My Reflection Paper

Walking into English 12 Honors I knew I was about to embrack on the hardest adventure in my life. When people seen that my teacher was Mr. Gallagher the only thing that was said was "GOOD LUCK!" people commented about his lengthy papers and his strange behavior. Many people who i always thought were smarter than me dropped the class the very first day of school. I thought to myself that I must be smarter than that because I decided to stay and try. I was so wrong. Mr. Gallagher wasn't as strange as people sed but his work was just as peole said.

Doing the very first assignments weren't that bad. "Red Shift" was a good poem, my only problem was I knew nothing about poems. In years past the only real thing that was focused on was SOAPSTONE and that was easy seeing as we basically didn't have to really think about anything. Nobody ever asked me about how I felt our how felt or how the poet was trying to make me feel. When that question was asked I repiled how am I suppose to know I didn't know him. After sitting back for a while it started to make sense to me. I have always like poetry but I never really knew what it was. I never really ever thought of mulitple meanings of words and pharses. I thank Mr. Gallagher for intro ducing me to a new funner way of looking at poetry.

More into the year we started with the lengthy papers. The first one I recall was the 1000 word discription of Bruegel's "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus." This is when I really wished I had switched out because I knew that i couldn't write 1000 words on a painting. Exspecially one that I didn't really care for too much but I did try. Too bad I had made it harder for me than it really had to be. If i had spent as much time actually doing the work as apose to complaining about it and doubting my self i would've had much better grades. I know I can't blame anyone else for this besides myself. My laziness is the cause of many things going wrong in my life and now it might be the reason I fail my english class.

Closer to the end of the year I tried to turn things around noticing that Mr. Gallagher was willing to give me a chance. Of course I started out strong but than I again started to fall behide. I knew that before I walked into his room in Auguest I was in no way a writer and I knew that leaving his classroom I was still not going to be a writer. With the way we got to self express oursleves I said to myself "Hey, you can do this for a short period of time", so I was finally not doubting myself. I knew it was a little too late but again I can't blame anyone but myself.

Over all in this english class i grew from where I was before, but i didn't grow enough because I wasn't willing to. Mr. Gallagher is one awsome teacher and I wish that i didn't isolate myslef from him in the begining. I always knew he was there to help but I always thought I wasn't smart enough to do it. Only I know now that I am. Too bad it took until May to notice. Mr. Gallagher, Thanks for being such a cool teacher. Sorry it took so long for me to notice it. I hope everything goes great for you. As for me all I can do is pray I didn't fully mess up my future!!!

A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man

Throughout “A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man” Stephen Dedalus struggles in his journey in becoming from young boy into a young man. Mary Dedalus, Stephen’s mother, has a close relationship with her son. She has always been there for Stephen. A lot different with the relationship Stephen has with Simon Dedalus, his father. Stephen and hi father are distant and do not have much communication. In the beginning of the novel, Stephen is sent away to a boarding school, which is called a college. The send off to the college was an emotion and teary goodbye for Mrs. Dedalus. She gets choked up to the point where Stephen ignored the tears that were building in his mother’s eyes. Where as the goodbye between Mr. Dedalus and Stephen is more rushed with parting words that allow Stephen to know he is always welcomed home.
The lack of a true paternal difference in Stephen’s life leaves him searching for the right way he should be living. After Stephen makes what to him felt like the biggest mistake in his life he begins to search for forgiveness. He turns to god and the fathers at the college to aid or cleanse him from his sin. While feeling dirty and sorrow for what he had done Stephen realizes that he is very different form his father and he very well may be more mature than his father may be. Stephen goes to a bar with his father and witnesses his father along with to of his fathers friends go down memory lane:
Stephen watched as the three glasses being raised from the counter as his father and his two cronies drank to the memory of their past. An abyss of fortune or of temperament sundered him from them. His mind seemed older than theirs: it shone coldly on their strifes and happiness and regrets like a moon upon a younger earth. No life or youth stirred in him as it had stirred in them. (p94)

Stephen is now beginning to look down at his father knowing that he himself hasn’t fully grown into an adult. Stephen being younger than his father has never known the feeling of just being free with other men expressing their emotions. Before Joyce writes this passage Stephen’s father’s friends are mocking Stephen, by saying that Stephen wasn’t his father’s son. No one really knowing what Stephen was going through mentally. Needing to have a feeling of being cleanse but now that Stephen is seeing this man who was suppose to be his paternal guidance drunkenly ranting about his childhood erases mentally the fact that this man who he has known as his father is even alive.
Being back at the college Stephen’s masculinity continues to be challenged. Every person who he looks up to play a role in being a fatherly figure to him, all relationships with him men are condescending and give Stephen a since of being castrated. The fathers at the college scold him and he is unable to make eye contact increasing his fears and distrust with male figures. Continuing his need/want for his mother who has always made Stephen feel safe and secure.
Stephen has an original close connection with his mother and the women in his life as a child. Stephen’s relationship with his mother allows him to subconsciously from a sexual want/need for his mother as well as need her for comfort. The comfort provided by his mother is what leads Stephen into this endless search of finding his masculine side. Stephen is forced to learn his morals from his mother and Donte until he goes away to the college. While being at the college Stephen develops the wanting to fit in with the other boys at the college. After Stephen is made fun of for kissing his mother he begins to miss his mother. Stephen misses the comfort provided to him by his mother. The comfort provided to a baby by his mother’s womb.
Stephen searching for a feeling of security led him into the arms of a strumpet, Mercedes. Mercedes as well is only looking to be comforted, gave Stephen the comfort he was looking for. After find the comfort in the strumpet, he begins to look for forgiveness because of the sins he commented with her. After finding the comfort from her he begins to make women up in his mind. The women that he was making up were reflections of his mother only Stephen refused to believe that his mother had ever engaged in any of these actions. He repeats his references to the Virgin Mother when it came to his mother. Joyce writes about Stephen struggling with women in his mind to show the conflicts of interest between his original vision of women being completely pure and this new notion of thinking women is there for pleasure.
Stephen who really only wanted to have control, the control that was lacking in the world he was in. Joyce writes Stephen as a young boy searching to become a man and the elements Joyce puts in Stephen’s life makes it hard to find himself. Stephen wants to feel secure but he can’t because the only feeling of security he ever really knew was with his mother. Being away from her only forces him to search harder. His dependence on her love and emotion begin to send him into a parallel universe where he creates women mentally. The women he creates all in a sense reflect his mother, only the women he is creating aren’t trashy and they don’t move past any limits he sent fourth for women. The creation aids him in being able to keep control. Joyce begins to show that even though Stephen can’t find what he was looking for in the outside world hr did have the control he needed for the universe Joyce had created for Stephen. The control Stephen has over the women in his mind allowed him to continue not to cross the boundaries that he wouldn’t croons with his mother. Stephen felt his mother was still pure and didn’t want to imagine her in any other way.
Stephen remained thinking of his mother as being pure and to him he was in a relationship with his mother. “A dim antagonism gathered force within him and darkened his mind as a cloud against her disloyalty: and when it passed . . . he was aware dimly and without regret of a first noiseless sundering of their lives” (p. 150). This new feeling of distrust in his mother has weighted heavily on the way Stephen would perceive his mother and women now. Not only was he unable to relate to masculine figures but now he won’t be able to relate to the person he was closet to in his life. The safety and security that Stephen felt with her is now blurred in confusion. Beginning to think about past moments in their lives together, Stephen starts remembering that the life he mentally had with his mother may only be in his mind. Stephen’s mother may not be as perfect as Stephen had imagined her to be. Mary Dedalus very well may not be as pure as the Blessed Mother he has often compared her to. His perfect mother is flawed much like the way he viewed the other women he encountered while at his college weather it be physical or mentally. Due to his up bringing in his religion Stephen viewed many things simply black and white there was no gray or in-between. As Stephen strays away from the men in his life and religion because they weren’t a place he felt safe or secure.
Battling these figures weren’t easy for Stephen. He struggled to find his masculine side so he wouldn’t be seen as a lesser man while trying to uphold the morals that his mother had bring him up with made Stephen question. Stephen questioned himself and his religion. Questioning if his religion was helping him or just bringing him down. Stephen didn’t trust in the Heavenly Father as much as he didn’t believe in his real father or any other parental figures. Now with this new distrust for his mother he didn’t care much for finding the right way but finding himself. The juxtaposition that Joyce has made with the maternal and parental have leads Stephen to stray from the church as well as to be any closer to either side. Stephen began to distrust he church and didn’t want to have the feeling of restrictions as he did being in the church. The church felt like a net to him because he wasn’t able to fully express himself. Stephen only is able to express himself through art. Art was freeing to Stephen and he didn’t have to hold anything back. He didn’t have to feel sorry for the way that he wrote he was completely free. The sense of freedom that Stephen never felt before, the one he was searching for but something was always holding him back. Stephen decided that with straying away from his parents and their opposing factors in his life that he would force him to abandon the Church.
Stephen Dedalus’ conflicts within and out side him mentally is what forces him into the world of art. He is pushed as far as to no longer want to be a part of the world he only wanted to write. Stephen decides that he will isolate himself from the world and everything that was going on in his life:
Look here, Cranly, he said. You have asked me what I would do and what I would not do. I will tell you what I will do and what I will no do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe whether it call itself my home, my fatherland or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use, silence, exile, and cunning. (p218)

Shows when Stephen has finally had it. He’s not going to live a life that he isn’t happy in. He won’t be forced into something that he didn’t believe. Art was the only way out. Everything in his life has made him choose to isolate himself and stay in his true way of self expression. Stephen is as well forgetting about his homeland, Ireland . He feels that in Ireland people restrict themselves he didn’t want to be subjected to any form of restriction. Stephen is becoming an artist which is his true self.
James Joyce writes this novel with many significant figures. A recurring imagine in the novel is his reference to the Virgin Mary. Being that Stephen is raised in a strong Catholic atmosphere, he views women originally as being pure. Stephen’s views are very basic right and wrong. He does stuff either extreme or he doesn’t do it at all. He was once comforted by women and now they are only an object of pleasure and not an object held sacred. Joyce places the young Stephen in an environment that is stable in his mind. He has no corruption in the relationship that he already has. Until Stephen is sent anyway, when Stephen goes away he begins to question if the relationships that he had before with his parents, more so his mother. Since Stephen has never really had a relationship with his father he never questioned if it was normal or not. Stephen struggles to find him self eventually leading to his complete isolation from the world and becoming an artist.
Feminine Criticism implicates that men have a very basic view of life. They work only to go to one conclusion, with one set goal. Whereas women think abstractly and may can come odorant conclusions for the same question. The way Joyce writes “A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man” he relates it to different aspects including by writing in such a way that he writes in the view of Feminism. Also by the way Joyce writes about the relationship with his mother psychoanalytic believe that at young ages boys develop a sexual want for their mother. They get aroused when there mothers have to change their diapers. The gentle feel from their mothers on their genitals subconsciously start their sexual need for women.
Stephen feels the urge to want comfort from women because the woman is his life isn’t close. The subconscious sexual urge for his mother is described through the belief by psychologist when he was a child. Stephen believes his mother is the idol women, who has never known sin and hasn’t been touched. His choice in turning to art also go along with what psychologists beliefs because people choose the books that they read by their own preferences. Stephen isn’t changing his ways truly, because Stephen is still doing the complete extreme and not what would be the simplest choice.

RDraft- College Essay

My Smile

As a preparation to reading my essay I just want to be as clear as possible, don’t pity, and don’t feel bad. I don’t need the extra attention. I am but who I am, I’ve dealt with this stuff before I’m past it. These events molded me into the young lady I am today. I don’t need the pity there is a lot worst going on in the world. As you read only keep in mind that I’m just another American teen.

My smile, my shield, the one aspect in my life that protects me from being alone. “Alone”, this word holds such power, only what does it mean? I never have been alone, yet I don’t remember not being alone. No one ever knew the real me. I’m not sure I know who I am. What really defines me? Is it being my mother’s baby, a little sister to my brother, a godmother of two, or auntie to my nephew? Maybe it’s being a Haitian – American going up in America. A friend someone anyone can turn to for advice for a shoulder to lean on. No, what I am I a pretender. I pretend to be perfect, pretend to be fine. Wanting most for not being “alone”, only I am. I’m surrounded by people who think they know me but I don’t know myself. All I know is that I smile.

Growing up I was a typical happy- go – lucky child. I had my mother, my brother and my dad. My biggest concern was keeping up with my heart conditions and trying to stay healthy because I was a sickly child. That was until the day that hunts me the most, the day my world was turned upside down, the day I found my smile. I was about 5 or so, my brother and I playing our usual game of wrestling then the yelling. A familiar voice screaming, I ran out my room my eyes must have been lying to me. It couldn’t be, my dad just beat her. She was lying there all bloody in the doorway of our apartment. Mom what are you doing get up. She yelled to me “Get Help!” I was 5 I didn’t know what to do. So I ran, confused, crying I ran. Thankfully my babysitter was 5 doors down. I didn’t know what was going on the man I loved the most, the one who I knew as protector of my whole family almost killed the women who I loved the most. The one I knew best. He made it so that I was scared at the hospital when I seen her. She was a monster to me. The only thing I knew was I had to smile. Had to make sure no one knew anything was wrong.

Back to my life, happy as can be, but now a pre-teen. Fitting into the stereotype of young angry black girl. I hated everyone, hated my dad for leaving me at such a young age to start his new family. One I wasn’t part of, I wasn’t invited. I hated my brother for making my mom so angry. I hated my school for trying to tell me what to do; they didn’t know anything about me. I was so angry but still I was smiling. Concentrating on anything but what was going bad in my life. I wanted friends, I didn’t want to be “alone”; again that word but still what dos it mean. Now he’s leaving. My only real friend, even though I hated him he’s leaving. Now I hated my brother more he was leaving me to be by myself. He left after his best friend died. I blamed myself. I made him leave just like my dad and my mother’s ex-husband. No one wanted to be around me. I couldn’t blame them. I circled around people that were getting into trouble, living reckless lives just because I knew if they got attention I would too. No one who I felt I hid behind my smile. Everyone thought I was as happy as can be. Really on the inside I was suffering, my brother left me, my dad left me, my friends didn’t know me, my mom was hospitalized because of her stroke. Everyone dear was leaving but still I held my head up high and smiled.
High School has started; time to make a fresh start. No one knew me as the angry black girl I was just a freshmen. The only thing I knew was that I had to make myself noticed, had to make a name for myself. No longer would I be living in my older brother’s shadow. Everything is going great. My brother came back. My dad and I regained a relationship mostly due to my cousin’s death; she was raped, tortured and murdered by her ex- boyfriend. I’m guessing my dad was too scared to loose me the way we lost her. The point was for once I think I was truly happy ready to live a new life. I joined clubs became an active member of Malden High. In doing this I slacked where it was most important not to, my school work. My viewpoint was just that freshmen year was my year to find myself to learn who I was get rid of my smile. The next year was semi-ok no real problems, excluding one or two deaths. Finally my year was here I was a junior. The people I thought were my friends I dropped quickly because their way of life just wasn’t for me. Everyone turned on me some how. Until the point I got my very first and last suspension. Suspended a legion I heard people getting all the time, but not me. I realized I wasn’t happy. Surprisingly my smile wasn’t there either. Still because I had my smile for so long nobody noticed. The Malden High Cheerleader, Dancer, Peer Mediator with so much school spirit couldn’t have anything wrong with her. I had to make changes, a scary thought at 16. Even scarier I had to make them alone, by myself with no help. It wasn’t that bad I got new friends who knew what my smile meant. Opened up to my brother and instead of helping everyone else I helped myself. Now a senior I’m ready to move on with my life. Become something great. Make my family proud. Make my smile mean something good for once.

Self Assessment / Joyce Discussion

1. What was your role in the small group discussions? What did you add to the group?

As for official role i don’t think anyone really had anything assigned. Our group basically read everything than if we had any comments/questions we mentioned it when we were all together. I added insight from some of the goddesses/gods referenced and spoke more about the points I thought was important to not only my paper but to my group as a whole.

2. How would you rate your performance in the large group discussion? Why?

I would rate myself a B because as much as I tried to remain focused I was distracted by everything that was going on in the room. Also whenever Mr. G would look at me I became nervous and even if I had something to say I didn’t in fear I would say something wrong or that didn’t fully make sense to anyone besides me. Lastly I didn’t feel I gave a complete 100% I gave about a 90%. Also I am not trying to blame Mr. G for my proformance, I should be over that by now!

3. Out of all the discussions, what were the two most insightful observations that you gained from the discussion, and who made those points?

One observation that stood out to me was how Stephen isolated himself from everyone feeling art was his only true way to express himself without sin which was originally said by Chris O but repeated afterwards. Secondly, Mr. G saying that the reading we are attracted to is only because we have a connection, whether it is attraction, curiosity, or real life experience.

Filler Chapter- A Lesson Before Dying

It was a usual Sunday morning for me, I remained home as I graded the papers for the young children on the plantation. I asked them to express to me how they felt about Jefferson’s convection. Most of the children spoke about how depressed they were that he was treated during the trail. Many only spoke of how the use of the word Hog to refer to him offended them. One child even spoke about how she wish she was older to become a lawyer that way she could defend people like Jefferson who are innocent yet still convicted only due to his skin color. The papers were starting to get to me; they were helping me to make the decision to take up Miss Emma to help him while imprisoned.

After returning the papers, I explained to the students that they were gain to be seeing me a lot less because I would be visiting Jefferson in jail. To help him the only way that I knew how which was through education. Miss Emma wanted me to Jefferson die like a man and not like a hog. The first couple of visitations were hard. Jefferson didn’t want to open up. He was cold and rude to me. I took it personally because I didn’t understand why any man who had someone wanting to help them out in jail would turn them down. I had to keep in mind that I was doing this to help Miss Emma. I kept visiting him until one day when he opened up to me. I got him to open up by speaking about is final meal. In which he told me that he would love to have a gallon of vanilla ice cream. He told me about how much he loves ice cream. With this conversation the barrier between us was broken between us.

I went out after that and ask the people in the plantation for money. Basically like a collection plate. I asked them for this money so that I can buy Jefferson a radio to give to him the next visit. During the next visit I gave Jefferson a note book and told him to write to me any feelings or any thoughts that came to his mind, he promised to do so. When I came back and his notebook the feelings that I had while reading the essays of the children came back. Jefferson’s thoughts focused on what was the difference between hogs and man. He mentioned about how he had been thinking about death. The thoughts about death had concerned me. Then Jefferson asked me if I prayed. I couldn’t lie. I told him the truth. I didn’t believe in anything. I told him though I believed in nothing I wanted him to believe in something. I wanted to be able to look at him and one day and say because Jefferson I believe. I was helping him with something who would’ve thought he’d be helping too.

This visit with Jefferson reminds me of the conversation I had with Reverend Ambrose. Reverend asked me to help Jefferson with his prayers but I told him I couldn’t. He was mad, he yelled at me. Told me that I was uneducated and told me that I was only a boy, not a man. I was angry but I understood why he was angry with me. I was raised in the church with my family. Only I choose to slowly stray away from the church because of school. Now I don’t believe in anything I told him that and he just didn’t have much to say. I tried to explain to him that I couldn’t help him with his prayers because I didn’t believe in anything so it would be me lying to him.

I’m lost now, I’ve lost what I went to Jefferson to help him in the first place. I was becoming a student now. Instead of teaching I was now becoming the student. Only I’ve gone to school so I didn’t know what Jefferson had to offer me. I was use to being in control but now I was being taught. I did learn it, I had lost it. He was teaching me how to believe again. Reverend Ambrose has been trying for a while but now Jefferson was the one that I was helping to become the man that he was when he knew he was on death row was bringing me to find GOD.

I use to BE your SHORTY!!!!!

I use to LOVE when you called me your shorty
It let me know the i knew u down to a "T"
Even more when you held me in your heart so near
And you whispered sweet nothings in my ear
Nothing could explain our LOVE
How free it made me, like a dove
When i was in tears you held me in your arms
When I was scared you held me to keep me from all harms
I've always tryed to to stay by your side
Just to prove I down to ride
Sadly, that has all changed now
I'm left sayin "WoW"
You took your LOVE away
Lord knows I don't feel the same way
I want you back wit me
So that you can show me when you remember when you used to brush my hair
We were so close that we breathed the same air
Maybe me-n-you are one in the same
And you miss me too, but your playin a wack-ass game
I remember that very first night
How everything felt so right
I'm slowly feeling that way again
Lately, redoine the way we begain
I'm starting to feel that o0o so0o great bliss
That bliss I felt after our first kiss
You make me complete, make me a whole
Not being with you for so long Just makes a huge hole
But just remember...

That Shorty was me
That shorty is me
Anything for you
Just ask, I'll do
Cuz like it or not I'm your