Monday, November 22, 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; it was the second day of class of the New Year.   I was peacefully riding a bus to go home. At 5:22 PM, 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 unrelentlessly 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 stood 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 take four steps before 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 about five minutes , a grey crowd of dust was formed and prevented us from seeing anything. All we could hear were the deafening “blow, blaw” of the houses collapsing and the terrified cries of the people.
We had no other choice but to rush out of the bus and look for a safe place. 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, putting our  hands on our 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 my 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 injured feet away while I lifted him on my arms and headed back to 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 stopped and looked down in the valley which had probably  hundreds of houses in a shantytown design before the earthquake. Now there were only twenty-three left. The rest collapsed into the valley. The wounded, on the sides of the road or against the leaning houses, could only break the strongest of your hopes. The babies, or children laying under rubble had the 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 a tsunami was coming, so we hurried 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, a woman that I pulled from her car on my shoulder; her head was bleeding badly.
            Finally, after a few hours, I arrived back in my neighborhood. The chaos around me 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 who was a doctor had to go to the hospital. He brought me and my cousin to lend strong hand. 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.
(Hospital) medical profession is of interest to you

Friday, November 19, 2010

Albert Camus's "the stranger"

In the passage where Raymond is beating up his girlfriend in his room, Albert Camus suggests that people and, life in general, can change from a moment to another: he also suggest that love can, sometimes be pain. And that a relationship can be a prison to a soul.
Raymond was peacefully talking to the woman in his room, when Mersault “heard a woman’s voice in Raymond’s room”(35). Albert Camus exposes the lunatic face of life when Raymond was “talking” to the woman but suddenly, Mersault heard “a woman shrill voice and then Raymond saying, “you used me, you used me. I’ll teach you to use me.” (35) That’s a quick transition from a peaceful discussion between a couple to “terrifying” “thuds.” (35) This is an example showing that if two people can, in a few minutes, move from a discussion, evolve to thuds and finally to a fight. The whole world can also in a few minutes, disappear because we’re all men, and men that have fragile emotions.
            The situation went from discussing to fighting in a matter of seconds. Shouldn’t  we see life and all its surroundings as a clock that changes every seconds? If Raymond that loves his woman can easily move from a simple discussion to a fight; Camus tells that a man can move from eating to killing in seconds even worst, employing eating as a synonym of killing.
Camus continues in the next few lines to describe how “the woman was shrieking and Raymond was still hitting her.” (36) Camus describes Raymond to be a brute, in these lines. He’s still beating up his woman while “[she] was still shrieking” (36) to symbolize a soul confined into a prison. To symbolize Raymond confined into his emotional jail beating up his woman and couldn’t remember how he used to love that woman that he’s now hitting to death. Blinded by his  emotions and also fortified by them, he was knocking on her like he would do on an object. Camus makes us think about the meaning of love, He makes us question ourselves about our definition of love: shouldn’t love have a positive feed back? Shouldn’t love be positive at all?”
Camus clearly tells us that not everybody have the same beliefs. Each person sees life and all its elements in a different way and each person also treats them differently. This should awareness for our youths heading to this territory.
Camus continues showing us the faces of life when he comes up with the policeman asking Raymond questions after he literally “hit [the woman].” (36) “the cop slapped him.”(36) And just “the look on Raymond’s face changed, but he didn’t say anything.” (36) Camus, transports the image of Raymond from beating her woman to being slapped himself and not do anything about it. He illustrates a good example of the proverb “mountain beyond mountains” telling not to always believe what we first see and that we shall sometime use the eyes of the spirit and again wait for new events to judge the person. Camus first presents Raymond as a sadist but he was just taking advantage of the weak woman. Camus suggests that life is a journey that what you do to your fellow will be also done to you one day. What we can also interpret as what goes around comes around.
In this same part of the passage Camus is also liberating some more sides of Mersault. He emphasizes the carelessness, the lack of feeling of Mersault through his sentence: “[Marie] asked me to go find a policemen, I told her I didn’t like cops.”(36)  While the woman was getting knocked on. Mersault shows that he would let a person die just to satisfy one of his caprices. That justifies him killing the Arab now.
Camus’s work takes us to think about life. He also takes us to be aware of what we see. Most of the time, things are curtained and can only be discovered with patience.