By Kelsey Masiker
The sun was shining bright in the wonderful blue sky. I was at home, relaxing with my family and watching the morning cartoons with my only son. Who would have thought my last happy memory was a talking sponge?
It happened fast, the plane. It struck the North Tower. At first I didn't understand why. Though, all I needed to know was that something horrible was happening, and I needed to help. I kissed my wife goodbye, promising to come back home safe and sound. I ruffled my son's hair and saw his big goofy grin for the last time and drove to the firehouse.
I put on all my equipment and we took off, hoping that we would be able to save people. A second plane had crashed into the South Tower. I felt my heart sink; I was terrified.
We jumped into action, trying our best to help all the victims in the towers. We safely evacuated people on the lower floors, desperately racking our brains on trying to figure out how to get the people on the higher up floors out for fifty-six agonizing minutes.
Our thoughts were interrupted as there was a loud noise. An avalanche of debris was falling down as the South Tower began to collapse. What made me absolutely horrified were the sickening screams as people ran away, or as they were being crushed under the building.
Before I died, the last thought I had was of my son. His big silly smile, and his absolutely adorable laugh, with curly blonde hair just like mine, and I thought of that slightly annoying yellow sea creature we had just watched hours before. 'Who lives in a pineapple under the sea...'
By Madison Miller
The message of "The Man Who Had No Eyes," by MacKinlay Kantor, is to be positive, persevere, and try your hardest. Feeling sorry for yourself doesn't get you anywhere. You need to pick yourself up and keep trying.
In the story Markwardt, a blind beggar, tries to sell a lighter to Mr. Parsons, a wealthy businessman. Markwardt then tries to con some more money out of him by telling the story of how he was blinded. He became blind in the Westbury chemical explosions. A man pulled him out of the doorway and trampled him to get out first. But it turned out to be the other way around. Markwardt had trampled Mr. Parsons, so he could get out first, but the chemicals left them both blind. Markwardt felt sorry for himself and became a beggar. . Mr. Parsons learned to deal with the disability and persevered. He had become a wealthy and successful insurance salesman.
Disabilities like Markwardt's and Mr. Parsons's don't just happen in stories. Oscar Pistorius, a double leg amputee, was born with no fibula in either leg, so his legs had to be amputated below the knee. He kept a positive attitude and tried everything a normal person would do. Oscar loved to run, trained hard, and made it onto the South American Olympic team. He ran on the 2012 Olympic Track in London and made it to the finals. Oscar also beat the South American Paralympic 100 meter run time of 12.20 seconds with a time of 11.72 seconds. A positive attitude and perseverance helped Oscar be who he is today.
People with disabilities and without disabilities have to learn to deal with troubles whether it's being unemployed or losing an arm. If they stay positive, persevere, and try their hardest, like Mr. Parsons and Oscar Pistorius, they can do anything!
Attitude is Everything
By Jake Dahl
In the short story, "The Man Who Had No Eyes," by McKinlay Kantor, we learn the story of a beggar who lost his eyesight in a chemical accident. But the story takes a surprising twist.
In the beginning, a businessman walks out of a hotel, and a beggar walks up to him. The beggar attempts to sell the man a lighter for a quick dollar, and tells the businessman his story, how he lost his sight, in an attempt to make another quick dollar. This is when the story takes a twist. The businessman, Parsons, was in the same accident. Markwardt, the beggar, realizes it's Parsons. He begins to get angry, screaming about how he's blind and Parsons is not. The story ends with a cliffhanger. Mr. Parsons states that he is blind too. This story gives a silent message that success is all about attitude and the ability to adapt and overcome. But handicaps aren't all fiction...
On a cool, breezy, September night, a baby was born with a disability that would cripple him for life. James (Jim) Abbott, was born without his right hand. Abbott became a major league baseball pitcher and became a fan-favorite. In early September1993 Jim Abbott started a game against the Baltimore Orioles. Eight innings went by without a single hit from the Orioles. Bottom of the 9th, two outs, two strikes, Abbot throws his next pitch.. "Strike 3!" can be heard from the umpire. Jim Abbott has just thrown his first no hitter, and the ONLY no hitter so far from a handicapped player.
Jim Abbott and Mr. Parsons are very much alike. They made it their task to adapt to their handicaps and overcome them. They were both successful men and did not give up. Attitude is everything. Don't be like Markwardt and give up.
By Ben Wheeler
Imagine one day you're just working and minding your own business and an hour later you're lying in a hospital bed in complete darkness. That's what happened in the story "A Man Who Had No Eyes" by MacKinlay Kantor. But, how the character handles it is the real lesson in life.
"A Man Who Had No Eyes" is a story about two men, Markwardt and Mr. Parsons, who are working in C-Shop one day when all of a sudden a dangerous chemical explosion happens. While everyone is trying to run to the exit, lots of people get tripped or pulled down. Markwardt and Mr. Parsons are two of those people, and they were blinded by the accident. The difference between the two? Markwardt became a beggar who tried to make money by telling others about his story. Mr. Parsons, however, became a successful, well-respected man who worked for an insurance company. This is an example of life throwing an obstacle at you, but, depending on your attitude towards it, you can either overcome it or fail. It's up to you.
Mr. Parsons from "A Man Who Had No Eyes" relates well to Ray Charles. Ray Charles was a very successful pianist who became blind from undiagnosed glaucoma at a very young age. With determination and the will to overcome his blindness, Ray Charles worked through it and became a very successful and well-respected pianist.
The story "A Man Who Had No Eyes" and Ray Charles are just two examples of people who faced obstacles in their lives, but didn't back down. They overcame them and thrived to succeed. These stories tell us that no matter what kind of challenge life throws at you, don't lose hope, push through and take a hold of it.
Which Path Will you Choose?
By Allison Yager
If tragedy strikes, people can choose to be completely hopeless, or stay positive and persevere. In the story "A Man Who Had No Eyes" by McKinley Kantor, Mr. Parsons is a successful blind businessman who has overcome his disability. On the other hand, Markwardt, who is also blind, gave up and became a beggar. The difference between the two is Mr. Parsons stayed positive and persevered while Markwardt felt sorry for himself. When looking at Markwardt, you feel sorry for him, but when you look at Mr. Parsons, you are impressed by his determined attitude.
Disabilities occur in real life too. On the morning of Halloween, Bethany Hamilton's life changed forever. A shark attacked her and she lost her arm. Now, she could have let the loss of her arm change her life for the worse, or she could live her dream of becoming a professional surfer. She chose to live her dream. Bethany became a professional surfer and overcame her disability. She was determined to be successful instead of giving up.
Mr. Parsons and Bethany Hamilton both overcame their disability and both are respected people. You may not be blind or have lost an arm, but would you feel sorry for yourself if you did? For instance a problem you might have is your grades dropping. If you are like Markwardt, you would just keep letting your grades drop. But, if you are like Mr. Parsons, you would take the extra time to do your homework, study for tests, and raise those grades. It all depends on a positive outlook and perseverance.
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