In Memory of Catherine Yang

Catherine wrote this piece in April 2005 for an American Cancer Society (ACS) youth scholarship.

"Courage is something that I’ve learned is vastly overblown by the movies and books of our society. It’s not saving the world from nuclear threat or being able to face haunted houses a la Hollywood blockbusters. It’s not measured by a warrior’s prowess in battle or his fearlessness in encountering the enemy if you’re drawing from more mythic examples. Courage, from what I’ve learned watching true heroes—like the ones who sit with me in clinic waiting rooms—relies both simply and intangibly your grasp of hope. It’s being able to drag yourself out of bed in the mornings, even if you look outside the window and see that it’s raining. There’s been a little too much rain in my world for the past couple of years, and there are some mornings when I pull the covers over my head and can’t make myself get up class. The days when I lose sight of hope, I remember the strength of those around me, and I’m inspired to get up again. I’ve met so many people who don’t just deal but actually live with catastrophic illness. They live, not just for today, but for tomorrow as well. I’m learning slowly from them that although some mornings will glow and others will hang with clouds, waking up to face the world rain or shine is the most courageous thing that I can ever hope to do, and as long as I can do that, little else will stand in my way."

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Catherine wrote this piece in October 2005 for her English 45A class at UC Berkeley.

"The Old Man's obsession with seeking physical death reflects the Pardoner's obsession with procuring a material livelihood. Similarly, the Old Man's despair at ever finding death also reflects Pardoner's despair at ever finding spiritual redemption. Their materialism and their despair drive them both to view salvation and grace not as spiritual treasures to be worked toward, but as physical treasures that can be bought."

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Catherine wrote this piece in September 2005 for her English 45A class at UC Berkeley.

"The music analogy is used by Chaucer to redeem sexual love in “The Miller’s Tale.” Throughout the tale, sex is identified as something that is messy and bodily, that does little else but make people foolish (Adelman, lecture 9/14/05). Instead, the identification of desire with music and music with nature is a reminder that the messiness, physicality and even the stupidity of it are exactly what make sex perfectly natural, beautiful and pleasurable."

Click here to read the complete piece (.013MB, .PDF)

Catherine's Essays

Catherine's Daily Cal Articles
See list on the Daily Cal website