Herstory Reaction

In Emily’s “You Can’t See the Stars in Hempstead” she begins by talking about how her and her friend were laying outside by what was left of a campfire looking at the stars. This immediately reminds me of how I spend some of my summer nights and took me to somewhat of a happy place, since I have experienced similar nights to the one she’s describing. Looking up and finding Orion’s Belt with ease since I was a child is something that I can relate to with Emily. What she follows with, however, I’m grateful that I can’t relate. She talks about her friend going to any college she wanted to and then her not being able to leave New York to go to college because her parents don’t want her to go too far away. She also talks about how her house is unfinished and cold and falling apart. Her family doesn’t have money to fix the house or to even put in heating and I’m grateful that my family doesn’t have this problem. She still says that the house makes her happy though. She grew up there and she felt that this way of life was normal for her and everyone that she grew up with.

It wasn’t until Hofstra that she met people whose families were better off than hers. She says that they talked of “spacious homes with beautiful back yards, like the kind my mom would save pictures of from her Better Homes and Gardens magazines. And they spoke of beach houses along the shoreline, and some even spoke of third and fourth homes.” Emily then goes on to say how she responded to this type of conversation since she only has the one house, and only feels the need for that one house, while her friends are complaining about selling their beach houses.

My family is by no means poor, but my parents have done a very good job raising me so that I at least know the value of a dollar and so I’m sensitive to other people’s financial problems. Never will you find me speaking like one of her friends, trying to say “oh I’m not that rich, I only have one house and my dad’s hunting cabin”, because that is insensitive to other people and I realize that. Humility is a necessary thing in life and some people don’t realize that, and that is a terrible thing.


Herstory Tags and Summaries Pt. 2

Yolanda Gress

  1. Cold
  2. Winter
  3. Homless
  4. Jesus
  5. Children
  6. Blankets
  7. Kindness
  8. Car
  9. Language Barrier
  10. Parking Lot
  11. Home
  12. Thankful

Yolanda Gress tells about a time when she was driving her son to a high schooler’s house for tutoring. On the way, she and her son see a homeless man at a red light who is suffering in the harsh January weather. Her son comments on the state of the man and they both wish to help, but she hesitates and drives on. Before he leaves, her son asks her to look for the man on the way back home. She holds true to this and goes off to find the man to give him blankets and a ride to wherever he was walking.


Elizabeth Heyn

  1. Moving (Homes)
  2. Family Death
  3. Nazi
  4. Discrimination
  5. Unexpected Happiness
  6. Greatful
  7. Jewish
  8. Restricted
  9. Protection
  10. “Jew House”
  11. Regulation
  12. Holocaust

In this novel by Elizabeth Heyn, she recounts her past in Nazi Germany. In this excerpt she tells how she moves from her original home to a “Jew House” where she is happier since she doesn’t yet understand the discrimination against her people, she is just happy she has her own room. Her family has to adapt to the new rules and regulations that are being enforced the Nazis. In the excerpt from chapter twelve she continues with her new way of life.


“Alone and Broken”- Angie DePuy

  1. Work
  2. Sadness
  3. Cold
  4. Homeless
  5. Abandoned house
  6. Mother
  7. Numb
  8. Home
  9. Safety
  10.  Stoned
  11.  School
  12.  Abuse

In “Alone and Broken,” Angie DePuy reflects on the abuse that leads her to become homeless. She grows up with an abusive mother, and after a near death experience, DePuy escapes and doesn’t look back. For two years, she lives in an abandoned house while working and attending school. Despite the decrepit conditions of the abandoned house, she feels safer and more comfortable there than at home with her mother. Her experiences cause her to lose all faith.


“Climbing Forever” by Muriel Weyl

  1. Stairs
  2. Climbing
  3. Steps
  4. Snell Painting
  5. Soleri bells
  6. Tiles
  7. Carpet
  8. Art
  9. Age
  10. Life
  11. Death
  12. Future
  13. Memories

“Climbing Forever” by Muriel Weyl is a story about her home and her memories. She reminisces about her past with her friends, when they would go to art shows, collect art, and various other works like soleri bells. Weyl now eighty-one still wants to work on projects and build onto her staircase. A new stair for each year of her life.

“To Hold You in My Arms” by Stephany Ramirez

  1. Immigration
  2. Dominican Republic
  3. America
  4. Airport
  5. Separation
  6. Reunion
  7. Family
  8. Home
  9. Moving
  10. New york City
  11. Spanish
  12. Community

Stephany Ramirez tells her story of her separation and her reunion with her parents. From growing up in the Dominican Republic to flying to America to see her parents again. Ramirez talks about her life in the Dominican Republic and how anxious she was to leave and start a new life. She leaves behind her friends and her family and many other things in the Dominican Republic for a new life in America.

Herstory Tags and Summaries Pt. 1

“You Can’t See the Stars in Hempstead” – Emily Porter
Leaving moving/migration
Money/financial stress/poverty/economic group
Small town

In “You Can’t See the Stars in Hempstead,” Emily Porter reflects on growing up in a small town in her unfinished home. Her transition to Hofstra is difficult, as she adjusts to her new life. Her friends have experienced lavish lifestyles, while she grew up struggling with money. Porter cannot imagine her life without her home; despite it being far from perfect, it defines who she is.


Amanda Topping

  1.     Relationships
  2.     Dating
  3.     love
  4.     Anger
  5.     Verbal abuse
  6.     Physical Abuse
  7.     Abusive relationships
  8.     Aggression
  9.     Pain
  10.  Pregnancy
  11.  Parenthood
  12.  Protection

Amanda Topping was in, what seemed like, a perfect relationship. As time went on, her significant other, Jordan, began being verbally and physically abusive. The abuse continued throughout her pregnancy and parenting. Through it all, Topping used love to justify Jordan’s actions, but after a life changing incident, she reaches her breaking point.


“The Last time I would Hold my Daughter”- Brooke

  1. Police
  2. Arrest
  3. Fighting
  4. Family
  5. Motherhood
  6. Daughter
  7. Overdose
  8. Drugs
  9. Heroin
  10.  Hiding
  11.  CPS
  12.  Foster Care

In “The Last time I would Hold my Daughter,” Brooke reflects on the day her daughter was taken away from her. Brooke’s friend had overdosed in the home, with Brooke and her daughter inside. Because of this, officers question Brooke. Despite her efforts to hide, CPS enters and takes her daughter away.


“A Childhood Taken”- Erika Vasquez

  1. Childhood
  2. Violence
  3. Rape
  4. Drugs
  5. Bad times
  6. Memories
  7. The past
  8. Innocence
  9. Swing
  10. Nightmares
  11. Safety
  12. Family

Erika Vasquez was forced to grow up faster than she needed to. In “A Childhood Taken,” Vasquez reflects on the incident that changed her life. At only seven years old, Vasquez was raped. The incident haunts her for the rest of her life.


“I was the Intruder”-  Andreia Davies

  1. Memories
  2. Pain
  3. Scar
  4. Harassment
  5. Stereotypes
  6. Ashamed
  7. Vulnerable
  8. Migration
  9. Outsider
  10. Home
  11. Helpless
  12. Struggles

In “I was the intruder,” Andreia Davies discusses what it was like growing up as a child of immigrants. Adapting to a new country is harsh for her and her family. She was harassed for being different, which made her feel out of place and like an intruder. She feared speaking up, and although she was not any different from the people around her, the teasing continued.


Pamela Toledo’s Story

  1. Work
  2. Spanish
  3. Bilingual
  4. Language
  5. Comfort
  6. Father
  7. Daughter
  8. Mexico
  9. Migration
  10. Discrimination
  11. Selfless
  12. Transfer schools

Pamela Toledos is the daughter of an immigrant from Mexico. Her father tirelessly worked to provide for his children. She was embarrassed by him growing up, since he didn’t speak English. She begins to appreciate everything her father has done for her, and realizes he would do anything for her success and happiness