Tutor profile: Ola F.
Décrire un moment quand vous aviez peur pour votre vie.
C'était l’été. Comme une vraie fille de ville, j’avais l’habitude de prendre le transport public toute seule. Même à la nuit. En réfléchissant, ce n'était pas le bon jugement, mais à la fois j’avais seize ans et l’air de l’invincibilité, comme beaucoup d’adolescents. Donc, une bonne amie est venue à Chicago pour visiter. Nous parlions, riions et buvions chez une autre amie. Soudainement c'était tard. J’aurais dû rentrer chez moi avant de rendre fâché ma mere - heureusement, notre amie vivait près de la station du métro. A midi, je suis montée dans un train et j’ai assis, remarquant un homme dans le siège devant moi. Il a porté un pull noir et les pantalons avachis. C’est difficile de décrire l’égard qui m’a donné, un mélange de la malice et du dégoût. Nos yeux ont rencontré. J’ai regardé vers une autre direction. Pendant le trajet entier l’homme continuait de me regarder. J’imaginais qu’il voulait me faire agresser, ou pire - me violer. Il n’y avait que quatre ou cinq personnes dans le train avec nous et mon arret approchait rapidement. Paniquée, j’ai décidé d’appeler mon ami, qui j’ai vu 20 minutes avant. “Allo ?” Elle a pris mon appel - merci mon Dieu. “Allo, euh, qu’est-ce que tu vas faire demain ?” Peu importe le sujet de conversation. Au moins, j'ai pensé, si l’homme décide de me violer il serait une témoin. Finalement, le train est arrivé à mon arrêt. Je me suis levée. Sans regarder l’homme, je suis sortie. L’homme ne m’a pas poursuivi.
Write an essay in the form of a how-to guide.
1. Don’t wear red. Yeah, it’s supposed to be the color of love, and sensuality, and passion….whatever. You know what red also reminds people of? Flammability. If you’re trying to seduce your picnic partner just bat your eyes. Good eye contact and an “accidental” graze on the arm (or hand if you’re feeling bold) goes a long way. Save the red for your wine and possibly lipstick - but that’s it! Besides, what if you see a stray bull out in the open? They come and go more often than one would think. 2. Don’t mention the fires you’ve put out. That time you left hot water in the kettle too long, when your office toaster oven set on fire, when you saw curls of steam emitting from your hair straightener on Friday night - keep it quiet. Don’t even talk about the fires you put out that were actual people, their fingers, and souls going up in flames. Don’t talk about the figurative fires you’ve put out either. No one needs to know about your self-sacrifice. Before you know it, everyone will be approaching you like “My ex-keeps threatening to kill himself” and “I screwed up the quarterly reports for work” and “You know, I don’t even think we have a fire station in my neighborhood, can we borrow you tonight? I’m going to try making flambé for dinner.” No and no and no. You’re not on loan. 3. Stop putting out fires. While you’re at it, maybe re-assess your decision to put out fires continuously. Too many risks, like getting burned, for one. A fire needs heat, fuel, and oxygen to start. Stop being cool. Stop emitting frost. If you sit in a walk-in oven long enough, your blood turns to lava anyway. If there’s no walk-in oven at your disposal, just stick your head in your oven at home (Sylvia Plath style but like, don’t overdo it the way she did). Then embark on a water-only diet, which incidentally becomes very doable when your blood crystallizes. You can’t be expected to fight a fire when you’re weak. Mostly though, don’t inhale. Don’t exhale. Just hold it, all of it. 4. Don’t hold potassium bicarbonate inside of you. Potassium bicarbonate is colorless, odorless, salty and slightly basic. I don’t think you want any of those things. Without color, you burn easier. Without odor dogs might not sense you coming; they could bite you in the calf if you sneak up on them too quickly. (Rabies is still real). Salty, that’s no good either. We have enough salt already - it’s in the earth, it’s on the roads, it’s in our cabinets. Making lips pucker is generally bad. I don’t need to explain being basic - do I? Besides, see what I said about putting out fires (aka stop doing that shit). 5. Hide your instructions. Why do you even have these? There’s no way to handle you. You’re just bones and sinew and blood, like the rest of us. 6. Make yourself hard to grip. You have to hold a fire extinguisher in order to extinguish. So make yourself slippery. There are a number of ways to do this - you could coat yourself with baby oil or Crisco, but that’s would stain all your clothes. But once you stop eating (#4) you’ll get so thin that you slip out of grasps like it’s nothing. This is a useful skill. No one will want to trap what they can’t hold. 7. Don’t hide behind glass panes. Because you’re not really hidden. Everyone can still see the arms that shake, fragile from years of solving problems. Other people’s problems. You’re not fooling anyone - it might be cute now, you feel like a Barbie doll or something. But it won’t be cute when someone gets too drunk and thinks it’s a cool party trick to punch through glass like they’re The Hulk. Blood everywhere, and you’re already trying to avoid red (see #1). 8. Become a Fire. I mean engulf everything and anyone in your path no matter how loud they’re screaming. In fact, let their screams fuel you into a whirlwind of apathy. Fires aren’t angry, really - just persistent. Once you’re a fire you can expect to get fewer phone calls, baby shower invites, picnic invites, etc. You’ll probably burn all the people you love to a crisp. Hey, you wanted to know how to stop being used. No one said it’d be easy.
Choose a theme to explore in the short story, "The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings"
“The Very Old Man With Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is rife with symbolism and imagery that detail how humans exploit divinity on earth. In the short story, food, a mortal necessity, is a motif used to further explicate the humans’ inhumane perception of the angel in the story. When Pelayo first encounters the man in his yard and is told by a neighbor that he is an angel, Pelayo at wants to kill him; Pelayo instead resigns himself to “lock[ing] him up with the hens in the wire Chicken coop.” Not only is the old man being caged like an animal, he is also being kept where food is kept. Even if Pelayo and Elisenda do not eat their chickens, they certainly used them to breed eggs. Later, the neighbors, upon hearing about this old angel, pelt his cage with fruit peels and leftovers. While the purpose of this may have been to feed the man, but it only serves to make the angel a spectacle, a literal freak show that Pelayo and Elisenda come to exploit. Shortly thereafter, we encounter the woman who was changed into a spider for disobeying her parents as a young woman. Her appearance is decidedly inhuman, as “she was a frightful tarantula the size of a ram and with the body of a sad maiden,” We see that she eats “meatballs that charitable souls chose to toss in her mouth”. Visitors begin to pay to see this woman instead of the angel since her spectacle was “filled with so much human truth, and with such a fearful lesson.” Along with the tarantula woman being able to communicate with other people, we are explicitly shown that the tarantula woman eats real, human food, making her a roadside attraction people could relate to, rather than the antiquarian angel who only spoke in tongues and quickly exhausted the fascination of Pelayo and Elisenda’s neighbors. At last, the angel slowly regains his health over several months and escapes; even his exit isn’t complete without food imagery, as “Elisenda was cutting some bunches of onions for lunch when a wind...blew into the kitchen. Then she went to the window and caught the angel in his first attempts at flight.” The mortal act of preparing food, which the angel will not eat, is the background for this moment of relief. The angel can go back to his world and normalcy can return. Elisenda and Pelayo can do other ordinary, human activities without worry of the foreign creature in their backyard. The arrival of an angel on earth is met with annoyance. With food as a motif to highlight this aggravation, Garcia Marquez makes it clear that humans can only respect what they understand. Anything else is subject to mockery, disgust, disbelief, or all three.
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