Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Narrative Essay

Theresa L. Leonard
Dr. Jim Hepworth
English 101: Creative Writing
February 17th, 2009
The Best Things in Life
It seemed just like a nightmare. She was getting married today to a boy she barely knew and didn’t quite love. Today was supposed to be her happiest day. All she could think about was how everything she was doing was backwards. She was scared to death. All she could do was cry, and they were not happy tears. She was only eighteen years old. The wedding was drawing closer and closer. She knew she had to quit procrastinating. “Let’s get this over with.” She said as she pulled her wedding dress out of the plastic it came in and over her six month pregnant belly.
The girl was scared. She waited what seemed like forever for the test to come back. As she waited, thoughts raced through her head of the boy leaving her once he found out she was pregnant. She has only known him for three he going to stick around and help her through this? Or was she at it alone? She cut ties with her family; they were not going to help her with this baby. Maybe she wasn’t pregnant, maybe she was just thinking to hard about this. She started thinking about how she was just jumping to conclusions. As soon as she calmed herself down, the test results came back. Pregnant. Little did she know, this was going to be the best thing that has ever happened to her.
Her original plans were to go to the city and go to school. Make something of her. Since her family doubted her so much, she wanted to badly prove them wrong. Day after day their voices told her she wasn’t wanted; there was no need for her, all she will ever be is a waste of time. With this pregnancy, she felt all she did was lose and her family was right.
All she could think about was how the boy would react. He didn’t exactly have the best life either with his family always kicking him out of his home. She kept thinking this would cause him not to want a family. She was afraid he would want her to get rid of it. She didn’t know what she was going to do. She debated for weeks if she should even tell him and just leave, but she had nowhere to go.
She decided she needed to go speak to the boy. She had been crying from the frustration of not knowing what to tell him. He noticed something was wrong. She just stood there for a few minutes in silence; gathering her thoughts and finally let him in on the secret.
He broke down. What was he supposed to do when he was only nineteen and had a seventeen-year-old pregnant girlfriend? He still had some growing up to do. He had no job and still lived with his grandparents. He knew one thing, he had to be there to make it better, and he was raised better than to leave her. He looked her in the eyes and told her he would always be there for her; after all, he thought he could love her.
He headed down to the city and looked for a job and a nice place to move his newly pregnant girlfriend. He had to make this better for the both of them. She still had two months of school left, but planned on moving her down directly after graduation. After searching for a month, he found a good enough job and a decent place. That night he went and bought a little diamond ring to give to her. When he returned to her house, he kneeled down on one knee and asked her to be his wife. She said yes, although she was very unsure of herself.
Finally graduation came and gone, and she was ready to move with him. She packed all her stuff and away they went. It wasn’t any place she was used to, but she knew she could get used to it. She started to get wedding plans in line since they wanted to make themselves an honest family before the new addition came. They both worked hard day after day to make it, how were they going to afford a baby?
The wedding came closer and closer, and her belly grew bigger and bigger. Still her family did not know she was pregnant. She worried about how they would react when they saw her walking down the aisle with a bowling ball in front of her. She decided she better at least tell her dad. When she called him on the phone to tell him, he began to cry. He was so happy for her, but she still did not understand why he would be happy. He always told her what a failure she was going to be. She was for sure this would prove his point. With her father’s approval, she felt more excited about the little baby boy she would be holding in four short months. The wedding came and her father walked her proudly down the aisle. Her family stared in awe as they were revealed for the first time of her gigantic belly. They all congratulated her. It was a shock for her. Everyone was telling her she did the right thing. She still had her doubts. After the wedding, the newly wedded teens took off for their honeymoon.
She started to fall in love with the boy who now seemed more like a man. He no longer was just some guy to fool around with, she had feelings for him. She no longer felt worthless. She finally had someone who was going to be there for her no matter what. He proved to her this pregnancy was just as serious to him as it was to her by going to every appointment. The day he cried when he saw their baby was a little boy, she knew he meant everything.
Over the next couple months, the baby was kicking forcefully. The father-to-be wanted to be there every moment to feel that wonderful sensation. He treated his new bride like a princess by cooking, cleaning, and working everyday so that when she got home from work she could relax. Her fear of this new baby was soon gone.
The months turned into weeks and then finally days. The baby decided to come into the world and meet his mother and father. He rushed her to the hospital and held her hand as she went through the pain. All she wanted him to do was be there and that’s exactly what he did. Thirteen hours later of endless pain and screaming, he came. They both never knew they could love someone they never met so much. They held this little man for hours, just staring at his beauty. They both finally had a family they could call their own.
After they came home from the hospital, this little boy kept both of them awake night after night with sometimes endless cries. Feedings after feedings, messy diapers after messy diapers, they still both looked at him with love and understanding. The baby got the best care he could have ever gotten. The new parents would make sure their little boy got everything he ever needed and then some. This baby taught them things they could never learn from anyone else and made them into two loving people. He was safe. They both would make sure nothing ever happened to this little miracle. The baby made them both realize there isn’t anything more important in this world than family. She knew now, this was the best thing that has ever happened to her.

Comparison Contrast Essay

Theresa L. Leonard
English 101: Creative Writing
Dr. Jim Hepworth
April 9th 2009
Two True Men of Nature: A Comparison Essay
Nature and wilderness are two things many humans do not understand anymore. Many people think you can drive a couple hours and be in wilderness. This is neither nature nor wilderness. Being able to hike five miles where vehicles have never been and rarely a human soul is the true being of nature. In my opinion, both William Stegner and Henry David Thoreau have both come to know what nature and wilderness truly is. While Stegner is more about the preservation of wilderness and Thoreau is concerned about people as a being forgetting their true roots, they both have the same ideas.
“We are a wild species, as Darwin pointed out. Nobody ever tamed or domesticated or scientifically bred us.”(2) Stegner writes. He goes on saying, “But for at least three millennia we have been engaged in a cumulative and ambitious race to modify and gain control of our environment, and in the process we have come close to domesticating ourselves. Not many people are likely, any more, to look upon what we call “progress” as an unmixed blessing.”
Too many humans have not seen wilderness and do not know where they come from. Many of these people could already be domesticated. People are told what to do and they do it. People go to their jobs everyday because we are trained to do it, and if we do not, there are consequences. There is nothing wrong with going to work day after day, but we must remember our roots every once and awhile and go get lost in wilderness.
Thoreau tells us, “I love even to see the domestic animals reassert their native rights – any evidence that they have not wholly lost their original wild habits and vigor;” (15) If more people would realize we are not anything more than a wild animal, and we need to let that show a little more, just maybe we would be able to stop this “race” to be completely domesticated.
The progress we are making every day is not good for us or the wilderness.
Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirt the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never again will Americans be free in their own country from the noise, the exhausts, the stinks of human and automotive waste, (1) Stegner explains.
Without preservation of our wilderness, it’s very likely we will never see wilderness or nature again. Our wilderness is turning into new cities and big department stores are taking over the last few acres of our beautiful land. Without wilderness, we will not be able to have the same experiences of our founding fathers that formed this country. It’s very unlikely if we do not preserve wilderness, will we be able to sit in the peaceful nature and hear nothing besides the birds singing, the creek babbling, and the wind blowing.
“To preserve wild animals, implies generally the creation of a forest for them to dwell in or resort to. So is it with man.” Thoreau goes on, “Ah! Already I shudder for these comparatively degenerate days of my native village, when you cannot collect a load of bark of good thickness—and we no longer produce tar and turpentine.” Without preservation, we are not going to be able to produce new products. Our country needs to decide to recycle a lot more if we are not going to preserve more land.
The biggest difference between Thoreau and Stegner is one hundred years. Thoreau lived in the 1800’s and Stegner the 20th century. Thoreau wished “to speak a word for nature, for absolute Freedom and Wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and Culture merely civil,--to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society.” (1) He believed more in us losing touch with our wild beings. Stegner believed more in preservation. “If I may, I should like to urge some arguments for wilderness preservation that involve recreation, as it is ordinarily conceived, hardly at all.”
“Let me say something on the subject of the kinds of wilderness worth preserving. Most of those areas contemplated are in the national forests and in high mountain country.” (3) Stegner is not only concerned about earth that will probably never be touched by “the stink of humans.” But he also believes there could be a second chance for the land that has been touched.
“I am not moved by the argument that those wilderness areas which have already been exposed to grazing or mining are already deflowered, and so might as well be ‘harvested’.” (2) Stegner goes on to say, “Better a wounded forest than none at all.” He knows that the earth will not heal quickly, that it will take time. But if people start preserving our land, it can be healed. Thoreau is about getting in touch with your inner self. It is about knowing how to “take a walk.” Thoreau explains, “My vicinity affords many good walks, and though I have walked almost every day for so many years, and sometimes for several days together, I have not yet exhausted them.” (3) He knows how to lose himself and he is happy about that. “When I go out of the house for a walk, uncertain as yet whither I will bend my steps, and submit myself to my instinct to decide for me, I find, strange and whimsical as it may seem, that I finally and inevitably settle south-west, toward some particular wood or meadow or deserted pasture or hill in that direction.”
He does not have a specific place where he heads; he just ends up where he ends up. He knows how to let himself be one with Wildness. Walking is probably one of the things that keep him sane. “How womankind, who are confined to the house still more than men, stand it I do not know; but I have ground to suspect that most of them do not stand it at all.” (2) Confinement is not an option for him.
William Stegner and Henry David Thoreau have a lot of points in common like the preservation of our wilderness, but also have some different ones as in Stegner with a heart for land already wounded, but believe there is still potential, and Thoreau who lives for “walking.” These two were brilliant men who cared a lot about wilderness and nature. They both believed we are becoming domesticated, that we have lost ourselves, and we need to do something about it. If not, we are going to lose all that will ever matter to us.

Works Cited

Stegner, Wallace. “Wilderness Letter” The Wilderness Society 3 December 1960. 26 Feb 2009 .<http://www.wilderness.org/content/wilderness-letter>.
Thoreau, Henry David. “Walking” The Thoreau Reader 23 April 1851. 10 March 2009