Hello! I recently graduated with a B.A. in English with Cum Laude latin honors. I have one semester left of student teaching to become a credentialed secondary English teacher.
I am writing this as a half-white woman who knows I have privilege. As a Mexican, I see my brown people facing similar issues. As a white woman, I am sorry. I am so so sorry for the society that we live in. To Black and Brown people, I am sorry that you have been tossed aside and been treated as "other" for your entire life. You important, valuable, and worthy of love. I am sorry. Derek Chauvin may look like justice or accountability, but it is only because the world was watching. A majority of police are not held accountable for the people they have killed.
In April of 2020, my elderly Persian cat had to be put down because of all the pain he was in from not functioning anymore. For years, he was loved by my whole family, coming to us when my grandmother became too old to take care of him anymore. 2020 was already a rough year, but on top of Sonny's passing, the whole house was down. Our two-year-old rescue, Blinky, who we had found at about six weeks old abandoned in the middle of an intersection, was lonely and depressed with his grumpy friend now gone. Blinky would wander the house for Sonny before settling to watch the birds by himself.
The Cult Cafe
Cheyenne was always told not to go to that cafe. The cafe on Rose and 5th was supposedly owned and run by a cult. Of course, this was all a rumor. In reality, it's just run by vegans, so of course, the older people in town were scared. Cheyenne thought it was refreshing to see some modern ideals in her small town. Although, they were still a little too out there for her taste.
Lower Class Women
While the plot of Tartuffe is about Tartuffe himself bamboozling Orgon's upper-class family out of their house, a few characters have to fight against him and Orgon because they simply know better. Tartuffe bamboozles Orgon and his family by feigning piety and winning over the head of the household. This comes with the cost of the women in the household having no say in life-altering decisions. In addition to Tartuffe's scheming for money, he also attempts to seduce Orgon's wife and marry Orgon's daughter. Tartuffe's lust for women and money drives his interests, but with Orgon being the person who controls both, everyone in the household is surely doomed. However, all the women in the play do not fit the role of quiet and obedient women. The women in the play resist the roles they are given and work to make sure that their lives are secure.
Sleep paralysis had always been a common occurrence for Winnie. It used to scare her as a child, but over time she got used to it. It was more of an inconvenience than a real issue. Sometimes she couldn't physically get up and would be late for work or school, but that did not happen enough for her to get written up or lose her job. So it was fine.
A Quarantine Reflection
A year ago I was sprinting across my community college campus to either get to one of three of my part-time jobs or to get to class. A year ago, I was the most exhausted I have ever been. I was averaging approximately 4-5 hours of sleep per night and living off of free coffee in the Teacher Preparation office to get me through my day. I would tell myself "It's normal to feel like this and work myself this hard. It's normal to feel miserable at the beginning of your twenties, right?"
Wake up. Coffee. Go to class. Do homework. Go to bed. Repeat. I woke up and had my coffee. I met Jazlyn at the café on the hill on the way into campus. The warm bitter air rushed over my skin as I stepped in to the café. Jazlyn was already sitting at an empty table with two coffees. She was all bundled up in an oversized sweater and a coat on top of that. I was jealous, because I forgot to check the weather and was only wearing a t-shirt under my own coat. Jazlyn stood as soon as she saw me and handed over the coffee.
I am ending my last semester in community college right now and I am happy to move on, but it is bitter sweet. After two and a half years of constant support from the student services and my employers on campus, I am going to miss my first college. I was accepted into the four-year college I have been wanting to attend since highschool. My aunt went there, my boss went there, and my friends attend there currently. It feels like my life is really beginning. Now, do not get me wrong. I am not your typical college student. I am 20 and still can not drive and I work a maximum of five hours a week because of our current pandemic.
Internal Racism in Nella Larsen’s “Passing”
“Passing” by Nella Larsen follows a Black woman by the name of Irene Redfield as she discovers that her biracial childhood friend, Clare Kendry, who is forced by her childhood circumstances to “pass” as a White woman. Clare Kendry can bypass the hate and systematic racism that would have befell her, but at the cost of her identity as a Black woman. Larsen writes how she attempts to keep that part of identity but struggles to accept herself. Clare Kendry becomes a whole new woman in the span of twelve years going from Black to White and poor to rich. Her light skin tone enables her to pass from a young age; however, she did not until her father died and she was forced into a new identity by her White aunts. She was not allowed to take pride in her whole heritage and developed internal racism for herself. It is true that it is easier to be White in the 1900s, but she was not given a choice of who she wanted to be. Her only choice to have a happy life from the perspective her aunts forced upon her is to be rich and White.
Colonization and the Aftermath
Colonization is destructive and ignorant to the preexisting societies that is ruined for money and land. Colonization is rooted in racism, capitalism, and supremacy. Colonization affects poor and indigenous countries. Candide by Voltaire, Clear Light of Day by Anita Desai, and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe all paint pictures of the destruction of colonization from different perspectives. Candide has a colonialist perspective with Candide traveling all over the world, causing destruction with an optimistic attitude. Anita Desai sheds a light by telling the story of India after English colonialism and how it affected their society and schools. Achebe tells the story of a man as his village is invaded by white evangelicals on behalf of the colonizers.
Lack of independence and Ableism in Good Country People
The short story “Good Country People” by Flannery O’Connor follows Hulga Hopewell who is subject to a form of disrespect and discrimination called Ableism at the hands of her mother, Mrs. Freeman, and the bible salesman. Hulga is a capable young woman who went to college and earned a Ph.D. in philosophy. Hulga has an artificial leg that affects her daily life and a heart condition that affects her life span. These two combined keep her home with her mother and away from the life she wants to live. People with disabilities face microaggressions on the daily. Microaggressions are very commonly used and are not often recognized for what they are. What a person might mean as a compliment or trying to be helpful, may be offensive to a person with a disability. Ableism can be outright discrimination as well with verbal insults or attacks which Hulga unfortunately faces by the people that label themselves “good country people”. Ableism is abundant in the story and is a main driving point of the plot.