Week 4

Olivarez, “Maybe I Could Save Myself by Writing”

When the author, Olivarez, was a teen, he felt like he didn’t belong anywhere and that he didn’t fit in. He felt like a teen that was just trying to make it through each day and didn’t have and feel the strength and courage to “fit in”. After a while, he decided to start writing and wrote a book of poems on his experiences as a teen. Although he decided to write a book of poems, he didn’t like poetry at first, but through certain experiences, he later found love for it.

Olivarez talks about how poorly poetry was taught and how ineffective teaching used to be back when he was in grade school. He lived and attended school in Chicago, in a working class suburb. Furthermore, he describes education as, “We were empty bank accounts, and it was our teachers’ responsibility to deposit facts.” He follows that up by saying he doesn’t remember much about his childhood as it was years ago before he wrote this article. The purpose of telling the audience about this stuff is to show how much he doesn’t know and doesn’t remember and to give people more hope about writing.

Olivarez was born and raised under a Mexican household, where both of his parents are Mexican and were born in Mexico, but lived in the U.S. to be as an American. From there, he knew he didn’t fit in and belong with the society whereas he knew he was going to be “different” from everybody else. He was even rejected from a preschool based on his heritage, and when he reached high school, he knew he needed to move to Mexico and away from the U.S. because he will be more accepted. He eventually got a chance to live in Mexico with his grandparents for a while but he was even rejected then as people in Mexico were calling him to be as an American. It was then when he turned to books to try to answer all of his questions. He read books from authors that were or went through similar experiences that him and his family went through.

In his high school, they had a poetry club in which he joined and found love for poetry. He loved and enjoyed watching his classmates perform poetry and even felt a spark inside of him. It was then when he realizes writing can come in and save him and answer all of his questions.

With a new view and attitude towards writing, Olivarez relationship with school and education has shifted. He stopped doing good in classes that didn’t really see him as a student in the classroom. Then he adapted a new view of education by just accepting all the knowledge he was taught to be a fact even if it wasn’t which made school much easier for him. With all the information given to him, he thinks about what is being left out and what stories are not being told. With this, his thinking and writing has gotten more in dept. Through his writing, he wishes to grow and learn even more and help other people out with their lives.

Olivarez, “Mexican American Disambiguation”

This is a poem talking about the author and his family and what they identify as. Olivarez and his family can be mistaken as so many identities and this poem basically tries to clear it all up. People with different races and heritages all identifies people like Olivarez differently and calls them different things. Some people might call them diverse, while others just call them to be a specific type of person in which would separate and split people a part. Things they do, are to be described as diverse like them doings things that are considered to be a culture of another race, for example, eating foods that aren’t from where you are considered to be from. Olivarez and his family are citizens of the U.S. and want to be seen and treated as that and not like someone different. This poem shows how society can treat them differently even though they shouldn’t.

Hobson, “The Cage Bird Prevails”

This is an article about how adversity has a major impact on the author’s life. It talks about how the author lives for adversity and fighting against and how their personal experiences with adversity helped shape who they are today.

When Hobson was in junior high, it was hard for them to read and it impacted on how they would do in their class. They had a hard time reading books and refused to read in out loud in class to avoid the feeling of embarrassment and disgrace. It was then when they found the love and interest in reading and writing. They were determined to better their skills so they can feel confident about doing it in public.

In the author’s life, there were a lot negative things that impacted how he acts now and his view on things. There was a point of time where the author was heavily influenced by gangs and even went to jail because of it which they found to be very challenging. As a result of this, Hobson realized they wanted more and better for themselves, so he put his mind on studies which helped turned his life in a new and better direction.

In this new direction, they first started to find a career that would maximize their intellectual capacity which was to be a paramedic. They love to help people in need and wanted to do something that involved that and didn’t want anything to get in the way of that. Even though they found a potential career they could’ve had pursued, they were still going through things which led them in a different track. They later found out that being a paramedic isn’t a career you should pursue and then went on to try to pursue a career in the medical field. One of their college professors helped them lead to the best career choice for them and it is something they will never forget. If it weren’t for the negative influences in their life, they wouldn’t even know where life would’ve taken them and if it would’ve been for the better or worse.

What the texts have in common:

These texts are all similar as where the author’s showed how their personal experiences and the negative things in their lives shaped the way they live and the way they view education. It is also similar as where both of the author’s weren’t good in school and then later on performed very well in it. No matter on what experiences a person is going through or went through, whether it is positive or negative, it can shape the way you are in the future. I think all of these texts are relatable as in school can be a very tough thing to go through and experience but with the right stuff, school can be very beneficial. The way both of these author’s communicate this message is by talking about their personal experiences like the stuff they went through and the things they did and how it later on impacted them and their lives.