This may sound very nerdy and embarrassing, but something I am passionate about and know a lot about are Japanese comic books and graphic novels. I find myself reading a lot of them nowadays which is what I do to keep me entertained/busy. However, I’ve recently been finding myself searching/looking up topics related to my major, Electrical Engineering. I am not going to lie, it is very difficult but also very interesting, which is one of the reasons I pursued becoming one. It amazes me how much we’ve accomplished and there is still a lot more to uncover. Faster computers, faster communication systems, AI, and more.
As an individual that is a part of many communities, the one community that I am proud and blessed to be a part of is the Haitian community. Many of the people in Haiti speak Haitian Creole. Haitian Creole is a language that shares a combination of French dialect and African languages. It was formulated based on lath 17th and early I8th century French that is combined with Spanish, English, Portuguese, countless west African languages and Taino.
A statement that is well known and used in my community is “Wap konn jój”. This is something that is usually said to children by their parents or guardian. When translated to English Word for Word it doesn’t entirely make sense as it means “you’re going to know Jorge“. However, when this statement is said by an elder it signifies that the child that is being spoken to is in trouble and for them to get ready for punishment. In the Haitian community parents raise their child to be respectful and polite to everyone that they meet no matter their status and whether they knew them or not. Whenever a parent felt like their child was being disrespectful around another adults it would make them feel embarrassed and this is a statement that they would use as a warning.
As a little girl this is a statement that I would often find myself hearing mainly from my mother and grandmother. This wasn’t because I was a bad child but rather because I had a listening problem. I used to find myself in trouble with a mother for doing the absolutely opposite of what she would tell me to do. I was the most well behaved child in a class or any room, you would never hear a peep out of me but when it comes to me following instructions that’s when the problem would start. She would usually give me a warning by giving me a hard clear glare and by saying “fe respew tande”. Once again when translated this means “do your respect, listen”, but the real meaning is to watch yourself or to tread lightly. A core memory of mine would be the first time that my mother would say this to me as a small child. It would always make me laugh and I would respond back with “who is jorge mommy”, for a very long time the true meaning of the sentence would fly over my head, like many things did at that age. The first time I really felt the meaning of the statement is when my mother was sick and she was the only one taking care of my brother and I at the time and she trusted me to take care of a task on my own. Like the child that I was I didn’t fully understand how she was feeling at the time and the state that her body was in and I kept playing around and not listening to anything that she was saying to me and I kept playing around. There came a certain moment when she got tired of it and she raised her voice and said “ Map few konn jój”. This came as a shock to me because my mother was a very soft-spoken woman and that’s the moment I realized the severity of those words.
There are two forms of the statement that can be used when speaking, the direct and indirect form. “Wap konn jój” being the indirect form which means “you’ll get what’s coming for you”. While, “Map few konn jój” on the other hand is the direct form. The direct form for the most part is used to put emphasis on the person that is saying the statement. Which means that in this case it would mean “I got what you looking for”. This statement has such an incredibly wide range of definitions, depending on the individual that you’re referring to it can come out light-hearted or more aggressive. When this statement is said to children they don’t take it as hard as when an adult says it’s one other adult depending on how close the relationship is. a child I used to be around many adults listening to conversation I was not supposed to and I found that when they were giving each other advice, and one wouldn’t consider such advice, they would say this in a joking matter. In addition, this is a statement that I enjoyed hearing Because of the many different ways it can be used in a sentence.
Even though this statement is mostly used and said to intimidate or put a child in their place, It can also be said in other manners. It can be stated in a joking matter from a mother to a child as well as from one adult to another. On the other hand, it can also be said as a way to start a conflict. I have seen two adults start a physical altercation based on the exchange of these few words. This is a statement that holds a lot of power depending on the person that is saying it.
In conclusion, the statement “wap konn jók” is very important to my community due to the fact that it is one of the many statements that has been passed down from generation to generation. Many elders in my family that I have spoken to have told me that when they sit down and reflect on their childhood this statement is one that often pops up during their happiest time as well as their saddest time as a child. When I was younger I used to always say that I would never say “wap konn jój” because it creates too much confusion. However, now at 20 years old I find this statement to be a part of my every day vocabulary using it with my younger siblings or during an argument to add pizzazz or to make my point. I find it to be very essential for me to continue the very confusing get well needed traditional use of the sentence.
DAY ONE HW
After reading the first few pages of “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” I found it to be interesting because I was able to understand and learn an ancient folktale from Santo Domingo. My mother use to tell me some scary stories that she’s been told or even ones that she’s experienced, and I always found them interesting. Reading the first few pages of this book, reminded me of those scary stories. However, I didn’t understand some things from the text such as the title correlating to the curse, fuku. The writer starts by informing the readers about “fuku” and what it means but then the title doesn’t match what he states about this meaning. After reading the title I think of something marvelous that Oscar Mao has been through or has done, but when reading the first seven pages, it talks about this curse that affects the lives of anyone who says a specific word. I found that confusing and more specifically when the writer says “It’s perfectly fine if you don’t believe in these “superstitions.” It’s better than fine-it’s perfect.” I found this very difficult to understand because he just gave a list of examples of bad things happening to those who didn’t believe in this curse. Maybe he’s being sarcastic? I don’t get how the title is stating Oscar Mao has a wondrous life which is a great life but talks about a curse. But then again maybe he is being sarcastic.
DAY TWO HW
I am a part of the Hispanic community, the NYC community, and being a student. Growing up in my household, we only spoke Spanish so that was all I could speak and understand very young. However, when I was in school here in NYC, I was able to learn, study, and experience the English language. Being a student and being a part of an English-speaking community, I’ve had to get used to speaking this language only. I learned Spanish because of my parents, who are both from Honduras. They only understood Spanish and that was the language we communicated in in our home. But as my siblings and I got older, living in NYC, we were able to learn English because of school. During my middle and high school years, I lost a little of my Spanish since English is my first language and it’s hard keeping up with both languages because at home I’m speaking one language, but then at school or outside of my home, I speak English so it’s like living two lives. Nevertheless, as I speak more Spanish at home, I was able to get back to speaking and writing both languages fluently. I completely agree and can relate to this writer, Perri Klass, because when you learn something and are used to a repetitive pattern, it stays with you and you either have to make both work or just focus on one, and even so, I’ve chosen to work with both languages.