Class Notes 5/16/2017

First half of class we did peer review.

Presentation is 15%
Cover letter(Process/reflection) and Abstract(summary) is 5%

Proposals = Abstract
1) research question : not just a description , generative, topic in conversation with methods.

Research -> synthesis /claims (evidence)
(Background Info)


For presentation be sure to check the rubric Professor Belli handed in class last week.
Be sure to double read  the requirements for this project thoroughly.


Home work for Thursday 5/18

  1. Project Progress blogs by 2 pm
  2. Lightning presentations (1-2 minutes)
    1. elevator pitch
    2. “My project explores…
    3. “My primary research question is…

Read schedule ahead of time ! Final course reflection due end of semester . A week from today.

Professor Belli is offering extended office hours,be sure to email her ahead of time. Remember projects are due  Tuesday 5/23/2017


Is there a recent rise female leads in science fiction movies?

For my proposal I was interested in researching female protagonist in science fiction. Most of the readings we did in class all semester were mostly male protagonist based stories and novels. Female characters played secondary roles. They were usually love interest or objects to the protagonist and society.
During my research I googled and went to the Cuny data base and typed the phrase ‚Äúfemale protagonist in science fiction‚ÄĚ. After some research, I found there was a sub-genre called feminist science fiction. This Genre focuses on theories that include but are not limited to gender, inequality, sexuality, race, economics, and reproduction. There has been recurring waves of feminist science fiction in television and movies.
I re-worded and looked up ‚Äúfemale leads in science fiction movies‚ÄĚ. Contemporary Science-Fiction Films during the 80s saw a huge rise in female leads in science fiction. Most notability Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, the warrant officer aboard the Nostromo. From my research I have found that Weaver role was originally written for a male character. She gain critical success and got nominated for a few prestige‚Äôs award in the film industry. Another Female lead was Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor, the Terminator’s target who is soon to be the mother of the future Resistance leader John Connor. Tours the end of the decade there seem to be a decline in strong female leads. But most recently, in Hollywood the rise of strong female roles in science fiction movies have begun again. Movies such as The Hunger Games, Divergent, Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Trek, Terminator series, and Wonder Women. In TV, the new Hulu series The Handmaidens Tale. I want to narrow down my topic to “The recent rise of female leads in science fiction movies”.


The 20 Greatest Female Characters In Sci-Fi And Fantasy

The Top 40 Kick-Ass Female Sci-Fi Characters

Johnson, Mandy. ‚ÄúWomen as Action Heroes: Is Violence a Positive Direction for Females?‚ÄĚ
Glamour (March 1994): 152-154.]
revues .org/sidelining women in contemporary science fiction films

Has progress come to an end?

Nothing in life is a coincidental. The episode opens up with a naked women named Doleres being questioned. She is talking about the small town she lives in and how happy she is that the “new comers” come in to town. Westworld is an HBO show about a Western Theme park run by engineers, scientist and story tellers.The main attraction are androids. They are called host and carry out a storyline. The park and the host were made to fulfill the pleasures of the rich people who pay to go there.The newcomers can hurt them and do whatever they want with the host.

Through Dolores we see that everyday is almost the same. The days play out the same with small modifications to storylines based on actions by the new comers. Tours the end of the day, the engineers come up and take the androids to the lab fix them up. Ask them question and wipe their memories alway.

The lab is located underground. There are many levels and floors to this lab. The top engineer Bernard is alert it that something is going on floor B83. He accompanies the men to see whats going on. This floor is used to store androids with malfunctions. We soon see Robert Ford, the founder and creative director of Westworld, having a conversation with an android. Bernard and Robert discuss how the androids have come a long way when looking at the old android. Especially now more then ever that they have added a new update to the host. This new update gives the host human like gestures which makes it hard to tell that they are androids.

Around 28:00 we see the host begin to malfunction after the new update. The host that plays the sheriff role begins to twitch funny. Also, around 40:00 an android that was killed the previous day is showing signs of malfunction. It kills everyone at the bar and startles the newcomers. This Prompts the engineers and story tellers to modify the storylin. The new stortline is more gruesome.

Dolores father finds a picture that is out of place with their storyline. He ask Dolores about it and she says its nothing. But he stays fixated on the picture and begins to malfunction as well. The new gestures are tied to certain memories. He begins to remember other roles he play and what happens to him and the Dolores at the end of every day. He gets killed by bandits and Dolores gets raped. Robert interrogates the android and he says to him “He is in a prison of his own sins”. This is what gives everyone the realization that the update with the gestures are prompting old memories from previous roles.

Dolores is question as well because of the malfunctions. She is asked if she’s telling the truth? which she answers yes. Also, if she would ever hurt a living thing? she says of course not. These are the routine questions asked to all the androids. Through this interaction we find out Dolores is the oldest android in the park. She is fixed every day and is good as new. The episode ends with Dolores watching from a distance in her front porch. A fly lands on her neck. After a brief moment she kills it. This indicates Dolores lied about two things. Telling the truth and not hurting a living thing.

From ashes comes rebirth

Lauren’s father has disappeared. No one knows whats happened to him. Shortly after, the community was attacked. Lauren’s prediction of the communities inevitable fall came true. Almost , no one made it out alive. People were beaten, raped, and killed. Houses were burned to the ground. The day after, scavengers roomed the streets looking for any goods they can salvage.

Lauren went back to see if she can be reunited with Cory and her siblings. But alas, she finds out that as soon as they got separated her family was killed. She forms this small group with two survivors from the community. Zahrah and Harry. They decided to travel together north. They begin to realize theirs more than meets the eye when it comes to these three. Zahra use to live in the streets before being sold to her Husband. She has streets smart that come in handy. Lauren has quickly adapt and her survivor instincts have kicked in. She is willing to do any thing in order to stay alive. Harry and Zahra are taken aback a bit because they are use to seeing her as a preachers kid. Harry is still a reluctant to do steal or do anything to secure their survival. “out here , you adapt to your surroundings or you get killed”(182). Lauren is trying to get in to Harrys’ head that he need to change that way of thinking and get with the program if he wants to stay alive. The unlikely trio manages to work together. After an attack on the group Lauren informs the group about her disease. “I’m going to tell you abut myself”(191). The group is speechless at first, ask questions but ultimately accept her for who she is. Afterwords, she shares earthseed with them as well.

After being told to fear everyone beyond the walls Lauren, Harry, and Zahra realize people are just like them scared, non-violent unless provoked, and seeking a way to survive. Through acts of kindness and Lauren’s hyper-empathy her group begins to get bigger and bigger. They come across a racially mix couple with a baby (who are the first to join).Then an older man, who Lauren takes an interest in, and soon after two sisters the group rescues after an earthquake. They also, take in a child whose mom is killed one night. All of this while heading north. She shares her ideas about earthseed with them. Manages to convert most of them.

Usually in times of crisis peoples differences is what separates them. In a post-apocalyptic word, Lauren’s group; people from different backgrounds , ages, and gender come together in order to survive. Despite having differences they look after each other , take care of one another, and take turns keeping watch. Lauren now more than ever believes she has purpose. Just like her dad, she aims on unifying her group with earthseed and building a new and better community.

2017 Literary Arts Festival

The LAF(literary Arts Festival) is a festival celebrating literary writing. It host a writing competition every year. The festival opened up with a short video, featuring many of the novels that students are currently reading. Also, it included The LAF group tackling the mannequin challenge which I found hilariousness. Their were 2 students who were co-hosting the festival. Their humor was a bit off and dry. But I think the guy did a better job than the girl.

Students who submitted their works and won, read their short stories, poetry , and songs. Out of all the readings and performances, 2 stood out to me. Deja Simpson reading of “Tied my Hands”. I found it moving and captivating. Secondly, Lirazen Felipe performance of her song “The Greatest thing”. It was nice, pleasant, and catchy. This was the highlight of the show for me. In between readings, their was a dance performance by city tech steppers. I found this amusing. I did not know we had a step team.

In addition , Their was a special guest presentation. One of the students introduced Rowan Ricardo Philips, poet and author of Heaven,The Ground, and When Blackness Rhymes with Blackness. He read some of his work. In between reads he made a few jokes. Moreover, he gave us a taste of some of his current and new writings.

Finally, their were readings from faculty . The Staff called up all the winners up to the stage to award them a certificate. Afterwords, the show ended. The festival served food and drinks upstairs in the cafeteria for the staff, audience members and winners.The LAF was over all entertaining.

The Inevitable Fall

“I had my recurring dream last night…I dreamed a reminder that it’s all a lie”(1).The Novel Parable of the Sower takes place in a dystopian world. The year 2024, environmental decay and the breakdown of the economy have destroyed the American society. Diseases like measles is rampant. The only safety is found in walled communities like the one Lauren lives in. Lauren is 15 year old African american girl who suffers from a disease called hyper-empathy syndrome:which causes her to feel the pain of others as if it was her own. This was due to her mom abusing drugs while pregnant with her.

Lauren is the daughter of a minister. Though her family is religious she does not share their beliefs. “At least three years ago, My fathers god stop being my god”(7). Her God is different from her parents. Lauren writes down some of her thoughts about God, after learning of one of her neighbors Mrs. Sims (a cranky and religious lady) who committed suicide. She believes “God exists to be shaped, god is change”(25). God to her believe is the shaper of humans and humans shape God, with this Lauren begins to form her own religion which she later calls Earthseed.

The adults in the community including her parents believe that things will go back to how they once were. They believe things will eventually revert back to the good old days. But She on the other hand does not believe this. People are in denial and rather cling to the past, than face the truth. She knows things are going to get worse. The break ins are only increasing. Lauren confides in her friend Joanne that she wants to start making a backup plan to protect herself and her family if the walls fall. She wants to prepare emergency pack backs. She urges her to learn how to survive in the wilderness and loans her a book. Joanne in denial tells her mom who tells Lauren’s dad that she is thinking on running away. Although, Lauren explains to her dad what she was actually trying to do, how everyone needs to be prepared in case of a major break in her dad tells her she is just causing a panic.

Times are changing and Lauren intends to adapt in order to secure her survival. She does not want to remain in her gated community getting marry, bearing children in an already crowded community with no job availability to be able to support herself. Theirs no future here. Communities with bigger walls and better security have fallen. Its only a matter of time before they do. The walls will not be able to keep all the addicts, criminals, and homeless away for too long. Just like they keep them away they also attract them. She knows that this false sense of security is all a lie.

1984 Analysis

Nineteen Eighty- Four by George Orwell takes place in¬†a dystopian world, centralizing in London of the nation Oceania.¬†The novel begins by introducing us to Winston Smith. ¬†Through him, we see the city is run by a totalitarian party “Big Brother” who instills terror in its citizens and watches their every move. “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU“(1). ¬†They are at war with another nation who they were once in an alliance with. They spread ¬†propaganda and depict their current enemy as the ultimate evil that must be destroyed.

One of “big Brothers” slogan is “WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”(4).¬†This signifies the ¬†manipulation and ¬†altering ¬†through language. They have given ¬†words we associate as negative new meaning ¬†to promote their ideas. ¬† Big Brother controls everything, from erasing and rewriting history to inventing a new language the people are forced to use. Also, ¬†24/7 surveillance through the televisions. ¬†Free-thought is prohibited and they have thought police to patrol and punish anyone who partakes in this act. Citizens of all ages, especially children, are encourage to turn in anyone who commits such an act. The eradication of history and absolute control of the citizens, is for the purpose of ¬†keeping ¬†the people from revolting. “By 2050–earlier , probably all real knowledge of oldspeak will have disappeared . The ¬†whole literature of the past will have been destroyed…the whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought ,as we understand it now”(54).

Winston works for the Ministry of truth. He is an editor, responsible for revising all historical data to the liking of ¬†the party’s version of history. Although, he’s good at his job. Winston is not content with his job. He has vices such as gin and cigarettes to keep at bay his feelings of dissatisfaction with Big Brother. He despises everything this society stands for and begins to show signs of rebellion. During a hate session where citizens spend 2 minutes expressing hatred directed to the enemy of the people Emmanuel Goldstein , his hatred shifts towards ¬†the Party, Big Brother, and the Thought Police. “Thus, at one moment Winston hatred was not turned against Goldstein at all, but, on the contrary, against Big Brother, the Party, and the Thought Police;and at such moments his heart went out to the lonely, derided heretic on the screen, sole guardian of truth and sanity in a world of lies” (15). ¬†Another sign of rebellion, is when Winston goes into a junk shop and purchases a journal. He begins writing down this thoughts and feelings. This is consider a huge crime an is punishable by death. ¬†Executions are done ¬†publicly to send a message to the rest.

Through Winston point of view we see the Party’s tyrannical ways.

Reading Response on There Will Come Soft Rains

In a post apocalyptic world, ¬†seen in the short story “There Will Come Soft Rains” the invention of man outlived man it self. The house has artificial intelligence and continues doing its daily task as if the owners of the house were still living there. The author uses precise words to hint the absence of humans throughout the story.

¬†The story opens up with a voice clock singing the day has begun to an empty house. Breakfast for a family is being prepared based on the quantity that is being described. ¬†The house states the date and location which is August 4, 2026 in Allendale, California. ¬†It also mentions a birthday and a anniversary, and bills needing to be payed. Tedious things couples would discuss during their mornings. “But no doors slammed, no carpets took the soft tread of rubber heels”(1). Still theirs no human activity. The breakfast went cold and was dispose of. Later on, Bradbury the author says “The house stood alone in a city of rubble and ashes.This was the one house left standing.”(1) ¬†Some major war or catastrophe occurred that destroy the whole city of Allendale. The one thing that remained was the artificial intelligent house which continue ¬†its everyday duties.

“Here ¬†the silhouette in paint of a man mowing a lawn. Here is a photograph, a women bent to pick a flower. Still farther over, their image burned on wood in one titanic instance , a small boy, hands flung into the air;higher up, the image of a thrown ball, and opposite him a girl, hands raised to catch a ball which never came”(1)

This gives a little more insight on what took place and why their is no humans around. The family that owned the house perished while enjoying themselves  out in their lawn. They were burned , incinerated given the date this was published ,a little after the War World II ,by possibly a nuclear bomb. The only thing that remained was the house.

Even though humans have become extinct in this story the house embodies human like qualities and activities.¬†For instance in the opening of the story “voice clock sang, Tic-Tock, seven o’clock, time to get up, time to get up, seven o’clock! as if it were afraid that nobody would.”(1) A clock does not experience any emotions therefore it cannot experience fear. This an example of how the author uses personification regarding the house. ¬†Another example, “it had shut up its window ¬†and drawn shades in an old maidenly preoccupation with self-protection which bordered on a mechanical paranoia”(2) The house is being describe as being paranoid and jumpy. Again, giving non living things human traits.

Tours the end of the story a tree falls through the kitchen window causing a fire. The house tries to contain the fire but fails and slowly spreads everywhere. As the fire is spreading every where ¬†Bradbury describe it as “angry” and “clever before it consumes the entire house. “The house is heard screaming “Help, help! Fire! Run!, run!”(4). The story ended with the beginning of a new day. The house stating the date August 5,2026 repeatedly before it was completely demolished. Although, the house outlived the human race, both machine and humans perished while nature continue its course. The sun rising again and beginning a new day.


Class Notes for 3/7/17


1.ESSAY 1 IS DUE THURSDAY , MARCH 16th,2017. If you have not read the assignment I suggest you do so right away!

2.Double check the class schedule the professor has assign everyone  new dates for class notes.

3.Please review class notes and your own as our midterm is approaching . Also, it can help prompt ideas for essay 1.

Writing Work Shop

Analyze your work do not summarize. (If using happiness as a topic for essay 1 please do not use all of the excerpt in t.)

Essay consist of:

  1. Introduction
  2. Body
  3. Conclusion

Start your essay with the body paragraphs . People usually get stuck on trying to write the intro and  figure out their thesis. Essay should consist of 6 to 7 pieces of evidence from the book. All evidence should support  the intro (thesis).

All paragraphs should consist of a topic sentence. They should also connect to the previous paragraph as well. You may use transitional words but explicitly explain how they relate.

Essay 1

Close reading: Do not include outside sources . It all has to be within the context of the book. Ex: world state view vs. John views.

Discussion on Hand Out

We all did group work for about 20 minutes. Afterwords, We began discussing excerpt #3 on the hand out.

3.The Savage interrupted him. “But isn’t ¬†it natural to feel there’s a God?”

“You might as well ask if it’s natural to do up one’s trousers with zippers,” said the controller sarcastically”(210).

This conversation was between John and Mond.

What does the question signify?

Would it be natural to feel there is a higher being?

Why is religion part of society?

Divine being?

Religion offers guide-dense ,stability , and mothers and fathers.

John believes that it is natural to believe in a higher power. Secondly, the reference to pulling your pants zipper,Mond is undermining and mocking  Johns statement regarding god and religion.

He is challenging the natural idea of believing in something. People are taught to zipper their pants just like people are taught about religion. John only knows about god because he grew up around the concept.

Side Note: Start thinking of contemporary parallels with all our readings especially with the upcoming ones.Example: Brave New World and our society now.