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Language Autobiography 2013: Shielded

In this unit, we had learned how language is one of your main identities besides race. Our class had read several essays relating to language identity in people's lives. This benchmark was to write about a time in your life where your language affected a big part of your identity. I have learned a deeper understanding of how I reacted to words that I was shielded from.


Communication can be very complicated. Especially when you are shielded from the harmful parts of languages during your early years and then having that shield break, which causes those harmful words to be able to reach your ears. This causes many curious kids to be exposed to a world of offensive language that they have no clue that it is actually offensive.  

I remember when I was in third grade sitting with other third graders while my teacher was teaching us how to do addition when I noticed how my middle finger felt uncomfortable from all the writing we did, so I moved my middle finger upwards and the other fingers back into a fist-state and pressed my middle finger onto the table. I did a few “push-ups” with the finger before one of the girls turned around and saw it. I looked at her with a slightly laughing “what” expression, her expression was different. She looked surprised. That’s when she said to me “Ooooo! I am telling the teacher!”. I didn’t understand, what was wrong about having only my middle finger up? She got up and ran to the teacher, telling about what I did. I got up and walked to the teacher, still thinking about how is it wrong, when I then proceeded to ask why it is wrong to have your middle finger up. "Well, the middle finger is like saying a bad word to someone, so never have it up or you can hurt someone's feelings." She said it nicely, knowing that I never knew that I could offend someone with my middle finger.

Looking back on this event, I believe that my parents shielded me heavily from offensive words. That girl who told on me probably used her middle finger often until someone told her that it could hurt other's feelings. I always think that her parents didn't shield her from  offensive language as much as I parents did as she knew about it when I didn't. She must had begun to use these offensive words when she heard of it, not thinking about what it actually means to others. I can understand how parents don't want their children to learn any offensive words, so they try to hide them from this type of world. But I think that’s a bad idea, because sooner or later, they will learn these words and use them unaware of the meaning behind it. Rather than shielding children entirely from these words, we should teach them about the words before they learn of it from other sources, because if we teach them about it, then they will be prepared and know what to do when they hear it because they will know what it means.

There was a time in fifth grade where I learned how bad the consequences of saying an offensive word could be. I was outside waiting in line for our teachers to take us in one day, and I turned around to talk to another student in my class. He was a white Russian kid,  slightly taller than me, he cursed every now and then. Before I got a chance to talk to him, another student began to yell at him about something. I didn’t want to get involved as they look liked that were about to fight. A few second later, the russian student pointed at the other student aggressively and said “Fuck you!” I thought that he could have done that better, so I thought showing him a better way would be a great idea. I went to him and said “Let me show you how you could have done that better.” I then proceeded to put on an aggressive expression, pointed my finger out with a fast aggressive force, turned to my right and said "Fuck you!". It sounded pretty brutal to me, I even felt proud about it.

I realized who I manage to point to out of everyone, my mom. My mom had a very mad look and was coming towards me . "I'm dead" I said quietly. When she was a few inches away from me, she said "When you get home, dad is going to beat your ass like no tomorrow." She didn't yell it, but said it with anger.

This is the first moment in my life where I realized that the offensive word I had said came with great consequences. A quote that I had found while reading a story, called “Aria” by Richard Rodriguez, made me think deeper into this event of my life. The quote was “ I was a listening child...” (13). This quote made me feel that I was also “a listening child”, because I would always try to hear what people said around me. I heard words like “fuck” being used often in these conversations, so I thought words like “fuck” were ok to say. The environment that I was in exposed me to such words, but my parents never told me that the offensive words I heard were  actually offensive.


Rodriguez, Richard. Hunger of Memory. Boston: David R. Godine, 1982. Print.

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You gucci?

Let me start of by saying, I do not consider myself the best speaker or writer. I am a big person and I been told that I do not have a deep voice for my size. There were times where I would call a company about my phone issues and they would call me, “Mrs.“  What happened was I once had a track phone. I had to call to put my minutes on there. So I called the company as I was supposed to. I did all the things they asked me to do. Then the customer service person got on the phone.

I said, “Hello, I am trying to put minutes on my phone.”

Her response was. “Hello Miss, allow me to help you with this.”

When she said that, I was like dang, my voice is really light.

I started to actually play sports when I was in the 8th grade. Unfortunately, I would get hurt a lot. I would tell my mom about my problems. I would point at the pain and she would say speak.

"Mom, I got a fast break steal in my basketball game. I had the defender beat. I went up for the lay-up and I came down on my ankle wrong and it hurtted…"

"Hurtted? What the hell is hurtted? It is not a word babe,” as she interrupted me.

Oh well, I did not know that. I was in pain, not anymore. So I thought I would put the "ed" at the end?

" No babe," she said as she started to laugh.

            My mom is big on speaking. She believes my siblings and I should speak properly. She really does not like us using slang unless we joking. I am the child that uses a lot of slang because of my generation. Not saying it’s a bad thing, it’s the way we communicate with each other. But when I use slang with my mom she looks confused, like a freshman in Spanish 4, and they never learned Spanish.

“ Hey son how was your day?” My mother asked me as we ride in the car.

“ It was Gucci…,” I responded, as she interrupts me.

“ What in the hell is Gucci?”

“ It means good mom,” as I laughed.

“ Why didn’t you just say good?”

“ Who uses good anymore?” I asked with a smile on my face.

“ Okay Allen,” as she answered her phone.

It’s not that my mom is left in the past, it’s that she don’t pay me no mind when it comes to that type of stuff. But she does catch on to stuff quickly. She proved that after  my game with my team called Rise-up.

I asked “How did I do?”

“ You did Gucci son.”

“ What? When did you start saying that?”

“ But those refs was drawling!”

“Where did all this come from mom? You never used to say this.”

I assume it was a joking moment so it was cool. But in a serious conversation, she would not use slang with me. I see that she was catching on. I did not imagine parents would use slang with their kids, especially not mine because she does not believe in playing with her children. She does not agree with us using with adults. She wants us to have manners. She does not want us to be referred to as a stereotype. For example, she is totally against the stereotype of being a black kid who cannot speak properly. She told me one time that I cannot get a job using slang; like “ Yo homie” or “where my niggas at”. She always says “ Talk like you have some sense.” I never fully understand what she means when she says that. When I talk to her I know what I am talking about. So how am not talking with any sense? She mainly says that to me when I am in trouble, and I start to stutter because I know I was wrong.

My mother always helps me pronounce words. When I am speaking to her, she stops me and tells me the right way to pronounce the word. I correct the word, but at first it is hard. I repeat it until I get it right. I do catch on fast. I still have problems saying words like “spaghetti”. But hey, nobody speaks perfect. To be honest I do not plan on being a broadcaster, so pronouncing things is one of the last things on my list. I am not saying I have a problem with speaking; it’s just that I am not that strong, so I will continue to work on it.

When I do not know how to pronounce a word, I will spell it out to my mom so she can help me with the correct way to say the word. . That helps me a lot. Because I hear the word, then I am able to pronounce it correctly.


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YATW #2 - Teen Pregnancy - Why It's An Issue

Teen Pregnancy : Why It’s an Issue

In 2011 mainly one-third of male and female high school students are sexually active.  seven out of ten teens have had sexually intercourse by the age of 19. Being sexually active at a young age makes you high risk for sexual transmitted diseases (STD’s) . An sexually transmitted disease is from generally from having sexually intercourse.
One out of four teen girls have sexually transmitted diseases do to either unprotected sex or from someone who is passing the disease. There are many different types of STD’s. The most common would be viral and bacterial.

Bacterial Diseases include the following:
1. Chlamydia
2. Gonorrhea
3. Pelvic Inflammatory
4. Syphilis

Viral Disease include the following:   
1. Genital warts
2. Human papillomavirus
3. Hepatitis B
4. Hepatitis C
5. HIV/AID (Human immunodeficiency virus infection / Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome)
6. Genitals herpes

Peer pressure plays a big part in an individuals life. Studies show that boys are more in favor of being pressured to have sex when they are not ready to from other male associates. One in three boy between the age of 15 to 17 admit to have being pressured to have sex. As to the 23% of girls .

Teens now of days think that not just because you use protection you should not have to worry about the consequences. Well they’re wrong! You should not depend on the condom, for it is only a 50 -50 percent chance that it may protect you from getting someone pregnant.

Five Reasons Why A Condom May Fail:
1. The condom was not properly used
2. Breaks during intercourse
3. Not manufactured properly
4. The expiration date has come to pass
5. The condom was damaged after manufacture

The Proper Use of A Condom:
1. Stay away from tearing or breakage when you remove from the concealed package
2. Unroll the condom over the firm penis
3. DO NOT use an oil-based lubricant for this will damage the latex
4. Be sure to always to take off the condom as soon as possible after discharge

You should always expected the unexpected because you never know what may happen if you decide to have sexually inter course at not just a young age but at any age. The younger the age the more risk because you would be in the stages of puberty. Therefore your body is still growing. Waiting to have sex is the right thing to do. There is a time and place for everything you do in life.


Two ways of speaking

Language is different for because how english is written down. I’ve had trouble with English since I could I remember. English is more hard for me to used to because o f the different ways they are spoken I had trouble speaking proper English with my writing everything. I had different kind of english accents and ways of speaking it my whole life.  My way of speaking English is like most people talk, but sometimes I use words that not many people use.  I don’t think I have an accent but some of my family does have an accent like my dad family has the southern accent and sometimes it hard for me to tell what they are saying sometimes but most of the time I can tell what they are saying. Me I still need to speak better english but I got most of english but learning another language is much harder for me because of me having trouble with English in general. In spanish its hard to speak in an accent and writing in spanish is just as hard. Like my language will improve with time but not yet because of the ba thats in front of be not letting me get there. I need to get around that barrier and keep going to my goal but then there are other barriers in my way not letting me and slowing me down, keeping me at bay.

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New and Old Me Slide

In technology we are learning about slides. Going into this topic I felt like I was not going to learn anything because I have been using a laptop and making slides for the past five years. I quickly learned that I had no idea how to make a good slide. The first website we looked at as a class, completely changed how I look at slide design. I originally thought that a slide needed to be captivating and have a lot going on as to draw the viewers attention. I now know that a slide needs to be simple and powerful, so that it gets the point across without being confusing.

Before I thought that a slides job was to get the main point across, and be organized. In my first slide I try to display my name brighter than anything else, while organizing the slide so the viewer can take turns looking at each slide. I now know that the slide should be easy for the viewer to look at. I draw attention to the colors of the symbols in my second slide using the colors of my name.
Me Slide-old
Me Slide-New

Slide 2 All About Me

Hello my name is Marcus Cruz and we received an assignment to create a slide that represent me. Well this is my second slide, my first slide (Click here to view) was more of who I am rather than what I am and what what I want for myself. While making my second slide we had to take criticism from our previous slide to improve our slide. All of my pictures I chose matched what I was trying to show the world and didn't throw off my slide. They matched my color scheme. The background was gray because I think it created contrast with my pictures.
Tech Slide 2
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Tech Slide

I learned that I did my slide totally wrong. I had to redo it with a different picture because the original has a watermark which is bad. 
Untitled 2

All about me

After observing the critiques my classmates received during tech class, I decided to reinvent my slide. I started out by knowing that I wanted to keep the same picture as before, but I wanted the colors to be more eyecatching. So I enhanced the contrast of the slide, bringing out the bright colors. I then deleted the background color of the picture, making it white. After reading the Zen Presentation, I learned that colors such as black and white are good combinations for making something stand out, so I left the background white and since I wanted the text to stand out as well, I made it black. I realized that there was a lot of empty space because of the white, so I used a dark green (matches the plants in the picture) to fill it. This then created a good color combination.
For technology class, Ms. Hull wanted us to create a slide based off of our Coat of Arms from English class. The slide had to send a message, while also being pleasing and not too complicated to the viewer. The image above is the results.

I used a hand balled into a fist, surrounded by beauty because that is what I believe the drawing itself sends a powerful message just by looking at it. Originally, the image's contrast was super high, and because I wanted to give off a relaxed but inspirational feeling to the viewers, I used a cool dark blue tint color. I wanted the color scheme to be in close proximity with one another. I didn't want only the image to send a message, but the quote as well. As as shown, the main colors of this slide are blue, white and navy. The white is the color that stands out the most because it is the lightest in contrast to the others, so I chose to make the text this color in combination with sans serif font which makes the slide easy to read. The images/text are in that certain alignment in a diagonal point of view because that is where I want the viewers eyes to follow. The emptiness in the dark navy blue and supposed to help highlight the main focus of the slide. The size of the font is supposed to help the reader hub on the important parts of the slide. Because we usually read from left to right, it is only natural for the audience to see the picture that way in the beginning. First by seeing my name at the top, followed by a soft, grainy but empowering picture and left with an inspirational quote.

I personally learned a lot from this assignment. It is pretty difficult being a designer that is trying to catch the attention of millions. I also learned why some make the decisions they do and question why they do it. Not to mention it was pretty difficult for me to make a decisions on how I was going to convey my message to the audience.