Identity and belonging Podcast

So My goal for this podcast was to be able to relate heroes to identity and how heroes can have impact on them. I thought that getting an interview from both of my parents and see how their experiences with people who they considered their heroes impacted them and their identities. I was then going to say my piece with the whole matter and what I learned from the experience of making this podcast  
What I had found that was very easy would be the interviews. They were very opening and brought up some interesting points or stories that I feel really helped me make my podcast more creative. They really helped to inspire me for how the podcast could. What I thought that was really challenging would be the amount of editing that I had to do. I really underestimated the work that I had to put in to make this podcast really good. I feel like it was worth it though. 

Identity and Belonging Podcast

In both my advanced essay and podcast I discussed whether or not a person can change their identity. My goal for the podcast was to get as many interviews as I could and use all those interviews to show the listeners why I believe change doesn't exist. I didn't necessarily want to convince the listeners that I was right and they were wrong, I just wanted them to give another perspective and opinion a chance, and whether they believe me or not, that was up to them. Unfortunately, all my interviews were so great and full of information and stories that I was only able to use two. I made sure that I included the stories of my interviewees so that listeners could connect with them. If listeners can't connect with anything in my podcast, than they wouldn't be compelled to listen to the entire thing. 

The podcast itself took a long time to make, and was very frustrating. I probably listened to each interview five times, and the shortest interview I had was ten minutes, so you could understand my frustration of having to listen to the same thing over and over again for three hours. Next came the deciding factor of whether or not I wanted to use certain information/recording (because I had a lot of good stuff to use). Making a podcast definitely takes patience, and it's a lot of hard work that I was definitely was not anticipating. The final product turned out alright, but I know that I can do much better. The final product wasn't too bad considering it was my first podcast. 

The Namesake vs. Media

Throughout current culture in America, and arguably all over the world, communication is constantly evolving, and so are the mediums we all choose to express ourselves. Instead of walking up to each other and establishing a connection, or explaining to each other why we like the things we do, we just read it, maybe in the 140 characters of a tweet, or the 150 characters of an Instagram bio. The information we choose to post or the media we share with our followers is our definition of ourselves, ‘This is what you see, and that is how I want you to see me.’ In other cultures names or titles define who people are, what relationships they will have, and can convey storybooks worth of information, with just a few syllables. For the purposes of this paper the culture that will be examined is that of Bengali individuals and their lives portrayed when immigrating to America in the book, The Namesake written by Jhumpa Lahiri.

The main character, Nikhil Gangoli spends the entire book agonizing over his name, torn between his inherited Bengali culture, and his born to America lifestyle he spends all his time letting his name define him. He thinks people don’t take him seriously because of his name, originally Gogol, when he finds out, or rather as the reader you find out the only person not taking him seriously, or constantly doubting every move he makes, is himself.

“He is afraid to be Nikhil, someone he doesn't know. Who doesn't know him...It's a part of growing up, they tell him, of being a Bengali.” (Chapter 3 Paragraph 13) This quote taken from The Namesake is from Gogol’s early youth, when he gets renamed from his pet name, Gogol. Originally he is not fond of this name, because it is unfamiliar and uncomfortable for him to change what everyone calls him, his life title. So as a young boy, he chooses to stay Gogol, which later on he regrets, thinking his pet name is stupid, and changes it back to Nikhil. This back and forth struggle over, what people will call him, how people will view him, and the struggle of defining himself through a title that, at the end of the day doesn’t matter is the biggest theme of the book, and for many throughout their entire lives.

Through the way media has evolved, to include every part of our lives, people no longer know what it is to define one’s self, everyone simplifies and belittles what and who they are, to be interesting at a glance. This makes everything less meaningful, when people throughout the world should be able to just embrace their complexities. In a recent podcast titled, Finding the Self in Selfie (This American Life, 2015) a few teenage girls were talking about their experiences and familiarity with the rules of interacting on Instagram, and what it means to comment or double tap.

“Especially because we, like just started High school, so we’re meeting a lot of new people, so you would comment on someone’s photo who you’re not really super close with or that you don’t know really well, and it's sort of a statement, like, ‘I wanna be friends with you’ or ‘I wanna get to know you’ or like, ‘I think you’re cool’. If someone that you don’t know very well commented on your photo, it's sort of like an unspoken agreement that you have to comment back on their photo. Like when you’re making new friends, if they comment on your photo, you comment on their photo.”

 Almost to say that the way to meet new people and force friendships is through your online persona, how you present, or even more to the point, sell yourself. Later in the interview the incoming freshman girls admit, that the way you present yourself online, is almost like you’re marketing yourself, like you are the product, manager, and the marketing team, trying to keep people interested and concerned with knowing about you and your life. Squeezing anything cool or notable about yourself into an Instagram bio, or caption, and sticking a filter on a group picture of your friends having “Tons of fun!” being the only thing keeping us, in this generation current. And beyond that, people making friends and even romantic partners or hookups in the private message sections, or DMs of Instagram.

“...I tell her, don't you hate when you get screenshot, Bitch that DM wasn't for everybody, I love tha gram I love tha gram, I'm addicted to it I know I am...” A piece of a very popular rap right now, brought to us by Yo Gotti, who may not be a credible source at first glance, but as a voice for the young of this generation, and the behavior now known as normal, very trustworthy. People being debased to a steady photostream on their phones. This is being highly studied all over the world, and the impact of the internet in general on the mass public has been scrutinized by many since the mid 90’s, but the most powerful words, come from an actress, a media personality, and someone you think would be completely uninvolved in public speaking, Thandie Newton, who in her thirteen minute TED Talk addressed embracing self, and otherness.

“We each have a self, but I don’t think that we’re born with one...The fundamental state of ‘oneness’ is lost on us very’s no longer valid, or real...” This transition from having a fundamental sense of ‘oneness’ to being completely withdrawn from everything comes quickly, almost without warning. Unfortunately though, most young adults choose to isolate themselves into different internet profiles in an attempt to recreate that oneness through a self-constructed image that in truth can never fully capture their entire presence. That being said, this trend will likely never end, but the self imposed need to sell ourselves on our media will hopefully be less impending through the different voices pointing out this almost self destructive behavior.


Ghosts in the Machine, NY Times

Quotes from The Namesake

Thandie Newton: Embracing otherness, embracing myself. (TED Talk)

This American Life: Status Update

Yo Gotti, Down in the DM

Identity and Belonging Podcast

My goal for this project was to give an immigrant’s perspective on identity and belonging. I interviewed my mother who was born in the United States but grew up in Ecuador. I focused on how immigrants begin to feel that they belong in a new country.
Interviewing went well; I enjoyed getting to know more about my mother’s past and identity. It was hard to cut all of the clips exactly the way I wanted them. It was also hard to decide what parts of the interview to include. I learned a lot of new things about storytelling and what makes a story compelling.


Identity And Belonging Podcast

My goal in my podcast Is to focus on how Haisha see herself vs how other people see her and how she identifies identity. She focused more on a personal experiences to better express what she knows and to inform everyone real life issues people are going through. I am proud that I get to have her talk about an experience that she has struggled with personally. This podcast is a common topic nowadays and I wanted to get the point across that we live in a place where you get judge no matter what you look like or how you are their is always someone there to bring you down but you just have to ignore the others on what they say because you know who you are and that's all that matters.

Working on this podcast was a really great experience. I feel like hearing her talk about her situations made me realize how people are judging on something that means so much to a person. I got to connect with Haisha personally from this and I feel like I'm not alone with the situations I went through because now I know others go through it too. I feel like creating this podcast overall and adding the final touches went really well.

Identity and Belonging Podcast- Michaela

I wanted to create a podcast that deals with the reality of dealing with stereotypes and societal pressures to be and act a certain way. I interviewed Amanda Bolli and Chelsea Middlebrooks about their experience with both those things. They talked about what they've experienced and growing up the immense pressure on them from their moms. They also spoke about what it's like to be a woman in the world.

This project was frustrating to work on, because I didn't have any story to focus on. Instead, I focused on the emotions and experiences of these to girls. I was interested in working on it, but I'll admit, I am far more interested in telling stories on a written format. Editing was frustrating, but it was done, as well as finding music.
Identity and Belonging

Identity and Belonging Podcast - Chiara Nemati

My goal for this project was to share my fathers story about moving to America. He is an immigrant from Iran, who can here to study and escape the war. He ended up living here for more than half his life. I wanted to create a story that displayed the struggles that immigrants go through and help others see his journey to success. 

Overall, I think I created a nice piece. I was able to get the stories I wanted to share and structure them in a way that flowed. I had a little bit of difficulty with Garageband and feel that my editing skills can be improved on. My editing process was not the smoothest but writing out a script really helped me when I needed to cut information out and decide what to keep. 
baba english 3 Q2 BM - 1_29_16, 1.25 PM

Identity and Belonging Podcast - Katarina

What I wanted to accomplish was to get my stepdad to say an interesting story about how his identity was shaped. This was in response to the question: "Who is the person who influenced your identity the most?" This story was the answer to that question, and it was 10 minutes linger, but I had to cut it. 

I do good in the interview, were I got my stepdad to easily speak for the whole 45 minutes, were he told a few good and long stories. Something I could have done better, was made sure that my voice was the same loudness as his. Something I would do differently if I were to redo this project is I would ask him to conclude too.

Identity & Belonging Podcast - Jun-Jie Zou

English Podcast
    Since this was my first time turning a long interview into a short podcast, you can say that my goal was to be able to cut things down and have it still make sense. It was most definitely a lot of work, but I felt like it came out pretty satisfying considering the fact that I am not very good with editing audio. 
     I think the most difficult part is to cut down on the amazing things my interviewee said. As a matter of fact, I had to pass the limit because I was not fully able to cut down some things. But I don't feel like my audience will be bored out because he is speaking from his raw experience. I thought that I did a really good job with music selection. I felt as though the tone of my music was very mysterious and calmly suspenseful. I don't want my music to be very hard and violent, although the things my interviewee talked about has a lot of violent in it, because the topic that I chose to write about isn't something that should be intensely hyped up on. 

Identity in the System

For my podcast, I looked at how the system set up by society shapes peoples identity. For this, I interviewed many people and asked how they identified themselves. I focused on my mother, who immigrated from Liberia, and  how she grew up with strong traditional systems in her family. She goes into detail about how she was able to claim her own identity in a system that tried to give her an identity.
The process of the podcast was not that challenging. However when it came to the editing part, it was hard to know when and where to cut off. The easiest and the best part was finding and using music to be transitions or backgrounds of my podcast. I was able to choose music to fit my entire theme of my podcast and it shows in how the transition were smooth.

Darius Purnell Quarter 2 Slideshow

For my art pieces I wanted to keep everything an action/superhero theme.

For my Art Collage, I gathered as many pictures I could fit of the Avengers in different poses and looks. I then went back and drew the Avengers logo. I didn’t really have a certain way I organized the pictures, I started with just placing them in the corners, then from there I just randomize it.

The next art piece is a Fabric. I wanted to stick to my theme of superheros, so I drew a cape and shaded shadows and the curves. Then I drew a mesh shirt under it.

For my following piece, I edited a picture I took near 30th and market. To further my theme of action, I tried to edit the picture to look like a zombie movie.

My final piece is of the logo for one of my favorite shows, Video Game High School (VGHS), this show is full of action and I thought for my free draw it would be a good conclusion to quarter’s art pieces.

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 259

The passage below is what I believe was cut from McCarthy’s The Road:

I watched the boy, his words struck me, he had matured. I wanted to say something but I had no words. The boy wouldn’t talk to me anyway. I looked back the man was standing where I had left him, naked. Even from this far away I could tell how gaunt he was. I averted my gaze and looked at the boy who was now quietly sobbing. I wish he would stop. I continued to watch the boy as he slothed along. The man felt warm arm arise in his throat. He put his hand to his mouth trying to suppress the cough, but it only muffled it. His paced slowed.

“Stop trying to protect me and cough.” 

By the time I removed my hand my cough had slithered back down my throat, all that was left was the blood on my hand. He knew. He knew I wasn’t doing well. I could feel the boy’s eyes watching me think. The boy wouldn’t last long after I was gone. Stripping that man’s clothing made me a bad guy in the boy’s eyes. We wouldn’t have gotten this far without being eaten or shackled if I thought/acted like the boy every thought, intention, tear based solely on others.

Here is the rationale for the choices I made

I placed my creative piece on page 259 on McCarthy’s The Road, right underneath the part when the boy says: I am the one. I chose this part of the book because this scene was so powerful to me. I want to go more indepth in showing how the boy and the man are so different,  and how their means of survival differ. I wanted this scene to start off where McCarthy left off. In the beginning scene the father is contemplating his relationship with the boy after making that man strip down. On page 259 McCarthy shows the boy sobbing and looking back at the man and letting his father know that he was the one who has to worry, which I believe is the most powerful thing the boy said in the book. It lets us know that the boy is beginning to realize he is going to be on his own.

My essential question was: What does it mean to survive. This question had been something that I’d thought a lot about when reading The Road. Throughout the book we have seen the boy show compassion over and over again just as we’ve seen the man do whatever needs to be done to keep him and the boy alive. I thought it was interesting to see the boy stick up for the people his father was going to harm. I decided to elaborate on this scene further because it was in my mind a perfect example of the boy sticking up for the person his father was going to harm. I wanted to give more insight on the father's thoughts. I want to make sure that people understand the importance of this page, of this scene, and I thought that a good way to show this was by writing from the the perspective of the father.

I started my creative piece out with the father reacting to what the boy said: “I am the one.” I wanted the father react to what the boy said to the fact that he had show compassion again toward someone who had taken something from them. I wanted the boy to lash out to show that he didn't need his father to take care of him anymore, to let his father know that he could take care of himself. I noticed that McCarthy didn’t have the father express his feelings or opinions on the boy’s compassion in the book that often and that is something that I would have liked to see more of. I had the boy lash out at his father in my creative scene.

Senior Art Q2

This quarter in senior art, I really learned a lot about my artistic ability. I was happy to see that there were tequniques to sketching, and I remembered parts of art that I forgot about. 
In quarter two, we did a lot of art history work, but most of the quarter we did art work. We drew drawing of ferns, mine being in charcoal. We also did Golden ratio pieces. It was interesting to learn all about the golden ratio, I did not know you incorporated math into art. We then focused on block printing. We sketched our block prints, did the negative sketches, then molded them, getting them ready for printing. It was extremely fun, and cool!
My favorite art piece was my fern drawing. I like how I used the charcoal to shade in the fern, and it looked really realistic. I worked hard on, and dedicated time on it. 
My second favorite piece was my golden ratio drawing. I put a lot of work into it, and I was really proud with my detail. I shaded the colors of the snow, and it was very soft looking, rather than hard, and blotchy. 

Women and the Hijab

This radio piece summarizes the struggles and misconceptions of Muslin women wearing the hijab. This topic is special and important because of the many muslims who are passionate about covering, thrones who sacrifice their lives to cover and the people who just don’t understand.  We conducted a series of interviews, in an attempt to uncover the mindset behind those who seek clarity. 
Women and the Hijab

Q2 Art Portfolio

I’m in 11th grade and in the class of advance art. I love working on art pieces even though I’m not good at drawing. This is quarter 2 I did about 4 major projects. I think I improve on my art skill and drawing from the first quarter because of all the new things I have learned. The first major project was the collage. My collage was the different type of shoes and boots. My second major project was fabric. I used my mom bed and fabric to follow along. Then, my third major project was my photo editing. I took a picture of me on facebook and editing it by smuggling the background of the photo. Lastly, my last project was my Illustration. In my Illustration was my drawing of my friends and I were a front of my chinese store playing football. Football is my life and very meaningful to me and always will be. I trying to keep on improving on all my art skills and hopefully they will more in the 3 quarter..

Identity and Belonging Podcast-Aaron Watson-Sharer

I conducted a podcast with an immigrant from Burma who was a refugee in Thailand. My goal was to share his story and for many others to show what many immigrants go through in their life and adjusting to our society. I focused my question on his life in a linear fashion which he gave some bold responses to. Making the podcast I wanted to provide a real summary on his life and the difficulties attached with it.

Making videos and podcasts were nothing new, so what went well was producing a podcast. I believe the interview went well, it was a wonderful conversation with many stories that were unique. Some struggles I went through are with the audio, which was sometimes hard to use because we made this podcast in a Panera. I really learned about the life in refugee camps and life as a U.S immigrant in Philadelphia.

Identity and Belonging Podcast

My goal was to interview my mother who has an extensive background connecting to my theme of the assignment. “...being an African-American female in today’s society is challenging. There are so many expectations you are meant to uphold, foremost as you carry yourself can be a large factor in how you thrive in society. Today there are so many ways an African-American woman can be portrayed through so many different lens’.” There were so many ways that I could’ve made my piece flow, such as with one whole story or with multiple pieces. I chose to have multiple pieces strategically put together to describe a point that african-american women are more than just a stereotype. In my footage that I polished and finalize, I could connect to all requirements of the podcast (dramatic arc, story and background music).

As I worked on this project, I choose to take a different step during the process. I wrote my log and took away footage to shorten it and “make things easier for myself.” I think that it worked fairly effectively. There were some technical difficulties when I put some parts together. In addition to my final piece, there was a large spike in the sound during my first narration. I struggled with fixing it. Also limiting background noise in my house was a bit difficult because a part of our house was being constructed during the time I recorded. However, overall I think that my final piece is polished and great, despite the tech difficulties.

Gentrification Radio Piece

Our goal was to make a radio story about one specific example of how the mechanism of gentrification works. We wanted to represent the perspectives of people who have had to move in less than ideal circumstances, and the perspectives of the new families who are moving into houses in gentrified areas as well as anyone else involved in or knowledgeable about the process of gentrification.

Gent. Piece Take One

Gentrification Radio Piece

By Josh Berg, Aaron Block, Stephanie Dyson, Veronica Nocella, Anna Sugrue

Our goal was to make a radio story about one specific example of how the mechanism of gentrification works. We wanted to represent the perspectives of people who have had to move in less than ideal circumstances, and the perspectives of the new families who are moving into houses in gentrified areas as well as anyone else involved in or knowledgeable about the process of gentrification.

Gent. Piece Take One

McCarthy Unabridged: The Road, Page 283

The creative scene below was crafted in order to relay what in what my mind had imagined to have been cut from McCarthy's finished version of The Road

I am carrying the fire. But my fire is not the fire you carry. 
Your fire is different?
Yes. Everyone carries a different fire. Even your papa carried a different fire. 
Papa and I carry the same fire. We are both good guys. 
No you were your papa’s fire. He was carrying you. You need to figure out what your fire is. 
But we all have to carry the same one. That’s why we are god guys.
There are no good guys. 
My papa was a good guy. I’m a good guy. We don’t eat people. 
Eating people makes you a bad guy? 
How about killing people?
Did your papa ever kill anyone? 
Yes. But only because he had to. A bad guy tried to hurt me. 
Well doesn’t that make him a bad guy too?
I don’t know. 
It doesn’t. 
It doesn’t? 
No. There are no good or bad guys. Just guys trying to survive. Trying to protect their fires.
And my papa was protecting me? 
Yes. You were his fire. 
So it doesn’t matter that he killed someone? 
No because he had to. You were his fire, his reason to live and he couldn’t let his fire go out. 
So sometimes good guys do bad things. 
So you really can’t tell the difference. 
No because there is none. 
No good guys or bad guys?
Just guys trying to live. 
Just protecting their fires. 
Yes. Everyone is just protecting their own, sundry fires. 

Included below is a rationale explaining every choice made for the scene crafted above. 

The scene crafted tackles the theme of morality that lingers in such a deranged world. At this point in the book, the boy has met a man willing to take him in, but the boy is determining whether or not he can be trusted. The scene is placed on page 283, in which the book is almost through, in order to show how much older the boy has gotten by the end. It uses this boy’s development of maturity and understanding throughout the book to ease into one of the longest dialogues seen yet. This directly shows the growth of the boy’s character, but does as well entail a lot about the father’s, despite his absence. The man in this scene begins to explain more to the boy in one conversation about the world in which they live than his father had throughout the entirety of the book. This portrays the innocence his father wanted him to keep despite the world they’re living in. It shows the protectiveness his father had of not only his physical being, but of his uncorrupted mind. The addition of the new scene graffles with the question of whether or not there is a difference between good and bad guys in such a world by determining how this fire that everyone seems to be carrying affects their morals. This scene uses the recurring concept of “carrying the fire” to help prove that there is in fact no good or bad guys, just people trying to survive, and in order to survive they need to keep this fire alive. In the scene, the boy is forced to reflect back to a time in which his own father killed someone, causing for him to argue his own definition of what a good guy is. He knows his father was forced to kill the man in order to protect him, and so the man helps to explain that it’s because he was his father’s fire and so it was his job to keep him alive. By keeping the boy alive, he was keeping himself alive because everyone’s fire is their reason for fighting, reason for living. The man goes on to explain that everyone’s fire is different. Everyone is carrying their own fire in which they prioritize over anything else in order to keep themselves going, meaning that sometimes they will be forced to do things considered wrong. The man uses the word sundry to describe the fires. Sundry, meaning several, is most commonly used to describe ingredients, such a herbs, crafting the concept that everyone’s fire is like their own special ingredient. And so, without these fires, no one would be the same. 

Cormac McCarthy "The Road" Page 220

What am I going to say to him?

Don’t worry about that.

We just turn around and you leave that easily?

This is hard for me too. I didn’t want to bring him into this craziness.

You said everything would be okay but look outside. What do you see? I see an absence of color. No life. Just us. How can we survive this for any longer. You will be better off without the stress of me on your back.


The boy peeks his head out of his room, disrupting the man and woman.  

Come. Your mother has to talk to you.

The woman looks at the man.

Do you think this is not hard for me?

Look at me baby this is a little hard for me.

What is it mommy?

This isnt mommy saying she doesnt love you. I have to go away for a while, don’t come looking for me. I am okay. You are going to spend most of your days with your father.

Why do you have to go?

You will find out later on in life.

I love you. Okay.

Okay. I love you too.

The man rolls over and looks at the boy.

Good morning papa.

Good morning.

Did you dream about Momma?


I miss her.


Do you miss her?


Do you think she loves me?



Okay. Go back to sleep now.


The man rolls over and pulls the cover and blue tarp over the boy.

Identity and Belonging Podcast

My goal for this project was to make an interesting podcast that shows how religion can be incorporated into a person’s identity. Though my podcast is different from my essay, it still shows the different things that add onto a person’s identity. SInce I had 45 minutes worth of raw footage, it took awhile to cut and edit everything down into an eight minute podcast.

While working on the podcast, there were plenty of pauses in the audio that took most of the editing time. Also cutting the story in places that made sense that still kept the flow was a bit hard. During the interview process, preparing enough questions to get 45 minutes was also hard to do so most of my questions came based off of what my interviewee said.

Q2 Art Portfolio

My overall goal for each piece of artwork was to challenge my ideas by not using the first the thought that comes to mind. Instead of my normal black, grey, and white color scheme, I wanted to use much more color and vibrancy in my pieces. I also wanted to include a feminist and peaceful mood for my pieces.

My first piece was my collage that is made with colored pencils, sharpies, and magazine clippings of flowers. I chose to draw a woman with flowers for hair, because I wanted to represent a woman's thoughts that bloom from her mind to create something beautiful and full of life.

For my fabric drawing, I chose to sketch a dress with a shaw in pencil. I wanted to include many folds and focus on shading to make the drawing have a three dimensional and realistic look. I used a dress to include a feminine element instead of just drawing a random piece of fabric.

As for my edited photo, I took a picture of my favorite ornament on my Christmas tree. I thought that it would make a nice photo, because of the glass, the shape of the ornament, the designs on the ornament, and the lights under the ornament. I wanted to use a black and white filter to try to accentuate the light, highlight the birds and flower, and make the picture look peaceful and elegant.

Lastly, for my illustration, I drew a picture inspired by the Divergent book series which I currently cannot stop reading. The circles with symbols represent the society's factions of society in the book. I chose to write Divergent next to the faction to make it clear what piece of literature the drawing is about. I also tried to blend the colors of the factions into the letter to have the word flow with the faction symbols.

What is the Benefit of Standardized Testing?

     Seniors at Science Leadership Academy, Hannah Nicoletti and Zoe Schwingel-Sauer are pressing the issue of standardized testing. They are stressing the frustrations of students that take standardized tests every year and don’t end up with results that accurately reflect their work ethic. As students currently going through the testing and application process Zoe and Hannah feel they are the perfect people to represent the rest of the class of 2016 as well as future generations.


The Hipster In The World-A Radio Story.

This radio work was done with having one goal in mind. That goal was to get people to think differently about hipsters and what they bring to the table. It's focused on how people define the term "Hipster" And offered a different perspective on the topic. I talked to various people in the SLA community, and gave an interesting idea on the whole idea. In the end, I'm proud to debut my piece.