Dear Dr. Rios:
My name is Eduardo Guzman. I’m in the 11th grade, and I hate politics. I also hate people who talk too much because they annoy me. I have just finished chapter 8 of your autobiography Street Life. When I first started reading your book, I thought it would be about growing up in poverty and having many struggles. Also, I thought that it would have many consequences about growing up with no father.
I have done different types of imagery annotations where you try to use your senses to be able to understand the book and the author’s attitude. I have also done “Talk to the Author” annotations is writing as if you were talking to the author. A blog post is putting your thoughts out to a wide audience, which is another thing I have done. An audio recording is where you put yourself in the author’s shoes and letting your experience come out of you.
I feel empathy about different parts of your story that you shared in the chapters titled “The Snake Belt” and “A True Gangster.”
In chapter 7, when you said, ”But worse, I had backstabbed my mother, betrayed her hopes for me to finish school, after all of her pain and hard work” (pg 36), I want you to know that, Victor, it must have been painful to know that you hurt your mother who has supported you to the best of her ability. In addition,you were destroying her dreams and her wishes for you to become someone who won’t have to relive their past. Also, you said ”To make my mother proud, to thank her for keeping me alive and sheltered, I decided to go back to school”(page 36), and I thought Victor, it must have been a struggle to have to go back to school after not being there for months, all the questions that they will ask you.
Then I read chapter 8 where I read ”Mi’jo, no seas menso, walk on the other side of the street! She answered, frustrated. As much as I loved my mother, she sometimes did not have the right advice for me” (page 41). I realized it must have been frustrating, Victor, to run home and try to get advice for getting hurt but they didn’t really help you. Lastly, you shared ”The stranger placed the gun on my forehead, the cold steel giving me an instant rush of goosebumps” (page 42), and I want you to know that it must have been a life-changing moment in your life, Victor, almost being killed and unable to do anything but accept it.
Thank you for taking time to reading this, and I hope to hear from you,