This American Life

For this week’s post, I’d like you to come up with a short response (100-300 words) to the episode, “Reality Check,” of This American Life, which we watched in class today.

The story, told in two acts, should encourage some thoughts regarding the complications people face when their dreams are met by reality. Please make sure that your response is specific to one of the two acts and addresses this particular issue of reality check.



  1. Allen Perry said,

    February 6, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    I think reality check is one of the best ideas anyone has come up with. It serves as a tool to get people to follow their dreams. Yeah there are bad consequences too as well as good ones. A person might not respond well to reality check. It could cause them to hide behind their dream even more or crush their dream, or even possibly cause some kind of depression. On the other hand, it could cause a lot of great things. It could increase someone’s level of self-awareness, get people to confront their dreams, or even create self-esteem.
    Like in Act II of the movie, the guitarist would have never faced his dreams had it not been for the prank. The prank helped him realize his talent, taught him how to be strong, and gave him the courage to go out and give it his all. The reality of actually playing in front of people made him believe that his dream of playing in front of people is no longer a dream.

  2. Amy Holcombe said,

    February 6, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    I think that in the first story about the bull that their dream was met with reality when they tried to clone Chance. They loved and cared about Chance so much that they never wanted him to die so instead of letting nature take its path, they tried to prevent it. Sometimes we want something so bad that we can’t see the consiquences even if they are clearly presented to us. Texas A&M University tried to explain to the couple that just because they cloned Chance didn’t mean that he was going to be the same bull.
    I think the narrartor was right when he said that sometimes we see things that don’t really happen; because we want so badly for it to be true. Such as the Second Chance laying in Chances old spot, or the way he ate. These might have been true, but they also could have just been coincidences. Ultimaltely, the couple is going to have meet reality when Second Chance turns seven and still attacks him. Second Chance is not Chance no matter how badly they want him to be.

    Amy Holcombe

  3. Dustin Carter said,

    February 6, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    I think that reality check showed how dreams and reality are two totally different things. In Act II where they do the prank” greatest gig” ever it showed how things affect people and the difference between dreams and reality. People everyday face things that can stop or slow them down from achieving their goal. The guitar player of the group had been made fun of as a kid which almost stopped him from beign able to become the rockstar he is today. This prank also put the band on cloud nine after the show. They thought that those were all of their fans and that they were doing something right. Then to find out three days later that it was just a joke had to crush them but, that was the difference between a dream and reality for them. They were able to live out their dream for that one night but after that when they found out that those were not their real fans it put them back down to reality, knowing that they do not have the fan base they thought they had a couple of days ago.
    Dustin Carter

  4. February 6, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Dreams and reality are two completely different things. Often times dreams are mixed up with reality and vice versa. In the first act of the episode, the bull owner believes that by cloning his pet bull, it will create an exact replicae, with the same soul, same memories, and same personality. He is substituting the reality that “this bull is not Chance” for the dream that “this is the same exact bull as the first Chance.” Even when he is literally hit in the face with the reality that this bull is not Chance, he continues to live in the dream that it is in fact his former pet. The owner falsley justifies Second Chances’ violent actions by saying he did not know how Chance acted before the age of seven, therefore he will grow out of it. But the fact of the matter is that Second Chance exhibits personality traits not common of Chance, especially violence, which proves Second Chance is not Chance. Dreams, in most cases, should not be confused with reality.

  5. bailey knott said,

    February 6, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    I really enjoyed the story about the man and woman who owned a bull named “Chance” that they really loved. He was their friend,pet,business partner, and companion.When Chance died they got a clone of their bull made, his name was “Second Chance”. I thought that it was a really a good story about how all people’s view s of reality are really very different from one another.
    When the baby bull was born “Second Chance”, the old man thought that he was very similar to his old pet bull. I could see in the stories that in a lot of ways he was the same. Although as he grew a little older there were quite a few differences. I can totally see how the old man views the new bull and understand where he is coming from. Also in the story it showed a lot of other people that had very different views of the new pet bull. So it is very easy for me to see how reality can be viewed differently and that was a very good story to show that.

  6. Mayra Garcia said,

    February 6, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    I think that in the first story was great. Many people don’t take there pets as seriously as this couple did. The couple really got attached to the animal and after he died could not let go of all the good memories they had with there pet chance. They loved him so much that when he died they skinned him just to keep a memory of him. The man could not take the fact that chance had died and he wasn’t coming back. But he tried his best to get chance by having chance cloned so he could have him again. After he cloned him he even called him second chance because he thought that it was chance just at a younger age. Unlike the first chance that was calm and not aggressive second chance hurt him twice. But he would never understand that this was not the same chance he had before. I think because he missed chance so much and didn’t want to let go that he kept trying to imagine that second chance would be the exactly like the first chance. Some times I think it’s hard for people to let go of what there used to because it’s scary for them.

  7. Maira Reyes said,

    February 6, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    The family in Texas that had the farm, I believe were in a way optimistic but then again more naïve than anything. Ralf was so stubborn and he kept saying that he had hope that Second Chance would one day be just like Chance. He would justify his behavior by saying that he didn’t know how Chance had behaved when he was younger. He would only face it when Second Chance attacked him after the age of seven. Ralf had been attacked twice already and the second time was much more serious than the first but he still believed that Second Chance would one day, be just like Chance. I don’t think that Second Chance will ever be exactly like Chance. Even if he is Chance’s clone, it still isn’t the same animal. He might look very much like Chance, but that’s about it. Hopefully Ralf realizes that before it is too late. I think that Ralf doesn’t accept the fact that he has lost Chance because he sees Second Chance there, and simply because he just doesn’t want to accept it.

    CRN 1736

  8. Diane Holcombe said,

    February 6, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    The act that I would like to comment about is about Second Chance. Personally, cloning isn’t a natural thing to do in any circumstance for any reason. The people in the act felt that by cloning Chance they could somehow have another bull that would act the same way as Chance did. Even though the cloned animal did some of the same things that Chance did, they shouldn’t have expected him to act exactly the same. Children don’t act the same way their parents did at the same point in their lives. When Second Chance started acting out, the man should have realized that this wasn’t his tamed bull that he had. But when you have such love for an animal or person, I guess the most obvious things can’t be clearly seen

  9. Amy Thornton said,

    February 6, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Ralph Fisher’s Reality
    As I watched the piece on Second Chance I felt that heavy, sad, feeling of being lost. Chance had become part of Ralph, a member of his family. When Chance died a part of Ralphs life died with him, the pain I imagine was too unbearable. Reality became a state Ralph did not want to acknowledge and so he created a reality he could live with, here’s where second chance came in. Ralph could face another day if he could still see Chance strolling in front of his picture window, then he really wouldn’t be dead. I believe that Ralphs refusal to accept the fact the Second Chance would never be like his first bull, was his way of coping with sorrow that was too much to endure.
    Amy Thornton
    English 1101

  10. Linda Felbaum said,

    February 6, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Reality check
    The group, Improve Everywhere, had good intentions. I believe that what they set out to do was to make people smile, and give them something positive to add to their day. I think that they may have gone too far with the creating of a “Dream” night for the new band. On one hand, I think that the improve group gave them a great night. They performed better than they ever had. It built their confidence and they seemed to have the night of their lives. But this was based on the fact that they thought they had created this with their own talent and their hard work.
    When they found out that all of it had been a joke, it was like a slap in the face. It was like they had been made fun of. No longer did they have the confidence they had earlier experienced. Anger and embarrassment took over what they had initially felt.
    Although I see what the improve group was trying to do, posting it on the web for the entire world to see was just pushing it too far. When you do a good act for people and you truly want to make them happy, I think it is always best to stay anonymous. The band would have gone forward with the new gained confidence and kept their momentum going to achieve more in the long run.
    The band members were forced to face their insecurities and try to grow from the experience anyway. This was a big reality check for them. I believe the handled it with a lot of style in the long run.

    English 1101/1736

  11. Jonathan Miles said,

    February 6, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    Episode #1 – Second Chances
    I think that reality is not what you make it. This family has chosen to believe that a clone of their prized pet will act the same and exude the same personality traits. That does not appear to be the case. Second Chance may eventually kill someone but they choose to ignore the warnning signs and proceed on the assumption that things will change with time. It goes to show that most of the time, there are no second chances. Enjoy the time you have with the people and things you love because there are no second chances.

    Episode #2 – Greatest Night
    In this episode, a prank troop (for lack of a better term) plays a prank on a poor, unsuspecting rock band. I feel badly for these guys because I know how it feels to devote a lot of time and effort into something and be made a fool of. I do not agree with the statements made where they said that they would rather play in front of a fake audience. I personally think that they should work on liking themselves more before they try and get everyone else to like them. This false reality that was created is a mean trick and I think the band’s first reaction was the right reaction.

    Jonathan Miles

  12. Alex Seburn said,

    February 6, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    After watching the episode of reality check (the first one) I thought the owners of the bull, Chance were crazy. I can understand a little that the first bull was nice and calm and why they would want to keep him/her around. The thing that really bothered me was when they went to Texas A&M University to get a clone of Chance once he/she died. One thing I thought those owners should have realized was that life is not always going to be the way you would like. Sometimes you will have to deal with tough things like death. As a Christian, I know that God would want you to move on. That is just something you have to do. I don’t believe that your supposed to dwell on the past as much as they did. I do feel for them for losing something dear to them, but you just have to get over it and move on.
    Another reason I used the word crazy to describe the owners was because the man owner got attacked by the clone and they still had the nerve to keep the bull. Not once but twice. Personally if one of my new pets attacked me I would get rid of them.

  13. peter burry said,

    February 6, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    In an episode of This American Dream, called, “Reality Check” some people were forced to face the things they often dreamed about, however the people ended up seeing that their dreams did not work out quite how they expected. For example a man who owned a pet bull, was very excited to hear that his dead bull could be cloned, and he ended up persuading a group of research scientists to perform this process. The man soon found out the genetically identical bull did not behave the same as his older version; the animal was very violent, frequently attacking the man. Although he hasn’t given up on his dream, to have a complete replacement for his old bull, he is still pretty aware that his dream will never be one-hundred percent, “In Check” with Reality.

    Peter Burry

  14. Charles Thornton said,

    February 6, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    WE meet again
    This story makes you consider what you would do, if given the chance to have someone you loved, or something you loved that has passed away given back to you. The answer would most likely be yes, but after watching this story it makes you think. Could I make some rules, could I make a list of how I get them back? The scary thing is that you would have memories of this new person or thing; they would not be easy to separate old feelings from new ones. As was shown in the story with Chance, would the owner ever be able to forget the old Chance. His love for the old over powered his rational thought to the point that it might kill him. I am glade that I got to see this it will change the way I will look at certain things, like memories of those gone and ones who have not yet passed on.
    Charles Thornton

  15. Natalia Gaviria said,

    February 6, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    In the first act of “Reality Check”, of This American Life, the situation of being confronted with the reality of the death of a significant animal that you have grown to care about was presented. The sudden death of Chase impacted the lives of this couple tremendously; they searched for a second alternative to find a way to replace that empty feeling for a Chase number two and that was by requesting a clone. Chase two was seen as the reflective image of the gentle, friend, companion bull that would not show any sign of aggressiveness. This changed once Chase two attacked his master. This dream that they could bring back the same Chase that they had raised, and taught how to be a friend to humans was just a dream that could not come true in reality. After the attacks, they still couldn’t snap back into reality still convinced that the Chase 2 will one day be the ideal friend that they once had.

    Natalia Gaviria

  16. Dustin Melton said,

    February 6, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    Facing Reality

    Facing reality can sometimes be heartbreaking and downright discouraging. One might say a reality check made them see who they really are and made them a better person. Another person might say it was one of the hardest moments of their life. It could even give you a little of both worlds when you come down to earth!
    The farmer in the first story of “Reality Check,” loved his Brahma Bull ”Chance” so much that it was very hard for him to face reality when he died. He tried to bring him back to life by cloning him at the University. I guess he thought that this would solve everything and the bull would live on forever. I think sometimes people can get so attached to something they love and never want to lose that happiness in there life, that they can lose touch with themselves. Once you get that track of mind it is very tough to pull yourself together again.
    “Second Chance,” which was the clone of the first bull had a very different personality and attitude about him. Even after the first accident the farmer still persisted to prove to himself that the bull would change. I bet it was very hard for the farmer to see the clone’s behavior and try to trick himself into believing it was “Chance” living on.
    This first episode of “Reality Check” really made me see how some people will not let go of something they love no matter what the cost. In some peoples minds the farmer’s behavior might have been insane, but I believe if you love something go after it, and never let your guard down no matter what is in your way. In my eyes the farmer was just trying to hold onto something that was most dear to him and he didn’t want to lose that excitement.

    Dustin Melton

  17. Christopher Tribble said,

    February 7, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    When it comes to dreams versus reality, I find it difficult to decide which is better for people. As I watched “The Spy who Loved Everyone” I couldn’t really see which of the two would have been better for the band Ghosts of Pasha. When it comes to dreams people are able to dictate what they want the most. This makes them feel good, but at the same time it can make them feel envious of others who have what they desire. No matter what happens people can always hold onto their dreams. It might sound silly, but I believe dreams are valuable to people. No matter how down someone might feel they can still always see hope in their dreams. As for reality, I believe that this would have been better for the band. While dreams might give people hope, the fact of reality is that your everyday life is always surrounding you. It is okay to dream, but more time should be spent on trying to achieve those dreams. I don’t think that the “Improv Everything” group should have done what they did. They might have had good intentions, but people should learn to achieve their goals by themselves. After the stunt the band was ridculed excessively. I don’t see much of a chance for this band to make it the music business now that this has happened. Reality is harsh sometimes. No one knows what the future holds, but at least we can dream for the best.

    good point. the reality of them making it on whatever talent they might have will probably be slim, as it will always be overshadowed by the fact that they are THAT band.

  18. Hilary Bragg said,

    February 7, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Ralph Fisher was not just your average pet owner, but in fact he was in love with his pet bull Chance. Chance was their friend, pet, business partner, and companion. In many ways Chance showed to his owners that he deeply loved and cared for them by being such a well behaved animal and respecting his environment. When Chance died and Ralph and his wife Sandra decided to delvelop a clone of Chance, they started to realize a difference in the two animals. Realize being the key word, it was a reality check to them. The clone was given the name of Second Chance and was treated with the same gratitudes that Chance had been in his previous life such as birthday parties, special treats, and also special housing techniques.

    After getting to know Second Chance, I feel that Ralph started to realize the difference but did not want to let himself believe that Second Chance wouldn’t act the same as Chance. Therefor, Ralph started making excuses for his bad behavior, violence, and aggression against him. His excuse for Second Chance was that he didn’t receive Chance until after he was seven years old, and that he will not give up on him until he acts out after that age. This statement was the reality check for Ralph, but would it take something that’s not fixable to prove him wrong? Perhaps next time Second Chance acted out, he would do more damage than having his left scrotum torn open or being slammed into the ground and getting stomped on. At that point it will be past his reality check and into denial.

    Hilary Bragg CRN: 1718

  19. Sara Garmon said,

    February 7, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    I think This American Life is a great show. I really enjoyed both of the stories. The first story about the bull was both hopeful and tragic at the same time. I could not decide if I felt happy or sad for the couple. They love their pet bull Chance so much. There life and way of life revolved around him from the time the bull was seven until he was nineteen. While in conversation with the Fischer couple, they reported how sad it was to see Chance’s empty hid. My first impression is to say let go, he is gone. That even though they had the evidence of his empty hid in the closet, they just could not face the facts to let him go through the natural process of life. So when they came to the opportunity to have Chance cloned into second Chance, they jumped on it and would not take no for an answer.
    I personally do not agree with genetic cloning, but I also see that when people are in pain and miss someone, either person or animal, that right and wrong is more than just should or shouldn’t. They missed their bull so much that paying whatever price they had to; to get him back was well worth the cost.
    In a situation like this it is hard to look at people in pain and just watch them suffer, even though I thought they should have let life run its course, it just was not that clear and easy for them.
    CRN # 1718

  20. Brandon Richardson said,

    February 7, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Seeing the thoughts of the rock band in New York was a wake up call for me. Not only do you want your dreams to come true, but you want them in the exact way you see them happing. The band wanted their fame and glory just like every other band does, but when their fame and glory came it wasn’t the way that they had pictured it in their minds. Subsequently they didn’t like all the excitement they got from the crowd that night, because it wasn’t true to them it was a set up. I think that the group Improve Everywhere tries to make people happy for the moment, but the only way people can be happy is if what their getting is real not just a setup. I believe the band could have found their dreams by them selves without the aid from someone else, and this wouldn’t have embarrassed the band and made so much controversy. I really think people should leave other peoples dreams alone for the fact that sometimes you actually hurt the person your trying to help.

  21. Dianna Singleton said,

    February 7, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    In response to the episode we watched today in class, I would have to say that I see both sides of the people that were in them. Take the Improv Everywhere group for instance, I love pranking people. I actually consider it a hobby of mine; I only do it though when whom ever I am pranking is not hostile or if I know them. It is a fun thing to do but you have to think of it in both perspectives, would you like to be pranked? Or will the person(s) you are pranking take it as such or accept what was done to them? You also have to take in consideration what’s going TOO FAR or will they be hurt by it instead of enjoy the fact someone pranked them. Although people enjoy doing things to others would they be open to it happening to them?
    As for the male and his bull, I think it was more of a dream he wanted to have that SAME particular pet back. It hurt him that much when the bull died to where he would go as far as wanting another one of the same cloned. I think a lot of people are desperate to get what they lost back to where they would do anything to get back what they once had. Instead of realizing that what is gone is actually gone and there’s nothing you can do to get whatever back until you face reality and know that there’s something better that awaits you. Everything happens for a reason. There’s only one of every living thing, unless you clone it, but even that has failed to prove you can have the exact same thing. So enjoy what you have, while you have it.

  22. Bryan Delmendo said,

    February 7, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Act 1: If by chance we meet again
    I could really see how much Ralph and Sandra cared for the Chance. Ralph was so attached to him and it was sort of like he was a father to the bull. Knowing that Chance didn’t have much longer, Ralph begged to have him cloned. I think it was kind of self fish to clone him. Ralph wanted to keep Chance here with him forever and I think it is wrong in a way. All living things should have a right to move on, and I think by cloning him, it repeated Chance’s life again. It was painful for me to watch Second Chance attack Ralph. Ralph was too stubborn to see that this isn’t the same bull anymore.

    Act 2: The spy who everyone loved
    In this act, a group of pranksters took it too far. They acted like they were crazed fans of some unknown rock band. They really hurt the lead guitarist and also made him angry. I think they took it to another level by memorizing their lyrics and jumping around like they did. It was a good prank in my eyes, but it was also a little harsh. Towards the end the leader of the pranksters explained that he was doing it in a positive manner. I agreed and could see that he was trying to make them feel good.

    Bryan Delmendo

    CRRN 1718

  23. Madison Davis said,

    February 7, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Act I of Reality Check tells the story of a couple who loved their bull, Chance, so much, they never wanted his life to end. Chance lived to an old age, in bull years, of 19. His owners knew his death was approaching and looked to Texas A&M for help. They asked the veterinary school to clone their beloved pet. The school at first refused to do so and then later agree for only research purposes. The couple was warned that although the clone would favor Chance in appearance, he would not be the same bull.

    The couple named the clone Second Chance. Upon his arrival to his new, or previous, home, Second Chance laid in the exact same spot Chance once did. His actions being similar to his original gave the couple hope that Second Chance would be Chance’s replacement. Not until Second Chance’s fourth birthday did his behavior differ. He attacked his owner. The owner forgave him and believed he just had maturing and calming down to do. He then again attacked 18 months later. The owners still believed Second Chance could not be compared to Chance until he reached the age of seven, the same age the couple received Chance.

    The couple loved Chance and the memories they had of him so much, they convinced themselves Second Chance was the same bull. They believed in something so strongly that they convinced themselves it was real. They thought they had brought Chance back to life. In all reality, the bull only shared the same DNA, but not the same personality the couple had fallen in love with. They tried to reverse the course of nature and extend the life of Chance that fate had terminated. The couple was hurting both the bull and themselves by believing he was another Chance. Second Chance will never be able to be his own bull; he will always be viewed as a clone. He was proving to the world that he was not Chance in the only way he knew how to communicate; violence. The couple, in time, will be disappointed once they realize that Second Chance is not the same bull they valued so dearly. Their dreams will be crushed in a harsh reality. If two attacks can not convince the couple, it might take something much more tragic to. Perhaps, as ironic as it sounds, once life ends, there should be no “second chances.”

    Madison Davis

    Very nice job. I especially like your last sentence!

  24. heather lasseter said,

    February 7, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    In the first act of “Reality Check” of This American Life, the farmer and his family was devastated when they lost their favorite farm yard animal. Chance was a bull that became more like a big dog to the family. Before the animal died, the family pleaded with the Texas A and M institute to clone him. Chance died and shortly after, his clone was born. The farmer and his family firmly believed that they had gotten their beloved animal back. To their dismay, Second Chance did not behave the same way Chance did. It was wrong of the family to assume that Second Chance’s personality was anything like the first Chance’s. Their DNA is the same, but the way they think are not nor the situation. The farmer’s heart was set on getting back his favorite pet and he let it blind him from the truth. The love he had for the animal was enough to almost get himself killed trying to get him back.


  25. Robert Epps said,

    February 7, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    In the first story the farmer should have had a reality check when Second Chance attacked him. Being “brought back to reality” is a good thing. It helps us distinguish between fact and fiction, what realistically can and can’t be done, as well between what we want and what is good for us. The farmer, although faced with what should have been a reality check, refused to realize that Second Chance was not Chance. The farmer’s mindset was that it looks like Chance, it more often than not acts like Chance, therefore it is Chance. His argument was basically that of a mother’s “Because I said so!”
    Genetics play a large role in the way a person or animal turns out to be. The way one is brought up though also plays a large role. The farmer assumed that since he got Chance when Chance was seven, then Second Chance would “become” Chance when it reached age seven. He never considered that the two bulls with the identical genetic codes being brought up in different environments by different people would make any difference. One can clone a body but not a mind. The mind develops after birth.
    The farmer obviously would do well to acknowledge this seemingly very obvious reality check. I, for one, know that I would lack the testicular fortitude to sacrifice my testicular area in hopes of Second Chance one day becoming like Chance. It was said earlier, a reality check helps distinguish between what we want and what is good for us. Although the farmer wants Second Chance to become Chance very badly, It would obviously be much better for him to give up that dream because he might not be lucky enough to be able to whinney like a toy rocking horse about it the next time he is attacked.
    Robert Epps 1718

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen the phrase “testicular fortitute” used so convincingly!

  26. kelley mcwhorter said,

    February 7, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    In the show reality check, people are faced with conseguences that have to be faced in order for their dreams come true. In act one Ralph Fisher and his wife’s dream of cloning their beloved pet bull chance, was tested by reality. After begging A&M University to clone chance, they finally agreed, but understood resluts might vary. When secong chance was created, Ralph Fisher treated him as if he were still chance. He tells that second chance even lays in the same spot under the trees and ressembles chance almost down to the last detail. In my opinion, sometimes people want something so badly, they will do anything to make it come true. Ralph fisher was so convinced that second chance was chance that even when he attacked him, hospitilizing Ralph, he still was not phased. He argued that it was just his age being that he was three years younger than chance when thaty got him. When asked if he thought cloning chance was worth it, he said if anything second chance was 95 percent chance and 95 percent was better than zero. In my opinion, we as humans should not have the right to bring back life. I belive that second chance attakin Ralph was his “Reality Check.”

  27. Samantha Willis said,

    February 7, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    The first episode of “Reality Check” from the show “This American Life,” shows what happens when people’s dreams are squashed by reality. In the first act “Second Chances” a man named Ralph loved his pet bull Chance. Chance is not only the man’s pet but he is also his colleague and best friend. Chance became quite famous appearing on news channels and talk shows. At the age of nineteen Chance dies, probably from old age. Ralph was crushed. He eventually heard of a new technology scientist were using to make replicas of animals. Ralph became interested and decided that the scientist could make a clone of Chance. He named the new pet Second Chance.
    When Second Chance came home he seemed friendly and mellow like Chance. That didn’t last long. After his birthday party Second Chance attacked Ralph for the first time. Chance later attacked Ralph again and he was admitted to the hospital and had to get eighteen stitches. Reality has changed Ralph’s dream of having a second chance.
    Ralph should have never decided to clone Chance. He should have known that he couldn’t have the first Chance back again. The best thing to do would have been to deal with the pets’ death and move on. What is it going to take for Ralph to realize that Second Chance is not Chance? Is he going to have to be seriously injured or die? It is ridiculous for him to believe that he has the same animal again. Second Chance is not going to be like Chance when he turns seven. He is a different bull. It may seem harsh but Ralph shouldn’t have decided to make a second pet just to relieve his pain from the first ones death. Something that seems too good to be true probably is.

  28. Candice Wilson said,

    February 7, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    Watching the clip of an episode of “reality check” was a very interesting concept. One of the clips shown was about loosing a loved pet and wanting the opportunity to clone them back into our everyday life. Most people do get very attached to their pet as though they are one of our own children. In this case a man and woman were attached to a bull named Chance, which seemed to be their world. After chance passes they decided to skin Chance so that they are able to “frame” the animal. The man and woman were ecstatic to hear they had the option to clone Chance and bring him back, or so they thought. The new cloned Chance then took on the name Second Chance. However, second Chance was not the same loving Chance as before. The loving Chance had never harmed the man, but the new second Chance attacked him twice. After being attacked by second Chance two times the man still seemed to believe that this was still his loving Chance 95% of the way. It is very sad to see a man so desperate to want his pet bull back. He is so desperate that he lies to himself by believing that they are just alike. He can’t seem to cope with the fact that the loving Chance is gone and nothing will bring him back. Just by watching, seeing, and hearing the story I myself do not see the similarities in the two bulls. I guess sometimes when you love something you become blind to what you see.

    Candice Wilson
    CRN: 1718

  29. Noemi Najera said,

    February 7, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    The episode, “Reality Check,” of This American Life, on the first short story, “If by chance we meet again.” I believe that Ralph Fischer and Sandra Reddell loved their pet bull so much, that they wanted him to continue living to ease their pain of loosing him. My stomach turned when Ralph talked about skinning Chance; then, Sandra pulls out the box from the closet. Wow! At this point I felt sadness towards them. They could have prepared themselves with dealing with Chance’s death, but they chose to clone him and ignore the fact of death. I don’t believe they realized that by cloning the bull it would bring them to the problems that Ralph encountered with Second Chance. I believe I would never consider cloning a pet or a human. I would rather hold on to the memories and share them with family, friends and other loved ones.

    At times we as human beings love someone so much or the moment of time that we don’t want it to end. Our reality check is “Good things come to an end.”

    CRN: 1718

    I think you make a good point; that perhaps because they were so wrapped up in getting chance back, they never prepared for his death, and therefore were not able (and still are not) to cope with the fact that he is truly gone.

  30. Dawn Vickers said,

    February 7, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    While watching the first act in “Reality Check”, This American Life I feel sorry for the family of Chance. I also feel sorry for the bull Second Chance; he had to live up to something he was not.
    It is not always easy to give up something or someone you hold close to you in life. It is always easier to dream or believe that they will always be there for you to touch, talk to, or hold. When you have a loss that is important to you it seems like you find something to take its place as Ralph did in this story. He felt by cloning Chance he would have the same animal and life would go on.
    I feel that Ralph will not have a “Reality Check” until Second Chance dies. He wants something so bad he keeps overlooking what really is happening. Second Chance is not Chance! When Second Chance turns seven he still will not become Chance.
    It is ok to have dreams and reach for them, but we can not turn people or things into something that is not reality or hurtful to us. It is important to remember what reality is and something we just want really bad.
    Dawn Vickers
    CRN 1718

  31. Lauren Smith said,

    February 7, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    “If by chance we meet again”

    After watching act one, which illustrated the life of a Texas couple and their bull, I became extremely disheartened. I believe that this couple underwent an extreme dose of reality. Within the story “Chance”, the couple’s favorite bull, dies. Heartbroken and lost, the couple hears through alternative sources that Texas A&M is conducting cloning experiments. Eager to get their beloved Chance back, the couple attempts to proposition the university to conduct a cloning experiment with his DNA. At first, Texas A&M declines, but with persistence the couple persuades the university.

    “Second Chance” was born soon after. Upon his arrival, the couple was ecstatic and amazed. In their eyes, this baby bull was a reincarnation of their precious Chance. After a few years pass, the couple has a spat with reality when Second Chance attacks the man. The attack itself was an indication to me that Second Chance wasn’t the “real” Chance. I believe that in this case, all aspects of reality will eventually prevail.

    ENGL 1101
    CRN 1718

  32. Stephanie Williams said,

    February 7, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    In the episode “Reality Check,” of This American Life, the story of Ralph Fisher and his Brahma Bull Chance really touched me. The love and loyalty Ralph portrayed to his bull Chance makes me think of my relationship with my loving friend and family pet Daisy. Though Daisy is not a Brahma bull, I know the reality is that she will not be here forever. However, cloning will not alleviate the reality of death.

    In Act 1, “If By Chance We Meet Again,” we learn of how Ralph Fisher, along with companion Sandra Randell, felt the need to clone Chance due to his old age. Eighteen months and nineteen days after Chance’s death Second Chance was born. Not only did Second Chance look like Chance himself, he also carried some of the same preferences Chance had favored. Lying under the same tree in the front yard and eating from his trough in the same manner made Ralph and Sandra think of him as if her were ninety-five percent their original Chance.

    Realistically, it wasn’t that simple. After being attacked on two different occasions, once the day after Second Chance’s fourth birthday and again two years later; the second attack left Ralph hospitalized. Yet, Ralph still felt he could make Second Chance his second chance with his deceased friend. Sometimes our emotions and things we think we need take over and cloud our thoughts on reality. Death is defined as the lack of existence. The reality is that Chance no longer exists and never will again. Unfortunately, we all must face the reality of death at some point in our lives. That reality is more difficult for some than others.

    Stephanie Williams
    English 1101; CRN 1718

    Great job, Stephanie. And I’m very interested in your points regarding death as a kind of lack of existence and the inability of the couple to really grasp that. Also, thank you for including the breed name for the bull. When I looked them up, it seems like they should be a really docile breed, which may only further suggest Second Chance was trying to tell Ralph he simply wasn’t Chance.

  33. cristine cavender said,

    February 7, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    In “Reality Check,” of This American life, Act I “If by chance we meet again.” You see and understand where an elderly couple faces their dreams that are met by reality. They owned a bull named Chance who they treasured dearly. Chance had died and the owners were horrified. They were faced with reality that Chance would not be with them anymore. A couple years before they had clone Chance, 18months and 18days later after Chance past away they find themselves with Chance 2. I know that it is hard to lose a pet and to grieve for awhile but you must let go. They owners come to find that Chance 2 doesn’t compare to Chance 1. After the husband was attacked by Chance 2, he still forgave him and thought that 7yrs from now old chance would reappear in him. I was just baffled that after being attacked not once but twice the owner still had wanted to give Chance 2 some more to become the bull he hadn’t let go of. I don’t think they faced the true reality of their bull dying because they replaced him.

    Engl 1101

  34. Ronald Moua said,

    February 7, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    In the episode, “Reality Check,” of This American Life reveals how people’s dreams are met by reality. Everyone have dreams of their own which may or may not ever come true and should face the fact. Watching the first act inspire me to realize that living things cannot be clone perfectly but still have hopes for similar traits.
    In the first act where the man who owned a bull and wanted to clone it showed me that the impossible can be possible. Even though the owner was attacked more than once, the man still had faith of the bull being at least ninety-five percent as the first. His faith in the clone bull of being like the original really touched me on the softest spot. For a moment, I felt liked even I could of have clone a living thing so that it will always be with me forever; even though knowing that a clone cannot perfectly done I would still clone it. I was so drawn in this act more than the other because it relates to me and I know exactly what the owner is feeling. For example, whenever I look at pictures or places that remind me of when I lost, sometimes I would have the worst pain ever in this hold entire universe that is not curable. It is very funny because once in a while my heart would even ache when thinking about it. But until now, I have a slight feeling of being able to enjoy the happiness as I once did before in reality then in my mind. I would recommend this film for those who lost something special to them.

    Ronald Moua

  35. Chris Zywica said,

    February 7, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    After ten years away from any type of learning environment, I have to admit that I had some certain reservations about returning to the classroom. When I was younger, I had a lot of fun at school. Some would say, especially my parents and teachers, I had too much fun. My high school days were some of the better days I can remember. When I finally decided to go to college and get a degree, one of the first thoughts I had was how much fun my returning to school could be. However, after a while of deep thought, I realized that perhaps I shouldn’t want college to be as much fun as my previous educational experiences. Some experiences in life should be left alone; they are already as good of an experience as they would ever get.

    In This American Life, the story called, “If By Chance We Meet Again,” a farmer raised a bull as a pet for his family, or at least that is how it turned out. This family and the rancher in particular, grew very close to this special animal named Chance. According to This American Life, the bull appeared in a movie, a Super Bowl half time show, and on the “Late Night with David Letterman” TV shows. When the inevitable happened and Chance died, the farmer was so obsessed with preserving the bull’s memory, he skinned the bull. Later, Texas A and M University needed to clone an older bull for research, and to the farmers pleasure, Chance was chosen for this experiment. It is almost like something out of Steven Kings’, “Pet Cemetery”.

    The cloned bull, named Second Chance was identical in appearance to the first Chance. However, like so many things in life, appearances go only so far. The farmer and his family soon found out that Second Chance was nothing like the first Chance. The farmer had high hopes of reliving the good ole days with the Second Chance, but soon discovered that his first Chance was long gone.

    It is impossible to relive your past, as it should be. Our past is what makes us who we are. As I attend my college classes, and think about all the fun I could have, I realize that I would never want to change my past or anything about myself for that matter.

    Chris Zywica
    CRN 1718

    Chris, it was really interesting to me how you connected this story to your own story. I think you really make a good point that beyond the “reality check” the farmers may need, there is the central problem/question with the harm that can come to anyone trying to relive the past. In most cases, that requires trying to get back into an identity that is simply no longer there, as Second Chance knows too well.

  36. Ashley Weinert said,

    February 7, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    In the first episode they talked about a farmer and his bull “Chance.” Contrary to popular belief not all bulls are mean and ornery. Chance happened to be very sweet and kind hearted to his owners, as well as everyone else. He even did appearances on shows and let people get their picture taken with him. Sadly, when Chance was nineteen he passed away. Then one of the most repulsive things happened, the owner of the bull skinned Chance just have a little piece with him. In my opinion there is such thing as doing stuff for remembrance and doing stuff because you are in denial.

    Ten months and eighteen days later I guess the famer had enough of just toting Chances’ skin around so he decided to try cloning. The Texas A&M hospital that happened to be only any hour away from his farm specialized in cloning research. At first they didn’t want to clone Chance but I guess they bothered them enough that they just eventually gave in. They named the clone “Chance 2.” All was well with Ralph the owner and Chance 2, until his fourth birthday came around. On that day Chance freaked out and attacked Ralph with his horns, leaving holes in the ground next to him. Luckily the bull missed otherwise he would have been skewered. A year later a similar situation with the bull occurred, but this time it was serious. Chance attacked him and actually tore the scrotum sack of Ralph. He was in the hospital for a few says and had to get several stitches. My opinion is that Ralph tried to play god and clone is lost animal, and now he is suffering the consequences. The is suffering for two reasons one because humans weren’t made to play god, and two death is natural we should just let it happen. Sadly, Ralph is still in denial saying that Chance 2 is 95% of the old Chance and that he will give it until his seventh birthday. I wish them luck with the bull but unfortunately I don’t think it’s going to happen.

    Ashley Weinert

  37. Chasiti Walden said,

    February 7, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    In Act 1, of This American Life, I felt that Ralph should be more realistic about his cloned bull, Second Chance. I understand how it is to lose something, or someone, that is close to you and how much you want them to still be there. Honestly, if I had a pet that passed away, I had him cloned, and it turned on me not once but twice, that would be it for me. There is a line between dreams and reality. He should understand that Second Chance definitely was not Chance by any means. I could see if he had only attacked Ralph once that he would say it doesn’t matter, he is still Chance, but that wasn’t the case. Ralph let his emotions take him over and he wasn’t able to see that even though they looked the same and acted the same, he wasn’t.

    CRN: 1727

  38. John Mcbrayer said,

    February 7, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    In the episode” Reality Check,” of This American Life, there is a story of a man named Ralph Fisher. The episode tells the story of Ralph and his pet, Chance, a Brahma bull. Obviously Ralph had become very close and attached to his pet, which is understandable. After Chance passed away Ralph decided to have him cloned, believing that Chance would be reincarnated and they could continue their loving and joyous relationship. It is ridiculous to think that by cloning you recover the soul or personality of an animal or anything else.

    In the episode it spoke of Ralph loving Chance. He may have loved chance and some time in his life, but it appeared to me to be an obsession. Obsession and love have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Ralph was willing to put his life at stake with Second Chance, the cloned version of Chance, believing that after seven years it would behave the same as Chance did. He seemed to do a wonderful job justifying the situation. It does not seem a whole lot different than a junkie justifying smoking crack. This story shows me that reality is based on ones own perceptions and experiences alone. With that being said, I could be completely inaccurate in what I believe to be true about this story.

    John Mcbrayer

    John, I think you’re absolutely correct in feeling like Ralph was really working pretty hard to justify what he had done and his continuing to love Second Chance. And it seems like he will continue to put his life at risk for another few years (and maybe beyond that) hoping that the dream of Second Chance might become a reality.

  39. Melissa Jones said,

    February 7, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    I think reality check is a great idea. It gets people out of the everyday norm to laugh a little or just loosen up. I liked act 2 The Spy who loved everyone; I think it was a good idea. He cared enough to take time out of his life to do something that would make someone’s day. It was thoughtful; if I ever had the opportunity I would do something like that. In the biggest gig ever I could see both sides to where it would be a bad thing but also a good thing. It made their day, they felt like rock stars. That really touched me. For all those people to learn their lyrics, make t-shirts, and take the time out of their lives to go to their concert is really something. But I also see where it could hurt. If the “rock stars” would have never found out about the website then there wouldn’t have been a problem. They were asked if they had to choose a dream or reality what they would choose; they chose the dream. I would too. Life sometimes is so overwhelming, we just need that one little fantasy just to get us through the day.
    Melissa Jones

  40. Jessica Davis said,

    February 7, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Watching the episode, “Reality Check”, of the TV series, The American Life, I thought the story of the bull Chance was interesting. It was rather cute how the owners Ralph Fischer and Sandra Randell took to this bull like it was just a regular house pet.
    In Act I, “If By Chance We Meet Again”, it tells us about how this couple took care of Chance the bull. How they loved him and cared for him so much that just before he died they asked the Texas A&M Animal Hospital to clone him. At first the veterinarians refused to even try. But after Ralph begged for a while they finally just “gave up”. Ten months and eighteen days after Chance died, Second Chance was born.

    When Ralph let Second Chance free in their yard, it touched his heart because Second Chance laid in the exact same spot as Chance always did. Not only that but he also ate his food the exact same way that Chance did. In all of this, Ralph and Sandra became ninety-five percent sure that he was their one and only Chance.

    Four years had gone by and every year Ralph and Sandra threw Second Chance a birthday party. Later on, the night of Second Chance’s fourth birthday party, Ralph decided to take him back to his stables and out of no where Second Chance attacks Ralph only breaking his arm. Ralph is still convinced that Second Chance is his original Chance. A year and a half later, Second Chance attacks Ralph again while Ralph is trying to feed him. This time Ralph is hospitalized for a couple of days. Even still Ralph is convinced that he is his Chance.

    I believe that Ralph and Sandra need to move on. And that cloning Chance is just a way to keep from hurting from his death. But they can’t escape the pain of death forever. They can’t just keep cloning their bull to bring back another. Eventually they are going to have to deal with the emotional pain of death.

    Jessica Davis
    CRN 1721

  41. Tiffany Majors said,

    February 7, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    The “Reality Check” series of This American Life reminded me of something that I rarely think about. Sometimes when we lose someone we think that it is easy to replace them but no two people are the same. For instance in Act I, “If By Chance We Meet Again,”we were introduced to Ralph and his prize bull Chance. Ralph deeply cared about this bull . He would take him to shows, let people ride him, and even referred to him as his pet. The bull, though it wasn’t a person, played a major role in Ralph’s life. So, when it died, Ralph replaced it with Chance II.

    Chance II, a clone of the first Chance wasn’t as gentle.. He attacked Ralph on more than one occasion. During one of the attacks, Ralph’s left scrotum and testicles were ripped out. Yet Ralph, who was in denial, said that Chance II was 95 percent like Chance and he still loved him.

    Other people,as well as I, have done the same type of thing before(especially in relationships). You think that when your relationship ends you can just find someoneelse. However, you eventually realize that no two people are the same. Everyone has different personalities and sometimes a replacement, like in Ralph’s case, is not what is or was needed in the first place.

    Tiffany Majors
    English 1101
    CRN 1727

    Tiffany, you make a good point about the human need for “replacement.” In most cases, especially in Ralph’s, it never quite works out as we’d like. At least our failed attempts at replacing relationships don’t usually end in us getting gored! (hopefully!)

  42. hannah hawkins said,

    February 7, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    In the video clip This American Life in the first act “If by Chance we meet again” Ralph and Sandra share a love for a pet bull as if he was a child of theirs. Chance became such a star in their family that he was allows to be out of the fence, and he even stared in the Letterman show. Ralph and Sandra got Chance when he was seven years old; once Chance started to get older actually three months before Chance died at nineteen, Ralph and Sandra wanted to have him cloned that is how much love they had for this pet bull. The family had to do a lot of begging to get Texas A&M animal hospital to actually clone Chance, and it worked the animal hospital needed to do a study on an older animal turns out that Chance was the first bull cloned.
    After Chance died Second Chance was born. It was a miracle for Ralph and Sandra; this was their new start to a Second Chance. As they trained Second Chance they let him roam around the yard as they did Chance, they were in tears to see that Second Chance was lying in the same spot where Chance loved to lay. On Second Chance’s fourth birthday as Ralph was walking him back to the stables something just clicked in Second Chance and he attacked Ralph; the family held no grads over Second Chance for this because they said that they did not know how Chance acted before he was seven. Lucky for Ralph he did not suffer too bad of injuries. Well eighteen months after Second Chances fourth birthday, Ralph was out in the stables trying to feed Second Chance when he was attacked again and ended up in the hospital with eighty stitches in his crotch. Yet the family still did not hold any anger toward this animal.
    In my opinion on this clip I feel like there is not a greater love than that family had for their pet. To see someone love an animal so much is just a wonderful sight especially for the way that so many people have been treating animals these days. This is just a very powerful story; it really touches the heart of a tender soul.
    Hannah Hawkins

  43. Amanda Cronan said,

    February 7, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    In the television series, This American Life, an episode aired that really touched me. In the show, “If By Chance We Meet Again,” we find a story of a farmer, named Ralph Fisher, and his bull named Chance. The bond that these two souls had was extremely strong. Not only was Chance a source of income for Ralph, but he was also his best friend.

    One day chance died at the age of nineteen. The overwhelming pain that Ralph had was unbearable. He called a local animal research clinic and begged the organization to clone Chance. After carful consideration the company agreed to the procedure. Soon a new Chance was born! The name given to the new Brahma Bull was Second Chance, but was this really a second Chance for poor Ralph?

    Once Second Chance came home all seemed to be better, and the pain of losing Chance became ninety-five percent better. Ralph watched him grow into a big, strong, and seemingly healthy bull. Everything was back to normal and even Ralph’s business had started back up. Then on Second Chance’s second birthday all the feelings had changed when Second Chance attacked Ralph. Ralph said that this incident was a one time thing and this may have been the way Chance was before he got him. I felt so bad because you can tell Ralph knows something is wrong but is still trying to hang on to the fact that Second Chance could become the Chance he once knew and loved.

    Then during the filming of the episode, Second Chance attacks Ralph again, and this time Ralph is placed in the hospital for a few days. While in the hospital he is asked what was going through his mind when the attack was taking place. He stated that he was thinking, “Why are you doing this to me?” Those words made me think that Second Chance could have been thinking the same thing. Why are you doing this to me? Why can’t you let me go? I am not your CHANCE!!

    One of the inevitable facts of life, is death is sure to follow. To lose a loved one is the greatest pain and sadness I have ever experienced. It is easy for me to judge Ralph. I can say, (from a far) that he was absent minded in his judgment, but I can’t honestly say that given the same option I would choice a different path.

    I felt some relief at the end of the show. I could tell, by the look on Ralph’s face, he knew the bull that attacked him was not the same bull that had died years before. His long lost friend would never have done this to him.

    Amanda Cronan
    English 1101 – 1727

  44. Renee Banks-Seawell said,

    February 7, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    I felt a very big connection to This American Life’s episode of “Reality Check, Act One.” As a child, my father owned a Brahma Bull which looked very much like Chance. My father’s Bull was named Peony. My father owns a farm and still raises cattle. Even though I have helped him water and feed his herd, we have never viewed them as pets. I believe that Chance was a special Bull with a unique and gentle personality. My father has always taught me to be very careful around cattle, especially the Bull’s.
    In this documentary, the owner Ralph described Chance as being “a family pet, part of the family business.” I believe that Chance had literally become a member of their family instead of a way for them to make money. In contrast, my father regularly trades his cattle and we have never grown attached to any of them except Peony. It may be because I was a little girl when he owned Peony but her memory has always remained with me. I cannot attest to her personality because I always viewed her from outside the fence, rather that like this family who allowed Chance to roam free in their yard and rest under a shade tree while the wife washed the dishes.
    I believe that humans and animals are all created with a unique personality and temperament. The comparison of gentleness that was made between Chance and Ferdinand may well have been true however even they would not have been exactly alike. I believe that by skinning Chance and planning to have him mounted, Ralph and his wife were attempting to hold onto the memory of Chance because Ralph’s wife commented that the skin “was empty.” Even with the emptiness that they felt after Chance died, I believe it would have been better to keep the taxidermy Chance than to try to clone a new one. I think that they were setting themselves up for disappointment.
    Second Chance didn’t come into the world with the option of being who he really was. He was expected from birth to be just like the animal he had been cloned from. Dr. Mark Westhusin from Texas A & M University Hospital seemed to be hesitant to clone Chance because he said “we don’t clone animals for people, we do research.” He did give in to their request because the hospital had a need to clone an older animal. It would be interesting to me to hear Dr. Westhusin’s opinion about the differences in Chance and Second Chance.
    In summary, I believe that we all have pets whom we love and adore but it is unrealistic to expect that we can ever “create” another animal just like them. Peony eventually left our family and later died. It would have been impossible to find or manufacture another animal like him. Even though Ralph seems to believe that Second Chance will possibly settle down after the age of seven, I believe that he and his wife will never have the same animal that they had in Chance. Instead of planning to meet our pets again, perhaps we should just cherish their memory.

    Donna Renee Banks-Seawell
    English 1101/1727

  45. Yvette Allison said,

    February 7, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    In the show, “Reality Check”, we watched a show that really caught my attention and made me think, “If By Chance We Meet Again”. The show was about Chance, a Brahma bull, and his owners Ralph Fisher and Sandra Randell. The story tells of Chance’s wonderful life and the love and family togetherness between Chance, Ralph, and Sandra. It also tells about Ralph wanting to clone Chance because of his age, and what happens when they try cloning. The story is a sad one that made me feel sorry for Ralph and Sandra, and I wonder why anyone would consider cloning at all.

    Chance had a wonderful life with Ralph and Sandra. They got him when he was about seven years old, and it seemed immediately he was more than a bull, he was a part of their family. He was allowed to roam the yard, he had is favorite spot under trees, and he was tame enough for people to sit on him for pictures. When Chance died at the age of 19, which is old for a bull, Ralph took pictures of him and then skinned him to have him stuffed. Sandra is seen in one part holding the skin of Chance up, talking about how you have to skin the animal to have them stuffed, but she also talks about how Chance feels empty. It’s sad to watch her hold the skin of such a loved animal, and sadder for me to think of him being stuffed and on display.

    Prior to Chance’s death, Ralph had gone to Texas A & M and gotten them to go through the process of cloning Chance. Almost two years after Chance’s death, Second Chance was born. He looks just like Chance, eats just like Chance, and even lies in the same spot under the same tree as Chance. But he was not Chance. After a birthday celebration for Second Chance, Ralph was taking him back to the barn when Second Chance attacked him. Ralph was asked if he thought Second Chance was Chance born again, and he said he believed he was and he was 95% sure of it. Ralph kept trying to get close to Second Chance, and he kept trying to find the old Chance in him, but it was not to be. Almost two years to the day, Second Chance attacked Ralph again, this time putting him in the hospital. It was like Second Chance was trying to get Ralph to understand he was not Chance. Once again, Ralph was asked if he thought Second Chance was Chance born again, and once again he still thought he was and he was 95% sure of it.

    I believe Ralph is living in denial. It’s sad when animals die, but we have to move on and continue our life. I do not believe in cloning or the ability of it. We are all God’s creatures; he makes us, not a scientist. Ralph and Sandra loved Chance so much, they did not want to let him go, but in watching the show, and seeing how Second Chance attacked Ralph, a bail of hay, and even the ground, I do not believe Second Chance is Chance born again. It’s time to let the past go and move on, Chance is gone.

    Yvette Allison
    English 1101, CRN # 1727

  46. Juan Gomes said,

    February 7, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    The majority of pet owners consider their pets as parts of their families. Sometimes, people can go to the extreme in giving affection to their pets. Loving a pet is a natural human feeling; pets fill the human need for affection and companionship. But the idea of cloning the bull “Chance” and expect the offspring to replace him is completely absurd. In the story “If by chance we meet” we can see a vivid example of the extent people can go when loving a pet.

    The bull “Chance” was not only the family pet; it was also their business associate. The family loved their bull, and they just did not want to believe it was gone. They wanted to believe that they could replace him by cloning him. Animals just as any living thing are unique in one way or the other, and Ralph Fisher did not want to believe that.

    Juan Gomes
    English 1101; CRN 1727

  47. Lisa albano said,

    February 7, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    Having watched “The American Life” and there show on “Reality Check”, I am saddened by the fact that the producers of “Reality Check “ find it amusing to watch the loss or struggles of another human being as entertainment. In the story of “If By Chance We Meet Again”, I am convinced that the loss and grief that Ralph Fisher and companion Sandra Randell would have been forced to deal with was more than they where willing to. They recreated Chance at what ever cost and expense to not have to deal with the grief.

    Most people are afraid of death and loss. They are afraid of the grief process. We as human beings do what everything we can to avoid the pain and loss that comes with grief. Chance was no exception. When we own an animal, a place of residents or an item for 19 years it is impossible to think losing it would not cause us great hardship. We generally are not taught in our lives that we are going to grieve this loss. We most certainly are NEVER taught how to grieve and the lack of knowledge scares us.

    I believe this story of Ralph and Sandra shows how much any one person is willing to give or risk for the love of ones life. Ralph was gourd on a number of occasions by Second Chance, and still not willing to admit that they lost what was their beloved pet. Even lying in a hospital bed he still professed that there was 95% of Chance in Second Chance.

    No matter how many times or different ways we try to play God, to spare ourselves hurt and suffering, we will never achieve the goal of exactly what we have lost. I wish Ralph and Sandra all the best in the world. However, it is time to let Chance rest in peace. Allow Second Chance to be his own instead of having to live in the shadows of someone’s fear of grief!

    Lisa Albano
    English 1101 / 1727

    I think that you’re correct in saying that it’s a shame that Second Chance, for over six years now, has not been able to live his own life. One thing I would caution against, however, is assuming that the Producers were “amused” by watching the couple’s grief. We don’t have any evidence that that is the case. In fact, we don’t hear from the producers at all, other than in their strict documenting of the story.

  48. Raquel Hill said,

    February 7, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    I really enjoy the reality life of “If by chance we meet again.” It is very stoning to see how some people get attached to their pet or anything so much that when it is time to say good bye, they can not handle it. Ralph Fisher and Sandra Reddell love the bull named “chance” so much that they were worried as he was getting old. They knew he will be gone soon. Somebody told them about cloning chance. At the beginning, they were not agreeing; however, they did it. They took him with Dr. Mark. Dr. Mark did not want to do it. They insisted so much that he gave up and Dr. Mark did it.

    One morning, they found Chance dead on the pastor. Ralph cried. He skins his body. He could not let Chance go. It is amazing how people get too attached. I do not have that experience yet. Therefore, I would not understand the feeling. They kept the skin on a box. Sandra knew that it was empty; it was not chance in it. They could not deal with reality about Chance death. They decided to get “Second Chance”. He was a clone. They were so amazed about his similarities that they did not notice that he was another bull. I think that the saw Second Chance as he was a reincarnation instead of a new different bull. Even in twin human being, there are not similarities. Everybody is unique. They have their own personalities. In my opinion, animals do have their own, also.

    They expected to be like he never was gone. When they saw Second Chance, they saw chance instead. They were blind deep inside. Moreover, Second Chance started to let them know that he is not the same old bull that they had before. He behaves different from Chance. After his fourth birthday, Second Chance attacked Ralph. Ralph did not understand what Second Chance was letting him know. Ralph though that Chance was behaving the same way when he was little. Ralph got Chance when he was seven years old, he was having hope. Then, Second Chance attacked him again after eighteen month. Ralph went to the Hospital. He did not want to give up on Second Chance. He still is waiting to calm down by the time it turns seven. I do not think Ralph realize that he is dreaming and far from reality about Second Chance. He needs to realize that Second Chance is not Chance. They have to treat it like what it is another bull.

    English 1101
    CRN 1727

  49. Joellen Street said,

    February 7, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Ralph Fisher was the loving owner, business partner, friend, and caregiver to “Chance” a somewhat famous Brahma Bull. At 19 years of age Chance died. The death of this bull did not give way to Ralph mourning his beloved friend but to the rebirth of a genetic replication. Today on “Reality Check”, we were given a glimpse into what I believe is a hearts blurred vision of reality.
    Ralph Fisher clearly had great love of for his Pet bull Chance. Along with the help of scientists at Texas A & M, Mr. Fisher was able to clone Chance. While I empathized with Ralph, I don’t think messing with Mother Nature is wise. To provide a false sense of reality could be dangerous.

    The clone of Chance was named ‘Second Chance.” Although, genetically Second Chance was the same, his personality was not. Patient and easy going seemed to be the motto of Chance, who seemed to take the world and people in it like water of a ducks back. Second Chance, showed signs of random outbursts, twice maiming Ralph without provocation, placing Ralph in the hospital. As a viewer of this episode it was clear to me that Ralph was in denial of Chances’ (the fist one) death. Genetic rebirth, does not recreate a reality of a life already lived.

    I’m glad that you addressed the issue of reality in your post, and that the genetic rebirth does not create the reality of a new Chance, only a false hope or dream.

  50. Kaye Cox said,

    February 7, 2008 at 6:48 pm


    The short clip “Reality Check” personality was given to an animal that is not typically treated as a pet. Ralph Fisher and his friend Sandra Reddell cared for the Brahma Bull, Chance, and treated him as you would a dog or a cat. The bull was given opportunities most pets are not given, at least not bulls. He had photos taken almost daily, met Sonny Bono, David Letterman, and even appeared in a Superbowl Half-Time Show. He was very loved by Ralph and Sandra, but also by those that met him.

    Ralph and Sandra loved Chance so much they skinned him and planned to have him mounted. In the clip, when they pulled him from the closet, the empty skin disturbed me. I do not believe this is something I could ever do. I can see Chance as a rare pet and how he would be missed by many people. I do not believe many people would want to see him skinned and mounted.

    I had a dog that I loved the same way. Her name was Sadie. She was a beautiful Jack Russell Terrier that was loved by everyone. She would go to Home Depot with me, but she was never invited to meet anyone famous. She was loved as most dogs or cats are in a family. She did not possess the rarity of being a bull. She did not have any great outstanding qualities to make her stand out in a crowd. She loved us.

    Sadie was killed about a year ago. We believe coyotes or wild dogs attacked her. Her body was not mangled or torn. The thought of skinning her and having her mounted never entered our minds. I do not believe I could live with myself. I know that Chance was gone, just as Sadie is. It bothers me that Ralph and Sandra can open the closet door and pull Chance’s skin out to show the camera’s. Death is part of life. Death should be final. Pet’s are like family members. You would not skin your sister, brother or any family member. Death should be final.

    Kaye Cox
    English 1101 CRN# 1727

    I would nevers skin and mount my dog either. But I wonder if it is part of this sort of cowboy culture. Maybe it is more common. Though, I don’t know how common it would be for anyone to skin and mount a pet.

  51. Maria Elia Hernandez said,

    February 7, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Episode #1 If by chance we meet again.

    In this reality show we see the American life of these couple Ralph Fisher, Sandra Riddell and
    their very loved and cared for bull named Chance. You see Chance was part of their family.
    Ralph got Chance when he was only seven years old. Chance was never aggressive to both Ralph
    and Sandra in his 19 years of living. Things were about to take turn for the worst. Something
    unpredictable and unexpected happened one regular morning. The much so loved and cared for
    bull Chance was found dead by the owners Ralph and Sandra.

    To help Ralph and Sandra with their grieve they skinned Chance to stuff him in the future. Ralph had heard about cloning about three months before Chance death. After many frustrated attempts he finally convinced Texas A&M to clone Chance. Chance Second was cloned and became a part of Ralph and Sandra’s family. This would be the beginning of their healing process from Chance death; so they thought. It took two hospital visits from Chance Second for Ralph to realize that Chance Second was not Chance. He admits that Chance Second could become Chance. He will try to mellow him out and which for the best.

    I truly understand their grieve and how they are dealing with it. I have been through many heart breaks from my pet’s deaths through out my live. We all grieve differently and this is their way of grieving. All we can do is admire them and wish them the best with their bull Chance Second.

  52. Angela Patterson said,

    February 7, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    The episode of “Reality Check”, involving the Brahma Bull is the one that touched me the most. I can relate to this episode closely, especially considering the fact that I just lost a pet that was dear to me. Ralph Fisher and his wife seemed as though they thought of this animal as being a child and family companion. I too thought of my cat, “Meow -Meow”, as being my child. I was completely devastated the night that I found him dead, but I know that life is always followed by death. I can’t judge Mr. Fisher for having his bull cloned and wanting to hold on to “Chance” forever, but I can’t say that it’s a decision I would choose to do with “Meow-Meow.”

    I believe that each individual or animal is unique and born with distinct characteristics that make them who they are. Even though Mr. Fisher had a clone of the original Chance it still was not Chance. The second Chance resembled the first Chance visually, but he still had his own personality, as he proved twice to Mr. Fisher. When I lost my cat I was hurt and thought about possibly having another kitty just like him, but I know that no matter what, no other cat can replace “Meow-Meow.” I have the memories which I will cherish forever and I know he knows that I loved him dearly; therefore I am able to handle his loss and continue my life. I always say, “As long as there is someone who remembers you or your name crosses someone’s lips
    occasionally ,then you are never forgotten.”

    Angela Patterson
    English 1101
    CRN # 1727

  53. Landon Mcdonnell said,

    February 7, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    The 2nd episode of This American Life seemed to address an idea that is on everyone’s mind but, they my not know it because it lies in our deepest sub thoughts. The idea of peoples own reality is ever changing, ever fluxing too our own perception of our lives and how they should be. We all have ideas and dreams of who we want to be. Not in a vocational sense but in something so much more real and emotional. When we reach a point were we want to be we are happy. Know one can tell us otherwise even if that other person’s opinion is different from our own perception of our life.

    People’s reality whither it is a dream or real is situational yet so dependent on other people’s views that they can change our reality in second. That is what being a human is. It is illogical. It is complicated. It is beautiful. It is life.

    Landon McDonnell

  54. Tony Beatty said,

    February 7, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    In the video clip This American Life in the first act “If by Chance we meet again”. I do see how he is much attached to the bull and would like to have it cloned. I am much attached to my dog I have said several times that I would cry when he died more than when some family members died. I am very affectionate toward him and I am not that way toward much. If he died and someone offered to clone him I would probably do the same hoping to get my dog back that I loved so much. I would act the same way the man did with the clone when it attacked him you would just be waiting for your beloved animal to show his face again. If my dog bit me I would just wait it out and try to the exact same thing I did with my dog, so hopefully he would turn out the same.

    Tony Beatty
    English 1101 1735

  55. Dana Farmer said,

    February 7, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Dana Farmer

    I thought the first story; “If by Chance We Meet Again” was very odd. I too have loved someone or something more than words can say, but the thought of having them cloned has never crossed my mind. It’s kind of sad how they could be so desperate. I understand how hard it is to accept reality and let go, but Ralph just wasn’t going to. Second Chance attacked him twice and Ralph was still holding on to the hope that he would one day be like Chance.

    “The Spy Who Loved Everybody”, I felt was a good story. It had a great ending even though the band suffered from jokes for a period of time. I really believe that good intentions pay off in the end. This group, Improve Everywhere, has a good thing going and really tries to touch people, and make their day. I completely agree with Charlie Todd when he said, “They will always have that one night to wake up to.” He’s right, no matter how the crowd got there, the band played their hearts out, and in the end they will always have that one great night to remember. I feel we all should do a little more of holding onto to the good times and letting go of the bad.

  56. Charles Harrington said,

    February 7, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Reality check was a great idea for a show. It is very informative on how people need to learn that things change and that they need to face reality no matter what. For example in act one where the farmer had a tame bull named chance that was famous and he treated like someone might treat a dog or a cat. The bull died at the age of 19 and the farmer was heart broken, instead of facing reality that his beloved pet had past, he had the bull cloned. He learned the hard way that the second pet bull was not the first. He was severely attacked by the bull twice. The reality check was that no matter what, his pet bull that he loved so much was never coming back.

    Charles Harrington
    English 1101 Crn:1735

  57. Cyrena Wamsley said,

    February 7, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    I think the first story about the family trying to clone their pet bull named Chance was a huge reality check. Now a day, working at a vet office for the past few years I have heard clients talk about wanting to clone their pets. Yes, if you do want to pay the money to try to clone a family pet, by all means I would try doing it, but in the end you probably will not end up with the pet you wanted. In the show when Chance died at 19 years of age, they didn’t want to face the fact that he was no longer with them, so they tried the idea of cloning him. But, in the long run when the Second Chance was in the early years of his life, he really was not who the family expected him to be. Even after the bull attacked the owner twice, the owner still says he is 95% the old Chance. People need to realize that if you are going to clone an animal, no matter what the animal will not be the same as the one they are trying to clone.

    Cyrena Wamsley
    English 1101
    CRN: 1735

  58. Ingried Ramirez said,

    February 7, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    As life goes by sometimes we tend to forget to follow our dreams. I think that most of us just live day by day not trying to change our routine, and maybe we don’t even realize it. That is why the video about reality check got my attention. I feel like we are so used to waking up in the morning and following the same routine as the day before. I think that it was a great idea to accomplish some ones’ dream to make them happier for at least one day. In reality sometimes in life we don’t even experience great satisfaction at all. I think that just by having the feeling of accomplishment gives you the power to follow your dream even more. I know like in the story it was kind of traumatic for the band to find out how everything happen but I think that at the end they can still remember that great feeling of having fun and having audience. I think that everybody would love to have ones’ dream accomplish for at least an hour.

    Ingried Ramirez
    English 1101
    CRN: 1735

  59. Lucy Terrones said,

    February 7, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    This Reality Check video was really interesting. On act I, it is amazing how obsessed Ralph Fisher was with his bull. I love and care for animal; however, this couple loved Chance, the bull, too much. The obsession was so strong that when the bull died they skinned and cloned him. Even after having Chance cloned and naming him Second Chance he still refused to accept that it is not the same animal. Second Chance has nailed his owner Ralph twice; in fact, the second time was so harsh, he was sent to the hospital. In despite of all the injuries Second Chance has done to Ralph, he refuses to accept reality that Second Chance is a different animal and if he does not accept it Second Chance will continue to attack him. It is amazing how tolerant a person can be even though life has so much to offer and different options to take. I hope this wasn’t true happen, but sometimes the worst consequences make a person learn reality. It might take Ralph another stab for him to realize Second Chance is not the same animal, but I hope he learns reality before it is too late.

    Lucy Terrones
    English 1101
    CRN # 1735

  60. Renee Newport said,

    February 7, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Deciding to follow your heart’s true wanting is a big risk to take. You never know what the outcome is going to be or where you will end up. During act 2 of the episode This American Life, Improv Everywhere was doing a creative deed for the public simply to place a smile on people’s faces. I think that Ghosts of Pasha took a shot in the dark when they went to perform at that bar. They had dreamed of the perfect rock star lifestyle but in reality they were not getting past the small garage band title. Improve Everywhere made their dream come true for one night. They had fans that loved them, they played an awesome show, and afterward the band felt like true rock stars. Having to face our fears like Chris had to do is a nightmare to us all. Taking that risk of killing our dream can devastate us for life. Not to mention it takes away the “what if” factor that we can still dream about.
    I myself am taking a shot at my dream in life right now. I am soon to start med school and the possibility of not making it through scares me to death. I have wanted to be a doctor since I was a little girl and to lose that dream this early in life will devastate me. I honestly will not know what to do with my life if I do not make it through med school. But this is my dream; it is what I was born to do. If I want it bad enough I will make it happen. It’s works the same way with everyone. If you want it, you will take that risk of losing it too.

    Renee Newport

    Renee, I’m really happy to see that you’ve related this episode to your own life.

  61. Jessica Dowdle said,

    February 7, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Act 2 of Reality Check made me feel very sad for the band, “Ghosts of Pasha.” Here you have a band that already has issues about their self esteem and add to that the disappointment of not having any real fans. I’m sure that the group “Improve Everywhere” had good intentions, but I just can’t see them in this story. There is nothing good about building someone’s dream up with false hope. Not only did this happen to these poor guys, but it went public. Millions of people read “Rolling Stones” magazine and they know that. I understand how one of the band members now feels like everyone is acting “fake” around him. I would feel that way too.

    I’m sure that on that night when they thought they had 35 fans they felt on top of the world; however, that is not the reality of the situation. This band truly learned the hard way the difference between dreams and reality. When asked which one he would choose, one of the band members said he would chose the dream. I can not understand that. I know that we as humans sometimes need a break from reality just to stay sane, but I don’t see how feeling our hearts with false hopes makes us feel any better about ourselves.

    Jessica Dowdle

    I sort of had the same reaction, and it’s a complicated one. I’m not sure, when it came down to it, if I would ever be fully satisfied knowing that the feelings I had about my dream-night were based on some falsehood. Though at the same time, I suppose you could look at it from the point of view that for that one night, the improv group really did love them. It’s a complex idea.

  62. February 7, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    I can completely relate to “the spy who loved everybody.” I’ve been making rap music for over six years now and I’ve performed many shows. I remember my first show in Atlanta at the Black Lion Café. It was an all black crowd off of Martin Luther King Boulevard. Homeless people were all around outside and I was literally the only white person in the vicinity. I’m in a group that consists of two black guys and me. We’re called the North East Posse Boys because we’re from northeast Georgia. We were excited and nervous of course but I especially was nervous because I had no clue how the crowd would respond to me as a white rapper. We did our set and got a great response from the crowd! No more than fifty people were there but most of them really liked us. I jumped on top of a wall that separated the stage area from the bar and people loved it as I hovered above them. The owner later told me to never do that again but other than that it worked out nicely. I had people coming up to me showing me love for my lyrics and my showmanship that it completely blew me away. After that night I thought that I was awesome and that since this crowd loved me who wouldn’t love me.

    The boys and I did a few more shows in Atlanta we were introduced to some people from Def Jam Recordings and were invited to one of their studios. We gave them a copy of our album and even performed for them alone. After a few weeks we find out some good news and some bad news. The good news is that Def Jam likes our sound and style. The bad news is that the white kids got to go. I did music with those guys for three plus years and after that it was over. We disbanded and went our separate ways. My heart was broken and my ego was shattered to find out that my group was liked as long as I wasn’t in it. It hurt even worse when they decided to agree with that sentiment. Six months went by and I received a phone call from the guys that left me for greener pastures with an interesting request. How about we make music again and go back to the way it was. Come to find out Def Jam led them on and dropped them in the artist development stage and now they wanted me back on the team. They shattered my dreams and after theirs were shattered it was time to come back so they said. Reality hits you smack dead in the mouth and life sucks, but depending on how you take it you can make the best of it. I chose to make music alone and did not take them back. I’ve released two albums and two independent music videos with another solo album on the way. I’m no rock star but I’m happy with what I’m doing and I’m doing it well.

    Jonathan Poff 1735

    Jonathan, I’m really happy that you related this to your own story. It’s very interesting and seems to really touch on these issues of dreams v. reality. And I’m glad that you’re happy doing what you’re doing. That is always the most important thing.

  63. Jason Simms said,

    February 7, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    In Act II in “This American Life, Reality Check” was a really interesting story about a prank called the “Greatest Gig Ever” would help someone get over the fears of being made fun of. I know people everyday face issues from the past that might stop them from doing what they truly love. I know it had to be a crushing blow to there egos when they found out it was a staged show and those people were not Ghost of Pasha fans. The question asked to the guitarist, “Which would he choose dream or real life” didn’t really surprise me when he answer dream. I think anyone who has a fear in real life, whether it is rejection or being made fun of they always would choose dream or real life everyday. Just too bad we can’t always live are dreams out in real life.

    Jason Simms
    CRN 1735

  64. Catherine Daniels said,

    February 7, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    In the video clip “This American Life” I was truly interested in act one; “Bring Back a Loved One from the Dead.” There was an old man named Ralph who was truly in love with his pet bull Chance. They were great companions. They had a relationship like a father and son would have. They felt trust and comfort from one another. They loved and enjoyed being around one another. I know first hand how this kind of relationship is with an animal. I have two dogs of my own that I truly love. I treat them as if they are my own kids. I clean them, feed them, and love them.

    I understand Ralph’s pain when he had lost his bull Chance to old age. I know that in any situation a person would want to bring back a loved one, no matter what it takes or what the consequences are. We as humans have a tendency to fight what is in front of us. When it comes to a point of a life or death decision, we humans will take the life decision and hope the treatment or etc works. We will take the chance to fight. Therefore, why would we not try to replace an animal that we love so dearly? Why is it that when we lose an animal most of us go out and shop for another one that resembles it? I believe this is the reason why Ralph and his wife begged the Texas A&M Vet School to clone Chance. They were reluctant to give up on having another bull just like Chance. Therefore, they took the chance and opportunity that was before them.

    After several occasions of the clone “Second Chance” brutally bruising Ralph, he still did not want to give up hope that Second Chance could be like the original Chance. He wanted to continue to believe that Second Chance would grow out of these tantrums of kicking him, and become the mature yet tamed Chance he once knew before. I believe that after the second incident of being attacked it might have been a wake up call for Ralph, but yet I believe he was in denial. He did not want to agree with the fact that Second Chance would never fully be like Chance, the one he loved so dearly.

    I have witnessed this kind of denial before. It is not pleasant once finding out that your animal or another love one is not like the original one we once loved so much. Why is it that after we lose an animal or a loved one we tend to look for them knowing that they’re no longer here? It’s a wake up call for all of us.

  65. Brittany Spallone said,

    February 7, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    To me I think that most people are afraid of reality. The reason I think that is because it is the REAL thing. It’s kind of like a fear that you have of something and you don’t ever want to come true, like in The Spy Who Loves Everyone. He had a fear of being made fun of, and that’s exactly what happened. For the most part I feel like we all try to live through our dreams instead of real life. Ralph pounded in his mind that Second Chance is Chance and he doesn’t want to except that he isn’t Chance. He will keep living in the dream of Second Chance being Chance and from the looks of it never wake up. It makes me think if dreams are really a good thing to have or will it just mess with your mind?

    I have a “dream” to own my own tanning salon one day. Will it ever come true, I don’t know? In order to have your own salon you have to have tons of money to even get started and in reality I don’t have that much money. So, do dreams really come true or do you just except reality?

    Dreams: A condition or achievement that is longed for; an aspiration

    Reality: something that constitutes a real or actual thing, as distinguished from something that is merely apparent

    English 1101, 1735

  66. Brad Birney said,

    February 7, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Perception is only what you make it. My first thought when watching the climax of “The Spy Who Loved Everybody” was why did they react in that way? I am a glass half full person, so I naturally try to find the best in everything. Improve Everywhere gave GOP a chance to better themselves from what I saw. Just being able to give some “hopefuls” the amount of confidence that IE gave them could have really got the ball rolling for them and their band. Once the band members got past the initial shock of what happened, they began to see what good really had come of it all.

    I really like IE’s cause as a whole. Just being able to turn something as dreary as a crowded train into a birthday party really put a positive spin on many people’s daily grind. In turn, those passengers will probably pass that good fortune on to another, and so on. I also see a “treat those how you would want to be treated” quality in all of them. They are not paid, advertising anything, or raising money. They are simply doing what they enjoy; just trying to brighten everyone’s day.

    Brad Birney
    English 1101
    CRN 1735

  67. Holly Colgan said,

    February 7, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    A person’s dreams and reality are two different things. Sometimes your dreams need to be crushed or questioned before you realize what reality is and how it often differs from your dreams. A good example of your dreams being questioned and helping you realize that it was a dream, not reality, would be the first act “If by chance we meet again,” where Ralph had been attacked by the Second Chance several times and yet, he still didn’t realize that Second Chance was a clone and wasn’t and would never be the first Chance no matter how much he acted like him or how much Ralph wanted him to be. The reality of that hasn’t sunk in for Ralph yet, but for his sake and his health, hopefully he will soon.

    Holly Colgan

  68. Sabrina McCollum said,

    February 7, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Dreams and reality are two completely different things. I enjoyed the first story about Chance and Second Chance. Ralph faced reality when Chance was alive on the farm. Then when Chance died Ralph couldn’t deal with this so he immediately started dreaming of how to keep Chance around. Two perfect examples of Ralph and Sandra keeping Chance around after death was one, the fact Ralph skinned him and they wanted to hang him in the house. And two, they begged the college to clone Chance.

    This story ties into everyday lives for the majority of society. Lots of people love a person or animal so much while they are alive. Then when reality hits, people either can’t seem to let their loved one die, or start to dream about ways to keep them alive. I think it’s hard for people to face reality and easier to make up a perfect world in our dreams.

    Sabrina McCollum
    English 1101
    CRN 1735

  69. Kamilla Araujo said,

    February 7, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    I was very touched by Act II “The spy who loved everybody.” I think that everybody dreams about something they want a lot and wish it could happen. Wish they could taste that dream come true for only a second. The Ghosts of Phasha had an experience of a lifetime where they did what they enjoyed doing and had others enjoying with them. At first they were upset because it wasn’t real but that’s what happens to everybody when they wake up from a good dream. The difference is that they actually lived that dream.
    We all dream every night and when we wake up we are kind of upset because it was only a dream, but at the same time you have that moment in your dream that it felt so real that you pinched your arm while you were sleeping to try to make it a reality. I got to admit that I have had dreams before that, while I was dreaming I told myself it was a dream, and I tried really hard to stay asleep or make myself fall asleep again just to see how it was going to end. Dreams can be something you are looking forward to happen one day or even something that you have daydreamed about in your subconscious, and want to taste it for just a moment. After all everybody have their own fairy tale story in their mind.
    Kamilla Araujo
    CRN 1735

  70. Jung Oh said,

    February 7, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    This video clip “This American Life” contains strong theme of reality check. Act I “If by chance we meet again” shows clear point on reality check. Ralph Fisher and his wife loved the bull, Chance, so much that they desired to clone him after his death. The animal hospital explained him several times that cloning animal doesn’t mean that he was going to be the same bull. However, when Second Chance is successfully cloned, they believe that he will bring same feeling as First Chance. They even got amazed by Second Chance when Ralph watched him laying on same spot as First Chance. These coincidences have made him escape from reality. Since he desperately desired Second Chance to act same as First chance, he sees things that don’t really happen. They did not clear the ending but he will realize the reality as Second Chance shows the difference by doing things that First Chance had never done. He was keep telling interviewer that Second Chance still gave him 95% of First Chance. These words already show that Second Chance can never become real Chance.

    Jung Oh
    English 1101
    CRN 1735

  71. Stirling Ricks said,

    February 7, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    In the episode “Reality Check” of the series “This American Life” questions what happens when dreams are allowed to take the place of reality. In act one the Fishers fell in love with a pet. This isn’t unusual at all, if fact most of us have done the same thing. After Chance passes away the couples is grieving and are willing to do anything to get any piece of him back. A cloned version of Chance seems to be the answer until Second Chance attacks Ralph. I think this a metaphor for how most of us treat thing we love in our own lives. The death of all living things is inevitable. It how those left behind react. Do we accept what has happened and try to move on with our lives or do we try to replace the lost? Nature is always right. Even when we think nature is wrong it is always right. I think we tend to accept this until some thing happens to us personally. It is easy to say the right thing until you are smacked in the face with reality. Then we try to reason or make a deal with nature or god. The reality is that no living creature is exactly the same. We can get a new pet that looks exactly like the one we loved for years and pretend they are the same. This works in dream, not reality. Eventually reason will set in we will notice the difference. Sometimes the difference is as subtle as the sleeping habits, or as in the case of Ralph Fisher you could get gored in the nuts.
    Stirling Ricks
    CRN 1735

  72. February 7, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    This definitely makes you think what you would prefer, reality or a dream? As the examples we watched both showed how either reality or a dream affect peoples lives. On the first episode where Ralph and Sandra Redell have a bull named Chance as a pet. They treated Chance as a member of the family, and they had him for so long that, once he passed away, they could not bear the thought if him being gone. So Ralph’s first instinct is to get a clone of Chance, just to be able to feel like Chance is in their lives again. After they clone Chance they realize that that maybe this was not the right decision. And I agree with that to some point, because you cannot expect to relive the same experience once you have already lived that experience. Even if someone gives you the option if bringing back someone or something that you loved. It just couldn’t be same.
    On the second episode, “the greatest gig ever” we watched how a band was made to think that they had fans come and watch their show. So, because of this, the band was so excited and so happy that they felt that they could conquer the world, but it all came down once they found out it was all a prank. It was almost as if they had a bittersweet feeling about this. One, they felt angry because they had been taken advantage of, and good because for at least that one time they felt good about what they were doing. To me, I would have definitely preferred to have lived that one night of excitement and enthusiasm, then to have never lived that night at all. Because then, you could at least say that you have had that experience.

  73. Rick Sakal said,

    February 7, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    There is familiar saying that goes something like this: “be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.”

    This is exactly what happed to Ralph Fisher and Sandra Randell when their prized and beloved family pet, Chance (a Brahma Bull) died. Three months earlier they were given the opportunity to have Chance cloned at Texas A&M and a baby bull was the result.

    We all know someone who has lost a loved pet and replaced it with another one that looks just like the one they lost. Inevitable, they come to realize, that thought their new pet may look like the one they loved and lost, pets’ have their own personality and soul. Unfortunately, I believe this a truth that Ralph and Sandra can not face. One of the toughest things in life to do is to know when to let go of someone you have lost. I am afraid that Ralph and Sandra have not yet learned this lesson.

  74. Carolina Carrion said,

    February 7, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    When I dream there is no time or space. Everything is one single stream that flows from one state to another. I must say that I don’t remember ever coming across a dream where I wished to experience again, that which I experienced on a previous dream. In a way, there’s only present in the realm of Dreams.

    Now, what happens when we wake up? I’ve experienced that my perception of things gradually transforms. I start recognizing the space I’m at, and time starts to become meaningful. The second question would be, “What happens when we face time?” And the answer would depend on the context. For example, if I had a Nightmare, then I’m relieved to be awake, I’m relieved to know that my preoccupations where only part of a Dream and that those things won’t rule my day. On the other hand, if I had a pleasant Dream, I would want to go back to it, I would want to hold on to it… Ups, Hold on to it… Maybe that says more about what drives us to seek for our Dream to come true.

    I think that as Human Beings, at the core, we all seek to be happy. And there are different ideas about what happiness would be. Some look for a future happiness, maybe something that comes after we work hard, after we get drunk, after we live or maybe even after we die. Others bump into happiness and they experience a glimpse of joy in their lives, and then try to hold on to it. The second option is what I think happened with Chance’s masters, who got so attached to him. When faced with the option of perpetuating their feeling they went for it, maybe some of us find it ridiculous, but honestly, don’t we do the same? Maybe we wouldn’t clone our pets, but… Don’t we seek to hold on to things when we have them? Just think about relationships, don’t people try to hold on to them quite often? And at the end? What is the feeling? Can happy moments be crystallized and kept forever? Maybe each one can answer that question personally, but I think it doesn’t work. We might get the illusion of keeping it, but for there to be true enjoyment in our lives maybe we just need to live them like in dreams, where only the present exists, where we enjoy what comes, and when it passes, we let it go, allowing ourselves to grow up into new experiences.

    Carolina Carrion

    Carolina, Your post was very existential and it has really made me think about similar issues—the release from the dream, returning to the often brittle light of day—and how the present can (almost) exist as the whole, if you let it.

  75. Kaye Cox said,

    February 9, 2008 at 2:32 pm


    In the short clip “Reality Check” personality was given to an animal which is not typically treated as a pet. Ralph Fisher and his friend Sandra Reddell cared for the Brahma Bull, Chance, and treated him as you would have a dog or cat. The bull was given opportunities most pets are not given, at least not bulls. He had photos taken almost daily, met Sonny Bono, David Letterman, and even appeared in a Super Bowl Half-Time Show. He was very loved by Ralph and Sandra, but also by those that met him.

    Ralph and Sandra loved Chance so much they skinned him and planned to have him mounted. In the clip, when they pulled him from the closet, the empty skin disturbed me. I do not believe this is something I could ever do. I can see Chance as a rare pet and how he would be missed by many people. I do not believe many people would want to see him skinned and mounted.

    I had a dog that I loved the same way. Her name was Sadie. She was a beautiful Jack Russell Terrier that was loved by everyone. She would go to Home Depot with me, but she was never invited to meet anyone famous. She was loved as most dogs or cats are in a family. She did not possess the rarity of being a bull. She did not have any great outstanding qualities to make her stand out in a crowd. She loved us.

    Sadie was killed about a year ago. We believe coyotes or wild dogs attacked her. Her body was not mangled or torn. The thought of skinning her and having her mounted never entered our minds. I do not believe I could live with myself. I know that Chance is gone, just as Sadie is. It bothers me that Ralph and Sandra can open the closet door and pull Chance’s skin out to show the camera’s. Death is part of life. Death should be final. Pet’s are like family members. You would not skin your sister, brother or any family member. Death should be final.

    Kaye Cox
    English 1101 CRN#1727

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