Archive for the ‘“What I Want to Say”’ Category

Mothers in Prison and the Children Left Behind

May 10, 2009

by “Mecca Longwood”

Instructor’s note: This post was originally a presentation done by the author and his mother in class. They have chosen to publish it here under a pseduonym in order to protect the privacy of other family members mentioned. See the end of this post for an account of what happened in class after this honest and moving presentation.

One thing I learned growing up in my household is that women are more likely to be the primary provider for the child; so, when a mother goes to prison, that takes on a whole new meaning, different from fathers in prison. The visits alone could be a terrible experience. You get searched by adults you do not know inside a creepy building, and you have to talk to your mother through a glass on a phone.

I am the one to vouch that when your mom goes away it changes things that may be for the better, but at the time I didn’t see that. My brothers and I were separated in order to lighten the burden from my grandmother and my aunt, which made it harder to stay in touch with them. Things may have been different if mom was around, or maybe this is who I was destined to be from the start, but I have here the women who can give you the hands-on experience from being on the inside of the jail. My mother is here to tell how it can affect the mother as much as the child.

The day you were first arrested, did you think that would be the last time you would have with your children?


Letter from Your Gay Granddaughter

May 10, 2009

by Chantia Holmes

Many gays and lesbians have a hard time dealing with their family when it’s time to come out. There are quite a few lucky ones who have families who are very accepting and unconditionally love them no matter what. However, that is not the case with me.

I live with my grandma, who took me in when I was 11, when my mother died. Seeing as she is my grandmother, she is old-fashioned and believes that homosexuality is in the same category with murder and rape/molestation. (She thinks it’s perverted.) Although I was not ready to, I told her (my grandmother) about my lesbian life-style when I was 13 years old. Now, five years later, she still believes that it is a phase. Deep down, there are so many things I want to tell her, and I think a letter will serve the purpose, but, I am too afraid. So, I am going to post the letter here, and maybe one day I will have the courage to actually give it to her.

Strength of Africa

May 10, 2009

by Sih-Nanga “Britney” Ndumu

Some people minimize Africa and have different opinions about it. Just to show how little they think of Africa, at times they call it a country! This is outrageous. Africa is a continent. Yes, it is underdeveloped but some places in Africa have better living standards than here in the United States. It is hard to believe but it is true. Cameroon is one of the small countries in Africa and I would like to emphasize it.

That Kind of Friend

May 10, 2009

By Anonymous

Have you ever had a situation where you thought disaster was imminent? Have you wanted a true friend that would help you through that situation but never found that person? I know a Friend who is willing to accompany anyone at any state of their lives. He has given me strength to persevere through the most dark and toughest circumstance—Jesus. (more…)

Life or the Nursing Home

May 9, 2009

by Anonymous

Instructor’s note: This student wants to share an urgent warning but has chosen to remain anonymous in order to protect her family’s privacy. Brace yourself for a heart-breaking story.

My father would have lived a lot longer had he not stayed in a nursing home. My father could walk, talk, feed himself, and put on his own clothes before he was admitted to the nursing home. Dilatin was the only medication that he was taking. Dilatin is a medicine for seizures. We took my father to the hospital because he kept falling. He was only falling because his medicine level was too high. The doctor from the hospital said that he could not stay home by himself and admitted him to the nursing home for therapy. Hoping that he would get therapy, I chose to keep my father in the nursing home for one hundred days. This would also put him at the top of the list for home health care.

My father did not want to stay in a nursing home. (more…)

Body Art: A Cultural Trend

May 9, 2009

by “Unique Individual”

Body art has become so popular in the past few years that it’s hard to walk down the street, go to the mall, or watch TV without seeing someone with a piercing or a tattoo. Perhaps you think body piercings are presentable and you’ve thought about getting one. But are they safe? Are they a good idea? What should you be aware of if you do decide to get one? Not all piercings heal properly because they are not meant to be in certain places. Several things could go wrong such as chronic infection, scarring, hepatitis B and C, skin allergies from the jewelry that’s used, boils, inflammation or even nerve damage. Some types of piercings people choose to get are the ears, oral, genital, surface, nostril, (nipples), lip, navel and tongues. The most popular pierced body parts seem to be the ears, the nostrils and the belly button. What many people don’t realize when they get a body piercing is that along with the hole in their body comes medical complications.

Taking Things for Granted

May 6, 2009

by Edward Irungu

A famous English novelist and critic by the name Aldous Huxley once stated that “Most human beings have an absolute and infinite capacity for taking things for granted” Living in America for some years has proven to me that statement does apply. Many people in America don’t really realize what they have, and by doing so, they don’t take advantage of it.

America has a lot of education opportunities and jobs and is economically blessed. I lived in a continent that would consider those qualities dreams. Even though American at the moment is going though an economic downturn, no one is dying of starvation and the dollar is still holding strong. If you compare that with the economy of a country like Zimbabwe, which is also going through major economic troubles, you couldn’t even come to a comparison. It’s the total opposite. Zimbabwe has been facing major hyper inflation. The situation up there is so bad and their currency is so weak that in January of this year they introduced a 50,000,000,000 note. They are now even introducing plans to issue 10, 20, 50, and 100 trillion bank notes. This is just one of the infinite number of problems the Third World is facing.

Small Town Gossip and Character Development

May 6, 2009

Instructor’s note: Students often write about peer pressure. This  insightful entry explores the effects of another kind of social pressure.

By Stephanie

Being from a small town is quite an experience. Have you ever heard of or seen in movies where a group of older women sit around on the porch or at a meeting and gossip about everyone in the town? Well, welcome to where I’m from. Nothing’s a secret and don’t even think about trying to keep anything private. Your failures, your accomplishments, your mistakes, or your good deeds are out for everyone to know. How comforting, right? You make a mistake that you wish you could take back and ten minutes later the entire town, including your grandmother, knows about it.

Achievement Against All Odds While “Being Trapped within the Matrix”

April 29, 2009

by “Unknown Author”

Instructor’s note: “Unknown Author” has chosen to anonymously publish this story of being trapped in “The Matrix” of foster care.

Today in our society many young people and adults face many tribulations. Some face many hardships and difficulties throughout their lives. Some individuals may not have the chance to show empathy and see the world through the other person’s viewpoint. Hardships and difficulties may be shocking and appalling for others to see or hear.

I believe that some people have lives that are inspirational. The legend of one’s story can become so deep and display a powerful motivational push for some who have no hope. Some individuals may face things that only few can understand. (more…)


April 29, 2009

by Anonymous

Stereotyping affects many people in different ways. Being a victim of stereotyping, I was tormented in high school. Every day I was called a midget by my so called friends. From that experience to this day, I feel a sense of emptiness about myself because people only look at the outer me: how tall I am, the clothes I wear, and even how I choose to live my life. (more…)

Wacky Weed

December 22, 2008

By “Cleveland California”

Marijuana is one of the safest drugs legal or illegal; there have been many tests to prove that it is one of the most harmless drugs out there to use. It is used for medicinal purposes in many situations so my question is, “Why isn’t this drug legal?” (more…)

What Are Pre-Relationships for?

December 13, 2008

By Chris Smith

“Baby I’m sorry it’s not you it’s me.” “I cheated.” “I don’t know where I see us going years from now.” “Are you sure they’re not yours?” Relations between two people who have “feelings,” for each other are some of the most complex traditions of our U.S. society today. This is because, over decades of time, norms have changed over and over again. From the acceptable age that people can be married, to interracial couple’s acceptance of in society, the norms of relationships are subjective in nature. It was normal for children the age of thirteen to get married in the past, but in the present it is not. It is normal for marriages to end in divorce in the present, but it wasn’t in the past. And now it seems like a new change should be confronted: pre-relationships.

Pre-relationships can go by many names to the youth. To name a few: “bun joint,” “main squeeze,” “boo,” “baby,” and the most common of all, “boyfriend,” and “girlfriend.” (more…)

A Moment of Clarity

December 12, 2008

By Salim Williams

Growing up I always admired older my brother and took after everything he did. When he was in High School I was in Grammar school and yet he allowed me to hang with him and his friends. They showed me the ropes; taking me around the neighborhood and introducing me to people. Some of the people I met were known troublemakers who our parents usually told us to avoid; but parents are parents and ours always seemed to worry about everything. I later found out my brother and his friends were a part of a well known street gang.

I was the only one in my house who seemed to notice a change in my brother’s behavior. (more…)


December 11, 2008

By Amarachi Ukachu

Custom cars, custom computers, why not custom kids? A new clinical trial in the United States allows couples to pick the sex of their unborn children in an effort to determine the social effects.The doctors create embryos for the study members using assisted reproduction. Then they figure out each embryo’s sex using a process called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). The parents then select a male or female embryo to be implanted in the mother’s uterus.

I believe that parents should not be allowed to pick the gender of their children. (more…)


December 10, 2008

By “Cleveland California”

Instructor’s Note: “Cleveland California” is a pen name.

The world is changing most people say in a good way but what I see is more people falling into poverty every year. People that used to be middle class are now poor. Most people don’t understand but I live in it. I see people my age who have to resort to illegal activities to feed their families because they’re the only source of income that the family has.

To start off, most people in poverty are born into it. Which means there was nothing they could do about it. To escape poverty you need a good job. These days it takes a high school diploma to work at McDonalds, and it takes a college education to make more than minimum wage. Most times poor families don’t have enough money to put their kids through college. The only way that they can make it is through sports but they have to make it through the streets first. (more…)