Wednesday, October 20, 2010

College Essay.

Smeedhley Batraville
Ryan Gallagher                                                                                                                      
 12 CP Period 1                                                                                                                     
 19 Oct 2010

A January 12th, afternoon.

I would have never believed it even if I were told, even if I were shown pictures.  I would never think that 35 seconds could lead to such an irreparable chaos.
January 12th, 2010, a sunny and warm Tuesday, was the second day of class for the New Year.   I was peacefully riding a bus to go home and at 5:22 p.m., when we were brutally propelled to the left while the bus tilted onto two wheels. We first thought that it was the power of a wind but the trees weren’t moving. The bus was still __________ shaking; a woman in the bus whispered “sa tramblement de te sa genyen li pesiste konsa?” “Why is the shaking still persisting?”  Then we finally understood what was happening. The bus was stopped in the middle of the street in downtown Port au Prince, where there were the oldest buildings. When I looked out the window, there were people yelling. “Jesus-Christ, Jesus, help us.”  I suddenly saw a woman running from under a building; she didn’t even make four steps because a cement block fell on her head. Cars were hitting each other.  A crowd of people started to run from the buildings to go to the public square. In a five minutes record, a grey crowd of dust was formed and prevented us from seeing anything. All we could hear was the deafening “blow, blaw” of the houses collapsing and also the terrified cries of the people.
We had no other choice but to rush out of the bus and look for a safe place. Since we were all panicking, all of us were trying to get out of the bus at the same time. Finally, after some painful effort we were stepping on the sidewalks, hands on the nose, trying to breathe and see at the same time. We started running toward the “Champ de Mars,” which was the widest public square of the country. After a few minutes of running, I realized that I forgot my bag in the bus which had my phone and the key to my apartment. I had to run back to find it. On my way back, I saw something on the ground moving slowly. I quickly realized that it was a person. When I came closer, I realized that it was a little boy. He had a serious injury on his right foot, which looked like a big piece of cement had fallen onto it. By looking at him suffering and begging, I quickly saw that his safety was more important than all that I could possibly have to do in that moment. So I put his hurt feet away while I lifted him on my arms and headed back to the safety.
Holding him in my hands was even harder than seeing him suffering on the ground. He was crying and yelling so much.  His pain must have been unbearable. He couldn’t stop asking me to put him down, “ou met kite’m mouri , m pakab anko.”  “You can let me die, I can’t take it anymore.”
            After putting him with the other wounded, I ran back to find my bag which someone from the bus had thrown in the middle of the streets. When I tried to use my phone, there was no signal. At the same time I heard a woman say “the phones don’t work, oh Jesus, it’s the end.”
            There was no way to take cabs, motorcycles, or rides. Everybody was inquiring about their houses; they were all in a hurry to know their fate. I had to know my fate too.   There was nothing to do but to walk a few miles home. I started walking fast, then a few minutes later I had to stop and take a look down in a valley which had probably, before the earthquake, hundreds of houses in a shantytown design, but now there were only twenty-three left. The rest collapsed into the valley. The wounded, on the side of the road or against the leaning houses, could only break the strongest of your hopes. The babies, or children partly lining under rubble had the awesome power to weaken the strongest and to bury the weakest.
Walking hopelessly, I heard a crowd shouting “dlo, dlo, men dlo!” which meant “water, water, here comes the water.”  People started running. Everybody thought about a tsunami, so we were in a hurry to get to the top of the mountain. We were already going up a slope, so they started running faster. This false alarm just made it harder for the wounded; some were just abandoned by other people that were helping them.
            I couldn’t walk or run as fast as the others since I had, on my shoulder, a woman that I pulled from her car; her head was bleeding badly.
            Finally, after a few hours, I arrived back in my neighborhood. The chaos that I was looking at made my fears grow exponentially. All the houses were down to the ground. All the people were crying and running around since they couldn’t find their loved ones. I walked faster and faster to my house.  When I came to it, it was all the way on the ground.  The roof languished on the blocks already crushed.  I felt powerless; I felt like I had no more reason to live. I felt like the roof was lying over my heart, but I didn’t cry. I didn’t want to cry.  I ran to the pile of debris that used to be my house. I heard a voice say “Smeedhley, Smeedhley, here we are!” I turned over, searching for the voice, looking everywhere. When I finally saw my mom, alive, with no injuries, I knew what she, and the rest of my family, meant to me.
            This evening, due to many emergency calls coming from the hospital, my uncle doctor had had to go to the hospital to lend strong hand and brought me and another cousin with him. And the hospital was the worst place to go after such a disaster. The wounded were flowing on us like rain fall, there were so many of them that the hospital, unprepared for such a rush, was already full in the first thirty minutes we arrived. Wounded were flowing all over the place, doctors didn’t have no time to take good care of them. Some were obliged to be amputated while they could have healed under good care. A few minutes in the hospital and I couldn’t take it anymore so I went back home but couldn’t sleep.
            However now, I’m here. And this experience is one of the most positive ones to me because I learned a lot from it. And it also helped me turn to the medical profession to be a better and careful doctor.

Plum Plum Picker essay.

Smeedhley Batraville
Ryan Gallagher
12 CP Period 1
20 Oct 2010
“Plum Plum Pickers” essay.
In “Plum Plum Pickers”, Raymond Barrio suggests that a man is built to “experience a certain sense of pride and honor” (94). “Man has to count for something or else he’s dead before he dies.”(94) He establishes this by telling us the story of an immigrant worker.  Raymond Barrio tells us about Manuel’s feeling just to help us realize how hard he works and most important how bad he feels when working. Raymond Barrio’s point of view can be connected to human lives because they all have problems and needs, but them, and only them, should stand to defend it. They’re the one suffering from their mistakes, so they need to stand up and claim their needs.
           Raymond Barrio exposes his skills first by sensitize the reader on the exterior appearance such how Manuel saw the environment. “No matter, which way he turned, he was trapped in an endless maze of apricot trees as though forever, neat rows of them, neatly planted, row after row, just like the blackest bars on the jails of hells.”(91) Then he let us know about the protagonist’s feelings. “He stopped and walked to the farthest end of the first row for some water, raised the dented dipper from the brute tank, drank the holy water in great brute gulps so he wouldn’t have to savor its tastelessness, letting it spill down his torn shirt to cool his too exhausted body, to replenish his brute cells and animal pores and stinking follicles and pig gristle, a truly refined wreck of an animal, pleased to meetcha.” (92)
He narrates the hard working days of Manuel, the immigrant, by including expressions and repetitions that tells how long and how tedious is his labor. Manuel “was trapped in an endless maze of apricot trees , as though forever, neat rows of them, neatly planted, row after row, just like the blackest bars of the jails of hell”(91) accentuates the feeling of Manuel that was not enjoying work at all. He felt like a prisoner confined into a jail.
Barrio includes allusions such as “the holy water”, as well as comparisons: “the holy water” (92) and “jails of hell” (91) and also connects Manuel’s feelings with the environment in which he’s working. Manuel “was trapped in an endless maze of apricot trees… There had to be a respite. Animal…Though surrounded by other pickers. Beast.” (91) Manuel sees himself as an animal; Barrio used this technique to communicate the loneliness of Manuel, the absence of communication between him and the other pickers. And as an “animal” (91), or a “beast” (91) he felt in jeopardy, trapped. An animal that feels uncomfortable with its environment won’t enjoy anything not even his “Lunch.” (92)  Manuel, “almost too exhausted to eat, munched his cheese with tortillas, smoked on ashes, then lay back on the cool ground for half an hour.”
Manuel doesn’t enjoy anything at the job, not even his lunch. And as a Mexican that likes to curse when they make fun of him, he couldn’t dare answer Robert due to the extent of his fatigue. ““Whatsamatter, can’t you see straight, pendejo.” Said Robert. Manuel was too tired even to curse.” (92)
            Next he introduces the antagonist and his state of mind. “A gentlemanly, friendly, polite, grinning, vicious, thieving brute.”(92) He continues with the catalyst. “Now I must take two cents from every bucket. I am sorry. There was a miscalculation. Everybody understands. Everybody? ” (93) And finally, he tells about the confrontation of both, the protagonist and antagonist.
           In the afternoon, while the pickers were starting to get a break from “the summer’s fierce zenith”(92), Roberto Morales, the antagonist, came to announce that he will take two cents from every bucket, meaning two to three dollars from every picker. After such a hard working day, under the sun, with the feeling of being condemned, Manuel felt like he was asking for his heart. So in that case, Manuel couldn’t do so. He had to respond “With the last remaining energy, he lifted his foot and clumsily tipped over his own last bucket of cots.” (94)
           Raymond Barrio sets up this really sharpened situation: “Now I (Morales) must take two cents from every bucket.”(93) Manuel finally establishes his point which he resumes with Manuel standing against Morales, the “vicious thieving brute.”(92) “You promised to take nothing!”(93) The meaning of the text is communicated through diverse point of the story, such as when Robert happens by and had an observation designed to injure Manuel but he didn’t even answer. He also expresses his point in Manuel revolting against Morales for asking money to the pickers. Manuel showing that he had “a certain sense of honor and pride” (94): “Manuel heard himself saying. Everyone turned in astonishment to stare at Manuel.”(93)
            Barrio’s advice in the text is for all human to stand up for their rights and to never support people abusing others. He calls for a revolt of the dominated and awareness for those who abuse.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Red Shift

In the poem "Red Shift", Ted Berrigan the author, suggests that life is miserable and our past sometimes comes around with a sour taste.

His state of mind is reflected by the world that he describes in the poem. He uses comparisons, metaphores and some sad words and expressions to translate his loneliness and specially his feelings about life.

He painted a night, a winter night, without sun, but "indefinable ample" he said about the frame. "I drink some American poison liquid air which bubbles and smoke to have character and to lean in"; that is a sad person who's searching comfort or power to resist into futile objects. From this we can see that his alone and he's searching for comfort or someone to talk to. The sentence: " the streets look for Allen, Frank, or me, Allen is a movie, Frank disappearing in the air..." He's so desperate that he's even imagine people in the streets with him. When he says: "...twenty years almost ago, and time was for him. this was about how he felt,, about where his mind was settled.

Thinking of his past, he couldn't believe to see himself the way he is now. After all he did: "love, children, hundreds of them, money, marriage-ethics,  a politics of grace." this is somehow unbelievable to him. Ted Barrigan, in all of his comparisons was pessimist, and his pessimism suggest that he's suffering.

But his pessimism is due to some expereince in the past. By the sentence: "not that pretty girl, nineteen, who was going to have to go, careening into middle-age so..." This accentuation on the verb go makes us feel that he has in the past suffered about people leaving him. And this, surely had hurt him, because he's talking about: "when will I die? I will never ie, I will live to be 110, and I will never go away..." And now, his encouraging himself with the words "i will never die, i will live to be 110."

Ted Berrigan has a broken heart, he's comparing himself to the worst things: " who am always and only a ghost, despite this frame, spirit who lives only to nag." The last lines of the poem confress that he was hurt by somebody or something in the past that wanted him at first but now changed his or her mind.
Ted Berrigan's poem is a unique poem the way he presents life th way he illustrates the bad moments by comparisons the idea in his poem is that the past may come to haunt u but let don't let it win, you should fight back and win.

The 1st in-class essay on "landscape with the fall of the Icarus"

“Homesick for homeland, Daedalus hated Crete and his long exile there…”
This sentence from ovid’s metamorphoses translated the pain of a man, the pain of being away from home.
“surely the sky is open, and that's the way we'll go."
This is the words of a hopeful man. In "landscape with the fall of Icarus",William Carlos Williams told us that it was in spring that daedalus', father of Icarus, had to suffer from the death of his son by trying to save him from emprisonment.

The sun shone with all it's rays; the clouds, even combined, couldn't stop the sun from delivering it's delightful light and warmth. This, according to Bruegel and Williams, was a spring day.

in his poem, William Carlos Williams first described how regular the day was. Exactly the same thing that first appears in bruegel's  illustration.

This sunny day was described in prelude of the dramatic melting of the wax from Icarus' wings. Williams continues with the description of the people around, a farmer, he says, was ploughing his field. Then he adds that the whole pageantry of the year was awake tingling.

This states that this day was a good, sunny and ordinary day in which everybody was doing their ordinary activities.The edge of the sea tanned by the sun was as usual in the same place because it couldn't move.

Williams wanted to show that everything has a special place, the farmer, the edge of the sea. They all have their places and God made them as well and this is why they can't move or change places.

'I warn you, Icarus, fly a middle course..."
This was Daedalus's words to his son. but soon:
"unsignificantly off the coast there was a splash quite unnoticeable, this was Icarus drowning."
Williams describes th efall of Icarus into the water.

This is a consequence of Icarus disobeying his father.

As conclusion, Williams in his poem explained how the earth was made and all it's surroundings. He shows that they'll have their place and it's futile to try to change their settlement or you will have to face the consequences, that are not always good ones.

I think that this sentence should resume th e myth: each thing in the world has it's own course and speeds at its own velocity, It can not and will not modify its caracteristics for a single event.