Category Archives: Introductions

Mohammad’s Introduction

Hi everybody, My name is Mohammad Faisal. I am currently a sophomore at city tech and I am majoring Mechanical Engineering Technology, I might change it but I’m still not sure at the moment. After I graduate from undergrad I might go for masters unless I find a good stable job. By the age of 30 I want to have my own company. To get as much as experience as I can I am doing this internship at a school where I get to fix all technology there. I like to draw, I stopped for a while and I kind of want to get back to it so I decided to buy a small sketch book. Other than drawing I like to be as much active as possible.

I don’t really know what my strengths are as a writer. My weaknesses as a write is that I can’t structure all the things I want to say, so sometimes if I talk about something it might not entirely make sense, because not all the information is in order. Also I’m not good at phrasing what I want to say and grammar. As a reader I am able to read long passages as long as they are not documentaries. Sometimes when I am reading I forget what I was reading. I love thinking, but only about things that interest me. When I am thinking I do get very in depth in what I am thinking about. Also, if I am excited about what I am thinking ideas keep popping out of my head.  My favorite genre is fantasy and science fiction, because I love anything that has to do with magic, mythical beasts, aliens and robots. My favorite text is the whole Harry Potter and The Lord of The Rings series, also, I love Rick and Morty.

The way I see Science Fiction connecting with my major is by how my major is a little bit of every engineering, so that allows me to invent and built things. I have some crazy ideas like a inter-dimensional gate and a time machine. It would be awesome if I can do that.  My exceptions are high for this course even though I might struggle but I am hoping to learn a lot about Science Fiction and with that expand my imaginations, so in the future I can achieve my goal and go beyond that. 


Phoenixx’s Introduction

My name is Phoenixx Neil and I am currently a senior at city tech majoring in city tech’s entertainment technology program.  In my spare time I am either playing video games, or chilling with some of my friends, or working at different venues building or setting up off-broadway shows. I am a theatrical carpenter and sound engineer and I like to make use of my talents in the live entertainment business.

I believe my strengths as a reader/writer/thinker is that I am a fast reader and have a sizeable vocabulary memory. I like to visualize what I read if it is possible, to help me gain a picture of what is happening, I can then begin to draw conclusions about what may be happening in a particular part of the story. I lack skill in critical thinking and it is not one of my strong suits. I hope to expand that in this class. I’m pretty tech savvy because my profession calls for it, and I am comfortable using openlab on the whole. My favorite genre of literature is thriller or dystopian sci-fi books. One of my favorite works is The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe and Harrison Bergeron, as well as Twelve Angry Men. I can see science fiction surely being worked into a play in the latter part of my career.

Christopher’s Introduction

Hi, my name is Christopher Navarrete. I am a senior in the Professional and Technical Writing (PTW) major with a specialization in Communication Design. PTW is a fairly new major in City Tech (4-5 years), so most students are unaware of its existence and/or purpose. I focus on the technical writing aspect of the major, which is essentially taking complex information and simplifying it for a specific audience. For example, technical writers can create an owner’s manual for a computer and design a brochure for a restaurant among others.

In addition to writing and design, I love to edit other people’s work in order to help improve their skills. While I’m not the best at grammar, I enjoy the teaching process when it’s about something I am passionate about. For example, in one design class, most students did not know how to use Adobe Illustrator and Open Lab. I tasked myself in individually teaching each student how to use both. Despite the process being tiring, I found it to be fulfilling. I gained some extra credit out of it too. An example of using my editing skills would be when I wrote and designed for the Honors Scholars newsletter and City Tech newspaper. In regards to the former, I worked closely with a professor. It required an extensive amount of revising and word reduction.

Most of my favorite classes are from my communication design specialization. This includes Type 1 and 2, raster and vector and graphic design principles. I loved how the professors from these classes allowed students to create original pieces of work with few guidelines. They encouraged creativity and originality. I learned so much new information from these classes;  I actively use the skills that I was taught in classes that require design. If I had to choose a favorite design style, it would have to be typography. I personally love to create magazine spreads, user interfaces and posters among others. Sometimes I create artwork for fun too. Below is a poster I created for King Lear in the Russian Constructivism design style.


In the future, I would like to be a part of a position that utilizes my writing and design skills. One job in particular that comes to mind is advertising. One of my favorite pastimes is viewing ads found throughout the city and critiquing them. I would take notes of the pros and cons of each piece and decide if it’s effective. If I find an ad to be great, I’ll take a photo of it and use it as inspiration for a future project.

I would say my strength as a writer is being able to simplify information in a way that can be understood by most audiences. Another strength would probably be writing objectively. I believe my strength as a thinker would be the ability to view an argument from multiple perspectives. I prefer to view every piece of evidence before making a decision. On the other hand, my weakness as a writer would be having a difficult time starting out. I tend to take a very long time before I get anything on paper. Lastly, my weakness as a thinker would be that I can overthink problems.  I may end up missing the point and go another way.

I actually haven’t read a books for fun in a very long time, so I can’t exactly say what my favorite literature or genre is. The only science fiction book that I can remember reading is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. At first, I found it to be a bit difficult to get into, but it became very interesting after a while. I’ve played tons of science fiction video games, though. My favorite science fiction video game series would defiantly have to be Mass Effect. I’m a fan of the characters and the game’s atmosphere. For a favorite science fiction movie, I would have to say the original Star Wars. Once again, the memorable characters and environments just sell me. My expectations for this class is to learn what makes the science fiction genre science fiction. I believe we’ll explore the various tropes and concepts used by authors of the genre.

Vishal’s Introduction.

Hi. I am a 19-year-old college student. This is my second year at the New York City College of Technology. As of now, my major is currently Liberal Arts and Sciences. After my second year, I will finally have my Associates in Liberal Arts and Sciences. After this year, I plan on applying to the nursing program.

I have a variety of interests. I enjoy reading. My favorite books are The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, and The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. I also enjoy watching movies, especially the oldies. My favorite movies are The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles both by John Hughes. I also love the Harry Potter movie franchise as well as the books.

In my leisure time, I tend to use it wisely. When I’m not reading or watching something I often dabble in photoshop. Some people have a platform they can use to help express themselves. I have been photoshopping since I was a junior in high school. I don’t know why but when I am photoshopping I just feel calm. Other than that, I play video games like your common teenager. My favorite game to play is the Assasin’s Creed Franchise

Over the summer, I visited the Museum of Modern Art. It was a great trip. I got to see a lot of amazing modern art. I also attended one of my cousin’s wedding. It was a beautiful event. I also went camping with my family. It was my fourth camping experience. It was at the Lake and Shore RV Resort. We did all the camping things. We slept in tents, we made our breakfast and lunch right over the fire pit. We even got to make smores. Over the winter, I have no plans as of yet. But who knows what could happen?

This the suit I wore for my high school prom. Very classy indeed.

In my previous English classes, I was often found to be a great reader. While I would read a text of any sort, I would make small notes in margins and question the text. If I found anything I did not understand I would underline it and bring it up in the next classes. I enjoy reading the most because I feel that the more times you read something the better you understand. I dislike reading boring texts. I enjoy a text that has an interesting plot, character development, and an ending. As a writer, I have a great organization but I tend to drag my explanations. I have worked hard to cut down. I enjoy explaining myself thoroughly. As I would explain a text, I feel that there always more than one answer to what the author wants you to think. There is nothing really that I dislike about writing, I feel that writing helps you express yourself and explain your ideas to other. As a thinker, I choose to make observations and draw conclusions. When it comes to critical thinking I enjoy ideas that I come up with and the ideas my fellow peers come up with so that I can learn how others think. I dislike questions that make you think long and hard but in the end, it’s an obvious answer.

I used Openlab in one of my previous classes. It was a Films from Literature class. In the class, we used as a way for the class to discuss films and texts that we read in class. I have a few favorite genres of literature. They include fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, science fiction, and horror.

I first experienced Science Fiction, when I was younger I saw an episode of the Twilight Zone. The essence of the episode was just so bizarre but interesting that it just pulled me in. My favorite sci-fi book is Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. Honestly, taking this course will offer me a variety of new things to read and watch. I expect to develop a better understanding of Science Fiction and how it relates to the real world.

Tyler’s Introduction

Hello everyone, my name is Tyler Yuen. I’m an upper sophomore at New York City College of Technology.  I’m majoring in Mechanical Engineering Technology. In my free time, I usually stay at home and play video games, watch anime, or read manga.  I’ve used OpenLab before but only for looking at exam review material and never for blogging. When it comes to homework assignments I mainly use Blackboard.  I joined this class because a friend recommended it to me and now that I have a better understanding of what science fiction includes, I feel like it could be pretty fun topic to discuss with all of you!

As a writer, reader, & thinker, I would say my strengths in literature are being a quick reader and a good knowledge of vocabulary words (which helps me get a good understanding of texts sometimes).  My weaknesses are my short attention span which makes it difficult to read texts that take too long to get to the point and if it’s too wordy, I’m slower at forming opinions during critical thinking. I enjoy reading and critical thinking because, depending on the genre, you can vision an experience you might never see in life.  It’s similar to video games. Some authors create first person point of views because they want the audience to see something as though it were through their own eyes. For writing, I enjoy how it allows people to put their creativity to use. People have deep imaginations and the best way to put them to use is sometimes by writing about what’s on their mind.  If I had to choose something I dislike about the three positions, I would say I hate reading to figure out things like the author’s theme or tone.

I don’t really have a favorite genre of literature so I’d be willing to try almost anything.  I DO however detest bad endings so Tragedies are definitely NOT my favorite. My favorite text is Rick Riordan’s series Heroes of Olympus.  Before entering the course I figured science fiction included space, astronomy, aliens, anything that was similar to Star Trek. I’ve been open to the subject in the past but if it starts following the same pattern, I could get bored of it easily.  I think science fiction connects quite well with my major since mechanical engineers are all about designing machines while science fiction can also include the advancement of technology. I hope we can share more interesting science fiction novels with each other as this semester goes on.

Justin’s Introduction

        Hello everyone, my name is Justin Bernard .I graduated from Bronx Aerospace High school in summer of 2016  . I started attending City Tech in the Fall of 2016 . My major is Associates in Liberal Arts and Sciences . In addition, this also my final semester at City Tech. Next semester, I will be transferring to Baruch,  Iona, or Manhattan college to pursue my Bachelors in Finance , which will take two years to complete. Over the past summer, I worked at the Winged Foot Golf Club as a Snack Bar Manager full time. What I did at my job was cook , prepared food , cleaned the kitchen , and restock on supplies . In addition , I made sure  that every patron was comfortable and satisfied with their food and how they were served .

        Furthermore, I enjoy watching movies and playing  video games. The type of movies I enjoy are horror , action, supernatural, documentaries , christian themed movies. The videos games I enjoy playing are first-person shooter , adventure , and role-playing games. My favorite video game is the Assassin Creed series. And my two favorite movies are Avengers: Infinity War and Constantine. I love the Assassin’s Creed series because it a historical role-playing action adventure stealth game. Its unique in it own way because the creators of the game would intertwine  history with fiction. The game is about a modern day  protagonist  who would relive the lives of their ancestors hundreds of years before , who were Assassins. The Assassins would fight a never ending war against an Ancient group called the Templar Order. The Assassins fight for free will, while the Templars for domination and order. What I like about Constantine is it’s a neo-noir theological film. It intrigues the movie watcher about the battle between Good and Evil and how God and the Devil  influences humanity. Fun fact: Constantine movie is based on Hellblazer comics in association with DC comics. What I like about Avengers Infinity War is that it is the accumulation of all the famous Marvel characters like Iron Man and Captain America  , joining forces to defeat Thanos who wants to wipe out half of the universe.  In addition,  the action was awesome.

Further on, I’m not a big book reader , however, I do read some books that really  are interesting like Run, Alex Cross , Run. And it could be any book or genre as long as it is interesting. I do like taking long walks like walking the Brooklyn Bridge  and enjoying the view.  I love food and my favorite dish is Jamaican Rice and peas. In addition, my favorite ice cream is Chocolate chip cookie doe. My favorite TV shows are American Horror Story on Fx , American Gods on Starz,  and  Billions and Homeland on Showtime. What these show all have in common is that they set their story in America . American Horror Story is anthology series , with a different story , but same cast every season. American Gods is about ancient,  modern  or personal beliefs that have come to life in the form of a human and god. Billions is about the stereotypical atmosphere of the hedge fund life and SEC( Security Exchange Commission’s) enforcing the law and how these two superpowers play each other. And Homeland is about an oversea’s CIA Counter terrorism  officer who fight terrorism foreign and domestic.  These T.V. shows are very interesting to watch which would  have you at the edge of your seat.

        My strengths in reading is that I will grab on to the most interesting or eye opening  thing in the text and I will hold on to it as my favorite part of the book. My weakness is that when I really try to read really my mind creates distractions that blocks my focus.  I dream of working in Wall Street or somewhere in Corporate America, hoping to be a banker or Chief Investment Officer. What I hope I get out of this course is to learn in depth about science fiction , the history behind it and learn new things  about the genre .    



Introduction P.B.

Hello All,

My Name is Pedro and I am very interested in the Culinary Arts, Bussiness, Investment, and film. I love to play basketball around my neighboorhood. and I enjoy going to the movies, parks, museums, and dining out occasionally. I desire to be in an influential position within 5-10 years so I could be able to help those who motivated me and helped me throughout my whole life. I hope to achieve that by accomplishing my dreams of owning my own chain of restaurants. So I work as a Culinary Educator for the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. I help teach nutritional lessons including demoing a recipe for participants to help get them to eat healthy using their local farmer’s markets. During the winter break, I may work as much as I can and also try to visit my friend on the west coast, San Fransico.

My weaknesses as a writer are organizing my ideas and writing and structuring my essays around those ideas. As a reader, I don’t like to read lengthy passages. Strengths for thinking are I do come up with ideas to write about and I thinking of different perspectives on each topic and I tend to overthink a lot about it after so a weakness. I enjoy critical thinking especially when a topic such as Scifi allows us as individuals to think beyond our comfort zones educationally, socially, culturally, etc. some of the professors in my department use open lab and I’ve had a lot of classes were I’ve had to use open lab to post assignments comments, access information, etc. Sci-fiction, Comedy, and Fiction are my favorite genres of literature. I believe science-fiction is very interesting because it allows for me to wonder what my ear future can possibly be or may become. Scienfiction is connected with my major. Places like Disneyworld and Universal Studios combine sci-fiction, animation and a variety of other subjects into one place. Bringing people from all over the world to enjoy sci-fi. Actually opening a sci-fi themed restaurant doesn’t sound bad and it’s not the first one.

I expect to encounter pieces of literature that I can enjoy reading which I barely do and also find some films that might catch my interest and make me more of fan to sci-fi.

My Name Is Sheng Nan Zhang

Hi everyone, my name is Sheng Nan Zhang. I graduated from Millennium High School and currently major in Hospitality Management, and it has been one year since I joined New York City of Technology. I am working part-time as a prep-cook at Pier Sixty and waiting for two other jobs that I applied to to respond. In the past, I have used OpenLab, but I am not confident with it.

I enjoy reading fan-fictions, fiction and fantasy novels, especially Chinese novels and fan-fictions, in fact, I can even say that I am addicted to them. The words in these novels and fan-fictions open whole new worlds full of vibrant colors to me. When reading these text that interest and resonance with me, I get to sink deep into these worlds and experience a whole new life, seeing, hearing, and growing along with the characters.

When I am interest in the text, I think deeper, like to bounce ideas and debate with my little sister. Similarly, when I am not interest in something, I feel like it just go in one eye and out the other.

Many Chinese novels that I read is related to our class topic of science fiction. The main characters in those novels travel through time and dimension to a past, future, or parallel world.

One of these novels is known as “穿越未来之男人不好当.” The main character is a female known as 凌兰 (Ling Lan) who lived on modern-day Earth, but died and travel to the world thousands of years later. By that time, humans have already ventured out into space and conquering new planets, Mother Planet Earth became a planet that only exist in history books. On top of that, humans also evolved and gained supernatural abilities, ranging from super-strength to the manipulation of dimension.

These ideas and topics related to science fiction, like supernatural, space, time, and dimension is really interesting, so I look forward to this class. I wonder if we will write a science fiction short story ourselves.

Getting to know Professor Belli :)

I’m an Associate Professor of English at New York City College of Technology, CUNY (City University of New York) and Co-Director of the OpenLab, the college’s open-source digital platform for teaching, learning, and collaborating (the same OpenLab that you’re reading this post on right now!). One of my favorite things to do here a the college is to teach courses on science fiction, utopias, dystopias, so I’m really looking forward to working with you this semester!

I earned my Ph.D. from The Graduate Center, CUNY, and my research interests are utopian studies, science fiction, happiness studies, positive psychology, writing studies, digital humanities, American studies, and education/pedagogy (feel free to ask me what any of these areas are!).

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 2014, in St. Petersburg, Russia, and was delighted to see its name almost mine (close enough!). In Russian, it means “once upon a time” …

Fun facts about your professor? I played ice hockey in college (right wing), and have played the violin since I was two years old (and have played with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, though I’m taking a break at the moment). I adore watching old sitcoms from the 70s and 80s (some of my favorites are Maude, Rhoda, Soap, and, most especially, The Golden Girls–I even wrote a chapter on this show in a fantastic book about sitcoms and American culture!). I’m not stuck in the past though, and  enjoy contemporary shows too. In my current rotation are Westworld, Jane the Virgin, and Grace & Frankie.

I also really enjoy traveling: a few summers ago (when that photo above is from) I spent five weeks wandering abroad, in Russia, Finland, Czech Republic, and Switzerland, and spent much of a recent Winter Break in Thailand … what amazing experiences!

I look forward your reading your Introductions and getting to know you, first virtually and then in person, as the semester progresses, and to discussing all-things-science fiction together over the coming months! :)

Creating your Introduction Post

Introduction Posts (HW for Wednesday 8/29)
In order to start exploring our OpenLab course site, getting comfortable with posting/adding media (blogging), practicing reflective writing, and getting to know one another, each student will create an initial post that introduces herself to the class.

*This Introductory Post is due no later than Wednesday, 8/29 @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 maybe even your family, friends, neighborhood, etc. Practice adding a link and maybe even a video to your post too.

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

  • What your strengths & weaknesses as a writer, reader, & thinker?
  • What do you enjoy most about writing, reading, & (critical) thinking?
  • What do you disklike 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 favorite genre of literature?
  • What is your favorite text?
  • What’s your experience with (and interest in) Science Fiction (don’t do any research for this … just state what you think it is, prior to entering the course)? Favorite books, short stories, movies, TV shows, games?
  • How do you see Science Fiction connecting with your major and career interests (&/or personal interests, hobbies)?
  • 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.

Before our next class (on Thursday, 8/30) 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!