In the second quarter of Senior Art I focused mainly on strengthening my abilities with color pencils and practiced new techniques. This time around, I kept all my pieces on standard letter paper (8.5 x 11) and exercised my skills using specific materials. In the studio I spent my time understanding colors, blending, shading, and highlighting. I find that I prefer working on canvases that allow me to make mistakes to learn from and correct. I would like people to know that it’s okay to not like my art, I’m not satisfied with every piece I produce but that doesn’t prevent me from putting it out. Art is subjective and everyone will have their own opinions, that’s completely fine with me. Lastly, I want to say that majority of these techniques are new to me, I know that my work isn’t the best; I’m not trying to be the best.
In Quarter 1 of Senior Art, I created four pieces that showcase my abilities with different levels of art. In the process, I developed a level of comfortability with: watercolor, hand painting on untraditional materials, sketching, coloring, and expressing myself through art. Some of my most important sources of ideas for art come from cartoons and animation. I love the multiple styles, incorporating my take on them is fun. My preference in materials are those I can make make mistakes on, I’m a visual learner and find myself best grasping information through experience. I spend my time in the studio creating pieces that satisfy myself in the moment and display my emotions at a specific time. This quarter, I gained confidence in my art and learned to accept that my version of perfect isn’t always necessary. I’m my biggest critic and a perfectionist, (with my creations) during this quarter I realized that when trying to make things better they can get worse. I would like people to know that tons of effort and time go into every piece of art I create. I work until I’m happy with the finished product and put all my energy into making something that myself along with others can appreciate.
Mi mural es un retrato de la música artista famoso Jill Scott. Elegí a Jill Scott porque ella es del norte de Filadelfia y también quería mi mural de homenaje a las mujeres. Pues yo hice algunas investigaciones, descubrí que ella tiene su propia Fundación. La Fundación se llama la Fundación Azul del Bebé, y su propósito es ayudar a estudiantes de minorías a pagar gastos de la Universidad. Esto me hizo muy feliz porque ella hizo cosas para ayudar a otros. Su generosidad
me da una razón fuera de su cuerpo de música increíble para celebrar y honrarla.
Elegí las imágenes de disco porque siento que la música es uno de los componentes claves que representan a Jill Scott como una persona y una artista. Elegí la opción de un retrato de ella misma porque creo que ella debe ser reconocida más por sus grandes esfuerzos en la cultura de música y todo lo que fuera de ella. Quería que este mural viera muy vistosa, y por eso hay tantos colores involucrados.
I don’t care what anybody says, I personally think that violence always has a negative consequence. I stepped outside of myself and imagined multiple scenarios where violence could possibly have a positive consequence. Within all of those circumstances lies a negative consequence for someone or something. The first scenario I envisioned was a professional fighting ring. Of course both fighters signed up or wants to be apart of the fight and are possibly making millions of dollars but at the end of the day someone gets hurt. For some, the benefits or good aspects about pursuing the fight may outweigh the bad ones but within that scheduled fight is a negative consequence. I could go in-depth about the long term effects of constantly getting punched in the face but my point has been proven for this scenario.
Another scenario I envisioned was if someone attempted to hurt you or someone you love. Of course defending yourself or your loved one would be the most reasonable thing to do but in order to do so there is going to be some pain involved. I’m a very passive person and would rather choose violence as a last resort, when it’s absolutely necessary. Some people say that violence is never the answer but I personally find that statement to be false. I can think of tons of situations and scenarios where violence would be the most logical choice of action but none of them make the consequence positive for everyone/everything involved.
With that being said, it’s all about how you deal with those negative consequences that come with violence. The Youth Art and Self-Empowerment Project (YASP) deal with children under 18 years of age that committed crimes. Children in the program have been charged as adults after they committed their crime and YASP do not agree with this. “The number of teenagers under the age of 18 who are held in adult jails and prisons in Pennsylvania has increased drastically over the last fifteen years.” They battle this process by providing space for incarcerated young people to express themselves creatively and to develop as leaders both within and beyond the prison walls. They’re focused on ending the practice of automatically trying and incarcerating young people as adults.
Violence isn’t always physical. One can be teased and get their feelings hurt which is just one of the mental/verbal ways people can be hurt. Women are often targeted by men in unwanted sexual ways. A CNN article further explains the issues surrounding this topic in their article “Hey baby! Women speak out against street harassment”
“Fear and discomfort are what define sexual harassment. Not every catcall is followed by unwanted physical advances, and yet that reality has to be considered a distinct possibility for safety's sake.” The only way for this type of violence to not be negative is if the women likes it or is ok with it. What are the chances of that?
A more simple and straight-forward example is war. War is a state of armed conflict between different nations or states, or different groups of people within a nation or state. The negative short term effects of war are the many lives lost during battle. There’s a possibility for many negative long term effects from a war but The New York Times give a real life example and explanation of the long term effects World War II has. “America didn’t just lose the war, and the lives of 58,000 young men and women; Vietnam changed us as a country. In many ways, for the worse. It made us cynical and distrustful of our institutions, especially of government. For many people, it eroded the notion, once nearly universal, that part of being an American was serving your country.” The negative consequences of violence don’t always happen right away.
In conclusion, one of the reasons why violence continues to occur is because people don’t always see the consequences. We are often blinded by how we are affected or the lack of. In the actions of sexual assault/harassment, physical violence, and verbal violence the offender may not realize the consequences because the harm is being inflicted upon them. With sexual harassment and verbal violence if the offended doesn’t speak up the offender could never know the impact they had on that person. Men who catcall women don’t realize how degrading it can be. Before and during acts of violence
Smith, Emily. "Hey Baby! Women speak out against street harassment." CNN. October 6, 2012. Accessed March 10, 2017. http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/06/living/street-harassment/.
Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project (n.d.): n. pag. Print.
Marlantes, Karl. "Vietnam: The War That Killed Trust." New York Times . Accessed January 7, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/07/opinion/sunday/vietnam-the-war-that-killed-trust.html?_r=0.
Una Oda a Adrián Castrejón
El más joven, Un un icono, y un trabajador duro
Cuando yo te veo pienso en un guerrero
Me haces sonreír
Tú, mi favorito figura histórica de la Revolución Mexicana.
We are all born into lifestyles without choice, some are more fortunate than others. Individuals are grouped based on their environment, their economic status and educational background. Those of a higher social class have more opportunities, while those of a lesser social class do not. Our future identities are influenced by our present realities.
A reference source about the consequences of social class mentioned “Social class refers to the the grouping of individuals in a stratified hierarchy based on wealth, income, education, occupation, and social network (though other factors are sometimes considered). One's position in the social class hierarchy may impact, for example, health, family life, education, religious affiliation, political participation, and experience with the criminal justice system.” Social class plays a major role in everyone’s life and determines how they live.
Environment is affected by social class because one lives where they can afford to. In a low-income community there will be a list of negative things that affect children. The adults living in that community won’t have the luxury of high paying occupations. No matter the location, children are exposed to things that will shape and influence their decisions. If violence is constantly occurring in a neighborhood the child will adapt and begin to think it’s normal, same goes for the drugs, gangs, pollution, etc. Aspirations of self, change in different communities because of different opportunities and the accessibility to information. A child in a low income neighborhood is more likely to attend their neighborhood school and because it is a low income neighborhood the school will be affected too.
Education is heavily affected by environment, Viana Y. Turcios-Cotto and Stephanie Milan talk about the differences between adolescents in education in their paper “Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Educational Expectations of Adolescents: Does Pursuing Higher Education Mean Something Different to Latino Students Compared to White and Black Students?” “There are striking disparities in the academic achievement of American youth. In 2008, approximately 81% of White students graduated from high school within four years, or on time, compared to only 62% of Black students, and 64% of Latino students. Of students who graduated, 72% of White, 56% of Black, and 64% of Latino students immediately enrolled in some form of higher education. Among students who did go on to postsecondary education, students of color were more likely to attend junior or community college and less likely to complete their degrees.” Social status plays a part in these statistics, there’s a possibility that the reason for low percentages amongst non-white students is lack of funds.
Experiences can help mold identities and make a person who they are and adds to what they know. There are events and experiences that people go through to make them feel like they aren’t good enough. Present realities shape our future identities in multiple ways that some aren’t aware of. To accept, come to the realization, and overcome the obstacles set against us is the purpose. We can choose who we want to be but we can’t change who we are. Accept, love, and embrace yourself the way you are.
Source: Boundless. “Consequences of Social Class.” Boundless Sociology Boundless, 26 May. 2016. Retrieved 18 Jan. 2017 from https://www.boundless.com/sociology/textbooks/boundless-sociology-textbook/stratification-inequality-and-social-class-in-the-u-s-9/the-impacts-of-social-class-77/consequences-of-social-class-454-8542/
Cotto, Turcios. "Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Educational Expectations of Adolescents: Does Pursuing Higher Education Mean Something Different to Latino Students Compared to White and Black Students?" Journal of Youth and Adolescence. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2013. Web. 18 Jan. 2017.
Writing this essay was a major accomplishment for me as a writer. I am very confident with this essay. My goal for this essay was to explain how literary information was consumed by me. People often take the amount of accessibility to information we have for granted, I wanted to express how that can shape a person, also how it shaped me. Another goal I had for this essay was to mention the school system and how I perceive it. I am proud of my in-depth scenes of memory, I feel like they contain a good amount of detail. Something I can improve on as a writer are my transitions and staying on topic, I often mix a lot of unrelated ideas that don't necessarily need to be in the essay. In my future essays I want to state an idea and write only about that so things will be more neat.
When I was in kindergarten, being special was one of my believed qualities. Not special in a bad way but special as in different. Reading was something that commonly occurred during my idle time. It wasn’t specifically books that I would enjoy reading it was everything I could comprehend. I remember reading a lot of labels, the thrill of reading at the time came from my ability to look at a word and correctly pronounce it aloud or in my head. So, when I was with my father he would point to objects with words on them and ask me “what does that say?” and I would look at it and say the words aloud. Sherman Alexie had a similar experience in The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me where he states “I read the backs of cereal boxes. I read the newspaper. I read the bulletins posted on the walls of the school, the clinic, the tribal offices, the post office. I read junk mail. I read auto-repair manuals. I read magazines. I read anything that had words and paragraphs.” I felt really good knowing that I could comprehend these words that were at the time new to me, I felt very intelligent for my age and I thought I was ahead of the class. Now,when I went to school I was never the super arrogant, smart guy who answers every question and corrects the teacher; I was a shy little dude and very observant. My mind was constantly racing. I remember sitting in class, my hands folded atop the desk, my back pressed against the chair, and my eyes glued to the front of the classroom where my teacher was. No matter how focused I was, my thoughts were in nonstop motion. I see this as a curse and a blessing; I get easily distracted but it’s by my own thoughts (which sounds strange out loud) but if my mind wasn’t as active as it is, would I be the person I am today?
Back then, information was consumed willingly, not that knowledge is getting shoved through my skull now but there was more of a longing for learning new things. Currently, I feel as if the only purpose of going to school is to get good grades so I can assumingly have a better future. The younger me didn’t know as much so the level of curiosity was combated against new information taught in school. That curiosity is long gone and now school feels like a chore instead of a resource. My argument is that if school was only about learning, grades wouldn’t exist.
New words became my favorite thing to learn about in the 3rd grade. We had a different set of vocabulary words every week. Throughout the week my classmates and I had homework with these vocabulary words such as definitions, sentences, and organizing. The way it was set up, the homework we had to do with the vocabulary words spread across three days. Eight year old me wanted to maximize my playing time so when we got the vocabulary words on Monday, I would do all the homework that same day so I would have two free days with no homework to do. That became my go-to strategy for completing homework and enjoying my youth. I was doing what I was supposed to do and what I wanted to do.
In 4th grade comic books and cartoons were my favorite. I felt so inspired at the time which lead me to begin making my own. Being only 9 years old with the limited knowledge about computer softwares, I hand-drew all my comics in a notebook I had for class. All the characters were developed by me and I was single handedly crafting scenes and plots. My creativity was fueled by comics and cartoons and I soaked up the interesting things and began doing my work using these things as tools of influence.
19, April. "Superman and Me." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 19 Apr. 1998. Web. 03 Nov. 2016.
Anzaldúa, Gloria. Borderlands = La Frontera. San Francisco: Aunt Lute, 1999. Print.
Description of artwork My portrait of choice is a piece of artwork done by me. The picture contains 6 houses. The houses are colored in a dark grey. Each house has two windows and a door. Each house has a pointy roof in the shape of a triangle. The houses are square. Not all the houses are the same though. Out of six houses one of them is white. To me this house stands out the most because of the simple fact that is doesn’t look like the others. The background is different for each house. The first house has a blue background, second has a red background, third has a green background, fourth has a orange background, fifth has a different shade of blue background, and the sixth one has a purple background. The background is colored in the same direction of the houses. All though most of the houses look alike in shape they are not all in the same direction. This portrait can be perceived in multiple aspects. To me this picture shows symbolism, there are houses because home is where the heart is, one house is not dark grey because it’s not like the others it’s unique. There is a message that I get from this portrait. The picture is not 3-dimensional at all, the whole thing is flat or in other words 2-dimensional. Overall it is a very simple piece of art. The doors and windows have no color. The picture is sectioned off into six squares and each square contains a house.
Advanced Essay #1 rough draft It was 9th Grade, my first year of high school. It’s towards the end of the school year so I’m fairly adjusted to the school. 2nd period is art class and the students loudly enter the class. I take my seat, the classroom is full of portraits, sculptures, and murals. The teacher stands in front of the room and starts to announce the assignment. The task was to create an image of pop art. The teacher then showed some example images. From there I began to draw and the portrait was born.
This reminds me of my freshman year. When I first started 9th grade I hated it. I didn’t like anything about that school, things eventually changed. After a while I began to adapt, things weren’t as foreign to me as they once were. I then made friends and tried to make the best out of a not so good situation. My favorite time was lunch time, this became the home of where my friends and I laughed, made jokes, and talked about each other.
Advanced Essay #2
It is now my first day at my new school as a junior. I wake up early with a huge kool-aid smile, full of excitement as I can only imagine the day ahead of me. I head downstairs to enjoy the most important meal of the day. After that’s done I quickly bolt back upstairs to my room to discover my outfit of choice for this important day. I open my closet door to see a collection of shirts, pants, and everything in-between. I begin to sort through the clothes, searching for something nice to wear. I stopped searching for a second and started thinking of possible outfits. That’s it! I thought of a great combination and grabbed i instantly. I walk into the bathroom and set up the iron board up and plug the iron in. I start to brush my teeth while waiting for the iron to heat up. I finish brushing teeth and begin to iron my clothes. After I finish with that I’m basically ready to go, I pack everything I’d need for this amazing day and head out the door.
A piece of me
Within these experiences I’ve grown and learned how to deal with situations better. The experiences I’ve had with adapting to new environments and new people made me better with these situations. My 9th grade experience taught me that things get better over time, once I adapted things weren’t as bad as they once were. It taught me to make the best of any situation no matter the circumstance. These lessons have influenced and encouraged me to make better decisions, I may not always be in a comfortable or perfect setting; one has to leave their comfort zone in order to experience new things and my ability to adapt has made that task less challenging.
Feedback from Mr. TB:
Mekhi, you are off to a good start in English 3 this year. I like how this essay use your two different experiences of being new to school in order to analyze the larger idea of being resilient and adapting to life. Your descriptive scenes are well done, but I think your transitions between scenes and analysis could be more smooth—maybe you can take out the section headings? I like the personal tone, and I also wonder if you could be a bit more varied with your vocabulary and sentence structure (less sentences beginning with “I __”). Also, I was unable to find your introduction to the essay—did you have this in another doc? Overall, this is a good start to your writing career here at SLA.
Descriptive, Engaging Writing Descriptive scenes are short and carefully constructed in order for readers to connect with and understand the author’s experiences. 19 Analysis & Larger Idea Author makes insightful observations about issue and develops a larger idea. 17 Writing Flow Essay smoothly moves between scenes, analysis, and development of larger idea or insights. Extraneous writing is removed. 14 Mechanics Writing is polished and follows rules of Standard English. 18 Process Peer edit is completed in a quality fashion, there is evidence of revision, and paper is submitted on time. 20