My Father: A Personal Reflection Essay examples

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My father speaks slowly; his sentences deliberate, exhaustive and eloquent. His ability to describe every step of a mechanical process—with absolute clarity and precision—astounds and inspires me. His compulsion to describe every emotional nuance—with absolute clarity and precision—used to infuriate me. I would become so impatient while arguing with him; I’d fume, and he’d plod through the plot of our conflict, back not just to the flashpoint incident, but farther yet to the underlying principles he understood, and wished I would, and which I wished to scorch. My mother, too, can explain everything, but she knows when I want that. She knows how to give yes-or-no answers to yes-or-no questions. She knows how to give clinical detail and technical terms, then define, elaborate, and translate for the layperson. She knows how to listen to understand what I think or feel, without feeling hurt that I don’t think and feel as she does. She knows when to agree (when she agrees), and when to disagree (when she disagrees); my father knows what seems morally sound, and contests, recoils from, or blocks out all other noise. My mother may sit silently reading, while the rest of the family roils around her, while my father tries to keep order with a wounded look of dismay. My mother will prattle on about gardening or coupon codes or recipes she hopes I’ll try, or books I’ll later love, while I’m trying to sit quietly and read. I wish I didn’t snap at her. Impressive value and power belongs to those who have feet in both writing and some esoteric field, such as astronomy, computer programming, medicine, ecology. My father fixes things. His carpentry comes home with him: little-Japanese-truckloads of surplus lumber from hospitals and schools he b...

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... stuck, when his voice caught, I even helped him end that eulogy. Someday I’ll probably deliver one to each of them, and someday I’ll probably sit with my own youngsters, teaching them to type. I’ll tease from them the poetry I know would please my mother, and I’ll shout at them the rule I learned not from, but for my father: “Be fucking succinct!”

Gordon-Reed, Annette. The Hemingses of Monticello. New York: W.W. Norton &
Company, 2008. Print.
Brodie, Fawn M. “The Great Jefferson Tabboo.” fourscore. The American Heritage
Society, Jun. 1972. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.
Pascal, Blaise “Pascal's Pensées.” Project Gutenberg. Apr. 2006. Web.
26 Mar. 2014
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Thomas Jefferson Foundation. n.d. Web.
26 Mar. 2014.
Wiencek, Henry. “The Dark Side of Thomas Jefferson.” Smithsonian Magazine.
Oct. 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2014

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