Laura Galbraith G-period
Journal Write 1: A Visit to Grandmother's
The person who has been the most significant in my life is no relative of mine. Her name is Mrs. Roberts, and she is perhaps one of my closest friend. I like to think fate brought us together. When my sister was about the age of five, and I was a mere toddler, my mother put an ad in the paper requesting for an experienced, responsible sitter who could look after her children while she and my dad attended certain business meetings. After interviewing many hopeful women (apparently there aren't many male sitters), my parents stumbled upon Mrs. Roberts. At the time she was in her early sixties and had had two children and two stepdaughters whom she had raised. At the thought of some old woman babysitting you, many would have not expected for my sister and I to become so attached to our new sitter. However, Mrs. Roberts had to be the most funny, creative, and caring person I have ever met. Upon her arrivals, my sister and I looked forward to the candy bars she would bring us behind our mother's back. She figured all children should have some candy every now and then, and at home it was a rare occasion for us to see chocolate. We loved her for this. During the hours our parents were away, Mrs. Roberts, even at her old age, would play hide-and-seek with us, chase us, and tell us these wonderful, true stories about her youth. As a child out of thirteen growing up in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Mrs. Roberts and her siblings would have to entertain themselves. She has told me so many hilarious stories about her youth that I smile just thinking about them. From the time she and her twin sister sneaked out the house and went out driving with boys they had just met that day to the time her brothers chased a poor chicken around the house until it just suddenly stopped, laid an egg, and kept on running, Mrs. Roberts has shown me that there is so much more in life to do than just rely on TV and computers as your source of entertainment. However, she also
taught me that when bad times come along in life, one should not lose hope. If anyone would know that, it would be her. She has suffered through the Depression, lost many of her siblings in childhood, and has even had to deal with the death of her child and grandson. However, she is not bitter. Instead, she is constantly smiling and making jokes. Even though my sister is in college and I'm sixteen, there are still times when I ask my parents to have Mrs. Roberts over rather than leaving me alone. Mrs. Roberts has told me on many occasions that she loves my sister and me as much as she loves her children, stepdaughters, and grandchildren. I'm glad to say that I feel the same way. I regard her as a grandmother/friend/teacher who has made my life much brighter.
Journal Write 2: The Bet
I cannot imagine being isolated for three months due to the amount of boredom I would have to endure. To keep myself entertained, I would have to have a wide variety of books to keep my spirits high. Being the type of person who needs people, I would most likely be extremely depressed at even the thought of being alone for such a long period. The books I brought to keep me company in my solitude would have to comical works that could make me smile even in my loneliest of moods. First one my list would be any of the brilliant, witty books written by my all-time favorite author, Fanny Flagg. I've been reading her books since the 7th grade, and I don't there is one that I have disliked. She creates characters that are so lively and diverse that you find yourself almost becoming attached to the people she carefully illustrates. Her books lift my spirits and have always entertained me on rainy days. In addition to my comical choices of literature, I would also have to bring my study Bible so that I can remind myself that there is a God when I am in the midst of my depression. Unfortunately, I don't have enough time to read the Bible. With all the free time I would be given, however, I would spend many days studying and
trying to better understand the word of God. Perhaps like the lawyer in the short story, I too could realize that there is more than the riches life has to offer. Lastly, I would not want to spend my time in seclusion without learning about something I am interested in. As crazy as it might seem to some people, I would like to use a lot of my spare time studying language. So I would have to bring many language books (preferably French and Spanish). Sometimes I imagine myself as being a sort of travel guide when I grow up. Though I most likely won't become one because I change my mind constantly about my future occupation, I still would like to spend time mastering a skill I would like to have.
Journal Write 2: The Quiet Man
The thing I notice first about a person's face is their eyes. As the famous expression goes, I believe that they are the windows to the soul. My best friend is blessed with beautiful eyes. Originally from France, her wide, dark brown eyes get your attention and you find it hard to turn away from them. However, my friend does not share the same feeling I do. She always complains how much she dislikes her "bug eyes." She doesn't understand how lucky she is to have such captivating eyes. It proves to me that the beauty in the eyes doesn’t always exist on just the color but on the shape and size. My friend is also blessed with other nice features such as high (but not too high) cheek bones, lips, and a well-rounded chin. Though you don't find features like hers in magazines, they will get your attention because they are so exotic. Her lips are something I wish I possessed, for I find nothing more attractive than full lips. It is pleasant to look at my friend because he differs from the ordinary, Caucasian girls that you see everyday. To see my friend is like seeing a new type of painting for the first time. You can be sure to look in her direction again.
Journal Write 4: Movie Remake
Movies That Measure Up
In my humble opinion, movie adaptations never measure up to the original story they are set after because of two important things: lack of accurate facts and details. The entertainment business thinks that transforming the story is for the better. It makes it "more interesting." However, I know that many people would agree with me when I say that I believe nothing can beat the original masterpiece. Sure, you can use all those brand new special effects and Oscar-winning acting to try to tempt an audience, but in the end that really doesn't matter. Movies need to keep the basic theme that the story portrays. Though some might do this, there can still be a lack of feeling that could be found when you first read the story. If given the chance of making a movie adaptation out of a story, I would most likely choose Marigolds. I admire this story due to its deep portrayal of a confused, young black girl living in the midst of the Depression. The story has a number of themes that reflect human nature at its worst and therefore is something that I think many people could associate with. I, however, would not make the mistake of completely revising the story. In a way, I think that revising dramatically is disrespectful to the author who spent so much time and effort writing about something that was meaningful to him or her. I would stick to the rustic, dusty setting of story, which the narrator so meticulously describes. Though I would most definitely use to the facts of the story, I would also try to add a scene or two that would better clarify the situation. For example, in Marigolds, Lizabeth is talking about hope lost. Carefully reading the story would show you that she is speaking to someone who "will not come." Perhaps I could better explain in a movie exactly who she is talking to and why she feels that they might never come back to her. With careful character investigation and research, maybe I could become one of the few directors who makes a movie just as accurate and detailed as the author did. If I'm lucky, perhaps I can also meet the entertainment expectation set by critics.
Journal Write 5: Shaving Story and Poem
Like the short story, the poem, also entitled Shaving, illustrates to the audience the continuing weakness of a man who was once a strong, healthy father. With death near, he has found himself unable to do what seem to be normal tasks that many people take for granted. Lighting a match for his pipe, sitting up right in bed, and most important of all, shaving the hairs on his face that will always continue to grow while he is alive are now impossible tasks for him to do alone. Stated in the poem, the narrator's father does not grow the hair on his face because he has reached the age of an old man. Nor does he do it to ward off the chilling cold of November. Shaving has become a sort of burden for him. Despite the fact that his sickness has already taken from him the use of his hands and his energy, death seems to cruelly leave an obstacle in the poor man's way. A nuisance that no matter how much he suffers will not go away. The narrator, known as Barry in the short story, lovingly and patiently takes on the duties of caring for his father. It can be said that Barry has "received the torch" of becoming the new man of the house since he is now capable of doing things his father can no longer do. Ironically, he acts like a parent for his father. In the poem, the narrator says that while he tends to his father, his father sits "like a good boy." Such a description is commonly used for a child going through some sort of procedure bravely, like going to the dentist or doctor. For the weak man however, his obstacle is shaving. In both the story and the poem, Barry/the narrator's love for their father can be clearly seen through their actions. The poem ends with the son "testing" his father's freshly shaved face with a kiss, while in the story we see the love Barry feels for his father through the meticulous, careful way he shaves his father's face. Barry also, in a number of quotes both literal and deep, reassures his father how everything will be all right when he dies. Thus, the poem and short story relate in that they share the themes of death, longing, and most importantly, love between father and son.
Journal Write 6: Marigolds
A Regretful Decision
Though it has been over two years, I still think back to a day when I became totally insensitive to another person's feelings. I don't really remember what caused me to go off and completely go against all the manners and morals that my parents and teachers have been cramming into my head for all my life. Sometimes I think it was because I was extremely frustrated and confused at the time. The fall of 1998, I started GPS. The atmosphere was a total change for me, and even though it might have looked like I was calm and composed, my emotions were all over the place. Everyone around me seemed to be having the best time making new friends and meeting all those new McCallie guys. I, on the other hand, was angry. I missed my old friends and the old way of life that I had loved so much. I had been separated from two of my closet friends who were more enticed by Baylor than they were by GPS. I missed them terribly. The climax of my frustration came on Halloween night of that year. A few of my friends and I were in my neighborhood doing the usual Halloween custom. After an hour of trick-or-treating, however, we became bored with the monotony of door ringing. We decided to relax in a park that was built for the neighborhood kids. It was there that I made the foolish decision of talking to some guys my age that I had never met before. Somehow, the topic of conversation settled on this girl I had once known. She had constantly gotten on my nerves, always coming over to my house uninvited and staying as long as she pleased. She was disrespectful to my mom and had a reputation for making up the most extensive lies. These guys apparently went to school with this girl, and they didn't have a much better opinion of her. They told me stories on how nobody liked her and how everyone made fun of her, including them. Maybe I was trying to impress them, for I too told them every opinion I had about that girl. I won't go into detail about what I said, but I basically slandered this person and told how I could not stand anything about her because she was so annoying. Thinking back, I believe that I labeled her as my target to shoot all my frustration and sadness upon. Of course, I didn't realize it at the time. The boys and I laughed, joked around, and eventually said our good-byes. The thought never really crossed my mind on what I would do if word got back around to this girl. As it turned out, I would have to face the responsibility of my actions.
About a month after the incident at the park, a family member of the girl confronted me about what I had said. Words cannot describe the absolute shame and horrifying reality I felt when I realized what pain I had caused another human being. It's something that I can never forget because I realized what a horrible person I had become that night. What could I do to rectify the situation brought on by my cruel words? I did apologize profusely, and was given the families forgiveness, but there is still a part of me that is aware of the bitterness and dislike that family has against me now. I don't blame them at all for feeling that way. The only good that came out of the whole situation was that I became a more sensitive person who tries now to keep her emotions inside instead of directing them towards others. I try to think before I act, though I'm not always successful. Feelings can get the worst of you and make you do and say things you never thought you were capable of. But the feelings only get worse when you direct them in a such a negative manner, as I did that night.