Becoming good at something, Paterson’s history, and arrogance | Paterson Times

Becoming good at something, Paterson’s history, and arrogance

The second of a long series of advice column by Uncle Paul; in this piece Uncle Paul answers three questions having to do with becoming good at something, Paterson’s history, and arrogance.


im not very good at school my brothers and sisters always tell me to drop out cause i dont know how to write n i dont know nothing about math like algbra and stuff. u think there is any hope of me going to college? im a junior in high school.

Paterson, NJ

Dear JabHS,

You had a lot of courage to write this letter so I’m guessing you have the seed of determination to succeed. Even if you may not be good in the major subject areas there’s still hope. Anyone can go to college. As for your siblings they seem like the two step sisters from Cinderella. Don’t listen to them keep your head up and try to read many books because if math is not something you can improve on surely reading will be easier for you. Every time you think you’re going to give up just remember your dreams, hopes,and goals and try to work towards those.

Dear Uncle Paul,

People always talk about the history of Paterson. How great it was, and how great it might be in the future. I looked for books on Paterson’s history, but did not find anything useful that tells the whole story. Could you nudge me in the right direction and may be list some good books?

Paterson, NJ

Dear Maria,

I’m no expert on Paterson but if you want to know more about the city you can download this really neat app for Android phones called “Field Trip” created by Google. It’ll give you facts and history about Paterson. If you require specific books it’ll be best to visit the Paterson Public Libraries and talk to a librarian who might be better fit to answer these questions.

Dear, Uncle Paul,

I get into lots of argument when speaking to people that always ends up in a minature verbal war; and at the end of it I am always told that I am stubborn and arrogant. How can I figure out if I am arrogant or not? I know I have very high self-esteem maybe people are confusing that for arrogance.

Once I told a family member after they had disapointed me that I would never help them out ever again, and then I added I can be a very good person or a very evil person. The last clause was taken, as I later found out, to be arrogance.

Please tell me what you think.

- Paula
Paterson, NJ

Dear Paula,

You sound like my wife. I seem to believe all woman act like this, and I don’t think it’s arrogance but rather an issue that comes from independence. Sometimes being too independent can be problematic. You might have a sense of arrogance because you believe you don’t need to rely upon anyone. However, at the end of the day we all need to rely on someone for support whether it be parents, husbands, wives, or siblings. The relationship you’d like to form would be interdependent relations so that both parties have a sense of say and everyone is working towards a goal. In an interdependent relationship no one feels like their being used, instead we all feel good about contributing even if it’s something small.

If you have questions that you would like Uncle Paul to answer on just about any subject send an email to paul(@)patersontimes.com