Bad Day

It had been a long day at school. Nothing else could have gone wrong. I was suspended for smoking cigarettes in the back of a fellow classmates truck, received a detention notice for forging a permission slip, and my 1999 Honda Accord broke down on a class trip to Food Lion. After a day as bad as that, all one wants to do is go away from school and do something fun to take their mind off of everything. What better way to do that than to go to a wild party with some friends? The night was damp and cloudy. It was not a pretty night at all.

The air had a strange aroma that somehow smelled of trouble, but I did not are, all I wanted to do was have a good time. Previously that day a friend purchased one-fifth of Burnett’s Sour Apple Vodka to help me have a good time. The alcohol was a definite contribution to my fun. Before I knew it I was drunk. After hours of walking around socializing with my friends I reached a new level of drunkness. The type of level where all self control was lost. Friends told me I was completely out of control by dancing on tabletops, chasing cars, and flirting with every person I met.

Justin noticed that I was out of control. He found me lying in the middle of the road gazing at the stars and talking to God. He convinced me hat I did not have to drink to have a good time, and told me that no matter how bad of a day I had it was no reason to be acting like I was. I had never talked to Justin before, and maybe if the conditions at the party would not have been so severe I never would have been able to talk to him. He said he had a similar experience to mine a few months earlier.

He had gotten out of control to the point where the police were called and he had to spend the night in a jail cell for destruction of public property. He said he did not want to see the same thing happen to me, so that is why he decided to come talk to me and rationalize my situation. I will never forget how much he helped me. Just when I thought my bad day had ended, I saw headlights. It was a shiny silver car with some sort of blue horizontal stripe on the side. It seemed to have some type of rack on the top, too.

I could not tell what type of strange car this was, so I crawled up from my “bed” in the road to get a closer look. I was close enough to touch the car before I could read the bold writing on the side. It read Roanoke Rapids Police Department, and there was a man in uniform stepping outside of the car holding a flashlight in one hand and his police bat in the other. Keep in mind that I had drank entirely too much that night, so I was still feeling a little on the wild side, so I took off running. Needless to say, I did not make it far before falling on my face.

Pain shot through my body, and my head felt as though it had been sliced open. As if this were not enough pain the next sensation I felt was that of my arms being jerked behind me only to feel hard metal gripping on to my tender wrists. The ride to the police station was not a pleasant one. All I could do was sit and think of what my parents were going to say to me. I could visualize the disappointment they would have on their faces when they came o pick me up. I pleaded with the officer to let me go home and I would never drink again.

When that did not work, I even tried bribery, which the officer quickly told me was against the law, also. We finally arrived at the police station. I never had to sit in a jail cell, because my parents were already on the way. All that was left to do was grin and bare it. My parents walked in shaking their heads. I could see the disapproval in their eyes. They did not say a word. I slowly stood up and followed my parents to the parking lot, stepped into the car, and just sat there knowing that our household would not be the same for a while.

Inetrview With A Person From A Controlled Environment

When I graduated from High School I entered into the Merchant Marine Academy at Fort Schuyler in New York. From then until I was in my mid thirties I was involved with ocean liners, tankers and ships. For periods of one year at a time I would be on a ship traveling the world, making shipments and patrolling the seas. The controlled environment was both on the ship and in the academy. Once on the ship I had to obey the rules and morals taught to us in the academy. Was there an effort to separate you from your former identity? No not really.

Contrary to the NAVY, ARMY or Marines our boot camp was less severe and did not include such physical conditioning. Our personalities were not changed because we were not in combat and did not have to learn to be a killing machine. What were the most important rules you had to follow? Besides not falling in the water, we had to obey almost everything our captain told us. Our captain was like our parents his wishes were our commands. The captain set the standards and the rules for us to follow. What were the least and less important rules you had to follow? There was a uniform but it was not very important that we followed it.

As an officer we had to look respectable but usually the uniform requirements were not met. We also had a curfew but that was rarely followed and it was rare for a person to get into any trouble for breaking curfew. What were some of the make-dos the inmates made up for their deprivations with? Since there was no T. V. almost every night after dinner we held chess and checkers tournament. The games were fast paced and mostly just for fun, no money was ever wagered. We also drank a lot of beer when we were at sea for extended amounts of time. Which were accepted by the authorities and which were not?

Well the chess tournaments everyone enjoyed and were accepted by all, officers, Plebes and Captains. However drinking and other drug use was prohibited. Being caught with illegal drugs meant immediate dismissal from the corps. Being caught with alcohol meant some kind of military punishment(I never got caught). How did the inmates respond to their situation? Almost everyone on the ship enjoyed their work and being away from home. However after long periods, occasionally fights would arise and officers would end up with a black eye or broken nose. But on a whole it was usually pretty peaceful and an enjoyable environment.

Do you consider your experience in the controlled environment beneficial? Absolutely, it taught me discipline and how to treat others. My experience also taught me to value what I have at home and didnt have when at sea. Do you miss the environment? When my kids are bothering me I miss the solitude of the open ocean. However, at the same time I have also had my fill of that lifestyle. Would you do it again? In a heartbeat. The person whom I interviewed is a very close family friend who entered in to the Merchant Marine Academy at the age of 18. I also interviewed another friend who was in the army and fought in Vietnam.

Many of his answers coincided with those of Owen(from the merchant marines). Mikes experiences in the ARMY were a little more structured than Owens. But Mikes experience was not as enjoyable or beneficial. The benefits received from the ARMY were discipline and respect. As a sailor Owen also benefitted by seeing the world and experiencing many cultures while being in a controlled environment. Mike portrayed the ARMY to be a very structured environment, where everything that a soldier did was monitored and taken into account. The rules he had to follow were very distinct and if broken meant physical punishments.

The ARMYs rules based around the constitution and defending our Nation. The Merchant Marine rules based around the safety of their officers and the good being transported. Finally, contrary to Owens experiences Mikes, made an effort to separate him from his identity. Mike was reshaped from an average man to a killing machine. Through these interviews I learned, how controlled environments can both benefit and change a person for the better. I also learned that a controlled environment is very hard to adapt to and not something I would like to be subject to.

Teens, Sex, and Virginity – I Was Raped by My Teacher

Ken was my voice teacher. I never admired anyone more than him. He meant the world to me. It would be safe to say that we did not have a typical teacher/student relationship. I was infatuated with him. He was tall dark and had the voice of an angel. But he was eleven years older than I was, and he was my teacher. I learned from him, I confided in him, and I trusted him. I never pictured myself being with him. I never dreamt he would think of me as a ‘woman’ and not just a love-stricken seventeen year-old vocal student.

When I began my lessons with Ken, they took place at school, but then somewhere down the line, he wanted them to be at his house. He was the teacher, and I was told that you never argued with what the teacher had to say. Our next lesson, I showed up at his house at 1:00 sharp, ready to sing. I had never been to his house before, and I was a little nervous about seeing it. However, when he opened the door and greeted me with his cute little smile, I knew there was nothing to be nervous about. We started our lesson by singing a few songs for fun (we always sang duets together).

He said that I wasn’t singing my best and asked if I was stressed. Of course I was stressed! I was the lead in our school musical and it would open in two weeks. “One can never reach their full potential when they are stressed,” he said, as he began to rub my shoulders. This was weird for me, but like I said, he was the teacher, and you never argue with the teacher. We finished our lesson, I thanked him and I was on my way out. Before I left though, he took my face in his hands, and he kissed me goodbye. I didn’t really know what to do. Had that just happened? Did he just kiss me?

Did I kiss him back? Is that wrong? He’s too old! I’m too young! He’s my teacher! We spoke on the phone several times that week, but never brought up the kiss. It was just hanging out there-in limbo. I figured that since he hadn’t mentioned it, it meant nothing, and we would just go on being what we were-friends. The next week, I went to his house for my lesson again. When I went into the living room, the keyboard wasn’t there. Ken said that he had been practicing last night before he went to sleep, and left it in his bedroom, so we’d just have the lesson in there.

Again, he is the teacher, and you don’t argue with the teacher. I followed him into the bedroom and started getting my books out. Suddenly, he threw me onto the bed and assaulted me. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t realize what was happening. I was terrified, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. The assault happened, and afterwards he sent me home with a threat that if anyone ever found out, no one would believe me and I would be “finished”. I took that threat to heart and didn’t mention my assault for close to six months.

I was a changed person-a very unpleasant and deathly unhappy person. I shut out those who were closest to me and I turned away from the helping hand of the Lord. I felt that for some reason, my life wouldn’t get any worse, and it couldn’t get any better. I was living in a zone, a zone of nothingness. I was letting what were supposed to be the “happiest times of my life” pass me by without a second thought. Instead of going to the movies and hanging out with my friends, I stayed at home and felt sorry for myself. In doing so, I robbed myself, my family and my friends of the happiness we deserved.

I didn’t listen to anyone who wanted to help me, and I did not let anyone listen to me. When I cried, I cried because I felt scared, and alone, but I would not let anyone get close enough to help me through my pain. Eventually, my daily routine of sulking around, and trying not to be noticed became so dull that I could not stand it. I was lost. I did not know what I was supposed to do anymore. Who would help me now, after I had pushed everyone so far away? Ken said they wouldn’t believe me, so why even report? But I knew that I had to do something, because I saw who his next victim would be.

He had gotten a new student to take my place… and I was not going to let this happen to her as well. I decided I had to tell what Ken had done to me. I didn’t know who to tell, or what to tell, or even when to tell. All I knew was why I had to tell. My case made me very aware of what a problem sexual assault is in the world today, and it also made me aware of how overlooked sexual assault is. Now, two years later, I want to do something to change that. The jury found Ken not guilty after a long and grueling court process.

After all I went through, it came down to the fact that there was no physical evidence that he had assaulted me. He is a free man, with the knowledge and the power to assault many more unsuspecting victims in the years to come. I was outraged when I heard the verdict! Nevertheless, I will not be victimized again, and I will do my very best to see to it that no one else will have to suffer as I did. If I cannot stop Ken, I will use my knowledge to try to prevent other assailants. Many people do not know the facts about sexual assault. One reason why many are so ill informed is apathy about the topic.

Before I was a victim, I did not want to take the time to learn the facts. Why should I care? Coming from a small town, I thought that it would never happen to me or any one I knew, so I just didn’t want to learn the facts. To this day, I regret that apathy with all of my heart. I believe that had I taken the time to learn the facts, my assault might not have happened. Because of what I have learned, I think that sexual assault awareness programs should be offered as mandatory seminars at Millikin for each incoming freshman to attend.

Such seminars will inform students on the facts of sexual assault, and use testimonials from assault survivors to relate those facts to the student’s lives. They will encourage women to protect themselves and to demand respect, and simultaneously teach men that respecting a woman is more attractive than assaulting one. Through these seminars, Millikin can put the fairy tale that so many women have lived with for so long to rest – the feeling that “it will never happen to me. ” As much as I hope and pray another female will never be assaulted, I know that this is an unrealistic thought.

Women will get assaulted, crimes will be committed; it is Millikin’s responsibility to help eliminate assault from our campus. I understand that sitting through seminars of this nature could perhaps make students feel uncomfortable. However, having to learn about sexual assault first-hand because of my lack of knowledge on the issue confirms my beliefs that these seminars are necessary. Being the victim of a crime such as sexual assault is a truly horrific experience. Within a few minutes, my body was violated, my life changed forever.

Could I have prevented my assault? Perhaps not, but had I been educated about sexual assault, I might have been able to recognize the signs that it was going to happen and prevented myself from being in a dangerous situation. In an article about sexual assault, an author from the Associated Press wrote: “Education is the most important thing,” (Associated Press). I believe that Millikin needs to begin educating its students both on how to prevent assault and what to do if it does occur.

An important reason why victims who have been assaulted don’t report these crimes is lack of knowledge. I didn’t report right away because I did not know who to tell, and what would happen when I did. I did not want to be a victim again, and I was afraid of becoming a victim of the system. I did not know what kind of protection was offered for victims of crimes such as assault. Millikin has the power to educate people on these facts and situations. Knowledge is power, and assault is about power.

If a woman has knowledge about sexual assault, she has the power to prevent herself from being in a dangerous situation. And, if an assault still occurs, what she has learned here at Millikin in her awareness seminars will give her the power to do the right thing, and the knowledge to know who to report it to. Why should Millikin become involved? Because “college campuses are very dangerous places for women” (DeGrow). As Susan Warshaw points out, the risk of rape and assault is four times higher for women aged 16 to 24 than for any other population group (n. p. ).

In addition to that startling fact, a study conducted by Mary Koss found that “1 in 4 women in college today have been victims of rape, and almost 90% of them knew their assailants” (Koss). Such statistics remind us of how often these horrible crimes are committed. When a woman is assaulted, her whole life changes. Her demeanor, her attitude towards men and her personality change. And it is not just the victim who suffers; her family and friends do as well. Their lives will also change dramatically. One of the most heart-wrenching aspects of assaults is that most women never get their lives back.

Selected Nation Crime Victimization Survey Statistics show that in 1994, there were 433,000 rapes and sexual assaults reported in the United States. That number is astronomical, and it is even more disturbing when you consider that only 32% of the victims reported their case to law enforcement. I realize that sexual assault seminars would not have an effect on everyone who attended, however, reaching even a few people would make the seminars worth offering. One college male who attended a sexual assault awareness seminar on his campus said: “You have opened my eyes to so much.

I was so blinded by all the sex talk and image of sex given to me by so many males. They never talk about raping a girl, but sex was such a manly thing to do… ” A response like this one makes me feel that these seminars are needed, especially after I stumbled upon the frightening statistic that “60% of male college students indicated some likelihood of raping or using force in certain circumstances” (Seals Press). Women need to be made aware. Assaults need to stop and Millikin needs to provide its students with the education on how this can happen.

It is too serious an issue to be ignored. Sexual assault can happen anywhere. It can happen to the strongest people in the smallest towns by someone a victim feels she can trust. Sexual assault is a very serious yet overlooked issue. The way I see it, Millikin University has two choices: we can take the easy way out and ignore the problem, hoping it will go away quietly on its own, or we can take a more effective route by trying to eliminate the problem by making students and faculty aware. The path we need to take is obvious, so why isn’t anything being done?

Nature vs. Nurture

When we first started learning about the age old question of nature vs. nurture, I agreed with the concept of nature. I hated the idea of nurture, that no one is truly unique. I was against that. I liked to think that everyone is individual. But then as I thought more about it, I started to not like the idea of Nature. That we dont have a choice in who we are, that it has all been decided for us. I was thinking about alot of things that could affect how someone is. There are some things that can describe how someone is using both nature and nurture.

The question regarding nature and nurture can be argued either way and has by countless brilliant people and psychologists. There are lots of examples supporting both sides. But what does this mean for me? I am an 15 year old young girl trying to shape myself into an ideal person, I have tendencies, habits, talents, these come from both sides of the issue that we have before us, nature or nurture, what is it? For me I think it is a little of both, nurture can explain a lot of what is me, however it can’t explain everything and for everything else we look to nature.

I personally believe I am who I am because of both nature and nurture. I dont agree that theres only one thing that decides what someone will be like. Im going to address this issue by looking at both sides of the spectrum. If the only thing that determines someones personality is nurture, then why is everyone unique? Wouldn’t that mean that people who grow up n the same house and raised by the same people all be exactly alike? I know this is not true. Im reminded everyday at home. Im nothing like my sisters. I get compared to them because they all did well in school and were very respectful.

Im not always like that and this is blamed on the public school system by my parents and blamed on my choice of friends. Some people say that friends influence one another and that is true but it brings me back to the original question. Before people have friends, when they are little and stay at home and before they’re in school, then peoplel still have there tendencies and personalities. The parents try to help them mold them into the perfect people, but even then, before the children are exposed to any ideas that go against there parents ideals, children still disobey. They still act in ways that there parents never taught them.

Where do those come from? Even babies that havent been alive very long and havent had a chance to be nurtured still show personalitys. Where does that come from? People can be taught something all in the same way but make it unique. I thought of this while I was writing this paper. In first grade everyone was taught the alphabet in the same way. Every day we had to trace a copy of the alphabet, each letter 10 times. And we all developed our own unique writing. It seems like I can go around in circles forever showing examples that support both sides. Chemistry is an important aspect of why we act the way that we do.

Genetically, our parents can pass down many of their traits to us. One may be genetically dispositioned to be an alcoholic like my uncle. But if a child grows up around alcoholics and sees at a very young age that alcohol rules the worlds of those around them they may be prone to think this same why. Some may be an alcoholic not because they drink too much or even too often but because everyone in the family is. And like the color of skin this trait is passed down with ease. I nurtured myself into this habit. So to support my thesis the chemistry of the brain can be both. Every teenager exhibits similar tendencies.

Many of these tendencies can be credited to the numerous physiological changes occurring in the body at the time. Many teenagers act out or change study habits these changes can be because of the internal confusion that one is feeling. Not all of the typical behavior shown by teenagers comes from the chemical changes occurring in their bodies. Teenagers often rebel because of the certain way their parent parents, or the crowd that they run with. Teenager’s undeveloped rapidly changing entities are extremely vulnerable and can be morphed through the attention given to them in a certain social situation.

Now the phenomena concerning twins baffles me. To hear about twins separated at birth but exhibit the same tendencies suffer the same illnesses amazes even the most intelligent people. This would most definitely be nature. On the other hand some twins never separated, who grew up wearing matching outfits etc. exhibit none of the tendencies of the prior. This whole topic is so baffling it is easy to understand that because of such different data coming from such similar case studies why researchers are stumped. Men and women are heavily influenced by nature. Men growing up in a house full of women still come out men and vice versa.

However society has such strict definitions drawn for what makes a man a man blah blah blah that in whatever type of environment you are in this will be engrained in your head. However at a very young age children make a discovery that they are different. Now if you kept a girls hair short dressed her in boys close she may not discover until and obvious time that she is different. Upon learning this she will act as if she is different therefore showing the difference in men and women. While many women or me are raised around the ideal picture society paints many of the defining traits, passions, talents etc. are interchangeable.

Birth order is one may lean more towards the nurture aspect of the debate. While many children show the typical signs of their birth order I think it is because of how they are treated in their family that would explain why they fit in there particular birth order mold. If parents had two children and didn’t know who was born first or last then these kids would never fall into the birth order sterotype because they weren’t treated in that particular way, I am a middle child, my parents know that I have always been treated as a middle child. Hmm what a coincidence that I follow the birth order handbook to the t.

I am a product of the way my brain was when I was born and the thoughts my parents, peers, society, have beat into it. Not just one or the other but both, and I can guarantee that the whole of this class would agree to this truth about themselves. My main problem with this whole nature vs. nurture concept is that it is so easy for me to see that both are in effect and not just one that I don’t know why scientist cant see it. One question is, if genes control behavior, then is an individual really responsible for their actions? I think people are definitely responsible for their actions.

I think that, while our genes may control some aspects of our personalities, there is no denying that our environment has some effects too. Our genes form us, but our experiences shape the way we behave as people. The people we grow up with, specifically our parents teach us ways of acting and thinking that we keep for the rest of our lives. A good example of this is television. When violent acts happen, people are quick to blame all the violence we see on TV, but why do some people act on this violence while others, who probably watch the same amount of television, do not commit any violent acts in their lifetime?

I believe that it has to do with how a person grew up. If you grew up being told not to be violent and that television was just fiction, like I did, then you can sort out the violence on television from what happens and how people are supposed to act in real life. But if you were not told these things as a child, or you saw your parents participating in violence, then these lines between TV and reality become blurred. Scientists have also found out that, even though a person may have a certain behavior-controlling gene, it is not always active.

This research puts the responsibility for actions back on the individual. Humans do have free will, and they can choose if they want to let their body or their mind control them. Another question is, is a person doesn’t have the “bad gene,” but they commit a crime, are they more responsible. To look at this issue from a legal perspective, judges determine responsibility for actions by something called culpability. This term refers to a person’s knowledge of their actions and the consequences.

If a person doesn’t know what they are doing, such as a mentally ill person who commits a crime, or they are not aware of the consequences, such as a child who plays with a parent’s gun, then they cannot be legally held responsible. This would answer the previous question with an emphatic no. Culpability makes no mention of genes, so if you had the “bad gene” and you committed a crime that you were fully aware of doing and you knew what could happen if you got caught, you would be fully responsible for your actions. From my perspective, all healthy individuals are responsible for their actions.

I believe that genes control our physical characteristics, but have a minute role in controlling our behaviors. As I mentioned before, some people have a certain gene, but it is not active in their bodies. This could mean that many people with the “bad gene” have led perfectly normal, law-abiding lives, while many people without the “bad gene” could have committed crimes. Scientists say that only about 10% of criminals in our prisons have the anti-social personality, and this could be the same thing with the “bad gene.

It is too risky to take responsibility off of individuals, because it just creates excuses for inexcusable behavior. I think that nurture plays a much bigger role in the shaping of our behavior than nature does. Placing complete control of our behavior on our genes removes responsibility off the individual, which is trouble. If people believe that they have no control over their bodies and it is all up to their genes, then we will see complete chaos. People will not engage in healthy lifestyles because they will believe that, it doesn’t matter what they do, genes will dictate their fate.

We will also see an increase in crime rate because people with the “bad gene” would be able to get away with crimes because it’s not their responsibility; it’s “their genes’ fault. ” We do know that our genes determine our physical properties, like whether we have brown or blond hair, but whether or not they control our behavior is still a mystery. I believe that they have a very limited role in determining behavior characteristics for the numerous reasons that I outline above.

My philosophy of life

My philosophy of life is that if you work hard enough, you will achieve the things you want. In other words, Practice makes perfect. The feeling that you get from having fun is great, but it is important to work hard to achieve this fun thing. The feeling of having fun is irrelevant if hard work was not involved in achieving it. An example to illustrate this point is when someone begins a new sport. At first, you will be bad at the sport and will have a great deal of difficulty, but with hard work and a great deal of practice, improvement will become possible.

I can relate this to my personal experiences with ice hockey. I had never played before this past October and had only skated four times in my life. From October until the season ended in March, I practiced every Monday and Wednesday. I felt that I was working very hard at getting better and by March, I could actually perform adequately and no longer embarrassed myself every time I go on the ice. I felt very good about my achievement in this sport. Another example of feeling a sense of satisfaction from hard work happened from my last biology exam.

I studied more than I had ever studied for a biology test before. Many hours of review were put into this particular unit of study. I studied both at home and in support class. The final product of all this effort was a 99 percent on my test. Never before did I do this well on any test. The feeling I had when Mrs. Wysocki handed me back my test was fantastic. I felt a true sense of achievement because of all the time and effort I put into studying. My third and final example of feeling a sense of satisfaction from hard work happened last year in baseball.

I wasnt the fastest kid on the team, or the longest hitter, and I didnt have an exceptionally strong throwing arm, but I had a lot of heart and luck. I worked hard every practice (like in hockey), and I started to improve all my skills. By the end of the season I was a pretty well rounded ballplayer, and I became the best outfielder on my team (I had 5 sliding catches, and 4 diving catches). Since my team pulled together so well, we made it to the playoffs. The first team that we played was amazing; they were undefeated in the regular season.

We played a long hard fought game, and we went into extra innings. The other team scored two runs, and then since we were the home team we got a chance to bat. I was the fifth batter up, a man on first and third, and with two outs and two strikes against me (imagine the pressure), the pitch was perfect and I hammered it into deep center. I ran the fastest that I have ever ran before, men on first and third scored, so my coach gave me the stop sign (like Id listen), but kept on running. The outfielder threw it to the cut off man, who then threw it home to the catcher.

It was just me and the catcher now (just imagine what my coach mustve been thinking during this). I ran full speed and delivered an enormous body check to the catcher, which caused the ball to fly out of his mitt, and then the ump shouted SAFE!!! My whole team ran onto the field and picked me up at home plate, I was so proud. Im not sure but until this day, I think that my dad was so proud that his eyes were filled with tears of joy. In my mind, my philosophy couldnt be more true. If you work hard and practice a lot, youll get better at something, and then you have a lot of fun doing it.

Foggy Night Essay

Surrounded by a foggy white film, I tried to adjust my vision to see. Anything familiar would appease me at this point. Nonetheless, I did not see a thing. Am I dead? ” I thought to myself. Can this possibly be what the afterlife is like? I began to feel very anxious. The dense mist totally consumed my body and mind. This was not what I planned for myself. My life was supposed to be filled with an array of happiness, love, wonderful sights, and the joy of watching my children grow.

Where is my sanctuary? Last thing I remember was looking out of my window and seeing the serene sky. At the time, I assumed I would be joining those that I love so deeply. My assumption was dismissed by a glimmer of reflection on my life up to this point. I was born into a middle class family in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California in 2400. My father was a hard working Maintenance Efficiency Sub-nucleic worker, my mother a homemaker. At three, I started to develop an interest in news programs, c-span in particular. I was told that instead of playing with dolls, I would play with calculators.

At seven, I would put on my virtual reality suit and cruise the business section of all the top companies online. My parents realized then that I had a knack for business and was career oriented. With a lot of thought and money saved up over time, they decided to send me to a private school in Japan. This school was said to be number one world wide, and their focal point was on business and financial markets. From the age of thirteen until eighteen, I was in school.

I received my series seven license at fourteen, then my bachelor’s degree at fifteen, an M. B. A at seventeen, and became a C. P. A. at eighteen. When I came back to California, I was fluent in five languages, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, and French, not to mention English. My parents then knew that their money was well spent, and found a respect for my intelligence that was abundant. Being away and buried in the books most of my adolescence, I never really had an opportunity to socialize with the other boys and girls. When returned to California, my parents made sure that under their roof, (I was still their little girl), even though they knew I was responsible and faithful by their rules.

To this day, I think their authoritarian rules were due to the fact that I was not living with them for so long. Nevertheless, these strict conventions that they had fueled my desire to leave the nest and venture out into the world on my own. I thought to myself, “Where is the one place I could go, become financially comfortable, and enjoy what I shall do? Why of course, New York. ” So I picked myself up, personal belongings and all, kissed my smothering parents goodbye, and moved to Manhattan. I really do give my parents more credit than what I reveal.

They sacrificed a lot to send me to a Japanese private school. They also took a lot of heat for having a child with an I. Q. above and beyond normal comprehension. My parents, Harold and Lisa Cango can be described as normal everyday people. She wrote me a letter every week while I was away, and he sent me care packages with sweets in them. It was nice, but I was never was able to communicate with them like other children normally do with their parents. So back to how I came to suffice in Manhattan. I arrived with what little my parents could spare to give me, which was $110,000 dollars.

I found a studio apartment uptown between 73rd St. and 2nd Avenue. It was a dump. There were two windows, and a wall divider separated the toilet and shower. When I went to the bathroom, you would probably be able to hear the pipes from the toilet in mid-town. The walls were paper thin, and I could hear the bed springs squeaking from the two men living above me. Did I also happen to mention that my two windows were facing a brick wall? Allow me to say that it was a first-class view. Since I did not have transportation, my only way to get around was the air-tram. It was fast, economical, and moderately safe.

That was not so bad, but not having access to the hovercraft was an inconvenience at times. It was about three days after I arrived in Manhattan that that I ventured out to find a job. It wound up that getting a job was one of the easiest parts of the whole process of getting situated. I went downtown to the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street. Almost immediately, I got a job as an assistant trader. My starting salary was about $450,000 a year. During that time, I took my money and put it right into the market. The stock to buy in at that time was Expret. It was a world wide recycling program.

Some say it was a boiler room stock, but whatever it was rumored to be; it tripled my money in 6 months time. After being an assistant trader for two years, they promoted me to head trader. I took on the biggest clients in the world, and with each platinum investment I made for them, my commission checks grew and grew. Soon I was making over nine figures a year. I just had a propensity for knowing when to invest and when not to. Many people saw that and liked to do business with me because of my skill. I made some very rich, and in the process, made others very jealous.

It was my fourth year on the floor that I saw the man who was destined to change my life. One afternoon, I had taken a personal break to lunch at my favorite restaurant, the Antique Eatery. With a hamburger in one hand and a Sodium water drink in my other, he walked up to me. I looked up from my lunch and saw a breathtaking man with eyes of the bluest oceans, hair of the blackest raven feathers, and skin of the finest china. Although, beyond his eyes I could tell that the wheels of intellect were turning inside his mind. At that moment I had known that I was falling in love with my soul mate.

He sat down beside me; his lunch consisted of all the lipids one could conceive of. He had caught me gazing at his meal. “I know what you are going to say even before you say it”, he smiled and said. “That it is the most fatty lunch you have ever seen a person eat. ” “Oh no, no, I just think that it is remarkable how you can consume that and stay so athletically fit”, I said. “Sure, if you say so, but you are the only man I have ever met who has said something so pleasant, at the same time being so candidly insincere” he replied. “But I do not take offense to anything. Really I don’t.

I can eat and eat, and never put on a pound. Some days I wish I could get portly just to see what I’d feel like. Well, that see the reaction other people would have when they see me. ” “What an unusual thing to want. You want to be fat? Are you jesting me sir? ” I asked. “I would never do that Miss. Or is it Mrs.? I am not seeing a ring on your finger. But in these days, no one usually wears their commitment on their hands anymore” he said. “Come to think of it, no one wears their commitment at all. ” I started to chuckle at that ridiculous comment. “Oh, so I make you laugh, do I?

Without giving me a chance to answer he said, “You are Talia Cango aren’t you. ” “That was more of a statement than a question. ” I managed to hide my shock that he knew my name. “But yes, how did you know that? ” I asked with a perplexing expression on my face. “I have been doing some research on you”, he said, ” my name is Donovan Precis, and I saw you on the trading floor last week. I must say, that when I saw you, you truly took my breath away. ” (Even though this occurrence took place fifteen years ago, from where I am standing now, it seems as if it were yesterday. ) “Flattery will get you everywhere,” I said coyly.

What occupation are you involved in? I have never seen you before on the floor. ” “Ah, that is because I am not a trader nor a business man. I deal with the mind and the pen. In other words, I am a writer. I would tell you what I have written, but I am sure a woman of your intelligence would dismiss my work with a nod and a slight smile”, Donovan alleged. “Don’t be so pessimistic, I dabble in many fictitious and non. I read works of all genres from all kinds of authors. My life is not limited to that of the floor,” I countered back. “Okay, so have you ever read 10,000 Hero’s Psyche?

No, no what about The Veneer of the Tomb” Donovan said. “Oh anomalous man”, I said, “Do not judge me from what the exterior of my appearance tells you, I have read each of those books. If you are really the author of those two works, I do have a list of queries for you. ” “Oh, you do, do you? ” Donovan asked. “Well it just so happens that I am the author. Although, I hope that I possess the answers to your questions. May I be so bold as to ask if you enjoyed what you read? ” “I am sure that I did. I am not attention deficit, but I do lack enthusiasm for effortless reading material”, I replied.

May I ask for your company to a quiet dinner at the skyscraper Bistro tonight? If you escort me, I would be happy to answer any questions you have concerning my novel. As an added bonus, I shall allow you to ask me one question not connected with my work. ” He smiled quite surreptitiously when he said that. “I see, so you are a comedian as well as a writer. However, I would be happy to accompany you to dinner. ” I replied. That is where the love affair of my life began. We went out to dinner and the flow of conversation was immensely educational.

I found myself being challenged by a person, rather than my work. After our meal, he took me dancing at the Water Table. This was a hot spot I had heard of for months. It was a club that was located directly below the Hudson River. When one looks up, there is a plate glass ceiling and all the fish, plant life, and water are in plain sight. I can solemnly swear to say that on the day of March 24th 2423, I had discovered what fun was truly about . Donovan and I danced the night away. Then directly after dancing, we went to have cappuccinos at the Bean Cafe.

We sat outside under the veranda and chatted the rest of the night away. Before that day, I would not be able to recall the last time I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. When I do think about it, I do not think I ever laughed hard to begin with. At 5:00 in the morning, Donavon escorted me back to my loft. Standing one step above me on the stoop, he looked down upon me like I was an angel shining under his magical glow. The sun was beginning to rise and I remember being able to make out the golden highlights cascading over his hair. I could almost feel the radiant power between his body and mine.

Without saying a word, he kissed me ever so gently. When his lips touched mine, the energy was electrifying. I felt it all over my body. It traveled into my face, down into my heart, and made my hands and feet tingle with exhilaration. Donovan and I steadily saw each other every weekend after that. Not long after, the weekends turned into the weekdays, and before long we moved in together. We compromised on a pent house in Dinkin Tower overlooking the park. Our incomes were quite impressive, although with the investments I was soon to make we became the richest couple in the entire nation.

My first child was born two years to the date of my first encounter with Donovan. She was a beautiful girl, weighing 9 pounds 2 ounces. We named her Madison Faye. The name Madison was for Donovan’s mother; and Faye was for my grandmother. Maddy came out of my womb with old, wise eyes. Donovan joked that she was a reincarnation of the Dahl lama, for she was so intellectually stunning. It was apparent that she inherited my astuteness, and proved it in every way since the day she was born. Two years after Maddy was born, I gave birth once again to a little boy named Britin Lee. He took after his father ironically enough.

Like mother like daughter, like father like son. Britin tested his sister any way he could. She outsmarted him, but his antics always put a smile on her face. I finally was able to find peace being at home with my family. About three years after Britin was born, I decided to recommence myself and get back into the swing of things. I ventured back into my nichethe trading floor. It was like picking up where I had left off. Everything was so easy; it amazed Donovan to see me in my full glory again. The business world was on the up and up, as it had been for the past couple of years.

The investors were having a field day. It seemed that anyone investing at this point in time was becoming rich. Two weeks after I had gotten back to work, there was a buzz over the place over a business that was just taking off. A universal rejuvenation pill that transcended skin back to its original state. In other words, one takes a pill and it is like an instant face-lift. The pill was called Lipsidize. Women of middle age and older were swearing by it, and the rest were buying the product by the truckload. The company went public, and some of my associates and I bought into it instantly.

Months down the line, the company took off for real and the original buyers of the stock took off along with it. That investment alone boosted my capital above and beyond anything I would have imagined. That year the market was mind-boggling, and I was high on the thrill of it all. Donovan and I would lie in our bed covered by silk sheets, drinking Champaign and marvel over our good fortunes. “Baby”, he would say to me, “you amaze me day after day. Your intelligence and beauty overwhelms me. I don’t know how you do it, but I do know I would not be able to do it with out you.

I remember that night so vividly. His words touched my soul so vehemently just as they did when we first met. I turned to him, told him how much I loved him and how much joy he and the kids brought to my life. Over the next couple of years, we were flying. Our family, The Precis’s were known as one of the most distinguished families in the entire nation. Not to mention, we were also one of the richest. In our skyscraper mansion, our lives were impeccably grand. Fully furnished by antique furniture, and antique architecture, I was living in a heaven beyond my wildest dreams.

Donavan’s career was also at an all time high. His newest novel, Utopia: A Backwards Look At How Life Was and Still Should Be, was a best seller. Maddy, and Britin were attending the top Manhattan private schools, and were both excelling. Although Maddy excelled with her schoolwork, and Britin excelled with the opposite sex. Regardless, life was good, so as the story goes, there is nowhere to go when you are at the top, except down. I recollect going to work on Thursday, May 2nd feeling exhilarated. But as soon as I walked into my building, I knew something was erroneous.

There were whispers, and suspicious glances through out the building. “Had I been so wrapped up in my world that something had passed me by? ” I thought to myself. I didn’t think I was a solipsistic person, yet anything is possible. I went into my friend and business companion Jankin Brenner’s office to discuss what the trouble was due to. He showed me some papers dealing with the import export capitol rate, and I was stunned “I had no idea, I have been secluding myself in a fantasy world for only a small while. I suppose that we are now in grave trouble Jankin.

But how the so called “unshakable” market could unravel into such a panic in such a short time boggles me”, I said with a question mark hanging overhead. “Well my dear Talia, you are right about the market being in trouble”, he replied. We walked down to the floor and saw the hustle and bustle at an extreme. It all was surreal from where I was standing. I knew that the monopolies of many conglomerates were shifting. I also knew that there were some sneaky investors that were borrowing money from the prime brokers, and then the prime brokers in turn borrowed money they needed from the associate lender banks.

But how those banks lost their money, and when the stocks defaulted, no one will ever be able to figure out how it all happened so quickly. The next few days were a downward spiral into the unknown. People were drawing their money out their banks like panic-stricken animals. The banks in retrospect were overturning, and the people’s fortunes were lost. I must say that there were preventative laws prohibiting these things from happening for many decades now. Yet under these circumstances, those precedents were not maintained. The ever-changing system of pattern was why I loved my occupation so much.

It had always left so much room for expansion in business. Now, I may be a hypocrite to some, but my mind has changed. Everything I had once believed in was crashing down around me, including the stock market. That day when I left work, I saw things I never though imaginable. Rubbish and novelties were strewn over the pavement. In the food warehouses, there were jewels being exchanged for goods. It was all so absurd. I went home to find officers at my door. In total, there were four of them. At the time I thought nothing of it. I invited them in but my curiosity was tremendous. “Mrs. Precis? They asked. Yes, officer do tell me what your presence here is concerning”, I said. I could tell from their expressions that their news was not something pleasant. “There has been an accident involving your husband and children. ” When those words reached my ears, I almost fainted. “When your husband picked up your children at school, a crazed woman driving another hovercraft collided purposely into them. She made a statement that you were to blame for her lost fortune. She said that she entrusted you with her life savings and you squandered it into a market that you knew was faulty”, the officer said.

I DO NOT CARE WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY, WHERE IS MY FAMILY”, I screamed. “We are truly sorry ma’am, they were all killed on impact. From the flames, their remainders turned to ash. If there is anything we could do” The officers stood there looking desolate. “Please leave my house”, I asked them. They hesitated for a moment “Our deepest sympathies ma’am”, they said, and then left. I recall that the room started spinning after hearing what they had to say. Things really do fall apart all at once. Next thing I do remember was going up stairs to my bedroom.

I looked around the room for a sign that was to say “just a joke Talia. ” There was not any such sign. These were the events that led up to where I am speaking from now. Next thing I vaguely remember was walking over to the window that overlooked the small and semi-distinct scenery of the park. Donovan and I used to sit by this same window and sometimes talk, sometimes make love. “It all was just so ironic,” I remember thinking. Some woman I cannot even remember, thought that I had ruined her life, so in turn, she ruined mine. With that in mind, I opened the window and stepped out onto the ledge.

The bird that flew by shot me a quizzical look but I hardly gave it thought. Rather, I looked out into the open sky. It was an exquisite day out, “hmm just the right time of day,” and at that, I stepped off the ledge plummeting to my demise. That was the last thing I did in this cruel world that stole my most precious treasures. Here I now exist. In a place that is so alien from what I am used to. I really do not believe that what I did would be suicide. More or less I consider it to be an attempt to regain happiness. Surely if there is a God, he or she would understand.

For that matter, any higher elevation of life and being would deem what I did an act of reputation. I thought that Don, Maddy, and Britin would here and we would be together again. Now I see how very wrong I was. Even a person of my analytical capacity makes unethical decisions. Right now there is fog as far as my eye can see, and I am sad. Life is said to be what one makes of it. If that is true, how did I create my life to end with such hopelessness? I have never been so unsure of where I am to go, or do. I think I will stand here stationary and wait.

A Separation of Life

Water, the median of life. Growing up in a small town nestled tightly in the arms of the wasatch front, I learned early the importance of nature. There was a fine line drawn between religion and the outdoors, and the quest of my life was to determine an appropriate balance. Water, signifying the line between the spiritual and physical, played an important role in my secular teachings. Cutting through the center of town it was the very phenomenon that I had grown to love, the river. Soul restored and imagination stirred, the words of the river echoed the marks of God.

Although by nature I stood alone, untutored and untouched, the waters of life left me free to understand the natural side of Gods order. With its flowing properties and unbridled passion to move forward, the water was my spirit. An old weathered palm tree emerged from the seemingly impenetrable sandy beach. I leaned back against its rough surface as the waves of the emerald blue ocean slowly crawled to my feet. They lapped relentlessly against the shore as if trying to take me back with them. The wind blew gently over the top of the distant incoming waves as they mirrored back the competing rays of sun.

With each reflection, I narrowly squinted my eyes and continued to marvel at this picturesque interaction of color and beauty. I raised my hand to my brow, wiping off the beads of sweat that saturated my face. As my fingers moved across my sensitive skin, I could tell the sun had left its mark. I felt their was no escaping the blanket of rays only the clouds above seemed to be able to control. The pain was uncomfortable, but disappeared quickly as I scooped up the cool water and splashed it on my face. I knew that I could not drink the seemingly infinite volume of water which urrounded me, so I headed for a nearby stream.

Kneeling down, I penetrated the stream with cupped hands and raised the fresh water to my dry lips. I was unable to control the water as it sifted through my fingers and ran down my arms, as if trying to escape back to the stream. I licked my salty lips and drank. I had never before tasted a more refreshing drink of water. This euphoric experience was one that I savored, as I reached for a second handful. There have been few experiences throughout my life that I remember more vividly than of that day on the beach.

I ften think about where the water would flow, and who would be the recipient of its aqueous forgiveness. This simple stream had been the solution to my unquenchable need for sustenance. My connection, as if umbilical, was met when I broke the skin of mother natures body to partake of her life giving substance. But, something separated me from that world which existed internally beneath the stream. This was the first spiritual encounter I remembered having with water. The thoughts of these experiences connected my inner most soul with the interaction of beauty and nature.

Not a nature that I fully understood , but an understanding of the line that connects the perfection of life to a spiritual world. Eventually all things merged into one, and I would understand both physical and spiritual, but until then I would be left untutored. All existence seems to fade into a being. Memories past and present, would leave with them impressions of the future. These memories always brought me back to the river which cut through my town, and the water which had brought me closer to the line of spirituality. The blanket of life stretched across the valley as the wind lew calmly over the tops of the trees.

I fastened my khaki green bag to my shoulder as I slowly released the tension of my line sending the small hook end over end into the water. The occasional silver flash of light broke through the undercurrent of water as I pulled my hook over the rocks and twigs that extended through the river body. Fishing was something that I enjoyed more than anything. I had spent much of my growing up years slipping on the rocks that lined the bottom of this river bed like mosaic tiles. Although it had been quite some time since I had visited the river, he smooth sound of the water as it meandered by welcomed me back.

As the sun beat down, racing its way through the trees, I was reminded of the experiences I had with the stream before. Taking the fresh cool water and dripping it down my neck, I realized what draws me to these majestic places. To understand this barrier of life, a barrier that separated me from this underworld of water. I stood on the outside trying to pull some piece of intricate life from this world I knew nothing about. Motivated to understand this spiritual nature, the worlds converged into one, a world of life.

The simple existence of the stream brought the very compulsive questions that caused me to wonder. Just as I didnt understand its exact purpose thousands of miles away, or even one hundred yards up stream, I knew its effect on me here and now would leave its impression. Running over rocks, squeezing though cracks, and providing the essential elements of life were the unwavering properties of the water. Although interacting with its surroundings for just a moment, the river would leave its mark, carrying on its way of life, never knowing where it would end, or if it ever ended.

A Culture Still Cultured

“John, you just have to see the new GAP Khakis commercial! ” proclaimed my excited brother. I even went as far as watching the same channel until I finally saw the commercial. I sat in front of the television for over a half an hour, and turned my head at the sound of catchy swing music to see young men and women dancing to music on a stark white backdrop. Their energy and enthusiasm to dance was like nothing I had seen in reality. In all the twisting and tangling of arms, legs, and female hair, I froze in my seat as everyone on the dance floor froze in mid air.

My heart stopped as I followed the camera around the frozen dancers. The new perception heightened the dancing energy. The GAP Khakis sign invaded the screen for a few seconds and the screen went blank. Was this the work of an evil genius trying to get my attention so that I could be brainwashed into buying a product? Could it perhaps be simply one artist communicating a new sense of beauty to the whole world, regardless of the product I was deeply affected by the strange time and space rendered in front of me in thirty seconds. Commercial film affects me more than fine art in a museum does.

It has also proven to be much better at portraying subtleties to a mass audience in a clear and definite way. People are ashamed of this comparative strength. Many of my self-fabricated intellectual friends claim to enjoy gallery fine art more than they enjoy movies and television. When we are at the gallery, I watch my friends ooh and aah at the work as they interpret its meaning amongst themselves. After dragging them cynically into the movie theater, they exit two hours later wiping their eyes off not wanting to say anything to anyone.

Before the idea of mass-produced copies of art, people were starved for the kind of extraordinary visions we take for granted. They went to art shows and concerts. They valued their circuses and city zoos. After someone realized that the power of the extraordinarily beautiful could be very profitable, everything became consumerism. So, did all of this artistic talent disappear into thin air? Do bitter fine artists have reason to spit at an official for stifling the National Endowment for the Arts? The answer is in the advertisement.

Fine art appreciation may be a low priority to many Americans. I become uneasy when I hear someone say, “Art is dead in America! ” The truth is that traditional art is dead in America. Did puritans sail the Atlantic ocean to settle here and be just like the people they broke away from? America’s having non-traditional art is a blessing to its original idea of constantly self reforming and exploring the possible new and better. America has a very thriving art form. Part of the reason why this art will never die is because people deny that it is art.

The system is so engrained in our society that people are too ashamed to include it within the nomenclature of what they have been taught early on to see as inaccessible and foreign culture. That unique and strong art is renamed consumerism for its functional relationship to the economy. Very creative people in America work in show business and advertisement. The “fine art” continues to live underground to satisfy our nostalgia for the past, our need for small hors d’ouvres of diversity now and again, and as an important breeding ground for new ideas and approaches. The advertisements on TV celebrate our culture’s new ideas and feelings.

They catch our attention not because they were written by psychologist-brain washers, but because they are powered by artistic minds who would have stopped at nothing to communicate humanity in any other way, had it not been for such a wonderful system of communication as consumerism. The audience gets a thrill and gains peace of mind. There is also a product being sold, but in a good commercial, that is almost irrelevant to the message of human identification. Apple’s Think different campaign catches our hearts by tirelessly reminding us that everyone who changed the history books thought outside of the box, and was unique in some way.

As I drive up Sunset Blvd. my eye sometimes tears at the sight of John Lennon’s face 50 feet high on the side of a building. He was put there by an ad team to make me feel better about my own human uniqueness. I cheer at the face of Ansel Adams as I drive up the 405 freeway, and afterwards, it will always be my choice to purchase an Imac computer. It would be in my best interest to give that company money now that they have shown me their talent for choosing the right artists that I can identify with.

It’s as if the higher art critics have forgotten that art always had a commercial tie throughout history. People bought paintings of their loved ones and themselves. It was the most immortalizing thing they could find at the time, and still so to some. A famous Renaissance painter’s uncanny ability to catch the likeness in people was not only appreciated with the highest respect, but also paid handsomely. That existed even until Norman Rockwell’s uncanny ability to capture the same humanity. He never considered himself an artist.

So is it bad that we think our art culture doesn’t exist among the common folk? Wouldn’t all chaos rein if the people who considered themselves high class realized that they were just like the rest of us? Perhaps it is safe to say that as long as everyone secretly appreciates American consumer culture across the globe, it is no longer important whether it exactly resembles Art with a capital A. It is somewhat of a more powerful model, able to reach many more people in less time. It is Entertainment with a capital E, the new art for a new kind of society, something to be blissfully ashamed of!

Big Deal Essay

This new year was supposed to be different. It was supposed to be something bigger and better than all the past new years. So much for the chaos, destruction, and giant celebrations that were supposed to happen. With all the hype built up around this new years, its no wonder that it seemed to be such a disappointment. For myself, it was like every other new years; although, I must admit that all the speculation and predictions made the ball drop a little bit slower than usual.

I had heard about the religious cults, terrorists, and overly concerned people taking drastic measures and making ridiculous predictions about the “new illennium”. Bombs were going to go off all over, banks would crash, electricity would shut down, and people would return to the dark ages and loot and riot all day and night. The less drastic predictions included atms spitting out money into the street, and people would be billed for a hundred year conversation if they were on the phone when the clock struck twelve.

Although they are more believable than some predictions, I have yet to see the day when an atm shoots money out into the street (wouldnt it be nice? ). Honestly, I think the people who bought bottled water and stock-piled canned goods had let the media hype get o them, and they werent thinking clearly. I only know one person who joined in on the millennium madness and that was my crazy aunt.

She bought a shotgun and learned to shoot it just so she was ready when the world as we know it came to an end (as if a shotgun, or any other gun for that matter, could have stopped that). When she told our family at Christmas time we all passed each other funny looks and laughed very loud on the inside. My own hopes for the new millennium were very simple; I just wanted to be at an ATM when it shot out money. That didnt happen, so I guess Ill have to say hat I hope only that the new millennium brings good health and good fortune to me, my family, and my friends.

I dont expect to see the end of the world in my life time and I dont think its coming any time soon. I cant say that I was concerned with the millennium bug or feared very much about the year 2000. Millions of dollars were spent so that absolutely nothing special happened this new years, and it seems to have worked. Y2K was nothing all that special to me, and I guess Im happy about that, though. While mass destruction and chaos is always fun, I think Im glad that every thing went along smoothly.

Teenagers Life Essay

It’s a bitter cold weather. Everybody in there houses sitting by fireplace or having hot chocolate. All of a sudden in the quiet neighborhood, there were ambulance sirens and then a woman was carried away on the stretcher to the ambulance. Screams and cries can be heard all over the hospital. Finally it was quiet, then there was a baby crying. This baby was I, Mohammed Khan. I was born on April 17th, 1981. I was the first child and the first nephew in my family. I was treated like a little prince. Every body treated me like if I was really fragile. At the age of four, y mom had another kid, and it was a daughter.

I had always wanted a brother, but a sister was born. Then I moved to America by the age of six. At age of seven my mom was back in the hospital and again gave a birth to a daughter. It was funny because I didn’t talk to my mother for a pretty long time because I wanted a brother instead I got a sister, but again I was only seven years old. At age of 10, I started middle school. This was a new experience to me. Most of the kids thought I was an eight grader because I looked much older and I was bigger then most of the 6th and the 7th graders. Just like every middle school kid, I had my up and downs.

I did really well in middle school, but when I got in 8th grade, I was devil child. I got in a lot of trouble at that age, especially with my parents. Even after all the up and downs surprisingly I did very well in middle school. I went to high school with a GPA of 3. 8. My high school year was the wildest and craziest and I also had some regretful moments. My high school freshman year is the most memorable year for me. The first day I stepped in the school, I started up the trouble. First day of class I got in trouble for talking too much and starting up a fight.

So I was suspended for 3 days because of a fight that I started. Down the road I didn’t do that good in my classes either but surprisingly I only failed one of my classes at the end of my freshmen year. But I wasn’t proud of my grades I had. I didn’t do no after school activities or any thing. I just always got in trouble with my teachers, administrators and especially with my parents. My sophomore year, I was more sober and I was mature, and I learned from my mistakes from past year. I started off by doing after school activities.

I started off by playing football for my school and joined couple of clubs and started to volunteer for out of school activities. My sophomore year, I played JV and I also was dressing out for varsity team. I loved the game football so every day I tried my best to be on the varsity squad but I was the only sophomore who was the back up for the varsity starter. I got my lucky break when the starter got hurt and was out for the whole season. They put me in the game I was kind new to the environment and some of the players were way bigger then I. But I did pretty good for my first game as a varsity player.

I was also doing pretty well in my studies I made up the classes that I failed in my freshmen year and I was going perfectly on track. My teachers and administrators were very astonished and amazed by seeing the changes in me. I owe it all to my football coach who brought me back on track and helped me out through my sophomore year. My junior year was also great but this time, I got injured and I was out of the season. I also started doing track after I recovered from my knee injury. I just did track to be in shape but I liked the sport when I started playing it so I stuck to it till I graduated.

My senior year was the year when I started to have my downfall. I was a senior and a starter on my football team but I was the smallest guy on the line. So I started to take drugs such as steroids and androsteen so I can be bigger. I had many problems because of the drugs I took. My temperature always used to be really high. I couldn’t control my temperature. I got in four fights during my games and I was suspended from my homecoming and my senior night game. I paid my price for whatever I did. After my track season I had more down fall in my life.

I started to hang around with the wrong crowd and because of that my life went in drain. I didn’t do well at school at all, I had to many absences and I was getting in too much trouble again. So finally I dropped out from high school. I just worked all the time. I was out of the school for almost a year and a half, just working and working. I got sick and tired of doing the same thing and I wanted to start up my studies again. This time I made sure I don’t make the same mistakes I made in past. I just set up some goals and I am planning to stick to it. So far it has helped me out and hopefully it will later on down the road.

Creative Writing: The Quest

Feeling quite tired and hungry, my friend and I entered the food court of the Everett Mall. Looking around, I decided that I was going to get some Chinese food. I turned to my friend and told him, he said that he would too. We then made our way over to the Chinese food counter. Upon arriving, I realized a possible problem; we only had Canadian money. I walked up to the woman at the counter, and asked her if they accepted Canadian money there. “No, sorry, we only accept American money,” she responded. I asked if there was anyplace in the mall that I could exchange my money, ore specifically, a bank.

She thought for a moment or two, then said, “Uhhh, there’s an ATM by the door over there. ” Feeling a little frustrated, I explained to her that an ATM would not suffice. I needed a bank, with a teller, so I could exchange my money. She looked down and thought about this for a few moments, then ever so slowly, she brought her head up with a dumb look on her face and said, “The telephones are around the corner over there. ” Dumbfounded by the stupidity of this woman, my friend and turned around and walked away, laughing.

When we were out of earshot, in a mocking tone, I aid to my friend, “Hi, I’m an American, I’m a dumb-ass! ” With that defeat behind us, we continued on our quest for some American money. Eventually, by wandering aimlessly about the mall, we managed to find an information desk. I walked up to the woman behind the desk, and said, “Hi, would I possibly be able to exchange my Canadian money for some American money? ” With a really confused look on her face she responded with, “What do you mean? ” I reached into my pocket, and pulled out my twenty dollar bill. Waving it in her face, I repeated the question.

It took a few seconds, but she finally eemed to figure out what I was saying. “No, but you can exchange your money at the service desk upstairs in Thrifty’s. ” Finally, we were making some progress, only one problem, we’d never been here before. We had no idea where to find Thrifty’s. “Where would that be,” I asked her. “Thrifty’s? Oh, that’s right next to Payless Drugs,” was her response. “Oh, gee thanks, that’s allot of help,” I said sarcastically as I walked away. So, my friend and I spent the next ten minutes wandering the mall in search for Thrifty’s or a map of the mall.

We finally spotted a sign at the far nd of the hallway that read ‘Thrifty’s’. When we saw this, we started to make our way towards it. When we got to the entrance of the store, we saw what we believe to be the only mall map in the building. We made our way to the escalator and went upstairs. From the top of the escalator we could see a large sign that read ‘service’ hanging above a desk. We walked to the desk, and once again I posed my now tedious question. “Oh, sorry, you have to go to the service desk to do that,” was her response. My friend and I, in unison, looked up at the large ‘Service’ sign.

Isn’t this the service desk? ” I asked. With a very derogatory tone, she answered with a simple, no. I said to her, “So if this isn’t the service desk, do you think that you could possibly tell me where I might be able to find it? ” She seemed to be a little taken aback by this comment and it took her a little while to recover. After this pause, she said, “Well, the service desk is located in the Hallmark card section. ” Getting a little frustrated, in a very touchy tone, I said, “Oh, Do you think you could possibly tell me where I could find this? Well, basically, if you were to walk straight through that wall over there, you’d be right there,” she said dumbly.

Taken aback by the stupidity of yet another American, my friend and I turned and walked away. Before we got out of earshot, my friend loudly said to obviously not just me, “I guess those Americans have super powers or something, because the last time I checked, us Canadians couldn’t walk through walls. What about you? ” “I don’t know,” I said, “I guess they must. ” we spent a few more minutes walking around trying to find this Hallmark section.

We finally found it, nd walked up to the service counter. Once again, I asked the same old question that I’d been asking for what seemed like hours now. And surprisingly enough, the response was, “Uh, ya, let me just check the exchange rate first. ” A little surprised, I figured that she must be a Canadian, especially when she recognized my twenty dollar bill. When I finally got my American money, a pultry fourteen dollars for my twenty Canadian, I heard my friend say, “Whoah, you guys need new money, maybe with a little color in it. ” We then turned and left. We were now on a new quest, this time for some lunch.

The Modern Values of Midpointery: A Plea for Conversation

To the Single Individual, When you first started me thinking about this project, there were so many different possibilities I could have followed. The writings of Kierkegaard inspired and moved me in ways that I hope no college student ever graduates without, and I wanted to write you something that included them all. As I say this however, I sense a familiar lunacy with which I seem to approach many of my academic endeavors. As I began to plot it out, I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task, though this did not necessarily stand as a reason for it not to be pursued.

In the midst of it owever, I noticed that all of my potentially inspirational discussions were hinged upon a common contingency, namely, the posture we take when approaching such conversations. I found that you and I could not begin to discuss all that moved me, all that was crucial to your and my existence, without the awareness of our relation to the words being spoken. Naturally, the format of the essay underwent some change, so as to hopefully provide such an opportunity.

The conversation of the present age, while we may pat our backs with pride at the level of diversity and open-mindedness within it, does not eflect that we are aware of (let alone concerned with) the appropriateness of our posture toward the existence in which we all participate, when our relatedness to a given concept is as crucially valuable as the conversation itself. A right relatedness determines our outlook on the rest of life. It determines how we treat ourselves and our fellow man.

Existence, Truth, Knowledge, Love, Faith, etc. , our relationship to these and more is reflected in our lifestyles, and our relationship to them is indicative of what we believe about them and what will become of us. On the surface this ay not seem like such a pressing issue. There may be nothing wrong with our posture toward these things. As anyone could observe however, the habits of lifestyle often grow unnoticed, and it is this assumed habitual living that I am concerned with.

In many ways, our world has become a very innovative and ambitious place. We have come a long way in just over half a millennium when people lived stagnant and unquestioning lives, back before the rumors of progress and modernity had begun to trickle through the civilizations of the world. Where those of the Dark Ages lived in a famine of ignorance, we now swim in eas of information, presumably unimaginable to the people of earlier centuries.

Where life before was an oppressive burden for many, today it is a golden opportunity, and while it is easy to say that these distinctions are qualitative improvements in the history of humanity, the possibility for impropriety has by no means escaped these advancements, and certain habits formed during the augment of modernity are incapacitating to the present age. In this age of golden opportunity, objectivity is the assumed posture of our collective lifestyles.

Figuratively speaking, prior to modernity, an was an object of life’s oppressions; conversely, in the present age, life has been reduced to the object while man risen as its authority. We did not breathe life into ourselves yet we act as if we did, treating our existence as if we were self-made beings. These statements may seem melodramatic, taken from the beer-coated breath of a downtown tinker. Nevertheless, this is the posture we have shown in our activities.

This posture of objectivism-or to be expressed by its negative, reductionism-is primarily a development of the modern era. Rather than ccept established mores and beliefs, individuals began to question the status quo and found that through empirical efforts they were able to clarify what had only commonly been accepted as truth. The principles of reductionism were key to what has come out of this era of modernity, and is largely responsible for what we now refer to as the scientific method. [? Reductionism can basically be understood as a method of breaking things down into smaller, more comprehendible constituents for the purpose of understanding better, the larger picture from whence they came.

Essayist Wendell Berry says, Reductionism… has uses that are appropriate, and it also can be used inappropriately. It is appropriately used as a way (one way) of understanding what is empirically known or empirically knowable. When it becomes merely an intellectual “position” confronting what is not empirically known or knowable, then if becomes absurd, and also grossly desensitizing and false… s an article of belief, it causes trouble. [? ]

Though this method of understanding has rendered considerable advancements not limited to the field of science, it has also at the same time acilitated a particular disposition of being above or outside our own humanity, (relatable to the Socratic disposition found in Kierkegaard’s Philosophical Fragments, to be explained later). In this present age, the assumed postures of differing spheres of understanding have become too inflated to legitimately participate in any real transcendent conversation.

Dr. Edward Wilson, considered one of the greatest scientists and visionaries of the 20th century, in 1998, wrote Homo sapiens, the first truly free species, is about to decommission natural selection, the force that made us. There is no genetic destiny outside our fee will, no lodestar provided by which we can set course. Evolution, including genetic progress in human nature and human capacity, will be from now on increasingly the domain of science and technology tempered by ethics and political choice.

We have reached this point down a long road of travail and self-deception. Soon we must look deep within ourselves and decide what we wish to become. [? ] Here Wilson contends, rather candidly, that mankind possesses the power to take hold of the future as something wielded rather than experienced. He suggests that today we are “exempt from the iron laws of ecology” and that a new species is emerging. Where we were once called Homo sapiens-or “wise man”-he proposes we be called Homo proteus-or “shapechanger man. ”

Says Wilson, The legacy of the Enlightenment is the belief that entirely on our own we can know, and in knowing, understand, and in understanding choose wisely… we now better understand where humanity came from, and what it is. Homo sapiens, like the rest of life, was self- assembled… Human autonomy have thus been recognized, we should now eel more disposed to reflect on where we wish to go. [? ] Whether or not Wilson is being completely literal in his rhetoric, his basic claim that mankind has risen above that which made him possible is ridiculous.

Moreover, this notion that we are “self-made” beings, is not even supported by the accepted theories of Originality. Unless one believes that humanity has no origin at all, mankind was the result of something. If one were to go the route of Special Creation, life is the result of Divine intervention; with Extraterrestrial Origin, meteors or osmic dust from another planet or star with life already on it, infected our planet resulting in life; with Spontaneous Origin it was changing molecules uniting with time and chance which initiated the evolutionary process.

In each incident there is a contingency that man has no power over, in the same way a machine with never have the capacity of its maker, mankind cannot rise above the Divine; he cannot rise above whatever force caused life on the distant star; and in the case of Spontaneous Origin, although we may possess the power to manipulate molecules, he has not, to his day, displayed power over time and chance. This exposition on the sphere of science has been large, but is so due to the authority modernity invests into it.

Galileo was considered a natural philosopher until the word science was literally invented due to the definitive interests of Galileo and others like him. It has become a measure for the modern world, the most trusted way to discover the truth about our existence. Where prior to modernity, religion was the vehicle in which people percieved truth, in the present age, it is Science which holds that authority. Furthermore, there may be some quibble as to whether all this talk of modernity is really relevant being that we are supposedly in a post-modern society.

To that I would say that while we may have some presentiments of post-modernity, I believe that before we can consider ourselves living in a post-modern world, Science will have to undergo some kind of change in the public eye-perhaps as religion did in the Middle Ages-because of its integral participation in the shift to modernity; something must happen to its authority over our society. Related to the sphere of Science, Psychology has also been an nfluential trend throughout the rise of modernity.

While I am largely unaware of the specific activity of experimental psychology, it is more so the pedestrian manifestations of it that I wish to criticize for their ‘humanitarian'[? ] reduction of mind and behavior. The persona of psychologist presented in the public sphere is one of a behavioral guru, one in possession of the keys to the mysteries of the human mind, providing a name and explanation for every case he or she come across.

Granted the public has been known to exaggerate from time to time, but nevertheless, ith an increasing TV-educated public, this exaggeration does not stand to be realized as such, and the chance for a right relatedness towards the mysteries of human nature is once again waned. Unfortunately there is little difference in its literary representation. Bookstores now devote entire sections to Self-help; books with kamikazmic equations guaranteed to find the right partner in ten days, to providing a blueprint for sorrow-free lives, and to tell you how to be the person you never were but always wanted to be.

These claims and the doctors who write them, like Wilson are unabashedly declaring their osition outside of the ‘traditional’ human experience. Like Wilson, their language treats humanity as if they too were once human as well. “People, after all, are just extremely complicated machines,” says Wilson, “why shouldn’t their behavior and social institutions conform to certain still- undefined natural laws? “[? ] Sacred professions, conform to this posture as well.

Usually not far from the self-help book is a shelf entitled ‘Inspirational,’ in which religious authors objectify with spiritual clout what life is all about. A recent and extremely popular publication makes this statement in its pening paragraph, “By the end of this journey you will know God’s purpose for you life and will understand the big picture-how all the pieces of your life fit together. “[Italic added][?

As far as I know, not even Jesus himself told his disciples they would understand how all the pieces of their life would fit together, yet 2000 years later, a pastor from California lays claim to that information and presents it in a for-all- ages, 334 page, #1 New York Times Best Seller. This rich and promising language, whether religious or secular, literal or figurative, nfortunately only cheapens conversations to come. Then again, perhaps it is just a marketing technique.

Which brings us to another sphere of perspective: Economics. Similar to the word science, economy (or for our purposes, expressed more accurately as Economics), gained its importance with the modern era. Economics: the study dedicated to the movement of money throughout the world. The reduction lies within Economics’ tendency to step outside its appropriate sphere of proficiency, translating too much of life in terms of market value; that because all things have value at one time or another, ll things, naturally, have a price.

What is unfortunate, is that while the public may be aware of such deviances (every child who has learned how to purchase something has also been told that money can’t buy happiness), there is too often a blind eye turned to these fabrications. To echo again Mr. Berry, Economics ‘has uses that are appropriate, and it also can be used inappropriately… as an article of belief, it causes trouble. ‘[? ] In a subsection under Economics, it is also wise to note the inflated claims of its biggest fan: Marketing: satisfaction through beefy cars, ouncy hair, and bigger boobs.

Whether or not if accosted, marketers would admit to the reality of their ads (lest we forget the indictment of Big Tobacco), one is hard pressed to deny the outrageous (yet publicly inoffensive) declarations made by Marketing in this present age. Here, reductionism is manifested in the suggested containment (amputation) of contentment within something as tangible as a Hemi. It is an absurdity of paradoxical proportions that man would find capacious contentment in an object he created. What is more absurd though, is the people who buy them expecting this very thing.

The Pond Essay

It was the middle of springtime and across from my house where the incident took place. There was a lake there in which my brother and I loved to explore from time to time. The humidity and waterdrops where reminiscent of a fully functional sauna. The onslaught of heat and burning glow of the sun was relentless. Nonetheless, this fact did not bother us one bit, but gave us more incentive to dance with our cool and embracing “long-lost love”. The first step of this operation was making sure that our neighbors ad gone away from the house for at least two hours.

Since it was their lake and property, this made it safe for us in not getting caught in the middle of our escapade. Upon this, my brother and I snuck to their backyard like two undercover police officers, until we were in the clear. Nerve-wracking minutes later, flowed the emerald green and ever-so lively lake in front of us. We stopped and starred in awe. The lake had appeared so shiny and reflective, it resembled a finely-cut diamond. The rare and istinct fragrance enticed us.

It smelled like mother-nature herself, with aromas ranging from wildlife and wet grass, to evaporated swamp water and healthy dirt. Then, the time for us to find the desired vessel arrived. We chose the kayaks, and set out for the water. Carefully, with our torn-jeans rolled up, and shirts off, we dragged the massive thing over the slope of grass and mud into the shallow stream. We then hopped aboard, grabbed the paddles, and floated and splashed into nowhere.

The wavy current sucked s downstream, periodically bouncing us off of sandbags and sharp branches leaning over the water- Now that was true adventure! Minutes later, my brother and I, after passing under many pipes and tunnels, floated into a huge “cul de sac” of water, with an island in the center. In our amazement, we paddled there as vigorously as toddlers learning to swim. We tied the kayaks to a thin branch with the slimy green rope mysteriously attached to them, and hopped onto the island. We basked in pure amazement.

After the tempo settled, we started our natural brotherly routine. My brother and I sat on the muddy bank, with our feet dipped in water, and threw stones out as far away as we could in our competitive nature. We set aside our differences, and together, bonded. My newfound companion and I sat, laughed, fought, played, and talked, as the sun slowly left us. At this point it did not matter what happened to us for taking the kayaks, because whatever it was, it could not replace the priceless experience we shared with one another.

My Declaration of Independence

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one person to go to college, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that she make a difference. Even if not all of the words are mine, they mean something to me. As a matter of fact, some of the words should mean something to all of us. I was in the eighth grade when I realized that our nation’s history was very interesting. From that point on I went about trying to convince my friends that we should be proud to be Americans.

Thomas Jefferson and the fifty-five other men who signed the Declaration of Independence felt hat all of us were due the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They felt it was not just their right, but their duty to rid themselves of the government that did not grant them these unalienable rights. Patriotism aside, I wanted to make a difference in the world. Once I realized this, it was easier for me to know what I needed-and wanted-to do. Eighth grade U.

S. History gave me an aim and high school has given me a purpose. It is now that I am ready to face the world. There is a story about a man who was walking along a beach and picking up starfish, then throwing them back into the water. Another person comes up and says, “With all of the beaches in all of the world covered in starfish, how can you hope to make a difference? ” The man smiled, picked one up, threw it back in, and then said, “It made a difference to that one.

If I could make a difference to one person somewhere, then my life will not have been wasted. Thomas Jefferson did not live in vain, and I hope the same can be said of me. Unfortunately, striking out to make your fortune at eighteen is not highly recommended. I have an aim and a purpose, but I have not yet garnered the education to back my high aspirations. So I come before you, baring my soul, in hopes that this will become a step on my ladder to enlightenment.

Now that I am dedicated to a cause, as vague as it may be, I am ready to roll. I am prepared to do my best. More than 200 years ago, we freed ourselves from oppression with a few words. Today, I hope to battle injustice where I can with a few actions. I have pledged my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor to this daunting task before me, and I feel ready. I am ready to learn and to excel at the tasks placed before me. I am ready to lean and to follow when necessary. I am ready to grow.

The Unforgettable Man

Being an orderly at Scottsdale Memorial Hospital was a fun job that required a strong heart. The hospital was a great place for me to experience the beauty of life and the unwanted death of humans. Throughout my year of employment at the Community Hospital, I was able to enjoy my work by interacting with many kinds of interesting patients. Without the hospital, I would have never imagined to be carrying on conversations with most of these people. Aiding curses required many long exhilarating hours of work each day, but I oved experiencing the daily recovery of patients, in which I was able to be some part.

The night of August sixth became a different story. Just as my shift was coming to a normal close, a nurse’s call light from one of the patient’s rooms had illuminated. On one of my many repetitive walks down from the station to a patient’s room, I had nothing else on my mind except for my evening plans with friends. I was extremely happy that this would surely be the last call light I would be answering that shift. As I entered the room, a crying relative came yelling at me.

He is going, something happened, do something, do something now! , demanded the distressed lady standing right at the bed side. I had seen this man before, although I had never spoken to him. I had know idea that he was not in a stable health. “All right, all right,” I replied in frustration, not knowing exactly what to do first. I looked at the 84 year old overweight male patient. He appeared very pale with his brown colored eyes half shut looking desperately at me for some sort of help. My mind was becoming blank, as I could not believe what I as about to experience.

In training we were told this could happen from time, to time, but I never thought with me. We were also told how to deal with the death of a patient, although I never thought I would be a part in this type of situation. Regardless, I could not think straight. I could not move as I started to panic. I looked around before I noticed that I was the only help available. I became scared. I then all at once, ran out of the room, screaming for help to any one that would be able to hear me, “Code Blue, Code Blue, room 219 now!

Running back into the room, I stepped behind the bed and pulled the call light on again. The high pitched sound was louder than ever. I stood there waiting, it seemed forever not knowing exactly what I should be doing. The young lady relative was looking at me expecting that I would bring this man back to life. I wanted to do just that, but I did not know exactly how. Finally, two registered nurses and then a third came veering into the room. “What’s happening? ,” the first nurse exclaimed. “The man just stopped breathing,” I announced to every one.

I reported to he nurses that I was unable to find a pulse and the patient’s respiration rate could not be seen. As I backed off two nurses came racing up to the patient trying to locate a pulse. “Nothing, nothing,” a nurse concluded as two of them began performing CPR. Within five extremely long minutes, the oldest nurse whispered, “It’s too late. ” Right on the spot, the nurse had pronounced the patient dead. I could not believe this scene was actually taking place. For the first time I saw a human die right in front of my own eyes.

The death to me did not sink in my ead, until a nurse ordered me to call the funeral home, while she would be talking to the family. When I hung up the phone I was again in the room alone with a corpse who seemed to just stare at me. The room now seemed to carry a different indescribable scent that I will never forget. Nurse Jane then walked in the room. She wanted me to clean the body before the coroner would arrive. Before cleaning the body, I first had to remove the IV line out of patient’s left arm. Removing the IV itself was an experience.

I did not imagine that a dead person would still bleed. Being unprepared for the stream of blood, a puddle splashed out onto the spotless, white tile floor. I grabbed a towel immediately and began applying pressure to the IV site. After a few minutes, I tried sticking a band-aide on the cut, but blood still came gushing out. I was about to remove the oxygen tubing from the patient’s nose when I felt that this man was still alive and watching me. I became extremely nervous. It looked as he was analyzing our hospital procedures. I started trembling as I removed the bloody towel off the bed.

His eyes were still half shut as I tried o avoid any eye contact. In my mind I was telling myself that this man was just sleeping and not to worry. Ten minuets later, a coroner arrived pushing in an old black stretcher. He asked me to help him lift the body up with the under sheets onto a hard board. The coroner then hid the body under a thick vinyl plastic sheet. When the body was removed from the room I was still not at ease. I felt that maybe I should have done more, or done something differently. This was the first time I have ever had an experience with a dead body on the job.

Hospital workers always say, you encounter many, but your first one is always the unforgettable. After experiencing this event, I spent a lot of time with myself thinking. Thinking about how precious life really is. I began to think of how important it is for me to experience everything that I want to, for one day I would run out of time. Life and death became more than just words to me. They had a special meaning with a lot of motivation behind them. From that day on I have spent more time spelling flowers and having fun, because I know one day I will not be able to.

Personal Perspective Essay

When this paper was first assigned to us I didn’t have any clue as to which Asian American religion was worth doing research on. As timed passed and more thought was given to the project I finally decided to go with Buddhism. The reason why I choose Buddhism as my topic is to allow me to relate more closely to the friends and family members who are Buddhist. In my family most of them are strong believers in Buddhism. As a child I never really understood the things that went on during time of prayer at my house in Taiwan. This is the main reason why I choose this particular religion to do my study on.

Hopefully by the end on this paper I will be able to relate to my family better. Through out my life I have visited many Buddhist temples. As I walk through the temple I remember becoming very interested in the what happens within these walls. I was never the religious type. Therefore I have no preference as to what religion I should be. Because of this my relationship with my family on a religious aspect has drifted wider and wider apart. This is why I choose the Buddhist religion , hoping to closing the gap which exist between me and the rest of the family on a religious aspect.

Introduction This study which is being conducted is purely a observational study. This study was done at the Hsi Lai Temple located in Hacienda Heights. This temple is the Los Angeles branch, the original is located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan ( Fo Guang Shan ). The Hsi Lai temple is about 102,432 sq. ft. The name Hsi Lai when translated means “coming to the west”. This temple signifies the dedication of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist order to spread the teachings of the Buddha to those in the west. It also serves as a bridge of cultural exchange between the east and the west.

In order for this study to be successful a lot of time was spent at the temple. It was about a little past noon on a Saturday when the study took place. It was pretty crowded around this time of day. There were a lot of activities going on here. There were people praying, there were those who took in the scenery within the temple walls, and than there were also those came to study. Many visitors visits these premises every day. It place is also an tourist spot for those who have just came from Taiwan. The reason why so many people come by is because they are interested in how a western temple would look like.

Hsi Lai temple compared to its parent monastery in Taiwan is much smaller. Many of the monks who resides there are from Taiwan. They came for the purpose of taking care of the temple. Each individual has their own daily chores. Some are in charge of giving tours to the visitors that comes here and others are either in charge of keeping the grounds of the temple clean or assisting those who are lost within the temple. Objective There exist four objectives within the Hsi Lai Temple. The first of the four is that it wants to expand its skills and talents through education.

The second is that they want to foster an awareness of Buddhism through its cultural activities. The third is to benefit society through charitable events. Lastly it wants to cultivate the human mind through Dharma practices. These are the four major objectives which the temple focuses on. Physical Description The Hsi Lai Temple was built according to the architecture of the Ming and Ching dynasty. It took about ten years for the completion of this temple (1988). The initial concept of building the temple started in 1978. It took six public hearings and over a hundred community meetings to clear its proposal of building the temple.

The actual planning of the temple took place on August 22, 1984 and the actual construction of the temple was on July 28, 1986. The Hsi Lai Temple was built to serve as a multifunction international Buddhist center. This center consist on a main shrine, meditation hall, lecture hall, a Dharma hall, Tripitaka hall, a library, lodging for traveling monks and nuns, an international conference center, twenty classrooms, two gardens, a memorial hall, a cultural exhibition room, a school for Chinese arts and culture, a dining hall, and living quarters for monks and nuns.

The first thing to be seen upon entering the temple is the large gateway with Chinese characters inscribed into it. Then after the gateway at the top of the stairs is the Bodhisattva Hall. After the hall at the other end there is a big courtyard. This courtyard is used for the purpose of walking meditation. At the opposite end of the courtyard is the main shrine. There are other facilities running along both sides of the courtyard. If one was to observe closely you will notice that the shape of the temple land is like the leaf of the Bodhi Tree in India.

Social The social aspect of the temple is one of the most important thing to the temple. The reason is that because they depend so much on people who goes there that they are really concern with their social outlook. The temple organizes many social events through out the course of the year. Many of these events welcome the participation of others. There also seems to be a sense of unity here at the temple. The people here seems to interact as a family unite. The interaction between the monks here at the temple and the people that come there is like a father and son relationship.

The monks are there to give advice, support, and guidance to these faithful just like a father to his son. Even though it is an older crowd that come to these temples, there among the elders still exist this type of father and son relationship. On Saturday prayer services are held and many faithful would gather and chants along with the priest. After the services many finds themselves in the cafeteria to get lunch. Even though the services are over and people had their lunch most stick around to part take in one of the many lectures / workshops that goes on in the classrooms.

The purpose of these lectures and workshops is designed as a way to pass on the teachings of Buddhism to the younger crowd or to those that are interested in it. These weekly lectures and special workshops are conducted in Chinese, English, and Cantonese. Besides the lecture and workshops the Hsi Lai Temple offers guides for groups of 15 people or more. People are often greeted at the main entrance of the temple to make them feel more comfortable. Most of the people who come here are usually casually dressed.

Some would wear shirt and tie but most wear whatever they are more comfortable in. The temple is a great location to meet people from many different background and origin. Conclusion Even though the time spent at Hsi Lai Temple wasn’t enough to get the true essence out of the place I was still amazed by how well organized it was. The planning of the temple was well thought out before the construction of the place and the great structures of the buildings was very impressive. I was especially impressed by how traditional the place was build.

The traditional style of the building gives the area and the people more of a sense of belonging. Just the structure alone brings a lot of the east to the west. The main purpose of this place is to bring and introduce the teachings of Buddha to the west. So far it has done just that. The Hsi Lai Temple is the largest temple in the U. S. most Buddhist come to this particular location to carry on their practices in the west. This place in not just at place of worship but it is also the meeting grounds of those who shares the same religion.

Many activities and events are carried out to spread the teachings of Buddha. They have charities to help the poor and function where they get to meet people. After having done the study I came to realize that Buddhism is a family religion. The reason is because I have notice that within the temple everyone function as one. They are a very family oriented religion. Everything that are done are done in groups. Where they work with each other to accomplish a certain task.

After various writings by Rich

After various writings by Richard Rodriguez and Octavio Paz, I have come across several realizations. Who am I? Should I be a part of a nation and a system that does not value me, or should I be a part of a nation that does not acknowledge my existence? The United States as a nation does not value me, and Mxico does not even know that I exist. These are difficult matters to discuss. We are all in search of our own identity. However, some of us are placed in a situation that makes it very difficult and confusing to know or understand.

I have always asked myself, Who am I? I should put it in more crude words, Where do I belong? After this specific question is asked, I begin to realize that I have problems coming up with a response. My parents were born in Mxico, and thus, they are Mexican. Sometimes I feel I belong here in the United States, but other times I feel more attached to Mxico. I am a Mexican-American. However, I feel that I am denying in some way my heritage and my culture by saying that I am. I am denying my parents. I say that Im Mexican because in a sense I am. I am also an American. I am a Mexican-American. What do these terms put together imply?

They should imply that the person is Mexican and American. The term Mexican-American is the very reason why I find myself confused about who I really am. I need to search for my own identity, which leads me to the purpose of this essay. Rodriguez and Paz have discussed this particular problem of identity. All three have different viewpoints. Some of their ideas are similar but mostly contradictory, especially in the case of Rodriguez and Paz. As I was reading, I was able to relate to what they had to say, and in a much bigger sense, I was able to understand and know who I am.

I was able to find my self. According to Paz, self-discovery is most than anything realizing that we are alone. Paz argues that our being or our identity becomes a problem and a question. It becomes a problem because of several reasons. We just dont simply wake up one day and realize that we dont know who we are. There are individuals who are placed in difficult situations that allow for these questions to arise. For example, the migration of Mexicans to the United States is a situation that will definitely cause many to question their identity.

I agree because if we had not moved to the United States, I would simply consider myself a Mexican without a doubt. Paz strongly argues that different circumstances are likely to produce different reactions. This migration is a circumstance that will bring about confusion among the Mexicans about who they really are. It is ironic how a few miles can bring about such a change in you. Personally, I have experiences such a confusion by simply moving twenty miles North of where I lived. I lived in Reynosa since I was eight. Then, my family and I moved here to McAllen. At the beginning, you dont feel quite like you fit.

It makes it very difficult because it is a completely different world. Even though the majority of the people are of Mexican origin, it still makes it very hard. After the years, I became somewhat used to the life here and began to feel comfortable. However, I also began to question my identity. It is the moment we cross that border that we lose our identity. Paz argues that instead of asking ourselves questions, we should do something about it. We cannot go on contemplating who we are, rather, we should work with our situation and do something. Our questions are only an excuse for not facing reality.

I agree with Paz because sometimes, we continue to complain and complain and simply think about our present situation. However, we do nothing to change it. I believe that Mexican-Americans need to stop talking about our injustices and discrimination and do something. However, Paz does mention that Mexicans have an inferiority complex. We begin to doubt our own abilities. This happens because of our culture. We are taught to listen and stay quiet. On the other hand, Anglo-Americans are taught to voice their opinions. There are many differences in both the Anglo-American culture and Mexican culture.

These differences are the reason why it is impossible to blend or mix. We are brought into a culture that is the complete opposite of ours. This is the reason why Paz says that our Mexicanism simply floats. It never exists, and it never goes away. One of the ways we react to this situation is by flaunting our differences. Paz talks about pachucos. They are a group of people of Mexican origin that are known for their language, behavior, and clothing. I remember when I went to high school and we had a pep rally, which landed right on September 16, which is Mexicos independence.

A group of friends and I decided to wear red, white, and green to celebrate Mexicos independence. We were simply proud of being Mexicans and wanted to show our pride. However, there were problems with several of the administrators because it wasnt just my friends and I doing it, but other people as well. The pep rally was canceled because they felt that our clothing would distract and cause conflict with the other American students in school. As I was reading Paz, he mentioned that Mexicans dress a certain way to stand out. They know they are rejected by the American society.

They do this to be different and stand out. The disguise is a protection because it hides and points them out. Somehow, they are doing this to belong in some way. They are able to catch the attention of the Anglo-Americans. I dont agree with Paz. I believe that sometimes people dress a certain way to show their pride. I do not dress a certain way to be different and so people can notice me. I am proud to be Mexican and want to show it off. When fourth of July comes, I also like to dress in red, white and blue to celebrate Americas independence. Is this possible or am I being a hypocrite?

This question leads me to Richard Rodriguez. Richard Rodriguez Hunger of memory is an autobiography. I was able to read only part of his book. I found it quite fascinating. Rodriguez goes through many problems of identity. He has mixed feelings about his own self. He mainly talks about affirmative action. What does the term minority student mean? Is it something we want to be classified as? I had an experience in high school in which a student denied a part of himself. His mother is Anglo and his father is Mexican. However, throughout school, when it was time to check on the ethnicity, he would check out Anglo.

He did this throughout his years in school, but when it was his senior year something happened. He decided to go talk to his counselor and tell her to change all his paperwork. He no longer wanted to be classified as Anglo, but Hispanic. When I heard this, it was very surprising. I cannot understand how this particular person decided to simply become Hispanic just so he could get the benefits of affirmative action. He was applying to scholarships and various universities, and he knew that if he was classified as a minority student, he would receive better benefits.

This is not right. You cannot simply choose to be Hispanic for your convenience. You should not reject a part of yourself simply for your own benefits. Rodriguez faced this dilemma. He knew that he did not want to be labeled a minority student, but if this is what was going to get him in society, then he simply had to accept. Throughout life, Rodriguez wondered about his identity. He was criticized by many because he was a well-known writer who was invited as a guest speaker. He would be around Anglo-Americans, and many criticized him because they felt he had become a part of them.

Is this really true? Isnt your identity how you see yourself? Just because other people see you being around another class or race of people, doesnt mean that you have become a part of them. You simply know that you are Mexican, American, or Mexican-American, and blending with other cultures doesnt necessarily mean you lose your true self. Because of affirmative action, Rodriguez was able to be a guest speaker, and a professor at a university. He felt threatened at times because the felt somewhat alienated by the other society.

Rodriguez did not have a good relationship with the Chicano students. He felt threatened by them. These students were still attached to their parents culture. These students knew how to speak Spanish very well. They were proud of their past. Rodriguez on the other hand, spoke in English. His Spanish was not that well. He did not want to associate himself to a past that meant poor. There was one specific time when Rodriguez parents saw a Hispanic student wearing a sarape. They were very surprised. Rodriguez said that these students were foolish to think themselves unchanged by their schooling.

I disagree with Rodriguez because I believe that just because you are getting a higher education and have a good job, you forget that you are Hispanic or Mexican-American. Rodriguez simply wanted to justify his own change. He did not want to belong or keep a bond between a past that did not bring fond memories. He was not as disadvantaged as other Hispanics. However, he felt very strongly about not going to Chicano student meetings or social events sponsored by La Raza. I dont agree with him. After reading this, I realized that he is wrong. I am proud to be Mexican-American.

I am proud to carry the term Mexican and American. I am proud of my Mexican culture, customs, and beliefs. I dont need to change in order to succeed or attain a higher education. Rodriguez suddenly came to this realization. He could not simply cast out his culture and simply erase it. At some point, he had a discussion with his several Hispanic students in which he did not agree with them. Soon, he was known to others as being a coconut, brown on the outside, white on the inside. I have learned many things this semester. I had not really given much thought Mexican-American history.

I never realized about the various things that were discussed. It was an eye opener. I was also able to realize of the many problems and injustices that Hispanics face here in the United States. However, just like Paz said, we cannot simply contemplate these issues. We need to do something about them. I am attending college to receive a higher education. I know that education is extremely important. However, I am not losing my identity by coming to college. Getting an education does not necessarily make you a different person. I dont agree with Rodriguezs viewpoint.

After reading Paz and Rodriguez, I began to see myself in some of what they had to say. I realized that I have gone through a confusion stage. I sometimes dont know where I belong or who I am. I have come to the conclusion that I am simply American. America is a nation filled with various ethnic groups. Hispanics include people from Mexico, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, etc. There are also many Asians. I often ask myself why people from Ireland living here in America arent labeled Irish-American. They are simply American. Why then should we be labeled Mexican-American?

Cant we simply be called American? I have come to the conclusion that I am American. American can mean different things to different people. To me American means being a part of Mexico as well as the United States. I consider myself a lucky person. I am able to be have the best of both worlds: Mexico and the United States. Tomorrow, I will celebrate Mothers Day here in the United States and Monday it will be 10 de mayo, Dia de las Madres in Mexico. My mom is very lucky. She gets two gifts. I dont believe that I am being a hypocrite by doing this. These are some of the advantages of being American.

Michelangelo’s Pieta Essay

To see a scorned, beaten, and crucified man lying dead in the arms of his mother is an image, which can inspire overwhelming emotions within the heart of an observer. Yet, for the longest time I’ve had such difficulty looking at Michelangelo’s Pieta or any piece of art in this way. To me, art has never been about expressing oneself or conveying a message to others, but simply creating an image for the sake of beauty and perfection. When I look at the Pieta I see a cold, solid mass of marble carved by the skilled hands of a master.

I look at it in terms of the technique Michelangelo used, the understanding he had of the human form, the movement within the composition, and ultimately the precision and realism with which the piece was rendered. For it has been upon these standards that I have based my concept of what art is. In my eyes, art has always been just a unique ability that I have. I feel driven by it, not to express some deep emotion, but almost as an obsession to perfect my own ability.

Every stroke of a brush and every motion of a file has been to make what I’ve created more detailed, graceful, and real. I’m only now beginning to realize how much more there is to art than what I had previously understood. When I look at a piece of my work, I see the detail and realism of it, yet somehow I feel that these aspects are all that it possesses. I wonder whether or not I’ve almost turned my sense of art into a science that lacks the essential characteristics of art, which are expression and emotion.

Yet now I have also begun to see that the strictness and precision of my art truly is an expression of who I am, and that through it, one can understand how I perceive the world around me. I feel uncomfortable in a world where nearly every aspect of our lives is becoming less clearly defined and where right and wrong are continually forsaken for a vague sense of truth. So in some respects, art provides me with the sense of structure, order, and continuity, which I feel, is lacking in modern life.

I’ve found that the meaning of art goes far beyond any technique or style, and that for each individual, art is a reflection of his or her own unique identity. While the touching image of a mother and child or the powerful story of the scorned savior in the Pieta may bring tears to the eyes of some. In my eyes the greatest beauty and the deepest meaning exists in the grace and realism that lies within every detail of this masterpiece.

The infamous Donner party

On a journey to a better life in California, the infamous Donner party, met sorrow at every turn. Before their journey began, they encountered a shortcut discovered by Hastings. Like any other normal person, they decided to take the easier route that unfortunately led to tragedy. There were many key elements leading to the misfortune of this group. From the beginning of their journey, the Donner party made mistakes. First of all, at the time of the party’s departure there was an outbreak of cholera and malaria.

Germs and disease are not good to carry along a journey half way across the country. Even the slightest germs were deadly to them. After they passed Independence, Missouri, they were in unfamiliar land. All they knew was that there was desert and mountainous are ahead, yet they continued on. Soon after, Grandma Reed died due to such a rough journey. This was probably a good indication that they should take the longer safer route, but they continued on by Hastings shortcut. Then they ran into a man by the last name of Kleiman.

He warned the group that the road ahead was very tough and that Hastings had trouble on the route himself. Kleiman told Mr. Donner NOT to take Hastings route, but the Donner party continued despite their warning. Mr. Hastings promised the party that he would wait for them at a fort along the way to California. When the party reached the fort, Hastings had already gone ahead a week earlier with another group. He left simple instructions for the Donner party to follow telling them it would not take long to get to Salt Lake. Then they turned off track into the wilderness.

It took 6 days to chop through to Big Mountain and one month to reach Salt Lake rather than the week they had been promised. After 3 days they ran out of water and Reed’s oxen ran away and could not be found. Thirty-six oxen were lost and wagons had to be left behind in order to get over the mountain. Then Reed killed Schneider because he was whipping the oxen. Everyone was going mad. Indians killed 21 more oxen and then the Donner axle broke on the first wagon. To make things worse, they encountered blizzard like snow and sleet.

If they had rested 4 days instead of 5 they would have made it through to California safely without having to deal with any of the conditions mentioned above. It turns out that Hastings “shortcut” was actually 125 miles longer than the longer safer route. Each of the circumstances that they dealt with could have been easily avoided by taking the longer route that had been traveled on many times before. Unfortunately, many people died and suffered because of key elements like weather and misjudgments. The lesson learned from this tragedy is, “never take no cut offs and hurry along as fast as you can. ”

A Scribes Tale

Sometimes I wonder how I get myself into these situations. The last time I was almost sure my lifeless body would be lying on a burning pedestal, with the few friends I have staring on in sadness. I can stop wondering though I asked to be here. Its quiet right now, only the sound of the wolves in the distance and the chuckling laughter coming from the group as they drink themselves into numbness by the fire before they turn in for the night. I hope they plan to end soon we are to wake early so that we may gain entry to the Keep by dawn. They are an odd sort of adventurers.

Their self appointed leader, Pheneis, is a legend in his own time. He is also the only reason I agreed to accompany this party as their scribe. He is an amazing, yet arrogant, fighter. I have heard many songs written by bards in his honor. I feel that I will be safer on this adventure than in the past, mainly because he agreed to help protect me (which he only agreed to if I give him due credit in my writings). There are five other members in this party. Each of them brings their own special flair. One is named Leon, a short, stocky little dwarf. Very handy with a battleaxe, but calling him rude would be an understatement.

The second member is Galidar, a remarkable archer. He is a half-elf (his father was a human that fell in love with a beautiful elf from High Elm), and nobody seems to like him much, but they seem to respect his ability a great deal. Thirdly we have Maewyn; beautiful in her own rights, but I would never make her mad if I wanted to remain in this life. She is a talented mage with a short temper. Before leaving the town of Dandale I saw her turn an elf the deepest shade of purple simply because he made fun of her for doing tricks to entertain some of the town children. He felt this was a waste of her talents.

Since dark elves are not allowed within the city, she felt the reactions that he received after her little color trick was plenty of entertainment for the children for about an hour until she finally dispelled her magic upon him. Now, none of these three are much heard of, but the forth is another story. He goes by the name of Argon, but I believe that he may be an accomplished assassin and thief known by the name of Dalamar. He fits the description perfectly, and seems to have his trademark fighting style. I wont be mentioning this in by writings for fear of my own life.

From what I know, he only performs assassinations of those that he feels deserves it, and only for a handsome purse, but I dont want to take any chances. The fifth member would be I. My name is Mircar. I can fight, but dont consider myself a fighter. Im not that accomplished. I love to write about my adventures though. I have enjoyed following and fighting with different parties for more years than I care to say, and I regret this may be my last. I have been given other opportunities at the Lords manor in Dandale, but wanted to follow along on this last trip to set my mind at ease.

You see, I have not convinced myself if I want to stay idle for my few remaining years. The party has finally turned in for the evening, and I have agreed to take first watch. We each take our turns throughout the night, ensuring the fire stays lit and no hungry creatures or resentful people approach trying to put an end to our campaign. We are less than a mile away from the Keep and our reasons for being here might have reached our intended targets. We signed up for this campaign to put an end to the havoc that has been brought upon the townsfolk of Dandale.

There is a mage that goes by the name of Zarel. He has sent his goblin followers to the town twice a week for ninety days now, raiding the food supply, which is now sadly inadequate. He began doing this after he was banished for threatening the life of Lord Xanmar. Few people know what he looks like because he always keeps his face down and hidden behind the hood of his cloak. We only know that he is young in appearance, but not to be underestimated in his abilities as a sorcerer. Almost dawn now and I have just waked so I check my personal belongings before I begin to prepare for the short walk ahead.

It would be unwise to go into battle without my essentials. I also do not know everyone here very well, and do not trust them to stay out of my writings and pockets while I sleep. I dont carry much coin on me, but a thief is a thief and I doubt they care if I am poor or not. As we approach the Keep, we can hear movement but see no one (or thing) around. The Keep is crumbling from inadequate use over the years. I remember the tale of it being destroyed by a red dragon after its Lord slayed its mother while on a quest to retrieve a special gem that was swallowed when she ate the person that was wearing it.

We creep around to what looks to be the main entrance. What used to be a heavy wooden gate is now blackened stumps and ash. Quiet, Pheneis says, goblins might not be the smartest creatures, but they arent deaf. Silently we walk, staying close to the rock walls when possible; we begin working our way through a maze of ruins. I observe Galidar slowly reaching into his quiver to retrieve an arrow, and without warning, I can hear the sound of wind being cut by a knife as his arrow flies threw the air and stopping only as it enters the chest of a goblin.

Run! He yells. Trying not to be separated, we sprint threw the ruins as if we had done it a hundred times. Therere everywhere, shouted Leon. Argon screams for Leon to try and keep up. Maewyn, who prefers to stay towards the back (as most mages do), wields her magic to create a spider-web as big as the passageway behind us. It will take them half of an hour to burn threw that web, and even longer if they try to cut it she says. Maewyn, can you light this place up for us? I ask. No sooner than the words came out of my mouth, a magnificent glow surrounded us.

Over there, Argon began uneasily, if we go down those stairs Maewyn can seal the entrance so that the goblins outdoors wont be able to get threw. Pheneis worriedly replies How do you know that Zarel will be down here? In an instant Maewyn’s soft voice replies, The upper portion of the Keep is open to the elements. I doubt that a mage of his caliber would have his scrolls and potions exposed to the weather. I would have my books and components down here if I were him. As we descend the damp, musty steps, we can hear the crackling of a fire and see a glow coming from a hall on the left.

Quietly Pheneis peers around the corner and motions for us to continue. As we enter the hall, there is a room in the back to the right. The heat from the fire has warmed the hall and the dampness we felt before has gone. There are no other sounds besides that of the fire and an uneasy feeling has swept over us all. Galidar, who is lighter on his feet than the rest of us, takes lead and slowly peaks into the fire lit room. After a moment he turns to us, I see only one man, but no goblins. This might be easier than we thought. Leon chuckles at this notion, Its never this easy!

Pheneis, with sword drawn, rushes into the room. The familiar sound of metal hitting metal comes echoing from the room. As the rest of us enter, we are shocked to see Pheneis in a sword battle with a floating sword. At the corner of the room is a seemingly very young man. Zarel slyly speaks Your coming here was no surprise to me. Behind us, the door slams shut which sends a chill up my spine. Immediately Galidar and Leon rush to help relive Pheneis from his ghostly battle while Argon and I run to attack Zarel. Within seconds, I can feel my body being lifted off the ground along with Argon.

Mircar, Argon! Maewyn yells. Ill get you down! As she begins muttering her incoherent gibberish that she uses to cast her spell, a silence falls over the room. Complete silence, as if all sound was sucked away by some unseen force. In the corner of the room, Zarel simply smiles. Galidar, Leon and Pheneis continue to battle with the floating sword when it suddenly disappears. They try to yell as they are also lifted off their feet and carried to the ceiling, but no sound exits their mouths. As Zarel smiles, I notice a wink from Maewyns eye towards Zarel.

Without warning, sound re-enters the room just as Argon screams Traitor! Do you think I can do all this on my own? asks Zarel Why do you think she insisted you come down here? As we floated above the ground, I knew that if they became distracted they would not be able to continue the spells that held us up here. Then, as if by fate, through the door busted twenty goblins. Immediately we fell to the ground. Pheneis began his amazing swordsmanship skills upon the goblins followed by Leon and myself. I told you they werent very intelligent. Pheneis said with a laugh as he wielded his sword over his head.

At this time, a ball of fire the size of a horses hoof came flying towards me. Regrettably, I moved out of the way in time. Leon didnt have time to even see what it was that hit him in the back of the head. Galidar, already with arrow in hand and aimed at Zarel, turned his bow towards Maewyn. Nobody betrays their party! he screamed. Before she had time to utter another fireball spell she felt the arrow pierce her stomach. Zarel instantaneously turned and ran through a small passageway beside the fireplace. He knew that alone he would never be able to survive this battle.

Within minutes, the room was filled the last groans of the twenty goblins that now lay on the floor along with Leon and the traitor Maewyn. As Pheneis, Galidar, and myself looked around in sadness, Pheneis spoke, Wheres Argon? Suddenly, we knew. We could hear the sounds of fighting coming from the passageway. We all ran at once to help our friend, for we had already lost one in battle. When we reached Argon, we feared the worst. He sat at the edge of a hall, bleeding from his shoulder where a dagger was still inserted. Where is he? I asked. Around the corner. He spoke softly just before he fainted.

Pheneis quietly walked around the corner; sure to find Zarel in good form so that he could be the one to call hero. Zarel lay there motionless. As Pheneis approached him, he breathed his final breath. Argon awoke to find himself healed by a local cleric, but behind bars for being a wanted assassin by the name of Dalamar. Pheneis and Galidar were equally praised for being heroes, which causes Pheneis some uneasiness, but gives Galidar something to laugh about while they are at the inn drinking themselves into another stupor. Me, I turned down the notion of working at the Lords manner. I felt my skills are in better use when I am with friends.

My life in the Formula 1

Often in peoples lives an event can happen that is forever remembered as one of the most important. Be it a family story, or something that has absolutely nothing to do with the person, the event is deeply engraved in the individuals mind and will always stay with him or her. This happened when I was twelve years old. I have been a car-racing fan since the age of nine and ever since I started getting into the world of the Formula 1 World Championship, one driver started capturing my attention more and more. His name was Ayrton Senna, of Brazil.

A three-time World Champion, whom I saw in 1994, after two seasons of driving for the same mediocre team (while still managing to win a few races), poised to win his fourth title, driving for the best team in the sport, Williams-Renault. Even after crashing in the first two races of the season, everybody, including me, saw him as the main contender. Then came the third race of the season, in a little country of San Marino, in the small city of Imola The racing weekend started off on April 29th, 1994 on a very sour note.

During free practice, the Jordan of the new Formula 1 star, Rubens Barrichello, crashed at a speed close to 150 miles per hour, slamming headfirst into a wall of tires. The driver was knocked unconscious and transported to a hospital, where Senna, his countryman, was the first person Rubens saw when he came to. Next day, during the qualifying session, a promising Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger was killed when a wing on his Simtek ripped off on a speed of about 170 miles per hour.

The car then hit a concrete wall, Roland suffering extensive damage to his head. He died on the spot, forcing Senna to say to a friend and rival of his, Frenchman Alain Prost, that if he could avoid racing the next day, he would. Nevertheless, unable to do much himself, Senna won the pole position and was to start first in Sundays race. Sundays race started off on a tragic note as well. A young Portuguese driver, Pedro Lamy, did not see the stalled Benetton of a Finn Yurki Yarvi Lehto, slamming his Lotus into Lehtos car at a high speed.

The debris flew all over the spectators stands, injuring five people. One of them was hurt so bad, he went into a coma. The race was halted, then restarted, and on Lap Six, Senna was leading his title contender, Michael Schumacher by over two seconds a fairly substantial lead. Meanwhile, in the pits, the crew of the veteran of the sport, Michele Alboreto, of Italy, did something wrong with his car, resulting in a wheel flying off his Minardi as he was speeding off, injuring four mechanics of Ferrari and Lotus. Then came Lap Seven.

While calmly watching the race with my friend, I remember seeing a blue-and-white Williams enter a high-speed curve at about 200 mph, then hammer sideways into a concrete wall. I have to admit I am a prejudiced person. The thought that went through my head was this: Dear God, let that be Hill. (Damon Hill, Sennas teammate) Granted, the wish was not one of a philanthropist, but what can I doWhen I saw the yellow helmet bobbing lifelessly in the cockpit I thought: Maybe he is just unconscious, he will be all right. A helicopter airlifted him to the nearby hospital, but my friend and I were hopeful.

The race went on but then two people all of a sudden just drove into the pits, pulling themselves out of the race. Those were an Austrian driver, Gerhard Berger, Sennas ex-teammate, and Frenchman Eric Comas, who were the first one to arrive on the accident scene. As I learned much later they went on to check on Ayrton because of something they learned over the pit radio. Next day, I was still hopeful. After practicing some soccer moves early in the morning, I ran up to our apartment and was going to call my friend, when the phone rang. It was Tony, that same friend of mine.

He only said but three words, but by the grave atmosphere that was in the air, he need not have said one. Senna is dead. Apparently he stuck around late at night to watch the news, then called me first thing in the morning. Stunned, I turned around and repeated the words to my mother. While never a sports fan, she knew who Ayrton Senna was practically as well as she knew my name. Her always happy face turned the same pale color mine was. My father, who could really care less about my sports enthusiasm, cam up to us and asked what in the world happened.

To my great surprise, he took the situation very close to heart. Him and my mom both knew how much I was into the sport and how much Senna meant to me as a role model. I spent the next two hours practicing soccer shots by myself thinking: it is just not fair. Sennas devotedness to God and religion in general was unsurpassed. Why him, then? He was only 33! Age of Christ, I remember thinking to myself. While never a religious person, I then realized how much faith and devotedness mean in a persons life.

Sennas death as like thunder during a sunny day for me. I really felt like a part of my life has been taken away by a huge vacuum of space. While never actually knowing the guy, I still felt like he was a part of my life, for I knew so much about him. I never had a brother, but losing Ayrton was much like losing a brother to me. He was a model of devotedness to his God, his sport and his family. Never in my life have I had such a vivid example coming from the outside of my own family, and Senna, even now still means a lot to me as a role model.

The School Shootings In Littleton

It seems for the past week or so, the entire world (yes, world, when I was in Spain they showed news coverage of this 24/7 too) has been shaken up by the school shootings in Littleton, CO (I think thats the name of the town, though don’t hold me to that). What amazes me about this story is not the fact that two people went into a school and shot a bunch of people (apparently this is the seventh in-school multiple homicide in teh past 18 months), its the fact that the media has given extensive coverage this, and has exploited it for all its worth.

I suppose with the impeachment trial over and done with, and the only thing remaining of that issue is a few jokes, the media needs something new to pounce on and make a dollar off of. And they have done just that. Everywhere I turn someone is talking about how terrible this tragedy is. Don’t get me wrong, I think the senseless killing of people, which is pretty much what happened in this case, is wrong. The two boys who did this probably wanted to kill themselves, and figured they’d make as big of an exit as possible, and in doing that, they have succeeded.

Thats not the thing that really bothers me though, its the fact that a nation like America (and other nations too, most of my knowledge of what happened came from a British paper) can exploit something like this, and the masses can swallow it up. But I suppose it makes good news. Who is the sicker person in this case? The nazi boy who goes into a school, kills about ten people or so, or the average American who buys the newspaper with the headline of “Neo Nazi Massacres Innocent Teens In School”?

The boys who did this knew very well that if they were to pull off something like this, they would have the entire country (and others) all wrapped up in it. If they seriously wanted to kill people, and nothing else, they would have just blown up the entire school with everyone in it. But they didn’t, and they have gotten everyone all caught up in the story. I’ve seen it described as “one of the worst tragedies in history”. The people that make those statements have swallowed this lie hook, line, and sinker. I don’t think this can be called one of the worst tragedies of the decade.

Does this outrank the 500,000 innocent people massacred in Rwanda? Or how about the hundreds of innocent Iraqis killed in the bombing of Baghdad in the Persian-Gulf war? The genocide that’s been occuring for the past ten years in the former Yugoslav provinces? And those are just things that happened in the past ten years. Ten years. Turn back the clock further, just in American history, lets forget about the rest of the world for the moment. Pretty much from 1492 – the present day there has been a holocaust against the Native Americans.

When the Spanish landed in Mexico and South America, their weapons and diseases killed 30 million people, wiping out the native peoples to those areas. When the British landed in what is now called the USA now, they started an undeclared war 400 years ago which is still on today. The war reached its peak in the late 1800’s, when the US army was sent west to pretty much wipe out all native civilization to make way for American railroads. The surviors were then placed on reservations, where little of their culture remains, many tribes that didn’t survive had their culture completely destroyed.

And this is just one instance of American tragedies that the people just don’t seem to care about. Theres still World War I, a useless imperialistic war, which killed millions of people, which out of that war only came World War II, which killed millions more people. Nevermind all of the other wars, like Vietnam, where American soldiers basically shot anyone in sight, civilian or not. And how many Americans care about all the people who died in the wars above? How many millions of people lost their lives for no reason, and how many millions more people wept over their deaths?

And how many Americans today care about those people? How many Americans cared about those people when these tragedies happened? I bet not nearly as many as today who supposedly care about the people in Littleton. Don’t get me wrong or anything, what happened in that school was terrible, and should not have happened, but the media does not care about human life when they report this story, they only care about the dollar (or pound, or peseta, or whatever currency the country happens to be) that goes in their pocket.

A Research Paper It’s A Creative Story

This isnt happening. Things like this dont happen to people like me. I sit on a log and look up at the canopy of trees hovering over me. I glance around, seeing only other confused faces glance at me. Its quiet. The loudest quiet Ive ever heard. My head floods with thought and I close my eyes, pushing back frantic images. I inhale my surroundings, trying desperately to make sense of the silent riot occurring all around me. My attention is drawn to a noise. My eyes wander, searching for the source. It sounds like the cry of a small animal; it sounds too familiar to be dangerous. It becomes louder and I recognize the innocent scream.

I rise from the dead stump and hurry towards the sound. It has stopped but still it echoes in my mind. A bright whiteness washes over me and I find myself sitting uncomfortably in my adjustable seat. A newspaper sits in my lap but Im too anxious to notice. Something is wrong, I can sense it. My ears perk up at an obnoxious noise. It sounds like the cry of a small animal. Aside from my aisle is an infant. A smile runs across my face, hiding my fear. My feet strike the ground, launching me faster heading for the sound. Finally I reach it, almost wishing I hadnt. Here lies a mother, child in hand and a red stream flowing down her lifeless face.

The bundle in her arms screams again, snapping me back into reality. Taking the infant in my arms, I silently pray for our survival. I retreat to the small clearing to find the same glances staring back at me. I take a glimpse, surveying the scattered items laying on the earthy floor. I see a small first aid kit lying open by a sapling. It is empty except for a roll of white gauze. I take it in my hands, swiftly wrapping it around the small child and hoping the warmth of the thin fabric will turn purple lips back to a healthy hue. I hold the newborn to my chest and wrap it further in my own clothes.

Well never make it. A nameless voice utters, stabbing the silence. I glance up and glare at the thought. Its too cold, we have no supplies. Well never make it. He repeats. Ignoring the obvious truth I recall the items I carried with me on the flight. Things useless every day, but now could determine life or death. A small pocket knife, given to me by my grandfather just before he died, a complimentary air map I had tucked in my pocket after reading it before take off; and a bottle of whiskey I had held in my hand, taking sips to calm my nerves. My keys jingle in my pocket and I pull them out.

On my key chain, a free flashlight I received from a catalogue order. I read the name on the smooth plastic cover, LifeLight. I laugh at its simple irony. While rummaging through my pocket I discover a familiar object. My metallic zippo lighter. I stroke the smooth metal with my thumb. I wish I had a cigarette. I was angered to find my lighter was out of fluid when I went to light one just before take off. I needed that cigarette. Something was wrong, I could sense it. I could sense it then, hours before the crash and still now I wish I hadnt boarded flight 579, non stop to Victoria, Canada. I despised the name.

Why I went I still couldnt say. It was on a flight just as this one that my grandfather had been killed. Shaking my head I pull myself back into existence I look down at the child. Sleeping soundly next to my heart I support it with my hand and notice a ring I had placed on my finger a few days ago. On it was a miniature compass I had received as a boy. What are you looking at? Says the man again. The voice belonging to him began to irritate me. I had failed to notice how long Id been staring. Taking leadership, I stood amidst the other passengers. We have to collect the items thrown from the crash.

There may be something that could help us. The words had barely fallen off my lips when the voice interrupted. Nothing can help us. Well die out here before anyone notices were gone. Thats enough. I demand. We have to hope. The simplest item can have a thousand uses. Now, I continue, Everyone gather what we have and well see what we can do. If we stick together, we just might make it long enough to be rescued. The people begin to move, collecting items and returning them to the clearing. I focus on the child in my arms. Its fist was in a ball, lips curled around its thumb. I notice a gold chain around its tiny wrist.

The chain was linked by an engraved bar and I struggle to read its scribbled words. They came in to focus. I read them out loud, Olivia Rose. I feel my heart melt looking at her small round face and her rosy cheeks. I repeated the name, Olivia Rose. I found this! An excited voice chants. I glance to meet the eyes of the speaker, finding only the barrel of a gun. I turn, protecting the infant from the stranger. Angered, I reply. For Gods sake use your head. It could be loaded. It is. There was the voice again. It belongs to me. I wasnt surprised that the gun was his. What did surprise me was that he managed to smuggle it aboard.

The names Johnson. Detective Johnson of the Chicago P. D. Another voice emerges from the crowd. You shouldnt be carrying that around, its dangerous. It will be useful. We can protect ourselves and maybe find food. He says it as though he was prepared with a response. I survey the items distributed on the clearing floor. I raise my head, finding the others looking to me for guidance. I clear my throat as if I have something to say. I wish there was something I could say. There are no words to better the situation. I know its not much, I begin, but these few things just might save us. As soon as I heard the words I knew it was all a lie.

I lied for their hope. I lied for mine. I review their faces as they stand around me. There are fourteen of us. I say, swallowing my disbelief. If we stick together and use our heads, we have a chance. They remain silent. Even in silence I can hear them laugh. They laugh at my false confidence. I shake off my evil thoughts and proceed. Does everyone have an extra set of clothing? I receive a majority of nods from the crowd. Good. Itll get much colder by night fall. I suggest you bundle up as much as possible. I turn my attention to my left; a tall man, muscular with broad shoulders. His face stares without emotion.

Johnson. I trust you know how to operate that pistol? I ask. Yes, sir. He replies. Even in those few words I can taste his bitter sarcasm. Well hunt as soon as possible, before dark breaks. Ill ask a few men to accompany Johnson and me. A few step up, bravely joining our small army. Before leaving I slowly step towards an attractive woman I had noticed sitting in front of me during the flight. I pull Olivia from the warmth of my chest and deliver her into the hands of the woman. She quietly scoops the child in her arms and cradles her slowly. I almost leave without words but stop to make a request.

Please take care of her. The woman nods, holding Olivias tiny hand against her palm and rubs her translucent skin. Finding it almost impossible to leave, I turn and walk away from the clearing. On my way I lean down to gather a coil of rope that I assume had been thrown from the plane. Tucking it under my arm, I continue to lead. The small cavalry falls in line behind me as we step into the unknown wood. We crouch silently in the brush, using our ears and eyes to search. Johnson stoops in front of me, gun in hand. He sweeps away my leadership as if it were dust. Suddenly, a noise appears.

Our eyes widen at the sight of a bush dancing in colorful movement. Something is over there. Johnson whispers. Shoot it! A voice from behind implies. Who knows if well be able to find something else. Great idea. Johnson says, And scare away every other animal in the area. It could be a rabbit. The creature pokes its horned snout between the leaves. My god, I say in a startled tone, its a boar. Food for a few days. Johnson says. Now, shut the hell up before we all get killed. Johnson raises his arm, aiming at the beast. He squints an eye and squeezes the trigger. A fast explosion and its over.

We wait in silence for sounds of death. Glancing at the animal I see its coarse fur stained with blood. It lays dead with its eyes wide open. Nice shot. I say, directing my words at Johnson. Lucky shot. He answers, looking down at the corpse, That thing could have killed us. He pauses, reflecting I suppose. How are you going to get us back to the opening? We walked for quite some time before we stopped. I look down at the compass ring on my finger. We began walking east. I begin, Well just leave headed west. I use the rope to form a noose around the boars neck. Everyone grab the rope.

Itll take some strength to pull. It took almost twice as long to reach the clearing, dragging the creature behind us. The sun was beginning to sink below the trees and cast an orange glow on the ground. Upon returning, we find that the women were already preparing for our arrival. They had created a cooking spit from ski poles a passenger had left behind, greasing it with shortening and supporting it with broken branches. We were pleased with their contribution but disappointed to find no way to cook our meal. If only we had some way to make a fire. Someone suggests. We could rub two sticks together. Johnson says.

Again I taste his bitter sarcasm. A few laughs emerged from the group. Recalling the items in my pocket, I reach in and pull out my trusty lighter. Another woman had been watching me and exclaims at the sight of the shiny silver metal. Were saved! Almost. I reply, Its out of fluid. I can see the disappointment in their eyes. Sitting down to celebrate my failure, I discover a ball of steel wool sitting between my feet. I pick it up and roll it in my palm. This could be useful. I think to myself and begin to search my pocket. A bottle emerges. Perfect! Johnson shouts, snatching the objects from my grasp.

He splashes whiskey everywhere, soaking the ball in his hand. Using the lighter he begins to flick the lid with his thumb. He gets nothing the first time. Second, third, forth and still nothing. Then as if by the very hand of the devil, a spark! It quickly expands, igniting the ball into brilliant yellow flames. Quickly! He screams, Get some leaves together under that pole. We obediently do as he asks. He drops the ball into the heap and the flames roll happily in the pile earth. Our first triumph. Standing over the beast knife in hand, I slice into its flesh, spilling blood over the leaves under my feet.

Taking the heavily greased pole into my grasp, I stab the creature and slowly slide the smooth steel tube through its innards. The end of the pole is exposed, covered in shiny red liquid. Looking down at the exposed stomach, I conclude that the creature was female. I pick up the whiskey bottle laying beside me and swallow its last few drops. Holding it up to the animals chest, I grab its teat and squeeze a few drops of pearly white milk into the bottle. I apply more pressure and liquid continues to stream from its breast. After squeezing the last drop from her, I screw the lid back on the glass bottle.

It takes the muscle of a few men to lift the boar on to the spit engulfed in flames. I gently fan the fire with the map from my pocket. Thinking to myself I say, This fire wont last. We cant go looking for wood until morning. Will this work? The voice I didnt recognize, but the face I knew too well. She cradles Olivia in her arms and holds out her hand, offering me a newspaper. We found plenty of these. They must have given them out on the flight. Do you think it would work? Her beautiful eyes burn through me. I smile, I think it just might do the trick.

Later that night, after dining on burned dry meat, I sat on the same dead stump with Olivia in my arms. Darkness has washed over the once blue sky and I struggle to see her innocent face. I reach for my keys and push the small button on my flashlight, illuminating her round face with the artificial glow. Pulling the bottle out of my coat pocket, I curl my fingers around the cap and rotate it. With a few turns the cap falls into my palm. I put the rim to Olivias small lips and slowly tilt the bottle, allowing her to sip the warm milk. Suddenly, I was joined by the woman. There she was again, her face lit up with the glow of the fire.

Her beauty almost made me forget everything that was happening. She has a devilish grin on her face and her eyes twinkled in delight. After that dinner Im sure everyone would prefer something sweeter. My expression turns to confusion. What do you mean? I ask. Under her coat she holds a box. I cant think of what it is until I read the label. Hersheys? I ask with a smile on my face. Where did you find these? I was going to save them for myself, she explains, but there are enough to share. Her smile was warm enough to allow me to forget the cold weather. I become distracted by Olivias quiet gurgling.

Driving Test Essay

I woke up at eight in the morning, being that it was May and spring was in the air I knew that my day would be perfect. As I leaped out of my warm and comfortable bed to put on my Bullwinkle slippers, my stomach nerves began to tighten. I figured it was just a small bellyache and I would get over it soon. I walked slowly to the bathroom not really realizing that the house was not filled with sunshine as it usually is during these beautiful spring days. As I began to brush my teeth my eyes caught a glimpse of the window that I now noticed was so close to the mirror.

I could have died when I noticed that the rain was coming down like a storm. It was at that moment that I ran to mother’s room to tell her that I couldn’t go driving today. My whole body was tense, I knew this was a sign for me to stay home, I was scared and would never be able to drive in the horrible storm. I don’t know how, but she convinced me to just try, “It’s just a driving test,” is what she continued to repeat, “if you fail, your not ready. ” I knew she wanted me to fail anyway. As she drove into the driveway that seemed to be the size of a football field, my stomach nerves began to tighten once again.

There were a few cars in front of us forming a line, and three cars pulled up behind us as soon as the car stopped. I sat in the passenger’s seat watching a car on the winding trail, looking as if it was going back and forth on the course. It seemed as everything that was happening at that moment was irritating me, the tapping of the rain on the car, the windshield wipers swishing back and forth on the windshield and the whining of the saxophone that was playing along with the jazz song on the radio. I knew that my patience was being tested that day and I was sure I would fail.

For the next ten minutes I watched as the instructors, that looked as if someone dropped a bucket of water on them even with the yellow raincoats, left one car that was on the course to get into another car that was on the line. The cars seemed to move quickly and it seemed as if my turn was coming to quick. It was at that moment that I felt like I wanted to cry, the wet figure in the yellow raincoat was approaching our car. I wanted to scream for my mother to turn around but I was stuck in the moment I didn’t know what to do.

My mother called me and it reminded me of summer nights when she would call me to come in the house because the street lights were on, “Teeeerrrrriiii”, is what snapped me out of my momentary daze. The nerves in my stomach were coming back, the figure in the yellow coat, who by this time was standing beside me with the car door open, told me to get in on the driver’s side. I hesitantly got out of the car, put my jacket over my head to try and keep dry and ran around the front of the car to get in on the other side.

In the ten seconds it took me to get from the passenger’s side to the driver’s side of the car, I noticed that the my jeans were drenched with rain from my knees too my ankles. My sneakers were wet and I began to feel to cold water dripping down my socks to my heel. I got into the car and hurriedly slammed the door of the car, not noticing that my jacket was stuck. I wanted to impress the instructor, so I thought it was a bright idea to adjust my mirrors and my seat, even though my mother was the same height and weight.

I then turned to the figure not looking directly at him but noticing his wet salt and pepper hair and “woodsmen” like mustache. I politely said, “Hello, how is your day going so far? ” The only response I got was what I believe to be to grunts that sounded more like a horse than a man’s answer. I started the car and waited for further instructions, hopefully in English. I watched as he scribbled my information from the registration card that my mother gave him. Continuing to write, he told me to drive ahead without ever looking up. Noticing a stop sign ahead, I became confused, should I stop or keep going.

I assumed he wouldn’t notice because his head was still looking down at the clipboard that he was writing on. Scared to just past the sign, I came to an abrupt stop, causing the both of us to jerk forward. This caused him to look up, and very nonchalantly he said, “Continue. ” As I continued down the path I began to approach what looked to be a dead end, I was told to stop and make a three point turn. When I had one more point to go, I tried to overlap my hands to turn, but my arm began to tug because of what I know now as my coat stuck in the door.

I made the decision to turn the wheel inches at a time when I noticed that there was a huge puddle of water in front of me. I decided to go a normal speed because I assumed I had enough room. Just as I thought I was complete, the car jerked, went up slightly and slammed back down to the ground. It seemed as the next thirty seconds were going in slow motion. I began to turn my head because I noticed the figure’s arm move closer too me as he reached for the emergency brake. The car immediately came to a halt and we both jerked forward and I almost bumped my head on the steering wheel.

Sitting in the car confused the next sound I heard was out of the instructor’s mouth as he began to speak in the same tone as earlier. As calm as possible he said, “The test is over, proceed to the parking space. ” It was at the space that he said I ran over the curb and a movement like that was an automatic failure. The figure began to gain human-like qualities as he kindly explained that I should relax and adjust my car seat to make me more comfortable. He stressed to me to take my time as I was preparing to drive so I wouldn’t be uptight.

He then handed me the piece of paper, the same one he scribbled on the whole time I was driving, and told me to make an appointment to take the test over again. I then watched as the medium framed man got out of the car and walked to the next car on line. When my mother returned to the car, yes I cried, but she made me feel better by promising ice cream and saying that I would definitely pass the next time. On the drive home we blamed everything for the failure, the weather, my nerves, the test trail and even her insistence.

I thought that my life was over without a driver’s license. I started at that moment to strategize and decide how I would take the test next time. I would be much calmer whether the sun was shining in the eighty-five degree weather or the snow was coming down in minus twenty. I knew that I wasn’t ready a, but I figured it still wasn’t a waste of time because I was able to take the valuable advice that the instructor gave me that day and even apply it to my next test.

The Case of the Elusive Car Salesman

I was pacing around Lexington, waiting for my local mechanic to finish the latest repairs on my 77 Chevy Impala. My name’s Yesterday, Sam Yesterday. It was hot in Lexington, by that is not uncommon for mid-July. I’d had a good several months, and I was in good financial position for the first time since I bought that Impala back in 1977. That car had served me well, but lately it had been failing. Maybe it was time for a trade, I thought; so I walked over to the nearest friendly (sort of) car dealership. As soon as I set foot on the shiny showroom floor, it seized me.

It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. A sparkling combination of steel, leather, electronics, and a very large engine. The muscle car had been revitalized in the form of a 1995 Chevy Impala SS. It was sleek, resembling the type of car Darth Vader would drive. I grabbed the nearest salesman, hopped into the body hugging leather bucket, fired up the 275 bhp. LT1 engine and took off. As the 6-speaker CD stereo belted out Aerosmith the poor salesman tried to sell me a car that had already sold itself. I had fallen in love, it was the only car that I had loved since that 77 Impala.

It had an engine large enough to satisfy my primitive need for power, an image that creamed “Hey you with the radar gun! See if you can catch me! ” Granted, it was heavy, it had watery boat-like handling, and drank gas like my Uncle Bubba drinks beer. Still, I loved it. It wasn’t Japanese, German, Korean, or otherwise. It was a big hunk of purebred, American muscle car, dammit. I picked out a nice shiny new one, called the bank and drove home in my new wheels. I decided to spring for all the bells and whistles; leather, CD player, alarm system, keyless entry, etc.

I figured that if this car was going to run as long as my last Impala it should be well-equipped. As I was admiring the view from my office in the Financial Center, the phone rang. I answered and was greeted by a rather hysterical woman named Diane who thought that she had been cheated by her car dealership. “That evil Car salesman has kidnaped my car! ” she explained. I calmed her down and asked what happened. “Well, Larry, the salesman, picked up my Lexus for servicing, just as usual. Also as usual, he left a more expensive car as a loaner.

Later in the day, I received a call saying that my car had been destroyed. Larry said that one of the technicians had accidentally cranked it right up into the ceiling hile it was sitting on the lift. I found it hard to believe, but he promised me a new model if I would just come over and sign the papers. As soon as I arrived, Larry said that he would credit me the value of the car if I wanted to by a nicer mor expensive model. I agreed and ended up with a lovely new sports coupe. ” “Nice car,” I remarked, realizing that the salesman was making a tidy profit on the transaction. “Yes, it is.

But I still miss my Essie. ” “Essie? ” I interrupted, quizzically. “Yes, Essie was the name of my old car, the ES300, I loved Essie, and the new car wasn’t the same. ” You had a brand new $55,000 Lexus, which you got for only $25,00 and you miss you older $35,000 Lexus? ” I asked, beginning to wonder whether she was playing this game with a full deck. “Yes, I did. So, anyway, I read the article in the paper covering the incident, and was struck by something. The general manager said that he was baffled, because there are safety mechanisms on the lifts, preventing them from going that high.

I also realized that Larry would be making his regular commission on a $55,000 Lexus, and not a $25,000 one, because the payment for the ES was made by the insurance company after the sale. So, not only had he made money on Essie, but on the new car as well. ” “Interesting. Is that all? ” I asked. “Yes. If the accident wasn’t really an accident, I want to know, and I want a lot more than a new sports coupe, that car meant a lot to me. ” She concluded, between sobs. I agreed to take the case and drew up a contract. I thanked her, promised to get to the bottom of the matter, hopped in my stealth bomber and left.

It seemed that the fist place to look was the dealership. I decided to go undercover, and scope out the salesman first had. I called Larry and scheduled and appointment to look at a few cars. I decided that I would look suspicious driving up in my brand new car, so I borrowed a friend’s old BMW. I arrived at the dealership and was greeted with a phony, yet somewhat pleasing smile. Larry asked me if I would like something to drink, and I ordered my usual, a Coke with a splash of Vodka, and a lime twist. Larry smiled, and, lying, said “That’s a good choice, I drink those too.

What a schmuck! I walked around the showroom. Looking at the stickers on the new rich people mobiles, and realized that I had chosen the wrong profession. “So. What would you like to accomplish today sir? ” Larry asked, handling me my drink. I realized that this was the nineties, politically correct, non-pushy, Lexus way of asking, “Which one of these over-priced, indestructible, warranty clad, Japanese tankes ca I sell you? Right now. Now, not later. Now. ” “Uh-huh. I wanna look at a car, but I’m not sure which one. I think it’s time to trade in my trusty beemer. ” “Are you sure?

That looks like a nice little car I might be a player on that one… I think you look like an SC400 kind of man let’s go drive one; what color would you like? ” I never thought that a person could say so many things in one sentence before. I could tell that this guy was ruthless, I ould also see how he could easily have influenced poor Diane. “Ok Larry! Let’s do that! ” I said as enthusiastically as possible, without losing my composure. This guy was really pathetic.

“All right. Here’s and SC400. It is a really nice car, great engine, practically indestructible, fun to drive, great on trips… id I tell you how dedicated the Lexus family is to you? We commit ourselves to what you want. Want to drive it? Ill get the keys. Will you be leasing or buying? And will you want to finance that through us? ” Larry said as he pushed me in to the leather wrapped cucoon. “Here you are! Have a good drive. I’ll be right here when you get back. Be back in five minutes or I’ll call the cops. Have fun!!! ” I started the engine, smiled and floored it. I watched the color draining from Larry’s face as I zipped into traffic and accelerated out of sight.

It’s really amazing how fast one of those fat things can get to sixty. As I drove that cushy over priced status symbol, I thought of how, exactly, I would nail Larry with the crime which he had obviously committed. I decided that if he was involved in something cooked, it wouldn’t be too hard to find. I also came to the conclusion that Larry isn’t the brightest apple on the tree, if you get my drift. With this in mind, I returned to the dealership, pulled in at about sixty miles per hour and pointed the car at the showroom.

I saw Larry inside drop his coffee mug as he saw me and his shiny brand new Lexus heading straight for the single piece of glass separating him and his other new Lexuses from me and my obvious vendetta against the car sales industry. Aerosmith belted “Livin’ on the Edge” from the 10 speaker 200 watt stereo system and the Air Conditioner quietly cooled the car to a comfortable 72 degrees and I played with the electronically controlled transmission adjustment, I decided whether to test this vehicle’s ophisticated Anti-Lock brakes, or its dual airbags and passenger safety cage, or both.

I decided for the brakes, as the brochure seemed to make a really big deal about them They worked well, I plowed onto the pedal and closed m eyes. The sporty coupe skidded to a stop about three feet from that plate glass window, and about seven feet from another brand new SC400. Larry looked up from the fetal position which he had assumed on the floor, looked stunned for a moment and resumed his mission to sell me a car. He straightened his tie, smiled and headed in my direction. Meanwhile, I adjusted the Aerosmith volume and tested the alarm system.

Wow, that would really stop a thief. Larry broke into a sprint as other customers began to stare. Was I embarrassing this slime? Cool. I silenced the alarm, and cranked up Aerosmith’s “Love in an Elevator” in order to further embarrass him. I was naturally surprised to see Larry break into a dance and yelled, “great tunes dude! ” I knew he was full of his usual schmoozing crap, so I shook my head and turned off the ignition.

“That was some awesome driving back there! I was a little worried for awhile! Heh heh heh… Larry said in an attempt to break through my alesman resistant emotional armor. “Yeh… well… uh… ” I tried to begin, but to no avail. “The SC400 really has an excellent braking system doesn’t it? Now if you had plowed through that window, and struck something, the other safety systems would have proven their effectiveness as well. Thank goodness you didn’t though! Ha ha ha… ” Larry didn’t seem to pick up on the fact that I wasn’t laughing… “On snow and ice it handles well to, the electronic traction control system was first engineered for the SC 400, blah blah blah. I tuned him out as he entered an other babble session.

“Excellent this, reakthrough that, blah blah blah. ” “Great Larry. I think I like this little number. Wonder if I could borrow it for a few days, so I can get a better feel for it? ” “Well, we don’t usually do that, but you seem like an honest fella… sure why not? ” “Great! I’ll call you in a couple days, and tell you what I think. ” “Okay, I can come out to your home and actually talk turkey if the trip is inconvenient for you. Here’s my card with home phone, so just give me a call anytime… ” I took the card, jumped in the car and floored it.

Larry’s eyes followed me out of the lot and he looked as if he really wished he hadn’t given me hose keys. I started up my Aerosmith and formed a plan. I decided to return to the dealership after closing and investigate. I realized that I had left my friend’s car at the dealership and decided that I had to retrieve it before someone noticed it. First, I swung around to my place and picked up the Impala. It felt great to be once again behind the wheel of a car the size of my apartment. I really detest sporty, fuel efficient, small Japanese luxury-sportmobiles.

I picked up my buddy and drove him to the Lexus place to get his car. Having done so, I drove to Larry’s house, allowing that he as still at work. I was in luck, no one was home. Larry lived in a nice little home in a lovely little development off Nicholasville Road. He had no alarm system and his door locks were a joke. I Rifled through his desk and noticed that he had been doing very poorly for awhile, in fact he was nearly broke before Diane’s car got destroyed. Hmm.. I thought. I also noticed that Larry had received a new car as a company bonus just after selling the SC to Diane.

Hmm… I thought again… Just then I heard the hum of and overpriced car entering the driveway and decided to make a hasty retreat through the back oor. Larry smelled guilty to me, and I couldn’t help feeling as though I was about to stumble upon a conspiracy. I decided to call my fiend at the Police Station to see if they know any thing about this, or if Larry had a criminal record.

“Hey Sam! No , we haven’t heard anything about a conspiracy at the Lexus dealer’s, but if you find anything, let us know okay? ” Buddy replied in his usual cop manner, feeling that although P. I. ‘s do more work and solve more cases, they are the scum of the earth and should be watched closely. Granted, we don’t use the most ethical of evidence collection methods, but obody’s perfect, right? “Sure thing Buddy. How about a record on the Larry guy? ” I asked, wondering if Larry was more crooked than just a simple car salesman. “Nope, he’s as clean as a sleazy car salesman ca be. Sorry Sam” Buddy replied he didn’t seem to be to upset about being unable to provide me with a lead. “Bye Buddy. ” I hung up the phone, realizing once again how much I hated the police.

As it was nearing dark I resolved to make a trip to the Lexus dealership to round up some conclusive evidence enabling me to solve the case and take a trip to Hawaii. I was sure that this wouldn’t happen, but it seemed like a ice dream so I gassed up the Impala, ate dinner, and drove toward Nicholasville. I pulled around to the back door and noticed that the dealership had a very fancy alarm system. “Damn,” I muttered to myself, alarm systems can be a major hassle. I went back to the car and got my high-tech black bag of tricks from the trunk.

From this I removed my multi-purpose computer interface device, a small black box enabling me to connect m note book computer to just about anything I liked, from an ATM machine to an Elephant’s tongue. (Don’t ask… ) My next task was to find the nearest available alarm wire to splice into. I as pleased to find, instead of the above, an alarm company exterior control interface box with a small lock on it. My electronic lock pick tool made short work of that, and within seconds my notebook was displaying the entire alarm configuration of the building.

I sent the notebook to work on decoding the alarm security code, while I called the security company. While I was searching for the cable linking the alarm’s brain to the phone line I talked to the dispatcher, trying to divert his attention from the blips I was creating on his computer screen “Yes, we have code 4 security breach on level eight, sector 2 building 7 at lient number 26342. Yeah, that’s right. We’d also like a large cheese pizza with extra sauce. Thank you very much,” I hung up on a very confused young man, who was undoubtedly still scratching his head and looking up client number 26342.

The alarm telephone cable was not difficult to locate, and within seconds it was interfaced with my notebook, and I was inside the building. I went straight for the computer system and powered it up. I hooked into the worldwide Lexus satellite network and typed in the vehicle identification number for Diane’s Lexus. I was correct in assuming that Larry was an idiot. He had neglected the obvious and left Essie’s computer file completely intact on the Lexus-net. The full record for the ES300 appeared in front of me.

It had indeed gone in for service on May 16, and had on that same day been sold back to the dealership and sent to Anchorage, Alaska. The computer also stated that Essie was still on the lot of the Lexus dealership there, awaiting sale as a Lexus-Certified Pre-Owned car. I printed a copy of my findings, and tapped into the company’s financing software, I found that the dealership had received thirty thousand dollars for replacement of the ES300, Diane’s ES300, that they said had been run into he roof of the service department. They had then rebated this amount off of the price of a new $55,000 SC300 for Diane.

The dealership made their profit, and Larry made his. The insurance company picked up most of the tab, and Diane paid the other $25,000. Larry also ended up with a nice bonus after this sale consisting of a new GS300. I printed a copy of this repot as well, stuffed the papers into my black bag and started toward the service department. I fired up the hydraulic lift and pressed the up button. Not only did it not reach the ceiling, it was incapable of going over six feet off the ground. This was due to the fact that the lift shaft was only six feet long! I took a few photos of this phenomenon, turned off the lift and headed toward the door.

As I was walking I heard someone enter. It was Larry. , I heard him say,”So you’ve figured me out, huh? Well, we’ll see about that! No one tricks Larry Lundergan, no sir,” He babbled on, pretending that he knew what he was taking about. What a moron. As he babbled, he paced around the room and paced off toward the showroom. Again, what a moron. I slipped out the door behind him, hopped into the Impala, and floored it. Just for and added flair, I nce agin headed straight for the showroom glass at sixty, and once again I swerved out of the way just as Larry hit the dirt.

I picked up my car phone and called a buddy of mine in Anchorage. I asked him to fax me photos of a 1994 Lexus ES300, VIN JTK38A34K4498LJE5. I told him the entire story and asked him to got the dealership and take pictures of the car, including the VIN plate. He consented and agreed to fax me the pictures, in exchange for the usual monetary reimbursement. I returned to the office and began to type my report including copies of the insurance claim, the insurance company’s returned check, the bill of sale rom the Lexus dealership in Anchorage, and the pictures of Diane’s Lexus on the Anchorage lot.

As dawn broke I called the Lexus Store of Anchorage, and told them not to sell that car, as they didn’t legally own it. I faxed them a copy of my report and they consented to hold the car until further notice. I then faxed Diane a copy of the report, as well as the bill for my services. Next, I made another call to Buddy, explained the situation faxed my report and asked him to arrest Larry and all other involved parties.. He wasn’t happy about it, but he couldn’t resist a big arrest, even if it did require missing he donut break.

The typical Friday night in State College

The loud cries of teenagers fill the night, their laughter and screams echo through the streets. The many partygoers crowd the narrow sidewalks, stumbling and leaning on each other for support. This is the typical Friday night in State College. The dance party music resonates from each fraternity house as well as the tall apartment buildings that tower over the town. The smell of beer fills the air. Turning away from gazing into the night, I look for my group of friends. I hurriedly walk to catch up to where they are, which is a few feet ahead of me down Fraternity Row.

Tonight, I am wearing my black pants; a short sleeved purple and black striped shirt, black chunky heels, and a smile that seems to fill my whole face. We stand in the long line to get into a huge band party. My friend Brian, from high school, is on the list. We get to the desk where everyone signs in; my friend confidently says who he knows, and a few seconds later, we are denied. “No list, no way getting in,” says the drunken fraternity brother. Brian gets an irritated look on his face. Embarrassed and irritated myself, I grab a few other people that were accompanying us, and leave.

We walk to a gray, stone fraternity house another friend was at the night before. Two brothers were standing outside watching the door. Their names, as I was about to find out, were Mouse and Dietz. “Hey, my name is Lisa, are you guys partying tonight,” I ask throwing a big smile in the direction of the brother in charge of watching the door with hopes that we can get into the party. Waiting for a response, I look around to try to figure out exactly where we are. My friends are told that the house is closed because a policeman is waiting in the parking lot for suspicious activity.

I ask when they will be open. We are told that the next night they will be having a band party, and that we can come out then. The one guy, named Dietz, then forces us to leave. He emphasizes that the cop will start trouble if we stay. And so, after that conversation, we left, ready to go back the next night for the party. Leaving the parking lot of that unknown house, I decided that Dietz was pretty cute, in fact, very cute and despite the fact he wanted us to leave, very nice. His green eyes, goatee, thin body, brown hair, and sweet smile attracted me to him in an instant.

There was only one obstacle in the way of actually starting a relationship, that barrier would have to be my boyfriend of two years who happened to be stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas. My army boy, the skater that I knew in high school who turned into a disciplined man, the guy I supposedly was in love with, the guy who was waiting for me on the phone as I walked into the door of my dorm room late that night. The very beginnings of the feeling of guilt spread through my body, sending shivers up my spine. “Hello,” I said hesitantly.

Hoping that this would be a friendly call, since for the past week or so we have been fighting, I took a deep breath and waited for a reply. However, this reply was harsh in tone and my good mood changed dramatically into one that always surfaced during phone conversations with him. “Where the HELL have you been? I called four times and you weren’t home, where were you! ” My eyes lids clenched tight trying to hold back the tiny tears that had formed. I told him I went out partying with some friends, one of which was his brother.

I figured if I mentioned the presence of his brother he wouldn’t think anything suspicious. After all, his brother was given explicit instructions to watch me and monitor every action I make or word I say. Mike, my boyfriend, calmed down slightly, I told him in a quiet manner that I was tired and needed sleep. He reacted poorly, replying with his famous “whatever” and hung up. As I slowly hung up the phone, the tears started to form heavier and heavier, until my face was soaked with sorrow.

I laid back in my bed contemplating my life, if I loved him, if I should go out and have fun, if I should even call him back. My conclusion was that I did love him, but I needed to go out with friends and meet people, I needed to be on my own. I couldn’t keep making myself submit to his control. He wanted me to wait for him to get out of the army, and marry him before I started living and having fun. Time was wasting. My time as a young, independent college student was ticking away before I even got to try it out. I fell asleep after exhausting myself from thinking and crying.

Waking up to the loud voices of my floor mates, I groggily lifted the covers off my body, threw one leg out of my bed, and stepped to the cold floor. Searching with my feet for my black slippers, I stumbled out of bed completely, grabbed my toothbrush and toothpaste, took a towel, shampoo and soap and walked slowly down the hall to the bathroom. I turned the water on high, with the warm moisture soaking my body, relaxing my muscles, and sending me into my own little paradise, I forgot completely about last night and the boy I met.

I even forgot about the boy I was dating, nothing took hold of my thoughts, just relaxation. With more energy, I walked back to my room. Outside the door I could hear the phone ringing. Pushing the wooden door open with great force, I sprinted to the phone, picked it up and found out who was on the other end. It was Mike! We talked for a while, and everything seemed to be good. His mood was more delightful and I was glad he didn’t snap at me for not answering the phone on the first ring. I also got the chance to explain to him that I need to go out with friends and do things around campus.

I told him it was part of the college experience, something he couldn’t understand being that he went straight to the army after high school. He reluctantly agreed with what I was saying, but I still felt controlled and limited to what I was aloud to do. All this made me think of how I haven’t changed, ever, in my life. Ever since high school, I have had everything the same, same boyfriend, same job, same friends, and same house. Some things have been with me in my life for more than just four years. Sure it seems easy to have everything the same, but I after a year in college, I felt that I was in the thirteenth grade.

Considering the fact that about 75 percent of students from my high school apply to Penn State each year, it’s no wonder that I haven’t actually gone out to meet new people, I had my friends that I have known for a long time right there beside me. The only thing different was the town and the campus, which for me, as a child of a penn stater and a niece of two penn staters, I have learned about penn state culture and tradition since I was young. Nothing was new to me. I missed out on the transition phase to the next step of my life, I missed out on becoming independent and mature!

I knew that this year in school would be different. I was going to go out when I wanted and meet new people. I was going to find the real me that is just aching to get out. This was my chance, all I had to do was get out there and do it! Later that night, as my friends and I dressed up for the band party, I remembered Dietz and how I was attracted to him. I tried to look extra good, so maybe he would remember me too. Putting my curly hair in different colored butterfly barrettes, letting one or two tendrils flow down my back, I felt in a flirtatious mood.

Our walk to the house was short, and some other friends from high school went with me that weren’t there the night before. I walked to the door, went in line, and was confident that I could get in. I. D. in hand, the guy at the desk didn’t even ask who I knew, and let me as well as all my friends in. I flashed him a smile and went inside. The room was dark, with the band up front. Heat from the band, and people dancing radiated. An instant sweat surfaced on my body, I wanted a cold beer to cool me down. Down the wooden stairs, in the basement, the party continued.

People playing beer pong in the corner, others dancing to the music playing on C. D. , and the many people at the bar made the atmosphere exciting. Asking for a beer, I got a glimpse of Dietz talking to another guy in the corner. Too shy to talk to him, I grabbed my friends, and went into another room where all sorts of games were being played. I picked up some darts, attempted to through one, and missed the board completely. That was when Dietz walked over, laughing. I asked what was so funny and he replied with what I expected. He was laughing at how I play darts.

But I didn’t mind this criticism at all, it got me talking to him and though it was for a short period of time, for some reason I knew it wouldn’t be my last. Upstairs, the band was rocking the crowd. Screams of appreciation and excitement filled the room, I stood in the back, hesitant to force my way up to the front. Dietz walked over next to me and started to dance on his own. I smiled at him, knowing something was going to happen. I could feel the attraction between us and I knew that I couldn’t resist. All memories of my boyfriend vanished.

Dietz danced his way closer and closer to me, finally he put his arm around me and we started to dance in rhythm. I felt like a goddess in his arms, no one has made me feel wanted since my boyfriend left, no one has even flirted with me in a year. I felt myself leaning towards his sweet mouth, so perfectly shaped and so kissable that I couldn’t turn back. The kiss was coming, and when it did, it felt as if I was in heaven. My face tingled and my body felt num. The room started to spin and life seemed like a dream. Everything was fuzzy, voices all sounded the same, and life seemed to stop.

Soon after the kiss, the party ended and he walked me back to my dorm. Once we got back to my dorm, he asked me for my number. Happily I gave it to him, making sure he could read it, after all, I was a little drunk. He kissed me, and next thing I knew we were kissing for a long time. After he left, I smiled to myself, excited that he liked me, excited that I got what I wanted. Then it occurred to me, I had a boyfriend. Standing up I caught sight of his picture; I called Mike. “We need to talk. ” I said this is a very cool and collected manner. I could sense that my boyfriend new what I was about to say.

His voice got soft and quiet, as if he were fighting off tears and that choking feeling that comes over you when you get nervous. I told him that I needed to take our relationship down a level and just date him, but be free to date others. My reasoning behind this was so I wouldn’t feel guilty if I kissed another guy, and that I could go out and do what I want without wondering if my boyfriend would approve. His reply to this was “whatever floats your boat. ” How could he be so insensitive? Even though I got what I wanted, why didn’t I feel better?

As I sat curled up in my bed, letting my thoughts run through my mind, I realized that I needed to take one day at a time and let nature run its course. Monday night came and finally a call from Dietz, his first name I learned was actually Jason. We talked for about two hours and I never met a guy that was so much like me. We both loved seeing plays, going to movies, partying, reading, writing, and so much more. Everything my boyfriend wasn’t, this guy was. Jason and I clicked right away, and he asked me to go to dinner with him on that Friday. He also invited me to go to the movies.

That Friday night came and Jason picked me up at my dorm. He was wearing a blue and white, plaid, button down, long sleeved shirt and khaki pants with brown shoes. I was wearing black pants and a purple top. We went to the diner for dinner and then to see “The Sixth Sense. ” Holding my hand at the theatre, Jason was a complete gentleman. He opened all doors for me, he paid in advance for the tickets and for dinner, he even let me pick where we were to sit for the movie. Everything was a dream come true, finally a real date, not just hanging out in his living room with his friends like how Mike and I would spend our evenings.

Not that those types of dates aren’t fun, my boyfriend always made me laugh during those nights, but it gets old. I wanted to experience what a mature man could offer, and here I was, my first date with Jason and already I felt something spark in my heart. For the next few weeks, I had many opportunities to get to know Jason. I went to the house many nights, became friends with the brothers, and talked to him on the phone the nights I didn’t go out. My boyfriend and I kept in contact, too. My heart was filled with joy when I was with Jason, but it was breaking because I was losing my first love.

I was confused about what I wanted, and then I came to a conclusion. I wanted my boyfriend. I called him every night, emailed him every morning when I woke up, and bought a plane ticket to go see him over fall break. He and I became good friends again and we both couldn’t wait until I got to Kansas for fall break. Jason and I still talked and got to know each other better. But it looked like we would just be friends for the time being. He knew about my boyfriend and my whole relationship with him (which I will spare you all the details). Everything was as it was when I first came to school from the summer break; only I had one more friend.

As the weeks passed, I decided to join a sorority and some other clubs. I told my boyfriend that I wouldn’t have time to talk to him as much because of these time constraints. My mom also didn’t want me spending the eighty dollars a month talking to him on the phone. This was when the fighting began again; the cursing, the arguing, and the control that he took over me. He was across the country and he owned me. When I told him of the clubs, this is when I threatened his power over me. I felt that he couldn’t love me, a person, I argued, who loved someone would not stand in their way of living their lives.

I joined the clubs even though I was told not to. But our relationship became a fighting match via telephone until I couldn’t take it anymore. I knew I had to end it before I abused myself mentally and emotionally to the extent that I wouldn’t know myself anymore. I wanted to smile again; I wanted to focus on my life, not my relationship that was distanced by geography as well as words. That is when I got enough courage to break it off; I had to end my relationship with him, even though something made me love him through all this suffering.

That night, even though I initiated the break up, I was upset and my heart felt like it broke into little pieces. Jason was there though; he consoled me and made me realize I was better off. This way, I was able to live my life without the pressures of anyone telling me what I can and cannot do. That night, as I sat on his back porch, crouched on the step, I looked into Jason’s’ eyes and felt the same way I felt at the party when I met him, and even on our first date. Soon, I felt like a heavy brick was lifted off my heart, I could breath without hesitating about the consequences.

I smiled for the first time in weeks, I felt, for the first time, like a true college student. Experiencing life in a new light. As the days passed, Jason and I got to know each other better, spending a lot of our free time together. Then the question came up. “What are we? ” My heart stopped, I held my breath and replied, shaking, “I don’t know! ” And that is the truth, I wasn’t sure what we were, I wanted to date him, but I had relationship issues from my last break up, and though weeks had passed, I still wasn’t over my boyfriend, I also wanted time to find myself and become the person I wanted to be.

You can’t take years of your life and forget about it in four weeks, the transition phase of life gradually inches its way through time. But I figured that I shouldn’t lose Jason. I just knew that would be a bad idea. I told him I wanted to see him. From that moment to this very day, Jason and I have been boyfriend and girlfriend. We are happy, and he respects me, he gives me the freedom I need to do the things that all college students choose to do. He understands me because he is just like me. Every time I look into his forest green eyes, I see that flame burning inside him brighter than ever.

If he looked into my eyes, he would see the same. Now I am not saying I love him, because love takes time to cultivate. Love is very special, something that shouldn’t be rushed. Though Jason and I have fights, as every relationship does, we still care about each other and both express what we are feeling. To me, this relationship is a mature one, where both people work equally hard to have a meaningful relationship. I guess it also helps to have a relationship that is local and where both people are on the same page in their life. With my ex-boyfriend, he was on a different chapter in his life story.

He had a job, responsibility, and didn’t have the opportunity to attend school. I, luckily, do have this opportunity and my responsibility is limited, I have more freedom. To me, college is a transition process from childhood to real life. Besides the need to make my own decisions, this difference in lifestyles led to my realization that I needed something new. My love for Mike is still there, though it is fainter than it used to be. Thought of him still lingers in the dark corners of my mind, and maybe one day we will get back together. However, for the time being, my feelings for Jason grow stronger everyday.

Memories of Mike get pushed farther and farther to the back of my mind. My life is beginning to be mine, not Mike’s, not Jason’s, or anyone else’s! Living life to the fullest is one of my goals. The only way to do that sometimes is to let go of things or people that hold you back. Even though love was left behind, I know I can find it again in life, in my new boyfriend, in my friends, in myself. Finding myself in this whole mess was the one important thing that came out of it. Not only did I find myself, but also I found the beginnings of a new love along the way.

Not that I want to sound like everything is great and I am one hundred percent happy, but it kind of turned out that way. The fights I do have only make my relationships stronger, and they make me realize where I need to work on my own personality. For right now, my story ends like a fairy tale. I found my prince, my passion, and a new life. I can move forward without hoping that one day my man will realize I can’t be controlled. Life is sweet, and if you catch me drifting off in class or see me on campus with a dazed look on my face, you now know that it is because I am happy and lucky that I found someone out there.

So my message to all of you college students and young adults out there is that there is someone for you, but don’t give up and settle for you first love. Keep your options open and live life to the fullest. When and only when you do this can you find happiness in life, whether it is with a relationship, with classes, with friends, or with activities. But do not let anyone hold you back, if they do, you need to leave them behind and move yourself forward. Life is too sweet to let waste away at the expense of someone else. Find yourself, live your life, and you will start to see your dreams come true.

Last Splash Own Essay

The Last Splash My mother made me take swimming lessons every spring so that I would be able to enjoy my summer by the pool safely. There was always a fear inside of me because I knew that after some point, my feet would no longer be able to reach the bottom. No matter how much I resisted attending the lessons and getting in the water, my mother and my instructor always pushed me in. The dread never would leave though and one day the worst came true. My mom dropped me off at the YMCA as usual and made sure to watch me go inside.

I went to the ocker room, put my things away, grabbed my towel and began the dire walk towards the pool. The smell of the room where the pool was located reeked of chlorine and always made my stomach churn and the terror worse. I walked towards the side where my class met, kicked off my sandals and sat down anxiously. Not anxious for the beginning of class, but anxious for it to be over. As the kids started piling in excitedly awaiting their first splash, I wondered what horror I would be faced with that day. Then I overheard one child say, “hey, we get to jump off the diving board!

The tears began to soak the corners of my eyes and all the kids bouncing around became blurry to me. Was this true? Could I get out this terrible situation? Right then the teacher entered and I knew I was trapped. The teacher asked everyone to line up in back of the diving board ladder. All the other students eagerly took off to attempt to be the first to jump. I, on the other hand, lingered behind intentionally to get the very last spot. One by one they all sprung off and I knew my turn was rapidly approaching. My palms became sweaty, my mouth dried up and my knees began to rattle together uncontrollably.

No matter what I did, the steps kept creeping closer and closer. Finally, there I was. I tried to run but the instructor caught hold of my arm and lifted me onto the board. I looked down and the pool appeared to be a never-ending abyss and I knew I couldnt willingly leap into it. It was surrounding me and my instructor was blocking the only way I would get off, by using the ladder. He ceaselessly urged me to just do it and tearfully I protested. He became frustrated with my procrastination and the yells of the other kids wanting another turn, so he hoisted me up and dropped me own.

The fall seemed as long as waiting for Christmas morning to arrive and then I splurged under. I couldnt breathe, I couldnt see and I seemed to be twirling about with no power at all. As I tried violently to gasp for air and to see dry land again, something hard hit and then blackness. When I saw light again, everyone was standing in a circle around me. What had happened? Did I drown? Was I dead? Fortunately, I had survived and learned that the same instructor who had thrown me off the board had allowed another to go immediately after.

They had landed on top of me under water and knocked me unconscious. My worst fear had actually come true and I knew I could never look at the water the same again. I never would be able to view the bottom of the pool but instead a hole that would grab me and suck me under. That was my last day of swimming lessons. It was also the last day the Cleveland, Tennessee YMCA had a diving board. I have never experienced fear like that since then, probably because I refuse to set foot on a diving board. I guess you could say that was the day of my last splash.

Personal Essay: The Yemin Order Project

I am extremely happy at school which has helped and encouraged me to develop all my skills both educational and social. I was also part of the Yemin Orde project from which I benefitted enormously. Therefore as the school has done so much for me I would like and want to return something positive back into the school, and I feel that this is an excellent opportunity for me to achieve my goal. – Leadership – I teach a large class of children at Cheder including me lanning work for them.

Ability to work in a team – I exhibited this skill on the Duke Of Edinburgh expedition – Ability to work as an individual – I am able to use my initiative which can be seen when I designed a computer presentation for the prospective Parents Evening this school year. – Ability to grasp a situation and respond appropriately – I exhibited this skill during my time in Yemin Orde when a friend of mine had an asthma attack and I individually aided im while going to find help.

I am decisive yet open minded and I am able to listen attentively. I have the ability to reach sound judgements without accepting unquestionably and can report my decision in a fair and balanced way. I believe that I can work well with authority in a variety of situations and I can realise where the ultimate authority lays. I believe that the position of Student Officer is not so much one of authority but of responsibility.

Weekend Of Mine

While on vacation in Acapulco Mexico, I, along with my family and friends took a tour by boat to a small resort island. As we approached, I was awestruck by its beauty. I knew this was going to be fun, but had no idea that this place would be forever etched in my mind. We were greeted at the dock by two natives dressed in brightly colored tropical shirts, white pants and shoes. They were also wearing smiles just as bright. They escorted us to an open-air type restaurant with a thatched roof that was actually attached to the pier at which we docked.

The restaurant had a casual atmosphere that made us very comfortable. The food was served buffet style, with an elegant array of Mexican and American cuisine. The entertainment provided in the restaurant during and after the buffet was delightful. A ten minute introduction to the Mexican culture was followed by an intriguing native dance, performed by a man dressed in an authentic looking costume consisting of only a rawhide G-string with a short apron front. His sandals had leather cords winding halfway up his legs. This dance depicted a story of a hunter and his prey.

It was narrated by a woman who was also in costume. Brightly dressed Mexican men were beating drums and banging sticks providing the sound effects for the story. This was truly a great beginning to a wonderful afternoon. Behind the restaurant was a low mountainous area, accessible by walking trails only. We hiked one of these trails, observing the brightly colored tropical plants and trees that flourished greatly on this well maintained terrain. A beautiful waterfall added to the splendor, and when we reached the top, a lookout provided a panoramic view of the entire bay.

What a breathtaking sight! There was a bar here, and after a cool drink we decided to head down. We took a different trail down that brought us to the base of the mountain. In front of us, about 150 feet was the beach. It was 90 degrees and the Mexican sun made the sand hot under our feet. However, a gentle breeze kept us comfortable otherwise. On the beach we rented a cabana, which is little more than a thatched umbrella, table and beach chairs. There, we sat and enjoyed one of those big tropical drinks that has fruit on the edge of the glass and a small umbrella of its own.

Staring out into the bay from my chair, was possibly the most serene feeling I have had in my life. There were many people around and they were making plenty of noise, but my mind was absorbed with the natural beauty of this place. It was like none that I had ever seen before. Looking across the bay toward the mainland, with all its hustle and bustle, I felt as if I had found paradise. I had been to the ocean twice before, but only in the U. S. , and never to a bay. Bay waters are much calmer, and therefore much clearer-so clear, in fact, that at a depth of six feet I was able to see a penny.

The color of the water is also amazingly different from ocean water. The intensity of the blue color is almost fluorescent. After we rested, we decided it was time to get wet, so we donned our snorkeling gear and entered the warm water. I had never snorkeled before, but it wasn’t long before I felt comfortable. Most of our experience was in very shallow water and I don’t think it was ever necessary to go down more than ten feet. The fish didn’t seem to be bothered by our presence, and although I don’t know what kind they were, I touched two of them, and their reaction was only to flip their tail.

About forty feet out from the beach it was still only about seven or eight feet deep, and that’s where the coral appeared. This is something that no television or video could do justice to. The vivid colors of the coral alone were enough to make this whole trip worthwhile. There were many different types of fish, most of them with vibrant colors, varying in size from the size of a silver dollar, to the size of a foot or more in length. If you’ve seen the salt water fish aquariums in a pet store, you know of the vibrant colors that I am talking about.

But being in the water with these creatures of beauty, who seem to welcome your presence, is something that needs to be experienced to appreciate. Wading back toward shore, I have to say I was sorry that this part of the day was over. Back on the beach, a horn signaled the need to prepare for the trip across the bay. Fortunately, the boat which came to pick us up was not the same as the boat that dropped us off. This one had a glass bottom that enabled the passengers to observe everything beneath the boat. There was an experienced diver who was a part of the entertainment.

He dived under the boat, and as we watched in awe, he grabbed the tail of a seven-foot shark, pulling himself close enough to the sharks head to be bitten, and he then began to pet the shark as if it were only a puppy. Other antics were included with a couple of other fish as we made our way back to the mainland. Once on shore we headed back to our hotel just in time to see yet another attraction, an Acapulco sunset! We made our way to the roof of the hotel, so that we could get a panoramic view. The rainbow of colors in the sky was more than you could see in any painting, no matter who the artist.

There were hues of peach to deep orange, pale pink to deep fusca and purple. Gold was entwined throughout, and the sun itself was like a ball of fire. The colors kept changing, as if an artist was continually trying to improve on its beauty. The sunset lasted about twenty minutes, but the colorful streaks in the sky remained vivid for another half hour. I have never seen a magnificent sunset like this ever before. Twenty years have passed now since that trip. In that time I have seen many beautiful places, but none have made as profoundly an impression on me as that little island in Acapulco Bay.

My Personal Search for a Meaningful Existence

I am the representative embodiment of my nihilistic culture. I am narcissistic, insatiable, petty, apathetic and I am above all an emotional invalid. Yet, up until very recently, I was not consciously aware that I was guilty of having any of these wholly pejorative attributes, because I had unconsciously suppressed my inherent will to attain a meaningful existence, in favor of the comfort and security that complacency and futility provide.

There exists in me a void, that is not uncommon to find in the members of my Eurocentric society, which is derived from the conscious or unconscious nowledge that our culture is entirely devoid of meaning. This is, more specifically, the plight of my generation, which has been defined by its disillusionment, apathy and inaction, rather than its accomplishments, beliefs or ideologies.

Escapism is the safety mechanism that enables our flight from actuality, and subsequently our ability to exist, because we have been cursed with a wealth of advantages and a lack of restrictions. For example: I am free to choose my own religion, I am not stifled by or subjected to economic disadvantage, I am not bound to subservience by an oppressive or tyrannical overnment, I am blessed with a myriad of conveniences by my technologically advanced society, and I come from a nurturing and supportive family, so who the hell am I to complain about my circumstances.

The only explanation I can give, in retort to my profession that I have been cursed by my inherent advantages, is: since my life is completely devoid of any profound suffering, it is subsequently lacking any meaningful happiness, because man only experiences these feelings in terms of their relative relationship to one another. Thus, I vainly invent my own wholly unfounded reasons to bemoan my existence, in the ame way that a hypochondriac invents his psychosomatic illnesses, because the longer we feign to have a justifiable cue for suffering, the more that that suffering actualizes itself.

The primary source of my anxieties is derived from the inherent knowledge that I am condemned to be free, in a society of relatively few restrictions, which subsequently requires me to be the master of my own destiny. Thus, I am not only culpable for determining my own fate, but I am also wholly responsible for finding a meaningful purpose in my existence, hich instills me with an intense feeling of trepidation, because I’m not sure I’m ready to shoulder such a profound responsibility.

I live in a nihilistic society, that is founded on man’s narcissistic will to pleasure and power, that is run by the all-powerful green, and that is defined by its laziness and lack of tradition. Thus, it seems almost futile to search for a meaningful existence in our Western culture, because it is this very society that has taught me my convoluted and misplaced system of priorities and beliefs, but man can find a meaning for living regardless of his predicament.

Therefore, in this paper, I will attempt to redefine what I believe is the essence and meaning of my human existence, by combining the meditations of a variety of different philosophic thinkers with the conclusions I have attained through the contemplation of my own personal experiences. Nihilism is the characteristic value-disease of our times. The word comes from the Latin root for nothing, and it describes the belief that human values have no evacatory or meaningful power.

Although there have been transient episodes of nihilism throughout our species’ cultural history, the abel is usually applied to the crisis of valuation that now infects our Western culture. Friederich Nietzsche, the famous German existentialist philosopher, predicted that the traditional European system of beliefs, which are primarily derived from the teachings of Christianity and Greek Philosophy, would be questioned, and subsequently abandoned during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

He believed that with the widespread proliferation of education people would start exercising their free-will, and temporarily abandon the herd mentality that has historically caused the masses to blindly accept the deology of others. Nietzsche prophetically predicted that with this newly acquired freedom of thought, and the subsequent death of traditional European values, people would frantically search for, and embrace, new, false sources of meaning.

He included as examples: the forthcoming of cataclysmic wars, the proliferation of materialistic greed, and the pursuit of ever more powerful forms of intoxication, all of these theories coming to their fruition during this century. The traditional European values that have defined our culture for centuries are certainly not yet extinct, but their prevalence and influence has een severely curtailed, subsequently creating a state of confusion that has given way to one of the most tumultuous eras in history.

This century has seen the rise to power of maniacal demagogues, like Hitler and Stalin, the devastation of two World Wars, the political influence of imperialistic corporations, and the creation of a widespread drug culture. We have not yet awakened to the necessary evolution that is required to cure our diseased system of values, because we refuse to see fault in them out of cowardice. Thus, Nietzsche concludes that mankind, through its inherent fear of leading a eaningful existence, has become so far removed from God that we have, in fact, killed him.

As Nietzsche predicted, we live in a convoluted world of misplaced priorities, where the will to a meaningful existence has been all but replaced by man’s constant flight from actuality, which is derived from an inherent inclination to intellectual laziness. If a person becomes consciously aware of the perversity of our Western culture, they will undoubtedly become severely depressed and disillusioned, but this realization can be cured in any number of ways.

A person can completely lose themselves in their occupation and daily ctivities, subsequently becoming a machine, believing their worth is measured solely by their level of production. A person can adopt an opinion as an absolute doctrine, such as racism, giving them a convenient scapegoat for their shortcomings, and absolving them of all feelings of responsibility and culpability for their actions. A person can compensate for their lack of a meaningful existence by attaining wealth, power, and prestige, vainly mistaking these impostors, consciously or unconsciously, as modes of attaining happiness.

A person can lose themselves in the delusory would of Dionysian pleasures, uch as: drugs, alcohol or sexual conquest, existing only to enjoy the transient and fleeting flight from reality that is derived from orgasmic euphoria. Finally, a person can join a collective organization or cause, in order to escape from the responsibilities that exercising their free-will and expressing their individuality entails, in favor of subjecting themselves and succumbing to the beliefs of others.

In the preceding examples there is a unifying theme of escapism, which comes from man’s innate fear of taking control of his own destiny, because he does not want to be responsible for his own misfortunes. The journey to a meaningful existence is a frightening undertaking, because it requires an arduous and diligent pursuit of one’s goals, regardless of the suffering and pain attaining it entails.

It means making your own decisions, with the hope that the results will prove to be advantageous, and accepting them even if they end up proving otherwise, because man can often derive more profound meaning from his suffering than he can from his success. That is why Nietzsche says: That which does not kill me, will only make me stronger. The man in Dostoyevsky’s essay, Notes From Underground, professes to aving invented a meaningless existence for himself so that at very least he could live in some way.

In my opinion this is not a testament to nihilism, as it explicitly appears to be, but rather the reflections of a man who has become conscious of the lack of meaning in his own existence. It is a celebration of human individualism, which this acutely conscious man regards as both the absurdity of existence, and the essence and meaning of being human. Thus, he considers his consciousness to by a blessing as well as a curse, because if he were completely unaware of his seemingly absurd situation, he would be able to ct instinctually and unconsciously without being inhibited by his ability to reason.

The narrator argues that independence of choice is dependent upon not only the ability to act in accordance with what a person believes to be beneficial and good, but also the ability to act in a way that will inflict suffering and pain. The propensity of man to act in direct conflict with what he consciously believes to be beneficial, is a concept Edgar Allen Poe called man’s inherent perversity, which is the theme of many of his most famous works, not the least of which is The Imp of the Perverse.

The man from Underground xplains this enigmatic phenomenon by saying that the conscious man delights in suffering because it is the source of his consciousness, because without it there would be nothing left to contemplate. Similarly, he professes that man ironically seems to enjoy entropy and disorder, because the reason for his existence is based on his trying to attain meaning, but never actually achieving it. That is, because once a person realizes all of their goals, and is enlightened to the meaning of his life, there will no longer be any reason for him to live.

Therefore, man thrives on the process of attaining meaning, even hough he doesn’t want to actually attain it, which is a fundamentally absurd theoretical concept, but nonetheless, is the most integral component of our existence. The man in Notes From Underground simultaneously alerts us to the inherent absurdity of our nature, while celebrating our ability to freely chose our own destiny, because he is conscious of man’s plight of constantly struggling to attain an unattainable goal. Albert Camus’ essay The Myth of Sisyphus, is an allegory about the absurdity of human nature, in which Sisyphus is the quintessential absurd hero.

This man, sentenced to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain and then watching its descent, is damned by the Gods to the unspeakable task of spending eternity exerting himself toward accomplishing nothing. But Sisyphus is conscious of his plight, and he surmounts it by concentrating on his freedom, his refusal to hope, his scorn of the Gods, and his passion for life. His inherent knowledge that there’s no end to his suffering, is similar to the plight of mankind, who is forced to live in a world with no absolute meaning.

Thus, the absurd person must demand to live solely with what is known and to ring nothing that is not certain. In the case of humankind, this means that all I know is that I exist, that the world exists, and that I am mortal. In The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus opposes himself to the rationalism of classical philosophy, which seeks universal and enduring truths and a definite hierarchy of values and truths. He believes that truth is only found by a subjective intensity of passion, and our value is determined by our freedom and our revolt.

Thus, the only joy we have is in knowing that our fate belongs to us and in our defiance and struggle to overcome death. Camus, Dostoyevsky and Nietzsche all seem to believe that it matters little what reason we continue to struggle so long as we testify to man’s allegiance to man and not to abstractions and absolutes, which completely negates the possibility of faith and religion. I wholly agree that there is no one unifying meaning to man’s existence which transcends all things, but in my opinion this does not mean that I should automatically believe that all abstract things are false.

I think that having faith is an integral component of leading a meaningful existence, particularly considering the only things that I know ith absolute certainty are, I exist, the world exists and I am mortal. There is certainly room for religious faith in our existence, provided that we do not completely indoctrinate ourselves to believe that the scripture and values of that faith are entirely true. Religious fanaticism and fundamentalism not only deny a man’s freedom and individuality, but also make him potentially dangerous to others, because he starts believing that anyone that does not share his system of beliefs is his enemy.

Therefore, I believe, in order for a religious faith to be healthy, a person needs to practice their religion without nhibiting their individuality, and furthermore, by entertaining the possibility that their faith might potentially prove to be in vain. These same principles hold true for secular forms of faith, such as the belief in a particular political ideology or social cause, because like a faith in religion, they are beneficial as long as they are not taken to an extreme.

I share this belief with William James and Viktor Frankl, who agree with many of the fundamental ideas of existentialism, but also stress the importance of faith in leading a meaningful existence. William James’ essay, The Will to Believe, uses the traditionally scientific method of empirical study to describe philosophic ideas that have generally been discussed in terms of their certitude and objective evidence. Empiricism is a regard to matters of fact as hypotheses liable to modification in the course of future investigation, and he uses it as a method of finding meaning in human existence.

James ardently resists using an absolutist approach to studying philosophy because he believes that, although it is possible to attain truth, we can’t infallibly know when we have with any certainty. The mpiricist, like the existentialist, believes that it is impossible to know something for certain, but instead of giving up hope, he continues to quest for the truth, because he still has faith in its existence. James believes that the only way that man can come closer to understanding the meaning of his existence is by collecting a wealth of experiences, and then pensively reflecting upon them.

He believes that, in life, the quest for the truth is paramount, and the avoidance of error is secondary, in making decisions and performing actions. Therefore, James is critical of skeptics who suspend their judgment about a ypothesis simply because they want to avoid being wrong at all costs. It is no profound revelation that a person who has confidence and faith that they are going to succeed are much more likely to achieve their goals than a person filled with trepidation and self-doubt, but the most important thing is for that person to accept failure graciously.

James sums up this belief when he says, Act for the best and hope for the best and take what comes. We must have faith in our convictions, because insight of logic is not the only thing that influences our creeds, there is also the emotional component. Pascal call this he heart, a force that is wholly independent of reason, when he says: The heart has its reasons that reason knows not of.

The inherent influence of emotion on a person’s decision making process can provide the cue to accept something solely on faith, because passion and love are often the source of irrational behavior, and that is not necessarily a pejorative thing. For instance, if I am madly in love with a woman, there is no possible way for me to ever know for certain whether or not she feels the same way about me. Thus, I am forced to either accept that she will reciprocate my love on faith, and risk he frightening possibility that she won’t, or live my life as a cynical and melancholy bachelor, constantly pondering about what could have been.

Despite the overly-simplistic nature of my example, which bears a striking resemblance to Pascal’s wager, there is little doubt that it is beneficial to accept things on faith, regardless of the potentially pejorative consequences, because a person who relies solely on their rationality is damned to become an emotional invalid. Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, is composed of two distinctly different parts: the first section is an autobiographical account of is traumatic experiences in the Nazi death camps, and the second part is a description of his personal theory of psychoanalysis, which is called logotherapy.

For the purpose of this paper I am going to concentrate solely on the second section of this book, because I only have time enough to briefly summarize some of its major ideas. Frankl’s theory of logotherapy, in its simplest form, is the psychoanalytical process that assists a patient in discovering the meaning in his or her life. It evolved out of his ability to derive meaning in his own existence, while he was being subjected to the brutal, aturalistic, and dehumanizing suffering of the Nazi concentration camps.

Frankl, during his captivity, was robbed of his family, his pride, his possessions, and his health, but he was miraculously able to survive because he was wholly committed to the furthering of his work and the love of his wife. Logotherapy was also created to provide its patients with a compassionate and nurturing view of human existence, which is a component that is missing from nearly all other approaches to psychotherapy. Since most people have enough to live by, but essentially nothing to live for, the goal of logotherapy is to make eople feel responsible to life for something.

Frankl is essentially an empiricist in the tradition of James, because he believes that the meaning in a person’s existence can be discovered in the experiences of his external environment, rather than buried in his subconscious. Thus, when a person forgets himself, by giving himself to a cause or to serve another, the more human he becomes and the more he actualizes himself. This theory should not be misconstrued to mean a person should abandon their free will, it simply means that the best way for a person to learn about himself is through his elationship to others.

Frankl, like many other existentialist thinkers, believes that the essence of life is suffering, and to survive is to find meaning in that suffering. Thus, when a person chooses to be worthy of their suffering they gain the capacity to surmount their outward fate, and subsequently their inner-anxieties and neuroses. It is certainly no surprise that chief among Frankl’s concerns is the rapid proliferation of nihilism in the twentieth century, a phenomenon which he has named the existential vacuum.

It is a neurosis that is often derived from boredom, which makes it seem like a enign illness, but it is often responsible for creating the foundation, from which, many other much more serious conditions arise. Depression, aggression, addiction and even suicide have been directly linked to nihilism and the existential vacuum, therefore, it is not to be confused with simple laziness and apathy, and it should not dismissed as a petty problem. Frankl, like James, refutes the doctrine of monism, because he believes the meaning of life is a wholly personal experience that is constantly changing.

Thus, it is not man who is asking the meaning of life, but rather, it is man who is questioned by life o find meaning, and man’s response should be to become vigilant in his pursuits, responsible for his actions and consciously contemplative of his situation. I live in an culture that is obsessed with opulence and ostentation, instant gratification and overnight success, and above all the escape from actuality at any cost. It is a time when problems are solved by synthetic means and meaningful spirituality has been all but replaced by self-help seminars and twelve-step programs.

The Western world has invented a cure for almost everything: if a person is feeling depressed they see their pharmacist, if they ave low self-esteem they see their plastic surgeon, if they feel unfulfilled they learn how to get rich by buying and selling real-estate with no money down, if they have trouble expressing their emotions they join a support group or buy the instructional books on tape, and if they don’t have the money for these things they can always charge it to their credit card and worry about it later.

The computer is slowly eliminating the existence of necessary human interaction: it is replacing meaningful human knowledge with an overload of primarily useless information, it is substituting virtual reality for actual xperience, and it is helping to burgeon a generation of hackers and video game champions, rather than intellectuals and athletes. It isn’t hard to imagine why our culture is now comprised primarily of narcissists and nihilists, myself inclusive, because we have forgotten how to interact with each other, let alone how to lead a meaningful existence.

I was not conscious of the void in my own existence until I read the literature required of this course, and now I am trying to systematically redefine my misplaced values and beliefs by combining the teachings and ideologies I have learned, with my own personal experiences. As I mentioned before I have been fortunate enough to come from a fairly affluent and nurturing family, but in my opinion, the lack of misfortune and suffering in my experiences has caused me to live without questioning why, because I have never had a profound enough reason to question the meaning in my life.

I believe that I am fortunate to have been enlightened to my nihilism, because many people in my culture do not become aware of the lack of meaning in their existence until much later in life, when it is affectionately called a mid-life crisis. I wholly agree with the existentialist belief that there is o determinism, and that man is free to be the master of his own fate. I also believe that man’s existence depends on suffering, because it not only can provide a person with a profound source for meaning, but it is also provides the necessary comparison by which success and happiness are measured.

My beliefs, like those of James and Frankl, divulge from the theories of existentialism at this point, because I value faith to be an integral component of my existence. I have a devout faith in the existence of God, an afterlife, love, and truth, although I know that during my lifetime I will never know with any degree of ertainty whether any of these things exist. Now comes the hardest part, which is finding out what the meaning of my existence is, and to be perfectly honest, at this point, I have no idea what it is.

Perhaps it is simply to discover my calling in life while I am still young, after all I only became conscious of the utter lack of meaning in my existence a short time ago. Nevertheless, I am wholly confident that I will find something, by which, or for which to live in the near future, because as Nietzsche brilliantly stated: He who has a why to live, can bear almost any how.

When I was a child I was so cute

I really don’t mean to brag or anything but I was cute. All kind of people loved me. So my mother says. I was the type of child that would get away with even the worst things possible, and the one child that almost everyone in the family loved. Christmas would come and there I was opening almost every present. Almost of all my cousin tell me they hated me when we where younger. They say I was the one little girl that looked like she didn’t break a plate and in reality would break them all. I was also the one child that everyone wanted o play with.

I have a big imagination ever since I was child. My parents tell me I would say some stories with a little too much action in them. I would actually act them out. As a child I was also a very independent kid. If none of my cousin or friends wouldn’t want to play with me. I would play by myself. Everything would go right till that one Easter when I was playing by myself and I did one something to one of my grandmother’s plants and everyone else but I go in trouble for it. When I was seven years old going on eight Easter day came and I was so excited.

I was going to be getting a big Easter bag and I would be wearing brand new cloths. So that day my mother told me to get into the shower cause I we where going to go church and the to my grandmother’s house. So I jumped from the sofa, turned of the television, and got into the shower. When I got out I was so happy my Dad had put my basket on top of my bed. My basket was so pretty it had a Barbie inside and all these kinds of candies. Well I finished getting ready and out on my brand new cloths one. I felt like a model that day. My family and I went to church like planed.

That was one of the most boringness mass I have ever been to. Maybe because e I was so anxious to got o my grandmother’s house. Anyways well we finally go to my grandma’s house we ate and then ate some candy. None of my girl cousins have gotten there yet so I was just watching TV. Yvette my cousin finally got there after like four hours of me waiting for her. I still had to wait for her to eat. Well she finally finished and I was so ready to go outside and ask my uncles to hide our Easter eggs. My uncle finished hiding all the eggs. My cousins and I stared looking for them.

After finding them all we stared to crank them on each other. I was going for my cousin Gaby when she moved and I ended tripping over a big plant and cracking it in like million of pieces. Well I got up and noticed that my knees were all bleeding so I ran to the bathroom to put alcohol on them. Ok when my mom finished cleaning my cuts I started to run outside but I stopped to see what were my cousins doing to see if I could crack an egg on them. I was getting ready to ran to my cousin Ruben when I hear my uncle Jesus yelling from the top of his lungs to all my cousin asking them that ho broke the plant.

None of my cousin where saying nothing, and I was wondering why. So instead of going outside I go to my Dad and sit next to him so that way I won’t go outside and get yelled at. My uncle was still trying to find out who did it. Since nobody would tell him who did it. He ended all of our fun. He put everyone in time out. All of my cousins were so mad at me that day. I even stared to cry for that. My older cousin Ruben even told me why they didn’t say it was me. They say that they did not see who did it. The only on that did was Gaby, nd Gaby since I could remember has never been a tattletale.

My cousins till this day tell me as much as possible that the day was ruin because of me. I don’t feel as guilty now as I did back them, but ever Easter that comes I remember that day as if it was just yesterday. Something I haven’t said about the event since then is nothing. Till this day everyone things it was the big kids who did it. Nobody knows it was me, and they will never know. I don’t plan to say nothing till the same thing happens again. Am more than sure it will happen again. With the cousin I have now, it’s meant to happen.

Designing A House

This report is being written as if you were to fully design my senior project. These are all the steps and procedures you would need to take to properly design it. First thing you would need to do would be identifying specific landmarks of surrounding land or lot. You would note down anything and roughly measure marks approximate to house location, this way you would have a general idea of where the house would be. If there are no big landmarks, such as nearby houses or roads – you should note small markings such as trees or pathways, anything to help you identify the location of the house.

Also, you should note climate, that can be a factor. After youve surveyed the entire scene you should write down all ideas having to do with what the house will need to be habitable and reference surrounding buildings for notes. For example if a building near the house lot has a high angled roof, that could be because of heavy snow or rainfall. Dont be afraid to ask questions or extensivly look up ideas. Next will come your rough draft, this is basically self explanatory. You will create preliminary sketches of floor plan with rough dimensions, and sketch a view of the house dimensioned from landmarks.

The information on your rough sketch does not have to be exact, ut it must be more informative then the notes you had taken earlier. After getting specifics from the consumer, you will begin to construct your floor plan. Day, 2 While it is your (our) job to create convinience and simplicity in the house design, you must consider the consumers ideas and needs. When you do this plan you must label all doors with Door tags, these will be used later. When putting dimensions in your floor plan make sure they are specific and detailed.

Try not to over dimension, but do not underdimension, carefully check every dimension, to see if it was duplicated or noted beforehand. Now will come the basement lan, dimension everything accordingly and show all needed floor supports. The needs for this house are different because of it’s large design, lolly columns are neccisary. Label everything. When your done with the basement and floor plans you should construct a electrical plan and plumbing plan, the electrical plan is necessary in this project, but the plumbing is not.

Now day’s you count on a licenced plumer to come in, they are the experts and they’ll know whats more convenient to the costumer” (Markland) The electrical plan consists of showing where outlets are to be placed, along with switches and lights. The designers job is to show the placement of the electrical utility’s, it is our job (electrician) to figure the wiring and fixtures” (Agostini) When you create the electrical plan you should make judgements based logically, this house is fairly easy to do.

But as with any design, the costumer should have input on where convenience would be best. A rather exiting part of the house design is the plot plan, a plot plan is not always included in a set of prints, but for my project I decided to create one. First you would recap your earlier notes on measured landmarks, and nonspecific landmarks. and make them specific. You need to measure the surrounding area precicly and locate property lines, not all property lines are nice and simple, with a nice square for a yard and perfectly straight line on each side of the house.

I showed special case in my plot plan, while this house is not referenced to any specific spot, lot, or peice of land. I got creative and wanted to show one of the many different types of Day, 3 property lines there can be, and this was fairly irregular. After measuring the entire wall to land distance on everyside of the house, you should now measure property lines, as shown in my plot plan. How many degrees a propery line is angled to, and how long that line will extend should be included and is a eccential part of this plot plan.

Dont forget driveway, or garage representations, in the case of this house there is a normal driveway. The next thing that you would have to work on will be your concrete and wall section, this is an important peice of a floor plan because it shows the insides of the wall, and thickness and height can be shown in detail. You can combine your sections into one view, or you can choose to put them on seperate papers. In this case I chose to put them both on the same paper. I feel that the view looks professional this way and still has room for labeling and detail.

Here you label the inside, things such as insulation and floor supports, to smaller things like flashing and termite sheild; “Flashing is used to control moisture. While termite sheilds are required where termites are a threat” (Kicklighter) the necessary’s for this view include inside hatch detail, label inner concrete support, although architects do not always need a detailed view such as this, once again it is very good to maintain a close standing with the consumer, that way there preference is oted and they do not feel discluded.

Next is the stair section, there is a stair section required for this house, it is leading from the ground floor to the basement. As of this paper I have not completed a stair section, once created it will specifically show and label landing boards, stringers, heads, risers, and nosings. Another essential part of a house design is the elevation views, these views are going to depict a picture for the architect, these are not really labeled with anything besides there name of view, but they are an aid to the architect so he (she) can visualize the final product.

Any wall or Day, 4 peice of the house that cant be shown in a regular view will have one that properly shows that item’s details. The views that are included in this specific design are the basic front, back, right, left, and a optional isometric view. Now comes the part which might involve the most research, (if you were creating this for a costumer, the cost, or bill of materials) First you would have to record the window and door cost, your gonna show all this in the window and door schedule which consists of tags to label and identify doors, and windows.

All additional cost will be noted in side notes or in the title lock – if requested create a list with prices and triple check with consumer, if there is a budget consult to that, and make any design changes if needed. Almost done, the last thing we do now is fill in the title block info, name, date, name of project (In this case, Senior House), the scale and any other notes to architect or consumer. Look at your floor plans now, check all dimension sizes, (The dimensions themselves) and make sure they are a respectable size, also do the same thing for arrows, the presentation of the design is as important as the quality.

What do you want to be when you grow up

We all have to answer that question at one point in our lives. The funny thing is, no one ever assumes that we just want to be ourselves. We all have to dream of being somebody, of fitting some stereotype. This is absolutely normal because we all have fantasies about the ideal or ideals. And women are just as responsible or the stereotypes created for them as the men. If I didn’t want to be stereotyped as prissy or privileged I would not stick out my pinkie when eating and holding my tea and would not wear makeup in the amounts that I tend to.

If I didn’t want to be called an art freak I would not wear my paint stained overalls or clay covered sweaters and boots. Women have evolved just as much as men have (if not more) through out time and have created an image for themselves, or rather images. If we are seen as nave like in “Stupid Girl” we are probably living out the oldest of the fantasies of the lady in distress. And who wouldn’t like to be the helpless victim? Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White all waiting to be rescued. “Tea at the House” certainly shows the confused child in all of us, how any people just loved watching “My Girl”.

Bad Boy Number Seventeen” well “… tell me about it stud… “; all of the movie “Grease” just makes you (and Sandy for that matter) want to be that trashy blonde with the guy in the tight jeans and nice car, especially if that guy was trouble. Intelligent and deadly sure sounds evil in “Splinters” but sure sounds good when you’re the leading lady and greatest opponent of James Bond, Milady in the Three Musketeers, or Sharon Stone in “Basic Instinct”. It’s powerful and sexy and women love it as much as men do.

Rude and bitchy is something we all have to be and frankly, some of us enjoy it. “Roseanne” and Grace Kelly of “Grace Under Fire” sure showed us what the real guts of a woman look like. She welds, she cooks, she drinks and scratches. She is a woman and a man all in one. The truth is, I can identify with all of these, and not because some man created those images for me, but because I find them appealing for myself. I don’t find them stagnant or degrading. I am all of those things and it makes me a multifaceted and intriguing personality and I will never give a man credit for that.

The Storms of Life: What’s He Doing

There once was a man who dreamed he was at the end of his life. He saw his life as if it were a walk along a beach with Jesus. As he looked back over his life he saw two sets of footprints in the sand along most of the way – one set belonging to him, the other to Jesus. He noticed, though, that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints in the sand. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life. This really bothered the man, and he questioned the Lord about it. “Lord, You said that You would never leave me nor forsake me.

You said that once I decided to follow You, You’d walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most difficult times in my life, there was only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed You most, You would leave me. ” Jesus replied, “My son, I want you to know that I love you and that I would never leave you. Look again at those footprints. During your times of trouble and suffering, the footprints you saw were Mine. I was carrying you. ” Today’s Gospel reading shows us that the Lord is with us through times of trial… or when the storms of life get to be too much to handle.

Whether He calms the storm as he did for the disciples, or asks us to let him walk through the storm with us, as Paul talks of in 2 Corinthians, or gives us the strength to fight against it, as He did for David while up against Goliath; he is always with us. He does not ignore the cry of the afflicted. Imagine with me for a moment you’re living during the time of Jesus. You’re a disciple and you’re getting into a boat with Jesus to cross this huge lake. My guess is that the boats were probably nothing like we have today.

The boat by itself was a lot less trustworthy, I’m assuming. All of the sudden this storm creeps up on you and your little boat is getting tossed around like a rubber ducky in a bathtub. You look to your leader and what is he doing? Sleeping. I don’t know about you, but I think I’d be a bit frightened. So, one of your fellow… and very brave… disciples wakes up Jesus and says, “Um Teacher, do you not care if we drown? ” Jesus gets up, rebukes the wind and says to the waves, “Quiet! Be still! ” Then the wind dies down and everything is completely calm.

In the Old Testament, raging waters were a symbol for chaos and ominous power. In Psalm 89 the Psalmist confirms that God rules over the sea and that when the waves mount up (or present danger and chaos) God stills them. What is it that most of us do in the face of chaos in our lives? I will venture to guess that we try to fix the problem all by ourselves. Sure maybe we can manage for a while, but ultimately it doesn’t fix anything. When the disciples were facing the raging waters of that sea, did they try to navigate on their own and just let Jesus sleep? No!

The immediate response was to wake Jesus up and say, “Help us, Teacher! Do you not care if we drown? ” Now, Jesus responded by calming the storm, yet then he said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? ” Let’s look at this for a minute: disciples had little faith, yet Jesus still calmed the storm. The disciples had little faith, yet Jesus still calmed the storm. I am not suggesting that we should settle for having little faith, but it sure is comforting to know that even when our faith isn’t up to speed with the Lord, He still calms the storms.

As we stated in our call to worship from Psalm 9; He does not ignore the cry of the afflicted. Okay, so maybe you’re thinking: Sure, the Lord calms the storms of life… then how come it seems like He’s sleeping during this storm I’m going through right now? Many times in the Bible we see that the Lord does walk with us. The first indication of this that comes to my mind is in Psalm 23, David writes, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. ”

As indicated in 2 Cor. it’s a fact of life that things are going to happen to us that are uncomfortable, chaotic, and that give us a feeling of hopelessness. Paul refers to some very specific things and I think we can all find one or two that we can personally relate to. He mentions troubles, hardships, distresses, beatings, imprisonments, riots, hard labor, sleepless nights, hunger, dishonor, sorrowful feelings and so on. Sometimes God just allows us to go through these things. But there is a promise that we receive that says that He will be with us through those times.

Prior to this list Paul quotes from Isaiah saying, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. ” Paul follows this by saying, “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. ” He’s saying that God is here to help us now. Maybe He didn’t calm that storm that you went through last week. But He sure was there to be the rod and the staff of comfort. I’m sure that many of us are able to look back on our lives and see those specific times when the Lord was with us.

Sometimes that’s just the way that it works, it may seem like the Lord is sleeping in His boat; but truthfully He is right there beside us or carrying us through. I know of a Christian woman who went through 2 and a half years of an abusive relationship with a boyfriend. It wasn’t until that relationship was over with that she could look back and name specifically all of the times that the Lord was right there with her. He had protected her from any more damage than what had already been caused and had brought other people in her life to comfort her.

I think that happens to all of us at some point in life. We feel battered and bruised by the waves of the storm, but when we careful look back there are obvious times when the Lord was right by our side. AND we may have actually learned some valuable lesson that otherwise may have not been learned. Ever been listening to the radio or watching the television and all of the sudden you hear. “This is a message from the Emergency Broadcast System. The following is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. In the event of a real emergency important information from you local news and weather would follow.

Remember this is only a test. ” And then comes that dreaded noise that we all immediately turn off. Those things are so annoying!! Think about it though, if we didn’t experience that test, we wouldn’t be prepared in the event of a real emergency. Sometimes we face trials in life as a test of our faith. It’s a way for God to see if we’re ready for the bigger emergencies of life. Let’s look at the story of David and Goliath. Goliath, a Philistine has made an attack on the Israelites. He’s a giant man, over nine feet tall, with all this heavy armor on ready to fight an Israelite.

King Saul and all his men are terrified of Goliath. Three of David’s brothers get to go out to this battle, but David has to stay back and tend to the sheep. For forty days Goliath comes out to fight, yet none of the Israelites would go up against him. One day David is asked to take food to his brothers at their camp. He sees what is taking place and tells Saul that he will fight the Philistine. Saul tries to discourage him, saying that he’s too young and too small to fight Goliath. David replies by saying that the Lord will be with him.

He recognizes that the Lord has always been with him in times of trouble and will be this time too. With that faith he goes out and kills Goliath with a single stone. He passed the test, and as you read on you see that God eventually makes David the king of Israel. God is going to test us. When I looked up the word “trial” in Harper’s Bible Dictionary it referred me to “temptation”. I thought, “Temptation? What does that have to do with the trials of life. ” Well, I found the answer. Temptation is generally regarded as an enticement to do evil.

It is also used in the Bible to convey another message. It is that of “testing” or “proving by testing”, to determine the depth of one’s commitment to God. For example when God commanded Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice and also in the testing of Job. Many times in the New Testament some of the writers thought of persecution as a “testing” in this manner. The intent of this testing is to ultimately strengthen the person’s faith and devotion to God. So, sometimes, just as in the case of Abraham and Job God will test our faith and devotion.

These are considered storms in life as well. I’m sure it was no walk in the park for Abraham to willingly give his son as a sacrifice, nor was it for Job to face every test that was put to him. But also keep in mind that God never tests us beyond what we can handle. After enduring these trials, He provides a way out. David had the faith that he needed and God gave him the ingenuity and strength to go against Goliath. Abraham didn’t have to sacrifice Isaac and Job was given back everything that he has lost and then some.

The Lord really blessed his life after all that he had gone through. So, no matter what, through the storms of life the Lord is doing something. He’s either testing our faith and devotion, helping us through to teach us and guide us, or He knows we can’t handle it and will rebuke the wind and say to the waves, “Quiet! Be still! ” Maybe your boat hasn’t been rocked, maybe it has. Maybe your Goliath isn’t nine feet tall and really scary looking, maybe he is. Whatever the circumstances of your storm, we can be assured that the Lord is doing something.

He does not ignore the cry of the afflicted. I’d like to end with a story to illustrate this message; it’s called Finish the Race. The Barcelona Olympics of 1992 provided one of track and field’s most incredible moments. Britain’s Derek Redmond had dreamed all his life of winning a gold medal in the 400-meter race, and his dream was in sight as the gun sounded in the semifinals at Barcelona. He was running the race of his life and could see the finish line as he rounded the turn into the backstretch. Suddenly he felt a sharp pain go up the back of his leg.

He fell face first onto the track with a torn right hamstring. As the medical attendants were approaching, Redmond fought to his feet. “It was animal instinct,” he would say later. He set out hopping, in a crazed attempt to finish the race. When he reached the stretch, a large man in a T-shirt came out of the stands, hurled aside a security guard and ran to Redmond, embracing him. The man was Jim Redmond, Derek’s father. “You don’t have to do this,” he told his weeping son. “Yes, I do,” said Derek. “Well, then,” said Jim, “we’re going to finish this together. ” And they did.

Fighting off security men, the son’s head sometimes buried in his father’s shoulder, they stayed in Derek’s lane all the way to the end, as the crowd gaped, then rose and howled and wept. Derek didn’t walk away with the gold medal, but he walked away with an incredible memory of a father who, when he saw his son in pain, left his seat in the stands to help him finish the race. That’s what God does for us. When we are experiencing pain and we’re struggling to finish the race, we can be confident that we have a loving Father who won’t let us do it alone. He left His place in heaven to come alongside us in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.

English 101 Essay

English 101, a class of contemporary and complete thought driven writing has been quite the experience and a very educational course. There were many papers that we wrote in class that truly racked my brain. I came from an English class were the writing was very structured and extremely analytical. The writing that we did in class was rather different. English 101 was the first writing course that I have taken were the writing is completely up to me, and that was hard. It was hard to the aspect that I didnt know who to write the paper but rather how to structure it.

That was my single biggest struggle in the course. I hate to say it, but the particular writing that we did in class didnt really have any impact on any improvement that I may have made. I like the aspect of free writing, but because it was free writing it leaves a lot of room organizational errors, which is a huge problem for me. The writing did however give me a chance to try different styles and in some ways express myself in many ways. However, the course was also filled with interesting topics. My favorite assignment would have to have been the research paper that I did on Binge Drinking.

The research gave me an insightful view into an aspect of life that we witness quite regularly on campus. Another reason I enjoyed the research paper was because it was more structured. The paper gave me a chance to use a skill that I am comfortable and in a lot of ways good at using. The paper used a style of concrete detail supported by commentary or opinionated details which is the style that I am comfortable with using. This course and your teaching style were by no means dull at all. I would have to say that your demeanor and personality made the class enjoyable to attend.

From our early morning role call questions to our senseless discussion on abstract topics everyday entailed a new journey into the epic saga that was our 9:00 English 101 class. When thought about, we all learned something everyday and did not realize we were doing it. Your teaching style is one to hang on to and continue to use. I would have to say you made English class fun. The one drab or down fall of the class was the discussion of There Eyes Are Watching God, which was a good book but didnt really fit into the curriculum.

We spent the whole semester writing papers of different style and life and then a novel was thrown into the mix. It didnt make a whole lot of sense to me, but I am sure there was some motive behind the madness that was There Eyes Are Watching God. All in all I felt the class was awesome. I learned a lot about my self, about life, and about writing. Whither I improved or not, leaning what I did about my self and meeting many new people in a small environment was a life long memory that I shall never forget. Thank you and good luck in the future.

A Study Plan Essay

The assignment instructed to be completed for my Deans Seminar class was a study plan. This plan organized my study habits and helped me with my time management. I learned valuable skills that I will incorporate into my daily routine. By sticking with this plan I will be able to see an improvement and progress in my work . I hope to use this template for the rest of my educational career. Many of the study skills that I learned have become integral in my study habits. I began to highlight my book for key works and phrases which help me organize the main points the book is articulating.

I do not procrastinate as much as I did because I understand about doing my work when it is assigned will help give me free time. I go out to parties and social events only when I have completed all my assignments. Another organizational skill I use is typing up notes. This method helps reinforce the material from lecture and I am able to comprehend the material as I type it up. A valuable tip that I learned is to split up work so that it is not over consuming. I use this skill in all my areas such as reading a section of text every night.

It helps in many aspects of studying. I make use of the my time and work diligently at my work. I make sure I am able to have a peaceful working environment where I can concentrate without outside distractions. I found the ideal place for this is the library. For English, I learned about the writing center which helps students learn to edit their papers to make them become better. This resource is very helpful and can give me the grade I want to achieve. There are a few areas which I need a little work on.

I need to learn to get enough sleep every night so that I have enough energy to pay attention in class. I also need to ask more questions. This will help me save time of having to look up the questions when I could just have a peer or instructor help me solve the problem. I also need to incorporate a better exercise routine in my plan so that I will have more energy and it can also help relieve stress. I need to listen harder to instructors for key words that might hint what is included on the test.

All the skills I obtained from organizing and structuring my plan has been very advantageous. I am now a lot more organized and have better study habits. If I continue to do my study habits, I am sure I will be very successful. I have overcome some of the obstacles that I needed to complete. Procrastination was the biggest. I learned to do things as soon as I have free time so that it will be completed and I will not be struggling to finish. This will help me have all my assignments handed in on time and I will not loose the points.

This study plan was very valuable and I will institute this plan as I continue my career here at the University of the Sciences. I have included what my advisors opinion, who has told me that my plan which was very helpful. My long term goal of getting a summer job or internship might conflict with my goal of attending summer classes. My advisor told me about a meeting where I can meet upperclassmen to learn how I might be able to manage this. My advisor also told me about the Student Resource Center for English which I use now. She was very informative.

Freedom of speech report

At the beginning of this semester, we looked at liberty, privacy and freedom of speech. I found this section quite interesting, especially since unlike first semester it applied directly to my life. Freedom of speech was a particularly interesting topic to me, because I couldn’t work out my opinion on it. When I thought about the issue in purely philosophical terms, I thought that there should be unrestricted freedom of speech and that censorship should be kept to a minimum. But when I thought about the issue in relation to the real world, I wasn’t so sure.

This is one of the frustrating things about philosophy – what appears to be philosophically sound in my mind turns out quite differently when applied to the real world. I think it is in finding a balance that the real difficulty lies. Throughout the course of the first essay, I found myself arguing views that I hadn’t thought I believed in – and even now I’m not sure if I do. I think sometimes what works philosophically still can’t apply to the real world for considerations that shouldn’t have to have a bearing on the issue but do anyway.

In the issue of freedom of speech, I found that philosophically hate-speech doesn’t cause any significant harm. But when I think about it in the context of the outside world, I firmly believe that it does. This discrepancy is confusing to me. The unit we studied on eyewitness evidence I found to be rather dry – I couldn’t really relate to a whole lot of legal stuff. When it was put in the context of the real-life rape victim I found it much more accessible. The essay topic that I chose seemed again rather dull, although it raised interesting side-issues, like the nature of our society.

I tried to think why science was regarded as the best way we have to gain knowledge, and came up with a rather depressing view of society – that it was matter oriented, money oriented, concerned with facts and figures, things that were able to be thought of in terms of quantities. And that we tended to ignore the abstract, the indefinable, the unexplainable. This is why I find philosophy occasionally depressing – it forces me to look at the world in which I live, and not like what I see.

And yet it is simultaneously liberating because I can see that through studying philosophy, I can look at those other aspects and move beyond what society thinks. Philosophy exposes the ugly truths, and then invites the philosopher to move beyond them. By acknowledging them, we can move on. The section on metaphysics and artificial intelligence was my favourite section. I love the more imaginative sections of philosophy – beyond reality, beyond the real world, into the imagined world, the “head in the clouds” stuff.

Artificial intelligence is fascinating. And I find the study of it quite challenging, because I personally had some deep-centred blocks against admitting that a machine could be intelligent. I didn’t want it to be true. I couldn’t accept that a machine could be human, could think, could be intelligent. I didn’t want to think that a machine could write poetry or have a soul or fall in love. But I had to eventually force myself to consider the possibility.

Bitch That She Was

Throughout my life I always been compared to my friends, just because I hangout with them doesnt mean that I do the same thing s that they do, like taking drugs and drinking alcohol. We may do some things that are similar like go to the same movies or listen to some of the same music. My friends always hangout they never give a damn about their looking best or the condition of their clothes, we never put on a show to get attention, but this one person does, this my ex-girlfriend, Melissa Madden. If you ask me why I dated her, lets just say that I desperate.

Her emotions get in the way of everything. She wants people to feel sorry and wants sympathy for when she gets yelled at or punished because she does dumb things, she makes up stories that she gets beaten. As for me I dont want sympathy for the mistakes that I do that will get me in trouble, I take the hand that Im dealt with. I think you can never win people over if you just complain and be whinny lush, some how she get friend by doing that, but in the end they will get sick of her bitching and moaning and they will desert her.

We totally listen to totally different music, she listens to the sappy melodic I’m yearning for love music, the she likes rap like Jay-Z and Ja-rule. She only listens to certain rock music, like whinny voices complain about their girlfriends dumping them, like EMO. I listen to hard thrashing heavy metal, punk and hardcore music. They actually are singing about the real things that people should care about friends betraying each other, being straightedge, or not being a follower of the pop music. Sure I listen to different music, Ill listen to just about any except for rap, country, emo, pop culture music (blink 182 and Brittany Spear crap).

As for friends we have totally different friends, she has her Jappy little friends that are walking billboards with Abercrombie & Fitch or American Eagle on everything they wear, Im surprise that they dont have AF or AE tattooed on their forehead. They always coming walking towards me giggle and laughing about some childish prank like leaving a love note with the most beastly girl in the school. As for me, I hangout with kids that dont dress the same as the normal high school student, some of us dress like skater trash that has holes in our clothes and dont cry if we have a rip in our shirt, like most people do.

For fun she goes to the mall and waste her parents money on clothes that she will only wear once and most likely her mom well sell it on E-bay when she is done using them. She spends so much time on the phone, I would get so bored and fall asleep. I will be asleep from a span of two hours or more. What I do for fun I hang out with my friends and just do random stuff like go to shopping areas act like a bunch knuckleheads like having shopping cart joust. When we are really bored, we make prank calls to the pizza pallor and order the most expensive stuff and give someones address.

Just for fun we have fun fights, where we just flip out and beat each other in the hallways or some other public places, just to see faces of the people around us. She waste her money on hair dye all the time, she must have dyed it twenty times a year. She spends about and hour preparing her hair and then she dyes it to blonde or some kind of blonde, sometimes I think the dye seeps into her head and makes her stupid and dumbfounded and simplest things. She crimps it when there is some thing big is happening or she ties her hair into a ponytail with a pink ribbon.

Hair for me is nothing, I dont care if I turned bald at the age of twenty. I put a cap on anyway, I shave my head even though try to stop and say that I have the nicest hair. Hair to me is like having radio I have it, I dont need. I only comb or brush my hair when I have important meeting or someones wedding, thats just disrespectful if you dont comb your hair. Right now as the age of 16 she still lives the same wasteful life, spending her dads money on crap she will only use once, ringing up the phone bill and get dumber dying her hair.

Most people hate her because she is a worthless sap that lynches on everyone and use him or her as an emotion crutches everyday. She wants people to feel sorry for her mistakes and the consequences that she has dealt with. As for me as the age 18, I still do the same thing that I do in high school, hang out with people that dont follow the popular group around like a dog being choked on a leash. I dont do the same thing as everyone, I was never considered a popular kid but I do always get along with everyone though, because treat people with respect and not use them.

The Power of Opinion

Confidence is a key component in the development of success. In order to reach this stability one must be a recipient of encouragement and upholding. This support creates an individuality and esteem for success. For example, in my experiences with females I have come to a vague realization that they feed off of encouragement. It seems like the focus of most of the girls that I know, is to impress. I believe this because when they are complimented, to most it will make their day. This is how I have understood the magnitude that ones approval can make and how it is an essential element of happiness and success.

In my life I have had the luxury of having a huge support group to always lift me up. This has bridged a barrier between the things that I can do and those I fail. This confidence is most evident in my basketball tenure because in my opinion basketball requires great confidence. An average basketball player needs to have a security in his skills, body, and team. During a playoff game my junior year, I was predominantly the sixth man or a back to the starter. In the final minutes of the game, we were trailing and my coach put me in the game.

I really had no experience in situations like that but somehow I was able to defy my innate anxiety and channel the intensity on to the court. Moments later, I had two steals and sparked a team that was about to dwindle away. We almost won that game. On the bus ride home, I reflected upon the situation and saw how much strength that my coach had given me by simply putting me in. I now place an emphasis on encouraging and making individuals feel my approval. In the summer, I work at a number of basketball camps that are all over the metroplex. During these camps, they usually put me in charge of the first graders.

First graders are at the beginning of everything and they really do not comprehend what is going on. However, my job is to encourage and befriend them. This may be the most important job at the camp. In my opinion, this is the best job in the world because I love working with kids who just want to have a good time. For example, we will be playing a game and I will encourage a kid and explain that he was doing great. He will have a priceless sparkle in his eyes. It makes me feel important to know that I can influence and allow these kids to have a great time.

Self-esteem is tremendously significant in maintaining happiness and success. This trust focuses on how one receives adoration from another individual. This assurance from the outside creates a domino effect and promotes the levitation of their esteem. In life, there are a number of things that make us fall. However, outside support and trust are two important factors for getting back on our feet. In addition, the importance of giving support is twice as important as receiving. It is a cycle that allows individuals to rise to success.

Ice Cream Essay

Of the numerous jobs that I have had in the last few years, only one has maintained a lasting hold on me. I return again and again to the call of serving the same gratifying, palatable treat, that amazing creation called ice cream. With the experience I have had, I could have aspired for a more professional working environment than Frosty’s Frozen Yogurt or Baskin Robins. Yet, for some unknown reason, I am strangely drawn to this type of work. Consequently, seems fitting that ice cream would be the perfect metaphor for the characteristics and accomplishments that I embody.

If I look at a hot fudge sundae, I see several layers, each unique with its own taste that all do a part in representing me. The foundation is the ice cream, an endless number of choices, yet one flavor must be chosen as the individual chooses direction in life. Like the layer of whipped cream, experiences give shape to the rising dish. My qualities as the hot fudge adds to the plethora of distinct taste that make a sundae special, as with my qualities. Finally, my accomplishments, as the cherry, sit proudly on top, completing the unified masterpiece.

Just as there are countless possibilities of ice cream flavors, so are there a number of paths that I can follow in life. Rocky Road, with all its connotations, best describes the path that represents my life. Rocky Road has chocolate ice cream with nuts and marshmallows. It is not necessarily the smoothest route; however, the diverse elements that I experience along the way give additional pleasure to the sweet aftertaste. Coming from a very loving and indulgent family, I have been exposed to only the good of the world.

Even my private school education helped to place rose-tinted glasses over my eyes, letting me see only what was good. Just as the chocolate ice cream in Rocky Road. During this stage, I was nave and oblivious to the real world. Content with my position in life, I was awakened to the harsh reality of life when I transferred to a public school for the seventh grade. My experience in public school completely altered my perception of the world. The nuclear families that I was so familiar with became nonexistent.

For the first time, I met kids with divorced parents, who came from dysfunctional homes, and who claimed distasteful habits of smoking and other drug use. The realization that life was filled with many obstacles, like the hard pecan nuts, changed me as a person. I learned that the journey through life is not always easy and pleasant, but rather filled with obstacles, like nuts. After fitting in and discovering who I was, I became more aware of my surrounding and was more realistic in making decisions. The sweet reward as I discovered a marshmallow in Rocky Road gave me much pleasure.

My past deeds, actions, and my experiences determine who I am today, Like the fluffy whipped cream and sprinkles that define an ice cream sundae. Coming to the United States at the age of six, I entered the first grade at a disadvantage compared to all the other kids. I was different just like every sprinkle on the sundae. With two languages already embedded into my vocabulary, I discovered the hurdle of a third tongue before me. Nevertheless, it was a hurdle I overcame and from which I learned much. My travels to other countries helped me understand, appreciate, and adapt to other cultures.

In a multi-culture world, diversity is a gift and one that I cherish. I enjoy acquainting myself with everything and everyone who is different and unique in his other own way. Just as the whipped cream distinguished the sundae making it different from all the other ice cream specialties there are. They, in my opinion, can offer me knowledge I would otherwise not have access to, and I myself can offer them the experiences and lesson of my life, as short as it is right now. Not one person is like next. I myself am very unlike any other individual.

The definitive qualities of my character are all my own. Of my virtues, I hold morality and honesty to be the most valuable and priceless trail of my personality. Compassionate by nature, I receive great pleasure and warmth of spirit when I am able to volunteer my time to helping others or participating in charity. My good fortune has made me see the misfortune of others and create in me a desire to share what I have with the less fortunate. Perhaps the strawberry topping will compare to them, sweet and taste all around. Beside honesty and morality, I favor my diligence above all else.

Just as hot fudge tends to stick, I too stick to my duties and responsible until they are completed. I pursue my objectives with resolve and relentless conviction that it is within my power to accomplish what I have set out to do. Having these characteristics will help me succeed in the future. Looking back from where I started to where I am today, I am proud of my bright red maraschino cherry. Starting my schooling from the lowest point and lifting myself up to taking some of the hardest classes my school has to offer is one of the accomplishments I value the most.

My success in life so far has allowed me to understand that if I believe myself capable of a goal and if I desire the goal enough, I can achieve it. This hope is perhaps the greatest substance anyone can possess. It brings sunshine and promises of the fortune when the present and reality deal a crushing blow to morale and self-esteem, in the words of Emily Dickinson, “Hope is having the thing the thing with feathers and perches in the soul. ” With an optimistic view of what lays before me, I can safely say I will enjoy all the marshmallows, pecans, and chocolate chunks that Rocky Road of life has to offer.

September 11th attacks

First shock, then terror, followed by sorrow and lastly rage were my emotions on September 11th, 2001 when a hijacked airliner crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City. Tunh! Tunh! Tunh! All circuits are busy; please try again at a later time. This message kept repeating as I tried to call my cousin in New York, who was working in the South Tower. At the time the American Airlines flight 11 just moments earlier crashed into the North Tower. I sat in my car in shock and terror.

Then at 9:05 am, about twenty minutes after the first collision, United Airlines flight 175 crashed into the South Tower. I began to feel the knot in my throat getting tighter and tighter until I just finally began crying. I still didn’t have any word from my cousin and when both of the buildings plummeted to the streets below, I thought for sure he was dead. When I returned home, my mother informed me that he had gotten out before the buildings went down. Turning on the television was another ordeal in itself.

All of the news stations repeatedly exhibited the buildings plunging to the ground. I felt extreme sorrow for the families of those who had not made it out alive. They had to relive that horrible moment over and over again. I was also outraged. How could such an act be committed on American soil? The only way we can answer this question is to look at the terrorists who could do such an act and what possible reasons they have for doing it. Many analysts, researchers, and professors have tried to define the purpose of terrorism.

Some believe that can only be achieved when we know how the mind of a terrorist works. The Encyclopedia Britannica describes terrorism as, “The systematic use of violence or threat of violence by organized groups to achieve specific goals. Terrorist activities may be directed against individuals, organizations or governments. Terrorism is employed by radical groups to obtain concessions from established governments, such as a change in policies unfavorable to them or the release of imprisoned members of their organizations”.

Who can be identified as the terrorists responsible for the September 11th attacks? New reports are pointing at Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al-Qaida (Arabic for “the base”), an international network responsible for the strikes on U. S. targets. According to the Washintonpost. com article “Osama Bin Laden and His Group,” numerous small conspiracy cells, which are thought to be carrying out Osama’s terrorist orders, are operating in countries throughout the world.

Such countries include Algeria, Uzbekistan, Syria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Philippines, Lebanon, Iraq, Kosovo (Yugoslavia), Chechnya (Russia), West Bank and Gaza (Israel). In addition, such conspiracy cells may as well be in the Unites States, although their positions are unsteady, and after completing a mission they must be replaced. As seen in recent weeks by the arrests in the European countries, these locations from which the al-qaida (the formal name of Osama Bin Laden’s conspiracy cells) operates is constantly under threat of being revealed and destroyed.

Revenge appears to be one of the terrorists’ motives of the attacks on September 11th, a sort of a payback by Osama Bin Laden. Osama is the man U. S. officials say could be behind the hijacking attacks and other numerous international terrorist assaults. These attacks were the result of a “holy war”, declared against the United States by Osama Bin Laden. Laden’s anger began with the United States’ 1990 decision by Saudi Arabia to allow the U. S. to stage attacks on Iraqi forces in Kuwait and Iraq. After the U. S. victory, the U. S. military presence became permanent.

In a CNN interview with bin Laden in 1997, he said the ongoing U. S. military presence in Saudi Arabia is an “occupation of the land of the holy places. ” (Anti-Defamation League, “Osama Bin Laden: Profile”). He left Saudi Arabia in 1991 after feuding with the Saudi monarchy, taking assets that had grown to an estimated $250 million with him, according to U. S. officials. In 1996, bin Laden issued a “fatwah,” a religious ruling urging Muslims to kill U. S. troops in Saudi Arabia and Somalia. A second fatwah in 1998 called for attacks on American civilians.

These terrorists are not born as killers, but made through Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist training camps, but whichever part of the world these vicious attacks stemmed from, it is someplace where people have had a long acquaintance with body counts and death raining down from the sky Though the attacks may have stemmed from revenge, our response to it cannot be the same. The world has changed for all of us, worldwide, whether we lost friends and family, or only know those who did. While terrorism has been around for ages, our approach to it, and to finding and punishing those who practice it, has to be changed dramatically.

While searching out terrorists is completely different from making war against a nation, no single nation has ever been willing to spend the time and energy in this pursuit that the U. S. , and perhaps other nations, are Suddenly willing to spend The attacks in New York and Washington were anonymous. They put an exclamation point on a trend of increasingly violent and lethal attacks designed not so much to gain political control, but to attack the United States. But something emerged that the terrorists did not count on: the rapid unification of Americans, and perhaps of the world, behind a worldwide campaign to exterminate them.

Instead of chaos, terror and dismay, they have found, in the American response to date: pride, dignity, and resolution to respond, far beyond anything they must have imagined. When I hear everyone say that the attacks on September 11th have changed America forever, I think to myself that it has changed us, but for the better. These events made us stronger people, and gave us a new sense of who we are, at time when we really needed it. We should now take comfort in the fact that the threat of terrorist attack under which we live is the price we pay for our true greatness.

Which of your possessions reveals most about you and why “Observe, Watson”

An unfamiliar voice caused me to stop dead in my tracks as I was coming back to my table. Surreptitiously glancing through the foliage, I noticed two men pointing at something. Hesitant to announce my presence, I was very perplexed by the fact that the object they were staring at was my backpack! I was studying in the park and walked off to get a drink of water, and when I came back, whom should I find examining my worldly possessions but the great detective and his chronicler! Maybe I should tell him to mind his own business…on the other hand, I would like to see Mr. Sherlock Holmes struggle to find clues to my identity.

Meanwhile, Holmes and Watson were engrossed in their usual exercise in deduction, with no feelings of professional integrity to preclude them from viewing the contents of my backpack. “What can you gather from this mundane article, Watson? ” Watson dutifully furrowed his brow and attempted to employ his ingenious friend’s methods. “Aside from noting its battered appearance and its distorted shape, which, no doubt, results from transporting great weights, I can produce no inferences about its owner.

You, I should imagine, feel like you have known him all your life? ” “Her, Watson, her. I conclude that the possessor of this book bag is a young lady of a scholarly nature, most likely a teenager, a student of various academic disciplines. Her eyesight is most likely poor, and it seems that she is very erratic, but tries to make up for her shortcomings. She obviously prefers to perform simple tasks in exciting, unusual ways, likes a good discussion, and is not afraid to reveal her opinions.

Self-conscious of her mistakes, she likes to straighten them out at the first opportunity, and is well equipped to fight boredom. And this is my perfunctory opinion. Had I met the girl, I would be able to tell you more. ” Letting out his traditional gasp of awe, Watson exclaimed, “Once again, my dear Holmes, you have outdone yourself! Pray tell me, how do you deduce all this from such scarce clues? ” “It is simplicity itself. First of all, note the writing in green puff paint. ‘Omnia mea mecum porto’–Latin for “I carry all my possessions with me.

A person who chooses to identify him or herself with such a phrase must be prepared to thoroughly explain and discuss it with any curious passersby. Then direct your attention to the contents of this bag. Your “great weights” are textbooks, and their diverse titles demonstrate our young lady’s studiousness–Engineering Physics, Calculus, Exploring Language–hence my conclusion that she is diligent in many fields of learning. Other miscellaneous objects have enabled me to evaluate her personality and age.

A “Star Wars” key chain, a case for eye glasses, white-out, nail polish–all these tell me that the possessor of this article is a teenager, a girl, with poor eyesight, and the white-out means she spots her own mistakes and tries to rectify them immediately. Having detected only one eating utensil–this pair of chopsticks, I assume that the simple process of nutrition has been promoted by this girl to the status of entertainment. The Swiss Army knife, the stapler, the flashlight, the bottle of aspirin all witness that she tries to be prepared for all situations.

Interfering with these best of intentions is her forgetfulness–the knife is dull, the stapler is empty, as is the aspirin bottle. Finally, some poetry hastily scrawled on random sheets of paper tells me that she devotes her free time to productive activities. ” “Holmes, you are indeed a genius. But let’s continue our walk. ” The two carried off their lively conversation elsewhere. Crawling out of the bushes, I resented the infringement of my privacy but also nurtured a vengeful thought: for someone as brilliant as Sherlock Holmes, you would think he’d notice toilet paper trailing behind his shoes.

Under The Moonlit Night

It was a magnificent night. The stars where glittering over us. We even saw a falling star. The moon was bright and full. For us it was the first time that we walked together under the full moon by the sea shore. The moon was shining all over the sea. Sometimes you could hear a tiny splash because there was a small spot where the fishes were jumping after each other just like a freshly married couple. We where alone walking on the soft sand, holding each other’s hand.

We had been knowing each other for four months now. It was a little cold outside but her fur jacket kept her warm. When we were in the maddle of the beach I cuddled her deeply in my arms. Her face was hot and i kissed her in the forehead. I sat down and she came near me, for a moment we played with the soft cold sand. With me I had brought something to eat, a bar of chocolate and I shared it with her.

After eating the bar of chocolate she jumped on me and she began to kiss my face, because on my mouth there was still some chocolate bits left. I was really excited, ,y heart was going to burst and explode like fireworks. Antonia was my only comfort she was all for me. She was my little kitten and still she is. When I put her down she purred. That sign meant that she was getting sleepy. I decided that it was time to go home and I will never forget that splendid night with my little, nice white kitten.

Fast Eddie Essay

Where do I begin… to write down my misadventure. I would have never picked up a pen and began had it not been for my host. He’s the type of fellow who tells you what to do and his partners (soldiers) make sure you did just as your told. This hideout, this fortress has more weapons than I’ve seen in months. There is a guard at my door this minute, put there for my protection so I was told. Yeh right! He’s got a mean looking revolver with a huge bore. That’s bad enough but he points it directly at my chest and waves it around when he addresses me. I can’t describe the look in his eyes.

I truly believe he would love to do me in. He thinks I’m an enemy and a threat to my host. I am a guest of the leader of this organization. I sit here and think of what has happened to bring me here. My mind wanders back to when I was an innocent eight year old kid. I worried more about what games to play than anything else. My mom brought us to the Mile High City after she and my dad started fighting. She thought it would be good to grow up near relatives. She never knew what was in store for us all. No one knew except the scientist and interfering generals who were developing project “UnderNet”.

The national/global computer network that was going to make our lives simpler by linking the regional infrastructure management computers. It made sense to have a system where electricity was diverted from one grid to another were it was needed more. Same with all the other resources of man.. fuel, water, food, and even surplus peoplepower in the form of the ten year old National Civilian Corp. If only the military hadn’t been involved. They think everything has to be a part of the defense plans for our country. When the system went on-line, their supercomputers were blamed for the cold, heartless decision of the system.

They were designed to keep on working through any natural or man-made disaster, including this Civil War of 2009. Most people think that the “UnderNet” planned and orchestrated the civil war. The first outbreaks were over resources. Fuel and water that was going to the big cities at the expense of the rural communities. ‘The greatest good for the greatest amount of people’ we were all told. Now, after three years of civil war, life is very hard. This brings us up to a week ago. My story, in my opinion, is about a kid trying to stay alive in the streets of the Mile High City.

Each day a struggle for food and a safe place to sleep at night. I lost my mom at the disaster relief center set up in the city park. She was killed for the contents of her small backpack. Most of it was family keepsakes like old pictures of my grandparents and of me as a buck-naked baby. I haven’t seen a relative for months. I was searching the rubble of the government buildings in the federal center on Alameda Blvd. when I found the doorway. It was buried under the exploded four-story building but I wiggled my way down to it. If I was ten pounds heavier, I would have never gotten in, but I did.

The door was solid metal at least three inches thick but the explosion had split part of the door frame and I could squeeze through. I was giddy with the thought of what I might find. Nowadays, you traded for what you needed. I found a room that I was sure no others had looted. I wasn’t worried about getting things out because all I would take was small items I could hide in my clothes. The street gangs would take anything larger they saw me carrying. When I got my shoulders through the split in the door frame, I crawled through into the dusty floor. It was black as coal in the room and I hadn’t thought of bringing a light.

That black is why the glowing red switch was so noticeable. After a minute my eyes adjusted to the dark and the dim glow of the switch lit up the area around it. I could see that it was a power control panel, a lot like the one we had at home for our old 786 computer. I felt my way over to the light. That’s when I noticed the sound. A very low hum you felt as much as heard. I was surprised that this room had electricity since the building above it didn’t even exist. Some parts of the city still had electricity but it was getting to be less all the time.

I reached for the switch and without knowing what I was getting myself into, turned it on. Just to the left, a small computer monitor screen began to glow blue. One small word appeared in the top left. It said “Ready”. Growing up in the computer age made all of this very comforting. I hadn’t seen a working computer in long time. I hadn’t played a computer game in at least a year. I wondered if this computer had any games. The glow of the screen helped to light the room. My eyes didn’t need too much light. I looked around. In the center of the room were what seemed to be four padded columns with a seat going around each.

The back wall was lined with electronic equipment and six large cases about as big as a washing machine. I recognized the columns. I had seen a special on super computers on TV. This room had four of them. The large electronic cases in the back were data storage. Huge hard drives. The wall I was at had a long counter. Above it was one shelf lined with notebooks, stacks of paper, and boxes of computer disks. I knew that these might be valuable and easy to carry. There were two other computer terminals like the one I had started. Except for the low hum and the active terminal, everything seem to be dead.

I turned toward the terminal but I didn’t see a keyboard. That seemed strange. I looked closer and saw that the keyboard was hidden underneath the counter on a sliding tray. I pulled it out and pushed the enter key. A textured window appeared in the center of the screen. It had a dozen icons underneath the title. The title read “Regional UnderNet” in large letters. I didn’t see anything that looked like a game icon. One of the icons said System Status with a picture of a small desktop computer. I used the mouseball on the keyboard to move the arrow to this icon and clicked it on.

The screen cleared and began to scroll written text showing the status of different functions. Most showed that they were not available. When the screen stopped, it read “Ready” again. I hit the enter key and got the icons back. One other icon said “Vocal Interface”. That sounded interesting and I clicked it on. I heard a loud “hum” from a small speaker on the shelf above me and it spoke to me. The computer thought I was someone else. It said, “It’s nice to talk to you again, it’s been five hundred and thirty five days, eighteen hours, and thirty two minutes since our last visit. ” I cringed with fear.

What had I started and would it cause trouble? I stood silent for a minute before I spoke. “Who do you think I am? “, I stuttered. “How would you like me to address you? “, it spoke. I had heard electronic speech before. At school, most of the CD Rom disks we used in computer lab had a lot of speech but this seemed different. It came clear and smooth from the speaker. “You can call me Vanessa, everyone else does. What do I call you? ” I spoke toward the terminal thinking that the microphone must be hidden somewhere there. “Some called me “Fast Eddie” or sometimes just Eddie. You are welcome to address me however you wish.

I will do my best to respond as you desire. ” I wasn’t as worried now. It seemed that this computer would help me when I needed it and I could always turn off the red switch. One thing that all mankind learned in the last few years, you can’t trust a computer too much. This one was a very advanced computer and a part of the enemy… the UnderNet. For all I knew, this could be monitored somewhere else. In some room, somewhere, the UnderNet could be aware that I just turned on the red switch. I wasn’t afraid of someone showing up. I knew only someone of my small size could fit into the rubble and then find this basement room.

I would hear anyone bigger trying to get in. They could trap me but I have been trapped before, and always seem to get out. I spoke out to the terminal. “What is your function, Eddie? ” The speaker began to tell me about it’s part in a highly classified project to monitor the activities in the western region of the UnderNet system for the National Security Administration. It was to record, analyze, and report activities of the UnderNet. The reports were to emphasize activities that seemed extraordinary and tracked anything that was related to the Department of Defense.

I could see that the stories of the UnderNet were true. The government was watching parts of itself because they didn’t trust each other. I was curious about the UnderNet system and why it went wrong. I spoke out loud one word, “Report! ” The padded columns behind me began to softly click and clatter. It sounded like our old home computer reading the hard drive. No other lights were visible in the room. I waited for a full minute and still no response from Fast Eddie. I walked over to the boxes of software and opened them up. Inside were standard Write Once Read Many (WORM) storage disks like we used in school.

They all had fancy printed labels but they weren’t store-bought software. Since most had dates on them as their title, I assumed that they were reports from that date. I put the boxes back and walked around the padded columns. In the low light of the glowing monitor, I could see that this room was very clean. Not much in the way of small items that I could salvage. The speaker began to talk again. It began by saying a date about a year and a half ago. It listed off boring statistics of power consumption and allocation of resources. It was true that the cities were getting the lions share of resources.

Everything was being diverted to the big cities. It even spoke of cutting off resources to the central part of Wyoming because of lack of justification. I remembered the TV news stories about ranchers attacking convoys of trucks travelling through Wyoming. I listened to the downfall of life as we knew it. Eddie talked about allocation of military forces to enforce the decisions made by the UnderNet. That included stationing full military detachments to protect the main frame computer centers, like the federal center here in Mile High. Then the report began describing the statistical probability of civil war.

It was cold and unemotional about the numbers of citizens expected to be “lost”. The report seldom made reference to what was happening in the eastern part of the country. Once in a while it would mention a directive or order that came from Washington that effected what was happening in this region. It made constant reference to dates. The report covered about six months when it described an administrative order that spoke of the ‘greatest good for the greatest number of people’ and cut off all resources to the rural parts of the west. The entire state of Nevada, except for military installations, was to be abandoned.

Eastern Montana, northern Idaho, most of Utah, and eastern Colorado were all listed as “Minimal Need Areas” and were to be “de-emphasized”. The body was cutting parts of itself off to save the rest. The report began describing in greater detail the events of civil disobedience. It specifically mentioned my present host. The man who was making headway organizing the rural west. It called this new army the “Sagebrush Rebels”. My host had located the center of his organization just a few miles from the Mile High City. I listened closely to this part of the report since it fell so close to home for me.

Everyone knew that it was the Rebels who had caused most of the destruction of the Mile High City. It was the final segment of this part of the report that stopped my heart. The computer said that my host would “continue to take instructions from this regional office of the UnderNet and assist in the completion of the goal of restructuring America”. So everything was a part of the plan. Even I might have been a key piece of the puzzle. After the report completed, I loaded up my pockets with items I could carry, turned off the glowing red switch, and wiggled back up to the sunlight.

I went back to my main job of finding food, keeping out of danger, and surviving. It was the computer disks that led the rebels to me. I had a hard time finding someone who wanted to trade for the disks since most people I knew didn’t have much need for them. I must have talked to two dozen people about the disks. I finally got a black eye and a sore rib from a man who wanted to know where I got them from. He took the two disks I carried as samples and left me gasping for breath in an alley. Three days later I was captured by a roaming gang. I had heard they were looking for me but I had to come out of hiding to trade.

They were waiting for me. I found out then that when push comes to shove, I didn’t have a single friend on the streets. They all wanted to turn me in for the reward. The gang took me to this building, a good hours travel outside of the city. I was thrown into a room that was probably an office in the old days but all of the furniture was gone. Only a few cardboard boxes that I could use to hide in and shiver while I waited. One good thing happened when the door opened. A small box of food and water was left. It was the best meal I had had in months. I was finally brought before my host.

I was in no condition to argue with anything they said. I was terrified and thought for sure I was as good as dead. My host sat at a wooden conference room table looking at some papers. Two aides, each clutching a notebook in their hands, stood behind him and quickly responded when he spoke. Finally one of the aides noticed me and my guards and spoke into the ear of my host. He stood up and came towards me. I couldn’t read his face. It was stone cold but his eyes were alive. He ordered my guards to bring me to the end of the table and make me sit down.

They immediately backed away as if they were afraid that they might be noticed along with me. My host sat down and looked at me for a moment. He then asked my name. I was so terrified that my voice sounded more like a squeak than a name. He paused and then quietly told me not to be afraid. He said that I might be of great help to him and “our” cause. “What cause? “, I asked. “Your in the head office of the Sagebrush Rebellion and your my guest”, he said. “I am the elected leader of the fight of the common man against the corrupt and bloated government”.

It sounded like a political speech when he said it. His voice even got louder like he was talking to an audience. “I had you brought here because we know of your find. We know that the computer disks you were trying to trade could have only come from one place. If I could get access to the place you found, then we might be able to salvage more data. ” He didn’t know that the room I had found was still alive and active. He didn’t know that Fast Eddie had told me all about my host. The head of the rebellion was a pawn of the UnderNet and following the plans that they developed for America.

I was so confused my head hurt. I didn’t know what to do. This man who sat next to me and asked me for my help was not someone I could ignore. Anyone could tell he got what he wanted, or else. If I told him of my discovery, and he got access to the active computer, who knows what that would mean. If I mentioned that I knew all about the UnderNet’s involvement, it may mean my death. How could I expose the spy who lead the rebellion? I needed to know more about the situation. “What is it worth to you to know where I found the disks? “. I asked.

He smiled at me and asked, “What do you need, my dear? I can provide you with almost anything you could ask for. ” I thought for a few seconds and responded. “I need things to make my life easier. I need supplies and weapons and transportation to a safer place. I’m tired of the Mile High City and the struggle to keep alive. There must be a safer place. ” My host slapped both hands down on the table and said “Done! You lead us to the computer room and I’ll get you what you want. My men will take you to our compound in southern Utah. That’s where I go when I need to relax and feel safe.

You stay in the holding room and tomorrow morning you will go with my men and me to the city. You will hold up you side of the bargain. But be warned, I don’t want to waste any time tomorrow, or you will answer to me. ” He waved his arm and my two guards immediately took me away. One of the guards handed my a notebook and a pen and told me to spend the rest of the day writing down anything I could remember about the computer room. That brings me to now. I have sat here hiding in my cardboard boxes writing this story. Unfortunately I don’t know how it will end.

I have to re-examine the key points. The UnderNet was a major cause of the civil war- the civil war was killing everyone I know or have known- my host is an agent of the UnderNet- if someone could destroy the UnderNet, it might stop the war- I am a tiny little girl who normally couldn’t do anything to make a difference- BUT, I have found myself in a unique position where I can make a difference by what I do. My mind spun around and I finally drifted off to sleep. I was awoken by my host just after dawn. He burst into the room with his aides following him like leaves behind a dustdevil.

He had a huge grin on his face and kept saying what a great day this was going to be. I thought to myself that when he finds out that the computer is still active, it should make his whole month great. We ate hard bread and cheese. All of the rebels seemed in high spirits and were very nice to me. I began to feel more relaxed and told them what types of tools we would need to get into the room. They didn’t ask for my written story. I had hidden it underneath the largest cardboard box in my holding room. We loaded into five pickup trucks and began our journey back into town.

I got to ride in the cab of one of the trucks. I began to change my thinking about the rebels. They were treating me with respect and I actually had some social status with this group. Something I haven’t had for a very long time. We drove on side roads around the outside of the city and came into the federal center from the southwest. We drove within a few city blocks of the crumbled building. No one bothered us, in fact, it seemed that most people ran and hid when they saw us coming. Maybe it was the two dozen armed men in the trucks. When we parked and began walking, my host chuckled and laughed with his soldiers.

I knew that the computer center had to be in a government building somewhere. The federal center is so big that I didn’t know where to start. ” he told his men. I travelled in the center of the head group. My host ordered his men to follow my instructions as to where to go. We got to the rubble of the exploded building and I pointed to a spot where they should begin clearing a path. With the soldiers working together, they had the cement moved very quickly and could see where the door was hidden. When we got the metal door cleared, there wasn’t a handle on it of any kind. There wasn’t any way to open the door.

Men used their long metal prybars that worked so easily on the cement to pound and pry on the door but it didn’t move an inch. My host became very anxious and would yell at the men to work harder. Finally they stopped and backed off. My host grabbed me by my shoulder and pushed me toward the broken door frame. “Get inside and see if you can open the door”, he ordered. I crawled through this time with a flashlight lighting the way. I stood inside the room and looked around. Nothing had changed since I had been here before. Next to the door was a lever labeled “emergency release”.

I grabbed it with both hands and pushed upward with all my might. When it reached a point, the door clicked and opened slightly on it’s own. Instantly, my host burst through nearly knocking me over. He stood with his hands on his hips and turned to look around the room. He kept saying “Oh My God! ” over and over again. Only three other men came into the room with my host. I spoke to the one standing next to me and pointed at the glowing red switch. With the additional light in the room, the switch wasn’t as obvious as before. He pointed it out to my host who then got real excited. He turned to me and asked what I knew about the room.

I briefly told him about turning on the switch last time and “talking to the computer”. He stood and didn’t say a word to me. He walked over and pushed the red switch. As before, the terminal screen turned blue and the word “Ready” appeared. I told my host to pull out the keyboard and push enter, which he did. The textured window appeared with the icon list. By this time, all the other men were crowded around me and my host looking at the terminal. I pointed to the icon that allowed the computer to speak and told everyone how I was able to listen and talk to the computer. I didn’t say anything about the contents of our discussion.

I decided to keep that part a secret for now. My host moved the pointer arrow to the “Vocal Interface” icon. The computer said, “It’s nice to talk to you again Vanessa, it’s been five days, six hours, and twenty minutes since our last visit. ” My host laughed out loud along with all of his men. I stood silent and tried to think as fast as I could. What to do?? My host quieted down his men with a wave of his hand and spoke, “Computer, I am here with Vanessa and I need your assistance. ” The computer replied, “I am here to serve you. How would you like me to address you? ” My host puffed up his chest and put his hands on his hips.

I am Simon Green, leader of the Sagebrush Rebellion. ” The computer seemed to pause a moment. The soft clicks could be heard from the padded columns. I could tell something was going on but the others didn’t seem to notice. Finally the computer spoke. “Simon Green, your presence here will allow me to finally complete our roles in the reorganization of America. The UnderNet thanks you and me for our excellent service as a part of the greater plan. You and I have done an excellent job of removing and reducing the unnecessary drain of valuable resources by the western cities. It is key to the success of the plan.

We will be remembered as a key part of history. Your final orders and reward for your service will be issued to you in thirty seconds. ” I noticed one of the small icons flickering. It was a small digital clock counting backwards. I turned and ran out the door as fast as I could. All the men bent down to look close as the clock showed ten, then nine, eight, seven… They all stood up straight and backed off. Everyone there had one horrible thought in their minds. I didn’t hear the explosion that took out most of the soldiers and sealed the computer room forever. All I listened for was the beating of my still living heart.

Over the Rhine

It is a rare occurrence in today’s over-amplified, bass-kicking sound world to leave a concert feeling as if you actually heard the music. Over the Rhine provided one of those concerts on Thursday October 2nd at Birdys Bar and Grill in Indianapolis. My personal congratulations to the sound guy, who’s mixing allowed the audience to really hear all the different layers of music and different instrumentation really being played. Another rare occurrence; real songwriters and musicians playing their own music!

The five-piece band is led by vocalist, Karin Barquist, and her husband Linford Detweiler, keyboardist and collaborator. The rest of the band consists of Paul Moak who played the sitar during the opening song and lead guitar during most of the others, Will Seyles on drums, and Rick Plant on bass guitar. But Barquist seems to be the key member in the band. She has all the qualities a good lead singer should have; great voice, good-looking, poised, mature and confident. She really runs the show up there, and makes it look effortless in the process.

The style of music cannot really be defined as one genre. The audience made it even harder to discern the kind of music being played. The people ranged in ages, gender, race, and dress. They just seemed like “real” people, not trying to be any part of one group, just like their music. This mix of folky, pop, one attempt at a slowly spoken rap song, and country music produced all different kinds of songs. The songs have the type of lyrics that make you relate your own life to every single one of them. They’re deep, and well thought out.

Barquist doesn’t just repeat the same nonsense lyric over and over. Her voice, to me, sounds a little like my favorite artist, Sarah McLaughlin. But it could really go any way she wanted; hard, soft, loud, weak, whiny, smooth, short and breathy. I have also heard her compared to singer Norah Jones. It seems like the marital bond between Barquist and Detweiler might have served as a source for lyric material. On Thursday night, the stage at Birdys was adorned with oriental rugs, candles, and vases of flowers to create ambiance.

It was nice, but they wouldn’t have needed it, the music spoke for itself. They played songs from two of their albums, Good Dog Bad Dog, but mostly their latest, Ohio. This album is the one that drew the crowd that night. They opened with a song that I hadn’t heard and was not off of any of their albums. Moak demonstrated his skills on the sitar while Barquist breathed achy words that didn’t make any sense. I don’t think they were all even real words.

This song was just a vocal and instrumental warm up and then they kicked it in gear with the first song off their Ohio album, “B. P. D. ” This song starts simply with piano and vocals. At times, Barquist seems like she might crack her voice but she always seemed to smooth it out just in time. The words in this song resemble something John Lennon might have liked. Instead of “Crying out loud,” Barquist wails “crying out” and makes it seem like she actually is. Their song, “Jesus in New Orleans,” keeps almost the same tempo as “B. P. D. ” but sounds a little more honky-tonk, folksy. I didn’t think I would like this song when they first introduced it because of the title.

I assumed it would be a Christian type song but the lyrics proved me wrong, The last time I saw Jesus/I was drinking Bloody Mary’s/in the south. Barquist voice in this song could have easily been mistaken for Sheryl Crow. Over the Rhine new how to mix it up after these slow to medium tempo, breathy songs and played “Nobody Number 1. ” This song starts with a simple drum beat, while Barquist waits for the right time to jump in with her breathy spoken lyrics. She sings the refrain, Come on now child don’t cry/Let’s give it one more try and returns to her modification of rap.

A lot of people weren’t to keen on this song but I really liked it simply because it was different. When Barquist rattles off the words, it takes a second to digest them, but they’re deep, they rhyme, and she seems like you could just jump in and “rap” with her if you only knew how the song went. The song is complete with random keyboard riffs and a catchy tempo. In one of their most revealing pieces, “Suitcase,” Barquist sings about the end of a relationship. I think she really stripped down to come up with this one.

She’s calling out someone, a past lover maybe, and asking why their “stealing away on a sunny day, aren’t you ashamed? ” Guitar and piano compliment her voice perfectly as she lets the last note of each lyric fade out angelically. Equally as heart-wrenching, is “Long Lost Brother. ” My interpretation of this song was political. It starts, “I thought we’d be further along by now/I wanna do better/I wanna try harder/I wanna believe/down to the letter/Jesus and Mary/Can you carry us across this ocean/into the arms of forgiveness.

I was thinking about all the social crap, war and terror going on and it sent chills up my spine. Her voice is sultry and pain emanates from every verse. “Lifelong Fling” has one of the best lyrics I have ever heard and Barquist sings it to perfection. Imagine, jazzy style, sexy voice, airy and dreamy as she utters the words, “You are 80% angel, 10% demon, and the rest is hard to define. ” Yes! Those are the exact words I’ve felt but could never articulate. A couple of other songs they played were “Bothered,” “Cruel and Pretty” and “Changes Come.

If you had never heard the band before tonight, this is where you would probably think all the songs sounded very similar. Slow, piano and sad. The variety lies in the songwriting, if you start paying attention to the lyrics now, you’d have a different opinion. I almost think what they say is so poignant sometimes it should be in a book or poem by itself. But on the other hand, if you took away the way Barquist sings it, or the accompanying instrumentation, I doubt you would get the same idea.

They can even make an acoustic guitar sound like it’s in pain and crying. They performed two songs during a much appreciated encore, the title track to their new album, “Ohio,” and a freestyle guitar solo. Even though all their songs are pretty much slow and sad, I left the concert feeling as if I had just experience every emotion or feeling there was. There style is so soft and bare. They lay it all on the table, take it or leave it. Not interested in mainstream, happy with their underground following, and plus one more fan after the show in Indianapolis.

The Collapse Essay

I shall always remember this incident. It has etched a lifelong memory in my mind. Perhaps it was because I was so close to Mr. Tan before he died, or perhaps it was because I had witnessed a person who was so close to me die right before my eyes. One cool and breezy morning, I went to the nearby park to relieve the stress of the coming O Level Preliminary Examination. Right in front of me, an elderly man of about sixty years was jogging. He was dressed in sports attire. I thought he looked vaguely familiar from behind. He was gasping profusely for air and his shirt was drenched with sweat.

Unlike the other people jogging in the park, he did not stop to take a drink of water or even a break. He seemed to be pushing himself very hard. After completing seven rounds without taking a break at all, the elderly man suddenly collapsed. Although I was enjoying the scenery and the fresh air, I quickly turned around and rushed to his side. Only then did I realise that he was our friendly and helpful old neighbour, Mr. Tan. Some curious onlookers were crowding around him. I was so shocked that I could hardly breathe. Fortunately, he was still conscious, though he looked weaker than usual.

His face was as white as a sheet. His lips were blue. Just then, a tanned muscular young man drawled, I know how to perform Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation. After which, he pushed his way through the crowd. Another passer-by took his handphone and called the ambulance. After what seemed like eternity, the ambulance finally arrived. I heard the sirens of the ambulance, and heaved a huge sigh of relief. The paramedics lifted Mr. Tans limp body onto a stretcher, then into the ambulance. I immediately called my mother, told her what had happened and got her permission to accompany Mr. Tan on the ambulance.

I climbed onto the ambulance and sat beside Mr. Tan. I held his hand and stroked his forehead. I was extremely worried about his condition. He was kind and friendly and always willing to help others. I visited him very often, and we spent a lot of time together. Whether it was playing chess with him, listening to his grandfather stories, or watching television with him, we always had a lot of fun together. I did not want anything to happen to him. He treated me like his grandson; and I treated him like my grandfather. The ambulance was not moving at all and I wondered why. I peered out of the window and saw road congestion.

I thought, The ambulance might not be able to reach the hospital in time! Unless there was a miracle, there was no way he could survive long enough till we reached the hospital. Suddenly, Mr. Tan fainted. He was unconscious. There was a long queue of vehicles in front of us. I prayed for Mr. Tan. I prayed that he would not die. I did not want him to die before my eyes. A paramedic came over and felt Mr. Tans pulse rate to assess his medical status. She shouted in dismay, Mr. Tan is dead! His heart is not beating! Tears welled up in my eyes. I thought angrily, Why did God let Mr. Tan die? It isnt fair. He was like a grandfather to me.

Hot tears flowed down my cheeks. I had just seen Mr. Tan well and alive, and then he was dead. A few days later, I attended Mr. Tans funeral. I was depressed. I really sympathised with Mr. Tans relatives when I saw them sobbing uncontrollably. When I walked past his coffin, I could not help but shed a few tears. He was a really special friend. When I was down, he would cheer me up. When I was happy, he would share my happiness with me. After that incident, I learnt to treasure the people around me. I have also learnt how delicate and fragile life is. I will never ever forget Mr. Tan, and all our memorable experiences we had had together.

Diagnosis Of Patience

Jennifer came to me several failed visits and theripys through out her teen years. She had, like it past reports complained of “always feeling worried and anxious”. She often talked on how going out to social settings and relationships was so difficult. Believing that it was her fate to always be alone. She felt very uncomfortable around crowds as if they would turn on her in angry or disapproval. Jennifer had came to me after a referral from a mutual friend of mine.

One that she had built a friendship with the current job that she had worked continuously for 2 yrs. Past History: Talking about her past elationships, I found she hadn’t been intimate with any single person in over six yrs. That all had failed within 3 moths. Most of her broken relationships were because she felt mistrust, and a feeling that “they were trying to pull something over on me, and I (Jennifer) was so afraid of being hurt”. Often, making quick calls and predictions to the short-term future, she thought it was best to “run away. ” Jennifer’s body language showed of an act. Working in the pubic she had taught herself to act how she viewed as normal.

There was difficulty in eye contact, almost as if she was fighting not to look way. Observing her petite frame, it was on that Turning around I viewed her expressions threw a mirror on the wall, becoming untensed and looking down, it was an action of a person being gratefully relived. After building a strong foundation over several months, I begun slowly taking her back to her teen years. I found when Jennifer was 15 years of age; she had become intimate with a 17-year-old male. This relationship had lasted for two years. During the relationship, she told of constily being put down, that it wasn’t nothing physical but all mental.

She told of several experiences of that the male had ook outside their relationship for other sexual gradifications, even so far to involve the majority of her trusted female friends. Jennifer spoke with tremble in her voice as she recalls certain personal situations. The short stories were that of deceit and humiliation. Identifying Systems: Social Phobia is the marked and persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others.

The individual fears that he or she will act in a way (or show anxiety symptoms) that will be humiliating or embarrassing. Exposure to the feared social situation almost invariably provokes anxiety, The person recognizes that the fear is excessive or unreasonable. The feared social or performance situations are avoided or else areendured with intense anxiety or distress. The avoidance, anxious anticipation, or distress in the feared social or performance situation interferes with the person’s normal routine, occupational functioning, or social activities or relationships, or there is marked distress about having the phobia.

If you suffer from social phobia, you tend to think that other people re very competent in public and that you are not. Small mistakes you make may seem to you much more exaggerated than they really are. Blushing itself may seem painfully embarrassing, and you feel as though all eyes are focused on you. You may be afraid of being with people other than those closest to you. Or your fear may be more specific, such as feeling anxious about giving a speech, talking to a boss or other authority figure, or dating. The most common social phobia is a fear of public speaking.

Sometimes social phobia involves a general fear of social situations such as parties. More rarely it may involve a fear of using a public restroom, eating out, talking on the phone, or writing in the presence of other people, such as when signing a check. Although this disorder is often thought of as shyness, the two are not the same. Shy people can be very uneasy around others, but they don’t experience the extreme anxiety in anticipating a social situation, and they don’t necessarily avoid circumstances that make them feel self-conscious.

In contrast, people with social phobia aren’t necessarily shy at all. They can be completely at ease with people most of the time, but articular situations, such as walking down an aisle in public or making a speech, can give them intense anxiety. People with social phobia are aware that their feelings are irrational. Still, they experience a great deal of dread before facing the feared situation, and they may go out of their way to avoid it. Even if they manage to confront what they fear, they usually feel very anxious beforehand and are intensely uncomfortable throughout.

Afterwards, the unpleasant feelings may linger, as they worry about how they may have been judged or what others may have thought or observed about them. Treatment: About 80 percent of people who suffer from social phobia find relief from their symptoms when treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy or medications or a combination of the two. The first approach to treatment of social anxiety disorder usually involves the prescription of a drug by a physician. Typically Xanax is prescribed for situational relief. Inhibitor such as (Paxil) is used to target the biological production and/or absorption of serotonin.

Therapy may involve learning to view social events differently; being exposed to a seemingly hreatening social situation in such a way that it becomes easier to face; and learning anxiety-reducing techniques, social skills, and relaxation techniques. The prognosis for diagnosed social phobias is excellent, with a reported 90% of treated patients experiencing a significant reduction in symptoms. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a psychological treatment, which trains anxious people to overcome their fear through the practice of a variety of exercises and coping techniques.

With social anxiety, group therapy is especially effective in that lients have the opportunity to practice their learning in a safe and sympathetic environment. CBT usually begins with a study of the disorder, examining the situations that provoke the anxiety and the accompanying somatic symptoms. The educational process sets the understanding for training in skills to alleviate and eventually conquer social phobia. These skills include relaxation techniques, diaphragmatic breathing, and the cognitive restructuring of distorted and negative thinking that contribute to social anxiety and exposure to situations that precipitate anxiety.

Prognosis: Beginning within onths Jennifer showed great improvements. With the proper dosage adjustments and therapy, she was able maintain and over come many of her fears. Jennifer now attends monthly group sessions that she feels are most important. The prescription of Xanax has gradually been reducing to lower dosages, as she feels less more dependants. The Paxil has, however has been reduced, she found a noticeable change when reducing consumption. But with support threw CBT and group therapy she feels more confiendent in herself in finding out how to life a structured life around “had have” social phobia.

Grandfather’s House Essay

His house, an edifice of dilapidated wood, reminds me of age. The white siding showed evidence of neglect. Paint chips had fallen off and collected on the window ledge and shudders, leaving small patches of wood showing. The shudders were brown and rough, like that of the bark of an old tree. Hanging askew, they gave the impression of experience. Before the front entrance stood a moss enclosed porch. The moss hung off the porch like motionless waves of the sea. Mounted in the porch stood a cast iron rail, while crooked, it still displayed the same strength as though it were new.

A rickety old mailbox was erected next to the porch. The post had decayed from so many years of weathering; it amazed me that it still endured. The numbers on the mailbox were reminiscent of the seemingly ages that he’d been living there. As I recollect, they had always been there, each crudely dangling by their own minute nails. Each number showed signs of, long-since-faded, gold embossment, with spots of rust freckling their surface. The door looked like a ramshackle collection of scrap wood and glass hung loosely on its hinges. Down the steps and larger than life was the yard.

The front yard was a vast expanse of green, covered by sticks, which had fallen from the “great tree”. The “great tree,” as I called it, was a colossal tree that seemed to go all the way to the heavens. I often wondered what would happen if I could reach the top. There were lilac trees, which lined both sides of the front yard, leaving only a gap for the driveway that came through from the road. A gate, made from semi-bent steel bars and chicken wire, blocked the entranceway. The driveway, two strips of concrete separated by a grass median, led back to the garage.

The garage, like the house, also had a lot of years behind it. The roof of the garage was made of reddish shingles, which, due to age, were falling apart. Just outside the main garage door were two half-barrels, one on each side. These barrels smelt with a combination of Old Italian wine and freshly placed soil. Next to the barrels, lying on the ground was a collection of miscellaneous gardening tools, a small spade, a cultivator, a pair of trimming shears, and a tulip planter. Also sitting next to one of the finger like extensions of the cultivator was a small bag of seed packets.

These seeds were the usual seeds my grandfather used for his garden. There were tomato, cucumber, and bell and chili pepper seeds. There were also squash, pumpkin, and watermelon seeds. Hanging on the side door to the garage was an old fireman’s axe. The axe still shone with cherry red radiance, and the blade was a shimmering metallic sharpness in the afternoon sun. Inside the garage was cluttered with boxes full of odds and ends from TVs, radios, and other diverse electronic equipment. Behind the boxes was an old workbench.

This is where I can remember my grandfather doing his handiwork making picnic tables, fixing electronics, and sometimes just sitting drinking a beer thinking about what we would do next. The workbench was littered with a wealth of tools and devices, which I would only dream about what they could be used for. In a clearing, in the middle of the boxes, was an old bullet heater. I remember my grandfather telling me one winter afternoon to stay clear of its head because it would get red hot. In the other half of the garage was my grandfather’s prized possession: his red 1992 Thunderbird.

He always used to tell me that one day he would allow me to drive it. The Thunderbird had only 1,000 miles on it and it was always spotless. Just outside the garage was the back yard. This is where I remember spending my days running around in the waist-high grass pretending that I was in a jungle. In the center of the yard was a large satellite dish. It was a large black ominous monstrosity, which seemed to turn of its own free will. Next to the satellite dish on the right side was a sandbox my grandfather and I had built one summer.

On the other side of the yard near the house stood a crabapple tree. There was one year when I was four and a half that I went outside and saw a rose blooming out of the side of the tree. When I asked my grandfather why the rose was there he said, “Maybe the tree is having a good day. ” In the back of the yard was an old tree, not as old and wise as the “great tree” but still a very old tree. Inscribed on the base of the tree were the initials D. S. W. and A. G. C. these were the initials of my parents before they had gotten married.

Behind the garage was the garden, which in the summer was flourishing with fruits, melons, and vegetables. Beside the garden was a very large compost bin my grandfather put his grass clippings in. Every time I would go to my grandfather’s house I would find something else that seemed to make me ponder the workings of life. It was always a place where I could explore the unknown and find the answer to the question, “What should I do today? ” There was always a sense of adventure and excitement. These are the memories of my grandfather’s house.

What is an American

The traits of the typical American has changed drastically throughout the years. We have changed in many ways from when we officially became independent in 1776 to the present time in 2001. Some of the metamorphosis we have undergone as a country have been for the better, others for the worst. In the twentieth and now the twenty-first centuries, the American society has grown up with new ideas on life and new technology that has become a part of life. The Modern American can be described as someone who is hardworking, self-made, and electronically advanced.

Women used to stay home and take care of the house while their husbands worked. Now women are working in the same fields as men, even in high prestige jobs such as doctors, lawyers, and presidents of well-known companies. Todays American makes his or her money by working hard. The typical American worker starts at the bottom and works hard get to the top. Everywhere, people are using devices such as cellular phones, 2-way pagers, laptop computers, and other devices that were not available before and have now become an important part of the way Americans live. Americans have been disappointing over the past ten years or so.

Problems have escalated in drug use, hate crimes, and other negative actions such as teenage pregnancy. King 2 There have been several improvements in the state of Americans like the reduced rate of smoking and homicides. It is important to progress in the fighting of drug use, hate crimes, as well as our other problems to improve todays society. The actions of Americans now will affect the society in the future, whether it is one year from now or one-hundred years from now, which makes it important to choose what is best for the nation. Being an American, I possess some of the traits that the Modern American possess.

I am hard worker, holding a demanding after school job and keeping up with my studies at the same time. I am part of the electronic craze that has taken over the world within the last ten years. My beliefs are that electronics are the key to success in the future so I wish to keep myself knowledgeable in this aspect. Along with many of my fellow teenagers, I am independent. I can think, act, and make important decisions on my own without the help of someone telling me how to live my life. I do not believe that I am part of our societys problem, but that I am part of its solution.

It is important for every American to demonstrate high qualities because a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. In this case it means that our society can only prosper with the collective help of all of its members. Modern Americans have greater, more difficult issues to deal with every day. It has become more complex to go through life without hitting a few bumps on the way. As the nation grows older, it must be maintained that we were given our freedom but not to the extent of abusing it. Modern Americans must strive to improve society and to make the United States a better place to live now, and in the future.

They Call Me Anti-American

Every time I have returned from Honduras I have gone into severe culture shock. It takes me many months to adjust to my native country. This may sound strange to many and others must surely think me insane for saying this thing. They probably wonder how one can experience culture shock in their homeland. To understand it one would have to open their eyes to some basic truths. Most do not want to admit to these truths.

They exhibit all of the classic signs of those who have been indoctrinated into to the more controversial cults even down to the classic syndrome which CIA experts in the thought modification business term the “slide response. ” In this response the person being confronted with the truth, or with the wrongness of their actions will attack desperately with illogical arguments. In severe cases they completely “shut down” mentally rather than face what their subconscious mind tells them to be true.

One of the greatest ironies of today is the USA touting itself as the land of the free while individuals in many other nations – particularly some developing nations – enjoy more liberty than many Americans. The US is saturated with federal, state and local laws seeking to regulate and control individuals. That is not the case in many of the so-called third world nations I have visited. Politicians in this country would like for us to believe that the people would be like little lost children without their guidance and, more importantly, their protection.

The latest tactics being used are trumped-up threats of terrorist bogeymen to frighten people into even greater submission. Perhaps they are right and we have lost the ability to care for ourselves. Americans have been softened by consumerism. Generations of children have been dumbed down through entertainment and the educational system. The latest generation of children is being raised in an environment of tight security. Schools are heavily monitored with cameras, metal detectors, frequent locker searches, police presence and even the new RFID tags.

When they become adults, this will all seem normal to them. They will not even remember a time when it was not this way. The essence of liberty is the lack of restraint on the individual. Freedom thrives when individual liberty is unbound. In America, the gospel of security is preached as the defense of freedom but it is a false gospel. In the context of the so-called War on Terror, this new security is actually the greatest threat against our freedom.

In March 2003, eight months before the White House appointed him the Homeland Security Department’s top intelligence official, retired U. S. Army Gen. Patrick M. Hughes told a public forum at Harvard that the government would have to “abridge individual rights” and take domestic security measures “not in accordance with our values and traditions” to prevent terrorist attacks in the United States. “What I’m about to say is very arrogant arrogant to a fault,” said Hughes, a former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), at a Harvard University forum on “Future Conditions: The Character and Conduct of War, 2010 and 2020. ” “Set aside what the mass of people think.

Some things are so bad for them that you cannot allow them to have them. One of them is war in the context of terrorism in the United States. ” “Therefore, we have to abridge individual rights, change the societal conditions, and act in ways that heretofore were not in accordance with our values and traditions, like giving a police officer or security official the right to search you without a judicial finding of probable cause. ” “Things are changing, and this change is happening because things can be brought to us that we cannot afford to absorb.

We can’t deal with them, so we’re going to reach out and do something ahead of time to preclude them. ” “Is that going to change your lives? ” Hughes asked rhetorically. “It already has. ” The greatest liberty that many people living outside the United States enjoy is the freedom from maniacal authoritarians creating devils, with which to scare people into bowing down and worshiping the false security god. It’s the freedom from being forced to partake in the unholy sacraments of this fabricated new religion.

The greater the threat of evil is hyped, the greater the security measures are implemented and as a result, the greater the restraints on individual liberty. This is that much feared slippery slope and at the bottom awaits only darkness and slavery. America’s rampantly unhealthy consumerism has produced people all too willing to “buy” into what the so-called leaders are “selling. ” They sell a vision of America as a righteous instrument of God while they kill thousands in Iraq. They promise peace on earth but deliver only war.

They claim a mandate to liberate the world from oppression while they construct a high-tech police state at home and a network of torture around the globe. They assert that by making the world safer they make America safer. But how can America be safer when it is increasingly hated around the world? They invoke freedom and peace while peddling a false doctrine of death and destruction disguised as heroic goodness. They get more power, their corporate buddies get more of our money because people believe the lies they tell.

You cannot really blame the people for believing the lies. They have been conditioned to do so for many years. They have been conditioned through the media, the schools and almost every aspect of their lives to believe what they are told. Peer pressure is used to great effect in this campaign so that people even profess to believe the lies rather than risk ostracism or even the loss of their comfortable lifestyles through government intervention.