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Reponse to Ascher’s “On Compassion”

In 50 Essays, read the essay “On Compassion.”  Once you finish, answer numbers 1 and 2 on page 37.  Submit your response here by clicking the post title, scrolling to the bottom of the page, answering the question, copying your work, entering an email address and typing in the spam filter.  Do not forget to copy your work before you submit it!  Sometimes work gets lost when students don’t take that extra step.  Good luck.

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  1. Sidney Magana

    Sidney Magana
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English 11, period 1
    08 September 2012

    1.In Barbra Lazear Asher’s essay, “On Compassion”, Asher offers two examples in which she explains her encounters with the homeless of New York City. The first example is of a black man who is silently observing a woman and her child. The woman is quickly distressed and grabs a dollar to offer the man. Even though life and traffic continues around them the man does not make a move towards the money. The mother grows weary and pushes on with her stroller causing the man to react and grab the dollar. The author questions whether this was an act of kindness or fear? The second example Asher offers is of a man walking into a coffee shop. The owner of the shop walks out with a hot cup of coffee and leftovers from the day before. The man grabs his things and is off. The owner of the coffee shop is described as “Moody” (Asher 36) bringing the question of kindness or convenience to light.

    2.Alternate examples that could have changed the opinions given off by Asher’ essay, could have consisted of the replacement of one of the homeless man’s race. If he was white, race would not have been an issue. It would have been clearer that the woman offered money in pity rather than fear. Also, if the man would have dashed for the money, we wouldn’t receive the image that he was kind and gentle but that he was aggressive and could have caused harm. For the second encounter the homeless man originally walked in silently, if he would have barged into the café and demanded food or asked for it, we would have thought of him as rude and lazy, and the owner kicking him out would have been accepted. Asher describes the men as quiet and reserved causing one to feel bad for them and not the others involved. If she wouldn’t have described them that way, questioning the motives of the women wouldn’t have arisen. Asher could also have changed the views of this essay by changing the reactions of the woman to the men. If the mother in the first scenario would have bad mouthed the homeless man or treated him unequal, the readers would have felt bad for the homeless and felt assured that what the woman did was wrong. This essay would have been about the over reactions of the financially stabled rather than compassion.

  2. Gonzalo Haro

    Gonzalo Haro
    Ms. Keeble 1st Period
    AP Language and Composition
    September 8th, 2012

    1) Barbara Lazear Ascher’s essay “On Compassion” shows two different acts of compassion towards the homeless. The first one involved a woman with her baby in a stroller giving a homeless man a dollar to keep him from getting too close to her child. The woman did this because she was most likely scared and intimidated by the man and didn’t want him to get close to her child. The second act of compassion was when a homeless man walks into a French Bread shop and a French woman hands him a cup of coffee, and a brown bag most likely filled with bread. The French lady most likely didn’t want a homeless man in her shop, so the coffee and bread was basically her offering to the man, to get him to leave.

    2) Ascher might have might have her essay a little differently if she wanted to portray the selfishness of humans. Instead of having the woman give the man that was approaching her and her child a dollar, she could’ve cowered even further and moved away from him. That would’ve showed the reader that people are often scared and intimidated by homeless people and probably wouldn’t carry out any acts of compassion towards them. Another thing that could’ve gone differently is that instead of the French woman giving coffee and bread to the homeless man, she could’ve just told him to leave and kick him out. This would have showed that not only are people uncompassionate, but cold as well.

    • I like that you thought about how selfish we sometimes treat each other. I’m wondering about that word uncompassionate. I just got a big red underline. 🙂 But good job otherwise!

  3. Gonzalo Haro

    1) Barbara Lazear Ascher’s essay “On Compassion” shows two different acts of compassion towards the homeless. The first one involved a woman with her baby in a stroller giving a homeless man a dollar to keep him from getting too close to her child. The woman did this because she was most likely scared and intimidated by the man and didn’t want him to get close to her child. The second act of compassion was when a homeless man walks into a French Bread shop and a French woman hands him a cup of coffee, and a brown bag most likely filled with bread. The French lady most likely didn’t want a homeless man in her shop, so the coffee and bread was basically her offering to the man, to get him to leave.

    2) Ascher might have might have her essay a little differently if she wanted to portray the selfishness of humans. Instead of having the woman give the man that was approaching her and her child a dollar, she could’ve cowered even further and moved away from him. That would’ve showed the reader that people are often scared and intimidated by homeless people and probably wouldn’t carry out any acts of compassion towards them. Another thing that could’ve gone differently is that instead of the French woman giving coffee and bread to the homeless man, she could’ve just told him to leave and kick him out. This would have showed that not only are people uncompassionate, but cold as well.

  4. Areli S.

    Areli Sanchez
    Ms. Keeble
    Ap English 11, Period 2
    September 8, 2012

    1. Ascher’s essay, “On Compassion”, depicts scenarios in which homeless receive a token of empathy. The first encounter provides the reader with a situation in which a mother and child await by a stoplight and gift a homeless man with spare dollars. The other encounter is one in which a French business owner gives a homeless man something to drink and perhaps food in a brown bag.

    2. Ascher could have changed this essay with encounters that show perhaps fear of the homeless man instead of the compassion being shown here. Alternatives such as having the homeless man ask for money would take away the sense of initial compassion from the two women in the essay. Also if the encounters showed a violent force or a sense of harassment it could have change the way or reasons why the people helped, for they could have done it out of fear.

  5. maria fajardo

    maria f.
    september 8, 2012
    AP English 11 period 2
    1) ascher uses examples such as the lady at the stop sign with the baby and giving a homeless man some money. another examples is that when an owner of a shop gives a homeless man some bread. also that the mayor moves the homeless people to hospital during the winter.

    2)there was many alternate endings that could of happened and changed the essay. one way was that the homeless man could hae gone out and begged for his money but instead people would just give it to him because the felt bad. another way is that people could have just ignored the homeless people and leave them there to starve and beg for money.

  6. Odalis C.

    Odalis C.
    Ms. Keeble
    Period 2
    AP English 11
    8 September 2012
    1. In “On Compassion” by Barbara Lazear Ascher there are a couple of encounters that had to do with a poor homeless man. First on all one of the encounters was when the poor man was looking at a baby in a stroller, the baby’s mother was a little afraid of the man but still gave him a dollar. Maybe the lady had given him a dollar because she wanted him to back away from her baby, maybe it was for compassion, or as I had said before maybe she was afraid of him. Another encounter that Ascher showed in her story was when the poor man was I front of a French bread shop and the owner came out and gave him a cup of coffee and a piece of bread. Again maybe she did this because she felt sorry for him, maybe because she wished that if she was in his place someone would do the same for her, or maybe she just did it to get him away from her shop. It might sound a little mean but a person might not have want to go in if they saw a homeless man sitting right I front of the entrence.
    2. In the story the encounters with the poor homeless man were not so unpleasant but maybe the people would have had a worst reaction if persay, the poor man would have touched the baby. The mother would not have let that happened and she would have defended her baby until the end. Or maybe if the owner came outside and demanded the poor man to leave, he might have screamed at her or something and of course she would have fought back and it all might have ended in a much worst way. But we will never know because fortunately that was not the way it happened in her story.

    • Good point. Ascher leaves the decision up to us. Is it because she wants to help him, or does she want him to shoo him away with the dollar?

  7. Oscar Gonzalez

    Oscar Gonzalez
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English Lang & Composition
    8 September, 2012
    Period 1
    1. In “On Compassion”, by Barbara Lazaer Ascher, displays two examples of people showing ‘compassion’ towards a homeless person. The first show of compassion is when a man wearing rags approaches a light with a woman and her baby. The woman taking her precautions and rapidly handing the man a folded dollar bill. The second example Ascher gives us as readers is when an old man is standing outside an expensive bakery shop. Then the “moody owner” comes out of the kitchen with coffe and a bag in hand for the old man.
    2. Surely out in society there has been thousands of different encounters people have had with homeless people, that shaped their views towards them. In the first encounter with the homeless person, she could have written that the homeless person practically begged for the money. This would have changed her essay to make homeless people seem weaker than they already are, and shape them as people who are good for nothing feeding off other people’s left overs, even more than how many people think of them now. In the second encounter if the homeless man would have stolen the coffe and bread from a customer. That would have changed her view of showing homeless people as crooks and thieves willing to hurt others by their greed.

  8. Haley Rosano

    Haley R.
    September, 8 2012
    AP English 11, period 2

    1) The examples that Ascher offers in “On Compassion” would be when the homeless man is in awe of the baby in a stroller and the mother impatiently tries to give the man a dollar. To make him stop staring at her baby, or because she actually felt compassion for him? Who knows. Another example of an encounter with the homeless is when Ascher was inside of a small bakery and a homeless man comes in everyday and receives a cup of coffee and something in a bag from the owner. Ascher is still not sure if people do these things out of pity, compassion, or to get rid of them.

    2) Alternate examples that Ascher could have used would be if the homeless man staring at the baby, were crazy and was actually scaring the baby as well as the mother. The story would have then changed because the mother wouldn’t try to get rid of him, she would simply walk away. There would be no compassion in this scenario. As for the bakery scene, the homeless man could have easily been rude walking into the bakery, cursing, being crass, and the owner may have done something other than being kind. Or, the owner could have not given the homeless man anything and been considered rude herself for not trying to help the man. If the man was begging, and the owner gave him something, she would no longer be considered “moody” but “compassionate” which would change her whole demeanor in the essay.

  9. Maliko Pearson-Chock

    Maliko P.
    September 8, 2012
    AP English, period 2

    1) In her essay “On Compassion” Barbara Lazear Ascher provides the reader with a couple of encounters with the homeless. The first encounter was when she describes a homeless man who is roaming Manhattan’s streets, eventually he sees a woman with a stroller containing a blond haired child at a street corner. His eyes latch on to the child and do not unfix themselves as he inches his way towards both of them, the mother pulls out a single dollar and attempts to hand it to the homeless man, he shows no interest and continues to stare at the baby. The mother grows restless with the man not accepting the dollar and proceeds to crossing the street. The second encounter that Ascher gives takes place in a small French bread shop where a homeless man enters and awaits to be addressed by the owner of the establishment who is described as a “a moody French woman” by the speaker who hands the homeless man a bag of something and the man immediately leaves after.

    2) Some alternative examples of encounters that Ascher could have used to change the essay would be; if the women from the first scene were to pull out a small weapon from purse that could have harmed the man or at least scared him off. This could have changed the essay because it would show that people are quick to jump defend what is theirs with violence. In the second scene an example would be; that the owner of the store had some sort of relations with this man whether it may have been her family member, old lover, old friend, etc. Instead of helping the man better himself she gives up on him just like he gave up on his own self, but they made an agreement that if he ever became hungry she would feed him once a day. This would have changed the essay drastically because it symbolize what kind of cruel world we live in were people could just abandoned their lived ones and not think twice about it.

  10. Mary Jane Manzo-Abeyta

    1. In “On Compaasion” the examples the author gives about the homeless involves the French lady, and the woman with the baby. They both show their compassion when they offer the fortunate with money, coffee, and food. The woman with the baby offers the homeless man money, and the French woman gives the homeless guy a cup of coffee and a bag with food in it.

    2. She could’ve put examples where the homeless are asking for things such as money or food. It would’ve changed her essay because then it wouldn’t show the compassion people have. It would have made us seem like we were just doing it because we were obligated to not because the people in her story cared.

  11. Caitlin H.

    Caitlin H.
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English Period 2
    8 September 2012

    1) In “On Compassion”, Ascher offers several examples of encounters with the homeless. One was when the lady with the baby was at the stop light and she gave him the money either out of fear or compassion. Another example was when the store owner gives a man some coffee and possibly food. Finally, in the winter the mayor of New York City provides shelter for the homeless in the Bellevue Hospital.

    2) If the homeless men changed their actions, she would have a different story. For example, if the homeless man at the stop light asked for money or if the man at the store asked for food, there wouldn’t be as much compassion. Some might feel more pity for the person they’re asking. It puts more pressure on them because the men asked them for it. Knowing that the men didn’t ask them for anything, they would just want to out of respect or pity. Another alternative would be if we knew what the man did with the money after the lady gave it to him. If he used it for unnecessary things, some might feel disgusted by it. Her essay wouldn’t make you feel as pitiful if these alternatives were in it. Instead, you might feel disgusted or even more fearful.

  12. Maribel Rodriguez

    Maribel Rodriguez
    Ms. Keeble
    period 1
    AP English 11
    September 8, 2012

    1. In the chapter, “On Compassion” by Barbara Lazear Ascher, the author shows two different encounters with the homeless. The first encounter was when a homeless man walks up to a mother and her child. The mother gives this man a dollar perhaps in a form of fear; so the man will not harm her and her baby, or maybe in a form of compassion; where the woman wanted to help this man out.

    2. Throughout this essay, Ascher shows the compassionate side of people when it comes to the homeless. Alternative examples that might have changed her essay would be; for example, if the women in the first scenario would have moved away from the man in order for her to have no contact with him. Another example would be; if the ower of the shop would not have given him any food. These two alternate examples would show us the selfish side of society towards the less fortunate.

  13. Caleb M.

    Caleb M.

    September 8, 2012

    AP English, Period 2

    1) Ascher offers two examples of concurrences with the homeless in “On Compassion”. The first involves a homeless man’s encounter with a mother and her baby. The homeless man stares at the baby and out of fear, the mother gives the man a dollar, which he takes awkwardly. The second takes place inside a small bread shop, where a different homeless man enters the shop and waits patiently at the door. The owner of the shop brings him coffee and food and the man silently accepts the gifts and leaves.

    2) The author could have made the homeless man who met the woman and baby sickly and insane, giving him an appearance of an unstable individual, leading the reader to stereotype real homeless people in the same way. The man who entered the bread shop could’ve been forced out of the store or completely ignored by the owner. In either case, the reader’s perception of the homeless would reflect in their attitude towards them in real life, viewing the homeless as being disgusting, instead of feeling empathy towards them.

  14. Thomas Tran

    1) Asher’s “On Compassion” offers the reader two different examples of people’s encounter with the homeless. The first example was a women waiting at a stoplight and offers the man a dollar. The second example was when a French girl offers the homeless man bread.

    2) There are various ways the essay could have changed if the scenarios had been different. Ascher could have written a scenario in which the homeless man was acting more aggressive by taking initiative by approaching the baby instead of the mother approaching him to give the dollar. Asher could also have written about how the homeless man was ruining her small business by entering the bakery with the way he looks and the French girl could have offered the bread as a means to rush him out of the store. The story would suddenly be about a society that would turn their backs towards the homeless.

  15. David D.

    1) The examples Ascher uses for encounter with homeless people is when the woman was waiting at the stoplight with her baby and she offered a homeless man money. Another example is when the mayor moved the homeless people into the hospital during the winter.
    2) There are many ways she could change the ending to her essay. As we know the number one reason why people don’t give money to homeless people is because they will just waist it on stuff they don’t need such as alcohol. If she told the story this way it would make us think that homeless people are stupid and it would make us hate them. Another ending that could be dramatic is if she said the man begged for money and wouldn’t leave her alone until she gave him some money. Another ending could be that she refused to give the homeless man money, as a result the man would beat her take her money and run off.

  16. David D.

    1) The examples Ascher uses for encounter with homeless people is when the woman was waiting at the stoplight with her baby and she offered a homeless man money. Another example is when the mayor moved the homeless people into the hospital during the winter.
    2) There are many ways she could change the ending to her essay. As we know the number one reason why people don’t give money to homeless people is because they will just waist it on stuff they don’t need such as alcohol. If she told the story this way it would make us think that homeless people are stupid and it would make us hate them. Another ending that could be dramatic is if she said the man begged for money and wouldn’t leave her alone until she gave him some money. Another ending could be that she refused to give the homeless man money, as a result the man would beat her take her money and run off.

  17. Caleb M.

    1) Ascher offers two examples of concurrences with the homeless in “On Compassion”. The first involves a homeless man’s encounter with a mother and her baby. The homeless man stares at the baby and out of fear, the mother gives the man a dollar, which he takes awkwardly. The second takes place inside a small bread shop, where a different homeless man enters the shop and waits patiently at the door. The owner of the shop brings him coffee and food and the man silently accepts the gifts and leaves.

    2) The author could have made the homeless man who met the woman and baby sickly and insane, giving him an appearance of an unstable individual, leading the reader to stereotype real homeless people in the same way. The man who entered the bread shop could’ve been forced out of the store or completely ignored by the owner. In either case, the reader’s perception of the homeless would reflect in their attitude towards them in real life, viewing the homeless as being disgusting, instead of feeling empathy towards them.

  18. Brittany-Ann V. Dela Cruz

    Brittany-Ann V. Dela Cruz
    Keeble
    AP English
    10 September 2012

    1. A mother with a child who gives a dollar, a restaurant child owner giving food, and the Mayor moving them into a hospital are the examples of encounters with the homeless Ascher offers.
    2.By offering an alternative example of an encounter with a homeless, it could change Ascher’s essay by viewing it in a different perspective. If she gave an example of a homeless asking and pleading for help, food, and shelter, it would flip her story around. Because Ascher’s essay does not give examples of the homeless begging for neccessities, it shows compassion that they were blessed with the items. On the other hand, if the homeless begged for food and money, it would be fear as well as guilt of the items were given to them.

  19. Brittany-Ann V. Dela Cruz

    1. A mother with a child who gives a dollar, a restaurant child owner giving food, and the Mayor moving them into a hospital are the examples of encounters with the homeless Ascher offers.
    2.By offering an alternative example of an encounter with a homeless, it could change Ascher’s essay by viewing it in a different perspective. If she gave an example of a homeless asking and pleading for help, food, and shelter, it would flip her story around. Because Ascher’s essay does not give examples of the homeless begging for neccessities, it shows compassion that they were blessed with the items. On the other hand, if the homeless begged for food and money, it would be fear as well as guilt of the items were given to them.

  20. Rachael B.

    Rachael Brandt
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English 11, Period 2
    8 September 2012

    1. In Barabra Lazear Ascher’s essay “On Compassion,” she gives examples of encounters with the homeless. They included a man whom a mother tried to give a dollar to so he would stop being so close to her stroller as it seemed and a homeless man who goes into a French bread shop and receives food from the owner who might just wanted him to go away from the shop since that would not attract customers if he were to stay.

    2. There are many different examples that could have affected Ascher’s views on the homeless. If the woman with her child were to ignore the homeless man, that would show how people could care less about the homeless and in a way, they would look down on those who are less fortunate as if they were better because they do not go through the same circumstances. The way the other people act could have influence Ascher to think that way too and changed her essay’s aspect. The same thing could be absorbed from the bakery if the owner had just yelled and kicked out the homeless man. Ascher would feel that the homeless do no deserve any help whatsoever. Without her perspective and how the situations actually played out, Ascher would probably not care just like other people, but instead, she saw that people usually empathize with the homeless because if they were in those shoes, they would definitely like the help that themselves were offering.

  21. Efrain Enriquez

    Efrain Enriquez
    AP English 11
    8 September 2012

    1) Ascher uses three different examples of possible encounters that a homeless individual may have with a resident of New York City. The first encounter involves a homeless man crosses Manhattan’s Seventy-ninth Street. Once he crosses the street he sees a mother with her child in a stroller, patiently waiting for the light to change. The woman notices the homeless man staring at her baby, and she becomes nervous and apprehensive. As the man continues to stare, the mother pulls out a dollar and offers it to the man. As the woman begins to leave, the homeless man accepts her offering and goes on his way. The second encounter occurs at a French bread shop at Ninety-first street. Ascher recalls two instances in which she has witnessed an old man wander into the bread shop. Both times, she watched as the owner of the shop comes out of the kitchen and hands the man a cup of coffee and a bag full of what she assumes is bread. Once the man receives his gift, he immediately leaves the shop. The third and final encounter, while not as detailed, is one of the most important. Due to the approaching winter, the mayor of New York City moves the homeless off the streets and herds them into Bellevue Hospital. Who knows whether the mayor wanted to help them or simply get them off the streets?

    2) In “On Compassion” Ascher only lists positive encounters between the homeless and random pedestrians. If she listed encounters with not so positive results, then the reflective portion of her writing may have turned out differently. For example, Ascher could have written about a personal encounter she had where a homeless woman asked for a couple of dollars, only to spend it all on alcohol and drugs. In addition, she could have written an alternative ending to the situation that the mayor of New York City was in. Instead of offering shelter to the homeless and ushering them into the hospital, he could have ordered police squads to force the homeless to leave. Any number of negative encounters are possible, and Ascher can use those negative situations to describe how cold-hearted human beings can be, as opposed to how compassionate the French shop owner and the mother were towards homeless people that they may have never spoken to in their life.

  22. Veronica Valdez

    Veronica Valdez
    Ms. Keeble
    Ap English 11
    Period 1
    Saturday, September 8, 2012

    1. Ascher offers many examples of the encounters with the homeless. The first encounter would be when the homeless man was staring at the baby in the stroller and the mother giving the man a dollar, so he wouldn’t get too close to her baby since it’s the mother’s job to do whatever she can to protect her young. The second encounter would have to be when the homeless man walks into a small French bread shop where the “moody owner” hands him a paper bag and a steaming Styrofoam cup of coffee, most likely to get rid of him, so he wouldn’t scare off her customers.

    2. One example Ascher could of written about the encounters with the homeless would be the homeless man following the mother and her baby once she had given him the dollar which would make the mother very afraid not only for her safety, but also her baby’s. She could have called the police or pepper sprayed him to make him go away. This encounter would change the way the homeless man is being portrayed in Ascher’s essay as a stalker or a crazy person trying to hurt the mother and her baby. Another example would be the French woman calling the police on the homeless man or kicking him out her bakery shop. This changes the way the homeless man gets food since he was dependent on that woman to at least give him something to eat which would show the French owner wasn’t compassionate and didn’t want to show empathy towards him.

  23. Jonathan victorio

    Jonathan Victorio
    Ms.Keeble
    English Lang and Comp
    Saturday September 8, 2012

    1. In “On Compassion” by Barbara Ascher, she gives a lot of example about encounters with the homeless. The first encounter was with the homeless man, when he was just satarring at the baby in the stroller. At this sight the mother got precasious and she thought”what do homeless people usually want”. They want money so she took out the dollar and gave it to him. The second encounter she talks about is the one where she sees a homeless man standing outside the bread store, and all of the sudden the store baker came out and gave this man something hot to drink and some bread.

    2. Some alternative encounters the author could have used to drastically change the way the story is viewed, maybe in the first story she gave there could have been more than one homeless. that dollar was not going to be enough for one thus, they would start getting crazy over that one dollar, maybe putting in danger the lives of the woman and the baby. When she was in the bread shop, maybe the owner was just going to shoo of the homeless not giving him anything. If this event continued maybe the owner would have called the police filing a complaint towards this man, giving a sense to the people that she feels no compassion.

  24. Merritt W.

    Merritt Walker

    Ms. Keeble

    AP English Language and Composition

    8 September 2012

    1. In her essay “On Compassion” by Barbra Lazear Ascher, she gives different examples of encounters with the homeless. One example is the lady with her baby waitng at the corner, she gives the homeless man a dollar. The second encounter is with a moody woman who owns a small French bread shop. Everytime the homeless man comes in the shop she gives him steaming coffee in a styrofoam cup, and a small paper bag of unknown content.

    2. Some alternative examples with the homeles could have been that the woman ignored the homeless man. Since he was staring at the baby he could have grabbed it or tried to harm the lady. Another example could have been that instead of the woman in the shop giving the man bread, she could have told him to leave or call the cops to get rid of the man. This would have changed Ascher’s essay because these new situations wouldn’t have shown how compassionate people are, it would have shown how mean people could be.

  25. Alexia George

    Alexia George
    Keeble
    AP English 11, Period 1
    8 September 2012

    1. In her writing, “On Compassion”, Barbara Ascher sufficiently illustrates two different examples of encounters with a homeless man. The first example takes place on the Seventy-ninth street of Manhattan, between a distitute man and a woman and her baby. After the awkward eye contact the man makes with the baby, the women gets out a dollar. He doesn’t accept the dollar right away, but eventually he does and walks away. The second encounter is set in a French bakery, on Ninety-first street. The author witnesses, twice, the owner of the shop give a homeless man hot coffee and a bag of something. He accepts the offerings and leaves without saying a word. During both encounters, it is unclear as to why the two women reacted the way they did. The big question is whether the women gave the dollar and the coffe out of generosity or pity.

    2. There are numerous amounts of alternatives of which could have happened at the two encounters. The different cases would dramatically change the overal feeling of the essay. Let’s imagine the man in the first scenario physically asking for a dollar, rather than making the woman feel pressured to give him a dollar. She would then feel obligated; making it seem more out of sympathy than empathy.
    When it comes to the second encounter, the feelings would change if the man would have thanked the owner. It really makes a difference to feel appreciated. The essay would be more exact on the understanding of logic behind the women’s reactions. Therefore it wouldn’t be so open ended.

  26. Canyon R.

    Canyon Riley
    Ms. Keeble
    AP English 11, Period 2
    8 September 2012
    1). In the essay, “On Compassion” by Barbara Lazear Ascher, there are two examples of encounters of the homeless that are expressed. The first example is when a homeless man confronts a mother and her child. As the man stares at the child, the mother hands the man a dollar in hopes he would leave. The second example is when a homeless man enters a small French bread shop and the owner gives him some food to which he accepts.
    2). You can tell that Ascher has empathy for the homeless because they are just like everyone else in society; the only difference is that they have nothing while others have something. But not everyone has the same perspective of the homeless like Ascher does. For example, the woman with her child and the shop owner could call the police on those men. But sometimes the homeless person won’t be as gentle as those in this essay. Another example would be if both men were insane. The mother and child could have been assaulted or the French shop owner’s shop could have been vandalized. All these drastic examples would have made the homeless look either creepy or mentally insane, ruining their image more than it already is. But thanks to Ascher, we are reminded that the homeless are still human beings.

  27. Dominique

    Dominique Negrette

    September 8, 2012

    AP English 11, Period 2

    1) There are two encounters with the homless that Ascher offers in this short excerpt. One is when a homeless man stands awful uncomfortly close to a woman with her baby in a stroll, and she gives him a dollar, and the second is when the same man walks into a bread shop, where the owner gives him a cup of coffee and yesterday’s bread.

    2) I can imagine some alternative examples that could have taken place and affected the outcome of these situations, that would have given the reader a different view of the excerpt and how the author sees society. For example, the woman with the baby could have simply ignored the homeless man like the other people and continued to walk across the street. The woman in the shop could have also ignored him or told him to leave. Both of these alternative choices could have changed how the author felt/saw her society which she chose to write about. These different endings could have changed the author’s conclusion up about her questions of why these people were so generous to this man, and changed it to why people are so rude, selfish, and why they don’t care for others that are below them socially and economically.

  28. Jashleen Singh

    Jashleen Singh
    Ms. Keeble
    September 8 2012
    AP English 11 Period 5

    1) Ascher provides us with different scenarios in which encounters are made with the homeless man. The first encounter being on the corner of Madison Avenue. He stops in front of a baby in a stroller and then receives a folded dollar from the mother. The next encounter was at a small French bread shop. As the homeless man enters he is handed a steaming cup of coffee and a small paper bag.

    2) Throughout this essay the author provides us with examples of the homeless man being helped and showed compassion to by the people he encountered. However, alternative examples of this would be rather than the mother of the baby giving him a folded dollar, she asks him to leave, or even calls someone for help because she assumes his behavior may be savage. Another alternative example would have been if the “moody French woman” hadn’t handed him something to eat and drink, and instead just called the cops to have him removed from her shop.

  29. Dennise Vazquez

    Dennise Vazquez
    Ms. Keeble
    Period 2
    September 7, 2012

    1. In the chapter, “On Compassion” Ascher encounters with the homeless. The first time she encounterd with a homeless in this chapter, was the day when she was going through her bag and took a folded dollar out and passed it through the head of a baby reaching out to give it to a man who was standing. Her second encounter with a homeless was when a man walked in the cafe where she was sitting and the french lady, owner of the shop came of the kitchen and gave the homeless man a bag with bread and coffee.

    2. If Ascher wouldn’t have used these encounters the title of the essay would have not matched the containing of the essay. The essay would show that she has no empathy for homeless but she actually does, by giving encounters of these homeless.

  30. Tanzeel H.

    1) The first encounter Ascher offers is the story that consists of two people; a homeless man endlessly staring at a baby in a stroller and the baby’s mother, who gives him a dollar in an attempt to get him to go away. The second encounter is when a homeless man enters an expensive French bread shop on Ninety-first Street. The narrator explains how the homeless man reeks of urine and cigarettes. The owner of the shop, who is a moody French woman, surprisingly gives him some free food and steaming hot coffee.

    2) Ascher is attempting to make the reader feel empathy and compassionate towards the homeless man like the mother, who gave him money and the moody French woman did. She wants to make the homeless man seem desperate, but not needy or chaotic like how many homeless people are. If the story was different and the homeless man was shown causing problems through the city, then the mood would be different. The “On Compassion” chapter would completely contrast with the story Ascher told, if her homeless encounters didn’t associate with being compassionate.

  31. yarellilopez09

    Yarelli Lopez
    Ms. Keeble
    Ap English Lang & Composition
    Saturday, September 8,2012

    1. In “On Compassion”, by Barbara Lazaer Ascher, gives examples of encounters with the homeless. The first encounter would be in the scene; where a poor man stares at a baby in a stroller; and the mother urgently tries to give him a dollar perhaps to keep the man from getting too close to her baby. The second encounter that Ascher illustrated is when an old man stands in the cold outside a bakery shop and is given bread to by the “moody owner ” as if the owner did not want someone scaring off her clientele. 

    2. A few possible examples of encounters that Ascher could have used to change the essay in drastic ways could have been; for example, if the man that stared at the baby would of attacked the baby and the woman. It could of changed the perception that we had of the man and we would have gotten the idea that the homeless were wild savages. Another example could have been if the old man that was standing outside the bakery shop would of gotten no food; because then we would have thought that the owner of the place had empathy upon no one.

  32. Ross H.

    Ross Hatlen

    Keeble

    AP English 11

    September 7 2012

    1. In Barbara Lazear Ascher essay, “On Compassion”, Ascher shows two different acts of compassion toward homeless men. The first act is a woman giving her young child a dollar to give the homeless man approaching them. The second is a French woman that gives a homeless man food, whenever he is in the coffee shop.

    2. Ascher could have written many things to affect the tone of essay such as, the woman could have pepper sprayed the homeless man that was coming towards her and her child. She could have written that the French woman could have call the cops on the homeless man in her doorway for loitering. This would have changed her essay showing that people do not have compassion for homeless people. It would show how people ostracize, people that are not like them. It would show that people are more likely to be afraid of others, changing the whole theme of the essay. When i think of these other scenarios i feel like that is what really what would happen. In my years of existence, i have not seen people who would go out of there way to give help to the homeless. they would just look away from the homeless and keep walking.

  33. Destiny Bets

    Destiny Bets
    September 7, 2012
    Ap English
    5th period

    1) In the chapter, “On Compassion, “Ascher describe times in her life when she has seen someone help the homeless, but something that confuses the author is rather the mother gave the dollar to the homeless man out of fear or empathy. this example provides empathy because the mother feels sorrow for the man and pathos because she took action and gave him a dollar.

    2) Without the examples given in the chapter, many of us readers wouldn’t notice the author’s empathy for the homeless, which also describes her personality as well. the example she provides is when she seen a mother and her baby give a dollar to the homeless man and when the baker at the bakery shop gave a homeless person free food so he wouldn’t starve that day. The author obviously feels something for these victims if she’s so descriptive on the scenes. Her description of the scenes provides a feel to the readers and also reveals her personality.

  34. Harrison Nguyen

    Harrison Nguyen
    September 7th, 2012
    Ap English, Period 5

    1) In the essay “On Compassion” by Ascher, she provides us with examples involving the homeless man by the mother with the baby in the stroller and then gets a folded dollar and passes it to the homeless man. Another example of an encounter with the homeless man is at a small French bread shop and the moody French woman(whose the owner of the bakery) comes out of the kitchen and hands a paper bag of unknown contents(most likely food) to a homeless man

  35. DaJohn Wade

    DaJohn W

    September 7, 2012

    AP English, Period 2

    Reponse to Ascher’s “On Compassion”

    1) There are a couple of scenarios that Acher describes with the homeless man. One of them is a woman with a child willingly gives the man a dollar. Another is an older woman who owns a french bakery comes from the back with hot coffee and a bag containing food to give to the struggling man.

    2) This essay was to show how empathy has been embedded in some people of the society, and how they react to it. Throughout the essay, people are being generous to this man. An alternate incident could have been someone being disgusted or despising the homeless man for the conditions he’s in. Instead of the woman giving him a dollar, she could have moved her and her child away from the man. This would have showed the selfishness, and “colder shoulder” side of society when dealing with homeless people.

  36. Rebekah Novak

    Rebekah N.

    September 6, 2012

    AP English 11, Period 5

    1.) The encounters with the homeless that the author offers are filled with great detail and she enables the reader to try and feel what she is feeling. She describes the exact location suggestion she would like the audience to see what she see’s thus leading into the great amount of imagery that is presented in this text. “His gait is the shuffle of the forgotten ones held in place by gravity rather than plans.” (35) here, the author tone is serious and dramatic. This is also one of the encounters she has with the homeless.

    2.)
    a. Say Ascher is the homeless person begging for food. Holding up and sign on the island of an intersection saying, “Will work for food.” The window of a honda civic rolls down and a tan hand with replenished cuticles and freshly painted nails sticks out now with several dollars in hand. Excited Ascher thankfully takes the money and says, “Thank you, god bless. ”
    b. If Ascher was witnessing an approach by a homeless child more pity would be felt upon the child rather than if it was an adult.

    For letter a. The whole perspective of the book has now been changed. Ascher is now put in the shoes of a homeless person. She now see’s the struggles of this person and realizes that the way to get money from people is to make them feel sympathy for you thus leading to compassionate actions which hopefully result in the giving up of ones possessions for the less fortunate. For letter b. automatic feelings of compassion would immediately come up because many would say, “he had no chance.”

  37. Kiala A.

    Kiala A.
    AP English 11, period 5
    6 September 2012

    1. Ascher enlightens the reader with two examples with which she questions the charitable humanity of an everyday passerby encountering the homeless. The first example involves a homeless man, whose gaze was stuck on a baby in front of him. The babys mother pulled out a dollar and offers it to the staring man. The next example that Ascher gives is a personal one; an case that Ascher witnessed in a coffee shop. A homeless man simply walks in the threshold of the door, and waits. The employee quickly gathers a cup of coffee and a bag whose contents weren’t identified. Out of both of these examples, Ascher poses the question whether these people did these things out of compassion, or out of a fearful, irritated nature.

    2. Out of all the possible situations that Ascher could have analyzed, she chose to merely question the charitable humanity of humans as a people. If Ascher chose any other approach at the same examples, she could have turned her essay into the condemnation of the nature of the human race, or the praise of it. For example, many older people of our day make the generalization that homeless people are homeless as a consequence of their poor choices. If she took that approach, she could have found fault in the natural man. On the other hand, the pathos of the natural man interludes and produces empathy. In that case, one might want to help said homeless person beyond the point of the gift of money.

  38. Abraham Nelson

    Abraham Nelson

    September 6, 2012

    AP English 11, Period 5

    1) Ascher tells the reader multiple examples of encounters with the homeless which include a blonde woman with her baby on the corner of Madison Avenue who gives the man a dollar, a French woman who owns a small French bread shop on Ninety-first Street who gives the man some bread and a cup of coffee, and finally, the mayor of New York City taking the homeless off the streets and into a hospital so they have a place to stay for the incoming cold winter.

    2) Alternate examples Ascher could of used was people not being compassionate and doing things like verbal and physical abuse towards the homeless, and ignoring them. The essay would of been darker and more realistic if she included negative encounters with the homeless because in this world, you are bound to see more negative things than positive and I believe it’s a sad thing to say but it’s the truth.

  39. Elvia Lopez

    Elvia Lopez
    September 6, 2012
    AP English, Period 5

    1) Ascher uses examples of encounters with the homeless. One of the examples is when a lady with a baby in her stroller were waiting for a light to cross, a homeless man approaches them and asks for money. The lady stared at him for a second and after she decided to help him out. She took her purse down and decided to give him some change. The other example is when a homeless man walked in a small French bread shop asking for food. The worker came out of the kitchen with coffee and bread. He decided to give it to the homeless man and cure his hunger.

    2) Ascher used two examples of encounters with the homeless. Some other examples that Ascher might have used and that would of changed her essay, could of been that the lady standing for the light gave him money so that he could walk away instead of feeling compassion towards him. The lady might of gave him the money because she was scared that he was going to hurt her child. Another alternative is when the homeless man walked in the small French bread shop, the worker gave him food so he could leave and not intimidate the customers. They could of done it in beneficial of themselves instead of actually trying to help the homeless.

  40. Alexis Lopez

    Alexis L.
    September 6, 2012
    AP English, period. 5
    1.) Ascher gives two examples of ecounters with the homless. For example, one encounter was with a blonde woman with her baby, which was at a stop light. The woman shows her generousityby giving the homeless man a dollar. Another example shown is when a an old homeless man walks into a small French bread shop. The owner of the shop then hands the man a styrofoam cup filled with coffee and a small bag with bread.

    2.) Alternate examples Ascher might have used are ones where people instanly gave the homeless food or money. Other examples she might have used could’ve been where people completely ignored. This would’ve have changed her essay to where she would’ve described people as ruthless or truly compassionate people that put everyone before themselves.

  41. Kiana Ledda

    Kiana L
    September 6, 2012
    AP English, Period. 5

    1.) In her essay, “On Compassion”, Ascher provides her audience with examples involving the homeless man. One example is when she illustrates a scene where a mother gives her generousity to the homeless man by offering him a dollar. Another example that Ascher provides the readers is when the homeless man enters a French bakery and a worker gives him food so that he didn’t starve that day.

    2.) The topic of Ascher’s essay was to show how pathos is used within our society and how people result to empathy. In this particular story, Ascher provides scenarios with a homeless man receiving donations and charity from others. If given alternate examples to “On Compassion”, Ascher’s essay would change drastically. For instance, the mother could have felt uncomfortable so in order to defend herself, she offered a dollar to the homeless man as a peace offering. Another example could be if the homeless man was causing chaos within the French bakery for money, so as a result, the workers could have given the homeless man food to get him out. These alternate scenarios provide the feeling of discomfort with the lack of compassion. All in all, Ascher’s essay had a huge impact on me because of her heart-felt experiences.

  42. Rachel N.

    Rachel N.
    September 5, 2012
    AP English 11, Period 5

    1) Ascher uses examples of encounters with the homeless in two different ways. One was when a homeless person walked up to woman with a baby stroller asking for money using his eyes. The woman hands him a bill until he grasps it. Moreover, she used the example of a woman who owned a bakery and would give food to a homeless person for free on a daily basis.

    2) Some alternative examples of encounters with the homeless that she might have used are ones where people totally ignore the homeless that are always begging on the street. Or ones that just sit there silently with an open can in front of them. Both these occurrences could happen where not even one person would donate or even look at them in sympathy or compassion. This would have changed her essay into one where people are seen as ruthless and cold. It would have been an essay that is convicting and guilt rendering.

  43. Sarai Polanco

    Sarai Polanco

    September 6, 2012

    AP English, Period 5

    1: Barbara Lazear Ascher gives two examples of encounters with the homeless. The first encounter, would be of a man on his way to find shelter either at Grand Central, or Pennsylvania Station. While making his way there he continuously stares at a baby while crossing Manhattan’s seventy-ninth street. Another encounter, would be at a small French cafe on Ninety-First Street. The “moody French woman” who is own of the shop, gives the homeless a steaming ocffee in a styrofoam cup, and a small paper bag with an unknown good on the inside.

    2: Ascher used examples of homeless, that in reality were not asking for much, or nothing at all, thereby giving the impression to the reader that the homeless were just attempting to live like everyone else. However Ascher’s essay would have had a different turn of emotions if she would have used an example of a homeless in a negative light. For example, many cases arise of homeless who beg for money in order to buy a so-called burger. Feeling compassion, many people give them money in hopes that the homeless will have a meal to fill their stomach. Sadly, some of these people go off and buy substances such as marijuana, or alcohol. By them doing this, people lose any type of compassion they feel to homeless as a whole, believing that they are all lying, while it is only a small number. Including an example like this would have canceled out the compassion that Ascher succeeded at envoking.

  44. Adiam H

    Adiam H

    September 6,2012

    AP English 11, Period 5

    1) Ascher gives two examples of encounters with the homeless men. The first one was when a women was with her baby at an stop light, and the homeless man approaches them.Gazing at the child not saying a word, the women was startle, so she then gave him and dollar to go away.Another example was when the homeless men came into an upscale French bread shop. The owner then emerges from the kitchen and handed him food to leave.

    2) People gave things to the homeless man so he can be absent from their surroundings. If you simply give an homeless and item they will “leave” . People do it for their own comfort. Ascher would have listed other examples where the women or owner did not give the homeless man nothing.But it seems as if homeless people give a natural command of pathos. If the women or owner did not give him nothing he might have continued staring at the baby and stay in the bread shop.

  45. Desiree N

    Desiree N.
    Ms. Keeble
    September 5, 2012

    1) Ascher describes the encounters of a homeless man with a women pushing her baby in a stroller, and the homeless man entering a small French bread shop. In these encounters, the homeless man doesn’t ask anyone for money or food, people just gave him things.

    2) Ascher could have used the encounter of a person who is approached by a homelss person who asks you for money. This wouldn’t be a good example of compassion because the homeless person asked for money that is why the person gave it to them. Another encounter Ascher could have used is the encounter of a screaming, drunk homeless person harassing someone for money. That would have not given her examples of compassion.

  46. Jessica A

    Jessica A.

    September 5, 2012

    AP English 11, Period 5

    1.) Ascher offered two examples of encounters with the homeless. Her first example took place on the corner of Madison Avenue in Manhattan, where a mother stood in tight-grasp of her child’s stroller as a homeless man began approaching her. The woman began to ponder about the severe weather conditions that were yet to arrive in the upcoming months, and in response, she disturbed the contents in her purse as she rummaged for a dollar. She handed the dollar to the homeless man, but his actions were no where near thankful and accepting. The woman pushed her stroller past him, and his hand finally wrapped around the dollar.
    Her second example took place in a French bakery that’s located on Ninety-first Street. As the author read and indulged in a warm cup of coffee, she noticed that a homeless man wandered into the cafe after an utterly pungent scent of stale cigarettes and urine dispersed throughout the room. The owner of the shop, a French woman, handed the old man a Styrofoam cup full of warm coffee, and a paper bag with contents that weren’t identified by the author. The man accepted the offerings and quietly left.

    2.) The events that were described in number one that Ascher encountered brought up the question whether the actions of the bystanders were done out of compassion, fear, pity, or care. Alternately, those same events could have brought up feelings of empathy or distress depending on the way the homeless individuals presented themselves in front of the bystanders, consequently changing Ascher’s essay. For example, a man, named Alex, was approaching a liquor store. Outside stood a homeless man who couldn’t speak clearly, because evidently he was suffering from down syndrome, and his mouth was made smaller than a typical mouth. As Alex entered the liquor store, he began to recall that during his adolescence, he waited in the hospital lobby in anticipation to see his younger cousin after his sessions with a therapist were concluded. Feeling empathetic, Alex handed the homeless man two dollars as he left the store. Remembering his cousin, who also suffers from down syndrome, brought on a sense of compassion and understanding towards the homeless man. An example that corresponds with feelings of distress includes a young woman named Marsha frantically running towards her home through a narrow ally. As she ran, nearly out of breath, a homeless man appeared to her right, and he began pacing after her. Her pace increased, his did too. She dropped a few dollars behind her in hopes of distracting the now-out-of-breath man. His fast pace turned into a relaxed walk as he picked up the few dollars, and Marsha continued her distressed run home. Both of these examples provide different tones and moods that the events create. Inserting these new events into Ascher’s essay would have altered her original ideas- fear and compassion. As a result, the essay might have turned into a dramatic event, or a heartfelt story.

  47. Elisha H

    Elisha H.
    September 5, 2012
    AP English 11, Period:5

    1) Ascher uses examples such as the women waiting at the stop light with the baby, and her giving the homeless man money. Also, she offers the example of the women in the French bread shop, and how she gave the homeless man a bag of food out of either compassion or irritation. The mayor moving the homeless people in a hospital during the winter is another example.

    2) There are various alternate examples that can change her essay. For example, if Ascher told us about how the homeless men wasted the money that was given to them on unecessary things it would cause us to despise them. Another alternate ending that could change her essay completely would be if she wrote about a man begging for money instead of a man going on with his daily life. This would cause us to have pathos and with that we would’ve been able to empathize with them

  48. Zoey M

    Zoey M.
    September, 5 2012
    AP English 11, period 5

    1) Aschers’ examples of encounters with the homeless people include an encounter with a man and a baby, where the man is focused or stuck staring at the baby in front of it’s stroller, and an incident where an owner of a shop gives a homeless man bread. Ascher also explains how the mayor of New York City is moving the homeless people off the streets during winter and into Bellevue Hospital.

    2) Ascher could have presented an example where the woman in the shop did not give the man bread, and instead was hostile in order to get him to leave her shop. She could have also explained that the man glaring into the babys’ stroller was violent, and the baby’s mother never offered the man money. These different encounters could have changed a great deal of Aschers’ essay. Ascher would probably have a whole different perspective and experience with the interaction between common people and homeless people on the streets of New York City. Aschers’ essay would most likely no longer be based on the equality and importance of human interactions but a more negative outlook. The experiences Ascher has had has greatly influenced and impacted her thought on the theme of the essay.

  49. Elisha H

    Elisha H.
    September 5, 2012
    AP English 11, Period:5

    1) Ascher uses examples such as the women waiting at the stop light with the baby, and her giving the homeless man money. Also, she offers the example of the women in the French bread shop, and how she gave the homeless man a bag of food out of either compassion or irritation. The mayor moving the homeless people in a hospital during the winter is another example.

    2) There are various alternate examples that can change her essay. For example, if Ascher told us about how the homeless men wasted the money that was given to them on unecessary things it would cause us to despise them. Another alternate ending that could change her essay completely would be if she wrote about a man begging for money instead of a man going on with his daily life. This would cause us to have pathos and with that we would’ve been able to empathize with them.

  50. tashak38

    Elisha H.
    September, 5 2012
    AP English 11, period 5

    1)

    2)

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