Quarter 1 Senior Art

As an artist, the "E Band Senior Art" class has to be my favorite. It's so easy to put your earphones in and get lost in the art work. This quarter my art work varies from paintings, charcoal pieces, and drawings. I'm usually all painting, but how can I be an artist and have no variety? As you view the video below, over time my work gets better and better. Miss Hull allows you to practice individual skills using different mediums and materials.

Although I'm not the best artist around, my classmates and Ms. Hull sure do make you feel like you are. It's good to know that you`ll have the materials and help all at once in one classroom. Scroll below and view the pieces I have created for this quarter. 

Thank you.

Quarter 1 Art Portfolio

In grade school I used to be an art major. Unfortunately I did kind lose a little bit of my talent so please don't judge on nothing I created. Anything you make is basically art. What I did in this wonderful, entertaining 1st quarter was 4 different projects. I had to paint a ceiling tile, make a drawing of anything I want to draw, draw a jack-o-lantern in any medium, and finally create a self portrait of myself. Personally it felt great to actually start doing art again, because it feels like a free time for me just to relax and put my mind off of other things that happens in school. My art might not be the greatest but it shows that I actually take the time to make my very own work. 

Ceiling Tile: This was my favorite project. I really love to paint. I decided to go with a Keith Haring painting because I admire his work. I love how the colors stand out in all of his paintings. It might look like something easy to do, but you have to understand I just started doing art again. I feel great on how it came out. I like the bright colors I used. The purple might seem a little dark but I like it stands out because you don't just at everything, your eyes can actually go around in a circle to actually notice everything.

Drawing of anything I want to draw: I really wanted to do a pencil drawing. I remember in grade school art, my favorite project to do was graffiti projects, so I was like why not because it would just remind me of memories. If you cannot make out what the word said, it is "life". I used that word because the word life comes from different aspects of a person's personality.  

Jack-o-lantern: Its another pencil drawing because, like I said I like to make pencil drawings. I don't remember exactly what made me make the face of the jack-o-lantern look evil and happy and the same time. I don't know but it makes me laugh and enjoy it every time. 

Self Portrait: I did my best to draw myself. I using my camera on my phone to look at myself while i was drawing it. My favorite part of the drawing is the outline of my head, hair, and ears because those specific parts actually do look like the actual me. It was a neat little experience of doing the self portrait. I would love to do that again in the future.

In  conclusion I enjoyed making my own art in this 1st quarter. Art makes me feel relaxed and stop thinking about a lot of things in school. I can't wait to see whats going to happen in the second quarter!  

Art Portfolio

Hello, My name is Mingxue Zheng and the following slides contain five artworks I’ve created in the first quarter of my senior art class. Our class is divided up into three groups, passing, middle, and FAS (future art student). As a "middle" I need to complete...

1.) a ceiling tile by collaborating with a "middle"    
2.) create a drawing (2-3 hrs. to complete) 
3.) create a jack o' lantern 
4.) draw a self-portrait 

The first major project was the ceiling tile. My inspiration comes from Klarissa’s kitten sketch before the project was introduced. The cats was portrayed as being relaxed and playful while taking a “selfie” in the garden. The pastel colors (light purple, pink, and light blue) conveyed a “summer” and youthful feel. 

The second task was to create an artwork that requires three hours to complete. However, the first piece of my artwork (Slide 4) took only two hours to complete. So, I decide to create another piece (Slide 5). For the first piece, I drew Sid from one of my favorite cartoon series, The Ice Age.” I decided not color the picture because I love the sketch lines! However, I don’t think I had capture Sid’s goofiness and comic essence. My inspiration of the second piece comes from the ceiling tile; I drew a delightful, music loving cat. 

The most challenging art piece was the self portrait because I am not good at drawing people. I use my mirror reflection to draw the portrait. My favorite piece was the jack o’ lanterns. I love the scary, crazy pumpkins. It fits the Halloween mood. I add a hint of red to accompany the orange in order to intensify the drawing. 

Even though I do not have any grand goals in art. I do do some drawings to release stress. After I finished my artworks, I noticed that I have a lot to improve. To me, art is a medium that helps me to imagine. Someday, the sometimes obscure imaginations within my brain could be drag into the world of reality. 

Quarter 1 Art Class

Artist Statement : 

During this first quarter of Ms. Hull’s two day a week art class, has been challenging, entertaining, and fun. What I did during the first quarter was the following; an artistic VANS ceiling tile with a cheetah print design background, a jack o lantern, a realistic drawing of Robert Pattinson and a self portrait of myself. These 4 pieces of art work contain a great amount of time and effort. Personally, collecting all of these pieces of art was very challenging because I always strived for perfection. 

My favorite piece of this first quarter was the realistic drawing of Robert Pattinson. It was hands down the most difficult to finish. I wanted to express an emotion in the drawing so that the viewer could establish a connection right away. That was very hard yet fun. The motivation that made me pick Robert Pattinson as my model was his mysteriousness. I think his eyes contain a story of mysteriousness. I find that very interesting, which is why I decided to draw him. To me, expressing emotions through art is something that’s very important to me as an artist. I think that any artist that can do that are special, which is why I also make art. To transmit that emotion to the people who want to experience it. 

Q1 Art Creations

Hello, I'm Klarissa Hudson and this is my work from my senior art class. In this class we have students who are "passing", "middles", and "college preps." Each section has different artworks to be completed based on their level. I'm in the "passing" group, so I have the smaller and easier assignments to complete. This quarter I had to:

1. Help create a ceiling tile with a "middle"
2. Draw a still life
3. Make 3 Bats
4. Do a self-portrait of a "middle"

For my first assignment, I worked with Mingxue Zheng to create a ceiling tile. I made the sketch of the picture and then we worked together to draw and paint it on the actual tile. I really like cats so that's what I decided on for our tile. For the second assignment, I drew a koala bear. My boyfriends' nickname used to be koala so I made that my picture. For the third assignment I made bats on construction paper and for the fourth assignment I did a self-portrait of Mingxue Zheng. Please enjoy and comment if you like; thank you for taking time to look at my work.

Q1 Portfolio

I am not an artist, I am just a person who copies what is portrayed in my head onto paper. My “artwork” is nothing more but an interpretation of how I view the world around me. It is not the most well crafted piece of work, however it is the way I view my surroundings. When I take a pencil in my hand to design a new piece I am not focused on the way to product looks but if it relays the message I want to send. When looking at my work keep in my that I am not composing work that looks nice, but I am composing work that forces my audience to look at it through my perspective.

 I urge my audience to keep an open mind when viewing my work to allow themselves to step into my mindset as the composer. I hope my pieces leaving my audience with room for conversation, I was it to trigger questions and thorough observations. 

Art for me is an outlet, a way to show people what is going on through my head,I feel a personal connection with this work, and hopefully to all of the people who can relate. With this being said, I give you the, the audience to freedom to take my work, and with keeping in my my vision, to make whatever interpretation you would like off of it. 


Q1 Art Presentation

As an artist, I want to show other people my background and my childhood, but also I want people to think about their life and important events that happened in their life. For the ceiling tile I did Dexter Laboratory because it reminds me of my past when I was in Poland, and the time I spend with my family. My own drawing project had to do with my grandpa who passed away and I decided to draw a rose because he always loved to give my grandma roses, but also he loved music so I combined a rose and a music note together.
I wanted to show people that no matter what if there are happy or sad situations going on in our lives we should always think about happy events or details that had to do with those situations.

Q1 Art Portfolio -- "Soaring Through Clouds"

I have created and depicted through my art the range of emotions triggered and experienced when gazing at the sky. Whether the sun is throwing itself into the clouds, climbing the tallest mountains or sinking into the greatest oceans, it is painting the sky constantly, both in its absence and its brilliant presence. As thinking and feeling creatures, humans are psychologically affected by that great star, by the flaming magic that grants us life. We inevitably smile upon the sun's art -- the fiery red clouds and infinitely pink sky. And those who capture this magic with canvas and brush? They are the children of the sun, souls burning with a tireless madness -- the need to create. It is the artist who, when all else dies, grows out of the misery as the last flower from the last compost heap. It is the artist who, when the sun falls away from the earth forever, will ultimately recreate our temple of salvation upon his canvas in great strokes of genius. As Love and Death battle eternally, the artist continues, passionately alive.

Language and Identity

                                          Language and Identity                              

    Language, the way you speak, shows a lot about your identity. Where I live, the way I talk might sound really strange to someone who lives in Canada because they’re both different accents. Language has a huge impact on people’s lives. Say if you were going to a job interview and you talk with a kind of slang and the person who is also going for the same interview talk more “properly”, the person who talks in a proper way is more likely to get the job. Why? Because it is easier to understand what they are saying, and they seem more professional. This might not be fair, it might not be your fault if you talk with slang. It might just be where you grew up or the people you were around most could influence the way you speak.

   “Ms. Bier told me my legs were completely bent doing basically every trick. Now she’s making me practice pointing and straightening my legs. I my routine was good, she never comments on the good things I do.”

    “Sometimes when you talk your accent gets really bad. It’s so easy to tell you’re from Roxborough. It’s really funny.” My friend Vanessa really confused me when she said that. What did she mean Roxborough accent? Roxborough’s only ten minutes away from where she lived, she talks the same way I do. My friend would make comments like that all the time, she would say I talked almost as if I was from South Philadelphia, which apparently sounds different from other places in Philadelphia. Vanessa said it’s really easy to tell where I live. That got me thinking about the way I speak. It was the first time someone has ever commented on the way I talk. I didn’t think I sounded any different from the way she did. She almost made fun of the way I would say some words, and would repeat them in almost a mocking way. When she would point out the words I would say “weirdly” I would become very aware of the way I pronounced my words. Before I’d say a word I’d make a conscious effort not to sound like I was from Roxborough because my friend almost made it seem like my accent made me sound dumb. I started to listen to the people from my neighborhood speak, and I too began to think they did have weird accents. Because I was so conscious of the way I talked in front of my friends not from Roxborough, I think I trained myself to lose the accent, if you could even call it that. I would also listen to the way my family spoke to see if I could tell a difference in their voices. I noticed my grandma talked different from my aunt. My grandma was raised in North Philly, and my aunt was raised is Wissahickon. My grandma didn’t have a very distinct way of talking, she talked “normally” but my aunt sounded like most of the people in my neighborhood.

    I’m really aware of the way people, including myself, talk now. I don’t necessarily judge them and put labels on them if they speak different then me. I find it interesting when I listen to the way people in my neighborhood speak, if you go down to lower Roxborough a lot of people have a very distinct way of talking. You can really hear it when they say words with r’s because they kind of drag it out in a way. Now that I pay more attention to speech, I’ve noticed that people that are higher up when it comes to jobs, don’t talk with slang. They pronounce every word in a way that is very clear and understandable. You don’t see a lot of people who speak in almost a slang type way in higher up job. When you think of the president, you think of an all American man or woman who is very proper and prosise not someone who . When people hear someone talking with slang, they assume they are not well educated. That could be why people who talk with slang either change the way the speak so they can have to higher job position, or they do not get hired. Just because someone does talk in slang may not mean they are not well educated.

    I never realized language was a part of my identity. Nor did I realize I had an accent, people from places like where I live generally don’t realize that the way we speak is different. We aren’t really known for our accents like other places may be, like some of the southern states, or Boston. I never realized that it was a part of my identity until it was pointed out to me. Of course, I associated accents with the identity of other people because it was so obvious, if english was their second language. Language is a huge part of everyone’s identity. It doesn’t identify how educated someone is, as many people associate the two. It does however show where you live in the world because of the way you talk. Many people never think of language as something you can be identified with, personally I do.

                                                                                               By- Lucia Santaniello

Quarter 1 Art

​Artist Statement : 

Since middle school I have always involved my art work compared to other historical and famous artist. When I came high school I started to look at myself as an artist and see how I could improve my artistry. I am starting to look at my work and making sure that I have attention from people that have expertise on art work. I also feel that many times I seem to compare my artwork to people that are very advanced and I need to make sure I start on my level.

What influences me the most is the things around me. I look at the cultures and the fads nowadays, and look at what I can continue my artistry on. I also think that the things that I have done in this class is juxtaposition to what I want I think are recent and popular nowadays.

I want other people to understand that my artwork is very free. It has no constrictions or follows any rules. I like how I can make my art very open to my audience and make them interpret it anyway they want. I also think that I kind of put my twist into my artwork and make it so people know that it is my art work.

Thus making me grow from my artwork. I like that I can change my artist depending on what is popular or how I adapted. I like how I adapted throughout middle school and through high school. I think that my art has been interpreted through the projects I have done this quarter.

Fashion In Music

Fashion In Music

The way people are is a reflection of someone else or a collection of things deriving from other people. The way hip hop affects violence it also influences many of its sub-cultures. In the 80’s when hip-hop began to take on the face of hardcore rap with groups such as NWA is when rap was born and it completely took over the minds of people. Rap gains more negative attention than it does positive. The way rap artists carry themselves in most cases is considered ‘ghetto’ though they influence more  than just black people that is often the misconception. When the consumer sees something in a magazine naturally someone might want it. Rap music videos have this same affect on the minds of people which helps formulate the minds of them at a young age. Fashion can influence the minds of people Fashion can also make them feel obligated to be a consumer because of popularity of the project.

Artists have casual fans, but also dedicated fanatics who support them despite the ongoing evolution of them. For example, Kanye West is one of the most influential artists of all time; his following of both kinds of fans is huge. Kanye has a large catalogue of not just music but clothing and footwear as well. Kanye arguably has the largest sneaker of all time; the Nike Air Yeezy series has made itself one of Nike’s largest releases besides competitors under Nike such as Jordan, Kobe, and Lebron’s sneakers.  

Recently, the Air Yeezy 2 ‘Red October,’ which retail for $245, caused a lot of excitement to Kanye fans and the sneaker world. There has been much speculation as to whose sneakers are more popular between Kanye and Michael Jordan until Kanye in his song “New God Flow”  silenced all critics when he said “Hold up I ain’t tryin to stunt man but the Yeezy’s jumped over the jumpman, went from the most hated to the champion god flow guess thats a feeling only me and LeBron know.” Here he clearly states that his sneaker has reached  a standard as the “God” of shoes; he quotes his Air Yeezy’s jumped over the jumpman.

In these very instances the consumer does not realize that Kanye is marketing himself and his brand the consumer only hears what he is saying and they feel inclined to have that shoe in addition to the fact Kanye is comparing himself to GOD! He later makes his longing for Godly status more apparent in his most recent 2013 album titled “Yeezus”.  The relevance of Kanye makes him one of the most powerful entertainers on the planet. After the discontinuation of Air Yeezys the Red Octobers released making the value of them extremely high.

The Red October released back in February on nike.com selling out worldwide in only 11 minutes. Nike released these shoes in the midst of a feud between they and Kanye; Ye’ later went to multiple radio stations to remind the world of how displeased he was with the release that no one saw coming. Nike’s website along with footlocker were crashed due to sneakerheads and Kanye fans combined itching to be the first with the Red October priced at $245 retail. In consignment stores such as Flight Club NY & LA they carry the Air Yeezy series these sneakers are priced from anywhere to 2,500-1,000,000. The consumer spends their last to afford this shoe just to be like Kanye he projects himself as a godly figure people follow him like he is Jesus which is why he calls himself Jesus.

After the excitement of the Red Octobers went down fans always wanted to know what was next from Kanye. The biggest Kanye fans buy all of his highly expensive clothing whether it be the Yeezys, his A.P.C. line or his collaborations with Givenchy, Louis Vuitton, and other big named designers. People feel that the way he projects himself as an artist makes fans feel as though they need his product, his Air Yeezys are so rare that he cannot sell them in stores at that retail price, which is why they were released online. Jordan release lines are often around the corner and down the block but never do they crash twitter and the nike website.

Hip-Hop as a whole has major influence on what its followers feel like they must have in their closets, yet again fashion combined with music influences the minds of people and makes them feel obligated to be a consumer.

If an art has a huge effect on a large group of people it is important that it promotes positive things. In addition to the fact that people will spend their last to look like who they look up to it is important that the consumer understands that the artists specifically are promoting other brands to generate revenue and not to overspend.

  • Bibliography

Website Title: Refinery29.com

Article Title: The Kanye West Guide To Everything In Fashion


Electronically Published: June 17th 2014

Date Accessed: October 23, 2014


The Law, the Worse Influencer

I had previously written a 2fer about alcohol. In the paper I takes about how the legal drinking should be lowered to 18. Now looking back on my paper I see how I could have added more to my paper. I decided to add a couple new paragraphs to defend my argument and to enhance my paper.

In the United States only people 21 years of age or older can consume alcohol. Despite of the this, many teens go ahead and drink anyway. The strict law has encouraged teens to drink more. This law has an negative impact on the teens in the country. The drinking regulations and lack of education in the U.S. has triggered a rebellion and therefore, influencing teenagers to overly consume alcohol.

Parents are always striving to raise their children the best they know how. While doing that that parents may weigh their children down with harsh regulations. This is restricting kids to be a kid and live their lives.  According to Dr. Laura Markham, a clinical psychologist, “strict parenting deprives children of the opportunity to learn self-discipline”. Life is a process and you learn from it, parents should allow room for lessons and mistakes. Those things are vital for character development and  for room to grow. Strict parenting may also cause teens to act out and develop behavior problems. For example, when some young adults enter college they do a lot of wild partying, drinking, and experimenting with drugs. This may be a result of strict parenting mixed with a lot of freedom.

This strict parenting relates to the strict drinking regulations in the U.S. The fact that teens aren’t allowed to drink make them want to drink even more. Therefore they might binge drink or drink and drive. If the drinking age was lowered teen dui rates and binge drinking would decrease. The U.S is one of the six countries that have a drinking regulation as high as 21 years of age. 132 countries have lower drinking ages. In the United Kingdom where the legal drinking age is 18, only 20% of accidents were caused by drunk driving in 2011. Whereas in the U.S. in 2011,  38% of the accidents were caused by driving under the influence. That’s almost a 20% difference.  Teens in the United Kingdom have experience and are not as eager to rebell in comparison to the teens in the United States.This proves that if teens were given more opportunities to be responsible they would be wise.

In Bermuda the legal drinking limit is 18. Bermuda has a population of 64,564. Out of that population only 9 people have been killed by automobile accidents. These are just accidents not detailing drunk driving. That’s impressive, even if the population there is smaller.

The National Minimum drinking Age act was put into place in 1984. Before that the standard age for drinking was 18. Regulators noticed that the chaos on the street was at an all time high. Therefore they decided to change the age. Back then, people were not really educated about drugs and alcohol. Now people can learn about those things in health classes, commercials, through the internet, and though many people. Now that people are educated, drunk driving has gone down. Every year it seems as if the percent of drug related fatalities have gone down tremendously. In 1982  60%  of driving fatalities were caused by drunk driving. In 2010 only 31% of of driving fatalities were caused by drunk driving.

In the United States 18-year olds are given a pleather of opportunities. They can lease an apartment, join the military, vote, open up a credit card, and do many other things.  If 18- year olds can do this then they should be given the right to purchase alcohol.  If at this age they can be trusted with guns to defend our country they should have to right to purchase alcohol.

Lowering the drinking age to 18 would be economically good for the economy. If more people are allowed to purchase alcohol then businesses would make more revenue. Bars, restaurant, and  other establishments would highly benefit from this. There would also be a greater tax revenue.

Alcohol is becoming less of an issue in the U.S. People are realizing the issue and striving to 

change and be more responsible.  As the people change, so should the law. Adults should be

able to control what they consume and be held accountable for that. The government should 

adapt to American’s new way of thinking.

Work Cited:

State University of New York. "Minimum Legal Drinking Ages around the World." Minimum Legal Drinking Ages around the World. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.

"Drunk Driving Statistics." Drunk Driving Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.

"Alcohol Education Trust - Facts and Figures." Alcohol Education Trust - Facts and Figures. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.

AlcoholAlert.com 2011 Drunk Driving Statistics. "Http://www.alcoholalert.com/drunk-driving-statistics.html." 2011 Drunk Driving Statistics. N.p., Winter 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.

Griggs, Brandon. "Should the U.S. Lower Its Drinking Age?" CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.

"Drinking Age ProCon.org." ProConorg Headlines. N.p., 18 July 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.

Jaime Vaquero


“Whuya Meee! STOP KECKING! Para, Por Favor, Me duele!” I yelled

“NO, Shut up, you STUPID MEXICAN!!? ENGLISH!!!” Yelled the boy that was kicking.

“Stop, PLEESES!?” I yelled as the pain started burn as if they sat my body on fire.

I was the bullies punching bag, or as they said “The MEXICAN trash bag”. I’d sometimes wish that I was die. Not being able to pronounce word in the  third-fifth grade, it makes you stupid, dumb and worthless, that you're no good in this world. I didn’t know why people bullied me for. I’d cried all night, wishing that someday it would stop, and wishing to correct my english too! English is too hard!

“I no like thet projeck” I get made fun off for a long time from these stupid project, reason was about me and where I’m from and all the other thing. This was my second year at Olney Elementary School. The year before, people kept asking me where you taco, other  asking “Can you go do yard” I’d cried because I was scared, I never did nothing about, because I was weak, fat and slow at everything. People didn’t like me, maybe because I wasn’t cool for them. Many people said that I was stupid for what I did, for example I’d help the teacher clean up in whatever we did in class. My parents raise to help people and care and not be mean or rude to other, so that people wouldn’t do back. I was that one kid that the teachers like but not the student.


“Ugly monkey!”

“Go make me taco! Or go my yard!”

This was all 4th grade year. It was that dumb project, people don’t need to know where I’m from and what I do or don’t, what I believe and don’t. All I had is to go thought the year, i’ll start soft, but end strong.
A year later, school is about to start in 2 weeks for now. Summer was a peacefully time where I don’t have to worry about people messing with me or other thing like that. Summer goes by fast, it splits by our hands and you have to go to school, that is when my worrying start, only for me (sadly!!!).

“Mi hijo, despertate, la escula esta a punto de comenzar...Rapido Mi Hijo!!!”

“No, madre, no quiero, Por Favor!!!

“Rapido o te meto tu chinga!!”

“Ok, ja voy!!”

Who knew that even days could go by fast too! School was up now. (I’d wished that I was dead!!!)

“What the hell is he wearing on his feet?”

“Theyua a tiype uf shoes in mexico…”

“Yo bro, you homeless or wat!”


Great, my day stupid is starting off crappy. One special thing that help me go through the day was learn, learning help ignore these dumb people didn’t know any better. The first day has end, now I have a whole year of school. Great, that was amazing. Second day, it might be better than, yesterday. When I got to school, people were hearing to rape song, in my opinion I didn’t like rap, because they didn’t make sense. Everybody got hype and that, it was just song!

“Yo these song tough right!”

“I guess…”

“What! You GUESS, Yo something is wrong with you, bro, this song is the shit

bro. Oh right, you're mexican, you wouldn’t understand, LOSER”


Why was he so rude about, it is just a song. I guess I was supposed to get hype,

just for a song. I got bullied for not liking rap song. People got hype for the most stupidest thing in the world, that they don’t realize that the most important thing the world is your family, not the material that you get. For example, I was happy that I got new shoes, other people in school super hype that they got the new, very prices shoes that were $200 or a shirt that was $50, in my head, that was stupid.

Into the month two, a very big boy was coming from home and I was walking next to him. “HAAA!”(uh-oh, I got to get beat up) I tripped on my shoelace and scrapped his shoes, I think they were jordan.

“Sorry, I’m very sorry. (Inside of me, I was scared as hell, my body was paralyzed)”

“What, loser… look what you did, clean or else you trash bag”

Obviously, I did it, because so far I did get beat up, not yet!! I was happy that he didn’t punch or something like. (Hopefully this school year goes by fast, I need it to)

“Madre, ja es Junio, la escuela java terminar!” I yell to my mother.

“Ja lo es!”

“El verano ja va a empezar!”

School, this school year was a lot better, this was the very first great school, that I had ever have in my 5 years of school. All I had to do is survive the last 4 more day of school.

“3….2….1….I DID IT!!! Summer, YES!! No School, Mean No Worries”

My heart was rushing fast because I had made it through the year, without big problem.

Overall, now I bigger, older, smarter and braver. I’m now in 10th grade, my english has gotten a lot better over the years, and english has many way to be spoking. Identity and language are a great mixture, reasoning why is because without language you wouldn’t like the Identity, and if you know the identity and don’t know the language then what is the point of having that identity, if you don’t know it.

ILP- Arch Street Preschool

Day Started- October 29,2014 
As soon as I arrived, Liz introduced herself and showed me around. It was a very nice school and seemed to be a caring environment. Once she showed me around, I had the choice to pick which job I wanted for the day; I chose to play with the children. By the time I got there (1:30) the kids were still sleeping, so she brought two other people and I into her office to review the handbook when being in environment with children. It was simple, then children started to wake up and I was assigned to just play with them, watch them, basically keep them company. It was a simple task and I really enjoed it. The children were really nice and cute. Very cute. Then, I left at 3. 

November 5, 2014 
Today was my second day of voluneteering and it was an easy day. I helped put a little boy named, William, to sleep and after, we sat together and he ate his lunch. I also played with Maxamillion- he has a disorder- and he was alittle wild, but i understood his reason. At times it was hard to communicate, but I tried my best to keep him calm. I then left at 3:15. 

November 12, 2014

Ain't What You Say But Whose Interpreting

It was the night of my SLA interview. My mom dropped me off in the morning, around 9 am and we all traveled up to the fifth floor and settled in the 10th and 11th grade english classroom.  The huge windows showcased the picturesque Philadelphia skyline. The suns rays reflected off of the buildings and made room warm and cozy.  It was beautiful.  As the hours passed, the kids left one by one, until, I was the only person in the medium sized classroom. It was pitch black outside and the room was dead silent.

“It’s your turn.”

I slowly stood up, made my way to the door, and we walked around the corner in the vacant hallways. My hands were clammy and shaking from my uncontrollable nerves. We approached the classroom door and the girl turned over slightly to look at me. ”It’s ok to be nervous. Just be yourself and you’ll do great.”

“Thanks.” I tried my hardest to create a smile that didn’t look overly forced. I failed. I pushed open the door. The man and the student next to him both smiled and welcomed me in. I kept making mental notes to remind myself to enunciate my words and pronounce all of my vowels. The last thing I needed was for them to think I was unprofessional. The man and the student began to ask me questions about my project. The whole time I was zoned out trying to suck back all of um’s, like’s, and so’s that were forcefully trying to creep their way back into my sentences.

“What do you think you can bring to the SLA community?”

“I ...ah ...wahhh...I...umm… could you repeat the question please?”My face was bright red and my hands were soaking wet. But most importantly I knew exactly what the man had just asked me, i was trying to think of something that sounded interesting. I was also trying to redeem myself for saying umm so many times I just needed to breathe and put on a different persona.

“Yes of course sweet heart. What do you think you can bring to the SLA community?”

“I believe that I can end cliques and also I could just be a person that anyone can talk to.”  

Nervous was an understatement. I felt as if I had to erase all of the “Tianna” out of my system and try to become someone else. In The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingstan, the protagonist’s mother cuts the tongue of her daughter to help her speak, and in his quote she is explaining why. ”I cut [your tongue] so that you would not be tongue-tied. Your tongue would be able to move in any language. You’ll be able to speak languages that are completely different from one another. You’ll be able to pronounce anything.”

The way you talk is sort of like a sponge. It is made up of your environment, your city, your age, in some cases your race or sex. Most of those things are things that people use to make assumptions about your character. It is easy for them to judge you based off of the way you speak because everything that makes up the way you speak can also be used to discriminate against you. So in order to avoid that, people feel the need to code switch so that people can not make false assumptions about who you are and where you come from.

When the author says “cut your tongue ... your tongue will be able to move in any language“, it reminds me of when you code switch. You cut all the ties that connect you to where you come and many more things that make you, you.

Code switching is when you switch the way you talk when you enter a different setting. There are many different reasons why people code switch. One example would be, when you switch from speaking slang with your friends to speaking standard english when you have a conference with a teacher. Another example would be when you speak spanish at home and you switch to speak english outside of the home.

In the passage “Hunger of Memory” by Richard Rodriguez , Richard describes growing up in Sacramento with his Mexican immigrant parents. In the quote on page 13, Richard explains how his parents have two different personas, one in the comfort of their home and one for when they have to speak to people in a more formal setting outside of the home.“In public, my father and mother spoke a hesitant, accented, not always grammatical English. And they would have to strain-their bodies tense-to catch the sense of what was rapidly said by los gringos. At home they spoke Spanish. The language of their Mexican past sounded in counterpoint to the English of public society. The words would come quickly, with ease. Conveyed through those sounds was the pleasing, soothing, consoling reminder of being at home.” Richard explains how his parents had to acquiesce in order to get what they need so that they could get ahead. Similar to Richards parents  I also had to acquiesce to a different vernacular that was deemed socially acceptable which was different to the way I’m used to speaking.

After the interview I learned how important it is to develope a different persona for when you enter more formal settings like an interview. This is  because the way you speak is a label for many things, negative and positive. People seem to take you more seriously when you speak standard  english. Although that isn’t right you don’t want to sabotage yourself from getting an opportunity. But you should always be proud of the way you talk speak because it is what makes you uniquely you.

The Three Personas

¨ Who is it?¨

¨Ummm, someone named Charles.¨

¨Oh, that’s my client from work. Here, pass me my phone.¨

I grab her purse and blindly forage for her phone.

¨C’mon hurry up!¨

¨Wait a minute...almost got it¨

I quickly hand her the device and watch as she answers the man on the other side of the line.

¨Hello? Charles?  Why yes, this is Amy Silveri from Quality Progressions…. Pardon? Yes, I will be visiting your house for a brief meeting regarding the placement of your child...¨

This is a daily routine that I see everyday with the interaction I have with my mom. Now anyone who’s grown up in a black household knows that they’re parents always change the way they talk depending on who they’re talking too and depending on that person’s race. For years I’ve heard my mom’s voice change from her work environment to her social environment. And it wasn’t until recently where I’ve noticed that I do this as well.

There are three types of Jaiye’s.

The white Jaiye.

The black Jaiye.

And the regular Jaiye.

The white Jaiye can be described as the voice I use when I talk to everyday white people. White people I see at school, who I see at supermarkets, who I see walking down the street. My voice suddenly becomes higher and softer and my vocabulary immediately advances. I speak more slowly and my facial expression changes. I make sure to smile and to always appear happy, as if everything is going great. And as I’m doing this, I think to myself, ¨ I hope they don’t think I’m ghetto.¨ and all the other negative stereotypes attributed with blacks. As soon as a white person speaks to me my brain instantaneously reminds myself to ¨Change your voice!¨, and in doing this I automatically become a new person, a new identity, an alternate self. It all becomes a facade.

The black Jaiye is alternately, the voice I use with my blacks peers. It’s the voice where I’m most comfortable with. It allows me to express my individuality better and I feel more accepted with the fact that I’m black. I feel more connected with my roots and the life that we as blacks live. My words become a constant blur; I talk faster, louder and I use slang. ¨Hi¨ or ¨hello¨, becomes ¨Yo¨ or ¨wassup¨. ¨Isn’t¨ becomes ¨ain’t¨.  I use words like ¨jawn¨ and ¨drawlin’¨, words that are indigenous to Philly and that I hear everyday . My native tongue.

And the regular Jaiye is a combination of the two. My language neither leans towards the white dialect or the black dialect. My tongue isn’t biased. I find myself using this the most throughout my everyday life. It has the perfect amount of respect and proper mannerism yet it still holds onto my personality and characteristics that derived from me being African American. The slang and the style is still there yet there’s a proper sophistication in the way that I enunciate the words as they leave my mouth. In doing so, I’m not judged for being too black or too white; too ¨ghetto¨”or too ¨snobby¨.

Throughout my entire life I’ve always had these different personas and evidently, the reasons why I code switch is because of the influence that language and dialect has on today’s society and the way we are viewed as people, especially for a young  African American woman in America.

James Baldwin, a well known African American writer who tackled the topics of race and oppression as well as the topic of African Americans in the white man’s society, wrote an essay on the influence of language on blacks in America and how it has influenced the way we live today. He explained that the way we speak, impacts the social recognition of African Americans, as well as other people of color, stating that, ¨It goes without saying, then, that language is also a political instrument, means, and proof of power. It is the most vivid and crucial key to identify: It reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger, public, or communal identity.¨ Our language, dialect and accent gives us power in this world.  As black Americans, it is prime that we remind ourselves to code switch,  in a society where the mass majority does not see us as intelligent or deemed fit enough into today’s society and a primary reason for this is because of the way we speak. Brought over to this country as slaves, English was never our original language nor was our dialects natural to English. We all developed various accents that people would describe as ¨ghetto¨ and for that, the world views us as ignorant belligerent fools who deserve no chances in life. In doing so, we retain back all power lost and all of the stereotypes pin-pointed towards us are then withdrawn.

As for most blacks, code switching isn't something that we want to do. It’s something that we’re forced to do to reject oppression. People tend to judge us off of our tongue and because of that, we do not get the same opportunities as others. Because of this, the vast majority of blacks live in a life reflected upon poverty, imprisonment, drugs and negativity. But who are we to change who we are to fit the social norm? It is not our fault that we speak like this. We were forced to, and in the end, we've adapted the various dialects and accents that travel across this country. Code-switching is appropriate when needed, but don’t change the way you speak entirely. Language mirrors identity.

Violence Over Sneakers

Sneakers have always been apart of our lives since the Michael Jordan era. Many young teenagers now don’t remember who Michael Jordan is but remember him for his sneakers. The sneaker culture now has now been focus on what sneakers someone has and if they have the most exclusive sneakers amongst friends and others. But with that comes a price.

Many incidents have been occurring about someone getting shot or killed over a pair of sneakers (mostly Jordans). On December 22, 2012, 2 men were shot in Texas over their Jordans (to be specific Jordan 11 Bred). Both men were leaving the mall with the sneakers in hand until they were approached by 2 men in a car and told them to give up the sneakers. 1 man got away safely but, the other victim tried to get in the car and drive away but was shot at in the back of the head by the men who shot through the back window of the car. All of this over a pair of sneakers is unacceptable. There should be no reason to kill an innocent person for a pair of sneakers. Sneakers are sneakers. Yes, some of them are rare one and some are limited to a certain number of pairs made but that doesn’t mean that a person should rely on violence to get one of those pairs of sneakers if they didn’t get one themselves.

Another incident where someone was robbed of their sneakers involves college students who go to a excellent college but decided to beat up a student for his Nike Foamposites while his friends video taped the fight and watch. Every student who laughed and video taped the fight including the student who beat the other student up for his sneakers were all expelled from the college. These were people who were accepted into a very good college but doing one little mistake caused them to be expelled.

Now the sneaker culture isn’t always having bad and cruel incidents with it. There is good things that come with it too. Sneaker Con is a convention that is held in different states and countries all the time. It’s a convention where people who love to collect sneakers get a chance to connect with people just like them and sell their sneakers or trade them. This is a great way to show their love for sneakers in a organized way. This is also a learning experience for young people who go to these conventions in a way. Let’s take a look at one story about a young sneaker collector named Alex who is 15 years old. Alex was featured in a ESPN article called, "Sneakerheads: The Business of Reselling Sneakers.". Alex is many of young sneaker collectors who buy and sell sneakers making up to a much as $1000 dollars. During the documentary, it follows  Alex and his friends at a sneaker convention. While they are there, Alex becomes a smart deal maker. Alex is in the middle of making a deal with one person (which ends up ending with a deal of $340 dollars), Alex finishes another deal halfway down the table worth $320 dollars which he wasn’t apart of at the moment. Alex and his friends continue to make deals with people and bargaining with them to get the right price.

After that, Alex’s father is sat down and talks about how he feels about his son and what he does. Alex’s father says that he somewhat likes what Alex is doing. He says that it is showing him that he knows how to handle money and how negotiate with his money. But, his father also says that he does not like it as well because he feels that instead of spending time on a Saturday morning on the computer trying to purchase a sneaker coming out that day, he could be studying and doing his homework. This is true but this could also be another way for young sneaker collectors to learn how to manage money and how to use it wisely and not spend it on things without really thinking about it.

So what can we do to maybe stop all this violence over sneakers and create somewhat of a balance of peace with the sneaker culture and people? One way that may be able to solve these problems is to lower the cost of sneakers. A pair of Jordans used to be $150-185 dollars but this fall, the prices will be raised by $15 dollars. This will now make the highest pair of Jordans $200 dollars. A pair of Lebrons are roughly $200 dollars alone. But creating exclusive sneakers, it then raises the prices. Some going up to $350 dollars. The lowest cost on sneakers now by a well known basketball player is Kevin Durant sneakers where the cost is $150 dollars. If sneakers by well known brands were normally this price, there wouldn’t be a problem with everybody to get a pair so no one will be killed over them. With that being said about everyone getting a pair, it would help people out if there were more pairs of certain sneakers instead of having only making a certain number of sneakers and having people go crazy just to be able to say they got a chance to get a pair of the sneakers.

Filesharing and Torrenting Music

With the current day and age technology is continuously evolving, making everything easier to come by and find. Going on google can lead to information, apps, games, and programs that help with over efficiency and productivity. These search engines can also be very helpful for finding Bit Torrents and bittorrent compatible files. These Torrents are most commonly used for illegally downloading music files like albums and songs from different bands/composers, getting all the tunage with minimal work and no pocket money. File sharing and illegal downloads are not killing the music industry, because what keeps music alive is the mutual love for it fans share.

It is becoming a common trend to illegally download things like music, books, games and apps Focusing on music, many people (mostly with jobs in the music industry/community) have been continuously saying that torrenting music is killing the industry. That supporting the band(s) or artist(s) would be putting money towards the music to allow more to be made. Although other people have been countering with the argument that the love of music kept it alive this long and will continue to do so with or without the music being top purchased on iTunes.

Dee Snider, a rock and roll legend and member of the band Twisted Sister was interviewed by LoudWire.com on the death of rock and roll. His opinion was,

Rock ‘n’ roll is alive and well and thriving on social media, in the streets, and in clubs and concert halls all over the world. And the bands playing it are more genuine and heartfelt than ever because they are in it for one reason: the love of rock ‘n’ roll.”

This comment can be transferred to any genre of music. Most bands and artists have Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and Instagram profiles, they leak previews of their new albums and give out free merchandise bundles. Which is according to the logic that ‘torrenting music is stealing from bands’

Recently there was a case study done by Time Magazine titled, “Illegal Music Downloads Not Hurting Industry.” This study concluded a lot of interesting data. Including:

  • Men are more likely to download music.

  • People with higher education stream more music.

  • Average income doesn’t affect the amount of music streaming.

  • Based on cultural differences/economic structure in different countries downloads vary across the globe.

The study proved that, “Specifically, the study found that legal purchases would be about 2 percent lower without illegal downloading available—meaning, yes, illegal downloads boost legal downloads. Their conclusion: people who download pirated music mostly do so for tunes they wouldn’t have ever spent money on. The positive effect of streaming was even larger.”

The article also made the point, “Clicking on a legal download website does not equal buying music, past studies have found that “some people buy and steal a lot of music because they love music”.”

The final outcome/result of the study is that the people that illegally download their music wouldn’t buy it if they didn’t torrent it. Meaning that there was no initial ravine for the music industry to be making for them to really lose any money.

Works Cited:

Kreps, Daniel. "Gene Simmons: 'Rock Is Finally Dead. It Was Murdered'"Rolling Stone. N.p., 7 Sept. 2014. Web. 03 Oct. 2014.

Hartmann, Graham. "Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider Responds to Gene Simmons’ ‘Rock Is Dead’ Claim Read More: Dee Snider Responds to Gene Simmons' 'Rock Is Dead' Claim | Http://loudwire.com/twisted-sister-dee-snider-gene-simmons-rock-is-dead-claim/?trackback=tsmclip." 

Loudwire.com. Loudwire Network, 11 Sept. 2014. Web. 3 Oct. 2014. Rothman, Lily. "Your Illegal Music Downloads Not Hurting Industry, Study Claims." 

Entertainment Illegal Music Downloads Not Hurting Industry Study Claims Comments. N.p., 21 Mar. 2013. Web. 06 Oct. 2014.

Accents Do and Don't Matter

Thirty or so kids, all from different neighborhoods which make up the small city of East Providence, claimed seats in a tiny classroom, on the first day of 2nd grade. As a way to introduce ourselves to the class, our task was to write a short paragraph about who we were (the question of identity, in the eyes of a second grader, offers a pretty open ended answer). I began my introduction, Hi, I’m Ella Donesky and I was born in Toronto, Canada. My favorite colour is green. The next day, my paper was returned with a red “x” over the “u” in “colour.”

My dad is Canadian and he speaks Canadian English. Though I was also born in Canada, the majority of my life was spent in in the United States, first in East Providence, Rhode Island and then in Seattle, Washington. Rhode Island, the smallest state, is divided down the middle by the Narragansett Bay and the Pawtucket River. The result is the east side of Rhode Island seems to have been influenced by Massachusetts and Boston, and west side of Rhode Island more by Connecticut. Growing up on the eastern side, my friends, neighbors and classmates spoke with accents similar to the Bostonian accent. I, however, spoke like my parents and their friends (further, I only ever spoke Bulgarian with my mother unless there were other people around). My dad taught at Brown University and my mom taught at RISD, with are both across the river from where we lived. The English I learned was the Canadian English my dad spoke with me. He also taught me how to read before I started Kindergarten in the USA, and I went to daycare in Toronto before moving to Providence. Nearly all of the books we owned were Canadian books with Canadian spelling. In addition to acquiring my dad’s accent and writing, a few of his “Canadianisms” slipped into my vocabulary.

“Pass the clicker,” I would say to my friend, sitting beside me on the couch.

“Oh, you mean the remote?”

Sometimes, they wouldn’t understand what I was trying to communicate.

“Grab a few serviettes and we’ll clean up this mess.”

“A serviette?” They would ask.

“Sorry, napkin.

I didn’t know if I should call someone’s aunt “ant” or “ont”.

The confusion that would follow my use of the jargon was an indicator that these words were not ones they typically heard in their home or neighborhood. Not only that, but it made more clear that there were differences in the way I spoke and the way my peers spoke. In spite of the differences, it never occurred to me to try and change the way I speak. After all, I didn’t think I was speaking incorrectly, I was speaking the language my parents taught me, and the language I spoke with them at home. It felt entirely natural and I was fine with the differences with others.

This may clarify why in my six years living in Rhode Island, I didn’t adopt the Rhode Island dialect. A friend of mine grew up in a household where both her parents spoke with British accents and her accent sounds identical to her parents’. Yet, she lives in Newton, Massachusetts. The one word I picked up in Rhode Island and continue to use, is “bubbler,” or what you would more commonly refer to as a drinking fountain. I rarely use Canadian English, now, and it’s very easy to switch between the two, but during my early formative years, this was the only English I knew (I also spoke fluent Bulgarian exclusively with my mother). Throughout elementary school, it was confusing to me when words that were very naturally a part of my vocabulary and to which I didn’t give a second thought, were considered incorrect. To my peers, these words were foreign. The differences in the language I used when compared to the language my classmates used was only made more noticeable. My teachers began to understand that I wasn’t making spelling errors or using an incorrect form of English, I was writing and speaking in a more “Britishized” version of the English language, which is in use in Canada, the form of English I was most used to and in which I was first taught.

In East Providence, there are two predominant speaking groups, recent immigrants, and those whose family have lived in East Providence for generations. Among my peers, my perceived accent acted as a sort of third type. Accents often suggest socio-economic status, level of education and whether you are an immigrant or not. All of these may have been an issue for me. However, at the time, I wasn’t so aware of the politics. Among my friends parents were professors, doctors, and lawyers as well as janitors and factory workers, etc. My awareness was just that of difference, but not of judgmental difference. Difference was fairly neutral at the time. I only became of aware of the differences when my friends would come over to my house and say “Your dad sounds funny,” or “Your mom talks weird.” My friends pointed out their accents, but I didn’t hear it.

My move to Seattle was a culture shock, or lack thereof. Accents didn’t come up much. Seattle is not known for having a strong local, regional accent. It’s an American town, but it’s very close to the neutral seeming accent that is largely northwest and not so different from the way Canadians speak. So my dad and I didn’t stand out. But my mom did. I’d gone from living in an environment where diversity was the norm to living in a mostly white city with very little diversity. Unlike regions in the UK, for example, which carry distinct regional accents from areas that are not to far apart and are often indicators of status, these factors were hardly identifiable in my classmates. My friends would tell me “Your dad sounds like a professor,” and he was a professor. My mom was also a professor, but no one said the same about her. I believe it was because she had a Bulgarian accent. Furthermore, my grandmother speaks five languages, including english, but when she was in America, my friends only heard a old lady who spoke English with an accent, and they may have made negative assumptions. Most Americans can’t tell if British people are smart or stupid, as the joke goes, because British accents have long been associated with education and being upper class. Accents are tricky and you have to be very careful about how completely you rely on them to create your perception of someone. In James Baldwin’s “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?” he discusses language and what it reveals about the speaker “It goes without saying, then, that language is also a political instrument, means, and proof of power. It is the most vivid and crucial key to identify.” The identity of myself, my father, my mother and my grandmother all became filtered through these issues and changed according to context.

Two years ago, my family moved to Philadelphia. Known for it’s distinct accent, Philadelphia offered a slightly more diverse environment for me than Seattle. Though it was still primarily black and white, the ethnicities were more evenly dispersed. Science Leadership Academy is not a white suburban school, unlike my middle school. It seemed that I wasn’t perceived as speaking that differently, however, until it became known that I was Canadian. What people know about Canada gave them their impressions of me, and the stereotypes simply didn’t hold.

“Say ‘aboot’.”


“No, no, no. You’re Canadian, say ‘aboot’.”


“M’kay, say ‘eh’,”

“Say ‘water’,”


I remember driving across the country from Providence to Seattle in a big “Penske” truck, nudged between my mom, dad and dog, entertaining myself and them with all of the accents I could conjure. At the time, it didn’t occur to me that this could be offensive to anyone, because I didn’t experience it that way. It was simply a response to my growing up in multicultural environments. Today, I’d be more careful in order to avoid seeming disrespectful.

As I’ve grown older, the issues have shifted slightly. I’ve become more aware of the role that accents play in the way one is judged, as well as the way people’s perception of accents is most often determined by the immediate environment. In many ways, accents determine how you’re perceived in any given circumstance.

Untold Story of Language: Blessing or Curse?

  "Why don't you speak Spanish in this house boy?" My father said for the seventh time today...in Spanish. "If you can understand my english, then why should I speak Spanish if I prefer speaking English?" I replied. He did not say anything after that. He hated it when his kids spoke to him in English then. Since we were "born Spanish" he wanted us to speak Spanish. He especially hated when we would use English slang around him. This whole language problem caused tension in the house for about half a year. Whenever we were at his friend's houses and spoke English, I could tell by his facial expressions that he was embarrassed that his friend's kids had no problems with speaking Spanish but we did. "Why don't you repeat that in Spanish?" He would ask. Me and my sisters all thought the way he acted was so ridiculous. But it kept on going for almost half a year. It also only began to get worse after some time.

   "You know what...I don't care anymore" he said randomly one day in the car. "You guys want to speak your language then go ahead." To my father, being able to speak perfect Spanish makes us the “perfect” Puerto Ricans, he thought that if every Puerto Rican he knew could speak great Spanish, then we as his kids should be able to as well. I felt relieved about that but it was just the beginning of my problems with the way I talk. I started talking more and more like the people I hung around. I began using way too much slang and that wasn't just a problem for my dad but it was a problem for some of my teachers at school as well. One day, fifth grade, I had a presentation to do on a project about grizzly bears. "Your voice was too low and I could not understand some of the words you were using...what is 'trynna'?" My fifth grade teacher, Ms. Schuler, said right after she told me I failed my presentation. I honestly felt like she was being racist for grading me on the way I spoke...it was a science presentation. Other students were surprised because they thought that I had one of the most well presented project. I didn't feel like talking for the rest of the day because I felt embarrassed. The way I speak is one of the main things that shape me so why is it a problem with other people? I have an A in every class so why is the way I speak so bad? I had so much hate for my teacher that day. Since my mother were together at the time, all I could do was go home and complain to her.

   "I tried to tell you that your 'friends' are bad influences" my mother said. I didn't think so though. They were are my "brothers." Even to this day they are. “Pshh, she trippin’ bro. She actin’ like I be smokin’ bud or something,” my friend Derrick said after I told him. I eventually got over it and ended up having no problems with the way I talked till I got to seventh grade. Science class. The teacher Mr. Dukulah, you might recognize him as the teacher who was prosecuted for sexually abusing a family member for eight years. His speech was no better than anybody's speech in the class, actually the school. He had a really strong African accent and sounded just like the one comedian Michael Blackson but he felt as if he spoke perfectly fine. He would even judge the way we talked. That class was difficult for everyone because he thought the way everyone was speaking was incorrect. People hated him. When we heard that he was arrested everyone was shocked and sort of thought that it was funny. People use to say he was a rapist because of the way he use to look at the girls in class. He would even make them do unnecessary things that they did not want to do. So it was ironic that he was charged with rape. Everyone failed most of their presentations because of what he thought was “good speech”. He taught in Africa a couple years before he came to the middle school I attended so he was accustomed to people having strong African accents. It is like the world is separated by languages.

   I not only have have been in bad situations because of the way I speak though. In eight grade I won a poetry contest because of my speech:

"Am I really good at this or is the truth untold ?

Either way ya fear shouldn't deny ya goals

Always heard first sight shouldn't defy ya goals

But if often times I'm right then sorry that's the way it goes

Say if time froze would you spend the time to right ya wrongs..."

Everyone in the lunchroom, snapping as I "spit" the poem like a rap. Afterwards I had people coming up to me like "yo the way you said that one line made the whole thing crazy!" I felt great because for once, the way I spoke was a good thing...people began to like it because supposedly it had "style".

   Speeches around the world are all so different though and they can be a good thing or a bad thing. For example, for certain men a woman with a certain accent could be the perfect wife. For a movie director, an actor with a specific accent could be a star. But for a national or worldwide company, not being able to speak “proper” could be what gives them bad reviews. It things like this that make language and speech a blessing and a curse.

   In 'If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?' by James Baldwin, he says "Language, also, far more dubiously, is meant to define...". He means a completely different thing but to me this quote is very critical to what I am explaining in this essay. Language is meant to define and to translate, not a way to show class or intelegence. For example, in my poem, people did not really care how I was saying the words. Yes my accent supposedly made it "crazier" but people cared more about what I was saying than the way I said it. The world does not understand that everyone speaks differently. To some people from different countries, the way we speak English could be completely differentfrom the way they do.

   The north and the south are split with accents just like the east and the west. Language and accents could be good and bad depending on where you are located. But the big question is: was there or is there a “correct” accent somewhere out in the world or will was the world always separated because of speech? I have experienced speech prejudice in both good and bad ways and it is reasons and questions like this that make language and speech such a mystery...almost like a story that has not been fully told.



Q1 art presentation

Artist's Statement:

In this course I learned skills that I will use throughout my art career. I liked the outlet it gave me for art. In my art I try to represent the world around me in a way the also allows my view. I do this by ways like what I choose to draw. Also I use how I draw as far as my median, line weight, style, etc. I hope you can see that in my art.

I Know Big Words, I Swear

I’d like to thank the British for my vocabulary. Not in the traditional sense, either. I don’t watch any British TV shows regularly, or much television at all, really. I knew words like “lithe” and “raucous” before I knew my times tables, thanks to British car magazines. I liked cars, and I wanted to read reviews of new cars, but I didn’t plan on learning anything I could use in school or to impress the types of people who are impressed by kids with big vocabularies. Essentially, I tricked myself into learning. That probably says something about me.

Language-wise, I suppose I’m pretty interesting. I was born in Concord, New Hampshire, and lived there until I was about 8. After that, I moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You may notice that people from both of these places typically have thick accents, but I do not. Nobody in my family has a strong New England accent either. Why is that? I don’t know. One theory is that accents are generally associated with the lower class, who have less money to travel and pollute their regional accent with the sounds of other places. My family isn’t particularly wealthy, but we have enough means to travel on occasion. This could be a factor, but I don’t think it’s frequent enough to have a distinct influence.

I found a test on the New York Times’ website that determined where your vocabulary comes from, and it said that I had a vocabulary and accent typical of Southern New Hampshire, which makes sense. This test is very well done because not only does it incorporate the words you use, it also includes questions about the pronunciation of words like “been” and “aunt”. An example of where my New Hampshire accent shows through, is in the pronunciation of the word “been”. I say it like the name “Ben”, but farther south it is pronounced like “bin” or “bean”. Some research I did shows that the accents of different regions of the United States come from the accents of the immigrants who settled there. For example, accents in New England are influenced by the English accent of the period, because most of the settlers to New England were English.

Which returns us to the British. For reasons I cannot explain, the British nearly have a monopoly on automotive journalism. The British are also known for their eloquence and passion for the written word. When I was little, I wanted to read about cars as much as possible. As an aside, cars are still my hobby, there’s just a lot more doing and planning than reading for me now. At the time, the best way to get information about cars was to read magazines, which led me to publications like Top Gear (like the show), Evo, and the creatively named Car Magazine. Each magazine had its own unique character, and I simply couldn’t stop reading each and every magazine I stumbled upon, whether it was an inherited issue from 3 years ago from one of my dad’s work friends or a new copy found in the imported section of our local Borders. Getting a brand new magazine was a relatively special occasion, thanks to the relatively high cost of the imported magazines, especially in comparison to their sparse content appropriate for their price back in the old country. The additional insight and beautiful photography was worth it, at least for me. I didn’t realize I had learned so much from these magazines until about 7th or 8th grade, when we began studying SAT words. I knew about 70% of the words, and I didn’t know why. I was reading Car Magazine’s 30th anniversary issue when it clicked for me.

As proud as I am to be different and from another place, I still can’t help that my accent is relatively subtle. I would love to write a wonderful reflection paragraph detailing the oppression I face daily due to my unusual dialect, but nobody seems to notice I have an accent at all. For the most part, people are surprised when I tell them I’m not from Philadelphia. The most obvious way to tell that I’m from somewhere different becomes revealed only in winter.
“Aren’t you cold?” they say, less frequently than the rest of this essay would have you believe. I’m not cold. I’m from a place where we have real life actual winter, and if you’re interested I can tell you a story about when I carved an igloo in the large snowbank next to my old house that was so big I could sleep in it. For the record, I did not sleep in the igloo. That would have been dangerous.

A while ago in English class, we read an essay by James Baldwin called “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?” Among other things that are less relevant to this essay, Baldwin mentions how people from different places and different cultural backgrounds can sound completely different. He also states that black English has so much slang that it is almost unintelligible to the untrained ear. At one time, being from a highly monocultural place, I was that untrained ear. I remember at recess being confused at the strange sentences that were flying around, swirling in the air and trapping me. It was only about 350 miles away, but it felt like another continent.

The hardest part about slang is that nobody teaches it. You can learn it, but by the time you have it figured out, you are months or even years behind, and your new knowledge is no longer relevant. This used to be a problem for me, but now I have it figured out, for the most part. Slang isn’t made to be hard to understand. I made myself sound like this massively uncomfortable white guy who is constantly out of the loop, but I was really only like that for a year or two, while I was adjusting to living in a city. I had more important things to worry about than language.