Topic: Essays

Last updated: February 2, 2020

G’Angelo BradleyProfessor DoucetEnglish 21B Reading Journal – Two Prefaces from WorkingIn the chapter “Two Prefaces from Working” by Studs Terkel, Terkel talks about the quality of work and recognition that people don’t receive from their work.

He mentions that it’s hard to take pride in work that doesn’t get you excited. Terkel also states that work doesn’t just happen itself, and that there’s hard work behind things with lack of recognition. The chapter goes on to say that everybody should be able to point to something, and that if you can’t improve yourself, you need to improve and build your future to make life worth something. However, people are sometimes restricted from expanding themselves. In Terkel’s personal life, a person invited him to a college campus, but he chose to take his family to a picnic instead. Due to the hours he works in a week, he didn’t have the time to do both even though he was still interested in doing both things if he had the time for it. He claims that even if people have a lot of potential, they could be in cotton fields or factories where they don’t get to show it and are restricted because of the circumstances they go through. I agree with the writer that people need to look forward to the future and improve the situation they’re in to be able to do that.

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Steps need to be taken first in order to actually improve yourself. But I believe those steps are hard to see if someone can’t show their full potential in the field that they are in. People become afraid to step out of their comfort zone, or they simply cannot afford to take the risk of making time to have change if they don’t want to disrupt their wealth. This leads back to Studs Terkel mentioning his work hours and not having the time to do certain things he’s interested in. People are filled with potential of things, but cannot always pursue what they want under certain circumstances. if you don’t see the end result in something, what good is it? Jobs that make you tired lack excitement.

Any type of work will always have its tiring moments, but especially the ones that don’t provide acknowledgment. It would get exhausting having to do something repeatedly knowing that nothing is coming out of it, not even recognition. It makes sense that people fail to see the end result with their work because it doesn’t always exist.I believe that people need to find a way to leave some sort of mark on this world to be able to gain excitement for their job and proper recognition.


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