ChapStick

“Reminding ourselves, over and over, how well we were doing in Queens was our ongoing balm; like ChapStick, we could apply as needed. It was as if we kept trying to convince ourselves that leaving had been our choice. Yet being better off financially didn’t soothe our longing, our souls” (101).

 The word ChapStick, also known as moisturizer lip balm, refers to the name of a particular brand of lip balm and is, also known as, the act of applying moisturizer to cracked or sore skin, usually one’s lips. Chap, defined by Merriam Webster as, a crack or sore of the skin by exposure to wind or cold. Balms contain a variety of ingredients that may causes a tingling feeling. This sensation is actually protective layer of dead skin on one’s lips peeling off. Kenan’s metaphor suggest his family is needing to constantly apply moisturizer in order to peel of layers of dead skin, layers of painful memories, of those betrayals made by, once, trusted friends, therefore, convince themselves their cracks have healed. The connotation of using a specific lip balm brand, ChapStick, suggests that Kenan and, possibly his family, hold on to a specify memory that acts as a trigger for leasing other memories and emotions. The brand ChapStick is one of the original lip balm brands, so Kenan is suggesting, by choosing a original lip balm brand, had he not been forced to flee this beloved Bosina, he would have grown knowing the way of his culture, social structure, and a completely different man. ChapStick brand is the Kenan from Bosina, the original, thus enforcing the idea that “leaving had been our choice”. Also, choosing any other brand of lip balm would be a form of betrayal to himself and his country.

Lip balms are only a temporary fix. By using the word “soothe,” one is relieving or gently calming present pain. Kenan knows the importance of easing his pain but he also understands that his pain will follow him throughout his life. Being finically well of is, one type of pain reliever. It allows Kenan to hold a high status compared to the Srebs, for after the war, unemployment and property rates were high. Kenan’s longing for a multitude of things relating to the war and its events after are far to complex and almost out of reach to really heal his soul. With that understanding an appropriate theme for this quotation is the need to ease pain.

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Response to Literature

In “I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olsen, a short story that shines a light on the harshness regarding government assistance during the early 1903’s. Olsen was a struggling, teenage, single parent who, at many points in her life, could not provide financial stability and ideal living conditions for her daughter Emily. During the Great Depression it was not uncommon for struggling family’s to send their children way to alternative living assistances. It was only till after Olsen sent her daughter Emily to live in one of these homes that she realized how manipulative, poorly conditioned, and strict government homes were.

Olsen states “They persuaded me at the clinic to send her away to a convalescent home in the country where “She can have the kind of food and care you can’t manage for her, and you’ll be free to concentrate on the new baby.”(pg 94) The government, social activist, important political figures, convinced majority of the population that convalescent homes were a better option and a great place for children. With some much of the country’s people suffering in poverty, who would not believe them, especially when “..It is a handsome place, green lawns and tall trees and fluted flowers beds. High up balconies of each cottage the children stand..”(pg95). Olsen her self was a low class, working activist, fighting for women’s rights, and a new born to take care of. So, given how well groomed these homes were kept, it basically would rule out any doubts and assured families that their making the right decision. This present a form of manipulation on the governments behave but it can be argued with good intentions. It would benefit those in high power to have parents working like slaves in order to rebuilt the economy than to have them stay at home or work reasonable, short shift hours and come home to be the kind of parent a child needs for a proper, full attentive, and loving upbringing.

Children in convalescent homes lived under a strict rules. Parents also had rules they need to follow. Visiting hours seem only available on Sundays, I assume it might have been a day off for most working parents. These homes allowed letter to be written and sent from parent to child and vise verse but the administration of these home did not allow the children to keep personal possessions. “We simply do not have the room for children to keep any personal possessions.” (pg95). A child needs to be surrounded by things that are meaningful to them and remind them that they are loved and matter. Also that assisted living is only temporary and they will eventually be reunited with their families. I think this is why Olsen was hurt and tried her best to get administration to make an exception for Emily. Along with many other bad experiences between Olsen and her daughter Emily, convalescent homes did not help Emily but worsen her mentality and physical appearance. These are just a few examples of why Olsen thoughts and feeling negatively over government assistance. In the 1930’s people thought positively over this pressing issue, but now, with much investigative research, a better economy, and a change in society, parents n longer need to send their children way to assisted living. There are other options in where a family can be together and receive financial help.

About me

My goal for this English class is to become a more analytical thinker and writer. I would like to grow and a person and expand my knowledge. I personally like individualized work. I feel that depending on myself is better for me than stressing out over someone’s part and depending on thier work efforts to determine my grade. My hobbies are drawing, reading, music, physical fitness, exploration, and watching movies. I have many other intrests but theses are my current ones. It tough to really say who I am outside of class because im still discovering myself. I can say with certainty, I am the kind of person you’ll feel proud to know and one you can trust and care for.

Personal causes for going to college
1. knowledge and intellect
2. pride
3. successful future- well paying career

Personal effects for going to college
1. changed person
2. confident
3. respected- ask for advice, opinion, information, relied on

One thing I am successful in is commitment. Before I was the kind of person who would start something and never finish. With the help of my parents, I am now the person who, no matter what kind of hell is raining down, will start something and make dam sure to finish. I no longer let the imprecations or fear of inability get the better of me. It took a lot of words of encouragement, discipline, and motivation to be a committed person. I learn through observation. My parents day in and day out, 5 days a week, wake up at the crack of dawn, and head out to a tedious, back breaking, manual labor job. Well in their 50’s, they keep on plowing through. It’s both inspirational and heart breaking but exactly what I need to help me change. They do it for me, for my future and to continue surviving in this terrible economy. I hope to one day receive a Ph.D. in the field of Psychology and land a well paying job so that I can pay them back for all money they have invested in me.

How to Carve a Pumpkin

-Pumpkin carving tools (recommend purchase of a pumpkin carving kit)
• handheld electric caring saw
• a serrated knife
• a needle tool for outlining (optional)
• x-acto knife (small detailing knife)
• keyhole saw
• a spoon or a scoop
• larger pumpkin (size depends on design)
• a small candle or L.E.D light (stand on its own)
• matches or batteries (if needed)
• a design of your choosing (recommend pre-made or printed pumpkin carving stencils)
• newspapers (4 or more per pumpkin)
• trash bag
• permeant marker (sharpie)
• tape
• music (optional)

In the spirit of pumpkin carving, I recommend Halloween themed music, if you’re interested in listing to music. First, lay out two layers of newspapers over the table or work station. Place your pumpkin in the center. If your pumpkin sticks out or does not have more than two hands length of space, lay out more newspaper. Locate the stem of your pumpkin and use roughly three finger-lengths to measure out from the stem in multiple directions, like a compass, mark four spots with a permanent marker to create a circle. Now, grab your handheld electric saw or your serrated knife and cut along the marked circle. Be sure to cut at an angle from the circle in towards the middle so that the top does not fall inside the pumpkin. It is important to cut all the way through the pumpkin and once completed remove the top and set aside. Now for the fun part, take your spoon or scoop and remove, what I like to call, the pumpkin guts(insides of the pumpkin). Place your pumpkin guts inside your trash bag. As for the seeds, you can keep them or throw them away. After all the guts have been removed, located a smooth, flat, optimal surface along your pumpkin. This is where you will tape your design for carving. We can also scrape the inside of this surface so that it is thinner; this makes the knife pierce the surface easily and safely. Don’t remove too much. Now, take your stencil or printed out stencil and place it on your chosen surface. Tape down each corner of your stencil. If you have chosen to free-hand draw your design, take your permanent marker and draw up your design. Many stencils are bicolored, so decide which is the picture and which is your frame to cut away. Then take your x-acto knife or outlining tool and start making dots on the outside shapes of your stencil. Remove stencil, pick up your serrated knife and cut out your dotted out line, free-hand drawing, cut out your permanent marked outline. Only cut the outlined shapes and cut all the way through the pumpkin. For those small areas, curved edges, or any other troublesome areas, use your dealing knife or the outlining knife. Once you’ve cut out your first shape, push that shape out from the inside out or outside in, using your hands. Continue this process for all the outlined shapes. Once completed, your design should be visible. The finally steps are, take your matches and light your candle. Place it inside, in the center, of your pumpkin. If your using an L.E.D light, check for the need of batteries, if so insert the correct batteries then turn on your light and place it in the same area as the candle. Put the top back on and watch your masterpiece glow.

How to carve a Pumpkin

Materials:

-Pumpkin carving tools (recommend purchase of a pumpkin carving kit)

  • handheld electric caring saw
  • a serrated knife
  • a needle tool for outlining (optional)
  • x-acto knife (small detailing knife)
  • keyhole saw
  • a spoon or a scoop
  • larger pumpkin (size depends on design)
  • a small candle or L.E.D light (stand on its own)
  • matches or batteries (if needed)
  • a design of your choosing (recommend pre-made or printed pumpkin carving stencils)
  • newspapers (4 or more per pumpkin)
  • trash bag
  • permeant marker (sharpie)
  • music (optional)

Start by playing your music party list. In the spirt of pumpkin carving, I recommend Halloween them music, if your interested in listing to music. Next laying out your newspaper long ways. Two at the top and two at the bottom, side by side. Your newspapers should form the shape of a rectangle. Next, measure out your pumpkin by placing it in the center of newspaper rectangle. If your pumpkin sticks out or does not have more than two hands length of space, lay out more newspaper following the rectangular shape pattern. Remove your pumpkin, set it down, and garb your tape. Tape down your newspapers in the shape of a cross. Horizontally and vertically till you reach the ends of your newspapers. Place your pumpkin back in the center and grab your permeant maker. Take your hand and measure out four finger lengths at the top of the pumpkin. Place your first finger where the color orange starts and place remaining 3 fingers next to your first finger. Take your permeant maker and make a mark next to your last finger(pinky). Remove your hand, take your permeant marker and draw a circle starting at the mark you just made. The circle does not have to be perfect. Set your marker down and grab your handheld electric saw or your serrated knife and cut along the marked circle. It is important to cut all the way through the pumpkin. Once completed remove the top and set down. Now for the fun part, take your spoon or scoop and remove, what I like to call, the pumpkin guts(insides of the pumpkin). Place your pumpkin guts inside your trash bag. As for the seeds, you can keep them or throw them away. Some people like to toast them up, maybe add a little salt and pepper and eat them like sunflower seeds. After all the guts have been removed, located a smooth, flat, optimal surface along your pumpkin. This is where you will be carving out your design. Place your finger in about the middle of your choose location, take a spoon and on the inside of the pumpkin start scrapping off pumpkin. Top to bottom, left to right, however long and wide your design is. The reason we do this is so that when we start carving out our design, the knife will pierce the surface easily. Don’t not remove too much. To know you’ve removed enough, take a knife, stab the pumpkin on the outside, in the center of your scrap area, and if it pierces through easily, you’re done. Now, take your stencil or printed out stencil and place it on your chosen surface. Take four pieces of tape and tape down each corner of your stencil. If you have chosen to free-hand draw your design, take your permeant marker and draw up your design in your chosen area. For the stencil designs, here comes the hard part. Take your x-acto knife or outlining tool and start making dots on the outside shapes of your stencil. Most stencils have a two colors black and gray or black and white. Outline all the black shapes. For those who free-hand drew, no need to dot out your outline. This is where the carving beings. Remove your stencil, pick up your serrated knife and cut out your dotted out line, free-handers, cut out your permeant marked outline. Only cut the outlined shapes and cut all the way through the pumpkin. For those small areas, curved edge, or any other area, use your dealing knife or the outlining knife. Once you’ve cut out your shape, meaning you’ve followed your outline and your back to were you started, push out that shape. From the inside out or outside in, using your hand. Take that pumpkin chuck and throw it in your trash bag. You should be able to see the cut out shape now. Continue this process for all the outlined shapes. Once completed, your design should be visible. The finally steps are, take your matches and light your candle. Place it inside, in the center, of your pumpkin. If your using an L.E.D light, check for the need of batteries, if so insert the correct batteries then turn on your light and place it in the same area as the candle. Put the top back on and watch your masterpiece glow.

Bay of Pigs

The U.S. wanted to overthrow Communist leader Field Castro.They decided to launch a full scale invasion on a remote island in Cuba. The C.I.A sent out 1,400 Cuban exiles to preform this mission. The over all plan was to spark an anti-Castro uprising. First thing need to be done was to destroy Castro’s airfare. Castro’s communist force was spreading rapidly and the U.S wanted to destroy this movement. If the U.S. was not successful at destroying this communist movement and if the Cuban exiles failed their mission, the U.S. could potentially start a WW3. However, President Kennedy was not supportive of this plan but still allowed it to be carried out. What President Kennedy and the C.I.A did not know, was that Castro and his men already knew about the invasion. The invasion began on April 17, in an isolated part of the island called the Bay of Pigs. Island radio stations picked up U.S signals and board casted the whole event. Castro’s troopers were able to pin point the invaders locations. The U.S. sent back up but they landed in the wrong part of the island. So, sadly for the U.S., the fight only lasted a day. Field Castro and his communist soldiers captured over 1,100 U.S. Cuban exiles soldiers and killed 114 of them. The U.S. failed their mission. So  the lessoned learned was don’t execute a mission without obtaining all information possible and be sure to work out all the details. Have a strong sold plan and a back up plan, just incase.