Response to group’s essays

Giuseppe Biondi

ENG 1121 

Prof. Carrie Hall 

During our lives, everyone needs to go to school so that we can educate our self by learning. In most cases what really matters for us can change during the years. Some can love school, and some might be more interested in something else. What I think really matters is that at the end of the trip we’ve accomplished what makes us happy.

Now kids and teenagers like us, most of the time are given classes at school which really don’t matter in terms of interest, what I mean is that the class and the teacher that teaches the class can be the best in the world but the student will still not be interested as much and the class at that point is just a waste of time for the student.

I think that there are a lot of ways that can be integrated in a school program which can result in students having more interest to keep going in the classes and not being bored of it. One of the ways I think can really help that, is what really matters for us and who do we want to be. Choosing has a kid can be difficult because we can change our minds a day or the other, what I suggest is to have more classes that we can choose during the course of our school years. That can really help understanding what we really want to do. So, every semester let’s say we have to choose like 6 classes 2 of them should mandatory and the other 4 we should choose, and the ones we have to choose can then be taken more than one time and the class of course will be a more advanced one. I think that this is one of the ways which can help school classes become more interesting for students.

The Tree of Dreams

Giuseppe Biondi
Prof. Hall
English 1121 (D494)
Final Draft

The tree, a tree that I care more than anything else, a tree that helps me getting every difficult task done, and remembers me of the most inspiring person of my life, my grandpa. A tree that reminds me of all trips of every Saturday or Sunday, where me and my grandpa use to go when I was back in Italy. That tree, that every morning remembers me of an adventure, past, and the one I take every morning a step over my house door. A tree that will always have the summer smell of the nature, a nature that brings me back in the hills of Sicily, where my grandfather and I walked step by step, admiring what nature has given us, a gift that many planets in the universe do not have, trees. A tree that my grandfather took from the hills, and then plant it in front of my house, so that it reminds me of all the advice that he shared with me. The tree, which helps me overcome the greatest difficulties of this world.

Day by day, what I remember is a past time, a time, where everything was beautiful and handsome. Trees is what I remember, then, a natural paradise, where the perception of our sense’s changes, because of the nature that involves you, as if it was the last match of an important team. Sicily, my island, this is what I remember every day, looking at the tree in front of my house, and while I look at it, it takes me back in there, like a time machine, but only the most beautiful memories will surround you, because at the end a life without good memories is not a happy life.  Every morning awakening, what the tree transmits to me, are not only memories of the island where I was born, but also the nature that it transmits to the people that live near me, because it is considered one of the most beautiful trees in Gravesend, my neighborhood in Brooklyn. All seasons of the year it transmits a different emotion, but a happy one. During the summer it is always full of green leaves that makes me, my neighbors and even the animals happy. And this is what gives me strength when I have to face days when I’m bored and unhappy and it gives me courage, as if it were the person I would always trust, my grandpa.  The tree reminds me of my grandfather, as if he is watching me waking up every morning, he’s what the tree remembers me of, because it was him who gave life to the tree, and my feelings for it. My grandfather, the person that I would never be afraid to say what I think of him, or something that went wrong that day, or just to express my ideas on something. Just so every afternoon I linger in front of the tree, as if I am talking to my grandfather, and say all the good memories that happened to me that day or other. While talking to the tree, I imagine my grandfather, as if I would be talking to him instead of the tree, and it’s this that gives life to the tree, like if it was a person and not a plant.  I call it “The Tree of Dreams” because it brings me with him to beautiful memories, like the trips with my grandfather in Mount Etna, where nature envelops you like a burrito. Trips, where the beauty of nature is all you will remember at the end of the day, and where every step counts because nature changes every step taken. From flowers, to majestic plants full of color that gives the nature of the island a beauty, that diversifies it from the others. Every step, where my grandfather explains to me the birth of plants and how they manage to take their fascinating color that not many other plants have. Where step by step, you will have a different memory of the nature that surrounds you, and it is precisely this that makes it unique.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Since the tree has been planted in front of my house, it has helped me so much, overcoming the darkest periods of my new life since I’m here. The most difficult times, were when my family from Sicily are here to stay with us. The moments spent with them are always, and forever, the most beautiful once ever, since I was young. But when it’s time for them to return to Sicily,  are always the worst moments, because saying goodbye to my family, and not knowing when I would see them again, it’s frustrating for me, and leaves me a sense of darkens inside me, because the most important thing that my parents taught me are to make a life of our own, and love your family. Therefore, I am so close to my family, especially my cousins. In all this, the tree helps me remember the best moments spent with them and then helps me both morally and mentally, to face any kind of challenge to problem that arises. Every day I spent some time talking to the tree, most of the time I tell it, the craziest things I’ve done with my cousins, like the time we jumped from a 12 meters rock near the beach where I live. Sometimes I even tell the tree, my feelings when I was around my friends, where the only thing that surrounded you was happiness.     “The Tree of Dreams”, is where all best memories can live, where I can forget everything,  and it also helps me to immerse only myself to what nature has to give us, where I can be the protagonist of all my dreams, where I am the key to change the story, where I will decide where it will take place and how it will end. Every day I ask myself a question, “who are we to decide our destiny?”. Only now I understand what the tree has tried to tell me, with past memories. We  are the key to our destiny, and we are the necessary component to finish it in the best possible way, because after all, if we really believe in something, everything is possible.

My marginal comments are HERE. My endnote and grade are in the comment to this post. 


I really liked this story. His writings really relates to teenagers. I really enjoyed the chapters, because they vary between narrative stories of how Gilyard communicates in different social situations and scholastic analyses of those experiences. Gilyard has a way of writing that never sounds boring and you can keep reading and reading until you finish the all book. In “Voices of the Self”  Gilyard uses a lot of imagery which is what kept me reading the text with a flow that I really enjoyed a lot. I think that on my writings that is what I have to get better at. An example in his writings is “Cutting into an alley, I encountered a high fence topped with a short row of barbed wire and didn’t hesitate to scale it. I ripped my shirt going over but managed to jump down to the other side and scurry behind a clump of bushes just as the cop entered the alley”. In this example I can really imagine my self in the situation because the way he words the sentence is fantastic and he also uses an English which really sounds like the one that many teenagers use as well, and this is why I really like Gilyard’s writing.