Writing Samples Current Pieces: Bananas for what? B Cliché Sedimentary Rock I am Standing in the Doorway Elementary school Pieces: Sliding down the Slopes Sliding down the Slopes (written in 4 th grade) Middle School Pieces: The Earth Inside Symbols of Success in Middle School
Life List… -Become fluent in Chinese -Own a pet snake -Live in China -Work at a Chinese orphanage -Learn Arabic -Learn Russian -Pilot a plane -Take an extended trip to Africa -Hike the Appalachian Trail -Be a speaker at some major event -Sell a piece of artwork at an exorbitant price -Climb a mountain -Meet someone randomly while traveling and actually stay in touch -Drive across the United States -Patent a new invention -Decorate my own home -Go caving -Go to the olympics -Go on a spontaneous road trip -Live in poverty temporarily by choice -Become a certified life guard -Meet Steven Curtis Chapman -Learn to play to play the drums -Compete in ballroom dancing What to do before I die…
While this soul image portrays who I am, it only glazes over the many things that I enjoy. The soul, for instance, does not show that I am an extreme chocolate lover. The camp that I work at, Makemie Woods, has always been an important part of my life, as has my church. I love doing mission work, and have gone on one trip with Global Expeditions before, and several others with other organizations. chocolate Makemie Woods my church Global Expeditions
Erin Cassidy Ms. Abbie McGee AP English Literature 14 January 2009 Banana Peels for What? In ancient times bananas were associated with medicinal, and mythical characteristics, and even powers. Some of these beliefs persisted to the present day, but, surprisingly, new assertions about bananas have arisen in modern times as well. One of the most intriguing allegations surrounding the banana is that smoking the dried peel (or an extraction from the peel known as “bananadine,” or “mellow yellow”) will result in hallucinogenic effects (“Hallucinogenic effects”). Delving into the history of this fairly contemporary claim, its appearance in popular culture, and the question of its scientific integrity can bring a more thorough analysis of the banana’s entire impact on our world. A newspaper called the Berkeley Barb released an article about a substance called “bananadine” in March of 1967. The article contained a recipe for extracting this substance from banana peels to be smoked. However, even before the article was published, a hit single called “Mellow Yellow” was released by the artist Donovan, a British folk rock singer (“Tripping on”), causing many to conclude that he was the first to make public the idea of getting “high” by smoking banana peels(“Bananadine”). Lyrics in the song include “Electrical banana\ Is gonna be a sudden craze,” which directly allude to “tripping” on banana peels (“Mellow Yellow”). In an interview, Donovan corrected this assumption, pointing to Country Joe McDonald, a folk singer, as the originator of the claim. McDonald confirmed that he did, in fact, begin the rumor in San Francisco before the release of “Mellow Yellow.” A few years later, the idea took off again when the recipe from the Berkeley Barb article was published again by William Powell when included in The Anarchist Cookbook three years later (“Hallucinogenic effects”).
Beyond the origin of the “bananadine” rumor, the potential for legal recreational drug use through banana peels drew even more attention in the decades after its introduction through music. In an album called Experience, The Prodigy, a British band, mentions coming by “to smoke some Banana skins anytime.” The practice is also alluded to by Ray Stevens in the song “Old Hippie Class Reunion,” Frank Zappa in “Blue Light,” and in 1975, Slade in “Thanks for the Memory.” The Electric Prunes featured a song about the smoking of banana peels in their album Underground as well (“Bananadine”). As recently as the late 1980’s “Yellow Mellow” made a comeback in the Music world in a song by The Dead Milkmen (“Hallucinogenic effects). In addition to music, a film from 1980 called Getting Wasted had a scene depicting the use of banana peels to try to get high (“Bananadine”). These are just a few examples that highlight the appearances of “Mellow Yellow” in American culture. The introduction of “bananadine” and the craze that followed did not merely catch the attention of teens, hippies, and musicians. In fact, a significant amount of investigation by the professionals went in to determining whether it is actually possible to “get high” from smoking banana peels, or “bananadine.” The exorbitant increase in the number of bananas purchased in the areas where “Mellow Yellow” took root alarmed the government, and particularly the Food and Drug Administration (“Bananadine”). Congressman Thompson of New Jersey actually told Congress to consider legislation that would target the banana peel smokers (Bozzetti), though nothing of the sort ever came into being.
Before intense study, it was suggested that smoking “Mellow Yellow” probably “produced little, if any high” (“Tripping on”). According to those who tried it, nausea, sore throat, dizziness, and coughing were side effects of the incident. However, although they did report visual hallucinations (Bozzetti), did they really experience any high? After studying both unprepared, and prepared banana scrapings, as well as purchased “Mellow Yellow” only carboniferous material was found. In other words, there were no hallucinogens (Bozzetti). New York University also said that smoking banana peels only produced a placebo effect (“Bananadine”). In fact, the only thing in bananas that gives this myth any merit is tryptophan, which increases serotonin in the body. Tryptophan has been used to treat hallucinating patients with mental disorders, and so it does not have hallucinogenic effects. However, smoking may not even be an effective method of administering tryptophan, since it is usually ingested. Also, although serotonin can help reduce depression, this chemical increases in the body just by eating bananas (“Hallucinogenic effects”). Not only is it not possible to “trip” on “bananadine,” “bananadine” itself is an entirely fictional substance. Bananas do not have a specific substance that can be extracted from the peel for any purpose, much less one called “bananadine.” This popular urban legend is just a hoax, and, ironically, that was all it was ever intended to be. The Berkeley Barb knew all along that there was no such thing as “bananadine.” The point of the article was to “raise questions about the ethics of making psychoactive drugs illegal and prosecuting those who took them; ‘what if the common banana contained
psychoactive properties, how would the government react?’(“Bananadine”)” The article was never supposed to deceive young people for decades to come, but as reported in Time Magazine, “youthful mind-benders have tripped (or thought they did) on everything from airplane glue to morning- glory seeds, from nutmeg to black tea” (“Tripping on”). The myth worked to the benefit of some, who have seized the opportunity to sell banana peel compost to unwitting “banana-heads” for a considerably lower price than “real drugs.” The Mellow Yellow Company did this and even advertised in California newspapers. They made 990 percent profit per half ounce sold, considering how cheap the “bananadine” was for them to make (five cents per half ounce). Even after scientific evidence proved that banana peel cannot produce a “high,” people disregarded the proof and continued to attempt to smoke banana peel for its “hallucinogenic” effects (“Tripping on”). While many Americans over the years have been led astray by the urban legend that smoking banana peels will make you “trip,” the legend has made a number of contributions to our culture. It has also been taken advantage of by artists, and even entrepreneurs. Scientifically, there is no substance in a banana peel that could result in hallucinogenic effects, but the concept of the “legal drug” appealed to many (“Tripping on”). The development of this situation from just a few triggers of one rumor now reveals an interesting facet of how bananas have affected us, and how myths can be very persistent.
B cliché Lickity split Tripped slipped and fell No friction in fingers he Slid off the old rocker, Yellow caution sign unseen. Seven makes yellow Not heaven poor fellow. Delectable cuisine leaves him Huffing and puffing To no avail. Use wisely, K? Take this lesson in, digest, But then throw it away, For not too mellow a target Shall leave bodies blessed. Unbruised.
Sedimentary Rock Actors and Actresses from all around come Together to create a faultless art piece A movie, musical, play, performance in sum Traveling on land, or by sea, or by air By car, or by boat, or by plane, or by train They gather from places both near and afar Then they meet, some refined, and some not so much Many well rounded, some rough around the edges Ranging from larger to petite beyond match Their talents collide and must form something new Pressed for time, molded, cemented in friendships Bonding, growing stronger- Yes, something to view Layer by layer slowly stepping it up Through trials and hardships becoming solidified Smoothing out flaws, rock solid from the top
I am Standing in the Doorway I am standing in the doorway. I am tired; my legs hurt, my feet hurt, my back aches, and my head hurts. I have a decision to make. It is summertime and I came to volunteer. I love children. I love working with them. I love hearing the ridiculous things they say sometimes, and I love that they often teach you so much more than you will ever be able to teach them. I came to camp to love the kids, because when I was a kid and a camper, someone came to camp to love me. God, teach me to serve, to listen, to love….This was my prayer. It was the most prominent prayer out of many that I had for the summer. I had been at camp for about four days when the camp director, Mike Burcher, came to me to ask me something. When she sat me down at a picnic table, there was no way I was prepared for what she was about to say. “Sure,” I said, “What’s up?” “A staff member didn’t show up, Erin,” she said. “Camp starts in a few days and we need someone to work in the kitchen for the summer. I know you want to be with kids…but …?” Can a question rip through your body like a knife? I had not known before. Yet even as the pain tore through my stomach, even as I saw my vision of the summer shatter into a million pieces, I heard myself say, “Yes, I’ll do it.” With a sure, steady voice, and the knowledge that it was my only real option, I agreed. My face had not betrayed me; it had not betrayed the agony behind that answer. Later that day I remember wishing it had. Why, Lord? Why?
Teach me to serve…to listen…to love…. This is not what I wanted! But it is what I wanted. Could I ever want anything more than what God desired for me? Still, the internal battle continued to rage. I knew what was right, but some part of me could not accept it. At some point that day, despite what I was feeling, I made a decision. I chose to make the most of the summer, and to take what it cost me and turn it into something greater. When I walked into the kitchen, I would bring my own sunshine. Happiness is a matter of circumstances, but no one can steal your joy if you make up your mind to be joyful. With that attitude I began my work in the kitchen. I learned my duties and learned to do them better each time. I got to know the kitchen staff, and got a sense of the type of work I would be doing. When camp began, I participated as much as possible in all camp activities. Hanging out with campers at the pool during my breaks, chatting with campers during snacks, and going to all the night activities were a few ways I was able to still be a part of the camp life I had always known. The isolation of my role was hard to deal with. Since my schedule was vastly different from the other staff member’s, there were about five people that I saw quite a bit of, and then my time outside of the kitchen was filled with trying to fit everyone else in. Many days it was hard not to see the kitchen as a barrier that kept me from the parts of camp that I love. In addition, experiencing the non-kitchen side of camp life gave me a different perspective on much of the work I did. It was more of a challenge. I was trying to please the kitchen staff with my efforts, but I was also trying to please the counselors. One of the tasks I was put in charge of was directing the packing of cookouts, which various
groups actually prepared twice each week. The kitchen staff thought cookouts were wasteful and that they always ordered too much food. The counselors needed too much food rather than too little, or else not everyone got enough and they would have to deal with cranky campers. The burden of many conflictive interests playing tug-of- war over my decisions each day was frustrating. It was also something that no one else could really grasp. It was the little things in my work that I was able to enjoy the most. I added a little bit of myself to everything I did. I almost always sang as I worked. We had to write the menu on a whiteboard before each meal, so I would always draw a picture on the board. Some days they were simple, and some days they were elaborate. Art has always been such a great passion for me, and I found that it was my best means of communication. I decorated everything they would let me get my hands on. Sometimes I would come back early from my break to make a special dessert. Doing extra favors for people, going above and beyond, was always something that gave me great joy. Beyond my work in the kitchen though, I was killing myself by trying so hard not to let my role separate me from camp life. Staying with camper groups was very important to me. I wanted to at least get that small opportunity to spend time with them. So I had stayed in tents or longhouses every week so far. I wanted so badly to fill both roles, but was impossible. I learned that I needed each precious break to sleep, and that I needed to be smart enough to draw a line somewhere. I learned that one decision at the beginning of the summer was not enough, but that each day, as I stepped through the kitchen doorway, I had a decision to make. Would I bring my own sunshine?
I am almost to the end of the summer. There have been hard days, and easier days, and I have been conditioned to get through both. I have learned that there are many secret joys in what is an often thankless job. I have experienced physically and mentally severe work that the people around me cannot truly realize. I have learned to not try to make them understand or take it out on them, because then you cannot glean character growth from your perseverance. I have learned that when you have almost nothing left to give, and you give it to someone else, the rewards are beyond comparison. I have learned that while it is impossible to please other people, they are not the ones I should have been trying to please in the first place. I have learned to serve selflessly, listen attentively, and love without reserve…And now, again…. I am standing in the doorway. I am tired; my legs hurt, my feet hurt, my back aches, and my head hurts.… I have a decision to make…