As I walk into my house and I see the picture of all my brothers and
sisters at my parents twenty-fifth anniversary, then I move into my dads
office and I see the pictures of my mom, I ask myself one question how did
this all come about?
Every time my dad talks to my mom I see that he holds her in the
highest respect, like he always say’s “I have loved your mom my whole
life.” My parents have been together for 30 years they do everything
together. But with every great success, there is a great story behind it,
and I was itching to find out what that story was. As my father and I sit
at the kitchen table, Sunday morning while my mom was cooking breakfast, I
figured now was the best time to ask, so I asked my dad when was the first
time you and mom met?
Without even thinking about it he responds by saying “It was the
fall of 1971, my freshman year in high school at South Boston High, I saw
your mother walk by me in the morning, and I immediately said to myself
and my friends that she was going to be mine, and they all laughed, but I
was determined to find out who she was. My first period class was algebra,
and who is sitting next to me but your mother, I was at a loss of words
and was almost speechless, but I knew now that if I waited some other guy
was going to come along, so I built up enough courage and introduced
myself and we started talking and never looked back.
Now hear it is 30 years later I have six kids, and every time I look
at your mother I still admire just as much as the first time I saw her.”
The ironic thing about this whole story is how my parents both have jobs
that are math related, my father is an architect, and my mother is an
accountant, now whether they meeting in math class had anything to do with
their future I will never know. I realized two things, the first being
that true love was really does exist, and my parents experienced it first
hand. And second that my dad is truly in love with my mom. I learned that
there is somebody out there for all of us, and that when have a good
thing, don’t be so quick to through it away, because that might be are
only chance. With all the divorce and adultery going on, my parents our
living proof that nothing is stronger than love.
A Lost Field
“It’s all a matter of keeping my eyes open. Nature is like one of those
line drawings of a tree that are puzzles for children: can you find hidden
in the leaves a duck, a house, a boy, a bucket, a zebra, and a boat?” This
quote was taken from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, by Annie Dillard, and it
sums up the whole idea of transcendentalism. When we look at nature, we
can look at it in two ways, the first is just simply looking at it and
accepting it for what it is and nothing more, the other way is to look at
it with a deeper perspective, and develop ideas. I watched a simple part
of nature, Savin Hill park, and realized that everything is not what it
seems, and threw close observation I realized that my whole neighborhood’s
attitudes, and being exist in this park.
As I sit on the bench overlooking my spot I realize that the park is
empty, except for the geese coming down and looking for food, this park
has been in existence for as long as my neighborhood has been, it sits
there with its two baseball fields, the swing set that is slowly rusting
away, and the water fountain that hasn’t worked since the stone ages. I
look at this spot and I wonder what was here before, could this have been
a home for some big Indian tribe, or maybe some great battle took place
here, but as time changes so doesn’t nature. But does it really, yes the
colors change, and things are built on this land, but who knows? This
could have always been a park where people go to have a good time. I
observed this spot for twelve days, and each day I realized something
different, some days it was just a piece of trash other days it was the
smell, but if I picked up that trash it was the same old park, if I took
away that smell it was the same old park. This park has never has changed
since I have been around, and judging from the people, the community
hasn’t really changed.
As I walk to this open field I look in the corner and I see this
water fountain, that it broken, and has not worked for as long as I know.
It just sits there decaying away, very much like the kids in this
neighborhood; they do nothing with themselves but sit down this park and
waste away. Savin Hill has always been known to have talented kids who do
nothing with themselves, looking at this water fountain just sitting
there, I relate it to them. Never once have I seen this fountain work yet
it is still there, and no one does anything to it but just let it sit
there and slowly fall apart. I have watched so many kids pass through this
neighborhood with so much potential, but they just sit there much like
this fountain waiting for something to happen but nothing ever happens,
and they slowly waste away. To get anything done in our lifetime, we have
to work for it, nothing just happens, this fountain will never just
disappear; it will take someone to come along and move it.
This park is as American as any; it has America written all over it.
The baseball fields resemble Americas past time, and the green grass shows
how well we respect our country by taking care of it. With America’s
striving economy, everything is becoming modernized, but this park has yet
to change, and it resembles true American pride with its flagpoles flying
our countries colors so proudly, since the tragedy that took place on
September 11th. The colors of the trees changing, resembling that our
country it still changing, and the trees getting stronger as the year go
by tell people that we are only getting stronger. Its comes down to the
old man sitting on the bench everyday just proud to be alive, and more
importantly proud to have a place where he can come sit and relax. With
all Americas problems, we still have a place like Savin Hill Park where we
can go to get away and just enjoy nature.
Savin Hill Park when looked at can be a simple park, but when thought
about it is a very spiritual place with many different meanings. I
observed many things about this park but I did not see one big change, but
I did realize that nature is related to everyday life, and that when we
look at nature with a critical eye, there are many things to be observed.
Emerson said, “The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none
but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has
tried.” We never what we can do unless we try, life is full of
opportunities, its up to us to use them.
"Hey James, let me get a bite? Let me borrow a
dollar? Let me have a sip? That is all my friend Paul ever say's to me"
Every group of friends has one, but I think my friends have the worst. We
call him the "scavenger". In my lifetime he has probably borrowed a
thousand dollars from me, taken at least two thousand bites of my food,
and drank around six gallons of my beverages. He is the person who is
always there and asks the most annoying questions possible. When you ask
Paul "when you going to pay me that money you owe me?" His reply "come on
kid you know I am good for it."
Here I am sitting at my kitchen table with a freshly baked Ellios
pizza right out of the oven, and there is a knock, who is it but Paul.
" Hey James, what's up dude?" So I gave him my usual response "'nothing
much you?" I knew what he wanted by the look in his eyes.
"Im just chilling, im wicked hungry, and I got no food at my house, don't
you hate that? Why don't you through me in a piece of Ellios." I replied,
"I got no more this was the last one, sorry dude."
"Oh you serious, figures with my luck, let me get half of that slab,"
Knowing he was going to say that, before he even finished talking I was
like dude get a job, get some money.
Now Paul gives me that look like the guy coming up to your window when
you are stuck in a traffic light and say's "fine ok James, you stingy
dirtball." Hearing this just gets me even madder.
"Paul, I am not giving you any food, alright deal with it."
What does Paul do but try to steal a slice of my delicious Ellios pizza
and knocks the whole thing on the ground. It lands face down. "Get out you
bum, your filthy, don't ever come over here again."
"My bad dude, alls you had to do was give me a bite."
When people think of Walt
Whitman they should think two things: worlds greatest poet, and worlds
greatest American. Walt Whitman was as American as they come; we can tell
this by his attitude when he is writing. My whole life I have been
waiting for that poem or story that I can read and it really moves me and
in “Song of Myself” case gives me a huge sense of nationalism. Walt
Whitman knew what it took to be an American, and in this poem he defines
what it means to be American.
One way in which he defines America is he portrays his great love for
this country. “The atmosphere is not a perfume, it has no taste of the
distillation, it is odorless. / It is for my mouth forever, I am in love
with it.” Walt Whitman is referring to America, and how it can sit still
not do anything and yet it still grows on you. This is just one of the
many times he shows us his great love for America. In this poem Walt
Whitman is building up the emotion in all of us, and trying to persuade us
to love America. He points out every highlight of America; in every
paragraph he shows our diversity. Whitman is trying to build up our
emotions in this poem; he is in a sense “selling” America. One of the
most important things about this poem is that it shows this great love
that Walt Whitman had for America, and how everything he did he took pride
in. “All goes outward, nothing collapses.” Walt Whitman believed in
America and he felt that if we had pride, and everyone believed in our
country then America would be one and never collapse.
Another important element in the way Whitman defines America is by
telling us that America is easy to adjust to. “The big doors of the
country barn stand open and ready.” Many people know America as the land
of opportunities, and Walt Whitman reassures that in this poem. He
explains how the barn gates are open to everyone and he tells us about
different jobs, and the different chances that America has to offer.
During the time that he wrote this America was growing, in every area of
life. This poem he tells us about the different areas and explains to us
how we are growing, and how we have so much more growing to do. Whitman
was trying to get his point across that America is a growing nation, and
that there is opportunity written all over it. Once again by doing this
he is lighting that fire of nationalism that had yet to be lit in America.
Whitman states the obvious in this poem to define America, but he uses
metaphors to hide theses messages. “Lack one lacks both, and the unseen
is proved bye the seen, till that becomes unseen and receives proof in its
turn.” He is telling us that everything he has talked about is right
there in front of us; we just have to open our eyes. There were many
things going on when he wrote this, corruption was widespread and to some
people they thought America was in trouble. He could have written 1346
negative lines, but instead he wrote 1346 positive lines. “I stop
somewhere waiting for you.” Walt Whitman ensures us that at first you
maybe lost, in this growing nation, but if we stay strong and keep working
we will find the light at the end of the road. And by finding that light
we will develop this great love that he has for America.
America is a country built on principles. The “self” makes this
country great, people like Walt Whitman who dedicate themselves to making
sure people appreciate America and what it has to offer. Walt Whitman’s
main objective was to show his deep love for America, but he did more than
that. He took America and all its beliefs and simplified it. By doing
that, he also made us love America too.
The word “sport” is defined as a physical activity
engaged in for pleasure, but when it comes to America we take the word
sport to a new level. Sport is not just a word in the U.S.A it is a
passion, love and probably the most sacred thing in this country. We our
brought up to love sports, to cherish them, and most importantly to
respect them. In this fast pace world we live in everything is about who
is better, who is smarter, who is stronger, every one is in constant
competition. That is were sports come in, there are no excuses, there is
no holding back its all or nothing. Sportswriter and commentator Heywood
Brone Ale talked about sports and gave his two cents on what is going on
in America. “I talk about the philosophy of sport, the assumption that
excellence in sport is a splendid thing to achieve. But those of us who
cannot achieve it should not continually attack ourselves on the grounds
that we are not going to run the four-minute mile, and a goal slightly
above your previous accomplishment is triumph enough. I think we have
taken the fun out of sport by insisting that everybody must be a champion
or a failure. Sports do not build character. They reveal it.”(qtd. in
Sports Century) The word sport, if had to be summed into three words,
would be “respect, dignity, and pride.”
Boxing is known to be one of the most physical challenging sports for
professionals. This sport is the ultimate battle. What else could you ask
for then two people not talking just getting the deal done? Although the
sports has changed a lot over the years but it is still a battle of the
toughest, no matter which way you put it. It has become more modern over
the years, if anything it has changed for the better. In the early 1700’s
they fought with no gloves just fists, and they would fight in barrooms
all over the country, and was thought more of entertainment, then a
sport.(Arnold 5) But even back then the fighters fought for pride, and the
champions were treated like kings. There have been many amazing people who
have passed through boxing and they were truly great athletes, but even
more importantly great people. One name that immediately pops into my head
when I here the word boxing is probably the greatest of the great Muhammad
Ali. Ali right away claimed himself not only the greatest fighter, but
also that he was the prettiest. He brought a new charisma to the sport,
with such sayings as “run like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”(Arnold 66)
He was a much coincided man, but he knew he was good, when asked about his
upcoming fight against the heavily favored George Forman, he said “You
think the world was shocked when Nixon resigned?" Ali said. "Wait till I
whup George Foreman's behind."(Arnold 65) Ali was known to be Americas
champion, Bryant Gumbel was quoted saying “If you had told somebody in
1968 that in 1996 Muhammad Ali would be the most beloved individual on
earth, and the mere sight of him holding an Olympic torch would bring
people to tears, you'd have won a lot of bets."(qtd. in sports century)
This is why America loves the sport of boxing, because the athletes are
truly warriors, and it takes them so much to finally hang the gloves up.
Muhammad Ali is a perfect example of a warrior, he would have kept
fighting until he was sixty, but reality comes in to play. These boxers
are physically killing themselves and it begins to wear on them after
awhile. Ali when he finally retired suffered brain damage and also has
Parkas inns disease, which is a direct result from boxing. He just could
not put the gloves down, and he paid for that. It is a shame but it shows
us the love for the sport these athletes have.
Boxing is a grueling sport, and the preparation and dedication it takes is
truly amazing. Most boxers only fight twice a year, and the rest of the
time is spent training. To be a boxer you have to dedicate your whole life
to being the best, and it is not an of and on thing. Professional and long
time heavy weight Joe Frazier said “I usually spend six to eight hours a
day in the gym. This is my life.”(Arnold 60) Boxing is a sport because it
has all the three key elements. The first being respect, seeing the sport
being played is a beautiful thing and the boxers know this. They have
watched the greats that have played before them, and their number one rule
it to respect the sport and know what a great tradition they are sharing
in and how they will never be bigger then the sport. To be a true athlete
you have to respect the sport yes, but you have to be honest, that’s were
dignity comes in. They realize cheating is wrong and swear to themselves
that they will not disobey the rules. And lastly boxing has pride written
all over it, people know what time and dedication boxers put it and the
they all have such a pride that they are willingly able to dedicate their
whole life to the sport.
Like everything else in this country Americans think that we started
it, and if we didn’t start it then we made it better. In boxing case I can
honestly say that we improved and made the sport what it is today. The
most important thing about boxing that we did was made it public; we took
it from just being a drinking barroom thing, to a one of the most beloved
pastimes. We did not change the rules, or even touch the sport we just
Americanized and spiced things up. We established the ring, and arenas and
crowded thousands of people into places and made the boxers celebrities.
We divided it up into groups professional and amateurs. Professionals
being the highest and most paid, amateurs are they people that love the
sport but just don’t have what it takes to hang with the big guys. By
doing this we created competition, and made it a survival of the fittest.
Boxing is like a little fire burning inside many Americans; take, for
instance, Jaamal Mcline. When asked what he was feeling after his first
boxing match ever he replied “I want to fight the best in the
world"(Rafael). He had only fought once and he thought he was the king of
the world. Who knows what happened to him, but after just one fight he
felt that passion and pride, that so many fighters feel their whole life.
This I just one example of what Americans feel towards boxing. America got
the ball rolling in boxing and that ball is still rolling today some
hundred years later.
Does the actual sport boxing define sports? The answer is yes but,
does boxing today fit the definition of sport? Boxing has so much history,
the memories and people that have passed through its doors is
incomparable. And yes in some ways it has got a little crazy, and a little
political, but it has changed with the times. America is growing country,
and with that comes change in every thing, in every area of life’s and
sports is one of them. It seems as if all boxing and any other sport is
all about is money, but deep down the most important things are still
there. Not one thing is perfect in this world, and with everything you are
going to have your problems, but that it expected. Boxing in a way has
become a circus, with all these guys doing not so smart stuff but the
truth is you still have a great tradition and a great sport with all the
foolishness. When Muhammad Ali came out people laughed at him, said he
would ruin the sport, but he did not ruin the sport he shredded a
different light on it. When it all comes down to it you have two men in a
ring, and when that bell rings they both have one intent and that is to
knock the other man down. That has not changed and never will. If sports
did not modernize people would not want to watch them. Change is not
always a bad thing, it just depends how you take it. And in boxing case
you have to respect the sport, not the sideshow.
The boxer does nothing but defines the word sport, and in a sense
defines the word American. A person with a goal of being the best and will
conqueror anything in his way to get there. Millions of people try but
only few make it, along the way it is a hard long fought battle, but in
the end you settle for what you got and you realize your accomplishments.
And when every thing is all said and down you leave with pride, dignity,