The Cookout of a Lifetime
One day I asked my mother as we were sitting in our living room how
she and my father met. She claimed she did not remember but I persisted
about the topic until she finally woke up out of her half sleep on the
couch. I had to coax the information out of her and she eventually woke up
and told me the story “I met Donald at a 4th of July cookout part in 1980.
I was invited to the cookout at a friends house in Weymouth. I did not
know many people that were going but I decided to go anyway, and it’s a
good thing I did. While I was there I just hung around talking to people
and meeting new people that my friend knew.
A while later I was sitting alone on the front steps of my friends
house drinking some lemonade. Everybody else was drinking alcohol and I
don’t really like the taste of it so I made some lemonade and camped out
on the steps for a while. That’s when your dad came up to me. We started
conversation and he asked me what was in the cup. I told him it was
lemonade but he didn’t believe me so he took a sip. He then found out it
really was lemonade and we got to talking. The party was kind of boring so
we decided to walk to the store.
We talked all the way to the store, asking each other questions,
talking about random things, and basically just got to know each other.
When we got to the store we just looked around and we each bought a soda.
He bought mine along with his o I bought us a pack of gum. Then he walked
me back to the party where we went our separate ways, but not without each
others numbers. After that night and the next days after, we saw more and
more of each other.”
This story goes to show what America can truly do. If not for the
Forth of July, there would have never been a party, and I may not be
writing this right now. I’m sure many other relationships were forged on a
Forth of July afternoon at a community party and that the nation,
unwittingly, brought together many couples to populate the nation that
brought them together.
Nature is constantly changing. A continuous battle
between night and day, light and darkness, good and evil. I am just an
insignificant observer of the ordered chaos of Nature. “I am part or
parcel of God” Emerson said, and this is what I am, too. I only observe God's
creations in the shape of a barren yard behind a house in constant motion.
I can only hope and dream of becoming godly enough to command Nature in
This barren battlefield, unknown, unheard, and left to its own
demise, this yard, ever-changing, lives and dies in days and seasons. There
is green covering it, fighting, struggling to stay alive against the
constant assault of the furious winter. As the leaves fall, the green dies.
Brown, dead leaves cover the green in a death shroud. The leaves are
blown around, wrestling with the ground in the ultimate struggle for
supremacy. Eventually, after the battle is over, the shroud is pulled back,
revealing naked, barren rock, tribute to the deadly thoroughness of winter.
Not a single animal can be seen or heard, as if in fear of being drawn into the void of death in the yard. Trash and papers litter the
sacred place, mocking nature for its valiant struggle. This battle field is
nothing but a “yard” to the eyes of the people around it.
Americans are a busy people. Thoreau said “still we live meanly, like
ants; though the fable tells us that we were long ago changed into men.”
We are “superior” as Americans, yet we can only look at a small piece of
life often leaving out Nature. This great part of life is often ignored by
us because of our American lives. This land is on American soil, yet it is
so much more than land. The land is who we are as a society, preferring
monotonous, controllable plastic and concrete to the ever-changing,
I have seen Nature, I have seen American life. Both are better in
their own ways, but both are incompatible. We are about control in our
lives, yet Nature needs chaos. Nature needs small backyard battlefields to
survive and do what it does best: change.
On a long boring car ride Chris, Stephanie, and
Jenn began talking about all the fast food chains dotting the side of the
road. Jenn asked “how many different chains are there? It seems like there
is one on every corner.” This led to a heated debate between Chris and
Stephanie about which has the best food. Then Jenn began talking oblivious
to Chris and Stephanie’s conversation. Soon Jenn was talking to herself
and lulling Stephanie and Chris into a sleep by naming pointless facts she
has heard about certain fast food chains.
Chris yawned very loudly when Jenn stopped to catch her breath and
made it very clear that he didn’t care about the pointless facts.Jenn then
exclaimed "if you dont start listening or even pretending to car I'm gonna
throw you out of this car at very hig speeds and make sure the back wheels
get you as they go by!". This comment brought Stephanie and Chris wide
awake and they began talking about the restaurants. When they ran out of
things about the restaurants Stephanie asked with a sarcastic tone “OK
Jenn, if your so smart, what are the facts about 711?” Before Jenn could
respond Chris blurted out “its their hours, everybody knows that. They
open at 7am and close at 11pm. They are only closed 2 hours.” Before Chris
had a chance to respond to his off-the mark remark Jenn began making fun
of him. It seems that she was getting him back for the yawn earlier
because she didn’t stop until they got home and he finally got away from
Walt Whitman wrote many poems in a style called
free-verse. Other authors expanded on his writing technique and
established stream of thought poetry. Whitman’s poems were predominantly
in free verse but he had an exception to his writing. “O Captain! My
Captain!” is not in free verse, rather it follows the rules set up by
previous poets. It incorporates his trademark thoughts on paper and his
patriotic view but also follows a slightly more traditional path he
O Captain! My Captain! Is like a free verse poem by the fact that it
tells a story. It was written for the assassination of President Lincoln.
“My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still, My father
does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will, The ship is anchored safe
and sound, its voyage closed and done,”
This is a key example of Whitman’s free verse. It is not a play on
words, rather a cut and dry scene of Lincoln dead. He describes, with
vivid detail and with a thought process that continues, the death of
Lincoln. There is no set rhyme scheme or a set amount of syllables. It is
just a continuous stream of conscience. It is more of a short story within
a poem than a true poem. Whitman does not follow a clear cut set of rules,
rather he makes them up and critiques them to the part of the poem is he
writing. The only rule he uses is one that he made himself; Honor our
great President Lincoln.
Whitman also goes on to show that he can use forms of poetry and is
not confined to just free verse. He uses a rhyme scheme and to some extent
makes use of repetition. For instance, “O Captain! My Captain! Our fearful
trip is done,/ The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is
won,” is a great example of Whitman using a rhyme scheme. The words done
and won at the end of each line respectively rhymes creating a rhythm to
the poem. “It is some dream that on the deck/ You’ve fallen cold and dead”
is another example of Whitman incorporating rhyme scheme into his poem.
The word Captain is used in the first line of every stanza which is a
concrete foundation in which the poem is built and sculpted from. Also the
phrase “my captain” is used three times to stress that Lincoln was
Americas own. This is Whitman using repetition within the borders or his
Patriotism is a key factor in this poem because of our undying love
for Freedom and justice. The poem still rings true today because every
American is still very patriotic and supportive of the United States. It
is based on the assassination of President Lincoln and that end of the
Civil War. “The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won”
is a perfect example of the patriotism. America has survived the Civil
war. The prize, equality for all, has been achieved. Whitman sees this as
a great accomplishment by Lincoln and sees his death as a sacrifice for
the prize achieved by Americans. Also Whitman speaks for every American in
his poem, not just himself.
Whitman uses his free verse to some extent which enriches the poem
and gives it a distinctive quality but also plays with word choice to
achieve a certain rhyme scheme within the poem. Patriotism is evident like
most of his poems and he speaks for the broad group of Americans not just
himself. Whitman tells a compelling and tragic story for all Americans to
bear witness to no matter how young or old.
Golf is a classic sport. It has been around for
ages carrying with it a graceful elegance. It is an international
“gentlemen’s sport” but has only appealed generally to a select few. Golf
games range from get-together friendly activities to professional outings
with millions of dollars at stake.
If sport is a competition between two opposing teams and it combines
sportsmanship, competition, and teamwork then golf fits this definition to
a tee. It is highly competitive with the winner taking home millions while
the loser takes home a pair of sore feet for walking all day. It is
considered a gentlemen’s sport so sportsmanship is given the highest
regard on the green, and in the rough. Golf is also a sport of teamwork.
Whether it be between the caddy and the player or a multi-man team,
teamwork is essential in winning the game.
There are many different types of people that play golf. Some play,
some try to play, and some just watch. The ones that play, the
professionals make up only a small percentage of the total number of
golfers in the United States. They are a select few that know exactly what
they are doing and dedicate their lives to it. Tiger Woods, who is a
professional golfer, said "Don't make a mental mistake. Think your way
around the golf course. If you can just hang around near the lead,
anything can happen." (Shipnuck 42) This is a mindset of a world champion
professional golfer. He has a concentration that isn’t just a good-time
attitude like amateurs. Woods is the premiere golfer and this strategy
earned him that title.
In comparison a regular person can just play for fun and to have a
good time. Steve Lee, an amateur of the sport said “I would go golfing
just to relax and have and good time. It is not something that requires a
lot of time and effort.” This is a very large difference to the mind set
of Tiger Woods showing the difference the game is played on each level.
While one is a job and a challenge the latter is a recreation and a sport.
Critics can often be cruel and insensitive or they can be sweet and
charming. Rick Reilly said “There never has been, never will be, a killer
like Tiger Woods. Not then, not now, not ever. The boy is a man now, and
the man is as unstoppable as winter. He has all the empathy of a Luger.
His mind is a lockbox, his will a Russian tank. He is a finisher, in the
manner of Luca Brasi or Babyface Nelson. He is the kind of man who buries
you, then comes to your grave on your birthday and kicks over your
tombstone.” (Reilly 40) In this case the Reilly is cold as stone to every
golfer besides tiger but sweet as honey to Woods. Critics of a sport often
have many enemies in the form of the players and few friends. They analyze
the game and give a direct upfront view of the sport and player. Their
evaluations are often terse and to the point but get the players overall
effectiveness across. This is the case of Reilly’s comment on Tiger Woods.
He is a great golfer that seems unstoppable and Reilly tells people this.
The sport can be seen all across the country in the form of country
clubs with well manicured greens. Americans pride themselves as being
sophisticated and classy so they naturally gravitate to Golf. Golf is an
elite sport in which wealthy people are often associated therefore every
American wishes to be seen playing golf so they can seem wealthy. This
mentality has given golf players an aristocratic air about them in the
United States. It makes many men want to grow up and be a golf player and
earn lots of money like their famous hero’s.