Thursday, September 29, 2011
"When I read stories or watched films about grisly metamorphoses--Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the mild husband changing into a werewolf, the kindly neighbor inhabited by a brutal alien--I could not help but see my own father's mutation from sober to drunk" (Saunders 198). This part completely stands out me to because I experience it myself. It's something I see frequently with someone in my immediate family. I see two completely different when he's drinking. When he just starts, he's still the funny guy. But after the alcohol starts kicking, he starts picking fights and attacks others verbally. However, he doesn't become as fierce as the author's father did when he fights with his wife (the author's mother).
Hello everyone! It’s Leon Ninham Ollie Bird-Conliff, the fellow with the really long name. Just as a little reminder as to who I am, I am a professional actor and in my free time I like to write scripts and plays. Currently I am working on my second book, Necropolis, and at the same time I am starring in a show at the Little Theatre Off Broadway in Grove City. If you’re interested feel free to comment and ask about more details and I’ll send you dates and times. Well, that’s me. If you keep forgetting who I am just think of me as the guy who sits next to Mike every day.
“’No!’ he roared. ‘Don’t you budge or I’ll jerk a knot in your tails!’” (Sanders 196). Clearly Mr. Sanders had a lot of pain built up from the years of dealing with someone like his father. I think he was trying to get all of the painful memories out in the open so he could face them. When things are bottled up inside you tend to want to hide from them, much like his father did with his Alcoholism, he was afraid to face it. What I personally liked about it was the honesty that I could feel in the story. A lot of stories about these things tend to come off like cheesier public service announcements but because Sanders was very honest about what happened in his life I was able to connect better with him and understand where he was coming from.
"No," he answered. "I'll be back in two shakes." Scott's dad said as he walked into Sly's with a dollar worth of gas in the tank, with the primary reason being to get another taste of his addiction. Scott's mother sent them to watch over their dad, and not let him out of their sights because of the lack of trust they all had for the alcoholic. He shared this part of the story to explain how deep they had to go to try and stop their father from drinking. They couldn't strop him though, not because they didn't want to, but because there was a higher authority telling them not to come along also. Scott showed alot of courage writing this novel, due to the secret they kept for many years trying to hold it from everybody. He let readers know, this thing can happen to anyone and it's hard to control; which is what stuck out the most to me.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
“I am only trying to understand the corrosive mixture of helplessness, responsibility, and shame that I learned to feel as the son of an alcoholic”. This sentence really stood out to me because I could relate to it. My father was, and still is an alcoholic and I know the feeling of helplessness, and also the feeling of what did I do wrong. The author talked about on page 193 how he tried to get good grades, and be a good athlete, and do work around the house, and I also related to this because as hard as I tried I also felt like it wasn’t good enough. My father is not the extent of the author’s father, but I a lot of his ways remind me of my dad.
"We had also seen evidence of that in our father, who could multiply seven-digit numbers in his head when sober but when drunk could not help us with fourth-grade math." I chose this quote because it shows in a small part just how much alcohol changed the father, from really smart to basically useless. The reason that I believe the writer wrote this in a way to deal with his own pain and suffering toward the subject of his father. However the thing that in a way struck me in this essay is how the narrator never once says or mentions any good times that he had with his father all he mentions is the pain and suffering.
"Like a child again, I pretended not to see him in his stupor, and behind my phony smile I grieved." This quote is from page 202 when Sanders is returning home with his wife and daughter and finds his father drunk after many years of sobriety. This small part of the story brings back the fear and memories from his past. Sharing this story is allowing the writer to share his experience and hopefully keep others from causing or going through the pain he did.
The most striking part of this story was when he talked about the other people in his area who had not been able to control themselves either. While his father used words, their neighbors used anger and violence after their drinking. I could not believe people would do this much harm to the ones they loved, especially knowing they were doing it.
2- One of my favorite lines in the book was when he stated "When drunk, our father was clearly in his wrong mind. He became a stranger..." I have known a few people in my life who lets say "like to drink" and that's really what they become, a stranger. I honestly think he shared this because many people can probably relate to this story. It seems everyone knows someone who "likes to drink". The thing that struck me most is they way he wrote it. He wrote as if the drinking became his father and he didnt always see him as his dad or his father, it was a drunk guy.
Alcoholism is a problem that people deal with every day in society. I, myself, can speak first hand of alcoholism. My step father was addicted to alcohol and my eight grade year of middle school, my father was violent towards my mother and I because of alcohol. The writing shows of a male who survived through his fathers' alcoholism. The author wrote that "I am forty-four, and I know full well now that my father was an alcoholic, a man comsumed by a disease rather than by disappointment" (193). he knew of his fathers disease and he wrote the story to show the audience that alcoholism is a scary thing in society. The author knew himself of the alcohol problem of his father and so did the people of society but the family believed that "father's drinking became the family secret" (195). Alcoholism is just a problem that needs to be dealt with
"Father's drinking became a family secret. While growing up, we children never breathed a word of it beyond our the four walls of our house." (Sanders, 195) This passage from the narrative reflects the family's embarrassment about his father's drinking problem. The embarrassment led to a long kept silence by Sanders, his siblings, and his mother. I believe that this is what let to Sanders writing this narrative; it was his way of finally letting the pain out. What struck me the most about his writing was just how much his childhood sufferings affected him into adulthood. He said in his narrative that when his father relapsed back into alcoholism after retiring that it made him feel like a child again. I found it interesting that he could revisit his childhood memories so easily.
I want to teach mathematics and history. I might eventually go back to school to either teach special education, become a speech therapist, or possibly even become a guidance counselor in the public school system.
" I write, therefore, to drag into the light what eats at me- the fear, the guilt, the shame- so that my own children may be spared." The essay by Sanders was very deep and personal. He confessed in writing what his whole family hid and was ashamed of for years. Sanders wanted to to keep his children from having the griefs in their minds like he did. I just was amazed that in order to do this he felt he had to be open and share about his father. Sander was so detailed and open about his family's hardships, despise the fact of being judge. This essay could have created emotional distress for his mother, sister, or brother yet he still wrote it and made the world aware of the effects of alcoholism.
"Do you want to kill yourself?" I asked him. "Why not?" he answered. "Why the hell not? What's there to save?" I feel like he shared this part because of how personally he felt his father's drinking problem. It helped to show a time where he had confronted his dad about his problem. What struck me the most is how much he shared about his dad and how much it takes to talk about those things.
The thing that struck me the most in this story was "If he wanted to kill himself, the doctors solemnly warned him, all he had to do was hit the bottle again. One binge would finish him." It's amazing to me that the doctors would say something like this directly to him, basically giving him a death sentence if he touched another drop of alcohol. However this may be the only way to get through to an alcoholic. I think the author shared this story because he wanted to get his personal story out to hopfully convince other people not to go down the same rode he did. This is a life that obivously he did not like and does not want anyone else to expierence.
After his final day of work, Mother drove on ahead with a car full of begonias and violets, while Father stayed behind to oversee the packing. When the van was loaded, the sweaty movers broke open a six-pack and offered him a beer. "Let's drink to retirement!" they crowed. "Let's drink to freedom! to fishing! hunting! loafing! Let's drink to a guy who's going home!" (Sanders 201) This essay was very emotional, for the writer to come out and talk about something like this is very powerful. Sanders uses a lot of sensory detail and figurative language in his writing and because of this it keeps the reader interested and I believe it made the story more powerful and made me want to continue to read.
This story was very powerful; it was full of heartbreak and loss. What really got to me was how he explained the burden of keeping his fathers problem a secret. Sanders explains: "The secret bores under the skin, gets in the blood, into the bone, and stays there." Sanders does a great job of explaining the sheer magnitude of keeping this deep inside his being. Sanders, I think, went through all this trouble to write it to explain how serious this addiction was. It was shocking to see how much this not only effected him, but everybody in his family changed during the tragic loss. This really shows that every action has repercusions that effect all people close to you.
"When Father was drinking, the house, too, became a minefield. The least bump could set off either parent." This quote describes the sense of unease in his household as a child. Explaining that any small thing could possibly make either his mom or his drunken dad angry. No child should have to grow up in an environment where they do not feel they can make any mistakes. This essay was very powerful, for someone to tell such an intimate part of their life, is an amazing thing. I would imagine that it was a great release for Sanders, like exhaling a breath he was holding in for many years. Sanders writes with lots of figurative language and I think that this way of writing makes his message more powerful.
"Let's drink to retirement!" they crowed. "Let's drink to freedom! to fishing! hunting! loafing! Let's drink to a guy who's going home!" (201). I enjoyed this reported dialogue because I feel like I can relate to it. Graduating high school everyone thought it was important to drink to this and that. It seemed as though all summer my friends were using drinking to celebrate going to college or the last summer we were together. I believe Scott Russell Sanders chose to share this personal story because it was a way for him to share his feelings with others. Although I am sure it wasn't easy for him, he knew others could relate with his experience in many ways. What struck me most about this writing was that his father did not stop drinking even after the doctors told him one last time would kill him. His father also refused to get help even once. I would think that after being on your death bed you would do anything to get better! Although I guess that is why Sanders refers to it as a disease and not a disappointment. I really enjoyed this narrative and felt like many, if not all, of us can connect with it.
For your first post here, do two things.
1-- Introduce yourself a bit. Remind us of some things about you from our introductions and interviews that we did in class.
2-- In another paragraph, respond to today's essay by Scott Russell Sanders. Start your response with a direct quote from the essay (please don't use anything from the first two pages; get deeper into the essay for your passage). Why did this writer share this very personal story? What struck you the most about his writing? Why?
So that's your assignment and this is Exploration Three.
NOTES ON USING BLOG:
You must be signed in correctly from your Gmail. If you are, your Gmail address will appear in the upper right of the blog.
Next to this, you will see a clickable icon called New Post. This is what you must click if you want to write a post to the blog.
You may write your post in Word and copy and paste it to the blog, but you may have to click the Edit HTML tab just long enough to paste the text into the blog. Then you can go back to Compose to edit it. I will show you this in class.
You can come back to your post at any time to revise and change and add to it. So if you do not finish you can always post it, and then come back later to write and/or revise more. You do this by clicking on the pencil icon.
I will also ask you to write Replies to other writers' posts on the blog. This way, we can share and talk with each other about the topics in class and our experiences. To do this, you must hit the Reply feature. We will practice this in class.
I'd like you to reply to THREE other writers in the class.
Have fun! Mike