One cold winter day I was visiting with my grandparents and was curious
to how my ancestors ended up in America. So over a steaming hot cup of hot
chocolate I started asking them questions that I was pondering. And my
grandmother proceeded to tell me the story of how my great grandfather of
many generations ago came over on the Mayflower.
“Many many years ago way before your time even before my time your
great grandfather Thomas Aldrich came over on the Mayflower. He was a
pilgrim who was in search of new freedom different from that of England.
He wanted a place where he could have his own lot of land with some size
to it. Back then land equaled power. When he finally reached the new land
he like most all other pilgrims settled in Plymouth. He then set up a
large village where all the pilgrims gathered today it is now known as
Plymouth plantation. At first Thomas loved the new land much like we all
love new things but as time went on he realized this wasn’t what he had
come to the new land for.
After he had started his own little family he decided to go out in
search for new land, a place where he could have his own plot of land to
cultivate crops. After Thomas had come back from his search he and his
family moved out to a small place that had few people with a lot of empty
land. This like most all other place at the time where very undeveloped.
It had vast areas covered with trees. He knew some work had to be done to
clear an area for a home but he wanted this new environment for it was the
reason he came to the new land. When they got there he and his two oldest
sons began to cut trees down to clear an area.
With the trees they cut down they used them to build a house. As time
past on the area began to develop more and more. But as it grew stronger
Thomas grew weaker. Unfortunately Thomas past on some ten years after they
moved to the new settlement. His family would move on and keep the
tradition alive and lived there for many generations after.”
This was a man who knew what he wanted and did it. He was a young man
who made goals and achieved them the way he wanted to. The desire to live
life to the fullest was very much a part of this mans life not knowing
what could happen when he came to the new land. He saw an opportunity and
seized it. I will always remember this story for one reason it is about a
man of integrity who strove to be the best man he could be with out any
Most barriers are walls built by humans.
The barrier next to my house is unique in the sense that it is natural.
This wall is made out trees and bushes that block my house from the noise
of the highway. This is a place of America for it borders all highways
yet nobody notices them. This space had more to it than trees and bushes
there was life. One thing that caught my attention everyday was a large
birds nest, which was the home to two birds. As Henry David Thoreau said
“… a house whose inside is as open and manifest as a bird’s nest and you
cannot go in at the front door some of its inhabitants; where to be a
guest is to be present with freedom of the house.” There were like the
watchers over the forest.
Watching the trees go through a change is not only American it is
something special to New England. The only time people pay attention to
the natural barriers is during the fall season. This is so because during
that time the leaves are changing colors and they vary for bright red to
yellow to orange. But all the other times they are this plain green and
nobody seems to care. But now it is winter and nobody will pay attention
to these barriers until next fall. It would be interesting to see if
people could live next to highways without these barriers. Would the
noise from the cars be too great to bear?
During my weeks of observation the barriers went through some
changes. With the leaves changing colors they are getting ready for a new
beginning. They have to shed there old leaves so they can be strong for
the next spring to block the sound for its friends who live next to it.
Another change that took place was the two birds that were the watchers.
They left the area; perhaps it was to go south for the winter season
where it is warm. Or maybe it was because they had no more protection
from the leaves. Now who is going to watch over the forest?
More than 5,000 people drive by this spot everyday and never look at
it. Why? I don’t think anybody knows. This area is taken for granted.
Without it many people’s rides would be very boring. Looking at concrete
walls is not very attractive. If they took down all the forest next to
highways for a few months and then brought them back people would realize
that they are important and we need them. If they realized that, people
would better take care of them.
When Mike was growing up he had a real problem
wetting the bed. But as most youngsters did he thought he'd grow out of
it. Mike was a little different; he wet his bed all through his teens and
right up to college. When making his decision on which college to go to
the he never gave his problem a thought. After making his decision he
began to worry what his roommate would think.
"Wow freshman year lots of new exciting things, and of course lots of
things to worry about,' Mikes new roommate Cal said "like girls, school,
and fraternities.' "I'm not worried too much about those things,' said
Mike knowing full well he had to somehow break the news to his roommate
about his problem with as little embarrassment as possible. Mike put a lot
of thought into how he was going to tell Cal. He finally just decided to
lay it out.
"Cal if I tell you something will you promise not to laugh and go telling
everybody,' Mike finally blurted out. "Well we really don't know each
other but sure why not?' Cal replied. "Well ya see it's like this, I have
a problem,' said Mike. "What kind of problem?' Cal said. "One that's kind
of embarrassing,' replied Mike. "Oh come on it can't be that bad I mean
I've done some embarrassing things in my day,' retorted Cal. "Well alright
I'm a bed wetter,' mike finally said. "You're a what? A bed wetter
ahahahaha that's the grossest thing I've ever heard, I mean you're
eighteen years old and you still wet the bed who does that?' Cal replied.
"Come on you said you wouldn't laugh,' Mike said. "Ya well I didn't know
you were a bed wetter then,' Cal replied. "But I won't tell anybody, How's
that?' Cal said. "Thank you, thank you, thank you.' Mike replied. "But
remember Mike I'm one up on you.'
Emily Dickinson can be
characterized as different not only in the way she lived but in the way
she wrote her poems. Most of her poems used slant rhyme and were short,
while most other poets at the time were writing poems with exact rhyme and
were longer. After a year at Mount Holyoke, she left and became
self-educated at her home in Amherst. There she rarely ever left and
wrote letters to her sister who lived across the street. She liked to
think about things differently than others as she does in “The Brain-is
wider then the Sky’’. In this poem, Dickinson uses the brain, something
that we all use everyday and compares it with sky, sea, and God which are
things that we all have come in contact with at one point in our lives.
“The Brain-is wider than the Sky-’’ is a good poem that uses
imagery of everyday things and ties them together to get you to think
about them differently. “The Brain-is wider than the sky-” It takes
something so simple as the brain and the sky and compares them to one
another. The imagery she uses are simple for the reader to understand
which makes it enjoyable to read.
Everybody thinks that the brain can only do so much. Dickinson, on
the other hand, explores the new capacities the brain has for development.
She makes you think about brain differently, rather than it being
something that just makes us function. “The Brain is deeper than the
sea-“ this is a quote that tells you the brain is deep and can do things
beyond your belief. We all know that the sea is deep and everybody can
have deep thoughts.
Dickinson uses hyphens to reinforce the poems message. These
are also used to tell us that there are no ends to the lines in the poem
or even an end to the poem. She doesn’t want to put a cap on your brain;
she wants you to explore and to find a deeper meaning in her poem. “As
Syllable from Sound-’’ with the hyphen at the end she wants to keep the
poem going she never wants it to end or for you to put the ending on it
yourself. It is a good way of making people think and want more.
The poem uses imagery to get our minds thinking about the topic then
compacts together for a specific meaning. It also takes the brain, which
is a simple thing and makes the possibilities of it endless. There is the
essence of hyphens. There are used so she is not limiting your thoughts
on her works. She wants you to think about her words more than just is
what is on the paper.
Sport is a competitive
athletic activity that requires skill or physical prowess. Wiffleball can
be considered a sport because it takes skill to take a plastic ball and
bat and make hours of fun with it. It requires physical activity such as
running, throwing, and swinging. When people start leagues and
tournaments the sport can become very competitive. It all began when
David and Stephen Mullany were playing ball with a plastic golf ball and a
broomstick because baseball resulted in too many broken windows. So their
father decided to play around with some different plastic balls to see
which would be the best to play with. His experiments resulted in what we
know as now, Wiffleball.(Mullany)
Wiffleball is a sport with little notoriety and is often forgot
about. It is similar to baseball in that it has a bat and a ball yet they
are completely different. Baseball is played in a gigantic stadium were
thousands of people go and watch multimillionaires slap a ball around for
a few hours. “My family and I play every time we get together at a family
function. Sometimes the games get serious but it’s all just for
fun.”(Brown) As captured in the quote Wiffleball is different; Americans
play this in their backyards at a family cookout or on a nice spring day.
No fancy stadiums, big crowds, or even millions of dollars, just pure
Wiffleball started out as a sport that was played for fun, “a
friendly game” but as has developed in American society they have turned
it into something more competitive and even play for money. Jeff Marshall
use to play with his brother when he was growing up. They use to play
endless games in their back yard, when he grew older he took his game
elsewhere: to the countries first permanent multifield park. In their
first season as a team The Benders named after Jeff’s curve ball went 28-0
winning the leagues title. "It made me think Wiffleball doesn’t really
have an age limit, and maybe I should do something with it at work.
Cincinnati is the birthplace of professional baseball. So why not make it
the birthplace of organized Wiffleball?”(qtd. In Fleming) Jeff is an
average hard working American who just wants a place to play his favorite
sport in an organized fashion. The thing that makes wiffleball show its
red, white, and blue is that it is closely related to baseball. Baseball
is said to be Americas past time, you cannot get more American than that.
Wiffleball in the past has not been a very popular sport, but as time
has past it is beginning to soar. Americans devote great amounts of time
practicing and playing just like they would as if it were for something
big like the World Series. “When the Sox won the pennant in ’67 my whole
life changed, I was in the seventh grade, and nothing else mattered to me.
All I wanted to do was play in Fenway and send one over the Green
Monster.”(qtd. In Alson) Twenty-one years later he constructed a mini
Fenway Park in his mothers back yard.(Alson) Here is a man who wasn’t in
it for the money or fame he just wanted to live a dream and it is safe to
say that sports are high up on America’s favorite things to do list.
People spend millions of dollars every year on sports whether they are
gambling, playing, or watching they all deal with money and money has been
something that in America you cannot live without. Wiffleball is
different if you have two dollars and forty-nine cents and a friend you
can play wiffleball.
Wiffleball is not a sport you think about, most often you are
thinking about baseball, basketball, football, hockey whatever your
favorite sport maybe but wiffleball will always be an American sport.
There are diehards out there that will not let the sport be diminished
from American society; it is what they look forward to doing when they get
home for work. Believe it or not it’s a lifestyle for some people.