In English Class three weeks ago, we were asked to
write an essay about the journeys of our first family members to America.
I had decided to write about my aunt and her family. She is the third
child in the family that has three kids. Growing up female, she was
totally under the control of the Confucian order of the Three Obediences
in action: the daughter obeys the father, the wife obeys the husband, and,
eventually, the widow obeys the son.
The Confucian tradition was obviously stacked against her, as a
girl. And as I was told later, she left her country to avoid the Confucian
and to profit her family. My aunt and her husband came from Vietnam and
settled in Boston in 1982, the same year their first kid was born. Leaving
their homeland did not mean leaving their cultural heritage. When they
arrived, Boston already had a warm and welcoming Vietnamese community.
Although there were few, oriental markets and real Asian restaurants
dotted the neighborhood. Religious items necessary for Buddhist ceremony
and home shrines were readily available. Moreover, being placed in an
environment that was so different from their home in Hanoi reinforced
their sense of cultural identity.
Unlike many Vietnamese families who tried to assimilate in America
as quickly as possible in order to ensure an easier transition, they made
a conscious effort to maintain their heritage and impart some Vietnamese
culture on their two children. When other children make fun of their kids,
or if news reports demanded Vietnam, she reminded them that our ancestors
wore luxurious silks and invented gunpowder while Europeans still huddled
naked in caves.
Growing up, it was natural for their kids to speak Vietnamese at
home, eat rice with every meal, celebrate the lunar New Year, and spend
their free time after school with other Vietnamese kids. In their minds,
this was the normal American life. However, the complacency the kids
developed in their neighborhood in Boston was quickly shattered when they
enrolled in the suburban private schools. They were the only Asian kids in
the entire middle schools. Until then, they never had to evaluate their
ethnicity or thought of themselves as the outsiders. Their new classmates
dressed differently, had parents who went to college and spoke perfect
English, and played hockey and lacrosse. While coming from the inner-city
public schools had something to do with the initial culture shock, they
are certain the their being a first Vietnamese-Americans were partly
responsible for how they felt. Like every other impressionable
middle-school kids, they immediately tried to blend in.
As the years progressed, they developed the new identities that
combined where they came from with where they were. Many people argue that
growing up in a working-class and Vietnamese neighborhood is limiting and
intellectually stifling. Others would say that the New England prep
schools are the protective bubbles where real world events and issues are
not addressed. Owing to the balance of their parentsí cultural influences
and their educations at schools, they were able to avoid the pitfalls of
both environment and benefit from the diversity the two settings provided.
As they are getting ready for their first year in college, they are eager
to encounter a whole new learning environment and, of course, bring with
them their own cultural heritage to share.
Is there anybody out there who hasn't at one time or another
wished for such a place, hasn't turned those soft words over until they'd
assumed a habitable shape? What they propose to anyone who admits them
into the space of a daydream, is a place of solitude a few step off the
beaten track of everyday life. Beyond that, though, the form the dream
takes seems to vary with the dreamer. Generally the imagined room has a
fixed terrestrial address, whether located deep within the family house or
out it the woods under its own roof. For some people, though, the same
dream can just as easily assume a vehicular form. I'm thinking of the
one_person thingypit or cabin, a mobile room in which to journey some
distance from the shore of one's usual cares. Fixed or mobile, a dream of
escape is what this probably sounds like. But it's more like a wish for a
slightly different angle on things for the view from the towe, or tree
line, or the bobbing point a couple hundred yards off the coast. It might
be a view of the same old life, but from out here it will look different,
the outlines of the self a little more distinct.
In my own case, there came a small place in my garden where I had
spent the last two weeks to observe it myself. It's now near the end of
the fall. Autumn leaves start to fall. They cover the whole surface of the
garden completely. I am supposed to clean it up every weekends but I was
too lazy to clear the garden for the last two weeks. I just left it there
like that naturally. This place has been so familiar with me that I could
picture it from anywhere, anytime. From my garden, I could see my
Emerson said: " I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I
see all." One the field of this garden, where my cousins and I used to
play football during the summer, I had spent time sitting there all alone
to listen, to watch, the test my humor senses of responsibility with
nature. Many things had changed during the last two weeks. I found some of
them were quite interesting. I noticed the soccer ball at the corner of
the garden which wasn't there three days ago. Far away, one of the
neighbors' houses'd had a new paint. I think they are eagerly prepared for
Christmas. Talking about Christmas, my family had bought a new lightballs
system. It has been ready to be put up to celebrate New Year, but in a
mean time, we leave it on the field of the garden. I also realized a few
diffent changes but they don't seem that important.
This garden is just as normal as many other American places.
There are flowers, clean_cut grass... in this garden. There is also a
little walk through the whole field. It's naturally represents the beauty
of nature. This is the most secret place in the world as far as I concern.
People don't come here usually and even if they do, they would stay here
for long. That's why I love this place. It stands there naturally and
quietly. It seems to last forever with nature.
The person that I decided to write about is my older cousin _ Mark Nguyen.
Member of ACC' class of 2002, 18 year old, skillful in computer
technology, he is the most talented kid that I've never seen when he sits
in front of the computer. By using his unimaginable, unbelievable, and
unusual skill which had been developed since he was 10 year old, he could
locate in any security system in about half an hour. He also makes fake
IDs for his friends so that they could get into the night clubs legally.
He makes so much money out of it. He gets $50 from each ID that he sells.
Besides being a master of technology, he's also a sport cars lover. He
has the Honda S2000 Silver/Black which makes him proud of. He had been
down to California and Ohio to join in those street racing clubs. He
always talks about his car. After watching "The Fast and The Furious" on
his Bose DVD system in his car the other night, he asked me: "Yo, you know
that they were gonna invite me to cast in that movie first?"
"Whatever, man" _ I replied.
He went: "They seriously were, but then they decided to invite that
Chinese guy because I drive too fast."
I realized that he was joking as soon as he started laughing. But I have
to agree that he drives too fast. He got caught speeding more than six
times this summer on the same street. One time, when he was going 75 mph
while the speed limit was 35 mph, I had to tell him to slow down. He just
said wildly: "I don't give a d**n! I run this city, I run this state. I'll
do whatever I want."
When asked why he doesn't care about school and applying for colleges,
he said he wanted to open his own business right after he graduates high
school. He listed something that kept distracting him: Honda S2000,
alcohol and drugs, Final Fantasy X and www.asianavenue.com. What a
The 19th Century had
observed many special events especially in America. During the Civil War,
it had been changed in many different ways. Our society had changed, our
social lives had changed and even our literature had changed as well. This
century was the period of time when we had many great poets such as Walt
Whitman, Emily thingyinson... This was the time when people like Walt
Whitman used their abilities to write many great poems. One of many poems
from Walt Whitman is "O Captain! My Captain!" This poem shows the readers
Whitman's view of death and his admiration of our beloved President _
"O Captain! My Captain!" is known as on of the memories to President
Lincoln. It shows their friendly relationship. It was Whitman who admired
and believed in Lincoln politically. It was Whitman who had described
Lincoln as a gentle, plain, just and resolute man. It was Lincoln who was
under the cautious hands but still saved the Union. It was Lincoln who
read Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" out loud in his law office. The poem
itself had said it. Everyone elase had said it. This poem is a best
description for their friendship.
"O Captain! My Captain!" was written when one of the worst events of
the war happened to occur _ the assassination of President Lincoln. The
murder of Lincoln had affected the poet's mind. Walt Whitman put his
critics of Lincoln's death through the poem's trinity of symbols. While
Whitman was reowned as the most innovative of American poets, this poem is
a rare example of his use of rhymed, rhythmically regular verse, which
serves to create a somber yet exalted effect. Whitman had envisioned
Lincoln as and archangel captain, and reportedly dreamed the night before
the assassination about a ship entering harbor under full sail. The image
of a ship coming into the port of democracy and anti-slavery with its
captain "fallen cold and dead". The external shape of the poem also looks
like a gun which represents the President's murder.
Have you ever kept rewriting a story or poem because you just weren't
satisfied with it? Walt Whitman wrote "O Captain! My Captain!" in 1865,
but he revised it in 1866, and again in 1871. This is because he wanted to
make its singsong quality and rhythms perfectly. He had revised it to fit
with what he considered a landmark in American History. One of its three
stanzas should suffice for and illustration of its quality:
"O Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip is done,
The ship had weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is
I like this poem because it's just so "American" and I like how
Whitman brought up the issue of President Lincoln's murder. Whitman sings
from the heart of his own experience to weep for all Americans. Whitman
saw that the only way to accept Lincoln's death was to understand death
itself as the ultimate soother of life's ills and divine midwife deserving
of its own apostrophe. This is why the poem became so famous. This is why
everyone loved to read it. And thus, this is why Whitman had said he was
almost sorry he ever wrote it.
While playing soccer at Rugby
School of England in 1823, William Webb Ellis picked up the ball in his
hand and ran with it. This sparked an interest, leading to the creation of
rugby. Cambridge University immediately adopted the game, popularized it
and made local rules. The game grew popular at area schools and in 1871,
ten years after the common rules of soccer were set, the first Rugby Union
was founded in London and firm rules of the game were established.
The game continued to play with rugby rules until the 1900s where the
publication of photographs of a harsh game between Swarthmore and
Pennsylvania created a stir. President Theodore Roosevelt insisted on
reform of the game to lower the brutality with threat of abolishing the
game by edict. Some people say that rugby is a dangerous sport. The
players can't use any pad to protect their bodies. But I think it is less
dangerous and interesting than American football. Have you ever watched a
rugby game on TV? It's boring because you don't know the rules well and it
seems like the game would never end. In football, our players actually
tackle hardly. I think if we put up a game between an American football
team and a British rugby team, the American team would definitely win. You
can't hit too hard in rugby because you might hurt yourself.
The game is hard itself. But beside facing the toughness of the games,
the players also have to deal with all the critics. When they win, they
are barely greeted with great contradictions. But if they lose some games,
they are the main issue of all the newspapers. Because of this, some
players who just can't deal with the critics have decided to quit. Some of
them decided to try out for American football. Jonah Lomu is an example.
He is one of the biggest names in rugby. He plays for a professional club
in New Zealand. He says that he is offered to join the American football
league because he is talented. If he wants to leave, then he is still
welcome back to New Zealand whenever he wants.
Most of the players are not lucky like Jonal Lomu because they are not
as great as him. They are not well known in the United States. Therefore,
they are not well prepared after their careers. They are not famous and
they don't make that much money. They only play the sport because they
like it. "It's the responsibility of the players association that these
players are taken care of, not just during their playing career, bust so
they are alos well prepared to deal with life after rugby." said Rob
Nichol. He had played for the US national team. Now retired, he is lucky
to be a representative of the US rugby association. I think most players
in the US are not aware of the professionalism of rugby. They love the
game and that's the main reason that keep them playing. Diana Parkhurst
said: "I only play the game because I love it." She is the captain of the
Boston Women's rugby club. It's the club for all amateurs. She is the
manager of Gap Clothing, INC stores in Copley mall. She plays rugby to
keep herself in shape and for the fun of it.
There are many clubs in the United States, likewise rugby reemerged.
College campuses turn to the sport because it is one where many could play
and escape the rigid discipline and professionalism inherent in college
football. Minimal costs, constant action and the opportunity for frequent
play with a primary emphasis on fun also attract many. The sport continues
to grow and now played in over 80 countries worldwide. The rules of rugby
continue to evolve and amateurism remains as dominant characteristic.