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! ! The!2013!Fresh!Reads!Top!Ten! Essay!Winners! ! ! Rachel!Wiley! Emily!Reeves! James!A.!Sanders! Sagar!Keriwal! Sushma!Kalava! John!Buttross! John!Frizzel! Timothy!McFall! Olivia!Mills!


The!Power!of!Names! by!Rachel!Wiley!!

! Why!is!this!society!and!the!world!obsessed! with!names?!Names!are!not!important,!they! give!us!no!connection!to!one!another,!nor!do! they!determine!our!futures,!as!analyzed!in!the! novel!by!Wes!Moore,!The$Other$Wes$Moore.!The$ Other$Wes$Moore$is!the!story!of!two!men!who! have!a!similar!background!story!with!very! different!endings.!These!two!men!were!both! raised!in!similar!neighborhoods,!struggling! single!mother!homes!with!nonexistent!dads,! and!most!importantly!they!have!the!same! name.!One!Moore!became!a!Rhodes!Scholar! while!the!other!is!sentenced!to!life!in!prison!for! a!hit!and!run!robbery.!The!similarities!between! them!were!uncanny!and!as!Moore!notes,!“The! chilling!truth!is!that!his!story!could!have!been! mine.!The!tragedy!is!that!my!story!could!have! been!his.�!Their!name!connects!them!and!yet! their!actions!separate!their!outcomes.!For!a! short!period!of!time!it!appeared!as!if!the!other! Moore!would!follow!Captain!Wes!Moore’s! example,!something!which!would!appear!as!if! their!names!would!have!an!effect!on!the!


outcome!of!their!futures.!However,!it!did!not! considering!names!do!not!have!that!power.!As! Tavis!Smiley,!a!PBS!talk!show!host!notes,!“This! intriguing!narrative!is!enlightening,! encouraging,!and!empowering.!Read!these! words,!absorb!their!meanings,!and!create!your! own!plan!to!act!and!leave!a!legacy.”!The$Other$ Wes$Moore!is!the!story!of!two!men!who!grew!up! in!similar!environments!and!even!had!the!same! names!nevertheless!they!have!completely! different!backgrounds!because!they!“created! their!own!plans!and!left!their!own!legacy.”!! ! The!story!of!how!my!name!came!about!is!not!an! interesting!one,!it!is!merely!a!consequence!of!a! platitudinous!sermon.!During!church!my!dad! went!through!the!Bible!and!picked!Elisabeth! Rachel!Wiley.!Elisabeth!means!“pledged!to! God”,!Rachel!means!“Lamb!of!God”,!and!Wiley! means!“sneaky.”!So!the!name!my!dad!so!kindly! gave!me!means!the!sneaky!lamb!who!is!pledged! to!God.!I!went!by!Elisabeth!the!first!twelve! years!of!my!life!something!that!has!resulted!in! many!nicknames.!However,!the!one!which! stuck!the!longest!and!was!most!popular,!was! lizard!breath,!something!I!could!never!quite! understood!if!it!was!an!insult!or!not.!I!have!


never!felt!as!if!my!name!has!connected!me!to! anyone!else!because!there!is!such!a!broad! spectrum!of!women!who!have!also!possessed!it,! from!Queen!Elizabeth,!Elizabeth!Blackwell,!to! Elizabeth!Taylor.!! ! During!the!summer!before!8th!grade!I!decided!I! would!be!called!Rachel!instead!of!Elisabeth.! Many!people!asked!me!why!I!had!changed!or! what!I!was!going!to!be!called!that!week,!though! some!assumed!I!was!just!running!away!from! the!nickname!Lizard!breath.!Six!years!later,! people!are!still!joking!about!what!name!I!will! go!by!today.!I!never!really!liked!the!name! Elisabeth!because!I!thought!it!was!to!common,! but!what!I!failed!to!realize!is!that!Rachel!is!just! as!common,!if!not!more.!I!thought!that!by! changing!my!name!I!would!be!able!to!run!away! from!my!past!mistakes,!as!if!I!responded!to!a! different!word!the!world!would!forget!about! my!past!transgressions,!failures!and! embarrassing!situations.!When!I!started!telling! others!my!name!was!Rachel,!I!naively!believed! that!I!would!magically!be!a!different!person,! but!that!is!not!how!names!work.!I!later!learned! that!our!names!do!not!define!who!we!will!be! the!next!day.!Our!names!are!just!words,!they!


have!no!power!by!themselves.!Juliet,!William! Shakespeare’s!famous!play!Romeo!and!Juliet,! once!said:!"What's!in!a!name?!That!which!we! call!a!rose!by!any!other!name!would!smell!as! sweet."! ! I!have!an!ample!amount!of!dreams!and!I!expect! much!out!of!myself,!however,!I!expect!very!little! out!of!my!name!because!it!is!just!a!name,!a! word!who!without!people!has!no!power,!and!is! no!greater!or!worse!than!any!other.!Jerry! Spinelli!once!said,!“I’m!not!my!name.!My!name! is!something!I!wear,!like!a!shirt.!It!gets!worn.!I! outgrow!it,!I!change!it.”!I!do!not!think!that!a! certain!name!gives!us!a!greater!chance!of! success.!I!think!we!are!able!to!make!our!own! choices!and!it!depends!more!on!our!resolve! about!how!our!lives!will!turn!out!affects!us! more!than!what!society!says!how!we!will!turn! out!based!on!our!names.!! ! ! ! ! ! ! !


The!Power!of!a!Name! by!Emily!Reeves! !

In!Wes!Moore’s!book,!The$Other$Wes$Moore,!he! tells!the!story!of!how!two!people!with!similar! lives!and!the!same!name!have!two!different! fates.!!Although!they!grew!up!through! hardships!with!single!mothers,!similar! struggles,!and!police!encounters,!the!two!Wes! Moore’s!distinguish!themselves!as!very! separate!human!beings.!The!power!of!a!name! can!give!a!man!ambition,!inspire!his! characteristics,!and!influence!his!life;!but! ultimately,!the!choices!that!are!made!and!the! example!set!by!the!people!one!loves!will!define! a!man’s!destiny.!! !! First,!Wes!Moore,!the!son!of!Joy!Moore,!became! an!honorable!and!successful!man.!!Although!he! was!surrounded!with!drugs,!poverty,!and! crime,!he!managed!to!battle!against!his!odds! and!come!out!on!top.!!Was!this!strictly!because! of!his!name?!!No.!!Joy!Moore!worked!to!provide! the!best!for!Wes.!!When!it!was!not!safe!for!the! family!where!they!lived,!she!moved!them!into! her!parents’!house.!When!Wes!was!slacking!in!


school,!Joy!pushed!him!to!work!harder.!!Joy!ran! a!strict!home!and!demanded!the!best!out!of! Wes.!!Even!though!Wes!did!not!have!a!father!as! a!role!model,!he!had!two!amazing! grandparents,!a!father!figure!uncle,!and!a!loving! mother.!!By!striving!to!live!up!to!his!mentors,! Wes!pushed!and!fought!through!the!challenges! that!were!thrown!his!way.! ! Next,!the!other!Wes!Moore,!the!son!of!Mary,! was!not!as!lucky,!on!the!other!hand.!!Granting! he!was!faced!with!the!same!type!struggles!as! the!successful!Wes,!he!did!not!have!the!same! role!models!in!his!life.!!Wes’!brother!Tony,!a! drug!dealer,!lived!by!the!“do!as!I!say!and!not!as! I!do”!mentality.!!Tony!told!Wes!to!work!harder! in!school!and!to!stand!up!for!himself,!but!Wes! saw!how!Tony!lived!his!life!and!mimicked!his! actions.!!Mary!worked!hard!for!Wes!and!loved! him,!but!she!secretly!practiced!drugs,!and!she! dated!a!married!man.!!Unfortunately,!Wes! never!had!a!set!father!figure!in!his!life.!!Because! of!these!role!model!issues,!Wes!took!the!easy! way!out!of!his!difficulties!and!fell!into!drug! dealing!and!crime;!consequently,!Wes!Moore’s! life!was!cut!short!by!prison.! !


Finally,!my!name,!Emily,!means!diligent! worker.!!My!middle!name,!Grace,!well,!that! speaks!for!itself.!!While!those!two!names!were! chosen!for!me!by!my!parents!and!have!valuable! meanings!behind!them,!I!am!mostly!motivated! by!my!last!name,!Reeves.!!My!dad,!David! Reeves,!is!the!most!amazing!man!in!the! world.!!He!works!at!the!local!power!company,! and!he!is!a!Baptist!preacher.!!Everyone!in!my! town!knows!him,!and!it!is!not!uncommon!to!go! somewhere!completely!random!in!the!United! States!and!run!into!someone!that!knows! him.!!Whenever!people!ask!my!name!and!I! respond,!almost!like!clockwork!the!next! question!is,!“Are!you!related!to!David! Reeves?”!!They!always!comment!on!how!great! of!a!dad!I!have,!and!all!I!can!say!is,!“thanks,!I! know.”! ! Although!being!a!hard!worker!and!having!grace! in!all!circumstances!are!two!important! characteristics,!being!a!“Reeves”!is!the!most! important!to!me.!!Living!up!to!my!dad’s!legacy! of!honesty,!morality,!trustworthy,!and! generosity!is!what!pushes!me!to!be!a!better! person.!!I!strive!to!be!a!better!person,!not!only! because!of!my!name,!but!also!because!of!the!


influence!that!my!dad!has!had!on!me!over!my! life.!!The!choices!I!make!are!always!based!on!a! scale!of!“zero!to!would!daddy!approve?”!!I! know!that!when!I!make!the!choice!on!that!scale! that!everything!will!turn!out!fine.! ! !!!!!!!!!!!!In!summary,!the!name!chosen!for!a! person!can!inspire!him!or!her!to!be!anything!in! the!world.!!From!a!drug!dealer!to!the!president,! from!an!athlete!to!a!nurse,!a!name!assists!in! molding!what!a!person!will!become.!!The!trials! one!goes!through!do!not!have!complete!control! over!a!person’s!fate.!!Thus,!the!most!important! influence!in!the!course!of!a!person’s!destiny!is! the!people!he!or!she!chooses!to!surround! themselves!with!and!the!choices!they!make! based!off!the!examples!set!by!those!people.!! ! !


My!Reading!of!The$Other$Wes$Moore! by!Wes!Moore! by!James!!A.!Sanders!

! Within!the!literary!work!of!The$Other$Wes$ Moore,!I!read!and!followed!the!lives!of!both!of! the!gentleman!named!Wes!Moore,!and!how! certain!situations!and!their!choices!incurred! certain!consequences!within!their!lives,!this! book!also!caused!me!to!reflect!upon!my!own! life!and!the!life!of!the!four!known!generations! of!men!that!I!named!after,!they!too!shared!the! same!name!along!with!myself!but!with!different! fates,!the!first!James!narrowly!escaped!being! born!with!slavery!but!faced!a!difficult!existence! within!the!perpetual!world!of!subsistence! farming.!The!second,!his!son!faced!a!similar!but! different!adversary!of!racism!as!he!moved! himself!and!his!family!to!the!north!eastern! section!of!the!united!states!to!escape!this! adversary!rather!than!face!it!head!on.!His!son,! my!paternal!grandfather!was!the!result!to!this! decision!to!run!as!he,!during!his!entire!life!ran! from!his!responsibilities,!including!being!a! more!present!father!figure!in!my!own!father’s! life!as!well!my!aunts!lives,!he!did!however!


runaway!with!grandmother!to!the!same! northeastern!lifestyle!that!my!greata grandfather!established!to!give!my!family!and! the!offspring!that!would!come!along!in!the! future!a!better!shot!at!being!more!successful! than!those!who!preceded!them.!Much!like!Wes’! own!mother!who!decided!to!move!after!the! death!of!Wes’s!father!to!New!York!so!that!they! could!be!closer!to!family.!My!grandmother! eventually!followed!suit!and!sent!for!my!father,! a!preteen!in!the!midasixties!to!live!with!her!in! New!York.!His!time!there,!while!short,! influenced!him!greatly!and!gave!my!father!the! desire!to!break!the!mold.!! ! Upon!his!return!to!his!home!state!of! Mississippi,!he!began!to!do!better!in!his!studies! and!no!longer!desire!the!lifestyle!of!farming!of! which!he!had!as!he!tells!me!even!today!in!his! middle!age”!begrudgingly!became!accustomed! to”.!He!desired!to!work!instead!of!play,!like!his! friends!did,!he!desired!new!experiences!that! the!current!archaic!world!around!him!could!no! longer!offer.!!! ! His!desire!however,!was!not!met!with! adversity,!upon!the!eve!of!his!sixteenth!


birthday!and!telling!his!guardians!my!greata grandparents!that!he!would!like!to!become!a!“! college!boy”!was!banished!from!the!farm!he! called!home!and!was!forced!to!make!his! childhood!friend’s!Sam’s!home!his!refugee.!This! reminded!me!of!Mr.!Moore’s!mother’s!decision! to!send!him!away!to!Valley!Forge!in!order!to! prevent!him!from!falling!victim!to!world!of! crime!that!surrounded!them,!that!also! threatened!to!cause!him!to!lose!sight!of!the! value!of!his!education.!They!both!endured! many!hardships,!my!father!had!to!endure!life! away!from!his!family!throughout!all!of!high! school,!and!watches!as!less!and!less!of!his!class! traveled!with!him!along!their!journey!to! graduation,!like!the!other!Wes!Moore,!they!did! not!graduate!at!all,!most!like!one!of!the!Wes! Moore’s!friends!Woody!decided!to!retain!a!job! they!found!while!in!high!school!rather!than! further!their!postasecondary!education,!my! father!saw!college!in!his!future,!and!worked!his! way!through!to!college!by!starting!his! education!at!a!community!college!until!he!was! able!to!congeal!the!funds!necessary!to!afford,! coupled!with!multiple!loans,!both!subsidized! and!not,!a!four!year!college!education!were!he! attained!a!bachelor’s!degree!to!move!him!closer!


to!his!goal!then!of!teaching.!Mr.!Moore,!decided! to!also!put!on!hold!some!of!his!college!plans!on! hold!to!become!one!of!the!youngest!officers!in! the!armed!forces!and!a!little!afterwards! working!closely!with!a!man!who!paid!for!him!to! live!with!a!host!family!to!better!understand!the! world!while!trying!to!attain!the!Rhodes! Scholarship.!Interestingly!enough!my!paternal! grandfather!at!the!time!had!abandoned!my! grandmother!to!the!streets!of!New!York!to!fend! for!herself!with!little!fortune!on!her!part,!as!she! fell!victim,!to!various!drugs!which!upon!my! father’s!visit!to!check!up!on!her!reminded!him! of!what!his!primary!goal!was!in!life,!to!no! longer!continue!to!the!cycle!of!men!who!one! moved!from!an!area!of!stagnation!became! stagnant!themselves!as!my!grandfather!did,!but! to!advance!himself,!and!to!attain!a!career.!!He! did!so!and!soon!found!himself!in!a!car!of!which! he!paid!for!in!cash!driving!to!his!first!position! as!a!teacher!in!the!same!stagnating!town!he!left! behind!to!incur!change.!He!later!became!a! lawyer!for!the!same!reason!breaking!the! family’s!once!stagnating!mold!twice!fold.!


!!

Fresh!Reads:!The$Other$Wes$Moore! by!Sagar!Keriwala!

! While!reading!The$Other$Wes$Moore,!you!can’t! help!but!notice!how!eerily!similar!both!of!the! kids’!situations!are.!In!fact,!if!the!reader!weren't! paying!close!attention,!they!could!easily! mistake!one!child’s!story!for!the!other.!As!they! grew!up!and!continued!on!the!path!that!they! chose!for!themselves,!the!reader!is!easily!able! to!distinguish!one!Wes!Moore!from!the!other;! in!fact!the!idea!that!you!could’ve!confused!one! for!the!other!begins!to!appear!absurd.!Yet,! despite!the!absurdity!of!the!situation,!you!still! may!have!confused!them,!but!why?!The!answer! to!that!is!simple:!they!lived!in!similar! neighborhoods,!had!similar!hardworking! mothers,!and!were!surrounded!by!bad! influences,!but!the!main!cause!of!their!two! separate!and!distinct!stories!becoming!the! same!to!us!at!one!point!is!because!they!have!the! same!name.!A!name,!as!simple!and!ordinary!as! it!may!seem,!is!what!defines!us!as!individuals.! In!most!situations,!our!name!speaks!for!us,!is! our!first!impression!almost,!and!paints!a!


picture!of!who!we!are!to!someone!who!hasn't! met!us!yet.!Names!help!create!a!perception!of! who!the!individual!is!to!a!stranger,!and!before! someone!sees!our!faces,!our!names!are!already! giving!them!something!to!base!their!idea!of! who!we!are.!! ! When!Wes!Moore!found!out!that!there!was! someone!out!there,!from!a!similar! neighborhood,!with!his!name!who!had! committed!such!a!heinous!crime,!one!could! only!imagine!the!things!that!went!though!his! mind.!One!could!view!it!as!a!ghost,!almost,!of! his!past!as!well!as!of!what!could’ve!been!his!life,! his!future.!Wes!struggled!with!several! problems!himself,!and!he!could’ve!easily!went! down!the!same!path!as!the!other!Wes!Moore! and!it!could’ve!easily!been!him!being!hunted! down!and!sentenced!to!life!in!prison,!but!it! wasn't.!This!was!someone!totally!different,! someone!who!chose!a!different!life!from!the! one!Wes!chose.!Even!so,!the!unifying! component,!the!name!Wes!Moore,!drove!Wes!to! find!out!who!this!man!was.!The!fact!that!he! shared!a!name!with!someone!who!had!a! completely!different!future,!who!chose!a! completely!different!path,!is!like!looking!into!a!


mirror!but!instead!of!seeing!a!mirror!image!of! him,!it!was!like!seeing!who!he!could’ve!been.! Despite!this,!they!were!completely!different! people.!Wes!Moore!admitted!his!needs!for! change,!acquiesced!to!receiving!the!help!and! changing!himself,!and!became!a!successful!and! happy!man.!The!other!Wes!Moore!chose!to! continue!his!life!of!delinquency!even!though!he! recognized!that!he!needed!a!change!of!lifestyle,! and!sadly!ended!up!passing!the!line!of!no! return.!The!other!Wes!Moore!chose!to!set!his! fate!being!incarcerated,!where!as!Wes!Moore! chose!to!live!his!life!to!the!fullest!and!become! the!best!man!he!could!be.!Like!railroad!tracks! that!may!have!the!same!beginning!and!run! parallel!to!each!other!for!a!time,!they!eventually! depart!and!head!on!to!completely!different! destinations.!! ! For!me,!my!name!has!influenced!my! personality!as!well!as!my!connection!to!others! around!me.!Sagar,!also!translated!to!Ocean!in! English,!is!a!name!given!to!me!by!my! grandmother.!As!a!child,!she!spent!most!of!her! days!near!the!ocean!and!loved!its!vibrancy! along!with!its!tranquility.!Come!time!to!my! birth,!she!put!it!upon!herself!to!name!me!after!


what!she!loved!so!much.!Knowing!what!my! name!meant!helped!me!understand!my!self!in! ways!that!I!had!never!imagined.!I!was!able!to! compare!the!characteristics!of!the!ocean!to!my! own!personality!and!character.!Over!time,!I! realized!that!I!possessed!a!tranquil!yet!fierce! quality!that!matched!the!characteristics!of!the! ocean.!Having!these!attributes!has!allowed!me! to!make!peace!with!others!and!create! unbreakable!bonds.!! ! Although!my!first!name!has!a!significant! meaning,!my!last!name!doesn't!really!have!any! major!characteristics.!However,!it!has! influenced!my!choices!as!well!as!the!direction!I! chose!to!go!in!my!life.!Keriwala,!also!a!name! derived!from!my!Indian!background,!is! translated!to!mango!seller!in!English.!After! figuring!this!out,!I!had!made!it!my!personal!goal! to!reach!out!and!do!something!far!more! reputable.!My!last!name!actually!became!a! motivator!for!me!to!do!things!out!of!my!comfort! zone,!and!make!efforts!to!reach!new!heights.! Even!though!it!may!not!be!overly!meaningful,! the!name!has!definitely!impacted!my!choices.! All!together,!it!has!helped!me!understand!that! we!all!have!the!ability!to!shape!our!own!destiny!


no!matter!what!background!we!have.!We!as! humans!just!need!to!find!our!own!reason!to! believe!that!it's!worth!the!effort.!!


The$Other$Wes$Moore! by!Sushma!Kalava! !

One!name.!Forked!by!destiny’s!preference!of! only!a!few!blocks.!In!his!work,!The$Other$Wes$ Moore,!author!and!US!Army!veteran!Wes!Moore! narrates!the!connecting!nature!of!two!African! American!males’!shared!name!and!similar! background!while!providing!a!clear!distinction! between!the!two!individuals.!Where!one! becomes!a!Rhodes!Scholar!and!the!other! becomes!a!criminal!drug!dealer,!the!author! weaves!multiple!lifeachanging!decisions!to! highlight!the!significance!of!choices,!destiny,! luck,!and!fate.!!! ! The!author!reflects!on!family!influences!and! environmental!factors!that!define!the!two!Wes! Moore's!as!separate!individuals.!!After!reading! an!article!about!the!other!Wes!Moore's!crime,! the!author!found!himself!haunted!by!the! thought!of!his!alternate!reality:!"his!story!could! have!been!mine...my!story!could!have!been!his."! (p.xii)!But!the!choices!they!make!towards!the! right!or!wrong!paths!define!them!as!separate! individuals.!!


Similarly,!although!the!name!“Venkatasushma! Kalava”!—or!“Sushma”,!as!many!call!me—!!is! not!commonly!found!in!the!United!States,! curiosity!behind!my!own!Sanskrit!name,! flourished.!I!have!always!been!unique.!!The!first! half!of!my!first!name,!“Venkata”,!was!the!name! of!my!grandfather!who!died!a!few!months! before!I!was!born.!Due!to!the!Hindu!belief!that! he!was!reincarnated!into!the!world!as!a!baby! girl,!“Venkata”!became!part!of!my!identity.!The! second!half!of!my!first!name,!“Sushma,”!means! "beautiful!woman,"!which,!in!itself,!became!a!! more!of!a!burden!than!a!blessing.!Throughout! middle!school!and!high!school,!I!struggled!with! insecurity!and!vulnerability!that!kept!me!from! boldly!trying!new!things.!However,!I!learned!to! accept!my!unique!personality,!humor,!and! beauty!and!finally!felt!comfortable!in!my!own! skin.! ! During!his!time!in!South!Africa,!the!author!not! only!understands!that!"[wisdom!is]!knowing! when!to!fight!and!when!to!seek!peace,"!(p.168)! a!crucial!skill!that!the!other!Wes!struggled!to! learn,!but!also!a!newafound!confidence!and! meekness!that!evolved!into!the!author’s! personality.!!Moreover,!the!author!realizes!that!


the!concept!behind!“Watende,”!his!Shona! middle!name!that!means!!“revenge!will!not!be! sought,”!(p.7)!has!echoed!throughout!his!life.!!! At!this!moment,!I!wondered!if!the!other!Wes’! fate!may!have!turned!for!the!better!if!his!name! echoed!an!intense!underlying!meaning.!! Similarly,!my!grandfather’s!characteristics! which!were!reincarnated!into!me,!inspired!me! to!fight!my!own!insecurities!and!respect! originality.!According!to!my!grandparents,!my! Jathaka!Chakra,!a!chart!that!connects! horoscopes,!birth!charts,!star!signs,!planet! alignments,!and!presence!of!the!gods,!foretells!a! future!with!considerable!financial!successes! that!the!"evil!eye"!frequently!tests!with!chaotic! surroundings!and!emotional!imbalances.!!My! passion!for!medicine!and!my!interest!in! oncology!helped!me!understand!my!destiny.!!In! the!end,!I!hope!to!see!my!name!embellishing!an! article!that!promises!solid,!proven!hope!for! leukemia!or!metastatic!bone!cancer.!!Although! my!name!is!rare!in!its!primitive!sense,!its! resonating!meanings!continuously!push!me!to! reach!my!potential.!! ! Unlike!the!other!Wes!Moore’s!delinquent!path,! the!author!was!privileged!with!the!opportunity!


to!develop!outstanding!leadership!skills!and!to! obtain!proper!education!through!military! school,!where!his!"uniform!had!become!a!force! field!that!kept!the!craziness!of!the!world! outside!from!getting!too!close."!(p.!118)! Although!the!author!initially!struggled!to!adjust! to!!military!discipline!and!to!fulfill!high! expectations,!he!soon!recognizes!that!the! invaluable!lessons!and!everlasting!connections! would!soon!pave!way!for!a!decorated!future.!In! comparison,!my!own!experiences!with!each! new!challenge!allow!me!to!rediscover!a! heightened!will!to!tackle!future!hardships.!Like! the!author’s!uniform,!my!name!forced!a!high! expectation!upon!me!that!forced!me!to!venture! outside!of!my!comfort!zone.!However,!I,!like!the! author,!soon!found!that!the!appellation!became! a!shield!of!empowerment!and!selfaassurance.! Nevertheless,!unlike!the!homogeneity!of!the! author’s!uniform,!I!branched!out.!!!I!found!the! courage!to!!become!a!leader!in!!school!clubs! and!to!finally!express!myself.!!Furthermore,!I! appreciated!the!name!that!helped!me!grow!into! its!meaning.!Through!encounters!with!medical! professionals,!I!found!a!latent!ambition!to!join! the!health!care!field.!!My!unique!personality! quickly!morphed!to!parallel!my!even!more!


peculiar!namesake.!!In!essence,!the! intertwining!of!my!Indian!name!with!my!life! experiences!helped!me!understand!the!true! meaning!of!“Venkatasushma.�! !


Two!Men!Two!Paths! by!John!Buttross! !

The!novel!The$Other$Wes$Moore!follows!the!life! stories!of!two!men,!both!named!Wes!Moore.! The!author!compares!his!life!to!the!life!of!the! other!Wes!Moore.!The!two!men!came!from!a! similar!background;!both!of!these!men!grew!up! without!a!father!for!the!greater!part!of!their! lives,!and!both!had!rough!childhoods!and! teenage!years.!The!two!men!grew!up!with!no! direction!in!their!lives,!but!their!paths!diverge! when!the!author!was!sent!away!to!military! school,!while!the!other!Wes!Moore!roamed!the! streets!with!no!direction.! ! The!author!connects!himself!with!the!other! Wes!Moore!by!providing!examples!and!dates! from!each!of!their!lives,!and!showing!the!reader! the!close!similarities!between!the!two.!The! “hood�!is!the!common!bond!in!which!the!two! men!are!united.!The!two!men!were!victims!of! their!own!environment.!At!a!young!age!the! author!and!the!other!Wes!Moore!were!involved! with!the!street!life,!but!the!degree!of!their! actions!on!the!streets!varied.!!


! The!author!would!“Tag”!or!sprayapaint!his! pseudoastreet!name!onto!buildings.!While!the! other!Wes!Moore!justified!to!himself!that!being! a!police!look!out!was!a!sensible!and!harmless! act!to!gain!some!money.!Throughout!the!novel,! however,!the!severity!of!the!two!men’s!actions! diverged;!the!other!Wes!Moore!started!to!sell! crack!cocaine!full!time,!while!the!author!was! saved!from!the!gangs!and!drugs,!when!he!was! sent!to!military!school.!! ! While!in!military!school,!the!author,!excelled! tremendously,!not!at!first,!but!he!soon!warmed! up!to!the!school!and!earned!the!ultimate! respect!as!an!Army!Officer.!The!author!realized! that!true!respect!was!not!gained!by!fear!and! intimidation,!as!on!the!streets,!but!it!is!earned! through!hard!work!and!discipline.!The!other! Wes!Moore!never!learns!that!respect!is!earned,! not!gained.!He!becomes!a!full!time!dealer!and! resorts!to!violence!to!earn!respect.!The!other! Wes!Moore!ends!up!in!prison!multiple!times!for! different!criminal!acts.!! ! While!the!author!ends!up!being!a!successful! soldier,!the!other!Wes!Moore!was!not!as!


fortunate;!he!was!sentenced!to!life!in!prison!for! the!robbing!of!a!jewelry!store,!where!a!police! officer!ended!up!being!murdered!in!the! robbery.!The!tragedy!behind!this!novel!is,!as! the!author!said,!“The!chilling!truth!is!that!his! story!could!have!been!mine.!The!tragedy!is!that! my!story!could!have!been!his.”!The!author!is! burdened!with!the!thought!of!what!he!would! have!become!if!he!continued!down!the!path!the! other!Wes!Moore!was!on.!The!tragedy!is!that! the!other!Wes!Moore!could!have!been!as! successful!as!the!author.! ! My!name!is!the!single!thing!that!defines!me!as! an!individual,!yet!connects!me!with!my!roots.! John!Boustany!Buttross,!Jr.!I!was!named!after! my!father,!who!is!a!successful!internal!medicine! physician.!My!mother!has!always!told!me,! “Remember!you!carry!the!family!name…”!I! never!paid!any!attention!to!the!true!meaning!of! her!words.!I!always!thought!it!meant!not!to! embarrass!her!in!public!or!something!along! those!lines,!but!as!I!have!grown!older!and! matured,!I!realized!my!name!holds!a!heavy! weight!upon!my!shoulders.!What!my!mother! meant!by,!“you!carry!the!family!name…”!is!that! I!am!held!to!a!high!standard!of!excellence,!the!


Buttross!standard!of!excellence.!I!do!not!have! to!be!perfect,!but!my!parents!expect!me!to!do! everything!in!life!to!the!best!of!my!ability!with! the!utmost!effort.!! ! As!for!my!middle!name,!Boustany,!it!comes! from!my!paternal!grandmother’s!maiden!name.! The!Boustany!family!is!a!successful!family! residing!in!Louisiana.!My!friends!and!family!call! me!John!B.!because!my!father!is!John!and!my! mom!did!not!want!me!to!be!known!as!“Little! John.”!Sounds!like!one!of!Robin!Hood’s!merry! men.!I!am!connected!throughout!the!world!with! the!countless!John’s;!but!there!are!only!a!select! few!of!John!B’s!that!I!know!of.!!! ! The!name!Buttross!was!actually!my!greata grandfather’s!first!name!back!in!Lebanon.!The! name!Buttross,!pronounced!“Buttress,”!like!the! flying!buttress!of!gothic!architecture,!is!actually! Arabic!for!Peter.!My!great!grandfather’s!name! was!Buttross!AlaKoury,!translated!Peter!Ala Koury.!He!changed!it!however!when!he!came! over!to!America!to!David!Buttross.!! ! I!expect!great!things!from!my!name!not!only! through!my!accomplishments,!but!the!


accomplishments!of!my!children.!The! Buttrosses!come!from!a!line!of!successful! people!through!hard!work!and!perseverance.! Looking!towards!the!future,!I!expect!nothing! less!than!success!from!myself!and!all!who!carry! the!Buttross!name.!


What’s!in!a!Name?! by!John!Frizzell! !

Have!you!ever!been!face!to!face!with!someone! who!had!your!first!and!last!name?!In!2000,!Wes! Moore,!author!of!the!book!The$Other$Wes$ Moore,!discovered!in!a!series!of!newspaper! articles!that!someone!with!his!exact!name!had! been!arrested!for!taking!part!in!a!robbery!that! turned!into!a!murder.!In!his!book!Wes!Moore! tells!the!story!of!how!the!other!Wes!Moore!and! he!grew!up!in!Baltimore.!One!of!them,!the! author,!went!to!Oxford!University!with!the! Rhodes!Scholarship,!served!his!country! valiantly!in!Afghanistan,!and!was!a!successful! businessman.!Conversely,!the!other!is!a! prisoner!in!a!maximum!security!jail!and!will! remain!there!the!rest!of!his!life.!We!are!all! altered!by!our!name!and!what!it!signifies!to!us.! Although!these!two!men!shared!identical! names!and!a!similar!heritage,!they!have!been! affected!by!both!in!unique!ways.! ! Despite!their!drastically!different!conclusions! both!shared!the!same!name,!grew!up!in!the! same!crime!infested!streets,!were!born!within!a!


year!of!each!other,!and!were!raised!without!a! father.!These!similar!roots!and!dissimilar!paths! drove!the!author!to!find!out!everything!he! could!about!the!other!Wes!Moore’s!story.! Troubled!by!the!question,!“What!made!the! difference?”!he!interviewed!the!other!Wes! Moore.!Surprisingly,!the!things!that!had!the! most!effect!were!seemingly!insignificant.!In!the! words!of!Tavis!Smiley,!“Small!interactions!and! effortless!acts!of!kindness!can!mean!the! difference!between!failure!and!success,!pain! and!pleasure—or!becoming!the!people!we! loathe!or!love!to!become.”2!Although!they! appeared!trivial,!these!deeds!had!a!most! profound!influence!on!the!lives!of!both.!Their! past!so!entwined;!their!fates!so!detached.! ! For!these!two!individuals,!the!same!name,!Wes! Moore,!conveyed!a!separate!significance.! Names!are!titles!that!communicate!meaning! and!desire,!not!just!who!we!are!but!who!we!are! supposed!to!become.!Others!have!expectations! of!us.!We!do!too.!These!anticipations!give!us! ambition,!motivation,!and!purpose.!Sometimes! we!are!named!after!a!family!member!or! another!important!individual.!Wes!Moore,!the! author,!was!named!after!his!father,!who!died!of!


acute!epiglottitis!three!years!after!Wes!was! born.!Since!his!name!was!not!just!his!but!his! father’s,!he!had!a!role!model!to!compare!to! himself,!a!legacy!to!fulfill.!When!you!are!named! after!someone,!it!is!because!you!are!expected!to! resemble!them.!The!person!who!named!us!gave! us!an!identity;!they!foresaw!us!developing!and! growing!into!that!person.!Before!he!was!born,! the!other!Wes!Moore’s!father!left;!this!Wes! Moore!was!not!named!after!anyone!in! particular.!For!him,!his!name!was!his!identity,! but!it!had!no!legacy.!One!Wes!Moore!cherished! his!name!and!the!memory!of!his!father;!the! other!created!his!own!name’s!significance! through!his!actions!and!character.!! ! My!grandfather’s!first!name,!John,!is!mine!as! well.!Because!John!means!God’s!gracious!gift,! my!name!is!a!reminder!that!my!life!is!a!present! from!God.!When!God!called!my!grandfather,! John!Aycock,!into!full!time!ministry,!he!was!a! successful!lawyer!and!an!avid!sportsman.!At! first!he!doubted!if!God!really!wanted!him!to! stop!being!an!attorney.!Arriving!the!next!day!at! the!office!building!where!he!worked,!he! discovered!that!the!entire!structure!had!burned! completely!to!the!ground.!He!got!the!point.!


Immediately,!he!decided!to!obey!the!Lord!and! started!a!prison!ministry.!Throughout!his!entire! life!he!exemplified!a!submission!to!God!that!I! desire!to!imitate.!My!name!challenges!me!to! give!of!what!I!have!been!given!and!follow!God,! just!as!my!grandfather!did.!I!aspire!to!use!my! resources!and!abilities!to!serve!those!in!need.! ! So!what!does!your!name!mean!to!you?!For! different!people,!the!same!name!will!indicate! various,!sometimes!conflicting!implications.! The!two!men!who!share!the!name!Wes!Moore! are!no!exception.!Originating!from!similar! backgrounds,!their!views!of!their!names,! outlooks!on!their!lives,!and!dreams!for!the! future!diverged!as!strongly!as!their!separate! fates.!Knowing!his!name’s!heritage,!Wes!Moore,! the!author,!was!able!to!realize!his!name’s! significance.!Since!our!names!are!our!identities,! it!is!important!we!discover!their!consequence! and!meaning.!Understanding!the!legacy!of!my! name!helps!me!discern!where!I!am!heading!and! what!I!desire!to!become.!! ! !


The$Other$Wes$Moore$ by!Timothy!McFall!

! What’s!in!a!name?!That!which!we!call!a!rose!by! any!other!name!would!smell!as!sweet.”!The! name!shared!by!the!two!individuals!in!the!book! The$Other$Wes$Moore!does!not!define!who!they! are.!To!me,!it!is!a!mere!coincidence,!and!it!does! not!affect!the!outcome!of!their!lives.!One!was! successful;!the!other!was!“unsuccessful.”!I! believe!that!it!is!the!person,!rather!than!the! name,!that!decides!how!his!or!her!life!will!turn! out.!Their!stories!were!truly!opposite,!yet!they! had!so!much!in!common!as!well.!“! ! When!the!author,!Wes!Moore,!finds!out!that! someone!has!the!same!name!as!him,!he!feels! connected!to!the!other!Wes!and!wants!to!know! his!story.!After!the!author!finds!out!the!story!of! the!other!Wes,!he!is!shocked!at!how!much!they! really!do!have!in!common,!and!at!the!same! time,!how!differently!their!lives!turned!out.!As! Moore!states!in!his!book,!“The!chilling!truth!is! that!his!story!could!have!been!mine.!The! tragedy!is!that!my!story!could!have!been!his.”!I! would!like!to!discuss!some!of!the!similarities!


between!the!two!men!so!that!this!situation!may! be!better!understood.!In!the!discussion!to! follow,!in!order!to!keep!the!two!characters! separate,!the!author!will!be!referred!to!as! “Successful!Wes”!and!the!other!will!be!referred! to!as!“Prison!Wes.”! ! First!of!all,!they!grew!up!in!the!same!city.!The! streets!were!filled!with!crime.!It!was!dangerous! to!go!out!at!night,!and!very!few!did!so.!There! were!also!drug!dealers!around!every!corner.! This!may!have!influenced!“Prison!Wes”!in!a! negative!manner,!resulting!in!his! imprisonment.!They!each!were!raised!in!a! single!parent!home.!! ! “Successful!Wes’s”!father!was!a!dedicated! father!but!got!sick!and!died!when!he!was!only! three.!“Prison!Wes’s”!father!was!not!involved!in! his!life!at!all.!Both!families!were!financially! strained.!This!led!“Prison!Wes”!to!deal!in!drugs.! “Prison!Wes”!got!in!trouble!constantly,!but!so! did!“Successful!Wes.”!Finally,!they!both!wanted! to!succeed.!Even!the!Wes!that!ended!up!in! prison!wanted!to!succeed;!he!just!made!the! wrong!choices.!! !


It!is!the!differences!that!significantly!influenced! their!lives.!Both!of!“Successful!Wes’s”!parents! had!a!college!education!which!allowed!for! better!paying!jobs.!Even!though!both!families! struggled!financially,!“Successful!Wes”!was!able! to!get!financial!help!from!relatives!which! allowed!his!mother!to!put!him!in!military! school.!His!mother!had!contacts!and!was!able!to! enlist!mentors!to!steer!him!in!the!right! direction!and!show!him!his!potential.!“Prison! Wes”!did!not!have!this!guidance.!Selling!drugs! was!the!only!potential!he!saw!for!success.! There!are!plenty!of!similarities,!but!these! differences!changed!their!fates.! ! As!for!me,!my!name!has!not!connected!me!to! others,!or!even!defined!me!as!an!individual.!To! me,!it!is!just!a!name.!I!have!never!known! anyone!that!shared!my!name,!and!I!doubt!I!will! find!someone!with!my!name.!Nicknames,! however,!are!different.!Nicknames!are!not!as! unique!as!real!names,!as!they!are!usually! chosen!based!on!events!or!certain! circumstances.!It!is!far!more!common!for!a! nickname!to!be!shared.!My!first!name,!Timothy,! comes!from!the!Greek!name,!Timotheos,!which! means!honoring!God.!My!name!was!meant!to!be!


Timothy!Randall!McFall.!The!first!time!my! father!had!married,!if!they!had!a!boy,!they!were! going!to!name!him!Timothy!Randall.!It!was!a! girl,!however.!Then!when!my!father!married!a! second!time,!after!having!been!divorced,!my! mother!told!him!that!if!they!had!a!boy,!she! wanted!the!name!to!be!Timothy!Randall.!My! father!had!never!told!her.!This!is!too!much!to! be!a!coincidence.!Now,!when!I!think!over!this,!I! think!I!am!probably!going!to!have!a!great!future! ahead!of!me,!laid!out!by!God.! ! As!you!can!see,!names!do!not!define!who!we! are.!The!paths!we!choose!are!what!lead!us!to! greatness,!or!to!insignificance.!Names!do! identify!us,!however,!but!we!choose!our!own! future,!and!whether!or!not!we!become! successful.!Not!many!people!know!me!right! now,!aside!from!school,!but!hopefully!twenty! years!from!now,!I!will!have!accomplished! enough!for!my!life!to!have!had!purpose.!


The$Other$Wes$Moore$ by!Olivia!Mills! !

Do!our!names!define!whom!we!become?!!In! some!situations!they!could.!!If!one’s!parents!are! actors,!then!it!is!expected!for!the!child!to!be!one! too.!!The!same!unspoken!rule!goes!for! musicians,!or!even!doctors.!!The!generations! before!us!may!have!set!the!path!for!us!by!giving! us!their!last!name!or!even!first!name.!!Our! names!are!not!necessarily!exclusively!ours! either.!Other!people!may!have!the!same!name.!! Wes!Moore,!the!author!of!The$Other$Wes$Moore,! has!the!same!name!as!a!man!in!prison!for!a! terrible!crime.!!The!choices!we!make!and!the! actions!we!take,!even!if!they!are!miniscule,!can! set!the!way!for!our!whole!lives.!!! ! The!name!“Wes!Moore�!connected!the!two!men! from!the!start,!but!they!had!very!different!lives.!! The!author!of!the!book!graduated!a!Rhodes! scholar!and!went!to!England!to!attend!Oxford! University.!!The!other!Wes!Moore!was! convicted!of!murder!and!armed!robbery.!!Their! name!is!the!reason!they!even!found!out!about! each!other,!without!having!the!same!name!they!


probably!never!would!have!met,!and!the!book! never!would!have!been!written.!!! ! A!name!may!define!who!we!become,!but! it!does!not!define!us.!!Wes!Moore!proved!that! when!he!wrote!this!book.!!Two!men!with!the! same!name!have!completely!different!lives.!! What!defines!an!individual!is!their!family,! friends,!morals,!beliefs,!and!even!more.!!A! name,!although!it!can!be!special!and! meaningful,!does!not!guarantee!we!will! graduate!a!Rhodes!scholar!or!convict!an!armed! robbery!and!murder.!!One’s!life!is!determined! by!what!they!want!and!how!hard!they!are! willing!to!work!for!it!and!obtain!it.!The! situations!we!grow!up!in!contribute!to!that!too.!! Our!environment,!our!family!and!whom!we! associate!with!and!surround!ourselves!with! affect!us!as!well.!!Obviously,!both!Wes!Moores! grew!up!in!hard!circumstances!and!had!a!lot!to! overcome.!!Sadly,!only!one!had!a!happy! outcome.!!! ! My!entire!name!has!definitely!had!an!impact!on! me.!!When!I!was!named!my!parents!made!my! first!and!both!my!middle!names!special.!!I!was! named!Olivia!because!while!my!mom!was! pregnant!with!me!she!almost!lost!me!once.!!She!


decided!to!name!me!something!that!started! with!“O”!because!it!is!the!only!letter!that!is! unending.!!My!first!middle!name!is!Billye.!!I!was! named!this!because!my!grandmother’s!name!is! Billye.!!My!second!middle!name!is!Eloise.!!This! comes!from!my!other!grandmother’s!name!and! my!Aunt’s!last!name.!!I!have!always!felt!like!my! name!was!very!unique!because!of!the!meanings! behind!why!my!parents!chose!the!names!they! did.!!! ! Throughout!my!life!I!have!never!met!someone! with!exactly!the!same!name,!but!I!have!met! other!Olivias.!!Whenever!I!meet!someone!with! that!name!I!feel!an!instant!bond.!!It!does!not! mean!we!will!have!the!same!plans!or!interests! or!future,!but!it!does!give!us!one!thing!in! common.!!I!think!a!name!can!be!as!unique!and! special!as!you!want!it!to!be!even!if!there!are! hundreds!or!thousands!of!other!people!with!the! same!name.!!Just!because!someone!else!has!the! same!name!does!not!mean!your!lives!will!be!the! same.!!Every!person!in!the!world!is!unique!in! his!or!her!own!way!because!a!name!is!not!what! defines!us.!! !


All!of!my!life!people!have!asked!me!why!I!have! a!boy’s!name!as!my!middle!name.!!I!always!used! to!reply!that!it!was!my!grandmother’s!name! and!it!was!spelled!the!girl’s!way!and!to!leave! me!alone.!!I!used!to!be!ashamed!that!Billye!was! one!of!my!middle!names.!!I!would!avoid!the! question!sometimes!when!people!would!ask! my!middle!name!because!I!knew!they!would! just!laugh!and!joke!about!it.!!It!was!not!really! until!my!sophomore!year!of!high!school!that!I! quit!fearing!telling!people!my!name.!!That!was! the!year!my!grandmother!got!sick!and!was!in! the!hospital.!!It!was!that!year!that!I!realized! how!honored!I!should!be!to!be!named!after!a! woman!like!her.!!She!was!always!important!to! me!and!I!felt!special!being!named!after!her,!but! I!just!never!could!get!over!people!joking!about! my!middle!name,!so!I!hid!it.!!The!next!year!she! passed!away.! ! I!am!never!afraid!to!tell!people!my!middle! name!now.!!At!graduation!when!they!called!out! my!full!name,!I!was!proud.!!I!think!everyone! should!be!proud!of!their!name!and!feel!special! because!even!if!someone!else!has!the!same! name,!they!do!not!have!it!for!the!same!reason.!


Fresh Reads Top 10  

Winning essays from CBU's Fresh Reads Top 10. Incoming freshmen wrote these essays in response to the book, "The Other Wes Moore."

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