The Puzzle of Perseverance!

By: Sonika Menon

Perseverance Is...

Perseverance is defined as putting a large amount of work into something until a desired goal is achieved. Beginning the path of perseverance immediately demonstrates an action of resolve. Perseverance is thought of as being persistent throughout and maintaining a conviction no matter what the circumstances are. In reality, many situations are going to be overwhelming but as time passes and we move farther, we realize that resisting the urge to yield is very important. Being able to muster up the courage needed to face a situation also defines perseverance.

Some people persevere while others are unsuccessful because everyone is different. People live in a different environments and different personality traits affect the path they take to triumph in their lives. Also, the way perseverance is defined depends on where their inspiration or support comes from and the quantity that it provided to them. Starting something that is desired to be done shows determination because it's not always easy to make decisions that could affect the future.

The Extravagant Piece of Art- Typewriter Artist (Descriptive)

The video Typewriter Artist was about how an individual named Paul Smith followed his dreams to become an artist. Paul was born with severe cerebral palsy. This means that his body movement, muscle coordination, and balance were all affected by a neurological disorder. Others may think about how he would be able to paint or even hold a pen or brush. As learned later in the story, Paul had a very unique way of doing things. The main idea of this video was that anything can be achieved through perseverance no matter how negative the circumstances may be.

The main idea mentioned above is portrayed in many parts of the story. The video mentioned “He was born with severe cerebral palsy yet Paul Smith created hundreds of works of art.” Despite this obstacle and being confronted with adversity, Paul was still able to follow his dreams of becoming an artist. The quote shows that he created many pieces of art even though most of the coordinations in his hands were not present. Overall, Paul’s determination and positive attitude contributed to his willingness to overcome his disability.

While Paul was left alone in a nursing home, he found this to be an opportunity to create new ideas for his art. The video stated “Keystroke by keystroke, he types his latest masterpiece in an Oregon nursing home.” This quote proves that through determination and perseverance, Paul found a way to accomplish his goals. Also, this quote demonstrates the fact that Paul was confident. He did what wasn’t expected of him which was a big leap closer to his goal. Another quote, “His family now is the staff and residents at Rose Haven…” This quote relates to the fact that Paul didn’t have “real” family with him through this stage in his life. Paul didn’t have any type of familial support and his art creations were exclusively created with his own unique skills and abilities. Paul used his previous experiences as subjects for his art. In conclusion, Paul’s environment and lack of support created adversity which was difficult to overcome but attained through strength and persistence.

In addition, the fact that Paul wasn’t able to use normal objects (paint brushes or pens) also contributed to his story. Paul found a way through yet another adverse situation. By “Using just 10 of the symbol keys he taught himself to paint…” This quote validates that Paul was a creative individual. Many others in similar circumstances would have just given up but not Paul. He invented a new way to do things to suit his own situation. This example, strongly supports the main idea which is anything can be achieved no matter how negative the circumstances are.

Due to his condition, Paul was very hard to understand when he tried to communicate. Paul used art to express himself as well as his ideas to the world. “As a young man he discovered the keys to expressing himself at the top of a typewriter keyboard.” This quote expresses the fact that although Paul had cerebral palsy and difficulty expressing himself through words, he was successful in expressing himself through other means of communication….namely, art. This means releasing his feelings taught him to understand the meaning of life. Finally, the aspect of understanding played a major role in Paul’s success.

One last aspect was this whole process of creating even one piece of art was time consuming. A quote mentioned in the video is “Keystroke by keystroke, he types his latest masterpiece…” This quote proves that Paul spent time on each and every piece of art. Each piece had a special meaning for Paul due to the way he created it……”keystroke by keystroke”. A keystroke is equal to one letter which means that Paul created art that could have taken a person who used a paint brush, half the time. Another quote, “Hey Paul. How are you? Are you still working on that dog?” This quote demonstrates that the concerned individual’s use of the word “dog” signifies a tedious and time consuming task. He could have easily spent time watching TV and relaxing but instead Paul had a passionate desire to complete his art. Overall, Paul is a very inspirational individual who proves that with a strong will and determination, even the most adverse situations can be overcome. Where there is a will, there is a way!

The Possibilities of Triumph- Losing to Win (Problem and Solution)

The video Losing to Win was about the experiences of certain girls from very poor backgrounds. Some have parents who are alcoholics and others have parents who deserted them. Each girl has her own unique story. One girl, Jordan has a mother who is an alcoholic and has almost never been a part of her life. Jordan lives with her father and sister. Kayla ran away from home as her parents abused drugs. Due to their bad influence, she started using drugs too. Kayla ran away due to this and she ended up at Carroll Academy based on a Court order. Hayley had a supportive mother throughout her life but suffered from bipolar disorder and was happy one moment and sad the next. She had major anger issues and needed help getting rid of them. These girls do share one common thing: they were all sent to Carroll Academy and have had to suffer through adversity. These girls had many sleepless nights that would never be erased. When they arrived at Carroll Academy, they were all forced to be members of the basketball team. They were given an education, support, as well as friends. Also, they were taught through basketball that losing doesn’t matter. Overall, the people who suffer more and lose, learn more and will eventually be the successful ones.

The main problem common to these girls was having a poor upbringing and negative influences in their lives. As mentioned above, many of their parents were drug abusers from poor family backgrounds. These girls had no electricity, food, or water on a daily basis. Some suffered from depression due to the loneliness they experienced. These aspects cause a person to do bad things which is why it’s important to do something with your time that you enjoy. These girls didn’t get this opportunity which is when Carroll Academy came into the picture.

Even though they had many problems in their life, there were also many solutions. Many of these solutions were based on decisions made by the girls. They were eventually taught about what to do with their lives. One girl believed that running away from home would help. She used to sleep in parks or areas outside with nobody around. Another began taking drugs to reduce her awareness of certain situations at home. These girls learned that being influenced by the bad is never the answer. They were taught to keep believing and never give up through basketball. When someone pushed them down, they were taught to stand back up and keep playing the game because their adverse experiences would help toughen them up and make them stronger individuals. Due to the lessons learned at Carroll Academy, many of these girls eventually adopted solutions to problems they had. Hayley who suffered from depression went from not having a way to deal with her problems to being a member of the basketball team. The coaches made a deal with Hayley that if she could calm herself down and stop being angry, she would be part of the team. Hayley proved this to her coaches and now knows how to deal with her anger. Many girls were also feeling lonely and hopeless due to their financial condition. They eventually got support from coaches and many of their fellow teammates. These girls have been strong throughout and have come up with many new positive solutions to their problems mentioned throughout the paragraph. Once these individuals became stronger in dealing with life’s adversity, they eventually go to a “real” high school and learn to spend their entire life believing and learning all because of their experiences at Carroll Academy. Overall, these girls have learned that although life is full of positive and negative experiences, a solution can be found with persistence and perseverance!

The Inspirational Story of Jackie Robinson- Jackie Robinson (Sequencing)

Jackie Robinson’s story began on the streets of Cairo, Georgia which was his birthplace. Jackie was born on January 31, 1919 to a single mother who raised him in poverty along with her 4 other children. He attended John Muir High School and Pasadena Junior College. He was an athlete who played many sports including football, basketball, track, and baseball. In 1938, Jackie was named the Most Valuable Player in baseball. His older brother inspired him to play sports. This is because Jackie’s older brother won a silver medal in running at the 1936 Olympic Games.

Jackie Robinson continued going to college at the University of California. In 1941, Robinson was forced to leave college due to monetary problems. In the following year, Jackie joined the United States Army. During Army training in 1944, Robinson was arrested because he didn’t move to the back of a bus. Segregation was prevalent in society at this time. Robinson was eventually released from prison on honorable discharge and was also released from the Army.

Later in 1944, Robinson had more free time due to these circumstances so he began to play baseball professionally as part of the Negro League. Jackie played many sports but something was special to him when it came to baseball. He showed exceptional skill at the sport and proved to be resilient when it came to discriminatory remarks. Two years later, Jackie was chosen by Branch Rickey (president of the Brooklyn Dodgers Major League Baseball team) to be a part of their team and break the color barrier. Branch Rickey had many expectations for Jackie. One of which was he had to tolerate all the phrases and insults involving racism from the audience. Robinson agreed and accepted the criticisms. Not only this, he was also faced with the issue of dealing with his teammates. Although they were on the same team, Robinson’s teammates weren’t thrilled with the idea of having an African American player. Some of the team members even threatened Jackie’s family to scare him off the team. Jackie had a very successful year and in 1947, he took the field with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Many other teams continued to harass Jackie and threatened to not play against his team. Even his own teammates didn’t accept him and threatened to sit out. The manager stood up for Jackie. He knew Robinson tried his best and deserved support for taking such a huge step to help his country achieve equality. People continued to reject Jackie but he let his skills as a baseball player speak for itself.

Jackie continued to support civil rights acts and equality. In 1952, Jackie announced the Yankees as being discriminative for not accepting any African American players even five years after Robinson played with the Dodgers. In 1955, Jackie helped the Dodgers win the World Series! They had won many pennants throughout the years but this was a big accomplishment for Jackie’s career. He helped them win one last pennant until he was part of the New York Giants. He spent a couple years on this team but later retired from baseball in 1957. Robinson continued to fight for equality and desegregation. Baseball was never far from his life. He was the first African American to be accepted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 and was part of the NAACP until 1967. Sadly, on October 24, 1972 Jackie Robinson died from heart problems. Overall, Jackie Robinson was an inspirational figure who broke the barrier and fought for equality!

What I Learned and What Others Can Learn...

I learned that even though facing adversity may be tough, it is all worth it in the end. The feeling of having something of your very own not only helps temporarily but also provides confidence when a new situation arises. Also, I learned that choosing the path of perseverance on its own can be a venture but dangers like these are what teach you and inspire others to be the best they can be. Being a positive inspiration can help a person like you and I be happy with what we do in life. Adhering to the same goal while doing it as a noble person makes us feel immune and helpful as others are administered with the same opportunities as we had. I found out that making mistakes can be a good thing, as it teaches us to demonstrate resilience and never give up. Overall, by demonstrating confidence and ambition, nothing is inadequate!