Sitting at my kitchen table, I began to reflect upon what we talked
about in English class, with Mr. McGonegal, that day. The topic was a
story about our family in America. During this time, my mother was cooking
dinner. It was very hard for me to concentrate while she was cooking her
Then and there, seeing a good opportunity, I decided to ask her the
question: "Ma, can you tell me about your first experience in America?" At
first, I thought she was trying to avoid answering the question by saying
"hold on." But within five minutes, she was done cooking and had settled
down after putting the dinner on the table. The aroma of the spaghetti and
tomato sauce rose from the bowl.
After putting some of the spaghetti on our plate, we both then took
a sthingyful. The taste of the spaghetti was so good, I couldn’t wait to
take another bite I thought as I was chewing the first sthingyful. My
mother then took this opportunity to answer the question that I have
previously asked her.
My mother than began by asking me if I knew the family motto, which
was “Education is the Key to Life.” After I responded with a yes, she then
said I’m correct and began her story. Her mother, and my grandmother,
whose name is Tulia, always used to tell her, and still tells us, and her
brothers, whose names are Jean Claude, Guy, and Henri, that when they were
younger. Because of this my mother and her three brothers worked hard in
school to achieve their goals in life. My grandmother also worked even
harder to support the family. My mother came to the United States in her
mid twenties. Here she registered and attended college at Mass Bay
Community College. She was able to get a good job and support her family
in Haiti right here from Boston.
Emerson wrote a great piece of literature called "Self Reliance," which
happened to be one of his most important pieces. This piece, as one may
say, makes one think about his or her life and how one lives it. To me,
there was one specific question that formed in my mind; am I taking time
to appreciate the finer things in life? I will admit this is not the first
time that I have thought about the answer to my self-imposed question, but
are there other Americans who are thinking the same as me? Obviously there
was, and he did ponder about this question long before my time. Emerson
once wrote: "A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light
which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the
firmament of bards and sages." That was the true answer. More time should
taken to carefully observe and appreciate life rather than just rush
through on the non-stop adventurous roller coaster of life.
Walking on the side of a big open schoolyard, I heard the
familiar voices of children playing after school. Though I do not
personally know these kids and their teachers, their voices are a familiar
sound to me for I have become accustomed to their merry banter because of
the many times I heard them. Something seemed to have caught my attention.
To the right of me is a house in which I reside but that is not what
capture my interest. For it was a building in the schoolyard behind it.
This building structure, called the scout house, was painted all red.
There was something encrypted upon the side of this building. Graffiti,
some call it art while other call it vandalism. To me, this was a form of
art, me being an artist; this is what captured my attention. As I went
behind the big red house, I was now in an open area that was a little
bigger than the size of the portable classrooms that rest outside Catholic
While standing there and gazing around the terrain I began
to realize that this spot was rarely observed and talked about by anyone.
But then I thought who really cherishes this piece of land. Is it the
police trying to get rid of the graffiti? Is it the people in the
community? Or is it the graffiti writers? I disagreeumption was the
graffiti writers, because they might have came back here to show their art
and talents. But in regard to the unoccupied land… no one paid attention
to it. Bikes racks lay rusting, broken bottles, dried leaves scattered,
and in the summer time; high weeds and grass which was often cut every
month or two. Is this how an American would treat an object, person, or
place they loved?
As I go through life, I often begin to realize things I have
never realized before. Even the smallest object or creature has something
very interesting about it, whether it be a physical feature or just random
information. If there are many interesting things and a lot types of
information behind a little bug, imagine what rests uninterrupted and
unprotected in my unappreciated place. Have people ever paused to feel the
disregarded leaves on the ground. Through time, maybe one day, this
priceless piece of nature will be occupied in a positive way.
Whether it is becoming a fireman or a movie star, goals
of Americans today can vary from person to person. Many people in the
world today have or have had, at one time in their life, the dream of
becoming a super star. One of the most common goals of people in the
United States is to become a movie star, singer, wrestler, and so on. But
around my neighborhood the most common goal is to become a Hip Hop/Rap
star. This culture misunderstood by outsiders who have yet to experience
the effect of the people and their music. Walking down the street in the
“Hood” you see people on corners under the lampposts gathered around in a
circle. Under that very lamppost was a group of people who were trying to
achieve a goal…to become a Hip Hop emcee. The dialogue that these rappers,
called “emcees,” speak may not be understood at first by people who are
not familiar to the culture.
As a fact not all people achieve their lifetime goals, and under
that lamppost, none of the people were ever going to accomplish their goal
of becoming an emcee. The problem is the guys who think that they can
really rap really can’t. Under this lamppost no one a future in becoming
an emcee as of yet, for they lacked the skills needed. One particular
night there were two emcees out under the lamppost in the make believe
“cypher,” which is like a realm that rappers are in when they “spit,”
meaning rap. Brian and Dan were sitting on the side walk spitting beats
and flowing to them.
“Yo son, wanna’ battle?” said Brain.
Brian was known for claiming to be the best emcee in Roslindale.
With no thought Dan was quickly up for the challenge, and answered by
“Let’s go right now, I’m ready!”
Dan decides to spit first. Usually whenever there is a Hip Hop
Freestyle battle, there is a crowd of spectators eager to listen. This is
just what happened. With a crowd around them under the light post, Dan
spits his lyrics out quickly with no hesitation. His freestyle contained a
lot of good metaphors which is always good in a hip hop rhyme. Ohhs and
Ahhs were heard from the crowd. This meant that they liked the rhymes that
Dan said and by the reaction of the crowd the winner will usually be
It was now Brian’s turn to throw down his lyrics. Usually a rapper
would be thinking hard before a freestyle battle because the word
“Freestyle” means that all lyrics must come straight from your head and
cant be written before the battle. But Brian seemed a little more nervous
than usual for he was moving all about like he was trying to avoid the
“Alright its my turn to annihilate you son,” said Brian “But first
I must warm up my vocal cords.”
“Brian, Brian,” yells Dan, “What are you doing!?”
Brian wakes up out of a daze only to himself standing in front of
Dan’s bed in his pajamas.
In a daze Brian said; “What happened?”
Dan tells him about how he woke up only to find Brian sleep
walking and standing in front of his bed, with teddy bear in hand, singing
Emily Dickinson is known as one of the best poets
in American society who lived from 1830 to 1886. During these fifty-six
years of her life she created her own private society in which she kept
herself out of the everyday world. It was during these years, in the later
part of her life, when she confined her self to her father’s home that
many of her poems were written. Many of her thoughts and feelings might
have been put into her poems as her only way of output so people can
understand her. The poem “The Brain - is wider than the Sky -” is a poem
that I think really intrigued me the most out of all that I have read in
the unit on American Poetry. Her main purpose as a poet is to try to make
us use our imagination to think rather than our real brains, in other
words there is no limit to what the brain can think or do. I consider her
poem to best represent all her work as a poet. The poem best defines what
all her other poems do.
Emily Dickinson concealed the message of the poem in a place readers
usually do not look. The line “The Brain - is wider than the Sky -” is
used as the title of the poem as well as the first line of it. What is
interesting is that though that is what the poem is called, it is not the
real title. Emily Dickinson left her poems untitled but now have been have
been titled, along the years, by using the first line of the poem. This,
to me, served as an ingredient to the meaning that very poem. “The Brain -
is wider than the Sky -” that very line says it all and I agree with it.
Here, what she says is that the universe if full of adventures and
surprises but some may not have yet or will ever be able to experience it.
And by writing her poems without a title makes us use our brains before we
even read the poems.
Emily Dickinson had a unique style in her poems never seen before from
other poets. This was her style of rhyme, called slant. Most poems usually
use a regular rhythmic rhyme scheme. But Emily changes all that by
introducing the new rhyme scheme in her poems. She did not use two words
that had the same ending but instead she would write something like the
For - hold them - Blue to Blue -
The one the other will absorb -
As Sponges - Buckets - do -
By using a slant rhyme, she is trying to tell us to break apart from the
ordinary and not follow others but to take the road less traveled. And the
road that she took was never traveled upon except by her.
Another style she brought in was the “random” hyphens at the end of her
lines and stanzas. This again like the absence of a title opens up my mind
and imagination to find a meaning that would best suit me and my thirst to
find the meaning of its position and interaction with the rest of the
poem. The answer came to me when I finished reading it for the third or
fourth time. If the poem is about knowledge and how our Brain will absorb
anything we put into it, then that, once again to me, shows me how she
thinks. Hyphens are used to separate a word, phrase, or maybe something
else. These lines, found in the second stanza; “The one the other will
absorb -/As Sponges - Buckets - do -” (400) contain many hyphens. The
hyphens tells me to hold on and have patience, for what she is saying is
that she is not yet done. Like an ever pouring stream of feelings it keeps
coming. told me that she was not yet done writing her idea. This also went
along with the subject of the poem that “The Brain - is wider than the Sky
-” because it was like she was trying to tell that there is more to the
Brain but it is up to us as the reader to find the meaning for ourselves.
If anyone is unable to capture the essence of Emily Dickinson’s poem its
because they have not yet read the first line of this poem. The first line
explains it all without you evening having to read the poem. There is no
secret meaning behind it, as it stands tall in as the first line. But for
those who do not catch it there other things that are in the poem that may
Living in America, I have seen many cultures and
backgrounds. All these cultures and traditions make up America. These
things come from all over the world. We can say that America has adopted
all these cultures and traditions. One of the most popular things in the
world is sports. Sports serve as entertainment and probably the best way
to spend time with others. Though you can find different kinds of sports
in different countries, there are many of the same sports that are to be
found in other countries as well. The same way that a culture could be
brought from one country to another so can sports. For example, discus
throwing is a sport adopted by Americans.
Discus throwing is a sport in which the player throws a circular
piece of wood with a metal rim. In this competition the competitors throw
the discus from a certain spot to see which one throws the farthest.
Discus throwing is an event that is included in the overall sport of track
and field. Americans have adopted discus throwing, along with the rest of
track and field, through-out many years. Track and Field began as part of
the Olympics. The series of events that happen during the Olympic are
played by competitors from all over the world including America.
It would not be wrong to say that many Americans have taken the sport
of discus throwing and fully indulged themselves in it. Looking at it from
a simple perspective, discus throwing is nothing more trying to throw a
plate-like object far, skipping rocks across a lake would be a better
sport. But no, discus throwing is the ultimate American sport. Football,
Baseball, and Hockey are all sport that are played by Americans which
require training and practice. Any sport that is to be considered to be a
sport has to be practiced and trained for. There is no way that you can
conquer the four pound circular disc and launch it over fifty feet without
any training. You had to train for discus throwing physically but other
training like “Therapy helped. So did self-talk, concentration and
relaxation.”(Pickeral) Muscle strength along mental strength was needed in
order for a thrower to throw a good distance. This shows that not only
physical training is needed, or in some cases required, to play the sport.
Through these other ways of training one can become a well rounded thrower
and person. After this training and practice you no longer have goals but
have records that you have beat or even the first set a special record.
This sport has been adopted into our American culture and has been
welcomed be all ages and races. People that play the sport have been lured
or came to play it in different ways. Amateur Discus player Billie Jo
Grant, from Arroyo Grande who said “ I was kind of roped into it, but I'm
so glad I was."(Ortega) This comes to show that people have adopted this
sport in their own way and playing the sport well as if they invented it.
It was like it was her destiny to become a discus thrower. She was roped
into the sport and is know gripping strongly on to the rope with no
intentions of letting go anytime soon. There are always goals to reach and
Grant has many to go as a amateur discus thrower. Many of these goals are
physical but they also at times the can be mental. Mentally they have huge
goals to over come. How can they compete physically when they can’t do it
mentally? The mental goal that Grant, and many other discus throwers, have
to over come is that they must be able to push themselves to go out and
perform. "I am pleased to have reached 66 meters at this stage of the
season,"(AP Worldstream) said Frantz Kruger, an Olympic discus thrower.
The way that Americans are able to accept to accept and adopt other
cultures is remarkable. Men, women, and teenagers play this sport like it
was some sort of tradition. Though Discus throwing is not as popular as
football and baseball, it still has a fan base that spread all around the
United States. This says that America is really the land of opportunity. I
say this because the discus was not invented in America it came from a
distant land and yet we still accept and play it, hard.