I slid the key into the door and turned it, hearing that reassuring click that meant it had been unlocked. A long and stressful day has once again brought me to the comfort of my warm and cozy home. However as I entered my house I wasn’t greeted by my mother in the usual cheerful way. There was an eerie mood inside, one I hadn’t felt often before. The Television was off, no Polish dramas were playing, and my mother wasn’t on the brown couch we’ve had since moving in. As I came into the dining room I could see my mom sitting at the kitchen table, tears running down her face. I had never seen her like this before, my mother was the strongest person I knew. She could barely hold onto the phone in her hand. My brother and I looked at each other. Grandpop is dead, he’s gone she said with a tremble in her voice. I dropped my bag which, I had been holding with one arm and immediately embraced her, my brother following forthwith. I could feel her tears hit the back of my neck.
I hadn’t said anything, I didn’t know what to say. I remember feeling sadness, the purest form of it that had ever resided in me. I wanted to cry, I felt my eyes watering, but I couldn’t, not now. I knew I had to stay strong for her, as she had been for me in the past. He’s in a better place now mom, I told her, but it wouldn’t change anything. How did it happen I asked. He died in his sleep, she answered. Thank you, she said to my brother and I. I knew we hadn’t done much, there wasn’t anything we could do other then be there for her, but still there was so much gratitude in her eyes. My eyes watered again. I remember thinking what I would do if I ever lost her, how I could continue living knowing I’d never get to talk to her again. Do you want me to make you tea, I asked her. I had to distract myself. Yes, thank you Marcin, she answered and so I went to put water in the kettle. As I poured water in the brass kettle, I remembered doing the same back in Poland when I went to visit my grandparents, I remember what my grandpop had told me back then. One day when I won’t be on this Earth anymore, it will be your responsibility to help your mom for me he said. The first tear fell. It hit the kettle and slid down into the sink. I went to turn on the stove.
I don’t like to remember this memory, as the loss of a loved one is never something pleasant to remind yourself of. It is easier to try and forget, but forgetting is not an option. Sharing this memory will force me to remember, I have to accept what has happened and honor my grandfather’s memory. The present I live in is one without my grandfather in it, all that’s left is his memory and legacy, unlike the memories I have of the past, a past with him in my life.
Similar to the style of narration presented in the Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, in my reconstruction there is a past tense in which I narrate the memory, but there is also a present tense where I reflect upon it and I why it is important to me. In Offred’s narrative we see her describe the emotions she feels towards memories she shares with the readers. I chose to write about this topic because of how it has affected me emotionally and molded me into the person I am today. I saw this topic as very relatable, as we have all gone through something similar or will go through it one day.
As you may already know my name is Marcin Czapla. I am a CTE student who attends Science Leadership Academy, and I am aspiring to be an engineer in the future. As we all know, engineers have their strengths, which are key to their success in field. It takes many attributes to succeed in such a demanding field, where a new task could by lying in wait for you every day. Personally, I feel I am equipped with strengths that will help me become successful in this field, three of them to be exact. They are creativity, curiosity, and compassionate.
Creativity is the first trait I listed and probably the most important. It is hard to come by new ideas nowadays, or at least original ones. We see ideas being marketed that are just different versions of existing ones. There are so many unsolved issues in the world that are just waiting for a creative mind to come by and say, “Hey what if we try this…” I aspire to be that person someday, that can think of creative idea to help someone in need or solve a problem no one thought could be solved. In everything I do, I try my best to be creative when I have the freedom to be, and I hope to continue to do so but with bigger goals in mind.
Curiosity, is what killed the cat, or so goes the saying. I for one am no cat however, and I am curious all the time usually about certain topics that catch my eye. Whenever I am really interested in something, or invest my time into it, I get very curious. I think of questions that I don’t know the answer to and then try to answer them with what I already do know. That is essentially what engineers do, they concieve and solve questions people don’t know the answers to. “What happens if we use this material instead of that?,” “What if we make that 3 feet longer, how will that affect its durability.” Curiosity is important in this kind of field because in order to solve problems and help people, we must first be curious enough to explore those problems and find out more about them.
Last but not least is the ability to be compassionate. Being compassionate is especially important, not just in engineering, but in everything you do. In order to help people, and ultimately help the world, you must learn to be compassionate first. Being able to make the right and the wrong choice also falls under this for me, as I learned in the short Engineering Ethics course Mr. Kamal taught us. Maybe in the future there will be a situation where someone needs help, someone who is in need, but they don’t have the necessary funds to hire you? Would you turn that person down? I wouldn’t. I would do everything I could to help that person out, because one day you could be in that person's shoes. I do believe that focusing on yourself first is important, but being compassionate towards others is important as well.
How will these 3 strengths influence the things I pursue and do in my future? They will be there along the way with me, influencing my decisions and helping me become the engineer I want to be. These 3 strengths will be crucial in both my development as a person and as a student of engineering. They will help guide me to help make the world a better place.
Literacy can be found everywhere we look. Even though this may be seen as something obvious that anyone would know; why is it that people still have a prejudice against languages, other than the one they speak. I believe that a person’s language doesn’t change the message they are trying to get through, “it doesn’t affect the quality of a person’s idea,” but for many people, their perspective is different. Throughout my life I have experienced this in many forms and instances, whether it be a teacher questioning my knowledge of a subject based off of how well I can annunciate and express my thoughts in English, or my peers judging the level of intelligence I posses based on how well I can communicate my ideas with them. A specific memory that I still vividly remember to this day was an experience in Kindergarten, where I experienced prejudice. It was a time in my life when I was still adapting to the English language and the American culture that varied significantly from my very own.
Kindergarten had gone and passed and I was now stepping into a whole new ballpark... the first grade. My Polish friends and I have been discussing this transition for the whole summer and experiencing it for the past month and a half. First grade wasn’t that bad, we still had fun although we didn’t play with toys anymore, nor did we have nap times like in kindergarten, but the enjoyment of learning was still there for me. I remember one day though when I didn’t feel this same joy, a day when I became very angry that I hadn’t learned English at a younger age like most of my peers. We were working on our phonics notebooks and labeling pictures of things. Everyone in the class was sharing out their answer for one of the pictures when the teacher suddenly called on me.
“Marcin, what is the item in the ninth image?” I looked down at the image and stared blankly. What was it called again? I pondered for a good couple of seconds before my teacher asked,
“Marcin do you not know the answer?” I suddenly turned red in embarrassment and started to think harder. Then it hit me, I opened my mouth and spoke the word,
“Byk.” The entire class stared blankly at me except for my Polish peers who understood what I just said.
“No Marcin, that’s a yak,” my teacher said.
“I said that, that’s what byk means,” I replied.
“Well it’s not correct, let’s try another one,” she said. I didn’t want to start another one though, I got the answer right, it’s just that I didn’t say it in English, but I knew what the meaning was.
Had I really gotten the answer wrong, or just given a different version of the answer? The reason I chose to write about that scene, was because it’s a very vivid memory in my mind. The memory is so fresh in my mind because that’s one of the first times ever in my life that my Polish culture clashed with this new American one. I believe that the idea of a teacher telling me I was unsuccessful in identifying something, just because I didn’t know the word to describe it in this exotically new language, is culturally offensive. I knew what the image was, I could describe it perfectly in my own language but yet the teacher said my description was wrong, which it wasn’t.
Taking a look at the passages we read in class, one stands out to me that really connects with the idea I’m trying to project. "If you want to be American, speak 'American.' If you don't like it, go back to Mexico where you belong," (Anzaldúa, How to Tame a Wild Tongue, 34.) The author brings up this quote after stating that her elementary school teacher would hit her with a ruler on the wrists for speaking Spanish. The teacher would go as far as to do this even when the author was just trying to tell her how to pronounce her name. “If you want to be American, speak American,” really stands out since it shows that people in this country have a close-minded ideology, thinking that for people to belong here, they have to speak the countries language.
What is the message I am trying to deliver with this essay? The message and my overall thesis are that a person’s language doesn’t change the message they are trying to get through, “it doesn’t affect the quality of a person’s ideas.” Across the world we can find many intelligent people with amazing ideas and thoughts, ones that have been, will be, or are, revolutionary to the world we live in today, yet we don’t treat these people’s ideas with the same prejudice just because some of them are thought of or portrayed in a different language. We can’t judge thoughts with the idea in mind that they are worse just because of the way they are conveyed to us, just like we can’t judge someone’s skills or talent based on what they look like.
Anzaldúa, Gloria. “How to Tame a Wild Tongue.” https://www.everettsd.org/cms/lib07/WA01920133/Centricity/Domain/965/Anzaldua-Wild-Tongue.pdf
Why Are We Violent?
What causes violence? Most of the time it is conflict, or maybe even jealousy. Other times violence can be a product of fear, like in the novel “Lord of The Flies.” But is fear really what caused the boys to act out in violence? Maybe it was just the desire to hurt something that drove the boys to beat another human being to death. Humans can often have violent outbursts for many reasons, but it’s usually something small like maybe breaking something or hitting a wall. Small or not, though, these outbursts are still violent, and can be harmful. This raises the question, what causes humans to have the desire to hurt and destroy? Humans naturally have a desire to hurt things because it is in their nature.
The novel “Lord of The Flies” is about a group of boys whose plane has crashed on an isolated island, stranding them there. In Chapter 9, "A view to death", the reader gets to experience the first death so far. Simon goes to explore the mountain and try to find the beast. He finds out it's a human corpse that fell from the sky. The journey is exhausting, he gets very dirty and gets covered in blood from his nose, so when he gets back, the boys think he's the beast. "Now out of the terror rose another desire, thick. urgent, blind. “‘Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!’ Again the blue-white scare jagged above them and the sulfurous explosion beat down. The littluns screamed and blundered about, fleeing from the edge of the forest, and one of them broke the ring of begins in his terror. ‘Him! Him!’ The circle became a horseshoe. A thing was crawling out of the forest. It came darkly, uncertainly. The still screaming that rose from the beast was like a pain. The beast stumbled into the horseshoe (152).” This scene shows how fear can cause people to change, but is it really fear that did this to the boys? The boys could have run away from the beast or simply captured it since it wasn’t trying to attack them. They, of course, didn’t know that the beast was actually Simon, but still most likely saw that this beast looked awfully similar to a human, unless they were so struck by the fear that they didn’t notice. That doesn’t make sense, though, because when they first saw the beast fall from the sky, they didn’t want to go anywhere that night, or during the day for that matter, because they were so scared. Why didn’t they hurt the beast then or try to find him and hurt him out of fear? It’s because fear isn’t what drove them to attack the beast, but the desire for hurting something was.
In today’s society, we see people being hurt and murdered all the time, but recently the cause of a lot of it has been the police. Police brutality has been a serious issue over the past few years, with many innocent African Americans being murdered in cold blood for no reason. But what is the police’s justification for this you may ask? Fear. They claim they were in fear of losing their lives. They said they were in fear of the suspect being armed. But were they really in any danger? Evidence in most of these cases has proved that the victims were unarmed, and most of the time not even doing anything wrong. An example of this is the murder of David Sal Silva which happened in 2013. David was beaten to death by four policemen that claimed he was drunk and trying to fight them. Witnesses say that this isn’t true and there have been recording posted around the internet. That is exactly what the boys did, they murdered someone in cold blood. They took the life of an unarmed and harmless human being who was no danger to them at all, and why? Because they had the desire and thirst to do so, like animals. That is exactly what they acted like when they murdered Simon, not humans, but animals. Except that they were worse than animals, since animals most of the time kill for food, but what purpose did the boys have for killing Simon? That’s simple, they didn’t have one.
The boys have been showing signs of this desire earlier in the book as well. If we go back to the chapter titled “Painted Faces and Long Hair,” we will see many of them. The specific scene I’m talking about is when the group of hunters comes back from hunting the pigs and describe what they did to Ralph and the others. Jack then steps in and describes what he did to the pig in a sadistic way. “‘I cut the pig's throat,’ said Jack, proudly, and yet twitched as he said it (69).” The twitch that happened makes it seem like there is something wrong with Jack, yet he shows he can process decisions easily throughout the book and be mostly logical about everyday things, so why the twitch? It’s a sign he wants to hurt more and that he liked the feeling of killing the pig. This makes Jack a sadist and proves furthermore that the boys had a hunger for hurting and killing things in the book. If the boys have this lust for hurting that we see in the pig scene, that should be a foreshadowing of the fact that it’s a matter of time before they hurt another human being, like they did to Simon and then Piggy.
It has even been scientifically proven that violence can be caused by many other factors other than fear. Some of the factors that can cause violence are exposure to it, frustration, overcrowding and even heat. There’s also something else that can cause violence, something called “terror management theory” shows us that people tend to act out in violent ways when they feel worthless or unimportant. This can explain why Jack acted out in violence a lot. Early on in the book, he was denied the role of being the leader by the other boys, which made him feel weaker. This could have made him feel the need to savagely hunt the pigs down and kill them. The more he did this the more enjoyable it started to become, and as my earlier example shows, even after the first hunt he already loved the feeling of hurting things. The fact that there was probably lot’s of heat on this tropical island and the human instinct to hurt things, especially when feeling threatened was what made the boys act out in violence and ultimately kill Simon.
The reason the boys killed Simon is not because they thought he was the beast, but because they have a hunger for hurting things and enjoy it. The fact that Jack also felt unimportant made him act out in violence to avoid that feeling. The boys also looked up to Jack, and just like humans naturally have the urge to hurt and hunt, we also have the urge to follow so they listened to Jack like he was their Alpha-male. The reason it is human nature to feel the need to hurt things or kill them is because humans are natural predators. When hurting something our minds can also learn to enjoy it, which is what made the boys kill Simon, the thrill, and joy of hurting something. The only thing that keeps us all peaceful and following the rules are the consequences that are there if we break them.
Natasha Lennard / Salon. "Police Beat Man to Death With Batons, Confiscate Witness Video." Alternet. N.p., 13 May 2013. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.
Golding, William. Lord of The Flies. New York: Penguin, 2006.
Kirk Schneider / AlterNet. "Why Are Humans Violent? The Psychological Reason We Hurt Each Other." Alternet. N.p., 30 July 2014. Web. 31 Mar. 2017."Violence." Pardon Our Interruption. American Psychological Association, n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.
Mi nombre es Marcin. Yo vivo en el barrio de Port Richmond. Port Richmond no es conocido para es arte público. Hay es mucho grafiti en el edificios abandonados. El barrio es relativamente seguro, no hay mucho el delito. Cuando yo pensar de mi barrio mi pensar de Polaco. La comunidad ese vive en mi barrio son ante todo Polaco, Irlandesa, y and Aleman. La mayoría son Polaco aunque. Yo tengo fuerte conexión para mi barrio y mi comunidad cual yo hecho con muchos años el vivir ahí.
Yo pintar mi mural en el centro de recreación. Esta lugar es popular y muchos niños ir ahí. La comunidad gustos a jugar deportes ahí. Yo haría poner mi mural en la pared ese caras el campo. Carros ese pasar por hario además ser poder ver el mensaje ese camino. Vandalismo además haría no problema si la comunidad respetas mi mural. En general, creo que este mural sería una gran adición a mi barrio y lo hará un lugar mejor.
Mi mural será characteristica cuatro brazos poniendo su punos en a círculo. Cada puno será characteristica a different bandera es decir ya cea Polaco, Irlandesa, Alemán, o Americano. El propósito de estas punos es a espectáculo ese nosotros son a fuerte comunidad ese palo juntos y mirar nuestras diferencias. Cada puno será simbolizar a diferente pais. Yo sería además tener a corazón en el medio de el círculo a representar amar para todas las naciones. En el brazos yo sería escribir diferente positivo palabras ese haria gente juntos. Básicamente el tema de mi mural es unidad y amor.
Yo tener ganas de mi mural cumple el papel de arte de público. La razón es, tiene un mensaje que es positivo y creativo. El arte público tampoco tiene una definición estándar. Cualquier cosa puede ser arte público, ya sea una estatua o un mural, no importa. En mi caso es un mural, y está uniendo mi comunidad como una, lo cual es una ventaja. Mi creación es también arte, ya que vino de mi imaginación y porta un aspecto creativo de mi mente.
Una Oda a Venustiano Carranza
El mas sabio, el era a lider, y el es inteligente
Cuando yo te veo pienso en un presidente
Me haces intrigadoTú, mi favorito líder de la Revolución Mexicana
Ok, today is the day, I’m gonna talk to her, I'm not gonna wimp out of it anymore. I want to meet her and get to know her so bad, I just haven’t had the courage to talk to her yet. She’s just so… perfect, there’s no other way to describe it. I mean you guys understand right, that one special girl that you just lay your eyes on and you are already on cloud 9. That’s who Anna is to me, that dream girl. I always see her and have classes with her, and I’ve always wanted to say “Hi,” at the very least but I could never build up the courage. Well, that all changes today! In about 3 minutes lunch is gonna start and she should be walking out of her History class. That’s when I make my move and just go up to her. No.. no I can’t… no there’s no point, she probably won’t like me or wanna talk to me anyways, I mean I’m a boring person and I’m sure as hell not funny. The only reason she would laugh is probably out of awkwardness. GOD WHY AM I LIKE THIS. Why do I have to be so self-conscious and put myself down so much… oh, wait I do know why it’s because my standards are too high. I don’t have a chance with her…. *bell rings and door to history opens, Anna is one of the first people to walk out**Whispers- Oh no there she is, it’s now or never.” Hey, Anna, what’s up? Oh, you’re going to lunch, nice, nice sounds like fun. What me? Oh, I’m just chilling you know, I’m probably gonna go get some lunch in a little bit but for now, I’m good. Yea it was nice talking to you too, we can definitely grab some lunch together sometime. *Waving towards the distance as if she was walking away* That was easier than I thought… or was it. No that was a good little conversation… oh, who am I kidding she probably thought I was a weirdo. I probably made that so awkward…. UGHHHHH GOD WHY AM I SO CRINGEY?! Why can’t I be like any other guy and be able to talk to a girl in the snap of a finger, no hesitation, no nothing?! WHYY!? Why do I have to be so weird? I just want to be able to talk to her, nothing more, and I can’t even do that. Mannnn… how can I expect to one day maybe get her to like me enough to give me a chance and go out with me if I can’t even talk to her? I should just give up right now and accept that I’m going to just be alone forever. *Looks over and sees Anna coming back towards him smiling* Hey Anna *nervously* Wait.. you want to go grab lunch right now? Yea sure that sounds nice, let’s go, I just need to grab something from my locker really quick. Yea I'll meet you downstairs. *Waves at Anna again* Did you guys see that!? I talked to her, this is amazing. I’m gonna finally get a chance to hang out with her. I mean seriously this is awesome, I’m going to go eat lunch with...Anna...by ourselves… that’s almost like a date. OMG! NO WAY! I’M GOING TO GET LUNCH WITH ANNA! WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!? *Begins to walk away from the camera/ audience* Oh right, gotta get my coat, almost forgot about that with all this excitement in me, haha.
A big part of my life is my heritage, since being Polish is an everyday type of thing. I mean we eat Polish food all of the time at my house and celebrate Polish holidays. I don’t just stop being Polish sometimes, which is why it is weird when people don’t believe me when I tell them I can speak Polish. Here’s a typical scene:
“You’re Polish?” “Yea, both my parents are Polish and I was born in Poland,” “Well do you speak Polish then?” “Yea, I speak Polish fluently,” “You’re lying! I don’t believe you.” “Um, ok? Why not?” “Prove it then, say something Polish right now,” they demand. “Ja mam na imie Marcin Czapla, I ja umiem rozmawiac po Polsku (My name is Marcin Czapla and I know how to speak Polish),” I would say with almost annoyance in my voice. “Wow you really do know how to speak Polish!” they would exclaim almost surprised as if I hadn’t told them already. “Yea..,” I would reply.
I understand people could be from a different country, like for example Spain, and not speak that country’s language. If I tell you I’m Polish though, and you ask me if I speak it, and I reply with “yes”, then how can you tell me I’m lying about that? Why would I lie about being able to speak the language of the country I am from, there almost no benefits to it if any, especially if it’s just a friendly conversation where I am trying to get to know you? Maybe if it was to go on a application to somewhere, like a job for instance, that needed a Polish speaking employee, then I would understand the speculations. For me though, it usually happens during one of those friendly types of conversations where you are just meeting someone for the first time and are trying to get to know them better, or when you just see someone that you don’t talk to as much and you start some small talk.
This has been happening to me my whole life which is why I’m basically used to it by now, but in the beginning it used to always annoy me. I mean I was born in Poland, but my parents came to this country with me when I was only a few months old. Even though I’ve spent almost my whole life here, at my house we all still speak primarily Polish to each other. My parents are both Polish too and were born there obviously, but unlike me this doesn’t happen to them. It might be because since their adults and they are immigrants, it’s almost expected of them to be able to speak the language of the country that they came here from. I also understand that for someone my age to speak another language fluently could be seen as impressive or not very common, but telling me I’m lying when I tell you I speak Polish or telling that to someone no matter what the language is disrespectful. What that shows, or how I perceive it at least, is that you are doubting the fact that I know another language, or you think I’m lying to you. I know that some people use the phrase “You’re lying” as just a way of expressing that they are surprised, but in most cases that I’ve been in the people that said this were being serious. I think that people do this because a new language is something so new and well foreign to them, which is why they aren’t used to it and act like they act. It’s basically the same situation for me every time too, but I could understand why, I mean if I were to meet someone who spoke another language I wouldn’t say the same thing as them, but I would be just as surprised. I would be walking somewhere, usually down a hallway at school, when I run into someone from one of my classes that I really don’t talk to that much. We would start conversing and create some small talk and eventually the subject would somehow get to me being Polish. In conclusion, being Polish is a big part of my life That’s why when someone tells me they don’t believe that I can speak Polish it’s pretty offensive to me. I do understand that people might do it without even knowing it could be offensive or they don’t mean it to be, but it does sound a little rude most of the time and it hits me on a personal level if said in the wrong way.
Vengo de Polonia.
Mi familia son inmigrantes,
Nosotros llegamos aquí para trabajar.
Tener papeles sobre mí, amigos.
Veo el verde campos de polonia,
Saboreo bolas de masa hervidas de mi mamá.
Oigo la voz de mis abuelos,
Toco Rex, el es mi perro.
Huelo flores de mis abuelos,
Yo canto con montañeros.
Jugar futbol en los campos,
Miro las montaños.
Exploras los castillos,
Somos productos de Polonia.
La lengua de bolas de masa hervidas y nutella,
No somos Americanos.
Vivimos en América,
Pero somos polacos.
Polonia está en nosotros pero allí yo tengo hugar.
Mi familia en la encrucijada,
A menudo, me gusta
jugar videojuegos y practicar deportes.
siempre, me encanta comer, dormir, y pasar tiempo con amigos.
No soy ni trabajador,
ni hacer la tarea.