Posts Tagged ‘place’

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.
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Jamaica

December 4, 2008

By Chelsea Singh

Most people who have never been to the small, friendly and cultured island of Jamaica envisage it to be a just a place of only beautiful pristine beaches, golden white silky sands and waters so calm and tranquil. But what some people don’t know is that Jamaica is more than the beaches.

The island is filled with colorful people so rich in culture. Jamaica’s motto is “Out of Many One People”. This simply means that it is a huge melting pot stewed together as one. We are a country of different ethnicities. Being a Jamaican, having started university in the United States, I have found that a number of students fail to believe that Jamaica has people of different races. (more…)

Yesterday’s Footprints

December 3, 2008

By Chris Smith

In middle school after my daily basketball practices I would find myself roaming the empty halls, waiting for my ride to pick me up. While strolling by the cafeteria I could still taste the crisp and cheesy pepperoni pizza the lunch lady served every Tuesday and Thursday, with a side of fries and an icee. Then I would recall the many conversations and confrontations my crew and I witnessed in the lunch room, from the girls revealing their crushes on my best friend and me to the time I almost fought this older kid Zach over a seat. When I walked past my locker I could hear the echoes of my classmates and friends that I followed around school — either Paul the pretty boy jock, Tom the soccer-playing rapper, or Willie the short-tempered gang member. All of these thoughts would run through my head as I walked through the school, but after I walked out the front doors, it would all disappear. That is when I learned that even when all of my friends are gone with our memories, life will still go on. I learned to lead instead of follow.

My middle school was located in the interior of Alaska — Fairbanks, Alaska. Covered with faded velvet red brick and a name sign at the entrance like any other middle school in America it seemed no different, but it was the outside environment that caused me to become just another rock broken by peer pressure instead of the great boulder we all can be. (more…)

Stereotypes of Africa

December 3, 2008

By Oluwasegun Akinola

My name is Segun which means Victor in English. People could tell that I am an African by the sound of my name and accent. Whenever I am around people, they begin to ask questions about Africa. For example, someone asked me “do you walk around naked in Africa?” Another person asked me “do you live in huts at Africa?” Whenever people ask me these questions, I laugh it off. This shows that these are the stereotypes people of other races have about Africa. They didn’t know what the life in Africa looks like because they got these stereotypes from movies and internet sources. As an African, I want to contrast the good life I had in Africa with the stereotypes of my homeland.

I was born in Lagos, Nigeria in West Africa. (more…)

Relationship Behind Bars

November 24, 2008

By Ashley Lowery

Instructor’s note: Ashley wrote this powerful piece in response to the prompt to write a descriptive essay about “a place that shaped you.”

Tom and Jerry, Spiderman, and Batman are all childhood cartoons that I enjoyed; however, I was unable to watch these cartoons on Saturdays. Instead, I was hugging my mother from a jail cell. More than a fourth of Baltimore city mothers are incarcerated. As a result the children are left to be cared for by family members or even the department of social services. By my mother being incarcerated, I only have vivid memories of visiting my mother in different jails. The ordeal of visiting my mother consisted of mentally and physically preparing myself, arriving at the jail and getting searched, and then sitting in a waiting room only to see her through a metal gate for a short period of time; this describes my relationship with my mom.

Deciding on an outfit to wear was a hassle. I had to make sure I didn’t wear any sleeveless shirts or shorts above the knee. (more…)

Black Water

November 24, 2008

By Erica Matthews

Instructor’s note: Erica wrote this piece in response to an assignment to write a descriptive essay about “a place that shaped you.”

When you enter Pocomoke, Maryland the smell of dirty salt water enters your nostrils. The main street in Pocomoke, known as Market Street, is what tourists see when they enter the town. Market Street is surrounded by stores run by people of the city, beautiful homes, and churches. The homes and churches on this street have their gardens pruned and lawns mowed so meticulously that it looks as if each building has its own grass carpet as a front yard.

I know the truth; that street is just a mask. Behind the beautiful homes and churches with the perfect gardens and grass, lies the real Pocomoke. After you cross the bridge over the foul smelling black river water, take a right on to Clark Street because that is where the real Pocomoke begins.

Clark Street is the street where you know damn well you took a wrong turn and must leave immediately! (more…)