Analyze E. B.White’s opening line, “On any person who desires such queer prizes, New York will bestow the gift of loneliness and the gift of privacy.”
As Roger Angell expressed in his introduction of E.B White’s work, “It is hard to feel private in the surging daily crowds at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, say, or lonely on a side street packed solid with gridlocked traffic.” (11) Indeed, the opening line of Here is New York seems peculiar when one witnesses the sheer flood of civilization in New York City. People seem to be swarming the streets of the city, each with vibrant passion, excitement and enthusiasm. For most, the ’18 inches’ of separation that New York offers its inhabitants from one another offers a dream come true: a “Fragile participation with destiny.” The city provides a front row seat to “…all enormous and violent and wonderful events that are taking place every minute.” (21). However, to those who desire such queer prizes, the enormity and grandeur of New York can make the privacy and loneliness achieved all the more satisfying. As I commute every day to Baruch College, I witness firsthand how the all the commotion, bright lights, and attractions vying for our attention are merely a silent background to most as they race through the agendas of their day. Paradoxically, for those longing for internal quiet, New York is perfect.
Discuss White’s prophecy (final pages of the book) about airplanes in the light of 9/11.
Written in 1949, the scene depicted by E.B White in the final pages of his essay is at once enlightening and startlingly familiar in the aftermath of 9/11. It is important to note that at the time of the writing of the book, the gruesome sights and sounds of war were probably ingrained in the mind of the author after the atrocities of WWII, and of the Holocaust. People around the world saw images of planes flying over civilian neighborhoods in Europe dropping bombs on apartment complexes. It was only natural for White to envision the grand struggle of worldwide conflicting ideologies that would ensue. At the time of the publishing, E.B White witnessed the building of the United Nations on New York soil. There, hundreds of nations would be represented in no other city in the world but Manhattan. Therefore, there is no greater message of hate than to mercilessly attack New York, “the capital of the world” (55) and a symbol of cultural diversity, heterogenous unity, racial brotherhood and freedom. As White states, “Today Liberty shares the role with Death.” (54) Thankfully Mr. White’s prediction of the annihilation of New York City never occurred. Yet, for those of us who experienced the terror attacks of 9/11/01, White’s message rang true. The world must collectively take a stand against acts of hatred and intolerance, and feverishly support the ideals that hold up this great city today.
The Community Service project that I took part in this semester did help me reach out and utilize the resources around me. More than the actual support centers of Baruch, I was able to learn from my fellow group members. The entire process was a testament to efficient teamwork and to intuitive execution. I found that I was able to learn from the way my fellow peers went about completing a task, and will attempt to apply their creativity, diligence, and professionalism to future assignments that I complete. I was fortunate enough to work with honors students and see the type of work ethic and skills that earned them that title.
In addition to learning from my peers, this project helped me to a degree in utilizing the faculty to learn from their expertise. Both Sandy and Ms. Lalite helped to offer advice and constructive criticism in making our presentation successful. Unfortunately, I did not seek out any support centers such as the library or student clubs as a result of this project. Yet it did help in affirming my trust and appreciation for the continuous assistance offered to me in the form of my amazing advisors.
In the next semester I do plan on joining at least one club, and possibly joining the school newspaper. Maybe it is a coincidence, but I have been more active in reaching out and communicating with my professors and other faculty. I have been speaking with Dr. Abe Tawil, a dean and professor of management in Baruch, in planning out my future course- taking strategy, and in finding my major. I was also made aware of the STARR development center through this course, which i know will prove to help me tremendously here in Baruch.
I was lucky enough that my High School made a requirement for me to complete a huge amount of community service hours before I graduate. From then on, I valued the importance of service and incorporated it into my life. The project did help me diversify the type of service and the experiences I had taken part in previously. As of now, I am unsure of where ill be in three years. I hope that if i continue to soak up everything that is offered to me, experience as many different disciplines as possible, I will find my calling.
As a Baruch scholar, my time at Baruch will center around one word: responsibility. By being a part of the honors program, I have a taken upon myself a responsibility to fully integrate myself into the Baruch community. My role in Baruch should be that of an honors student; hard working, committed, excited, and a true role model for other students.
While I gain familiarity and confidence, I must take leadership roles among the myriad groups and clubs in Baruch. I must learn to inspire, to teach, to motivate, and to take full advantage of every opportunity that is presented to me. Above all, an honors student should be able to see the world as a well of information; being able to learn and grow from every person, every experience, and every challenge. The honors student must know how to embrace hard work and difficulties, knowing full well that it is the hard work and tests now that truly shape your strength and fortitude for the future.
As I go through my journey here at Baruch, it is clear that there is a rich culture of service and dedication in the atmosphere. With all the opportunities that are provided to for us to succeed, there is a definite responsibility for every student. It is a responsibility to live by a higher set of morals, to learn and grow constantly, and to live a life of giving and meaning.
A few years ago, I was playing basketball in a park with some friends when my father happened to walk by and continued to watch the game. Afterwards, sitting at home, my dad smiled at me and said, “I saw you play today… and man, you are such a competitor! You never quit!” Now that might have just been my dad trying to make me feel good, but at that moment, I vowed to myself that no matter what I did (whether I was good at it or not), I would be a competitor. I would be passionate and committed to making myself better and stand up to any challenges. For me, nothing brings out that passion more than sports.
One of the hardest challenges in my life was when I dislocated my shoulder and was forced to sit out from playing sports for almost 3 months. That time not playing made me truly realize how much sports means to me. My life revolves around sports. In High School, I was on nearly every athletic team the the school offered, and participated in sports 7 days a week. For me, it didn’t matter whether I never got any playing time on those teams (which happened more than I wanted), or if I played every minute of the game; being on those teams was about bringing out my inner competitor. Playing sports allowed me to push myself, and somewhere in all the blood, sweat, and emotions of the game was an opportunity to show people what I was truly made out of. There was nothing more sweet than the feeling of victory; nothing more painful than the stinging agony of defeat. It was Ezra against the world, and I was not going to lose without a fight.
I will hopefully bring that focused competitiveness and work ethic to Baruch this semester. Besides possibly dying from starvation, I don’t have many concerns regarding my classes. I know most will require my hardest effort, but success is within my reach. I do hope to join some kind of club in the future when I finally figure out this maze of a campus. All in all, I am definitely enjoying Baruch thus far.