A Critical Reflection on Divine Unity

I thought to draw a picture of a White Heron instead of printing one off because I couldn’t add the scenery in the right wing without keeping a consistent look to the picture. Although the drawing is consistent in that it is one drawing, the bird’s right wing is brightly colored to try and represents Jewett’s imagery of the scene with a visual.

The drawing of a White Heron represents the beauty and unity possessed by nature. After rereading Sarah Orne Jewett’s “A White Heron” the imagery of the breathtaking scene on pages 656-7 provide the reader with a feeling of divinity. I tried to capture the feeling of beauty, unity, and divinity with a drawing of the White Heron in flight. I tried to focus the beauty and unity in the bird’s wings. Both wings are full spread to look as majestic as possible, however the right wing is not feathered. The right wing is the image Jewett describes as Sylvia reaches the top of the “great pine-tree”(655). Sylvia is standing at the top of the tree looking out, seeing the sunrise over the ocean and the beautiful forest. Jewett mentions 2 hawks flying; I chose not to include them in the scene on the Heron’s wings. I did that because I didn’t want the viewer to think that they hawks were somehow Herons. The view of the Heron is from the underside, as if the bird is flying above the viewer. This shows the divinity of the bird, the majestic flight above someone who watches from below.


Two Stories Two View Points

“Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat” by Russell Banks and “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway share similarities and differences such as the settings and symbolism within the settings. Both authors paint a picture of a similar situation, but under different circumstances. The short stories of Banks and Hemingway explain, through a controversial topic and difficult conversation, how points of view can contrast no matter race, gender, or socioeconomic status.

Banks’ “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat” is about a young black man and a young white girl discussing the girl’s abortion. They never say the word abortion and they disagree on whether she should have the procedure or not. Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” is about a man and woman having a conversation at a train station in Spain about the woman having an abortion. They aren’t necessarily disagreeing on the subject, the girl, Jig, hasn’t made her mind up while the man, the American, knows he doesn’t want the child to be born.

These two short stories share many similarities, the obvious one being that they are both discussing abortion without saying the word abortion. Another main similarity between these two stories is that both conversations are held in a place of transit. The authors didn’t accidentally write this into their stories. The train station in “Hills Like White Elephants” is a perfect example for the point of view of the American. One can either choose to get on the train and go to its destination or not. When talking about the operation the American says “ I don’t want anyone but you. I don’t want anyone else. And I know it’s perfectly simple”(Hemingway 592). He has made up his mind; it’s a clear-cut decision like the symbol of the train. In “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat” the boy and girl are having their conversation in a rowboat on a lake. The rowboat like the train represents the freedom of choice, but not just one clear-cut decision, it represents a multitude of choices or a choice with a multitude of possibilities. Unlike a train grounded to the direction of its tracks a boat can move in any direction that there is water. While floating by an island off the shore of the trailer park, the boy and girl converse over the girls abortion scheduled later that day, saying “I suppose you’d rather I just did nothing.’ ‘Yes. That’s right.’ ‘Well, we’ve been through all this before, a hundred times’ (Banks 74). Then just before heading back to the trailer park the boy says to the girl “I wish I could just leave you here” (Banks 75). Both pieces of dialogue show that the boy, one doesn’t want the girl to have the operation, two doesn’t have a clear decision on what he wants to do with the child or what he wants to do with the girl. The main points of similarity in these two stories are the conversations, the couples’ disagreement, and the setting.

Although Banks’s story and Hemingway’s story are very similar they have some key differences in the details of the story. An obvious difference is that the roles are reversed. In “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat” the girl is the one who is positive that she wants the operation, in “Hills like White Elephants” the American is supportive of the operation. Another Difference in the stories is the decision. In Banks’s story the decision is made even though the parties are disagreeing on it, the girl tells the boy ‘Listen, I don’t know how to tell you this, but I might as well come right out and say it. I’m going to do it. This afternoon. Mother’s coming with me. She called and set it up this morning” (Banks 74). In Hemingway’s story there is no decision made, the American gives his opinion on the matter and Jig is on the fence. Jig however, seems like she wants the child because she asks the American “Doesn’t it mean anything to you? We could get along” (Hemingway 592). Jig is asking the American if he’s thought about the child or the premise of a family.

“Hills Like White Elephants” and “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat” are two very similar stories but are important because of their differences. Each author paints a picture with their story which both convey that points of view can contrast no matter race, gender, or socioeconomic status. In Banks’s story the characters are in the same situation as the characters in Hemingway’s story. The differences are that race and socioeconomic status are changed in Banks’s story. The boy in Banks’s story is an African American and both characters live in a trailer park. It is fair to assume that the characters in Hemingway’s story are wealthier then the ones in Banks’s because they are speaking English in a foreign country and buying drinks at a train station, this shows that either they have received higher education or have a disposable income. These differences represent a bigger theme and are not just coincidental writing approaches. They represent the opposition of points of view from people undergoing the same situation but from different backgrounds.

The authors of the two short stories “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat” and “Hills Like White Elephants” are able to show how differences in race or socioeconomic status don’t always affect someone’s point of view. The two stories are very similar but are important because of their key differences.

Meaning Behind Adventure

In Sarah Orne Jewett’s “A White Heron”, there is a tree that represents a test to the protagonist, Sylvia. Sylvia is a nine-year-old girl who lives with her grand mother in a poor rural home. The young girl has a unique connection to nature that is tested in the story. A bird hunter tells Sylvia he will pay her a sum of money if she informs him of the mysterious White Heron’s location. In order to know the exact location of the Heron’s nest Sylvia must climb to the top of the tallest tree in the forest. Sylvia climbing the tree is the most important part of Jewett’s short story, the author’s description of the tree before and during Sylvia’s climb serve not only as the rising action to the story, but also gives meaning and purpose to this tree.
Before Jewett mentions anything about Sylvia climbing this tree she builds it up with a sense of grand wisdom. “Half a mile from home, at the farther edge of the woods, where the land was highest, a great pine-tree stood, the last of its generation” (655). The author goes on to describe how another forest has grown around this pine-tree, yet it still stands towering over all of the other trees. The author also uses diction that lets the reader know how mystified Sylvia is by this grand pine. “The little girl had often laid her hand on the great rough trunk and looked up wistfully at those boughs that the wind always stirred”(655).
Jewett also uses the pine-tree as the rising action and setting for the climax of the story. Her illustration of Sylvia’s grueling climb to the top of the tree represents a test given by nature to prove her loyalty. “The way was harder then she thought; she must reach far and hold fast, the sharp dry twigs caught and held her and scratched her like angry talons, the pitch made her thin little fingers clumsy and stiff as she went round and round the tree’s great stem”(656). The author also uses dictation to build anticipation for the reader and to set up the rising action. “The sparrows and robins in the woods below were beginning to wake and the twitter to the dawn yet it seemed much lighter there aloft in the pine-tree, and the child knew that she must hurry if her project were to be of any use” (656). This quote illustrates urgency for not only the character but the reader as well.
The sense of wisdom from the pine-tree is instilled even more by the author’s use of personification. During Sylvia’s journey Jewett describes to the pine-tree as being amazed by the young girls spark of human spirit. “The old pine must have loved its new dependent…and the tree stood still and held away the winds the June morning”(656). That statement shows the grand pine’s acceptance of Sylvia and her ambition to reach the top.
The story concludes with Sylvia reaching the top of the tree, spotting the White Heron’s nest and returning home only to keep the secret of the mysterious bird to herself and the forest. Sylvia’s decision to not share the spot of the Heron’s nest shows her loyalty to what is important, Sylvia earned the trust of the forest by making the climb. If she hadn’t made the climb or the pine-tree wasn’t as grand or the journey wasn’t so taxing then the secret of the White Heron’s location wouldn’t have been worth being kept secret.

Work Cited
Jewett, Sarah Orne. “A White Heron” The Story and Its Writer. 9th ed. Ed. Ann Charters. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 651-58

Paying College Athletes

“There are nights that I go to bed hungry and I’m starving”. Shabazz Napier, a basketball player for the University of Connecticut, said this to a group of reporters this year. It is ridiculous that an athlete of that caliber goes to bed hungry. Up until April of this year the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) limited Division one athletes meals. This is a clear example of a group of individuals being denied their rights. As a whole this demographic is so talented yet so exploited. Division one collegiate athletes are the best athletes in the country behind professionals, and they deserve to have the right to be compensated for their abilities. It needs to be understood that I am not arguing that they deserve to earn a salary, simply that they get a piece of the money that they bring into the school.

            The problem is as previously stated, college athletes should be able to receive money yet are prohibited from doing so. The problem originates from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which has deemed college athletes amateurs, and outlawed any sort of payment outside of an athlete’s scholarship. Michael Rosenberg, a writer for Sports Illustrated said in the “Schooled: The Price Of College Sports” amateurism is me and my friends playing basketball with nobody paying to watch us, not college athletes playing in front of thousands of people who paid to watch them. Division one collegiate athletes do not play at an amateur level; to call them amateurs is not only wrong, it is insulting. Amateurs do not have to preform a balancing act between academics and athletics.

            These Individuals are working two fulltime jobs as student-athletes except they are making zero dollars an hour. When athletes are not in class, studying or with a tutor they are on the field, in the gym, or watching film. Wilfred Sheed, a sports writer, criticizes the notion of paying college athletes in “Why Sports Matterby saying “the school that pays its students to play games for it loses some of its integrity as a school” (497). However Sheed fails to see the point that a school denying their students its rights has no integrity to begin with, and by refusing to give the athletes money that they have brought into the school is not only stripping away their rights but taking advantage of them.

            Other critics could say that dollars generated by many college teams don’t add up to make a profit, and it is only the top football schools that do. They would be right, most of the 12 billion dollars a year that the NCAA brings in is through select schools. However, these institutions are dominant, and so are their athletes. The level of play these people compete at is paramount which is why the schools they play for are so successful on the field and financially. The fact that these individuals play at the best schools in the country that generate millions of dollars in revenue and don’t receive a penny of it is preposterous. These student-athletes are not employees, because employees profit from their abilities, technically they are indentured servants.

            In the 1700’s indentured servants would sign a contract to work without pay for a free pass into the United States. Arian Foster, former football player for the University of Tennessee, said Collegiate Athletes are today’s indentured servants. Each one must sign a contract saying he or she will preform for the institution without receiving compensation in any form directly related to their sport or abilities. During their time in college these athletes will receive food, housing, and training with no option to earn money from their talents. Such exploitation is clearly a problem.

            The solution to the problem is simple; give the college athletes the rights they deserve. Since they are students before athletes they should not be earning a salary. They should not, however, be denied compensation from jersey sales, commercial photo-shoots, or likenesses in videogames; the athletes alone are the source of these earnings. Its not a coincidence that Texas A&M has football jerseys in its bookstore with the number two on them. Top programs produces the top players, they are the ones that deserve to be paid because they have earned it. Not every athlete will be paid the same or even paid at all, but all athletes deserve the right to be. Most college athletes do not have their picture on magazines covers or jersey’s sold in stores. It would be unfair for everyone to receive payment if only a select few really deserve it.

            In conclusion, division one collegiate athletes are being stripped of their rights by being prohibited from receiving compensation outside of their scholarships. I do not think they should receive a salary, just commission on the earnings that they are the direct source of. I also believe only the best athletes should be paid, the ones that have their jersey’s sold and are replicated exactly in videogames, because they are the ones that have earned it. In five, ten, or fifteen years when college athletes are finally being given what they have earned, the majority of people will look back and think how stupid it was that such gifted people were denied from a basic right. The minority will be the ones who have thought that all along.                                    





















Works Cited

Graff, Gerald, and Cathy Birkenstein. They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print

Schooled: The Price Of College Sports. Dir. Ross Finkel. Perf. Arian Foster, Michael   Rosenberg. 2013.

Jessop, Alicia. “The NCAA Approves Unlimited Meals For Division I Athletes After Shabazz Napier Complains Of Going Hungry: The Lesson For Other College Athletes.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 15 Apr. 2014. Web. 04 May 2014.

One Act Play

Michael Hanlon, Laura Parker, DQ Pauling, and Tori Squailia
ENG 131.01
Professor Lucas
2 April 2014
Michele Obama Addresses Obesity: A One-act Play
Character Guide:
Michele Obama: America’s current First-Lady, married to President Barack Obama. Michelle is very big on personal health and exercise. She has started her own fitness campaign called “Let’s Move!” Her campaign is mainly targeted toward adolescents.
Michael Pollan: A professor at the University of California at Berkeley and author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006), Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (2010), and In Defense of Food: An Eaters Manifesto (2008).
Mary Maxfield: Mary Maxfield graduated from Fontbonne University in December 2010. Has a degree in creative social change and minors in sociology, American culture studies, and women’s and gender studies. Academic interest includes bodies, gender, sexuality, politics, and rhetoric. She also has a blog; you can read it at missmarymax.wordpress.com.
Reporter: An employee at the New York Times newspaper. He is writing an expose on Michelle Obama’s approaches to tackling obesity in America. He will also be attendant this afternoons’ discussion.
It is calm and quiet in the White house. Michael, Mary, and the reporter are gathered in a small meeting room to talk about Obesity. Members are shocked when the Honorable Michelle Obama enters the room to greet them. This was certainly a surprise, to everyone except for the reporter who has been following her career since she started her latest campaign “Let’s Move.”
Michelle Obama: Good afternoon, everyone. First I’d like to thank you all for coming. I have gathered you all here today to talk to a matter dear to my heart, obesity. Is there anyone who would like to start off with something?
Mary Maxfield: Actually, I would. You see “The problem is that our understanding of health is as based in culture as it is in fact. Despite some doubt in academic circles over connections between diet, health, and weight, common-sense reportage continues to presume that they are directly connected” (444).
Michael Pollan: I have to agree with that. “People eating a western diet are prone to a complex of chronic diseases that seldom strike people eating more traditional diet” (435).
Reporter: So, Michael, What would you say is a good solution to this?
MP: The solution to the problem would appear to remain the same, stop eating a western diet” (435).
MM: “Culturally, however, we resist these scientific findings in favor of a perspective that considers fatness fatal and thinness immortal. Our skewed views of fatness then facilitate our skewed views of food” (445).
Reporter: So, basically, our eating habits are driven by our culture?
MO: I would have to say so. Excellent points, by the way.
Reporter: So what exactly is a western diet?
MP: “A hallmark of the western diet is food that is fast, cheap, and easy. Americans spend less than 10 percent of their income on food; they also spend less than a half hour a day preparing meals and little more than an hour enjoying them” (439).
MO: Well, “According to one study, on average, a trip to the corner store, a child will walk out of that store with more than 350 calories worth of food and beverage—this is on average. So if they’re going two and three times a day, that can really add up” (423). “The way we live life today is very different from when I was growing up . . . in school, we had recess twice a day and gym class twice a week. And then when we got home in the afternoon our parents made us get up and play outside” (421). I feel that one of our main concerns lie with today’s parents.
MP: I can see that. David Zinczenko once said “Most of the teenagers who live on a fast-food diet won’t turn their lives around: They’ve crossed under the golden arches to a likely fate of lifetime obesity. And the problem isn’t theirs- it’s ours” (qtd by Zinczenko, 392)
MM: Yeah, I’d agree with that. Fast-food can be addicting if you get it too much, and a lot of people are doing just that. They can’t afford groceries, so they go get something off of a dollar menu instead.
MP: Well, I think we spend too much money advertising foods like McDonald’s or Hostess. We need to be adverting healthy foods just as much as we are the junk food.
MO: Families just aren’t eating as healthy as they use to back when we were young. As a child, “we never ate anything fancy, but the portion sizes were reasonable and there were rarely seconds. And we always had a vegetable on our plate” (423).
MO: You see we are setting the children up for failure. “So we need to take this issue seriously, as seriously as improving under-achieving schools or any of the other issues that we know are devastating our communities” (420-21).
MM: Yes. I think schooling is a major problem. We need to take out all of the fatty and greasy foods we are serving students and replace that with plenty of fruits and vegetables. We could even go as far as replacing the snacks in the vending machines – for instance swapping the pop-tarts our for granola bars.
Reporter: That sounds like a great idea! But isn’t exercising a major role on health, too?
MO: Yes, it is. That’s why my campaign “Let’s move!” is working on getting students more involved in school activities.
MP: Well, if you added a wider variety in the schools’ extra-curricular activities students might be more interested in getting involved more.
MO: Excellent suggestion, thank you.
Reporter: So basically there are many factors to obesity, such as our school system, our economy, and the amount of exercise we take part in. But what it all seems to boil down to is our culture and how we view dieting in our nation.
MM: (laughs) Yes, that could pretty much sum it all up.
MO: Well, thank you all so much for coming, I really appreciate it. Your opinions and suggestions will hopefully start a big change in America. If you ever come up with anything please feel free to contact me. Good afternoon. (Exits.)
Work Cited:
Maxfield, Mary. “Food as Thought: Resisting the Moralization of Eating.” They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. 2nd ed. Ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russell Durst. New York: Norton, 2012. 442-447. Print.
Obama, Michelle. “Remarks of the NAACP National Convention.” They Say/I Say: The Moves That matter in Academic Writing. 2nd ed. Ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russell Durst. New York: Norton, 2012. 417-433. Print.
Pollan, Michael. “Escape from the Western Diet.” They Say/I Say: The Moves That matter in Academic Writing. 2nd ed. Ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russell Durst. New York: Norton, 2012. 434-440. Print.
Zinczenko, David. “Don’t Blame the Eater.” They Say/I Say: The Moves That matter in Academic Writing. 2nd ed. Ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russell Durst. New York: Norton, 2012. 391-393. Print.

Higher Education: An Annotated Bibliography

Higher Education: An Annotated Bibliography


            This bibliography contains three academic essays from ‘They Say / I Say”, each about different aspects of higher education. I decided to research higher education because we have been studying it in class and I have become more and more interested in it. I also believe that in todays competitive job market higher education is a necessity, so finding the pros and cons of it can only be beneficial to me personally and professionally.

Annotated Bibliography

Hacker, Andrew, and Claudia Dreifus. They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, Birkenstein, Durst, Graff, second Edition, “Are Colleges Worth the Price of Admission?”. New York: 2012. Print.

This essay in They Say / I say informs the reader of how college expenses have more the doubled and how families wanting to educate there children will have to produce possibly their largest financial investment.

Hacker is a professor at Queens College in New York and Dreifus teaches at Columbia University. Both have published writings such as How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids.


Addison, Liz. “They Say / I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, Birkenstein, Durst, Graff, second Edition,, Two Years Are Better Than Four. New York: 2012. Print.

The essay “Two Years Are Better Than Four”, was published in 2007 and was a runner up in a contest held by The Ney York Times. The essay is about community colleges and the positivity, inspiration, and benefits that come from them.

Addison attended two community colleges; she graduated from Southern Maine Community College in 2008.

Ungar, Sanford J. They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, Birkenstein, Durst, Graff, second Edition The New Liberal Arts. New York: 2012. Print.

This essay mentions the misconceptions about Liberal Arts schools in America and then proves them wrong. It mentions the many advantages a liberal Arts student has compared to one of the factory universities that mass-produce diplomas.

  Ungar is the President of Goucher College in Baltimore and an author of several published works. Such as The New American Immigrants (1998) and Africa: The People and Politics of an Emerging Continent (1986).