A City Tech OpenLab Course Site

My Personal Introduction and Welcome!

WELCOME TO OUR CLASS! Here’s my personal introduction. Please post a self-introduction in this thread, as we won’t be doing this so fully in class. I’m Steven Bear, your teacher this semester. I was born in San Juan, P.R. and moved to NYC when I was three. My background in education was learning to teach Philosophy for Children. I’ve taught all ages.  I’ve been teaching at City Tech and many other places since the 1990s. I don’t live in the city anymore. I live with my wife and 15 year old, north of the city in Rockland county. My 19 year old is a sophomore in college. I’ve always loved this job, and I play music, drums, too, sometimes. I have lots of thoughts and opinions on what’s going on locally, in our country, and our world these days, and will certainly share some with you as we go along. I hope to learn about your thoughts and opinions, too. Sometimes we’ll read about and discuss current topics/events, especially in Unit 2,  Feel free to reply to this post with questions and comments, and I look forward to reading about all of you. I’m so glad you’re here!


  1. Kawthar

    Can’t wait to meet you and my classmates in person.I’m kawthar Alsahqani a 18 years old girl. I was born in Yemen and came to Brooklyn New York in 2016. I’m one of big happy family of 8 siblings. Unfortunately my background  in education started in 5th grade but always tried to catch up. I’m very serious when it comes to learning but it takes patience to fully understand. I try not to be to hard on myself and enjoy my time outside school. Doing activities with my family and cooking alone brings me joy. Even though the way society is now could bring stress and disappointment I try to look at the happy side. Can’t wait to have discussions and share thoughts with each other about events that are happening in today’s society. 

    1.One word to describe my feeling for this course is optimistic. 

    2.My concerns for this course is the amount essays we will do compare to the amount I used to do. Being a online student doesn’t bother me as long as I understand the task. 

    3.I chose this picture because it has a meaning most people don’t realize they do. The more you break someone’s promise the more you betray them. 


    • Steven Bear

      Kawthar, Welcome! I’m glad you’re here. Experiencing joy is a gift, and maybe a talent, too, as circumstances can be so challenging. I think your attitude is great, to both education and life. I love to cook, too, and am the cook for my family. I hope you find our classes and material this semester to be worthwhile and that you have an excellent semester in all aspects.

  2. Elianny

    Hi guys, my name is Elianny Espinal and my major is nursing. I am 17 years old and I am Dominican. 2 years ago I had to come to this country to experience new things, I am still improving my ability to speak English (for which I hope you have a little patience with me). In my free time I love to cook and listen to music. I live in Queens with my father, stepmother, and sister. I am very excited to meet you and see what awaits me in this new phase of my life.

    • Steven Bear

      Elianny, Welcome! Your English seems pretty good to me. Patient ve is part of my job when it comes to supporting students’ learning, so no worries there. I love to cook, and listen to (and make) music, too. I hope you have a great semester!

  3. Ashleyn

    Hi everyone, I’m Ashleyn. My major is Business of technology and fashion. I was born to Dominican parents and raised in Manhattan. Here are some things I like to do; hike, sew, thrift, listen to music, and go to concerts. My idol is Sebastian Yatra. I read above that Elianny is also Dominican, so I hope we can bond over our culture and much more. I can’t wait to meet everyone and have fiery discussions.

    • Elianny

      YAYYYY, I’m soo exciteddddd

    • Steven Bear

      Welcome, Ashleyn! I like to hike, too. My daughter is the crochet/knit/sew person in our family. We all thrift in my house. I don’t know Sebastian Yatra. What’s he do? We will certainly have class discussions on things people could feel strongly about. In always look forward to the sharing of knowledge, opinion, and stories. I hope you have a great semester!

      • Ashleyn Burgos

        Thats awesome!! And Sebastian Yatra is a Colombian singer. He sings and writes urban Latin music.

  4. Gustavo Aviles

    Hi, my name is Gustavo and I am 18 years old. I grew up from Guatemalan/Chinese parents. I was born in Queens, which I currently live in with my father and my 2 younger siblings. Some hobbies i have is listening to music and taking trips with my bicycle. Hope that we can have a good bond together during our classes and start and finish off with good terms.

    • Steven Bear

      Welcome, Gustavo! I also hope for positive relationships and mutual teaching and learning throughout the semester. I hope you have a super positive experience!

  5. Josue Giron

    Hello, classmates. My name is Josue, but most people call me Jose. I am very excited to start my college journey and be part of the City Tech community. I was born in Honduras and came to the United States when I was nine. I come from a family that never gives up and likes to work hard. I want to work hard but only for needed things, like school. I am very competitive, and I like to look for the most intelligent person in the class, not because I want a better grade than them but because I can learn something from them. I like trying out new sports and different types of foods. I want to share thoughts and ideas about the topics we might learn in class.

    1. A word that could describe my feelings/thoughts for this class would be Attract

    2. What worries me is not getting used to the amount of work and my ability to understand the reading.

    3. This picture shows how, after the storm, the sun would shine above us. It means a lot to me because back in high school, my teacher/coach told me the same when I would get bad grades or have a bad injury. And he would push me to do better, and I would end my year with good grades and a good wrestling season.

    ?token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJzdWIiOiJ1cm46YXBwOjdlMGQxODg5ODIyNjQzNzNhNWYwZDQxNWVhMGQyNmUwIiwiaXNzIjoidXJuOmFwcDo3ZTBkMTg4OTgyMjY0MzczYTVmMGQ0MTVlYTBkMjZlMCIsIm9iaiI6W1t7ImhlaWdodCI6Ijw9OTAwIiwicGF0aCI6IlwvZlwvNDVmMmNiOGQtZmI2Mi00NTMyLWE0NTUtMDNhOTZkY2ZiNjE4XC9kYW42b3V1LWU4MTg2N2JmLWMyZmYtNDUxZi1iN2VmLWMxMGVlYzIzYmUzMi5qcGciLCJ3aWR0aCI6Ijw9OTAwIn1dXSwiYXVkIjpbInVybjpzZXJ2aWNlOmltYWdlLm9wZXJhdGlvbnMiXX0.ML0x-6cAx9yx1v9OLkCePSifzuUvXfZLwPVptBkL6AM” rel=”nofollow ugc”>?token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJzdWIiOiJ1cm46YXBwOjdlMGQxODg5ODIyNjQzNzNhNWYwZDQxNWVhMGQyNmUwIiwiaXNzIjoidXJuOmFwcDo3ZTBkMTg4OTgyMjY0MzczYTVmMGQ0MTVlYTBkMjZlMCIsIm9iaiI6W1t7ImhlaWdodCI6Ijw9OTAwIiwicGF0aCI6IlwvZlwvNDVmMmNiOGQtZmI2Mi00NTMyLWE0NTUtMDNhOTZkY2ZiNjE4XC9kYW42b3V1LWU4MTg2N2JmLWMyZmYtNDUxZi1iN2VmLWMxMGVlYzIzYmUzMi5qcGciLCJ3aWR0aCI6Ijw9OTAwIn1dXSwiYXVkIjpbInVybjpzZXJ2aWNlOmltYWdlLm9wZXJhdGlvbnMiXX0.ML0x-6cAx9yx1v9OLkCePSifzuUvXfZLwPVptBkL6AM

    • Steven Bear

      Welcome, Jose! You are primed for success in college. Working hard and not giving up is what it’s all about. It’s a long journey, but every small step helps get you there, and you need them all. Time management is key, and you can do it. The readings here will be fine because you will understand at least most of it, but if there’s anything you’re having difficulty with, support is a question or email or office hour away. Don’t hesitate! Take advantage! With the writing center for the essays, too. You can do great this semester, and I hope you enjoy it, too!

  6. Ibraheem Zokari

    Hi everyone, my name is Ibraheem Zokari. Im 17 years old and major is Health Administration. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and my family is from Yemen. I went to Sunset Park High School and lived in Sunset Park until I was 15 and moved, but I still live close enough to make it on time to school. Some things that I like to do is play basketball and catch up on TV shows. One word that describes the way I feel about this course is excited. I always wondered what it really feels like to be a college student and is it as hard as people make it seem. I don ´ t think this class is going to be difficult for me as long as I do my job and also I’ve never really struggled in an English class so I ´ m excited to see what this course is about. I don ´ t have any major worries about being an online student as I did well during the pandemic and actually enjoyed online work. One thing that does concern me about online work is when I need help on a certain assignment, topic, or feel stuck. As long as I can do my best and understand the assignments then I ´ m fine with online work. If I could I would make all my classes online but I know that would not work out for me even if it was an option.

    I choose this picture because it shows that in life there are an endless amount of opportunities.“>

    • Steven Bear

      Welcome, Ibraheemz! I agree you can do very well in this class if you keep up with the work. I am here to help you understand exactly what the assignments are, how they will be graded, and also to help with any readings that are challenging in any ways. I will try to anticipate student concerns, but I will answer all questions and help whenever needed as long as people reach out in a timely fashion. We’ve got this. I hope you enjoy the material and ideas we cover and the writing, too. Have a great semester!

  7. Brandon Rumola

    Hello, my name is Brandon Romola, I’m 18 years old and my major is mechanical engineering. I grew up in Brooklyn learning how to work on cars. In my free time I like to explore the area around me and take photos. I’m excited to start college and meet new people but also nervous on being able to keep up with so much homework. I find myself working better with a group of people so I can’t wait to meet everyone.

    • Steven Bear

      Hi Brandon, Welcome! It’s great that you can work on cars. I think reading is much the same. As a mechanic, you can take apart and put together various parts of the machine so it works properly. As a reader, if we understand what each part of the sentence/paragraph/chapter/article, etc. is doing and how it relates to all the other parts, that’s it. Understood. I’m not so good with machines, and I know lots of people aren’t so good with reading (not saying that’s you) but I think we have much in common, really. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the class and we all enjoy working together.

  8. Jaylene

    Hello, my name is Jaylene and i was raised in Brooklyn born to Filipino and Haitian parents. Im majoring in Radiologic technology. During my free time i like to do hair, sit outside, crotchet and watching streamers like Brucedropemoff and Yourrage. Im excited for this course because i know i need to improve in my writing skills especially essays and work on my procrastination. I enjoy hearing other peoples perspectives on topics and working in groups. I also have a mean resting face but im a smiley person on the inside.

    • Steven Bear

      Welcome, Jaylene! My daughter has been crocheting a lot in recent months. It’s great. This post alone shows you can write pretty well. Expanding it to longer pieces will be successful for you, I’m sure. Take advantage of the writing center as well as the classes and reaching out to me with any questions. I think we’re all going to be interested to hear each other’s opinions and thoughts on the topics we look at in class and the readings.

  9. Christopher Romero

    Hey class, I’m Christopher, I am a 18 year old college student who has lived in New York his entire life, I currently have a undecided major but I do plan on looking into a career in engineering or technology in general. My family background consists of Salvadoran and Belizean ancestors but the first generation to come to New York in my family was my grandma when my mom was only 16. Ever since then we’ve lived in Queens but as I’ve gotten older I have a stronger desire to travel more and explore. My main hobbies include listening to music for hours and watching countless movies, my favorite artist is either Lucki or Partynextdoor and I wouldn’t even come close to deciding my favorite movie due to vast array I could pick from. I’ve never been a school intensive person which is why after graduating I took a year break but now that I am back to it, I look forward to not only learning from our professor but everyone as a collective and am excited for the future.

    • Steven Bear

      Welcome, Christopher! Taking a gap year after graduation is a smart thing to do, I think. It can certainly be the best choice for some people. Taking advantage of school when you’re ready to apply yourself is the way to go if one can do it. I hope our topics, discussions, and exchange of ideas, as well as organizing and writing our ideas, research, and opinions, will be a very positive experience.

  10. bradchoi0725

    Hello, my name is Brad Choi. I am 19 years old and Korean. My major here is computer science but I am still not sure what I want to do. I was born and grew up in queens. I love playing video games during my free time and playing basketball with my friends. For a long time English isn’t my best subject but I’m looking forward to taking your class and learning something new!

  11. Ashikul Islam


    Hey class! My name is Ashikul Islam. I am 19 years old. I was born and raised in New York City and I am bengali. This Semester is my semester back after about 2 years. I took 2 years off because i did not know what I wanted to do in life. In those 2 years I have experienced alot and the most important thing I have learned was that education is important. I am very excited to be in this English class and hope success rains upon us all during this semester.

  12. Timothy F.

    Hi, my name is Timothy. Im 18 years old and I was born in Guyana but moved to NYC when I was 2. My major is mechanical engineering, my hope is to work with some major car companies. Some of my hobbies are watching anime, working on my car, and playing video games. With this class, Im hoping to evolve my skills in writing.

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