For Tuesday– Proposal!

Hey everyone, read over Unit Four (under UNITS at the top of this page) and for Tuesday, write (and post on OpenLab) a proposal for what you intend to do for the project. Remember that you will be switching AUDIENCE and GENRE for this revision. I want you to write at least 600 words for this project. I do count spoken words as writing. I also want it to have some visual component– photos, moving images, etc…

Your proposal should tell me:

  1. Which unit you are revising
  2. What new audience you think you would like to reach
  3. What genre you want to write in (this should be a DRASTIC change– like, change mediums, from essay to video, or from video to comic book.) 
  4. What you plan to do!

The proposal doesn’t have to be too long– 150 words or so.  And if you’re not quite sure what you want to do in all of those four categories above yet, that’s fine– but you should know most of them, and have some options for the ones you are still unsure about. 

Think of this as a new project– that is, this grade has nothing to do with your original grade for whatever project you’re revising. It won’t replace the original grade.

If you are unhappy with your grade on any of the units, you are welcome to revise those units, but that’s separate.


For Thursday

  1. If you haven’t posted your revision of the education essay, DO IT NOW!!
  2. Plan some idea for what you want to do for Unit 4. Email me with questions. We’re going to start working on this on Thursday, so you should have something in mind!
  3. We will have some time on Thursday, but not the whole class, to work on the letters to future students. If there’s something you need to do at home, please do it! We will start looking at these on Thursday.

For Tuesday– Rough Drafts of Unit Three Due!! (Final Drafts due Thurs!!)

Hey everyone– rough drafts of Unit Three are due on Tuesday. Please post them online (if possible) and bring them to class. Classtime will be used largely for workshopping of these drafts, so if you don’t have one, you’re gonna be sitting around doing nothing. Plus– this is a great opportunity for you to get some feedback!


Also: For those of you who did drawings, please remember to redo your artist’s statements. I’ve provided you with links to the info about how to write artists’ statements. Post them online, but also please send me an email to let me know you’ve done so: chall@citytech.cuny.edu.


For Thursday

Please print out, read and annotate the “Maker’s Eye,” which is about revision (below)

Also, keep working on your projects for Unit 3 (Community Projects/ Community Solutions)

As an update, the rough drafts for Unit 3 will be due on April 16. Please make these as finished as possible– FINAL DRAFTS DUE ON APRIL 18.

Also, the revision of the education essay has been postponed until after the break. It is now due on April 30.

Here’s the “Maker’s Eye”

Maker's Eye

For Tuesday

Hey everyone– good work today!

For Tuesday, I would like you all to work on Unit 3– your “Community Problems” projects. On OpenLab, please post a brief “progress report” that lets me know what you’ve done so far and how you’re doing with the unit.

Some important dates:

Tuesday, April 16: Revision of essay 1 (education narrative) is due 

Thursday, April 18: Unit 3 is due.

Please note that these are pretty close together. If you ignore these dates until the last minute, you’re gonna feel a WORLD OF PAIN! (Or just be super stressed.)


For Thursday: Research Memos due

Hey everyone! For Tuesday, please post your research memo on OpenLab and also bring in a copy for EACH MEMBER OF YOUR GROUP.

The research memo is just 1.5-2 pages in which you summarize what you learned in your research. I’m not grading you on grammar or anything. Remember! Extra credit for groups that have interviews in their research.

For the memo please click two categories: “Community Problems” AND your group’s category


  • Preventing college date rape (category: “preventing rape”)
  • Noise Pollution
  • On My Block
  • MTA: System fighters (category: “system fighters”– this is Shauntai, Ife and Josh.)
  • Living in NYC
  • Saviors of the MTA (category: “saviors” David, Pavel, Eric)
  • Homelessness

For Tuesday

We’re going back to the library! JUST KIDDING.

But really, for Tuesday, we’ll meet back in the regular classroom. Please bring links to the articles you’ve found (2-3 per person)- or if you’re doing interviews, please come with, either the info from those interviews, or a list of interview questions (HERE are some tips on writing interview questions.) 

To clarify:  Think of your group as a “think tank.” Together, you are trying to solve a problem. In the “research memo” you will be writing to the members of your group about the research you have done individually– more or less just summarizing what you have found. This way, you can get a lot more research done together!  These will be approx 450-500 words, but low-stakes (meaning I’m not grading your grammar, organization, etc).

Also, I will make a category for each of your groups for when you post. I’ll set those up on Tuesday.


In-Class Resources, Thursday

Remember, you want to find a SPECIFIC problem– if you are concerned with racism, you’d want to narrow that down to some specific issue of racial profiling in your neighborhood. On Tuesday, when we talked about poverty, someone asked “why are people getting kicked out of my building?” That’s specific!! You want questions that you can A. Research and B. Do something about through writing.

Other specific issues from Tuesday were: problems with Uber, problems with financial aid.

Okay, time to do some work!

Make some lists. Write down as many problems as you can think of. Use the internet to think of more! At LEAST 7 for each!!

  • Problems I notice around me
  • Problems I learned about from reading up on nonprofits (listed below)
  • Community problems associated with access to healthy food
  • Community problems associated with kids. For example, what are kids learning that they should not be learning? Or what aren’t they learning that they should be? What should be done?
  • Community problems related to art. What is the role between art and the health of the community?
  • Community problems related to health (food, air, water, medicine, cleanliness, hygiene, trash)
  • community problems related to transportation and traffic
  • community problems related with… create your own category.

After you’ve made your lists, circle your favorite for each.

Nonprofit links:


Papers and Projects (Unit 2) Now due by Tuesday, March 26th!

Okay, you guys, I’m extending the deadline to Unit 2 until next Tuesday, March 26th. That said, we won’t be spending any more class time on them. You can meet with me to talk about your project, though, if you feel stuck.

Also, please think more about SPECIFIC  problems that you see in your communities for unit 3– if you are concerned about racism, for example, please think about specific issues that you could work on– racial profiling by the police, lack of diversity in advertising, etc…


  • The assignment is posted under “Units” (it’s Unit Two)
  • No matter which option you’ve chosen, your final project should be posted on the OpenLab– it’s a video, please post it using the “add media” link. If you did an image, take a photo, or photos, and post them online
  • The category is “Pop Culture!”
  • For paper-writers: consider posting a link to the artwork you were inspired by– the song, the painting, a clip from the movie or tv show, somewhere in your paper.
  • For creative projects: remember! Especially if you are doing something purely visual (not a video essay or poem, etc) your Artist Statement is a BIG part of your grade. I am grading you, not on your artistic ability (this isn’t a drawing class) but on your thinking– so please explain how the original artwork inspired you to make your own artwork!

For Tuesday

Keep working! We’ll have a little more time to look at rough drafts in class. Creative project people especially, I would like you to bring in something concrete, some version of your final project to get some feedback on!

Everyone, please note that the assignment is under “Units” (it’s unit 2)

I will post some tips here later this weekend for paper writers if you are feeling stuck.


For Thursday!

Hi everyone, I hope you enjoyed your unexpected free day. I sure didn’t! I’m so sick.

Anyway, just keep working on your papers/ projects, but ALSO for Thursday, please post the following:

Paper-writers– please write a paragraph of about 250 words about how you were influenced by your Mentor Article. What is this writer doing that you want to do in your own work? What would you like to avoid? Also, how do you see your own article fitting into the publication you’ve chosen– who is the audience? what kind of language and topics do you think will engage that audience?

Creative Project People:  Write about 250 words about how the artwork you’re making is influenced by your pop culture artifact. Explain to viewers, for example, how you got from a TV show to a painting, for example. This is the first draft of your artist statement, which, as you know, is a BIG part of your grade!

Here is a good formula to start with:

Step 1: Explain your vision or idea.


Step 3: What difficulties did you have? How did it work out for you?

Other ideas to include in your statement:

Title of the Piece – this alone helps the viewer understand the subject or makes him/her think about your work in a different way.Why do you like to make art?
What did you do? (Describe the artwork, including the type of art and what the main idea is.
What happened along the way? (Did anything interesting or unusual happen? Did you solve any problems in the process? Did you change your approach to doing the project? etc.)
Did the project turn out how you expected? Why or why not?
What did you learn through the art project?
What would you do differently next time?



For Tuesday

Hi everyone! For Tues we’re going to, among other things, workshop your projects. They’re due on March 21st. I just want to see what you’re doing and help you get some feedback.

Article writers:

  • Please post online and bring in a paper copy of at least 400 words of your rough draft.
  • Also post a link to your mentor article.

Creative project people:

  • Post online: a few sentences about what you are planning to do
  • Bring to class: SOMETHING to show to your peers of the progress of your project. This may be a storyboard (quick stick figure drawings of what you intend to get video of– with a few sentences beneath each drawing describing the action– look it up!) or a sketch of the painting or album cover, the lyrics of the song, a draft of the poem, etc… Just something to discuss. Please take a photo or video and post online. You can do this using the add media button.  For help posting media click HERE

For Tuesday

Hi everyone!  For Tuesday, please read and annotate one or the other (or both!) of these two articles about Beyonce’s LEMONADE:

HILTON ALS or bell hooks 

Please write and post a response of approx 200 words answering some or all of these questions — What is this writer saying about “Lemonade” that you find interesting (or confusing/ annoying?)  What did you learn from their article? And what are they doing in their writing that you would or would not like to do in your own writing?

Category: Pop Culture!

Also, please think about what pop culture artifact you would like to write about (or do a creative project about) for your next paper. This “artifact” can be a song, a video, a book, a tv show, a movie, a youtube channel, a video game,  etc… It does need to deal with social issues, but remember, most music these days does this (drugs, money, gender issues, etc…) and television often does too. Nick also mentioned that he wanted to write about issues of gender inequality in gaming– that’s great! The games he’s dealing with may not be ABOUT gender inequality directly, but he will still be able to discuss social issues– so I will accept it! 

You will need to know your artifact for next Thursday’s homework, but don’t worry about what your final paper or project will be yet. We’ll spend some time figuring those things out in class.

By the way, if you’re interested, a friend of mine just posted this story about something we talked about in class: “why white school districts have so much more money” HERE


For Thursday! (And a few meetings)

Hey everyone– just a reminder that the only homework for Thursday is to fill out the “Collaborative Project Evaluation Form” ONLY IF YOUR GROUP PRESENTED TODAY.

Also– I have meetings scheduled with the following people. My office is in Namm 525. It can be a little tough to find, so please allow yourself some extra time.

  • Weds:
  • 1:15 David
  • 1:30 Waleed


  • Thursday:
  • 5:15 Joshua
  • 5:30 Giuseppe
  • 5:45 Santi  

Presentations Tuesday!

Hi everyone! Your presentations are on Tuesday. Remember to email me your slides by noon on Tuesday. (At chall@citytech.cuny.edu) Don’t email me on the OpenLab!

You may post images on the OpenLab if you like. You may also invite me to a google slideshow if you like.

Also– if I asked you to make an appointment with me, please do so! That is David, Josh, Santi, Brianna and Waleed!


For Thursday– and a note on paper grades.

Hey guys, first of all– just a reminder that your homework for Thursday is just to keep working on your presentations for next Tuesday. YOU decide your homework, especially what research needs to be done. If you are arguing against grades, then look up who else has argued against grades (and what they think would work in their place!) If you missed class, you should be in touch with your group to figure out what they would like you to do. Most of you have contacted me about this. If you haven’t, it will affect your grade on the presentation, of course.

Also, I am slowly but surely grading those papers. If I tell you I’d like to talk to you, please set up an appointment with me in class on Thursday or by email. You can find my comments in two places: 1. there will be a link at the end of your paper that has the marginal comments on your paper and 2. there will be a private comment that has more in-depth remarks and the grade itself.


What am I looking for in the presentations?

A week from today, the 26th, you will be doing presentations on education. These will be: 

  • Approx 6-7 minutes 
  • Will refer to the themes of your education narratives– what did you guys bring up in the work you’ve written already? THIS IS KEY!!
  • Will quote from some of your education narratives. 
  • Will incorporate the work of EVERYONE  in your group somehow (you’ll evaluate each other!) 
  • Will have a visual component 
  • Will teach your audience (us!) something
  • Will include new research
  • And will answer one or both of the following questions:
    • What are some of the core problems with education in America?
    • What are some of the first steps we can take to improve the education system?

Please, please please do not oversimplify your answers! I am asking you for “first steps” for a reason– these are big questions, and over-simple answers do not do them justice.  If you’ve proposed solutions in your blog posts for today, that’s fine– but think of those as starting places for your research.

How do you get started? It’s up to you, but here are some ideas if you’re stuck:

  • First of all, look at what you’ve written.  What are some of the themes throughout the group? What can you learn from each other?
  • What topics could you research related to those themes? I like to use the KWL+ rubric for research. That is, I write about what I K(know) about a question or theme, and then what I W (want to know.) Then I do a little bit of internet research, maybe 10 mins or so. Then I write about what I L(learned) from that research and what I (+) Still want to know. This helps me get to some good research.
  • What do you think your audience needs to know? What is the best way to deliver that info in a way that will keep them interested?

Some of you have group members who are gone today.  Both Hend (group 3) and Lenesha (group 4)  have spoken to me about having to miss class. You should give them assignments and we will contact them to let them know what those assignments are.

Here are some of the questions you wrote in class last week. They might help you think about your presentations. Only use them if they help with the assignment above. Don’t let them sway you from keeping to your group’s theme!: 

  • Do you agree with Sir Ken Robinson that the education system should change from pushing a very generalized style of learning to a more individual tailored style?
  • Do you agree with Robinson that the focus on standardized testing keeps students from true learning? What is a better alternative?
  • Is education an anesthetic to young people? Does it have to be?  
  • Sir Ken Robinson claimed contemporary education systems are stuck in the past. Based on your experience with today’s way of teaching, how should we change or “modernize” the American education system?
  • According to Robinson, a college degree doesn’t guarantee a successful future, as it once did. How does this motivate or discourage you as a college student? 

For Tuesday

The book is  HERE  (that’s the cover up there!)

Sorry it’s a little late. I was waiting on an essay.

Here’s the deal: Click on the “HERE” above and you’ll get to the class eBook.  I put everyone in a group (I am very sorry that I couldn’t fit all requests. They just didn’t all work!! Some of the people requesting were just writing about totally different topics.) If you click on your group in the table of contents of the PDF in the link I’ve given, it will take you to your group.

Your homework is to read all the essays in your group. Think about what these essays as a group tell you about how education (both in and out of school) is working in the US and beyond.  What, from what you have read of your peers’ writing, might be some concrete ways to improve the education system? Don’t say “better teachers” or “better classes.” Tell me what you mean by “better!” Or, on the flip side, what are some concrete ways that the education system is failing? Use SPECIFIC examples from student writing– and look for connections between the essays! 

Please write a post of approx 250 words on OpenLab responding to the above questions. 

Spoiler Alert! The Questions in red above will be guiding questions for your presentations. 



Hey everyone, final drafts of unit one are due next Thursday, Feb 14. Remember that we do not have class on February 12. You will need to post your essay on OpenLab BEFORE class time. The category is “Education Essay” again.  Please make sure that somewhere on your paper you have clearly indicated that this is the final draft. (However, please do not title your essay “Final Draft”) Please note that titles, my name, your name, page numbers and other headings don’t count toward the word count.

Do you need exactly 850 words? No. But the shorter it is, the better it needs to be. And honestly, 500 words will not be enough. And 700 words almost certainly won’t be enough unless those are the greatest 700 words I have ever read in my life. Shoot for 850-1000. I won’t accept more than 2000. 

The guidelines for the essay are under “Unit One” which you can find in the header at the top of the webpage. I also wrote WAY too much describing this essay in my blog post below if you have more questions. If you have more questions, you can also email me.

If you would like to meet with me to discuss your essay before it’s due, I’m happy to do so, but you’ll have to come meet with me. Email me to set up an appointment.

See you next week!


For Thursday, February 7

Hey everyone– great work in class today. For Thursday, I would like you to write a rough draft of Unit 1 Part 1– your Learning Narrative. Please post this on OpenLab and bring a paper copy to class. Both copies are important!! At least 500 words. (Final is 850 words)

What do I write about? In this essay, you will be writing about an experience you had with learning that you think would be interesting or important to an audience outside yourself. What about your experience is worth hearing about? It might be something dramatic, like Gilyard’s experience, but it also might be more low-key, like Tan’s (HERE in case you lost it) or Graff’s (posted HERE. You don’t have to read this, but it’s another example, should you get lost.) You do not have to quote Tan, Gilyard or Graff (but you can if you want to!) They are there as examples of learning narratives. Remember the video we watched in class– your readers will benefit from both anecdotes about your experience and reflection that tell them why those anecdotes are important. Also remember that even if you have 3-4 anecdotes, they should be somehow related to each other. There should be some thread that connects them all.

All of that said, for Thursday, you are writing a rough draft.  I know this sounds weird, but you really just need to get enough words down on the page– you’re gonna change things. Also, you never know what you’re going to write until you actually write it. The main thing here is to get started. (HERE is an article, called “Shitty First Drafts” which talks about how to get started if you’re lost. It’s not required either, but it might help.) Also, a great place to start is in a scene– you’ve written a couple. If you get stuck, explain to your readers why this scene is important. What does it tell them about education or learning? You don’t have to start in a scene, by the way– but if you’re lost, start with something you’ve already written!

Still stuck? Here are some of the ideas we had for scenes or topics in class. You don’t need to use any of them, but they’re possible starting points:

  • Overcoming odds and obstacles(or not overcoming them) 
  • What I learned from living in New York City
  • What I learned in school
  • What I learned outside of school
  • Peer pressure
  • People who believed in you (and those who didn’t.) 
  • Personal breakthroughs
  • What I learned from my family (this doesn’t have to be positive!)
  • Being looked down upon for being different
  • Experiences with different Englishes
  • How your Mother Tongue affects your learning
  • Learning on the street

Here is a guided explanation of how to do an X-page and write a scene with someone who is not me!


For Tuesday, Feb 5.

Link to OpenLab’s Help section on “How to Write a Post” HERE

Hi! For Tuesday, please read and annotate the excerpt from Keith Gilyard’s “Voices of the Self.” If you missed class, I have put a few extra copies outside my office, which is Namm 525.

There are basically 3 sections to this reading: VII (which you should read, but can skim), VIII (which I would like you to pay close attention to) and the reflection (“Conclusion.” I have also written “Part 2 starts here” on that page). You should pay especially close attention to this section as well.

Please also post a response to the Gilyard reading on Open Lab. For this, please think of yourself as a writer, and answer the following question: What is Gilyard doing in his writing that you would like to do in your own writing? Be specific! (by which I mean, use quotes– and tell us what it is about the writing that you like– the style, the subject matter, etc.) You may also talk about what Gilyard does in his writing that you do not want to do in your own writing– again, be specific– use quotes, and explain what you do not like. DON’T SAY IT’S TOO LONG, THOUGH. That’s just…too simple. It’s only too long if it bores you. If it does bore you, explain what, specifically, is boring! This response should be 200 words or so, and posted on OpenLab.

When you post on OpenLab, you must add a category or it won’t let you post. The category for this assignment is “Gilyard” Categories are on the right side of the page in a column. Directions for writing a post can be found at the very top of this entry.



For Thursday

Please read and annotate “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan. Please also type up a response of at least 200 words in which you answer the following question. Bring it to class!:

How does Tan’s experience with education and English compare to your experience with education and English? Think about this deeply– you might not speak Chinese, for example, but you may have been made fun of for the way you talk, or you may speak in ways that are not considered “standard.” Or maybe you do speak a totally “standard” English. If so, how do you feel when you hear someone like Tan’s mom?


MTA System Fighters Research Memo Revised

Everyone knows the MTA systems aren’t perfect. Governor Cuomo himself deemed this a problem, stated that “New York City’s transit system are in a ‘state of emergency’.” He also stated that subway “delays are maddening New Yorkers” who are “infuriated by a lack of communication and unreliability”, which we can all agree with. Governor Cuomo even went as far as ordering the MTA to address this issue.

The MTA then made this a priority and has tried to better manage its short-term inspection, repair, and replacement schedule for tracks, signals, and subway cars to avoid unexpected disruptions to the schedules of nearly 6 million daily subway riders. However, their side task was to partially repair the damage done by cutbacks to inspections, maintenance, and repairs made in the wake of the 2008 financial and economic crisis. And even as the MTA’s budget for pensions, health care, and debt continued to grow. The MTA also announced plans to deploy medical crews more quickly to passengers in need of assistance, thus reducing delays due to sick or incapacitated riders.

Every month, the MTA reports information to its board on specific areas of subway performance. This includes the percentage of subway trains that arrive at their stop on time; the average distance, in miles, that a subway car can travel before breaking down; the number of “major incidents” that disrupted service for 50 or more subway trains at once; and the percentage of weekday passengers’ journeys that arrive within five minutes of the scheduled time.

The good news is, however, the MTA has stabilized its operations, and at the same time, stopped the declines in performance. Also, Governor Cuomo wasn’t wrong to note that Lhota had “stabilized the subway system.”

However, the MTA has not regained its performance levels of the early 2010s. Despite  improvements over the past year, nearly three times as many weekday trains experience delays compared with 2011, when Cuomo first took office. Trains are still almost 30% more likely to break down. The MTA hasn’t stopped the decline in ridership that resulted from its recent declining performance. A month after Governor Cuomo’s declaration of emergency in 2017, the MTA launched a “subway action plan,” promising to “deliver improvements within the year.” The MTA would mainly focus on track and signal-system improvements and train-car reliability, deploying hundreds of new workers toward inspecting, repairing, and replacing track segments. On top of that, they will be ensuring that the system’s early-20th-century signal system did not break down as often.

The MTA has also made changed management. In January 2018, Andy Byford, a veteran of mass-transit systems in Toronto and London, joined the MTA as president of New York City Transit, in charge of subways and buses. In late October, Byford told 60 Minutes’ Bill Whitaker, “I absolutely want New Yorkers to start feeling, by the end of this year, it’s definitely getting better.”

Education Essay Revision

Joshua Stone


Professor Carrie Hall

ENG 1121


High School Journey

I’d like to start by saying that I don’t have a lot of memorable moments in my life. But if I could name one, it would definitely have to be my high school graduation. Not only was it one of the most significant moments of my life, but it was one of the major stepping stones of my life. This was the turning point in my road to being an adult and choosing. my career. Despite it being a conjunction of emotions, it is still a day that is hard to forget. Many students have endured those difficult four years of high school, whether it was getting grades for your classes, passing the regents, or trying to receive honors for academic accomplishments. In my case, it a little bit of everything. My main focus was perfect attendance, above satisfactory grades, and passing the mandatory regents and then some to receive an Advanced Regents Diploma. After enduring those four long years, I was able to accomplish each one of these goals, as well as a few of my classmates. The feeling of accomplishment was definitely unforgettable and I think everyone who had the same goals in mind would agree. Of course, there were some students that simple settled for a regular high school diploma, but I couldn’t blame them. If I didn’t have the encouragement of my parents, teachers, friends, tutors, etc., I would have the same mindset as them. Fortunately, my goals were set on being an overachiever and showing all my loved ones and friends that I’m different.

I remember my high school journey as if it was yesterday. I hardly believe there’s anyone who could forget this so-called “journey”. Freshman year was the start of it all. I was your typical student on his first day. I struggled to find classes, had trouble making friends, was dog-piled by assignments and homework. Those days eventually turned for the better. Even though I technically had a head start due to taking certain courses and regents early in middle school, everything was still so much to take in. After the first week, I finally started getting some stability. I basically become everyone’s friends, to my surprise, and the classwork started to seem less of a headache. After the first few months, freshman year was basically smooth-sailing. I kept my grades reasonably high, stayed away from the bad crowd, and was always on time. I eventually got used to this cycle and became fully adjusted too high school life. Then sophomore year came around the corner.

Sophomore year is by far the most headache-inducing, stress-giving, and agonizing year of high school by far. The reason I say this is for one reason only: regents. Basically, regents are New York’s variation of standardized testing, and they are much more stress-inducing and difficult than other forms of testing in the United States. Most of the classes I took were hellbent on making sure each student passed each regent with an 80 or higher, and that’s only an understatement. Even an 80 would be considered disappointing in their eyes and that reflected in our class work. We received assignments and practice exams nonstop and my classmates didn’t stop coming until everyone did well. Thinking back to it now, it did work, but only to an extent. To be precise, about 90% of the students benefited from this, and that’s me being generous. I’m more than positive there were more students that couldn’t take it anymore and gave up halfway or just burned themselves out. I was eligible to take some of my regents early (Geometry and Living Environment), in which I passed with exceptional grades. Some of my friends followed right behind, some surpassed me. And of course, there were some who could care less, would rather take it next year, and just flat out bombed it.

During junior year, everything seemed to be more relaxed. We had fewer classes meaning that we got to go home early, which everyone was excited for. We had the same regimen for regents prep but was definitely a weight of your shoulders compared to sophomore year. The same people that I’ve been friends with since day one has matured so much, it was like they were completely different people. Those who could care less about their education did a full 180-degree turn and started to treat their school with more seriousness. One of those students even ended up on the school council. We continued our year like any other. The classes were more difficult but our teachers managed made our lives easier. By this time, we also took the time to start looking for colleges and deciding what career we were interested in. Finally, regents week came and had everyone on edge, since the time to make up for their mistakes is winding down. I managed to graze by with just an above average grade on my Trigonometry regents, above satisfactory on U.S. History regents and passed with flying colors on my Spanish regents. I was just able to survive this storm of regents but I pulled through, and so did a majority of my classmates. For some, time for improvement is dwindling and senior year is their last chance.

And last but not least, senior year, my best year of high school. Not only was our school schedule was even shorter, but our classes were even laxer. On top of all that, most of us have regents out the way so we can all focus on getting our credits now. We were taking college-level classes, so we had our fair share of difficulties. We also had a lot of free time on our hands, so a handful of us took that time to relax and unwind, while others took that time to study or start looking at colleges. For those who are behind, they received special attention to ensure their success and eligibility to graduate. After all, is said and done, we could finally move on to the fun part of the year: senior activities. First came prom, in which in all honestly would be the third best day. Then a field trip to D.C., which was definitely a highlight of senior year. Third came a visit to a fancy restaurant in New Jersey.

Finally, the day has come, June 23. Everything was about to change. This would be the day I become not only be a college student, but a step closer into adulthood. The silly things I used to do during high school days would be memories now. I used to enjoy the conversations I used to have with our friends, the parties, the classes, teases each other, and much more. Those things are no more in our lives. It took place at Adelphi University The day started as a normal one and ended a memorable day in my life. It was a mixture of emotions. The happiness of seeing friends after longtime and sadness of realizing the fact that there are no more high school days in our life. Others cried for other reasons, such as being unable to see my friends and classmates again. But who could blame them? I’d be heartbroken too if I was unable to see the people I spent the past four years with laughing and learning. I sat there with my friends, probably for the final time, and watched as their names were called and as they receive their diploma. Others like me received awards for other accomplishments such as attendance and honor for other subjects like history and science. Finally, my name was called. I heard my parents, sisters, loved ones, and my soon-to-be-former classmates cheer for me. All my dedication and accomplishments have lead to this moment. I walked on stage, shook my principal’s hand as she gives my Advanced Regents Diploma. This diploma that was given to me is not just a paper, it’s the reward for the continuous hard work and dedication. It definitely wouldn’t possible without the support of parents, teachers, and friends. Thanks to my parents, teachers, and friends for being a backbone throughout the phase of my education.

Artist Statement

Feighbe Solano

Professor Hall

Artist Statement

           This semester has definitely helped me grow and see “writing” in a completely different way. In my high school they had “majors” that would help them decide what group to section you off with. There was agriculture, RTC, and Center for Writing. My mom immediately put me into the center for writing and for my four years of highschool I took classes like Advanced Poetry, Advanced Writing, Creative Writing, and Shakespeare. Because of the consistency of these classes, I was shaping myself into a writer. I wrote poems and short plays and some of my best essays, but then highschool ended. I flunked my first college semester of English 101 and had to retake it. The professors I had didn’t challenge me at all creatively. One of my professors, throughout the entire semester, had us reading short stories and simply answer his questions in essay format, an entire waste of time. It made me lose my appreciation for writing.

          While looking through “Rate My Professor” I found Doctor Carrie Hall, she was rated very high and received so many comments on how she’s a great professor. I had to take her class, and I even rearranged my schedule multiple times in order to make this class fit. I’m not sure what I expected this class to be but it wasn’t what it turned out to be. By this time I only thought we’d be reading more books and short story’s but it was nothing like that at all. The projects that were presented to us through the units truly helped me get back into the hang of writing but not just through pen and paper, by using more creative outlets (Instagram) I was able to use my voice in a more effective way. My Instagram page on homelessness, MPNYC_ (Mission Possible NYC) is in my top two best works I’ve done for this class. I had never taken a writing project and customized it through an outlet where many people would be able to see and interact with it. Many writing projects simply get graded and put aside, for no one else to see and this is the complete opposite of MPNYC_ it is a public page for anyone to visit and read through and comment on, and the amount of productivity that I received on this page through likes, comments, and even followers, in the short amount of time that I had to put it together, was remarkable. On top of everything the subject that it’s based on is a REAL problem, while it doesn’t affect me personally it does affect the thousands of people who are of may become homeless, this project was dedicated to those people and in order to do that I had to step outside the box, remove myself from the equation, and instead think about the victims to this problem. This project shows my growth as a writer, from my first group project of the semester that was based on the education system, where I only had one slide and about two lines to say, which was also my least favorite project, unit two was definitely my best.

           As I mentioned before MPNYC_ is in my top two best works of done for this semester, the second project that’s also up there is my Bob’s Burgers project, this was unit three. What makes this project one of my best and favorites is the way that I took my all time favorite animated TV show, and I completely gutted it for its misconception on transgender women and men. When I say that this is my favorite show, I mean that I literally watch this almost everyday and have rewatched the series multiple times. In the beginning, unit three was a little hard for me to get on track with because we weren’t given the source, we had to look for it and choose for ourselves. I had gone back and forth between two ideas that I cannot remember right now, but in the end I chose to do it on my favorite show. The drawing that I did for this project was fun, but you can only see my growth through the artist statement that I wrote for unit three. I wrote about my process for this unit and I feel like any reader can see my side of the story whether they agree or not. It was a fun project to draw a Bobs Burgers scene and remake it into what I thought it should’ve been instead. Now, looking back at both of those projects while they are completely different because one is a drawing and the other is a Instagram page, they have one thing in common which is that they were both made to fight for a cause. A REAL cause that has absolutely nothing to do with me, but for the people around me. This is why these projects are my top two, because I didn’t do it on me or my story, they were made based on other people’s stories. The fight for equality for transgender people is still a real one, and the fight to end homelessness is a real one too. Never in my entire high school and college years had I done a project made for such important causes as these were and that’s where you can see my growth in Doctor Halls class, my page on homeless will stay active.


Me As A Writer – David Wu

David Wu


Prof Hall

Eng 1121

Me As A Writer

            I don’t believe there’s such a thing as a perfect writer. Everyone has their own set of writing skills. I believed that I was a horrible writer for a long time since elementary school. I had to take ESL to learn how to write. Till now, although I feel my writing has improved a bit then before, there is still a lot for me to learn as a writer.

Coming to this class at the beginning of this semester, I expected it to be another regular English class. I expected us to just be given research papers and regular writing assignments to work on, just hand it in to be graded, and not learn on how to become a better writer. However, the assignments given to us by Professor Hall were something I wouldn’t have expected from an English class. The assignments given to us were assignments to help us find our “inner voice” in our writing and to be able to express our ideas on topics. I felt as if these type of assignments of being able to incorporate one’s point of view or ideas on certain topics is what makes the writer interested in writing and readers being able to see and read what the writer has to say.

The first assignment given to us, we had to write a specific event that impacted us in learning something. For me, I just wrote down lessons I learned from basketball from the top of my head without giving any details or explanations. Most professors would just read it, grade it, and hand it back, but Professor Hall read the paper thoroughly and had a lot of comments on it. She told me there was nothing in the essay that makes it me, there’s no specific details to my claims, and there was a lot to write about. Hearing the feedback from her showed me on how my writing can improve than before. Given the third assignment, a revision on any of the previous units, I decided to rewrite the education essay. This time I took the feedback I heard and incorporated it into the writing. Improving this essay by going into detail about my claims and showing how it makes it me by including my point of view and ideas. I felt the revision I wrote is definitely a lot better than the first essay I wrote.

This carried on to the following units and assignments. Every unit I would incorporate my point of view and ideas on the topic. For example, the final unit which was another revision, I decided to revise the second unit which was an essay about pop culture and social responsibility. Given what I learned on how to improve my writing, I did the same for this unit, incorporating my ideas and thoughts onto the assignment. I analyzed the Kendrick Lamar video “DNA” in depth and went into detail about lyrics and scenes in how I viewed it. This made me confident and interested in writing this essay knowing I am able to incorporate my thoughts to this essay for readers to read on what I think about this topic.

To sum it all up, I feel my writing has definitely improved through the semester. Before I would struggle to write a 500 word essay and feel my essays aren’t great because I wouldn’t know what to write or to know to go into detail in my essays. But this course showed me how to improve my writing by expressing my thoughts and ideas and going into detail on topics. This course definitely helped me find my “inner voice” in my writing. To me, I feel Professor Hall has made me a better writer than before and I would take her for my future English courses if possible to learn on how to improve my writing even more.

Name: Tohuratun Chowdhury

Class: eng1121


                                            Me as a writer  


  I think I never considered myself a writer. To me, writing is not much to be enjoyed but is a necessity. When I came to the U.S. as a new immigrant 6 years ago, I did not know any English. In 2 weeks after I arrived, I started to attend classes in high school. The moment I stepped into the classes, I realized how important the English writing is! Even in the classes such as us history or Chemistry, good writing skills were still needed to come up good science reports or essay.


         Although I knew writing is extremely important for my studies in school, I still tried to avoid it most of the time. After I got any writing assignments, I always wrote many outlines, lists of idea, themes, everything I could, but except the actual essay or report. Sometimes, I could even sit in front of my desk for hours before I actually started to write. The main reason I tried to avoid writing is because I knew there were going to have many errors in my paper such as grammar, spelling, and vocabulary. Until toady, I am a little bit afraid to make these mistakes when I am writing my paper.


 When I write I come across a few problems that always tend to slow me down. Finding the right words is the hardest part. While I write, I try to picture what words will follow the writing I have already completed. I can rarely find the words I want or make my writing sound the way I would like it to. When I first started writing my main problem was, and still is, writer’s block. I’ve learned to overcome that by coming up with every way I can to say what is in my head and put it on paper. It may not always work how I would like it to but it allows me to state my mind to the best of my abilities. In the end it is all about getting what is in your head onto the paper. That is one of the main factors that can affect my opinion of my writing.

         In order for me to have a good opinion of my writing, I have to like what I am writing about. If I am not interested in the topic I am writing about I will get bored of it and my disinterest will be obvious in the end result. I enjoy being able to state my opinion and write how I feel. My best work is on a topic I enjoy and includes what I think and feel about it. From past and recent experiences, I have learned that I am more proud of work I have enjoyed writing and researching for. In the past, I have enjoyed writing short stories and assignments on subjects that intrigue me or are on some of my personal interests.

          I always hated my English class for all the writing assignments. But I tried my best to improve myself as a writer. My creative project essay was one of my favourite essay. I found myself being more creative and analysis the pictures on my own way which I never did before. On our group project homelessness, I made a flyer to help the homeless people. I learn so many things when I was working on the project. One of the best things I experience in my English class is a group project its help us to communicate with our group members and help each other to be a good writer. Now I feel proud that I improve myself a lot as a writer in this class, now I like my English class.