The "Town Devil"

This is the philosophy of the Town Devil. The Town Devil was an idea introduced by an anonymous teenage designer. He introduced a line called Town Devil and no one knew what he meant by Town Devil and so this essay is the explanation for Town Devil. Through this, I am explaining what the world failed to see and even what the designer himslef failed to see which is the deeper meanings of this "Town Devil". Although it is something that is not easy to comprehend, it is easy to connect it to many other things in society once you have it down. One example is social rules which is also a big topic in this essay. I hope you enjoy. 

TD Philosophy

We all know how I was treated for being a fan of fashion and the industry. Ridiculed and questioned about my sexuality. This happened because of the place where I lived and the knowledge that people gain while growing up in that area. Baggy/sagging jeans, polo rugbies, thug life, get girls, disrespecting your elders. All the more sophisticated kids growing up around this area would be completely different…outside of the box, outside the lines, away from the masses, doing something with life. Yet the people around us kept judging, breaking us down and I looked around to see the others disappearing from the world of “differentness” slowly. One by one they all faded away and if I pass by the hood today you’ll see the meant to be millennials with baggy/sagging jeans, polo rugbies, thug life tatted on their arms or chest, surrounded by the promiscuous and immoral ladies who have been passed around by the entire “crew”. They think this is right but then again who am I to judge others, the rules are very important to everyone no matter how you feel about them.

Many people never really know what is going on around them at all times. But then again, what is going on at all times around us is actually invisible, we cannot see it unless we are some type of enlightened philosopher. This problem is a psychological issue. Everyone, according to the anonymous teenage designer, is a Town Devil. People constantly push each other away and separate themselves because of the tons and tons of rules that certain “public figures” establish. “You are gay if you wear skinny jeans”, “I like my women this and that way.” Because of these things that these figures say, people begin to make these things a priority therefore making them unofficial rules.

The teenage genius put “Town Devil” on his shirt and I wondered what it meant. He is a wealthy New York cat. A teenaager who just wants to do what he loves most. He told us about the “Town Devil” in the craziest way. The genius sent sends an extremely long iMessage. It connected to society and the way we are all disconnected from each other. “Town devil,” he said. Yes Town Devil… and I knew exactly what he meant before everyone began asking questions on what he meant by, “Town Devil”. Town Devil is the person you hate most. Society forces people to make decisions on acting harsh towards other people for your own safety. What you did not know is that everyone is the Town Devil. Everyone. I say this because there is always a time when people feel like they have to be alone. Cut from society like a piece of unnecessary fabric. You act harsh towards others because you feel like they are the ones hurting you or they will eventually. That is when you become the Town Devil. The person you hate the most. You become jaded… living life in caution just trying to protect yourself from everyone else. With that being the reality, as stated before you just became the person who you are trying to protect yourself from. You act in ways that you know are wrong but no one is mad at you because they know deep down inside that you HAVE to. The saddest part of all of this is that everyone honestly just craves true and pure connection but they destroy that themselves in the act of trying to protect themselves. It is a cycle of endless sadness. Only when you become the Town Devil and become enlightened on the subject, you will understand the true meaning of connection. Women criticize men because men want a connection but it does not happen because they automatically go into their Town Devil state. This happens to men as well. Everyone is a Town Devil. But the true sadness comes upon those who are enlightened. Those who sit back and wonder just how long the world will live in disconnection.

If you connect the Town Devil philosophy to the theorem of social rules, then you will have very extraordinary realizations. If you realize, social rules are different for different groups of people. People push each other away, or disconnect from each other because they are different from one another. This forms the different types of groups that you see in school, in the street, in movies, in cartoons, etc. The topic is so broad that it can be made into a worldwide investigation for philosophers. The Town Devil, something out of one of those really good mystery movies that gets so much hype for being great, or something that comes out of those types of dreams that you just have to go and tell your friends. The Town Devil philosophy is really something to behold.

US#8 Reflection- Sharron Norton

  • In class, we watched a video called Digital Nation. It was about the continuation of the virtual frontier. How it affects us and how we it becomes the center of our attention, and also the internet may help/hurt the world. The most memorable thing about this show was that the army recruits via gaming and when in the video when they showed all the things Movies such as this are documentaries which children our age don't watch because they pack information in like a balloon filling up with air.  We should watch videos on this topic because it tells about everything we already know, but don't want to pay attention to. Videos like this help people see their reality and how it affects us and it should not. And for my future family, I think by putting rules in place will keep them safe, but also showing them how you trust them. To always tell them when they start to look at sites that might affect their health and wellness. I don't want to be like the parents who kept the computer in the kitchen, but I also don't want to be the parent who lets their child do whatever on the computer. I want to be the future who has a give and take relation when dealing with the internet. Such as: the parents of the girl who expressed herself through picture art. In order for her to trust them with what she was doing, they first had to understand. At first the parents didn't until the realized how the internet brought something out in their daughter, then they excepted.

Advanced Essay #3 + [Finding yourself vs. Creating yourself.]

In my advanced essay #3 I wanted to drive home the idea that finding yourself is just a man made concept. I thought I would go against the grain on this essay and think about it totally different in that hard work is what makes your "self." The reason why I wanted to think of it like this is because I believe in concept that hard work can trump anything other people have naturally. I think I did this really well through good execution and finding supporting evidence for my thesis of creating yourself.

Finding yourself vs. Creating yourself.

I often hear people say “Throughout childhood you spend most of your time trying to find yourself.” They say this is the reason that childhood is so hard, but to that I disagree. To me, the idea of finding yourself is synonymous with a having a destiny. I believe that you spend your life creating yourself and your future, it is not found, and you are not born with specific purpose. There is no short cuts in doing that because creating and molding the person you want to be takes hard work. Naturally you are born with a certain amount of personality and talent through genetics, but success is created after you are born, not before. The search for real self is fiction, your personality is not waiting to be stumbled upon one day. If the search for true self was reality, when it is finally found you would become static, without any real reason to be ambitious, because anything out of that comfort zone would be considered “Not being yourself.” Although having your own opinions are unique to the specific person, having a destiny is not real. Everyday you create yourself with thoughts, actions, and dreams. It is a life experiment to mold what you like and what you don’t like. The rest is up to the person, and the people who influence that person. The people that influence you play a extremely vital role in creating yourself. What is considered as finding yourself, is misconstrued with having society’s restrictions define you. The influence that society has on a person's spirit is stronger than anyone would like to admit, and even the broadest categorization of humans are made by our society. This is shown in the article from The New York Times "Race and Racial Identity Are Social Constructs.” The article states that:

Race is not biological. It is a social construct. There is no gene or cluster of genes common to all blacks or all whites. Were race “real” in the genetic sense, racial classifications for individuals would remain constant across boundaries. Yet, a person who could be categorized as black in the United States might be considered white in Brazil or colored in South Africa.

This proves the idea that society has created broad guidelines for people's lives. I believe that these constrictions make people afraid to overstep boundaries for fear of “not being yourself.”

The concept of creating yourself is driven by self perception, and believing that you can, or cannot achieve something with hard work, and not being naturally gifted. Will Smith, a extremely successful actor once said “I've always viewed myself as slightly above average in talent. And where I excel is ridiculous, sickening work ethic. You know, while the other guy's sleeping? I'm working.” Will smith sums up my thesis of creating yourself by implying that he was never given a particular special talent, but because he worked hard and believed in himself he created a legendary career. This correlates with creating yourself because he was not blessed with a destiny, and did not wait to find himself, instead he worked hard to make his average talent great. When you are old enough to think for yourself, you began to challenge all ideas. The drive to experiment with things is created, and you begin to judge what you do and don’t like. I believe that society constructs people's feelings of identity and belonging by years of watering down what is normal. Society holds a lot of power in some people's eyes. But no matter who you are, there are repercussions of the opinions of others. Some people choose to fit in and just be normal, because that is easier. Others choose to go down the road of resistance where you experiment with things and decide whether something is for you or is not. These societal pressures are shown in The Great Gatsby "His nostrils turned to me in an interesting way” (p.71).  I understand you're looking for a business negotiation." The juxtaposition of these two remarks was startling. Gatsby answered for me: "Oh, no," he exclaimed, " this isn't the man." "no?" Mr.Wolfshiem seemed disappointed. "This is just a friend. I told you we'd talk about that some other time." " I beg your pardon," said Mr. Wolfshiem, "I had a wrong man." This shows that Nick did not fold to society pressures to do something that he did not want to do. It is not that he didn’t take the opportunity because it wasn't his destiny, but because he had created his morals, and was emotionally strong enough to deny society’s pressures.

Advanced Essay #3 - Identity

Finding your personal identity, and your belonging in this world, are composed of different factors. Realizing who you are, and all the things that you feel are not just random. It’s who you are, and there's something very important that makes you who you are. The important aspect of building your identity I want to focus on is how your past experiences shaped who you are today. From everything you have done, and what you have gone through, you have learned from, and sometimes benefited from, has built who you are. I want to go into deep research, and discover why a person is that person based from their past. Or in better terms, “Declan’s Attempt at Psychology.”

In The Great Gatsby, the author did a terrific job with building the identities and personalities of his beloved, and hated characters. Jay Gatsby, the man who has lived it all. He’s one fancy talker, a complete class act, and a very persistent man. But why? It all came from his past. At a young age he was poor, but he had a glimpse at the society of the socially elite and fell in love. He attempted everything he could to reach that society once again. He was taught how to speak like one of them, and he was taught how to act like one of them. This all came from that one life changing experience in his past where he saw the glamorous lifestyle, and it has altered his life in the most grand way. When Scott Fitzgerald was writing The Great Gatsby, he had to think about a few things when designing his characters. Their intentions, motivations, preferences, and their personality. All of those things are formed from what you have experienced in the past, and how you dealt with those situations.

According to Drake Baer from Business Insider, that we are indeed affected by what's happened in our childhood which turns you into the adult you are today. “Tons of research shows that our adult behavior stems from what we experienced as kids.” An article on, a writer speaks on how your past experiences shaped who you are. “Our response to situations, and events in our lives are all shaped by our experiences. Your thought process, our mind set, attitude, aspirations, expectations, and social behaviour are all altered or shaped by our experiences.” This is what Maaher Sayeed said about how are past has changed us. “Most of us feel anxious or experience irrational thoughts from time to time. Often there is a relatively simple background or explanation to why we are acting or thinking in an anxious or irrational way – this may for example be because of certain events in our childhood which make us sensitive in particular situations or it may be because of recent events, or a mixture of the two.” This what David Bonham-Carter had to say about the connection of your past affecting your life in the present. Writers, filmmakers, and other variants of story tellers all have to think about who their characters are, and why they are that way. I have noticed in any form of storytelling, the author/creator will give us either a brief or a long story about their past and why they make decisions like they do now because of the past.

Immigrant Struggles

  My goals from writing this passage was to include as many primary sources because I feel like this topic that I am writing about has the potential to be very descriptive if primary sources are used to support it. I felt like I did a good job on gathering sources and analyzing it to put in my passage. Something I can do better at is, improving my transitions from paragraph to paragraph. Although, I did made an attempt on doing it, but I think it would be better if I let a teacher read over it beforehand.

I was four years old when I first stepped foot in the United States. I remembered that my mother told me that I was crying for the whole plane ride, and I did not stop until a couple of days later. My parents and I settled down in Kensington, in North Philadelphia. Other than going to school, I was not able to go outside because it was a really dangerous neighborhood. I struggled through Kindergarten because of my lack of English. There was no such thing as an ESOL program in that school. I did not learn to read until 4th grade in a different school. My teacher developed my interest in reading and writing and that is when I started improving. I remembered that I was one of those kids that was pulled out of class to take a separate class that was much more basic. I was lucky to be part of a school with an ESOL program because I know that not all immigrant kids are able to get this opportunity.

As of 2013, it is recorded that around 41.3 million immigrants lived in the United States. Immigrants made up a lot of what is America today. For example, back in the 1800s, Chinese immigrants were exploited to the west of the United States to build the transcontinental railroad. Without that innovation, it would be hard to say that we would have functioning transportation. Immigrants were involved in many more creations to America, but as of today, they are not getting the credit they should be getting.

A lot of the immigrants here today are not able to receive full benefits from the states because they are undocumented. In the video (on the second link of the bibliography), Jong Min, a undocumented immigrant said that it was hard for him to fit in with his friends because some of the things they were doing was not applicable to him because of his status in America. In some states, undocumented immigrants are not able to get a driver’s license, get a certain job, go to college, etc. Jong Min said that it is like living in an invisible prison along with your family.

In the same video, Pedro is also an undocumented immigrant in America. He was told that he is undocumented by his brother in second grade; at first, he did not know what that meant, but overtime he understood and slowly became a little more wary about his future everyday. His fear for his future is a feeling that most undocumented immigrants get. No matter how hard you work to get a good education or a job, it is unlikely to happen because you are simply not documented. Luckily, he was able to get an education at Cornell University. He was on the bus to the university, one day, and was stopped by a police officer. Everyone in the bus was asked to come out, and they were all checked to see if they have citizenship. Pedro told the truth saying that he was an undocumented immigrant; he was then handcuffed and sent to prison. He was asked to perform a finger scan and strip his current clothing, so he can put on the jail suit. He said that he was really lonely in the jail cage, he was not able to contact his family or have access to almost anything; he was also not able to receive basic health checkups.

A lot of the undocumented immigrants or immigrants today have the fear that either them or one of their family members will get caught and deported back to their home town. Immigrants have much to fear for in this country and it is sad to realize that most of America is built because of those immigrant. In school, besides struggling to speak English, they often struggle to make friends, understand the teacher/lesson, interact with the school community, etc. Immigrants have struggle to adapt to their new American lives, and because of that, they have a hard time moving forward into achieving their goals.

Belonging doesn't exist - Advanced Essay #3

In my advanced essay #3 my goal was to explore the question of constructing your own identity and how your awareness of who you are eliminates the idea of wanting to belong. With every advanced essay I've been seeing a development of my writing and descriptive skills. In my advance essay I not only wanted to create a mental image in my readers mind but I wanted to leave an impression on the readers mind.

While watching a Ted Talk given by Thandie Newton in my English 3 class, I was captivated by her accent that I never knew she possessed. Her words caressed my ears and massaged my brain, losing the nerves and allowing my thoughts to flow down into my heart. I went home and later that night I watched the video again. The silence in my room allowed me to analyze every word that rolled off her tongue. Newton confessed her struggle with finding her identity. She spoke on an idea that she assumed most of us believed. She said “We start to believe that belonging confirms our self existence.” I do agree, some believe this idea and they make it a part of their lives. But I have also came to the conclusion that when we become aware of our internal differences, the craving of belonging no longer exists. Even if our desire is to fit in, once we know we don’t belong or fit into society’s norms  we will never be able to do so.

Children’s laughter fills the warm house. The sound of little feet kiss the ground passionately as they play around in the house. The children's mother sits at a large brown wooden circle. On top of the wooden circle sits a sewing machine. She looks up occasionally from the fabric that is being pierced by a needle. The doorbell rings and a small brown girl stops her laughter and approaches the door slowly. She looks back quickly before opening the door for her mother's permission. She opens the door and closes it, “Ahhhhhhh, Help! Help! It’s a black man!” The tall dark figure waiting behind the door looks down at the small brown child puzzled but slowly filling with anger. The mother gathers her robe and rushes to the door just to see it is the husband of her friend. He is coming to pick up the garment the mother has made for his wife.

My mother describes this moment just as she lived it.  This was the first black man she seen that came to the door. She had heard bad things about them on the T.V. She didn’t know she was black until her first encounter with racism at the age of 8. Her mother was a caramel color and her father was Puerto Rican, light and pale. He spoke broken english but he was the only man she was taught to call daddy. My mom grew up in a household full of diversity. She lived and was raised in a predominantly white neighborhood. She had three brothers and four sisters; Victor, Mario, Angelo, Santa, Ava, Vida, and Terria. All of their names were from Spanish origin except for hers. They were all yellow-toned and her brown soiled skin made her stick out like sore thumb. Her hair was a thick wild bush of coils and it took a hot comb warmed by fireplace to get it straight.

My mother was the only child with an African American dad. My grandmother’s first child’s, Terria, father was Jamaican and Chinese. Her second child Vida’s dad was Brazilian. Her last children Mario, Angelo, Ava, Victor, and Santa were born to Puerto rican men.

For a while my mother was very color blind. Not in the sense that she didn’t want to realize the differences between her and the people she was around but because she just couldn’t see them. She never noticed the difference in color between her and her siblings. But other people couldn’t help but notice she didn’t belong. As my mom grew up she became aware that she was different, but she never let her otherness stop her growth as a person. Majority of her friends were white and she dated people of all different ethnicities. She dealt with many acts of racism from both white and black people. Her skin color was too dark for the white people and her language was “too white” for the black people. But one thing that my mom never struggled with was finding her identity and being comfortable with everything she was and everything she would become. To this day my mother still feels like she doesn’t belong. She deals with the “You sound so white” comments and being called a “valley girl.” Once she realized she didn’t belong she never fit in. Her awareness became a strength and not belonging became a limitation. All with positive effects.  

U2 #8 (lilly roman)

The video we watched was called Growing Up Online.

1. The show was about how open the internet is. A lot of kids posted things they would not do in real life, thinking it was "safe" and "personal" when in reality, it was open to anyone and everything.

2. The thing that stuck with me the most was the kid who ended up committing suicide. The fact that these kids were just relentless in their teasing and bullying was insane. While they stayed safe in their bedrooms, this kid was being pushed down without them even lifting up their hands. Eventually he even found websites and a kid to talk about suicide. All this without his parents even knowing.

3. I felt that it is important to watch the video is because everything in this world nowadays is online. People need to realize that the internet is a tool and not a toy. Nothing you do is going to come without consequences and the internet especially is not an exception.

4. To keep family safe from certain aspects of the internet, I want to show them what can happen and how dangerous it can be. I want to make sure they understand how bad it is, but at some point, I think you need to trust them to do the right thing after a while. 

5. Like the boy, you need to be aware of whats happening in your family and making sure they aren't hurting themselves or others. 

6. To let my parents know about internet safety, I would probably sit down and talk to them about it or even on a car ride. I talk to them about the good and bad things and how we can use the internet to benefit our family. 

U2#8 Reflection

​We watched Frontline

1) The show was about teenagers and parents dealing with the internet.

2) I think the most memorable thing was that girl with anorexia and all those pro-anorexia sites. I found that a little disturbing.

3) I don't know if it's important or not. This specific documentary only interviews the people who've experienced the negative parts of the internet. I don't know if all internet related documentaries are like this. It’s important to make sure that the documentary isn’t biased first.

4) I’ll inform them the positives and negatives of internet usage.

5) It’s important because the internet is everywhere so people who use it should have thorough knowledge of it.

6) I would tell them to just talk to their kid without seeming like they’re prying too much.

Advanced Essay #3 Ameena Atif

Introduction Paragraph

For this Advanced Essay I wanted to explore a challenging topic. Colorism in the African American community is something that affects me a lot of my friends. I wanted to develop my thesis more. I think I did well with the topic I choose.

Colorism reeks havoc in the black community. Colorism is prejudice or discrimination based on the relative lightness or darkness of the skin. Unfortunately, colorism often occurs within an individual's own ethnic group. It is an attack to an African American women’s confidence and hope for acceptance in the black community. Beauty is only a small part of the problem because for a long time African Americans weren’t even considered human. From 1619 to 1865 (246 years) African Americans were slaves in this country. Eventually emancipation for all slaves was granted, but it lacked a plan with rights. The years 1865 to 1964 was a period of post enslavement as slaves were physically free but remained without real rights.

Colorism for women in the black community stems from slavery. It is widely known that many female slaves were raped by their owners and in return produced children with lighter skin complexions. An imaginary line was distinctly drawn between House Niggers (usually slaves with a lighter complexion) and Field Niggers (usually slaves with a darker complexion) and has festered into what we know as “Lightskin girls vs darkskin girls”. Time has engraved this separation into the minds of the black community and has trained African Americans to not only let others separate them, but to separate themselves.

Colorism is an illness to black women’s confidence. It all comes down to the belief that the lighter skin you have the more valuable you are. Lightskin girls/women are held to a higher beauty standard than women with darker skin complexions. When others say, “You’re pretty...for a darkskin girl” they know that they’re complimenting her but do not know that they’re setting her up for comparison.

We should not ignore the discrimination that women of color with lighter skin tones face. They face derogatory names such as lite brite, redbone, high yellow, etc. on top of the derogatory comments that all women of color face. On an episode of "Oprah's Lifeclass," Iyanla Vanzant joined Oprah to discuss colorism and the prejudices people can face based on it. Two of Oprah's lighter-skinned audience members shared with  Iyanla the colorism discrimination they face. The first audience members recalls, “As a light-skin African American woman I can tell you like yes I have darker family members, I see what they face and what they deal with. I don’t tolerate it, I was never raised in my family to tolerate at. At the same time though being a light-skinned girl, you get called names. You get called 'lite-brite,' you get called 'high yellow,' 'redbone.' This is a reality every day and they make you feel as if you’re not black enough like you're alienated from your own people. You're never black enough,  "But we're still black in America. None of us feel advantaged." Both dark-skin and light-skin women experience the same prejudices that all African American women face but at different levels. Women of color face colorism from outside of the black community but it is made worse when they cannot find comfort and identification with their own people.

In conclusion, colorism is a well rooted disease in the African American community. It cannot be healed unless those in the African American community are educated on what colorism is and how we use it against each other.

The Double Minded Man Macbeth: Sean DeSilva and Jason Lam!

For our project, we decided to do a playbill! The main reason why was because we felt that we were able to express our idea easily with a simple picture and a quote! We wanted the audience who read our play bill to fully understand the inspiration of Macbeth and how it affected the way we read Shakespeare. Macbeth was a hero and he turned into someone we didn't know as he was influenced by many thing and people. Lady Macbeth influenced him into killing King Duncan for power. The witches influenced Macbeth with their prophecies and that made Macbeth want to have power and rule. My partner and I wanted to include information on the killing scene and how Macbeth transformed from this amazing, brave hero to this confused tyrant! Jason Lam wanted to include include the information of the Macbeth's transformation here!

For the actual design on how Macbeth will look like on the Play Bill, we wanted to have a tear going down from his left eye which is a tear of blood. This resembles how Macbeth had killed many human being but he still has sympathy and compasion for the ones he didn't want to kill but was forced to. A good example of this would be King Duncan. We wanted to center out the design of Macbeth;s portrait from head to shoulder. The reason being is because we wanted that to be the main attraction and show how Macbeth stands. We decided to include Macbeth holding a dagger, but then we turned that into Macbeth's hands being bloody. Thus showing the audience that Macbeth is in fact  a killer!

As you can see here this is our FINAL PRODUCT LINK:

We have the process and how Macbeth finally came to be! We wanted to get a general idea on how he should be placed and the physical features he should contain. After we had thought of the general placement and physical feature idea, I decided to experiment on what he should be wearing. I wanted him to wear royal knight gear, with his crown on-top of his head. This shows that he is ready to fight with the "royal might" he has left. With the hair style I wanted to make him have a old fashion, clean and noticeable hair style. This shows that this has taken place a long time ago since the outfits are not modern. With the color scheme, we wanted him to have a grey knight gear along with the black hair complementing his skin color which is peach. With the crown I included the two colors green and blue showing that those are gems on his crown along with the bloody tear which is obviously red. Macbeth's facial expression meant everything so I wanted to incorporate that in the center of the playbill. Showing his anger through a sorrowful tear. After we had covered that, I outlined everything with a pen to make sure that the outlines are what we want to focus on to add more texture. Then, we decided to include the quote "Will all Great Neptune’s oceans wash this blood clean from my hand?” in the background. This shows that he has bloody hands and he has regretted his decision and his corrupted mentally. Many decisions were made and many quotes were used to finally decide on our master piece!

Digital Nation Reflection, Ahmed Ahmed

​We watched a television show called Digital Nation. The show was about how teenagers' experience with the internet and how the internet affected them. To me the most memorable part of the show was the segment where a married couple were interviewed and talked about how long they were together and so, but the craziest thing about their relationship, is that they met on an online game. It is important to watch these videos. These videos allow viewers to be aware of what would and/or could happen to them if they continue to use the internet for a long period of time. I would keep my future family safe by limiting computer access to a couple hours a day and activating safe search. It is important to talk about internet safety with your family so you can prevent them from seeing or doing things on the internet before they actually occur. I would tell them to take away all online devices to cut off all communication to the internet or enlist them in a fun program to reduce their time online.

Growing Up Online

What TV show did you watch in class?
    Growing Up Online

    What was this show about? 
    It's about kids growing up with the internet and all the events that happen with it.

    What is the most memorable thing to you about this show?
    The most memorable thing about this show is seeing how different it was for students growing up online back in the early 2000s 

    Why/Why not -  is it important to watch shows like these? 
    It's important to watch shows like these to learn about your surroundings on the internet.

    How will you keep your future family safe online?
    I'm probably going to use website restrictions on the computer as well as time restrictions. 

    Why is it important to talk with your family about internet safety?
    It's important to talk to your family about internet safety, making sure they know what to do and how to handle something that occurs on the internet.

    What advice would you give to parents that don't know how to keep their children safe online?
    Make sure your children know how to stay safe online, teaching them the right and wrongs of the internet. Check up on your children once in a while and not every 5 minutes. Give them some computer restrictions I guess. 

    Advanced Essay #3 - Crafting Our Identities from Families

    Part of our job as human beings involves mimicking. It’s hardwired into our bodies from evolution. This simple trait, or rather ability, allows us as infants to watch our parents and people around us talk and walk. Once we begin to learn how to talk and speak a language, our mouths just spew out all of the words we know; or for some only saying a few different words to mean various things. When we finally have passed our early stages of communication, we’re able to formulate and keep track of thoughts. And although each human is there own person, these thoughts aren’t really our thoughts. Like how we learn to walk and talk, our thoughts come from our family and reflect what they believe because most of us at that age have yet to understand who we are and what we think. According to a test performed by the University of Michigan, family influences the adolescent

    My mother Angela Allen grew up in Plainfield IN, a town with very little diversity - religious, racial, political etc. She recalls a time when she was nine years old where her and her family are riding in their car from my mother’s hometown to where her Grandparents live in Clinton, IN. Angela sat in the back of the car next to her sister while their father was driving and their mother sat in the passenger. Angela noticed the daily newspaper that rested between the two front seats, the paper was the Indiana Star, one of the two newspaper businesses in the state. When my mother’s family arrived in Clinton, they first stopped at a family friend’s house. Here Angela played with her sister and her friend Mary Anne in the backyard while adults talked on the patio. Angela overheard the adults discussing political events. Angela was familiar with the topic and excitedly said “I know about that. I saw it in the Indiana Star!” All of the adults looked over at Angela and one of them chuckled and said “Only Republicans read the Indiana Star!” Angela was still very new to the world of politics and from her understanding, everyone in her, family was a Republican. Angela said “My grandfather reads it, he’s a Republican.” and to this the same adult responded “Paul Chilton, a republican?!” the adults then all laughed, including Angela’s parents. Angela was confused and it was here where she first realized that people do not have to have the same political opinions.

    When we are young, all of our thoughts and beliefs from our family are our thoughts and beliefs. Until we become teenagers. Not always but usually at the age of 12 or 13, sometimes earlier sometimes later, kids start to create their own opinions. At this point most kids have already made their opinions on simple things like their favorite color and what music they like, but when tweens become teens they begin to form deeper beliefs especially about who they are. Later on in Angela’s life she began to think differently from her parents, especially her father who was a bigoted man and held prejudice against many minority groups. Angela recalls sympathizing with the groups of people her father spoke negatively about and she says that her interactions with her father “relate to what my morals and political opinions are today.”

    Creative Project - Playbill - Caroline & Julia


    We have made certain choices when we did our project, and here is an explanation for these choices.

    We decided to make the illustration on the front cover of a broken chain to symbolize the Chain of Being. The Chain of Being is the hierarchical structure of all matter and life, according to people of the Elizabethan era. According to legend, an attempt to break the Chain causes disorder and chaos. The play, Macbeth, reflects on William Shakespeare's belief in the Chain of Being. On the front, we will also include the word “Playbill” in bold, in order for it to stand out and catch attention. We will also add “Macbeth” so that when the reader looks into our Playbill, they are aware of who we are talking about from the play. We will also add the words, ¨Chain of Being,¨ over the Chain itself to make it clear that the Chain symbolizes the Chain of Being. At the top, we will also add something about our stage being on Broadway.

    Early on in the play, Macbeth, who is a Scottish thane and a soldier, murders King Duncan. As a result, numerous strange things began to happen, such as the sky looking like it is night time when it is actually the middle of the day, a mousing owl attacking and killing a falcon, and King Duncan´s royal horses going wild. These strange events are an effect of the Chain of Being getting broken.

    We decided to show the play on a Broadway stage and include Broadway actors as the roles because Broadway is a very appropriate place to show the play. Broadway is a dramatic setting and will be able to capture all of the details of the scenes. Broadway is also an extremely popular play company. Numerous famous plays, like The Book Of Mormon, Les Misérables, Wicked, and The Phantom Of The Opera, were performed on a Broadway stage. We think that Broadway performance would be the most fitting for a Shakespeare play.

    We also decided to include a picture of the theater and a description of the parts of the theater to provide an analysis of the things that affect the play. The music and lighting have a huge effect on the mood of the play. The music sets the mood for the play. Dramatic, suspenseful music adds suspense for a suspenseful scene, and upbeat music adds an extra good feeling to a happy scene.

    The lighting also affects the mood of the play. Lack of lighting creates an ominous mood, and a lot of lighting provides an upbeat, happy mood. Lighting can also be used to show whether or not it is daytime or nighttime in a play, and whether the characters are in a dark room or not.

    In conclusion, these are the explanations for the choices we made in our project. We included an explanation for the cover, the stage, the choice of actors, and the stage description in our playbill.  We tried to think of a good explanation for each of our choices. We think that these explanations turned out good, and we hope that they did turn out good.

    Screenshot 2016-01-19 at 9.51.49 AM
    Screenshot 2016-01-19 at 9.51.49 AM

    Macbeth creative project (Alan, Salsabeel)

    We have chosen a video for our proposal because it demonstrates the scene of Macbeth killing King Duncan vividly. For example, before Macbeth kills the king, he goes through psychological thoughts in his head and he suffered some kind of psychosis or hallucination because of it. In addition to the distress Macbeth had to face, a video would depict it in a realistic way. Furthermore, when King Duncan stares at Macbeth with his last minutes of his life, it could show the audience the terror from his tone of voice and facial expression. In conclusion, we chose to do a video as an option simply because the scene can depict Macbeth as someone who is struggling on which decision to make that anyone could relate to some part of their life.

    The project we plan to complete is we are doing the video depiction and we are planning on completing it by following our to-do list, and the calendar we made. We also have a due date for each of the things we need to complete, like for example, what day we should have the costumes for the video, what day we are going to need to film,  etc. Also, we are going to use other people from the other streams to help us film during lunch. That’s how we plan on completing our project.

    Advanced Essay #3 Aldo Caushaj

    My goal for this essay was to understand the idea of loss and how it influencias people does this shape their identity, and for those who are influenced by this how does it shape them and what gives them the drive to come out of all this bad that happens to make something good. I think by the end of this I can understand that people who have gone through great loss and have come out okay in the end better then they were before have truly experienced a lot.

    How do we think of the things that make us who we are when we are older what shapes us to becoming the men , and women that we will one day become. Is it our family the people we associate ourselves with our is it possible that we are the ones that decided who we become like when we reach adulthood. This is the question have you ever thought about it ? If not then why not consider the idea that we are shaped by what we lose in our lives not by what we gain, If we were given everything we were ever asked for would it be taken for granted or could we understand the significant value that it has or  would it just cause us to ask for more. I think people that have a better understanding of what they want to be when they get older if they have significant loss in their life that tends to help them see of form the person who they want to become later on the reason that this is possible is because the people have have lost what's precious that tends to make people spiral.   

    “The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”

    This quote makes me feel like the idea that once you have lost an important person to you then you tend to feel as if that is the worst feeling you will feel like a gaping hole has been made into your world which feels like nothing well ever get better again. It also means that you have to find the strength to pull yourself out of that hole through doing this will you be stronger for it but you will also help you have a better idea of what kind of person that you want to be later in life. When I was around 10 years old my best friend had lost his younger brother it was what you would call the normal drunk driver situation my friend was so shocked that there was this dark time in his life were he felt that there was nothing that he could do to handle it he then chose to let himself go into his emotions and let that dark time consume him he ended up getting into a lot of fights with people, and started missing school to the point where he did not show up anymore.

    I lost touch with that person as time went on , and one day out of the blue I had found out that he had committed suicide. It felt like it was something that you hear about not something that you would expect to happen to someone you knew it hit you out of the blue and it make it seems like it was a sick joke but there was not punchline, you weight and weight and you think that he was going to come out with a punch line but he never does. I just had to expect that he was gone he was in a dark place he had experienced loss but he was not one of the few that could handle it.

    “The master says it’s a glorious thing to die for the Faith and Dad says it’s a glorious thing to die for Ireland and I wonder if there’s anyone in the world who would like us to live. My brothers are dead and my sister is dead and I wonder if they died for Ireland or the Faith. Dad says they were too young to die for anything.  Mam says it was disease and starvation and him never having a job.  Dad says, Och, Angela, puts on his cap and goes for a long walk.” (113)

    This quote makes me feel that the reason that the people who could not take the loss, and the people that had give up their lives they did it for there own reason maybe it was because they had faith in something that we don't understand they gave their body and soul to a power that they feel safer with maybe this is there escape from the pain or a way to be at peace and go back to the ones that they lost either way there loss helped shaped their choice.

    Advanced Essay #3: Identity & Belonging at SLA


    My larger idea in this paper was to develop ideas about how I felt in my school community. My objective in writing this paper was to come to an understanding of where my place was in SLA and if I truly belonged there. I never thought about my identity in school or anywhere really. So exploring along this topics with 3 specific questions for investigation; I think I found a great conclusion.

    Final Paper:

    I’ve always felt like a small flower transitioning to blossom but I never felt like I was able to blossom as fast as the other flowers. My experiences at different schools have challenged me to either become creative or more constructive. Starting in a montessori for 1st-3rd then transiting into a private school from 4th-8th, I was open to creativity and then slightly told to part from it. The structure of a more strict environment had a toll on me; I felt restricted. Then my first year of high school came and it was different than what I thought it would be. I was used to seeing faces like mine or little to the spectrum of diversity. Transitioning to a community where all general ethnicities were represented was fairly new to me. However, it wasn’t shocking because I understood that the world wasn’t just white and black. Nevertheless just Asian or Latino. It reminded me of a quote by Ani DiFranco “I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort, where we overlap.” Yet, based off what I saw from other kids I instantly began to think that I didn’t belong there. I didn’t feel limited to only associating with kids that looked like me but I noticed that I spent less time with those who didn’t. I didn’t open my boundaries or experience new cultures right away because I was scared that I had change who I was.

    When I arrived, I felt like there was only a connection because my brother was an alum. I let my past experiences construct my idea of who I should be and where I belonged. My connection to this community didn’t feel like it was genuine, as if I wasn’t here for myself. I knew it would look good for my college applications and sound nice from word-of-mouth to say, “I’m a student at a Philadelphia magnet school called Science Leadership Academy located downtown.” It sounds so sophisticated from the full lips of a black girl. Another girl looked at from the world as loud, rude or aggressive and labeled. I didn’t want to fit in this stereotype so I finally developed my own reason for coming to SLA: To make the standards of a black teenager from the city less cliche-ridden but instead a head turner. Before achieving this I had to tackle the challenges that came with it. So I began to construct my mind in the likeness that in order to achieve success, I must form an identity that belongs here.

    From the beginning of this journey all I could feel was intimidation. Trying to associate with a few kids who I might usually see during passing time that hold the door for me. Even the girl in the bathroom who is putting on the same mascara as me by coincidence. Besides the small conversations that started, I didn’t feel like I spoke “SLA’s language.” As if there was heavy dialect that only some could pull off by being shrewd, sarcastic and nevertheless having a love for satire. Yet, I just couldn’t pronounce it or understand it. All my ears heard were the long formulas that seemed to have been pulled from memories like flash cards. While all I saw was the intense ability to solve quadratic functions under 3 minutes. The speed amazed me and my desire to belong began to grow. I felt like I needed to change myself in order to fit into this community.

    My peers had an advanced large vocabulary, such as verisimilitude. Compared to my average choice of realism, granted it did mean the same thing but what I thought mattered was the amount of letters in the word.  My mindset was that if I changed myself I automatically didn’t have to identity as the black girl trying the defy the odds of a stereotype or the one conforming to it. Instead I wouldn’t be in that category at all so I could make myself belong somewhere else. Yet, I didn’t know what belonging should even feel like; just having friends? Being “smarter”?  Solving problems and answering questions quickly? Quoted from the book titled The Great Gatsby, “I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.” (Chapter 2)  In this community, the only way that I could feel less intimidated but instead inspiring to grow to survive was to relate to my peers.

              Some of my peers I found a connection with also said that they didn’t know if they belonged here. By the time I finally began to understand this all better, I was entering 11th grade. Truthfully, when I was writing this paper. I’ve thought about how different ways to develop the idea of belonging relates to myself. In a result, if we are all so different and the only similarity we have is being different, what is belonging? I don’t think that belonging exists, but nobody really belongs. We all rely on each other to accept one another, and since we make up the community it shouldn’t be conformed to a standard. Yet, I do think identity and self-identity does exist. In addition, it takes courage to not conform to standards so you can really think hard about who you are. I still can’t confidently say that I know who I am; barely what I even like. Plus it takes time to identify yourself.

    So I am very comfortable in the idea of not knowing myself yet. Thus, beginning a part of myself in devotion to further question who I am and where I belong.  So far, I know that I could beat the label of a black teenage girl in our society without conforming to an code-switching identity. While also knowing that I belong at SLA with my own ideas, vocabulary list and achievements all fit enough to be attributed. In conclusion, I don’t know much else about myself but I’m willing to learn and experience more to let my true identity blossom.

    Macbeth Creative Project - Nzinga, Sharron

    Screenshot 2016-01-19 at 8.41.19 AM
    Screenshot 2016-01-19 at 8.41.19 AM

    In English class we are doing a project on Macbeth. My partner Sharron and I have decided to do a playbill on Macbeth the play. We are choosing to make a Theatrical Playbill with a mask of symbolic representation of Macbeth. We are choosing to do this because we want to show the play an artist's point of view. We also want the play to stick out by what people see and read. We also liked to be the second people to create a playbill, we like to be different.Our playbill is centered around the play Macbeth; therefore we decide to have a theme for our playbill. For our playbill we have decided to have Shakespeare an anniversary of all his most famous plays. The ads will be of: Romeo and Juliet, Othello, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. We chose those plays because it includes death and love in its purest form. Most of Shakespeare's plays have a hate or love or disruption of some kind.In Macbeth it has lots of hate of oneself and disruption of nature, and in our playbill we wanted to reflect on that a lot.

    As you know for every playbill, the cover is everything. We decided for our cover that we wanted to have a metaphor for what you see isn't, what you get. With that saying, we decided to also use a quote from the book. We chose Lady Macbeth and Macbeth to be the metaphor, because those characters changed the most. Lady Macbeth is a lady and ladies back then were supposed to be innocent, but she wasn't after they killed Macduff. We wanted her to look the most out of ordinary. One side has all her makeup and she looks perfect. Then the other side shows her true self, she is crying and broken. Macbeth was a tough person before he killed all his friends and people he was supposed to guard, so he has less going on on his face. One side has a mark that's gray and the other side looks like he is going threw war. We wanted our cover to reflect the metaphor of the whole play.

    Screenshot 2016-01-19 at 8.40.25 AM
    Screenshot 2016-01-19 at 8.40.25 AM
    Since we have a theme for our playbill we decided on a theater in Minnesota that featured all of Shakespeare's plays. Its called the Guthrie Theater. The theater has an open concept, so the audience can see the play from all the different sides. Each actor we chose, as you can see is from United Kingdom. We wanted the play to symbolize Shakespeare's legacy, and since he is from the United Kingdom, we wanted all of the actors to be as well. All our actors also have been in big television shows that are about the United Kingdom's royal families.

    A traditional playbill shows the stage during the show not on paper, but this in a traditional playbill. We chose five different scenes from all five acts. Each scene has different form of a stage set. It shows the audience in the front, but each scene/act shows you the different forms of how we visualize the scenes. We chose the scenes that portray both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth in a way of goodness and in times of war. The clothing we chose was from Scottish and English times. We wanted the clothes to reflect all characters, to make sure no one was left out.

    Screenshot 2016-01-19 at 9.07.43 AM
    Screenshot 2016-01-19 at 9.07.43 AM
    In conclusion, we wanted to go deeper in the book itself. We wanted to dig in and find all the emotions and hidden thoughts and feelings that the author wanted us to get out of it. In the project itself we wanted to and made sure that we contribute that. Our process thinking was to look deeper than the words on the page. Deeper than what we got out of the class.
    Screenshot 2016-01-19 at 8.31.25 AM
    Screenshot 2016-01-19 at 8.31.25 AM
    Screenshot 2016-01-20 at 11.10.33 AM
    Screenshot 2016-01-20 at 11.10.33 AM
    Screenshot 2016-01-20 at 11.10.25 AM
    Screenshot 2016-01-20 at 11.10.25 AM

    Digital Nation Reflection - Matt Reed

    We watched Digital Nation, it was about the internet. The show gave stories on both sides of the internet, people who dislike it and people who enjoy it. The most memorable thing about this show was when the boy, Ryan, was cyber bullied. He ended committing suicide. This really just made me think about how dangerous the internet can be. It is important to watch shows like this so you don't just feel one way about the internet. Yes, the internet may be a scary place, but it can also be a place to play games and get helpful information. Talking to your parents is very important because they can keep you from the scary depths of the internet. For the parents that don't know how to keep their kids safe, I have some advice for you. Monitor your childrens activities, but don't tell them.

    Screenshot 2016-01-12 at 11.25.28 AM
    Screenshot 2016-01-12 at 11.25.28 AM

    Rationale, William Huang and Shilo Kendall

    The purpose of this project was to show our knowledge of Macbeth in a creative outlet. My partner was William. We decided that we would start with the idea for the cover first. We had a debate between a sea turning red, a hand reaching for a dagger, or a combination of both. We then finally decided to do Macbeth’s hand reaching for the dagger because it was our favorite scene. We did not  incorporate the sea because there would be too much going on at once. With the cover, we decided to have it hand-drawn because we thought it would be the easiest to do it in that manner. We then moved on to the characters. We decided to completely make up the characters so that we could be super creative with their bios. We also decided to have Macbeth performed at the Arden Theatre because it’s a local theater we would like to support. After that, we decided who would do what and when they should do it with a calendar that we made.

    Shilo William

    • character descriptions and drawings - description and drawings of stages

    • design layout - summary

    • characters bio - design layout

    • rationale   - rationale

    • advertisements - some of the character description

    We chose Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, The Witches, and Macduff to create descriptions and drawings for because they are all very important aspects of the play. They cause conflict, insanity, etc. The settings we chose are as follows: outside Macbeth’s castle before and after Duncan’s death, Macbeth’s castle, Macduff’s castle, cave where the witches were hiding, murder scene of Duncan, and forest where Banquo and Fleance were pursued (war ground is the same forest). We choose these because these were the main settings throughout the play. Typically speaking, people only watch a play when they already know the story behind it. There is a summary found on the back of the playbill, but it is only a general overview.

    With the advertisements, we wanted to showcase the local bars, pubs, restaurants, and stores in the Arden Theatre area because it made the most sense. We wouldn’t want to advertise something in Columbus, Ohio when we are in Philadelphia. Also I have been to the Arden Theatre before and I have seen some the advertisements they have, which were all local shops and such in the area.

    The stage is designed for everyone in the room to be able to see the action. It consists of course of the main stage, curtains in the front for scene changes, a screen as the backdrop for easy background changes, and four columns of seats with exits in between each.

    The audience is welcomed into the production by the Rota Fortunae, or wheel of fortune. As the opening set, it is meant to reappear whenever Macbeth does something to change his fate. The wheel is shown each time with a rotating animation created with the screen backdrop. The shield with the "M" represents Macbeth. Whenever something good happens to him, his shield slowly moves toward the top of the wheel. Whenever something bad happens, his shield starts to rotate to the bottom. When his life comes to an end, the shield falls off of the wheel.

    We looked at several examples of different playbills to base the design and layout of the components. After trying google presentations, we changed to using lucidpress. We found easier to set up the playbill and it looks nicer. This was pretty much our decision-making process.

    IMG_2570.JPG  IMG_2568.JPGIMG_2569.JPG 

    Growing Up Online - Reflection

    • What TV show did you watch in class? I watched Growing Up Online in class.
    1. What was this show about? The show was about teenagers and their experiences with the internet and how being online affected them.
    2. What is the most memorable thing to you about this show? The most memorable part of the this show to me was the segment about the girl who acted like a model on the internet and became famous online but didn't have much going for her offline. 
    3. Why/Why not -  is it important to watch shows like these? It is important to watch shows like these because you could possibly relate to some of these people and you can learn from their mistakes and experiences.
    4. How will you keep your future family safe online? I will keep my future family safe by limiting computer access to a couple of hours a day and activating safe search.
    5. Why is it important to talk with your family about internet safety? It is important to talk about internet safety with your family so you can prevent them from seeing or doing things on the internet before they actually occur/
    6. What advice would you give to parents that don't know how to keep their children safe online? I would tell them to take away all online devices to cut off all communication to the internet or enlist them in a fun program to reduce their time online.
    internet_keyboard-100042718-orig (1)
    internet_keyboard-100042718-orig (1)

    Attempting to see beyond the white curtain


    My objective in writing this paper was to come to an understanding of where my place is in the discussion of race, the reason being that I have a great passion for the subject.  While brainstorming I was hesitant to carry on with this idea because of the controversy of the topic.  Yet I concluded that my best writing would be produced from a topic I was most passionate about.  Along the way I got lost in finding the larger idea for there are so many areas to explore within the topic of race.  In the end I came to a conclusion about what I wanted my message to be.  I am proud that I carried through with my primary idea instead of backing down in fear of the controversy that the topic may hold. As I continue to write I would like to analyze sources to a greater extent.

    Final Draft

    Ever since I was a child my mom would exclaim over how delicate and fair my skin is.  Not until I grew older did I comprehend what being white truly meant. Those who are born with white skin are gifted with privilege.  Because of this some of us live in a world of ignorant bliss, a “white bubble”.  In the Jose Antonio Vargas documentary White People these statistics are mentioned in relation to the “white bubble”, “the typical white American lives in a town that is more than ¾ white (77%, as described in the documentary) and the average white person’s group of friends is more than ninety percent white (91% to be exact). “White bubble” or not, as a race we have not been forced to come to grips with how the color of our skin impacts us as people of color have.  Yet when discussing race, it is unavoidable and people get uncomfortable very quickly.  As a fellow white person, I am very passionate about the issue of race and though I have never experienced racism and do not have the ability to do so, race is something that deeply impacts me. When attempting to discuss race I myself feel a pressure as if I will cross a boundary and violate everyone in the conversation.  These feelings of discomfort raise the question of what it is that gives our race such discomfort on the topic. One man in A Conversation With White People on Race, a video By Blair Foster and Michele Stephenson provided courtesy of The New York Times, touched on a plausible answer, “I think in part it comes from a sense of shame and guilt about what racism has done and kind of how racism was built by white people.”

    In the book Learning to be White: Money, Race, and God in America educator Henry Giroux is quoted stating this, Race increasingly matters as a defining principle of identity and culture as much for white students in the 1990's as for youth of color in the 1970's and 1980's. Race significantly frames how white youth experience themselves and their relationships to a variety of public spaces marked by the presence of people of color.Though this book was published in 1999, this quote is still relevant today. This statement is not an invitation to praise white people as a race, but to raise awareness in their minds as to how being white effects themselves as well as others in a public setting.  Some white people would like to describe themselves as “color blind”.  According to the documentary White People “¾ young, white Americans say that society would be better off if we never acknowledged race.” While some white Americans think this is a solution to racism, they are further burying their heads in the sand. Though it is nice to entertain the idea that everyone is equal in a society, the truth is we aren’t. There is racial profiling that occurs every day and white civilians reap the benefits because of their skin color regardless of their opinion on the matter.  Pretending that there is no issue will not bring us closer to solving the problem of racism at hand.

    In A Conversation With White People on Race one white woman reflects that “I really did not know that I had a racial identity. I knew I was white. I had no idea what that meant, how that had shaped my outlook on life, how that had shaped my sense of optimism, sense of belonging, sense of safety, sense of feeling entitled to go help children that I thought were part of a community that couldn’t figure out how to help themselves.”  As white people in the 21st century it is imperative that we realize that each of us has a racial identity. Considering racial identity, as well as the “white bubble” and “color blindness” the white community seems to be invited into the conversation of race.  However these are conclusion which are coming from a white female in today's society based off of her own research, so take this as you will.  There is still much gray area to be covered.

    Macbeth Creative Project (Conley + Gerber)

    For our Creative Macbeth project, we chose to make a musical that made the complex story of Macbeth easier for all audiences to comprehend. The purpose of this project was to help further our understanding of Macbeth. By rewriting or illustrating or acting out events from the play, we helped to analyse the story and put it into simpler terms. This helped to make sure that we fully understood the whole story, and that we grasped the meaning behind the Shakespearean words.

    We chose to create a musical because we knew it would highlight our strong points and challenge us at the same time. We knew that we weren’t very artistically talented, so we didn’t want to try to draw a playbill. We had just made a board game for our last benchmark in Biochem, so neither of us were feeling up to making another one this quarter. We also knew that we would struggle with making anything that involved recording because our schedules wouldn’t fit very well for filming. Overall, Tommy and I felt like a musical was the best fit for us. We could be creative and use our imaginations to make our musical original, while still having to use our knowledge of the story to make our songs factual and interesting. We used these factors to create our musical and write 2 of the songs.

    Our musical consists of many songs that weave together the different scenes and acts of Macbeth. We have taken general themes from the play and put them into songs that are popular and known today. By making the songs ones that people have heard of, it makes the challenge of grasping Macbeth much more approachable. Although songs like “Hotline Bling” may seem extremely off topic, they can actually be very effective when used to define the key points of the story. We used the song “Hotline Bling” to illustrate Macbeth killing King Duncan, and also to give more background information. That’s why using songs instead of just a picture is so effective; with them we were able to not only explain what was specifically in the text, but also our interpretations and reasoning for what has occurred. For example we also wrote out lyrics to “Somebody That I Used to Know,” a spin off on the popular song by Gotye, where we demonstrated the point that Macbeth had totally lost it. We used the lyrics and tunes of songs to show how we felt about the characters and about how they felt about themselves.

    We also had to select songs for all of the important scenes that we weren’t going to fully flesh out, so we had to think about the general emotions that the scene conveyed. For example, because we are 2000’s kids, for Act 2 Scene 4 we used the “Wizards of Waverly Place” theme song, since the scene was about things being unnatural and out of place. Our interpretation of the book was heavily based on our class discussions, and by writing songs we were able to expand upon and share these understandings through our musical. To conclude, we wanted take our understanding of the play and share it using a musical that others could understand and laugh at.


    We did a lot of our work over Google Hangouts. This made it possible for us to collaborate at home, and for us to be able to get good work done.

    For some of our songs, we had to do some research. Listening to the lyrics multiple time or reading them out loud helped to figure out what our lyrics should sound like. Granted, it wasn't difficult research, and there were definitely no complaints about listening to music.
    A great tool that we found while working on this project was to find a rhyme website. Normally in writing, having a thesaurus can be very helpful. In our case, we needed to find rhymes because of how we wrote our songs. We had a rhyme tab open every time we worked.

    Overall, this project was very fun, and we both had a great time doing it. We got to show our creativity and our understanding of Macbeth all in one project. We are both proud of our effort and of our final product. Our playbill is down below and online for you to view. The first two squares are the front and back covers. The rest show the songs in our musical as well as the lyrics to two of our songs. Hope you enjoy it!

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    Essay#3: Our Identity is What Makes Us All Heroes in the Making

    My how paper is centered around the identity of heroes in a society like ours . How we define them based on what they do for the world. What, overall, makes a good hero. And I just wanted to see they are able to break away and stand out on their own really, ad makes themselves so memorable. I'm going to talk about really how that is possible for all of us  

    When I was little, I wanted to be a superhero. Not the ones that had x-ray vision, super speed, or the ability of flight. I wanted to be the heroes that didn’t need any superpowers to change the world. They were the ones that ignored the fear, the odd, and still succeeded. I called them modern day heroes. I wanted to be a modern day hero . However, the way they were made out to be, it  was like their identity, who they were, was so extraordinary, weird, and perfect. It was like they were this special individual that normal people could never hope to achieve.

    I felt that I would never have a chance to identify with the heroes. There are many heroes,  great leaders, and all around great people that we can think of ,but what makes a person a true hero? There are common theme that show that a true hero is one that is very generous, helpful, kind, loving, etc. But these characteristics are what we all posses, We are always good the same way we can have our bad days. How we identify people as heroes, is by how they possess all the qualities that we associate as only good people or the strong contain. Which is why some heroes are so relatable. And what makes them a hero is that in their worst moment with all of these negative qualities, they still attempt to do what is right for our community.

    Andrew Solomon did a Ted talk on “How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are” and he said that “You need to take the traumas and make them part of who you've come to be, and you need to fold the worst events of your life into a narrative of triumph, evincing a better self in response to things that hurt.”  We learn from experience. We learn what it means kind, treating people the way we want to be treated, because we know what it feels when people are  mean, We know what it means to be greedy because we have experienced some form of generosity. That’s just who we are, and how we make our world better.

    So if we know all these characteristics from experiencing the good and bad, and acting on them ourselves, but we define most heroes as people who only do good things,   then can someone really identify to be truly a perfect hero? Where does our true selves fit on that black and white scale when we are born as grey areas. Nobody is born a hero. when you look at a newborn baby you don't know if they will be future killer, or savior. And that is what makes it so incredible, and a little bit scary at the same time. A nobody has the ability to be the hero as much as the hero can have the ability to be a nobody. Heroes, the ones that we call the best of the best of society don't always dress in a cape with white light surrounding them. They are, most of the time, regular normal looking people. Which makes it hard distinguish which is which, and explains why the heroes can be mistaken as the nobodies. Going back to Andrew Solomon’s ted talk, he said  Identity involves entering a community to draw strength from that community, and to give strength there too. It involves substituting "and" for "but" -- not "I am here but I have cancer," but rather, "I have cancer and I am here." From that, I can see that we can all be heroes, because we all have have the ability to address the shortcomings that makes us who we are, and still do good. And if we all realize that, I truly believe we can make the world better in our own hero ways.