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Descriptive Essays - READINGS Wul A Different Kind of...

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READINGS Wul A Different Kind of Mother Considering Topics for Your Own Essay Considerwriting about a person near your own age who influenced you during your childhoodor early adolescence. List as many people as you can. Recall neighbors, classmates,friends from camp, teammates. The people on your list may be close mendsor other people with whom you still keep in touch, as Karr and Clarice do, or peoplewith whom you have lost contact. They might even be relatives-cousins or siblings.Choose one person from your list, and try to recall two or three specific timesthe two of you did something especially memorable together. List these anec- dotes,and make notes about what each memory might reveal about the person and aboutyour relationship. . To use the WritingGuide Software to record your ideas, click on ~ Journal Amy Wu wrote this essay when she was seventeen years old, just before becoming a stu- dentat New York University. A journalist and a recent fellow at the Scripps Howard New MediaWorkshop at Columbia University, Wu is on the staff of the Monterey County Herald in California.Her articles have appeared in Time Asia, Wired News, ABCNews.com, the New YorkTimes, the Los Angeles Times, Asia Week, and other publications. This essay was pub- lished in Chinese American Forum, a quarterly magazine. As you read, notice the way Wu relies on contrasts between her mother and other kinds ofmothers to help readers understand her special relationship with her mother. My best friend once asked me what it was like being brought up by a Chinese mother. Surprisingly, I could find no answer. I found myself describing my mother's beauty-the way my mother's hair was so silky and black, how her eyes were not small and squinty, but shapedlike perfect almonds. How her lips and cheeks were bright red even if she put onno makeup. But unlike my friends, who see my mother as a Chinese mother, I see my mother assimply "my" mother. The language between any mother and daughter is universal. Beyondthe layers of arguments and rhetoric, and beyond the incidents of humiliation andmisunderstandings, there is a love that unites every mother and daughter. I am not blind, however, to the disciplinary differences between a culture from the westand a culture from the east. Unlike American mothers, who encourage their young childrento speak whatever is on their mind, my mother told me to hold my tongue. Once, whenI was 5 or 6, I interrupted my mother during a dinner with her friends and told her thatI disliked the meal. My mother's eyes transformed from serene pools of blackness A Different lCind ofMother AmyWu :11 I I II I 'I III ! I , I I' 2 3 . I 97 ; i I Hi h. , II II III! i ill
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98 CHAPTER 3: REMEMBERING PEOPLE Readings into stormy balls of fire. "Quiet!" she hissed, "do you not know that silent waters run deep?" She ordered me to turn my chair to the wall and think about what I had done. I remember throwing a red-faced tantrum before my mother's friends, pounding my fists into the rug, and throwing my utensils at the steaming dishes. Not only
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