Me As A Writer – Waleed Qureshi

Waleed Qureshi

ENG 1121

Dr. Carrie Hall



Me As A Writer


          What is a writer? Sometimes I ask myself this question when I’m making up stories in my mind. I have had this thinking ever since I was little that every time I was extremely free, I thought up stories, putting myself in some heroic situations because even though I have no qualities as a hero or anyone responsible, I just like the thrill of a climax or unexpected turnaround. Even though I can think of fictions, this does not prove that I am a writer.

When I started this semester, I didn’t care much about writing. To say the truth, I still don’t but one thing has changed. I think just me getting encouraged was enough for me to enjoy what I write. One thing I learned in the beginning of the semester was that I really need to check my vocabulary. Before this I always thought that I know a lot of things and if I need, I will just end up getting some idea of what words I had to use and end up using them and they will be correct. The obvious problem was, I was wrong. To some extent I believe that my vocabulary was missing because I lived my life in Pakistan and I didn’t know what some words meant if I had to convert them and make people understand what I did or what I went through.

In my first essay the students had to share one part of our life where we could say that we learned something. As I said before, I lived my life in Pakistan and we had a different high school system there. In my essay I told a story when I failed my exams. Normally, they would be considered my high school years, but I didn’t know that. I thought that what I did gave me GED because at the end of the year when we finished our two years we got something called a General Certificate of Education or GCE, and I confused that. When professor read my story, she was totally confused because it made no sense that I did high school and got a GED? Professor Hall told me to come to her office. There the professor told me how much of confusing essay I had written. Luckily Professor Hall gave me a second chance, told me my mistakes. As it turns out, this feedback was just the thing I needed because I added everything that was missing to the essay.

I always thought that my less knowledge of the United States limited my capabilities because I had no memories of things other students thought as daily routines because I have not been here for as long as they have. I was reminded of this fact in the second essay when we had to choose a pop-culture artifact and write an essay on it or make something artistic with it. Since the artifact also needed to be something that had a message related to community. Everyone had something in their minds starting from songs of Rihanna to x-men movies. A friend of mine also chose a book on Malala Yousafzai who is from Pakistan and she wrote a book on her journey of how she fought her way for her studies. When my friend told me that she had picked that book as her artifact, I thought to myself, why didn’t I think of that but then I realized, even if I did I couldn’t have written anything on that because I hardly ever read any book. The professor gave us two days to think about what we wanted to write. After those two days, the only thing I managed to come up with was a Pakistani song that spoke about the problems the public cause for themselves. I wasn’t sure of this and was very confused until the professor told me that se would love to see that because that was something totally new. I listened to the professor because at first this motivated me, and another thing was I knew everything about this so making something with this was not impossible. I am somewhat good with art, so I decided that I am going to make a comic page showing the message that the song highlighted. When I first wrote and drew the piece, the professor told me that I had taken the instructions for the unit the wrong way because we had to write our opinion on the piece and I had written what the song told. The professor again gave me another chance and I wrote what I felt about that piece. Until a few days ago, I had forgotten about what I wrote until I saw the professor’s comment about how much she liked the piece because it highlighted what I truly felt about the song. I think I am getting overconfident while I write this but at this point I think it is okay.

So, what did I get out of this? How did I grow? I think, a way I grew in was that I learned seeing my mistakes and correcting them as we read about in an essay too that when a writer is writing a story, he must revise his work tirelessly and be open to his own mistakes. Accept them and find a solution to that. Professor Hall provided me with that chance to correct myself again and again and I am very thankful for that.

Artist Statement

Every individual has their own strengths and weaknesses.  Ever since I can remember, I’ve had struggles with any form of languages such as English and traditional Chinese. My journey up till now, from all the things that I learned till now shows I still have a lot to improve on.

It all started at the very beginning of elementary school. Ever since first grade, the grades I receive was high 80’s and 90’s in my English tests. I never noticed that I needed extra help with English, specifically speech. I was never aware that I received extra help in my curriculum that a speech period was added and support during test taking. Until middle school, it became apparent that I was put into a class specifically for students that need extra support because a normal classroom would have 1 teacher instead of 2. Even throughout my years in high school and my first year of college, my speech is still not as good and I have difficulty communicating with peers and professors. I don’t think it will ever improve until time will tell.

The writing requirements for high school and college are drastically different. Going into my English composition class in my first semester of college was the cross between college and high school writing. I was learning that everything I was taught from high school was incorrect and I wasn’t annoyed by it. I appreciated the college style of writing because students were able to freely choose their style of writing and topics they want for an assignment. I believe the student’s topic is most important to them because no one would want to write on a topic that the individual won’t be passionate about. Moving into English composition 2, I did terrible on my first writing assignment that required serious revisions. Before the first assignment for English composition 2, we were told to write about the setting the character was in and was able to metaphorically paint a picture. These words mean much more such as “father”, “scolded”, and “tears” to help build a paragraph. For example, “I’m home with my father. It was after school, my father confronted me to discuss with my failing grades”. I tried to incorporate this into my other writing assignments throughout the semester to give a vivid image of the story. I may not have explained it better when I spoke to Professor Hall, and there are many ways to word a sentence better to be understood. Another assignment was the Gilyard’s response taught me ways to fill in words to complete an assignment with analysis. One of the things that I wrote was “Another thing that I liked about this story and that I would prefer in my writings is the use of the first-person perspective. I do not like how this story has people talking to another individual, as reading from a 3rd person perspective…”. This taught me how to add more details such as including my own personal opinions and thoughts if the topic has an impact on my life.

English may not be easy for everyone through countless years of expertise or practice. After all these years taking English class that was taught to me throughout my entire life that is supposed to teach the student how to write. I don’t believe that writing can be taught to students because writing isn’t something that students should be bound to. My writing hasn’t changed too much even though I wasn’t forced to follow a format. When I receive feedback from professors and help centers, I would be told that this is grammatically incorrect,  its a run-on, or there is a tense problem. I may not see it the mistakes that other people may see and that’s one thing that I’ll need to improve over time. Another habit I have is being lazy, thus I have to commit and spend time in an excluded room and read my essay out loud. In the end, the effort I put into my work will reflect the grade I will receive.

My weakness will continue to be English. As time will tell, I can’t really imagine myself being good at English. Even with my limited vocabulary, I may not impress the reader. I may not even have a coherent and cohesive essay. However, it should not be the reason that I would stop writing in the future and completing an assignment


Me as a Writer – Latrell Greene

Latrell Greene

ENG 1121

Dr. Hall


Me as a Writer

My writing ability over the course of this semester, I feel, has improved. Engaging myself by being tasked in writing in different styles, genres, and formats, proved to be great exercise for my skills as a writer. Not only did I learn a lot of different ways to write, but I learned a little more about how to stay true to my own style of writing, and refine that style to convey my ideas in an effective, but distinct way.

What made this class so different, especially in regard to the comparison between this semester and my last semester’s English class, was its special emphasis on one’s “own voice”, and being able to express one’s ideas in their own unique way. In my last semester there was a quite contrasting focus on using specific writer’s templates in order to express our ideas to an audience in an effective way. For our major assignments, we were given specific articles to respond to, and templates to use as a guide. Leaving that semester and entering this new one, my expectations of the writing that I would be doing were still geared toward that template-driven form of writing. It ended up being surprising to find that this course and its professor takes a heavy approach on embracing self expression in writing.

Right off the bat, in the first unit of this course we were introduced to ideas like “everyone has their own English”. This means that a lot of us grow up in our own cultures, and in those cultures there may exist a different “normal” ways of speaking and expressing one’s self. So it’s reasonable to accept that: for a lot of us, our English-language grammar, writing and speaking won’t be so perfectly formal. This is especially true when considering that for a lot of people, English is not even a first language. Different “Englishes” can reflect different ways of expression, and that’s why they have value. After all, when writing about yourself, and your own experiences, why wouldn’t you want that piece of writing to sound as “you” as possible?

In my Unit 2 piece X-Men and Representation, what I really liked about producing that body of work, was that for the unit, I was allowed to choose upon any topic, which gave me leeay to use a subject that I could be particularly passionate about. In fact, a theme in that same writing piece also connects to one of the themes that I want to convey in this very work: That people enjoy and really appreciate having themselves be represented, whether “themself” refers to their way of thinking, their culture, their personality, or their experiences. In the X-Men piece, I wrote “representation in pop culture can be a wonderful experience for people who don’t normally see people like themselves in those mediums” (para. 5). I think that just like having someone’s background be represented in a medium can offer a deeper connection between a reader and a character, being allowed to fully embrace someone’s natural way of expression can just as well offer a deeper connection between a writer and their own work, allowing ideas and themes to come across more organically. Nowadays, I reflect off of this by reminding and allowing myself to be more conductive and fluid with my own ideas when it comes to layering my writing.

In Unit 3, we were allowed to choose any community problem that we deemed worthy of addressing. I had thought up and decided to expand upon addressing the problem of noise pollution. In one part, I had written: “the purpose of this letter is to persuade you to consider solutions to get New York City, one of the most noise polluted cities in the nation, to achieve a more considerate and moderate noise level, especially regarding our subway system”. (para. 1) What made the unit able to be interesting was that we got to choose our own problems to address, in regard to how we already felt about them. Getting to choose something like noise pollution to address, which could be a really obscure topic to many people, and having to collaborate with a team of people who would bring their own ideas to expand upon it proved to be both effective, and satisfying. I was able to see my own conceptual ideas motivate new ideas in other people, as well as have myself be inspired by those new ideas.

My work with both Units 2 and 3 really reflect the lessons that I’ve learned this semester, about the art of writing, and about the importance of expressing your own ideas; Ideas that hold value, both in the way that the ideas are expressed, and in the ideas themselves. Representation, both from the writer’s perspective as well as the reader’s, can offer a deeper connection from person to page.

Noise Pollution Effects on Health (Portfolio)

Latrell Greene

ENG 1121

Dr. Hall


Noise Pollution Effects on Health


Dear Mayor de Blasio,

Noise pollution being ever-present in big cities, like NYC, can lead to health effects that range from levels of both physical health effects, to psychological.  A multitude of studies have been conducted on the negative effects of noise pollution on the human mind and body, which goes to show how prominent the problem is. As a result, the purpose of this letter is to persuade you to consider solutions to get New York City, one of the most noise polluted cities in the nation, to achieve a more considerate and moderate noise level, especially regarding our subway system.

New York City is home to a subway system that can expose “commuters to noise as loud as a jet engine”. In an article by The Guardian, author Olga Oksman stated that in Time Square’s busy subway station, the noise levels clocked in at 80 decibels to 96 decibels when express trains pass through the station, and up to a level of 101.9 decibels at Manhattan’s Upper West Side station. A study 2011 study from the German Department of Environmental Health also stated the fact that “Noise from transportation is by far the most widespread source of noise exposure, causing most annoyance and public health concerns.” It can become very clear after analyzing this problem by taking a step back and observing just how loud the subway can get, as well as how so many people who commute to work and to school everyday by subway can be, and are affected by this.

Though the subway is arguably the loudest source of noise, it isn’t the only notable source of noise pollution. Noise pollution is also prevalent in busy streets, and there is often a lot of construction around the city, thus the noise is very spread out in the city.  Although the noise wouldn’t be exactly ear-splitting, it can still have an effect internally, on a psychological level, which could connect to problems with blood pressure and heart rate. A study from 1995 by Journal of Hypertension featured conducted research on the effects of urban noise pollution on blood pressure and heart rate in preschool children, and concluded that “the group mean blood pressure and heart rate values of preschool children from quiet areas contrasted with readings for those from noisy environments. This indicates a positive association between the level of traffic noise and a possibly increased role of sympathetic cardiovascular regulatory influence.”

The effects that noise pollution can have on people according to a 2000 study, which conducted research on the effects of noise pollution on humans, has a range including: “Noise Induced Hearing Impairment”, “Stress Related Health Effects”, “Sleep Disturbance” and “Effects on [Cognitive] Performance”.

A possible solution to the subway noise level problem could be an effort to update the subway system, and the practicality as well as the need for it is evident by a comparison between our subway system and others, like the bullet train in Japan. Even by taking steps toward it over a period of years would the outcome be significant.

X-Men and Representation (Portfolio)

Latrell Greene

ENG 1121

Dr. Hall


X-Men and Representation


Marvel’s X-Men are a symbol for the struggle of people who are seen as different to achieve equality. Created in 1963 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the X-Men weren’t created in a vacuum. They were written into existence during a time where the civil rights movement, the fight for racial equality and the end to racial segregation, was reaching its peak. The struggle of the X-Men being ‘mutants’, and putting up with those of society who hated them, and discriminated on them simply because they were different was an effective way to get readers who might not have experienced racial or cultural discrimination, to put themselves in the shoes of, and to care about those who do.

The comics gave people who had experienced that kind of discrimination a form of representation, while giving those who might not have faced it an understanding of the ever-present situation of minorities in America. Marvel Comics are also known for its social commentary in a lot of their other properties too during various time periods, but the X-Men perhaps delves the most deep into those issues, and is perhaps the most inspired by those real world issues in comparison. In the series, the topics of racism, diversity, and antisemitism are explored.

Going further than just connecting the issues between in the comics and real life, characters are even heavily paralleled to real life figures that really embody the issues being explored. The leader of the X-Men and the Leader of the opposing team of mutants, Professor X and Magneto, respectively, are representations of their real world counterparts, the Civil Rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X. Professor X has connections with Martin Luther King Jr. in that their ideologies share hope that everyone can coexist peacefully in the future despite the hostile discrimination occurring in the present, while Magneto and Malcolm X hold the more opposing ideology; they’re inclined to the notion of embracing their differences but they advocate for separating from the rest, and don’t shy away from violence as an end to their means due to the discrimination.

Some might argue that: because they incorporated these issues into a comic book during a time where these issues were serious, that they made light of these issues. But in reality, including something serious like this in a comic book or a similar piece of entertainment allows it to reach more people, and its demographic being younger, it can influence and teach the next generation to be greater. It can give those who are able to relate some representation, and lets them know that their problems do matter. On top of this, it can be a lot more impactful by getting a reader to care about the characters, and then by effect, getting them to care about their problems. It gets the reader to do something watching or reading the news might not be able to for them; it takes a magnifying glass and helps the reader understand why those problems matter.

And representation in pop culture can be a wonderful experience for people who don’t normally see people like themselves in those mediums. Looking at today and our modern pop-culture, with films like Black Panther giving people African descent representation by having a blockbuster superhero movie with a black lead and mostly black cast, and having so many show up, and having it happen with female-led ones too, with Captain Marvel, there’s something about being represented in a medium you enjoy that’s so thrilling, and having the X-Men first appear and embody the struggles of those who were discriminated on probably was probably even more thrilling and satisfying for those who struggled, and also enjoyed comics. Even taking a look at one of the most iconic superhero characters from today, Spider-Man was created to be a representation of the everyday man. In contrast to the problems of heroes like Superman and Batman, Spider-Man was mean to have struggles just as much outside of his superhero life as within. His emphasized problems with his relationships, school, having to keep a job to help his aunt pay rent and time-management all while having to be a superhero were revolutionary in that he was someone everyone could relate to, and at the same time, having him be a superhero that was a kid, and wasn’t a sidekick gave younger readers representation too, and it’s one of the reasons Spider-Man is one of the most popular superheroes of all time.

Dotting our i’s and crossing our x’s, the X-Men contributed a lot to the discussion of racial and cultural politics, and did a fantastic job of introducing the topic to young readers, allowing them to empathize with and understand what is so wrong with racial and cultural discrimination, and still with one stone, giving minorities  representation and letting them feel like they could be superheroes too.

This is my “low stakes” assignment.



I truly enjoyed Gilyard’s reading. liked the way he included a lot of details about his personal life. What Gilyard does in his writing that I would like to include in my own is talk about my personal life and how it shaped me into the person I am today. He uses specific details to connect with his audience about his life. Gilyard recalled the time when he was in court after being aprehended for a crime and he recalled the moment when his mother turned to him and “repressed hurt and anger twisted together in her face.” In this English class, I want to connect and show a side of myself in my writing so my audience could be engaged and want to read more and more and find out what happens next. For 7-8 pages Gilyard started off by sayin “Heroin was the first thing that I feared could make me late in life.” As a reader you want to find out more and more, so he drawed my attention with that line. That’s what I want to do in my writing. I don’t have anything negative to say about Gilyard’s writing, I truly enjoy it and I hope to read more pieces of it in the future.

Stanley Desir                                                                                                     02/08/19

Final Draft                                                                                                   ENG 1121

    Ayo Ock Lemme Get uhbaconeggandcheese

I’m at a family function sitting with my cousins and close friends. Were explaining our struggles with growing up in the boroughs. When it was my time to speak, I said: “Don’t trust nobody, be aware of your surroundings and shit could always be worse.” Those were the three main ideas I learned growing up in New York City. My oldest brother is 34 and he’s been in and out the feds since he was 18. He got two strikes. My other brother is 24 and it took him 7 years to get his diploma. I’m going to break down each main idea. We live in one of the most populated cities in the world. You meet a lot of people and you open up to them. Just don’t trust anyone. Growing up in Flatbush, you see a lot of behavior which we would describe it as “snake” or “shyste”. I watched my brother’s so-called “friends” snitch on him and claim he committed a number of crimes. It was painful to see at a young age. At the age of 7, I already had it instilled in me that trusting someone is dangerous. I’m now 18 and I really never had a lot of friends. Yeah, I know people and they know me but I try to keep my close friends to a small number. I got trust issues. Majority of my close friends are either Haitian or Jamaican. I’m Haitian and I grew up with a lot of Jamaicans and other Haitians so I feel like I can trust them and I connect more with them. You’re probably wondering if my brother’s experiences influenced me to be in the streets. It didn’t. Whatever happened to them, fueled me to be on a guided path throughout my life. I never got in trouble with the law, I respect everyone around me. Where I’m from most people would describe me as a “nerd” or a “citizen”, but in reality, I’m just tryna get through life.


Every day when I leave my building I always have my head on a swivel. Believe it or not, I was afraid that at any moment someone would walk behind me try to mug me and blow my brains out. I’ve kind of been feeling like this since middle school. I would always hear about drive-by shootings and stabbings in broad daylight so that easily triggered me. I learned to be aware of my surroundings very fast. I look at it as a positive because I’m always alert. Now to the last main idea. “Shit could always be worse.” That right there, any NYC baby could relate to me. 99 % of our parents are guardians work to make ends meet and provide for us. Whenever we see homeless people on the street or on the train, we sit back and say we’re grateful to be in the situation we are in because others would love to be in our situation in a heartbeat. Whenever my mom would fess me up about my school grades I would always be mad, but then I would think to myself some people wish their mother was alive to even be on their case about school. The way I learned in NYC impacted the way my academics went because I couldn’t end up like my friends. Growing up here there are 3 scenarios if you don’t have an education. You’re either going to end up in prison, a bum on the streets or 6 feet under. Since grade school, I always maintained an 85+ average in all my core subjects. Especially with my parents being Haitian, my mom was always on my ass about school because she wanted me to have a good future and didn’t want me to end up like my brothers. Caribbean/West Indian parents believe school is the number 1 thing in life and you need to complete and handle everything by a certain age. I was always stressed out because everyone in my family would say they’re counting on me and it takes a toll on a 13-year-old. I never was the one to be suicidal because who in the world would want to take their life, but I would always once in a while imagine what would it be like if I was to die or not even be born. Most of my friends or family would of never even in their wildest dreams think of me having those thoughts. I never want to think like that, but when I do it just makes me wonder. While I’m explaining myself to my cousins and friends, their faces are just in awe. I don’t think they ever knew what I was going through inside. I’m not the one to open up to people because like I said before, I don’t trust people. Some people would look at my story like I’m damaged or been through stuff. I don’t look at it like that. I’m truly thankful for it all because I believe New York City made me an adult way before I turned 18. A lot of kids in other cities don’t have my vision or attitude until after college or later on in life. I learned a lot of life lessons living in New York City.

Stanley Desir                                                                                                      ENG 1121

03/11/19                                                                                                               Pop Culture


                   Ain’t No PTSDs, Them Drugs Keep It At Ease


Post traumatic stress disorder. Or as we call it PTSD, is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. A very prominent figure in the rap culture had suffered Ptsd and shaped him into the person he is today. On his latest anticipated album “Championships” Meek Mill has a song named “Trauma”. From the beginning of the song to the end you can feel the soul samples and the beat.

The name of the song is more of a meaning then just the name of a song. It’s the reason why Meek Mill is a rapper today. When the video was released, Meek’s son is playing the role of youth meek. His childhood self sits next to a photo of his deceased father as he pens a letter to him. He also appears in the present, reflecting on his experiences, from tragic deaths to court and prison, in a mirror. Flashbacks of street life populated with drugs, money, gambling and police busts are seen throughout.

There are many lyrics through out the song that dictates Trauma as a serious issue in American culture especially within the black community. In the chorus we hear the lines “See my brother blood on the pavement, How you wake up in the mornin’ feelin’ evil? Uhh, trauma” Imagine being around the age of 14-15 and seeing bodies drop like flies. It does something to you. Later on at the beginning of a verse Meek says “Ain’t no PTSDs, them drugs keep it at ease”. In an interview with the breakfast club his response to this bar was that “It’s real life, sometimes,  You might gotta get prescribed some sleeping medicine to got to sleep from trauma, shit you’ve seen. And I was really speaking of like, when you go to court, you can’t go to court and be like, “You honour, I was carrying this gun ‘cause 50 people in my neighbourhood got killed when I was young and I got Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder. They ain’t tryna hear that. You come from the army or something’ like that, then it makes sense. But from our community, if you come talkin’ that talk, that’s like a foreign language. I never even heard of nobody getting’ in court saying’ that. Even, having that to be a backup.” You see the issue Meek is arguing against, a young black individual can carry a firearm for their own safety because of all the trauma they’ve experienced. In the court of law it won’t be valid but for a veteran it makes perfect sense. Both a veteran and an individual whose watched people getting killed both experience the same level of trauma. Meek takes on the responsibility of using these experiences to educate his fans.

The first time I heard of the song Trauma was when it was released as a single off of Meek’s album, “Championships.” It was towards the end of my first semester of college and I was going through a stressful time with the idea of moving back to Brooklyn and transferring schools. Meek’s album gave me a good feeling. Trauma hit home because I dealt with trauma through out my life growing up in Brooklyn. In “Trauma”, I feel like Meek is explaining his views of it. I feel like he can’t escape it. The lyrics in the song that depicts that idea are “11 years going to court knowing they might keep you or drive you crazy.” Meek was placed on a 15 year probation after being convicted of aiming a firearm at a police officer.

Meek tells the story of how young kids become products of traumatizing situations when living in poor areas. serves to put the song’s lyrics of witnessing death, police abuse, drug use, and unsupervised children on display to drive the point home. It’s a reminder of the message and activism Meek Mill is trying to focus on even more in his raps. Meek has toured media outlets to advocate for criminal justice reform, focusing in particular on the unjust structural quirks of the probation system. Meanwhile, Meek’s legal team continues to fight for a retrial in his original 2008 case for allegedly brandishing a weapon at a police officer, though repeated attempts to remove the ethically controversial judge overseeing his probation have been denied. Meek even states that the judge has a lot of self hate for her own people being the same skin color as Meek and causing a lot of controversy for the rapper.  

PTSD doesn’t get as much attention it deserves. It’s a social injustice. The audience Meek tries to connect with through his song Trauma is the justice system and white America and how they need to stop demonizing the character of black men who were arrested for possession of a firearm. Some times the trauma comes from witnessing your own kin or friend get murdered in front of your eyes. So it’s ideal that you walk around strapped up. Black men have an unbelievable weight on their shoulders. The stress comes in every direction on a daily basis. The impact of walking down the street in your own neighborhood can be a traumatic experience in itself. You don’t know who to trust. You would love to trust your brother who shares the same melanin as you, but he’s bound by that same fear that has you tip toeing on eggshells just to walk to work or school.

Going forward, I feel as a country we need to shed more light on PTSD within black communities. This disorder is developed after being exposed to something that is highly stressful, scary or dangerous. This exposure doesn’t have to happen directly to the person with PTSD. For instance, seeing your friend be killed and even being in the home of domestic abuse can all trigger PTSD in a person. Marked by frequent flashbacks, hallucinations, mood changes and avoidance behavior, PTSD is a disease that gets overlooked in our community. Meek’s past experiences still affect him till today. “It can be intrusive symptoms such as thoughts and emotions that intrude into his life and causes him to re-experience trauma such as flashbacks, nightmares, and sudden feelings of terror. Another way of knowing is his attempt to avoid re-experiencing trauma, and constantly feeling threatened,” Dr. Holland-Kornegay explained. PTSD can be a host of things, but for many Black men these things will be looked at as oh the “normal” experiences we go through. Our Black men have a distrust of the medical institution in America. Black men at home self-diagnosing or coping in ways that are detrimental. Researchers in Atlanta interviewed more than 8,000 inner-city residents and found that about two-thirds said they had been violently attacked and that half knew someone who had been murdered. At least one in three of those interviewed experienced symptoms consistent with PTSD at some point in their lives According to Dr. Kerry Ressler, “The rates of PTSD we see are as high or higher than Iraq, Afghanistan, or Vietnam veterans.” This quote is absurd. And I don’t understand how this country has a blind eye to this topic.



Stanley Desir                                                                           05/11/2019

     ENG 1121                                                                                Artist Statement


                                      ARTIST STATEMENT

   It just felt like yesterday I entered Dr. Hall’s English class. I had just transferred from Western Connecticut State University. I was nervous because everyone was new and the vibe of the class was just off. I was sitting between Hand and Leenesh and I wanted to engage in conversations with anyone because I’m very social, but I was nervous. It’s hard to get a black kid talking now a days and I felt that was my weakness. Growing up in NYC we were always taught to just close your mouth and mind your business. This class helped me express myself and be free. I felt Dr. Hall helped break the nervousness in the class just as she did in my writing. Over the course of the semester I really felt that she helped brought me out my shell. In our first blog post about gillyard’s essay I was really annoyed because I really did not want to write at all. I was always keeping thoughts to myself in my writing and she did a lot of assignments where I can express myself and be me. “Finding Stanley” is basically what I would describe it as. A lot of people are afraid to express themselves including myself. I felt with me it all started with education essay. We had to describe ourselves living in New York City and dealing with the education system and how it affected us. I talked a lot about myself on that paper with my family, friends, trust and the hardships of living in a tough neighborhood. Going through all those things I still managed to excel in school.


             Before I entered the class I really thought we were going to write pages and chapter summaries. But, Dr. Hall’s assignments were pretty simple, straight forward and provided a lot of content then you would think so. I think i’ve been able to write longer pieces than I ever could because once you’re presented with an idea/topic you just feel everything and just type away.  In the past, writing more than 2 pages was considered a lot for me. I’ve noticed ever since the class began most of the assignments were 2 pages or more. I kind of felt like it was kind of difficult to write a lot because reading and writing is not my cup of tea. Throughout t the semester I have noticed I sort of have been improving on explaining myself and expressing how I feel about certain topics. My strengths now is seeing a topic and just attacking it with my own experiences. I don’t take everything personal but whenever Dr. Hall gave us an assignment, I would always put my headphones in and just write my thoughts away. A relax mind helped me did good on those essays. I felt that relaxed and peaceful aura came from Dr. Hall. She’s very persistent with us and believes we could do anything we want as long as we put our mind to it.  The one essay which I really found myself was the Pop Culture essay. My favorite quote I used was “The stress comes in every direction on a daily basis. The impact of walking down the street in your own neighborhood can be a traumatic experience in itself. You don’t know who to trust. You would love to trust your brother who shares the same melanin as you, but he’s bound by that same fear that has you tip toeing on eggshells just to walk to work or school.” I felt what I said was like dope. I stopped typing after I wrote that and was like “wow I really came far as a writer”. That essay was my favorite peace because I was explaining my favorite rapper’s personal life while incorporating my own life in the essay. It’s truly one of the best pieces I’ve ever written. Thank You Dr. Hall for making this semester a great one. Best of luck in the future.