To street race or not

To Street Race or Not
Why do people street race? It is illegal and dangerous but somehow it’s on a steady rise in our nation. I believe this is because of the style of movies like “The Fast and The Furious”(Film)which depict and idolize a community of racers with scenes of them racing four wide through the middle of town while looking at each other. The Discovery Channel jumped on the bandwagon also with its new hit series Street Outlaws. The series showcase a group from the Oklahoma City area that has gained nationwide street racing notoriety by racing 7 and 8 second cars along access roads and in industrial parks at speeds that exceed double the posted limits. In the opening credits you hear Big Chief claim “We have the fastest street cars in the nation.”(television) What none of these movies and series show is what happens when things go wrong, and the gamble you take with your life and your fellow motorists lives when you engage in street racing.
It is easy to see the appeal of this scene if you have ever witnessed a street race in person. The racers have often spent a considerable amount of time and money on their cars and trucks to squeeze the last ounce of horsepower out of them. Everyone in the group has the desire to be the fastest person in town. When asked why they like to street race they will tell you any number of reasons. One answer is for the thrill of it. They know well the consequences that result from being caught by the cops or the risks of crashing but they still do it every weekend that weather permits. I have noticed that they will race on any stretch of road that is straight regardless of road condition or location. One group in the Siloam area have a preference for racing across a narrow bridge that crosses fifty feet above the Illinois River. The thought of this sends chills down my spine. Do these people think of the consequences of crashing over the railing in a fiery ball and plummeting into the frigid November water? I have to imagine not.
Several street racers say they street race because their isn’t a dragstrip close by that would allow them to race safely and legally. The closest track is in Tulsa and the test and tune session is called the Midnight Drags. Local street racers complain about how late the races are in Tulsa. When going to the midnight drags it isn’t uncommon to get home when the sun is coming up. Many of the street racers will tell you that if there was a local track that they wouldn’t street race anymore. This brings up the big question of why doesn’t the NW Arkansas cities and communities join forces and build a dragstrip for the community and surrounding areas?
I believe that building a dragstrip in the NW Arkansas area would be of great benefit for all parties involved. It would give the street racers a place to safely and legally race and enjoy their sport. It would bring in more revenue to the area from entrance fees, concessions and merchandise. Most importantly is the untold number of injuries and deaths it would prevent while making the roads safer for our loved ones to travel on. The dragstrip could put on special races a couple of times a year with sponsorship from local businesses that could pull racers from across the nation, which would help with advertising and exposure.
One downside would be the sound produced from the strip. This is one of the greatest enemies that dragstrip management is required to deal with on an ongoing basis. Over the years there have been numerous strips across the country that have been shut down because of the implementation of noise ordnances from city councils. This can be tied to a growing population. The population of the area begins to increase and the area around the strip that used to be open and free of residential area begins filling up. As the city grows and expands the land around the track is developed with no regards to the people that will be buying the homes. All the developers care about is the money. New residents moving to the area don’t care that the dragstrip was there first; they only care that the noise is a distraction and nuisance. The new residents rarely appreciate the sound of a high performance engine tearing down the track.
Track maintenance is another issue that has to be dealt with. Street racers depend on our state road crews for upkeep whereas the track is responsible for the expensive repairs to its racing surface. A successful dragstrip may spend two hundred dollars a night on traction compound. This compound is applied to the dragstrip surface so that the racecars can get the best traction available. The local street racers have few choices in this area. They are either required to take their chances with the dusty road and hope they don’t spin and lose the race or take extra time and do a burnout in small puddles of traction compound.
I believe that building a dragstrip would be a costly endeavor for NW Arkansas but the question I wish to pose is this. What is the price tag you put on human lives? It is far less to build a safe place for our youth to race safely than to ignore the problems that we know plague our streets and result in the loss of friends and family.
Unfortunately there is no guarantee that the racers will use the dragstrip if built. It is this group that needs addressed and I believe it would require even stricter laws on racing. I believe that if laws were made strict enough and enforced swiftly there would be a downward trend in street racing accidents. Naturally, this assumes that a facility is built and maintained.
While I do enjoy watching the street racing movies and series on television; I also know that these are staged scenes and are actually very safe and thought out. It is the viewers that watch these shows and think that they are real life events and want to go out and race their best friend so that they can be like Dom Toretto (Film) or Murder Nova (Television) that I fear for along with any unfortunate people that may be on the road that night.

Works Cited
“The Fast and The Furious”. Dir. Rob Cohen. Perf. Vin Diesel, Paul Walker.
Universal Studios, 2001. Film
“Street Outlaws”. Discovery. 2013. Television

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revised personal narrative

Jeramie McGowen
English 1113: Freshman Composition I
Dr. Christina V. Cedillo
9/21/2103

Personal narrative
When I was a young boy I can remember laying in my bed at night listening to my parents fighting. They would never fight until I had went to sleep but almost always the screaming and yelling would wake me. I would lay there and pray that they would quit yelling at each other. I couldn’t understand at this young age why they were so angry with each other. I would wrap my pillow around my head and try to drown them out until the fighting stopped or I fell asleep. As I got older I began to see that the fighting always stemmed from my fathers alcoholism and his partying. He would be home through the week and everything would be great in my innocent mind. When thing fell apart was on the weekends. I can remember my dad coming home from work and instead of playing cars with me or telling me a story he would change clothes and say he was going out. I can remember my mom pleading with him to please come home later and not be out to late; he would always say he would and then leave. I have more memories of my dad being gone on the weekends than of him being around. I would ask mom where he was and she would say, I don’t know Jeramie. I can remember how sad and hurt she would look and it made me angry at him for doing this to her. I began to understand at this early age this was no way to support your family and raise your children. This drinking and running around eventually led to my parents divorce. I knew then that if I ever had a wife I was going to treat her good, even if at this age I thought that would be playing Nintendo and playing board games.
I suppose in some cruel way my parents marriage taught me all the wrong ways to treat a lady. I can remember numerous times when someone from the library or school would call my mom and comment on how polite I was, and she would always tell me about it. Even though I was a young boy I still knew that women should be respected and treated politely.
When I met the girl that would later become my first wife I was 23. Her name was Nikki and she had started working as a delivery driver for a local store. I noticed one day she was having some problems with a heavy looking box so a ran over to give her a hand in carrying the box inside the store. As we were walking to the door she said that when she had loaded it there were two guys there and neither of them even offered to help her. I told her as long as I was around she wouldn’t have to worry about having that problem. We became friends and would talk when I came into the store. One day it was close to her lunch break when I came in and I asked her if she wanted to get something to eat. We went to a local diner and ended up talking the entire time. We never even got around to ordering anything due to being engrossed in conversation. I felt really bad about wasting her lunch and offered to take her to dinner when she got off work.
That was the beginning of our relationship and we dated for six months before deciding to move in together. Once we moved in together I noticed things slowly beginning to change in her demeanor. She would fly off the handle sometimes when I did the laundry and folded the clothes wrong or spent to much time doing yard work. When she would get mad I instantly would attempt to defuse the situation and try to calm her down. This would usually only make her angrier. There were other times when the same things didn’t seem to bother her. It was like she was two different people.
This went on for a couple of months. One day I was helping her dad change a part on a brush hog when I asked him about her recent behavior. Ill never forget when he stood up and looked me in the eye and said “she quit taking her medicine again didn’t she”. I was totally shocked, I told him I didn’t know that she took any medicine at all and she had never said anything about it. He went on to tell me that she was extremely bipolar and that she had been on medication for it for years. He described things that him and his wife had went through that described my situations to the tee. He said every now and then she thinks she doesn’t need it anymore and will quit taking it. I was in complete shock by now. I couldn’t understand why she felt the need to hide this from me.
When I arrived home that night I confronted her about it. She was angry at first and tried to argue with me about it until I told her that her dad told me everything. She finally admitted she had quit taking the medication for the reasons her dad had stated. I asked her why she didn’t tell me about it. She stated that she was afraid if I knew she was bipolar that I wouldn’t want to be with her anymore. I let her know that recently she hadn’t been the same person I had fallen in love with and that I didn’t want to be in a relationship where there was uncalled for fighting. I understand all relationships have squabbles but it’s the screaming and yelling arguments that I cannot handle. After we talked about it she started taking her medication again and we went back having a great relationship and it stayed that way for another. Our life was going good and we were happy when we decided that we would get married. We married in May of that year and everything was going great. I was happy with where we were headed and ready for our life together. Unfortunately it was about to take a drastic turn for the worse and I was along for the ride Its is like Banesh Hoffman related, “Science is like a house of cards, with concepts like time and space at the lowest level. Tampering with time brought most of the house tumbling down,” (75).
It started subtlety and I’m really not sure of when I noticed her mood changing and her getting short tempered. It all came to a head one day when I came home from work and she met me at the door yelling about some of my clothes that I forgot to clean out the pockets before putting in the laundry room. I had forgotten a pen and it had ruined one of her dress shirts. I told her I was sorry and tried to apologize but she was not going to accept it and just kept on about everything she thought I was doing wrong. I could see the signs now and asked if she had quit taking her medication. I believe this made her even more furious and she matter of factly stated that she had quit taking it and she knew she didn’t need it anymore. I spent the remainder of that evening trying to reason with her on why it was important and letting her know I didn’t want to fight. I had been around it when I was a kid and didn’t want to be around it now. Sadly she was content not taking her medication and said that if I didn’t like it I could leave. I managed another six months of living a life I had said I never would I finally threw in the towel and filed for divorce. Even after divorcing Nikki, Me and her dads freindship survived and to this day we still talk. He is adamant about reminding me that I am lucky I got out when I did. This seems strange since he is talking about his own daughter but I think he knows that I am better off now.
I went through a very rough time after our marriage ended. I felt ashamed of the divorce and distanced myself from my family and friends. I hated giving up but I also I knew that I knew where that road was headed and I didn’t want to end up like my parents. Nancy Mairs said it best, to be fair to myself, a certain amount of honesty underlied my choices (78). I focused on my job and really tried to be a good person but in the back of my mind I felt like I was a failure. I knew that she was being cold and unreasonable but I still felt I should of stuck it out a little longer and maybe it would’ve gotten better. I would be in luck soon though. It was my 27th birthday when I met the girl that I now call my wife, my companion, and my best friend.
Her name is Brittiney and we met through a mutual friend that introduced us when they discovered that we share the same birthday. We started off casually talking a little bit. I found out she had just recently been in a relationship that ended badly. It turns out she had been dating a guy that it sounded like would make a great companion for my ex-wife. We had lots of fun making jokes with that for quite some time. We didn’t really date but did a lot of things as friends first like movies and going out to eat. I was reluctant to start anything for fear it would fail The more we talked the more I began falling for her. She had all the moral values that I wanted in a girlfriend. Her parents had divorced when she was young and she had seen the same things that ruin marriages and vowed that she wouldn’t fall victim to them like her parents. We gradually started spending more and more time together until people were beginning to think we were already a couple. I couldn’t help but notice that I was beginning to have feeling for her. As much as I wanted to start something with her I was scared. As much as I wanted someone in my life I believe I was more afraid of it failing. I finally realized I was stupid for not starting a relationship with the girl that seemed to be made for me. I couldn’t let past failures dictate my future anymore. We dated for a short period before moving in together. Everything was finally falling into place I had found a beautiful like minded woman to share my life with. I was in the kind of relationship that I had had prayed for my parents to have when I was a young boy. We do have arguments every now and then but in reality, who doesn’t. The main thing is that I know she always has my best interests at heart, and I hers. I look back on my life and I know that if it weren’t for the hard times that I was subjected to I would not appreciate Brittiney nearly as much as I do. We have both seen the dark side of relationships and we know that we don’t want any part of it.
Im happy to announce that as of today we have been married eight days! We were wed on Oct 5, 2013.

Works Cited

Nancy Mairs. (Discovering your vision and voice: A reader and Rhetoric). “On being a cripple.” Northeastern State University Department of Languages and
Literature, 2011. 77-88. Print

Banesh Hoffman. (Discovering your vision and voice: A reader and Rhetoric). “My Friend, Albert Einstein.” Northeastern State University Department of Languages and
Literature, 2011. 72-77. Print
.

My Personal Narrative

Jeramie McGowen
English 1113: Freshman Composition I
Dr. Christina V. Cedillo
9/21/2103

Personal narrative
When I was a young boy I can remember laying in my bed at night listening to my parents fighting. They would never fight until I had went to sleep but almost always the screaming and yelling would wake me. I would lay there and pray that they would quit yelling at each other. I couldn’t understand at this young age why they were so angry with each other. I would wrap my pillow around my head and try to drown them out until the fighting stopped or I fell asleep. As I got older I began to see that the fighting always stemmed from my fathers alcoholism and his partying. He would be home through the week and everything would be great in my innocent mind. When thing fell apart was on the weekends. I can remember my dad coming home from work and instead of playing cars with me or telling me a story he would change clothes and say he was going out. I can remember my mom pleading with him to please come home later and not be out to late; he would always say he would and then leave. I have more memories of my dad being gone on the weekends than of him being around. I would ask mom where he was and she would say, I don’t know Jeramie. I can remember how sad and hurt she would look and it made me angry at him for doing this to her. I began to understand at this early age this was no way to support your family and raise your children. This drinking and running around eventually led to my parents divorce. I knew then that if I ever had a wife I was going to treat her good, even if at this age I thought that would be playing Nintendo and playing board games.
I suppose in some cruel way my parents marriage taught me all the wrong ways to treat a lady. I can remember numerous times when someone from the library or school would call my mom and comment on how polite I was, and she would always tell me about it. Even though I was a young boy I still knew that women should be respected and treated politely.
When I met the girl that would later become my first wife I was 23. Her name was Nikki and she had started working as a delivery driver for a local store. I noticed one day she was having some problems with a heavy looking box so a ran over to give her a hand in carrying the box inside the store. As we were walking to the door she said that when she had loaded it there were two guys there and neither of them even offered to help her. I told her as long as I was around she wouldn’t have to worry about having that problem. We became friends and would talk when I came into the store. One day it was close to her lunch break when I came in and I asked her if she wanted to get something to eat. We went to a local diner and ended up talking the entire time. We never even got around to ordering anything due to being engrossed in conversation. I felt really bad about wasting her lunch and offered to take her to dinner when she got off work.
That was the beginning of our relationship and we dated for six months before deciding to move in together. Once we moved in together I noticed things slowly beginning to change in her demeanor. She would fly off the handle sometimes when I did the laundry and folded the clothes wrong or spent to much time doing yard work. When she would get mad I instantly would attempt to defuse the situation and try to calm her down. This would usually only make her angrier. There were other times when the same things didn’t seem to bother her. It was like she was two different people.
This went on for a couple of months. One day I was helping her day change a part on a brush hog when I asked him about her recent behavior. Ill never forget when he stood up and looked me in the eye and said “she quit taking her medicine again didn’t she”. I was totally shocked, I told him I didn’t know that she took any medicine at all and she had never said anything about it. He went on to tell me that she was extremely bipolar and that she had been on medication for it for years. He described things that him and his wife had went through that described my situations to the tee. He said every now and then she thinks she doesn’t need it anymore and will quit taking it. I was in complete shock by now. I couldn’t understand why she felt the need to hide this from me.
When I arrived home that night I confronted her about it. She was angry at first and tried to argue with me about it until I told her that her dad told me everything. She finally admitted she had quit taking the medication for the reasons her dad had stated. I asked her why she didn’t tell me about it. She stated that she was afraid if I knew she was bipolar that I wouldn’t want to be with her anymore. I let her know that recently she hadn’t been the same person I had fallen in love with and that I didn’t want to be in a relationship where there was uncalled for fighting. I understand all relationships have squabbles but it’s the screaming and yelling arguments that I cannot handle. After we talked about it she started taking her medication again and we went back having a great relationship and it stayed that way for another. Our life was going good and we were happy when we decided that we would get married. We married in May of that year and everything was going great. I was happy with where we were headed and ready for our life together. Unfortunately it was about to take a drastic turn for the worse and I was along for the ride.
It started subtlety and I’m really not sure of when I noticed her mood changing and her getting short tempered. It all came to a head one day when I came home from work and she met me at the door yelling about some of my clothes that I forgot to clean out the pockets before putting in the laundry room. I had forgotten a pen and it had ruined one of her dress shirts. I told her I was sorry and tried to apologize but she was not going to accept it and just kept on about everything she thought I was doing wrong. I could see the signs now and asked if she had quit taking her medication. I believe this made her even more furious and she matter of factly stated that she had quit taking it and she knew she didn’t need it anymore. I spent the remainder of that evening trying to reason with her on why it was important and letting her know I didn’t want to fight. I had been around it when I was a kid and didn’t want to be around it now. Sadly she was content not taking her medication and said that if I didn’t like it I could leave. I managed another six months of living a life I had said I never would I finally threw in the towel and filed for divorce.
I went through a very rough time after our marriage ended. I felt ashamed of the divorce and distanced myself from my family and friends. I hated giving up but I also I knew that I knew where that road was headed and I didn’t want to end up like my parents. I focused on my job and really tried to be a good person but in the back of my mind I felt like I was a failure. I knew that she was being cold and unreasonable but I still felt I should of stuck it out a little longer and maybe it would’ve gotten better. I would be in luck soon though. It was my 27th birthday when I met the girl that I now call my wife, my companion, and my best friend.
Her name is Brittiney and we met through a mutual friend that introduced us when they discovered that we share the same birthday. We started off casually talking a little bit. I found out she had just recently been in a relationship that ended badly. It turns out she had been dating a guy that it sounded like would make a great companion for my ex-wife. We had lots of fun making jokes with that for quite some time. We didn’t really date but did a lot of things as friends first like movies and going out to eat. I was reluctant to start anything for fear it would fail The more we talked the more I began falling for her. She had all the moral values that I wanted in a girlfriend. Her parents had divorced when she was young and she had seen the same things that ruin marriages and vowed that she wouldn’t fall victim to them like her parents. We gradually started spending more and more time together until people were beginning to think we were already a couple. I couldn’t help but notice that I was beginning to have feeling for her. As much as I wanted to start something with her I was scared. As much as I wanted someone in my life I believe I was more afraid of it failing. I finally realized I was stupid for not starting a relationship with the girl that seemed to be made for me. I couldn’t let past failures dictate my future anymore. We dated for a short period before moving in together. Everything was finally falling into place I had found a beautiful like minded woman to share my life with. I was in the kind of relationship that I had had prayed for my parents to have when I was a young boy. We do have arguments every now and then but in reality, who doesn’t. The main thing is that I know she always has my best interests at heart, and I hers. I look back on my life and I know that if it weren’t for the hard times that I was subjected to I would not appreciate Brittiney nearly as much as I do. We have both seen the dark side of relationships and we know that we don’t want any part of it.
Im happy to announce that as of today we have been married eight days! We were wed on Oct 5, 2013.

jrdmcgowen

Jeramie McGowen
English 1113: Freshman Composition I
Dr. Christina V. Cedillo
9/21/2103
Community profile on Drag Racers

This community profile was gathered from local drag racers in the northwest Arkansas area. The racers in this area are extremely competitive during races but openly support rivals on open technical forums and gather on weekends to hang out with people with similar tastes and interests. These people appear to have very little in common to someone at first glance. It’s not uncommon to see people that come from complete opposite genres in life engrossed in conversation due to the common love of drag racing. I am going to investigate these groups and attempt to pinpoint a common denominator that glues so many people from different backgrounds into one diversified group of people known as drag racers.
I believe the drag racing community in this area is one of the most close knit communities around. I have witnessed racers pull parts off their own cars so that someone can make a final round appearance, or wait on the side of the interstate because a fellow racer had car trouble on the way home from a race. I even once witness to a gentleman that torched a head during a semi-final of a big race. “Torching a head” is a slang term used by racers when a cylinder head actually begins to melt from the heat, the affected area of the head looks like it has had a torch taken to it. It began raining shortly after the pass and the track officials decided to postpone the race till the next morning. He was about to load up and head home since there was no way he could make the final round due to his broke motor. A local racer saw the events transpire and offered to help since he happened to own a machine shop nearby. Now I am aware that many of you reading this may not understand the work involved with this kind of repair, but rest assured it would not be uncommon for this to require a couple of weeks to repair. He helped the racer pull the heads in the pit, drove to his shop around 10pm, welded the torched head up, replaced the broken components, and put a fresh valve job on both heads and had it back to the racer by the next morning having worked through the night so that a stranger would have a chance to win a race. Astonishingly he only charged the racer for the new parts installed and didn’t charge him a dime for labor, which should have been several hundred dollars in itself. All he said was make sure and win the race. The racer ended up winning the race due his opponent redlighting and ending the race before it started. Redlighting is when one driver takes off before the green light comes on.Image http://richfiddelke.blogspot.com It still is one of the greatest examples that I have witnessed where a racer selflessly devotes his time and effort, free of charge, to help a fellow racer in need that he has never met before. My hat is off to gentlemen like this.
My goal is to investigate how individuals got started in racing and what binds these individuals together. I have interviewed two local racers and three racers from a popular racing website. The first and most obvious question that I wanted to ask everyone was, how did you get involved in racing? This may seem like a very generic question to some but I wanted to know the peoples earliest involvement with racing and if this could be the thread that binds them together. I interviewed one local racer that wished to remain anonymous due to his street racing background. When I asked him about getting involved with racing he recalled, “My dad and grandpa use to drag race, so growing up I was around it and decided I wanted to build a car as well.” This made me think that this may be a case of family tradition impacting his choice. Did he get involved with racing because subconsciously he felt compelled to follow in his father and grandfathers footsteps? I pondered this for a while before deciding I couldn’t make a conclusion with more data, but an idea was already sprouting roots.
Steve Place was the second person that I interviewed. I was pretty excited to ask him how he got started racing. Steve was very forthcoming with his recollection, My brother had a 67 camaro that was ok. I traded my first vehicle (1953 Dodge truck) for a 69 camaro and became insta-cool when I outran the high school bad boys 429 ford, I was hooked from then on. I have to admit I was mildly disappointed that his father or grandfather weren’t the ones that initially exposed him to drag racing. From talking with Steve I deducted that although his brother had a camaro, this wasn’t what set the hook. I think the popularity that surrounded Steves defeat of the local bad boy is what drew him into the drag racing world, although the purchase of a camaro may have been directly related to his brother having one.
It was at this point that I turned to the online communities to help get a grasp on how people determine the credibility of someone they have never met before. I turned to several local Facebook groups of racers and Yellowbullet.com  for more insight on this subject. One of the questions asked was, how does the terminology used reinforce or undermine a posters credibility. I wanted to pursue this avenue of questioning because online automotive forums and groups have exploded over the past several years. How many people that are illiterate in the racer rhetoric join these forums looking to learn more about an intriguing hobby. I presented this question unsure of what impact it would have on my conclusions. Yellowbullet member, Tomato had this to say perceived arrogance by terminology undermines a poster or mis-read sarcasm. As I thought about this I realized how easy it would be to take a phrase out of context because we lack several physical indicators that trigger how we determine the attitude and tone of replies that we read. Most people who post to forums do not use punctuation. Yellowbullet member 2badcat helped reinforce this when he said, “Easy to tell a poser from a poster that knows their stuff by the terminology used.” At this point I started to think that terminology helped other forum member judge the literacy of the poster. That thought was short-lived due to Yellowbullet member, ADAMSVEGA, who bluntly stated “Some of the most illiterate f**ks on here curse, fragment sentences, cant spell,
Improper grammar and drive slower cars are the most knowledgeable and savvy
Racers and builders.” This rudely stated quote made me think about what he was really trying to communicate though. We have no way to accurately judge a persons knowledge of racing by their grammar, use of words and terminologies. They could be very sharp individuals who simply do not like using the slang words.
Due to the criticism that someone is likely to receive on these online forums it is my theory that racers have already been exposed to the racing environment long before they make it to the online forums. I would find it hard to imagine that one would become hooked on a hobby they are trying to pursue while defending their un-accepted use of terminology when posting.
This brought up the actual terminology used by racers. I asked each person what were some specialized sayings used by racers, Surprisingly no two people stated the same thing. Yellowbullet member, Speedracer 64, counted off the following statements he used “bumped in in hard, put it in deep, and sprayed it out of the hole.” Imagehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/30psi/2522158609/ The fact that none of the racers had the same slang terminology I had to ask myself if these are sayings made up by each individual. I would have assumed there would be a few duplicate sayings. It was at this time I came to the conclusion that most of this terminology was based on slang words. These slang words could vary from racing community to racing community and is the most likely reason I had no duplicate terminology. I think the reason for the slang words is that each community is trying to differentiate itself from the other communities.
After interviewing the racers I have came to the conclusion that most racers that were introduced at a younger age are compelled to race because of a family tradition factor, they were following in their mentors footsteps. Racers who were introduced at older ages were compelled to do so by being part of a social clique and the desire to fit in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited
Anonymous. Personal Interview. 19 Sept. 2013.
Steve Place. Personal Interview. 20 Sept. 2013
Tomato. Email Interview. 20 Sept. 2013
2Badcat. Email Interview. 21 Sept. 2013
ADAMSVEGA. Email Interview. 22 Sept. 2013
Yellowbullet. 22 Sept. 2013 <http://www.yellowbullet.com&gt;

 

 

 

 

Grilled Cheese and Books

Jeramie McGowen
Comp I
Dr. Christina V. Cedillo
9/13/2103

Grilled Cheese and Books

The first memory I have of writing was in my ninth grade writing class. Mrs. Bogles writing class was at the far end of our school library. Mrs. Bogle was,– a teacher of the kindest heart and the finest feelings (Douglass Chpt 6). I suppose this was in an effort to surround us with our teachings. Mrs. Bogle was a great teacher that genuinely wanted to make an impact on our young lives. I remember her being very interactive with our class and had a bubbly personality that made her easy to talk to and ask questions. I was a very quite student who was shy and didn’t ask many questions. I was an average student and made good grades, but it was evident I wouldn’t be receiving a Nobel Peace Prize for exceptional journalism. It was in this little classroom at the back of the library that Mrs. Bogle would show me how to use words to bring to life the objects, feelings and senses that we wrote about. I can remember one assignment in particular that would forever change the way I would write. She had us write a short story about eating our favorite food. I can remember thinking this was odd, “how do you write a story about eating? All your doing is eating, this is going to be easy”. My story was about eating a grilled cheese sandwich after I got home from school.Big Cheese

at:http://www.averagebetty.com/blog/celebrate-grilled-cheese/

I think my story was about 4 sentences long and obviously wasn’t one of my greatest works. The next day before the end of class Mrs. Bogle handed our graded stories back to us, I believe I made a D on the assignment. This came as a surprise to me as I thought I followed her instructions and had wrote an accurate representation of my afternoon snack. As I began looking around at my fellow classmates papers the first thing I noticed was that theirs were considerably longer than mine. Did they really eat that much that it required a whole page to write it down! I was sitting in class trying to comprehend where I had went wrong and failed the assignment when the bell rang to end the class. As I began gathering my books Mrs. Bogle looked up from her desk and said in a serious tone, “Jeramie, can you stay for a minute? I’d like to speak with you.” This is the moment you get the deer in the headlights look! I can remember thinking “Crap! This is bad, I don’t even know what I’ve done! I‘m going to be late for football practice and have to run laps!” The only people that had to stay behind were the troublemakers that she made stay late so that they would have to run to make it in time for their next class. When I finally made it to her time abused metal desk she asked if she could see my story, which I noticed I was still holding with a death-grip.Teacher and young student talking at her desk  Image found at:http://www.visualphotos.com/image/2×3715944/teacher_and_young_student_talking_at_her_desk

I handed it to her wondering why she would want it back, she had already read it and from the grade I was pretty sure I knew what she thought about it. She took the paper and seemed to be re-reading it. After she finished she asked me why I hadn‘t described my thoughts and put more detail into my story. I’m certain I had an appalled look on my face. I had no earthly idea what she was talking about. I thought I had written an accurate account of how I ate my grilled cheese sandwich. I was pretty sure I knew how I ate. It seemed like she looked at me forever when she asked me what it was that I liked so much about eating a grilled cheese. She went on to interrogate me about my sandwich. I stood there answering her rapid fire line of questioning as her pen kept pace on an unseen piece of paper with the answers that tumbled from my memories. As I answered her questions it was like a light bulb was slowly being turned on in my head and I began to see what she was doing and see the connection. After a couple of minutes she stopped asking me questions and put down her pen and handed me the sheet of paper. It was my paper! She had written in between my lines and added everything I had just recalled. She smiled and explained how I should ask myself questions and use those questions to describe my feelings, thoughts and experiences. She told me how these details would have earned me an A+ on the assignment instead of my miserable D. These details would help the reader to fully understand and comprehend the things I would be writing about. I believe Frederick Douglass said it best” These words sank deep into my heart, stirred up sentiments within that lay slumbering, and called into existence an entirely new train of thought” (Frederick Douglass Chpt 6). I ended up being late for practice and having to run my laps as punishment but I was content knowing I had just been shown the door that would help me pass Mrs. Bogles writing class. That was the last year Mrs. Bogle taught writing at Westville Schools but she had more of an impact on my writing style than any teacher since. This would turn out to be an important point in literacy for me as I began to realize how important it is that others can understand my writings clearly. With this, I learned how to write (Douglass 7). I still recall this 15 years later and have used her advice many times in everything from teenage love letters to technical observations and recommendation reports at my current job. I believe all teachers should look to Robert Lake when deciding how they are going to teach certain kids “ What you say and what you do in the classroom, what you teach and how you teach it, and what you say and don’t teach will have a significant effect on the potential success of failure of my child” (210).

Around the same time I began reading a considerable amount. My mom used to read novels regularly and one day she brought me home a book from the library. It was an older Hardy Boys book and she thought I would enjoy it. I had never been interested in reading unless I had to for school. I was a typical teenager and was more concerned with football, girls and getting my first car. Even though I wasn’t interested in the book I picked it up one afternoon and started reading it to pass the time. Somehow the day turned to night an I ended up reading the whole book. This may seem irreverent, but I can assure you this was as big of a deal in my home as Andy Greene setting the land speed record was to land speed racers this year. I became absorbed into Frank and Joes adventures following in their fathers footsteps. I eventually read every Hardy Boys book that our town library had and any that they could borrow from surrounding libraries. I believed this instilled a love of reading that I still have today. I still manage to read about one book per week even with the hectic schedule I have. Reading has became a calm in the storm for me that I will always cherish. It was like Frederick Douglass said “There was no getting rid of it” (Fredrick Douglass Chpt 7).
As I got older and continued in my literacy development I began to notice that my choice of books had changed also. The books of my youth didn’t captivate me anymore. I became bored as the books became predictable and had simplistic storylines. I now think these books are similar to training wheels on your bike. They allow your mind to develop and initiate a more in-depth understanding of the literature we read. One author that I began reading in this new stage of literacy was Michael Crichton. I enjoy the way he structures his books and his use of words and phrases. He goes into great detail on certain elements of his stories and he encompasses more than the key characters with these details, this was the seed that Mrs. Bogle had planted in my young mind so many years ago. I am constantly on the lookout for new authors that write in this style that I enjoy. Some of these authors include Lincoln Child, Steven Hunter, Paul Sussman, Jeffery Deavers, Glenn Beck, and James Rollins. I enjoy how their choice of words bring an object to life and how if a few key words were removed from the text the object would loose it’s detail and it would slip by unnoticed. After a while I started noticing that the authors I liked to read all had one thing in common, detailed descriptions that allowed me to mentally see and experience the emotions, settings and surroundings of the characters. I have found that if I reread something from years past I can usually find where the author used less detail in the story. I believe that I am constantly searching for authors that can capture my attention with their detailed adventures, biographies and technical books.
I now have a job where I am required to write detailed observation and recommendation reports. When I first started doing these reports my manager explained that I couldn’t be over detailed in my reports. He wanted the end reader to know everything that someone in-person would know. I had a difficult time at first because of a lack of needed detail. I was a full basket coming into a different environment with something to share (Lake 210). I had to revert back to Mrs. Bogles ninth grade mentoring before I was able to meet the requirements of my manager. I started asking myself questions and these questions led to the needed details that my early reports were lacking.
The more I reflect back on my literacy history the more I can see how specific people have influenced and changed my views on what I like to read, how I write reports and how I judge the quality of what I read. Literacy is something a person never stops learning. There will always be something new to learn, teach, use and enjoy.

Works Cited

The Literature Network. Frederick Douglass. A narritive on the life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Chapters 6-7
http://www.online-literature.com

Robert Lake. “Discovering your vision and voice: A reader and Rhetoric”. An Indian Fathers Plea. Northeastern State University Department of Languages and Literature, 2011. 207-210. Print

 

 

My Literacy Narative

The first memory I have of writing was in my ninth grade writing class. My teacher, Mrs. Bogle was the first person to show me how to use words to describe my feelings, emotions and senses. I can remember one assignment in particular, she had us write a short story about eating our favorite food. My story was about eating a grilled cheese sandwich and wasn’t one of my greatest works.Image“Image found at:  https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=PzIpsJO2ZQfhMM&tbnid=ONyfOTvkI0e-RM:&ved=0CAQQjB0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.averagebetty.com%2Fblog%2Fcelebrate-grilled-cheese%2F&ei=LHYqUp60D4rE2QXt54HQBw&psig=AFQjCNFqWSLl9UwefVToPbkyeGX5V89vpQ&ust=1378600873819247” I believe I made a D on the assignment. After class, Mrs. Bogle asked me to stay after. She asked me why I didn’t describe my experiences better. I can remember not having a clue what she was saying as I thought I had done reasonably well. She went on to ask me specific questions about what I smelled as it was cooking, what I liked about the flavor, what did it feel like when I picked it up and what it tasted like. I answered all of her questions while she was rapidly jotting down things on the other side of the desk where I couldn’t see.Once she was finished she handed me the paper. It was my paper!Image “Image found at: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=esVIPEaPk27mGM&tbnid=yOBNQkYjZdynXM:&ved=0CAQQjB0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.visualphotos.com%2Fimage%2F2x3715944%2Fteacher_and_young_student_talking_at_her_desk&ei=wHYqUvWnBcr62QWj7IHQAg&psig=AFQjCNHc-X_gNh3axTnHeOPyTutH4BfzEA&ust=1378601021056805” She had written in between my lines and added everything I had recalled. She told me that I should ask myself questions and use those questions to describe my feelings, thoughts and experiences. I still recall this 15 years later. I have used her advice many times in everything from teenage love letters to technical observations and recommendation reports at my current job. That was the last year Mrs. Bogle taught writing at Westville Schools but she made more of an impact on my writing style than any teacher since.
Around the same time I began reading a considerable amount of time. My mom used to read regularly and one day she brought me home a book from the library. It was an older Hardy Boys book and she thought I would like it.Image “Image found at:https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=1AXhk-ztktdKrM&tbnid=CTxlutYznRYmoM:&ved=0CAQQjB0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hardyboyscasefiles.com%2Fnetwork%2Fcasefiles.php%3Fbook_id%3D002&ei=pXcqUoTyGIqC2AXP2IE4&psig=AFQjCNGub2GqXIrSMFGf52C940HIrKeLlg&ust=1378601251367266”  I ended up reading it and became absorbed into Frank and Joes adventures following in their fathers footsteps. I eventually read every Hardy Boys book that our town library had and any that they could borrow from surrounding libraries. I believed this instilled a love of reading that I still have today. I still manage to read about one book per week even with the hectic schedule I have. Reading has became a calm in the storm for me that I will always cherish.
Once I became an avid reader I noticed how different authors use words and phrases to describe different events in their stories, this was the seed that Mrs. Bogle had planted in my young mind so many years ago. I was able to see how their choice of words brought an object to life and how if a few key words were removed from the text the object would loose its detail and slip by unnoticed. After a while I started noticing that the authors I liked to read all had one thing in common, detailed descriptions that allowed me to mentally see and experience the emotions, settings and surroundings of the characters. I have found that if I reread something from years past I can usually find where the author used less detail in the story. I believe that I am constantly searching for authors that can capture my attention with their detailed adventures, biographies and technical books.
I now have a job where I am required to write detailed observation and recommendation reports. When I first started doing these reports my manager explained that I couldn’t be over detailed in my reports. He wanted to end reader to know everything that someone in-person would know. I had a difficult time at first because of a lack of needed detail.Image “Image found at:https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=1NThHO87zRQW5M&tbnid=k1ABfbnq7JjGXM:&ved=0CAQQjB0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdrumsandwires.blogspot.com%2F2011_12_01_archive.html&ei=pnQqUpWqKcWw2gWnxoD4BA&psig=AFQjCNGjoTblRgZk-K7qJMZgBJSweUkvHw&ust=1378600428319480 “I had to revert back to Mrs. Bogles ninth grade mentoring before I was able to meet the requirements of my manager. I started asking myself questions and these questions led to the needed details that my early reports were lacking.

The more I reflect back on my literacy history the more I can see how specific people have influenced and changed my views on what I like to read, how I write reports and how I judge the quality of what I read. Literacy is something a person never stops learning. There will always be something new to learn, teach, use and enjoy