May 25, 2011
May 15, 2011
Chapter 8 was really long but surprisingly very interesting. It showed the readers Gilyard’s rebellious stage & how he got himself out of it. When Gilyard was describing how they did heroine through intravenously, I was SO creeped out & I felt disgusted. When he started going into detail about how they went about it, I was like “holy crap why?!” It’s disgusting how people can actually go through with such actions. In the end, he got himself out of it which is good. I like how he ended the chapter. Chapter 9 wasn’t as interesting & I didn’t really absorb much of what he was talking about except when he got to the part of Rodriguez.
The last two chapters of the book… I really enjoyed reading chapter 8- We see how Keith isn’t as motivated once he switches schools, and although he knows he is capable of doing really well he still doesn’t try as hard. Keith’s uncle finds out that he isn’t putting in all his effort in school and has a very emotional talk with him. During his talk he goes off to say that when he was in school with Keith’s mother that “You’re mother’s the one who pulled me through. She was the sharp one.” At this point he wants to say more but cuts himself off, I wonder what their arrangement was in high school- and how he turned out to be a success if Keith’s mom had the brains… We also find that Keith went through a phase where he turned to drugs and was smoking marijuana and heroin- which didn’t help his falling average.
In chapter 9 Keith comes to his conclusion on language. He also bring up Richard Rodriguez which i enjoyed because I could very much relate. He disagrees with Richard that he had to completely give up his language in order to be successful in the American culture.
Just today i was informed of a conversation that a few of my friends had that i was able to connect to this book right away. One of my friends, Yakov, proposed that people that are smart have few friends, while people that have many friends aren’t smart. My other friend, Igal, disagreed using me as an example calling me a genius a pimp and man’s man all the same time. Of course i don’t consider myself all of these things, the fact that i had accomplished a reputation of having it all is worth noting. I’m another Gilyard story where code-switching was used in success. Like gilyard it was all about talking with the right people in the right way, being smart enough to know that people on the streets dont want a nerd amongst them while nerds in the library dont want a person from the street with them. Gilyard and i apparently have both used this knowledge to better ourselves and for that have become people who could save our public and private identities without having to give anything up.
As for the end of the story It was interesting to see how he attacked the infamous Richard Rodriguez with a “No!” (p 160). As i had predicted the point of this story was completely contradictory to Rodriguez’s and unlucky for rodriguez, he can’t add a chapter to his book defending himself from Gilyard.
Gilyard gave us yet another interesting look into his childhood with a very interesting chapter 7 that described his views towards a few things. The first thing I noticed was even though he was beginning to become a bit superficial (in a good and healthy way like all adolescents) he still got a talk from his uncle about the importance of education. Even though he was partying and experimenting with drugs the fact that he mentions that talk shows that it did have some impact on him even subconsciously. He was always smart enough and just needed perhaps a little push. In the beginning of chapter 9 he quotes our man Richard Rodriguez when saying that it was hard to have a sense of African American identity while pursuing an education sometimes. Gilyard would have a pretty large stress buildup that led to him doing drugs to get over his lost sense of identity.
As we are now warping up this book, we have learned Mr. Gilyard’s educational story and his struggles through it. Thanks to his sophisticated skills in language manipulation, he has been able to perform very well and switching in between his two different worlds (school and street). His success has reassured his role in both the school and the street, in which he is the very few who possess both the brain and brawn. As a result, he obtained some sort of illusion which caused him to think, there would be nothing he can’t conquer, even drugs. As we discussed in class before, a man’s masculinity is a display of his authority, and privilege which not only include physical strength but also toughness, strong will, and sense of risk taking. However, things turns out Mr. Gilyard has over-estimated his own ability and underestimated the risk of drug over-does. Consequently, he had fallen deep into the activities of drug abusing and the related behaviors to secure a economic source for the drug addict habit. His case was simply showing that sometime we over-estimated our own will, our minds were not as tough as we thought. As a matter of fact, it is very hard to maintain a perfect balance between these two worlds, even though it is always good to have both. As we all understand, under the system of exchange, we all need to pay something to exchange for something else. Eventually, one of these two worlds (school or street) is going to weight more or less in one’s life, and we all someday need to make similar decision in our life. Mr. Gilyard had made his own decision, and then he was able to something right for him in the future.
So here we are. The finale of our third book we’ve been reading this semester. Chapter eight and chapter nine. Chapter eight has Keith Gilyard discussing his past once more. Going into depth with his past in regards to school once more as he discusses his grades, many rules, and hooky. His social experiences with other people he mentions such as Wallace, and Benjamin. With Hooky parties, and all that while still coming into conflict with other people over his race. That and he even gets punished by his parents through some “spanking,” as it were still. His English teacher Applebaum was proud of Keith’s efforts. That was his so called high point, despite feeling a person named Vivian should have won. It just continues on, describing his past. Describing the times where drugs played a role. Trouble eventually came along with that. Eventually making Keith want out of the drug life he had taken apart of.
Chapter Nine was short, so this won’t take so long, Keith had essentially made language his dominant skill. What surprises me is how we once again encounter word of Richard Rodriguez and his book, even in a different book. And how Keith blatantly says how Rodriguez ignores reality. They’re views conflict very much so, despite some similarities in discussion. He continues on discussing other authors and their works and his opinions about them. And he ends it all, by speaking how you can keep your cultural identity and still have a successful school life. And that’s… a wrap.
May 9, 2011
At the begging he tells the reader that he enjoys learning this “different” English from which he’s only known and that it has been helping him progress academically as well. I’m glad that he was able to excel in his studies because he wasn’t afraid to add onto his knowledge. That’s something I liked about him while reading, he wasn’t like Richard. Richard felt as if it had to be one language or the other when it clearly doesn’t have to be that way. Kieth set a perfect example in my eyes, but after a while things did get a little complicated since had to figure which would be most beneficial to him in the end.
May 8, 2011
In chapter 4, Keith talks about his move to a new neighborhood and a new school. I found it very interesting that he asked to be called “Raymond”. I think that once Keith moved into a school where the majority of the students are white, he was forced to choose an identity for himself- and he chose “Raymond” to be the name that he would associated with his white identity and keeps “Keith” as his own black identity. Another part in this chapter that i found interesting was when Keith befriends Lonnie, and one day they are playing at the park and when they are on the seesaw together Keith notes that they are “On different planes of reality despite our closeness. Years and years on the seesaw. But whenever our feet hit the ground at the same time. Beautiful.” Although they are both tough black boys, they are never truly on the same level.
Chapter 5- Keith continues to use his experiences, and quotes from other people to bring his point across and to express his views on the education of African-Americans. Personally, I found this chapter boring and hard to read through but i now learned that this is just Keith’s style for the even chapters of the book.
Chapter 6- I found it interesting that although Keith clearly had a special talent in poetry, he pushed that aside and through himself wholeheartedly into sports. boys….. Also when he goes over to his friend Marty’s house and his friend says “The lock is off Raymond. You can go on in.” (85) Reminded me of Hunger of Memory, when Richard goes to his friends house and they say “The door’s open, go on in Richie.”
Chapter 7- Keith talks about how his advancing language skills was going to help him progress academically. Also talks about the importance of using writing as a means of expressing oneself. He also mentions the scene in the field when he and his black friends got in a fight with the white boys. Although he did not want to fight his white friends, specifically Marty, he felt he had to in order to remain part of his black community. Keith also mentions here what was going on at the time, Civil Rights movements were pushing for an integration of whites and blacks in education.
Happy mother’s day everyone! “No gift to your mother can ever equal the gift she gave to you- LIFE!”
Space… the final frontier… where mankind constantly want to go to and discusses as Chapter Six starts out like. That and making a poem revolving around outer space and family earning praise from your teacher. Saying Raymond or Keith as we know him, had a sense of rhythm with his words. That resulting in being recommended two people’s work who tend to write in a unique way to separate themselves from other writers. Then he goes on to rant about sports such as baseball, football, and the injury related things that could come in such activities. Getting no cast must suck though. That and arguing if someone was tagged or not of all things. Though he beat the the crap out of someone as just before he fought, someone called him a term that served to spark rage into him. School life into more and then came the discussion of Civil Rights. Chapter Seven is described as a chapter where you can tell he’s really focusing and telling us his views. Advancing Literacy and the whole Civil Movement were big hotspots where Kieth started to feel something about himself. From all the reading and writing he has done, skills he had were improving. He also starts to give his opinion once again of what he felt of other things such as the Broken Home,” concepts. At one point he talks about fitting in with community peers which kind of gave Richard Rodriguez’s Hunger of Memory flashbacks. Since Richard kind of wanted to fit in with other people as well. He ends up finish up discussing certain other individuals, their views, certain events with them and himself.