Homework 7

birds, photos, avian, nature, photography, fotos, images

In Sherman Alexie’s short story “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona, “Victor and Thomas go on a quest to retrieve Victor’s father’s ashes and a few other material objects. It could be argued, however, that Victor returns with something less tangible and potentially more valuable. What is that?

Recount an experience of your own that brought you something unexpected, perhaps a life lesson or insight about yourself.

Due Wednesday.

About susanbriscoe

English teacher, writer
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9 Responses to Homework 7

  1. Nick says:

    I have absolutely no clue, well I don’t have a quite idea as to what Victor had received from his quest that was potentially more better. Although one of my most dramatic life experience that brought me a new goal that I desired to pursue, which was the passing of my deceased birth mother. I was a young naïve child who didn’t give a single crap about anything, his future, any ambitions, identity, etc. but when I was going get candy at the McCombers store after school I seemed to see the paper and a picture of a burnt house and a picture of a woman. In the description below it said her name “Peggy Peterson”, I knew the name but not the face and me being curious I continue reading the article and it mentions the children of this woman and the last name in that list was my name. I went home to discuss with my mom about this new information I learned and she explained the whole purpose of me not being with her because of her “bad habits” and that really upset me that I ever got to meet her but at the same time I was happy. It may sounds messed up but I was happy for a good reason because I figured out what I wanted to do that day. My future was to go down a different path, a better one, to where I wouldn’t be ending up like my other family members, I wanted to succeed, be healthy, but most of all happy.


    • susanbriscoe says:

      That is an excellent example of an unexpected life lesson. Though I’m very sorry about your birth mother’s death, I am glad for you that you received this clarity at such a young age.


  2. karahkwinetha says:

    In Sherman Alexie’s short story “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” the story is centered on two boys, both indigenous from the reservation of Spokane. The primary focus of the story is formulated around the death of Victor’s father, who lived in Arizona. Victor is then placed in a complicated predicament, being so that he was recently fired from the IBM company, which results in his inability to travel to Arizona and retrieve his father’s ashes. However, an old friend by the name of Thomas, overhears the problem, and he insists on helping Victor retrieve his father’s ashes. Their journey begins the following day, where they travel all the way to Arizona and back.
    On the way back to Arizona, Victor learns an important lesson. He learns to think for himself, and not take everything for granted. He learns that everything in life is not inevitable, and that you need to accept it and move on.

    Similarly, to Victor’s life lesson, let me recount an experience where I was brought an unexpected life lesson, when cancer was introduced to my family. A few very close family members of mine, have had the unexpected battle with cancer, such as both my grandfathers, two aunts, my grandmother, and my very close friend.

    From the ones that have survived, they have taught me how I should never take anything for granted through all aspects of their treatment. They have always told me to live life to the fullest. If you are thinking about doing something, do it, because life is ever so short, and could come to an end at any time.


  3. lyleee says:

    Well for a past experience that was similar to Victor’s was when I was 8 and got myself lost in New York city, all because I was on a personal quest to find poptarts. Not the basic ones however, but they had these cool strawberry milkshake ones that tasted like heaven. And during that short time wandering the streets of new York by myself I seen a lot of drug addicts sitting on the side of the street in the most sketched out areas. And I talked to people asking them where I could find poptarts and instead of answering my question they decided to ask where my parents were. So I eventually went back to the condo we were staying in because no one would help me find where the poptarts were, and my parents were pretty mad lol, but in the end of the day, I learned to not depend on people’s help because they always let you down. Also to not go wandering away from your parents because they’ll ground you for so long when they find you again. And grounding means no dessert.


  4. Teioshontathe says:

    I don’t really have an experience that changed my life. My mom and I moved a lot when I was younger but I don’t really remember much about it. It will be almost a year next month where my grandmother passed away and the only thing I learned from that, is to live life to the fullest, you never know when something bad is going to happen. But other than that, I don’t have a quest that I went on or something that I learned.


  5. Amberlyn Canadian says:

    The only real experience that still follows me today is knowing, that I’ve hit rock bottom and there was no way to go but up. When I was 12 my life began spiraling downhill, but my parents didn’t know until i was at my worst when i was 13. They pushed me to get better. All the doctors and check ups and I’m clean of self harm today and in a better place than I was then. When I came back I had to rebuild who I was. I’m a new person today, a better person than I was back then. I’ve come a long way to be where I am today.


  6. AutumnGlasgow says:

    When it all comes down to it, Victor came back a changed person, not only because he faced a life changing thing such as losing a parent but that’s where I can make my connection…At the young age of 7 I lost my father and you could only imagine how important he was to me. Being so young but being old enough to understand that I would never be able to see my father again was the most heartbreaking thing I ever had to experience as a child. I don’t want to get into the details of his death but it is 100% true when I say it was something totally unexpected.


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