Writing From a Different Perspective

I was in Maycomb County’s jail, the trial was going to be in a few days.  I knew this was a dangerous place, Bob Ewell wants to hurt me, and I am conscious of that.  All I want is get out of jail and be back home, with my wife and children.  I am innocent, I was unfairly blamed for rapping, but I am in disadvantage, my skin color, I am black, and not anyone will trust me.

The night came, and I knew Atticus was worried about my safety.  He was sitting outside the jail, alone in the deep, dark, and cold night, just to take care of me.  I appreciate him very much, although his white, he defends me, and even protects me, no mattering how dangerous it is for him.  He is called names because of taking my case, but he doesn’t care.

It was late at night, sitting on my bed, thinking about the trial… Will Atticus be able to prove them wrong?  Will I be able to soon return back home with my loved ones? I was nervous, but this feeling just kept getting worst when I heard the engine of cars.  Several thoughts passed through my head, I kept thinking they were going to hurt me or Atticus, or even both of us.

I was certain that anything good was going to happen, feeling powerless I started shaking and sweating.  I knew my life was in danger, and even more so Atticus.  If something happened to him, I’ll feel guilty.  It was his decision coming to jail, but because he cared about me, if something happened, I’ll not be there to help him as he has helped me.

I heard the doors of the cars close as if they had been smacked.  Followed by strong footsteps.  I heard a lot of voices, they sound intimidating, but Atticus’ voice remained the same.  He didn’t sound nervous at all, but that didn’t change the fact that the group of people who were talking with him could hurt him.  I felt a little more relaxed when hearing that Atticus’ voice didn’t change.  The conversation was going normally until I heard a new tone of voice, that definitely not sounded like full grown adults, it sounded like little kids’ voice.  I am not sure who they were or what they were doing there.

The men told Atticus he had fifteen seconds to send his kids away, just then I realized Atticus’ children were also in danger.  What will happen if he doesn’t send them away? I thought, shaking and sweating.  I could hear a girl voice speaking, not sure of what she was saying, she talked too quietly for me to understand, I felt intrigued.  Followed by the girl’s voice, a strong adult voice, I paid attention.  I think they said to the little girl they were going to leave, but I had my doubts.

I let a few minutes go by, I heard the cars leaving, and proceed to call Mr.Underwood, asking how was Atticus and if the men had really gone.  Mr. Underwood, told me that Atticus and the kids were fine, anyone got hurt and the bunch of men was gone.  “We are all safe now,” said Mr. Underwood.  I realized he was another white who supported me, he was ready with a shotgun in case anything serious happened.

I felt relieved, everyone was safe; is something would have happened, I would blame myself, and would have never forgiven me.

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Fights With Friends

“This time we aren’t fighting the Yankees, we’re fighting our friends. But remember this, no matter how bitter things get, they’re still our friends and this is still our home.”  This was said by Atticus to her daughter Scout in pages 101-102 in Harper’s Lee controversial novel, To Kill A Mockingbird.  Unlike his friends, Atticus is a very open-minded person, having no sense of discrimination or sense of superiority against blacks.  Atticus is frequently insulted by his friends, who call them “nigger-lover.”  Atticus, as a lawyer, is defending a black man, Tom Robinson who has been accused of raping a white girl.  At school, Scout struggles with the terms that Atticus is being called, but at home, Atticus tries to teach her that he doesn’t care about being called a “nigger-lover” by anyone, even his friends.  Atticus is conscious that his friends’ opinion is based on the time period they live in, and in the values, they grew with.  Instead of encountering them and breaking relationships, Atticus let pass the insults, ignorance and closed minds of their friends.

In my opinion, there are fights between friends that make it impossible to remain friends.  I believe cases when trust is violated, very personal things that were trust to someone and then the person took advantage of it to harm you in any way, or cases were the family is offended are an example of times that make it impossible to remain friends.  Personally, I have had cases which I thought I’d probably never talk to someone again, but now we can hang out normally with a group of friends, though our friendship would not be the same as it was before, not even close.  In my opinion, there are fights that you can be not as impactful in a relationship, and that you can use them t build your relationship upon that incident, making your relationship stronger.

I do have had several cases were family members, and friends, especially from my old school express their points of view or make certain comments that in my opinion are abhorrent.  When situations like this happen, I just need to remember that probably I’d had the same perspective if I wouldn’t have had the opportunity of being in an IB school which promotes open-mindedness to accept different cultures, religions, and perspectives.  In this cases, I just express my opinion respectfully, hoping for others to understand my point of view, backing it up with real-life examples/stories.

Link to my journal entries:

Journal Entry # 1

Journal Entry # 2

Journal Entry # 3

Journal Entry # 4

Journal Entry # 5

Writing From A Different Perspective

 

 

 

The House On Mango Street book review – Sandra Cisneros’ alluring and passionate novel causes commotion

4/5 stars

Sandra Cisneros writes a bildungsroman of a Chicana teenager (women or girl of Mexican origin or descent living in the United States), created on Cisneros’ experiences.  Esperanza, who lives in a low-income neighborhood in Chicago, faces challenges dealing with economic status, language, stereotypes, and fitting into her society.  

Cisneros, is an activist poet, novelist, short story writer, artist, and essayist with many degrees.  By the time Cisneros wrote The House On Mango Street, she was a graduate student, high-school teacher, counselor, and was working toward receiving an NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) fellowship.  Cisneros was born in Chicago, a Chicana who was frequently moving.  According to an interview, she did for AARP in 2015, she explains that her writings, especially on The House On Mango Street, are inspired on the places, and people she met in the different places she lived as a child.  Sandra Cisneros, after more than fifty years writing, and many recognitions, with her illustrious novels consisting of short stories, has been able to sell more than six million copies of The House On Mango Street.

In The House On Mango Street, we see growth, both physically and mentally, and an increase in Esperanza’s sense of maturity.  Cisneros starts the book with Esperanza moving into a new house, but her expectations were too high for what her family’s economic status could afford.  Esperanza, a naive coming-of-age-girl, expected a big, clean, and brand-new house, but those were just dreams that never came true.  Esperanza faces many challenges while living on Mango Street: Social discrimination; a desire of searching for identity; experiences a desire of flight after feeling ashamed by her house; been sexually abused; and towards the end of the book, a striking and shocking epiphany of the real world.  The story ends by Esperanza making the decision of moving off Mango Street, but with the commitment of coming back to help those who can’t, to help those who don’t’ have the same opportunities as she has.  The House On Mango Street revolves around the themes of identity, independence; the role of women in the Latino culture; the power of language; growing-up, and the challenges and responsibilities it requires.

The House On Mango Street is written in a hopeful tone that highlights Esperanza’s dreams and naiveté.  The House On Mango Street is written in vignette form, a compilation of short stories.  At the beginning of the book, Cisneros’ short stories are mainly of Esperanza’s daily experiences, sometimes including flashbacks.  Towards the middle of the book, Cisneros writes more about the people, and/or mentors Esperanza meets while living on Mango Street, and how they affect her life, positively and negatively, and impacts her decisions as she matures.  Cisneros’ finishes her book writing about the decisions Esperanza takes as she has matured.  The House On Mango Street doesn’t have to read in chronological, without the reader struggling to understand the story.  Every single one of her wisely chosen words she uses to write each vignette, allow the readers to in many instances, connect with Esperanza’s experiences, without the need of reading every vignette.

My Abuelito, My Abuelito Querido

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  Lelo, who is always working at the hospital or at the farm.  Lelo, who at 81 years still does surgeries, every week.  Lelo, who has had three open-heart surgeries in 80 years.  Lelo, who still refuses to stop driving, unless he is going to the farm.  Lelo, who works from Monday to Friday, and spends his weekends at the farm, every single weekend, no exception.  Lelo, who now walks slowly, and still gets tired.

     “Estoy en el hospital con Lelo, está enfermo,” my mom texted me, while I was at school. “Pero que le paso?” I texted my mom and dad.  

     Lelo, who raised my father and uncle alone, because my grandma died when he was 37.  My father was three, and my uncle was four.  Because losing my grandmother wasn’t enough, he had to get open – heart surgery when my dad and uncle were young, probably teenagers.

     Lelo, who entered with my mom to the operating room when I was about to be born.  Lelo, who was the first person to carry me, because my dad was in Chile.  Lelo, who a few months after I was born, his heart stopped again; taking him to have second open – heart surgery.  

     Lelo, who was in a very important hospital for me, and my family.  The hospital in which there is a conference room with the name of my grandmother, to honor her.  Lelo, who after attending a patient in the Hospital Santo Tomas, his heart missed again.  By this time, a third open – heart surgery, my brave, hard worker abuelo, with three open heart surgeries.

     Lelo, who was going to travel with me for carnivals.  Lelo, whose heart held him back again when we were going to travel.  Lelo, who now has a major heart structure deteriorated, my abuelo, with a heart structure deteriorated, even that sounds alarming. I can remember this moment perfectly, it was a normal Thursday night, or so I thought. My dad was doing a surgery, I texted him: “Puedo ir a casa de Maria Jose mañana?,” I asked.  He answered immediately, “No.”  Just like that, with no explanation. I couldn’t understand why?, what was the problem?.  The next morning, while I was getting ready for school, I asked him again: “Puedo ir a casa de Maria Jose.” Same answer: “No…”  Then he explained: “quiero que vayas a pasar tiempo con Lelo.”  I knew Lelo was at the hospital, but I didn’t know why was my Dad so desperate.  “Lelo tiene una estructura importante del corazón muy deteriorada, pero que podemos hacer, ya está mayor, con tres cirugías de corazón abierto,” my dad said, with watery, red eyes.  “Y no se puede hacer alguna cirugía o tratamiento?” I asked.  My dad explained to me, there’s no medicine, surgery, or treatment to fix my abuelito’s heart.  “Quiero que pases todo el tiempo posible con Lelo, en cualquier momento se nos va.”  That was all I needed to start crying, crying like a river without control.

     “Ahora viviré hasta los 105 años,” mi abuelito querido used to say after his third open- heart surgery.  Now I notice, that since the moment my dad told him that he had a major heart structure deteriorated, I had never heard him say it again.

The Greencorn, A Real Creature Or Just A Legend?

There we were, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is a place known for its culture and is  rich in mythology. We were two confused explorers on a scavenger hunt for the best known mythological creature of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the “Greencorn.” There are many testimonies and witnesses who had seen the Greencorn; however, there is not proof of its existence. Many people believe that this amazing creature lives here in Bosnia -Herzegovina, while many other people think  it is nothing more than a legend. Our mission is to find the Greencorn, catch it,  and show it to the world in order to prove its existence.

      After four hours of trekking for the Greencorn,  we gave up. We were hungry and tired, so we decided to look for a restaurant in which we could try the authentic delicacies from the  country.  After walking a long distance, we finally found the restaurant. We were so tired that it seemed like a figment.  We entered rapidly, we were so hungry that we could eat anything, or at least that is what we thought.  When we got in, we were surprised, there wasn’t absolutely any customer at the restaurant besides us two and the waiter. Despite the solitude in the restaurant, we decided to stay because we knew that we wouldn’t find any other restaurant nearby.

When the waiter came to take our orders, we decided to try a little bit of every plate because we didn’t knew how the Bosnian food would taste.  The waiter was surprised of the amount of food we ordered, but without hesitating, he went into the kitchen to place order.

After about thirty minutes later, our food finally arrived.  Every plate was unique and delicious.  Even though we ordered ten different plates, we devour everything.  After we finish  eating, we ordered a Bosnian dessert.  It was delicious, but while we were eating it, something unexpected happened.

We were calmly enjoying the dessert until we saw something rare flying in the sky, it was the Greencorn.  We played close attention to the creature and when we were sure it was the Greencorn, we took our camera and capture the Greencorn doing ungainly movements.  We were fascinated by the creature, but specially because of its green plumage.  In all of a sudden, we were vulnerable of attack.  The Greencorn was a predatory creature doing ungainly movements towards the restaurant we were eating in.  In that moment, we left the dessert, our priority was to get in a closed area and free of a possible attack.  After about fifteen minutes, the Greencorn flee away and we were safe again.

After the attack, we send the pictures of the Greencorn attack to local and international news.  Even if some people still think this is just a legend and make derogatory comments saying this is photoshop, we know that this dangerous and astute creature is real.