They say three aspects of a thriving society are where we’re from, who we know, and how we think. On the flip side of that coin, these very same aspects can ironically be our undoing. That delicate balance can be the difference between a life in prison and a life dedicated to others. Yes, the sobering realities of life can be harsh but it can also shape and mold us into the people that we’re destined to be. In The Other Wes Moore, The lives of two young men are examined through three distinct lenses.
Many individuals say that a person is a product of its surroundings. And for two young men from Baltimore, this could not be any more accurate. In “The Other Wes Moore” by Wes Moore, the author talks about two young boys who shared the same name and the contributions they did in their lives that made them turn out the way they are. Both Wes’ grew up in similar environment with tough childhood and without the presence of a father. Where one becomes very successful and a Rhodes Scholar, and the other is heavily involved in the drug game and receives a life sentence in prison for serving a part in a murder of a former police officer.
In this quote, Wes Moore, the narrator is speaking from his house in Baltimore. Wes does not have many memories with his father because his father died when Wes was a little boy. This reveals that Wes had a difficult childhood. Wes looked up to his father because he was his protector. Wes’s only memories with his father are when he made him apologize to his mother and sister for hitting his sister and watching him die
Going through probation has been an extremely crazy experience. While being on probation it was a big opportunity to turn my life around. Through that journey it showed me that my friends are not really my friends, I did things I never thought I’d do in life, and ended up back into the system; it also made me the person I am today. That one life experience has made a big rotation in my life that I am very proud of and I wouldn’t change anything about it, not one bit.
Shipler’s writing made me look back on my life and feel compassion for those that interviewed. To read some of the struggles that working poor face daily was overwhelming like working odd hours at low rates like Caroline and how she decided to have her teeth removed to get dentures paid by the state only to find out how ill-fitting they were and she couldn’t wear them or life as migrant worker in the fields of North Carolina; which one of my co-workers is from a small town next to Mt. Olive. When I was talking to her about the chapter regarding her hometown area and the housing conditions where the migrant workers lived. What she described was similar to what Shipler stated if not a little worse. She made a point that made me think about it
As I write this, I’m sitting in the air conditioned 20 by 30 foot Campus Ministry room. It makes me feel nostalgic to think that it was just last year I was sitting in a room by the same name with strikingly different characteristics: cramped, muggy, hazy yellow lighting. Since my freshman year the entire building has slowly evolved from the latter to the former. Now as a senior, the renovations are over halfway completed, and it makes me feel funny to think that in the near future the Wahlert of my freshman year will be long forgotten in both appearance and culture. As graduation gets closer, however, I have realized that my frustration toward the internal changes of Wahlert do nothing but overshadow the good memories I have of Wahlert.
My first year at Smith College was a whirlwind; I was elected as the freshman class president, rowed in the first boat on the novice crew team, and maneuvered the social and academic changes every freshman undergoes. I learned a lot about myself, such as what environment I succeed in. Most importantly, I learned that although I can excel, I do not thrive in an environment that highlights intense academic rigor. Rather, I envision myself thriving academically and socially advancing at a university that encompasses academics, social life, athletics, and has a large and diverse student body that resides both on and off campus. I attended a very small high school, and I thought I would find comfort in attending a small liberal arts college.
During my freshman year at Lakeridge High School I have learned so much information in so little time, I cannot believe how much I have grown as a person and as a student. In my Freshman English class, I have grown and expanded my knowledge of what I had barely known before. Coming from the Portland Public School District, I had not learned as much as the other kids coming in from Lakeridge Junior High. This was a major challenge for me in every class, especially English. First semester was extremely rough for me because I had to catch up on what everyone had already known for years; however, over time I have learned to develop my thoughts and look at different aspects of and see a situation through different perspectives.
I am very outgoing and friendly. I am easy to get along with and love to meet new people. I am responsible, dedicated and motivated to whatever task is set in front of me. I love taking on new challenges or duties, especially when I have the opportunity to learn or grow from them. Whatever the situation may be, I am very coachable
It’s pretty crazy how so much can change over a short span of time. People, places, relationships, perspectives. It’s been a year since I began college at Syracuse University and as I sit in my bedroom back home in Bombay and reflect on the past one year, I have a bag full of memories and experiences. Good and bad of course, because what would life be without a few bumps right? I definitely think that going to college was a significant milestone in my life because I’m an only child and the first person in my family getting an education abroad.