Sunday, September 7, 2014

Exploration Two: Lauren Richards

        Hello, my name is Lauren Richards and I am 18 years old. My fun fact was that I am the oldest of three siblings. My brother Cole and my sister Kendra are both sophomores in high school. Also another part of my fun fact is that I want to travel the world. I hope to travel to the places that are apart of my heritage which include Italy, Ireland, England, and Poland. I graduated from Olentangy Liberty High School in Powell, Ohio. I was involved in track and field in high school (my events were shot put and discus) and German club. I am currently undecided as to what I want to major in as of right now but am eager to see what it is I want to pursue my education in.

        I chose to research the life of Frances E. W. Harper, an African-American poet and writer. Harper was born in 1825 in Baltimore, Maryland. When she was younger her mother passed away so she was raised by her aunt and uncle (Reverend William Watkins). She attended her uncle's school, Watkins Academy, when she was younger. Her uncle was the biggest influence on her ideals on abolitionism which then progressed to her to become a writer, poet, and a lecturer. Not only did Harper advocate for slavery but she was also involved in the temperance movement, the women's suffrage movement, and co founded the National Association of Colored Women.

        Harper's poem Bury Me in a Free Land spoke to me the most. Harper knows that she could not rest in peace if she is still living in a land where slavery exists. She talks about how it doesn't matter where she will be buried whether in a "lowly plain, or a lofty hill" (2) just as long as slavery is abolished is when she can finally be happy. What stuck out to me the most was the use of diction that she used to help intensify the emotion of the poem. An example of this is when she said "I could not sleep if I saw the lash/ Drinking her blood at each fearful gash/ And I saw her babies torn from her breast /Like trembling doves from their parent nest" (13-16).  The image that was going through my head just made me cringe while I read this section. Seeing the abuse that the slave owners brought onto the slaves made me feel disgusted and sad for the people who had to live with the pain. Harper definitely knows how to evoke an emotion in her audience.

      A literacy event that had an effect on me was a poem that a family member gave to me along with my graduation present. The poem is called Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen by Mary Schmich. The poem helped me to reflect on my life and what is ahead of me in the future. After my high school graduation I was confused as to the fact that I did not know what I wanted to study in college and pursue a career in. I know that I will eventually come to figure it out sooner or later however not having everything figured out was and still is unsettling to me. Schmich said "Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't." This made me feel a lot better about my situation to know that I am not the only at my age or older who is going through similar problems.The poem taught me to be thankful for what I have as of right now and to live in the moment. She talks about how there are a lot of what ifs in the future that are not important to dwell on and worry about because it's not worth the trouble. Overall reading this helped me to put things into perspective and realize what is really important right now.


  1. Hey Lauren! Im 19 and Im also the oldest of my 3 siblings. I haven't traveled the world but I have been to Honduras on a mission trip a couple years ago and I have also traveled alot of the US. I went to Dublin Scioto and played soccer but was going to do track.

  2. I too have polish and welsh ancestry. I may like to visit Poland someday, but I would most definitely like to visit Great Britain, as well as Ireland. I am also going through the same problem of being sort of undecided in my major and I am in my second year here at OSUM, so I better get that settled. I liked the poem "Bury Me in a Free Land" because it sounded like there was hope that someday slaves would be free and be able to die as free people.


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