My Precious World Chapter 13 Summary
To establish her public speaking, Sotomayor joins the women’ team of the Forensics Club at Cardinal Spellman. The group’s trainee coach is Kenny Moy, who coaches the “self-selected high-functioning nerds” in “debate and extemporaneous speech” (122 ). Kenny is a fantastic debater who can dismantle challengers’ argument “entirely untainted by emotion” (122 ). He informs Sotomayor not to “talk with her hands” (122 ). Sotomayor also finds out official reasoning in an approach class and loves it.
She discovers reasoning “mathematically pure” but likewise efficient in transforming “into human persuasion, into words with the power to change people’s minds” (123 ). She reflects that Forensics Club prepares her to become a lawyer in methods she does not appreciate completely at the time. Individuals are offered a topic and informed to argue it no matter whether they concur with it personally. This requires both arguing and listening to the opposite in order to “react effectively” to opponents (123 ). Listening had actually ended up being “second nature” to her (123 ). As a child, Sotomayor looked for nonverbal cues since they were “the key to survival in a precarious world” (124 ).
Kenny teaches her a new method of listening: for sensible weaknesses, flawed assumptions, and realities that can be challenged. While discovering to utilize logic tactically, Sotomayor recognizes that emotion can also be persuasive. She makes it “to the finals of the extemporaneous speech competition” (124 ). She is provided three subjects and must choose one on which to present a five-to-seven-minute speech, with fifteen minutes to “conceptualize and arrange” (124 ). Sotomayor chooses the one topic that is closer to home: the brutal pounding, rape, and murder of Kitty Genovese, a Queens, NY citizen.
Sotomayor begins by explaining the occasions leading up to the attack, the attack itself, and its after-effects. Throughout, she considers her audience and what will engage them without alienating them. While thirty-eight next-door neighbors confessed to hearing the attack, only one telephoned the police, and after that only after the attack was over. Sotomayor thinks about how to motivate her audience, themselves possible onlookers, “to step up and take obligation” (126 ). She discusses that what happened to Genovese takes place “when we end up being apathetic about our functions in society” (126 ).
She ends her speech by asking the audience if they will “be completely human in that minute and feel the responsibility to care, to act to get included?” (126 ). She tells her audience that Genovese was a flower poised to open but was “destroyed” by lethargy, using her fist to stress “destroyed” (126 ). She wins very first reward and informs Kenny that in some cases it is fine to talk with your hands. Wanting to improve her earnings capacity, Celina chooses to pursue training as a registered nurse.
When she becomes overwhelmed and intimidated by school, loses self-confidence, and wants to quit, Sotomayor utilizes reverse psychology to oblige her mother to continue. She informs Celina that she and Junior will also give up school, which Celina is horrified of happening. Seeing how this “psychological blackmail” sends her mother back to studying proves to Sotomayor “that a chain of emotion can encourage when one forged of logic one will not hold” (128 ). Just as important is seeing her mother conquer her uncertainty with “a surplus of effort” (128 ).