Late Introduction

Family vacations!

Family vacations!

IMG_0365 IMG_9612

Hello all!

My name is Samantha, first and foremost let me apologize for missing our first class! Also a big thanks Fola for helping me set up my openlab account because I’m new to citytech :D.

So a little about myself, I’m 25 years old born and raised in Brooklyn New York. I live with my rather large family My Mom, Dad and younger brother and sister and the most important person in my life my 6 year old daughter Ava. This summer was an exciting one for me and Ava we got to go to Virginia (yorktown, jamestown and norfolk) and the best part of this summer was getting to go to san francisco california!! It was a dream of mine to see the west coast and I finally did. It was pretty great getting to see all the sites of san fran.
A little more about me, I’m an office manager at H&R block which means I’m certified to do state and federal tax returns. I’ve been doing that since 2011 which is surprising because i hate math.

>What your strengths/weaknesses as a writer/reader/thinker?
I believe i am a fairly strong writer but i could use some brush ups on my technique and formatting because i need to run wild with my ideas sometimes and don’t explain them as well as i know i can

>What do you enjoy/dislike most about writing/reading/(critical) thinking?
I love reading and writing and i always have, so when i found out about this major i was super happy and eager to sign up.

>What is your background with using OpenLab & technology more generally (it’s OK if you don’t have any!)?
Up until 6 hours ago i had no idea what openlab was

>What is your sense of new media is [JB, update as of M 8/31: the original reference to “science fiction” was a typo, but I’m still excited to see your responses on it!] (what is it? who writes it? why reads it? what’s its purpose? etc.)? Don’t do any research for this … just state what you think it is, prior to entering the course (think back to the freewriting and group discussions we had in class today, our assumptions, preconceptions, stereotypes, etc.)?
New media to me would be the ever changing world of technology and how much of it we use or rely on in our day to day lives, our news,weather,banking etc all comes to use via media.

>What do we think about when we think about “new media”?
I think about up and coming app platforms and ways we gather and find information.

>What do we think of when we hear the word “new”?
Updated, better, more effective.

>What do we think of when we hear the world “media”?
News, social media, Facebook etc

>Who writes (produces) new media?
Developers, editors, designers

>Who reads (consumes) new media?
Millenials, the 18-25 generation

>Why are you taking this course?
Well one because they told me to (haha) and two because it sounds from all I’ve heard so far to be very interesting.

>Why did you choose to pursue a B.S. degree here at City Tech in Professional and Technical Writing?
Like i said a little earlier i have always loved to write but have never seen a program that focused on something or wasn’t just called “english”

>What are your expectations for this course/semester (what you think you will learn and what you hope you will learn)? Any questions?
I think it will be about media, its delivery and how its writing and message are conveyed to us.

An Intro to Ashley


Hi everyone my name is Ashley and I’m in my third year at City Tech and my first semester in the PTW major. I currently work at Sesame Flyers International, which is a non-profit that provides year round activities for youth throughout Brooklyn and a mas band during the summer. When I tell people my job they automatically assume I want to work with young kids but that couldn’t be further from the truth. My goal is to teach in a high school for at least 10 years and to write several books that have a positive impact on the younger generation. Since I was about 10 years old I’ve always been drawn to helping younger kids with homework or with whatever problems they were having. Something about knowing that I made a difference, if only for a day, has always been my ultimate goal when working with anyone. Over the summer I had the opportunity to supervise 15 SYEP(summer youth employment) workers. All of the participants were freshman and sophomores in high school and by the end of the summer they all became more siblings to me. The most exciting part of the summer is the last two weeks before Labor Day when nobody at my job sleeps and we put all our effort into to making beautiful costumes for the parkway.

I’m comfortable with myself as a writer, however, I’ve noticed that procrastination is too much of my friend in my assignments. It is both my strength and weakness because when I procrastinate I produce my best work while severely depriving myself of sleep. The one positive thing I can attribute to my writing is the ability to connect with a topic and bring a sense of familiarity to any piece. I’ve actually taken a classes that required weekly posts on OpenLab, so I am very familiar and comfortable with posting my thoughts and observations on a variety of topics.


If I’m being honest, I know nothing about science fiction. The only thing I can think of is “The Twilight Zone” and the Sci-Fi channel.

Throughout my life I’ve switched career choices about fifty times. It went from chef, to president, to actress, to writer, to singer, to lawyer and finally an educator. The only connection that stuck between all of these changes is a need to communicate efficiently and write to the best of my ability. From the time I heard about the major, PTW seemed to be my best fit. As the semester progresses, my greatest hope is that the course aids in my progression as a writer and critical thinker.

An Intro to Moi

Bonjour classmates! My name is Jodieann or Jodie for short and no I’m not French, please excuse my obsession with the French culture. Hmmm, a little about myself. . . For starters, I was born in Jamaica and moved to NY about 12 years ago. I am an only child and I’m pretty awesome. My interests are in writing, fashion, food and coffee. My desire at the moment is to begin freelancing and obtain an internship at Hearst magazine in the editorial or PR department. My current career interest is writing and I’d like the opportunity to work as Lead Copy eventually working my way up to become a Creative Director for a mag or fashion house. Another one of my career goals is to become a board member at ProjectArt, a art non-profit. I’d like to begin traveling next year or even a summer study abroad program. Over the summer I interned at HNW, a strategic marketing communications agency primarily to the wealth and asset management industries, which offered me an extension until December— cool beans!

Now to the good stuff. . .JS-BROOKE

My strengths as writer vary. I have been exposed to many genres of writing which has given me a unique exposure to writing as a whole. I am always willing to challenge myself. My weakness is with feedback, I struggle with applying “constructive” feedback to my work. I am a critical/ ethical thinker, lately my thinking has been more strategic which is quite different from how I used to think. I am very strong minded and I am comfortable sharing when something does not resonate with me. I tend to read slowly because I like to romanticize myself with words and I get too caught up in my mind. I dislike the generalization that there is this “one way” to do something mentality that is heavily enforced in this culture. Yes, I am familiar with OpenLab.

Science  fiction- When I think of science fiction, automatically Stephen King comes to mind. Not really a fan, it’s too much of a fad.

I was in the midst of transferring when this program came about. I decided to stay because I wanted to be a part of something “new”. I think City Tech has a unique community that is unlike any other that I’d like to stick around and help build it to something great. I don’t think I chose the degree, I think it chose me.

My expectation is for this class is very high. I expect to be challenged, both as a writer and as a critical thinker. I would like not only for my professor to challenge me but for my classmates as well to challenge me to see another angle on things. I hope what I am learning will be almost mirroring what occurs in the real world. I’d like to learn something substantial that can be applied on a daily basis that is not mundane. I hope to have constant understanding and support from my professor.



My name is Pamela Drake and I was born and grew up in London, England.  I come from a big family all whom live in England.  Of my 7 siblings, I am the only one who lives abroad and I really miss them.  That’s why I try to visit as much as possible. However, I have my three children to keep me busy and believe me they truly do.

Over the summer, I went to the beach and amusement parks (see pics below) but for the most part, I spent my summer reading. I also acquired a cat (Leo) who is so sweet and super smart.  He will be on Youtube someday (Lol).



Other than that, I worked all summer. I work at Citytech and have worked at the college for the past 12 years. That includes working on the 3rd floor for a VP no longer at the college. I also worked for Student Life & Development  and Entertainment  Technology. My current position is in the business office working part-time as an administrative  assistant.  My goal is continue working for Citytech as I the educational atmosphere but to obtain a director position.

I chose Professional and Technical Writing because I genuinely love to write and incorporating STEM is so highly in demand.  I was also an Entertainment Technology student was able to transfer  my courses to the major.  Writing allows me to express my thoughts and creativity through critical thinking.  I believe that in order to succeed, reading and writing is essential.  My weakness is that I sometimes try to perfect my piece the first time I write instead of just writing what comes to mind and then revising later. I find that often slows me down.  My objective is not to do that this semester.

I was introduced to Open Lab last semester so I am still learning how to use it.  In fact, I only recently started using social media and just becoming familiar with it.  When thinking about “new media”, I think about the ever changing innovations that allow information to be digitally processed and transfered over space and time. New media allows us to have electronic interaction and become not just the audience but also the authors.

Upon thinking about Science fiction, I often wonder who comes up with this type of fiction. I wonder what is going on in their mind and how crazy or realistic it can be.  Of all the genres, I like to watch sifi movies becasue of the depths that they can go and becasue of the innovations and technological ideas they present.

My most important expectation for this course/semester is to learn from every course that I take.  I want to learn practical lessons that I can immediately apply to my job and my life and pass on to others.  Already, in this clas and this first homework assignment, I have started to learn about concepts and structure and I can’t wait to learn more.

A Little Bit About Me.

Introducing myself has always been quite a challenge for me because I never know if I have said too much or too little. I ramble on about all the places that I have never visited and all the hopes I have for the future. I cannot make any promises that this time I will not do the same.

My name is Mariah Annastacia Rajah and my initials are the first three letters of first name (this is probably another one of the most interesting facts about myself). Besides this my life is rather simple. I grew up in a small village on the western coast of the South American country of Guyana. I am an only child and because of the loneliness that comes with it, I developed a deep interest in writing and books from a very young age. I enjoyed reading how one idea or image could be portrayed in various ways and how within the pages of books I could find solace. I always had a passion for working with writers from an early age. I always knew that reading others’ ideas and working within the writing field would not just be a job for me but a career that I could enjoy. However, I bounced around from major to major with the hopes that I would somehow convince my parents that writing was much more than a hobby but a field where I would flourish. When I saw that City Tech was offering the first ever, in the history of CUNY, a Professional and Technical Writing Bachelors Degree, I was on board before I could sign up the program. I was thrilled that I could merge my love for psychology and writing together and eventually use the degree in a Public Relations job.

With all of this said I must mention that my simple life has not been without struggle and these struggles have made me the hard worker I am. I work hard in everything I do in order to live a life that is filled with happiness, love, and success; eventually. Well this is I; I am a person of kindness and cheer. I am helpful and spontaneous. As a classmate I am understanding and sympathetic, and empathetic. I am worldly and outgoing, and even shy. I will always be there for anyone who needs help. I am who I am. I am a person who will never forget where I came from and will never lose sight of where I am going. There is a lot ahead of me and each day I work hard to make my big dreams come true. In closing, I must mention that I hope that in this class I will be able to further open my mind into understanding the world more through the minds of my classmates. I hope we all are able to contribute to one another and build something great this semester.

PS – It seems that this time I was actually able to keep my promise about not ramble about myself.



Hey guys! So as you all know my name is Fola and I love kids so there’s nothing I won’t do for them. Aside from kids I would say my second love is fashion. I’m not big on the latest trends but definitely love to dress up when I can. My mom actually owns a Nigerian retail store and I work there from time to time. I’m even learning how to sew. I’m over shopping at retail stores and online where it’s accessible to everyone. However, my ultimate career goal is to become a pediatrician with my own practice. I intend to work for myself and not for others. I want to be able to change the way kids perceive “the doctor’s office” if you know what I mean. I actually took two summer courses, one for each summer session so this summer wasn’t so eventful other than the 14hr drive I took with my family for my cousins wedding in Atlanta.

I don’t think as a writer I am at the level I should be. I feel like I am still at the beginners level because there is always room for improvement. I definitely love to read, typically to stimulate my mind and as a thinker I lact creativity; to think outside of the box. What I dislike about writing is writer’s block. LOL. I like to write whas on my mind when I feel there’s no one to talk to. I enjoy reading just about anything but mostly romance novels.

My sense of science fiction would be creating a story that uses science as a them with some aspect of space or time.

I chose Professional and Technical Writing as my major because even though I like biology, I like English more and I excel in it better. What I hope to gain from it all is my ability to become a better writer and thinker even. That way I can be as innovative I can be in the medical field.

Just a small portion of my large family.

Just a small portion of my large family when we took the trip to Atlanta.

Getting to Know Professor Belli

I’m an Assistant Professor of English at New York City College of Technology, CUNY (City University of New York) and Co-Director of OpenLab, the college’s open-source digital platform for teaching, learning, and collaborating. I’m one of the core faculty in our departments new B.S. degree in Professional and Technical Writing, and also teach courses in Literature (science fiction, utopias, dystopias) and first year writing.

I’m also a founding member of the Writing Studies Tree, an online, open-access, interactive academic genealogy for the field of writing studies, and serve on the Steering Committee, the Teaching Committee, and as the web developer for the North American Society for Utopian Studies (utopias/dystopias overlap quite a bit with science fiction, an intersection we’ll be discussing throughout the semester!).

I stumbled upon this cafe in St. Petersburg, Russia, and was delighted to see its name almost mine (close enough!). In Russian, it means "once upon a time" ...

I stumbled upon this cafe in St. Petersburg, Russia, and was delighted to see its name almost mine (close enough!). In Russian, it means “once upon a time” …

I earned my Ph.D. from The Graduate Center, CUNY, and my current research interests are in utopian studies, happiness studies/positive psychology, composition and rhetoric, digital humanities, American studies, and the scholarship of teaching and learning (feel free to ask me what any of these areas are!).

I played ice hockey in college (right wing), and have played the violin since I was two years old (and currently play in the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra. I practice yoga pretty regularly, love Thai food (the spicier the better!), kale, & tzatziki, and adore watching old sitcoms from the 70s and 80s (some of my favorites are MaudeThe Mary Tyler Moore ShowRhoda, Soap, All in the Family, The Golden Girls (I’m even writing a book chapter on this show!), The Facts of Life, & Family Ties).

I also really enjoy travelling: two summers ago (when that photo above is from) I spent five weeks wandering abroad, in Russia, Finland, Czech Republic, and Switzerland, and this past summer I did a road trip to Michigan and Wisconsin (some of all of these travels were for conferences/work, some for vacation/fun)!

I look forward your reading your Introductions and getting to know you, first virtually and then in person, as the semester progresses :)

Creating your “Introduction” Post

“Introduction” Posts (HW for F 8/28)
In order to start exploring the site, getting comfortable with posting/adding media (blogging), practicing reflective writing, and getting to know one another, please make sure to create an initial post that introduces yourself to the class.

*This Introductory Post is due no later than F 8/28 @11:59pm, but I encourage you make this initial post as soon as possible to become comfortable with OpenLab and to give others a chance to learn a bit about you).

Content of Posts
Tell us a bit about yourself … what are your interests, hobbies, desires? Current job or internship? Career goals? What did you do over summer break (and what do you plan to do over the upcoming winter break)? Share some photos of you (you can either pull a photo from the web if you have one up there, upload one from your computer, or … you can even take one with your smartphone right now!) and your family, friends, neighborhood, etc. Practice adding a link and maybe even a video to your post too.

At the end of your post, please address (in at least a paragraph) the following questions (not necessarily in this order):

  • What your strengths/weaknesses as a writer/reader/thinker?
  • What do you enjoy/dislike most about writing/reading/(critical) thinking?
  • What is your background with using OpenLab & technology more generally (it’s OK if you don’t have any!)?
  • What is your sense of new media is [JB, update as of M 8/31: the original reference to “science fiction” was a typo, but I’m still excited to see your responses on it!] (what is it? who writes it? why reads it? what’s its purpose? etc.)? Don’t do any research for this … just state what you think it is, prior to entering the course (think back to the freewriting and group discussions we had in class today, our assumptions, preconceptions, stereotypes, etc.)?
    • What do we think about when we think about “new media”?
    • What do we think of when we hear the word “new”?
    • What do we think of when we hear the world “media”?
    • Who writes (produces) new media?
    • Who reads (consumes) new media?
    • Why are you taking this course?
  • Why did you choose to pursue a B.S. degree here at City Tech in Professional and Technical Writing?
  • What are your expectations for this course/semester (what you think you will learn and what you hope you will learn)? Any questions?

Categorizing/Commenting on Posts
Don’t forget to categorize your post as “Introductions” (and uncheck “Uncategorized” if it is checked already by default). If you forget to do so before you “publish” you post, you can go back and edit/update it after the fact.

I made an Introductory post about myself (if I’m asking you to share some of your personality/background with the class, it’s only fair that I do the same!), so you can get to know me a bit better as well and also so you get a sense of what this type of post might look like/include.  Browse through everyone’s posts (if you choose the “Introductions” category for the right side of the homepage, you will be taken to all of these posts) and drop comments to get some conversation going and start building our class community for the semester!