From The Peopling of New York City

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Where I'm From

For 18 years the pages of my story have been filling up fast. Now is as good a time as any to tell my story. I was born in Parkchester Bronx. My memories of my days in the Bronx faded a few years ago. At the age of nine I moved to Woodside, Queens and that’s where my childhood memory starts. That’s basically where I’m from, lived in New York City my whole life. I think by learning my family’s story I will learn more about where I’m from. Most of my family history is a mystery to me. Whenever I ask my parents about their childhood, they tell me stories about some of the difficulties they faced. When I press for more information, they always respond by saying, “I’m busy now. Now go be a good boy and watch some television.” All I know about my family history is the information that I have pieced together over the years. My mother and father got married in the early 1980s. Their marriage was an arrange marriage, as are most marriages in Bangladesh. In 1985 my mom had her first child. That same year my dad came to America in search of a better life while my mom stayed in Bangladesh with her parents raising my oldest brother. When my dad came to America, he worked two jobs at the same time. His first job was as a waiter in the United Nation Plaza Hotel and the other was as a dishwasher at a restaurant in the Bronx. He sent to Bangladesh most of the money he was earning while keeping only enough money to survive. In 1988 my mother and oldest brother came to America since by that year my dad was settled in. In 1989 my mother gave birth to twins and in 1990 I was born. As I grow older the pages of my story are rapidly filling up. And as the pages fill up some of the pages of my parent’s stories are being revealed. College is just another chapter in my story. I hope one day the rest of my story is worth telling.

Who are you?

My name is Shuhebur Rahman and if my name had any meaning as to who I am then I would not have to write the rest of this paper. Of course my name is meaningless when it comes to describing who I am. I am a student. I’ve been a student for 13 years now and I’ll be a student for another 7-8 years. Right now I am a college student at The City College of New York. I am also a Macaulay Honors student and I take great pride in myself because I feel getting accepted into the Macaulay Honors College is a huge accomplishment. I am a freshman here at the City College of New York and my current major is Bio-medical engineering. I am about to finish my second semester of college. For me college has been a challenge but I’ve managed to survive my first year with a fairly good GPA. I am currently who I am because my past made me this way. I have had amazing friends in my past who helped me through the ups and downs of life and I have had awesome teachers who taught me lessons about the world outside the classroom. My “family” is not the people I share some genetic relationship with but rather my “family” consists of past teachers and everlasting friends.

The worlds “guardian” and “ronin” describe me well. After playing Final Fantasy X, I learned about the fictional lives of the people of Spira. I also learned about guardianship and the code of the guardian. “Protect the summoner even at the cost of one’s life.”-Code of the Guardian. Of course this game is fictional and all events in the game are fictional but I took the idea of the code and lived my life by it. As a “guardian” I place helping others over helping myself. If a friend asks for help, regardless of the situation, I would try my best to help them. Of course the bad side to this lifestyle is that I cannot identify myself without being defined as a guardian to some summoner. A “ronin” is a samurai who had renounced his clan or who had been discharged or ostracized and had become a wanderer without a lord; an outcast. The last part of the definition, “a wanderer”, is what I consider myself. I love to walk, even when I have no destination in mind. I am always up for an adventure. Whenever my friends call with a last minute request to go somewhere with him/her I always agree because I love to travel, love to walk, love to explore, love to wander. My guardian ways make me help others while my desire to wander allows me to benefit when I help others.

New York and I?

I have lived in New York City for my whole life and this city is still a mystery to me. Last semester I was fortunate enough to explore some of what Manhattan has to offer when I visited Central Park and Lincoln Center. Before college I only been to Manhattan four times and was unable to explore and experience the wonders that are in this magnificent city. My hope is that now that I am an adult and have broken the chains of restriction my parents had on me I will able to explore this city and see all the sites that tourists come to see. New York City means being able to commute. We all complain about how horrible the MTA is and what not and its true….they are horrible. But the good thing about the MTA is that you can travel to any part of the city using trains/buses. I use the MTA to commute everywhere I go because I don’t have my license and can’t afford a car. My hope is that over the next three years I can travel all over New York City so one day I can call this city “my city” and mean it. I know New York City will be the city where I get my first job, get married, and I hope I can spend the rest of my life in this great city. New York is my past, present and my future.