Witty and original title for a blog post about Mean

Growing up in our modern society has its up and downs, as there are expectations one must meet to be “successful”. Throughout the first section of “Mean”, Myriam Gurba details her life story and discusses what it was like growing up in California, and the unique experiences she went through. She does not fit in with the “normal” crowd, as she is very different from them in various ways. During my reading of the first section of this novel, I noticed a pattern of Gruba dealing with circumstances most girls do not.

In one instance, Gurba was sitting in her school’s cafeteria and she noticed a boy was smiling at her. Like any social person, she attempts to talk to this boy for him to use a racial slur to describe the size of her lips (23). What’s peculiar about this exchange is that she was stereotyped as an African American, when in reality, she is Mexican. This shows that ignorance shows no boundaries, that all minorities are associated with one another and can’t break free of racial stereotypes and slurs. The most interesting part of this situation is that Gurba explains from where she got her puffy lips from – from her half polish father (23). Poland is a white country, and yet this boy made fun of Gurba for having those traits.  This situation shows the challenge of growing up in America as a minority, being put down because of the color of her skin. She is judged on the look of her lips because her skin is shades darker than the boy’s was. This exchange alone shows how different Gurba’s life is from most other people, she deals with blind, ignorant racism.

An event that had a big impact on Gurba was when she was molested by her peer, Macaulay. She was touched in broad daylight and did not give any form of consent to allow it (32). She discusses how he used many different ways to make her uncomfortable during class, he even used a pencil sometimes! Their teacher did not do a thing about it, as he just pretended that he didn’t see it and would continue on with the class. The touching still has an impact on Gurba, as she details that the event is always with her, so she’s never “alone” (33). She had to deal with this while growing, and even after maturation, she’s still dealing with the effect of the touching on her mental health. She also brings up how the deaths of Mendieta and Sophia have had an impact on her too, as they were “touched to death by men” (33). The survivor’s guilt she lives with takes a massive toll on her mental health, and stunts progress for her. Not many kids deal with survivor’s guilt while growing up, but here Gurba does and she has to live out the rest of her days with it. 

 

Myriam Gurba has lived a difficult life to this point, she starts out this novel by giving play by play analysis of watching her friend Sophia be raped and murdered on a baseball field. She has faced many difficulties most people don’t have to in their lifetime, and she went through this as a child. Gurba clearly does not fit the normal mold of a girl growing up, she does not fit into any stereotypical social clique (like in the movie Mean Girls). She, despite all this, did persevere and become successful, but still has to live with the survivor’s guilt and PTSD that came from her childhood.

 

What do you think of the awful events that shaped Gurba’s life?

 

 

 

 

 

While reading Emily Badgers  Whites Have a Huge Wealth Edge Over Blacks (but don’t know it), I found myself reading certain sentences and then imagining how someone might respond with an argument over the research and material Badger references. I decided to take a few statements from the researchers she interviews in the article, and rearrange the sentences in a way that would mirror a counter ‘argument’ or more rightly put, a biased opinion.  I chose this piece for my found poem because it triggered the anger and frustration that I’ve been feeling over the last few years as I have come to understand more about our country and society.

Reading this article, I was also reminded of the themes and rhetoric around the subject of inequality that I have heard growing up in a relatively wealthy, liberal town. People in my hometown really like to pride themselves with not being racist, and believing in a post-racial society, where these issues have been ‘overcome’. It wasn’t until moving away and then returning that I saw how untrue those ideas were, in addition to the fact that those beliefs are actually a major cause of what continues to fuel the inequality and wealth gap. This article summed up information that has been known, and circulated through media time and time again, and it emphasizes white Americas unwillingness to acknowledge its continuity. In my poem, I attempted to highlight a consistent theme of that unwillingness that I observe in the media and in conversations with people of varying political backgrounds.

 

Source:

Badger, Emily. “Whites Have Huge Wealth Edge Over Blacks (but don’t know it).” The New York Times 18 Sep. 2017: 7. The New York Times Web. 5 Nov. 2017.

I’m a Warrior

My Found Poem is from the song Warrior by Demi Lovato. I chose this song because Demi and I grew up with similar family dynamics. This song in particular was the best for me to pull apart and rearrange in a way that fit me.

As many of you know, I haven’t been in class lately. An incident occured and I’ve been hiding myself in my room every day. This is a position that I’ve unfortunately been in before. But enough is enough. I will no longer let the situation(s) get me down. I’m not broken. I am taking my life back. I am a warrior. And I will see you all on Monday, guaranteed.

 

World Of Dog Fighting

I based my found poem on an article I found on the ASPCA website relating to dog fighting in America. I chose this article because I am an animal lover and animal cruelty is what makes me most angry. I will never understand how people do not realize that animals are living breathing organisms. They are constantly mistreated all over the world, especially when it comes to dog fighting. Even though dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states, it has been pushed underground and behind closed doors. It still occurs everywhere and it needs to be put to an end. I very much enjoyed writing this poem. I realized while making it that it was a great way to express my feelings about the topic in the way that I wanted to. Overall I really liked doing this assignment and look forward to hearing what my classmates thought about it as well. 

Found Poem : Rape Allegations

 

My found poem uses words from an article found on the website, “Psychology Today”. The article is about Rape Allegations and accusations that take place in society. The reason I chose this article was because this is an issue in the U.S that seemingly never can be solved. It’s horrible to think that people have to suffer through this every single day. I enjoyed creating and reading this project, because everyone’s is unique and creative when we mix and match the words from our different articles. I chose to sort the words in a particular way, because it gives the poem more meaning.

found poem

 

My poem is based off the highly controversial song “Rape Me” by Nirvana. Although Kurt Cobain (rest his soul) wrote this song as an anti-rape song, it was still met with criticism because of the obscene lyrics. This song would clearly be offensive to victims of rape and others affected by the crime. I used this song for the poem because it is highly offensive, despite the best intentions of the writer.  I tried rearranging the lyrics used in the song to make three stanzas, and I didn’t do much to really make this jump out at the reader. A main lyric I focused on was “I’m not the only one” to try and signify that there are over 321,500 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in our country.

Words

For my found poem, I chose to use an article on the 2006 Duke Lacrosse team scandal. The event occurred when 3 members of the Duke Lacrosse team, were falsely accused of raping a woman whom they had hired to dance at a house party. During this case, the media jumped straight to the conclusion that the three white men were guilty, even though it never even made it to trial. Despite the fact that the three players were found innocent, this did not stop the impact that the scandal had on their lives. Families of the players claim that the three mens’ lives were ruined after this event as no institution, or business wanted anything to do with them. Causing their lives to turn into a harsh struggle despite the fact that the claims were found to be not true.

I titled the poem “Words” because this event showcases the power of words, and what just one person can do with a lie. Words like trial have been put off to the side of the poem replicating what was done in real life. More importantly, the phrase “the truth” has been turned upside-down and tossed to the side as well, also replicating what the media did to the truth in the case. I did not include any of the names of the people involved in the event because of how easy it is for something like this to happen in any other case. Lives can be changed forever simply with words.

This is America by Childish Gambino

This is America, slippin’ up, livin’, Police be trippin’

America, Guns, I gotta carry ’em, This is guerilla, I’m so cold

Tell somebody, tell somebody, black man, black man

This is America, this is a cell

America, You owe, black man

You, kenneled him, no proper life.

The song “This is America” by Childish Gambino is considered one of the most controversial songs of 2018. The music video depicts things like gun violence that made citizens question the levels of equality still in our society today. I put together this poem to remind people of the mistreatment of black citizens throughout our country’s history. I wanted to highlight this problem in our society, as equality is something we still need to strive for. People of all races need to speak up and come together to progress our culture as a whole.

Now to my poem. I put together the poem in a very strategic pattern. For one, the background is very bland and dark. I felt this would be fitting as it creates this very cold undertone on the poem. Also, this isn’t a brick wall where all the bricks are the same size; I used this as it related to the unequal treatment of different citizens in our country. Next I made certain phrases larger than the other words. I did this so it isolates phrases that connect America to the inequalities felt by black citizens. Words like “cold,” “cell, and”kenneling” highlight the idea that black citizens have been isolated and pushed down, repressing them as a whole. Another key factor of the format is how the lines are arrange. First, all of the lines are spaced horizontally with different spaces to exemplify the uneven opportunity that our country had faced. Second, the last line purposely is slanted off. The line “no proper life,” is slanted off to reiterate the idea of inequality. All the other lines are level, but I slanted that last line to grab the reader’s attention and let that idea sit with each individual. Overall, I hope my display of inequality shines a lot the problem that lies in our everyday lives.

 

 

Found Poem!

I did my found poem on a topic that happens way more than it should, School Shootings. This article was published by The Washington Post and was trending for months. This article talking about how 2018 was the deadliest year for school shootings compared to deployed service members. I used this article because it has a topic that me the most upset. With this article, I first used white-out to get rid of words that did not relate as much to the event. After whiting out words, I printed out another copy of this article and cut out the words that I left on the first copy. Then, I set up the words I left out in a way that would make this long repetitive article show its meaning. This poem isn’t as long because a good amount of the words repeated too many times, which also isn’t a bad thing. What I tried to do with my poem is to show the reader that through terrible situations we make break from,  we can all come together.