The Shaping of yourself
In our life, there are a variety of ways that will shape our identities, lives and the way we perceive new ideas. This can either be determined by a role model or personal experiences. In Mike Rose’s reading “ I just wanna be average” and Ta-Nehisi Coates “Between the World and Me” both writers tell us the stories of experiences that shaped them. In the article, Coates’s youth was filled with fear and protecting your own self. His neighborhood and others were run by gangs that ruled using others fear of dying to create power for themselves to create reputations that they were known by. For Rose’s, he could see that his life compared to the perfect life was not his reality. He lived a life of poorness and always worrying about money. He saw what the difference from this illusion compared to his life as something that felt fanciful and could only be imagined as.
In our class, we started off with Coates “ Between the World and Me” which confronts the rough times living in a neighborhood that was filled with gangs and violence. In his life, he learned from his surroundings and was able to form his own sense of life and his visualization of the American dream. Coates expresses “It does not matter that the intentions of an individual Educators were Noble. Forget about intentions. What an institution or its agents in 10 for you is secondary. Our world is physical. Learn to play defense -ignore the head and keep your eyes on the body. Very few Americans will directly Proclaim that they are in favor of black people being left to the streets. But a very large number of Americans will do all they can to preserve the dream. No one directly proclaims that schools were designed to Santa fi failure and destruction. But a great number of educator spoke of personal responsibility and a country authored and sub stained by criminal irresponsibility. The point of this language of intention and personal responsibility is Broad X and ocean. Mistakes were made. Bodies were broken. People were saved. We meant well. We tried our best. Good intentions are a hall pass through history a sleeping pill that ensures the dream.” For Coates, the American dream is people have easily chosen to ignore the fact that the black race is being left on the streets and bodies are being broken/killed. The American dream is built on the enslavement of the black race and even our schools today are designed for failure and destruction of this population. Within Coates, he opens up about how the school was shielding them of reality. The school would block off their access from the outside world. This system would do this so the students wouldn’t know and wouldn’t ask questions. The number of educators that have taken the responsibility into keeping our schools safe and have the intention of personal responsibility is where mistakes have been made. School for people in these neighborhoods was more than a place to learn but as an escape from their reality that they were living in and another way to protect themselves from the streets. However, for Coates, his experience was very different. He felt like the school would direct social comments and how they showed civil rights videos with only black people every year. Coates references that “ Our teachers urged us toward the example of Freedom Marchers, Freedom Riders, and Freedom Summers, and it seemed that the month could not pass without a series of film dedicated to the glories of being beaten on camera. The black people in these films seem to love the worst things in life -love the dogs that rent their children apart, to tear gas declawed up their lungs, the fire hoses that tore off their clothes and Tumble them into the streets. They seem to love the man who raped them the woman who cursed them, love the children lose fat on them, the terrorists upon them. Why are they showing this to us? Why were only Our Heroes nonviolent? Like, speak not of the morality of nonviolence but of the sense of blacks are in especial need of this morality.” Coates illustrate for us that this school was not a reality of what was happening outside in society. For a while, he questioned himself and the school on why he was in this classroom learning ideas that may not have mattered but it was to protect him from his own reality and what he faced everyday living in Baltimore. Learning these new skills helped the students better discipline to their bodies and even though it felt all new and strange to him there were benefits in the end.
In Mike Rose’s writing, he talks about role models that helped him shape who he is. Growing up Rose’s was a poor American with immigrant parents from Italy. He says “ The Poverty was extreme and hopeless- twelve hours of farm labor Would get you on Lyra, about 20 cents so increasing numbers of desperate people booked passage for the United States the country where the steamship companies claimed property was a way of life. For my mother life in America was not what the promoters had told her father it would be. She would grow up very poor. She slept with her parents and brother and sister in one room. She had to quit school in the 7th grade to care for her sickly younger brother. When her father lost hurt his leg in a railroad accident she began working in a garment Factory where woman sat crowded at their station solitary as penitence in a Cloister. she stayed there until her marriage. My father had found a Freer route. He was close-mouthed about his past but I know that he had been a Salesman a Taylor and a gambler he knew people in the mob and had my uncle’s whisper done time in Chicago. He went through a year or two of Italian Elementary School and could write a few words those necessary to scribble measurements for a suit and over the year developed a quiet or vanity a persistent and a slowly debilitating arteriosclerosis.” For them, they lived a life of poverty and when they went to America it wasn’t any different. His mother didn’t think that it would be worse living and wasn’t what she expected. She lives a life in America as a poor family and didn’t have much of a life. In a time of need Roses was able to find an outlet or an escape from his reality. Rose’s when he was in school created a friendship with one of his teachers Jack McFarland. For Rose’s, Jack was a role model on his pathway to success. He was able to turn Rose’s mindset of how he thought of school into appreciating the knowledge. Rose’s speak about Mcfarland saying“ It enabled me to do things in the world. I could browse Bohemian bookstores and Farah calls my mysterious Hollywood I could go to the cinema and see if vents through the lens of European directors and most of all I could share an evening talk that talk with Jack McFarland the man I most admired at the time. Knowledge was becoming a bonding agent. Within a year to the Persona of the disaffected Hipster would prove too cynical to alienate to last. Before our time it was new and exciting it provided a critical perspective on society and it allowed me to act as though I were living beyond the limiting boundaries of South Vermont.” He was able to take what he was taught and be able to see what knowledge has done for him as far as stepping outside the boundaries of what he knows and using it to see what society is really like. Jack Mcfarland wanted these students to succeed and not to see them struggle because, in the end, the way your students do reflects what teacher you are at the end of the day. He turned Ross’s way of using his mind to interest him in reading and creating stories and used his weakness to make him stronger.
For both of the writers, stories were illustrated for us to see how we are shaped like human beings. In Coates story, he wasn’t able to have a teacher like Jack to teach him the knowledge that he needed.Coates talks about how even though he is living in America he feels that when he was a kid America was like a galaxy where there were different parts of the US that weren’t like his and people didn’t feel enslaved as he did. In other parts of the US, people didn’t have to protect themselves as much as he did. School also for Coates was not a healthy environment to shut himself from the stresses of reality but a place that shut them out for what was important to their history. Coates had to do it on his own because the teachers he had would cover what the truth was. For Rose’s, he was able to take what he was taught and be able to see what knowledge has done for him as far as stepping outside the boundaries of what he knows and using it to see what society is like. Jack Mcfarland wanted these students to succeed and not to see them struggle because, in the end, the way your students do reflects what teacher you are at the end of the day. He turned Roes’s way of using his mind to interest him in reading and creating stories and used his weakness to make him stronger.
Rose, Mike. “Live on The Boundary.” Https://Ericdrown.uneportfolio.org/Wp-Content/Uploads/Sites/5/2018/12/Coates_BetweenTheWorldandMe_Excerpt.Pdf, 1989, ericdrown.uneportfolio.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2018/12/Coates_BetweenTheWorldandMe_Excerpt.pdf.
Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me. ericdrown.uneportfolio.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2018/12/Coates_BetweenTheWorldandMe_Excerpt.pdf.