Using the quotation below as a jumping off point, tell us about an event or experience that helped you define one of your values or changed how you approach the world:''Some questions cannot be answered./ They become familiar weights in the hand,/ Round stones pulled from the pocket, unyielding and cool.''1- Jane Hirshfield, poet, Princeton Class of 1973
I prodded the chicken with my fork. The rest of the table was heatedly arguing about health care while I wondered how much longer the school fundraiser dinner would last. Then, an idle comment uttered by a boy I didn’t know made my head jerk up.
“…It’s all because of those Jewish bastards in Congress,” he finished.
Silence dropped like a hammer on a nail. I stared.
A friend glanced at me and said, “She’s Jewish, you know.”
I was paralyzed. Questions flickered through my mind. Chief among them was simply: “Why?”
Why intolerance? Why again?
My mouth moved. “You're the bastard, if you think that saying that is okay,” I said. My calm, forceful words surprised me. I felt like a marionette, lips and limbs moving at the whim of an outside force.
He flushed. “I wasn't insulting you.”
I went on a brief, terse rant, wondering all the while whose tongue was uttering my words. The boy stared at me, but wouldn’t apologize, and I stood and left the table. The hollow disdain in his eyes haunted me. Later that night, I reflected on his words.
I’ve always known that Jews are rare on the Eastern Shore. In elementary school, someone once asked me what a Jew was. The questions have evolved since then: What’s the story behind Passover? What makes...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 923 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7303 literature essays, 2071 sample college application essays, 302 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in