My Writing English 101

When I took English 101 I had started in one class with one teacher. He, unfortunately, had an accident and wasn’t able to teach the rest of the quarter. His class ended up merging with another class, the other teacher was covering the exact same material that quarter so it made sense that they merged their classes in time of need. I enjoyed both classes. I did have a piece of writing based on the Dead Poets Society but I’m not sure where my paper is to scan it. I know I saved it. It was my midterm and it had to be written out. I kept it after we received it back with our grades. If I find it I’ll update this post and put it in here with them.  

In this quarter we covered the books: 

Educated: A Memoir: Westover, Tara: 9780399590504: AmazonSmile: Books 

The Nickel Boys: A Novel: Whitehead, Colson: 9780385537070: AmazonSmile: Books 

The movies we watched were: 

Finding Forrester (2000) 

Dead Poets Society (1989) 

I would highly recommend to read both books and watch both movies. I have found myself going back to them since taking this class just for enjoyment. I thoroughly enjoyed them and if you have a recommendation like them let me know. I will happily read or watch them.  

As I said in my English 99 posting, this is how I turned things in. I am not going to edit it.  


Stephanie Morante 

English 101 

1 October 2019 

Writing From The Heart 

The movie Finding Forrester is an intriguing movie about friendship and learning to better ones writing. “No thinking – that comes later. You must write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is… to write, not to think!” (Forrester). For people watching, this quote can be encouraging for their own writing. People should write for others how they write for themselves. Forrester says it best with this quote, “Why is it that the words that we write for ourselves are always so much better than the words we write for others?” People tend to write their true thoughts and feeling when they write for themselves. People are more honest when they feel their writing is private, and that no one will read it. That’s when people’s true thoughts and feelings are shown. When people start a sentence with a conjunction can help it to catch people’s attention. Though, “the risk is doing it too much. It’s a distraction. And it could give your piece a run-on feeling. But for the most part, the rule on using “and” or “but” at the start of a sentence is pretty shaky. Even though it’s still taught by too many professors. Some of the best writers have ignored that rule for years…” (Jamal). People who write with their true feelings and thoughts can become great writers. So, it’s best to just start writing without worry. People should write like no one’s watching, or so to speak, reading. 


Education is Learning About Oneself 

To be educated is more than book smarts. It is also to be willing to learn and grow emotionally. By someone limiting themselves from growing emotionally, they inhibit their ability to learn. When most people think of an education they think of school and being taught by someone. There’s more to it than that, people often forget they learn from experience as well. In her book Educated Tara Westover learned about herself emotionally and her family’s unwillingness to change. She learned through experience about what is and isn’t safe. She came to the realization that the way her brother and father acted was not for the better. She came to find out about her father’s delusions about Ruby Ridge and about being bi-polar. That her brother would go to extreme lengths to make sure people did as he said, especially when it came to the women of the family. It’s interesting how her father declares things evil and of the devil until it benefits him. When she came to know how little she knew of the world and of history Tara become fascinated with learning more about it. In turn she came to learn more about herself than about the world and its histories. Tara slowly grew emotionally to know what best for her, accepting help, and realizing who’s toxic.  

Tara left for school to escape her brother’s violent behavior, and her father’s radical behavior. Her brother Shawn was very violent towards her. Though, he was violent towards a great deal of people. People in town would say he was nothing more than a bully (96). He grabbed her by the wrist and twisted her arm behind her back (117). Dragged her by the hair into the bathroom shoving her head into the toilet (188). He would do what he could to manipulate her to forgive him. He enjoyed psychologically torturing her, and feeling he had power over her. Her father’s behavior is no better than her brother’s. Her father takes the wheel of the van during a snowstorm and driving very erratically (93). Her father ended up causing them to crash into a field (94). He never put her safety into consideration; especially when it came to putting her to work. He treated her more like an employee than a daughter, and if that’s all she was to him he was a terrible boss. He would continuously try and make her work for him. If she didn’t want to, she wasn’t allowed to stay at her parents’ house. They tried to kick her out at sixteen not realizing that she was still under eighteen (137). School eventually became a safe place for her to go without being tormented or humiliated.  

Tara had to slowly learn to accept help from others. While having an earache, her boyfriend gave her some medication, and she was very reluctant to take the medication (183). Her roommate Robin wanted to take her to the doctor for her stomach ulcers and for her broken toe (190). With being abused so much growing up she didn’t feel normal unless she hurt in one way or another. She was having a hard time paying for her basic needs including rent. The bishop offered her for the church to pay her rent, but she refused (200). The bishop also offered her money for a tooth to be pulled (202). He gave her the paperwork to fill out for a school grant telling her “I pay a lot of taxes. Just think of it as my money.” (204). Her boyfriend Nick wanted to take her to the doctor when she was sick with strep throat and mono (213). It took some getting used to on her part because she was so unaccustomed with kindness. It’s hard to believe something so simple can seem so foreign to another person. It took a great deal of persuasion on people’s part to get her to accept help. She eventually learned to accept help from others, but it took many years. 

Tara came to realize slowly that her parents and brother won’t change for the better. Shawn told Tara that he wanted to kill their sister Audrey (283). When Tara told her father about it, and he didn’t believe her (284). Her parents seemed to believe that she was possessed by the devil instead of believing what Tara had to tell them about Shawn. Shawn threatened to kill her or have her killed for telling their parents about his behavior (291). Tara’s mother tried telling Tara that Shawn wasn’t trying to threaten her with a knife (292). They’re delusional about what is and isn’t right or wrong. They would sacrifice their relationship with their daughter in order to protect their son. Most of her family worked for her parents, so most couldn’t have a relationship with Tara without sacrificing their livelihood. A parent should protect their child but not at the cost of others safety. It takes a great deal of emotional recognition to know when a relationship is toxic.  

Education is more than learning from books. It’s also learning about yourself spiritually and emotionally. Tara Westover was being educated throughout her life without realizing it. She may not have started traditional school till she was seventeen, but she learned a great deal about family and friendship. She learned what is and isn’t safe for those around her. Her story is inspirational of how one person fought to overcome many challenges. She’s had a great deal of emotional sacrifice in order to be happy. She’s a true example that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. 


The Moving Story About What Is And Isn’t Just 

1. No one believed the boys about the hidden graveyard till there was physical proof. Most people turned a blind eye to those sorts of things not wanting to believe that that intense amount of cruelty was still around. The civil rights homed in on this cruelty that was present and brought it to light. The school wasn’t shut down till many years later and when the graves were found is when people started to believe the boys of Nickel. There has been a great deal of stories that have happened like Nickel. People of color and those deemed mentally unfit have always been treated less than. It’s an unjust way of treating people like nothing more than livestock. They deserve the exact same amount of fights as the next person.  

3. Elwood saw the unjust happenings toward his people and believed they deserved the same rights as the white people. His following of Martin Luther King Jr. Helped to shape his feelings towards having justice to his fellow man. He wanted to stand up for what he felt was the right thing to do. Elwood wanted to take a stand not just for him but for all the boys at Nickel. Elwood was also shaped by what he saw in the news about the civil rights movement. He followed Martin Luther King Jr’s speeches and the protests for civil rights. He wanted to do what felt right to him and what he felt was right for the people around him.  

5. Elwood felt emotionally closer to himself and that he was doing the right thing by joining the protest. He wanted to be able to go to the theaters the same as everyone else. He wanted to stand up for what was right not just for himself. It was the same with the amusement park, he wanted to go like the white kids, and he kept his grades up for the day he could go and get in for free. He saw the people around the state and in other states taking a stand for what they felt was the right thing to do. To some these may seem insignificant but in reality, it’s not right to treat someone differently just because of skin color or however different they are. Most white people don’t understand that there’s something called white privilege, it’s when you’re not targeted because of how you look. White people have forced their ways onto people of color in many cultures, including African Americans, native Americans and the native Hawaiians. In the story, Elwood saw the unjust happening to those people of color. He wanted freedom for those around him, to be able to go into an establishment and be seen as equal.  

11. Once he stopped fighting for what he believed was right he felt like he betrayed himself. To stop standing up for what he believed was right made him more unsettled than anything. He was becoming nothing more than an empty follower to the ways of the people in charge at Nickel. He didn’t realize this till he woke up and thought about it. Thought about why he was so restless even though he wasn’t being targeted at that time. After realizing this, he made the decision to stand up again and try to get rid of Nickel. He knew there would be consequences for his actions and decided to take the risk. The risk was not only for him but for all the boys at Nickel. He knew the unjust treatment of them would be a big deal if the word got to right people. After he lost his lawyer and came to realize he might lose his grandmother before he got out made his decision final.  

17. Turner came to realize the mistake he made after they took Elwood and locked him up. When he found out that they were going to kill Elwood he decided to try an escape from Nickel. To watch your friend get shot down by someone he thought was a friend really changed him. It showed that Harper wasn’t to be trusted and was the same as the other white guys there. It shaped Turner’s life, making him realize the mistake he made with Elwood’s letter. He wanted to turn into the man Elwood would be proud of. Though, the reminder of Nickel was always there in the back of his mind. The mental torment of it ate at him emotionally. In the end Turner wanted to do what he felt was right especially for Elwood. To speak out about the boys of color from Nickel and make sure there was a voice for them in the media. To finally living by his real name instead of his friend’s. Even though he didn’t know what would happen in the end he wanted to take a stand for what was right, not for him but for his friend and the other boys who spent time at Nickel. 


Friendship That Had Great Meaning 

To struggle between loyalty, fear, and what is right will determine a person’s life’s story. The book The Nickel boys by Colson Whitehead talks about how those things can change a person’s life. Elwood was sent to the Nickel Academy for car theft, only because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He met Turner during breakfast at Nickel and didn’t think anything of their meeting. Little did he know, they’d became fast friends. All the boys at Nickel were treated horribly but more so were the boys of color. It took many years for the school to be shut down. It was only after it was shut down did the evidence come out about how they boys were treated. It wasn’t until then did the boys start to openly talk about their experiences. Whitehead speaks of the horrors of the school through Elwood’s and Turner’s friendship and their differences. Elwood is full of hope and determination while Turner was full of fear and uncertainty. Elwood’s personality shaped Turner’s future and how Turner tried to live his life in Elwood’s honor to show that embracing forgiveness leads to a better life. 

Elwood was determined to what he believed was the right thing to do, not just for himself but for others. Elwood saw those fighting for equal rights as “Young knights taking the fight to dragons… [H]e wanted to enlist. He had no choice” (Whitehead 22). Being a boy of color gave him more of an insight to how he was treated differently, and not just him but those who had a darker complexion. White people always degraded him growing up. When Elwood went to school, “the class focused on US history since the civil war, but at every opportunity Mr. Hill guided them to the present, linking what had happened a hundred years ago to their current lives” (Whitehead 30). It showed how little had changed with white people’s point of view about race. The war on racism was strong and had a great deal to happen to start changing people’s point of view or nothing would change around them. Others can influence those around them given the right environment. He saw that people are taught what they believe by those around them. He was determined to stand for what he believed was right, so he joined in on a march at the Florida Theatre. It occurred to him that “he had marched for everyone’s rights, even those who shouted him down. My struggle is your struggle, your burden is my burden” (Whitehead 37). He was optimistic about the future not just for himself but for those around him. It really took an emotional toll on him getting in trouble with the law for something he didn’t do, and then being sent to Nickel.  

Turner’s outlook was very pessimistic and believed nothing would change for him or anyone sent to Nickel. The way Turner saw it,  

“You can change the law but you can’t change people and how they treat each other. Nickel was racist as hell – half the people who worked here probably dressed up like the Klan on weekends – but the way Tuner saw it, wickedness went deeper than skin color. It was Spencer. It was Spencer and it was Griff and it was all the parents who let their children wind up here. It was people” (Whitehead 105).  

Turner didn’t see people as having a good heart or even caring for anyone else besides themselves. Elwood was different, and it stumped him that Elwood believed people were better than what they acted out. Turner was jealous of Elwood having a relationship with his grandmother and having someone who cared for his wellbeing (Whitehead 105).  Turner didn’t have that, and it stumped him that people could be caring for one another, like Elwood. It confused Elwood how people could be so cruel and ugly towards one another, and he felt he had seen an uglier side to people being at Nickel. Turner saw it and believed nothing could change for anyone at the school and outside of school.  

Turner wanted to live his life in honor of Elwood, so his friend didn’t die in vain. Elwood slowly stopped fighting not because he didn’t want to but it’s because, “he had been ruined. He was like one of those Negroes Dr. King spoke of in his letter from jail, so complacent and sleepy after years of oppression that they had adjusted to it and learned to sleep in it as their only bed” (Whitehead 156). Turner felt that Elwood needed to finish his sentence there then he could do what he wanted. He didn’t want Elwood to tell anyone about anything happening there, fearing what would happen to them both. Elwood believed, “you can’t go around it – you have to go through it…” (Whitehead 174). It devastated Turner what they were planning on doing to Elwood after he turned in Elwood’s letter. Seeing Elwood get shot by Harper changed him. Though, without realizing it he had been changing emotionally whilst being friends with Elwood. Turner wanted to live a life Elwood would be proud of. Elwood always put his best foot forward expecting the same of others. Turner’s life took unexpected turns while living under Elwood’s identity. From starting his own business to getting married. He began looking for the best in people the way Elwood did after starting up his business. After the Nickel was finally shut down, he came clean about the lie he was living. He wanted to admit to those who would listen that he escaped from the Nickel and that he assumed Elwood’s identity. He wasn’t sure about what would happen to him, but he wanted to be a voice for the boys of color (Whitehead 209). Turner wanted to give Elwood the proper burial that he was denied. Elwood may have been Turner’s past, but he was forever changed because of Elwood.  

Elwood showed courage when there was nothing but darkness in Turner’s life. It forged a life for Turner he never thought he would live. This friendship tested loyalty and compassion for one another. Turner and Elwood lived very different lives growing up until Nickel, but their lives became intertwined because of Nickel. Nickel was a place of hatred and darkness for many boys. Elwood’s friendship was what Turner needed most without realizing it. It tore up Turner emotionally that he believed he was the reason for Elwood’s death. In the end, Turner was changed for the better and wanted to become the voice for boys of color from Nickel. Compassion, love, and kindness isn’t something to look down on, because it can change a person to the very core. 

Work Cited 

Whitehead, Colson. The Nickel Boys: a Novel. Doubleday, 2019. 


The Deaf Have a Harder Time With Inclusion 

Being deaf has a great deal of difficulties with communication. Deaf students have to work harder than most to communicate what they’re thinking and feeling. For a deaf student to be in a general classroom, that is not specifically designed for the deaf, it is harder for them since they have to rely on an interpreter. Deaf schools are designed for deaf and hard of hearing students, so there is no room for error in the communication aspects. Nowadays, deaf and hard of hearing students will use technology to help them with their education. To have things such as lectures and assignments written out and talked about in class with the interpreters helps the students to fully understand the assignments.  Students who are deaf and hard of hearing have many obstacles with learning and feelings of inclusion, and they must work hard to feel they’re getting the same education as their hearing counterparts; the best way to combat this is to educate people about the language and about the deaf culture.  

Students who are deaf and hard of hearing have a greater difficulty in communication and inclusion than with those who are hearing. “Deaf and hard of hearing students reading comprehension, math, and science skills are generally several grades below those of hearing students” (Nagle, Katherine, et al. 1). They struggle to feel included with those who are hearing due to the language barrier. Those who are hearing don’t know and aren’t educated much about the deaf culture. They have a harder time keeping up with the curriculum due to having to have it translated from English to ASL (American Sign Language). They tend to fall behind in their studies because of the language barrier. The language barrier is what keeps them from socializing with their hearing peers. “Some schools have tried types of ‘learning communities’ to ensure early academic and social integration” (John A. Albertini, Ronald R. Kelly, Mary Karol Matchett 16). The communities in and around the school should try to help deaf students feel included socially and academically. They must rely on what is available around them to communicate to others, whether it’s socially or academically.  

For those who are deaf and hard of hearing it is a great deal of help for them to be able to use technology to communicate when an interpreter isn’t available. Schools that are designed for the deaf and hard of hearing take the extra steps, so they can keep up with the curriculum. “Several recent studies have examined learning by the deaf college students in mainstream classrooms that have utilized real-time text(captioning) and/or sign language interpreting” (Carol M. Convertino et al. 4). To guarantee academic success in college those students must make sure they’re willing to access the disability student services to make sure accommodations are being met in class. It also helps the students to go and talk to the teachers whose class they’ll be in and discuss how best to accommodate them in the classroom so they can be successful. Though, it’s important for those students to take classes in high school that are of higher intensity to ensure their academic success in college (Carol M. Convertino et al. 5). “The students who successes without such backgrounds tend to be stronger academically” (Carol M. Convertino et al. 5). Students who work harder academically before college have a higher chance of graduating college. They’re most accustomed to the extra work load for homework. To have the teachers come to the students about what how best to accommodate them is also a boost in aptitude. “Sharing learning strategies with fellow students and my instructor was an active venue for shaping the learning context” (Ross, Annemarie, and Randy K. Yerrick 3). Teachers and schools who do their best to help and accommodate those who are deaf and hard of hearing will help boost student’s aptitude in school.  

To be academically successful in college deaf students need to work harder to communicate their wants and needs to those around them in class.  Those who are hearing don’t know a whole lot about deaf culture or about the language. It becomes very difficult to communicate with those around them if they don’t know about their language and culture. They have to rely heavily on technology and interpreters to communicate while in groups and around campus. Some have learned to read lips to try and understand those around them. If those who are hearing aren’t willing to learn more about a culture that lives along side them then it’s difficult to help them have compassion towards them. “Despite a normal distribution of aptitudes and intelligence, individuals who are deaf appear more likely to experience social exclusion than people with typical hearing” (Jacobs, Paul G., PhD., P. M. Brown, and Louise Paatsch PhD. 1). People who are judgmental towards those who are deaf and hard of hearing think they’re less than or incompetent. But those who are deaf are some of the most intelligent people around, they just must communicate differently. “These psychosocial challenges can, in turn, severely compromise their educational, social, and employment prospects” (Jacobs, Paul G., PhD., P. M. Brown, and Louise Paatsch PhD. 1). Deaf people have to work harder than most to communicate their wants and needs to those around them, and it can make it difficult to gain a proper education.  

Implementing more education about the deaf culture and about ASL (American Sign Language) in schools can help deaf and hard of hearing students feel more comfortable and excepted in schools, especially in college. If a college isn’t designed for deaf students like the college such as Gallaudet University located in Washington D.C. students need that extra help with feeling heard. Schools need to make sure there are proper translators for those who are deaf and hard of hearing so they can get the education they’re wanting. By putting in classes that teach about the culture diminishes the judgmental thoughts people can have towards those of hearing impairments. Colleges that cater to help those who have disabilities such as hearing impairments can become some of the most valuable schools for those with the impairments, and by then becoming another place for people who are deaf to learn and advance their education.  

Those who are deaf and hard of hearing have many obstacles and getting an education shouldn’t be one. Those who are deaf and hard of hearing have just as much to offer as their hearing counterparts. They’re intelligent and can be a valuable student given the chance. People need to take the time to learn more about a culture that lives right next to them and could end up becoming part of their family. Not everyone who is deaf is born that way some lose their hearing due to illness and or age. Making ASL and the deaf culture part of the curriculum in schools can help advance knowledge in the culture for those around them. 

Works Cited 

Carol M. Convertino, Marc Marschark, Patricia Sapere, Thomastine Sarchet, Megan Zupan, Predicting Academic Success Among Deaf College Students, The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, Volume 14, Issue 3, Summer 2009, Pages 324–343, 

Jacobs, Paul G., PhD., P. M. Brown, and Louise Paatsch PhD. “Social and Professional 

Participation of Individuals Who are Deaf: Utilizing the Psychosocial Potential Maximization Framework.” The Volta Review, vol. 112, no. 1, 2012, pp. 37-62. ProQuest

John A. Albertini, Ronald R. Kelly, Mary Karol Matchett, Personal Factors That Influence Deaf College Students’ Academic Success, The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, Volume 17, Issue 1, Winter 2012, Pages 85–101, 

Nagle, Katherine, et al. “COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS: COURSE TAKING OF DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS.” American Annals of the Deaf, vol. 160, no. 5, 2016, pp. 467-482. ProQuest

Ross, Annemarie, and Randy K. Yerrick. “What I taught my STEM instructor about teaching: What a deaf student hears that others cannot.” Journal of Science Education for Students with Disabilities 18.1 (2015): 4. 


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