Monday, March 21, 2016

Journal 8- Alexandra Abrams

Being eccentric and having a uniqueness about yourself are both encouraged and discouraged from our culture. Have you ever read or saw images in the books, Believe It or Not. This  is a great example of uniqueness that many people have done over the years and today that go over the edge with their hobbies. This can go from changing alternations to you body which is body modification or unusual addictions which is being addicted to dirty diapers. In a way having tattoos from head to toes and having piercings, substituting ears being pierced, can be seen differently. You can come across someone who loves art and thinks tattoos are a great appeal of showing what artist can do with a needle. You all have those who are questioning if the piercings hurt or not and then would complement the piercing. On the other hand you will see that many people often look at the person strangely and sometimes pull their kids closer than usual due to a discomfort of someones appearances. This can cause the saying, "That's not normal" to be included in the society. But what many psychologist have pointed out is, there is not a set of qualities that can actually identify what normal really is, yet people say this and that is not normal but what actually is normal. In my own experience I was raised that women should not have any tattoos or piercings other than ears. Everything changed when I was about 13 and I witnessed the encouragement and discouragement from the society when my mom started taking body modification to a new generation in our family. My mom was the first woman in out family to ever get a tattoo in our family that was a woman. When she had first told her parents they were more than disappointed, they were a bit harsh and did not agree with her decision. I remember when my mom told me and all I could think about was, "What are mama and pops going to say about this?" Once I saw it, I loved it. My mom had broke the unusual in our family and eventually they came around realizing that at the end of the day, she was still their daughter. In fact my mom has had a sleeve done, her chest, shoulders, side, and hip all done. She even has her dermals pierced (piercings by the high cheek bones). Although I encourage her to do whatever she wants, she still has people looking at her and judging her for something that she loves. Being different or unusual is being encouraged yet discouraged in our culture overall.

My reading in Holding On has been very well. I have developed myself to be more intrigued while reading to get a better understanding and picture in my mind while reading. The active reading is in fact my best. I enjoy writing in my book, gathering more information and holding more memories about what I read and what I analyzed in the readings. Being able to gather information was always my weakness. Staying awake while reading has always be trouble for me due to never quite understanding what I was reading until I have joined this course. My weakness has turned around and became a strength. I am now able to read the book and be able to tell you what it was about and what was the theme in this section. I am also able to jot down more active reading notes that help me develop memory and knowledge of what I have read. Overall I would have to say, my weaknesses are decreasing every day I read. One question I have wanted to know was, "Did the Navajo tribe get what they deserved?"

Moreese Bickham was a  sentenced prisoner in the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Although Moreese was protecting his home and his family from two unlawful police officers who were also involved with the KKK group he was still charged with murder and was sentenced to life. One key theme I found in this profile was hope. Bickham never gave up on hope and always stayed strong while watching new prisoners enter and leave, watching them carry away with their freedom out of the cell. With many times being denied of being released, Moreese never gave up hope. He should remarkable statements in his profile that showed what type of human being he actually is. One passage that meant the most to me was on top of page 37. "Give'em a little hope, you know. See, hope does something for a man - it makes him hang on to what little he got to get more. But if he lose that, there's nothin' to hang on to." This was in fact a powerful statement which included so much belief and encouragement to those who were loosing something that could never apart them and that was hope. Hope in fact means a lot to me because hope is something that can strive someone to go further and have their dreams being succeeded. Hope is valuable and Moreese shows a great example of that in his profile. 


  1. i have the same thought you do my weakness has always been staying awake during reading a book unless its this book which is pretty interesting here about different stories

  2. I love the way you compared Ripley's Believe it or Not to eccentric people. It's a very interesting way of looking at it.

  3. The story about Moreese was one of my favorites too! I love the ending when his grandkids are talking about how he has been "raised from the dead" because he finally made parole and someone finally gave him a chance after years of being rejected. Especially since the judge and every one apart of the trial had died turning his sentance.

  4. I've been there. I was the first person in my family to get tattooed, I'm also the first to move away from religion and while I feel a little bad about it because the rest of the family thinks my parents made mistakes somewhere or else I would've been deeply religious like them. However you should never allow someone else's views about you shape who you want to be our who you choose to become.

  5. I also enjoyed that story just because it really kept you reading the book. I found it horrible that he had been in jail for so know when he hadn't done anything wrong.

  6. I think our society judges too much when people are different. We have to appreciate why they feel the need to be different, or I like to call it expressing their selves differently. Some of the most genuine friends are people that have tattoos.
    I also like the story of Morese. I would find it very difficult to continue to have that much faith after all those years of imprisonment. Good journaling!


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