The Story of My Parents
My Father is a very intelligent man. So when I asked him about what
he did for a living before I was born, about 5 years ago, he told me a
long story with a lot of detail. Eventually the conversation evolved into
him telling me the story of himself and my mother.
This story was not passed down from any ancestors, but hopefully it
will be passed down to my kids and then to their kids and so on, until it
is looked at as a story from the “olden days”. Although my Father knew my
Mother during High School as friends, they started dating after a bond was
struck watching one of the first Saturday Night Live shows in 1973. My
Father was eighteen years old and a senior at Norwood High School and my
Mother was in her first year at Bryman Medical School. They were both
athletic and spent a lot of their time together playing tennis, camping,
and traveling to Cape Cod and Northern New England.
Both my parents lived at home during college and were able to see
each other almost nightly as well as on the weekends. After my Father
graduated from college they were married in St. Catherine’s Church. My now
three uncles were ushers and my aunt was a bridesmaid on my Father’s side
and another aunt on my Mother’s side. After eight years of marriage they
had their first child, my sister Jennifer and shortly after, almost two
years, I was born. As of right now, this story has not yet had an impact
on the United Sates or the world.
It has, however, touched many members of my family and might even
affect them in their lifetime. I know that somehow it will have an
influence in my life somewhere along the way. Whether I simply tell my
kids or I tell every citizen in the United States, which could, in return,
be told around the world. This story will live forever in my family and
Rocks are usually looked at,
sometimes kicked, and maybe studied, but then forgotten soon after. In my
case I observed a rock, but did more than observe it, I examined it, got
to know it, and even named it. I called the rock Herman Rock. Herman
Rock plays a major role in my back yard. It serves as a home for birds,
worms, and moss, but it also is used to decorate the yard, and make my
yard different from everyone else’s on the block. When I was studying
Herman Rock I looked at it as if it was the center of the world in my back
yard, and watched it as nature revolved around it.
From the beginning of time there have been rocks. They are always
around us, and you cannot be in a natural environment without seeing one.
After observing Herman Rock for two weeks I have a greater appreciation
for rocks. I now know that they are more than things that kids throw at
each other when they are angry and are used in the rough roads that you
cannot roller blade on. They can also be used for homes for many
different living things and without them the harmony of nature would be
thrown off drastically.
I once learned that rocks have nutrients in them that can enrich the
soil and help plants to grow, and by looking at the plants around Herman
Rock, I can easily see this is happening. All around Herman are flowers,
that are dead now, but in the spring and summer flourish into a beautiful
array of yellow, orange and green. Also the bark mulch that is all around
Herman Rock seems healthier than any other patch of mulch in the yard. I
know that if Herman Rock was not there then the flowers and bark mulch
would not be as strong and healthy as they are.
There is very little human interaction with Herman and the only time
a person ever seems to be around Herman Rock is when someone wants to cut
through the yard or someone accidentally hits it with the lawn mower, but
after that no one will take a second look at it. It is this aspect of
neglect that makes Herman Rock an American place. Everyday people go
through their daily lives and routines taking many things for granted.
The best example of this is our freedom. We live in a country where we
can speak what is on our mind and not have to worry about getting in
trouble for it. We can be in whatever religious sect we choose, and are
not forced into studying a religion we do not believe in. In some
countries the citizens have no rights and cannot say what they want to and
they are required to have faith in certain gods and rituals. Another
reason why Herman Rock is an American place is because it has been there
since the beginning of America. Herman Rock has been on American soil
since it was created. It has been through everything that America has,
all the good times and the bad times. Herman Rock will probably be there
forever and will always be a true American place.
After my two weeks of studying Herman Rock I know that rocks are more
important to the environment, but more importantly it made me realize that
simple things in life should not be taken for granted. Without the little
things the world would not be the same. These things that people think
are insignificant really play a large role in their lives and as soon as
they understand that they will start to live better lives for themselves
and everyone around them.
“B.B.”, Betty yells from behind the
cash register in the cafeteria as Brendan (Burke’s) eyes light up. For he
knows that his sausage, egg, and cheese (and sometimes ham) is ready.
These two simple letters bring so much joy to Brendan, and he leaps out
of his chair when he hears them. This is a ritual that Brendan goes
through every day he has a study before lunch. He puts his order in as
soon as he gets in the café, then he goes and sits down for attendance,
and waits in anticipation for his initials to be shouted.
You can always tell when Brendan is about to, or, going to have his
breakfast sandwich because of how drastically his mood changes. Before he
puts in his order Brendan is tired and in a bad mood, but as soon as he
knows that a sandwich is being made special to his order, he goes through
a mood swing from sad to overwhelming joy. This state of ecstasy can also
be seen in the people around Brendan. When he is in a good mood he tells
hilarious jokes and does even funnier impressions. One of Brendan’s
trademarks is his amazing ability to remember quotes from movies and
television shows. Brendan knows quotes from everywhere. From “The
Simpsons”, (which is one show that Brendan seems to know every line of
every episode), to movies like “Coyote Ugly.” For example, everyday
Brendan comes back to his table saying, “Did you guys see ‘Seinfeld’ last
night.” Then Chris Adams will come in with “Ya it was wicked funny one”.
Soon after Brendan will usually imitate Kramer.
On certain occasions one sandwich is not enough to hold Brendan over until
lunch, so he goes and puts in his second order. On these days, which do
not happen very often, there is a mood of happiness over the entire café.
These classes always are the ones that seem to go by the fastest, because
no one is worried about their homework. They are all concentrating on
Brendan’s comic relief. These are also the days when no on gets any work
Sometimes the wait can seem like hours because of the anticipation of the
sandwich. On the days when the café is full of students where is usually
two batches of sandwiches made, and if Brendan’s sandwich is not in the
first group, then he becomes impatient and angry. Then when his sandwich
is ready it makes the sandwich taste a lot better. To make the wait go by
faster sometimes he will get his tray ready by putting ketchup on napkins
along with a knife and fork.
This habit is one that Brendan has become accustomed to over the last
year or so. These sandwiches bring out a side of Brendan that no one has
ever seen before, and if they can make someone so happy, then I say that
habits should not be broken, and I think that Brendan would not be the
same if it wasn’t for the two letters “B.B.”
Walt Whitman is a poet
that uses real blue-collar people to convey his thoughts on the American
society. A good example of this can be seen in “I Hear America Singing”.
In this poem Whitman shows appreciation and gratitude toward the everyday
middle class worker. He acknowledges that every position no matter how
big or small has an impact, and makes a difference, on the overall scheme
“I Hear America Singing” is such a powerful poem because after one
reads it, it makes them really think about themselves and the role they
play in society and how important the working class people actually are.
Could you imagine what the economy in our country would be like if these
workers did not do their jobs everyday? Most likely it would be ruined.
This workforce is the backbone of America, and each one’s role in society
is very important. That is the message that Whitman expresses in this
influential poem. The way he goes about putting this across is by
basically listing all the tough laborious jobs and saying that all these
people are singing while they work. The fact that they are singing shows
that these people are content with their jobs and they are proud to be
doing their own line of work.
“I Hear America Singing” provokes a sense of nationalism, not only
for Americans, but for people all around the world, from any country.
This poem brings out nationalism so powerfully because it makes you think
about your country and what these people actually do for it. In every
line of the poem Whitman hints as to what that particular worker does in
his day’s work. Then at the end of the poem, in the last line Whitman
says, “Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.” This line
pulls the entire poem together because it shows that Whitman strongly
supports these people and what they do for the country and for their
Whitman speaks about the workers in certain ways to show that he
greatly appreciates the work that these people do everyday. One way
Whitman does this is he briefly describes what each person does in his or
her normal workday. By doing this, Whitman tells the reader what kind of
manual labor these people really do. Another way is, Whitman in every
line says that that specific worker is singing or he says something about
the worker’s song. Whitman uses singing as a common bind between all of
these different occupations, and the fact that all of the people are
singing together makes the message in the poem so much more direct. In
line nine of the poem Whitman says, “Each singing what belongs to him or
her and to none else.” This particular line shows that each person plays
their own role in the social order and it is unique to them only.
“I Hear America Singing” is a poem that makes the reader think about
these lower class workers and the hardships they go through everyday at
work. It also arouses an emotion of nationalism and patriotism. Most
importantly it makes the reader think about their country and what they
can do for it.
When one thinks of the word “sport” many
will think of one of the four major sports, baseball, hockey, basketball,
and football, while totally disregarding many other sports. Sport is
defined as “An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is
governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.”
Tennis obviously falls under this definition and is also one of the most
competitive sports there is. Tennis is a one on one match, which makes it
more intense for the players and spectators.
Tennis is a one of a kind sport in that it was one of the first head
to head sports invented. It was first made-up before the twelfth century,
but did not become popular before the thirteenth century. The sport
originated in France and was introduced to America around 1874. The form
of tennis that America adopted was called “Lawn Tennis”. This is when it
is played on a marked out surface with no side or end walls. Then the
Americans expanded on this game and called it “Court Tennis”. This
indicates that tennis is played in a specially court with walls on four
Once this sport caught on in America in the nineteenth
century it took off in a big way. Americans were mastering the sport and
making it their own. The fact that this sport was invented in another
country and then mastered by Americans is how this sport has become
“Americanized” over the years. This has happened with many other sports
besides tennis. For example the game of hockey was originated in Windsor,
Nova Scotia around 1800. Now hockey is a mainstream sport in the United
States and is enjoyed by millions of people across the nation. (Vaughan)
Another way in which Americans have made the sport their own is by
changing the name from “Lawn Tennis” to just “Tennis”.
Alex Bogdanovic is an amateur tennis player from Great
Britain. Last year Alex finished up being ranked No. 230 in the ITF
Junior World Rankings, but that changed in a big way after the U.S. Open.
His biggest Grand Slam achievement, before making it to the U.S. Open
last summer, was making it to round of 16 at the Australian Open. After
the U.S. Open, Alex increased to No. 14 in the ITF Junior World Rankings.
He also made it to the quarterfinals of the Kentucky Derby. Though Alex’s
goal is to become a professional as soon as he can, he is sure to finish
out this calendar year with a top ranking in the juniors. (Frost)
Someone who was able to make it as a professional tennis
player is Patrick Rafter. Patrick turned pro in 1991. His highest career
ranking is No. 1, which was reached in 1997 after his first U.S. Open win.
Patrick then, in 1998, defended his U.S. title, and since then has only
gotten better. Although Patrick is ranked among the best in the world he
remains very modest. Patrick once said, "Money is nice, but I came into
tennis thinking that if I can buy a two-bedroom home, I'm ahead of 90
percent of the people in the world." (Leah) Patrick says he loves the
game of tennis and hopes to be playing for as long as he possibly can.
Although tennis, at one point, was considered to be a
major sport, the public’s interest in it has decreased over the years, but
there are still many people who follow and love tennis. One of these
people is John Yandell. He has committed most of his life to teaching,
studying, playing, and writing about tennis. In 1984, he founded the John
Yandell Tennis School in San Francisco. In 1985, he produced a best
selling tennis instructional video with John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl called
"The Winning Edge." In 1991, his book Visual Tennis was published, and in
the same year, he released the Visual Tennis video. He writes on tennis
for the San Francisco Chronicle, and his articles have appeared in Tennis,
Inside Tennis, and Tennis Match. (Yandell)
The public’s disinterest in the sport could mean a couple
of different things. One reason for this could be Americans think that it
is boring now that they have become so good at it. Or it could be because
Americans started to get introduced to more sports since then and tennis
has faded out of the picture. Either way this shows that Americans become
easily bored with something when something new, but not necessarily
better, comes along.
Tennis is definitely a unique sport. It was introduced to the United
States moderately late to when it was invented and died out even quicker.
The people of the Untied States should not lose interest in such a great
sport because tennis is a good sport for a person of any age or skill
level. So pick up a racket and give tennis a try.