Creative Project - Playbill - Caroline & Julia

Rationale

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.



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Screenshot 2016-01-19 at 9.51.49 AM

Macbeth creative project (Alan, Salsabeel)

https://www.wevideo.com/hub#editor/565881445

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

Introduction:

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

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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.


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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.


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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.
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Screenshot 2016-01-19 at 8.31.25 AM
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Screenshot 2016-01-20 at 11.10.25 AM
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1m2E5dGyG1sHMITrQq9XzWxHWudp98seryHDdPcrC7GE/edit

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.


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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

https://www.lucidpress.com/documents/edit/b13c791d-5601-49f1-b1d8-f5fc35fec47f#?=undefined 

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.
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internet_keyboard-100042718-orig (1)

Attempting to see beyond the white curtain

Introduction

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.


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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.

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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.
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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.


Sheltered Schools

My goals for this paper is to tell the audience about my self and how I have grown as a person and in understand the world around. I want to convey the message to my audience that I have when I was younger I never felt out of place because I was surrounded buy kids like me. I also want to explain how I realize now how unfortunate that was, because back then I had no idea about racial issues because I was sheltered. I also feel it is necessary to understand that there is a stigma when it comes to private schools and while private schools are not bad necessarily, many private school kids are sheltered by their "lovely" community. This is obviously not what should be strived for when kids are learning about the world. I really feel good about my paper. I feel as if this is a situation that I can talk about personally and with quite a bit of detail. My process could have been better, because even though I felt as if I had a lot to talk about, it was a slow start I ended up finishing my paper on the later side.
 
I have grown up in what I would consider a middle class family. I have never felt bad about my identity, and have never gone to a school where I have felt out of place. My private pre-k through eight school was predominantly white. I assume that Hearing “private school,” most likely makes you think of snobby, privileged, rich, white kids, whose lives are sheltered. You might think that they have no idea of any issues of race and diversity. While this tends to be what most private schools are made up of, my elementary and middle school was not quite like this.
Not everything was handed down to us on a platter. Even though we had enough to pay one hundred and fifty-thousand dollars for ten years of outstanding education, we were not stereotypical preppy white kids. While it might sound odd that I am trying to defend myself as someone who went to a private school, looking back on myself as a person during those ten years, I don’t see a snobby rich white kid. I do see a sheltered white kid.
From pre-k all the way through eighth grade my class was ninety percent white and ten percent african american, hispanic, and asian. My experience with race was almost non existent, and I developed a sense of belonging. I was a white kid with twenty-five other white kids and I felt as if I fit in. I was in the majority and I felt comfortable, because, as Thandie Newton stated in her TED talk Embracing Otherness, Embracing myself, “the self likes to fit, to see itself replicated, to belong. That confirms its existence and its importance.” We were all in the same social class, and shared very similar beliefs, especially when it came to politics. Almost all the kids in my school were democrats, and it was assumed that most of us were all leaning towards the left party. When it came to race, I never understood how race was a problem in our everyday lives.
Because of my sheltered environment, I never understood how race could be an issue. While the environment at my old school taught me that being a part of the majority was a good thing, the environment at SLA told me the complete opposite. The transition was foreign to me, and quite scary, because, like Thandie Newton stated, “I still valued self worth over all other worth,” and I was no longer surrounded by people who shared my same race, background and religious and political beliefs. “My self — was trying to plug in,” and it [my self] was unsuccessful. As the community began to accept me for who I was, I was not only taught that being a white kid in a school with other white kids caused me to be unaware of racial issues such as stereotyping and racial profiling, but it taught me that it was better to not grow up in a sheltered environment. Being at SLA, I realized that I used to be completely oblivious to how our society treats the minority so horribly. Although, the main issue in my eyes, about me, was that I practically had no friends outside of my race at my old school, and I was not aware of what it was like to be the minority.
The environment at SLA caused me to change my views on race, and I no longer want to be the majority at a private school. I am glad that I am no longer surrounded by kids of my same complexion. I don’t want to feel as if I fit in simply because of my skin color. I know I fit in because I am different, and that is the beauty of a wonderful community. It has taught me that we don’t need to be the same to fit in. In fact, it is better when we all come from very different backgrounds. Being different is what makes us fit in.

Advanced Essay #3 The Detriments of The PC Movement

Introduction

When originally writing this piece, I had intended to do something along the migrant crisis, and go into detail, but I didn't feel that I liked the topic that much. After researching topics and watching debates, the Politically Correct movement stuck out at me as a problem in society that needed to be fixed. I read more into it, and developed a point of view that would fulfill being fully controversial yet knowledgeable. During the writing of this paper, I got into a 'trance' writing till I couldn't stop; ending up with 3000 words, and then having to shrink it down to a more manageable <1000 words. After finishing it, I was proud of what I have created, and hope that all that read it enjoy, and possibly learn a thing or two from it. 

The Detriments of The PC Movement


As a Muslim-American, my conservative and often fundamentalist beliefs have often been a part of my identity. As an individual, and as a member of a religious group, I feel that it’s my right to express my opinions and speak on matters, without being met with hate. When a Muslim or similarly conservative member of a religious society expresses their views, they are sometimes met with dislike. It seems as if conservative beliefs are being withheld in society. There is an ever-increasing ‘Politically Correct’ movement flourishing in society. Its goals are to prevent hate speech, by limiting talk that seems inflammatory or disrespectful toward certain groups. Although the goal of the movement is to protect identities of certain groups, it ends up limiting, and othering members of groups with conservative identities. It does this by often incorrectly reading conservative views as being hateful.

In modern society, there are often norms in the Politically Correct Movement (P.C). These are traditionally Marxist views, and began with the Frankfurt School during the 1930’s. In Critical Theory, traditional, those who identify as Conservative are forced to withhold their views in society, and non-conservative beliefs, and more liberal views are widespread. The lack of the opposite side leads to a prevalence of liberal views, which leads to biased society. If a part of society cannot express its views on certain topics, its constitutional right of free speech is being invalidated. This term, as defined by “agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.” This phrase ‘a language… that could offend a particular group of people.” is an incorrect viewpoint, as there are various situations in which one group may consider harmful the same views which another believes is correct, and vise-versa often is plausible too.

        A brief explanation of Critical Theory is that it was a criticism of traditionally Western identity. This theory was against traditional moral values, importance of religion, sexual restraint, heredity, conservatism, and patriarchy. In order to remove these traditional, conservative elements of society, one must infiltrate the society with the ‘new’ forward-thinking, liberal beliefs. This was evident during the 1960’s and the Vietnam War, along with the anti-war settlement. One important individual in the history of Critical Theory was Herbert Marcuse, who was a member of the Frankfurt School. The thesis that Marcuse developed was that “university students, ghetto blacks, the alienated, the asocial, and the Third World could take the place of the proletariat in the coming Communist revolution.” From this, we can infer that this PC movement intended to replace those with conservative views with those with more liberal views.  

This movement has received an incorrect praise. Although the intended goal of being PC could have been beneficial to society, the limiting factor it imposes on those with conservative beliefs prevents conversations from occurring, and discussions being held about issues of religions, race, gender, orientation etc. Interestingly, the idea of limiting statements that are offensive also limits the ability to speak openly. An important example of this is the comparison of religious beliefs of certain religions to the beliefs of others. In certain doctrines, it is stated numerous times some seemingly anti-homosexual verses. The holy text from which the verses are derived from is strictly followed by the believers, as a strong part of their faith. If they were prevented from speaking their beliefs on the matter, the PC movement would restrict their right to freedom of religion as well. Recently, a bill was passed in the US, which allowed such people to experience a sort of equality. In the law, it is stated that ‘homophobic’, or anti-homosexual verses were not allowed to be spoken in the public. As a result of this, those against it were blocked from expressing their religious beliefs, some even being prosecuted.  

        Therefore, there are many systems in society which offer either benefits or detriments to individuals. Although some may pose as being beneficial, they sometimes have methods of encouraging separation among smaller groups in order to form larger groups which follow similar ideas. Some traditional, conservative beliefs such as patriarchal society, importance of modesty and views against immoral activities, may be forced to be abandoned as some aspects of society force one to embrace liberal views in order to stay PC. This forced change is often represented as removing bias, whereas it is actually steering one from their beliefs into believing those that are ‘allowed by society.’ This impacts natural views and beliefs on anything from the clothes society wears, to the rights of man.


Sources
"Political Correctness / Cultural Marxism - Discover the Networks." Political Correctness / Cultural Marxism - Discover the Networks. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.

Macbeth Creative Project (Lilly Roman and Darlenny Rodriguez)

Macbeth Rationale

The two people in our group are Darlenny Rodriguez and Lilly Roman.The project we decided on was to “disneyfy” Macbeth. We wanted to take Disney songs and remixed them to form a new twist on Macbeth.  One of our songs included “Can You Feel The Betrayal Tonight” or better known as “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”.  We decided to this because we wanted to make a project that not only the audience will love, but what we would love making. Disney is a classic point that everyone can relate and understand. Not only can it help you understand Macbeth better, but it also brings this Scottish Tragedy in a creative and funny way. After all that, it makes blood and murder something fun to listen to, in a weird and twisted way, that is. After deciding to “disney-fy” our dear Macbeth, we sketched out our calendar, who was responsible for what (90% of which was collaboration anyways), and how/where we would do our work. Had we done this project again, I think we would’ve kept things the same for the most part. We worked together very well and got the things that needed to be accomplished, done in a relatively organized manner. Although, a couple things we could improve on would have to be out audio for the songs. The recordings are clear, but they are a bit hard to understand only because at times we were either singing too low or too high and the app did not allow us to fix that problem. At times we found our self re-recording songs over and over again to get it just right. Our songs can be found here!!!!

As far as the album cover goes, that was an idea that, sadly, we cannot take credit for. So that being said, I believe we would like to thank Mrs. Giknis for suggesting to do so. Though we wanted to create our songs, we were not quite sure what we would be handing in exactly. She suggested that we could create a vinyl-ish cover and put the lyrics on the back. We instantly took a liking to the idea and decided to go with that. However, later down the road, we decided to record the songs online instead and we would post those digitally on canvas, but still, we took the album idea to heart and decided not to part with it. Instead we would put the names of the songs on the album and turn the rest in digitally. What we used to record is called Ujam, a website Darlenny had found. After making an account, we were able to edit and save the songs to the website. We agreed that we would then share the link to the songs on canvas. Ujam was very easy to use and even though we aren’t exactly the “best” singers in the whole world (especially because one of us isn't a singer at all) we are very proud of our work and out tons of effort went into making this and not making people's ears explode.

One thing that was really tough getting through were the lyrics. At times we were able to finish a song on the spot, but at times the lyrics were off with the music and it because a mouth full to say at a time and we needed to find the perfect ones, that also matched Macbeth. Lilly was a huge help when it came to the lyrics, she was boosting with excitement when it came to songs we were going to use and ended picking amazing songs. The lyrics can be found here. Overall, this project was a complete success!


Our Process

The following are pictures of our process such as the app we used to record and Lilly design of the album cover

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Macbeth Creative Project (Meymey Seng and Emily Pugliese)

Welcome to our rationale about the Macbeth playbill! First of all, my partner is Emily Pugliese and we decided to create a playbill. Why did we choose a playbill out of a board game, a video, and a musical? Well, we decided that a playbill would be the perfect fit to not only introduce our playset and characters, but it also allows us to provide imagery. This would give the readers a better vision of how the scene we chose would be performed. Our understanding of how the directors feel when setting everything up will develop as we have to solve our way through the different tasks. We would be able to choose an advertisement, our actors, how the playset will be, the location of the play, and just intrigue the readers in general.

One of the key decisions that directors would make is choosing the best scene to include in the play. We chose to make this playbill about Act 1, Scene 5. The purpose of this is that in the beginning of the scene, begins one of Lady Macbeth’s most famous soliloquies. Also, this is not something that everything would be choosing to write about. We have thought about writing about the death of King Duncan but it has probably been used too many times and we want to be different.

To be able to strongly show the vivid emotions, we would need good actors. After looking and brainstorming past a variety of actors, we decided to choose Johnny Depp as Macbeth and Angelina Jolie as Lady Macbeth. This is not just because they are famous, but because we have watched them in movies and feel as if they would be a great fit for a main role. Aside from Lady Macbeth and Macbeth, there would be a servant walking in, so he would be Louis Tomlinson. Although Louis did not have any professional acting lessons, his personality is silly. Although William Shakespeare did not really describe the servant that walks into Lady Macbeth’s room, we can make a prediction. The servant is probably like the three that Macbeth hired to murder Banquo and Fleance. This means that the servant would be pretty dumb. The clothing for all of these characters consists of dull colors to match the 1700s which is when this play was written. Although, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth wear some gold because they are in royalty.

Acting without a stage is unlikely, so we would have to create a well fitting stage for this scene. First of all, we decided to locate Lady Macbeth in her room as she is reading the letter from Macbeth. This is because a room is a personal space, which is good when reading something written to you from your husband. Onto the second arrangement of the stage, a servant will walk in from the left door and have a quick chat with Lady Macbeth. On the third stage arrangement, the servant exits and Macbeth soon enters. This is where the scene gets heated and Lady Macbeth is questioning Macbeth’s manhood. Lady Macbeth also told Macbeth to act like innocent flower but be the serpent under it.

Those amazing lines about the serpent and the innocent flower, is the inspiration that Emily and I had for our playbill cover. We both feel as if this quote signifies how everything will be in the future. For example, Macbeth will act good but he actually has bad intentions. Also, we did not just choose any flower. We chose a daisy. When researching, we found that a daisy represents purity and innocence while a serpent is evil. This is how Macbeth is trying to act innocent around Duncan but is actually planning to murder him.

The process of creating this playbill was spectacular because we really enjoyed working together and we make a great team! Our communication and collaboration was good, so this project allowed us to excel on this core value. On the first day we immediately created a calendar and a to-do list. We also assigned roles to make it easier for us to keep track of things. Emily would do a lot of the drawing as I would with the writing. Afterwards, we just did each task one by one until everything is completed. We also made sure to check on one another just in case we need any help.

The overall purpose of this entire playbill is to get people excited to come see Act 1, Scene 5. Also, the purpose is to make everyone excited to come see and to show a preview of it. It is to also show who will be the actors and how the stage would look. Hopefully, all of these factors would make people want to see this play!

As you can see from our huge thought process, a lot of work and decisions were put into creating this playbill. Although this was a commonly chosen idea among our class, it is still a challenge that we beat!
Here is a link to our final product. The cover and the is not included in this document because we drew them physically.
This is Emily and Meymey working on the calendar and To-Do list.
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Emily is working on the drawings and the rough drafts are to be destroyed by Meymey.
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Meymey is working on the summary, description of the playset, and researching for the other tasks.
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Emily is working on the drawings. For example, the cover and Lady Macbeth's costume.
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With our amazing teamwork, here we present, our final product!
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Advanced Essay #3: Identifying Myself

Introduction

My main goal for writing this paper was honestly to express something that I had not ever really expressed to others but felt very strongly about. I wanted to write something that I could be proud of and that other people could read and hopefully understand what I had previously struggled so hard to say. When I started writing this paper I had thought that I would just talk about how society shouldn’t be allowed to affect your identity but as I wrote I realized that that’s not the case. My original opinion on societies affect on identity became a little different, and I now think that society and identity can go hand in hand, as I explain in the paper. I’m happy with the outcome of my essay and think that I did reach my goals from the beginning.


Final Draft

As a child I never understood why people from school who I had known for years would be surprised when my dad came in for parent teacher conferences. “Your dad's black?” Their face would be contorted with shock and disbelief. This would always confuse me. I never thought of my dad as black or mixed, or any race really, he was just my dad, but as these situations grew more in frequency I also grew to expect the shocked expressions. I would stand proudly next to my father, my broken elementary school smile there for all to see, and when conversations of ethnicity came up I was more than happy to state that my grandfather is from Jamaica. It suddenly seemed like for all of the previous times the question, your dad is black? were asked, there was an equal, if not greater amount of comments along the lines of, “It doesn’t count because you look white,” or “He’s light skinned anyways, you’re not really mixed” What does that even mean? I remember thinking. But as these phrases were drilled into my mind by my peers I started to wonder if I was mixed. I tried to correct people at first, but they would roll their eyes, say “Yeah, ok, but since you look white I’m just gonna say you’re white. It’s easier that way.”

Recently I have wondered how you get your identity. Do you receive it? Or do you create it? For most of my short life I have been under the impression that what others say about you, is what is true. Convinced that other people knew something that I would never be able to understand about myself, their words rang true in my mind, opinions turning to facts. In this way, society creates your identity and you then, receive it. This is not a bad thing; it can be helpful to get insight from others on who you are. It only becomes a bad thing when society refuses to acknowledge what you’ve decided is a part of your identity. So perhaps it’s the opposite, perhaps you create your identity and society is then the one who receives it. How they receive it, is not up to you.

What I notice more and more is that identity is influenced by both oneself and society. It is a give and take relationship, a balance that more people should understand. In a TED talks by Thandie Newton she says, “But the self is a projection based on other people’s projections.” I find that this quote has two meanings. The first being that you can show and express who you are, but you can also be shown parts of yourself that you didn’t even know existed. The second, that your identity comes only from what others have told you is your identity. The latter is what I experienced as a younger child. So many other people telling me what I am and what I am not that I accepted their opinions as correct and forgot my own.

Just because it’s a convenience for you to remember, and to put me in a box, doesn’t mean that you can. I am proud that I’m biracial. I love every part of my ethnicity and I am not ashamed to say that when you look at my family, you’ll see people whose skin contrasts their strong, dark brows and whose shoulders and cheeks turn a rosy pink in the sun. But that you will also see faces of cocoa and coffee, hair that twists, turns, and coils in the most intricately beautiful way. I am proud that when I stand with my cousins on my mother's side people say we have the same eyes and that when I stand with my grandfather on my father’s that no one can deny the resemblance. The shape of my brows, and placement of freckles a near replication. It is not just these physical similarities that connect me to all sides of my family, but our inner likeness, mostly overlooked. Little quirks that are more embedded in my DNA than any race. I know who I am and for anyone who tries to take away my identity, you can sure as hell bet that I’ll tell you, that I am a special breed of proud.


Macbeth Video - Colin and David

​Rationale


For the Macbeth creative, Colin and I decided to do a stop motion scene rendition of Scene 2, act 1. At least, we decided to attempt to create a stop motion. We chose this idea by eliminating the other options. A playbill and a program would be too easy, we thought. And, we could not come with another idea for the “Other” choice. We were arguing about whether to do a board game or the video scene depiction. I wanted to do the board game, because I did not want to act. Colin wanted to do the video scene depiction because he thought the board game would be too hard. We went with the video scene depiction and I guess we compromised because I did not have to act and Colin got to do his video scene depiction. At first, we thought that actually acting it out would be what we were going to do. But no. That would be too boring. We then brainstormed other ideas. We eventually decide to do a stop motion for the video scene. We then had to decide what scene to remake. We talked a lot about this and finally came up with the idea to do Act 2, Scene 1. We thought that scene would be really cool to remake because of the very vague description that Shakespeare gave us about the scene. We knew we could make it any way we wanted to. Picture one a a screenshot of what our ideas page looked like. We decided to make the set of of legos, maybe make it look cool. But then changed our minds when we realized that that would take too long. We also thought that clay characters would be great, but again, that would take too much time.  We thought of a lot of ideas to do this. For example, we brainstormed about where the scene would take place, where the people would walk, and how we would make that possible. We did all this brainstorming because we wanted to be sure about everything before we started to build the sets and take pictures. A lot of them we changed after we started doing the actual take of pictures. We decided that I would make the set, Colin would make the characters, and that we would work together to edit the pictures together. After we started taking pictures, I was getting worried about how we were going to able to go this. We started filming pretty late and only at lunch. I took most of the pictures while Colin was on WeVideo putting all of the stuff together into one, beautiful film. I was really worried that it would not be done in time and that we would miss something. Me being the control freak that I am was really worried. But I just had to let go and let Colin work the magic. I really hope it comes out okay and that you guys like it. We put in a lot of work!


Process Pictures


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Advanced Essay #3: Identity and Nationality

My goal for this essay was to explore the relationship between identity, nationality, and immigration. I wanted to understand how immigration influences identity and how it impacts our feelings of belonging and acceptance. I learned a lot about this topic through writing this essay and I feel as though I’ve learned more about my identity.



My Ecuadorian mother was born in Eugene, Oregon one December night over forty years ago. Both of her parents were from Ecuador but she was never able to get Ecuadorian citizenship because the application to the closest Ecuadorian consulate, which was in California, was lost in the mail. By the time my grandparents found out it was too late, and my mother would have to remain a citizen of the United States of America. When my mother was two my grandfather finished graduate school and decided that it was time to move back to Guayaquil. My mother has no memories of her time in the United States as a young girl. She has always considered herself to be an Ecuadorian even though she was born in Oregon, probably one of the furthest states from Ecuador, and never became an Ecuadorian citizen. Twenty two years after moving to Ecuador my mother returned to the United States and came to Philly to go to graduate school. While in school she met my father and married. Originally they were going to live in Ecuador but the financial situation of the country was very unstable at the time and it was difficult to find jobs so they decided it was best if they stayed in Philadelphia. It’s strange to think that if the whole financial instability situation in Ecuador had not occurred I would have been born there and I would probably still live there. Every once in awhile I like to think about how different my life would be if I was born in and lived in Ecuador. Would I be the same person? How does nationality affect identity?

I have lived in the same city all my life and in the same house for as long as I can remember. I have never felt that I do not belong in Philly or in the United States and I am aware that the city I have grown up in has had a large role in the development of my identity. My mother has had a completely different experience. She was born in the U.S. to two foreigners, moved to a Ecuador where she never legally a citizen, and then moved back to the United States. So how has the development of my identity differed from the development of my mother’s identity? The development of my identity has been relatively easy. I’ve been influenced by the culture of in Philadelphia but mostly influenced by my family and the people I have met. For my mother it was mostly just as easy. Growing up she considered herself Ecuadorian. She didn’t even remember anything about the United States. Once she came back to the United States it was harder. She was a citizen of the U.S. but she didn’t know the culture and she spoke with an accent. My mother now considers herself to be both American and Ecuadorian but there was a time when she felt that she didn’t belong in the United States or in Ecuador. She’d changed enough in her time in the U.S. to feel that she didn’t belong in Ecuador but enough to feel that she did belong in the United States. The only difference between the development of our identities was that small amount of time when my mother felt that she didn’t belong and that came from a change of location.

Nationality and immigration both have a role in shaping identity and fostering feelings of belonging. In an article, Vivian Gerrand explained how belonging and identity related to nationality and immigration:


“This sense of belonging is more than just about growing up here; it comes from a sense of individuality as much as from cultural influences. It shows that identity is never fixed; there is always movement between cultures. This new sense of belonging separates out the idea of fixed national, collective and individual identities.”


This shows that identity is something fluid. Nationality influences it and as people immigrate their identity changes because of their new experiences. My mother has lived longer than me so it is only natural that she has had more opportunity to explore her identity and to see it be shaped by new experiences in other countries. She is an example of how immigration changes identity and makes it more diverse. A diverse identity can only be a good thing because it allows us to be more open minded and more willing to understand those who are different than us.

Advanced Essay #3: Kai Burton

Pinterest is a platform for all things DIY and any other interest you might have. It is a fairly simple concept, you search through pins that you like and things that you want to buy or ideas that you want to try later, you can pin ideas on boards that may have on different topics and genres. It was a cool fall night and I was trying to find the perfect outfit for my fall birthday. My eyes were squinted trying to block out the blinding light, still shining under the dimmed brightness. My finger was sliding through the thousands of pins of white women modeling fall fashions, and pins that are used to execute that perfect fall smokey eye for blue eyed girls. At first I didn’t think anything of it, so I went to the search: fun fall looks. What came up was pages and pages worth of blond women, with intricate updos meant for long thick flowing hair. I searched for ten minutes and nothing came up. My tired fingers typed, black hair, to see if I would have any luck. The next five minutes were spent trying to weed out fair skinned women with long fine black hair. Finally I typed in natural hair, and black women filled the the screen, black women with all different hair types and skin tones. I was overjoyed, I thought I’d hit the mother load, my very own lookbook right at my fingertips. Only now do I realize what a despairing day it was.

I can’t expect to walk down the street without being a novelty and someone outside of the norm. My hair, lips, nose, eyes, and skin tone have never been seen as regular, regardless of how long people with similar features have been around in this country. Everytime someone stares at the kink in my curls I want to scream/ I wonder what a world would be like without black people? Whenever I look on TV, social media, and media in general I am conditioned to think that the world would be so much better and simpler without me in it. I started analyzing my favorite shows, Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and Modern Family. All three of these shows demonstrate different types of white people and families. There’s so much diversity between these shows, but only within the white race. “The problem is there's nowhere near the diversity that our white counterparts have. We're still not allowed to be fully human in the ways they are." (Ariel Cheung, USA Today) Fortunately, in the past couple of years black people have started to be seen more frequently on our screens, but at what cost?

Younger Black women are more exposed to the extremes. They are more likely to see the negative typologies due to their higher media consumption in general, their higher tendency to look into popular culture for cues and their interest in broad self expression.” (Krissa Thompson, Washington Post) Fortunately for us people are eating up the few representations of melanin that they have been seeing on screen, but unfortunately we are only seeing the single story. When the influx of black skin reached mainstream media it only showed, back talking, loud mouthed, sassy, booty shaking black women, and aggressive and defensive men. Only recently have the people showing up onscreen been an accurate representation of all the different types of black people in reality, such as Black ish, Scream Queens, and Empire.

However I am afraid that it may be too late. After years of being ignored by the media and forced to conform into a box constructed by men who have never walked a day in our shoes, black people are really suffering. Colorism and interracial discrimination is an increasing issue in the black community and some things just can not be reversed. Since media is seeming to turn a corner and put complex black characters on the screen, there may still be a chance for black people to claim a place in this country’s story.


Q2BM Creative Project

The Board game title “Who killed King Duncan” is a fun, challenging, and  mental game for all ages. This board game is 4 players minimum. My partner, Lauren Matthews, and I decided we wanted to do a board game because a board game is the best way to find out about Who killed King Duncan . In out board game, the main objective is to use the quotes from the book as clues to find out King Duncan’s killer. The first person to guess the right killer with all the clue cards gone from in the center of the board, wins the game. The board game uses quotes from all over the the book, including the “suspects” quotes,  provided in the game. The suspects in the board Lady Macbeth, Malcolm and Donald, And Macbeth as himself.

There are four stages in the board game. Stage one is King Duncan’s  room, Stage two is the Ballroom, Stage three is Malcolm and Donalbain room, and Stage four is Lady Macbeth and Macbeth’s room. Just like in the book, all the suspects that was named, was in the house with King Duncan when his death was announced. Each player rolls the die on their turn and move on the board to the number which was roll. If the player who has the turn rolls on a  square “goblet” they pick up a clue card with the goblet in the center of the board. On the card there is certain quotes chosen from the book to that help determine who is King Duncan’s killer.

When the player at least has four of the clue cards, they have the opportunity to guess the killer or continue to gather more clue cards. If the player guesses the killer wrong twice, they automatically lose the game. To make the game just a bit challenging, there are “hot spots”. The hot spots are spots on the board where the player either moves forward or moves backward. For example on of the hot spots could be “move three space back” this prevent the player from winning.


Working with my partner has been a great way to over look Macbeth in a fun game form. Some things we had found challenging was finding time and creating dates to do the project. There wasn’t no lack of communication in this project. We found it really easy to make the board and the design of the board. We really wanted to base the board off of the game “Clue” but it was hard because we didn’t want to steal the idea . So we came together and we kind of used the layout of the board.

Game rule!

  • 4 players

  • - Pick a character figure.

  • - everyone is a victim

  • - Place the character figure on the start

  • - Roll the dice

  • - If you land in the same room too long you are automatically assumed to be the killer

  • - Take a clue when you have guessed it right

  • - Take the space as an advantage

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Staging Macbeth - Carolina Ortiz and Zaire Williams

For our Macbeth Creative Project Zaire Williams and I, Carolina Ortiz, decided to “stage” a scene from Shakespeare's play, Macbeth. The scene that we decided to stage is Act 3 Scene 3. In this scene 3 murderers,  hired by Macbeth are in the process of completing the task of killing Banquo, Macbeth’s best friend, and his son Fleance. On the stage you can observe Banquo and Fleance walking down a path in the forest. Meanwhile, the murderers are waiting for the right moment to attack their victims. We chose to display this scene, rather than other scenes we had thought of, because we felt that this scene gave us more opportunities to let our creativity and imaginations show. We also chose to display this scene because in English class we saw that there are many ways to visually set up this scene. One of the things that Shakespeare did identify about the scene was that it was about to rain. Therefore, I made the stage look cloudy as if it were about to rain, but aside from that the other visual aspects are just how we imagined the stage to look like.  
Through this project Zaire was able to show his art skills in sculpting by making the figurines that are on our stage. He was able to easily make the figurine out of modeling clay. After the figurines were made many of them broke, but I was able to easily repair them with caulk (an adhesive used in building). When planning how to make the figurines we decided to allow them to just stay white, with the exception of the third murderer. We decided to do this because we wanted the figurines to symbolize anyone that decides to play the specific roles. Furthermore, the third murderer is the only one that has color, black, because he is the really mysterious one who no one really knows anything about. Lastly, Zaire and I decided to label who each figurine stands for since there are no specific details to identify the difference between characters. We also decided to labeled them because someone who knows nothing about Shakespeare will have no clue who the figurines are supposed to represent.

Through this project I was able to show my artistic skills in painting and building things with paper. To make the stage I used a cardboard box and left the two flaps of the box to be able to put information about the play on it. On the left flap I wrote, “The Shakespeare Theater @ SLA  presents: Macbeth”. I decided to write this because I thought it would be a creative way to let people know that our project is supposed to be a stage displaying a scene from Macbeth. In addition, I thought that it would be a good idea to add the “Shakespeare Theater @ SLA” part because we have been acting out many parts of Macbeth in class and many times it has felt like we are in an actual theater.  On the other flap, right side, of the box there is a brief description of the whole play and a description of Act 3 Scene 3, followed by a picture of Shakespeare. I did this so that anyone who looks at our project and doesn’t know anything about Shakespeare will be able to have a good idea of what they are looking at. For the more visual aspects of the stage I used cardboard to shape the trees and rock. I also used paper to create the hills in the background. I then used spray paint to create the cloudy sky and used regular paint to add color to everything else. After doing that I used twigs and leaves to add texture to the scene. Lastly, I added a sliding “stage curtain”, made of fabric and wire, to the cardboard box to give it more of a theatrical feel.

In Conclusion, I hope that this rational helps you better understand the choices that Zaire Williams and I, Carolina Ortiz, made for our Macbeth Creative Project!

The Process:
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​The Final Product:
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Macbeth Creative Project- Amaris Ortiz and Alyssa Eastwood

My partner is Alyssa Eastwood.


Rationale

One of the main reasons why we chose to do a playbill is to be able to show our creativity and our take on Macbeth. We wanted to be able to change it to how we would imagine it in modern day times. We felt like the playbill would be the best option to do since we would be able to work on it over winter break without having to work through our schedules and see if we can meet up one day. Most of our work was completed outside of class. We would meet up during lunch in the library to finish what we could. One of the things we had to do when we first decided to do a playbill was to plan what was going to go on each page. We planned it out first so that we could know what we wanted to put in our playbill and then change up the pages without having to make major edits.


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In order to get our playbill to look just like any other playbill that you would get when attending a play, we looked at different examples online of real playbills. We tried to make sure our playbill looked as realistic as possible by also including pictures of our actors and the different costumes they would wear in our modernized version of Macbeth. The pictures of our actors were pictures that we took during work periods, lunch and also advisory.

When we first started the project, we settled on making our version of Macbeth more modern than the original Macbeth written by Shakespeare. We thought this way because it would then be opened to a bigger audience. Not just the typical adults coming to see them, but we would have kids our age more intrigued about Macbeth and would like to learn more about it after watching the play as well.  As we were working on this, we also learned a lot. We learned that the right collaboration is a big part of working together. We also learned that playbills are not as simple as you would have thought. We worked very hard on this and we are proud of our final product. A lot of time went into making it and putting all the parts together. For example, trying to convince a bunch of teenagers for pictures was probably one of the hardest parts. You would think they would just do it but no that's not the case at all. After a while we got all of the pictures we needed. Another hard part was trying to figure out the ages we wanted to use and who we wanted to play each character. Overall, we agree that this was one of the best projects we have done because we enjoyed working on it. It was not stressful at all because we could be as creative as we wanted and we had plenty of time to do it. We hope you notice all of the hard work we put into this creative project.



Macbeth Creative Project- Naima DeBrest & Genero Accooe

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My partner is Genero Accooe

For this project my partner and I decided to make a playbill. We thought that it would be the best way to represent the story of Macbeth. As soon as we came together to collaborate we decided on the playbill. As soon as we started we immediately had ideas for the cover. Our initial idea was to have a hand emerging out of water grasping a crown and then the water fading into blood. I believe that that was a very good idea but it kind of got lost in translation so we reverted to a different cover. We had some trouble with the cover because I wanted a very sleek computer look for the cover. We couldn't find  any free graphic design tools we can use online so we had to use the t shirt making website call “Custom Ink”. For a t-shirt website I am very happy with the quality that our cover turned out. Another reason why we picked the playbill is because I immediately wanted to do the costumes. I also one of those to look sleek and I didn't think that drawings could do or just explanations of what the costumes would look like. So I searched and I searched and I finally found a Lord of the Rings dress up game that fit the Macbeth theme  perfectly.I made countless avatars that I thought represented the Macbeth characters and what their wardrobe would look like. Since this project was in our hands we were able to put a Philadelphia spin on it by having the play performed at the Academy of Music. We also got to have some fun in the credit part of the playbill. We used some of the  Science Leadership Academy staff as our cast and crew for the play. Including Mr. Lehmann and Mr. Gerwer as the producers.I was also drawn to the playbill idea because we had to make actor profiles. With making these actor profiles I was able to make a new version of Macbeth with an ethnic cast. I was also able to make up mini biographies for these actors and actresses and I really enjoyed that. I got to make them a part of  any famous musical that I wanted to. During this project me and my partner had some very severe communication issues. We were able to get the project done on time but the workload was not very fair. I really like the organization of this project. It made the project very manageable that the assignments were broken up into tasks instead of one big project at one time. This really help me and my group member be more organized. Even though we did not follow it  that much I really liked the calendar idea. All in all I did enjoy doing this project though because we were able to take the play Macbeth and put our own interpretation on it.We hope you enjoy “the show”.

Advanced Essay #3: National Identity and My Mother, by Felix Schafroth Doty

Introduction:

Over winter break I went to Germany to visit my family. My mother, who lived in Germany as a child, but moved to America as an adult and has now lived in America for more time than she has in Germany, was who I chose to focus my essay on. She recently obtained her American citizenship in addition to her German citizenship, and I wanted to find out more about what she thought about National Identity, whether she felt like she belonged anywhere in particular, and whether she felt more like a German than an American. After an interview with her and a lot of reflection, I believe that the piece below reveals my true feelings, and I think that I have learned a lot from it.

Please enjoy


As the son of an immigrant, I always feel like a little something special. I don't have the right to; I didn't brave a new world, leave my family behind, and live a new life. I have been settled peacefully in America for my whole life, and I always have felt connected to America, but I've also felt connected to Germany. My mother spent a year abroad, and spent that year in America from Germany. That same year, my father spent his year abroad in Germany from America. They got married and attended college in the US, eventually settling down in sweet, sweet Philadelphia, and raising a family. Now my mother has lived here for more time than she has lived in Germany, and I wanted to investigate how she feels about national identity.

My mother has always seemed like the perfect immigrant (I know this sounds strange, but let me explain). Theodore Roosevelt said “Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.” My mother learned English within that time, and after 20+ years of living here, she has barely the whiff of an accent, and can speak English flawlessly and fluently. Often times I will forget a word (in English!) and she will remind me what that word is. She came here legally, got a green card, and kept it, meaning she didn't commit a SINGLE crime. How many Americans can say that much after 20+ years? No DUIs, no pirating music or movies, she's not a rapist or a murderer as Donald Trump would like to suggest. She obtained her citizenship just last month. She has been the model immigrant.

She spoke with me recently to help with this project, and I asked her to describe how she felt about national identity, being someone with multiple nationalities and coming from multiple national backgrounds and experiences. She told me about how she will always be a German, even though she now has both a German citizenship and a US citizenship. She said she was reluctant to get the US citizenship, and would only become a US citizen if she could keep her German citizenship. A quote from Ronald Reagan perfectly applies to this situation: “[A man said] you can go to live in France, but you can’t become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Italy, but you can’t become a German, an Italian. He went through Turkey, Greece, Japan and other countries. But he said anyone, from any corner of the world, can come to live in the United States and become an American.” - Ronald Reagan. She is still, in her heart, a German, and can never give that up or become something or someone else.

I also spoke with her about her “belonging,” meaning how she felt in the new world of America, and whether she felt like she belonged. She immediately snapped back, “Never. I never feel at home, like I belong.” She then went on to talk about her recent trip back to Germany to see her mother one last time, and then to arrange and go to her funeral. She said how, even after all these years of being away from home, she felt at home in her mother’s house. We all feel that way when we come home, like no matter what, we feel welcome. My mother has never really, truly belonged among Americans, but when she went home she felt like she belonged. Her national identity will forever and always be German, and while she feels at home in our house, with us, she really feels at home at her childhood home, in her childhood country, with all of the faces she has known since childhood.


Reaganomics and the People

Reaganomics was during the time period from 1980-1988 in which Ronald Reagan was president. Ronald Reagan is considered, by some, to be one of the greatest presidents America has ever had. However, this was far from the truth when it came to minority groups. Reaganomics included the “Trickle Down Theory” in which Ronald Reagan gave tax breaks to the upper class, believing that the extra money the upper class saved would trickle down to the lower/working class. However, Reagan also conveyed the idea of  the “Welfare Queen”. She was portrayed as a lower class black woman living off of the government and as a result, many upper class people refuse to give money to minorities. However, the harsh reality was that the Black unemployment rate was at a devastating 22% and by 1983 the Black poverty rate reached 25% . It was during the time of Reaganomics that Blacks went through a time of change on both the East and West Coast.

On the East Coast, there was a sense of equality at night clubs. “ More than anything the Roxy embodied a certain vision of what New York could be”(Chang,177). Night clubs, such as the Roxy, became ground where everyone came with nothing to hold back. People from all different backgrounds came to nightclubs on the east coast without any sense of danger. People were just allowed to let loose and not have to worry about their troubles. “ But the Roxy night always opened into a Reagan morning that was much more than a comedown” (Chang, 178). After the dancing was over for the night, classes returned and lower class citizens, which included a majority of Blacks and Latinos, had to return to their struggling reality. With Reagan’s Trickle down theory not being proven and Black unemployment and poverty rates soaring, minorities had to be able to work longer hours. This then made Hip hop need commercialism because more people had found a way to gain more income. In contrast to nightclubs gaining more popularity, graffiti was being more attacked transit police and “ On May 12,1989, the MTA declared that it achieved the ultimate bluff” (Chang 203). The MTA had stripped almost all trains from graffiti. In symbolism it was stating a stripping of Hip-hop branching out of where it started. Graffiti, being one of the pillars of Hip-hop, allowed people to make a name and let others see it. It was an art, but the rest of the world believe it was was just vandalism. If upper class people were riding trains with graffiti, there wasn’t a sense of safety, so the MTA made it a crime. Later on in Reagan’s America, there was an increase in police brutality. People like Michael Stewart became influences for the East Coast to say enough and fight back. This entire time, minorities fought back even harder with every step taken against them. They voiced themselves through graffiti and protest.

On the West Coast, students at U.C Berkeley were raising awareness of apartheid. “ The anti-apartheid movement represented the climax of a century” (Chang,215). All over the West Coast, students were creating protest to Reagan’s support of apartheid. The movement resembled what was happening here at home. Many students started to see the connection between themselves and the Blacks in South Africa. In addition, the West Coast was seeing a rise in drug use. As soon as cocaine or freebase was introduced to a community, there was little time available before entire families were destroyed and it became dangerous to walk around the corner. Drugs, being basically authorized by the government in secret ways, became widely available. However, the genre of Rap was on its own rise with  rappers like Ice T and Kid Frost. “ This was a new breed of renegades. The hip-hop generation had reached childhood’s end” (Chang, 211).

Reagan’s America was a time where Blacks, no matter East or West Coast face a lot of opposition. Whether it was poverty or discrimination, Blacks became more aware of how far of gap their skin color created. President Reagan’s America, was not an America for Blacks. However, it was in this time where people who were struggling found their identity in nightlife, voicing their opinions, or just exploring their art. On a bigger scale, the world seems to see that in a time of struggle that their identity is impossible to find, but in the example of Reaganomics, minorities proved they were still able to show who they were throughout the country.


Sources:

Chang, Jeff. Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-hop Generation. New York: St. Martin's, 2005. Print.