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Laying Black

Code switching is necessary. At least, that’s what’s gotten me this far. Is it a skill? Probably. Something to acquire and become good at. I’ve always been pretty good with words – a silver tongue it’s called.

“Ay ma, what’s for eat up in here?”

“I already ate. You betta find somethin in here for you starve. You better not go to bed hungry, boy, It aint good for you.”

“Aight mom, I won’t”

“We got some fries you can whip up right quick”

“Aint that what we had yesterday?”

“I don’t even want to hear complaints. It be people in Africa that would eat fries every night.”

“Ugh. I know mom. Fine I will.”

It’s an interesting thing, slang. One can’t be bad at it. The simpler it gets, the easier it is to get the main point across. That is of course, if the person in the conversation is a patron of partial English too. It’s picked up easy, and it’s unique because a deliberate effort is needed to abolish it completely unless one was never influenced by it in the first place. Its staying power is offset by its lack of compulsion. What I mean is, it’s hard for a person that speaks “proper” English (i.e White people) to demote to slang. When talking “proper” it feels irreverently inconvenient. Most words that are effectively condensed in slang feel too deliberate and imposing, almost arrogant to be used in intimate or casual talk.

Unless of course, one is adept at code switching. It’s no longer about “acting white” or “being black”. It’s about getting what, (and who) you want using the right language. As James Baldwin said in his essay “If black English isn’t a language, then tell me, what is?”, …”The price for this is the acceptance, and achievement, of one's temporal identity”. It doesn’t feel natural- to code switch I mean. Or rather it is much more comfortable to stick to one dialect, tone, language, theme, even status quo. For the price of leaving my inner comfort I can excel much better than I ever could restraining to my “Black English”. Not to say Black English is restricting, although, due to specific reasons it should not be used outside of intimate conversation.

When I was young, 5 or 6, everyone spoke it- Black English I mean. I was home within my comfort zone. I had not been exposed to anything else. Back then It was fine to have one mindset, one code, and to be ignorant of any other was not only acceptable, but sadly widespread within my community. At that age, of course, my community did not consist of many people outside of my family. Then there was school. School is a place where solitude was only obtainable through great effort. There was always a curious boy or girl who wanted to know what another name. To my credit, I wasn’t the least bit shy. If I was I most likely would not have the skills I do. I probably wouldn’t even attend the school I do now.

When I got a little older, I started to realize just how important code switching was. I was about 9 or 10 when I saw just how “clicks” formed. Similar people grouping together to for stable community inside one dysfunctional one. I noticed how different they were. Separated by music choice, neighborhoods, earlier childhood relations, even as general as gender. Usually one would blend into one that fit his or her category. Not me. Now 12 and 13 I watched, observed the wildlife in their artificial habitat.


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New Tech Slide

​ This time, I made my slide less boring, with more repetition. Also, I used contrast between the colors , black and red. I also made the text large and easy to read. Overall, I created a new slide instead of simply making changes to my other one, because I knew that my previous one did not have as much potential as this one has.
new tech slide

Music and Science Collide at SLA


Stephon Alexander, an internationally known physicist, and accomplished jazz saxophonist, visited SLA earlier this month as a guest of The Franklin Institute to share his vision of how science and music are really one. The talk focused on cosmology and quantum mechanics, which he related to sound through the wave phenomena present in both, and through the physics of sound in everyday music. Dr. Alexander also took the science of music to a new level, exploring geometric patterns in saxophone improvisation. He illustrated his points using his saxophone - and at the end, gave an improvised jazz performance.

Dr. Alexander has been featured on PBS's "Nova" for "The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers" and has collaborated with Will Calhoun, the two-time Grammy-winning drummer from the band "Living Color." He recently won the National Science Foundation Career Award and was elected a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. Born in Trinidad, Stephon grew up in the Bronx, and is now Associate Professor of Physics at Haverford College, Assistant Professor of Physics at Penn State, and is beginning a new tenure at Dartmouth College.  
"Music is a wonderful device to communicate the beauty of physics. Matter isn't a boring, dead, solid thing. It's vibrating energy that maintains its consistency through resonating, just like a unified harmonious orchestra playing. I like to demystify the Big Bang by breaking it down in terms of sound. By connecting physics with music, I want to inspire young people and open their eyes to new possibilities."

-- Dr. Stephon Alexander

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Video Blog - Sec. 1 of 14th Amendment

For the video, I focused on gender and the workforce. Because of last minute changes, I presented this video as if I was doing something on a daily basis, which was a video blog that I usually do every week about anything. Thing is, it is pretty long so I knew I wouldn't put this in the competition, BUT I felt as though anything that would be cut out from what I have, would leave out major important details. 

Benchmark Reflection

I chose that topic because it revolves around me a lot. I am a hard-working female, and so are other females in my family. I felt that it was important to show everyone that females are also important. 

What frustrated me was that my plan A didn't work (plan A was the original benchmark plan on moodle), so my project is my plan B which was turning it into a video blog. I liked that better actually because I was able to be myself, and express my opinions and facts. If my timing was better, it would've looked better than what is shown now.

I really enjoyed interviewing my great-great aunt, who worked at Pennsylvania Hospital for 41 years. She gave a lot of interesting thoughts, facts & opinions. Also, one of my C-SPAN videos were interesting too (the 2nd one shown). I learned something that I felt should've been in my project, which about the Womens Act.

I complained about timing this whole project, and I know it's my fault. It took me forever to come up with a topic that I really wanted to stick with. Once I came up with that, I rushed into creating a script for myself, and a plan. Come to find out, plan doesn't work. So it also seemed as though I was rushing through this project, but also I was taking advantage of time. That could've been handled better. Also, I went OVER the time limit.

I really LOVED that I was myself. I didn't have to put on some type of character, & I used a method that I do on a daily basis. I was about to combine that into a project and it didn't seem difficult to me on how I wanted to show it. I just wished that if my timing was better, everything would have been way better that what I displayed.

During this project journey, I learned about how the women became involved with the 14th amendment, and how important it is. I also learned how the Equal Protection Clause would affect women if it didn't exist. I also learned from both my aunt and mother that we need equal share and we will get there. It's just a shame that we have to work 5 times as hard as Caucasian females, and males in general.

C-SPAN Video
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english advertisment

My advertisement is showing and explaining to kids that you don’t need fancy and expensive shoes to fit in with others. You should be happy for what you have. The majority of kids fall into the trap of buying these fancy and expensive shoes just so they can be popular.  In my opinion people should like you for you not the sneakers you have.   It should only matter on how the person is treated.  If a person is nice to you then be nice to them if not then not. If I was to do this benchmark again I would not change my process because it was an easy structure for me to do and I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with going through things.  The class’s feedback was very helpful in helping me with making a successful advertisement

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"Enchanted"- The First Amendment

We chose to do this project because the first amendment; dealing with freedom of speech and expression; seemed to be the one with the most flexibility behind it. Generally we had to find a creative way to represent freedom of speech and expression and connect it with some of the c-span footage we gathered.
We used Joe Biden's speech on technology and combined it with a music video for a song mentioning governmental struggles and societal issues. I believe that it was a strong mean of communicating the topic in a creative way because it uses a common american style of music to convey it to certain audiences. The different angles and video transitions allowed us to emphasize different aspects of both the song, cspan footage, and styles of the video.
If I were to do this again, I'd try and use different environments for our music video. Although I liked that we were able to project video footage on his body which showed our creativity, however I think if we used more diverse amounts of footage, then the topic may have been stronger.
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¡SLA necesita el reciclaje!

Mi grupo y yo hicimos un PSA sobre reiclaje en SLA.

Por crear el PSA, la cosa más importante que aprendí fue el coste de el contenedor de reciclaje. 

Me gusta el PSA de mi grupo porque nosotros contribuimos igualmente

Si pudiera hacer el proyecto otra vez, yo cambiaría los trabajos en mi grupo.

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La Corte De Amor

La Proyecto de Serge, Gabriel, y Sophia, de la mesa Mexico. 
  • Mi grupo y yo hicimos un PSA sobre...My group and I did a PSA about... cómo los árboles son importantes
  • Por crear el PSA, la cosa más importante que aprendí fue...By creating this PSA, the most important thing I learned was... cómo subjuntivos útiles
  • Me gusta el PSA de mi group porque... el niños es muy comica
  • Si pudiera hacer el proyecto otra vez, yo cambiaría...If I could do the project again, I would change... cómo utilizamos nuestro tiempo para trabajar.

La Corte De Amor
La Corte De Amor