rowing the bus

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Question Description

Read the attached story called Rowing the Bus by Paul Logan. Rowing the Bus-1.pdf

Remember the 4 steps to writing an essay. Write an essay of 4-5 paragraphs using the following instructions:

Logan provides many vivid descriptions of incidents in which bullies attack other students. Reread these descriptions, and consider what they teach you about the nature of bullies and bullying. Then write an essay that supports the following main idea:

Bullies seem to share certain qualities.

Identify two or three qualities; then discuss each in a separate paragraph.

You may use two or three of the following as the topic sentences for your supporting paragraphs, or come up with your own supporting points:

  • Bullies are cowardly.
  • Bullies make themselves feel big by making other people feel small.
  • Bullies cannot feel very good about themselves.
  • Bullies are feared but not respected.
  • Bullies act cruelly in order to get attention.

Develop each supporting point with one or more anecdotes or ideas from any of the following: your own experience, your understanding of human nature, and “Rowing the Bus.”

Upload your final essay on Canvas.

I have attached a rubric for guidance. ESSAY RUBRIC.docx

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448 PART 4 Readings for Writers Rowing the Bus Paul Logan PREVIEW There is a well-known saying that goes something like this: All that is necessary in order for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. Even young people are forced to face cruel behavior and to decide how they will respond to it. In this essay, Paul Logan looks back at a period of schoolyard cruelty in which he was both a victim and a participant. With unflinching honesty, he describes his behavior then and how it helped to shape the person he has become. WORDS TO WATCH simulate (1) feigning (5) taunted (6) belittled (6) gait (7) rift (9) stoic (13) When I was in elementary school, some older kids made me row the bus. Rowing meant that on the way to school I had to sit in the dirty bus aisle littered with paper, gum wads, and spitballs. Then I had to simulate• the motion of rowing while the kids around me laughed and chanted, “Row, row, row the bus.” I was forced to do this by a group of bullies who spent most of their time picking on me. I was the perfect target for them. I was small. I had no father. And my mother, though she worked hard to support me, was unable to afford clothes and sneakers that were “cool.” Instead she dressed me in outfits that we got from “the bags”—hand-me-downs given as donations to a local church. Each Wednesday, she’d bring several bags of clothes to the house and pull out musty, wrinkled shirts and worn bell-bottom pants that other families no longer wanted. I knew that people were kind to give things to us, but I hated wearing clothes that might have been donated by my classmates. Each time I wore something from the bags, I feared that the other kids might recognize something that was once theirs. Besides my outdated clothes, I wore thick glasses, had crossed eyes, and spoke with a persistent lisp. For whatever reason, I had never learned to say the “s” sound properly, and I pronounced words that began with “th” as if they began with a “d.” In addition, because of my severely crossed eyes, I lacked the hand and eye coordination necessary to hit or catch flying objects. As a result, footballs, baseballs, soccer balls and basketballs became my enemies. I knew, before I stepped onto the field or court, that I would do something clumsy or foolish and that everyone would laugh at me. I feared humiliation so much that I became skillful at feigning• illnesses to get out of gym class. Eventually I learned how to give myself low-grade fevers so the nurse would write me an excuse. It worked for a while, until the gym teachers caught on. When I did have to play, I was always the last one chosen to be on any team. In fact, team captains did everything in their power to make their opponents get stuck with me. When the unlucky team captain was forced to call my name, I would trudge over to the team, knowing that 1 2 3 4 5 Copyright © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Goals and Values 449 no one there liked or wanted me. For four years, from second through fifth grade, I prayed nightly for God to give me school days in which I would not be insulted, embarrassed, or made to feel ashamed. I thought my prayers were answered when my mother decided to 6 move during the summer before sixth grade. The move meant that I got to start sixth grade in a different school, a place where I had no reputation. Although the older kids laughed and snorted at me as soon as I got on my new bus—they couldn’t miss my thick glasses and strange clothes—I soon discovered that there was another kid who received the brunt of their insults. His name was George, and everyone made fun of him. The kids taunted• him because he was skinny; they belittled• him because he had acne that pocked and blotched his face; and they teased him because his voice was squeaky. During my first gym class at my new school, I wasn’t the last one chosen for kickball; George was. George tried hard to be friends with me, coming up to me in the cafete- 7 ria on the first day of school. “Hi. My name’s George. Can I sit with you?” he asked with a peculiar squeakiness that made each word high-pitched and raspy. As I nodded for him to sit down, I noticed an uncomfortable silence in the cafeteria as many of the students who had mocked George’s clumsy gait• during gym class began watching the two of us and whispering among themselves. By letting him sit with me, I had violated an unspoken law of school, a sinister code of childhood that demands there must always be someone to pick on. I began to realize two things. If I befriended George, I would soon receive the same treatment that I had gotten at my old school. If I stayed away from him, I might actually have a chance to escape being at the bottom. Within days, the kids started taunting us whenever we were together. 8 “Who’s your new little buddy, Georgie?” In the hallways, groups of students began mumbling about me just loud enough for me to hear, “Look, it’s George’s ugly boyfriend.” On the bus rides to and from school, wads of paper and wet chewing gum were tossed at me by the bigger, older kids in the back of the bus. It became clear that my friendship with George was going to cause me 9 several more years of misery at my new school. I decided to stop being friends with George. In class and at lunch, I spent less and less time with him. Sometimes I told him I was too busy to talk; other times I acted distracted and gave one-word responses to whatever he said. Our classmates, sensing that they had created a rift• between George and me, intensified their attacks on him. Each day, George grew more desperate as he realized that the one person who could prevent him from being completely isolated was closing him off. I knew that I shouldn’t avoid him, that he was feeling the same way I felt for so long, but I was so afraid that my life would become the hell it had been in my old school that I continued to ignore him. Then, at recess one day, the meanest kid in the school, Chris, decided 10 he had had enough of George. He vowed that he was going to beat up George and anyone else who claimed to be his friend. A mob of kids formed and came after me. Chris led the way and cornered me near our school’s swing sets. He grabbed me by my shirt and raised his fist over my head. A huge gathering of kids surrounded us, urging him to beat me up, chanting “Go, Chris, go!” lan71866_ch35_p436-482.indd 449 9/4/09 1:51:55 PM 450 PART 4 Readings for Writers “You’re Georgie’s new little boyfriend, aren’t you?” he yelled. The 11 hot blast of his breath carried droplets of his spit into my face. In a complete betrayal of the only kid who was nice to me, I denied George’s friendship. “No, I’m not George’s friend. I don’t like him. He’s stupid,” I blurted 12 out. Several kids snickered and mumbled under their breath. Chris stared at me for a few seconds and then threw me to the ground. “Wimp. Where’s George?” he demanded, standing over me. Someone 13 pointed to George sitting alone on top of the monkey bars about thirty yards from where we were. He was watching me. Chris and his followers sprinted over to George and yanked him off the bars to the ground. Although the mob quickly encircled them, I could still see the two of them at the center of the crowd, looking at each other. George seemed stoic,• staring straight through Chris. I heard the familiar chant of “Go, Chris, go!” and watched as his fists began slamming into George’s head and body. His face bloodied and his nose broken, George crumpled to the ground and sobbed without even throwing a punch. The mob cheered with pleasure and darted off into the playground to avoid an approaching teacher. Chris was suspended, and after a few days, George came back to 14 school. I wanted to talk to him, to ask him how he was, to apologize for leaving him alone and for not trying to stop him from getting hurt. But I couldn’t go near him. Filled with shame for denying George and angered by my own cowardice, I never spoke to him again. Several months later, without telling any students, George transferred 15 to another school. Once in a while, in those last weeks before he left, I caught him watching me as I sat with the rest of the kids in the cafeteria. He never yelled at me or expressed anger, disappointment, or even sadness. Instead he just looked at me. In the years that followed, George’s silent stare remained with me. It 16 was there in eighth grade when I saw a gang of popular kids beat up a sixth-grader because, they said, he was “ugly and stupid.” It was there my first year in high school, when I saw a group of older kids steal another freshman’s clothes and throw them into the showers. It was there a year later, when I watched several seniors press a wad of chewing gum into the hair of a new girl on the bus. Each time that I witnessed another awkward, uncomfortable, scared kid being tormented, I thought of George, and gradually his haunting stare began to speak to me. No longer silent, it told me that every child who is picked on and taunted deserves better, that no one—no matter how big, strong, attractive, or popular—has the right to abuse another person. Finally, in my junior year when a loudmouthed, pink-skinned bully 17 named Donald began picking on two freshmen on the bus, I could no longer deny George. Donald was crumpling a large wad of paper and preparing to bounce it off the back of the head of one of the young students when I interrupted him. “Leave them alone, Don,” I said. By then I was six inches taller and, 18 after two years of high-school wrestling, thirty pounds heavier than I had been in my freshman year. Though Donald was still two years older than me, he wasn’t much bigger. He stopped what he was doing, squinted, and stared at me. lan71866_ch35_p436-482.indd 450 9/4/09 1:51:55 PM Copyright © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Goals and Values 451 19 “What’s your problem, Paul?” I felt the way I had many years earlier on the playground when I 20 watched the mob of kids begin to surround George. “Just leave them alone. They aren’t bothering you,” I responded quietly. 21 “What’s it to you?” he challenged. A glimpse of my own past, of row- 22 ing the bus, of being mocked for my clothes, my lisp, my glasses, and my absent father flashed in my mind. “Just don’t mess with them. That’s all I am saying, Don.” My fingertips 23 were tingling. The bus was silent. He got up from his seat and leaned over me, and I rose from my seat to face him. For a minute, both of us just stood there, without a word, staring. “I’m just playing with them, Paul,” he said, chuckling. “You don’t 24 have to go psycho on me or anything.” Then he shook his head, slapped me firmly on the chest with the back of his hand, and sat down. But he never threw that wad of paper. For the rest of the year, whenever I was on the bus, Don and the other troublemakers were noticeably quiet. Although it has been years since my days on the playground and the 25 school bus, George’s look still haunts me. Today, I see it on the faces of a few scared kids at my sister’s school—she is in fifth grade. Or once in a while I’ll catch a glimpse of someone like George on the evening news, in a story about a child who brought a gun to school to stop the kids from picking on him, or in a feature about a teenager who killed herself because everyone teased her. In each school, in almost every classroom, there is a George with a stricken face, hoping that someone nearby will be strong enough to be kind—despite what the crowd says—and brave enough to stand up against people who attack, tease, or hurt those who are vulnerable. If asked about their behavior, I’m sure the bullies would say, “What’s 26 it to you? It’s just a joke. It’s nothing.” But to George and me, and everyone else who has been humiliated or laughed at or spat on, it is everything. No one should have to row the bus. lan71866_ch35_p436-482.indd 451 9/4/09 1:51:55 PM ARGUMENT PARAGRAPH RUBRIC Name ____________________ Needs Work 1 pts Topic Sentence The topic sentence does not state what is being argued, and there is no clear stand taken. •Lacking a concluding sentence or current one does not close the paragraph Emerging 2 pts Good 3 pts Competent 4 pts The topic sentence states the topic being argued, but it may not take a clear stand. Concluding sentence exists but does not tie into topic The topic sentence is fairly well developed. But it is not very engaging or creative. Concluding sentence ties back into topic sentence/ Very well developed topic sentence. It engages the reader and creates interest. It clearly states the topic being argued and takes a stand. • There is a concluding sentence that gives the reader something to think about Reasons Supported by Details and Examples. Reasons for the argument are not stated, or there are obvious fallacies that contradict the details and examples. Perhaps the argument is an unsupported rant. Reasons for the argument are stated, but there are few concrete and specific details or examples to support the argument adequately or logically. Reasons for the argument are stated and there are enough details and examples to support the argument adequately and logically. Reasons for the argument are clearly stated, and there are enough details to support the argument effectively and thoroughly. Concrete and specific examples are presented that effectively support and strengthen the argument. Organization /Structure No discernible organization. Reasons are either missing or not in any discernible order. They do not support the argument or there are obvious fallacies in the proposed logic. Reasons are in a discernible order, but there are not enough to effectively support the argument. Reasons are in a clear, effective order and they adequately support the argument. Reasons are effectively supported by details and examples that are presented in a very effective order that enhances and strengthens the argument. Citation Use No References Page. No citations indicated. References page is included, but does not conform to APA style. Fewer than three citations are included. Proper References page is included; fewer than three citations are included or they do not conform to APA style. Style: sentence flow, tone, and Writing is confusing and hard to follow. Contains fragments and/or run-on sentences. The tone and purpose is inconsistent and difficult to determine. Transitions are either missing or inappropriate. Writing is clear, but sentences may lack variety. The tone is inconsistent and word choice, while adequate, could be better. While transitions are present they do not add to the overall effectiveness of the paragraph. Writing is clear and sentences have varied structure. There is consistent tone and word choice is appropriate with fairly good use of transitions to guide the reader. Mechanics Distracting and major errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and capitalization. Few errors in punctuation, grammar, spelling, and capitalization. While distracting, the meaning and intent of the paragraph can still be discerned. Few minor errors in punctuation, spelling, grammar, which do not detract from the overall meaning and effectiveness of the paragraph. Proper APA style References page is included; at least three citations are included using correct APA style Writing is smooth, skillful, and coherent. Sentences are strong and expressive with varied structure. Consistent and appropriate tone and word choice is used throughout the paragraph. Transitions are appropriate and add to the effectiveness of the paragraph. No errors in punctuation, spelling, grammar, or capitalization. Total Notes: ...
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Anonymous
Tutor went the extra mile to help me with this essay. Citations were a bit shaky but I appreciated how well he handled APA styles and how ok he was to change them even though I didnt specify. Got a B+ which is believable and acceptable.

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