My elbow lied on the armrest, with my jaw in my hand. As I glared out of the window, I let my eyelids float along my eyes. I felt tired, but I couldn’t go to sleep because the bus was too cold, so I sat in silence and watched my reflection cascade over the mountaintops. When did I get so old? It feels like just yesterday I was living with those I used to call my family. My family and I were kinda like a beat-up car. It’s funny now, but we were so beat up that we were constantly in need of repairs. Everytime the mechanic fixed us there was always something else, we were always in need of an oil change.
This one time, I had to be about 15 and I did not want to live with my parents anymore. I hated it. Living with them felt like living alone because there was no support.
“I’m hungry,” I said to my mom who was tucked away on the living room couch.
“Well go find something to eat then” she said casually, as if we had food in the house to sift through.
“We only have these arbitrary ingredients, I can’t make anything out of these.” I responded, hoping that she’d throw me a bone and feed me.
“Well we have bread, and a toaster. So figure something out.” This was my mom at her most helpful. I looked at her from our tiny kitchen and I saw that she’s sank into the couch even further than she has before, she’s not getting up. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her get up from that couch before.
“We don’t have anymore bread, I ate it all. You’ve been telling me that for the past three days.” Then she said something along the lines of, “Well, look for something else then. You need to learn independence, start feedin’ yourself. I’m not gonna be here all the time, start lookin out for yourself,” she continued. “‘Cause at the end of the day it’s kill or be killed.” She answered.
I chose to emulate Kesey’s use and structure of dialogue for the memory reconstruction so each sentence pushed the story along in a significant way. I also emulated Kesey’s writing style because of the metaphors and symbolism that he presents in OFOTCN. My main goal was to use a central symbol/metaphor to support the memory so I used the concept of a broken down car to signify the main speaker’s relationship with their family. I took the reflectiveness from Atwood’s work and applied it to my own so that my character has distance from the thought of their family.
Isolation and separation will cause the human race to go extinct. To elaborate, very little social interaction between people can be detrimental to one's health both mentally and physically. One New York Times article states that, “Individuals with less social connection have disrupted sleep patterns, altered immune systems, more inflammation and higher levels of stress hormones.” This isn’t all, one of the reasons that we isolate ourselves is because we live in a modernized era, and social media doesn't do enough to help us when it comes to socializing. It only pushes a divide. With social media, we are only connected with people through their online presence and our perceptions of them.
In the Merriam webster dictionary, isolation is defined as, “the state of being alone or kept apart from others.” The given definition of isolation implies that there are multiple types of isolation and that within these types of isolation, there is one where people are forcefully set or casted away from other people, as well as one where people are set into a condition where they feel the need to be alone. Although these two different types of isolation may have different causes, they often have the same effects on a person. Humans are a social species, we have evolved to be dependant on each other in order to live our everyday lives, if something were to get in the way of human interaction it would be detrimental to our entire social ecosystem. It has been known that people who are isolated are at a greater risk to suffering from multiple illnesses, but it was soon discovered by a psychologist, Steve Cole alongside UCLA students, that in response to isolation, the human body can disrupt the activity of genes that make antibodies to fight infections of all types, as well as increasing the amount of genes that are responsible for inflammation. Humans need physical interaction with other humans in order to survive, without it we begin to deteriorate from the inside out.
Social media is a new platform that was recently introduced into society and in such a short time it has evolved rather quickly. Social media platforms main goals are to allow people from all across the globe to interact with each other and give people who have never met before the ability to communicate with one another. Although this is the initial intent of social media, it is also quite misleading. An article from CNN links a study that states that, “Young adults with high social media usage seem to feel more socially isolated than their counterparts with lower social media usage.” Being on social media doesn’t always mean that people are being more social, sometimes it means that people are hiding behind it. It’s how they appear online that often blocks their real presence, and unaware with how they actually spend their time, their lives become warped into this reality that isn’t tangible, as it is only lived through screens.
There was once a time where I isolated myself from individuals and barricaded myself from the outside world. As a result of doing this, I spent most of my time on social media, even within the presence of other people. For awhile, I felt perfectly fine being this person that didn’t speak to others. I thought it was okay, but I unknowingly barricaded myself within this mental forretress that I made. This barrier that was built up against everyone in my life began to trap me inside. When I realized that I had been isolating myself, it became even harder for me to interact with other individuals. I had no real social skills and I was awkward to talk to. With my phone as my social crutch it was far too hard to try and communicate with other people. I began to ask myself, “Why do I feel so boring?” What I had once thought was working for me as a barricade began to cage me in like an animal, trapping me until I learned through interaction with other people, how to take down those barriers one by one.
Isolation and separation goes against human needs, with the emergence of social media in our society, we will feel as if we are more isolated from the outside world. This is a societal norm that will need to be continuously challenged by humanity. If this is not properly challenged humans will be at risk for major health illnesses, including heart attacks. Real-life interaction is the only way our modern-day society will be able to survive. Our society isn’t fit to cage ourselves in, because that’s not who we are.
My dog is wild. I never had a pet so unwilling to cooperate with anyone before. She’s still a puppy though, so it's fine…That is what I would say if she was still here. My dad had gave away my dog and I didn't know how to feel about it when she left. My dad did this with my last dog, my cat, my other cat, and my fish. I guess I should've been really used to it by then but, I wasn't. I guess it was just her time to go. Should I have been happy? I mean, I wouldn't have to take her on walks or clean up after her anymore. But, at the same time I was really gonna miss that innocent pitter-patter of paws running towards me when I came home. All I did was sit in my basement and stare at where she would've been. I would be staring at that empty spot wondering about all the loud barking she'd be making if she were here.
“This sucks,” I thought quietly to myself as I stared at her giant dog pen that she used to play in. I was sitting on the couch, holding a pillow instead of a dog. This specific pillow has been in my house for about three years now. In all honesty it’s jumped around the house quite a bit. It feels like a home I’ve never been in yet, but at the same time it feels like I’ve been there so many times. The back of the pillow is plain and boring, but the other side gives more to the story. There are flowers and vines that encase it, the plain brown side looks dull, but feels smooth much like silky sand on California beaches. It radiates Las Vegas and encompases something beautiful, while at the same time distracting you from something that feels uncomfortable.
I felt uncomfortable and out of place. I felt like a pillow, indecisive, confused, and my thoughts were really counterintuitive at the time. Why couldn't I get over it like everyone else?
“This really sucks.” I stared blankly at the red wall in my warm basement for a couple seconds and I decided to think about all the reasons why I don’t have a dog anymore. I had originally thought that this was because we weren’t well equipped with everything to take care of her, but, that wasn’t true. My family could afford everything, it’s just that we as a unit couldn’t give her the attention she needed. We weren’t compatible. I didn’t like the feeling of change, I still don’t like the feeling of change, even if change has happened in my life so many times before. Accepting something different with no compromise is a hard thing to do. But I did, I realized that keeping this dog would only be damaging to her. My family couldn’t handle the stress of having a dog and our flexibility played a big part in that.
Why is it that nobody can swim directly up in a very deep body of water without being crushed? Well, because of adaptability and water pressure. Nitrogen gas bubbles would expand and kill you, or at least leave you paralyzed. Just as swimming directly up in deep water is dangerous, so is not being flexible enough to handle change. By slowly swimming up and allowing your body to adjust, you have a better chance at surviving. On my first day of fifth grade I was put in a new school. This was the third time I had transferred schools and I knew shouldn't have gotten attached to my old friends because I had anticipated switching schools again. All my old friends were ripped out of my life and I was pushed into this whirlpool of stress and confusion. My first day consisted of me not really saying much. I was unknowingly seated next to my future best friends, but all of my conversations weren't exactly great.
“Hi, what's your name?”
“My names Tylier.”
“Oh, that's cool, my name is…”
I could never hold good conversations, but these strangers gave me a chance. Soon, I had slowly adjusted to this new school, I had found better friends, and I had found myself doing much better in this new school. At first glance change into the unknown is scary. However, I found that embracing the unknown works best. For me, sudden changes have dictated my life, and I was happy that even with these unexpected changes I was able to adjust, move on, and stop lingering in the past.
Mi barrio es muy tranquilo. No hay muchos ruidos y así que me gusta mi barrio mucho. Yo he vivido aquí por 3 años y yo no conozco a nadie aquí. Mi barrio está ubicado en Overbrook. De hecho, mucha de mi familia se mudó aquí para quedarse cerca, debido a una muerte en la familia. En mi barrio no hay mucho graffiti y a pesar de que esto todavía me gusta el grafiti. En vez de poner arte en mi barrio yo lo pondría en otro lugar. No hay lugares en mi barrio para murales porque es la propiedad alguien. No obstante, en la comunidad de mi abuela es el perfecto pared grafiti. Está ubicado en 55th y Walnut. Para mí, es perfecto porque muchas gentes va a ver, porque es un lugar ocupado. Además, la pared de grafiti está siempre cambiando y me gusta cuando el arte es limitada.
El nombre de mi mural es, Las Nubes de Mi Comunidad. El propósito del muestro cómo la gente vivió en los años 1900. Es un mural de los derechos civiles. El mensaje trae la conciencia de nuestro pasado y nos permite saber a ser conscientes del futuro. El mural cuenta la historia de personas que luchan por sus derechos. Los colores son azul, blanco y negro. Hay tres nubes y los nubes son negros. Dentro los nubes es una escena, dos escenas muestran violencia policial. En la otra escena es una oportunidad del trabajo para una mujer. También, yo he creado este mural para apoderar, representar y simbolizar el pasado a causa de olvidar el pasado. Quiero que la gente mire esto y mira los problemas ahora. Muestra un tema de urgencia. Mi pieza cumple el papel del arte público. Creo que da un enfoque único a un tema común. Mi mural tiene un mensaje poderoso. Murales y arte generalmente provienen de lugares oscuros. El mejor parte sobre el arte es que puede expresarse en una variedad de maneras. Me encanta mi diseño porque muchas personas no lo han hecho y no han hecho su investigación sobre algunas imágenes que estoy recreando.
El mural es de Rosa Parks y es su nombre es “A Tribute to Rosa Parks”
I put my earphones in my ear and turned my music volume on full blast. I did this a lot when I was home; I didn’t like interacting with humans so I was always in my room “TYLIER!!!” I had thought that I heard someone call my name. I pulled my earphones out of my ear. “Yes?” I called out loud. No answer. I plugged my earphones back into my ear. “TYLIER!!!” I paid no attention to it this time and I continued to listen to my music. After about a minute passed, I heard a loud thumping sound getting closer and closer towards me, until my door flew open. As I removed my headphones, my mom said, “I’m taking your headphones.” This always happened in some way, shape, or form in my house. Ever since I was little I was little, I was never the talkative type. You were either told to speak when spoken to or to sit down and shut up. I abide by those rules, I thought about those rules, I lived by those rules. I never interrupted an adult’s conversation unless I thought what I had to say was important. I thought about what I said before I said it. I was extremely shy in front of people, and I never knew what I was until I found a name for myself, the ultimate introvert. I was awkward around people, but not around screens. I really enjoyed music since I was little as well; it’s been a big part of my life. When I found out that I could quietly listen to music without alerting or speaking to people, I changed. My new addiction to technology had begun. I got my first touch screen phone in fifth grade (lucky me), and it was a white and black Droid Razr. I had that phone for the longest time. Now I’m on my fourth touch screen phone, a black Note 5, and I’m extremely addicted to it. Probably a lot more than I should be. I can’t go anywhere without my phone, and I am constantly checking to see if I have my phone on me (I get anxious if I think I lost it). Even if I did lose things frequently, I couldn’t bear to lose such an expensive product. Every portable piece of technology that I’ve ever owned, I’ve had a connection to. Endless hours of typing, scrolling, turning, sliding, and adjusting until my hands started to hurt. I didn’t want to speak to people because I wanted to be on my phone, and I saw myself values and emotions changing into something different. That’s what isolation did to me. When you listen to a lot of music and keep to yourself you change, your feelings towards others change. I remember I was always annoyed at my little brothers because they wouldn’t be quiet, like me. They would scream, yell, and cry. They were loud. I preferred silence, and I wasn’t like them, I didn’t want to be loud so I couldn’t relate to my family. I solved my problems by sticking my earphones in my ears and blocking out the thoughts that crept in my mind. Like I said before, music has always been a big part of my life hence I took my headphones everywhere I went. Music on the radio was overplayed and dreadful, so I put my music on my phone. Thus, further isolating me from people. I had one pair of earphones that I used frequently and four backup earphones just in case those earphones stopped working. Today I don’t use earphones because all of my earphones stopped working. Life was so boring without music, and I had many awkward moments with people because I never talked and always listened. Instead of listening to what other people had to say, whether that be within songs or in real life, I began to listen to myself and my inner thoughts. I’ve just been trying to figure out who or what I am. I have been trying to figure out my likes and dislikes. Recently, I’ve been reconnecting with my family and friends. I’ve been trying to build up those relationships because I’ve neglected people by avoiding them, and they’ve neglected me when I’ve avoided them. I’m not blaming this completely on the technology, however, it played its part. It’s important to acknowledge the things that hurt you, the things that help you, and know that they both can come from one central entity.
Yo soy música
Yo soy africano
Pero no puedo a áfrica
Yo no soy completo
A veces yo no entiendo por qué
Mi corazon descalzo se perdió en la ciudad
Yo siento calor
De mi alma
Calentamiento de un país
Yo veo mi familia en el mismo país
La voz de mi país natal
Yo escribo cuentos único
Una pintura de la familia con nuestro dolor
nosotros bailamos con alma
Soy un poco nativo americano
Pero vivo en Filadelfia
Mi abuela, bisabuela, y abuelo
Todos tienen esta conexión
Somos la lucha
Somos el dolor
El sol es mi casa
- This was about the dangers of the internet and how it affects people
- The thing that was memorable to me was when there was a kid who was being bullied and he went online and talked to another person who taught him how to commit suicide, the kid committed suicide and how his family dealt with it
- It's important to watch these because they show how the internet can help and hurt you
- I will keep them safe by giving them information about the positives and negatives of the internet
- This is important because it will tell you how you are supposed to behave while on the internet
- I would tell them to inform their kids on how the internet can hurt them first, and then how the internet can help them