Monthly Archives: October 2015

Beginning of Class Writing: John Medina’s Brain Rules, Gender

For today’s class, you read the Gender chapter from John Medina’s Brain Rules. This is one of the more challenging chapters to read in this book, because the reader has to carefully follow what Medina says about the similarities and differences observed between the brains of women and men. During the first ten minutes of class, write your summary of the chapter, and discuss the relationship between what Medina tells us and your own direct experience.

Library Tour and Research Assignment

On Wednesday, we will meet outside the entrance to the library on the 4th floor of the Atrium. One of our expert librarians will introduce the library and its useful research resources to you.

During the orientation to the library, we will have some time set aside to use the research tools that the librarian demonstrates to you. Your task during this part of class will be to use the Academic Search Complete database accessible from to look at articles relating to your field of study and your future career. Find at least one article that you would like to return to and read in detail as part of your research. In your notebook, write down information that will help you find the article again: it’s title, an author’s name, the journal’s title, the issue number, the date, and the page numbers. If you have time, you can download the article and attach it to an email to yourself for safekeeping, or use the database’s built-in features to email a link or copy to your email address. Before our next meeting, write a 100 word summary of the article (or perhaps another that you find through further research in the database) in your own words followed by an MLA-formatted bibliographic entry using the guide available on the Purdue OWL website ( Post this assignment as a comment to this blog post.

Beginning of Class Writing: John Medina’s Brain Rules, “Sensory Integration”

During the first ten minutes of class, write a summary of your reading from John Medina’s Brain Rules: “Sensory Integration.” Also, discuss how you think sensory integration relates to creating and reading multimodal compositions (combining words, sounds, moving images, graphics, body language, etc).

During lab, we will peer review the writing that you brought into class for Project Two. Your task, however, is to peer review with fellow students who you have not peer reviewed with before.

Remember: On Wednesday, we are meeting just outside the library in the Atrium on the 4th floor. Your reading assignment to prepare for our library tour and in-library assignment is to skim the sections linked from the Purdue OWL’s Conducting Research site (i.e., read that page and skim the pages linked from there beginning with “Research Overview” and ending with “Internet References.”

Bump! Set! Kill! by Dorothy Vera Sanchez

       volleyball 2

        We all have something that makes us the person we are today. It can unravel your personality or even bring out a person you never imagined yourself to be. My name is Dorothy Vera Sanchez and I’m a current student at New York City College of Technology. While in high school many of my friends were involved in sport teams, encouraging me to do something with my spare time during the school year. Therefore I ended up joining the volleyball team, which eventually became my hobby. Before, volleyball wasn’t something I played very often but it eventually became something I spent most of my time with, especially after school. It has taught me how to be competitive, disciplined, and work with others.

      Every since I was 10 years old, my father would take my brother and I every weekend to go play volleyball indoors. It is part of our Ecuadorian culture to be involved with such a sport like this one. The teams are set up with three players on each side of the court. There is a setter; a player who receives the second touch once the first hit was passed towards them. Also the setter sets the volleyball towards one of the outside hitters. And two outside hitters, one on the right and the other on the left side. In order to win the first set, the team has to reach fifteen points faster than their opponent team. The game also consists of a maximum of four sets, which is most likely completed by championship or by advance volleyball players. But when playing with some members of my family, gambling is usually involved, evoking a competitive atmosphere; everyone wants to win. Basically in order to play, the players must pay the referee first and when a team wins, the losing team’s money is given to the winning team. Typically in an indoor volleyball game you expect to play with a volleyball, but here, a soccer ball is used as a replacement. My dad played as one of the outside hitters and I would observe my dad playing as he tried to improve his hits. As I saw him play, I tried to figure out what spot would be right for me to play in. I would walk to the court when they were done playing and pictured myself in certain spots on the court. But during that time, I was only able to observe my uncles and dad play and I would just practice throwing the ball to them as they tried to improve their hits over the net.

        In the beginning of my sophomore year, things changed. The school year started and so did volleyball practice for my school’s team. I noticed how the coach observed me, paying special attention to how I would set the ball to my soon-to-be teammates. Little did I know I was going to be the team’s setter, leading into championships, and winning the division championships.

       My junior year of high school started and all my teammates knew this year involved facing tougher teams in order to keep up with the wins from our previous season. This meant winning all of our games and competing to stay at the top of our game. We had to win these games. Our opponent teams were also competitive and just as good as we were. There was this one game that involved playing a team that was just as good as we were. Before all this, I must say that I wasn’t much of a competitive person; I wouldn’t mind whether we won or lost. But ever since last season, losing a game wasn’t something we wanted to have in our agenda anymore. While we faced this team, our team was losing to a score of twenty-four to twenty-two and we didn’t know whether we were going to catch up and win. But we didn’t let that get in the way. The team got more competitive and every time I would set the ball to one of the outside hitters on my team, the opposite team would always dive or bump the ball. This game was a close game especially since it was also the second set. Some of our friends started yelling “bump! set! kill!” hearing those words made us more aggressive in every action we did. The middle hitter yelled out towards me saying “ten.” In volleyball, “ten” meant setting the ball as high as you could but near the middle of the net. That night we won our first home game against them.

    Becoming competitive wasn’t the only thing volleyball taught me, but it also taught me how to be disciplined. The first time I ever arrived late to practice, the coach didn’t even bother to yell at me or want an explanation on why I was late to practice. Instead, my coach would make me or any other player that came in late run at least ten laps around the track, then have us do our regular stretches, and complete at least double the amount of suicides. Suicides are when you have to run from one end of the court to the other. Aside from that, we also had to do the other exercises. Our water breaks were also reduced to half the time the other girls would get as a way of learning our lesson of not arriving late to practice. During practice our coach was training us on how to properly rotate around the court. But every time a girl would mess up on the rotation, the whole team had to begin doing five squat jumps. If it continued to happen again, the entire team would have to do another five more prior to the ones done previously. Once the team had to do around thirty squat jumps because either one girl or myself would mess up on the rotations. There were times where if we let the ball drop on the floor, our captain would make us do ten mountain climbs for every drop. She would also add another ten when we didn’t yell the words “got it” when one of us went for the ball. Also any time I wasn’t able to set the second touch of the volleyball, I had to yell out “help” in order for the girl that was near the ball to either bump the ball or set it as well. If I didn’t say those words, I would have to do five suicide runs. Every mistake we did at the beginning of the season wasn’t there after a while since most of us knew what would happen if we made an error in the court.

     Another thing that I was able to learn, aside from learning to become competitive and disciplined, was teamwork skills. This wasn’t an issue for me mainly because I wasn’t greedy or non cooperative. I usually kept to myself and I really wouldn’t talk. Before I got comfortable around them, I would get nervous when I talked to them, which really didn’t help out in the court. During the beginning of the season, the girls and I didn’t know each other. We were all strangers to one another and we all weren’t sure if we would have enough team chemistry to get along and be a good team. But we all had the same objective of enjoying our couple of games and winning as many games possible. Our coach was trying to teach us how to be a team and if one player messed up, we all messed up. We all struggled so much within the first week especially when one of the girls would mess up because we all would get in trouble together. This made it so much more difficult to become friends with one another due to the fact that we all as a team would get mad at the girl who messed up during practice or even at a game. After a week or so, we all started to help each other out. When a girl would forget her spot during the rotations, we would quietly tell her where to go so that none of us would get in trouble any more. Since then we all became a team with amazing chemistry.

    Volleyball took out the person I never thought could possibly be within me. With all of this experience, I have gained amazing friends and memories of the games to even the memories my teammates and I would share on our way home. Volleyball is more than a sport to me; it’s a summer lifestyle. Yet it brings out the real me while I’m playing the sport.

Beginning of Class Writing: John Medina’s Brain Rules, “Memory”

For today’s class, you read the “Memory” chapter from John Medina’s Brain Rules. During the first ten minutes of class, write a summary of the chapter and discuss your own memory (e.g., What is your earliest memory? What is your happiest memory? What things do you remember the easiest? What things are more challenging for you to remember?). Type and post your in-class writing as a comment to this blog post before class on Monday.

Beginning of Class Writing: John Medina’s Brain Rules, “Attention”

During today’s class, we have these goals:

  • Beginning of Class Writing on the “Attention” chapter from John Medina’s Brain Rules. Spend the first ten minutes writing a summary of your reading in your notebook. Also, write about your own experiences with maintaining attention, losing someone’s attention, and dealing with distraction.
  • Presentation on “Attention” and subsequent discussion.
  • Peer Review Team exercise with the brainstorming writing that you began in our last class and brought print outs of your typed up results.
  • End of class reminders for next week.
    • Post your beginning of class writing to OpenLab before our next class on Wednesday, 10/14. Keep up with the reading: “Memory” chapter is next.
    • Begin writing Project Two introduction.
    • Print out the pages from your department’s section of the College Catalog.

Resources for today’s discussion:



Beginning of Class Writing: John Medina’s Brain Rules, “Wiring”

During the first ten minutes of class, write your summary of the “Wiring” chapter from John Medina’s Brain Rules. What are some of the most important things that you remember from the chapter? What is special about the wiring of our brains? How does our wiring reflect who we are individually? How does our wiring reveal how we are similar, too? What is the Jennifer Aniston neuron?

The Boy Who Would Never Stop Looking Up


The Boy Who Would Never Stop Looking Up

        My name is Kevin Rojas and I am a student at New York City College o f Technology. I am following a path in the mechanical engineering field. My desired goal is to someday work at NASA, designing rockets and or space shuttles that go up into space. Becoming an astronaut would be a huge plus. My fascination with space has always followed me in my life. I’ve always had a habit of looking up at the night sky not knowing what to make of it until I eventually decided to invest in a better way of staring into the unknown. From acquiring my first telescope, to watching meteor showers, to eventually visiting the Kennedy Space Center, my curiosity with space intensified.

        When I was younger I always stared up at the night sky blankly without any idea of what I was staring at. I just knew that there some kind of attraction to the dark void that hovered all over us. I learned all of the star constellations, location of planets, and directions of where far off galaxies or other celestial bodies were. I always tuned in onto shows like Cosmos or NOVA and sit there glued to the tv. My friends would always talk about their favorite cartoon shows from when they were kids, and don’t get me wrong, I have some of my own as well. But I like to remember these shows about science and to a greater and major extent, space more than then the cartoon shows because I feel a greater importance and value behind the knowledge I acquired from watching them. I was about nine years old and my parents noticed how much of a space-obsessed kid I was by then and decided to thankfully reinforce my curiosity and they bought me a telescope. It wasn’t all too fancy or big, but it was enough for what I wanted to see back then. Its lenses power was strong enough to see Betelgeuse, a decently far away star. But the telescope finally allowed me to see far into space and see the beautiful astronomical bodies in more detail. I was in awe when I first peered through my telescope on a crisp and clear October night. From then on I would routinely use my telescope almost every week on Friday nights. Of course, whenever there were special events such as eclipses or comets, I’d watch them too. Now I have upgraded to a more advanced and fancy looking telescope that has a powerful lenses, which allows me to see really far. Thus, acquiring my first telescope helped my fascination with space grow even more.

        Only two years after getting my first telescope I already had seen most of the constellations and planets in our solar system or at least I thought I did. My friend who also shares the same interest as me at the time told me about the idea of watching a meteor shower. At this point in time, I knew what meteors were and that there are events where they would fall down to the earth and scatter all around. But I had already missed the past two meteor showers due to unfortunate coincidences of having to do other things. However, once my friend told me about the one coming at the end of the summer I had to plan everything out where I wouldn’t miss it no matter what. Now with watching a meteor shower you also need a good location where there is little to no light surrounding you. Hence, my parents decided to take me to the Poconos where we have a cabin to stay in in the forest. I brought my telescope, which was a newer model compared to the first one I got and I was ready to watch the meteor shower.  I knew that to some people watching something like this might be a waste of time since its just debris of an outer space rock falling to the Earth, but I like to see it that it’s an astronomical phenomenon that we are lucky to witness as a species. Once there, it was already nightfall and I quickly set up my telescope next to the car not waiting to miss anything. I peered through the telescope and immediately saw the meteors streaking across the night sky. I was mesmerized at the sight. I wouldn’t look anywhere else but up at the sky through my telescope. I counted more than twelve meteor like fragments entering our atmosphere. Standing there I realized that I this is what would define me as a person. The love for what is up in the dark void we call space is something I have and would like to grow more and more of through experiences like these.

        The Kennedy Space Center is a place of much respect and high caliber.  It’s the location of NASA’s launching sequences and to the general public where the rockets or space shuttles lift off into space. It’s the closest I’ve ever gotten thus far in my life to witnessing the whole NASA experience. I luckily got to go here when I went on a cruise to the Bahamas. I knew that the ship would stop down in Florida so I had already had my parents buy the tickets before hand. Once we stopped in Port Canaveral we immediately took a shuttle bus to the center and arrived there really early in the day. It was a pretty hot day and once we entered the center there was a full blast of the AC.  Once I was inside the facility I quickly became a kid at a toy store. I laid my eyes on every old decommissioned space shuttle or rocket that was on display.  I also ventured into the zero gravity rooms where you could experience a weightlessness sensation in a zero gravity chamber. The moon landing exhibit was the most exciting part in my opinion. It really made me feel like as a species we’ve come a long way. It was an inspirational experience because humans went from hunting using sharp sticks to engineering large scale rocketships and exploring space. It was at this moment that I had figured out my true purpose or desired goal in life. I would like to ultimately experience what Lance Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin went through during their expedition to the moon. I knew that a pinnacle moment in my life would be achieving this and I never felt so determined on anything in life as much as I did that day.

Space is such a beautiful collection of things in all of existence. Our planet Earth is a mere speck in the luscious ever expanding art that is the universe. Exploring the whole universe would take an infinite amount time. Of course, if one were to explore the whole universe it would be impossible due it growing. However, we’re getting farther and farther away from our planet. Either through humans going up there or sending highly advanced rockets, we’re advancing technologically speaking and I’m excited for the future as to what I’m in store when I work for NASA. Studying here at City Tech, I believe this to be my first stepping stone of many to come. With working at NASA as my final step in goals that I’d like to achieve, I have to make my own correct path that I see fit in order to reach it. I must not lose hope and focus on the main goal. Hence, I believe that I will make it to NASA.

Soccer: More Than Just A Sport By Carlos Villlava

Hello, my name is Carlos Villalva and I’m currently enrolled to New York City College of Technology. Heading into my first year of college is a big step for me, to achieve my degree. I have been told that college is tough and an order to pass my class, I need to abandon the many things that I do for fun. This is so, I can stay on track and not play catch up. Leaving behind some fun activities behind, is no big deal for me, but the one thing I can never abandon is Soccer. This simple sport had played a big role on me, since the day my dad thought me, how to play. Since then, soccer is very important to me because it defines who I am. The following reason is that soccer is a way of life and it can give freedom to anyone. Soccer has personally had helped me gain my confidence and also taught me, many valuable life lessons. For many people out in the world, they can relate to how soccer became a part of their life as well. This sport is truly an amazing sport.

Many individuals, including myself calls it futbol, the beautiful game because the feeling one can get when playing or watching their favorite team play. A passionate person like me will feel sorrow if my team or favorite team loses in an important game and will feel joy and happiness if we win that important game. Fans of this sport, would wake up and search news of what they have miss every time they slept, and would make time to watch any game that was available on TV. I’ll make time every day I could to find a way to play without disturbing my studying time. For me, personally I have always found two huge differences between the feeling of watching the beautiful game on TV and from playing it. I remember when my favorite team, Real Madrid, lost in the semifinal for the third time in a row. I felt devastated for the entire day, thinking if they did one thing differently, the outcome would have been different. Seeing one of the star player’s in the Real Madrid brake down in tears was a feeling I would also understand last year. When my team lost 2-0 in the round of 16 of the playoffs. When the referee had whistled for full time, my team mate and myself broke down in tears in the inside, everything became quiet for me as I realized this was the last year for me to play for my High School. I had gave everything I could have for these colors, but ultimately I failed to give the one trophy my coach and the school craved for. My teammate, who had\s 2 more years left in high school came to gave me helping hand, by telling me “thank you for everything and it’s been an honor to play alongside me.” As I arrived home that day, I was sad and mad at myself because I felt I could have done better at the moment I had my chance but I missed, thus I was sad for the entire week. Winning is easy for any team to do, but getting back up after a defeat is hard to forget.

Everyday in our life, it is clear that not everybody has the privilege to have the freedom to do what you want, due to the restrictions they face. Although soccer has some restrictions when playing a league game, it won’t affect you from having the freedom of expression. People would think of soccer as an ordinary sport and nothing more. That is where they are wrong because it’s more than that, it’s an art. Everything about soccer is art from attacking to defending because like an artist, you create your own style of futbol that defines you. Giving a good pass, beating players and getting the ball back is where freedom comes to play, since it’s entirely up to you to do whatever you think is right. What makes soccer more remarkable is the fact there is another form of it, which is called freestyle. This form of soccer differs from playing soccer because you don’t need to play to freestyle. Freestyle is where you juggle the ball, while doing amazing tricks for a long period of time, without the ball dropping to the floor. You can do this with a friend or by yourself. What I consider true freedom is where you just have fun, no matter if you are not a good player or can’t freestyle well. Soccer is a way to escape from your problems or stress and just let loose by enjoying yourself. Personally, I play soccer to escape the restriction I get from my projects, school and at home. The freedom I receive helps to define the person who I am. Not everyone is gifted with the idea of self expression, but those who seek it often play soccer as means to achieve it.

Confidence, is the key to success. Many people in the world lack this characteristic for many reasons. Confidence is when a person is certain of their own ability or character to make a choice without hesitation. It is often mistaken for someone being too cocky or stubborn, because of the simple fact not many people have seen someone who is just confident. I remember a time when I was younger, where I lacked confidence greatly and it affect the way that I play. This is because I was shy, uncertain and most of all I lacked experience, not only on the soccer field, but in life as well. While playing as a youngest with the grown up, I was often criticized for not being as good, which ultimately hurt my self esteem, when I thought I play well. Gaining confidence is no easy accomplishment because it isn’t something you can just do overnight, but days of mentally and physically training. I learn this the hard way because that’s was my motivation as a child. I knew from as a child gaining self esteem, won’t just improve my game greatly, but influence me in my social and school life. Training by myself, in all my skills had help me believe that the choices I make while playing were the correct ones. While playing again with all my confidence, the grown ups were impressed of how much I mature, but the others would still criticize me. I would just ignore both the praise and criticism because if I listen to them I would either get over confident or start from square one. It had took me a long time to gain my confidence, but in the end it was all worth it. I have never felt any better. After putting myself into intense training everyday, it had help me gain the courage to join my school team.

Gaining something you want requires a lot of hard work, but you can lose something on a instance. Soccer has taught me, many very important life lessons, but the one I will never forget is that life is cruel and very tough. After finishing my first season with the team, I was always the first choice sub because of my flexibly and understanding of the beautiful game, but I was determine to push myself to become a starter. Training during the weekend, I felt that I was unstoppable because I improve everything in my self, all of my passes was accurate and I was easily able to beat a player left and right, without hesitation. What could have possibly gone wrong, with the form I had, but then came the slide tackle that I would never forget. Playing a friendly and fun game in the park with the folks, but one individual didn’t take this friendly as a friendly game because he wanted to win, really badly. As both of us try to get the ball, I was able to give a great cross to my teammate, but it ultimately came with a cost of him sliding tackling at my ankle. It was the first time this ever happened to me, spraining my ankle was the worst pain I ever felt and I was dumbfounded, sad and angry at him. Was that really necessary of him, I ask myself, while rolling around in pain. I first got up to play it off like nothing happen, but only a minute later I felt it that I could no longer play with all this pain in my right leg. It had took me about 2 week to heal, but it would take just another slide tackle on my other leg to put me back injury, for another 2 week. I had gain some weight and lost some of my technique, but I didn’t think it would happen again. That is where I was truly wrong, I pick up a serious sprained ankle again on my right leg, while playing with my friends. Just only a month away for my high school tryout and I was beaten up mentally and physically, all I could have think of is just to give up. Soccer or in life in general can be cruel and unfair, but that is no reason to give up.

The easiest thing a person can do is make up an excuse for something that doesn’t go their way. I was about to use my injury as an excuse for not joining the team, not having the ability I had, that took months to achieve to be lost because of all this freaking injury, clouded my judgment. What could I bring to my team, was all I could think of? With all the attacking player we had on the team, made it obvious to me. The one thing that could make me stand out from everyone was being a defender, an area the team lack greatly. A month was everything I need to retrain my position from a winger to a right-back. It wasn’t easy from switching from an attacking mentality to a defensive minded player, with my sprained ankle still affecting my playing style. Any serious tackle on my right leg could put me out for the season, but it was the only chance I had and I was willing to take that chance to join the team. My sprained ankle would still be with me, during the tryout session that I eventually pass. Only two members of the squad, had seen me wearing ankle support and told me to tell the coach, so I could sit out with the other injured player. Automatically, I responded “no, it’s not that serious, I could play”. They knew I was lying, but they didn’t stop me because they knew I could offer something to the team. I purposely hid my sprained ankle from everyone, so my teammate won’t hold back on me at practice and so the coach won’t drop me from first team because of my injuries. As the preseason games happen, I ultimately impressed my coach every minute I played, even though he had admitted, that I could use some improvement, since defending isn’t my specialty. I played every minute in the preseason game and at the end of it all, my coach told the entire team that I was the only one who improve during the break He also said I was the only one serious about the upcoming season. Those words meant so much to me, during that time because of all the challenging I had faced, the injury prone I had, playing with a sprained ankle and rehanging my position, just to accomplish my goal of being a first choice player. To top all that, I was a crucial and a key player on my team for the season, I played every game and every minute, giving everything I could for the team. Looking back right now, I have no regrets and I’m glad I didn’t give up or gave an excuse to prevent me from achieving my goal. My message to you is to never give up, when you face something that would bring you down, because at the end of journey, you would look back and be amazed of what handwork and dedication can bring you in life.

In conclusion, as a child, I had dream to play professional soccer because I thought that it would show how passionate you are. As I grew older, I realized you didn’t have to play professional to have a love for this sport. I’m grateful for my father to show me this sport and I would love for my future kid’s to play soccer as well. I want them to experience what I had felt and the important life lessons it showed me. High School isn’t going to be where I hang up my cleats, because I plan to join the City Tech soccer team and try with all my effort to win a trophy. Currently, I’m trying to become an architect and I dream of constructing an iconic soccer stadium for the USA national soccer team like, how Mexico has the Estadio Azteca and Real Madrid has the Santiago Bernabeu. I want to build a stadium where I can hear the happiness, sadness and admiration of the fan. As the World Cup appears more and more on condone country, who are not prepared for it, due to the lack of stadiums or building. It would be wise for me to get hired as an architect by FIFA to construct a stadium, which get me closer to my dream. For me, I always wanted to give something back to soccer, like how it has given me so much.