Not Failures, But Survivors

By: Paulina Sierka

Two Geniuses Combined

Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison both had a very interesting life. Their achievements and failures they went through were surprisingly similar. Einstein and Edison both invented some kind of patent or formula, along with some failures along the way.

Until Edison was four he could never talk, making others think he was "dumb". Always asking questions he wanted to ask before he could talk. He lost much of his hearing when he was young. As he got older he got a job, as telegrapher only to be fired later on because he was “non-productive” As an inventor himself, Edison had 999 unsuccessful attempts at creating the light bulb. On the 1,000 try he finally created the light bulb we use nowadays. Imagine creating something over and over again and on the 1,000 time you finally got it. That would be incredible!

Einstein, too, had problems with his speech, pausing and not knowing what to say next. By the time Einstein was 18 he had to withdraw himself out of school because of military duty. He started school again in Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule (Swiss Federal Polytechnic School) in Zürich, Switzerland. Taking the exam entrance he failed most of the test with exceptional marks in physics and mathematics. In 1905 he found the speed of light formula, and slowly began to be noticed. With much fame his family started to fall apart, he came to a conclusion it was time to get a divorce. While marrying his cousin Elsa Löwenthal, later on in life.

Nothing Stops Him

Michael Jordan is a known as “The Greatest Basketball Player Ever”. Though he did not have the “Greatest Life Ever”. Jordan had a great passion for baseball for, he was the best in his league. He never was interested in sports until Larry, his older brother, started playing basketball games with him. Jordan started to grow interest in the sport and when he was sophmore in highschool he decided to try out for team. He was confident he would get picked but his teammate Leroy Smith was chosen instead. Though this made sense because Leroy was 6’5” and Jordan was only 5’10”. His team members gave him “The look” which only made Jordan more devastated. When he got home he locked himselg up in his room and cried. Since that time Jordan made up his mind he wouldn’t ever let that happen to him again, and he began to practice intensely. He cut classes and started to go to the gym. Everyday with his brother Larry he would practice. From his everyday practice he shot up from 5’10” to 6’3”. Shortly after colleges were trying to recruit him to get him on the team. He received a full scholarship, and played for high school colleges. He went to the Olympics and won a gold medal in US Men's Basketball Team in 1984. Though Jordan was dreaming bigger, so he left college and joined the NBA. Joining the Chicago Bulls, it was the team that only won 28 games in its previous games. Jordan's’ team won three championships, but on that third championship Jordan’s father was murdered. This led him into gambling problems. The incident left Jordan mentally affected. He retired from basketball two days before the 1993-1994 NBA season, to play baseball for his dear father. He got into a minor league but his career wasn’t as big as his basketball career was. Joining the Bulls again he led them with 30.4 points per game. As he was aging he began to develop knee problems that affected him when playing basketball. Jordan's problems did not stop him from finding ways to get past them.

Nightmares one by one...

Not only have people failed in life but events have too. The Holocaust is a great example of failure to many Jews and other poor people. The Holocaust began January 30, 1933. The Holocaust is a genocide or in other words, "planned attempt to physically kill every single member of the targeted ethnic, national or 'racial' group.” (Saho). The Holocaust didn’t all of a sudden start, it was a long process. The Nazis came to power in 1933. They then made laws called, Nuremberg Laws. These laws took away all human rights from the Jewish People. For example, children could not attend school, they could not run businesses, sit on park benches, if they left Germany the property they owned was taken away. In addition all Jews had to wear yellow stars to represent that they are Jewish. Then in 1938, the Nazis organized violent attacks on the Jews. With so much broken glass on the street it became to be known as the “Night of Broken Glass” Things got a lot worse when World War II, came along. Nazis began to adopt the genocide not too long after WWII began. In the late 1930’s Nazis killed thousands of handicapped Germans with lethal injections and deadly gasses. I would never imagine just being taken and killed without knowing it was a trick. In June 1941, mobile killing units began to kill Jews in open fields. They realized rounding up men,women and children wasn’t the best idea so the Nazis created death camps. Then they brought the victims into cattle trucks and brought away to the camps. After the victims were brought in, they were ordered to undress and enter the gas chambers that were disguised as a showers. Within fifteen minutes they died. After the gassing, Nazis took anything that was valuable from the bodies, and threw the dead bodies into giant ovens or burning pits. Auschwitz is the biggest death camp, located in Poland. The Holocaust ended May 8, 1945. “11 million people were killed during the Holocaust (1.1 million children). 6 million of those victims were Jewish. Other groups targeted by the Nazis were Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, disabled people, and Roma.” (

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The One That Could

Marshal Bruce Mathers III, or Eminem as known today, had a tough life before becoming famous. When Eminem was an infant his father abandoned the Mathers family leaving Deborah, Eminem's mother, raising him. Deborah could never keep a stable job, resulting of moving at least two to three times a year. This impacted his personality in a big way. He never had any friends, and was treated like an outcast at every school. Shoved into lockers, pushed around in bathrooms and hallways, Eminem had a tough time when it came to school. He created a famous quote that had he experienced with his life as a kid."I say what I want to say and I do what I want to do. There's no in between. People will either love you or hate you for it." Tying with his childhood experience because nobody really liked him, he was always bullied. Failing ninth grade three times, he dropped out at age seventeen. I would never have though Eminem would fail ninth grade nine times! Even though his grades were low, he was always good at English. As a teenage dropout, he found that he could express his passion for English through rapping. He entered rap battles, where two rappers insult the other through improvised lyrics. Finally getting some respect for who he was, Eminem began to become noticed. His Personality had a great effect on his life.

The cause of Eminem taking drugs was his past experiences he has gone through in his lifetime. When he was picked on throughout his school experience, impacted him to go through a tough time. When Eminem and Kim divorced in the 2000s, and got remarried again in 2006, they constantly fought. Again they got divorced several months later, fighting, again, over custody of their daughter, Hailie. Imagine getting divorced and married to the same person twice! With this all happening Eminem went further into alcohol and drugs. In December 2007, he overdosed and nearly died. Stating "If I would have got to the hospital two hours later, that would have been it." Since this happened Eminem started to go back on track. In 2009 he released Relapse. Then again in 2010 he released Recovery, about his personal feelings and rehabilitation. About a year later Eminem realized he should be more happier than angry resulting in a normal life once again.

Despite Difficulties

Madonna as we know today, wasn’t the same before her fame. Madonna’s life wasn’t even the best when she was just a teenager. At the age of five her mother died of breast cancer. Imagine losing your own mom at a very young age, I wouldn’t even imagine that. Her mother dying was a big impact on Madonna's behavior. She began to be more rebellious. When her stepmother moved in, she became more tough on her and rarely listened to her. Even though she was rebellious, Madonna still had good grades and even received a dance scholarship. She began to be noticed and got a once in a lifetime opportunity to be with the choreographer Pearl Lang. She dropped out of college and moved to New York, to pursue her big dreams. She paid her rents with odd jobs like serving at the Russian Tea Room and and performing for the American Dance Center. From there she began to date and fell with singing and performing. Making her own types of group bands, she began to be more experienced. Deciding to go solo, Madonna hired Camille Barbone from Gotham Records to help her with her singing career. She made a lot of albums but the majority of fans loved her “Like A Prayer” album. As her fame began to grow, so did her rebellious behavior. Bringing lots of critics against her. Aside her behavior, “In January 2008 she was named the world's wealthiest female musician by Forbes magazine, with estimated earnings of more than $72 million in the last year alone.” (Bio.) Which is incredible, knowing she had a tough childhood. Madonna is not yet retired and is continuing to sing, and I believe it's very exciting.

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