A Self-Change Project to Monitor and Change Two Specific types of Behaviors.
This behavior continued on into high school, where for the first three years I continued to finish top of my class, but my study behavior was the same; I would only study for exams. As I went on in high school, I often tried to change the way I studied and tried to study more. This change in study behavior only lasted for two or three weeks and then I reverted back to only studying for exams.
I have come to realize that my studying behavior is mostly exhibited in an environment where there are a lot of distractions. One place where I am usually unable to get studying done is at home. When I am at home I get too comfortable to study; the bed is there, the television is there, the computer and the video games are there. I live with five other guys, so even though I may turn off the television or resist the temptation of lying in the bed while studying, there are still distractions coming from the other rooms. In order to change my study behavior I need to eliminate these distractions.
As was mentioned earlier, a good way to change a behavior is to set goals for increasing or decreasing the behavior, and also to make a good effort to meet these goals. Change does not come overnight; it takes diligence, determination and hard work. I have short-term and long-term goals that I want to meet to change my studying behavior. My short-term goal for this project is to daily review the notes that I took in class and read the chapters from the text that will be covered in the next class. My goal is to consistently do this each week to the point where I will not need to make a note or follow a schedule. The aim is to do this until studying regularly becomes a part of my daily routine as a student. My long-term goal is that by the end of this project, and continuing on even after this semester, the least amount of time I spend studying per week for...
People fall into many situations that they never imagined they would. The world is constantly changing and each situation affects how a person thinks or acts. Sometimes there is no control over how someone behaves. The only way to cope with these situations is to react and let it go. In the book, The Things They Carried,when burdened with an emotion or experience, people stop thinking clearly and do things in the heat of the moment.
O’Brien uses the story of Curt Lemon who had a fear of the dentist, to show an example of how soldiers react to their environment. All the soldiers were getting dental checkups and when it was Curt’s turn he fainted. Soldiers are always supposed to be strong and cannot show any form of weakness. So when Curt Lemon’s fear of the dentist got to him, he felt cowardly and weak. Not wanting to live with the embarrassment that he was scared, Curt took it upon himself to get his tooth removed. “The embarrassment must’ve turned a screw in his head...The dentist couldn’t find any problem, but Lemon kept insisting, so the man finally shrugged and...yanked out a perfectly good tooth.” ( 88) People feel the need to be able to do everything that everyone else does. Even though he was perfectly fine, Curt made an impulse decision to prove to himself that he was not a coward. He could now live with the fact that he was able to do what every other soldier did. It was not to show off to others but for his self satisfaction and to feel equal to everyone else. He made this decision in the heat of the moment because he felt embarrassed about the way he reacted to the dentist and he wanted to resolve it.
The loss of someone beloved is also a reason people lose control over their emotions and behavior. Rat Kiley was best friends with Curt Lemon. The death of Curt was too sudden and shocking for Rat. The only way he could express what he was feeling was by shooting at a water buffalo they had found. Curt’s death was a surprise to everyone, but it affected Rat the most.
“He shot randomly,almost casually, quick little spurts in the belly and butt… Rat Kiley was crying.” (79) He needed a way to let go of the pain he felt by inflicting pain upon the water buffalo. Often times people who feel overwhelmed with an emotion or experience do not think but just react. This helps the person to cope with the change that has happened to them and will stay with them forever. By causing pain upon something else or destroying something it makes the person feel better. All the emotions are then channeled on that one object.
Throughout the book, O’Brien shows that soldiers have to always maintain a brave front and anything less than that means they are cowardly. Rat Kiley never showed any moments of fear or lack of courage. He was always someone who did his job the way it should be. Being in war can have a emotional or physical effect on soldiers. Feeling burdened with his experiences in war and the emotions that came with it, he decided he needed a way out. ”He took off his boots and socks, laid out his medical kit,doped himself up, and put a round through his foot.” ( 223) He unable to handle the emotional stress of being in war and with the loss of Curt’s death added to it. Rat knew that the only way of getting himself away from the war was to inflict harm to himself and give himself peace.After a person has too many traumatic experiences bottled up they can’t deal with them anymore.
O’brien in an interview answers how these experiences affects humans. It is not just a story, but how the events affect how a person behaves. He says “It is not the politics of Vietnam. It too is about the human heart and the pressures put on it.” (Interview #3) In his book he describes the pressure that is put on soldiers to be fearless and strong. They fall into many predicaments that they have to face and then move on. They are not given a chance to relax or able to express how they feel. They are always pressured to keep everything inside them which can later cause them to make irrational decisions.
The world is always changing, putting people into circumstances that they are not able to tolerate. People have to find ways to vent their emotions or to get away from things. There are certain decisions that are made that can be harmful in the long run. Instead of pressuring soldiers to put on a constant emotionless and brave front, people should also see that they too are human.
Works Cited for Analytical Essay:
O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. New York: Broadway, 1998. Print.
Bourne, Daniel, and Shostak, Debra. "A Conversation with Tim O'Brien." The College of Wooster. October 2, 1991. Web. October 20, 2009.
“Maybe if I close my eyes tight enough, it’ll all go away. Maybe if I take a few deep breaths, I can stay calm. Maybe if I just ignore everything I’ll stop thinking so much. Deep breaths. Smile. Everything will be alright.” These are the things I used to tell myself, locked up in the bathroom when I wanted to get away from everything.
Growing up, my father was not able to be a part of my life because he was unable to live in the United States for legality reasons. My mother was the one who raised me and took care of everything. My mom worked long hours on a minimum wage job to support us. As I grew older, I understood how the absence of my father really affected us. During this time period, I gradually taught myself to just hold everything in. I didn’t let anyone see how depressed I felt, I always kept up a front of being normal. When things got too much to handle, I let out all the pent up emotions, let the tears flow and felt the heavy weight of the pain go away in that moment. I never let anyone see me this way, I always thought they would think I was stupid or weak.
“It’ll be okay soon, just keep praying, just keep your patience, things will get better,” I’d tell myself every time I felt like crying or felt myself starting to crumble. I remember I’d always put on a strong face while my mom cried or just looked depressed. I couldn’t bear to see her this way constantly. I felt like I was a burden to her, and that it was all my fault she was struggling so much with working, paying bills, and etc. It all felt too suffocating so I never asked for much other than what I needed.
In school I focused on my grades more than anything. Unlike other kids, I didn’t hang out with friends, have sleepovers, or chit chat with each other. There wasn’t any way I could help my mom, so I thought by doing well in school and just trying to stay out of trouble, that would be one less thing she would have to worry about. Forgetting that anything else existed, I put all my energy into my academics. However, in the process I lost close friends and I became separated from everyone. I became a person that existed among people. I just wanted to make things better, but nothing felt right.
I struggled like this until I reached high school, where I was in a new environment. I thought to myself that I could start new. However, my mom got sick and I had to take care of her while managing school at the same time. Things would always seem to get better and then something would come along the way and it would go back to the same depressing situation. Everything inside me was just slowly building up and I kept praying that maybe one day soon my dad would be able to return to us, so that we could be together and not away from another.
During the middle of my freshman year of highschool, my mom had to get surgery done again for piles which caused her a lot of pain. She was unable to work for some time. I took care of her, from waking up to giving her medication every couple hours to making sure what she was eating. I felt broken and exhausted from everything. People may think that crying doesn’t help. For me it was the best way to just release everything I was feeling. Other times, I just hated when people talked to me, I just wanted to be left alone. I didn’t want any sympathy or pity, it made me feel weak and pathetic.
Now, I’ve learned that keeping things to myself and just letting everything pile on top of one another was not the best idea. It changed who I was, how I felt, and the world around me. This experience has made me stronger and has helped me understand the value of what relationships are. As of 2013, my dad was finally able to be here with us and things have gotten much better for us.