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 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.

As I read the essays in my group, it told me a lot about education in America. As I can relate to my peers we don’t find it comfortable and fun. We should be able to learn in an environment where we are comfortable and could relax. Based on what I read, I feel like some ways to improve our education system is by expanding the horizon. We need to ask the students what do they need to learn instead of the teachers just throwing concepts at us. Haider’s title of his essay says it all. He can tell what time of the day it is because he’s always skipping his history class. Do you know why he’s missing that class? Because he’s not motivated. The education system needs to train their teachers to motivate these students to not be another Haider. I feel like the education is failing because their more focused on how many kids are in the school rather than teaching. I feel as if its more business then caring about our needs. Also, we need to take away the exams. The exams don’t define a student’s intelligence. It only measures a students memory. We as students need to learn and be taught at our own pace. Also, as I was reading Karina and Jay’’s essay i thought to myself that in NYC we have a large number of caribbean families. So why not we just incorporate teachings from the caribbean and implement them in our so when students who come here from the caribbean will be more comfortable.

Ife Ajayi
Prof. Hall
Eng 1121
19 February 2019

While reading my groups writing on their experiences with education so far I realized that we all have something in common. We all dealt with circumstances that made us who we are today. Schooling wasn’t an easy process for any of us, we all struggled, whether it had to do with passing courses or getting bullied. But we all made it through, we didn’t let any of the obstacles thrown our way define or get the better of us. Something else I realized is we all in some way think that the education system in America is failing a lot of students. Failing as in bringing students down and not allowing them to reach their full potential. In school, a lot of students don’t feel comfortable expressing themselves in classes simply because of fear. They fear being made fun of or their responses not being good enough for teachers. Obviously in classes like math there is usually only one answer. It’s either you’re right or wrong, so this doesn’t apply to math. But in classes like English students should be able to express themselves the way they know how to without getting judged or criticized by harsh teachers. This doesn’t mean that students who are completely off topic shouldn’t be corrected. Teachers just need to do a better job at responding to students who clearly are struggling with their education and need all the help they can get. One step in bettering education in America is evaluating teachers for real. There are some teachers out there who honestly don’t deserve their job. The surveys that they make students fill out on teachers anonymously is nothing but nonsense. A teacher could have the lowest rating and only negative comments and you’d still catch them working at their school the next term. So then the question is what is the point of the surveys if bad teachers still continue working and making students lives worse than they already are? The D.O.E should actually look at the surveys and take them into consideration because it’s obvious that they don’t.

Response to Essays 2/19/19

One thing that my group and I all had in common is that we also found that we learned certain skills outside of school.  I’ve also noticed that not all of my group members brought up school, this kind of makes be think that they valued what they learned from outside of school to the point that whatever they do learn in school is not as valuable as the skills learned from elsewhere. I think the education system  is failing is because some students do not enjoy sitting in a room for 8 hours everyday learning some things that we may not feel is useful. I think some ways to improve the education system would be to maybe incorporate some type of hands on learning so that a student can get involved and actually do something instead of sitting and spacing out.

Essay Response

After reading my groups past experiences with the education system one of the main problems I saw in common was bullying. Bullying has been around forever and I honestly don’t think it’ll be something that can be fully stopped but I do believe the education system has noticed this but has only made a small effort to do something about it. Nowadays we hear in the news about young kids, from kindergarten to high school committing suicide due to bullying, while my groups experiences may not have been anywhere near this severe it’s still within the same realm. The Netflix show 13 shed some light on how someone can be pushed over the edge over a matter of time but also how the school counselor did not know how to properly handle the situation. One of my classmates wrote about how she was being bullied by other students simply because she was new to the country, but luckily received helped from classmates  “Some of my classmates help me to face the situation and help me to inform our teachers.” One way the education system can help stop bullying is by reaching out to both students and teachers, giving teachers the appropriate training on when to notice when a child may be acting different or singled out because of bullying before it’s too late, sometimes it’s hard for a victim of bullying to seek help so maybe teachers can be the ones to reach out first. Also informing students of the outcomes that come from bullying as well as an appropriate punishment if they take part of it.

Response to Group Essays 2/19/2019

The personal pieces about learning experiences that are meaningful, written by my group deepen my knowledge about what exactly needs to be improved on in the modern education system. In all the pieces, there were ways in which they were learning something important to them that weren’t exactly synonymous with the way the modern education system teaches students, like learning from video games, a form of entertainment that isn’t normally looked upon as a good source for education, and having those video games teach you things about history and perhaps even problem solving skills that can be helpful in life. Games outside of just video games that can take place in the real world, like basketball and other sports even has the potential to teach the value of time management, and the lesson that refining your skills is more valuable than relying on luck when aiming for achievement. It showcases the lesson that hard work is the most reliable way to victory, and this holds true unanimously among so many aspects of real life. We often glaze over some of the aspects of life that we enjoy when it comes to the topic of education, while at the same time believing that the best way for someone young and impressionable educated is to sit in a non-stimulating classroom all day learning about things they don’t really care about or find interesting. Perhaps we could make learning better for kids by seriously considering modern entertainment, like video games and T.V, and using that to teach them things that are valuable for them to learn.