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Date Night

(Elizabeth is sitting on her bed. She is dressed nicely, with makeup and jewelry on. As she talks, she takes off her shoes, jewelry, and makeup (in that order), then takes her hair out of the side-braid it had been in, then shaking her hair out by the end. Side note- she pushes her hair behind her ear when she is upset or disappointed or shy)

That was incredible! He liked me. He kept calling me pretty and gorgeous and telling me that my laugh was amazing. And he was so cute (I’m talking tall, dark, and handsome, here) and nice and funny and sweet. And he listened when I was talking, always paying attention to me! And when he kissed me (puts her hands over her heart, leans back and squeals, kicking her feet a little). I can’t believe Nat was able to set that up for me. I have to thank her so much tomorrow. (Phone Buzzes. She picks it up, and reads the text aloud.) “How did it go? He told me he loved it! You totally scored- Nat.” (stares at the phone for a second, before laughing brightly and smiling. Then she begins to type) “It was awesome. He couldn’t stop looking at me! Even when I got up, I could feel his eyes on me…” (looks up from the phone) All night. All night, he was STARING at me, not looking. And he probably wasn’t really listening. (pushes hair behind her ear and looks down) And he was surprised when I started talking about politics.

I’m not asking for prince or celebrity. I’m not even asking for love. I’m asking for a guy who is willing to take for what I am. Because that, that’s what love grows from.  It would also be nice if he didn’t focus on the physical? That boy probably didn’t hear a word I said, he was so focused on my body. I’m sure he meant everything he said, it’s just...  (Looks back at phone) “Totally scored.” Not really. ‘Totally scoring’ would be getting a guy who is interested in what I’m saying and who I am, not just the physical features I have.

(shakes her hair out of braid and sighs) I can’t believe that I used to believe in love at first sight. At first sight, we focus on how a person looks. And we always try to make ourselves look nice. First sight is never this (gestures to herself, completely bare of makeup and jewelry). This is what I want people to love. I don’t want someone to love my body, but not my mind. Love my lips, but not the words they speak. Love is knowing everything about that person, all the little things that they like, and what drives them crazy. Love is knowing exactly what buttons to push. Love isn’t shoving your tongue down their throat. Love isn’t having arguments over stupid, petty thing. I don’t want love right now, and I know I probably won’t find it now, anyway. I guess I just want people to stop use a word they don’t know the power of. Love is beyond the physical, and it takes time. (picks up her phone, and begins to type a message) “It was okay. Don’t think I’ll be meeting up with him again.”

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I Was Never One, But I Wish I Am

You know Betty, I was never….. (pause) never mind, just forget it. No, no, it’s fine. Yes It’s fine. (Sight) It’s nothing, I wasn't going to say anything. Betty it’s just I was never considered… skinny, especially to my family, I’m not, I never was. Betty I don’t need to hear you tell me I’m beautiful, when I’m sitting here looking at my stomach rolls and double chin. You never had this problem Betty, you’re skinny and no one ever makes fun of you or judge you what you’re eating and how much of it you’re eating. (Screams) Why am I so fat, why can’t I be skinny! Betty I’m not overreacting. I am not a 16 year old drama queen. I’m a 16 year old with rolls the size of football fields.

Let me tell you what happened just the other day.  I was walking down the streets on a beautiful snowy day. I enjoyed walking, it made me feel happy, just looking at snowflakes falling lightly. Then, I saw a group of people walking towards my way. I was in my big black coat, I already see it coming, they started to walk in a more narrow line, like instead of 4 people across the sidewalks, They bundle up walking in a way to say, “HEY let’s make room for this fat girl to go by.” It hurt my feelings a lot. Just realizing that. (Got quiet)

Yes I’m still here Betty, Sorry I was just thinking. I was just thinking of why can’t I just go to the gym like normal people and workout. Because Betty, when I go to the gym, I feel like they are judging me! I’m not overreacting again. I feel scared, I’m afraid of getting judged and judged on how I’m fat. Betty you’re so lucky, you never have to feel this insecure.

You know my family, they are always telling me, “Don’t eat too much, you’re getting more fat” or if a family member comes over to visit, the first thing they’ll say is, “Wow, you look fatter, don’t eat too much okay, you need to be skinny and pretty okay.” Like is fatter even a word? I don’t know about other asian family Betty, but in my asian family, your weight or appearance is like the topic of conversation! That’s the first thing they’ll say to you or talk about when they see you. I felt insecure. I wanted to hide, I was never one of those skinny girls, with the perfect everything, but I wish I am. For what? So I wouldn't get judged or ever made fun of. Skinny girls like you Betty never go through what fat people like me have to go through!

Betty why are you getting so upset? Did I say something wrong? What do you mean I’m self centered. What I said was true, I never saw a skinny girl get called “fat” or “Hey fattie, why don’t you go get yourself some salad.” Betty were best friends, I thought you understand what I’m going through! I’m the one who doesn't understand you? What are you talking about Betts. Who’s going to understand you more than me Betts? I stuck by you since kindergarten! I knew everything about you and still do. I know I know Betty, I know you stuck by me too. Why do you keep saying I’m self centered? I know you were there for me too, when no one was. You can never understand what it’s like to be fat! You’re those skinny girls that I wish I was like.

Oh…. you never told me that. What did they do? They what? No they did not! Why didn't you tell me that before? I wasn't gonna judge you Betty. I can’t believe they did that! What kind of guy says to a girl, “What are you a toothpick, no butt, no nothing. You look like you got a body of an 8 year old boy.” Betty I’m sorry. Well, it’s not worse then what happens to me, you look nothing like an 8 year old boy! Betty what happened to you doesn't compare to what happens to me as a fat girl. Betty I didn't mean it like that. Betty! (Betty hangs up).

No one ever understands me anymore, not even my best friend. (Thought to self).


Green Eyes

I know that there is a bus stop right out front of my house but I think I’ll go catch the train this morning. It’s about five blocks away in the part of the city that people call the white side but all the cute boys from St. Charles East catch the train from there and besides I could use the exercise. [rolls eyes] I mean I don’t know what it is about cute boys but they just make you do stupid things.

I was standing on the platform clinging onto my book bag as the train rushed into the station. The wind from the train made my hair blow fiercely like Beyonce in concert. I am ready. [Flips hair] The train door opened and I walked in and grabbed a seat all the way in the back of the train. Thats when I saw him. [eyes grow wide from amazement] I saw green eyes sticking out from the crowd of people as he scanned his transpass and made his way into the same train car as me. No freaking way. So I’m clawing through my bookbag trying to find my lip gloss. Got it [puts on lip gloss] I hope he sees me. [Sits up really straight and crosses legs]

Green eyes is just standing there and slowly bobbing his head to his music. I wonder what he is listening to. Maybe classic 80’s rock. Yoooo look at those lips. Good lord. They are so pink and full and so round they are perfect. They probably feel perfect too. We would be so cute together posting kissing selfies. He could be my mcm every Monday. And his hair… Lord. His beautiful baby brown curls fall effortlessly down his smooth Ivory skin. I just want to hold his hand. Or just be able to feel his arms around me Shit. He sees me staring at him. Ummm maybe I should smile. [Smiles awkwardly] OMG he really just smiled back. Hopefully he doesn’t remember me from last time. When I tripped and dropped my cell phone, my glasses and my wallet. Hopefully I can redeem myself.

I really would like to get to know him but what will he think if I just walked up to him and told him that would like to have his number. He would probably tell all his friends that I was thirsty. And all my friends would call me an oreo, sell out, or say that I [air quotations] hate my people. Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to be like other girls. To be able to like boys that do not necessarily look like me without being accused of hating myself.

I love myself. I love my sun kissed skin, wide hips, round lips, and kinky hair. Today I’m going to do what I want to do. Who gives a damn what people think. That’s right today is the day I’m going to get his number. But wait… what should I say? [bites lip as if in deep thought. Eyes get wide from amazement] I got it! I could say, yooo I lost my number can I have yours? Nah. I could say I’m pretty and you’re cute, together we could be pretty cute. Nah. I’ll just let it happen naturally I mean whatever happens, happens. This is the moment of truth.[stands up and nervously walks over to guy] [Clears throat] Hey, umm you know umm do you know what stop is next?



Ok. stop. It’s 11:13 pm. Everyone knows that no good work gets done past 11. Ugh, how can it already be 11:13? It was 9:42, like, 5 minutes ago. 11:13 may be a little late, but late is better than never. And look! I already have a solid paragraph. I’m just four more paragraphs away from a decent sized history essay. And then all I have to do is my lab, then those geometric proofs, and then that english reflection paper… Oh my god my life is a never ending assignment! No, don’t panic, don’t panic. Double space solves everything. *types* There, that looks, longer. Oh, size twelve font, there we go. *types* Is ariel bigger than times new roman? Whatever, times new roman makes it look fancier.

*starts to fall asleep*

What? I can’t go to bed yet, not now. I have too much work to get done. I mean, people pull all-nighters in college all the time right? I just need coffee, or an energy drink, or, or…. That bottle of coke thats been in my room for like a month? *thinks for a minute*

*typing and saying* When.. Does… Coke… expire….?

No, no I need to do this, with or without an energy drink. Lets see, “The collapse of the soviet union…” How did that happen? How can I forget how the Soviet Union collapsed, that was like, the whole unit. I’ve got it, I’ll message someone! Somebody else can totally help me out, maybe even share their paper. Ok facebook, who to message. Not in my class... not at my school… Jeremy’s mom. How can nobody be online, it’s only 11:26. Maybe Jeremy’s mom could- Wait. Ned! Ned’s online! Oh thank you facebook gods. Ned is pretty much the smartest kid in the grade besides that kid I’m pretty sure has been held back a few years. He’s totally gonna help me. Ok, ok:

“hey” No, no. A one Y hey totally sounds like I’m trying to steal his history essay. *types*

“heyy” Better. And… send! Alright Ned, gimme those answers. ‘Seen at 11:28’ He’s totally responding! We were lab partners last year. Hey, we were friends. We would talked a lot in lab about tests and quizzes. He was sweet, he used to offer me gum when he had it. Everyone thought he was into me, he probably was. He would even let me look at his homework when I needed to. Then why is it taking him so long to respond? I guess I don’t have that many classes with him now but… Is that who I am now? That girl that asks for other people’s homework? It was totally Jessica Stein last year. When she was at a desk next to you, everyone knew you were screwed. It was the fact that she was shameless about it, though. It was so casual, sometimes she’d just give a you this slight glance in your general direction, and you knew what she wanted. It got to the point where people avoided sitting next to her in a classroom setting. I’m pretty sure she transferred this year, actually.

Oh god. I’m totally the new Jessica Stein. When given the choice, people never sit next to me. It’s a spiral! I don’t do one thing and then I have to do it the next day on top of the 3 other things I was just assigned. It’s just more and more and more and more and… No wonder he isn’t responding, Ned probably hates me for begging him for work and thinks I’m pathetic. I’m probably worse than Jessica in his eyes. *takes breath*

Stop with the pity party, he’s gonna respond. And hey, If he responds quickly enough, maybe I’ll have enough time to finish my homework up tonight. Maybe I’ll finally get it all out of the way. Maybe… Maybe I’ll start writing my work down, or putting it in a planner. Maybe I can do my work right when I get home, instead of putting it off, and off. Maybe I’ll go to bed earlier, I’ll probably get more sleep. Maybe I’ll walk to school, yeah! I’m only like a mile away, I could use the exercise. I can get one of those apps that blocks facebook- No- I’ll get an app that blocks the internet. My work time is my work time, I don’t need the internet to distract me. And then, maybe I can-

‘Ned is offline’


(James runs into his bunker and closes and locks the door.)

We should have seen that coming.   I can’t believe that they surprised us like that.  There are hundreds if not thousands out there.

(He sees a piece of paper and pen)

I need to say goodbye to my family.  

(Runs to the paper and pen)

What do you say to someone you love  when you are about to die and they are thousands of miles away?

(Looks at the paper and freezes)

To my loving wife Linda and soon to be born son James Jr.,

It’s me, James.  I have always been a man of few words.  I hate talking and you know that.  But (pauses)  

I don’t think I am coming back home to Philadelphia.  The base was attacked.  We didn’t see it coming.  I am writing this because today I am going to die.  

(pauses again).  

Linda I just wanted to say that I loved you.  Even if I didn’t show it at times, I did.  When I first met you in high school English class, I knew that you were the one for me. When a woman can make a strong man weak by the way she looks at him, you know you’ve found a keeper.  We’ve had our ups and downs but what relationship hasn’t.  To James Jr. I know that you will have no memory of me.  You are not even born yet. That is the one thing that hurts me the most.  I thought that if I fought in this war I would make this world a better place to watch you grow up.  The irony.  I wish I could be there to watch you grow up. To teach you how to catch a baseball, take you to your first game

(a tear comes down his face) (sniffles)

(Come one James, pull yourself together)

and see you graduate and everything in between.  I know that you will become a great man one day.  These words can’t really describe how I am really feel.

(Hears random German commands outside his door.)

Goodbye, I hope you never forget me.

(The door is kicked down. He holds the letter to his chest.)

Please, Please Please!

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D-Squad Slide

My slide looks the way it does because as soon as you see it you see the American flag. It shows a lot about me already, but when you read the words it says even more. The words are basically music that I like, where I'm from and other words that mean a lot to me. They are important to the layout because everything I love makes up who i am and so does the American flag. I am from Georgia and so is my whole family so it represents a lot. I chose the background color to be burgundy because I love that color and it was the only one that looked right behind red, white and blue colored text. I stuck to a darker background because it looks more appealing than multiple bright colors in one spot since the words I used are very light. Zach Holman inspired me to use big text so you can read it from afar but enough words for it to be informative. I tried to make this slide look creative in a simple way with help from Presentation Zen. 
Untitled presentation (1)
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I looked up. A flash of memories pass through me. I shivered, out of fear. I told you I was cold. I look at you. Blank stare. You don’t remember me. I don’t know why I’m surprised. I looked into your cold lifeless eyes, only to find them missing. Something has changed.  “So, Jesse is it? Why would you like to work here.” I say not letting you see that I recognize you.

I am boiling with anger inside. Why did you do that to me? Was it fun, Jesse? Throw the gay kid in the trash. Dump his head in the toilet. Lets make his life hell because he likes guys. I remember one time I wanted to join the football team, I had been training so hard, all month long. I got out on the field ready to go. We got assigned to teams. Then we got into formation, my whole team turned against me. “A gay guy can’t play football.” those were the words you said to me as I was pushed off of the field.

But, I guess I should thank you. For all of my accomplishments. Without you to bring me down every day of high school, I’d never be so determined to get into Law School and start my own firm. I can’t bring myself to say those words to you. I busy myself reading your resume. Scribbling nonsense notes. “I’m gay.” I stop. (pause then looks up) I look at your face, incredulos. You are gay. I don’t trust my ears. I have to repeat the words to myself five times before I can start to believe them.  You are gay!

All those years, bullying me because I (points to self) liked men. And all those years you did too. (laughs) I feel bad for you. You hid behind a shield, bullied me so no one would dare to think you too, were gay. Surrounding yourself with girls. No one would have ever thought. Jesse the prom king, the popular guy, the guy who everyone No, no one would have bought that! And why should they? You built a wall, never let anyone see the real you. You created a character so intricately that no one thought to question it.

I look into your eyes again, this time I see something familiar. The broken glass, one thats been punched, over and over again. My eyes used to tell the same story. Because of you. In a matter of seconds the broken glass is gone, replaced by a bulletproof glass. “It’s me, Dylan.” I say. I see your eyes change, a different story is being portrayed, your face softens, as a wave of sorry’s flood out your mouth, but I’ve already forgiven you.


Oh god, oh, oh god he’s looking at me.

They’re all looking at me.

Why? All I wore was a t-shirt and jeans. Is it my boobs? Is there too much cleavage?

(looks down at boobs) There’s only a little. What’s the big deal!

Is it my jeans then? My butt?! (Looks at butt) They are somewhat tight…

But so are their clothes! One of them isn’t even wearing a shirt!

(Pause) Oh no they’re starting to shout! They’re starting to shout!

Okay, okay just ignore them and they’ll go away.

Just ignore them and they’ll go away.

Just ignore them and they’ll go…

ARRGGGH! It’s not working! I just want it to stop. This is so humiliating.

Maybe I should say something…

NO! no I can’t do that. What if I start some shit? It could get really out of hand.

I shouldn’t, I really shouldn’t (long pause, silence)

(Blurts out) What did I do to deserve this?!

I was just walking on the street and this has to happen. Everyday.

I mean (laughing) Nicki Minaj shakes her fake ass only wearing a thong and she get treated like a goddess!

But I,


I’m a…




Is that what they really think of me? You don’t even know me…

I mean, I see hot guys walking down the street all the time (Short pause) well… not all the time, but I don’t shout at them.

In front of everyone!

I know they have hormones, different from women, but that doesn’t mean they have to make me feel…


Don’t get me wrong it’s not all of you. Maybe some of you are trying to be nice!

Beautiful is a compliment!

But there comes a point where I just

Where I just don’t know anymore.

And maybe I should just stopping dressing like a “Slut”

Or walking around at night

Or just alone In general.

Or maybe you need to just stop.

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My male boss finally agreed to give me the pay raise I asked for 5 months ago.

I told him how grateful I was for his help in sorting it all out.

He said to me, “If I wasn’t married, I would ask you to show me how grateful you really are,” followed with a small chuckle.

I stared at him.

I couldn’t tell if he was serious.

I wanted to ask him how he could live with himself. How he sexualize his employee like that. Why he thinks that he can say anything to women, like we have to accept every ugly remark that spews out of his mouth. I want to ask about his wife, about his children. I want to tell him that, when men say things like that, it encourages their sons to do the same. And it encourages their daughters to accept it. Like it is something that cannot be changed. An endless cycle where women aren’t to blame. By letting our children to conform to these rules we are only perpetuating a prejudiced system. A system where feminism, is this radical theory that women are actually humans. We teach boys to grow outward. To grow as big as they can. While we teach young girls to grow inward, to make space for their man. Because apparently there isn’t enough space for both of us to shine. Contrary to popular belief, a woman doesn’t need a man to survive. A woman without a man is just as crazy of a notion as a fish without a bicycle. Equality shouldn’t be a concept we hope for our grandchildren to know. It needs to be a necessity. Something that we cannot live without.

I wanted to tell him that women already make 77 cents to the dollar that men make. And that we don’t need his harassment to make up for the lack of zeros on our pay check. And that my co-worker, John, has only been working here for three months - but he has already gotten twice the amount of promotions I have gotten in three years. I want him to feel the fear of going into my male boss’ office, uncertain if my lips will be asked to do things other than give a sales pitch.  I want to tell him that I wore my deepest cut business suit to my job interview, because I knew it would it would appeal to him. I cannot wait to see the day where people do not base my intelligence off of my wardrobe.

I want to tell him no. I want to tell him stop. I want to ask him why.

But instead of saying any of that, I just smile, and walk away. I try to stop my hips from swaying, because I know he is looking.

The Dance

I can hear the preschool teachers call their class up to the stage. I’m next. All of the little babies run onto the stage and take their positions. Parents clap and wave to their kids. They  waved back, smiling. The teachers quietly got their attention. Then, the music started.

I’ve heard this beautiful song in rehearsal a couple times but that night I couldn’t stand it. Every little note drove me insane. “Calm,” I whispered to myself. My heart was beating so loud I could hear it. I began to go over my dance in my head. My solo. My first ever solo to be exact. that night, I was dancing all alone. It startled me when my dance teacher insisted on it. All throughout rehearsal I was nervous but never as nervous as I was then. This was like torture.

“One, two three, one two three,” I kept repeating in my head, “One, two, three, turn.” “One . . .,two . . ., turn?” Oh no! I forgot! I forgot my dance! I can’t go out there! My heart was beating faster than ever. I couldn't stop sweating and my breathing became faster. “Calm! Be calm! You can’t go out there like this!” I felt like I was having a panic attack. My body wasn't listening to my brain. I snapped out of my head and tune in to what’s happening around me.

The music stopped. “It’s over? I thought it just started! It can’t be done!” My heart was going to explode. I wasnt ready. I started preparing to go onstage when I heard the preschool teacher say, ¨Technical difficulties!” Technical difficulties”, I said to myself. A tiny weight was lifted off my shoulders and I breathed easily for the first time in minutes. But then I remembered the next time the song stopped it would be the end. And then it would be my turn.

The nervousness came back. I started questioning myself. “Why did I do this? Why am I up here?” Then I realized how stupid I sounded. I need to do this. I’m tired of being shy and reserved. I’m tired of staying in my little shell and not trying new things. I’m tired of being excluded from activities because they know I won’t participate so they don’t even bother to ask. I have to do this dance. My nervousness was still there but I ignored it. The music ends and I hear clapping and shouting. It’s my turn.
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The first class should be coming in right now 8:15 right on time as always never late never off right on time, except for those one are two who sit in the back who seem show up same time every day 9:15 on the dot, Every day come in sit down act like they pay attention then sit and slack off for  10 minutes look up watch me hanging waiting for the arrows to line up in possession so they can run out the door. The same every day with those two fools, from up here I can see it all though I can time  every thing I know the exact time that the next group kids will come in when that stupid kid in the back will make some sound that makes the entire class laugh he does it every day 10:15 on the dot. Then teacher ponders 15 minutes go by and another 10 go as she refuses to say another word unless the culprit speaks up, He never does though even though its quite clear who it is not to her thought to me its as clear as the air that you breath, I can see it  from up here I can track it all every minute, I can tell you when that the kids is sitting in front of you that makes those noises and that he did same thing 10:30 yesterday  but what can a holder a watcher of time do but that watch wait. I have seen I know all the dirty secrets of this place even the one you don't know how the students meet in this room and beat that boy with the glasses and the braces until he his black and blue every day at 3: 30.

Why do they do this I have been asking myself that very question 10 years now since the day the put me up in this god forsaken place, the first time I ever saw those boys gang up on that kid and why because mommy and daddy didn't hug them enough now because they were a bunch of egotistical little thugs who needed be taught a lesson or better yet need be slapped with the belt its not like they are using it to keep up their pants, because if they where then I would not be staring at there starry boxers stupid idiots. That little boy is no better he should stand up for himself standing there taking a betting won't help him much in life. Well it might if he is planning on being the worlds first pain feeling punching bag  I can see it now boy dies after one punch well what do I care I have my own problems to deal with for one having watch these stupid teachers that just hook up come in here make out like young kids they always come here 4:00 oh god help me you're not young get over yourselves and get a different room or please cover me up at least.  Why do I bother not like they will ever listen just half to pray that my hands move to 4: 30 faster before I lose a bolt, why couldn't I have been a  presidential clock learn the dirty secrets of the oval office and the secrets of the man running this country that would have been the dream hang me up next to George Washington painting I bet he has some stories to tell. Unfortunately that is not my fate its to watch kids beat the pulp out of that shrimp at 3:30 watch an idiot teacher stop a classes because of a imbecile who thinks making fart noises is fun. If that did not put the cherry on top of the Sunday I have to watch the generator come in the room at 4: 45 coming in the classroom and set up his weird ritual while he get naked and starts painting himself in white. I have tried saying Idiot that's not how you talk to ghosts that's who you catch a cold but does he listen no like the others, how I wish I could leave the only way I can leave is by praying the backwards school gets shut down oh how I hope until then I will forever be the watcher time keeper and recorder of this monstrous room oh look at that 7:00 already almost time start school better get ready done.

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Clean J's

“Yo! YO! LADY! I CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE SAYING! SO STOP TALKING TO ME!” I thought about yelling this. Right in the face of my new “homeroom” teachers, as she slowly blabbered at me in Italian. Instead I just stood there in the front of my new classmates and stared at her. She tried to help me understand what she said with frequent hand motions, but I was lost.

I’m leaning against the blackboard, with my head raised high to symbolize “my cool attitude”. Earlier this morning, rolled up my jeans before school to show off my new Jordans. I even had a new green polo shirt on and I sported my old New York Knicks flat hat backwards. I mean, to be honest, I was looking pretty fly. You know, had to show off the new American fashions for the ladies. I heard they like that fashion stuff down here. 

But when she had called me to the front of the class, to introduce me, everything changed. I had walked up slowly, taking my time, with that NYC strut that the cool kids at my old school [strut to front of class]. I had to show them that I wasn’t to be messed with. She talked to me slowly in Italian, but all I heard was “Blah. Blah. Blah. And… blah.” When she finally stopped talking, she looked at me. I looked back. [5 seconds of awkward]. She must be asking a question. The kids had already been giggling quietly, pointing at my outfit. They were just jealous, I told myself. I took an educated guess at her question in my broken and terrible Italian.

“Uh. Oh uh sorry. I mean oh wait. Il mio nome Russell e mi è piaciute il basket.” I told her choppily in Italian. I told her my name was Russell and I like basketball, one of the only phrases I knew in Italian. In America, I had taken Spanish, not Italian. I had done a little studying on a few phrases a couple days ago, but obviously not enough. Why can’t everybody just speak English? The class was now laughing as they heard me speak. One kid even fell out of his chair. Keep your head up high Russ, keep it up. I kept holding my head high, and gave a shrug to the teacher as to say ”whatever”. Yeah, way to play it cool. People laughed even more. But now it felt more like teasing.

[I looked down at my Jordans] I had specifically cleaned these off for the first day of school today. The dirt marks, grass stains; I had taken forty five minutes last night to polish them off. This was supposed to be a new place. A new start. But as I stood in front of this class full of kids laughing at me, I noticed it wasn’t. It was like I was back in America.

My dad came home three weeks before April 1st and said we were moving to Italy. We lived in Manhattan and he worked for the New York Times. He had always wanted to be a field reporter in a different country, and now he was finally getting that opportunity. There was no hesitation. We were packing our bags. Two weeks later, I was in Italy. 

I was happy. I had never fit in at my old high school. I was dorky. Nerdy. Weird. Fat. Ugly. Never good enough at sports, or smart enough to compete with top of the class. I was stuck in the middle. Italy represented a chance to rebuild my image, but as I stood in the front of the classroom, I felt like I was back in America.

Before the day, the office had handed me a schedule of my classes, but told me I would have to wait till tomorrow for the translator to come. They apologized, but I told them “it was chill”. But now “it wasn’t so chill”.

The teacher now told the kids to quiet down and she asked me slowly in her troubled English, “Where I was from?”. I began blushing and told her in English that I was from New York. She nodded and pointed me back to my seat. I leisurely strolled back to my seat. The guys looked at me and kept laughing. The girls giggled.  [Give head nod]. I was trying to keep in my sadness and maintain my cool, but it only caused more laughter. Amidst the laughter, another guy pointed my way and the girl I had nodded to, while he said something in Italian, resulting in more laughter. [sit in chair, roll down jeans, and take hat off.] I keep my head down. My “cool” was all gone. Why was it, that everyone always found a way to laugh at me, in America or Italy?

I sulked down in my chair while looking down at my clean, red J’s. The black Jordan sign glistened in the light as I got up to leave. As I left the classroom I saw America. The America I had happily left behind. Maybe I just couldn’t fit in anywhere. Maybe I was just a clutz. A loser. An idiot. Maybe I just wasn’t built for this world. Maybe it was time to give up.


It's Time to go Now

She just said it’s time to go now. Dismissing me from the family I had lived with for 4 months, 4 month. I was done with them, this is it the breaking point. I had always been dedicated to them, I know I am in their debt. But why do I feel unloved? LIke I was just something they had  do to feel good about themselves.You know like, it does not matter what they did but why. I felt used. Like a tool to give them happiness.

I’’m past Mrs.Slade now her face does this funny thing when she sees my face. She touches my arm asking “If I'm okay? ’How --- how could I be okay, everything was going and had gone wrong. I just shake my hands and head so, I----   don’t scream. My father had abandoned me and hid from me. I thought I was lucky when they decided to take me in. But now I have to go back to fim. To the person that left me. I pass the family the oldest holds out his hand and I brush past him.I don’t want to touch his hand. A hand offered in such selfish and hurtful help.

Walking out the door I remember how they never even asked if I wanted to leave,but  my time used up along with their generosity. They had worked so hard to find my Dad but never even thought I maybe wanted something else. Something better  I just know now I never mattered to them it was my situation, I was something needing help not a person needing love. So they never appreciated me as a person. As I get into my dads car I nod once and just say “go please go”. I look back at that family walking to the gate confused at my quick exit. I see him I thought one of my best friends yelling “what the hell dude”.

As I stared at the little compact two story houses, I decided I would always feel loved. People always treated you right when you're famous. I was going to be an actor. I had always been able to make people laugh with the way I acted. With my hand motions and smile kinda like Bill Cosby. Something they never appreciated. I won’t need their love any more I will be free at last. I can depend on me to get what I need, because I will work harder than ever before.Then i wil be appreciated. By everybody.

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Swirling in Perfection

I stare at my blank computer screen in front of me. My entire dorm was completely dark except for the glow from the computer. I sit on the carpeted floor, maybe I can think better this way. I sit back on my green and white comforter. “Changing positions isn’t going to help you write the perfect speech.” I hear a little voice say to me. I write down a sentence. My hand is soon tapping backspace, erasing it away.

I am again staring at a blank screen. I can hear people outside in the hallway walking by. The voices carry under the locked door. I can hear the laughs and the joy laced in their voices. I want to be out there with them, but I don’t move a muscle. I won’t move a muscle ‘till I get this perfect. “You can’t even write a single sentence.” The voice persists to me. I try to prove it wrong, I start to write again. This time it will be perfect. This time it will be perfect, everyone will love it. Repeats over and over in my head, trying to drown out that voice. Finally having some words on the screen, I hear the clicking of the backspace key.

I am again staring at a blank screen. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. The word swirls around in my head as I try to find the perfect words for the perfect speech. It seems my world is defined by this one word, perfect. All I strive for is perfection, if it isn’t perfect I throw it away.

I try laying on my back, continuing my theory that changing positions will help me think. Staring up, I see the blank cream colored ceiling with the dark light in the middle.The ticking of the the clock engulfs the room, I see the seconds roll by, the minutes roll by, the hours roll by. As I sit there, there is still a blank screen. My dull, blank brain starts to light with the fire of an idea. The fire is brought to my hands as they start typing away quickly. There is a page of words in front of me and I’m burned out from the sudden surge of an idea. I read through what I have written, by the end of the page my hand is yet again wavering over the backspace key.

“It isn’t perfect, it will never be. Everyone at graduation will hate it." The voice tells me. No! My hand quickly falls away from backspace. I don’t care if it isn’t ‘perfect’, I shouldn’t throw it all out. “It’s garbage, it should be thrown away.” The voice said to me. It isn’t garbage, it is exactly the way I want it. It is the way it’s going to stay. I shouldn’t have to care what other people think, it’s perfect to me. I turned back to my computer and clicked the button, the save button.

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I sleep 20 hours a day on weekdays. On weekends, I sleep anywhere from 10 to 18 hours a day. But I always can tell what you're doing. Do you always feel like somebody's watching you? Because I am, I’m watching you Ethan, (Heavy breathing, sounds like XHXHHHX) and listening, listening to what you’re doing But are you listening to me? Ha! course not- (rythmic) you just let my beat go on and on without any thought, ya don’t even know, how high the volume is on your stereo. You let it all go (pause)... to hell... yo... I know I’m not the only one. Just a few days ago I heard you complaining about the cell phone. You and that cell phone have done everything together and after 2 years you’re just gonna replace it for the next upgrade! I heard you saying… I heard you saying that (breaths deeply XXHHHXH) your planned on breaking the phone so that your mom would get you the gen 8. I (starts crying) I-I don’t even k-know (breaths deeply XHXHXHXHHH) what’s so great li-iike. It’s like (XHXHXHHX) what’s so great about having a thinner screen… You used to say live and let live. Ya know ya did,  ya know ya did,  ya know ya did. (Sniffle). 

Ok, um now back to the subject at hand. My speaker: why it’s broken, what you can do to fix it and what you can do to make sure this does not happen again. The reason why speaker my speaker is bust, is because of that dubstep. Please stop listening to the dubstep, it makes me vibrate so much I think I’ll explode. Please turn down the volume and listen to quieter music so I don’t explode, or worse. Now, in order to fix me you need to take out the broken driver and then place a new one in. It’ll only cost $20… maybe. You could always buy one of the internet from the computer. Hey, there’s another example of something good gone to waste. Remember your old computer? You used to spend hours on that thing, but then one day you put it in box, tossed it out and got that fancy computer. Anyway, buying an entire new stereo would be around… uh, eight thousand dollars! So just buy a driver for me that’s all you need oh and stop mistreating me and your other- Hey uh Ethan, what are you doing with that remote? Ethan (stern) listen to me don’t turn me on. Ethan, (worried) Ethan wait! Ethan- (screaming) CALL 911 NOW BWAWAH REEEEEEEEEAHHHHHH dududu REEEEEEAAHHH dududu WOOOOOooooowXXXHXHHHHXHHXHXHHXHXH. (pause) XHXHHXHTHIS GIRL IS ON FFFIYYYYAAAAAAHHHXXHXXHXHHXHXHX.

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K8 ME Slide

ME Slide

I made the slide the way it is because at a quick glance you can understand some things about me, and it is also visually appealing. I worked with a program to form words into an image, in this case a cube. I picked a cube because cubes are equal on all sides, and I think my personality is pretty balanced in its aspects like a cube. Also I made certain words bigger that represented some of my history and culture, such as myself, jewish, massachusetts, and SLA so that even if people can only look at it at a glance they can still get some idea of me. All of the words I picked represents some part of me and together they say who I am. Being Jewish is a big part of my culture, even though I’m also agnostic I still celebrate a lot of the holidays and had a bat mitzvah. I was born in Massachusetts and it’s one of my favorite places, I love the sports teams and the cities.

For the design I tried to use a lot of the suggestions from the articles. I chose the color palette specifically so it would be bright and pop out from the dark black background, I thought the contrast would look nice.Also the contrast would help you read the text. I made the text as big and used it as a main part of the design because then you can read it easily and it maintains the simple design of one point per slide. I also tried to make sure the slide wasn’t crowded, I made a simple design and didn’t make it too big. One big aspect I tried to do was to create a simple and elegant design that showed me. I feel like this slide fills my wishes.  
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I created this slide to show my overarching passion for visual arts, I then added the small texts embedded in the pencil to show what drives me to create. I decided to make the colors contrasting but slightly ostentatious, to capture the eye. I then differed the size of text to allow more variation within the simple design. I decided to state or share a very obvious idea but in doing so, showered it with a lot more complex and deeper information. I pulled a lot from Zach Holman’s color palette and choice of design but in doing so I added my own touch (hopefully). My design consists of a large visually depiction of a pencil, it is made entirely of smaller words that describe my personal life. I chose a pencil because doodling and visual arts are some of my favorite activities, I then gave an array of single words describing me, my home life, and my interests. The order of the different components are in no real significance because they all have seemingly equal significance.
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Replacing Old With The New

Hey! Hey, you! I remember you! Do you remember me!... Wait...Wait, why are you walking away?

Don’t say you have turned into one of those types of people. Those people that walk past us, not recognizing us, like you didn’t read us some time before. There’s more and more people like you everyday. You just walk past us, don’t even stop, sit down and look at that screen all day. I would know, I watch it happen day in and day out. Nothing new, but you, you were my latest companion, when my faith was lost, I thought, change is happening today. I guess I was wrong.

I know, you forgot about us. You used to take us everywhere, to the park, on the train, pull us out before bed, when you were bored. You played with us, and now, you're leaving us behind for those big boxes with screens. Just ignoring us! Shame. You walk into our home and don’t even acknowledge us, this is trespassing. We created this foundation of stories, not them, they just barged in here, and you are letting them without even knowing the damage you are doing.

I remember my first, she picked me up off the shelf. She waited for a long time for this very moment. I remember, how she smelled me, because I had a special “aroma”, whatever, she liked it. She started reading me the car ride home, she couldn’t wait that little amount of time to arrive home, I mean, I was fine with it, I was even a little scared.

I used to get tossed around from person to person. They each folded my sides to remember where they stopped, come back to that spot the next time they could. They wrote on me, to make them remember certain special parts of me.  Now I don’t even get picked up,noticed, or held, I am just collecting dust and there’s nothing I can do about it. I made my mark on this here shelf, and I guess I have no choice but to stay here.

This new technology is all that you care about. You think, because things are new, you can just forget about us.  You picked me up, used me, had me in your ownership for almost a month, this hasn’t been done in a long time. So I thought; wait, there could be a change. I mean if you could pick me up, and everybody would see that I am still useful, then they would start doing the same. But noooo, you made me feel something, and then you left me. I am going to have to sit here for months, knowing that people could be talking about me behind my back. They could say stuff like, “Why am I still on a shelf, I deserve to be in the trash, theres no use in me after these computers. “

Don’t you remember when you would pull me out of that same bookbag, open me up, laugh, cry and read between my lines? You expect me to just...just forget about all that we had.

People forget these days about the value of books. We let you cry on us as we embrace your pain, soaking up whatever emotions we are making you go through. Computers don’t do that, you have to wipe away your own tears. Technology has a force field that can’t be reckoned with while you still open yourselves to it. We let you mark on us, ruin us, break us to what can make you happy, when we aren’t good enough for you. When you see the parts of us that makes you want to cry, you understand the truth in us. A truth so strong you feel it.  You can’t do that with laptops, televisions and smartphones. Smartphones aren’t the only things that are smart. Plus don't these electronics need that thing called “wifi. ”

You know what, go on, I don’t care, I have been sitting on this shelf for a while now, I am getting used to it, I don’t need your love, or whatever you needed me for. Go on your ibooks and apple macs. I will stay here with my full battery when you need me after your electronics die.

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Canvas of George Washington

  This is a canvas of George Washington after the Battle of Princeton. It was painted by none other than Charles Wilson Peale. In 1764, Charles gained a reputation for his art during the Revolutionary movement. He was very eager to bring his fame to Virginia, but the Governor sent him to go study more art under a fellow american with a studio in London. His patriotic passions were also heightened during those years. So he resolved to dedicate himself to helping to secure America's freedom. 

   This painting was very important because this was the time America was battling for their freedom. Peale had to keep a close eye on Washington in variety of situations. An example of that is when Washington conferred with the Congress in Philadelphia to discuss a war strategy for the future. Peale was painting the canvas of Washington while he was serving with the Continental Army. Basically he had a certain amount of hours to get it finished. 

   This canvas is related to any other pantings in art history. The reason is because canvases are painted in a variety of mediums. They all have different shades of colors. For example in the Peale's painting of Washington is in a brighter tone on the canvas while the background has a darker tone. That is common aspect in a canvas, which is the person having a lighter tone and the middle ground and background having darker tones to make the person stand out more. You need to have darker tones on the background because the first thing your eyes need to hit it the most important thing, which is the person who is being assembled. 

   There is a reason why I choose this exact piece of art. Its because I like American history. A common thing that comes up in my mind about American History is George Washington. I wanted to do research and find a specific piece of artwork of George Washington. This one Charles Wilson Peale painted is one of the common ones because remember this was the time Washington was leading the Continental Army. 

   Basically what I learned from this was that when a person is being painted on canvas they have to be in brighter colors to actually make your eyes catch them first before they start moving everywhere around the canvas. I also learned little history about Peale and how served and painted this exact canvas at the same time. Usually when anyone looks at art you need to know the certain aspects of it was created. Also the history of because every type of art has history to it!


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Music Therapy

Music Therapy

Most people today, for better or for worse, know what therapy is—either because they need it or because someone they know does.  Few people think of therapy as being anything except talking to a therapist about one’s feelings and problems, which is called psychotherapy or “talking” therapy.  Less common forms of therapy, such as art and play therapies, offer more engaged and less abstract ways to connect with the same problems.  They use physical and visual tools, such as creating paintings in the case of art therapy (“What Is…?”), and using puppets to represent real life situation in the case of play therapy (“How Does…?”).  Even lesser known than these therapies is music therapy, which uses music in several ways to achieve similar goals as art therapy, play therapy, or psychotherapy.  It is not often heard about in the everyday world, making it at first seem much less professional or official than other forms of therapy.  However, music therapy actually is a well-researched and effective form of therapy.  Although music therapy is not yet widely known, it can be a more effective tool for those who need a more concrete way to connect with their emotions than standard "talking" therapy.

Every music therapist must have completed an accredited program for a Master’s degree in Music Therapy.  Strategies used in music therapy include expressing emotions through playing a variety of instruments, uninterrupted listening sessions of music chosen by the patient, and combined listening and discussion sessions with music chosen by the therapist (“Music Therapy and…”).  One might assume that music therapy is purely used for psychological and emotional problems, as many popular forms of therapy are.  Surprisingly, though, music therapy can be used for physical and social problems as well.  This therapy can be and is used with people of all ages, and on a huge variety of patients.  Some examples of when music therapy is used and who it is used on are people with Alzheimer’s disease (elderly people), young children (as young as two or three years), and people diagnosed on the autism spectrum.  In one type of music therapy session, the patient will use easy

The first acknowledgements of the value of “talking” psychotherapy were in the 1800s (Haggerty), and the first documented instance of music therapy was in 1789 (“History of…”).  However, music had been thought of as potentially healing as early as the writings of Aristotle and Plato (“History of…”).  Talking therapies are pretty much exclusively just what they sound like—talking to a trained professional about one’s problems (“Talking Therapies”).  In contrast, music therapy incorporates both playing music and listening to music, as well as some discussion components.  Talking therapies generally only work with cognitively developed/present people, eliminating both young children and elderly people with severe Alzheimer's disease or similar conditions.  Music therapy, however, can be used in such a way so that it does not require completely developed or healthy minds, opening the range of possible patients greatly.  

A  more specific and concrete example of a group of people who can be helped with music therapy is people diagnosed on the autism spectrum.  In 1995, three scientists tested the effectiveness of music therapy on an autistic three-year-old girl, and her interactions with her mother (Khetrapal 12.).  At the end of the experiment, the little girl showed significant signs of improvement in several social areas, including eye contact with her mother.  When they checked back with her after two years, the improvements had stayed with her.  This sort of case is a combination of both a very young patient and a mentally and socially disabled patient, neither of which could have been helped much by talking therapy.  

People who need a more concrete way to connect with their feelings and emotions need and deserve the same level of therapeutic attention as everyone else.  Music therapy is one way to achieve social and mental goals with these sorts of patients that are important to their qualities of life.  Most people, don’t go into a therapist’s office knowing how to perfectly express their thoughts and feelings.  But everyone has a natural emotional response to music that can be a powerful way of connecting with unconscious thoughts and worries.  

Works Cited

Haggerty, Jim, M.D. "History of Psychotherapy." Psych Psych Central, 30 Jan.

2013. Web. 05 Oct. 2014.

"History of Music Therapy." American Music Therapy Association. American Music Therapy

Association, n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2014.

"How Does Therapeutic Play Work?" Play Therapy International, n.d. Web.

06 Oct. 2014.

Khetrapal, Neha. "Why Does Music Therapy Help in Autism?" Empirical Musicology Review 4

(2009): 11-12. Knowledge Bank. Web. 5 Oct. 2014.

"Music Therapy and Mental Health." American Music Therapy Association, Inc. (n.d.): n. pag.

American Music Therapy Association. American Music Therapy Association. Web. 5

Oct. 2014.

Silverman, Michael J. "Psychiatric Patients' Perception of Music Therapy and Other

Psychoeducational Programming." Journal of Music Therapy 43.2 (2006): 111-19.

Pubmed. Web. 5 Oct. 2014.

"Talking Therapies." Mental Mental Health Foundation, n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2014.

"What Is Art Therapy?" American Art Therapy Association, 2013. Web. 6 Oct.

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Q1 Art

Over the past quarter, I have been doing a lot of new art work.For instance the ceiling tile was something I always wanted to do. I saw everyone else's work and was inspired to do one of my own.Being the first piece of art work I did this quarter, it was my favorite. I also loved working with paint and though it was different painting a ceiling tile I still enjoyed it. I think that art should be fun to do, no matter how it is done.

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Quarter One Passive Portfolio Alexis Dean

When I first started art, I choose the more lax path choice because I was nervous to be in senior art because I really feel like I lack artistic ability. I was really excited when Ms. Hull introduced the track system because it allowed me to express myself through art without having to be Picasso. I do not come from an artistic background so this was a little new to me. 

What I like about art is that I can be free to produce a medium in any way that I like, however there is no judgement. I don't have to worry about people questioning my work because it is how I see what I portrayed through my view. I enjoy having the freedom to look at the assignment list and create my own work. 

I choose to do two ceiling tiles because I really got into them. It was something that allowed me to show off how artistic I can be and have it displayed for the world to see. 

I look forward to the future of my art class because I will be able further express myself and become a better artist even when I didn't think I could. 
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