “It’ll be okay.” It was like a surprise presents that you never want, but the twist was that this had no return policy.
It can’t be escaped. Time moves on whether you like it or not. Life has ups and downs for you to juggle with. A constant tug-and-pull, a test of your strength to see if you can keep fighting on. It’s never easy. Those may put on a mask to show what they want to, but on the inside it gets to them too. Whether or not you’re capable of taking the lost, eventually it’ll hit you that it’s the reality. It’s sad but apart of it all.
A little comfort can’t hurt for the short term, but in the long run it hits you hard. Knowing those you love, those who may have shaped your life will just be gone one day. You can’t stop the future from coming, but as they go, may others take their place to fill that void. Holding on to the past will only slow down the time it takes for you to move forward. Just know you’ll see them again. One day you will, but until then, just silence.
It happens to us all. Whether it’s us personally or it’s someone close to us. I remember this one day it was me and one of friends. One day after school we decided to just walk around center city. Everything was calm, we were at peace, the world just seemed to move around us, but then she get a phone call. I didn’t have to hear anything. The only thing I needed was her clenching my hand and it was clear. She had told me that she knew that their time was coming to an end. Her mother, just barely holding a graps to reality, has seen the light. I never asked for the details but I knew she was sick. For the past few weeks she had been getting worst, and now it’s official. She had lost someone close to her as I had lost someone merely 1 month ago. I knew I couldn’t have the sympathy of losing my mother, but I still had it at the level of losing my uncle.
You never know what will happen in this reality called life. It’s full of surprises, full of twists, fulls of unforeseen events that come together to create your life. There is no real way to have full control of it all, but what you can do is just live your life the best that you can. Living in the past will not prepare you for the future, but understanding that those who once was has never left. Though you do not see them doesn’t mean that they aren’t still there. You don’t see them, but they still are real, they still live in your memories. That’s the best thing that we as humans can have. Our memories keep dreams, hopes, and our lives forever alive. Those who have an impact never leave if they will just stay there until you are freed. Until you see the world that’s unseen to the eye. The world where your life comes together and you can look back and hopefully accept your fate.
Throughout my life I had learned to accept the twist to my reality. You have to or else you can never live your life. LIfe is unpredictable, it has something for all of us, and we just have to live each day the best that we can. I wish that I didn’t have to lose that I loved, those you were taken from me, and even those that decided themselves. I just know that I will see them again one day so I just keep on living. My only regret is that I wish I could say, “...see you later.”
Any reader may take a first look at the book “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie, and come a automatic conclusion that it was meant for little kids. The book has an interesting cover to it that can simply throw you off from wanting to read it. It brings a little kid vide to the book, and as you read you can see that the author wanted you to understand the seriousness of it all, but still grasp upon the humor. It was a way of keeping the book interesting, fresh, makes it unique. The book was able to give off a tone that would keep the reader interested, and make sure that it would be able to stand out.
Within the first page of the book the protagonist, named Arnold or Jr, tells us about his birth. We know that he’s a Indian boy living in a society of people that are also Indians. Where they live isn’t the best community, but it was the only place that they could go to because the “whites” didn’t want to live with them. They were thought of as monsters, lesser of a person, and for that they were placed distant from them. Now back to Arnold, we learn that he had excess cerebrospinal fluid and that was stuck all inside his skull. The doctors had to take it out so that he could live a normal life, but the way that he decides to tells us was unconventional. He says “And brain grease works inside the lobes like car grease works inside an engine. It keeps things running smooth and fast. But weirdo me, I was born with too much grease inside my skull, and it got all thick and muddy and disgusting.” He didn't want to be all technical, boring the reader so he made it seem less of a problem. First he calls it “brain grease,” and that changes the whole mood that you feel about the situation. Saying “brain grease” makes it funny which takes away a lot of the seriousness making it a humorous comment. Also, he says “But weirdo me” like he had a choice to be born the way that he did. The way that the author words what happened is an example of the tone of the story, and that helps to change the mood of the reader. He was making you feel happy and not so much worried about Arnold.
We skip ahead a few pages and we come across another example of a change of tone. On page 26 we have Arnold telling us that is about to start high school. You start to get more information about how his education has been before that. He’s a smart kid, but the school he’s at now within his Indian community just isn’t right for him. He needs to get out of that and go to the school with the white kids because that’s where he could be more of himself. So with him starting high school, he follows that with telling us that he’s like every other boy that likes curves, but he just doesn't go crazy about them like the others. He’s the other boys but doesn't show it much, but what we do get to know is that he masturbates a whole lot. He says “Yup that’s right I masturbate, I admit that I masturbate….If there were a Professional Masturbators League, I’d get drafted number one and make millions of dollars.” That’s something that you could possible expect but you’re just not ready to hear it. It throws you off a bit, but you still are able to get a few laughs about that statement. He says “drafted number one” meaning he does it often and that’s a nasty thought to has in your head. It’s just funny for most readers when they hear that. An unexpected turn of event that just throws the reader off but stills gives them a nice little laugh while reading. It makes sure that you stay invested in the story. Just a good thing to do.
Last but not least we have on page 62 more insight about how Arnold’s life was like growing up. We know that his dad gets drunk a lot when he should be buying stuff for the family, we know that his sister just moved about after meeting some guy at the casino, Arnold’s mom is trying to keep things together with the house, and that his life wasn’t really private within the community. They share within there, and anything that happens like a funeral or wedding, everybody is expected to attend. Also, you find out that you’re fighting a lot. There are many rules about it, but to sum it up you’re basically always fighting every time you run into someone. For Arnold that’s not so swell because he can’t fight. He says, “My all time record was five wins and one hundred and twelve loses. Yes, I was a terrible fighter. I was a human punching bag. I lost fights to boys, girls, and kids half my age.” Maybe he’s emphasizing, but maybe he’s telling the truth. Who really knows, but what you do know is that that’s a crazy number difference. Winning 5, and losing 112 is ridiculous. He shouldn't be fighting but he can’t help it. It’s was the way that Arnold was brought up.
As you go back and think about all those cases, there are clear other options to give that information to the reader, but this author decided to be differently. He didn't want to bore you with the easy way of telling you. He wanted the reader to be focused on the book 24/7 and making those little jokes in between with the serious made it a whole lot better of a book. The author knew that you can’t always be the same. You had to mix it up a bit. Be something different. Be the change that you want to see and so he made it his reality. This book portrays a tone that makes the reader laugh. Makes the reader want to read more. Makes the reader want the book to never so that he or she can vast in its glory.
Principal Brown come on don’t do this to me. Please you can’t! You just can’t...we go way back. I was there when this place first opened, I know who pulled all the pranks, I remember the first graduation class back in 94’, and it just keeps going. I am the backbone of this school. Me and others, all have put so much time and effort into this place, so that the students can feel like home. Each and every year when new ones come, they come to us and start the next chain of stories to be held. It’s our job, it’ our life, and you want to replace us with me ones.
What if we replace you huh! You wouldn’t like that at all so why you doing this to us?
Remember back in 96’...when we got that stink bomb. You remember that and guess what? I know who did it. His name was Chris. He was a Junior, one of the bright ones too. He was a pretty good student too, but he just got in with the wrong crowd. You remember them, the so called thugs back then. They were bullying him, everywhere he went they followed. They were making him do whatever they wanted him too, and they told him to make and plant it into your office. And so when it went off, you remember how he came to you and told you who did it? You remember principal.
You believed him too easily, and expelled the student that he told you, but all the evidence was planted on that student. The students that bullied Chris planted all the supplies, and plans in his locker, so of course he couldn’t explain why it was there. A complete set up. He couldn’t do anything but accept the fate that was for someone else.
The thing that made it worse is that you were so filled with rage, that you never considered the fact that he could have been framed, and maybe he didn’t do it. Don’t try to lie. The case was just too easy and you never thought twice about it. You punished the wrong person for a crime he didn’t do, and the bullies had a great laugh. After you expelled him, Chris came back to me got his stuff, but he couldn’t leave. The bullies came back, threw him in me, and thanked him for doing their dirty work.
Before they left they told him, “Tell anyone and you’ll regret it.” I can still hear their painful words, still see how badly Chris shook with fear, and I was the only thing around that could help. I was the only one who knew what really happened, and that’s just the start of my memories.
What about in 2000, when you thought the school was going to close, and all your hopes were in a students project being picked as the country’s best. You remember that girl? Her name was Amber, and where did she house her winning project? In me. I was the lucky locker to keep her project safe. I had all her notes on how to build it, produce it...I was the one that had the inspirational words on it from previous years that motivated her the entire way. I was always the one that was the first to see her, and the one that always said goodbye. I was the one that was always with her, and always knew what she thinking. I was the reason why she succeeded.
Now let’s not forget about the 2006 senior prom. You remember what happened, they couldn’t decide on who to pick as the ‘Queen’ but really, there was one true winner but they felt bad for the other girl who got into a car accident the day before. She was going to be the winner, but because of her accident, she had to stay in the hospital. So they went down to the hospital and crowned her there. They even came up with the idea to make a nice little video of it, and that got shared with the school the next day. They made that girl so happy, and she needed that for her recovery. I saw it all, heard it all, watched them get all excited about it, and saw them put it into action.
I grew as this school grew over the years. I know who steals the pretzels from your office, I know what the teachers do once all the students leave each day, and I know so many secrets from almost every student in this school. They never think that I’m listening to them while they walk past, but I am. If I told these secrets I could ruin so many lives. What I know can never be forgotten. What I know must be shared, but if not, at least let it live on in my memories. So I’m begging you, not to replace me with that new crap. Let me stay and be with the family that I grew up with.
I want to see how it all goes down. I want to see my family grow. I want to spend my last days rusting away watching them grow up, and go in the world.
My language, My life
“Ah yo, come here real quick” they always say.
“Naw I’m chillin’. Imma just go in the other direction.” I answer.
“What I say.”
“I don’t care, so what you gonna do stupid.”
“You think this is a game, huh?”
“Yeah always. All day every day, keepin’ it one hunnit. Thought y’all knew me by now.”
“Yeah there he is. My manz is back (laughing continues). What you been up to?”
“Nothing much really. Just chilling as always.”
“You still down for the party?”
“I don’t know. Momz not going out tonight.”
“Come on man, you got to. I know you remember what happened last time. Now don’t lie, it was crazy sick.”
“Yeah I know, but I can’t always do it. Remember I’m trynna go places. I can’t have this coming back at me. I got ya’ll next time ard.”
“Yeah yeah but bail on us next time then.”
My old friends...always able to speak freely with them. They were the ones to get me to open up. You know, actually live a little. It was because of them that I was to have fun. Before I met them, I jut nothing but study, which is good but I wasn’t haven’t any fun. And at that moment that we started to hang, I got my new idea of the world. I figured out that I couldn’t be happy with myself if I wasn’t able to have fun and so I did. I adapted to their way of speech, and understood their mindset, but I didn’t let that control me. I wanted to have that in mind, but still able to obtain new ways of communication.
My mind is continuously moving. Constantly reminding myself not to fall into the trap. It’s trying to stay above ground, no slip ups, no mistakes. I really wanted to go, I really did, but I would be pushing it with all the extra work my new school likes to give me. I didn’t really expect it all, but I choose the school because it would help me better myself. It gave me new opportunities to explore so I can experience all I need to. I need to be able to make a difference.
“Can I get a ‘Amen’ now?” says pastor. “I said can I get a ‘Amen’!”
“We have here today brother Kareem and he wants to say something to the church this Sunday morning.”
“Well really I just wanted to thank you all for helping me get further in life. You all have motivated me to push harder, strive for the best, conquer the odds, and be a better person that people outside of here will know as the one who succeed. The trials you put me through has proven that I can live up to the challenge, but the only fight left is with myself. Thank you.”
That was when I was the worship leader for one service. They caught me coming back from my vacation and I just decided to just do it. I was able to lead the service, tell them what’s going on, and afterwards they wanted me to say something in response. So I said that to them, and that left them a little shocked. They didn’t think that I noticed what they did for me over the years, and so that was just one of the many things I did to repay the favor.
Me personally I have a mask over my face that I’m always doing the best I can making it seem like I’m someone else, but truthfully, they both are me. They’re just the different sides of me. You have the civilized, and the uncivilized me. They just change with the degree of my mood.
“Yes mother. I did that already. No you can’t do that. Just let me fix the wires when I get home okay? Okay bye.”
“She needs your help again?”
“Yeah but it’ll wait, I gotta finish this first. This is just too cool to miss.”
They show the side of me that fits with you better. The side of me that you’ll most likely accept. I don’t really mean to, but it kind of just happens. I do it to find my place, to get a better understanding of myself, to know what I need to do in order to succeed. These voices, sounding different, all show the pieces of me. It’s just your job to fit them together so you hear, see, feel, know everything that I do. So really, I feel like I don’t change myself. Yes I code switch, but I only do it so people can understand me. From one to the other, the change makes me fit in. The change is my way to survive.
“Yes. How may I help you?”
“You better watch yourself”
“How can I help you?”
“Just do what you have to do in the house.”
“What was that?”
“Yes master. I mean mom”
Just a usual confrontation with my mom. It’s not bad, but since it happened so much, I started changing my way of responding. You saw I said “master” and at this point it comes out from time to time. I can’t use my regular way of speaking when it comes to her even though she uses it towards me. It seems a bit backwards but I just switch it so she can understand me.
My way of survival changes from scene to scene. From my friends, to school, to home. With friends, I just try to fit in, with school, I try to succeed, and at home, I feel like I become something different other than me. All these places have a different way of talking. It goes from leisure to force, all I can do is adapt accordingly. Sometimes I wish no matter how I want to talk, people will understand but that’s not the case. Sometimes I feel like they are trying to hide that part of himself from others, or they just feel like one way of speaking is better than others. So really that makes me feel like language has power. One way of speaking portrays one scenario, and the other is used to get the same point across but just in a way for someone else to understand. That’s really all that makes sense.
a) I learned how to make drawing look the way I wanted them to be. I now can take a image and pretty much draw it in a way that'll make you think that you see exactly what I do. It's a cool skill to know because it messes with the person's mind.
b) Learning this skill really helped me because my drawings look more realistic. I have a skill that makes the viewers believe that what I'm drawing is really in front of them.
c) If I did this assignment again, I'd spend more time on it to really make sure that I captured everything in my drawing. If I could get more detailed, it would be a excellent drawing.
d) My advice to someone who has never drawn in one point perspective is to just try. I thought that I couldn't do this kind of drawing but I did pretty well. As long as you try, you will do just fine.
e) Something that really helped me was my classmates. They were there to keep me on the right track, and helped me when I needed assistance.
Mi nombre es Kareem Davis y tengo catorce años. Soy estudiante de Science Leadership Academy (SLA). Está en Filadelfia, cincuenta y cinco norte, veinte y dos calle. Está cerca de oficina de PECO. SLA es una escuela pequeña, pacífico, y un poco viejo, pero es muy divertido. Hay cinco pisos, pero nosotros no puede ir en el cuarto piso. Tenemos muchas clases, listos profesores, y super inteligente estudiantes. Tenemos baloncesto, fútbol, voleibol, club de debate, robóticas, y muchas más clubes. Yo participo en robóticas porque me gusta tecnología, y es siempre divertido.
Tengo ingles, historia, español, geometría, bioquímica, ingeniería, y informática. Mi favorita clase es español porque, es muy divertido. Nosotros bailamos, cantamos, jugamos, y leemos en la clase de español. Nosotros vivimos en un mundo nuevo aquí. No me gusta la clase de ingeniería porque es muy difícil. En español, tú necesito una pluma, unas hojas de papel, y una carpeta. En ingeniería, tú necesitas unas hojas de papel, y unos lapices. Es importante para español para divertirse, pero para ingeniería es importante intentar su mejor.
Los profesores en SLA son listos, y muchos son extraños. Señorita Manuel enseña español, y ella es super boba. Ella es cómico en la clase, y bastante útil. Él señor Kay enseñas ingles y teatro. También, el señor Kay entrenadores el equipo de baloncesto . Él es muy loco y cómico. La clase de ingles es muy difícil, porque es facil demasiado. La clase de espanol es muy divertido y a veces difícil, porque en su mayoría.
Me gusta usar computadoras en mis clases y mis profesores. Ellos son tranquilos la mayor parte del tiempo, y siempre cómicos y listos. Lo que más me gusta de SLA es almuerzo y consejería porque, los dos son loco y divertido.
With my slide, I wanted to capture the main things about me. There were 3 main things, music, writing, and video games. They all are important, but some are better than others. Music is at the top, then writing, then video games. So once I found a picture for music, I made it my background because it was my favorite of the 3. The writing and video game pictures were hard to find only because I needed them to fade into the background. I noticed that one of the pictures went nicely with the background, because it blended nicely. The other one I really liked but couldn't blend it, so I just put it in the other corner. I finished it off with the statement, "Who Am I..." and this is the final product. I kept it simple and I hope it’s good.
Through presenting in class, I learned that my slide was bad. It was too cluttered with the stuff on it, and now I feel better. As one classmate said, I should just have one central idea, that's what I did. My new slide was only about music, and then I added a nice quote in the corner. They go together nicely, and I used the rule of the thirds, plus empty space in this design. Although I was set up for failure, I think I triumphed in the end. It took some work, but I got my slide done and it’s way better than the original.