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Poverty

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Submitted By jayramos8605
Words 1399
Pages 6
John Ramos
Eng. 101.0806
Room: M161
Instructor: Diane Hessemann

1. Using details from the story compare and contrast Mabry’s “worlds.” What is ironic about the impact of success on his life?

Where does one find harmony in such opposing “worlds” of affluence and destitution? One may ask this question to really envision the similarities and differences that the author encounters in the excerpt called “Living in Two Worlds” by Marcus Mabry. Marcus confronts a daunting task of trying to balance the emotional toll of having a thriving education while having prosperous accommodations to live vs. the demeaning and bleak reality of the lives and habitat of his loved ones back home. In many ways, Marcus shares some comparisons between both worlds that he shares his life in. One example of this is how Marcus feels proud for what he has been able to accomplish coming from such adverse conditions and how also that his family should be proud for being able to survive adverse dilemmas. An example of this comparison is stated when he writes, “The fact that they survive in the world in which they live is something to be very proud of, indeed. It inspires within me a sense of tenacity and accomplishment that I hope every college graduate will someday possess.” In another aspect, one can conceive many contrasts between the author’s worlds. One example of a contrast the author faces between both “worlds” is when he recounts describing his world at Stanford vs. his world where his family stays in New Jersey. An example of this contrast is stated when he writes, “Once I got home to New Jersey, reality returned. My dreaded freshman had been replaced by unemployed relatives; badgering professors had been replaced by hard-working single mothers, and cold classrooms by dilapidated bedrooms and kitchens.”

Coming from such limited financial resources and detrimental surroundings in the beginning of his life, it is ironic that Marcus was able to have such a positive impact on his life and be able to do so successfully. Marcus grew up with most of his early life without any emotional or financial support from his father that he didn’t even get to meet almost 20 years since his departure. Being able to focus on his education and not let the turmoil back home affect his tenacity in his education allowed him to accomplish so much more achievements that many would not have expected from him because of where it all began.

2. For Mabry, attending college has secured him a spot in a new world vastly different from his past. Focus on your own between-worlds experience—college and home life, school and work worlds, high school and college relationships. Help the reader see each world as vividly as Mabry does; include your emotional responses, too.
I too, also share some of the authors’ “between worlds” experiences. I find that my school and work worlds are on two opposite ends of a spectrum when they are compared to each other. My occupational world consists of working at a rumbling casino with patrons eager for a quick thrill at some fast cash jerking levers and wagering the lucky bet all while trying to enjoy a few cocktails to mellow out, or in some cases, build up animosity while doing so. It is a fast paced habitat for thrill seekers that I must help ensure that ever patron is neither thirsty nor displeased with my service. Unfortunately it becomes a toll trying to make an individual level of genuine hospitality when everyone feels like they should be number one all at the same time. I still manage to do exceptionally well given the circumstances and go away with minimal battle scars from all disparaging banter of people having to wait patiently for their turn. On the other hand I find my educational world to be very tranquil. It is a world where sometimes the dull voice of the instructor can almost put you in an overdue slumber. Flashing lights on slot machines with all the bells and whistles are replaced with the wisp of pages turning and scratching of much needed notes on paper. Thinking about my school life makes me realize that one day I will have the best of both worlds. I will be able to make a good living with a peace of mind that does not involve nerve-racking occurrences as often as they do now.

3. Write about a time when you tried to escape one world and exchange it for another. How successful were you? What was your emotional toll?

Every morning when I open my eyes, I come to a realization that I am more successful than the day before. As normal life may seem to be now, just working and pursuing an education, it is a completely different world for me at this point and I owe endless amounts of gratitude and compassion for those who had faith in me for change and found me to be able to have the strength and ambition to overcome my obstacles. I escaped from a world where I barely graduated high school if it wasn’t for my father pushing me to attend summer school my final year and graduating with a class of 9 students. I had a girlfriend who was 4 months pregnant at the time and no job and no sense of the amount of responsibility I had on my plate. Reality was finally a dish served cold by the time I could realize what was for dinner in my life. I never thought about college when I graduated, I was more concerned about the child I was about to bring into this world. I grew up in an urban city in Massachusetts where I found that it was much easier to become accustomed to the city and what little it offered that seemed like much at the time, than to strive for bigger and better elsewhere. I took the downward spiral that many minority youth were taking for quick illegitimate gains and popularity and found myself having to deal with two different occasions of being incarcerated and having to put my family and close friends through it also. I missed some important milestones in my son Jayden’s life that I can never regain because of selfish and impulsive decisions I made at the time. Spending what seemed to be countless days and nights incarcerated, I would have never believed the old saying of life being too short. My world consisted of almost all choices in my life becoming protocol except for when I wanted to pick up a book and read. Luckily, after about a year, I was able to have my chance at a society outside a cell and be able to pursue a fresh start. The moment I realized it was time to escape was thinking back about how even with visits and letters from loved ones, I still felt forgotten, misplaced in the world, lost. All my ill-gotten gains were gone and having nothing but old clothes and love and support from those dedicated more than I was to change, was enough for me to change worlds and move from Massachusetts to NYC. It was very hard emotionally to leave a place I called home for most of my life and leaving my son Jayden that I already missed out on so much of his life while being incarcerated. Since I made the decision I can never look back and regret any part of what brought me here today. At this moment I have a job that I have held since moving NYC and I enrolled in college and everything is on the right track to repair what was broken in my life. I would never imagine that all that I went through in life that I would still have an opportunity at 26 years old to be able to have the chance to be a father my son can be proud of. Most people would have lost hope at any better future but I know through hard work and dedication that my life is meaningful and that one day I can look back upon this and be able to tell all others who seem hopeless to hold on to your dreams and hopes; nothing can stop them from coming true with faith in yourself.

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