Sunday, November 24, 2013

Um I Wrote A Thing?

     I had an English assignment for my schoolwork to write a 500 word essay about an odyssey in my life time, a book report on one of two short stories, or about the topic I chose. I chose to write about "Why do wars start and how does it effect those involved? In conclusion, describe your own personal preference in viewing or listening to fiction or drama." I got an 80% on the essay, but I was pretty proud of it anyways so I figured I would post it here. But honestly, I hate book reports and I'm not sure what an odyssey is so that's why I picked this topic. At least I posted before I even said I would!


I come from a military family. From the top of my head, I can name one great-grandfather, three grandfathers, three uncles, two aunts, a cousin, and my father who were all in the military at some point in time. Most of them have been in one war or another. I suppose that's why my heart doesn't truly understand why wars have to happen, even if I understand the logical side.

All wars do have a reason though. Usually, it's because one country doesn't agree with the way another country is being run. The countries bicker and then they break out the guns. The body count grows, the ground is stained with blood, and tears for the lost and the dead are shed by billions. No matter the reason behind it, good or bad, it always hurts those involved. Somebody always gets a hero's burial, provided they can find the body.

The Vietnam War, in specific, started because South Vietnam and North Vietnam were fighting over whether the country should be communist or not. My grandfather fought in that war because America took North Vietnam's side while China was defending South Vietnam. It is a lucky and an amazing thing, that another World War wasn't started because extra countries jumped in as allies. The war ended almost four decades ago but my grandfather has never recovered, so I find it hard to believe most veterans truly have.

It's not something that he likes to talk about. The few times anyone has gotten him to speak, he's had whiskey in one hand and a dark look on his face. I can't even imagine all the things that he and his comrades must have seen on the battlefield. Children killed, friends killed, maybe even himself in his nightmares. The war ended in 1975, but he was one of the men sent on the ground to search for snake pits. He's even scared of worms now, in fear they're small snakes in disguise. I used to garden with him as a little girl and he made sure, above all else, I never touched a worm, just in case.

I think the worst part about the fact that he was involved in a war that didn't even affect his home country, is that he lost that fight. South Vietnam eventually won and so did communism. Millions of people lost their lives, figuratively and literally. After all, when you're off in another country fighting a war, time doesn't stay still in your own home. Not to mention the psychological damage or the financial resources that were used during that time.

Knowing what I do about wars has a strong impact on who I am. I loathe violence, whether I'm reading about it or watching it. I'm the type of person who wants to be surrounded in happy or silly things, like Disney movies or stuffed animals. I suppose part of me just wants to hold onto that innocence of not knowing why worms should never be touched, just in case.

12 comments:

  1. An odyssey is a journey, usually involving a quest. Your essay is very good. I would have given you at least a 90.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Ohh, that explains it. They gave an example like "of your highschool years" and that wouldn't do much good for me. haha

      I'm glad you liked it and thank you for your much better grade. =)

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  2. Hi,

    I think you might have got North and South mixed up. The US supported South Vietnam and it was the North (the communist Vietcong) that won.

    mood

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    1. Stupid wikipedia, giving me the wrong facts. Thank you though. I'm not going to edit this though since it was already submitted and graded.

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  3. My uncle was in Vietnam and to this day he absolutely refuses to talk about it. I don't blame him. I don't even want to know what he saw or went through.

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    1. I know very little about what my grandfather saw there. What I know is actually second hand, from what he told my mom. We were talking about the gardening story one day because I didn't understand why he was so damn adamant about me never touching worms, then she explained about the snake pits and it all made sense.

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  4. Good job! I'm bummed you only got 80 percent.

    I agree, war is hard to fathom. I mean, if they played a chess game to figure out who wins, I would totally be okay with it, and that makes a lot more sense, but when you are talking about actual human lives ending so the higher powers can win, it becomes murky and wrong.

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    1. Thank you! It's okay though. I got 100's on all my other assignments, except the final exam which was 76% but I got an A on the entire course, which is what really matters!

      RIGHT!? It would just be better to discuss things or play chess instead of seeing who has the biggest guns. That's one of the main reasons I hate anything to do with politics, because it's all violence and sadness and stuff.

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  5. Stupid teachers/professors and their stupid agendas... This was a 100% essay in my book. Very powerful. Very thought provoking.

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    1. Thank you Crystal! I would have loved a 100% and I was hoping for one, but I got an A on the entire course, so it's okay. If anything, it makes me want to work harder to see what I did wrong. I am glad that you thought it was worth a 100% though. Sometimes what people think is more important than a grade.

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  6. You did a wonderful job on this! As Crystal said, it's very thought-provoking.

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  7. Thank you, Dana! I love knowing that I made somebody stop and think. I think that's become my favorite goal in writing.

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