2. For Friday 9/4

Unit 1 | Appearances that Deceive…
Scene and Conflict

Although by now we’re acquainted with Essay 1, I’ve yet to comment on the theme of our readings so far in the first unit of the course—the idea that appearances can be deceiving—which is something you might (still) consider writing about for your first essay.  In Naylor and Coates’ texts, they allude to the ways in which race—or, in the case of Naylor, racialized language—can be deceiving: the “n-word” doesn’t always mean something bad (even if at first glance or hearing it seems to); meanwhile, for Coates, the very notion of race—or looking at a body in terms of its “race”—is a fiction, the product of racism rather than its cause.  On the other hand, Chu’s text confronts the deceptive appearance of a person’s gender: while a body may appear to be that of a man, a transgender person like Chu may nonetheless feel more like a woman at times (even if obtaining a vagina via surgery doesn’t quite clinch this feeling).  In the next reading, Mirene Arsanios tells a twisted “love story” of sorts that highlights the deception involved in contemporary romance, rooted as it is in text-based (mis-)communication.

Remember the readings for this course are there to inspire you to take chances—as all of these writers have—with becoming vulnerable and chancy in your essays-in-progress.  Please take inspiration from both what these writers are writing about as will as the WAYS in which they are doing so.

OK, so for Friday (respond to 3A and 3B as a comment below; label each part A and B, please):

  1. Comment on another classmate’s “Media Share” (1 or 2, doesn’t matter). In your comment, include at least 1 thing you found interesting about their post and 1 question you have about it.
  2. Read Mirene Arsanios, “April-May-June.”
  3. A. Something I want you to notice about both Chu’s text and Arsanios’ essay is the way that both of them center around a CONFLICT—as do most good stories—and yet how neither of these texts ends in a way that really resolves this conflict.  These are both well-told stories (as your Essay 1 will be) but they aren’t stories that lead to a happy ending or an epiphany.  Each writer concludes their work in a way that is messy or unsatisfied or confused in some way.  For this part of the prompt, focus on either “The Pink” or “April-May-June” and explain what the main CONFLICT of the story is before moving on to analyze how the story ends.  What remains unresolved?  What questions are left unanswered?

B. Both of these writers create vivid scenes in which time slows down and we become able to imagine a kind of movie-like documentation of the writer’s mind perceiving the world around them as well as their own inner thoughts.  (I’ll be talking a bit about this on the Zoom call for this week, so please refer to the recording of that for more explication of some of the key scenes from these two texts and the elements that make up a “scene.”)  For this part of the prompt, please write a long (2+ paragraph) scene that you might want to add to your Essay 1.  When thinking about a scene to write, first think of a central CONFLICT related to what you’re writing your Essay 1 about and try to think of a SCENE that shows this CONFLICT building (or exploding!).

26 thoughts on “2. For Friday 9/4”

  1. 3A: In “The Pink” by Andrea Chu, she finds it difficult to explain why she wanted to become a woman. She believed that having woman parts would make her feel more like a woman and she wanted to become “unrecognizable” to herself. Chu admitted that she didn’t feel any more like a woman after her surgery. She was unsatisfied because she thought post surgery would be the solution on her desire of becoming a woman which is the main conflict. She related her surgery to lumber from an old boot, “the pitiless beauty of the operation is that it’s all the same nerve endings, reclaimed like lumber from another boot”. “These sensations were the very ones I had gone under the knife to escape”. Chu has this idea that to be a woman means to question what it means to be a woman. I find irony in her thought because being a woman means to love and accept your body as one that adapts and changes over time. If she was to ask herself what it means to be a woman, she would need to accept her body before answering what it means to be a woman. Other women explained to Chu that “being a woman feels like nothing at all”. Her question on what it means to be a woman remains unanswered since they describe to her that no woman actually feels like a woman so they don’t technically know what it actually means to be a woman. Chu’s desire to become a woman remains unresolved since she didn’t feel any more like a woman. She explains a very valid point that “no woman feels good about herself” and she has to come to the realization that even though she is now a woman, she will never be fully satisfied with herself because there is always something that could be improved on an individual. I truly believe that there isn’t one person in this world who is fully confident about themselves even though they might show that they are, they aren’t deep down. Nobody is perfect and that is something that Chu should accept, along with her body.

    3B: When someone lies to me, I’ll never trust them ever again. I don’t care how much the person means to me, lying is my biggest pet peeve and after that one lie I could forgive but I’ll certainly not forget. Ten minutes passed by and i received the “I’m home” text from my friend after she left my house. I knew something wasn’t right because she was in such a rush to leave my house. I asked her “did i do something that is making you want to leave”? She replies with “no, i just have to go somewhere with my mom”. We both have each other’s location just in case god forbid we were in danger, we would know where each other is. Since I had a gut feeling that I was being lied to, I checked to see where she was. Not only did I check because I felt I was being lied to, I checked because I was worried that she wasn’t safe. I noticed that her location was off and my heart instantly dropped. I knew exactly where she was.

    I called her about ten times and each call was declined. I got in my car and started driving thinking if I was doing the right thing by looking for her. I didn’t want her to feel as if I was controlling her life so I hesitated before I approached the location. I was just a worried friend that was looking out for her. I can’t even explain what I was feeling. I was shaking and thinking “what if she actually is in danger and I’m not there for her”? I would regret it for the rest of my life if something would have happened to her so I had to find her. I know her like a book and I knew she was at her “boyfriends” house since she was declining all of my calls. She was tired of my lectures so she didn’t want to hear it from me anymore. I found them both standing outside of his house fighting. She shouts with anger “what are you doing here”! I respond back in the same tone of voice and said “I’m protecting you, get in the car now”! He wouldn’t dare to say a word to me and he lowered his voice with her once I got there. She told me to leave but I wasn’t going to listen to her just like she wouldn’t listen to me whenever I told her to stop seeing him. I said “I’m not leaving until you get in the car”. She was refusing to leave until she started to get annoyed since she knew I was going to wait. She says “whatever, why would you do this to me”? That was the problem. She didn’t understand why I would look for her. For her to not realize that he’s toxic just shows that she is used to people not treating her right. She was tired of me telling her to stay away from him but you know what I was tired of? I was tired of her watching her deteriorate and not listening to a word that I say. We were both silent the whole car ride, she was in tears and I was just angry. “Look at yourself, don’t you see what he’s doing to you”? She tells me to stop talking to her. “Okay, no problem but you’re sleeping over my house whether you like it or not because If you don’t I’ll know exactly where to find you again”. She wouldn’t talk to me but it was better than her telling me no. “I want you to block him, just delete his number and block him on everything”. She actually went through with it this time and that was when I realized all of my lectures were worth it. That one fight was when she realized she might lose me as a friend. It was one of those situations where she had to choose me or him. “Thank you Alex”. “Is that sarcasm.” “No, I meant it. Thank you for looking for me even though I was refusing, I knew deep down I wasn’t safe.” I replied with “you know I’m always here for you, but just follow through with what I’m telling you because I only want the best for you at the end of the day.” This event led our bond to become even stronger and I still to this day am glad that I followed my gut feeling and I was able to protect her.

    1. Alexandria, great comments on the question of femininity in Chu’s text. Can you clarify what you think of the ending, though? Are you suggesting that the text ends unresolved via the question of what femininity is? It seems there’s more to say here.

      Great work with your scene. The next step for building this into an essay would be to add some background or additional scenes—either before or after it—that helps develop the conflict(s) on view here. We see multiple in conflict here—you and your friend; your friend and her boyfriend—but we don’t really understand much about why they are fighting, the history of the conflicts involved, etc. And so I’d want to learn more from your essay about the history and background that set up this “showdown” of sorts.

  2. 3A) In “The Pink” by Andrea Long Chu, the main conflict throughout the text is that she doesn’t feel like a woman even after having bottom surgery. This disappoints her because she thought that her having the surgery would “fix” this problem but it didn’t. I believe the issue is resolved because in the end of the text she realizes that all women don’t feel like women and aren’t satisfied with themselves. It states “ They tell me that no woman feels good about
    herself; that no one’s actually good at makeup; that it’s very difficult for all
    women to find clothes that suit their body types; that everyone’s breasts are hung
    a little off; that everyone’s hormones are a little out of whack; that all women
    envy other women. They tell me that sex hurts; that orgasms are nothing special;
    that everyone was ugly in high school; that teenage girls don’t have the kind of
    slumber parties they appear to have in films, or when they do, they don’t paint
    their toenails, and if they did, the polish would stick to the bedsheets. They tell
    me that there is no universal experience of being a woman, except that no
    woman actually feels like a woman; they tell me that in fact, being a woman feels
    like nothing at all.” I know this might not sound like a solution to the issue, but now she knows and understands that it isn’t just here and that all women go through these thoughts and aren’t happy with themselves. I don’t think there is any question left unanswered.

    3B) My first time cutting was a nerve wracking experience for me at the time. I never did anything like it and as funny as it sounds, I felt like a criminal trying to escape prison. In my mind I thought once I got caught, I would be put in solitary confinement and would never see my family or friends ever again. As the bell rang, Me and my friends had a meeting spot which was in the locker room. We were deciding what our plan was, We’re we going to leave through the locker room ? Would we stay and roam the halls ? would we stay in the staircase ? There were endless ideas but we all decided to Rome the halls since on that particular day it was raining and when it rains no one was allowed out. When we all left the locker room, the halls were empty and everyone was supposed to be in their designated class. There was security in every hall watching if any student wasn’t where they were supposed to be. As soon as we walked, we saw our first guard, I was already starting to get nervous because he was going to ask where we belonged and this was the chance we would all get caught. When we get closer to him, he asks “why are we late ?” I didn’t say a word and was looking to see which one of my friends would say something. One of my friends responded and said “our gym teacher held us late, we were in the locker-room changing” The security didn’t say anything back and just stared at us with this weird look in his eye. The suspense was killing me because I didn’t know if he believed my friend or knew we were lying. A few seconds go by but to me it felt like more, he let us go with a warning. I let out a big sigh and started speed walking away from him, I was convinced that he didn’t believe us but I guess I was lucky for now.

    There was a private staircase in my school that only allowed certain students to go through but we managed to climb our way to that staircase. We got comfortable and decided to play some games with each other, this distracted me from worrying about getting caught. We played Uno, truth or dare, we ate junk food, and watched some videos. It was fun and it made the time go by fast, soon enough I had to use the bathroom. I was trying to hold it in but I guess I couldn’t hold it in any more, I knew it was going to be a hard task to go to the bathroom since it’s next to where all the deans offices were, just thinking about that area made me anxious. I was contemplating on going but I was about to pee myself so I had no choice, I asked one of my friends from the group to join me. We both quietly walked down the stairs, not trying to make any noise because we didn’t know who was listening and when we hit the first floor my friend peeped through the door to see if anyone was there. When she looked she saw one of the head deans coming towards the door, he was the rudest of them all and nobody from school liked him. She yanked her head back in and told me to run, without hesitation I ran with her. I was scared, I never ran so fast in my entire life. We stopped running at the second floor to see if he followed us up or not, I heard his keys clashing and he was slowly walking upstairs. I wanted to run again but my friend assured me that he didn’t see us and that he was just going up to the second floor. I wanted to believe her but I was so scared I just wanted to run for it. When he got to the second floor we stayed extra quiet because we were there too. I saw his shadow walking to the door, he opened it and left. “That was a close call” said my friend and I nodded my head in agreement, I was sweating bullets and still was holding my pee. We did our second attempt to go downstairs and still scared we peeped through the door and saw nobody in the halls. We opened the door and ran as fast as we could to the bathroom, after using the bathroom I was relieved that I managed to not get caught. We quickly went back upstairs and told my other friends what had happened. They all laughed and began telling us stories about their experiences almost getting caught too. Overall, I had a lot of fun even though I was scared half the whole time. After a while cutting class became so easy for me that it made it harder for me to attend my classes, I wasn’t as scared as I used to be and I don’t know if this is a good thing or not.

    1. Maram, great share. Just a couple thoughts/questions:
      –I get that Chu’s text sort of “resolves” in the sense that she brings a sense to her feeling of unease being a women—that is, she indicates how she has learned that many to most women have difficulty feeling like women. And yet, I would suggest there is a question here that isn’t answered–multiple questions actually. Is it true that all women don’t feel like women? Why is it that so many women struggle with the question of what it means to be a women? Do men also struggle with this question? (At one point in Chu’s life, she was, presumably, socialized as a “man,” after all.). These are just a few of the questions that come to mind for me. But maybe you feel like the text answers them? Tell me.

      –You have some great scenes here from “cutting” in high school (it was high school, yes?). I will be honest: I read “cutting” and I thought you meant cutting yourself. If you want to play on this ambiguity, you can but just be intentional about it. Otherwise, if you want to be clearer, you could say “cutting class.” All that said, we need to understand the long term consequences of this. Right now, your story is a bit “resolved” insofar as you get away with cutting. But you raise a question of whether this was a good thing or not… I’d explore this question more in your essay: show us the consequences of cutting that lead you to this question. Teach us about this question.

      1. Thank you for your feedback and to answer your question regarding Chu’s text, I would say that many women don’t feel like women because of society’s unrealistic standards. Women feel pressured to look a certain way, for example they might worry about their weight, height, skin color, acne, and so much more. This also is an issue for men as-well, there’s a standard of which a man should look like and if they don’t look like it, they believe they aren’t good enough for society. As for my essay, the consequences of me cutting class was failing all my classes. I missed all the lessons, homework, tests and quizzes and that led me to fail my first semester. I’ll be sure to include the consequences and the results of me cutting class in my essay.

  3. Aldo

    In the reading “The Pink” written by Andrea Chu, the issue was that chu believed having surgery to have women’s parts would make her more of a woman.When chu had her surgery done she realised she felt no different than before. She felt bad because she thought going through with the surgery would be the answer to the main problem. As time passes she realizes she won’t ever feel perfect in her body because there is always something she would have to change to feel more and more like a woman. In my personal opinion Chu shouldn’t worry about those things. All women have those exact same feelings about themselves; they don’t feel “Complete” or “perfect”. They’ll see someone else and just assume that they are nowhere near as pretty. “They tell me that no woman feels good about herself; that no one’s actually good at makeup; that it’s very difficult for all women to find clothes that suit their body types; that everyone’s breasts are hung a little off; that everyone’s hormones are a little out of whack; that all women envy other women.”. The solution to her problem is simply that no one is perfect. Everyone wishes that they can change something about themselves but simply can’t. Therefore they learn to accept themselves and make it something to appreciate.

    It was mid senior year in high school and I was having issues at home and worried that I might not graduate. I had to take a test, which was very difficult for me because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. So, before taking the test and getting my score back on paper, I went to the library and found out that there were some books available for sale. The book was called ‘ the Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho. It is about how you can find your destiny and become who you want to be. The book talks about how you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. The book also talks about how you can get rid of all the negative thoughts in your head and start believing in yourself. This book made me realize that I am not alone and everyone has their own story that they have been through. I learned a lot from this book and it helped me to understand myself. Soon after I studied for the test for the entire day prior without taking time out to have any type free time. Next day I went to class and got an A-, which is a perfect grade for me since at the time I wasn’t doing my best.

    I then later on got to recieve my highschool diploma and continued to follow what I remembered from the book. It was really amazing how much I enjoyed reading about people’s lives and experiences. It made me realize that I am not only interested in learning about other people but also how they lived in their own world. I learned so much about life through this book and how it affected them as a person. I hope I can apply this knowledge to my future career and hope to be able to help others achieve their dreams.

    1. Aldo, good work with your commentary on Chu and beginning of a scene for Essay 1. My thoughts:
      –In both your work on Chu and your “scene” there is an overarching sense of “resolution” that I want to challenge you to unravel a bit. This is tricky because it’s the opposite of what a lot of high school teachers want you to do in your essays (and what I was suggesting you do with your ENG92 essays this summer), which is to resolve them clearly. In Essay 1, I don’t want you to resolve your story clearly with a “happy ending”; instead, I want you to work to leave your reader hanging, with a question, with a sense that the problem hasn’t really been resolved.
      –Regarding Chu’s text, you write: “The solution to her problem is simply that no one is perfect. Everyone wishes that they can change something about themselves but simply can’t.” And while you’re right, I want to think a bit more specifically about her problem, which is a problem having to do with femininity and gender. Your statement–that “no one is perfect”–is a bit broad, so it doesn’t really line up with Chu’s particular problem of how to feel like a woman. Now, it may be that part of Chu’s suggestion is that no WOMAN feels perfect; you could say this. But then there would still be the unresolved question(s) of why it is that (Chu thinks) women feel this way, etc. So I want you go build that kind of questioning into your reading of her text.
      –As for your own text, I’m more interested in the struggles you mention in your first sentence than in the story of academic triumph that comes next. Can you open up more material on the conflict(s) you experienced that led you to “worry I might not graduate”? This seems to be the really compelling part of the story you mention here. It’s ok if there’s a happy ending (if you want), but the heart of storytelling is developing conflict, so I want you to focus on doing that–and you can worry less about resolving your story at the end… It need not have a happy ending.

  4. 3A)
    In “APRIL-MAY-JUNE” the main conflict is that clearly the girl in the story is being in denial with every obstacle she stumbles upon. An example can be when it comes to her boyfriend. Clearly she loves Alec and in the beginning of the story her friend Salma is convinced that “people get illness from their desire.” This can be an example of loving someone and wanting a connection or response back from that person. Later in the story, she is on her way to see her boyfriend and as she’s walking she comes across dangerous incidents where she could have gotten hurt and this can be a form of symbolism that attempting to get closer to who she loves can hurt her. Then she never really met up with Alec because Alec was somewhere else or who knows where he was when she was waiting downstairs in his building. What does remain unsolved is why Alec chose to set her up by lying that he was home or if he was home why didn’t he come downstairs to get her. Also after that night, since Alec is half Jamacan he then goes on about witchcraft and such taboo magic. Another event to note is her childhood when she saw her mother arguing and struggling with her father. The father would lock his door so the mother wouldn’t get in and the mother would yell to let her in. Like mother, like daughter they both experienced problems with men. But it’s still a wonder on why they are still in love with these men when all they bring is pain into their lives

    December 5th, 2017 that was the day where I saw everyone differently, especially this one person. But before that day, let’s go back a bit to January where that cliche love story where two love birds bumped into each other and started having an interest in each other, at least we thought so. I was on my way to a convention with some friends in Manhattan to see some video games I was really interested in seeing when I suddenly saw this girl on the train staring at me over and over again whenever I looked away. Whenever I know when I’m being looked at, I get so nervous especially if it is coming from a girl who I don’t even know. My head then starts to overthink itself and I become self conscious thinking I’m probably wearing something odd to her or if there is something on my face. Moments later I had enough of this and built in enough courage to walk up to her and asked “Do you need something?” Her face then turned red and looked away for a second and responded with “Uhm yes you look very familiar, can I know your name” I responded back with my name and she then apologised to me for mixing up with some other person. At that moment I was relieved that she didn’t say anything that would make me feel so nervous because I had problems responding back to people properly. But after going to the conventions with my friends, I hit up one of my best friends Bruno telling him about that girl I saw on that train. In the back of my head I just knew that I really liked that girl and had a feeling she was something special. It’s as corny as those “love at first sight” but I didn’t want to believe in that stuff.
    After a week, I then got a message in my phone from a random number and it was surprisingly the girl I met. Somehow she got my number and I texted her back on how she got my phone number and she literally said she found me on the internet with all my info and after I saw that message I was in shock on how anything can be on the internet. But it was stupid for me to be in shock because I have forgotten that there is people that I despise and had problems with exposed my info and this girl who says her name is Mai was one of the jerks who had done it and wanted to explain to me on why she was really looking at me and stalking me in the first place. I never once noticed her stalking me but in the train she was clearly making it obvious so was it meant to be noticed or was there a reason behind any of this or was did she simply mess up.

    1. Eufemio, nice work. A couple thoughts:
      –Your reading of Arsanios’ text is super good. You’ve gotten me to see a clear connection between the narrator’s pursuit of Alec and the scene of fighting between the narrator’s parents. But can you go further with this connection (“like mother, like daughter”)? It’s true they “both experienced problems with men” but I think we can make this more specific (given that, I’ll say it, pretty much EVERYONE has problems with men). What are the specific similarities between these two romantic situations that you notice?
      –Your scene of meeting mystery girl on the train is good. However, it doesn’t seem like we’re getting to the heart of the conflict yet. You allude to it in your intro sentences but we’re not yet there. Can you develop some more scenes and material that gets us into the heart of the matter?

  5. A) In the story “The Pink” by Chu she basically explains the ways she thinks would make her more feminine. She decides to go through surgery to transition from having a penis to a vagina hoping to make her become more close to becoming more feminine. She explains the emotions she felt through her experience such as nervousness, and uses a variety of details to help give us a clear picture of the different things that she was feeling and the events she experienced through her process, such as the funeral she had for her penis, and the experiences of feelings rushed in the operating room. Chu goes through all these experiences and still feels like her main problem is still unsolved. After getting her surgery she didn’t feel anymore like a woman or felt as if she experienced anything a natural woman would experience in society today , such as the issue of feminism in politics and the feminism issues in the everyday world. She realized that she went through all these experiences of her transition still feeling the same as when she had penis. She realizes that to become physically and mentally like a woman she had to work on how she felt on the inside, not how she physically looked on the outside, which still left her problem unsolved because she obviously doesn’t know how to love herself the way she is, as most women don’t in the society today.
    B) In middle school I got into a variety of bad different things. Most people go through this phase where they just got in trouble for everything, and kind of enjoyed the trill the bad deed had at the time without thinking of the consciences it would have on yourself and others. In middle school I was known for the bad kid and had plenty of friends with popularity for this title as well. It’s so funny because before middle school I was known for being a good noodle, just crazy how your environment and people around you can change an individual. In middle school I got in trouble for things such as cutting, skipping classes, pulling the fire alarm, arguing with teachers, fighting, the list is literally countless.
    There’s this one particular story I would never forget which help led me to become the
    person I am today. It was near the end of the eighth grade school year, the sun was extra bright and extra hot that day, with the smell of musty teenagers after gym class. Now around the ending of school is where every child starts to lay back and prepare for the incoming summer vacation. At the time everyone did things to impress their friends and keep the reputation they had throughout the school year. Mine was the prankster, and the fighter. I’ve been planning this prank literally for months and had every detail planned out in my head. The whole of the eighth knew what was planned for the day, but the staffs on the other hand had no idea. This day I walked into school with the biggest smile on my face, with thought that no one would know who exactly was the mastermind of this plan, but of course I was wrong. It was 12pm, around this time the whole eight grade class is supposed to be in the cafeteria supposably eating the school’s bad and smelly lunch servings. But the staffs had idea what was really about to go down. I looked at my friends with the most devious smile ever which gave every student the signal to open their bags filled with dozens of water balloons and began throwing them at each other including the staffs. This experience had to be one of the best moments of my childhood, for the simple fact that I knew it was the worst experience for the adults involved. That day I went home thinking that not only was my prank or event the best in middle school history but also that the teachers wouldn’t know who exactly was responsible for the event. The next day I had a feeling that it was going to be a bad day because it went from the day before of shining to being gloomy, the clouds were so gray but had no rain, it was as if God was mad or disappointed in me. When I got to school me and my close friends were called to the office to be questioned about the event which happened the day before. This wasn’t my first time me and my friends been in this type of situation, so we knew exactly what to say to get the least amount of trouble. The main rule was that our stories had to match up, so they wouldn’t know exactly which one of us was responsible. Which later landed us a week of detention and a serious call home. Detention is literally the worst not only because the room was in the darkest part of the school where the sun doesn’t shine, but still was also very humid without any air conditioning, but in detention you also see how you can become in the future if you don’t make a change. There were students in detention who were supposed to be in their sophomore year in highschool but still stuck in the eight grade because they refused to grow up. I knew I didn’t want this to be me in the future and need to make a big change and just grow up.

    1. Kamille, great work. A couple thoughts:
      –Is the problem left unsolved in Chu’s text as simple as women not loving themselves? I think it’s a bit more complicated than this. Can you add some discussion of this here?
      –Your story is fun, but I want you to slow it down more and SHOW more detail. There is a lot of preamble as well, so why don’t you start in the middle of the action–for instance, here:
      –“I had been planning this prank literally for months and had every detail planned out in my head.”
      –Show us more of the planning that went into this–the different people involved, etc.
      –You absolutely must show us more detail of the actual stunt. Right now you give it but one sentence: “I looked at my friends with the most devious smile ever which gave every student the signal to open their bags filled with dozens of water balloons and began throwing them at each other including the staffs. ” SLOW DOWN here and tell us every single micro-event that took place. I want to be able to imagine a 10-minute movie in my head of this scene.
      –You could develop the issue of “getting your story straight” with your friends as the central conflict or theme of this essay.

  6. 3A: In the reading “The Pink” written by Andrea Chu, the issue was that chu believed having surgery to have women’s parts would make her more of a woman, when she has her surgery done she realized she felt no different than before. She felt that going through with the surgery would be the answer her problem but she realized that it didn’t effect much or anything at all of how she feels. As time passes she feels she won’t ever feel perfect in her body because there is always something she would have to change to feel more like a perfect women. In my personal opinion Chu shouldn’t worry about those things but concentrate how the more positive aspects of her life. All women nowadays have those similar feelings about themselves; they don’t feel good enough or perfect because of how women are portrayed in today’s world . “They tell me that no woman feels good about herself; that no one’s actually good at makeup; that it’s very difficult for all women to find clothes that suit their body types; that everyone’s breasts are hung a little off; that everyone’s hormones are a little out of whack; that all women envy other women.”. The solution to her problem is not such a simple one but it would always confidence in yourself. being confident in yourself on how you look , act,or do anything will change how you present yourself to ours and overall change how you feel about yourself

    These particular story didn’t have such a resounding effect on me or who i am or even how i act but it changed the way i see certain situations. Those situations were the ridiculous high school relationships that would last a week and those same people move on to someone new the very next week. I never truly got how people how people could move on for someone who was “Their World” so easily and then the next person is “Their Wife” or “Husband” or how someone got so depressed over it, like their life was going to end because they lost their 3 day relationship bet they couldn’t even that person’s favorite color but moving on, I was a Junior in high school at the time, in high school I was a popular loner if that makes sense. I was “friends” with everyone or more like everyone know who I was. I hangout with the same 5-6 people the full 4 years of high school so popular loner. So someone I was “friends” with was telling me about their failing one week relationship and how that they were really in love , and want to fix their problems so they can stay together and at this point i spaced out not really caring about this “relationship” or even the people in it. Then they ask me advice on how to save their “relationship”, my first instinct is to say I don’t know and walk away but being the nice person that i am i don’t and just tell them to talk it out with each other ,and I thought i was done with that.
    The very Next day the same person comes up to me with the most depressed look on their face, apparently the other person didn’t love them anymore. I think to myself “is it really love after a week” but whatever not my problem. On to the big sob story of want them back and can’t go on without them, etc. All I am thinking “All this in week, a WEEK”. Honesty it takes me like 4 days to say hi to the new person who sat next to me and this person fell in love in a week I don’t get it. For the next few days i watch this person fell in to the biggest downward spiral I have ever seen and the ex moved on right away, Yup true love there. The most important thing i took out of watching what they think their life is failing apart around is to never ever be that person. I promised myself that I will never in my lifetime become someone who fells so had for someone in such a short amount of time.

    1. Nick, thanks for this share–I’m compelled by this beginning of an essay on your status as peer therapist during high school :). A couple thoughts:

      –Can you speak more specifically about the ending of Chu’s essay and how it does or doesn’t resolve the central conflict? I think you have the general gist of the problem, but I want you to pay closer attention to the way the end of the essay is crafted in connection with this problem. This will be instructive for thinking about the shape and ending of your Essay 1.

      –We need some more details in your story—names, for instance; make them up if you need to, but it’s unwieldy to write a whole story about “someone I know,” yes? Also, I think we need more background about who these people are, how they met, etc. This will help build up the sense of conflict in the essay—and may also help you reflect on why these people seem to fall in and out of love so easily.

      –That said, the broader “conflict” I could see your essay developing is your own position as “popular loner” and de facto therapist, which I imagine could get messy when you find yourself between warring lovers… lead us further into this conflict, please.

  7. 3A. In the text “The pink” by Andrea long chu, I found conflict through her description of ‘’not feeling like a woman’’ even after her surgery. She thought that surgery would be solution to her problems but she didn’t find any solution because she didn’t feel any difference in her. She still felt same as before. To become a woman, you should know what it mean to be women and a woman is one who feels confidence and accept herself the way she is but someone told her that “being a woman feels like noting at all’’. So somehow she didn’t get answer of it. If she knew that what it mean to be a woman she might felt confidence in her and her desire to become woman might solved. Now it was unresolved because she didn’t know how it feels like to be a woman. AAt the end she realized that not all women are satisfied with themselves. She explained “no woman feels good about herself”. She finally understand that there is no one who feel that they are perfect . Everyone has complained about themselves and wants to solve that.

    3B. I was senior and I had to apply for CUNY. I was scared to go to CUNY. I needed to fill all college and financial applications but I faced many difficulties in my ways. I wasn’t sure which major I would choose and I had no idea what to put in major selection. My counselor called me one day in her office and said “fill the college application now” but I wasn’t ready and I told her that I need time I can’t fill that now. She said I want you to fill this by end of October. So today is best day to fill. I just chose Accounting course because i didn’t know what I would put there. After a lot of research finally I decided to do course of registered nursing but I couldn’t edit my application because it was already submitted.

    Then I started to received emails from city tech college and I had zoom meeting with my advisor. She wanted to make sure that my major is accounting but I said no I want to change this to registered nursing. She gave me some forms that I needed to fill but after filling that one professor from city tech emailed me that we can’t put you in this course. You have to select any other course. This surprised me because this is my freshman year and I researched a lot to choose that course in which I was interested. Unfortunately I couldn’t select that but at least I chose that which is related to this field. Finally I was done with that then new problem came. I needed to make my schedule but I was unable because there was hold in my CUNY first account that didn’t let me go. I contact many offices in city tech and after two weeks I was able to remove my holds. But it was too late to select classes. I wanted to select classes on weekdays but each class is full. I just had choice to select in weekends and nights that I didn’t want because I also need to work to help my family. But there was no other choice to select expect this. I also had difficulty in my FAFSA but finally I was able to solve that problem and I am happy that I am not like before who just got scared by the name of “ CUNY”.

    1. Jasleen, great to read your thoughts. Thank you. Some thoughts of my own in response:

      –You speak well about the conflict and ending of Chu’s text. Here’s a bit of a challenge from me, though. You write:
      “She finally understand that there is no one who feel that they are perfect . Everyone has complained about themselves and wants to solve that.”
      This makes it sound like the ending IS in fact RESOLVED because Chu understands that she does in fact feel like a woman because all women complain about this. Can you go further, then, in explaining what ISN’T resolved here?

      –Regarding your story of your conflicts entering college, can I get you to focus on a specific moment, a specific event? There isn’t really a detailed “scene” here yet—that is, I’m having a hard time getting a “movie in my mind” going while reading this. Can you show us a scene that shows why you were struggling to fill out the application? Perhaps it was something outside of school?
      More please! 🙂

  8. 3a) In Chu’s text the main conflict was that Chu didn’t feel fulfilled after her surgery. She thought the surgery would make her feel better but it didn’t. She was physically happy but not mentally. She wasn’t satisfied with everything. On the outside, she did look like a woman but on the inside, she didn’t feel like it. She was questioning herself and was confused. After such a huge change to her body, she was in pain. I feel like she had high expectations and when things didn’t reach her expectations, she was disappointed. It takes time for everything, especially with what she went through. She just has to trust herself and take steps forward slowly.

    3b) It’s my senior year. I have been waiting for this moment for the longest. Like I am finally going to graduate? But at the same time, I was lowkey sad because after a year everything will change. No more fun and games. It’s crazy how time goes by so fast. It felt like I was just a freshman who entered highschool. I am going to miss skipping classes in the staircase, chilling with my favorite teachers, going to school late, and chilling in McDonald’s after school which was two minutes away from my high school. That’s where everyone would chill. Few weeks went by, it’s time to take the senior year pictures for the yearbook. I and my best friend got all dressed up. I mean everyone did obviously. We all were feeling ourselves. Everything went great. Later on, everyone started applying for colleges and scholarships. I would be in the office every day, either working on college stuff or to kill time. After completing applying for all the colleges I finally received my senior hoodie, which everyone was excited for. Now it was time to wait for the college acceptance letter. It was nerve-racking. February came, everyone started getting their letter but mine took so long. But I finally got accepted to most of the colleges I applied to. After that, I was stress-free and thought I had nothing else to worry about. But little did I know my whole entire senior year will get ruined.

    The whole year I was excited about the senior trip, prom, after party, and most importantly graduation. Everyone was looking forward to it and started planning for prom and graduation. Then BOOM March came and the Coronavirus hit NY and canceled everything. One day after coming home from school I received an email from my principal saying that school will be closed for a month or two. At first, I was really glad that it did. My first thought was, “omg, thank god no school and no more waking up at 6 in the morning”. But then later on it hit me. It’s our last year and we won’t be able to spend it with our friends and favorite teacher. Later on, when it was declared that school will be closed for the rest of the year, I got really upset. “So that’s how my senior year, class of 2020 will end? After all, the hard work and struggles that I went through I won’t have a graduation ceremony?

    1. Mehreen, thanks for this share. Some thoughts for revisioning your work here:

      –You’ve pretty much nailed the conflict in Chu’s text, but I want you to focus more specifically on how her essay ends. In what ways is it resolved? In what ways is it NOT resolved?

      –I’m interested in the conflicts you’ve written about regarding high school: time flying, cutting class, and notably the Great Coronavirus Disturbance of 2020. That said, I’m not really seeing any detailed “scene” here. In other words, I’m not yet able to get a “movie in my mind” going. Can you pick a specific event—perhaps the early days of the pandemic when school got cancelled and lead me into the “cinema” version of some potent scenes from this time that show this conflict-in-the-making?

  9. 3A. In the passage “The Pink” by Andrea long Chu, I found conflict through her description of “not feeling like a woman” even after her surgery. She chooses to experience medical procedure to progress from having a penis to a vagina wanting to make her become all the more near getting more female. She clarifies the feelings she felt through her experience, for example, apprehension, and utilizations an assortment of subtleties to help give us an away from of the various things that she was feeling and the occasions she encountered through her cycle, for example, the memorial service she had for her penis, and the encounters of emotions surged in the working room. Chu experiences every one of these encounters and still feels like her primary issue is as yet unsolved. Subsequent to getting her medical procedure she didn’t feel any longer like a lady or felt as though she encountered anything a characteristic lady would involve with society today ,, for example, the issue of women’s liberation in legislative issues and the woman’s rights issues in the regular world. She understood that she experienced every one of these encounters of her change despite everything feeling equivalent to when she had penis. She understands that to turn out to be genuinely and intellectually like a lady she needed to chip away at how she felt within, not how she truly looked outwardly, which despite everything left her concern unsolved on the grounds that she clearly doesn’t have the foggiest idea how to cherish herself the manner in which she is, as most ladies don’t in the general public today.

    3B. I was a senior and I needed to apply for CUNY. I was terrified to go to CUNY. I expected to fill all school and monetary applications yet I confronted numerous troubles in my manners. I didn’t know which significant I would pick and I had no clue about what to place in significant determination. My instructor called me one day in her office and said “fill the school application now” however I wasn’t prepared and I disclosed to her that I need time. I can’t fill that now. She said I need you to fill this by the end of October. So today is the greatest day to fill. I just picked an Accounting course in science. I didn’t have a clue what I would put there. After a great deal of exploration at last I chose to do a course of enrolled computer engineering however I was unable to alter my application since it was at that point submitted.

    At that point I began to get messages from city tech school and I had a meeting with my guide. She needed to ensure that my major is bookkeeping however I said no I need to change this to enrolled computer engineering. She gave me a few structures that I expected to fill however in the wake of filling that one educator from city tech messaged me that we can’t place you in this course. You need to choose some other course. This astonished me since this is my first year and I investigated a great deal to pick that course where I was intrigued. Sadly I was unable to choose that however in any event I picked what is identified with this field. At last I was finished with that then a new issue came. I expected to make my timetable yet I couldn’t on the grounds that there was a hold in my CUNY first record that didn’t release me. I contacted numerous workplaces in city tech and following fourteen days I had the option to eliminate my holds. Yet, it was past the point where it is possible to choose classes. I needed to choose classes on non-weekend days however each class is full. I simply had a decision to choose at the end of the week and evenings that I didn’t need since I additionally need to attempt to support my family. Be that as it may, there was no other decision to choose to anticipate this. I additionally experienced issues in my FAFSA yet at last I had the option to tackle that issue and I am glad that I dislike before who just got terrified by the name of ” CUNY”

    1. Hi Lubna—my thoughts for revision are below:

      –There are some very incisive thoughts about Chu’s text here; however, I want to challenge you to think about the following two things.
      –You write: “[Chu’s] concern [about her femininity was] unsolved on the grounds that she clearly doesn’t have the foggiest idea how to cherish herself the manner in which she is, as most ladies don’t in the general public today.” My questions are A) what is your evidence for thinking Chu “doesn’t have the foggiest idea as to how to cherish herself”? (I love your wording here but I’m not sure she doesn’t know how to cherish herself, hence my request for evidence.) …and B) If as you say, “most ladies don’t [know how to cherish themselves]” then doesn’t this “resolve” Chu’s quandary of not knowing how to feel like a woman? Explain…

      –I’m not going to comment on part 2 of this, as it appears to be lifted (copy & pasted) from Jasleen’s comment above. Please develop your own material for Essay 1; this is an essay about your own experience with education which even if it is similar to that of someone like Jasleen will inevitably vary drastically from anyone else’s. Your writing ought to (and will) reflect this.

  10. 3A:
    In Andrea Chu’s The Pink, the main conflict of the work is the author’s struggle to completely accept her new identity after a sex-change procedure. Throughout the text, she details the account of her experience before and after it, including the anxiety and indecision she felt during the whole experience. We see her change not through our eyes, but instead from hers, and the mix of serious emotional depth mixed with the effort of adding light-heartedness and humor makes for a very compelling read, especially since the average person probably doesn’t know the life of a person who has undergone such a change, and the text brings a sense of familiarity and makes the account relatable.

    The ending was initially confusing, as the points given kind of mesh and the text discusses a kind of disparity between cis women and trans women as Chu explains that trans women feel as if they aren’t truly women; that the femininity they align with has no set definition, all in the name of inclusivity, and that both cis and trans women have to lose a sense of defintiveness in what it means to be a woman in order to not step on the feelings of the other side.

    For most of my life, I have always felt ‘disconnected’ to the rest of the world. Whether it was growing up and never clicking with most of my peers, to being bullied and being a social outcast, to immigrating during my teenage years and experiencing cultural shock, my experience with growing up could be perfectly described as “Being So Used To Change That Everything Constant Is Too Good To Be True, Part 1”. I kinda liked it though. Being so exposed to change constantly throughout my developmental ages led the way to me being a flexible person, capable of adapting to circumstances quicker and easier. It was like that for many years, so I got used to it. The irony of that status quo is that after four years in the States, I now find myself less receptive to change, finding the very concept of it fear-inducing and scary. Although with that said, it’s not like I won’t change when I absolutely have to, but I’d rather keep being in the circumstances I’m most comfortable with. Some parts of high school made me want to have the ability to wake up everyday and go to school, see my school’s theater everyday with the utmost confidence that it’d be there, and I could say to myself, “Thank God it’s still standing”. Although it’s extremely naive to think like that, theater has become such an important part of my life that I decided to pursue it in college. Coming into high school after just a year of residence in the States, I never dreamed I’d find something that gave me so much passion. I also never dreamed that I’d be a cornerstone for a club that I only knew of because of my sister. Growing up as a younger sibling wasn’t always the easiest, but I actually have to give props to my sister for introducing me to something amazing. My first clear memory of Drama Club was in the preproduction of Alice In Wonderland, near the end of my freshman year. My dumb freshman self was hanging around the auditorium as I usually did during my sister’s rehearsals in the afternoon when I decided to hang around the stage for once. I used to treat the stage as an off-limits thing back then because I was scared of being yelled at for interrupting. (Little did I know that in about two years, the entire auditorium would be my kingdom). One of the teacher-directors, Mr. Haussermann, had me come over and help him with painting a set piece for the Red Queen’s background. I was a bit scared, since Hauss was a pretty big guy, stood over me and was packing some beefy cannons for arms. After a few minutes of being explained what to do, I held my brush and set to work. What I was painting was a red club, and on the other end, Hauss was doing the same. After a few minutes of detail, we both stood up and looked at each other’s work. He smiled, looked at me, and said, “Well, YOU had the better idea between the both of us.”, pointing at his deformed club. That sort of camaraderie shook me, since I didn’t expect the man who looked like a mean, balding Santa Claus to be so nice. I nodded, laughed along and said “There’s three more cards for practice anyways.”. He laughed and agreed, with both of us setting back to work. That one interaction led me to helping him out with all the rest of the set work, and joining the club officially the next year. Hauss took me under his wing for the next three years, helping me become a competent carpenter capable of creating sets from scratch with lumber and a few construction ideas. He helped me become decisive and become situationally aware for things such as safety, leadership, and when to quit for a good lunch. I even learned to operate the lighting board under a senior who eventually became one of my mentors and a friend. Hauss became a father figure to me, one that definitely helped me grow and learn from, and I’m pretty sure his teachings would always stick to me. (Especially since I eventually got the same beefy cannon arms that he had when we met. Spoiler alert: if you carry lumber and construct sets for three to four years, you’re gonna get buff too.) Drama Club became so impactful that when Corona struck and we couldn’t do our last show, I was devastated. My compass for the last four years was taken so unceremoniously, and all I was left to do for my last few months was to wake up at 11 am and fill out a Google form that asked me if I was present for the day. It was miserable. Not being able to go out and complete a show for the audience I’ve spilled my guts to* for the last four years was just so painful. After four years, change came back and reminded me that nothing was constant.

    What eventually helped me come to terms with the new status quo and shifted my view of change was the anime series Samurai Champloo. It follows the story of three vagabonds who are traveling a re-imagined Edo period of Japan in search of a ‘samurai who smells of sunflowers’. This journey holds significance to me as throughout the plot, we learn of the pasts that our protagonists are running away from. We have Jin, a samurai who killed his teacher in self-defense, Mugen, a former pirate who has had a very rough upbringing and hails from the Ryukyu Islands (a place whose people are held in low regard due to ethnicity), and Fuu, the daughter of the sunflower samurai who seeks vengeance for his abandonment of herself and her mother. The way the story unfolds their histories and shows them accepting their pasts, having them grow and accept that the past is the past struck a bell with me as it mirrored my own turmoil of leaving my past behind. The show’s ultimate message of “you should enjoy the moment as it happens because it’s precious” ultimately led to me adopting that ideology and stopping the thoughts about my past so much. Seeing my inner conflicts mirrored in the way Jin confronted his former classmates who thought the sensei’s death was murder, in the way Mugen confronts the childhood friend who ended up betraying him twice, and in the way Fuu confronts her estranged father revealed to me that my inner conflicts aren’t eternal. They may last for what feels like a long time, but what matters is the good times, and not the bad. The bad doesn’t exist to torment you, it’s there to teach you about how much good the good times bring. With the series’ last scene showing our travelers going their merry way, free from the plagues of the past, I felt hope in facing change.

    *spill your guts – more dramatic way to say ‘expressing one’s self completely’. Learned it from the De Niro/Travolta movie Killing Season. Highly recommend watching it.

    1. Thanks for this massive share, Dom–much appreciated. Some relatively brief thoughts for possible expansions, contractions, and revisions:

      –You’re right that the end of the Chu essay is confusing. Can we stay in that confusion a bit more in order to formulate whether and how she resolves matters there? Yes, she points throughout the essay to a conflict–or at the very least, a tension—between feminism and the trans- movement. Yet this seems to (almost?) be resolved by the discovery at essay’s end that no woman feels totally like a woman. Does this resolve matters, in your view? Or does something remain unresolved in spite of this apparent resolution?

      –Your essay is going big, as you know, and so we want to think carefully about what the central conflict is that you want to show. The theater-set-painting scene is excellently told, but we will have to decide whether it works to show the main conflict you want to develop once we’ve figured that out. To that end, what do you think about (again) hanging in the conflict zone a bit longer here—tell us about the struggle to convert to distance learning, the rescheduled and/or cancelled theater events, the restructured social life of high school, etc.; there’s so much to say there, I imagine, and I’d hate for you to simply write an essay about the triumph of getting through all of this (especially when “this”—i.e., Corona—isn’t even over yet!).

      1. I think that Chu’s ending does and doesn’t resolve conflict. She summarizes what can be called the “conflict” between cis and trans women in today’s world when she says that cis women have to sacrifice a traditional sense or definition of being a woman in order to promote inclusivity in their community. This summarization is partly a resolution to the conflict: Chu identifies the problem and defines it, and thus, paves the way for thinking about possible solutions. The reason why I say it doesn’t completely resolve the conflict is because despite the problem being pointed out, Chu doesn’t talk about solutions. She simply leaves us with the notion that the problem just plain sucks. Maybe she does so because there isn’t a definitive solution to this problem yet, or maybe because there simply hasn’t been enough time to forget about this problem. Who knows? All I know is that despite the way Chu ends the text, I think she’s still looking for a way to solve the problem herself; and by ending it in such a unique way, encourages us to think of a solution by ourselves.

        Now that you point it out, I do see how my first draft goes through only the success of moving on… Perhaps I’ll take the theater scene and my introduction to Hauss and put it before the part in my draft where I talk about Samurai Champloo and cut a bunch of overlapping and/or unnecessary parts. Thank you for pointing that out!

  11. A.)
    The main conflict in “The Pink” is that Andrea Chu has trouble understanding how he truly feels about his new surgery and also trying to make himself feel better. Chu is having trouble making himself feel like a woman. She states that she hates herself and wishes that she could feel like a whole, normal woman. But what remains unsolved is why Chu doesn’t feel like a woman and why she thinks that woman feels so much different than her. Chu also tells the story of to woman fighting over the child of Soloman the Wise, where Soloman says that he will cut the baby in half, and the first woman agrees, while the second woman disagrees and is willing to give the baby to the first woman as long as the baby stays alive and well. Chu emphasized that he would react the same way that the second woman reacted. Women are usually the most caring and would do anything for their children, so in my opinion, this would be one of the biggest characteristics of a woman.

    I have always been a person who loves cars and I would call myself a car enthusiast, but all of these bad experiences have left a mark on me, mentally. Growing up I thought like any other kid, thinking about toys and playing sports. But then as I started to turn into a teen, I started noticing a couple of my cousins that had cool, modified and fast cars. I automatically fell in love and for the next couple years would just watch car videos, go to car shows, basically anything that had “car” in the sentence I was searching it up. All of this prompted me to get confident and maybe a little cocky about driving. But those accidents that I had made me realize that I had to be careful and aware.

    As time keeps going on I keep learning from my mistakes and being way more cautious when driving but also has been giving me the experience that I need. Now a year later after my accidents, I own my first car, a car that looks the way I want. Sounds the way I want. And goes however fast I want it to go. Some people say why spend so much money on a car, when it’s just a piece of metal? But for some of us cars are an escape from the world. Where I can do whatever I want and keep myself busy by changing parts or adding no parts and just making it look perfect to my eyes.

    1. Francisco, thank you for your comments and text. Some thoughts for revision:

      –Careful with the pronouns at the beginning of your commentary on Chu: this is someone who goes by “she/her” pronouns, so we should be mindful to refer to her as a her and not a him. 🙂 Glad you’ve mentioned the story of the myth of Solomon and the two alleged mothers. It seems that you think of this as evidence that Chu truly is a woman (and should feel like one)? Is that right? Can you explain more here? Also, please focus on the ending of this text as advised in the prompt: I want you thinking about how this text resolves or doesn’t at the end.

      –I am struggling to form a “movie in my mind” while reading your essay material here. It appears from your references in passing to “accidents” that you have had some moments of action on the road. Show us one (or more of these): slow time down and give us every detail—external and internal—relating to one of these experiences. Take us along for the ride! Also, the essay on the whole, it seems, could focus on the conflicts that arise on the road…some of which lead to road rage, some of which lead to crashes, etc.
      Take us there.

  12. A)
    In the text “The Pink” by Andrea Long Chu she explains thoughts after having the surgery. I think the way she shares her story, she thinks it would make her more feminine. She had her surgery and became a female but i don’t think she was really happy with the outcomes. She thinks after the trsansgender she will become more close to feminine. However she goes through all these experiences and still feels complete or something was missing. In the text she said, “Doubtless there were transgender women who really did find the hats alienating. There were also those, including myself, who didn’t.” She clearly said she didn’t feel as if she experienced anything a natural woman would experience. I think the main problem is she couldn’t accept the way she is, she doesn’t feel good about herself.
    It was the year 2011, when I came to this country. I came from a country where we speak a totally different language called Bengali. When I started school at Mott Hall V middle school in 6th grade. I didn’t know much English at the time and I’m new to the school because of that no one wanted to be friends with me. In my mind I wanted to make friends so I can talk to them and get some help with my homework and also be able to learn the language. I know that if I don’t communicate with anyone one it will be hard for me to learn. Few days later, in my history class a boy named David was sitting next to me and said “Hey” to me. I get to know we are from the same country. He introduced me to his friends and for the first time I was interested to know the schools and my classmates. I started talking to most of my classmates even though I don’t know much English and it was hard for them to understand or communicate. It took time to improve my communication skills but I improved and learned this new language “english”. David and I become really good friends. He helped me a lot throughout this difficult journey. If he didn’t talk to me at the time I don’t think anyone was going to talk to me because of him everyone started talking to me. I’ll always remember him because he is the only one who helped me when I needed the most.

    1. Nahid, nice share–thank you. Some thoughts for revising and expanding this:

      –I think you’re getting at least part of the conflict on view in Chu’s text; however I would challenge you to do two things: A) show us evidence that Chu “doesn’t feel good about herself” (I’m not sure this is true, but I’m open: show me); and B) focus specifically on how Chu ends the essay and the ways it resolves (or doesn’t) the main problem about her femininity that you’ve begun to describe earlier in your commentary.

      –Open up a more specific scene about a specific event in school. I can’t yet get a “movie in my mind” going—maybe a little bit in the first interaction with David that you describe, but I want more of this, more “movie.” Can you write about a specific time where David helped you with something specific? You might also write about the moment you learned your family was moving from your home country (tell us about this–including the name!). Lastly, feel free to bring whatever Bengali you’d like into the essay (just, please, translate at least some of it).

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