Posted in English Homework

“Describe the choices that led him to the failed assignment.”

In Sergei Kourdakov’s autobiography he’s made many choices throughout his life to get him to were he is today. But only some of the choices were ones he talked about, the important ones.

Army vs. Navy

This was an easier choice out of the rest, he wanted the hardest training, something to really test and challenge him, and from what he heard he would get that from the Navy.

Lenin Prayer vs. the Slave Labor City

This was a huge blow to his morals and his mental and emotional standing. He looked up to the Russian Communist Party, viewed it as his family. It was part of him.

And having someone that used to be part of it, that was stationed in a very important city, and say that it was worthless? That he got barely anything out of it, that everything Kourdakov had been told or learned were all lies?

That what he just got into, something he wanted so bad, was going to be awful and not worth the effort? It hit him hard, you can tell when reading that chapter. Even when he says “I ignore him” you can still feeling the lingering of doubt, of second guessing, of pain.

A struggle between faith, faith in anything, vs a terrible truth about it. These are some of the hardest struggles, because it’s all up to you, there is no one else that can say “No this one is the right one!” Because you know that you won’t fully believe them. You have to decide which one is right for yourself. And that’s what he did.

Joining a Crime Syndicate vs. Staying Clean

This was another hard one for him, having all his friends become criminals, it would have been incredibly easy for him to fall in with them. He already seemed to have a place ready for him, his friends wanted him there with them. Just like the old days!

But that’s one thing, it would have been easy. And he wanted something hard and challenging, but a bigger reason he decided to stay clean was because he saw just how easy it was to get caught, to get stabbed, shot, killed.

He wanted to get somewhere in his career, he wanted to feel accomplished and praised for actually doing something worth being praised over. Not doing something easy for easy money. He wanted something he loved, which were politics. But for politics he had to stay clean, so he did, he left behind his friends and his past, for the thing he loved and wanted most.

Telling the Truth vs. Telling a Lie

This was a battle between morals, between the moral of doing the right thing and the moral of doing whatever he can to get himself farther in his career.

The latter may have won, but it didn’t entirely, every time he speaks of it, there is an undertone of regret and even subtle sadness. Not just from thinking about how someone would throw their life away just to get away from the Naval Academy, but from how the Naval Academy covered it up.

Couldn’t let others know what really happened, and how Kourdakov was one of the very few that knew that that man wasn’t in a drunken stupor, he knew exactly what he was doing, that he jumped of his own volition.

All these things mixed up his views and morals and led him to fail the mission.

Posted in Uncategorized

Turning points in my life

Ever since I was little I remember my parents being divorced.

And that isn’t a bad thing, I don’t remember a lot of when I was young, but I do remember when I told people that they’d always reply with “Oh, I’m so sorry” and as I kid I had no idea why!

They left each other on good terms, wanting to put their kids first, just like how most divorces should go.

So I don’t remember them ever being together when I was younger, I’ve been told they were, but one of the earliest memories I have is when they were divorced. So I never really had two parents in one house unless my Dad came to visit.

Until later when we heard the news of my Mom’s boyfriend and her wanting to get married.

One of the major turning points in my life was my Mom getting re-married, now most kids would have a problem with this but my siblings and I were all really happy for our Mom!

She seemed so much more lively after she met him, so when we got the news about them getting married, we were all happy for them.

One thing though, is that we had to move to where he was because he owned his house and we only rented, so it was easier. But the packing and moving didn’t bother us, we’d done it numerous times when I was little, so this wasn’t a big deal.

What was a big deal was the first time we met his daughters in person, we only met one in person first, she was the one that lived with their Dad. The other lives with their Mom, so we wouldn’t be able to meet her until later in the year.

I don’t remember much about meeting them, just that at first I was terrified they wouldn’t like me, that it had been building up ever since we got into the moving vehicles.

But I also remember being relieved.

Relieved, not only because they did end up liking me, but because I liked it there, they were nice, my Mom seemed so alive. I know that even if I didn’t like it there, I wouldn’t have minded because I almost always got to see a smile on my Mom’s face.

This was a big turning point in my life because, we had been moving all over the place because of my Mom’s job in the military and us being perfectly fine with it, just making friends and then moving away, to suddenly, not only did we have another parent in the house, an authority figure that wasn’t just a temporary babysitter or my siblings. But we had more family, and we stayed in the house for more than just a few years.

Things felt different too, at first it felt like I shouldn’t do things or touch things, but that’s how I am around any persons house, any house that isn’t my own. But soon it felt like home, when we had our rooms set up, when we had our stuff again, it felt like I could go out into the living room and watch TV if I wanted to.

Which helped me in the long run of making friends with my new family.

To this day we’re still in that house, things have changed, sure everything does, people have moved out, we’ve grown as people. But we’re still here, and when people talk about their childhood home, I don’t think about the ones I lived in before here, I always think of this one. This family. The two families that were broken after a failed marriage each, that found happiness together.

That is the biggest turning point in my life, because we all became truly happy.

Posted in English Homework, Literature

English lesson 20 assignment

I honestly have a few of the stories I remember in a lot of detail, but only one always gets my blood pumping when I think of it. My person favorite, the bus with no breaks.

Reading about him as a little kid, nothing more than a child, at the front of the bus. You can just see the grin and slight smugness in being in an important role, the pride he felt.

The rush of adrenaline when they went through the red light.

The look of horror when he realized.

Realized they had no control of the speed, when they had to try to stay calm when the red lights were up ahead, when traffic was so close to them but they couldn’t stop.

Tried not to freak the passengers out with the fact.

The joy, pride, exasperation, the relief  after they managed to stop at their destination, when they had just gone on a – literal – ride of their life.

And the guilt, the heartbreak and the shame after yelling, for everyone to hear, what had happened. The breaks being out, the loss of control, barely being able to get it there in one piece, without being hit.

You could feel how shattered he felt, because we’ve all had that one moment in time where we’ve said something and immediately regretted it.

Even with some of the passengers thanking the driver and just being so glad they had made it out alive, out of that bus and on to the safe, safe ground. You could still see the boy, even if it was just in your head, standing there. Holding back every emotion he had just felt on the ride. Trying, so hard, not to break in front of everyone.

The story was a true rush of emotions, the pace of your heart, one moment it’s normal and then suddenly it’s beating so hard you can feel it against your rib cage. Your breath catching in your throat because you’re so afraid if you let it out, it might be your last.

I think one of the reasons this story caught my attention and has stayed with me the most out of all of the others may be my fear of the road, with all the bad drivers I’ve seen and nearly being run off the road on numerous occasions, reading this story already had a way to get my blood pumping, my heart racing and the fear building.

But, if it weren’t for him putting in so much effort and detail, for him remembering what it was like and trying his hardest to make us feel and experience what he had gone through, the mental picture of the bus slowly going through the red light after a failed attempt at stopping, the sound of the horns honking ever so slightly muffled and the sound of the wind, pushing against the bus.

The feeling of being there. In those seats, just hoping that they won’t get hit, that they won’t hit someone else, that they’ll make it.

If he hadn’t put all of that in there, I don’t think the story would have felt as real as it did.

Posted in Uncategorized

“Discuss good things that came from his heart attack”

There are quite a few good things that came as a result of his heart attack, some stick out more than others.

The first good things was being forced on him against his wants and desires, a much healthier diet than his original one. One he described with distaste and despise. He didn’t want to change his diet, especially to things he didn’t like. Vegetables, fruits, oatmeal,  all things he described in detail. You could nearly feel the hate for those foods radiating off of the page. But he still did it, he may have wanted to change his diet, but he did not want to chance another heart attack and that was more important.

The second was nearly subconscious, after the heart attack. He didn’t want to smoke, he didn’t need to smoke and he especially didn’t think about smoking. It just wasn’t important anymore, it may never be again.

Another good thing was he finally started putting what he truly cared for first, putting it in the foreground, to take care of those things first. Not spending time on insignificant things, not having to worry about them.

One of those being his love of collecting, even if he had done it off and on again before hand, he started to go out of his way to get them, because he viewed that as important. Even if others thought it was a weird habit or wasn’t worth it, it was important to him and that’s what mattered. He continued collecting the bus signs, signs that had anything to do with buses. He works on collecting harder than he had before, sometimes it ends in success, sometimes it ends in failure. But he keeps trying. He even managed to get on that was high up on his list!

Another was writing, another thing he loved but had no time for, he was going to make time for it. He was finally going to continue one of his passions. He started getting inspiration from all around, one turning into “Kick the can,” which turned into a series of books with “One eyed Mack” and the main character. He also started writing plays at his Wife’s suggestion. Some sounding interesting, others not as much, but he kept trying. Still sometimes ending in success, sometimes ending in failure. One that ended in success, or at least a little bit of success, was Chili Queen. Which he had gotten the inspiration for from one of his drives.

His drives alone was also a good thing that came from the heart attack, just getting away and relaxing in what felt like a new world. He enjoyed the view, looking at everything go by, exploring places he had and hadn’t been to before. Seeing a story in something or making it up himself.

Napping was one of the things he kept after recovery, pushing through the teasing and just enjoying a nice hour or two nap.

One of the most important has to be the romper room. They helped him in a way that no one else could at the time, they let him think, say and laugh at the dark and scary thoughts. And that has to be one of the most important things that happened. Getting it off your chest and out of your head, everyone has that group of friends, or even just that one friend that you can say everything dark to and laugh at it.

Posted in English Homework, Literature

Three stories I can’t leave out of my autobiography

  1. Always smile

Everyone has a ‘neutral face,’ a face that, while relaxing, doesn’t really show emotion or reaction because they are spacing out or not paying attention. Well, I have something that is called, in better terms, “Resting dog face” which, basically, just makes it look like I’m angry when in all reality I’m just thinking. Not fun. Often when I’m zoning out, someone will ask, “Are you okay?” Them thinking I was upset about something. When I was younger it was a lot more common, so naturally I came to the conclusion that, “Never again would I hear someone ask that question! I was going to always smile!” It had been a little while when I finally started to notice something, I had been snapping at everyone I knew! Friends, family, even myself! I had been so easy to anger or upset and no one knew why. I realized I was using so much effort to smile and try to look happy when, put simply, I wasn’t. While trying to look happy, I had taken away my ability to be happy. After realizing that, I stopped smiling all the time, only smiling when I was actually happy, which is actually pretty often. But, sadly, it did leave a mark on my life, now some family think I’m upset when I’m not smiling. A viscous circle.

2. The question

I’ve always known who I was and I always accepted others for who they were, black, white, straight, gay, bi and whatever in between. When I was around eleven, I had a friend, who was female, that nearly constantly asked if I wanted to date her, I always turned her down. Saying the same things over and over again. “I’m sorry, but I like guys.” Once after I told her that, I started thinking. “Why do I like guys? What about liking a guy is different from liking a girl? Do I only like guys?” I sat and wondered about that all day, just thinking about the self-asked-question. By that night, I had finally come up with my answer. I didn’t care. I didn’t care about gender! I wasn’t straight, but I wasn’t bi. I didn’t know what I was. But I did know that I didn’t care. What I care about is, a good sense of humor, being able to talk to them about anything, and feeling cared for. Gender didn’t define those qualities, the person did. If that hadn’t been the last time she ever talked to me, maybe she would have finally gotten that answer she always wanted. I later in life found out the proper term for this is “Pansexuality” and I’m proud to be it.

3.  I was scared.

I love my family, but I have always felt weird around them, like I had to hide something from my Dad’s side of the family. It was everything. I realized it at the age of 15 that I had to hide almost everything about me that makes me, well, me! My sexuality, my sense of humor, inside jokes with my sister that they’d never let me explain. They still, and probably always will, treat me as a little girl that knows nothing of importance. Like I will never be physically strong and that I should, in near exact words from my Nana, “let the men handle the heavy work.” That having emotions and crying when in any kind of pain is something to be ashamed of and hide or not do at all! That your say, at least most of the time, doesn’t matter. I realized I was uncomfortable there, that I didn’t like visiting for long amounts of time and would rather be home with my Mom, than visiting my Dad. I finally talked about this with my Mom after the possibility of visiting them came up at dinner. Others were visiting at the time, so I talked to her after while we were washing dishes. I came clean about how I felt and we talked about the whole situation while I cried, finally letting out emotions I had bottled up for so long. We came to the agreement that I would only visit now and then, at least until I felt comfortable bringing all of this up with them. But the point was that I was scared to death about how they’d react, and I still am.