Traditional Relationships & Roles

In this first quarter benchmark, our class read a book called The Metamorphosis and completed a benchmark based on it. Reading The Metamorphosis we explored the ways in which Franz Kafka’s tale responds to the many “isms” of his day. Our job was to come up with a some sort of literature that reflected our modern era. Our group decided to do a very popular topic in today’s world. We explored how traditional relationships and roles changed throughout time. 

We created a movie trailer to promote our movie “The New Bae”. It was based about a girl who cheated both men and wanted to have an open relationship. Then, created a New York Times movie review to mimic the audience’s response. Finally, we compared our idea about untraditional relationships to existing work in the industry.  

Audience Response 

The New Bae
Cultural Fabric 
Official Movie Poster 
Movie Poster

"In The Eyes Of Man" Project by Shaion Denny and Soledad Alfaro-Allah

Click here to access our project

In our project we decided to explore the isms behind religion. We both grew up in Muslim households and we wanted to do a project that somehow connected two or more of the philosophies that we had contemplated before and during the read of Kafka's "The Metamorphosis". After 9/11 in particular there were a lot of stereotypes and misguided ideals about muslims hovering throughout the nation, and through many modern advances such as the internet which was honestly revolutionary, the opinions and perceptions of god have begun to change. Many authors/writers/artist began to contemplate god and what God meant to them. Some took a humorous route like "The book of Mormon." Or a historical Route with books such as "Killing Jesus" By bill O'reily, Books by Mark Cahil and more. So with that we decided to create a book written by an author who had all of these questions about who God was, and did an immense amount of research in order to find connections between the religions of Islam, Christianity and the philosophical concepts of Cartesian Dualism as well as Nihilism. We decided that it would be an interesting idea to ban the book, and to document how the revolutionary content within the book had broken the Internet. We created a blog following the progress of the book from its release to the banning of it, to the audience response which goes from two very opinionated articles as well as a series of tweets from influential figures on both sides of the coin. The responses are to the literature itself and the banning of the book, as well as the authors response to the banning of his book, and his youth, and experiences guiding why he wrote it. Our cultural fabric consisted of a list of books that came out from the early 2000s to now as well as the play "The book of Mormon." All of which are on the blog and easily followed. We had a bit of a hard time crafting our idea full out but we ended up happy with what we created in the end. 

The "Alex & Cam Radio Show"

 ​The Metamorphosis is an allegorical story, which gives a background on the events that symbolize a more general condition of modern society. The press release illustrates multiple symbols that show what the "Alex and Cam Radio Show" is about. Each symbol gives viewers an easy guess as to what the radio show talks about and what goes on, which then connects with the audience response. The audience response is based off of a New York Times article, during the process of writing the audience response I came across many obstacles to make the article more real and official. The audience response includes interviews with Barack Obama, Bill Gates and many other guests. I decided to include interviews with guests because I wanted to make the article more realistic and interesting to grabbed the readers attention. Near the end of the audience response I included a "for further reading" bit that would introduce the cultural response and tie it in with the rest of the response. The cultural response connects television programs with the topics that the "Alex and Cam Radio Show" talks about, my partner Cameron used popular television shows because the audience would be able to recognize and understand how they connect to the themes of the "Alex and Cam Radio Show".
Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 12.21.28 PM
Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 12.21.28 PM
being human paper

Bernie Sanders the EP by Sergei Mass and Micah Henry

Link to Weebly which contains Press Release (album covers and Background info on Reviews tab) and Audience Response (Album Review Video):

Press Release Info:

""Your Mother's Couch" based out of Philadelphia is happy to give to you their first EP "Bernie Sanders the EP". It features songs that touch on politics to the harsh lifestyle of being in Philadelphia in 2015. By buying this album, you are funding our beer and cigarette funds, so thank you to that. We promise to satisfy you or your money back. Just Kidding though, you are not getting your money back. Any ways enjoy the album!" - Your Mother's Couch

Cultural Fabric:

What is the meaning of life or finding one’s purpose in life is the base of this project. This overall cultural fabric relates to many people’s feelings. Numerous people on earth are unsure as to why they are here and what they should be doing here. Your Mother’s Couch have everything they need to be successful; loving, wealthy parents, yet they turn their heads completely decide to do their own thing, falling into the common theme of making a band and rapping about senseless things. Through music, they are trying to find purpose and are failing. So through the desperateness of trying to find meaning in life, disregarding the gifts already given to them, these hipsters are still lost.

The most common connection to Your Mother’s Couch is pretty much any new Indie Band. For example the Band Wavves. Just off the bat, they are so unique that they must spell “Waves” with two “w’s”. All of the members of Wavves all came from money and they all act as if they are dirt poor and hate their parents. They make meaningless songs about the dumbest of things, but they get buzz from it! Another connection to Your Mother’s Couch is every other modern day hipster. The band we created were based off of the whole “DIY Band” scene in the PHL/NJ/NYC area. A bunch of friends of mine that are pretty well off and just want to be rebellious and get involved into things they know nothing of, do similar things as Your Mother’s Couch would do.

Back in 2013, a clothing designer painted a few paintings that he made into shirts and they were based off of his experience going to house shows in Brooklyn and seeing the youth in the shows. Raf Simons made a number of different shirts, one had a very pale girl on the one, with a vivid colored sweater and bleached blonde hair with the roots coming out. She was holding a coors light to relate to the underaged youth drinking in the shows. In an interview he described the people in the shows and their lives and the inspiration behind the line. As a big fashion enthusiast that I am, it was interesting to see big designers doing stuff like this.

Undoubtedly, tumblr is a huge contributor to the connection to the start of Your Mother’s Couch. Tumblr is the place where hipsters go and trade off their corny memes, mediocre music, and countless pages of meaningless stories. It’s also hard not to forget the numerous “I am a photographer” pages and “All I post is Gifs about Nirvana because Kurt is my father” pages. People see stuff on the internet and instantly hook right onto it. Almost as if they are minions.

The last connection I have to mention is a 21 year old kid from Harlem by the name of Ian Connor. Now many people might not know who Ian Connor or who he is, but in summary he got famous from styling A$AP Rocky and A$AP Mob, Wiz Khalifa, and now Kylie Jenner. He also modeled for Wil Fry, 424 Fairfax, Kanye x Adidas, and many more designers. He lives the lavish life of throwing a lot of money at pizza men and smoking in public malls and stores. He is know for pretty much not giving a F*** and the “hipster band” kids have followed his tracks in now dressing like him and acting like him. As odd as it sounds, he is an influence to the youth now. If you have spare time, look him up he is quite interesting.

Q1 Benchmark - Contemporary Kafkaesque

Kadija Koita and Mitchell Berven-Stotz

Our theoretical piece of media focused on ​two interconnected themes. Our primary theme was police brutality and institutionalized racism. We used this idea to talk about how social media has created a generational, memetic hive mind where people don't take any action above sharing or liking things on internet sites.

"No Way Out" is a movie about Wendell Grieves, a black teenager living in South Berkley, California. He is an exceptional person: good to his friends and family, religious and charitable, a member of his school's football team, and Instagram celebrity. However, when Wendell's team is harassed to the point of violence by a more privileged team, everything goes south. Wendell, trying to stop the fighting, is shot and killed by the police.

PR Piece: Posters and critical acclaim quotes.

Real English Poster 1
English Jersey Poster Real
English Reviews
Audience Response:
Interview with the Director/Screenwriter:

I: Interviewer from Jet Magazine

J: Director/Screenwriter John Blair

I: We’ve brought in John Blair, the visionary behind the recent movie “No Way Out”, a film that focuses on the tragic death of Wendell Grieves, a local sports hero and all around good person.Thanks for taking the time to visit us John.

J: It’s no problem, happy to be here.

I: Now, I want to begin by asking about the character of Wendell. In the film, Wendell is shown as good as a person can get. He has a caring personality, is a good support to his family, especially to his younger brother. Why did you set him up to such a high level, only for him to be killed by the police?

J: I wrote Wendell as somewhat of a cartoonish character to make a point. These police murders, I say murders because that is what they are, these murders have always had some amount of clarity, and an angle to justify themselves with. The right wing news would always have some sort of crime to place on the victim, some way of convincing themselves and the audiences that the act of violence was necessary. Trayvon Martin: Zimmerman was the only witness, he had some signs of a physical struggle. Eric Garner: Resisting arrest, assaulting an officer. There are always excuses because of the weakness of the sources, and the confusion given by viral media. Garner swatted an officer’s arm, Zimmerman’s story doesn’t really add up. These were murders, but because of how information can be spread and manipulated, there is always a different angle. I wanted to depict a story where it is indisputable that the police were at fault, show an extreme example, a scenario where the confusion is nonexistent. I had to take police brutality to an extreme. Wendell’s story is me sending a message.

I: Religion was a big part of Wendell’s character. Would you mind telling why?

J: I didn’t want Wendell to be a blank character. He needed a source for his personality. A large reason that he is how he is is due to his christian upbringing. It gave him a reason to be kind, and helped me get a good mental image of his home life and daily activity.

I: So, Wendell was this shell of goodness, but you needed to fill it in?

J: That is one way to look at it. It also helped make him relatable to a lot of the audience.

I: Am I correct to assume that that is why you made him instagram famous? Instagram and Vine have been exploding these last few years.

J: Actually, that is a bit backwards. I made him instagram famous to support the theme of characterising these things that we only see through the media, be it the news or social media sites. Just like we only see the media’s views of these victims, we only see the instagram stars as they show themselves on the web. I wanted to give the audience another chance to look at how these characters you see in the media and online are real people, with lives.

I: Isn’t it a bit counterintuitive that you are trying to build Wendell as an almost unrealistic character, yet are trying to use him to make a point and personify a part of reality that people don’t see?

J: I see it as using him as a studying point for the police brutality aspect, and as a way to suggest an idea, or get people thinking and or make them see things they take for granted in a different way.

I: Going against what is accepted seems to be a major point in your story.

J: Absolutely.

I: I’d like to ask about why you chose South Berkeley as the Grieves’s hometown.

J: Well, Berkeley has two key factors. It is a low income neighborhood, with a primarily black population.

I: Would I be too wrong if I said it was an alternative to using Compton?

J: Right again, I didn’t want to cash in on the Straight Outta Compton hype too much.

I: “F*ck the Police” isn’t quite the message you are trying to tell?

J: NWA is a bit more violent than I am trying to be.  I wanted the film to be shaming and eye opening, but not threatening. It needs to scream loudly without being harsh, if that makes any sense.

I: I get what you’re saying. Might that be the reason you depicted Wendell as a member of the church?

J: That and the fact that I wanted to give Wendell a large family. He has his household family, but the church acts as a family in itself. In America, a lot of these low income, historically black neighborhoods are held together by their church communities. By having him be a friendly member of multiple communities, his death has a greater impact on characters within the story. Society these days is about community. It has gotten to a point where people cannot live without mingling with many different communities. Wendell effects both his Instagram followers, and his different communities.

I: So he is a metaphor for how these recent travesties have been affecting the nation's media and people?

J: Exactly!

I: You also show off some elements of white privilege, what with the football team that attacks Wendell’s team being almost entirely white, and from a richer neighborhood.

J: I did that to accent and give context for the police shooting. The fight gave a reason for the police to come, and contrast of the teams displayed an even starker, clearer image of the racism I am portraying.

I: Overall, the film has an almost sadistic feel to it. You are holding the audience in their chairs with an addictive, constantly progressing film, while you torment them with a narrative that pushes you further and further into hopelessness.

J: *laughs* Well, I don’t know if I was going for “sadistic”, but yes, I was trying to force a fairly aggressive message onto the audience. Earlier you had me talk about how I used Wendell to make a point about how the people you see on the media are real. Well, there was another reason. Social media “activism” is irrelevant. When people post, share, and like massive quantities of these ideas, they are accomplishing next to nothing. A like doesn’t actually solve a problem. Sure, massive quantities of these posts and shares help send a message, but actual action and deeds are required to make changes. I have placed the audience into a situation where they are forced to see this.

I: So, Wendell had all of these followers, and at the end everyone spread his death as a “martyr” of sorts, but nothing was actually prevented or accomplished?

J: Yes. It was meant to show that uselessness. The only thing we can hope for is that the useless hive mind that social media has become ends up being relevant when the current generation of youth is in charge. I wanted the audience to experience the feeling of not being able to do anything, so that, hopefully, after seeing that their actions are irrelevant, they will try to become real activists.

I: There you have it readers! Get out there, really make a difference in your world, not just on social media. John, thank you so much for coming, it was enlightening.

J: Anytime, anytime. I’m always looking for chances to spread my message.

Cultural Fabric:

Rodney King and how he fought for the rights that as an African American he felt as if he did not have. Police brutality was a huge issue with this historical event. As a black African Rodney was almost immediately considered to be a threat, even though there was over 3 cops there with him. He was beat just like how Wendell was beat. Although in this was a lot different than our story, because in the Rodney King case, he had a lot of built up anger towards those of the white race, which took a toll on the L.A. riot incident.

In this book, former cop, Juarez takes on this mission to make it right in the drug infested streets. He sees first hand how the Chicago police take advantage of their authority, and how much they get away with it. Juarez speaks on the code of silence that keeps the police force untouchable. Racial profiling is a thing and that is what happens in the book, and with Wendell when he is beaten and then killed by a police officer.  

Juarez tells the inside of actually being a police officer and how women and men can be abused without any repercussions. Juarez shares how some of the people he works with is know for stopping women for made-up traffic offenses and flirts with them. Comparing it to our movie about how police are able to take lives, and not have to deal with any consequences.

Trayvon Martin event which connects with how police brutality took his life and also how since he was black, it determined the verdict, which meant it was a broken system. Even though Wendell did not do all the things that Trayvon did, such as smoke weed, he was a teenager and only human, and those aspects should have not contributed to justifying Trayvon's death. Trayvon Martin was 17 years old when he was killed by a “neighborhood watchmen”, George Zimmerman. Again, we have an incident where armed forces were 100% not needed. Both Wendell and Trayvon were racially profiled and taken as threats. Even with Wendell, the police automatically saw his skin color and saw red lights.

The man that killed Trayvon Martin saw him as a threat to his own community and decided to use deadly force, even though the correct authority was not called, and still he was not guilty. This meant the system that many of our young black women and men live in is still broken.

“Do The Right Thing.” a film by Spike Lee following the realness of how police brutality goes without consequences. In the story a young man by the name of Radio Raheem gets into an argument, which later turns into a hassle, with Italian-American store owner Sal, because he broke his radio. Now, think about our movie, No Way Out, because Wendell also got into a hassle. Then after that police are called and Raheem is restrained, but the officer chokes him, killing him. The same with Wendell and how he is choked to death by a police officer.

This modern movie and our movie shows how non-blacks were automatically the ones that were the safe ones. Even in “Do the Right Thing” Sal was the one who started the problem. Same with the other football team that started the problem as well, but because of the skin color of Wendell and Radio Raheem, they were the ones that had to be punished.

Protest in Philadelphia about the Mike Brown protests in Ferguson. People from Philadelphia laid on the floor to show how Mike Brown was shot and killed by the a police officer. The protest was done in broad daylight because that`s how Mike Brown was shot. They then had people taking selfies with the dead body to represent that this event was not important and that this black life was worthless and replaceable.

Comparing to our story, Wendell was sort of like a Mike Brown, in a way that they were both football players and were almost finished with high school, getting ready to graduate. Even though there were differences such as , Mike Brown was accused of being armed and of stealing. Besides the point, both Wendell and Mike were killed like animals, by people that are supposed to protect us. 


We did our project to show how people use music to get their points across to the world. Music is more than just a thing, it is a outlet used to speak to others. No matter what type of music you may like, you are listening to whatever message the artist want you to have. Some even make songs for positive causes. It seems that most people who can not relate to a particular genre of music tend to stay away from it, maybe its because they may not be able to connect with the stories that the artist tell. Music now is changing though, and listeners care more about beats and sounds more than the lyrics and meaning of a song. 

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 12.31.07 PM
Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 12.31.07 PM


Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 8.35.07 AM
Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 8.35.07 AM

This is a movie trailer about three different individuals that all go to the same school (teacher, popular girl, and a gay jock). It shows how they are affected by the destruction of technology. This movie trailer will demonstrate how people over abuse technology by bullying and showing violence. It should teach to younger people who use technology a lesson of how to actually use it. Not going to give any spoilers about the movie so you really need to watch this trailer! Hope you enjoy!


*This is a Facebook post that we created of the people responding to our trailer.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.25.19 PM
Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.25.19 PM
Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.25.56 PM
Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.25.56 PM
Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.26.26 PM
Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.26.26 PM
Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.26.38 PM
Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.26.38 PM
*This is a New York Times article by Jennifer Medina called "The Movie with Free Publicity" 


​Link to our project

In our project we focused on internet safety and fame through an online campaign group called Safe-E. We wanted to incorporate social activism, and create an ism within an ism was a good way to show how those can connect. Our press release, audience response, and culture fabric are all in the link which is a website.
We thought that by doing a campaign that shows social activism and promotes online safety, we would be able to cover a wide range of topics in our benchmark. In the beginning we struggled with our idea, and how to implement it into an -ism. We wanted to focus on how the youth is focused on becoming famous. We then talked to our peers with what they were doing and were able to come up with an online campaign video that would our literature. We wanted to focused on Instagram fame which is why that was part of our press release. We're really proud of our work, and hope you see the -isms we involved and the hard work we put into this project.

Q1 Benchmark: Contemporary Kafkaesque

Isabella is my partner. 

Isabella and I picked social media because we felt that it has a huge impact on today's society. Especially at SLA, where we are allowed to use our phones and computers. We wanted to see how the use of technology has impacted the environment around us and showcase how it varies from person to person. From old to young, people of all ages use the internet and forms of social media, so how is their usage different and what are their feelings on the topic? That was one of the many questions we wanted to tackle in the project. After creating the piece of literature, the twitter, it showed me how desperate some people are to get attention, which is what we focused on in our cultural fabric. It really interested me that there were so many things in real life that we could relate this phenomenon to because the internet "celebrities" of todays lives' can be viewed as very fake and unrealistic. 

Trevor's Road To College

This project was completed by Melissa and Naomi. Through this project we explored the college process. We both felt that this is a subject that is very confusing and a system that isn’t completely fair. We decided to put our findings into a children’s book. We tell the story of a boy named Trevor that comes from a college educated family. It is assumed that he too will attend until his father loses his job. It is then up to Trevor to find a way to get to college.  

It was important to us to show the reality of the college process. Attending doesn’t always give  the security it promises but to also highlight that it is important to show that with hard work it is not impossible. While looking for other pieces of literature that talks about the college process and its hidden features.
Please reference our website for more information, click here.
Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 3.17.08 PM
Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 3.17.08 PM
Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 10.56.30 PM
Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 10.56.30 PM
Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 10.55.36 PM
Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 10.55.36 PM

The Metrogorian Beat

For our contemporary kafkaesque, we choose to do a literature blog. This project was assigned after our reading of Frank Kafka's "The Metamorphosis". We incorporated a previous assignment of many theories (Buddhism, Duel-Casteism, Marxism,etc) into the final product as well. The themes included throughout our pieces are equality and gay rights, the class system, foster kids, mental illnesses, and racism. The website is the collection of the audience response, cultural fabric, and press release. Our press release was the cover of the new book by renown author Gerald Petrovsky.The audience response was a review of the book "Voracity" (which is the literature piece we created). Our cultural fabric is consisted of 5 articles. All of the other articles that talks about our themes refers back to the main review, which you can find here. A review seemed fit for this piece since we wanted to model our project after something like The Washington Post. 

English BMQ1

Nabil Ibrahim
Felix d'Hermillon

Cultural Fabric

Our album covers many different themes of the problems that we have encountered today. The album, comes to terms with the issues of the world. It faces the facts, and overall has a very good acceptance with who we’ve become. The songs insult many different aspects of society today. These songs, however are not saying that all of this stuff is bad though. It is just accepting all of these problems and saying that these are all livable conditions. All of these problems were relevant in the past but over time have been more and more problematic in our present day.

The first song about Donald Trump’s hair is just there to be funny but it serves a very good purpose. Many large media companies have tried to pass off these jokes of candidates such as Trump as serious contenders for the White House. On all forms of social media people have been bashing him and others like him for his joke of a candidacy. While all of those funny they aren’t well put together in a form which will leave a great impact on them and will gain any serious attention in the media. Having a majorly publicized album gains this satire major attention and leaves a large impact on voters. The way this song gets attention makes it easier to see that in order to win in politics you have to gain the most attention. This song is a representative of what everyone is saying on social media that doesn’t gain much attention.

Political correctness has also been a major issue of today. People in the news tend to be critical of the very small things that people say such as joking by saying a racial slur. They do this especially to famous people and even more so to those who they want to be bashed such as those who share contrasting political opinions to them. Satirical shows like Southpark have pushed the boundaries of how far it is okay to go. The majority of the show makes fun of current events and inputs real people with extreme caricatures. The song is very similar to what shows like Southpark are trying to do. The song is essentially saying there is no harm or foul in crossing the boundaries since no one gets hurt by it. The very fact that people who aren’t politically correct get bashed more often than those who commit serious crimes against others is why this song is correct. This song draws attention to those who criticize those on things they say that don’t hurt people but are more light on those who commit serious offenses.

Harassment has evolved passed physically harming someone. With anonymity becoming easier with the advent of the internet people have resorted to several different types of bullying. They tell others to kill themselves, encourage others to bash them online, and leak nude photos of them onto the internet for others to see on social media websites. Harassment to the point of suicide is a major cause of death in adolescents. The song goes through the different reasons for why the person wants to commit suicide to emphasize the current amount of reasons there are for people to commit suicide these days which have only been amplified by the increasing accessibility to the internet.

Racial tensions has also been a rapidly increasing theme of today especially in the last year due to the shootings of unarmed black citizens. Many news organizations such as FOX have misconstrued the public's agenda and say there is a war on cops. People are too focused on fighting each other that they don’t see the importance of coming together and finding the issue. The song talks about how people are so focused on fighting on both sides of the issue that they can’t accomplish anything.

The album tackling all of these themes in its unique way is in itself also attempting to address the current day crisis of lack of originality. This album clearly doesn’t want to be like any of the generic pieces of music in its generation and wants to stand out. It’s trying to bring back the originality that used to be so common for albums back in the sixties and seventies. The artist looked back at music from those decades and saw that it takes someone who is willing to include controversial issues in an interesting way in their art to gain attention in order to have a successful original album. People today try to be original in many different forms of media such as videos and books but are unsuccessful because their work isn’t polished, cohesive and doesn’t gain attention. This work solves all of those problems and makes itself an original piece of art that deserves to go down in history alongside other landmark albums.


As you have probably heard, David Fricke, a very commendable senior journalist from our magazine has passed. He has been with us for 30 years and was one of the best journalist we have ever had pass through our hands. Writing for us, he has reviewed Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead, Buddy Guy, The Ramones, and many others. The list just goes on to demonstrate how creative this man is in his reviews and interviews. David Fricke has mainly stuck with Rock entrees but he has also ventured out into many other genres. He often complained that after the new millennium came he didn’t have many more great albums and most of them were garbage. He wanted to see something original and landmark like the great albums of the sixties and seventies. He would have loved to see a work such as “Untitled” by Paul Wright. I feel as though this is a work the David would have very much appreciated and would have felt similarly as I do to it.

The first song on this album “Fair Hair” stands out from any intro song, on any album that I can remember. It starts off with an upbeat acoustic guitar riff that plays throughout the song. The song then goes on to describe someone’s weird hair with political terms as if to humanize the hair. The hair is made out to be a politician who tries to stand out by doing outrageous things, gains popularity among voters, and ends up winning his candidacy. The song is obviously a reference to Donald Trump and his outrageous hair. The song makes clear references to him where he sings, “The hair has no liking for anyone who's mexican or doesn’t share his same complexion”. He obviously wants to get his agenda across that it’s ridiculous how Trump is gaining popularity with all of the controversial things he said. The song takes a funny attitude toward the whole thing and makes it sound like some kind of children’s story. The style is reminiscent of the song “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” by The Beatles in how they are very bright upbeat acoustic songs. What sets this piece apart and elevates it from that is how it manages to keep that style while also getting a serious agenda across.

The song then fades out as the acoustic guitar turns into a distorted electric guitar. The song “Minority” is heavy and completely contrasts to the more child friendly “Fair Hair”. It uses several racial slurs and shows it’s clearly not afraid to be criticized. There was no care to censor the song in anyway. These slurs are not said in an offensive but rather in a casual way. The song makes it seem as though these slurs are casual and are only offensive when used for an offensive purpose. After listening to the song multiple times I have found that it has numbed me to the offensive meanings of those slurs and has turned them into casual words one would say with their friends when joking. For example the Jokes about black people doing drugs and being lazy are just laughable and are made to be seen as unrealistic caricatures which hold no merit. After the song goes through the different minorities it comes back to white people and makes fun of how they insult all of the previously mentioned minorities in the song but try to be like them. It repeats the phrase, “but who cares throughout the song” to show that it doesn’t matter what he thinks if he does nothing with it.

The rock song then slows down and turns into an acoustic song with piano. “A Day in Suicide”. The song is obviously sampling the song “A Day in the Life” by The Beatles. It even starts off with similar lyrics, “I read my feed today oh boy” which is reference to his social media feed. He goes through the several different ways in which he is bullied online such as being told to kill himself and others making fun of his physical appearance. He tries to kill himself everyday but can’t pull himself together. The song makes sure it goes into every detail to the listener feels as though they are there with him if not that they are him. It follows the same style as “A Day in the Life” up until the point where the song reaches its climax and is about to change style to the happier portion of the song. Instead after the suspenseful build up from the horns it stays in the same depressing style it was in and says, “and there’s no relief for me”. The song makes you feel as though you are trapped in a rainstorm with nothing to shelter you and every drop is an insult. The ambiguous ending which leaves you wondering as to whether he lived or not really makes you feel for the character to emphasize that people can and should feel sympathy for others in a similar situation to the character of the song.

Bleeding straight out of “A day in suicide” it then goes into the next song that goes by “Fine Fettle”. This song is similar to the “Cup song” from Pitch Perfect. The cup song begins only with the beat of the cups and with some vocals on top of it. “Fine Fettle” starts off with a beat. The beat consists only of a snare drum and the bass drum. These two are kind of toying with each other instrumentally. The beat that they are doing almost sounds like a ballad, mixed with a marching beat. Then comes the vocals. The vocals are three different pitches. It is completely an a capella song. The different pitches of this song are the bass line, chord pitches, and the melody/lead of the song . This song is focusing on the health care aspect of today’s society. It tells a depressing story of a man that cannot afford healthcare in today’s society because of how expensive it has become. The last line in the song says “Debt higher than my eyes, and when you don’t sympathize, I’ll creep off to Sleep, as my doctor says he died, nobody's gonna miss me when I’m gone”. This lyric alone is somewhat similar to the cup song but it really talks about the health care aspect.

And Finally, the last song is bleed into through the last line of “Fine Fettle”. This line is focusing on how black lives, in today’s society are under appreciated, and how it is not acceptable for everybody. We must change the way that everybody in the nation lives. There can’t be any racism in our society for our nation to fully change, and that is the issue that this song is facing. The song itself is a slow blues acoustic fingerpicking, slide song that is an extremely deep and emotional song. This song is called Grey Asphalt. One of the main lyrics of this piece that really caught my attention was “walking down the corner where the streets connect. Racial integration needs to be our intersect.” This song is very similar to Crossroads by Robert Johnson. Cross roads talks about a man that is standing at the crossroads trying to hitch a ride. In Grey Asphalt, it talks about the streets all connecting just as all races do.


Products of Consumerism (Q1 Kafkaesque BM Day & Leonard)

Press Release:

For this project, David and myself spent a lot of time evaluating the 'isms' of today and in the beginning we had some trouble trying to find one that was not only the most divisive and controversial, but we wanted to pick one of the most prevailing. After days of collaboration we decided to choose the ideology of consumerism. Consumerism is undeniably something that affects us all and is something that many of us recognize but dismiss. David and I's goal for this project was to point out consumerism and its flaws in a way that was both relatable but current, which is why we decided to go the short story route. Short stories not only stick with people but they'll actually read them! So we thought this was a great approach to show the affects of consumerism, we were inspired to do this from the recent success of the Humans of New York and thought why not show 'Products of Consumerism'.


This story talks about the problems consumerism can cause. Bob has many nice things like a big LCD TV, a new sports car, and a nice house. Jim on the other hand lives in an apartment has a cheap TV, and a used car. Bob has a good paying job where he works long hours to pay for the stuff he wants. Jim has an average paying job where he works normal hours a day. Bobs life is basically a mess because he doesn’t have much free time and is tired at the end of the day. Jim lives a good life where he may not make a lot but does save a lot.

Tiffany is a prime example of consumerism gone wrong. She goes to a school where all of her friends come from affluent families and she is constantly trying to keep up with them. She secretly works a job a few miles out of town to pay for application fees but instead she spends her earnings shopping with her friends buying things that she can’t afford.

Audience Response:

Let us evaluate the benefits of the great short story. The minisculity that lets us go on with our day, the vagueness and uneasiness that leaves us wanting more, and most importantly the messages that can be conveyed through short pieces of literature. These messages are most visibly manifested in Day & Leonard’s new collection of short stories. The collection explores one of today’s most divisive issues, consumerism.

Consumerism is the most prevailing issue of today. It is the issue that we all recognize and acknowledge is there but failed to actually address. It is the justification for all of our guilty pleasures, all of our desires, and all the things that we are willing to do the unspeakable to his attain.  Whether it is buying the new rose gold iPhone or if it is saving up to buy a new pair of Christian Louboutin heels,  or in some cases striving for an Ivy League education. We have all failed to resist temptation against consumerism.  Although many of us may not want to admit to it Day & Leonard  do that for us.  Through the short stories  that we all somehow  relate to.

I'd like to begin with Tiffany’s story. Tiffany is a 20 year old college student who has a lot of wealthy friends. These friends have a high disposable income,  They use this income to buy the latest and greatest designer clothing, shoes, bags, you name it they've got it. Tiffany wanting to be accepted takes desperate measures to keep up with them.  these measures include not only spending her own paycheck that is supposed to go to words her tuition, but even goes as far as stealing to keep up with her friends.  When Tiffany begins to start wearing the same designers as her friends they do indeed, treat her differently.  Now with this acceptance comes a greater responsibility to maintain it in order to do so Tiffany begins stealing more, one day in an attempt to steal Tiffany is caught by security but worst her friends see her.  

First, let's evaluate the situation holistically. a lot of us may say “ what was going through that girl's mind”  but the thought process is the same,  Society breeds of all to strive for acceptance. Tiffany was simply striving for acceptance not only from society but from her friends in fact her friends what to do to be accepted by society just as much is Tiffany they just did not have to go as far as she did. But where does this mindset stem from, why are we so persistent and being accepted. if we all face the same difficulties trying to attain acceptance why do we still continue to strive for it in the first place?

I believe that these ideas of what is acceptable and not stem from the twisted  and corrupt American dream.  We are taught to strive for economic and social prosperity and that we can attain this fairly no matter what. However this is not the case, there should not be one generic version of what success is.  success varies, it's personal, it's different for every person someone else's success is someone else's mediocrity. We should all be allowed to set and make our own goals.  In order To do so we must take a stand but in order to do that we must recognize that consumerism is in fact a problem. in many cases people will dismiss it but and a lot of other different cases people who acknowledge it and embracing it as if it's something to be proud of. not that someone should be ashamed but someone or to be  conscious about it impacts.

Because oddly enough  there are other Tiffany's out there in the world you need guidance. But in order for them to gain that guidance they need society to acknowledge the doctrine of consumerism and the American dream. not only must they acknowledged it but in addition they are to change it. Changing it to something more personalized, something that fosters self competition but something more healthy.

Everyone plays a part in keeping consumerism alive and it must stop for the greater good. So for starters, maybe  don't go and wait in line for a day for cell phone, or spend mortgage payment on a TV or shoes what makes faces that will help you get to the goal that you want. Because what you want matters the most to you. And when it comes to happiness if you aren't disrupting someone else's it should only matter to you and you only.  That is what I believe that the author wanted us to take from the bulk of the stories that not only is consumerism toxic but it is something that can easily be stopped if we just focus on our own personal happiness and nothing else.

Cultural Fabric: This piece of literature is an example of some of the problems consumerism causes. People nowadays are buying too much stuff or are buying really expensive stuff. According to a news report one family had over 2000 possessions visible in their first 3 rooms and this is the stuff that they actually see. The boston globe did a report on how grandparents are 42% of gift buyers to earn their grandchild’s affections. There was a news report on how people are buying tiaras from jewelry stores which is surprising since tiaras are more of a European thing.

A botched Internet by Jordan Meriwether and Osman Bangura

Our website:

To respond to a project of this magnitude is a lot, but I will do as I can. We were instructed to create a fake piece of literature that would encapsulate something about the current era. We chose to discuss a fake movie that would discuss the ideas of social acceptance and critic the ideas of using plastic surgery and social media. There were three parts to this project we had to make in response to this movie: Cultural Fabric, Audience Response, and Press Release. Each aspect would need dive deeper into what this creation was.

The Cultural Fabric was supposed to relate different works to our movie based on its central theme of social acceptance. We chose to make it an overview of what watching the movie is like and would relate different texts to our movie through references thrown into the text. We felt this gave the reader a better understanding of the structure of the book since they would have other works to compare it to.

The Audience Response showed how people reacted to the movie’s conception. We chose to do a Rotten Tomatoes critique of the movie; each of the reviewers would give their own personal opinion on what the movie what supposed to represent and give a rating. We felt this would add to what we felt could be interpreted from this fictional work showing a wide variety of views from the offended to the understanding.

Finally, the Press Release was meant to show what the first thing the people would see from the movie, this could be anything from a trailer to an commercial. We chose to make two alternate posters since we felt the visual aspect would give us a chance to talk about the deeper meaning behind some of the scenes in the movie. We discussed the symbolic nature of the film and even went into detail on the different aspects of the movie.

Overall, I felt this was a great project giving us a chance to create something big and explain our understanding of it.




Who Am I Online? Julia Hood

Julia Hood Blue Stream

1. We watched the anti bullying video in class today. It was about Jack who got bullied at school and people were mean to him online, but then you had the opportunity to click on the anti bullying emoji so that he doesn't get bullied anymore or you stand up for him.
2. This video brings to mind times that I was being bullied and nobody stood up for me and I wished people would. It also reminded me about times when I stood up for people.
3. The only two things that are actually me online is my Facebook profile and my slate blog, but as for other people with the same name as me they are table tennis prodigies who are also the global brand director of PRWeek. 
4. I think people see me as a very professional person who is well off in life.
5. The goal of internet trolls is to upset and anger people.
6. The positives of internet anonymity are that nobody can find these things when you're in your future and you will be less likely to be affected by identity theft from internet trolls. The negatives of internet anonymity are that if you're being bullied it will be harder to prove that it's you that's being bullied and to show who is bullying you also if you do something it will be harder to say this is mine if you want to show someone and if someone steals it it will be harder to prove they stole from you.
Screenshot 2015-11-12 at 11.56.37 AM
Screenshot 2015-11-12 at 11.56.37 AM

Who am I Online Part 2

1.)Today in class we learned a lot about online bullying and how to join the fight against it through  the video "I am a witness". This video demonstrates the effects of bullying, what it looks like from the victim's perspective, as well shows the difference in events and results by simple actions of kindness. As well it was significant that the difference in results(which was a sad bullied, low self-esteem Jake vs. a happy supported Jake whom even when knocked down is stood up for) was based on the bullies making a conscious effort. As well the subtle emphasis on those who were bystanders of the bullying were counted as bullies and not given a pass/excuse..This video reminds people the power they have in simply posting an emoji, as well the power when one remains silent or worse a negative participant.
2.)This video brings to mind much about the problems with being a bystander and just how hurtful being a victim of bullying is. I've watched many documentaries on bullying and the one that stood out tio me was called "Bully" on Netflix and described the horrible affects it had on people creating extremes concerning suicide and incarceration. It's a very depressing topic but one that needs to continue to be addressed until it's at least nationally unacceptable. And not only unacceptable but that this understanding is ingrained in everyone especially beginning at a young age. This video reminded me how much work there is to be done, as well how many different ways one can get involved in the anti bullying movement.
3.)I am Zoey Tweh online a high school student as SLA who runs 5ks at PAS. I appear solely business or someone who knows how to hide unprofessional activities from the public eye.
4.)People probably perceive me as normal, maybe a little curious as to whether or not I have any social media but other than that not too detailed of a perception since not much information is given. I clearly am see as a student and runner but ther's no information on whether I even attend school or how well I do in school. Whereas the race can be found since it was made public.
5.)The goal of internet trolls is to throw everyone off topic and get them all heated up about something. For instance on an online commentary of Justin Bieber an internet troll might bring up a touchy political subject completely unrelated to Justin Bieber and cause a chain reaction. The internet troll will continue saying outlandish, crazy things that are known to get a reaction out of people and so they get what they want. The ultimate goal is to gain a reaction from people.
6.)Online anonymity is a sweet and sour concept. It's pros are that it can protect one's identity, concealing it from others who may wish to access said information for multiple reasons particularly identity theft and so much more.The cons include masking people like internet trolls and/or bullies who take advantage of the internet and social media in a negative way and harass people.This anonymous concept makes it very very difficult to hold someone accountable of such charges. 
Screenshot 2015-11-12 at 11.54.04 AM
Screenshot 2015-11-12 at 11.54.04 AM


For the first quarter benchmark in Being Human, Dillon and I were told to create a response to a piece of literature in our society now. We brainstormed important ideas that capture the essential themes of our generation: individualism, personalization, access to information, globalization, and more. We pulled themes from books, videos, and articles that relate to our central ideas to make our project as relatable to contemporary literature. For an in-depth analysis of how this project fits into today’s cultural fabric, click here.

We focused on beauty standards and mental health stigmas by designing a cultural response to a play written by a 15 year old girl. First we built the press release, an Instagram feed, which introduced the play to the public. We felt this made the most sense because so many people have found fame through the internet and social media. The feed followed her on the journey of writing the play and having it being discovered by a producer. The press release sparked enough publicity that a famous talk show host, Dillon Degeneres, noticed the play and invited the playwright onto the show. We based this segment off of Ellen Degeneres’ talk show because she often picks up viral video stars and gives them more fame. We used this interview to highlight the key aspects of the play that wouldn’t have come out otherwise. Some of those key points were the two storylines or the way mental health stigma shows itself. In conclusion, this project made us deeply analyze the characteristics of modern times and apply that understanding to a creative and engaging presentation.

Who am I online reflection Israt jahan

1. ​Today we watched a video in class. The video was an activity also. for the activity we had to click the eyeball emoji, to make jack's day go better.
2. The video remind me of those kids who gets bullied everyday. Bullying is the worse thing that can happen to someone. I think when someone gets bullied they should speak to an adult, and they will help you with anything they can.

3. I am a normal girl online. and all i do is like people's picture and watch my shows and do my homework. I think i appear to be a really nice person online and i shares her opinion.

4. I think people perceive me as a girl who likes to take pictures. Likes social media.

5. The goal on the internet is to hurt peoples feeling. and people really likes to mass with other peoples buisness. I think why people do that because they have nothing to do all day except messing with other people.

6.The positives  and negative results of online anonymity is People can help you out with the stuff that you need help with and the negative is Sometimes people stills people's information and use it for their own good.

The Trap by Mali Fenning and Trinity Middlebrooks

Click the link to go to our project 

We created a website for our project that holds our Press Release, Audience Response, and Cultural Fabric. We wanted everything to be easily accessible and concise, which is why it is all on one website. Our press release consist of a book cover, blurb about the book, description of both authors, two quotes from "press",  and two book previews. Our book cover has many symbols hidden it. Those symbols are grills, green skin, the eyes being blocked, and braids. The braids and grills are more obvious symbols showing how our main character (Carter) appropriates hip-hop culture. The green skin shows how greed and money have changed Carter. Also, the green skin is also supposed to show how racial identity and racism is more complicated today. We decided to block out the eyes of Carter because eyes really show identity and who you are. It is harder to know who someone is when they block out their eyes. After our press release we wrote two reviews as our audience response. They are pro and con reviews to show the complexity of our novel and the complexity of the issue we are addressing. Our project focuses on racism and becoming internet famous, but our main issue that we show is cultural appropriation. We wanted to show how cultural appropriation is an ongoing issue today and does not yet have any type of solution. People are just starting to really grasp what cultural appropriation is and how it affects society. The white rappers in the hip-hop community have been very popular in discussion lately, so we wanted to use a current and relevant issue to show the issue of cultural appropriation. This project should be used as a discussion starter so that together we can try to find solutions, but the objective of our project was not to give any set resolutions.

Who Am I Online? Jowon Dorbor

The video I watched in class was I Witness Bully. The video reminded me of the bullying assemblies I had in my elementary school. I appear positively online. I have some of my project from my 8th grade year on a blog. The goal of internet trolls is to make you feel bad. The positive results of online anonymity is to keep personal information to yourself and the negative result is to hide your identity while hurting others by posting mean comments.

Kimberly Gucciardi Kriegh Reflection

1) Today in class we watched a very informative and emotional video about Jack. Jack has been bullied in and out of school. The most important message of the video is to really speak up and if you don't you are just making the situation worse. The video was very relevant especially when the bullying began to follow Jack home through cyber bullying, I feel like that happens to so many kids because that form of bullying is so accessible to the bullies. 
2)It sadly reminds me just of the everyday stories you hear about bullying. The video covered a lot of scenarios that actually happen to kids today. 
3) I think I appear pretty similar in real life as I am perceived online. 
4) Based on the information found I think you would think I am very educated and a hard worker. Many of my SLA things like Lucid Charts and Slate appear such as my old schools online education like Prezi. 
5)The goal of internet trolls is to spark anger and bother people. There job basically is to comment rude or hurtful things so you will reply back to them and start a disagreement online.
6) The positives are that if you are responsible with the content you post online you should have nothing to worry about when you are at a job interview and they search you on google. The downside is trolls can attack you and might say something you do not like. Also, if you are not responsible online it will come back to hurt you someday.

I chose this picture because I really learned a lot during this unit. It was so interesting to reflect on what a stranger would think of you online.
Screenshot 2015-11-05 at 12.34.47 PM
Screenshot 2015-11-05 at 12.34.47 PM

This American Life 320: Contemporary Kafkaesque

This American Life episode explores the life of androgynous individual Piper Logan. Both the audience response and press release are included in this podcast. Please enjoy!

Cultural Fabric

Individualism, for the purpose of this project, refers to the ongoing theme of serving oneself and being unique in doing so. The following are a few examples of the individualist themes in modern literature, whether it be movies, books, or art.

Dystopian Novels

The popular novel, Divergent, is an example of young adults fighting for individualism in a society that punishes it. Kafkaesque in nature, the dark and dreary dystopia in the Divergent series is considered evil to author Veronica Roth’s readers because of its promotion of collectivism. Divergent’s government competes with the ideas that are heavily defended by today’s youth.

Fashion Blogs

Thrifting has become a trending topic in magazines and blogs. It’s the idea of purchasing things second hand and, in most cases, completely unique from anything else in the store that intrigues individualist culture. Blogs post about thrift shop finds and, in many cases, the thrift shop finds mirror a fad that’s been pre established by big name designers. The thrifting just allows for the guise of individuality, similar to the anecdote of Piper and his roommate.

Young Adult Novels/ Movies

John Green’s novel-movie adaptations like Paper Towns accentuates the fact that the main characters are “different.” In this story specifically, one of the characters is an enigma. She serves only herself and does things to please her and only her. The only thing that makes her interesting are these attempts to be different. The narrator of the story glorifies and romanticizes this compulsive need to be unique.


In the podcast, a New York Times article is mentioned titled The Age of Individualism. The author, Ross Douthat, says that individualism is detrimental in that it only caters to one's own loyalties. If Ross Douthat is considered a representative for his generation then it is safe to say that older Americans aren’t overly supportive of individualistic behavior. This article offers a contrary view, one in which individualism is a negative thing.


Pertaining to the art world, a lot of recently produced art pieces are up for interpretation. This allows for the individual to project their own selves into the art.

When speaking on individualism, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where it is or why it’s there. It’s intangible and elusive. It’s a theme that is underlying in so many things created by and for our generation that, sometimes, we don’t even notice it’s there.

By Leo Levy and Bella Mezzaroba

Who Am I Online? - Reflection

1. In class today, we watched a video from about a boy who is bullied not only inside and outside of school, but is cyber-bullied online. 
2. This video brought to mind that we need to make sure we are respecting everyone online as well as offline. Bullying is a serious topic, and cyber-bullying often isn't recognized. 
3. Based on the Google search of my name, mostly other people with my name came up. Usually the things that came up were social media accounts, but there are also some college student profiles, one of them being an honors student. My Slate blog eventually showed up.
4. I think people who see the content under my name would perceive me as educated, but by looking at other websites that come up first, they might think I'm obsessed with social media.
5. We learned that internet trolls will exaggerate, lie, and offend to get a response.
6. Online anonymity can be used positively, like expressing your opinions online without people discriminating against you based off of your gender or race. However, people use online anonymity negatively by cyber-bullying other users and trolling them.
Screenshot 2015-11-12 at 12.12.25 PM
Screenshot 2015-11-12 at 12.12.25 PM

Reflection-Aysha Siddiquee

1. The video that we watched in class was about Jack a kid that was getting bullied it is also interactive by how once you press certain buttons things can change. It allows you to be interactive.

2. It reminds me of such acts as bullying still takes place in our society and how it can really effect people. There are many forms of bullying as well.

3. Online i'm a middle eastern female an actress and as well a creator of many websites and presentations, I apparently also have a twitter and a school based on me.

4. People see me based on this information a middle eastern Muslim or an Indian actress.

5. The goal of internet trolls is that they make people feel really bad about themselves or just spread 

negative energy, they are there to make people be self-conscious and down themselves and think that something is wrong with them.

6. The positive results of online anonymity is that if you ever do something by accident on the internet than no one will know it's you but there's also a negative to that since no one can find out who you are if you've been doing dangerous things or bullying. As well as your history, it is anonymous which makes it harder for the people who need to find you and what you've been looking up. So this is a negative.
Screenshot 2015-11-12 at 3.45.13 PM
Screenshot 2015-11-12 at 3.45.13 PM

Who Am I Online? by Jacobo Pastor

What video did you watch in class, what was the classroom activity today? 
We watched a bullying video
 (Enlaces a un sitio externoWhat does this video bring to your mind in reference to the topic of bullying?
Because those guys were abusing him
Who are you online, how do you appear?
I'm a professional golfer
How do you think people perceive you, based on this appearance?
I think they cant imagine myself as I do not appear
What is the goal of internet trolls?
Make people suffer with their actions
What are the positive and negative results of online anonymity? 
Positive: people can make that stop in a way
Negative: this person wont tell anyone about this