My Scarlet Letter

Let’s all be honest. No one really enjoys or takes pride in their numerous failures. I don’t like talking about my failures. You, the reader, most likely don’t enjoy discussing past failures either. However, that being said, I understand the importance of understanding past failure. Past failures are meant to be precedents and are mean’t to be just a part of life. As a person who has made and still makes mistakes, I, out of the all the benevolence in my being, will share some of my past failures.
The most vivid failure I can distinctly recall was my freshman year of high school. I say my freshman year was a failure because I failed to maintain adequate grades. But bad grades were only just a subset of a much larger problem. I had a terrible work ethic and time management skills. A clear example of this was anytime I received a long term assignment. I would usually put it off until the weekend before the due date. However, in the rare cases that I began the assignment early, the time I spent working was a mere one-tenth of the time used to procrastinate online. It was only natural that less time spent on an assignment equaled less than an adequate grade on an assignment. My failures, particularly the latter mentioned, continue to haunt me because I have to put a significant amount of time and effort in order to make up for my less than admirable grades during my freshman year. Despite my obvious failure, I gained understanding of an important lesson that will stay with me much longer than my grades.
Failures are not the only thing people are not proud of. Flaws. Everyone, who has lived or ever will live, has flaws. The only objects, people, places, and societies that lack flaws exist in a fictional dimension. Although it is already not an easy job to state our flaws, legitimately acknowledging our flaws proves a much more daunting task. Again, you, the reader, are probably to so enthusiastic on admitting personal flaws either. I am not particularly keen on admitting my flaws either; however, until people acknowledge and admit the flaws in themselves true construction cannot begin. That being stated, I will try to give an unbiased list of my flaws.
One of my biggest flaws is my need for attention. I consider this a major flaw because my need for attention can persuade me to do and say things of below average intelligence. And it usually ends with me immediately regretting whatever action I performed.
My second biggest flaw is shyness. It may seem counter intuitive that a person who seeks attention from others is actually shy. Yet I feel shyness is a major flaw because it keeps me from experiencing as many events, people, and interactions as possible.
These two main flaws can branch into other minor flaws; however, I feel that these two flaws in particular affect me the most in my daily life.
As it was stated previously (twice). We hate failures, and we hate to admit our flaws. But, we as a society need it implanted in our beings that the latter is a part of life, and once we acknowledge them, our society will make unfathomable improvements and make our failures and flaws infinitesimal.

Advertisements

The Scarlet Letter of Adultery

The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is about Hester Prynne, a Puritan who has committed the morally corrupt act of adultery. Due to the rigidity of the Puritan society in the 1700’s, Hester’s actions obviously could not go unpunished, and she is forced to wear a “Scarlet Letter” upon her chest (The letter is “A”). In addition she is left with her illegitimate child, Pearl. The story starts with her release from prison with her illegitimate infant and progresses chronologically until Hester’s death many years later. Although this is only a shallow summary, one can understand the allure of this book.

Over the years, The Scarlet Letter has received many forms of criticism since the time of its publication;however, these claims are not completely unfounded. One of the major criticisms is that the book condones adultery. In sharp contrast, some critics agree that the book condemns the practice of adultery. Although I more or less understand the viewpoint for either criticism, I strongly believe that this book focuses more on the process of owning up to one’s sins. Therefore, I feel that either viewpoint can be supported, but they are the not view on which I believe this novel focuses on, which is admitting the truth can lessen grief and suffering.

An example of the process to admitting one’s sin is through the character Arthur Dimmesdale. Dimmesdale is a charismatic Pastor that everyone in the town respects and holds in high regard. However, he is not as perfect as everyone believes.In actuality, he is Pearl’s father! Throughout the length of the book Dimmesdale must face his inner demons within himself about his sin, because he never comes clean. So as a result, he punishes himself in private to  make up for his sin. This punishment consists of whipping himself (The Leech and his Patient). However as the story further progresses, he becomes less mentally distraught when he meets with Hester Prynne and Pearl in the forest (however, his pain clearly does not disappear because he eventually dies at the end of the novel). While meeting with Hester, he confides in her his grief and sorrow about their entire circumstance (The Pastor and His Parishioner). Clearly, the pastor’s difference in mental stability, before admitting his sin and after voicing his sin, proves that the point of this novel was to hi-light the importance of the truth, rather than, condone or condemn adultery.

If You Give Me A Book…

Born to two hard-working parents and no siblings, I did not have the most “normal” childhood. Hardworking parents equaled late shifts at the office and equaled me being picked up from school after six’o clock. No siblings meant no companions to talk to, play with, and share with. However not all parts of my childhood were bleak and drab, hardworking parents and no siblings also meant a lot of time to read. Reading essentially became my cocaine (sorry, I know comparisons to drugs isn’t generally positive). And by the first grade my reading became so out of hand that I would take three A.R test a day just so I could move on to the next book. Reading did not only occur at school, reading occurred EVERYWHERE. An example of addiction and poor self-control was the eclectic collection of books that could give the Library of Congress a run for its money. Furthermore, books in that amalgam of text were not limited to the English language. Some were written in Chinese, and a large portion consisted of Japanese folktales. Therefore, If you asked me to recall what my favorite children’s book was I couldn’t give a straight forward answer. Not because I didn’t what to, but because I had an exposure so many books. But if I had to pick a children’s book that I could still recall to this day, it would be “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.”

“If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” is a timeless classic written by the beautiful and talented Laura Numeroff (who, by the way, does not look like she is actually sixty-one!). I associate this book with the fondest of memories because I read this with my grandmother (eventhough she didn’t know an ounce of English). Both she and I were captivated by the simple illustrations. I believe my grandmother described it as “kawaii” ,which is an indication that she probably also enjoyed the book as much as I did. What made the pictures in the book memorable was their lack of INTENSE detail. I was ,at that point, used to children’s books illustrations being incredibly detailed almost to the point of the picture  being grotesque. Another reason that I was an acolyte of this book was the aroma. I know books are not normally appreciated for their fragrance. However, I remember disliking children’s books that were so old that they produced a certain musty odor. What stood out about this book was the fact that it lacked any sort of foul smell. This is obviously a psychological induced memory. Nevertheless, it helped make the book more memorable. “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” remains a masterpiece in my mind due to the wonderful illustrations and the fond memories that are associated with it.

Although I admit “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” is a possibly  one of the most  the most cliché answer conceivable, I still chose to write about it because it played a lasting and significant role in my childhood. Although I have not read any children’s books as of late, I still remain an avant-garde of books like “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie because books of this caliber are naturally able to create fond memories that last a lifetime.

You don’t need a phone to be happy?!

First things first, I’d like to state that John Ciardi’s essay Happiness was brilliant. However, it does not mean that I completely agree with his viewpoint. John Ciardi’s point of his essay is to inform the general public that YOU DON’T NEED MATERIAL POSSESSIONS TO BE HAPPY. What I think Ciardi is trying to do is tell us that people do not know what they genuinely want. Furthermore, happiness is what you choose to perceive it as. You may think true bliss is having a iphone with infinite battery life. Your neighbor might believe Nirvana lies within a ten-gallon vanilla ice cream cup. The point is neither your perception nor your neighbor’s perception of happiness is wrong. Happiness is what we choose it to be. But as I previously mentioned, I MOSTLY agree with Ciardi’s point.
Having material possessions is not a requirement to be happy; however, I strongly believe that having material possessions makes it easier to be happy. (Sorry for the repetitive use of happy) A relateable example to support my viewpoint is the cellphone. A material possession like a cellphone is not a requirement to be blithe. I certainly can survive without a cellphone. I didn’t have one until the eighth grade and I was for the most part untroubled (I think?). Fast forward to the present-day, I now have a smartphone. With a smartphone, I possess the ability to have easier contact with my friends outside of school and as a result have an easier time being happy. Clearly, one can see where my differences with the writer’s point occur and why they occur.
Overall, I honestly enjoyed the essay. It was not just a plain black and white argumentative essay. The writer’s inclusion of analogies such as when he refers to a “hunting license” not only makes the essay clever, but it becomes easier to understand as a result. Something else I noticed is that Ciardi admits that his viewpoint may be skewed because he is a “westerner.” A sign of an outstanding paper is when the writer understands that he may have personal biases. Although I may not have entirely agreed with the writer’s viewpoint, I still genuinely believe that the content of this essay is sharp, on point, and smartly written.
View the speech at: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BxcQgjnJhCFGbzJEN1E3NDFxcU0/edit
Or HMU on Twitter @tie-ler