The autobiography of Booker T. Washington has been a very interesting book to read, and I have been thoroughly enjoying it. For those who don’t know, Booker was a man who was born a slave, but later found freedom and would spend the rest his life helping his fellow man. But this would not be an easy task for him, due to the fact that he was black; and as we all know people weren’t as accepting back then. Thankfully, Booker looked to God in his times of trouble and always found a way; no matter what life threw at him. So the question for me to answer today is,”What are some memorable images from the narrative? Why are they memorable?”
Books that cover the topic of freedom after slavery always depict the environments black people used to live in after their “release.” Since Booker was assigned to take charge of a school project in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1881, he was able to see first hand the living conditions of these freed slaves. But after being able to finally live their lives as a normal people, you would think the black people would be able to find a decent home right? Well, some of the families Booker encountered had every member sleeping in one room, fed everyone with only one fork, and didn’t have much land surrounding their small house.
The small town of Tuskegee wasn’t made up of just black people, there were a few white families there as well, although they were outnumbered 3/1 approximately. Though some of those families didn’t mind Booker helping to build an education system, others were less fond of colored education because they feared the lack of domestic servants! (some people still wanted “slaves” per say) On one occasion a white man donated a blind horse to Booker and his team during the beginning of their project, later he would look back on that horse and see that a white man helped pave the way for the collection of hundreds more animals in the future. It proved that the white man could still be involved and help black people. Later on in the year, an ex-slave owner arrived in Tuskegee who later become one of Booker’s main supporters!
The issue of slavery has always been a touchy subject and still is in certain parts of the world, but most of us have learned to move on. If any of you are wondering how Booker’s school came out, before he decided to build one himself he would often teach people in the local churches log cabins, but even those buildings were dilapidated. Even though many of the black people there were uneducated, they had a good work ethic and were ready to help in any way they could. So just remember, if you bring up the topic of slavery it’s not racist, it can serve as the reminder of this mixed culture and how people came together after years of getting to know the other person.
For the past few weeks I’ve been reading the autobiography of Helen Keller for my English class, and it has been fascinating! For those of you who don’t know who Helen Keller was, she was blind and deaf her entire life but despite her circumstances learned how to read, write, and communicate with others. I’ve enjoyed seeing how Helen dealt with things you and I wouldn’t think twice about, and how she still managed to live a full life. But before she learned how to do all this, she would often refer to her circumstance as a ‘prison’, being trapped in darkness unable to escape. So the question I will be answering today is,”Which were the key incidents that led Helen Keller out of her ‘prison.'”
The first game changing thing Helen learned to do was spell. Her teacher’s name was Anne Sullivan, and she had very clever teaching methods indeed. If Anne wanted to teach Helen a new word, she would get Helen to touch what it was and then spell the word out in the palm of her hand. Water was one of the first examples, she would run water over Helen’s hand and then spell the word letter by letter in Helen’s hand so she could link what she felt, with a word. Sadly this didn’t work with everything, Anne had trouble teaching her more abstract concepts like love; because unlike water it’s an idea and not an object. The concept of spelling out words sparked Helen’s interest in learning, and helped further her understanding of the world around her.
What truly helped Helen feel more enabled was learning how to write. But before you learn to write you have to know how to read. So utilizing the concept of raised letters, she learned how to read books. (Raised letters are letters that jump off the page of a book about the height of cardboard, so when she ran her fingers over the page she felt the shape of the letters) As she began reading books she observed how people wrote stories, so with the help of Anne, Helen learned how to draw letters on paper and began to write her own stories. Being able to write was probably one of the most exciting things Helen ever experienced, because now not only could she express her inner thoughts on paper but with other people too. (hence her autobiography)
In the first paragraph of this essay, you read the word incident. This is a word commonly used to describe something negative happening, but it is quite the opposite. Incidents are “individual occurrences or events” that happen in our lives. Helen Keller’s whole life was made up of life changing incidents that helped her better understand the world, things you and I normally take for granted. Imagine not being able to see, hear, or talk to anyone everyday! Helen Keller in my opinion is arguably one of the most inspiring people who ever walked the face of the earth.
I’ve been reading an autobiography for my English class all about the life of a man named Sergei Kourdakov. Kourdakov was a Russian Communist soldier who lived a pretty tough and confusing life, but was highly favored by the Communist Party. The question I’ll be answering today is, “Describe the choices that led Kourdakov to the failed assignment.” This may sound a bit odd out of context but It’ll all make sense in a moment.
I feel that a little backstory would help you understand what I’m talking about. When Kourdakov was only 7 years old he began attending school for 1st grade, but what he didn’t now was what he’d be learning. Later he realized that children were taken away from their parents to attend the school. As the years went by all of his friends from school became criminals, but Kourdakov was a good student and was actually interested in the concept of Communism he was learning about. His choices were: Crime or Communism?
Kourdakov eventually chose the path of Communism. One day he was asked to train 1,200 young cadets in the ways of Communism, after joining the Communist party. After months of training he gathers 20 of his larger cadets and is assigned by his superiors to help breakup brawls and street fights around the city. But they actually had a secret hidden agenda, in other words their real job was never mentioned. Eventually Kourdakov found out what their actual job was: They were recruited to persecute Believers.
Now obviously you have no idea what a believer is so let me clarify; a believer was a person who believed in God and Christianity and was therefore a threat. When the group first found out about this they weren’t to upset, if anything they were upset about not knowing beforehand. Kourdakov had seen believers before, walking into houses in large groups for prayer gatherings and such. When they first encountered believers after discovering their true motives they were confused. The believers were unarmed, not hostile in the slightest, and didn’t even run away when a group of Communist soldiers walked in. At this point they didn’t have any reason to like the believers, but they didn’t have any reason to hate them either. The believers also reminded them that they have the legal right to worship God, so this made Kourdakov’s job even harder. They decided to return to the police station without touching a single believer. Their chief was not happy, and gave them a lecture on why the believers are their number one enemy.
If we answer the question now it will make a whole lot more sense. The choices that led Kourdakov to “the failed assignment” were choosing to obey the law that the people who established it were trying to break; and choosing to see the true unjust nature of their job. This just goes to prove that you can train someone to do horrible things, but that doesn’t mean they still don’t have a soul.
This essay is supposed to be all about some of the “major turning points” in my life. Now most people when they hear the phrase turning point used like this they might think of a person having a near death experience, or someones life after being addicted to something. But I think everyone has gone through a major turning point, and that’s what I’m going to be talking about today.
You might not have realized this, but this turning point in our lives begins when we turn 13. Now what I’m referring to is the process that occurs in the human body that we all know and love: Puberty. Growing up you probably relied on your parents for almost everything, your food, the changing of clothes, even just brushing your teeth. Obviously as you get older you begin to pick up on all the things your parents helped you with, and become a more independent person. So when you begin to go through your teen years the world becomes a different place, and while that might not be the case for everyone it is for most. At this point in your life you can mostly take care of yourself, and your parents barely need to lift a finger to help keep you alive now; but you still need them.
As you go through puberty many hormones rush through our bodies, these hormones effect many different areas of the body. The ones I’ll talk about are the ones in our brain. During this time many teens have something called mood swings, which is when you can feel happy at one point, but then all of a sudden can feel depressed. You also might begin to see your parents a different light now that you barely need their help. This obviously isn’t what happens to every teenager, but the phrase “moody teen” comes from this effect. This may lead to more serious things like depression or having an identity crisis if you had no assistance from your friends or family. While you may see your parents as strict and unfair dictators as a teen, as you get older and start to seek their advice, you begin to realize why they did what they did. They might not have let you listen to certain music because of the horrible lyrics, or let you go out alone for fear of kidnapping. You should try to see things thing from their perspective, as a parent, and could even use some of their tactics for when you become a parent.
In conclusion, we’ve all had a major turning point in our lives; even if it had nothing to do with a near death experience. As we grow older, the way we see our parents changes dramatically. It can go from needing them to help tie our shoes, to needing their wisdom and advice on relationships. This might not be the case in your life, but again it probably will be for the rest of you; including myself.
There is information I am learning in my history class that, in my opinion, will never show up in any public school or college curriculum in a million years. But all of this information seems so obvious, so why will they not teach it to kids? Well for starters, most of this information proves biblical knowledge is true. There have been stones and inscriptions in many places in the United States that tell of things such as Jesus’ birth and the Ten Commandments. So, when schools want to teach kids about evolution and the big bang, they can not have all of this evidence around proving that the is Bible correct. Most school systems want to teach kids what they think they should learn, and this is a problem. Have you ever wondered why you can not ask questions in class? It is because they want you to believe everything they teach you “no questions asked”; even if it doesn’t make sense to you.
Besides all that, a different kind of evidence was uncovered, this evidence suggested that Christopher Columbus was not the first man to discover America. Many years ago, historians established that Columbus was the first to find America in 1492, but this information can now be easily disproved. A man named Barry Fell, a biology professor from Harvard, was able to decipher ancient writings found on many stones in the U.S., providing many historians with counter evidence against the “Columbus was First” worldview. But other discoveries, not made by Barry, also suggest that Columbus wasn’t the first to discover America. In fact, when Columbus found land in 1492 it wasn’t America, he actually landed in Cuba. Certain artifacts found there solidify this information. But why not just admit that Columbus wasn’t first and move on? Well historians do not like being wrong. Not just about Columbus, but about everything they discover, which is why when someone tries to disprove something historians set in place, then they’ll want to make sure everyone continues to believe what they discovered. They do this by mocking the subject of their anger, labeling Barry ridiculous and absurd, thus labeling any of his discoveries ridiculous and absurd. But this doesn’t erase any of his discoveries, nor does it erase the truth behind this flawed argument. Fell even found inscriptions in Eastern California that were in early Arabic languages. How do you deny that?
Schools these days want to mold kids into the kind of kids they think they should be, and not who the kids think they should be. They have a right to know these simple truths, but this guild of historians shelter them from these threatening changes in society. Why should we have to believe what those who are afraid of change believe? Feel free to share this information with your friends. As for who did discover America first it’s not said, but certain discoveries lead all the way back to the Roman Empire. But until the evidence grows too great to deny, “Columbus was First”.