Growing up in a different country, in a different culture and being different are not all of the three best combinations in order to be considered normal. I was 9 living in Zimbabwe, Africa and I thought that there was nothing more important in the world then burying your nose in a good book. Sitting with Anne of Green Gables underneath the patio while everyone else was playing on the monkey bars and the playground was a typical break for me. When some of my friends came over to ask if I wanted to join them in their recent game of tag, I refused and then explained that I was in a really good section of the book and that I would come and join them as soon as I could. I sat down and continued to finish my chapter all the while the games were going on around me and I was completely oblivious to it all. Suddenly, I heard the taunts that were directed at me and looked up from my book. A group of kids were near me and were taunting me with how little I seemed to care about the outside world, and that if the world inside the book was so wonderful then maybe I should just live there. Being as blunt as I am I asked them why they were bothering with me and didn’t they have better things to do then torment me. My statement was met with replies of you are a weirdo and how I am better off with the friends in my book, because that at least will give me some friends. Thankfully, there is safety in having a strong family, and at that moment my sister and brother walked over and asked if everything was okay. I told them yes, that there was just some confusion and they were just leaving. I always have been comfortable in the world of my books and it gives me a sense of security, just like the comfort of my family.
The package was brown with lots of stamps that stretched from North Carolina, United States to Cameroon, Africa. It was addressed to Lindsay, Jamie and Elizabeth Cobb and we were all so anxious to tear it open to see what was held inside it. It was from my Grandma and Grandpa in North Carolina and their stream of presents always held the hope of a new Disney VHS tape. My sister told my brother Jamie that it was my turn to open because they had opened the last two and so I hastily got to work tearing the brown paper. The movie was Aladdin! We had heard about it from our family back in the states over the phone and from some of the other kids that had already received the movie from some of their family back home. We were so excited to open the VHS box up and watch it! My mom interrupted us and said that first we had to wait until all of my brother and sister’s homework was done first. I was itching to watch the movie, it was finally in my grasp and now I had to wait? I waited patiently for them to finish with their homework, and by patiently I mean that I kept going and asking them if they were done yet. At least two hundred times in a matter of minutes. Finally, Lindsay and Jamie finished up with their homework and we went into the living room to start our movie. When the credits came on my mom and dad sat down with us to watch the movie and I couldn’t control the excitement that I felt when the music started. The opening song started and I sat fascinated watching the colors play on the screen and the words that spilled from it.
What was the experience during the composition (describe your learning process)?
My experience during the process of this composition was one of the easiest parts, and I really enjoyed working on it. Being someone who loves writing, it was very easy for me to write this and to be very concise with my feigns. I was able to work within the platform of expectations that were given to me in the requirements of this project.
After I started to delve into this project it was easier for me to connect more and more with the real undertones of who I am and how to easily use the memories that make me smile and have helped me grow in my life. It was in this project that I really understood why Beauty and the Beast meant so much more to me than just a favorite Princess. Once I made this connection it was easy to go from there.
The Family section was the most fun and creative area of this project. I was able to show my love for my families and the memories that we have shared in the past. I really enjoyed the challenging measures of talking to my family and clarifying details that have been changed over time in my head. It brought up laughter, thoughtfulness and love to each one of us.
2) Name one instruction you derived from the readings and comment on how you applied it to the project.
The instruction that benefited me the most was from Zinsser. Zinsser instructed us to think about the entire memory, then focus on the details and emotions and record them so that you can later go back and reflect.
This instruction was particularly useful to me because I was having trouble portraying the emotion that I was feeling for my memories to those that are reading my memories. I had a friend read my first draft of one of my memories and she told me it was okay, but that she didn’t really feel anything coming from the memory. No pain, gratitude, or joy from it means that no emotion is being correctly portrayed to my readers.
This allowed me to stop and to re-read my memories and focusing on the different things that are portrayed.
3) Comment on intuitions you may have at this point about a possible pattern emerging for your Wide Image.
My intuition that I have after composing my Family and Entertainment story is that I have a strong sense of satisfaction with who I am. I find that I have a stronger sense of independence and comfort in my own skin and that I don’t need the support and approval of those around me to be comfortable with who I am. I can say all of these things but my weakness is the fear of constantly being alone. I think there is more to these emotions and concerns then I can put into true resounding words, but I hopefully will be able to formulate a clearer understanding in the part II of the image of wide scope.
4) Which student mystery did you find most helpful?
The blog that I found to be the most helpful was Sam Blend’s blog:
Sam Blend had a very similar layout to my own and I really enjoyed the similarities in the entertainment story. I also really enjoyed the GIF’s that Sam included and hadn’t previously thought to use them in order to portray emotion! Sam also was able to give me insight on how to correlate the Felt and Family stories together to make it seem seamless.
Books are a place to escape, a place to transform into someone or something else. You go into a book to: escape, indulge, marvel, solve, and love.
My image of a book portrays it as a safe place that is determined by the person who needs that haven, for each person it is different. While writing about books, a quote continued to pop in my head, “books are a uniquely portable magic.” This was how I visualized books, but for so many people books are portrayed as boring or too educational and people choose not to explore them. Books can and are used for development and success but they are also associated with relaxation and filled with a potential that far exceeds people’s usual imagination.
I have discovered that I am scared of being alone. That despite my tough exterior people can still get under my skin and hurt me. This is why I choose instead to let very few people truly in, instead of facing the insecurities that I have. Alternatively, I also see the positives in my life that have shaped me into being a strong, independent woman.
I enjoyed creating the logo because it allowed me to experiment with some hidden things and also to turn them into something beautiful that others can appreciate. The community story was the hardest to write for me because instead of writing down the history as I remember being told by my family, I had to research it and find out the facts. The reality of what happened and the lives lost was harder than the happy stories that my family grew up telling me about my heritage.
I was two and my favorite story was, “Beauty and the Beast.” I would grab the book and crawl up on my mom’s lap in her rocking char and say, “Please?” as I was taught to. I must have made my mom read it to me over and over again countless times in a row for weeks or, maybe even, months on end. One day I surprised my mom by reciting the words of the book out loud, without her saying anything, but just by merely turning the page for me. To say my mom was stunned was an understatement! She got so excited and said to me, “Elizabeth, how would you like to show Lindsay and Jamie (my older siblings) that you can read?” I just handed her the book and said, “Please?” My mom quickly took me into the living room where my sister and brother were hanging out and she sat me down in her lap. “Lindsay and Jamie, look what Elizabeth can do! She can read!” my mom said. Neither my brother or sister believed that I could read, as I was only two years old, so they both argued and said that there was no way that I could read. However, in my house you don’t argue with my mother once she says that we are going to do something. After a lot of grumbling we finally settled down and my mom parked me on her lap. She opened Beauty and the Beast and I started to “read.” My siblings were mesmerized, they had no idea that I had just memorized it from the amount of times that I had heard the story. They came over and started to excitedly tell me how proud they were of me and then they asked my mom if I could read another book. My mom started to reply, but just like every other time, I had grabbed the book and shoved it into my mom’s hands and said, “Please?”
I believe that my wide scope is accurate, because it was very different than what I would like to admit to the world. It brought my shortcomings and failures to the surface, as well as my successes and comforts. The wide scope showed me what I need to focus on as well as what I can be proud of.
The fear of being different is never something that I will ever truly grow out of, but being given a world view, I will be able to recognize it. This will allow me to become more open and understanding of other people’s shortcomings.