Owen by Adam ShepardNumber of Pages in the

Owen Nguyen Period 5 HunkleCP English Honors 2Scratch Beginnings: me, $25, and the search for the American Dream.   by Adam ShepardTitle and Author: Scratch Beginnings: me, $25, and the search for the American Dream.  by Adam ShepardNumber of Pages in the book: 221Section 1 Page Range: 1-46Dates Read: 12/23/17Original Summary:  Adam Shepard says goodbye to his family as he leaves to begin an experiment involving the American Dream and how he plans to build up to a house from being homeless with 25 dollars all in one year.  Once Adam is first put into Charleston all by himself, he finds Crisis Ministries, a homeless shelter with lots of people with strict rules and food, where Adam will stay until he can afford an apartment.  He settles in and meets new faces, telling everyone his fabricated story of how he got there, excluding his past life.  He  and begins to do his first job.  The next day, he starts his first job by going to a construction site and earns a few bucks at the end of the day.  After a few days, Adam gets use to the shelter, knowing everyone’s names and also knowing the work routine while working at the same time.  Now that he finds a shelter, he now has to overcome the problem of being unemployed with little money.  Quote and page Number:”Hey, we all come from different backgrounds, most of which weren’t normal.  We’re all messed up.  Now, we can either get out or not,” Page 25This quote seems to have been put a lot of thought in by Adam as he starts his crazy journey.  I think it’s important because this quote applies to the hardships and the facts Adam sees and faces during his project.  Everyone around him isn’t doing a project like Adam, they’ve actually dropped to the bottom with no money and have to survive.  I think this quote is used by Adam to remind the gravity of being dropped at the bottom and to consider the consequences of not working hard enough.  When he says “we can either get out or not,” it means that you either have to work hard to crawl out of the hole you’re in, or give up and live the rest of your days like that.  Adam is trying to build himself up from the bottom all the way into the top, and this quote can remind Adam of the situation he’s in.  “It wasn’t going to be easy, but I had a plan, and now it was just a matter of putting my plan into action.  And I couldn’t wait to start.” 29I think this quote is important because it gives a hint of Adam’s personality.  It shows he’s committed to his journey and he is willing to work through it.  He states that it would be hard, which it is since it involves lot’s of labor and patience.  Adding onto his commitment, he’s also eager to start his journey, which also shows that he really wants to prove the theory about the American Dream.  He also states that he has a plan and putting it into action.  This also shows how prepared Adam is, despite landing in a random area with only 25 dollars and a sleeping bag.  Section 2 Page Range: 47-84Dates Read: 12/27/17Original Summary: On one of his first jobs,  Adam’s nerve is struck as he tells off an owner of a clothing store he worked for about his personal opinions, and then storms out and goes back to the shelter waiting for his next job coming up in a few days.  Sunday comes, which is considered an off day, and Adam works a dirty and smelly job for a man named George for extra money. A few days later, Adam decides to donate plasma and goes to the donation center where he is checked up on his health.  Then on tuesday, Adam finds out about a company hiring for moving furniture.  He fills out the application, and waits for the company to call him.  He checks every night for a call but has so far not gotten any.Quote and page number”Before I began my project, I convinced myself that it would be wise for me to maintain a low profile… I didn’t care anymore.  I had nothing to lose! I began to let myself be me.” Page 51This quote shows evidence that Adam is slowly adapting to his surroundings and also shows his personality.  Even after the clothing incident, Adam does not falter and instead makes some changes to his project, deciding that he should be himself.  It shows that Adam is upright and doesn’t let his guard down, and that he will finish his project his own way.  Before, he wanted to keep a low profile, but by being able to adapt for his well being, he decides that he’ll stand up for what he thinks, which shows that he is confident.  This also gives an example of how crazy his project is as he has to face hindrances and obstacles that he has to overcome, and that not everything can turn out the way he wants it to be.”I was ready to call it a day when george asked me if I’d like to pull some weeds.  Why not? What else am I gonna do with my life?” Page 61Even after his messy job,  Adam is willing to complete another job even though he is tired and smelly.  This quote also shows his personality and gives evidence that he has perseverance, patience, and a will.  It also shows that he is helpful and decides to use his free time on helping someone else, right after a job he disliked.  He also might’ve done it for better learning experience so that he can be of better use in the future when he acquires a job. Since he wants to get the job done, that also might explain why he has extra time.  It shows that Adam is not a procrastinator and wants to get rid of the obstacles first so he can accomplish the next.  Section 3Page Range: 85-134Dates Read: 1/6/18Original Summary:  Adam still aims for the job at Fast Company and still lives in the shelter, talking to his shelter friend Phil Coleman, who is about to get a job.  Determined after calling his job company for a few days, he decides to meet Curtis Mcniel to ask if he can get the job.  After talking, Adam astonishes Curtis by his attitude and decides to hire him, making Adam ecstatic.  He tests Adam’s driving skills and decides to drive truck no. 2, and begins to start his new job the next day, which he then survives. After that, he comes back to the shelter and sees the same old roommates and reflects his time there.  For the next few days, Adam is given a crew and does his job of moving furniture and getting paid, Quotes and page number”In fact, ideas like that kept me motivated.  Work hard, play hard.  Knowing that one day I would have the time and resources to do so many other things with my life kept me getting up every day to do what was absolutely necessary for me to advance” Page 111Since Adam’s project of building up from the bottom is considered to be a risky and difficult job,  there is no doubt that he has thoughts of giving up.  But even through the face of difficulty, Adam still strives to move on.  This quote shows that concepts of success and logic is the root of his determination which prevents him from giving up.  He thinks that one day he will have free time instead of working shows that he has hope and confidence about his future.  He also shows determination when he states that he will do anything to move forward.  “But that point had been made: everybody had a voice at the shelter” Page 115Everyone from Crisis Ministries come from different backgrounds but they have things in common.  They have sunk to the bottom and are slowly trying to build back up.  They are all different but the same at the same time.  They all have something to relate to, which is a desire to get out of the shelter and move forward with their life.  Adam realizes that everyone is the same and thinks that they all have the right to be equal in the shelter.  It states that everybody gets to have a say, no matter how different viewpoints they have, since they are all determined to overcome an obstacle: to get back up.  Section 4Page Range:135-167Dates Read: 1/11/18Original Summary: As the days go by, Adam is eager to move out of Crisis Ministries, and gives the front desk worker a heads up to leave 2 days before.  2 days past, and Adam starts packing and when he is about to leave, he’s sent off from his friends as it is his birthday and cherishes the memory.  Getting off the bus he’s been on everyday for 2 months, he gives the bus driver a letter of how much he appreciates him and decides to take 2 days off for car hunting.  He buys an old pickup truck and continues on with his job, being moved to a different truck with Derrick, his partner.  Now, Adam searches for a roommate, but has no idea who to choose.  Then, Derrick introduces him to BG, someone who also needs a roomate.Quotes and page number:” And I would just like to say “Thank you.” Thank you for making a difference in my life, however small you think that difference may be.” Page 147I think this quote is important because it shows that Adam admits that he did not get to where he was by himself.  This shows that he’s not as self arrogant and actually considers the help of others.  He appreciates the people that do their job and the little things can make a big impact on other people.  Not many people would write a letter to a stranger, but Adam gets out of his way to write one.  It also shows that he’s a caring person and can show gratitude to others.  ” ‘That mother ain’t never lifted a piece of furniture in his life’, one of the guys told me later.  ‘He don’t know what it’s like for us out there.’  And he was right.  It wasn’t easy for us out there” Page 160.I believe this quote was written in the book by Adam for someone else’s perspective of Adam’s surroundings.  He basically states that there is more than what he sees, that you shouldn’t put more into someone since you don’t know what they go through.  Adam agrees which kind of makes the reader understand that there are people in the world like that and they struggle to get by.  Adam’s entire motive for his project is to try to see if the American Dream is still out there, if it’s possible to have opportunities and chances.  With that motive in mind, I think he puts quotes like these in his book to make it seem more real and make the goal more  serious and difficult to achieve.  Section 5Page Range: 168-221Dates read 1/17/18Original Summary: A few weeks into moving in with BG, Adam explains how they both get along but don’t at the same time, since they both have some opposing opinions, but they both work together to pay the bills. They both work together during their working hours of moving furniture, both having the same mindset of wanting to get the job done.  April comes by, and Adam vents his anger from BG being cheap with a lot of things and also borrowing his car without asking.  They both get into a fight with BG as the victor and they don’t talk for a few days, but make it up later.  After that, Adam gets ready to pack up his things as his one year project ends, which he has successfully gone through.  Before he leaves, he tells Derrick and BG about his past life and how he thinks that they both are gonna be successful in the future, and leaves to his next step to the future, reflecting what he has done and talks to the reader about his philosophies.  Quotes and page number:”It’s tough to work and live together, spending nearly all of your waking moments with somebody.” Page 175 I think this quote gives insight on what Adam’s coming from.  He prefers to be rather by himself instead of working with others, as he thinks that he needs privacy and it can be uncomfortable.  Adam had to start out by himself and build up from there, so he seems use to working on his own.  But even though he’s worked alone, he’s still gotten help from others.  I think Adam put this to show that he can apply concept from the help of others, but he wants to learn from it and do it on his own, not let others hold his hand through the way, but rather guide him to his destination.  He also might have talked from experience which shows what he’s been through, working as a furniture mover and doing different tasks at the homeless shelter.  “And that’s when I realized exactly what I had done, what an idiot I was.  I had known ahead of time that I wasn’t a fighter, but for some reason, it just hadn’t registered at that moment.” pg 199I think the whole fight against BG was put in the book by Adam for a reason.  I think Adam wanted to show who he was and how he can stand his own ground, despite not being a good fighter.  In the beginning of Adam’s project, he states that he wants to lay low and not cause any attention.  But after dealing with a lot of rude people with his time at the homeless shelter, he decides to change his plan.  He instead decides to stand his own ground and speak for himself.  This fight shows that he has strong motives and can stand up for himself, which shows that he’s changed over the year since he had to adapt to his surroundings.Analysis:” ‘They’re all so hungry to fetch their own two big bags of luggage, but nobody cares about that little old lady over there who is struggling with just her one. Ha.  That’s life for ya.’ There it is.  Life is like a baggage claim: you can be aggressive and self serving or you can be aware of those who need help and lend a hand” Page 220 All throughout the project Adam does, he tries to find the meaning of success and also search for the American Dream.  He put this part in the book to basically sum up what he’s been doing and what he’s seen through his entire adventure.  The people in his surroundings all sunk to the bottom, and they must work hard individually to climb back up.   They have to fix what went wrong with their life, so they themselves must work hard.  But, they can approach it in a few different ways, the first is being determined to climb back up to redeem themselves, while the second is practically the same thing but inspiring others along the way.  Adam aspires to be the second one as he is determined from this entire experience, being able to drop himself at  the bottom, filled with determination and confidence.  In the beginning, he thinks that “Knowing that one day I would have the time and resources to do so many other things with my life kept me getting up every day to do what was absolutely necessary for me to advance” (Shepard 111).  Finishing his project, he reflects and states “Look at what I’ve done with 25$.  Imagine what I can do with $5,000 and the money that I’ll continue to earn as I complete my project” (Shepard 207).  This shows that his determination paid off and that his sheer perseverance got him to somewhere in the end, and at the same time of fulfilling his goals, he helps others along the way too.  He appreciates everyone that gave him help, such as when he wrote a letter of gratitude of doing a good job of your work to the bus driver that drove him everyday for 2 months.  He gives advice to BG and says that “with little patience and discipline, he could accomplish the same things that I had” (Shepard 209), showing that he wanted BG to work hard in his life so he too can be successful one day. This quote shows the reader the sum of Adam’s experience and something they can consider how they want to approach in life.  Works Cited Shepard, Adam.  Scratch Beginnings: me, $25, and the search for the American Dream.  HarperCollins, 2010. Print.


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