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

I mean, I guess I am…

A question has been posed to me and my fellow classmates asking if we think that we’re writers. The only response that I can think of is I guess I am a writer. If I wasn’t a writer I wouldn’t be typing these words right now. I wouldn’t have anything to turn in for my assignments like projects one or two. I wouldn’t have made it this far in life without being a writer in some sense. So yes I am a writer, but only in the most basic sense; I can do it when I’m asked to do it. I turn in assignments for grades just so I will be able to continue studying things that actually are interesting to me. By no means am I a writer who enjoys writing. There is no such thing as an easy writing assignment for me. I can’t even fathom how people can write for fun. In my about me page I made, in my opinion, a spot on analogy for writing: “Asking me to write about [uninteresting topic] is more like washing the dishes after thanksgiving with my right hand behind my back while the rest of the family starts dessert. Give me an assignment on [something interesting] and it’s like taking out the garbage (I have a short driveway) but with full use of both hands. Still a chore but not too difficult at all.” 

This honestly was one of the easier assignments for me to write since it’s easy for me to complain about how I don’t like writing. And when I say ‘easy’ it still took me over an hour to complete this assignment because writing is so boring to me that I could barely focus on something as simple as a few hundred words.

I keep thinking about my project 2…

… and I’m pretty sure my next rhetorical move will be to look at the peer reviews that I have received, make many corrections based off of those, along with the corrections that professor Lay has given me. With these sources of information that have all of the things that could be changed within my essay, I should be able bring my grade up by a letter at least. First I’ll start with the bigger, more important things that should be corrected, Like citations, fact checking in the book, and using more quotes. Then I’ll move on to the smaller things like punctuation and grammatical errors. Then hopefully after all that is accomplished I’ll have a strong essay to hand in.


Assignment 7B “Heroes of the Frontier”

I think that Eggers decides to be so descriptive when he writes about the family crawling through the scree of the avalanche to, in a way, bring the ending of the book along the “the night is darkest just before the dawn” route. This is very obvious in the sense that they had to overcome the worst obstacle that they have experienced, the avalanche in the pouring rain. They did this to get to their dawn, which was a cabin with a sparkling blue lake and a surprise party inside, even though they were the only people in the cabin. In the slightly less obvious sense, the cabin allowed Josie to finally appreciate her children. We see this on the very last page when Eggers writes “Josie found herself smiling, knowing they had done what they could with what they had, and they had found joy and purpose in every footstep. They had made hysterical music and they had faced formidable obstacles in this world and had laughed and had triumphed and had bled freely but were now naked together and warm, and the fire before them would not die. Josie looked at the bright flaming faces of her children and knew this was exactly who and where they were supposed to be (Eggers 384).” This is a very powerful closing paragraph for the novel in regards to Josie becoming content with her family life. She finally appreciates her children and is comfortable with them and who they are. This is where they’re supposed to be. In this cabin, naked, cold, being warmed by the fire, and together. Now if only Josie had realized this about 382 pages beforehand, she would’ve saved herself so much trouble. By trouble I mean the “night” in the aforementioned metaphor. As soon as her business fails and her divorce, the “night” in her life begins so she decides to run away from her problems and just make things worse. The avalanche and thunderstorm are just the icing on the shitshow cake that is Josie’s life after coming to Alaska. The avalanche is when she gets to the absolute low point of her actions. Then, just as the saying goes, the sun comes up after it is the darkest and they find the cabin with a party set up.

Assignment 6A “Heroes of the Frontier”

Josie has always thought of her children as holding her back in her life. I mentioned an example of this in my blog of “assignment 4” when Josie realized that “interesting people cannot bear children (Eggers 150).” She wants to be interesting even though her having children has ensured that she is not, nor will she ever be, interesting. She sees having the kids as a very negative thing in her life even though, if she were to be a little more positive, they could bring her so much joy to her life. This is a reoccurring theme throughout the book until she goes on a bike ride to get away from her children. While she is appreciating the beauty of nature, she thinks that her children are the reason that she doesn’t do this more often, but then she thinks that “Our children are beautiful, too, but we must find a way to combine these things, so we’re not missing one for the other. Could it be so hard (Eggers 256)?” This shows that she still does appreciate her children at the end of the day even though they stress her out, and honestly, they probably do make her miss out on certain things more than if she wasn’t a mother. Despite these thoughts she still does love them and wants to be able to combine the beauty of nature with the beauty of her children so she wont miss out. This is almost immediately countered by her thoughts when she is drunkenly riding her bike back to their RV. As she attempts to drive straight she thinks “The beauty of this nowhere world. I love this. Where are my children? Can I love this without them? I can and I do. This is my best life. Among this beauty, on my way to them (Eggers 258). This means that she is appreciating the beauty of nature and she doesn’t care where her kids are in that moment. She is perfectly content with loving it without them. This is her best life. Without her kids and in the middle of nowhere, where nothing is predictable.

Assignment 5B “Heroes of the Frontier”

In the early pages of chapter twelve, Josie seems very overwhelmed with taking care of her children, as always. Although in these few pages it seemed like she was even more stressed and tense than normal. This could’ve been because she had been drinking earlier that night, or maybe because she had been woken up to evacuate since there was a wildfire headed for the campground. The combination of these two things definitely were jarring, and would make anybody as unfocused and frantic as she seemed. This behavior carried out until she finally arrived on the highway with the other evacuees and began to drive to safety. The only problem with this is that her impulsive nature made her take the wrong exit. “Where the dirt road met the highway, most of the cars were going left, but she saw a man waving madly. She wanted to follow the other cars but this man–now she saw he was in a yellow uniform–was waving her the other way so passionately that she obeyed, going alone (Eggers 207).” This isn’t anything new though. Being impulsive is in her nature although this may be one of the most blatant examples of it in the book, she has been like this for a while. The reason for how obviously impulsive this action is, might be that she could still be intoxicated from earlier, or that she was startled by being woken in the middle of the night to evacuate because of a wildfire. Normally she comes up with reasons to do impulsive things, like her divorce was the reason she dragged her kids to Alaska to drive around in an old RV.  This time she just outright takes the different exit because she saw a man waving her that way. Even though every other vehicle before her went left, she just had to be different and change her environment around her to being solitary and the only RV on the road. This impulsivity of hers comes back to bite her in the ass because she ends up driving into the wildfire and then has to tell her children that they aren’t in any danger after they turn around even though they still were. This most definitely added to the stress of her having to take care of her children, which most likely intensified her mindset of being overwhelmed.

Josie vs Refugees

Josie is by no means a hero. She left her home for what she thought was a justifiable reason; she divorced her husband. While this may be a good enough reason to move houses or even change the city that you live in, it does not make moving to Alaska, dragging her kids along with her, and living in a piece of crap RV okay. Especially when you take into consideration all of the worse things that are happening in the real world today. Things like the situation in Syria where there are thousands of people that are being forced out of their homes because of the warfare that is going on around them.

Josie is running away from her problems because she doesn’t want to face them. She has difficulty with interacting with people because she has such a negative outlook on humanity and how she’s the only smart one with how she’s living her life by changing it when she gets bored with it, and she gets bored a lot. The Syrian refugees actually fit the the definition of hero; a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. I doubt that they’re admired for what they are going through, but how the parents even act brave in front of their children, just so their children will stay calm, is endlessly admirable.