Norfolk State University Vocabularies and Self-Reflection Essay

Description

Please define and use in a sentence the word
Festering , Earnest , Impudent, Odium
Essay
Let’s take a look back over the past few weeks and months. What do you feel you have learned? What were your expectations coming into the term? Did you learn what you expected? If not, were you pleased with the lessons?
Branching off of that, please choose at least three specific assignments/lessons that stand out to you, in hindsight. What about these pieces made them important to you, good or bad? What did you carry away from these works?
How will you utilize these particular lessons in the future? Please give one example of how you might use them in a) another English class, b) a non-English class, and c) your career field.Malcolm X Chapter Sample
I became increasingly frustrated at not being able to express what I wanted to convey in letters
that I wrote, especially those to Mr. Elijah Muhammad. In the Street, I had been the most articulate
hustler out there — I had commanded attention when I said something. But now, trying to write simple
English, I not only wasn’t articulate, I wasn’t even functional. How would I sound writing in slang, the
way I would say it, something such as “Look, daddy, let me pull your coat about a cat, Elijah
Muhammad—”
Many who today hear me somewhere in person, or on television, or those who read something
I’ve said, will think I went to school far beyond the eighth grade. This impression is due entirely to my
prison studies.
It had really begun back in the Charlestown Prison, when Bimbi first made me feel envy of his
stock of knowledge. Bimbi had always taken charge of any conversation he was in, and I had tried to
emulate him. But every book I picked up had few sentences which didn’t contain anywhere from one to
nearly all of the words that might as well have been in Chinese. When I just skipped those words, of
course, I really ended up with little idea of what the book said. So I had come to the Norfolk Prison
Colony still going through only book-reading motions Pretty soon, I would have quit even these motions,
unless I had received the motivation that I did.
I saw that the best thing I could do was get hold of a dictionary — to study, to learn some words.
I was lucky enough to reason also that I should try to improve my penmanship. It was sad. I couldn’t even
write in a straight line. It was both ideas together that moved me to request a dictionary along with some
tablets and pencils from the Norfolk Prison Colony school.
I spent two days just riffling uncertainly through the dictionary’s pages. I’d never realized so
many words existed! I didn’t know which words I needed to learn. Finally, just to start some kind of
action, I began copying.
In my slow, painstaking, ragged handwriting, I copied into my tablet everything printed on that
first page, down to the punctuation marks.
I believe it took me a day. Then, aloud, I read back, to myself, everything I’d written on the
tablet. Over and over aloud, to myself, I read my own handwriting.
I woke up the next morning, thinking about those words immensely proud to realize that not only
had I written so much at one time, but I’d written words that I never knew were in the world. Moreover,
with a little effort, I also could remember what many of these words meant. I reviewed the words whose
meanings I didn’t remember. Funny thing, from the dictionary first page right now, that “aardvark”
springs to my mind. The dictionary had a picture of it, a long-tailed, long-eared, burrowing African
mammal, which lives off termites caught by sticking out its tongue as an anteater does for ants.
I was so fascinated that I went on—I copied the dictionary’s next page. And the same experience
came when I studied that. With every succeeding page, I also learned of people and places and events
from history. Actually the dictionary is like a miniature encyclopedia. Finally the dictionary’s A section
had filled a whole tablet — and I went on into the B’s. That was the way I started copying what
eventually became the entire dictionary. It went a lot faster after so much practice helped me to pick up
handwriting speed. Between what I wrote in my tablet, and writing letters, during the rest of my time in
prison I would guess I wrote a million words.
I suppose it was inevitable that as my word-base broadened, I could for the first time pick up a
book and read and now begin to understand what the book was saying. Anyone who has read a great deal
can imagine the new world that opened. Let me tell you something: from then until I left that prison, in
every free moment I had, if I was not reading in the library, I was reading on my bunk. You couldn’t have
gotten me out of books with a wedge. Between Mr. Muhammad’s teachings, my correspondence, my
visitors — usually Ella and Reginald — and my reading of books, months passed without my even
thinking about being imprisoned. In fact, up to then, I never had been so truly free in my life.
The Norfolk Prison Colony’s library was in the school building. A variety of classes were taught
there by instructors who came from such places as Harvard and Boston universities. The weekly debates
between inmate teams were also held in the school building. You would be astonished to know how
worked up convict debaters and audiences would get over subjects like “Should Babies Be Fed Milk?”
Available on the prison library’s shelves were books on just about every general subject. Much of
the big private collection that Parkhurst had willed to the prison was still in crates and boxes in the back
of the library — thousands of old books. Some of them looked ancient: covers faded, old-time parchmentlooking binding. Parkhurst, I’ve mentioned, seemed to have been principally interested in history and
religion. He had the money and the special interest to have a lot of books that you wouldn’t have in
general circulation. Any college library would have been lucky to get that collection.
As you can imagine, especially in a prison where there was heavy emphasis on rehabilitation, an
inmate was smiled upon if he demonstrated an unusually intense interest in books. There was a sizable
number of well-read inmates, especially the popular debaters. Some were said by many to be practically
walking encyclopedias. They were almost celebrities. No university would ask any student to devour
literature as I did when this new world opened to me, of being able to read and understand.
When I had progressed to really serious reading, every night at about ten p.m. I would be
outraged with the “lights out.” It always seemed to catch me right in the middle of something engrossing.
Fortunately, right outside my door was a corridor light that cast a glow into my room. The glow
was enough to read by, once my eyes adjusted to it. So when “lights out” came, I would sit on the floor
where I could continue reading in that glow.
At one-hour intervals the night guards paced past every room. Each time I heard the approaching
footsteps, I jumped into bed and feigned sleep. And as soon as the guard passed, I got back out of bed
onto the floor area of that light-glow, where I would read for another fifty-eight minutes — until the
guard approached again. That went on until three or four every morning. Three or four hours of sleep a
night was enough for me. Often in the years in the streets I had slept less than that.
The teachings of Mr. Muhammad stressed how history had been “whitened” — when white men
had written history books, the black man simply had been left out. Mr. Muhammad couldn’t have said
anything that would have struck me much harder. I had never forgotten how when my class, me and all of
those whites, had studied seventh-grade United States history back in Mason, the history of the Negro had
been covered in one paragraph, and the teacher had gotten a big laugh with his joke, “Negroes’ feet are so
big that when they walk, they leave a hole in the ground.”
This is one reason why Mr. Muhammad’s teachings spread so swiftly all over the United States,
among all Negroes, whether or not they became followers of Mr. Muhammad. The teachings ring true —
to every Negro. You can hardly show me a black adult in America — or a white one, for that matter —
who knows from the history books anything like the truth about the black man’s role. In my own case,
once I heard of the “glorious history of the black man,” I took special pains to hunt in the library for
books that would inform me on details about black history.
I can remember accurately the very first set of books that really impressed me. I have since
bought that set of books and have it at home for my children to read as they grow up. It’s called Wonders
of the World. It’s full of pictures of archeological finds, statues that depict, usually, non-European people.
I found books like Will Durant’s Story of Civilization. I read H. G. Wells’ Outline of
History. Souls Of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois gave me a glimpse into the black people’s history
before they came to this country. Carter G. Woodson’s Negro History opened my eyes about black
empires before the black slave was brought to the United States, and the early Negro struggles for
freedom.
J. A. Rogers’ three volumes of Sex and Race told about race- mixing before Christ’s time; about
Aesop being a black man who told fables, about Egypt’s Pharaohs, about the great Coptic Christian
Empires; about Ethiopia, the earth’s oldest continuous black civilization, as China is the oldest continuous
civilization…
I never will forget how shocked I was when I began reading about slavery’s total horror. It made
such an impact upon me that it later became one of my favorite subjects when I became a minister of Mr.
Muhammad’s. The world’s most monstrous crime, the sin and the blood on the white man’s hands, are
almost impossible to believe. Books like the one by Frederick Olmstead opened my eyes to the horrors
suffered when the slave was landed in the United States. The European woman Fannie Kimball, who had
married a Southern white slaveowner, described how human beings were degraded. Of course I
read Uncle Tom’s Cabin. In fact, I believe that’s the only novel I have ever read since I started serious
reading.
I read Herodotus, “the father of History,” or, rather, I read about him. And I read the histories of
various nations, which opened my eyes gradually, then wider and wider, to how whole world’s white men
had indeed acted like devils, pillaging and raping and bleeding and draining the whole world’s nonwhite
people. I remember, for instance, books such as Will Durant’s story of Oriental civilization, and Mahatma
Gandhi’s accounts of the struggle to drive the British out of India.
Book after book showed me how the white man had brought upon the world’s black, brown, red,
and yellow every variety of the sufferings of exploitation. I saw how since the sixteenth century, the socalled “Christian trader” white man began to ply the seas in his lust for Asian and African empires, and
plunder, and power. I read, I saw, how the white man never has gone among the non-white peoples
bearing the Cross in the true manner and spirit of Christ’s teachings — meek, humble, and Christ-like.
I perceived, as I read, how the collective white man had been actually nothing but a piratical
opportunist who used Faustian machinations to make his own Christianity his initial wedge in criminal
conquests. First, always “religiously,” he branded “heathen” and “pagan” labels upon ancient non-white
cultures and civilizations. The stage thus set, he then turned upon his non-white victims his weapons of
war…
Over 115 million African blacks — close to the 1930’s population of the United States — were
murdered or enslaved during the slave trade. And I read how when the slave market was glutted, the
cannibalistic white powers of Europe next carved up, as their colonies, the richest areas of the black
continent. And Europe’s chancelleries for the next century played a chess game of naked exploitation and
power from Cape Horn to Cairo.
Ten guards and the warden couldn’t have torn me out of those books. Not even Elijah
Muhammad could have been more eloquent than those books were in providing indisputable proof that
the collective white man had acted like a devil in virtually every contact he had with the world’s
collective non-white man….
I have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading opened to me. I knew right there in prison
that reading had changed forever the course of my life. As I see it today, the ability to read awoke inside
me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive. I certainly wasn’t seeking any degree, the way a
college confers a status symbol upon its students. My homemade education gave me, with every
additional book that I read, a little bit more sensitivity to the deafness, dumbness and blindness that was
afflicting the black race in America. Not long ago, an English writer telephoned me from London, asking
questions. One was, “What’s your alma mater?” I told him, “Books.” You will never catch me with a free
fifteen minutes in which I’m not studying something I feel might be able to help the black man….
Every time I catch a plane, I have with me a book that I want to read — and that’s a lot of books
these days. If I weren’t out here every day battling the white man, I could spend the rest of my life
reading, just satisfying my curiosity — because you can hardly mention anything I’m not curious about. I
don’t think anybody ever got more out of going to prison than I did. In fact, prison enabled me to study
far more intensively than I would have if my life had gone differently and I had attended some college. I
imagine that one of the biggest troubles with colleges is there are too many distractions, too much pantyraiding, fraternities, and boola-boola and all of that. Where else but in a prison could I have attacked my
ignorance by being able to study intensely sometimes as much as fifteen hours a day?
Kobe Dee
The Deceptive Allure of Fool’s Gold
Once upon a time, in a small village nestled in the valley, there lived a young man named
Jack. Jack was as old as the hills, or so the villagers would say, but he had a heart that was brave
as a lion. He was head over heels in love with a beautiful woman named Emily he met during his
school years and who was seen as a a diamond in the rough.
One day, Jack decided to try his luck in the nearby mountains in search of gold which
would help him get a better life. He believed that all that glitters isn’t gold, but he was willing to
put in the hard work to find the real deal. At the onset of his expedition, Emily cautioned him
against allowing his aspirations to impede his discernment. Despite the challenges, Jack
exhibited a resolute determination to improve their circumstances. During his search for a better
future, Jack stumbled upon a cave that seemed to have been lost track of time. He entered the
cave and discovered what looked to be a vast gold trove. Jack couldn’t believe his luck; for the
moment it seemed he had struck gold in the nick of time.
Jack returned to the town, eager to share with his love the fascinating news. He let her
know that he had discovered enough riches to help them escape poverty. Emily remained
unimpressed and was skeptical of his statements. She tried to convince him to read between the
lines because what he sees might not be true. Despite her arguments, Jack was still blinded by
the possibility of getting rich without working. He had nerves of steel and was now more
determined than ever to prove to his loved one that his findings were indeed real. As Emily
became anxious in regard to this subject, he tried to calm her several times by repeating “Don’t
get your knickers in a twist, just go with the flow”
Kobe Dee
Realizing that there is nothing she can do to change his find, Emily decided to join him in
his adventure. As they approached the cave entrance, an elderly man emerged from the shadows
and warned them that not everything they see is real. Jack disregarded his warning as he was still
blinded of his findings, but Emily, on the other hand, continued to feel a persistent sense that
something was wrong.
In that moment, the gold deposit revealed its true nature: it was nothing more than fool’s
gold. Jack’s dreams of wealth and prosperity crumbled before his eyes. With his tail between his
legs, he realized that the old man’s words rang true: all that glitters isn’t gold.
Kobe Dee
Vocabulary Assignment
Dumbness
Definition: The state of being unable to either speak or understand a specific information, often
related to a form of either lack of knowledge or awareness.
Sentence: The teacher’s complex explanation on scientifical theories only increased the students’
sense of dumbness, which eventually left them more perplexed than before.
Dormant
Definition: In a state of either inactivity of rest but having the possibility of becoming active
again.
Sentence: The once dormant volcano in Italy suddenly started showing signs of activity which
alarmed the residents of the village.
Naked
Definition: In a state of vulnerability, feeling exposed or unprotected
Sentence: The newspaper article regarding the politician scandal left him in a naked position,
feeling defenseless against the criticism of the general public.
Continuous
Definition: Uninterrupted in time or sequence, without a break or pause.
Sentence: The continuous rainfall caused flooding in the region, affecting numerous homes and
businesses.
Whitened
Kobe Dee
Definition: Altered or manipulated to appear more favorable, often by removing or concealing
the truth.
Sentence: The company’s financial records had been whitened to disguise their illegal activities
from the authorities.
Cast
Definition: To throw or direct something, especially light or a glance, in a particular direction.
Sentence: As the sun set, it cast a warm, golden glow over the entire landscape.
Devour
Definition: To read or absorb eagerly and quickly, consuming information or ideas.
Sentence: The young scholar devoured every book on the subject, eager to learn as much as
possible.
Tablet
Definition: A pad of paper for writing or drawing, often bound together along one edge.
Sentence: The artist sketched her ideas on a tablet, capturing the essence of her vision for the
final piece.
Succeeding
Definition: Following after something or someone in time or sequence.
Sentence: The succeeding generations carried on the family business, honoring their ancestors’
legacy.
Kobe Dee
Motions
Definition: Movements or actions, often as part of a process or routine.
Sentence: The conductor’s precise motions guided the orchestra through the complex symphony.
Kobe Dee
Why Lie?
If there is anything humans have in common, I believe it is deceit. All humans lie, no matter how
big or small, we cannot be honest. Some of us don’t even trust ourselves. Why do we lie? Is it to
preserve other others feeling, and protect our egos, or is sometimes just more convenient than the
truth? I think there are several variables to this question, however, I believe that there is a time
and place for the truth to be stated, but the truth is always better than a lie.
I would define a lie as untruth, words, or statements that are misleading. Google states
that a lie is an intentionally false statement. I guess everything starts with intention, So why do
we as humans intend to be deceitful? For example, in the dating space men or women, will lie
about their weight, their height, their past, and their personality for what? To get something they
don’t think they could get or deserve if they were, to be honest about themselves. But is it okay
to lie sometimes, is lying ever justified? I don’t think so, I think reality, and truth is always the
best answer, although there is a time and place for the truth to be stated. If someone is going
through something terrible, stating the obvious truth most likely wouldn’t be a helpful response,
but statements and actions of support would be much better. Telling them everything will be
okay isn’t a lie, but say if you were to tell them a lie about why this person is experiencing
trauma, we tend to remember pain very vividly, and I believe our minds are very malleable when
we are experiencing tough times so a lie then, at that moment could lead them to even more pain
down the line, if that lie doesn’t lead them to the real solution towards healing.
I don’t think we should lie, it is bound to happen as a human but I think being truthful is
manageable. It requires us to be honest with ourselves and our intentions and to be present.
When we’re present we’re more intentional, because we have more headspace to consider others,
rather than our thoughts running rampant trying to find ways to preserve our feelings and egos.
Kobe Dee
Then we can respond more genuinely, and I don’t think there’s a better type of response than a
genuine one.
I dislike being lied to, in fact, a misleading experience inspired me to try to stop lying. I
didn’t want others to experience what I went through from being misled, by my untruthful
words, because at that moment the truth would’ve hurt, but it would’ve saved me so much time
and energy knowing it. When I’m lied to have little to say because I am aware of how deceitful
we are as humans. I understand why we lie, but I am still disappointed sometimes. I respond
maturely though, I remove myself from them, for I rather surround myself with those who are
true to me and themselves.
With me saying all of this, I lie every now and then, but I know why. Often it’s because
I’m not present. For instance, I was at IKEA returning a desk, and the customer service
representative there had a wild haircut that was unappealing to me, yet I lied to her and told her I
liked her hair upon greeting her. Maybe a part of me liked the fact that it was different, but down
to its core I just wanted to start a good conversation as we handled our transaction. This would
be considered a harmless lie, and I wouldn’t say this is not okay, I wouldn’t say all lies are
harmful, I am simply saying that the truth is the healthiest option to choose when the timing is
considered.

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