Advanced Essay #3 : Identity


For my essay I wrote about the identity issues that a lot of Native Americans face. Since Europeans first came to this continent, they have been oppressing Native People. Through hundreds of years of oppression, cultures were hard fought to keep. My essay talks about how Native People claim their identity in a society designed to oppress them. For this essay I wanted to look more into Native American People. I recently re-watched a documentary called Reel Injun. It's about the portrayal of native people in popular movies and film.The movie often connected back to how these movies painted these stereotypes really hurt the communities that today, live in large parts, poverty. My essay is largely inspired by this movie because it goes in depth about stereotypes Native Americans experience.


In October of 2014, a protest was held in Minnesota against the Washington Redskins for their name. The Native American people in attendance shouted “not your mascots!” during a sunday football game in Minnesota. The message of the football team known as the, ‘Redskins’ is considered a hateful and insulting name to native americans. To many people, it perpetuates a negative stereotype surrounding Native Americans. For hundreds of years they have been victims of hate speech and harmful stereotypes; any of which, native youth are fighting to shed to this day. In an article she wrote for The Guardian, Ruth Hopkins talks about the harmful stereotypes that white people (Pretendians) formulate that hurt and offend Native People. By supporting generic, false stereotypes that encourage a belief that Natives are monolithic, all Pretendians commit cultural genocide and contribute to the erasure of legitimate, unique, ancient indigenous cultures while spreading misinformation about us.” Native People have faced this erasure and now, they’re finding ways to reclaim their identity.

For years, native americans have been forced to adhere to western standards of living. This by and large, has had a negative effect on a native communities. Jekeva Phillips wrote, “For Native American people, identity in many respects is a foreign word. Faced with crippling poverty, violent  abuse, and severe alcoholism, Native Americans are kept in a position of dire straits with the American government, and a position of pity with the American public.” Native American people in many ways have been forced into a kind of box when it comes to identity. Forced to be the stoic, brave, warrior or poor, drunk, and unemployed. This stereotype has made Native People feel trapped without many ways to address their identities. In some forms, it makes people turn to ways that may not be helpful to the native communities.

Many Native American tribes require proof of native blood to a certain fraction. To many Native People, they look more white than they do native. In an editorial by cultural survival by an unidentified author the person says, “Identity is an extremely complex issue. Certification of blood quantum is usually required in order to be legally identified as Native American, and some tribes require a certain blood quantum for membership. Informal constraints within the tribe also affect identity as some tribal members with full-blood quantum consider tribal members with mixed ancestry not to be truly "Native American."” This also creates a loss of identity for Native People, not solving the problem of identity within the community. However, some people within this community, have provided an answer.

Hopkins wrote an article for The Guardian, talking about what blood quantum represented to her and many other Native People. “Natives today agree that blood quantum is not the sole determinate of Native identity: kinship is key, because no true Native is an island. We have grandparents and cousins, blood roots and homelands.” Where she finds her identity in family, others find it in culture. “Today, local communities or reservations devote resources to perpetuating oral traditions, their Native language, and activities they regard as traditional.” These ways to experience their identities has helped many Native People with finding themselves.

Ultimately, the way that Native American people claim their identity is up to the individual. For some people, it's about being with your family, experiencing traditions with family. Others find it in their culture, in being apart of their respective tribes. With all the harmful stereotypes that Native People face today, it is important for them to have the ability to point to something tangible for identity. Identity for Native People will continue to evolve. However, it can always connect back to family and culture, whatever tribe you are apart of, identity can be found within the family and culture.

Advanced Essay #3 : Self Awareness and Identity

INTRO: My goals for this paper were to explain to the reader what self-awareness is because it isn't a common topic. At first, this essay was difficult to write since I didn't know how to form my central question around self-awareness, but once I started writing it got a lot easier, especially after I knew exactly what quotes to use.

We all have power. We have the power to create ourselves, reform ourselves, revise our selves, and then to reform ourselves again. In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary identity is defined as “the condition of being oneself or itself, and not another.” Identity is what separates one person from another person and there are many things that influence a person’s identity; from how they were raised, their morals, their goals, the problems they’ve faced, the success they’ve gained, the people they’ve met, where they live, and so much more. Everybody makes mistakes in their life, but it is entirely possible to rectify them because we all have the ability to do so. In connection to this, self-awareness is when we are able to acknowledge and accept our own emotions and see the outcome of them on other people. However, without this self-awareness, it is hard to get over certain problems people may face in life and be good people. Self-awareness can allow people to improve themselves, and their lives if they just put in effort.

In today’s world, there are many people who may be financially struggling. They are oblivious to the fact that their identity is the one that may actually be bringing them down. Siimon Reynolds, who is a business mentor and author, has written about this challenge in his article called “How Your Self Image Determines Your Self Worth.” He speaks about the steps that people should be taken to reform their identity and make more money, “First, they have no idea that their identity is affecting how much they earn. Second, even if they do know, they don’t know what they can do to change their identity.” Siimon is emphasizing that people who are not completely aware of themselves don’t realize that they are the one’s bringing themselves down. Even those who already had this realization, they have no clue what to do to make their life better. Their ideas, mindset, and self-awareness may need to be altered so they can achieve this success that many other people have. Their identities are halting them from achieving a good amount of money, and progressing further in their career.

Everybody has an ideal lifestyle, however, it may take a great amount of hard work to achieve that. If people are willing to take these steps that Siimon has presented, they can reach the lifestyle that they so badly need. Some of this mentality has to do with “fake it till you make it” - even if people aren’t confident about something, they have to tell themselves that they are, and soon enough they actually do become more confident. People have to be able to see themselves doing well at work, and completing all of their tasks efficiently and correctly. In addition to that, they have to imagine themselves being very happy and healthy. Optimism works as a therapy technique to combat depression and anxiety, which can be caused by the lack of money, and can instead make people's self esteem increase. Self awareness is needed to push people forward if they want to “fake it”. There are other factors that come into play when people are trying to be successful and make more money, such as the current job they have, their IQ, and the resources they are able to obtain and use. This article isn’t speaking about aspects of people’s identities, such as their culture and tradition, but mostly focuses on mindset. I can definitely relate to this because at one point in the school year I was extremely unmotivated to do work, and procrastinated a lot. However, once I kept thinking about my future and getting good grades, I got a huge motivation to do work. This is a common situation that students go through, however, positivity is what gets them out of this stubborn pit.

On the other hand, people who live more comfortably, may be the same people who aren’t very self aware of different identities and the struggles of others because they are so blinded by their own happiness and success. An example of this is shown clearly on social media, when someone passes away. Some people who follow the person’s account may comment and share the post, however, many do not do these things. These posts just become one out of the millions that were posted on that website or app. An article called “Ghosts in the Machine” written in the New York Times by an author named Jenna Wortham, comments, “Is it possible that social media somehow warps our notion of time, too? By design, our feeds are largely ephemeral, and we treat them that way, parceling out seemingly insignificant moments — until, all of a sudden, we stop. That collection of moments, once thought to be of infinite supply, will now outlive your physical form, freezing in time the flow of your whole existence.” In this quote Jenna is stating that social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all distort our perception of time and confuse us. There’s so many posts that show up on our feeds, that they become really insignificant.

Once in awhile, a post regarding a death shows up, and that’s when people stop to think for a minute. For a split second people are struck by it, but then they just continue on with their day and scroll to other posts. Sometimes even forgetting about the death. These posts that were once created by the person who has passed away, will live longer than the actual person itself. Social media doesn’t have much of a filter - one day it will show something cheerful, other days it will show things that are very intense and sad and extreme. There is no difference between a regular post and a post about death besides the image or words written. However because of this, everyone knows about the tragedy and it gets the word around to people that they are connected to online, especially if they have a large following on that social media account. This is largely true for celebrities because they have this huge following, and a lot of the time their family members also have access to their accounts, so when they die, the family members are the ones to update those followers and announce their death. People’s feeds are frozen in time once they die, and when there’s no announcement of your death, it’s really like you are still alive and may post again the next day. Along with this, the deaths of people can affect their family members, which may make them also absent in their accounts. People should learn to be more self-aware of their reactions, and also be more cautious and alert of what other’s post. Mournings of others can be easily forgotten because some people are too focused on their lives and their well being.

There are currently five primary generations which make up our society. First there is, the Traditionalists or Silent Generation, which are people born 1945 or earlier. Then there are Baby Boomers which are people born from 1946 to 1964. After that, there’s Generation X, which are people born from 1965 to 1976. Then, there’s Millennials, born from 1977 to 1995. Last, there is iGen which are people born from 1996 and later. The Millennials generation in specific has a lot of discussion surrounding it. This generation has a huge self awareness in the sense that they know what they want, and what they deserve. They are known for being very confident compared to the generations before them, such as Generation X. The Millennial generation is looked down upon because a lot of the time, the confidence they have is connected to arrogance. Ever since birth, Millennials were not exposed to failures, but were hidden away from hardships by their parents, and this is mostly why they have this certain kind of mindset. They are told all of their life that they are special, and that they are right, which boosts their self-esteem a whole lot, and sometimes to the point where they become very conceited and narcissistic. They are taught to believe that they are correct in every aspect of life.

Sara K, a well known Youtuber, created a video on the topic of Millennials, and what makes them them. She stated that it does have to do with what kind of environment they grew up in when they were young, and their parents have a lot to do with it. A reliance and dependance on their parents grows with them as they themself mature into adulthood. In the video she gave an explanation to underage drinking, and what may happen in some cases. When parents leave to go out of town they have a whole cabinet of liquor easily accessible to their underage child, and that is a huge problem and  red flag. It is allowing these kids to do whatever they want because the parents aren’t doing any means to stop the child from getting into liquor cabinet. These kids start to think it’s okay for them to do this, so they begin to do it constantly. In her video, she said, “Instead of turning to people we turn to things that give us a quick shot of dopamine.” An issue that is so common is anxiety and depression. Millennials do not know how to cope with situations like this because, even though assistance for these situations are spreading, so many of them struggle with it in secret.

Things like alcohol and drugs are there to make you go on a high, and what Millennials tend to do is not turn to people to seek help, but turn to these “dopamine shots”. In addition to this, technology plays a very big role in the lives of Millennials. Technology has become such a huge thing and it’s growing every single day. For many, going to the screen is like human instinct. It truly does make people forget about things that were initially on their mind, and puts them in another world for however long they're on it. This is why procrastination is such a big thing for Millennials - they get an assignment that they know will take a long time to do, but ironically, they use the time they have to do other things to stop thinking about the assignment that was stressing them out. Millennials needs to understand themselves more to realize that even though these things may give them short-term happiness, they need solutions which will help them in the long run and in order to make this happen, self-awareness is needed.

In conclusion, in order to be successful and happy in life, self-awareness has to be recognized. Everyone has flaws, and weaknesses - it’s what we do with them that makes a difference in our lives, and other people’s lives. When people realize these weaknesses, they can better themselves many different ways. They can make more money, they can be more open-minded and alert of others lives and emotions, and they can think of themselves and the world differently. You may be taught the difference between right and wrong, things like why you shouldn’t steal, and why you should say please and thank you. However, self-awareness isn’t something that is taught in school, by families, or just by society in general. It should be something that is talked about, and something that is taught because it can make everyone better people. If we make changes early on in the dynamic, it makes our lives a lot easier, and these modifications also become simpler once we possess self-awareness.

Wortham, Jenna. “Ghosts in the Machine.” The New York Times Magazine, 2015. 23 December. 2015. Web. 18 Jan. 2017.

Reynolds, Siimon. "How Your Self Image Determines Your Wealth." 2014. 30 March 2014. Web. 18 Jan. 2017.

K, Sarah. "Millennials." 1 Jan. 2017. Web. 18 Jan. 2017.

The Twilight of Deities


This essay, to me, is a survey of what it means to have or lack faith in the modern world. I myself am an atheist, but I can see the purpose of religion both to individuals and society. The landscape of belief has changed much in the past two centuries, and I have attempted here to chronicle how different thinkers and artists have viewed this seismic sea-change in our consciousness. Whatever your opinion is on this subject, I would advise entering this essay with an open mind towards the idea of the decline of belief (at least in the West) and the philosophical quandaries which arise from this.

It seems that depression and the supposed absence of a deity or higher power are our current zeitgeist, the spirit of our age. A Marxist would chalk this up to the alienation caused by the capitalist system which dehumanizes the human person and relates everything to money. Meanwhile, a traditionalist conservative would say that the liberal reforms of modern times have destroyed humanity’s relationship with God by making “Man the measure of all things”. Whatever portion of the political spectrum you fall on, humankind seems to have collectively agreed that whatever used to reign from above has abandoned us en masse in the light of modernity and postmodernity. Some have reacted to this by challenging the accepted orthodoxy of the past, while other have clung ever more tightly to their constantly dying faiths.

“‘Whither is God?....I will tell you. We have killed him.”, asserted Friedrich Nietzsche through the mouth of a madman in a parable in his 1882 work, The Gay Science. At first, this would sound as if Nietzsche, a rather nihilistic, committed atheist, is celebrating the collapse of the old system of deities and spirits and hailing the new humanist outlook of our species. However, it soon becomes clear that, despite its author’s beliefs, this is not a cause for celebration: “‘How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers….Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?’” For the great bulk of human history, cultures and peoples have had deities and spirits and legends to comfort them in their worst and darkest of times. Faith was a light to many; that, despite the darkness of life and the tragedies of existence, there was something watching over you, something to comfort you, and another life that existed after passing on. In this newly faithless world, there is no comfort if what you believed was comforting you is gone. In fact, the very deed of killing God, Nietzsche seems to say, is such a mammoth undertaking that a group of hairless apes on a tiny planet would not be worthy of doing such a thing, especially when most of them are not sufficiently independently-minded and stable to fathom exactly what they have done.

In order to slay God, Nietzsche insinuates that humankind would have to rise to godhood in order to make it seem like slaughtering their deities was a good idea. And, in the minds of many, this is exactly what we have done. We have placed ourselves at the center of our existence and elevated humanity to a position that perhaps it doesn’t deserve. It presumes that humans are far greater than they really are, that we are more than just creatures lost in space. It puts political ideology before religion as well. While politics and religion have often intertwined over the millennia, religion has always seemed, in the end, to nourish the souls of our species more than mere politics. Perhaps the worst and most shocking revelations are that there is no reason why we are placed on Earth, that life and history is essentially random, and that all of our deeds are for naught. It is immensely horrifying to us that we argue, fight, and go to war and yet there may be no reason for such things in the end. Without a deity, without myth and legend, we realize that we are not important, and that, no matter how much we try to deify our species, we are still small and still striving for something to elevate ourselves above the mundane-in short, to regain our lost gods.

“Big Sky”, a song by the Kinks from their 1968 album The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, is perhaps the ultimate “Death of God” song. “One day, we’ll be free, we won’t care, just you see…” croons frontman and lyricist Ray Davies after listing how “Big Sky” (re: God) does not particularly care about those beneath Him on Earth. Despite this strong desire for the eventual extinction of God and the freedom it should entail, Davies sings about the comfort and tranquility religion can provide in a world bereft of it: “And when I see you/And the world’s too much for me/I think of the Big Sky/and nothing matters much to me”. While religion can been seen as a mind-killer-making nothing matter to someone-it also gives help and love to those most in need of them. Like it or not, humanity’s identity throughout the ages has been dominated by religion and belief. Moving forward, we will need to square our own simian egos against the vastness of the universe and the strangeness of eternity.

In the absence of a higher power, humans often turn to political movements to nourish their souls. However, these ideologies fail to become transcendent, and are instead base and materialistic. Some put all their faith in politics, seeing a movement as undying, always finding new human conduits. However, deep down, humans know that these ideologies are ultimately earthbound. They lack the rituals, the comfort, the inner, mystical dimension of religion. They are merely something which we can latch onto in an increasingly chaotic world.

One final thing we should realize is that, no matter how great and mighty we become on Earth, everything down here is transient. Fame is fleeting, nations and empires crumble into dust with regularity, nothing is eternal-not even the gods. Rudyard Kipling was aware of this when he penned his poem “Recessional” for Queen Victoria’s 1897 Diamond Jubilee. This was at the height of the British Empire’s power, and the celebration would have recalled for a happy, slightly pompous poem. Instead, Kipling wrote a work which warned of the smallness of Earthly greatness in the light of eternity. “Lo, all our pomp of yesterday/Is one with Nineveh and Tyre”, he wrote, naming two once mighty ancient empires that have since gone extinct. In the final verse, Kipling uses the phrase “All valiant dust which builds on dust”. This wonderful, mystical phrase warns that, in the end, all human civilization is doomed. We simply build upon the remains of older cultures. Despite our advances in society and technology, we are not so high and mighty after all. It can be taken away at any time. We will never escape the lingering remnants of the old gods, always there to tell us that nothing lasts forever. Night will fall, and a new day will dawn upon the remnants of us all.

(Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm.) The Gay Science. N.a. n.a. Print.

(Davies, Ray Douglas.) The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society. The Kinks. Reprise Records, 1968. Vinyl recording.

Kipling, Rudyard. “Recessional.” 1897. Print.

Advanced Essay #3 (Identity and Child Abuse)

​My message for this essay is how negatively impacting a child's life at a young age can impact the development of the identity later on. identity can take time to form, sometimes even someone's whole life. When someone at a young age gets a negative vibe from someone, they will continue it on to someone else as they get older. People will see them as bad people. Someone will be able to develop their true self around a positive environment. I want people to make a change for children's lives based off of the fact that it can impact their lives and their identity.  

Hayley Barci


Child Abuse

The identities of children need to be developed over their experiences, The people around them can impact them as well as what they learn from them. However if their experiences were negative and put against them, it can impact how they create the self that fits who they are as people.

My father was, and still can be abusive towards me, however however I was thirteen and my parents were about to go to court, and I was a little concerned on how my father was treating me. He would threaten me, curse at me, and he would yell continuously. I then searched verbal abuse, I fit within almost all of the symptoms. I’ve never felt such fear as when I’m around my father. It’s really a cycle, my father was physically abused when he was a child, he would get hit with a belt, get hard shoes thrown at him. Somehow, that continued on to me, my theory was because he didn’t know how to cope with his past, what he has to deal with, so therefore, he takes it out on me. There are children all around the world suffer from child abuse, and people need to be more aware and stand up for what's right. We don’t want the cycle of abuse to continue throughout people’s families, we want children to peacefully be able to see the world through a positive lens. However, even throughout my experiences, I’m still trying to figure out who I am as a person. One’s identity should be cherished, not abused.

Identity is built upon experiences, environments, and the people you are surrounded by, all of these examples contribute to developing your true self. However, sometimes these things can become somewhat of a disaster to an identity. One’s self is also developed based upon experiences, and learning new things in our lives. Edward P. Jones wrote a story about a little girl on the first day of school, he quoted,”Mama, I can’t go to school?” The little girl stood still in shock as the woman her mother speaks to says that she cannot apply to the school she wanted to go to. Children are at a young age where they never really learned that much about who they are, their capabilities, and their true self.

As it was said earlier, identity takes time to fully develope, sometimes maybe even most of someone’s life. Thandie Newton once said during a TED Talk,” we are not born with a self, an identity.” She realized that we as people don’t know who we are the day we are born. It takes experiences and learning to develop a sense of who you are, and your identity. She also explains her own experiences to find her own identity. Your experience while finding your identity can be different from the person you're sitting next to. No one’s identity is the same, no one’s learning and processes are the same.    

I was inpatient in Fairmount hospital  multiple times, and many of the girls I was with shared their stories about their parents/guardians abusing them. But there was one story in particular that caught my eye. It was the beginning of the summer of 2016, and I was just one day from leaving inpatient. I shared a room with this one girl. She seemed to be calm enough to talk to her.  We began talking and we ended up speaking about our abuse stories. She then began talking about her mother, her father was never in her life, and because of the abuse she suffers from trauma. She would have several different outbursts, and because it put other lives at risk, she would have to be strapped onto a bed overnight or until she calmed down.

I began to get to know her a little more about her mother and what she did to her. Her mother would hurt them by punching and kicking her and her siblings. Her mother also barely gave them food, but when she did, her mother would make her and her siblings eat it off the floor. As she spoke these words flowing out of her mouth, I could see the sorrow within her voice. This is one of many experiences of child abuse.

These are a couple different stories of kids/teenagers who are or were suffering from child abuse. These stories connect to a matter of their identity and how it impact their lives. Each child was impacted in a different way, they don't each have the same reaction to other people’s actions. When it comes to one’s self, it can depend on the person and their experiences.

“Backing me into the corner until I was whimpering and crying, he would just walk away, satisfied with my distress,” This was a quote from a girl named Fiona, who decided to tell her story. She explained her idea of abuse by also demonstrating  her own experiences Her story was mainly about the verbal abuse she and her mother had to suffer from her step-father. She wanted the message to be known that abuse is no right in any way, shape, or form. Her purpose was to also encourage other children to stand up and speak, so that there can be positive changes before it impacts their life permanently. Just because it’s emotional or verbal, and it’s not physical doesn’t mean that it’s not abuse. Sometimes verbal/emotional abuse can have more longer term effects than physical abuse, however that depended upon the child.    

“We reported my dad to the police but there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him.” This story was spoken from a teenager named Tia, she suffered from sexual abuse provoked by her biological father who had just gotten released from jail. He would touch her in inappropriate places where he shouldn’t be. When she finally had the courage to tell her mother, they pressed charges against her father. However due to “the lack of evidence”, he got away with doing what he did to his own daughter. There are several different forms of abuse. However, they need to make sure that the abuser doesn’t treat other children the same way. The kids who were already suffering from the causes of abuse, need justice, they need some form of relief that the abuser will not strike upon other kids.  

There are several different effects of child abuse, like for example,” The most serious cases of abuse can end in death”.  Like it was said earlier, it’s depended upon the child and how they react to the actions of people surrounding them. People need to realize, that standing up for a child, can save their life, their sanity, even their identity. If children are treated poorly, they will react poorly to his/her actions. As they try to grow their ‘self’, they will struggle, they could turn to drugs, or even suicide. So therefore, identity is something that doesn’t happen in one day, it happens with time and patience. The developing of one's self, times time, and sometimes even most of someone’s life. When a child is getting abused, they will not be able to fit to the self that fits who they are and their personality.

You can make a change in many children's lives. One of the first steps to helping a child is that you can recognize the symptoms within their behavior. You can look up the symptoms on many websites like Nemours Kidshealth, can explain what child abuse is, different forms of it, and the symptoms as well. You can call for help to hospitals, police, and other emergency contacts. Another way you can change a child's life is when you speak up, and encourage them, and teach them what’s right and what’s wrong with how they are being treated. Patience is another way to help a child gain their strength and even their true identity back. Taking time with the child, take things one step at a time and help him/her cope with what they have to deal with. Identity is truly important in a child, don’t let them suffer because of someone else’s actions.    

Embracing Otherness, Embracing Myself- Thandie Newton TED Talk

Selves in Theater

Introduction: Theater uncovers your many “selves.”  Playing different characters makes a stronger person and grows their compassion for other “selves.”  I tell of my time in theater and how it has grown me and my “selves.”  I got the idea for this project from the video we watched in class.  Then when I “free wrote” about my life in theater, I just kept writing and got this piece.  Then of course I edited to get this final product.  This is a different structured essay then many of my other papers. I felt like it was necessary to talk about the meaning of selves more throughout the essay. Instead of doing the story in the beginning of the essay I did it in the middle.  I decided I should just try something new and see how it goes.

Selves in Theater
As an actress I have to play many parts and put myself in different people's bodies.  I have to form my body into many different characteristics.  My body is like a etch a sketch to the theater.  Walking around a space, I am given a task to form my body in a certain way and to start acting like a self that is not my own.  Sometimes to get into my character I have to do a “roll up” and “roll down.”  This is a theatrical exercise where you “roll down” one vertebrae at a time as yourself and “roll up” as the character you are playing.  Theater can be an escape for people like it is for me.  I have always felt safe playing someone else.  It always came naturally to me to express and put on “other selves” through theater.  For me playing different selves helped me develop my true self.

My first role in theater was when I was 8.  This form of art helped me through a time I was going through puberty and other life changing challenges in my life.  The theater group I am a participant in, “Yes!And… Collaborative Arts,”  gives people a chance to grow up and figure different things out in this world.  For instance, over the summer we put on a play called “Paper Trail.”  This play was about six different situations that were going on in the world including the Stanford rape case, Flint water crises and the political debates involving Trump and Hillary.  We took these situations and three additional ones and acted them out through various theatrical genres. We portrayed the Stanford rape case as a 1950s musical; the Flint water crisis was portrayed as a movement piece; and the political debates as a abstract theater piece.  In the Stanford 1950s musical rape case, I played the rapist Brock Turner.  This was definitely a different experience for me having to play such an intense character.  At around the time I found out I was going to play Brock I found out about my friend getting raped.  This was a very hard topic to talk about but I felt the need to play this role to bring justice to my friend.  Being inside the head of such a awful person made me think of this world differently. It helped me grow on my thinking of the rapist and my knowledge on the Stanford rape case.  I learned about how Brock's family impacted his acts and the different influences in his life.  I also learned more about the white privilege and the fact that white men are less likely to stay in jail for heinous crimes.  An instance of white privilege is demonstrated in these song lyrics...







These song lyrics from the play came after Brock found out he was receiving only a 3 month sentence,which is much shorter than many black people would get.

Theater has always been a way to cope, a way for me to step outside of myself.  It is a way for me to stretch myself and put on many different masks to uncover my identity.  For me the theater has always been that safe place.  Theater isn’t the outlet for everyone though.  Some people feel awkward or even stage fright.  This is okay, as there are many other methods of stretching your “selves,”  the point is you need to put yourself into other “selves” shoes to grow.  Even though the theater is a safe place for me, there are still actors and actresses that get confused in the process.  Some start to lose and get confused who their true “selves” are.  The thing is, how do we truly find ourselves and answer the question everyone wants to know: who are we?  We play so many roles in life depending who we are around.  Erving Goffman in the Performed Self video claims,“We display a series of masks to others, in acting roles, controlling and stageing how we appear.”  No matter who we are and no matter how secure we think we are as people it is normal for us to adapt to who is around us.  We as actors and actresses in this world want to try and fit into the right roles of a group of people.

Theater is a means to open our eyes and jump into many different selves as well to uncover the challenges others had to go through to be who they are.  This will help us not to get lost and grow vain and unconcerned of others, rather it empowers us to grow compassionate towards other and to grow into decent beings.  I can say that I would not be the same person I am today without theater.  I do not think I would be the caring and compassionate person I am today.  Using my theater skills I am able to put myself into other’s shoes, which is the key thing to do to grow in compassion for others.  In conclusion,  theater is a powerful medium in uncovering “many selfs” within an actor and actress, but it also an effective tool in growing more compassionate towards others as you are called to step into their shoes.

"Erving Goffman and the Performed Self." YouTube. N.p., 15 Apr. 2015. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.

“Paper Trails: Finale Of Stanford Peice” 2016 Brooke Sexton

Tragic Events From a Browser

This essay will show how tragic events that we see on a browser can affect people in certain ways or forms and how we react to the tragic events that happened in the past.


For my thesis, the deaths of tragic happenings from a browser makes us feel closer because it feels like we are actually there witnessing the tragic happenings with our eyes. For my essay I am going to talk about how Tragic events that happen that are in your browser will make you feel closer to that tragic crisis. Now there still tragic things happening around the world to this, but I am going to talk about certain tragic events that have happened. In the article Ghost in the Machines, it points out how we feel closer to the That have died that are our browser. In Ghost in the Machines, by  Jenna Wortham notes the significance of the mass shootings: “The mass shootings in Paris and San Bernardino felt, somehow, closer to our lives because they played out on our screens and in our browsers.” The reason I chose this quote is because it shows that even though we were not there, but since we see it from a browser it makes us feel bad for those people who were in that tragic happening.

The world going on the internet shows that we do not ignore the tragic things that happened in the past and even the present. From Ghost in the Machines by Jenna Wortham notes the significance of us not ignoring the people who died: We have seen how people used social media to ensure that Americans did not ignore the deaths of people like Freddie Gray, Walter Scott and Sandra Bland, amplifying them into a rallying cry for justice. The reason I chose this quote is because it shows that people that we do not know, but they still have an impact in our lives somehow.

Everytime we go on to our browser, there are new tragic deaths being posted on the internet and we pray that it is not one of our friends or family members were in that tragic event. Here is a quote that supports this statement: With the exception of our friends and closest kin, we typically encounter news of deaths through social media. It shows that there are new tragic events happening every single day and we hope that it is not the people we love that are in that tragic event.

Tragic events can show us that what we watch can affect you as a person. What this means is that what we watch can have affect your life in a small way or in a drastic way for some people. For some they wouldn’t even care about what happened to people in that tragedy. It could have been your friends or even one of your family members, but some people do care because they feel bad for the people who were in that tragedy. What I am saying is that the tragedies that we see on our very own browser can affect one way or another.

Advanced Essay #3: Memories of the Block

For this paper, I wrote about how your neighborhood effects you as you grow up and even after you leave where you're from. To me, where you begin impacts your identity and who and what you were exposed to in those years. My goals for this essay were to portray how I myself like to hold onto memories and carry my past with me, and I contrast this to how you need to be able to let go in order to grow. For this essay, I feel like it was pretty personal and something I was passionate about which made it flow much easier for me. The idea and drafts came easy to me, so this was an especially smooth process. I am pretty proud of how it came out and feel like this is the most effort I've put in all year.


I used to have a little table in my living room. I would sit and keep myself busy for hours making paper dolls, watches, and whatever invention popped into my four year old mind. Any time I heard someone yell outside on the street or the sound of bike tires against the pavement, I would rush to the window and peek through the curtain with excitement to see if it was the boys. I would beg my mom to let me out the door, in dire need of seeing my friends of the block. There was Ivan, who was lanky and funny, and was the oldest of the group. We liked to play Lego Star Wars on Xbox together, even though I was never any good. There was Sal, his full name Salvador, which I could never get quite right, and he would always tease me for it. There was Owen, who had moved there just for a year or two and who we didn’t see all that much, but was a part of our playful group on occasion. Then there was Nick. My little heart used to flutter every time I laid eyes on him. He wore the South Philly boy tank tops, had one diamond earring, and was the definition of perfect to a younger version of myself. They were like the band of brothers I never had. I was the baby of the group they all looked after. We would run around the street all day long, finding chalk and bubbles, riding our scooters and bikes, like a bunch of best friends.

I felt a sense of belonging on that little street wedged into the culture of South Philadelphia. I had found my people: kids who came from where I came from, but with totally different backgrounds. Nick’s mother had died when he was young, and his father seemed to be addicted to some drugs, from what my family could make of his characteristics. Nick had a good heart with good intentions, but my mom would always say she knew he could be trouble. As for me, I was just a little middle class girl going to private school, but just loving being a part of something. To he honest, we didn’t know too much about one another. They had all only been into my house for my birthday party one year, but other than that everything stayed on the street. I didn’t even know their last names, but somehow it didn’t matter. We were so contrasting in what our lives consisted of, but that neighborhood brought us together regardless.

My family had decided to pick up and relocate further down Washington Avenue, only 15 or so blocks more South. I missed turning the corner and playing on the swings of my childhood at Palumbo park, or walking to Anthony’s for an iced coffee on the weekends. I didn’t want to disconnect from where I grew up, where I felt so deeply rooted and surrounded by the comforts of familiarity. I am one to linger on every piece of my past, each memory permanently etched into the background of my brain travelling with me and piling up in stacks. I am terrified of letting even one memory slip away.

Once I moved, I missed my old friends. The ones who were always there for me. I only saw Nick one time after, many years later. He had grown to be slender, like a twig. He still wore his white tank tops, and was every bit as charming as I had remembered. As he walked by I suddenly began to feel sorry for him. His being had a looming sadness to it, he seemed the same as he did before and I worried he would never change. Would he always be stuck in the little house on the corner, taking care of himself and trying to make it on his own? He was a good kid, at least he was in my eyes. He always protected me and cared for me, and that was all I could ever ask of him. He showed me what it was like to have someone you could always count on and look up to As he turned to the street and left my field of vision, and I knew we would never cross paths again. It hit me in that moment that I didn't know him anymore. If I had gotten up and ran over to him, like I could when I was younger, I didn't think he would even know who I was. Nick was the living, breathing evidence of how I no longer fit in. I locked my eyes onto him for as long as I could, soaking in every detail which I knew would soon fade away.

Even though we no longer share Montrose street, that will always be where we grew up. Everyone has a starting place, a home town. Each neighborhood has their own traits, things that make it home. We all carry the ghosts of our childhood along with us, trailing us no matter how far away we wander. This is true of my little sliver of South Philly, and can be seen replicating across the entirety of Philadelphia. A Northern Liberties native commented, “I want everyone to know that we used to play there and that the ghosts of our past remain there playing indefinitely while new tenants live their everyday lives. Things change, but the memories will always remain.” This thought came from Ava Olsen, a girl who grew up in Northern Liberties which is her own neighborhood she called home. There was an empty lot in which all of her and her neighborhood friends used to play, but got converted into new houses. She delves into the thinking that memories are a part of us, woven into our skin, embedded into our eyes and stained to our thoughts. The names of the corner stores will continue to change, the houses you used to know will be filled with new strangers, but nothing can strip away what you take with you from your childhood.

This is a natural evolution of a neighborhood and happens continuously and everywhere. No corner can escape it, and this is a weight we all carry on our shoulders. Having to let go of the smell of spaghetti at my favorite Italian restaurant down the block, or the memory of walking into the spice shop and the old woman giving me free sprinkles to bake my favorite cupcakes. Slowly, day by day, these memories will fade, becoming less vibrant as the seconds tick past. There are too many memories and moments to carry, our brains overflowing with attempts to cram in all we have endured. None of us can grip all of them; they always manage to slip through the cracks. Where we are from still defines us however, because those memories have still molded us in miniscule ways that build up to who we are now. We are all forced to grow and learn from our past, but not cling to it so heavily that we cannot evolve in the future. Our neighborhoods give us a basis for all that we are exposed to. No matter how far we stray or when we leave our origin, our neighborhoods will always be scattered with pieces of us, and we will never forget where we came from.


Olsen, Ava. Street Note: Northern Liberties. Re-Place-ing organization.

Advanced Essay #3: What Makes Us, Us


My goal for the paper was to be patient in my writing, and to learn something about either my writing skill or the topic I wrote about, or both.  I think I did a good job not rushing too much, using techniques like reading out loud and listening to the advice from the video we watched in class about how writing is all about revision.  I could have spread the writing out better rather than working for longer periods of time for certain days that way I could pick up more easily, however I wanted to write when I was in the best mood or had an idea.  I learned I can be a patient writer, but not to the point of starting from scratch.  I’d rather change and delete and change and delete, until the paper is how I like it.  I think that can be seen if my paper is compared to my rough draft.

Advanced Essay #3:  What Makes Us, Us

What is the ultimate factor in figuring out our own identities?  Objects can be useful in explaining identity, by personifying them and showing how identity is determined through change.  In an example of a scenario from the video, “Who Am I?” by Amy Adkins, the idea of persistence of identity is brought up.  The video says that the “I” is always changing and is made up of many things, so it is extremely difficult to explain identity.  This essay will explore the most important pieces to all of our identities, and consider the question, “What types of changes cause a change in identity”?  

In the video, a ship made of many planks of wood is constantly being repaired with new planks.  The process is very gradual, but eventually there are more new than old planks, and after even longer the boat is made of all new planks.  Physically the boat is completely different than originally.  However, its identity remains the same.  After a 100% physical change, there was not a point in time where the ship was not itself anymore.  The meat of what makes up our identities is our experiences, memories, and actions.

The past does not go away, and links people to previous versions of themselves, making our experiences an important element of Identity. More experiences are added to our lives along the way, however the old ones are always there, a constant piece of us throughout changes and additions to our bodies and minds.  Going back to the ship analogy, the reason it can identify as the same ship as it was before any repairs were made is because of its experience. Physically it is 100% different when all the planks are replaced, similarly to how a person is physically much different after a long time.  

Suppose there are two people who look alike, even identical twins.  They both identity as separate individuals, and have their own identity.  Physical characteristics have some measure in defining us, but they are not totally unique or long lasting, and actually mean less to us.

20th Century Moral philosopher Bernard Williams proposed an experiment.  The premise is that two people would swap brains, and then have to decide if they would want the body they had originally came into the situation with to be rewarded and the body with their mental content now to be tortured, or vice versa.  Practically everyone asked this question chooses the body where their mental content now is to be rewarded and their old body to be tortured.  This shows that physicality does not define our identities as strongly as our experiences and memories, because we see more value of ourselves in our mind than body.

Hank Green in a Crash Course Philosophy video opines his thoughts on identity, reasoning that, “Personal Identity persists over time because you remain in the same body from birth until death.” The body changes, but the important thing to draw from this quote is that since we are in one body all this time, we can be identified by our past and actions we made.  We all have our own unique actions that remain the same, and speak a lot about us.  Our actions show where we stand, and express our desires.

Identity is based on experiences, memories, and actions, because they are all tightly linked to us regardless of anything.  We are all recognizable by these three things, all enveloped by our experiences.  Our experiences defines us because they are everything that has happened to us in our entire lives, through all changes.  In a change of identity, our experiences still defines us because they are never wrong in telling us about ourselves.  How could they be? They are our life story.  

Work Cited

Adkins, Amy. “Who Am I?.” Youtube. TED-Ed, 13 January 2017    <>.                   

Green, Hank.  “Crash Course Philosophy #19.” Youtube.  PBS, 27 June 2016.  13 January 2017. <>.

Advanced Essay #3 "Identity & Belonging

Goals for my paper is for it to be understood when read. I want the read to know my theme and see both arguments of my paper. I also want them to agree with me by convincing them with my piece. My process was to start typing and whatever idea I liked I kept. When I or a peer edit saw a grammar mistake I fixed it. 

Identity is who you are. Belonging is wanting to be associated with a certain group. I believe a feeling of belonging is being with society as a whole, and someone belonging is them wanting to be with the rest of society. But can we fully belong to something? And if we do, is it to ourselves or society?

Society can and cannot co-exist with identity because that's what you are, rather than belonging to society. It can when you fit a standard in a certain belonging. For example, if you belong to a church. and the church is against homosexuality.  There was a boy named danny that belonged to a church in his neighborhood. He was cast aside by the church when he come out as gay, and didn't want to get “treated” for a mental disorder like the church suggested. “​Danny’s church would either recommend celibacy or reparative therapy—a widely discredited form of treatment that identifies homosexuality as a mental disorder with the goal of converting people to heterosexuality—to congregants who identified themselves as gay or lesbian.” Because Danny couldn’t fit into this type of society, he was shunned and cast aside because he classified as something different than the church's beliefs. Looking closely, it looks like if someone doesn’t agree with the rest of society, they will throw anyone who disagrees away. Danny fully belongs to himself, accepting his identity. Even though he does not belong to the church anymore.

A a referee that was openly gay faced a lot of criticism from people in society. He was harassed by a player from a team. The player was suspended but that did not erase the thought that there is still hate from others. “I’ve seen myself and not because of anything you did.” This ref believed in himself instead of what society thinks. He continued his job. He chose himself over society. Here, the worth of society is not valued. The Ref stuck with his identity and didn’t change himself from the criticism and harassment he received.

Anyone that is poor is unfortunate. Of course they don’t want to identify as being in the low class. But that’s where they belong. This world consists of people who want money, such as taxes for the government. When you are expected to pay money for something, but don’t have it, you are looked down upon. “ It’s the same type of problem poor people encounter every day, multiple times: The demands of the moment override the demands of the future, making that future harder to reach.” A poor person’s goal is to be able to have money like the middle class can, or even be rich. But people in society put pressure on these people to do better to achieve that goal. This is because they are already struggling with not having money, but now they are expected to pay things like everyone else even though they can’t. Belonging and identity co-exist here because this person identifies as poor (unfortunately), and they belong in the low class since they don’t have money.

American is one of the most proud countries in the world. We, unlike many, have patriotism. In which we are very serious and interested in our country's politics. But because of that, we look down on people who live in America and identify as something other than American. Olympic athletes were criticized for playing for other countries when they are American.“For an event that represents so much national pride, where victories or defeats live in lore for decades, many athletes will represent another country, either because of heritage or because it may be the only way they could compete in the games.” These competitors tried out for countries their heritage is from because they wanted to compete for their ancestors, or it was their only chance to compete in the Olympic. To make the American team is really hard, even if you are a powerful athlete. These athletes choose to identify as another country, since they have it in their blood. They belong to play for American some would think. But they identify for another country. For this, many Americans criticize them. “In the eyes of the athletes competing under the flag of a country that’s not home, they’re competing in the Olympic spirit as much as anyone else.” It is an honor to be in the Olympics. Athletes will take any chance they get to make it their. Therefore, Identity and belonging do not co-exist here.

Identity and belonging can co-exist but be very different. How you perceive it is your opinion. But we have to realize that we should not shut others out from society because they are different.

Stalker Love

This is a story of the incident of a guy, Jackson and he was kidnapped, and the love crazy stalker, Clementine. She takes the girls boyfriend now it’s up to her and the detective, Nicole, to find him. Watch the show to see how well the both of them crack the code.


I miss you - Best Personal Essay Ever

All I remember was standing there seeing his lifeless body laying on the bed. Covered with white sheets, I was afraid to remove it to see his face. What would be different if we stopped him sooner? I asked myself over and over again but knew that we were too late. I  remember being at school, in the back office room with a few other people, getting ready to order some food. Playing with a pair of scissors and talking to everyone, I checked the time and I noticed that I have received a text from my mother. “He passed.” I didn’t quite understand what she meant by this so I asked her for confirmation, “What do you mean?” She replies with a heart stopping text “Grandpa left us baby, he’s gone. ” My heart sunk and broke into a million pieces. I didn’t really know how to react. I dropped the pair of scissors I was playing with and suddenly began to cry. I just sat there for a good 5 minutes crying my eyes out before the man told me to go talk to my homeroom teacher. I was brought to her by one of the girls I was with and I remember having my head down the whole time I walked. When I got to the room, all the teachers who was eating lunch together stopped to look at me and then asked what was wrong. I told them what had happened. I remember her asking me if I wanted to go home, and at first I said no. She then told me to go to lunch with the others and if I felt like I wasn’t going to be okay I could go back to her and tell her I want to go home. I walked into the lunchroom, still crying, unaware of the many heads that turned to watch me as I walked in. Certain people that I knew ran up to me and hugged me asking “What’s wrong?” “Are you okay?” “Omg, what happened?” I didn’t know how to answer and it triggered me so I began to cry harder. My friend Melanie brought me back to my teacher and I told her I wanted to go home. She allowed me to call my mother, “mommy, i wanna come home” she said “ok baby nemo is gonna pick you up.” And “nemo” is what we call my cousin. when he arrived to the school, He signed me out and i remember the office ladies saying to me “i hope you feel better honey!” before I walked out. I got into the car and my cousin looks at me and says “you ready?” i answered with “no” and he said “stop crying, everything's gonna be okay my dear” and I slowly stopped crying. I then remember pulling up to my house not wanting to walk out of the car. “Let’s go my dear” he said as he walked up the steps to my house with his head down. As soon as I walked into the door, the first person I saw was my Aunt Lisa and I ran straight to her and began to cry in her shoulders. She rubbed my back telling me he was in a better place and that I should go and comfort my grandmother. When it was my turn to say goodbye I could think of nothing but his smiles. My grandpa was always the one to make me smile as I was younger. I remember Christmas of 2006, I was afraid to open all my christmas presents. I cried until he would pick me up and put me in his bed and I would automatically calm down. He would pat my back and hum me a song in Cambodian, until I fell asleep. It breaks my heart everyday thinking about how life would be if we still had him with us, physically. My family probably would be more happy and more put together. He was such a great man, the strongest man I knew. I  miss him so much. I felt like his death was my fault and that I jinxed it. Everyday since he passed away, I could think of nothing but the fact that it really could have been my fault. The reason why I thought it was my fault was because the day after I saw “The Fault in our Stars” he  passed away.

Film Review: Finding Dory


“Finding Dory” is a sequel to “Finding Nemo” a movie where a clownfish named Marlon travels across the ocean to find his son Nemo who has been taken by scuba divers.  Along the way he runs into a fish named Dory who suffers from short term memory lost and travels the sea with Marlon on search for his son.  “Finding Dory” has the viewer jumping between emotions just as “Finding Nemo” did.  In the second installment of the the franchise we see our favorite forgetful blue bodied yellow tailed fish on the hunt for her home and family.  She is joined on her journey by Marlon a clownfish that we were introduced to in “Finding Nemo” and his son Nemo.  In their travels across the ocean to seek out Dory’s long lost family the puzzle pieces that happen to be Dory’s memory start to come together.  They come across old friends and make new friends, and go through a life threatening situation.  With her unsuspected smart choices and good wit Dory gets a lot further in her quest than anyone could’ve expected.  I recommend everyone to see this heart warming movie that puts you on a rollercoaster of emotion and if you have not seen the first installment of the franchise “Finding Nemo”, that is a must see as well.

This movie passes the requirements for both the Mako Mori test and the Bechdel test.  For the bechdel test there are two female characters that have a conversation about something other than a man.  This movie also passes the mako mori test because the main character is a female and the movie tells her story, therefore she has her own narrative and it does not support a male’s story.  Dory is an unexpectedly strong character who discovers her problem and figures out a way to fix it.

Finding Dory passes my gender bias test by during somewhere in the franchise the female character supports the male’s story and the male character supports the female’s story.  In Finding Nemo, Dory supports Marlon’s story by tagging along with him and helping him find his son, but in Finding Dory Marlon and his son Nemo help Dory on her journey so therefore they support her story .

Homestead: Sheriffs Defense


Homestead Trial

Prepared By Mekhi Friend

The homestead strike began in 1892. This was during the industrialization of America. Because of this uproar of industry and the illegalization of slavery, labor and management had become a big problem all over the county. In Homestead Pa, workers who had belonged to Carnegie's steel company had banned together in order to protest a wage cut. They felt as though they were entitled to a greater salary. They were helped by the Amalgamated Association of Iron and steel workers, a strong trade union that had got them a contract years prior. A man by the name Henry Clay Frick one of Andrew Carnegie's partners sought out to break the union and end the strike. He took action by turning the Homestead steel mill into a fortress. He built a barbed wire fence around the mill and left holes for his "soldiers" to shoot their rifles through. Frick's plan was to stop the union by refusing to speak with them and locking everyone out of the factory. The later incidents that occurred turned violent.

The paramount issue of what happened is in fact who shot first, but since this fact has never really been proven, neither the workers or the pinkertons can be blamed for this. The reason this issue stands above all is because the first shot is what kicked off the battle. The secondary problem would be who took the illegal actions first. In this case, it would be the strikers. The reason is due to the fact that Frick technically did nothing wrong from a legal viewpoint. He was the manager of the factory so he had full authority to shut it down and lock others out. His decision to call in replacement workers was halted by the strikers who formed a sort of human wall around the factory. This action that the strikers took was a direct disturbance of the peace.

The sheriffs in this case are innocent. People may ask "why didn't the sheriff's stop the battle before it happened?" In comparison to how many pinkertons and strikers there were the sheriff could not do not much to break up the battle. Even after deputizing locals in order to gain and advantage they were still outnumbered and outgunned by a dozens. It wasn't until the government sent federal and militia troops to help the sheriff's break the strike could they really take an action that would have a significant impact on the battle.

In the case that each party was equally responsible for what happened on July 6th, the distribution of blame would result in each group receiving 20%. These five groups, Carnegie, Frick, the strikers, the pinkertons and law enforcement. Since Carnegie is the owner of the steel mill and not the manager, he is technically not involved in the situation at hand. In the 1800s there was a clear difference between owner and manager. However, Frick was the manager of the factory and because of this can receive blame. Though legally Frick did nothing wrong. The sheriffs can not be at fault, they did their job and tried to help out best they could with the few numbers they had. The strikers and the pinkertons were the two parties at battle and because of this they both receive 50% of the blame. The strikers were first at fault for blocking entrance to the factory to allow their replacements to work. The pinkertons were technically doing their job. They're private company security so attempting to disband the strikers were what they were paid to do by Frick. However, they allowed the battle to get out of hand and thus, they receive the other 50% of the blame.

In conclusion, the homestead strike was a prime example of strikers vs industries but, in this case industry's fight back. Not only do they retaliate but they win. This homestead strike was more than a mere protest. It was a strategically outlined mission developed by Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick. They didn't just plan the success of their battle, they ended up winning the public over. The frustration that the workers faced forced one individual to attempt an assassination on Frick. This allowed them tyrannical victory, but look good doing it.

E1 U3 Amira, Nasya, and Orlando "El Poltergeist y la Escuela embrujada"


Lando como Alejandro

Nasya Ie como Adaline

Amira como Candace Former member: Olu como Zanny

Setting: Haunted school

3 adventurous teenagers are going to a haunted
school. Alejandro was the one who lead them there, Adaline was excited while Candace was scared. The adventure seems to be deadlier than they thought… They experience scary situations, and one of them gets possessed… will they make it out alive.. Or not.

Film Review - Gender Bias Lens

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (more commonly known as Star Wars: Rogue One) is a space opera and war story starring Felicity Jones. Taking place between the events of Episode III and Episode IV, former imperial scientist Galen Erso is taken away from his by Orson Krennic to help design and build a superweapon called the Death Star for the Empire. Years later, his daughter, Jyn Erso, is sought out by the Rebel Alliance to find her father to retrieve the plans for the Death Star so the Rebels can have an edge in the fight against the Empire. The movie acts as a bridge to both the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy while also tying up the loose ends that appeared in Episode IV as well. It also fleshes out many different elements of the story that were not touched on before.

Jyn Erso plays a very strong role in the film as it’s leading role. It fleshes out her character arc from the beginning where she was separated from her father to helping the Rebels in the present. Because of this, it passes the Mako Mori test with flying colors. She has her own character arc that not only does not support anyone else’s arc but, has other story arcs supporting hers. One example being the arc of Galen Erso’s involvement in the Death Star’s construction being a story element that supports Jyn’s story arc.

It passes the Bechdel Test by a slim margin as there are at least three conversations that female characters have with each other in the whole film. One of which being Mon Mothma where she briefs Jyn on her mission to find her father. All of the other ones are with extras and side character that are not too relevant. Even so, the movie still passes the test in a satisfying manner.

My test wanted to focus on something that this movie does not necessarily excel at: represent of women of color. My test is called the diversity pass test because I feel like casting director will throw a person of color into the film but, will not put in the work to flesh their character out or just make them a side character. Their only objective seems to be to fill some very shallow quota they have in their mind. My test requires at least non-white woman who has her own fleshed out character arc that does not support a man’s story and if there is more than one non-white woman in the film, then they cannot be similar in terms of character and personality. They must be wholly original characters that are not a product of stereotypes.

The fact that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is able to pass at least one of these tests is an achievement in of itself. Even though representation can be improved in this film and this franchise as whole but, passing one of these tests is quite rare in Hollywood. These tests can help further improve the issue of representation in America.

E1 U4 Telenovela: "Chicas Antipáticas y un Chico."

Personajes (characters)

Casey - Christina

Gabriela - Dasia

Carrie - Michaela

Bruno - Keyonne

Casey is the new girl and starts off high school pretty rough. She meets the Mean Girls crew and that one guy “Chicas Antipáticas y Uno Chico” and immediately tries to fit in. She starts rumors about Bruno and everyone of her other friends making them turn against each other. Casey starts to take Bruno’s spot. Casey starts to become Bruno while Bruno slowly becomes Casey. Carrie wants revenge on Keyonne for his “Rumors” that he “started”. Watch to find out what happens to Bruno and the girls relationship.

El asunto


Adam a hardcore player makes a big mistake. He invites two women to dinner at the same time:  Melissa, the one he is having a love affair with, and Gabrielle his wife. He get’s his friend Jose the waiter to help him get away with this scheme. Will he succeed or will he fail miserably and end up with a broken heart? Find out on this episode ofEl asunto.”


Kyla Gladney-Enos como Melissa

Teyonna Little como Gabrielle

Benjamin Rivera como Jose

Asnain Khan como Adam

E1 U4 Telenovela : "¿Quién Eres Tú?"

Julio and Rosalita have been bound by marriage but separated by their own endeavors outside of their home life. Both Julio and Rosalita have secrets to hide but none want them to be revealed. Watch the telenovela “Quién Eres Tú?” to see what happens when one of Julio’s biggest secrets gets revealed and how his wife reacts to it…

Amani como Rosalita Jeremiah como Julio Alexis como Natalia John como Sebastián

(Also available on Alexis’ personal blog)

E1 U4 Telenovela: "Innocent"

The story starts off at a news station where the live report of a robbery in the school store begins. Paul a cop watches the newscast, and then begins investigating the case. Paul has a conversation with the celebrity, and then interrogates the civilian. After, another robbery is plotted...

Justin como Cop
Mamadou como civilian
Joziah como 808
Joziah como Celebrity
Bobby como robber

Beyond the gender

On November 14, 2014 the movie “Beyond the Lights was released in theatres in the US. The Pg-13 drama film was advertised everywhere on billboards and the trailers were almost on everything. The film stars main characters actress Gugu Mbatha- Raw as Noni, and actor Nate Parker as Kaz/ Officer Nicol. Both have very different careers, but the influences of their parents comes between and the love affair that develops between the two. Noni is a heartthrob singer who everyone loves, and her mother is the manager of the her. Her mother also played by Minnie Driver, only wants her daughter to match what society’s choices of her talent. Noni wear minimal amounts of clothing throughout the movie, and her mother encourages it and makes her think it is okay to be sexual. With the amount of fame that she has, Noni feeds into the light of fame given to her. On the other hand we have a police officer named Kaz Nicol who has a father who wants him to walk in the same shoes as he did, and Kaz has a few disagreements with it after meeting Noni.beyondthelights.jpg

The film does a great job in terms of meeting the mako mori test, because Noni the superstar has her own storyline of her life as growing up with a talent of singing and a single mother as a manager. If anything, the police officer was supporting Noni’s story as the movie goes on. It includes multiple women throughout the movie who illustrate that they serve an importance without the idea of backing up or being beside a man. On the other hand the movie does not meet up to the expectations of the Bechdel test, because Noni and her mother discussed the issues with boys intervening with her career as a superstar. The rationale behind the Bechdel Test and the Mako Mori test is to focus on the typical stereotypical roles women are given throughout tons of films that are not that popular, because men play bigger roles than the women.

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An anti- gender bias film test that I would like to see pop up in some films, is more movies about single dad. A lot of movies emphasize the women always being left with the child/children and exploring their journey with that amount of responsibility on their lives. The men are typically categorized as leaving the mom with her kids, when their should be more focus on the dad’s who are forced to play both parent roles when the mother leaves or passes away. For instance, the movie Jump In emphasized what is was like for the dad being forced to play both parent roles for the two children he was raising. Not every situation should fit the stereotype of the dad leaving the mom to raise the kids they both had.

E1 U4 Telenovela: No Puedo Más

Intro:This telenovela is about Domínico (played by the witty Tim) who has been an unfulfilling and lazy boyfriend of Veronica (played by Mayah). Veronica is tired of it! Watch as she meets (and cheats) with the adventurous Cecilia (played by the stunning Odilia). Will he find out that she has been unfaithful? Watch as the drama unfolds!


Timothy Williams como Domínico

Odillia como Cecilia

Mayah Gold como Veronica

Film Review- Gender Bias Lens

The Mako Mori test is a test that analyzes films based off of gender-bias. It was created to show that movies can sometimes have the same archetype and   In order for a film to pass the Mako Mori test, there needs to be at least one female character, who has her own narrative arc that doesn’t support a male’s story. The Mako Mori test is quite important because sometimes the Bechdel Test can be an insufficient way to measure female representation in films. We need the Mako Mori test to add a twist to films, because in most popular films, if there even is a woman in it, have the woman’s backstory dependent to the male. It’s also important to have tests like these so that movies aren’t repetitive. Many directors use these tests because they want their movies to actually be more representative to women.

Things begin to shake up in the quaint little town of Woodsborough as a killer is on the loose. But this killer is quite different than your ordinary horror movie slasher, because this killer knows his scary movies and is set out on stalking and taunting his victims with trivia questions.  In the horror-suspense film “Scream” (1996), you’ll begin to find out that no one is safe. In the beginning of the film, we meet Casey Becker (played by Drew Barrymore), a girl who receives a somewhat flirtatious phone call from someone unknown. At first, everything seems perfectly normal as the caller and Casey are talking about films. The situation soon turns gory as the caller grows more sadistic and begins to threaten Casey, and her boyfriend Steve.

After news arises of what happened to Casey, the town grows on edge and the police start an investigation. Here is when we meet the main protagonist, Sidney Prescott (played by Neve Campbell), a reserved highschool girl who is still coping with the recent loss of her mother. It is then revealed that the killer has a personal vendetta against Sidney when she receives a phone call at home while waiting for a friend. Sidney is then attacked within her own house. This is when she realizes that the killer has been trying to torment her by attempting to kill the people that she cares for.  

As the police investigation goes on, people begin to suspect that it’s Neil Prescott (Sidney’s Father) doing all the killings,since he hasn’t been seen since, and all recent calls have been tracked to his phone. But Sidney defends her father, and says that he’s gone away on a business trip, even though the police still don’t think that that is the case.

As more murders occur, school gets suspended. Stu, a fun loving party animal, throws a get together and invites most of the students from school. Sidney, fearing that the killer might strike again, and at the party specifically, shows up to put a stop to it, but to no avail. The killer ends up attacking a lot of people, inevitably leaving Sidney alone in the house to fend for herself. Can our tragic heroine survive? But the main question to this mind-bending mystery is, who is the killer?

Although the movie can have it’s funny moments, it’s quite intellectual nonetheless. If you've ever watched a horror movie and grew frustrated with the main protagonist’s antics, then this film is for you. “Scream” delivers a clever horror film by ripping on/critiquing past horror cliches. The characters themselves even have a conversation about movie cliches and address slasher movie stereotypes. “Horror movies are always about some big-breasted blond who runs upstairs so the slasher can corner her…” says one character in the film. “Scream” gives a unique twist to the horror genre, as it is almost as if this movie is self-aware that it’s a horror movie. The film also coves aspect of trust. As you go on watching the film, you begin to learn that those who may seem honest, might not have the purest intentions. With a killer on the loose only targeting those who are close to you, can you really believe your family and so-called friends?

“Scream” meets the criteria for the Mako Mori test because the protagonist is a girl named Sidney Prescott and she has her own backstory. Although there are many males throughout the film, Sidney’s backstory doesn’t draw any correlation to theirs. Towards the end of the film, it is proven that Sidney is quite strong and independent as she dukes it out with the killer all on her own, thus saving the lives of her remaining family and friends.

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An anti-gender bias film test that I came up with was the Pregnant Betty Test. Within the Emmy Award winning show “Mad Men”, the main protagonist’s wife Betty, gets pregnant, but in my opinion, it wasn’t a fair portrayal of women during pregnancy. She seemed very calm and reserved in her pregnancy, and she had no significant changes to her body, besides the fact that she had a larger belly, I feel like a lot of times, Hollywood doesn’t really have accurate portrayals of pregnant woman, and it’s just overly glamorized actresses wearing pregnancy suits. This test is called The Pregnant Betty test to give film/television directors a more accurate way to portray expecting mothers, and not just make her out to be a pregnant Betty Draper. The criteria for this test is 1) have the mother to be show weight gain or any bodily change 2) show the mother having morning sickness 3) have the mother to be show mood swings (besides crying) and an optional one is 4) have a scene where the mother to be isn’t wearing makeup or dressed up extravagantly or 5) the woman having an form of difficulty in her pregnancy or miscarriage.

A movie that depicts this "What to Expect When You Are Expecting", as the movie portrays 5 couples as they experience what it is like having a baby. Within the film, they go through all accurate and different representations of pregnancy through each month.
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Ashley De La Cruz-Film Review: Alice In Wonderland

The Bechdel Test is a test used to indicate the presence of women in films and to point out gender-inequality. The Bechdel Test consists of three important rules:

  1. There needs to be at least 2 women in it

  2. The women have to be talking to each other

  3. The topic being talked about can’t be about a man.

I think that the Bechdel Test is put in place because it’s trying to bring attention to the fact that many women aren’t given the bigger part, and when they are featured, it’s mainly them talking about their feelings towards a man. As a female, I think it’s unfair to be watching a movie and the only woman is talking about a guy she likes, because this makes me think of the gender-stereotypes that women only gossip, and women are always falling in love. What’s so wrong with a woman playing the hero and the man being the one to fall in love with her?

The Mako Mori test is a test used to depict when women play the leading role, or at least have a very important role, with their own backstory. The Mako Mori consists of three rules:

  1. There needs to be at least 1 female character

  2. The female character needs to get their own narrative arc/backstory

  3. The backstory can’t be about a man’s story

I think that the Mako Mori test is similar to the Bechdel Test because it’s trying to show that women need equality as well as men, they need to be seen just as much as men do. I think that the test exists because someone had realized that women weren’t the main characters often, or that women were just there as the sidekick, without actually getting to know them as well as the man’s story is told.

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The movie that I think meets the Bechdel test and the Mako Mori test is the movie, Alice in Wonderland (2010.) In this movie, there’s a girl named Alice, in the beginning, she’s attending an estate party, when suddenly a man she doesn’t like proposes to her. However, Alice doesn’t know what to do, when suddenly she sees a rabbit run through, so she decides to follow it, eventually leading up to a hole in which she falls through. When she lands, she realizes that now she is in a different world, Wonderland. There is wonderland she meets many new characters like, Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the White Queen, and the Queen of Hearts, to name a few. Once there, she’s informed by the White Queen that she’s been selected to slay the Queen of Heart’s jabberwocky in order to give the White Queen her power back, in order to restore peace. However, the Queen of Hearts wants Alice to leave because she presents a threat to her and her kingdom, so she orders people to find Alice and gives the order, “off with her head!” The reason Alice in Wonderland meets the criteria for the Bechdel Test is because there’s the scene where the White Queen is talking to Alice, telling her that it was destiny that her to their world. The women are talking to each other, about killing the jabberwocky, and not talking about a man. Another time when 2 women are talking, is when the Queen of Hearts and Alice encounter each other, because they speak briefly about what would happen if one of them won. This movie also passes the Mako Mori Test because the one main important female is Alice, and she has own backstory about how she ended up in Wonderland and about how it’s all up to her in order to save Wonderland from the evil Queen, which has nothing to do with supporting a man’s story. That being said, I think that Alice in Wonderland is a great movie because it features enough female characters, and about 1 or 2 male characters which is surprising because I think that that is rare.

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My anti-gender bias film test would have 4 rules in order for it to be a “good” movie:

  1. No gender-stereotypes would be present

  2. Has to have at least 1 main female character

  3. The main character can’t be white

  4. White people can’t play a role of another race other than white

I believe that it’s important for a film to not have gender-stereotypes present because there are some people out there who, while watching the film, will take offense from how they’re being portrayed because not all genders act the same way, or in the “stereotypical” way that people think of them. If they see a film where they’re been portrayed by someone that is like them, someone that they can relate to, they’ll most likely recommend the film to others. I also think that a film needs to have at least 1 main character that is a female because I feel that women don’t get as much credit for their roles, I feel like all of the attention goes towards the men in the films. Women aren’t treated as equally as men are, for example, for each dollar that a man gets, a woman gets 80 cents, which is unfair. Another important criteria would be that the main character can’t be white because other races, “minorities”, don’t get enough credit, most of the time, you’ll only see a few other races. I think that it isn’t fair for white people to take all of the spotlight and rarely give any to other races. Going along with this, another one of my criteria is that white people can’t play a role of another race other than white. Why hire a white person to play the role of a Hispanic, when you could get an actual Hispanic to play that part? This isn’t just for real-life actors, I think that it should also go for animated movies. I think that Alice in Wonderland somewhat passes this test because Alice, a female, doesn’t enforce her gender-stereotype, she is the fighter against the jabberwocky, which is surprising because normally it’d be a male in this scene. It also passes this test because the main character is female, and there are other females that are seen throughout the whole movie. However, it goes against my 3rd rule because Alice is white, so that part fails. In Alice in Wonderland, the majority of the characters are fantasy land creatures/made-up, so in reality, they’re not playing another role of another race other than theirs. The movie, West Side Story meets 2 out of 4 of the criteria because 1 of the main characters is a female, and she’s not white, she’s Latina. However, it doesn’t meet the 1st rule because gender-stereotypes are present, because the whole play is basically like “Romeo & Juliet,” and it doesn’t meet the 4th rule because the person that played the role of Maria, was actually of Russian descent. Other than that, a lot of movies do the same, they only meet certain criterias, this is sad because all of these rules are what I would enjoy seeing in a movie.

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¡El Coma! -Sam, Rasa, Grahm

Meet Antonio! Antonio is an average guy living a happy life. The only problem is he has an arch nemesis (Máximo) who will stop at nothing to steal his life! 
Watch what happens when Antonio slips down the stairs only to wake up two years later from a coma! What happened during those 2 years of his life? What has his nemesis, Máximo, done? Find out in the gripping, edge of your seat, sweat inducing, incredibly enticing, poorly written telenovela: ¡EL COMA!

Sam como Antonio  
Grahm como Máximo  
Rasa como Maria

Naima DeBrest Gender Bias Movie Review: Catch Me If You Can

Catch Me If You Can is an American biographical drama with some elements of comedy about the life of infamous con artist Frank William Abagnale Jr’s life, who was employed as a co - pilot, a pediatrician, and a lawyer all before his 21st birthday. Frank was able to master the art of forging checks at such a high degree that between the ages of 17 and 20 managed to forge over 1 million dollars in checks and consistently escape the grasp of the Detective Carl Hanratty who was pursuing him.

The movie was released on December 25, 2002, and was directed by Steven Spielberg. The star-studded cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role and Tom Hanks in the supporting role as Detective Carl Hanratty. The cast also includes Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, Amy Adams, Jennifer Garner, and Ellen Pompeo.

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Screenshot 2017-01-12 at 8.14.36 PM

As this movie did extremely well at the box office raining in 164 million dollars and scoring high on manly audience reviews it does not pass simple gender equality movie standard tests such as the Bechdel test or the Mako Mori test.

The Bechdel test is an analysis to see if movies show the same type of respectful character development to women as they do to men. It was developed in 1985 by a cartoonist Alison Bechdel in a comic strip called “The Rule”. The test can be conducted by seeing is a movie has at least two female characters, who have a conversation with each other, and it can not be pertaining to a man.

It is hard to believe that Catch Me If You Can with such a high female cast does not fit these requirements. All the main characters female never even speak to each other. So they are stopped at the second checkpoint of the Bechdel test.

The second test that analyzes gender equality in the telling of a movie the Mako Mori test. This test was invented after some criticism was made to the Bechdel test. After the movie, Pacific Rim was released with a strong female with her own narrative that wasn’t related to a man.

Sadly the movie Catch Me If You Can also doesn’t fit this test. It doesn’t fit this test because all of the females in the movie are just plot devices to show how many women Frank Abagnale was able to seduce or to show his skills of frauding his way around life.

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Screenshot 2017-01-12 at 8.18.29 PM

I propose that we use a new test to show if movies show women in not just a morally positive light but an educationally positive light. My test would be that a movie must have at least three women, at least two of them have jobs, and at least one of them has a job that requires some form of a college degree.

One movie that fits this criterion is the movie “The Martian” (2015). This movie fits because it contains many female characters who are astronauts and work as a scientist for NASA.

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