Zendaya as the Beautiful Face of a Harsh Reality

Most people today would hear the question, “Have you seen the movie The Greatest Showman?” and think of a heartfelt movie of triumph in the face of adversity. The movie even received an eighty-six percent audience rating on rotten tomatoes. The movie introduces its main character as the previous P.T. Barnum and follows his journey of creating the first ever circus. He starts off as a poor man living with his wife and kids when he unfortunately losses his job. Sympathy for his character is immediately built especially with today’s economy grabbing the audience’s sympathy and they are rooting for him and his circus to succeed. He gathers up what he calls in the movie as “a collection of oddities” or his “freak show,” and he exploits them for their uniqueness. Some of the members of his circus included beautiful actresses such as Zendaya and Keala Settle who are taken advantage of by P.T. Barnum in the movie as well as the others.  Barnum’s family moves into an opulent mansion as he starts to make money off of his shows and the members of the circus feel empowered and happy to be apart of it. Barnum’s greed overpowers his moral code and he begins to mistreat the “freaks” that gave him the power and fame in the first place and they band together against him. P.T. Barnum eventually makes his reparations with the crew and everyone lives happily ever after, right? Wrong.

 The truth of P.T. Barnum is much deeper and darker than this movie ever attempts to expose. In Medical Apartheid, Harriet Washington reveals the horrific details of the first “circus.” Zendaya, in today’s society, is a fashion and beauty icon. Not only is she a beautiful model but is highly respected in her discipline of acting as well. She represents the opposite of P.T. Barnum’s motives that are seen in history. One of the atrocities that Washington details in her book is about a slave named Joice Heth. Barnum purchases her from her previous owner R.W. Lindsay and decides to display her and make money off the ticket purchases. Washington lists the reasons he chose her, “Her eyes were gone, the legacy of some unknown ailment, she was toothless, and her uncut horny nails curved like talons.” To compare the icon that is Zendaya who not only a model in looks but whose character in the movie is not a slave with the reality of Joice Heth is disrespectful to the oppression she faced under Barnum’s ownership. Not only were none of the characters in the movies slaves, but Zendaya was the only Black actor that held a main role in the circus. As Washington mentions in the book, the Barnum that we see in history exploited slaves who had disabilities as a result from injuries they received from previous owners and most of her ailments were a results of others brutalities that he paraded around. From the description above of Joice, not many would picture Zendaya to fill such an important and powerful role. The Greatest Showman gives a fictional narrative to the sad story of Joice Heth’s abuse and oppression. In Medical Apartheid, Washington mentions that even after Joice passed away, Barnum once again stripped her humanity in a large viewing of her autopsy in an attempt to prove outrageous claims he made about her age and false medical diagnoses. It’s a shame that the public remains largely uninformed about the true history of P.T Barnum and his exploitative actions. How can one truly know about the sad truth when authentic histories in the media and cinema are directing society to avoid the harsh reality. Barnum, as stated by Washington, focused on the exploitation of black bodies and fueled the racist atmosphere of the time. It’s important for Hollywood and the actors taking part in these movies to think of the real people that these narratives affected. Joice was never given a voice throughout her struggles and Zendaya’s voice lacked the overwhelming strength and courage that Joice and many other victims deserved. Instead of remembering Zendaya’s beautiful face when thinking of P.T. Barnum, remember Heth’s beautiful courage in the face of so much abuse.

Racism in the Ranks: Discrimination in the Armed Forces

Toni Morrison in her novel Home, tells the story of Frank Money, an African-American Korean War veteran who returns home and is forced to battle racism.  Frank, like so many other veterans, suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  The men who fought in the Korean War witnessed countless acts of violence and returned home severely emotionally damaged. Frank as an African American was not only forced to endure battle and the loss of his best friends in Korea but racism as well. 

According to the Korean War Legacy Foundation, racism towards African Americans servicemen remained a concern during the Korean War. Just two years before the United States became involved in the conflict in Korea, President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981 officially ending segregation in the armed forces. Truman believed that African-American troops were honorably risking their lives and deserved to be treated with the upmost respect. Unfortunately, many high-ranking military leaders simply ignored the President’s new legislation, as many units remained segregated.

Although this was a major step for African-American civil rights, acts of racism towards black soldiers did not cease.  In an article titled Black and White in Vietnam, Gerald F. Goodwin of the New York Times wrote of time he spent with soldiers during the Vietnam War, which took place years after the conflict in Korea. Goodwin explains that African-American soldiers were frequently denied promotions and were more severely punished than their white counterparts. For only making up 11 percent of the total servicemen in Vietnam, African-Americans accounted for 34.3 percent of court-martial punishments.  Not only were black soldiers unfairly punished, but also assigned to more dangerous posts. This inequality resulted in African-American deaths representing 25 percent of all of the American deaths in Vietnam. In light of the discrimination that took place in Vietnam, one can estimate the magnitude of inequality that took place during the Korean War.

Soldiers willing to lay down their lives in service of their country should be hailed as heroes, regardless of their ethnicity.  The acts of courage displayed of African-American servicemen often went unnoticed and unrewarded.  However, African American soldiers returning home from World War II were treated with far less hospitality than they truly deserved.  Isaac Woodard Jr. fought bravely in the United States Army in World War II and was honorably discharged and returned home to the United States. Only hours after being discharged, Woodard was pulled off of a bus by police and was beaten, resulting in the loss of his eyesight (Korean War Legacy Foundation).  Woodard’s story was not the only heartbreaking atrocity that took place. However, his story is noted as a major reason that Truman signed Executive Order 9981 into law. 

Frank’s PTSD in Home is attributed to the loss of his fellow soldiers in battle and the killing of a defenseless Korean girl. It is without question that Frank is an imperfect man. He committed an unforgivable act of violence that clearly haunts him and is a main cause for his alcohol abuse. However, Frank is also a victim. He witnessed the deaths of some of his best friends and was forced to deal with the added stress of being an African-American in the armed forces. I possess a great deal of sympathy for Frank. I believe him to be a good person who was unfortunately jaded by racist beliefs of the time.  He protected his sister since he was just a boy and felt a great deal of guilt for leaving Lotus and enlisting in the military. A man who feels guilt by engaging in a selfless and honorable act cannot be bad person by nature. His environment and experiences twisted him into a man capable of killing an innocent girl. I believe that Frank is a complicated character who was coerced by racist institutions into becoming a man of sin.

After all Frank Money is a fictional character, but he represents a generation of African-American veterans. He is an analogue for veterans who chose to fight for their country even though their country treated them as less than human. I consider this act of the highest honor. As a descendent of veterans, I understand the sacrifice and selflessness of fighting for a country. Racism and discrimination is unacceptable, especially when it occurs to brave men that are willing to leave their lives and families to protect their nation. The military owes these men immense gratitude and reform. President Harry Truman realized the sacrifice of black servicemen and began to repair a broken system with the signing of Executive Order 9981.  In modern times, discrimination remains present in the armed forces, as Carla Herreria reports that black soldiers are currently two and a half more times as likely to be punished through a court-martial or nonjudicial means than their white counterparts. Even though discrimination remains prevalent in the military today, efforts should continue in order to make sure that African American heroes are being treated as they rightfully deserve.

Why should we care about worldbuilding?

Worldbuilding is not something we usually have to think too hard about, mostly because it’s something we’re not intended to think about. A well-built fictional world is meant to be seamlessly immersive, or else the story risks being overshadowed by the feeling that something crucial is missing. After all, we inhabit a fully-formed world, and our brains demand the same out of the fictional stories we enjoy. For this reason, many writing blogs, such as this one, suggest that in order to properly build a world, one must“go beyond just outlining the setting your characters live and work in. Think about the laws that govern the world, the way the government works, the world’s history, geography, technology, and mythology. Create your world, and then push yourself to go deeper.” 

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Imposter Syndrome and Its Invisible Grasp on Medical Students

Imagine both helping to bring one of modern medicine’s most fundamental procedures to America and preventing an epidemic. Now, imagine doing all this and not receiving credit for it.  In our world ruled by copyrights and publications, this situation can be difficult to imagine. However, in 1721 this was far from reality.  An excerpt in chapter 2 of Medical Apartheid recounts the story of Onesimus: the man who helped make inoculation mainstream in the United States. When Onesimus shared his knowledge and experiences of the procedure in Africa with the man who kept him enslaved, Cotton Mathers, Mathers used this information to advocate for widespread smallpox inoculation in Boston. He also submitted a report to the Royal Society on the topic, and as a result reaped acclaim for preventing an epidemic and making inoculation a widespread Western practice. On the contrary, the mastermind behind the technique, “came to share the fate of nearly every slave who contributed to medical research: facelessness” (73). I interpreted this “facelessness” as a forced separation of Onesimus from his contributions. This alienation he experienced reminded me of more modernly acknowledged phenomena: imposter syndrome. People with this condition often feel uncomfortable acknowledging that they are wholly responsible for their successes. This condition is very common, especially for people in the medical field, but it is still not recognized by many: including its victims. In my writing I hope to both raise awareness of what imposter syndrome is and why it occurs, as well as how we can combat it so that more people can feel valid and responsible for all that they have accomplished.

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Fixing A Failing Language

Language is a pre-set thing, the rules have already been made for us, and the use of the words within our language already decided. We naturally use certain words to convey our ideas, even if those words don’t truly convey what we mean. This means that we must learn to understand our own language better and to pay attention to what meaning we are giving to our words. This is not a new thing, language has been failing us for decades.

Take charity hospitals for example. The name “charity hospital” was originally a way to deceive the poor as well as Africian Americans to believe that here they could receive adequate care at little to no cost. Yet this was not the case. As pointed out by Harriet Washington in Medical Apartheid, many charity hospitals believed that they had the right to experiment on those who depended on their care. They saw it as fair for helping people, even if that ruins the true meaning of a charity hospital. Charity is the voluntary giving of help and hospital is a place to get medical treatment. Forcing a patient into a dangerous experiment without informed consent is quite the opposite of that. However, even once the truth of these hospitals came to light they were continued to be known as charity hospitals. This allowed the association between all hospitals, all low cost places to be, because the language wasn’t changed to reflect what those places really were. 

In Toni Morrison’s Home the reader is introduced to a character named Cee. Cee, a young girl without proper schooling and away from her protective brother goes to work for a doctor and a scientist. On page 65, Cee, in his office looks at the books reading their titles. Titles such as Out of the Night, The Passing of the Great Race, and Heredity, Race, and Society. On the same page, Cee also promises to learn and understand the meaning of the word “eugenics”. Cee’s schooling, or lack thereof has failed her. It has not taught her to identify certain words as dangerous, or that mean to oppress her. For a woman of her time these words, this type of language should be a glaring sign to get out. But because Cee does not understand the language she has no idea to be cautious. What language she does know, fails her because there is no word that means the same thing or holds equal value to convey the same thing. 

Fortunately we can do better. Recently in my class, I used the word “trade-off’ to describe the way charity hospitals used those who came for them to help. I had just finished the word itself, when my brain stopped. Trade-off wasn’t the right word, because that would imply that there was a fair trade, and both parties were aware of the exchange. But they weren’t, so using such a word didn’t convey what I really meant. To help fix the errors in our own preset language we must first be aware of what the meanings of each word is, and then use those words correctly. To not fix the failures of language is to muddy the waters of what we really mean, and all that does is leave room for the twisting and misuse of those words, a cycle that one can see is easily exploited at the expense of others. I will leave you with a quote from Harriet Washington, “Language was often tortured to disguise the racial nature of hazardous experimentation.” (pg 59, Medical Apartheid). Fixing the failures in our language allows us to convey the truth, allows us to call out wrongdoings, and protect others. To do this we must constantly be aware of what we are saying and what we are meaning. We must make sure our schooling doesn’t fail short of this, and strive to teach it to others, no matter if it is our peers, our co-workers, or even ourselves. Fixing our language starts with us, and correcting the misuse of language in the past, and not falling into those old habits.

Cruelty & Beauty Together

“Their raised hooves crashing and striking, their manes tossing back from wild white eyes. They bit each other like dogs but when they stood, reared up on their hind legs, their forelegs around the withers of the other, we held our breath in wonder. . . . The neighs were not as frightening as the silence following a kick of hind legs into the lifted lips of the opponent. Then it stopped. . . . One dropped his head and pawed the ground while the winner loped off in an arc, nudging the mares before him. . . . They were so beautiful. So brutal.” So begins Toni Morrison’s short novel Home, and with it comes an important question: How can something be beautiful if it’s so brutal?

Joseph Addison, in the opening paragraph of his essay Pleasures of the Imagination, discusses the “pleasures of the imagination which arise from the actual view and survey of outward objects; and these, I think, all proceed from the sight of what is great, uncommon, or beautiful.” He asserts that regardless of whatever “horror or loathsomeness” an object may bear, there can still exist a “mixture of delight in the very disgust it gives us.” He goes on to elaborate on his use of greatness, by which is not meant “the bulk of any single object, but the largeness of a whole view, considered as one entire piece.” He provides examples from nature, such as “huge heaps of mountains” and “a wide expanse of water.” Finally, as far as this paper is concerned, he states: “Our imagination loves to be filled with an object, or to grasp at anything that is too big for its capacity.”

 While Addison is surely correct in his assessment of physically great things in the mind—as testified by poets, who have been inspired by sunsets and sunrises, oceans and great mountains for thousands of years—, far more interesting is his idea of considering something “as one entire piece.” If we consider something in that way the actual size of the object becomes wholly irrelevant, and we can fill our minds with small things that nonetheless feel great in size. For example, a beautiful woman “considered as one entire piece” can enthrall one’s heart and imagination insofar as every part of that woman would be magnified in the mind many times, in spite of her actual relative lack of size compared to the Sahara or the Alps.

 “The most beautiful time is the first period of falling in love, when, from every encounter, every glance, one fetches home something new to rejoice over.”* Regardless of any feelings of love for this beautiful woman, one can “fetch home something new to rejoice over,” from any part of her, from her eyes, lips, fingers, laugh, or a common mannerism that appears great because she’s doing it. In other words, the actual size of the object isn’t responsible for its being great or not. Rather, its absorption and magnification within the mind makes it great. In this sense, the mind very much “is its own place” and it can be understood how even wholly abstract ideas, such as those found in religion, philosophy, or poetry, can be so beautiful.

In Homer’s Iliad it can easily be seen how an admixture of “delight” with “horror or loathsomeness” can exist within the mind, as similes are very frequently used to contrast the violent world within the war, and the more peaceful world outside, creating a very broad view of the world. In the following passage, Homer compares the violent killing of a soldier with a flower:

“The archer loosed a fresh shaft from the bowstring

straight for Hector, his spirit longing to hit him—

but he missed and cut Gorgythion down instead,

a well-bred son of Priam, a handsome prince,

and the arrow pierced his chest, Gorgythion

whom Priam’s bride from Aesyme bore one day,

lovely Castianira lithe as a deathless goddess . . .

As a garden poppy, burst into red bloom, bends,

drooping its head to one side, weighed down

by its full seeds and a sudden spring shower,

so Gorgythion’s head fell limp over one shoulder,

weighed down by his helmet.”

When taken as an entire piece, the simile demonstrates that the beautiful can exist together with “horror or loathsomeness” or with butchery; the peaceful, idyllic outside world in which a blooming garden poppy can droop after a spring shower is contrasted with the slaughter of the war; the greatness of the contrast, between extreme violence and extreme peace, is enough to fill the mind, because the mind can easily become populated with the things that exist between those two states.

Another wonderful and similar comparison can be found in Crime and Punishment, which, in my own experience, created an enormous contrast between everything I’d ever heard or considered about “eternity” (or, as I considered when reading the passage, Heaven), with something opposite:

“We always imagine eternity as something beyond our conception, something vast, vast! But why must it be vast? Instead of all that, what if it’s one little room, like a bath house in the country, black and grimy and spiders in every corner, and that’s all eternity is?”

The beginning of Morrison’s Home follows the same principles. The young protagonist saw the contrast between these (to his eyes) physically imposing creatures, normally thought of as highly docile and even majestic, and their violence against one another. Within the paragraph there’s an obvious contrast created between winner and loser of the duel, with the winner boasting to the women: “[loping] off in an arc, nudging the mares before him” and the loser having “dropped his head and pawed the ground”—imagery that very much seems to evoke a plaintive suppliant or sulking child. 

There are countless examples of beauty found alongside cruelty within and without literature (e.g. in film, music, visual art). Toni Morrison’s opening to Home is but one small example, and it succeeds very well in introducing the reader to the beauty and cruelty to be found within the story; beauty in the sacrifices characters are willing to make and the pain they’re willing to suffer, and cruelty in the way they’re often treated by the outside world. Even in that cruelty beauty can be found, the very fact that such cruelty is possible can, itself, be a very beautiful thought.

*Spoken by the pseudonymous author A in Kierkegaard’s Either/Or.

Be Informed

Our course epigraph ““My job is to notice…and to notice that you can notice.”–Dionne Brand, from notes that Beth during the question-and-answer session following Brand’s March 2, 2013 reading at the Northeast Modern Language Association in Toronto” (course syllabus), makes me think about all the things that I have never noticed and been blind to. I feel as though it is better to know than to not know, and I feel as though it is your job to be an informed citizen wherever you are. My whole life I have been blind to the fact that our modern medicine has gone through experimentation with the use of slaves without their consent. So many people have never questioned the history of our medicine and therefore have never known the horrors of how it came to be. This makes me truly upset, and one goal I have for this semester in this class is to learn as much as I can about how our modern day medicine has come about so I can be more informed and inform others. In the first few chapters of Medical Apartheid by Harriet A. Washington I have learned so much more than I feel I would have learned about this matter in my whole life. I never knew that gynecological instruments were tried involuntarily on slaves. I also learned that there are many accounts of people of color going missing, and when they pass away their bodies are awarded or sold to medical schools for students to run experiments on. There was a man named Ota Benga, who was taken from his country and awarded to Samuel Phillips Vernon after finding that his family and tribe had been slaughtered. Benga was locked in the monkey habitat at the zoo and put on display for everyone to see. They locked Benga up so that they could show the theory of evolution. After attacking people they released Benga and the African American people of the community raised money so they could send Benga to college. He ended up committing suicide years later. Stories like this would never have been told if it were not for Harriet A. Washington writing this book. We learned in class that iatrophobia is the fear of medicine, and many people of color have this fear because of the horrendous history of how modern medicine came to be. I mean who can blame them? I find myself getting upset reading about all these things that have happened in our history that no one has talked about, none of this is common knowledge. Another goal I have for this class is to become informed, and inform other people. While there is not much we can do about the past now, knowing about all these things can keep from having history repeat itself.


Upon reading the course epigraph, I begin to think about in class, noticing each other talking. In every class period, there is tons of conversation about the reading we completed for class. But these conversations are about noticing things from the text, and noticing what others are noticing.

In the book Medical Apartheid, by Harriet Washington, there is so much to notice. We can notice that there are so many horrible things happening to innocent people through out history. Many of these horrible things include using unclaimed bodies for scientific work, being used for medical experiments without consent, being exploited for having medical deformities, that many other humans have, just because your skin is different, and many other things. In class, we can notice these things and learn about them, but the real learning comes when we notice what others are noticing.

When we notice what others are noticing, we can learn their perception on the topic. Not only do we learn what we think about and understand, we learn about what others think. I can use this knowledge to set a goal for myself. This goal being that I want to notice what others see more often. I want to learn not just my own noticing, but what other classmates notice. Having more discussions about the text and really thinking about what others are saying, talking more and including my own thoughts to help others learn as well.

Noticing what others notice is how you learn more things. The course epigraph really gets me thinking about learning new things from my classmates.

Not yet.

Thomas Jefferson, a slave owner, wrote the Declaration of Independence.

Like everyone, he was more than a simple decision, more than a simple document, more than what he was most remembered by. He was a human being, with complexities and layers.

But he was a slave owner, and he wrote the Declaration of Independence.

It is May 2019. I sit in the Auditorium Theatre in Rochester, NY, my hometown, Hamilton playbill in hand. I have been counting down the days until I finally got the opportunity to see this show — one that had so inspired me as a writer but also as a human being. When the lights go down and the show begins, I am filled with joy. The familiar first notes of the show begin to play. This story is one of triumph over circumstance, one of emotional complexity, told by a cast entirely composed of people of color (with the exception of the role of King George). In so many ways, it is groundbreaking. It is written by a Puerto Rican; it combines the art of hip-hop with the art of musical theatre.

An audience composed of mostly white people witness the jubilant, expressive show and receive it with hardly any movement or enthusiasm. It is impossible for me not to dance in my seat. I struggle to not sing (and terribly rap) along, I move my head to the beat. I smile, I laugh, and God knows I cry, too. The show reminds me just how powerful music and theatre and the arts can be. It reminds me of the bravery of the human spirit. It reminds me why I love being a writer so much. I feel out of place as I receive the show so intensely. The audience around me feels no different than the audience I watched A Christmas Carol with a few years ago.

There is a line in the show:

“Black and white soldiers wonder alike if this really means freedom.”

“Not yet.”

It takes place in a song about winning the war. It is one of the most important moments of the show in my eyes — not simply because of the events but because of the way the characters respond to them. The complexity of this victory is something that reminds me of things we are dealing with today. For example, when same-gender marriage was legalized in the United States only a few years ago, many people joyfully proclaimed, “the war is over!” Meanwhile, I got the news at a diner sitting across the table from my dad, sitting in a tiny rural town, knowing I was not yet out and knowing that I would be having a lot of conversations about this topic now today. Sure, a battle had been won, but there was work to do.

The complexity of these things is something that we have spent time discussing in this class so far this semester, and it is an important reminder that nothing is ever as simple as it may seem. For example, reading Fortune’s Bones by Marilyn Nelson prompted some interesting discussions about things I personally had never even thought about before. One of these was the complexity of experiencing the joys of life and being a human while also being forced into terrible circumstances/conditions that are out of your control. Fortune was a slave but also obviously felt joy and happiness, and the complexity of feeling that within the chains of slavery is so interesting to me. I am grateful to this class for being a place that allows these conversations to occur.

In the audience of Hamilton, I was thinking about a lot of things. But one of them was the complexity of these characters that were being portrayed by a cast of color. The show is composed of many characters who were most certainly slave owners, but the show is full of themes of freedom — the complexity of this show being performed by a cast of color is one that reminded me of the types of subject matter we were dealing with in this course. It is never as simple as what you see on the surface.

Reading Insightfully

Based on my experience in class over the past three weeks, I have discovered a few things about myself, my peers, and my classwork as it applies to my life. First, I have noticed that my reading fluency and comprehension varies from text to text. For example, Fortune’s Bones has a text laid out simply which allows me to quickly read through it but also allows me to go into depth more quickly. On the other hand, the Medical Apartheid takes me longer to read through and understand and I rely more on the class dissections to help me more fully developed my ideas that strap down the text and help us understand the book more thoroughly. Another self-discovery I have stumbled upon is that technology often hurts me more than helping me which is my fault alone. In order to better myself and allow this to happen less in the future, I must learn how to better use tools like the blog site on which I am posting this, as well as Canvas which holds all the information I need to help myself succeed in my classes. Second, I have learned that my peers all learn differently due to their different personalities, background experience, and knowledge of literature which creates our classroom dynamic. After thinking about this I realized that during class I need to be more assertive in my ideas, which still respecting and considering the perspectives of my classmates as well. During class discussions, it has been evident who has and has not read and analyzed the assigned text that we are set to discuss. I have accidently done this twice with readings that were assigned on canvas and I failed to discover. When there is a lack of knowledge going into the group discussion it is almost impossible to possibly contribute to the conversations when you have nothing to reference, no points to make, a lack of insightful questions to ask, and a lack of background information. Third, through the work I have analyzed for class, I have been able to find reflection. In Fortune’s Bones for example, on page 27, I found a few sentences that not only applied to the text and helped future my understand of the authors intentions but lead me to relate the book to our culture as it applies today. As an example, “What’s essential about you is what can’t be owned,” has provided me with so much insight and has been a line that has continually been stuck in my mind (Fortune’s Bones, page 27). The sentence reflects on the idea that a body is not all a person is. What makes each individual truly themselves, what no one else can control, is their personality, opinions, and choices. “You can own someone’s body, but the soul runs free,” (Fortune’s Bones, Page 27). This idea applies to the books we have been studying in which medical experimenters have destroyed the bodies of human beings both dead and alive, disrespecting their humanity. The idea of this quote reminds us that we are more than our bodies. Our body represents us, but the most important things cannot be physically destroyed. We still own ourselves to some extent. This idea can apply to today’s society relating to how we see so many conflicts arise based on physical differences, and the quote reaffirms that a person should not be labeled by that specifically. “What’s essential in you is your longing to raise your itty-bitty voice in the cosmic praise,” also comes from Fortune’s Bones page 27 and is very relevant in today’s society as well as the time period in which we are studying. So overall, the learning I have been doing so far in this class has room for improvement in areas but has also given me a lot of insight and allowed me into deep thinking relating all the things we are learning to the present day.