This Changed My Life Essay Example For College

This Changed My LifeIt was nearly two years ago that I was been sent to pick up my uncle and bring him home for Christmas dinner. He lives across town and his car was in the shop. When I arrived he was working on an oil portrait of a friend.

He is a professional artist and lives alone. He is not an old man; he was 52 at that time, worked out and neither drank nor smoked. He seemed to be in top physical condition. I used to walk with him three days a week as he strolled through his neighborhood.

This area of our town is totally different from where I live. Its streets are lined with massive and obviously ancient trees. Pecans are to be found on the sidewalks in the fall of the year and they were a bonus to me as I would stop to gather them then rush to catch up again. My uncle called them little gifts from the tree spirits.

In the cool of autumn and winter the odor of wood smoke flavored the air so richly that I could taste it on my tongue.  People sat in their front yards and they spoke to us as we passed. His neighborhood is like a big family. Mine is like an armed camp, with sullen neighbors who do not speak other than to tell you to keep off their grass.

My uncle’s life changing experience would come to change mine, and make me a better person than I had been.I sat that day and watched as he soaked his brushes and began to clean up his work area in the small studio he maintained in his back yard. Since I was a child that studio had been a magic place to me. The odor of linseed oil comingled with the damar varnish evokes vivid memories of a bygone time.

The smell is of happy times, of sitting in my favorite uncle’s cozy studio on a bitterly cold day, the gas stove roaring and him working feverishly over some passage in the painting sitting on his massive paint stained oak wood easel. I would savor the hot cocoa, its chocolate flavor strong on my tongue. He made it, he said, for the two of us, though he never touched it. He would sometimes play Christmas music throughout the holiday season and those carols still evoke a memory of that time and place.

My uncle’s home seemed enchanted, his neighborhood a kingdom and my uncle the wizard who made the magic happen.He turned off the lights that Christmas day and held the door open for me to depart first. I stepped out onto the grass, still green even in December and turned back toward my uncle. He was lying on his face, his body sprawled awkwardly across the threshold though I did not hear a sound.

I thought he must have tripped as he was coming out, but he did not move. As I tried to roll him over his eyes opened and he tried to sit up. I put my hand on his chest to signify I wanted him to stay down for a moment. It was an intimate act.

I had never touched him like that. I could feel the contour of his chest. It embarrassing in an odd way I cannot really explain. He was disoriented, but my uncle is not the sort of man who takes orders.

He tried to stand, without success and I realized he would not be happy until he either stood or made his own decision that he could not. I pulled and tugged and with the two of us doing our best, he made it to his feet. His hand went to his chest and he winced as I looked into his eyes. He was in pain.

He knew then. I knew. I told him my cell phone was in my car so we should get him to a chair and let me go call 911. He overruled me.

He said we could get to the hospital quicker in my car and turned and started walking toward the side gate leading to the front yard, his gait unsteady.With a great deal of effort we got him into the front seat, I locked his seat belt and we drove at the fastest safe speed I could manage. It was not that far but every minute seemed like an eternity. My uncle began to sweat and leaned his head back in the seat.

I began to regret our decision. I was afraid I was going to arrive at the emergency room with my uncle dead.In hindsight I realize now that I should have called 911 for instructions as I drove, and at least have had them alert the hospital. After what seemed like forever we pulled in to the hospital, and I stopped at the doors to the emergency room.

I ran in and called for help. Nurses seemed to appear from nowhere and had my uncle in a wheel chair and into the back area of the clinic for treatment with no wasted motion or time. I watched them lift him onto a gurney and I watched as they began an IV. I got close enough to him to pat his hand and tell him I was there.

He did not respond. His face was gray and his eyes were closed.For the first time I looked around at my surroundings. The room was sterile and smelled of alcohol and some odor I couldn’t place… perhaps it was Lysol.

I recall that room today, its lights bright and the metal areas all stainless steel, gleaming in that light. They told me to I should go to the waiting room and they would keep me advised as to his condition. I went first and moved my car to a parking space on the lot across the narrow street from the emergency room driveway.  Then I called my parents and returned to the waiting room.

I found a seat near the window looking out on the ambulance bay.    It had become a far different Christmas from what I had envisioned when the day began.I thought of the nurses who worked on Christmas day,  the doctors working at that moment to save the life of my uncle. I thought of the entire staff.

Those who cooked the food in the cafeteria, those who drew blood, those who analyzed it, looking for the enzymes in my uncle’s blood that would tell the doctors if there had been damage and give a clue as to the extent of it. Had my uncle not been here I would have never given it a second thought to these people. But in a larger sense the entire city, in fact the entire nation, does not close any emergency services. We still need doctors and nurses.

We need technicians. We need policemen, even on Christmas. These people give of their time and take that time from their own family to serve the public good. I thought of what would have happened had we arrived at the emergency room and found a locked door and a sign saying it was closed for the holiday.

I sat there in silence, speaking to no one. I am not sure if the carols had been playing softly all along and I had failed to notice or if they just came on, but I heard them then. A low a cappella version of Hark, the Herald Angels Sing filled the room. I thought of the carols I heard in my uncle’s studio on days leading up to the holidays.

I was lost in my own thoughts when my parents arrived. Our Christmas, like those of so many others, was spent in worry and waiting. But this would never had occurred to me had my uncle not been stricken. We prayed for his life.

My uncle lived. He is not as healthy was he was; he is not as strong and he is not as happy, but he lives. I am not the same person either, though in ways different from my uncle. I have changed my attitude toward holidays and public service, toward charity and toward the meaning of ‘good will toward men’.

I have come to understand, for the first time what the real meaning of Christmas is. I have explained it to my uncle. He tells me we have both had a change of heart. It has nothing to do with presents and carols.

It has nothing to do with Santa and reindeer. It has only to do with good will toward men. Those who truly represent the spirit of Christmas have always understood this. I had to be hit over the head with it.

But I understand it now.  It has to do with the biblical admonition of President John Kennedy on the celebration of his inauguration, “With a good conscience our only sure reward… knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own” (Kennedy 33-34).;;;;;;;;;;;;;;Works CitedKennedy, J. (1961)  in Sounding the Trumpet: The Making of John F.

Kennedy’s Inaugural Address (2005) Tofel, R. (Ed.)  Chicago:Ivan R. Dee, Publisher

When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer` By Walt Whitman Analysis

The impact of the poem relies on the transmission of emotions that humanity has only partially recognized and understood: namely a combination of nostalgia and confrontation with the future, as well as a devotion to nature and the unsolvable riddle of existence. In order to heighten the sense of contrast and urgency between the modern and “natural” worlds, Whitman uses the imagery of the astronomer’s work-related paraphenelia to place in opposition to the closing nature-imagery of the poem:  “When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,/When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,” .The impact of the imagery of the astronomer’s tools is to paint a picture in the reader’s mind of a crowded, somewhat chaotic assemblage of modern tools, images which evoke studied concentration and the human capacity to regin in nature, to control and dominate the natural world.  The verbs “add, divide, and measure” speak of dull, methodical tasks and imply, without direct expression, the fatigue and monotony of science and to some degree, also, the intrusiveness and destructiveness of science.

The following lines: “When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured/ with much applause in the lecture-room,” shows that the speaker (who is not applauding?) feels alienated from the certainty and faith in science evidenced by the crowd. The speaker of the poem moves deeper into isolation rather than into a communal sense of triumph over nature.  The phrase “When I sitting” – demonstrates that the speaker of the poem rather than applauding, rather than listening closely, has embraced a kind of innate skepticism about science and astronomy which has set him apart from the crowd.When the speaker of the poem finally confesses: “How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;” the reader is able to make the connection between the previously understated isolation of the poem’s speaker and the scientific revelry of his community.

Now the reader is certain that the poem’s speaker is not only unsettled by the scientific lecture, but offended by it, not merely skeptical about science but threatened by it, and and to feel sick inside.  The poem’s speaker, who up to this point, had been only mildly disaffected and alienated now confesses a deep, complex and sinister emotion of fear coupled with alienation.The sensitive reader will intuit a cause for the manifestation of the speaker’s alienation and this reason is not merely boredom or skepticism but the intuitive understanding that science threatens mankind. As it also threatens the natural world.

When the speaker of the poem leaves the lecture hall, the supposition that he has intuitively perceived the “demonic” of destructive side of science is born out by the sudden shift in emotion from oppressive skepticism and alienation to harmony, purpose, and exaltation:Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.(Untermeyer 280) Here the words “gliding” “wander’d” “mystical” “perfect” and “silence” all pose a radicalopposition to the words associated with science and the lecture hall: “add” “divide”measure” and the like. The movement from a closed inside-space (the lecture hall) to the open space of the natural world under the starry sky is the most poignant and important gesture of the poem. The emotion of attached to physically leaving the lecture hall and returning to the natural world is one of liberation and individual harmony with the earth, spiritual exaltation and revelry in the mystery of the universe: all aspects which the reader may understand given the movement of the poem, in total, as being a direct antithesis  to the goals and functions of science and scientific thought.

Work Cited

  1.  Untermeyer, L. (Ed.). (1949).
  2. The Poetry and Prose of Walt Whitman. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Positive Effects Of Television

IntroductionTelevision has been commonly referred to as the drama-infested idiot box which is believed to be the reason why violence, illicit sex and other immoral activities are rampant in our society today. Its power to influence its viewers greatly in terms of advertisement and daily shows is blamed by many scholars as the “root of evil” in this country. Television watching is a common habit not only to adult watchers but also to little children who has easy access to television in their homes.

Clearly, there are many negative effects surrounding the impact of television to our culture. Some instances include the Columbine High School massacre where two high school students went on a killing-spree which is believed to be inspired by Marilyn Manson’s rock ‘n roll music (Anderson). Another media-inspired killing similar to the Columbine massacre is the Virginia Tech massacre where a South Korean national went on two separate killing sprees which is believed to have been inspired by the South Korean film, Oldboy (Gordon). Television violence is further illustrated as negative as the CBS’ Dexter series, a drama about serial killers is allegedly blamed for a filmmaker to commit a murder in Edmonton, Canada (Del Castillo).

These negative impacts of television to viewers cannot be easily dismissed as mere coincidences. Truthfully, television has produced a wide range of negative influences to its viewers. However, it is quite biased if these negative aspects become the sole focus of critics and scholars. It is important to note that television also has positive effects on its viewers depending on the shows that are being broadcasted on air.

Such television shows includes educational programs which definitely helps in educating not only the young minds but also those adult people who are still hungry for learning.Positive Effects of Television on ChildrenTelevision has been around for many years now. Its helpful purpose of bringing updated news and information to all parts of the world has contributed greatly to the rise of the information age. However, it is more than just a visual newspaper or drama-infested box.

In a time when media has empowered the society, it is quite impossible for people to stop the influences which can arise from the impact of television. Regardless if the effect is positive or negative, people cannot be prevented to stop watching television so it would probably be better if television can be used in the most useful way. The positive effect of television lies on the quality and content of the television shows. Clearly, educational programs and those shows which promote good behavior and inspiration can be deemed as the most beneficial effects of media.

Television can have a lot of advantages in terms of visual education. It is artistic in its own way and it also promotes creativity by means of giving us ideas about art such as motion pictures. The advantages that it gives usually depend on the channels that people usually watch. Educational programs such as National Geographic and Animal Planet can be quite helpful for the education of the youth.

Sometimes these channels are even more interesting to see than most class lectures are. Research states that these kinds of educational programs help children to learn more about nature especially at a time when technology diminishes a person’s chance to have direct contact with nature (Kellert 66).The content of television shows is important most especially today when it has become a habit to children to watch television on primetime and during the weekends. Research reveals that “children who watched low-action/low-violence programs showed more imaginative play, with considerable decreases seen among children in the high-action/high-violence group” (Thakkar et al.

5). In this regard, it is important to note that the problem does not lie on the fact of excessive television watching but on the content of the shows being watched by children.Television is also considered to be helpful for children to learn even in a young age of two. Images on screen can be easily perceived by toddlers and can therefore be of help even if they are not yet receiving any formal education (Thakkar et al.

7). To several scholars, t appears that “rather than proclaim that many children ‘watch too much television’ it is more useful to ‘accentuate the positive’ and to do all we can to make children reflective, critical viewers” (Mallett 329). Apparently, it is too late to change the ways of media in portraying violence on television so it would be better if television producers would bank on airing more quality shows for viewers especially for children.Positive Effects of Television on Racial IssuesAccording to research, “There is evidence that educational television shows that emphasize diversity can change children’s racial attitudes” (Thakkar et al.

5). In the study of American Pediatrics Association, it is revealed that “multiracial inserts into Sesame Street changed the short-term intergroup attitude of preschool children in Canada” (Thakkar et al. 5). The study experimented on having white preschoolers watch episodes of Sesame Street with nonwhite children on the video inserts.

When they were asked later to point out in a photograph whom they would like to play with, majority of the children selected nonwhite children. Clearly, the insertion of other people from different races reveals that children can be prevented from developing racial discrimination.Nonetheless, television has made program innovations such as reality programs which have gain controversies with regard to its highly edited results and canned scripts. Nonetheless, some still have high hopes regarding the positive effect of reality programs on other life aspects.

It has been a common scenario that, “nonwhites are underrepresented in almost every aspect of the television industry — except for reality programming” (Braxton). According to Trevor Phillips, the head of Commission for Racial Equality, “In the past, black and Asian people tended to have been on television because we’re exceptional – exceptionally talented, exceptionally brave, or exceptionally stupid or exceptionally criminal” (BBC News). Apparently, racism is one of the moral and social issues that are being addressed and solved gradually by some television shows.Positive Effects of Television in LiteracyAnother aspect that television has clearly developed is the literacy and reading rates of some countries.

Mass media’s promotion of popular culture in America and Europe has definitely affected a great deal of the youth population. In the case of the United States reading rates, novels such as Harry Potter and Twilight have produced a surprisingly greater number of young readers and followers. This is quite unexpected due to the common notion that the youth have gradually stayed away from literature because of technology. The fact that the popularity of these young adult series has touched the curiosity of many young people reveals the ability of mass media to encourage young people to read despite its remarkable lengths.

As for Harry Potter and the Twilight series, some research asserts that, “it would seem these novels are the cultural elixir of educational tools for creating a literate society, something that educational systems have had a hard time doing” (Steinberg et al. 238). With regard to the novels’ success, it is clear that television and media’s effective advertisements are the primary motivators of reading.The overexposure of these two famous novels due to incessant television advertisements and author interviews on talk shows reveal that it is possible for young people to engage in reading activities and even encourage them to follow the works of a particular author.

“Most teens know J.K. Rowling, and many languish between installments of Harry Potter. Using her name recognition to draw the reader’s attention to other similar books can work very well” (Booth 118).

Certainly, mass media has contributed to the reading rates of America in terms of the “reading activity” alone. Scholars believe that no matter what the content and language these books carry, they do help in improving a person’s skills in language. Media’s role in promoting novels by means of adapting some of them in films and using the internet to provoke forums from fans makes it easier for people to become curious about the particular product.  ConclusionMedia is definitely good in triggering the curiosities of people and this is their way of gaining more consumers.

It is true that mass media is commonly used to promote commercialism but since it is a very influential tool, its power can also help the education system’s progress. The fact that most young people nowadays rely on media for information shows that media is also a good way to encourage them to value the importance of reading and education. Scholars agree that the disadvantages of television are related to the moral and intellectual ability of the society. According to Valenzuela et al, “Moral panic is a common reaction to new forms of communication” (3).

Most young people nowadays resort to superficially fulfilling tasks such as fashion trends, cosmetics, sexual activities, and MTV.  Television influences them to behave in such a way that they are starting to believe that it is the acceptable behavior.  In this regard, it is important to weigh the situation with an open mind. In a time when television has become a basic social need, it is not practical to pick a side exclusively.

It depends on the amount of time consumed in watching television and the type of programs that are being watched. Having specific time limitations in front of the television could help (A Guide for Parents). One can discipline himself/herself into limiting his/her television time to 2 hours at most on weekdays and 5 hours on weekends. There also good programs on television which are worthy to watch such as educational programs, movies, inspirational drama series and the likes.

Watching television does not always produce harm; watching excessively does.  Works Cited“A Guide for Parents: Television and Your Child.” University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. 27 April 2009.

;http://www.uihealthcare.com/topics/medicaldepartments/pediatrics/tvchildren/index.html;Anderson, John.

“Bowling For Columbine.” 11 October 2002. Newsday.com.

27 April 2009. ; http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/movies/ny-etbowl2960584oct11,0,5392580.

story;Booth, Heather. Serving Teens through Readers’ Advisory. United States of America: by ALA Editions, 2007.Braxton, Greg.

“Reality TV helps break down racial barriers” 22 February 2009. Seattle Times. 27 April 2009. ;http://seattletimes.

nwsource.com/html/television/2008766946_realitytv22.html?syndication=rss;Del Castillo, Valerie Anne. “’Dexter’ Allegedly Inspired Murder in Edmonton.

” 08 November 2008 Buddytv.com. 27 April 2009. ;http://www.

buddytv.com/articles/dexter/dexter-allegedly-inspired-murd-24308.aspx;Gordon, Devin. “A Killer’s Movie Connection.

” Newsweek. 27 April 2009. ;http://www.newsweek.

com/id/35322/output/print;Kellert, Stephen. Building for Life: Designing and Understanding the Human-Nature Connection. Washington D.C: Island Press, 2005.

Mallett, Margaret. The Primary English Encyclopaedia. New York: Routledge, 2007.“Reality TV ‘helps race relations’.

” 28 June 2005. BBC News. 5 March 2009. ;http://news.

bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4629253.stm;Steinberg, Shirley R.

, Priya Parmar ; Birgit Richard. Contemporary youth culture: an international encyclopedia. Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006.Thakkar, Rupin R.

, Garrison, Michelle M. and Dimitri A. Christakis. “A Systematic Review for the Effects of Television Viewing by Infants and Preschoolers.

” Pediatrics. 27 April 2009. ;http://pediatrics.aappublications.

org/cgi/reprint/118/5/2025;Valenzuela, Sebastián., Namsu Park. and Kerk F. Kee.

“Lessons from Facebook: The Effect of Social Network Sites on College Students’ Social Capital.” 5 March 2009. ;http://online.journalism.utexas.edu/2008/papers/Valenzuela.pdf;;

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