System Fighters- Info Update

So far while researching the mta’s old and new problems it seem like the old is affecting the new in this case. Technology plays a huge part in the development and pace of things we run like trains. We must update our phones because if not we’ll be stuck with old software that will go slow, break down repeatedly or even give up all in one. Governor Cuomo does not fix anything not does he find help for these system problems; All he does is play puppet master.

MTA-System Problems

                  The MTA is controlled by New York State but it is an independent cooperation. The governor for New York which is Andrew Cuomo stated as recently as the Tuesday we just passed that the problem with MTA is that no one is in charge and if no one is in charge problems will continue to occur. He then tried to put himself in charge which was assumed he already had that position this is not true. The governor is actually who is to be blamed. The MTA board has 14 voting member and their jobs are to review,approve and monitor fundamental financial and business strategies as well as major actions but none of these say anything about improving the health issues or taking the homeless people off the train carts. That is an issue for the people to deal with so it seems. Something that we cannot fix because it’s inevitable and also to public. A lot of the things we want to be able to change involving the MTA will always be black-balled because of its public setting.                       Secondly, the system’s functions that run on our trains today are old and not just 5-10 years old but in fact centuries. This causes trains to slow down, the technology that are used for train systems control the speed  as well as stopping sand starting the subway trains. However the MTA does plan on changing this to a newer system that runs how our world runs today, busy and fast. Red lights, green and yellow are some signal systems that trains use today for blocking and proceeding train routes and all of these are used to increase the consistent train flow underground so train conductors know where they are going as well as best serving subway riders.                                                                                                                                                                   Governor Cuomo says that nobody is in charge of the subway affairs and this is the problem so maybe he should take full responsibility or place it in the hands of someone who can because without someone in charge any change at all will be difficult to see. The MTA board has an impact on most of things surrounding the subways so solutions that are thought out and will help things runs smoothly down there isn’t such a bad idea. If anything someone needs to be the voice to say “hey, someone needs to fix this we can no longer deal with the sudden disruptions anymore” for things to get done. If you plan to leave your house to catch a certain train then timed when that train will arrive at your stop so that you can be on time for work or class, you should be able to follow through with that plan. Trains are public yes! Yet this is no excuse for the quality millions of riders deserve when their taxes are going to it and they pay their fare. They should be organized and on time for the people.                                                                                         

Rhetorical questions

Q1- Who is the speaker? What do we know about this person? How do we know it? Caroline Simone, she is a journalist at USA Today and she wrote an article about black lives matter and how it came to be. Q2- What is the occasion? When or where did it occur? This is a social movement that came to be 5 years ago after the death of Trayvon Martin, a black kid walking to the store who was a victim of a man man with a gun for no reason at all. Q3- Who is the audience? What group of people is he/she speaking for? – The audience in this article is the world, people in all states and continents view USA Today but specifically for this piece i feel as though the black community is who it is directed for. Q4-What is the purpose of this piece?What is the writer trying to accomplish?- The purpose of this piece is so that readers understand what happens in the community and mostly why it is important that black people have a platform to speak their truth so that they can gain their strength in making a change. Q5- What is the tone of this? How can you tell the writers feeling by the words or phrases? The tone of this article is tamed yet influencing and informative. I can tell because all the facts are being stated and how those came to be and she is also very calm in explaining the different perspectives others have on the movement itself. Q6- Other thoughts on this piece? And by the way whats your name? I think the way it is written is entertaining to read and it did let me know why she wrote it and why its so important in our world today. My name is Shauntai Smith.

Andra Day “Rise Up”

The Black Lives Matter movement is a campaign for violence, racism and prejudice acts towards the black race. After years of numerous senseless killings as well as police brutality being directed at this particular race stirred up the idea and along with that came some very brave dedicated fight for what is happening in our community and the people who’s skin colors are affected by it. Around the time the social movement started back 2013 the people decided it was enough. Rather you knew who or even if you did not know who Sandra Bland or Trayvon Martin were amongst others, the affects of their passing’s have weighed on the entire community throughout the world. Mothers, fathers, uncles, nieces , nephews and sons are tragically murdered because of the color of their skin in which they cannot change, didn’t ask to have and should not be looked down upon or discouraged for, let alone be killed. So many legends before this movement put their lives and safety in danger so that equality is spreaded to everyone no matter their appearance or source of income and though America has grown as a nation from this it is still not all blue skies and sunny days. This senseless act of violence towards the black race has grown significantly within the past few years and it doesn’t get easier for anyone, it’s almost contagious.                                                                                                            Singer/songwriter and vocalist Andra Day broke out in 2015 with her debut album Cheers to the Fall, along with this amazing hit album that charted 48 on billboard was a very popular inspirational song called “Rise Up”. This song was used in numerous platforms regarding the BLM movement and with it, uplifted millions of hearts around the world. The singer is known for her beautiful voice that falls into the Jazz/Soul R&B category and her ability to capture tears and chills from her listeners. Rise up was built on chills, in fact this song has unofficially become an anthem for empowerment and protests all around the globe all because of her lyrics. Someone to be considered a voice for the voiceless and using her platform to send a clear message while providing hope for those who may have lost their own.                                                                                                                                                             At the very beginning of the song she starts off by singing “You’re broken down and tired of livin’ life on a merry-go-round and you can’t find a fighter but I see it in you, so we gon’ walk it out and move mountains”. Andra Day refers to the continuous acts of violence and dehumanization African Americans face time and time again throughout history. As if it’s something the people within the black community cannot change or move forward from because the world is stuck in one mindset, that mindset being “this is how it’s always been, so this is what it will be” but then she reminds her listeners to be patient. To know that the time for a change starts with the people. For whatever reason they are unable to stand up for themselves possibly in fear of being unheard or ignored are people who stand with them and they are not alone. The tone of voice allows you to feel the hurt and the aching pain around the BLM issue and the way she feels about what seems impossible to overcome but not impossible at all. There is a tremendous comfort in hearing this song at a time when Arican Americans are feeling hopeless, it then gives them that fearlessness to be great and being true to themselves.                                                                 In her chorus she says “I’ll rise up, rise like the day I’ll rise up I’ll rise unafraid I’ll rise up and I’ll do it a thousand times again, for you”, this is a clear message about how she is feeling on being silent about what’s happening around us and that she is not afraid and she will take a stand for whats right. Many African Americans are silent, they believe injustice to their race is to be expected and so it should not be challenged but Day expresses the exact opposite.  No matter the costs no matter the risks she’s aware of the effects rising up has on everyone surrounded by the issue. Followed by that lyric she sings “i’ll rise up, rise like the day i’ll rise up in spite of the ache” in many cases for many causes all it takes is one person to help break the barrier, take action or see what needs to be done and Andra Day supplies her own voice so that it can be someone else’s in hopes that people will hear her and be inspired enough to stand on the issues they are passionate about and with doing so not being afraid.

This particular movement has become one of the many reasons African Americans are able to build up courage, courage that was taken away from them so long ago as well as for so long. Andra Day’s “rise up” became the anthem because it supports all people in whichever side of the movement your standing on. The voiceless, the fearful and the hurt are all encouraged in her lyrics to be fearless and to take those necessary steps for change to happen.

Almost towards the closing of her song she says “all we need, all we need is hope and for that we have eachother and for that we have eachother” and in a welcoming tone she invites her listeners to lean on one another through the dark times because that is all we need to achieve greatness with togetherness. Be a whole so that the chances are greater, the love is stronger, the cause is deeper and the feelings all mutual .This is something Andra Day emphasizes all throughout the song, she is vivid and demanding with her words. Not in a forceful manner but definitely an encouraging one, something to look forward to or be excited about. The Black Lives Matter movement matters because it is the black communities voice against acts of violence that happens based off skin color and stereotypes. It is a community fighting back from so much loss and suffering at the hands of people who do not want change just power. An influential person being Andra Day took her voice and used her platform to raise awareness about taking a stand aside from the risks or what people say. This movement might not have started with you specifically but it affects everyone because it could be you, your daughter, a friend of the family, your son. It is both uplifting and motivational to the cause in this on-going issue, the anthem of hope.


The Education Process

The Education Process by Shauntai Smith                                                                                                                                                                                          So, it’s going on three years and I’ve been dedicating my precious time, hard work and patience to the most crappy school known to mankind, New Dawn High.  If the beige prison walls weren’t enough to drive me insane my teachers definitely passed that test with flying colors. As you can probably guess this was not my favorite place to be. For starters, everyone began at 7AM and left at 4PM which is awfully long compared to the average school day and for some strange reason the fact that this didn’t bother anyone else bothered me even more. As I began to rest my legs on a chair that was laid out before me, I couldn’t help but think about my future, my life and what I wanted it to be like. My fellow classmates were “grown”, either they were in their early 20’s, the loudest babymothers you’ve ever heard, babyfathers trying to get their life together, pregnant girls, dropouts, drop back ins, thugs and so on the list goes. All the kids were either sleeping or sleeping, exactly.                                                                                   I hated it there. For three years I felt misunderstood like no one including the teachers got what my “problem” was. I had no intentions on coming to this school you know, my teachers could feel my uninterested aura every time class begun. How could learning things like how to perfectly dissect a pig or finding the circumference of a sphere be valuable to my life? I couldn’t focus because as they read from their over-sized textbooks that could barely fit into their hands my mind would fade out,blocking their words like it was nothing. I was the smartest, always thinking ahead of my classmates so i knew i wasn’t the problem. I then grew tired of what was expected of my education process. A little talk with my kind, loving and extremely supportive parents led me to really think about my next move.                                                                                                So, I dropped out going against everything society thought to be true about the learning system being “needed” for one to succeed I thought to myself “you gotta make ditching school count for something”. Every morning I got my ass up with only one thought in my mind, money. I had no idea that I was in for a rude awakening but let me get to that part. It’s Friday! I could feel my check already in my hands before it actually got to me. Shopping, Chipotle and even a bit of weed all circled continuously in my head as I stood in line to grab my envelope with the words “shauntai smith” on it. I’ve never seen my name on anything regarding to money, just turning 17 I had no idea what to expect but I knew whatever came out of that envelope was mine, all mine. I reach for my envelope and there it was staring at me and sadly to my surprise I stared back in disbelief. It wasn’t a very good number at all. A total of $296.75, more like a total of disappointment.                                           My nose began to burn. I was fully aware that I was a few seconds from  crying and thinking of how much the money did not match the pay nor the amount of energy that was expected at all times. How much could I expect from a job that let a high school dropout like myself come work for them at 17. I was a baby compared to my fellow coworkers. They had children, rent, mortgages and yet they were still were comfortable. They collected their money every week happily without a complaint in the world. At this point I began to question everything. Do I really want to be here, working my ass off for hours and hours to receive a shitty paycheck or do I want to feel good about the work I do along with a higher pay-grade? The one thing I knew is that I did not want to be like these women who were stuck under these circumstances because they couldn’t or didn’t want to commit to school as well as furthering their education. Being 17 definitely gave me an advantage in life, countless room for growth and promising opportunities. I still had a pretty good chance to get my life back on track, this pushed me to make another decision and this one might just be my best one yet! Trying to grow up too fast wasn’t in my best interest and this dreadful draining place was not where I was meant to be. The next morning I enrolled myself in a GED program.                                                                                                                         I’m aware that pursuing my GED wasn’t going to be an easy task, shit if anything it would be tougher to gather all the information i’d have to learn within 9 months in only 2 . This new school had everyone be registered to take the test in 2 months to eliminate the feel of high school (music to my ears). The school understood my concept, all I wanted was to get a diploma so I can study a subject of my choice for once in 12 years. Two teachers taught all four subjects and they got the job done! They made everything easier to memorize and took the complicity away from subjects. I sat in the front of every class, breathed in every technique and material my instructors had given us. I knew I could not play around with my future anymore. I couldn’t be the old lady at some job getting paid less for more. Day in and day out I studied my life away, attended each tutoring session I could get my foot in. At this point in my education process putting my inner feelings to the side to receive that diploma I was so ready to get was the top priority. The day for testing came quicker than the flash! My baggy sweats and furry sweater comforted me in my long hours of sitting down and answering questions. I received the news exactly 2 weeks from the day I took it and to my surprise I passed. I passed everything, all five subjects in one shot. I realized that it was not about me in particular, I didn’t have to be the best I just had to want it more than anything else and let fate take it’s toll.

Marginal comments HERE. Your grade and my endnote are in the comment section. 

Education narrative rough draft

Education or What?                                                                                                                     It’s going on three years that I’ve been dedicating my precious time, hard work and patience to the most crappy school known to man, New Dawn High.  If the beige prison walls weren’t enough to drive me insane my teachers definitely passed that with flying colors. As you can probably guess this was not my favorite place to be. For starters, everyone began at 7 AM and left at 4 PM which is awfully long for a school day and the fact that this didn’t bother anyone else bothered me some more. The students there were grown I’m talking early 20’s, baby- mothers, mostly baby-fathers, expecting mothers, dropouts and drop back ins, thugs and being across from tons of 400 foot projects buildings made the violence more interesting. All the kids were either sleeping or sleeping, exactly. I hated it there. For three years I felt misunderstood like no one including the teachers got what my “problem” was. They had no clue that I simply didn’t find the things they taught valuable to my life, I couldn’t focus because I didn’t want to and because I didn’t want too I had zero intent on doing so. I grew tired of what was expected of me and so I made myself more available to other areas of life, which included getting a job.                                                                      That was the beginning of my lonesomeness. After dropping out, disobeying my parent’s wishes of what I should have turned out to be and being cut off from their finances I eagerly thought to myself “you gotta make quitting school count for something” and that’s what I tried to do. Everyday at 7 in the morning I pushed myself to wake up in hopes of getting a great check every week and when I did receive that check I wonder how it would make me feel. My first Friday came around sooner than anything else and believe me the anticipation I felt to read my pay-stub was driving me insane. “New clothes, chipotle and weed” were the three things that played out continuously in my head as I cracked open the envelope with “shauntai smith” on it. I’ve never seen my name on anything regarding to money, just turning 17 I had no idea what to expect but I knew whatever came out of that envelope was mine, all mine. Not my parents or my grandparents, my own. As I opened the letter roughly and without a care for putting the paper back inside I see my pay. It wasn’t a good one. A total of $296.75, a total disappointment. I yelled to the top of my lungs “MY CHECK, somebody better fix this I’m not playing”. When my boss Mr. Bradford heard my screams he calmly sat me down and said “ Shauntai please go over the paystub” I was new to all of this work stuff so maybe I did read it wrong but turns out the paper was right. Sadly, I had only earned the amount I was looking at.


Gilyard uses numerous stories to give readers a clear understanding or idea of what he is trying to say. When describing his younger days with friends he uses slang and non-standard english such as “But i’m tellin you homes, they ain’t gon do nothing but fuck you up.” I would definitely use this in my writing because it gives me a sense of realism from the author. Letting you see the raw, the good and the ugly no matter how it’s written. The dialogue he uses when telling the stories of his friends help build the story and where it’s heading and it sets the tone of his characters. It makes me want to read more and find out what’s at the end of it. Gilyard uses a lot of imagery to create visuals including other figurative language such as personification, this is language I enjoy because it makes the story feel real without it sounding boring and flat. Not only does he express significantly how he feels majority of the way, he indeed gives you a closer look at his tone throughout the book and how he portrays most of the events he’s explaining. To express some of the points he tried to make on his argument he used statistics, I feel this is a very strong thing to do in writing and trying to get a point across because facts are essential. They open the readers eyes and pull them in to what’s being told.