Monday, November 30, 2009

The Piano

In the play, The Piano Lesson, by August Wilson, the piano is the object that brings their family together. It has a certain meaning to it, which could either make or break their family. It is a symbol that reminds the Charles' family of where they come from and who they are. As the play continues, the piano may have represented the past, but is disrupting the future. The past will always be remembered and an object is unnecessary, especially if that object can possibly bring success to the family. The piano, is like the main character of this play. Even if it is not a real human being, it is the most important part of this play. Without the piano, the Charles' family would not not have a reason to keep it, if it has no meaning to their family's past. The conflict over the piano is compelling because this is what has brought the family apart. Boy Willie would probably have not came back if it was not for the piano. I would sell the piano because if it meant a lot, it will always be remembered. An object is not always needed to keep a story of the past. If selling the piano will benefit the whole family, hopefully with success, then it would be best to sell it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Piano Lesson's Wining Boy

In the play, Piano Lesson, by August Wilson, there is a character named Wining Boy; a unique individual who is not afraid to be himself and speak his mind. He keeps his business to himself. Wining Boy is a person who has, or had goals in his life. He was a musician, sharing his love for music to others. But of course, no one is perfect. Wining boy's gambling problem caused tension between Berniece and him, forcing him to leave her house. Wining Boy is no harm to anyone but with his silent personality, there is something about him that makes me not want to trust him. I know he is a kind-hearted man, but the fact that he has an addiction like gambling, makes me wonder if he has done other things too, which might have affected his career as a musician.

Wining boy has some similarities and differences between the characters. With Boy Willie, they both do what they want and nothing can stop them. They both have that strong personality that makes them a powerful individual. As for Lymon, both Wining Boy and Lymon have a story to be told. However, Lymon rather keep it to himself unlike Wining Boy who shares whatever he can offer. Wining Boy and Doaker are different but share similar beliefs. Doaker acts as the older brother, even if he is not. He is more responsible that Wining Boy. But they do share the same beliefs; the belief that the piano is something scared to the family and is something that cannot be taken away from them.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Family Album

Imelda Guevara Gerodias Carrillo

October 21, 1965, on the island of the Philippines, in a small province called San Pedro Laguna, Melchor Gerodias and Rosa Guevara gave birth to a beautiful girl named Imelda Carrillo, my mom. My grandparents named her after the wife of the former President Ferdinand Marcos. Imelda Marcos was also known for her gigantic shoe collection. My mom is the ninth child among ten kids in her family, making her the youngest girl. As a little girl, her older brothers and sisters began to start their own family, so she grew up with my older cousins and treated them like her younger siblings. She would baby sit them when their parents were gone. She would even take them to school and out with her friends.

I have not yet heard of stories during my mom’s childhood and elementary years. However, her high school stories are greatly known. I have met a lot of her high school friends and would always tell me about their high school years. My mom and her high school girl friends created a group called “the Eyeliner” group. They would wear thick, black eyeliner everyday and if they did not wear it for a day, they would not be in the group. My mom’s group, her being the leader, was the most popular group in their class. According to the stories my mom’s friends have told me, everyone wanted to be just like my mom. My mom was even their high school prom queen! Her friends also told me how many guys were romantically going after her. She was the eye candy for all guys because she had the looks and the personality of a goddess I have never heard any stories about her boyfriends, as if she is trying to hide something. I do not know.

My mom attended a college called Makati Medical Center. At first, she wanted to be a
flight attendant because she wanted to be able to see the United States. She eventually fell in love
with nursing and studied to become a nurse. She would wear a white, button up shirt with a
matching skirt and opaque stockings along with her white shoes. She also had to wear a hairnet
with a white hat to keep her hair away from her face. My mom told me that she never studied.
All her teachers were guys, who had crushes on her so she would help correct papers and give
her a passing grades. It seems a little unfair! Actually, my mom is a pretty intelligent woman.

During nursing school was when my mom and dad met. I do not actually know when
they met, but I remember my mom telling me that my dad was head over heels about her. He
would do many things to get her attention and eventually she allowed herself to go on a date with him. My dad would pick her up everyday from school in his motorcycle. He was studying to
become a dentist and went to school around there too. I never really got the full story of their
relationship but I will always remember the story of how they decided to get married.

It was 1987 and my mom’s oldest sister was already a citizen of the United States. My
Aunt decided to petition my grandparents, my mom, and some of their other brothers and sisters. My mom told my dad she was going to America to live there with her family. I do not really know if she told him, she wanted to end their relationship. I just know that when she told him, my dad found a way to get himself to America. Lucky for him, his uncle was also a citizen of the United States and was willing to petition him. My dad was almost done with his dentistry
school, but discontinued his studies to come to America. In fact, he came to America before my
mom did. My dad quit his dream of becoming a dentist to follow my mom. That is what I call
true love. Two years later, October 28, 1989, to be exact, was when they got married.

My mom had an interesting career path. She did not use her LVN (Licensed Vocational
Nursing) license immediately, rather she did other careers, along the same field. When she first
came to America, she worked with my grandma at a nursing home. My mom also worked at USF
(University of San Francisco), as a research associate until she gave birth to me and got
tendonitis. When I started school, she actually took time off. She was able to pick me up from
school, make my costumes for my dance recitals, and even obtain an esthetician license. Not
only is she a nurse but she can do facials too! She finally realized she had to go back to work.
Her first job as a nurse was at San Mateo County Union. She was helping people in all kinds of
fields like in the main medical center and gynecology. She was working there until my sister was
born in 2000. Eventually she moved and started working in Allergy clinics. One of her patients
was J.T. Snow, a former SF Giants, baseball player. She even got tickets for baseball games from
him. After a few years of working at different allergy clinics, she needed a change. She switched
to VA Medical Center, where she still works today. Just last year, my mom received her Registered Nurse license.

My mom has accomplished many things in her life. She works hard for the money, but
has always told me that money cannot buy you happiness. The reason for becoming a
nurse is because she has the opportunity to help other people and make a difference in their life.
Of course she is working to help pay for our education and other needs, but money is not the
reason for her great working ability. My mom has taught me great lessons in life. She has always
been there for me when never I need her. I can tell her anything and everything and I must say,
she gives the best advice. She has taught me to be the woman I am today. My mom is my best
friend and I have learned that trust and love is what brings us closer together. She has always told me, “ Education is the best gift I can give you.”, and everyday I think about that. That saying
pushes me to do well in school and to be thankful that I have the opportunity to go to college, as
well as put my parents money into good use. I hope to follow into the footsteps of my mom and
be a great role model to my children, as she is to my sister and I.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Jim Crow Era

The Jim Crow era was a rough time for the black people.
It was era when discrimination between the white and blacks
were taken seriously. Reason for it is so the blacks and white
would have no contact with another and that so it would be clear
that the whites would be the first class citizens. In the article,
"Racial Etiquette: The Racial Customs and Rules of Racial
Behavior in Jim Crow America" and in “Tales of Jim Crow”,
a narrative from the book, The Mee Street Chronicles,
show examples of the Jim Crow etiquette.

In the article it discusses how black people were treated during
this era. Most of the information was a repeat to me, but every
time I hear about this discrimination, it shocks me. I cannot believe
how bad discrimination was in the past. With blacks having call white
people with a certain title or not even allowed to use public places when
white people are around disappoints me. There are so many rules that the
black community had to deal with. It seemed as it was better for them to
move to a different country and receive better rights than America had for them.

In the narrative, the scene, "Uptown on Gay Street", stuck out to me the most.
The fact that the character was not allowed to try on a bathing suit showed me
how rude and uptight white folks were. If a white person would say no, the answer
is no. Unlike today, you have the opportunity to say how you feel without anyone
stopping you. The poor character could not speak back and say how she felt. If she
did, more trouble would come her way. I enjoyed that story is because it showed
controversy between the black character and the white saleswoman and how the
Jim Crow rules was no joke.

I know how it feels to be discriminated by my color and race. As an Asian woman,
I have received a lot of racist comments that are very unnecessary and untrue.
Although it is a new era, and discrimination is not as extreme as before, I can
understand how bad black folks had it.Reading the article and the narrative,
allowed me to realize how lucky I am to live in an area where equality is being
honored. But no matter there will always be discrimination among races, but
thankfully not to the extreme as in the Jim Crow era.

Friday, October 9, 2009

President Obama and the Noble Peace Prize

News has it that President Obama has received the Nobel Peace Prize. To my surprise, I did not know a President can receive such an award. Apparently they can. President Obama was the forth president, along with Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Jimmy Carter, to receive this special award. As President Obama talks about receiving this award, he uses this as an opportunity to reach out to everyone. I find this such a selfless act. If I were to receive an award, I would thank everyone, mainly it would be about me. But not for President Obama. His selfless act is what caught my attention. It shows me that he is really doing his job as President - concern for citizen before himself. I believe that is what makes a good President. Someone who can put others before themself. As a young citizen, I believe President Obama deserves this award.

However, other political figures such as Aaron David Miller and Shen Dingli, disagree. They believe that President Obama's process is very slow and nothing as been accomplished yet, and therefore, do not believe he deserves this award. They do believe that in a few years he might be able to change somethings. I find this very upseting. They are already critizing President Obama's work when he has just started his term. It takes time to change things, as promised, especially with the damage that President Bush has left for him. I do believe that President Obama can accomplish his goals but of course it will take a lot of time. That is what Aaron David Miller and Shen Dingli need to realize. They need to realize that President Obama's job is not easy and that everything can be done instantly. They need to give him time and they will see the process President Obama has done.

At least for James Goldgeiger, he believes that President Obama deserve some type of award; in his opinion, a "prospective" award. James Goldgeiger realizes President Obama's short time in office. For James, he sees this award not for the accomplisments he has done in this short period, but more of what the comittee sees as a possibilty to help world affairs. I believe James is right. With just the short period that President Obama has been President, we do not know what he can accomplish within the next few years. All we can do is hope that something is done and have confidence in our President. We must acknowldege that President Obama has the hardest job in the country. In my opinion, President Obama has been doing his job. As citizens, all we must do is wait and hope for the best.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Eighth Grade Drama

Till this day, I can picture what Agnes did to me like it was yesterday. I can still
remember the embarrassment that Agnes caused. Agnes was my best friend since the
first grade. She was short with long black hair. She had chubby cheeks, which created an urge to
pinch, but had a nose like a pig. Agnes was not very attractive, but she had a voice so loud and a
personality that overtook the whole class. Everyone was scared of her. I was in eighth grade at
St. Veronica Catholic School when this started.

It was after lunch when Agnes started bullying me. Agnes, our other friend, Alison, and I
just finished eating our hot lunch, and it was then time to go to our usual spot, the basketball
court grounds. As we walked down to the lower yard, I noticed something different about Agnes
and Alison. Agnes had her arms on Alison’s shoulders and whispered something to her. Both
looked at me and started to whisper something again. As we reached our usual spot, Agnes and
Alison did not talk to me. Instead, they decided to walk away. I later found out that they were
going around telling our class not to talk to me. Julia, one of our classmates, was nice enough to
tell me what was going on. She told me that Agnes had told her not to talk to me because I was
annoying and all I did was follow her around. I did not know what to say. I was confused and
upset mainly because she decided to tell everyone before she confronted me about it. As for
Julia, she knew that Agnes was up to something and told me that she will always be there for me.
The lunch bell rang and that meant it was time for music class. In the classroom, my seat
was right next to Agnes, which made me feel uncomfortable. Once music class started, our
teacher instructed us to start singing the song we will be sing for the upcoming mass, Come open
our hearts. After we finished singing, Agnes told me that I should not sing. She told me that I do
not sing well and that it hurt her ears. I was embarrassed. I really did not think I sounded that
bad, so I decided to lip sync the song instead. As we were about to take notes, I noticed she was
watching me write. After I wrote down the notes that the teacher wrote on the board, she told me my handwriting was ugly and that she had better handwriting than me. First my singing voicethen my writing. What was next? I tried to ignore her but I could just feel the tears coming.

The next few days, I would hear rude comments from Agnes and even my classmates
joined along. My classmates believed I had an accent and that I should learn how to speak
English properly. They would usually make racist comments about me, like telling me that I
should go back to Asia and pick rice. Agnes continued to make fun of the way I dressed, danced,
sing, etc. Everything I did she would make a rude comment. I would come home crying and
depressed. I felt like I wanted to move schools and go far away from those people. But I knew
that was not going to happen. So I decided to tell my cousin Berna, who also went to St.
Veronica’s with me. I told her everything that was going on and that I did not know what to do.
She told me not to show that I am affected by their actions or they will continue on. As for
Agnes, she told me that Agnes was jealous of me and that is why she is acting that way.
I decided to take her advice. The next day I ignored what the comments my classmates
made and just continued on with what was most important, getting good grades. Every time they
would say something I would just shrug my shoulders and walk away. Eventually they got fed up
and it looked like they realized that I did nothing wrong. Most apologized, but not Agnes.
I did not care anymore. We were graduating soon and I knew we would find better friends in
high school. Agnes realized that I was no longer being teased so she eventually apologized and
we enjoyed the time we had left together. Time has passed and till this day we remain good
friends. Mrs. Root, my sixth grade teacher always said, “All friends fight. Fighting allows you
to see a different side of the person which can develop a better relationship with another.”