Journal Prompt #2: Mini-Literacy Narrative

One of your readings over the weekend, “Take the Cannoli,” focused on the impact one movie had on the life of Sarah Vowell. Vowell’s obsession with The Godfather helped shape her ideology—although she later changed her mind about many of the film’s morals—and drove her to take a strange and lonely trip to Sicily.

In this post I’d like you to consider a text—whether it be a movie, a book, a TV show, what-have-you—that had a strong impact on your life. Reflect on how and when you first encountered this text: Maybe it came along at a crucial time in your life, like Sarah Vowell seeing The Godfather during her confused years in college. Maybe timing had nothing to do with it and you were blown away regardless. Think about how this text challenged, confirmed, or helped shape your worldview. Did you find yourself imitating characters from this text (ie calling people “phonies” after reading Catcher in the Rye, talking in a gruff voice after watching The Dark Knight)? Or maybe it shaped the way you interact with people (you quote How I Met Your Mother with your friends, or maybe you tried to use Barney’s “Playbook” for picking up girls—I hope not, because that would be kind of disgusting, morally).

Thinking about a text that’s had an influence on your life will be good practice for your first paper for this class, a literacy narrative. This prompt, if you choose to accept it, will be due, as always, by midnight this Sunday (9/8). 200 words or more.

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31 thoughts on “Journal Prompt #2: Mini-Literacy Narrative

  1. A text that really affected my life was the novel “Sphere” by Michael Crichton. There are many reasons behind the sentiment of this book. First, this text is all about technology and exploring things that no one has ever seen before. In the story a group of the top scientists in the world are brought down many miles under the ocean to explore an unidentified space object. They infiltrate a giant spaceship in the middle of the deep sea object and find a giant golden sphere. In the end of the novel the scientists find that if you enter the sphere one gains knowledge to manifest any object or creature and control it. The knowledge that the characters in the story gain is the same knowledge that any student gains from their instructor or anything that can help you learn. In essence the golden sphere can be a professor. Like the characters in the text I learned that ultimate knowledge takes work and persistence. This book has gotten me interested in science and technology. Also because I read this book it has had a hand in choosing my major in college which is computer science. Whether it be Mien Kampf, The Bible or Catcher in the Rye, the right novel can change anyone’s perspective about a stance on an issue or even life.

  2. A text that really made an impact on my life was the movie “Remember the Titans”. I know what you’re all thinking “Oh my God that is the best movie ever made!” And if you’re thinking that, you are 100 percent correct. The thing that made this movie so special for me is what it actually did for my family. When the movie came out in 2000, my aunt and uncle were going through a nasty divorce that was putting a large strain on my three cousins. They would always be around our house with glum looks on their faces, barely speaking and rarely eating. One day as my parents, cousins, and I sat quietly in the living room; someone suggested that we watch a movie. And there it was, the one hundred thousand dollar question, what movie do we watch. Surprisingly, instead of taking its normal hour and a half of constant arguing and persuasion, my mother tells us that she has just purchased “Remember the Titans” at Blockbuster (That’s how you know this is old, Blockbuster is still around). So as a family we decided to watch it. Ten minutes in to the movie we are glued to our seats eyes stuck on the screen waiting for the next good, quotable dialogue. After the movie ended we were all happy so we decided to watch it again. After this it became our favorite movie. It had us at family dinners looking across the table and yelling, “You’re killing me Petey, you’re killing me!” Just to get some laughs out of everyone and it worked every time. I believe this made such a large impact on us because it gave us all something that we could talk about that brought smiles to our faces and not tears to our eyes. I am very thankful for what this text did for my family and for me, and that is the reason why I have seen this movie over 100 times and know just about every single line. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQaFjvUQIng

  3. I first watched the movie, Passion of the Christ, after seeing a clip of it my class, Religion: Understanding the Scriptures. The movie is a narrative of Jesus Christ’s journey leading up to him dying on the cross in order to save humanity on the sins they commit.
    The Passion of the Christ has had a lasting impact on my views of Christianity. Since watching the movie, I have realized that Christ could have denied his belief in God, the Father, and not have to go through the tortures for being beaten and hung on the cross. He decided to suffer so that the human population can enjoy life in heaven and be saved from their sins.
    I was also inspired by the forgiveness of Christ when he was on the cross. Christ said “Forgive them God, they don’t know.” This quote reminds me to always be understanding of people. Everyone has hardships and it is our responsibility to realize this and help our fellow friends. After watching the movie, I found myself to be more patient with others and more grateful for the life I have. The sacrifices that I make daily do not even compare to those of Christ.

    Lydia

  4. “The Blind Side” is my all-time favorite movie. The movie told such a great story and shows that the world is not just full of selfish greedy people. The first time I saw this movie was when it came out on DVD. One of my teachers in high school showed it during class and I just fell in love with it. The movie just filled me with hope and made me feel better about the world and the people in it. In the movie the Tuohy’s help Michael go to school, get an education and a football scholarship that he would have never gotten if they never took him in to their home. This inspired me to want to help people that need help and to see great things in everyone. Not everyone has the privileges or the luck that people like me have had (even if I’m not as lucky as others). Everyone should have the opportunity to get an education and should be seen for their talents not their background. If a person has the motivation like Michael did and are as thankful and loving as him then they should get everything the work for. “The Blind Side” help show me that these are the things that are important. When I can I do try to give to the less fortunate. In the future I plan on helping kids reach their goals and encourage them to never give up.

  5. Le’otis Boswell-Johnson

    Believe it or not, my favorite movie of all time is “Lion King.” I’ve loved the movie from the first time I saw it at like age four or five, and even to this day, if it comes on I’m stopping whatever I’m doing and watching it. As I grew older and faced different experiences in life, I realized how many life lessons the movie actually contained that I end up applying to my life. For example, Simba struggled with coming in terms with who he was destined to be and finding his own identity. Growing up in a very strong faith based family, I have been told I was destined to be a leader in the church, but as I grew older I had to find my own identity outside the expectations of my family. Along with having one of the best soundtracks out of any movie ever made, “Lion King” taught us that we have to come into our own person, that facing our past and learning from it is the best thing we can do no matter how painful it may be (my favorite line of the movie is from Rafiki told Simba “Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.”), and that when times get rough just take a step back and go to your place of Hakuna Matata. The “Lion King” has always encouraged me to be proud of who I am, and just like my favorite character Rafiki, I desire to be a source of wisdom and guidance for young men and women who seem to have lost their way.

  6. If you want to deeply understand the definition of being humble I would suggest watching the movie ” Pursuit Of Happyness”. The Pursuit of Happyness is in a category all by itself when its come to my favorite movies . When I first watch this movie I could not do nothing but watch it again and again .This movie gave me motivation and understanding that anything can be conquered with time and patience . In the movie Christopher Gardner a father who loses his wife , money and is forced to live on the streets with his son overcomes obstacles to become a successful stockbroker . But before that he can do nothing but try to find a steady job to help maintain a standard living for him and his son . This inspired me to never become ungrateful for the things and the opportunities that I received .There are people in this world who work hard everyday just to maintain a basic everyday living style . If anybody was going through some sort of problem struggle or obstacle stopping them to become successful watching the Pursuit of Happyness would give them a sense of motivation and determination.

  7. I will never forget the day where it all began. Where the influence to become a graceful, passionate, and caring individual took off. My sister and I were sitting side by side on that oh so dated green sofa on a Saturday afternoon with an ice cold juice box of Yoo-hoo and our boy band nightgowns. Our mouths wide open in awe watching the most influential movie of our childhood…..The Little Mermaid. The dream to be a mermaid was a childhood dream of mine (and it may or may not still be today). I would mimic Ariel’s’ fluidity of her fins in our swimming pool belting “Part of Your World” and the top of my lungs. She was my Idol and I found her as one of my top ten role models when I was a little girl. However, as I began to age and grow into myself, I realized it wasn’t just her ruby red hair, her voice, or her life I was trying to mimic. It was Ariel’s ever flowing passion and grace that drew me to be like her. Her selflessness and courage for herself and others made me want to become an amazing, caring individual when I grew up. At the exciting age of 18 now, I find myself in a pretty well rounded place with the care I have for others and the lengths I will go to help them. This childhood movie may have not been the only reason I turning out to be the person I want to be, but The Little Mermaid did encourage me to love, care, and help others in times of need…and that’s something to note for.

    –Renee Lemire

  8. My favorite TV show of all time is “Dr.Phil”. I’m sure most people have heard of this show as it is quite popular, but I used to be so addicted that I could watch a single episode five or six times. While I share all sorts of emotional feelings watching each episode, I also question myself, “Are these stories true?” One of my favorite episodes is “To Catch a Catfish”. The story begins talking about how a woman meets the man of her dreams online. For several months, she fell in love with him until she realized that this “perfect man” is fake and that he is actually a woman in disguise. For the whole time, I was thinking, “Wow, what kind of person would play around with someone’s feelings like that?” Even though this show does not help me academically in any way, I learn a lot from it. I learn that I am very fortunate to not experience these hardships. I also realize that even when those people are having a tough life, they are still brave enough to ask Dr.Phil for help and that they have never given up on their lives. This show gives me a lot of emotional support when I am down. Hopefully, I can become some kind of doctor or a psychologist so I can cure people’s heart, just like Dr.Phil.

    -Michelle Wu

  9. “Drake and Josh”, the comedic show on Nickelodeon from 2004-2007 seriously influenced the way that I lived, even looked. Drake was the epitome of cool; he was always on dates with girls and at the coolest parties while Josh, his not so cool stepbrother, was with his nerdy male friends at home. Seeing this as a fourth grader made me obviously want to be like Drake who seemed to be having all the fun, even though his grades may have been suffering. I began to watch this show religiously, never missing an episode, trying to reason why it was that Drake was the one having all the fun. Slowly, maybe even subconsciously as an upper elementary student, I began to imitate Drake. I asked my parents for a guitar one Christmas and then began to take lessons to hopefully be the same type of “cool kid” that was portrayed in the show. After a year I soon realized my guitar was blue and Drake had a red guitar. So I did what any kid would do and I asked my parents for a red guitar, exactly like Drake’s. I failed to tell them that part of course. I also always had short hair as a child, but soon around the fourth and fifth grade my parents were beginning to wonder why I liked my hair longer. Of course I knew that since Drake had long hair I wanted to grow mine out as well. This simple television show on a kid’s network did what the marketers wanted it to do, make me more like the show. I didn’t realize it of course, but in retrospect I now see how foolish I was for trying to conform to society when I should have just been my own person all along.

  10. My favorite early childhood book “The Giving Tree,” by Shel Silverstein, left a mark on me that is forever engraved in my heart. To any child, the story is about a little boy befriending a tree stump and growing old as good friends do. The true message of the story is to never take your loved ones fore granted. This motto is so important to me because it is something that I live my life by everyday. This book taught me that when you create a bond with a person, no matter how strong I think it is and how invested they are, I must always treat them kindly and hope- but never expect- for them to be there for me. In a world of hidden motives, this story instilled in me that it is important to me to show people that I truly care about them and that I will always make an effort for them. Reading “The Giving Tree,” as a young adult, I could fully grasp how important this book was to shaping my values as who I am today and how it has guided the way I treat my family and friends.

  11. My favorite book, “The Great Gatsby,” has made a huge impact on my life. First of all, the 1920s absolutely fascinates me, which sparked my initial interest in the book when it was assigned to me in AP Language and Composition last year. In the story, a young man named Nick Carraway moves to New York to get a start in the bond business and quickly becomes involved in a love affair between his married cousin, Daisy, and his new neighbor Mr. Gatsby. As a girl, I’m inclined to become quickly attached to love stories. But for some reason, I was attached to this story on a deeper level. I think I was particularly into this book because it isn’t your typical love story, the story is based off of an affair built from an old flame. Plus, Daisy and Gatsby went years without the other one and that created much anxiety about the wasted time. That story really taught me how much you need to appreciate time spent with your loved ones, while you still can. I truly value and cherish every single relationship I have in my life because of that story. I also learned that unfortunately, not everyone ends up with who they’re supposed to and that you need to value others, not money.

    -Christie Gleason

  12. It was Friday night. My Mom and I had this ritual where we would come home after a long week of school, flop on the couch and turn on the TV. Friday nights were the time where we would catch up on the shows we had missed that week for various reasons (homework, studying, grading papers, appointments, etc.). Mom would take the long couch directly in front of the television and I would take the short love seat. This is ironic because I am three inches taller than my mother. She gets the long couch and I get to cramp up on the small one? (Daughter of the year goes to…) I was in charge of setting up the VCR with all of our taped shows from that week. My parents are both teachers, which meant we did not have a DVR or On Demand or any other technologically advanced or current way of recording missed television shows. We had a VCR player.
    Per usual, my television watching companion fell asleep before we got through the first episode. I never faulted her for it. She worked long and hard hours. After those long and hard hours spent with teenagers, she came home to three children who all needed attention. My older brother would need a swift kick in rear to get his homework started, I would need help studying and my little brother would need help with his homework. All of the aid was usually executed by Mom. Dad would participate too, but we all preferred Mom’s help. She may have scared us into success, but we all appreciated it, which is why we always went back for more. When she was done teaching and helping us kids with homework and whatnot, she was left to take care of the cats and more than likely would end up on the phone with one of her four siblings. My Mom’s life was busy and chaotic, which is why I never faulted her when she would finally sit down to relax and accidentally fall asleep.
    Once I heard her start to snore, I stopped the tape and switched over to the live TV stations. It was that Friday night that for the first time I watched re-runs of Sex and the City on E! Network. I couldn’t believe it! People had sex for other reasons than to procreate? What a concept! The lives these women led were so far removed from the life I was living. I wanted to possess what all four women had. I wanted Miranda’s intelligence, Samantha’s confidence, Charlotte’s perfection, and Carrie’s youthfulness. The 30 minute segments made me giggle, made me blush, made me want four best friends, and made me want a Steve or a Mr. Big (didn’t figure out what that meant until last year!) of my very own.
    Sex and the City was an escape. It’s very different from what I did on a daily and nightly basis. The problems these women faced made me feel so much better about myself, too. While they grapple with love, all I had to deal with was passing mi Español dos prueba (my Spanish two quiz). It helped me realize how enjoyable being a kid was. It also gave me a different lifestyle to look forward to as an adult. Not one of sleeping around, but one filled with adventure, excitement, and new experiences.
    Fun fact: Sex and the City is a literacy narrative. Who knew?

  13. One series of books that has impacted my life strongly is the Harry Potter series. I remember when I first learned about it – I went with my best friend at the time to go see the Sorcerer’s Stone in theaters. The beginning kind of confused me – I had just turned seven, after all – but I adored it. I managed to be up through the whole movie, although it was way past my bedtime (can’t say the same for my friend though).
    After that, I hadn’t seen much of Harry Potter until the year after, when I found a copy of The Prisoner of Azkaban one afternoon under a bench outside the apartment complex in which we lived. I picked it up and I brought it to my room, having recognized the title. I sat on my bed and began to read. I had been immersed in it for hours. After that, I asked my mom to get me The Goblet of Fire, and then the Order of the Phoenix. After that, I had to wait for The Half-Blood Prince to come out. In the meantime, I reread the books I had – in my mind, I was right next to Harry, Ron, and Hermione as they went on their adventures to save Sirius or to win the Triwizard Cup.
    After reading the stories as a child, I always strived to be the bravest I could be. Even now, I’m very protective of my family and friends like Harry, working hard on my academics like Hermione, and sometimes being a little rash when I get upset like Ron. Harry Potter taught me many things that I still keep in my heart and mind today, and will be a part of me until the very end.

    -Becky B.

  14. The Novella “The Age of Zeus” by James Lovegrove had a profound impact on my life because main characters faced insurmountable odds throughout the story. Whether their fighting the gods of ancient Greece or the internal conflict to give in to temptation to join the enemy or continue to fight for freedom from the gods and goddesses. In this text, Lovegrove has taught me the importance of never giving in to temptation or to stop fighting for what you believe in. The book is about a group of elite commandos from around the world fighting to free the world from the god’s oppression of humanity. This diverse group of commandos has to fight creatures from Greek mythology before they can even confront the gods. In one incursion they fight the Hydra, which has the unique ability to regrow limbs. This causes to the group to burn the wounds they inflict upon the creature to stop the regeneration of the limbs. After the group fights a few more of these creatures they are confronted by the god Zeus who offers them a chance to join him instead of fighting him and become immortal. Some of the group decide to join but are killed instead. That act of betrayal ultimately causes the downfall of the Greek Pantheon because it only made the remaining group of commandos fight with more intensity than before. So, Lovegrove has shown that giving in to temptation will only result in failure, either death or in resulting outcomes.

    -Palmer Harper

  15. It may seem a bit odd, but one movie i feel has made an impact on my is “300”, the story of the Spartan warriors that fought against the Persian “god-king” Xerxes and the entire Persian Empire. The reason this movie impacts me is because it tells the story of a group of men from a small nation standing up against a force which is 1,000 times bigger than them in numbers. The Spartan warriors were fighting for freedom. The Persians had bullied there way past the other smaller nations that didn’t have the heart to fight back. But the Spartans were different because they were fighting for a purpose they believed in. They had too much pride to become Persian slaves and worship a self proclaimed “god-king”. The Persian armies would march towards the small group of Spartans, and each time after the fight there would be no Persians left standing. The Spartans came out victorious time and time again. They were the underdog in all of these battles. The Spartans had taken out most of the Persian soldiers before they were finally killed. The Spartans were not fighting for money or power…they were fighting for respect and pride. This story really shows that even though you may be the smaller force, the underdog, that pride and honor towards where you came form can take you a long way. Now, i know that i will never have to fight in a Spartan battle in my life with swords and shields. But the attitude that the Spartans have towards the preparation and execution of their battles can be used in many other parts of life. They fought as a single force, each warrior was responsible for the man on his left and to his right. They thrived on accountability. This story is about war….but what it is really about is standing up for whats right and being there for your friends when they need you. That is why the movie 300 makes an impact on me.

  16. A text that had a major impact on my life is the movie “The Sandlot”. I first watched this movie when I was eight years old in third grade. I remember my Dad walking in the house around six o’clock p.m. after a hard days work. He proceeded to walk into the family room and handed me a cassette tape, since Dvds were few and far between back then. On this cassette tape was the movie “The Sandlot”. I watched it that night with my Dad and it instantly became one of my favorite movies. I then watched it every single night for the rest of that week because I simply could not get enough of the baseball, name-calling, dry humor, and friendship that the movie consisted of. This movie has not only provided me with entertainment and many laughs over the years, it’s also given me values to live my life by. For example, Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez, the cool kid in town, sort of takes in and assists a new kid on the block, “Smalls” to make friends. He does so by introducing him to his neighborhood friends and showing him the field they all play on, known as the Sandlot. This showed me that just because you already have popularity, there’s still no such thing as having too many friends. Also, nowadays extremely talented people, especially in athletics, are very arrogant and wouldn’t even give the time of day to a kid like “Smalls”. The Sandlot was a raggedy, worn down baseball field, but these boys treated it as if it was their palace. They would go out and play baseball for hours on end every day over the summer. After playing ball all day, the kids would routinely head over to the community pool and take a dip in the pool. This routine proved to me that this is what summer is all about for a middle schooler. I live my life in many ways according to the principles in this movie, and I believe it made me an overall better person.

    Louie Copley

  17. Picture a young toddler twirling in front of the television. She’s wearing a fluffy tutu, sparkly crown, and has her mother’s makeup smeared across her face. That basically describes every day of my childhood. I had somewhat of an obsession with Cinderella and although I didn’t understand it at the time, the movie would change my life. Every girl wants to be a princess, and once I found out that wouldn’t be possible for me, I set my goal for the next best thing, a ballerina. I was too young to understand why Cinderella’s first dance at the ball captivated me so much but I couldn’t get enough. Cinderella was my reason for starting dance, she brought me to my passion. I wanted to experience that same freedom she had when she was dancing. I wanted to forget the world and just leave everything on the dance floor. Twirling around the living room turned into 13 yeas of twirling up on a real stage. Cinderella was my inspiration. Even today, I’m still captivated by her grace when she begins that first dance. Dance has since then become my life, and it is this movie that got me there. I get to feel like a princess every time I step foot on stage.

  18. The television show “One Tree Hill” has impacted my life since sophomore year of high school. It’s a soap opera that I’m sure comes across as a classic that involves drama and has no meaning. Well, that is wrong. This show has taught me what it means to have strong relationships with people and how working hard can get you where ever you want to go in life. After watching the first couple of episodes, I started to notice the strong bond between two of the main characters, Brooke and Peyton. They did everything together and knew everything about each other. It was such an incredible relationship that they had that everyone wants with someone. Without even realizing it, I was subconsciously wanting my friendship with my best friend to be that strong and that loving. I started to talk about things in a deeper way like they did on the show, and I started to be a better listener, like Brooke was with Peyton when she had problems. I noticed a change in my friendship after this with her and with others too. Sometimes things have a way of affecting us without us even realizing it. “One Tree Hill” also showed me what it means to work hard. Working hard will always get you where you want to go in life, and I watched this happen in their lives. It has really encouraged me to build relationships with people and to do my best in everything that I do.

  19. A text that has changed my life was the movie “Boiler Room.” This is one of my favorite movies because I can greatly relate to it. Seth, the main character, runs an underground casino during his college years; he has managed to life a wealthy life and feels accomplished. His father, a federal judge does not approve of anything he has been doing. While trying to please his father Seth drops everything he has going on to join a Brokerage firm. A Brokerage firm is basically a bank for investments; they were very popular before the “.com” boom of the 2000’s. Seth passes his Series7 exam and realizes he is an amazing sales person, he believes he has a great future earning an honest living in this company. After a couple of months, Seth is making so much money off commissions that he questions the legitimacy of this company. He finds out that the “stocks” they are selling are for companies that are on the verge of bankruptcy. When the clients buy the stock it drives the value up, this is where the Brokerage firms would sell their shares making huge money, leaving behind the ruined families that believed in the success of companies they invested their hard earned money into. Seth decides to quit and turn in this corrupt scheme he partook in. The lesson this movie taught me is that sometimes making money can be very easy, but the key to success is to be proud of what you do. Seth realized he was better than that, his focus and dedication made him superior to all others in his line of work; he could succeed anywhere he went. I live my life knowing that in order to succeed I must learn to be better, achieve more and kill the competition with success; rather than thriving off the failure of others and being corrupt.

  20. A text that impacted me was the song “Daylight” by Maroon 5. This song is fairly new, about a year old, and came out at time in my life when a lot of changes were going on. The song illustrates a relationship between two people and how they have an amazing time together, but when the daylight comes they must go their separate ways. The words of the song are so vivid. You can imagine the heartbreak and it is like you are going through the same pain. At this point in time, I had many friends leaving for college, friends moving out of town, and the dynamic of my life had begun to change slowly. This quote from the song, “This is way too hard, cause I know when the sun comes up, I will leave this is my last glance that will soon be memory,” directly relates to going off to college. As I left my life long friendships behind, I traveled all the way down to Florida from New Jersey. The only person I knew was my roommate and this was exactly how I felt my last night home. The song makes me well up each time I hear it. It made me think that my friendships and memories would fade away as time went on. The emotion in this song lead me to believe that college would replace all of my past feelings. I see this song as a literacy narrative because it tells a story, but you can insert your life and experiences into it any way you would like. To one person it could be about a boyfriend and girlfriend and to another a group of best friends.

  21. A text that has impacted my life is The Elder Scrolls Series videogames. The game features main character (Named whatever you deem) that can be one of many different races. My character is of the Nordic race and is named Maliumack. He is customized to be pushing 240lbs of muscle with: a shaved head, fiery-red haired beard and black demon eyes. A true champion, Maliumack was my day dream muse for a while. The text’s plot unravels as such: The main character is a Legendary being known as Dragonborn. A Dragonborn is one born able to defeat Dragons and absorb their soul: 1. To ensure the beast is truly slain and 2. To allow the player to evolve and increase his/her power. The Dragonborn’s tale begins at the block of an Imperial executioner chopping heads of rebel army soilders (unfortunately, the Dragonborn is caught up in this). Suddenly, a Legendary dragon known as Alduin arrives on the scene to cause mayhem… and this is where the story begins.
    This Text changed my life in that it provided an escape from everyday life: Tests, School, Sports, etc. I could escape to my day dreams where I am the hero of my story… As Maliumack, the Dragonborn. During finals week in high school, I could find some solace in the fact that after studying for close to 3 hours I could take a break and head into the medieval world of Skyrim to continue the quest at hand: Kill Alduin.
    William Dell

  22. A text that I would say has had an impact on my life would be the song “I Drive Your Truck” by Lee Brice. In March of 2003, I lost my grandfather after he went into a diabetic coma. Even though he lived in Georgia, about 500 miles from my house in Miami, and I saw him two or three times a year if I was lucky, I felt like I lost a piece of me when he died. We had so many memories together, especially going for long rides in his old, beat-up Ford truck. So, when I heard the song “I Drive Your Truck” for the first time, I lost it. Shockwaves of emotions hit me and tears poured down my face as the song played. It became my favorite song instantaneously.
    Since the song became popular I have been to my grandparents’ house in Georgia a lot and I drive my grandpa’s old Ford. Like in the song, I would visit his grave, but I never really felt him until I had my windows rolled down, with his favorite country station blasting, as I burnt up back roads, and tore up muddy fields. Certain songs would come on and it would feel as if he was right there in the passenger seat. It was like the old days, except he was getting to watch me and listen to all my stories as I drove him around.

  23. A text that impacted me was a particular scene from the film, The Dark Knight. From start to finish the movie grabbed me, but this scene stuck out even further in my mind. It began with the Joker and Harvey Dent talking in the hospital regarding “plans.” There are always plans, everybody has plans. Then the Joker starts to elaborate on an idea, such as how when soldiers die everyday its downplayed, because it is all part of “the plan.” However, if a public figure or (the example he uses is the mayor) someone else is killed out of the blue, people panic. You can probably guess why- it’s not part of the plan. This made me think long and hard about death and how it truly is relative. It seems as if the same weight is not applied to each person’s individual death, but rather it is a matter of circumstance. CNN or Fox will have a story like Trayvon Martin on replay for weeks, but when a truckload of soldiers is killed in combat it only receives maybe a 10-second airtime slot, and that’s if they’re lucky. It also made me reflect on the sad fact that when life is cut short, not everyone is given the same due diligence of a mere mention of their name. This is only one of the many problems that society has, and with the recent expansion of technology, it really is a sad excuse.

  24. Lauren Anthony
    As I sat down with my family and put the DVD of “The Proposal” in for the very first time, I had no idea what to expect from this movie and certainly didn’t know how much of an impact it would have on my life. This comedy had me laughing so hard that I could feel a six pack coming on. I’ve always had a very sarcastic sense of humor and I love those awkward scenes in movies or TV shows like “The Office.” Since the beginning of my addiction with watching this movie I learned so many lines that I could recite the whole movie for you, even though you probably wouldn’t want that. Quoting movies and TV shows takes up a big portion of the conversations at the dinner table, which can leave guests feeling confused and uneasy, and after viewing “The Proposal” our problem only got worse. I’ve only seen the movie a million times and own it on DVD and when it’s on TV I just have to change it to that channel no matter what I’m currently watching. To this day it cracks me up, especially the woods scene where Sandra Bullock is singing “Get Low” by Lil John. It kills me. I quote the movie everyday just sliding a comment in a conversation occasionally without acknowledging where it’s from. Sometimes people catch on and others think I’m hilarious, but either way “The Proposal” has become a part of who I am.

  25. One text that had a major impact on my life was the movie Pans Labyrinth written and directed by Gullermo del Toro. This movies is the reason why I one day hope to write and direct my own films. This movie showed me our vast and beautiful someone’s imagination can be. This is set during the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and detailing the strange journeys of an imaginative young girl who may be the mythical princess of an underground kingdom. The movie follows twisted journey to find her true self while still being a fantasy film is focuses on real life problems very well. Ofelia the main character is just a shay little girl looking to escape. Her mother is be ridden because of her pregnancy and her stepfather is a sadistic evil military leader. Gullermo builds this beautiful eye catching world around Ofelia, literally this movie is to beautiful to explain. My favorite scene in the movie is with the grotesque looking Pale Man. This monster has an appetite for children and his eyeballs are in the palms of his hands. This guy gave me nightmares for days. After watching this movie I wanted to learn everything I could about writing and directing and I hope to make a movie better then this and just as memorable.

  26. Throughout my middle school and high school years, there was this popular show on T.V. called One Tree Hill. Being a teenager, I was dealing with the troubles of friendship, relationships, and family. This T.V show really had a great impact on me. I could relate to a lot of the events going on in it, such as a boyfriend cheating on you or getting into a little fight with one of your best friends. Every weekday from 3-5 p.m. I would relax from a long day of school and watch this show. It answered many questions from me, such as how to handle a break up or what to do if you and your friend share a certain interest in the same boy. It sounds silly, having a television show about a pure fictional town with characters that aren’t real. But I knew that One Tree Hill had an impact on me when I looked to it for advice or when I got excited, happy, or sad when something I wanted to happen or didn’t want to happen occurred. It taught life lessons that every teenager at some point went through. Seeing how someone reacts to the same thing you go through every day can really make a difference in your life.

  27. I am the youngest of three kids. I have two older brothers, one two years older and one 4 years older. As kids we did absolutely everything together. The rule of being the youngest sibling is to treat your older siblings as idols, gods. Everything they did and said was awesome, hilarious and so insanely interesting. They could not do anything that was “uncool.” They knew everything, they were in charge, and I was their follower. I thought it was by choice, but no, it is just a rule of life for the youngest. I played the same sports that they played, I played the same video games that they played, I collected the same playing cars that they collected, and I even wore the same clothes that they wore (hand-me-downs), and watched the same movies that they watched. One movie in particular had a major effect on my brothers which lead to the movie having a major effect on me. This movie was “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” My brothers and I thought Tom Sawyer and his gang were so cool and we wanted to be just like him. We wanted to go back in time and hang out with the whole crew. After watching the movie, we went into our closets and dug up old clothes that were similar to Tom’s. I wore my brother’s old khaki church pants and found a brown shirt and cut off the sleeves. My brothers and I took to the streets and would run around bare foot and mess around with neighbors. We had the time of our lives. We rang doorbells and ran and hid and watched as our neighbors opened the door to absolutely nobody. We thought it was the funniest most devious thing anyone could do. We would sneak into our neighbors back yard and pick avocados and mangos from their trees and run back to our base (our base was a crude two story tree house in our front yard that we built out of scraps of wood we found lying around) and feast on the fruit. We made sling shots and found more “bases” in deep, dark bushes. This was not just a phase; it was a life style. Tom Sawyer became our new idol. We did everything he would do. Our motto became “What Would Tom Sawyer Do?”

    Posted: 11:13pm 8/9/2013

  28. I have always been amazed by the way human interactions overlap with each other and loops of friendships connect in absurd ways. Recently I found a television show that portrays these connections and I feel in love with it, “Touch” on FOX. Even though I only started watching it January of last year, it has changed my life in a dramatic way. The show had this idea, that everything happens for a reason and interconnects in ways bigger than imaginable that fit together in a simple pattern, which is what we know of as life. Every interaction between people happens for a reason. In the TV show, every time the father, Martin, encountered someone, he immediately took time to recognize the importance in their meeting and didn’t take anything for granted. I wanted to be able to see that importance and be able to appreciate life like Martin. I began looking for joy in simple things, interactions, and moments in life. “Touch” inspired me to appreciate and seek out intentional relationships I had with others in my life. That everything that happens in my life intertwines with others lives eventually creating a chain of inspiration.

  29. You stand frozen on stage. The music starts and you hear the infectious beat of the drums and the saxophone solo. Adrenaline is pumping through your veins. Butterflies are in your stomach. The lights come up and you enter a whole other world. Some actors say that this feeling eventually wears off for them. Not for me though. Musical theatre has provided me with an outlet and feeling like no other. When I first read that email two summers ago and saw my name next to the part of Penny Lou Pingleton, I had no idea how much this show would affect my life. Playing the role of Penny was the first time I had acted outside of High School and in a professional theater. Being surrounded by such incredibly talented and seasoned actors was a little intimidating at first, but it no time I felt like I belonged. In preparation for my performance I did research on the time era Hairspray takes place in. I read up about the civil rights movement and the racial injustice of that time period. I felt every bit of sorrow and determination for equal treatment as every other African American during the song “I Know Where I’ve Been.” The show brought to light how people today are still judged by the color of their skin and how wrong that is. My favorite song in the show is “Run and Tell That,” which Seaweed sings to Penny. Seaweed acknowledges that people are wrong in judging him by his skin color, but he goes on to sing about how he’s proud to black and wins over Penny’s heart. Additionally, Hairspray taught me that love is love, no matter what shape, size, color, or even if you’re a man playing a woman (Harvey Fierstein).

  30. I’ve been watching Disney princess movies since before I could even comprehend I was watching them. Living in Central Florida for most of my life had it advantages. Not only did I watch the movies, I was a Disney annual pass holder. I could visit my very own princess castle whenever I wanted (not including select block out dates). As I visited the happiest place on earth in my Cinderella ball gown and princess crown all that was missing was my prince. I even purchased my own glass slipper inside Cinderella’s Castle. Was my mom trying to set my love life up for failure? At such a young age, Cinderella made my view of love a little skewed. The poor Cinderella rescued from chores by her prince charming. Where was my prince charming? A reoccurring thought I had while unloading the dishwasher. Being Daddy’s little princess didn’t help either. I’ve come to face the facts now but my young love life was quite disappointing. I received no glass slippers. Reality hit even harder when my mom and dad decided to separate. High school sweethearts to newlyweds to parents to separated spouses. Proof right in front of my eyes that not everyone has his or her fairytale.

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