Category Archives: Paper 1 Partial Draft

Anonymous Draft 6: This I No Longer Believe

As any kid, I believed in fairytales, in magic, in love. I believed that we are immortal, and that adulthood is happiness. Most of all, I believed that my parents are soulmates and I was their princess.

Obviously, we all grow out of those ridiculous hallmark movie fictions and be introduced to real life tragedy by time we get to High school. Some of us are more fortunate than others when it comes to the household situation. We don’t know what a ‘normal’ house is. We think that our normal is everyone else’s normal. Our beliefs are nothing less than universal truths. That belief of whatever happens in our house, happens everywhere else fades away when you meet your peers and cannot relate to them. And, that is exactly what happened to me.

A traditional middle-class house in consists of four elements. A breadwinning father, a bread making mother, bread eating children and bread bitching relatives. But my nuclear family had two breadwinning adults and no relatives. A typical day in our lives back in the 2000’s was merely simple. By 9a.m. everyone left the house. I’d come back from school by 2p.m., my mother by 6p.m. and my father by 9p.m. My mother’s busy teaching schedule didn’t stop at her college. She had to continue to be a teacher until I finish my extremely difficult addition and subtraction problems. She is much disciplined. She is the early to bed, early to raise kind of a gal. As for my father, let’s just say that he hates sunlight.

The only interesting visual from my childhood that I remember vividly took place on a warm and dry Sunday… I woke up excited, because I finally get to play a board game that requires 3 or more players, gifted to me on my 12th birthday. My mother was in the kitchen rolling the dough on the cool granite counter top. My father was in the hall room, on his dell laptop. They seem to be not as busy as they generally are. I quickly run to my closet and pull out a very heavy box. I run to the hall room and put everything on the carpeted floor. (full story on how there is not communication between the two)

Cracks in the foundation is an indication of how strong the structure is. When two families come together to decide the future of two individuals that are basically strangers, to get them married and later force them to buy a house, a car and the kids, it is vital that the foundation is laid well. Communication and compromises are essential. But, if those two individuals are strong headed and never compromising type, the structure is bound to fall any second. The fact that they never really talked to each other like the couples in movies or my friend’s parents didn’t stick out until I was in a relationship. I understood that they live separate lives. After a while, I’ve noticed the same thing in my own relationship. In fact, in every relationship that I’ve been in, the magic lasts as long as a mayfly.

There is no magic that binds two people together. It’s just what we’re told is ‘normal’. To stay with a person for the rest of your life and also declare it to the government. This somehow became the natural thing to do.

Anonymous Draft 4: This I No Longer Believe

When I was twelve years old I knew that I would be a mother. Sure most girls around that age dreamed of doing the same, but this was something I truly felt in my heart. One might say this feeling would be normal for a child that’s the eldest of her siblings and close relatives, who would sometimes have to play the third parent, but that was not the case for me. This feeling was more of an obsession. If bored, I would spend countless hours googling or making up baby names to add to an never ending list. Everything from the nursery, to the school they would attend and even how i would raise them, I went above and beyond planning out the future for my imaginary children. In my mind I thought who wouldn’t want to have children? It’s the most fascinating and supernatural thing a human being could do. Who wouldn’t want to experience the unbreakable bond that could only be felt between a mother and her baby? What kind of sick minded person would think about killing their baby? Who would ever have an abortion?

            Murder is murder. That was my stance on anything that involved taking a life for no reason. In Christianity were told that taking a life is a sin and committing sins would condemn you to an eternity in hell. That’s the well deserved consequence for throwing away a blessing that God gave you. In my eyes I couldn’t see a plausible reason for ending a pregnancy due to your own “selfish” needs. Like most ignorant people I fed into the whole “you could be killing a future president” speech. After all, people like Maya Angelou and Arethra Franklin had children at an young age right? So it couldn’t possibly be THAT hard. My mother had me at the age of 21 when she really shouldn’t have. At this point she had only been in the country for a couple of years, started community college, had little to no money and like most adults at this age, still working out how to get her life together. Instead of making the quick decision to end a pregnancy, she CHOSE to take on the responsibility of raising me. My mother didn’t go on to sell millions of records or become an icon in any way, but she did manage with the help of my father to successfully raise two children. We were never hungry, always had proper clothing and had a safe place to sleep. She did what a mother is supposed to do and put her children first. If she could do it, then so could I.

In my first year of High school I was required to take a health education class. They covered everything from healthy eating habits to mental health and lastly sex ed. We learned how to use condoms, protect ourselves from stds and most importantly how to engage in safe sex with a partner. Admittingly most of the stuff they taught I already learned from the media on both television and social networks, but it gave me a great opportunity to ask more questions and learn what was true from false. Additionally I also took a class on anatomy, where we got to explore the human reproductive system and got even more detailed info on conception and how it happens. A couple weeks later I was having a conversation with a male friend, when they mentioned that a classmate of theirs worried that she was pregnant. Out of curiosity I asked why and the response he gave me was totally ridiculous. I began to explain to him how conception works and why it would be impossible for her to be pregnant. It surprised me how surprised he was about the information that I told him and even more when he asked me “Where did you learn all of that?”. It was mind boggling how some people knew every sexual position in the book but didn’t know how the sperm meets the egg. As it turned out his school had not offered that class to him or at least at that point in time anyways. But then again it did make sense.  I was in a pre-med program so every once in a while my science based classes would discuss the human body. But this was one program of the the many they had to offer to the 4,000 plus students that attended. My high school was also known for having a high amount of pregnancies, we even had our own nursery.

In my Junior year I took a course in AP English. My teacher gave us an assignment in which we had to pick a random article from a book and write about how the author demonstrated rhetorical strategies throughout the text. I decided to choose the article “ We Do Abortions Here: A Nurses Story” by Sallie Tisdale.  I never knew much about abortion but I was very interested in knowing what the author had to say about it. This is where my whole point of view changed.

Anonymous Draft 3: This I No Longer Believe

As we grow older our ideals change and shape into new beliefs. Something I used to believe in was trust. However, in the wake of a series of events I learned to trust no one. People lie and deceive for their own benefit. Growing up as an only child made me put my trust in the people around me. I believed my relationships were genuine and that multiple people had my back. Yet that wasn’t the case. Many have failed to keep their word and continued to disappoint.

The moment I started to stop trusting people completely began in high school. I had a friend who I was very close to me betray me. She wasn’t just an acquaintance like everyone else. She was my best friend. She met my mother, has been to my house, and I’ve even spent money on this person. She was my best friend. We were on the phone everyday, have cried together, and shared secrets with each other. Our friendship seemed like it would’ve lasted forever. Until, I was starting to have an issue with a girl who had it out for me for no good reason. This person happened to be a friend to my best friend. Amongst the drama my best friend was trying to be supportive of both of us. It seemed really two faced. She would talk about me with the girl then smile in my face the very next day. This made me naturally fall back and keep my distance because how can I know whether or not she’s being real with me or not. She continued to try to call me and apologize for her actions. Though it was too late, I was already hurt. 

  Then, I started to be reluctant in trusting even in a romantic relationship setting. My boyfriend at the time was starting to make suspicious actions that were raising red flags all over. For instance, he would ignore my text and calls then make up excuses. What he didn’t know was that I am a detective at heart so I put all the pieces to the puzzle together. I ended up finding out that he was cheating so I dropped him like a bad habit.Even though he tried to justify what he did I wasn’t going to let him make a fool out of me.  After this event I began to be more aware of my surroundings and the people I let into my life. I don’t let anyone get close enough to hurt me. 

Throughout history we always hear stories of trust being broken and people betraying those who were considered friends to them.

Anonymous Draft 5: This I No Longer Believe

Growing up in a culture where skin color was praised, was a difficult thing for my mother. It was difficult because my mom was taught that white skin was the “superior” skin color to have. This was implemented onto her by her grandmother at a young age. They permed her hair before she was a teenager to even decide how she wanted to style her hair. My mom raised in a wealthy home where money was never a disability, was always spoiled. She felt that she needed the love of a man to be happy not money. She married my dad and had three children with him to try to satisfy her emptiness. Even though she wasn’t treated as a woman who married to be devoted to him she still never gave up on my father. So then the idea of marriage was passed down to me specially because we are of Christian belief so marriage is ideal to a healthy life with “no sin or fornication” as they call it. I loved the idea of weddings and happiness till I got older and started seeing the realistic outcomes of marriages. I don’t believe in marriages being a sign of happiness because people are always going to go through things and I believe some people take marriage is just an excuse for feeling of possession or using another person for their own benefit/ ego or self esteem.

Anonymous Draft 2: This I No Longer Believe

For decades, science and religion have both discredited each other. Normally, people take sides and neither side can seem to give validity to the other side.

When I was younger, I really never put much thought into how the earth was formed. I just knew it was there and that was it. I knew there was science somewhere around there and I also knew there was God, Jesus, and the Holy spirit, back when I was Catholic, sort of.

By the time I was in the 8th grade, I had established in my head; the Earth is the way it is thanks to bacteria. We exist and the animals exist thanks to evolution. What better explanation could there be?

At the age of 15, I started attending a Christian church. As the months passed by, I believed the idea that God created everything. Nothing was possible without God, science existed because of God’s creation. For a while, I didn’t question it. It wasn’t until the Pastor brought the Hebrew/Jewish beliefs into the congregation, that I changed my mind once again.

Currently, I believe that both theories/ beliefs have some truth to it and that the Earth or the Universe was neither formed by only God or only science.  The reason why I say this is because both sides have some holes that, in my opinion, can be filled in with one another. The way I came up with this theory, was how is it that things happened the way they did? If God was the creator, why did things change overtime? Why were not things just made the way he wanted since the beginning?

The theory starts with the fact that, God made Earth itself, the shape of it, and perhaps he added the water and plants. He also made animals and humans, but they were not what they look like today. This is where science comes in, in the past, animals looked very different, this we can confirm. Huge furry spiders, that over time, have evolved. Spiders, while still deadly, are now much smaller than us humans.

Anonymous Draft 1: This I No Longer Believe

Here I am in New York.

I grew up in an underdeveloped country where there are many taboos, stereotypes, and prejudices. Also, my family is very conservative and respectful of ethical and moral values. My parents educated me with an altruistic ideal; they always told me that I must respect the rules and laws, obey the authorities, and be an example to others. That kind of education motivated me to study law. So, I became a lawyer.

I continued with the conservative way of my family. I saw wrong that a person had a tattoo, that used any drugs, including marijuana, I was against someone for being different from what I knew as “normal.” I made prejudices to people I didn’t even know, simply because of the way they looked. I can tell a vast list of things that I believed, and now I no longer believe in them, or I have modified them or improved them. But now, I’m going to focus on the use of marijuana.

As I mentioned, I graduated from law school. I was working in the criminal area as a Prosecutor for more than five (5) years. Most of my cases were about drug trafficking in the Dominican Republic. Every day, I had hearings to get convictions against those who sold, distributed, or used drugs. According to the law, a person who consumes marijuana can be punished for six (6) months to two (2) years in prison (Art. 75, Law 50-88 of the Dom Rep). Thousands of people sitting on the bank of the accused looked at me with sad eyes, asking for an opportunity, explaining to me that they were not doing anything wrong. On the other hand, I was not listening to them because I was busy thinking about some supposed values and false morals; therefore, I was never benevolent with them, and they were punished as if they were the worst criminals.

My life changed entirely in the summer of 2016. I emigrated to the United States for family reasons. Here I am in New York. In the big city. In the capital of the world. In a place with a very different culture and a way of seeing different things. I started working in another work environment to meet people of different nationalities, to study, to read the news, to use public transport, to integrate and adapt to a new life. I could say that my way of seeing things was bombarded day by day for everything I began to experience. Yes, using or trying, but there I was sitting at a friend’s house smoking pot. At that time, I became “the worst criminal too.” What happened to me?