Week 1 Weekly Assignment (Thursday Feb. 4th)

Here is where you should reply to the activities in the Weekly PowerPoint or if you are Synchronous but for cannot actively participate due to technology challenges, in order to receive attendance/ participation credit:

  1. Either reply to this original Week 1 Assignment Tuesday post or create a new post (my preference is for you to reply to the original post!)
  2. Write a  general response to the PowerPoint (what did you think, what did you learn, what questions do you have, etc.) AND a response to ALL of the activities in the PowerPoint. 

HERE is where you should write a (brief) response to “(un)learning My Name” by Mohamed Hassan and “Zayn Malik and the Songs that Bring Us to Prayer” by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib! Reply to this post if you can, instead of creating a new post. Please try to respond to AT LEAST one of your classmates (asynchronous or synchronous students!).

HERE is where you should take the Technology Survey! (asynchronous or synchronous students!)

Technology Survey

  • Credits: This survey is based on a survey created by Maura Smale and Mariana Regalado.



  1. mustapha

    My name is Mustapha, which means the chosen one in Arabic, and was name that was given to the prophet of Islam, Muhammad. But for as long as I can remember, kids used to take my name and alter it, calling me Mufasa. At the time, I didn’t have many friends, so I went along with it even though each time they called me Mufasa it tore me up inside. That’s why I can relate to everything thing that the Mohamad guy was going through. Eventually, I ended up befriending actual friends who had no issues calling me by my actual name, so I cut ties with my previous group and have been doing so ever since. The lesson that I learned was that you should never sell yourself or your heritage/history short.

    • Hamely Jose Taveras

      Hello Mustapha. I can really understand and relate to you. When people didn’t call me by my name because they wanted to make fun of it, I felt very disrespected. I also stop being friends with anyone that does not respect me. I learned The lesson that I learned was that you should have to change who you are just to please others. I can say that you can adapt to other situations but not be forced to change.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Dear Mustapha,

      Thank you for sharing this powerful message. I love how deeply you connected to the piece.

      Rebekah Coleman

  2. Hamely Jose Taveras

    My name is Hamely. A lot of people don’t know how to pronounce it. Every time I was in school teacher and classmates just missed pronouns my name and I eventually got tired of correcting them. I felt like it was rude to correct a person like that so I just let everyone call me how they think. Once I got to high school everything change even people that were Hispanic couldn’t say my name right so people starting calling me nicknames. My high school nickname is Blue to did day people still call me Blue. In high school only knew me Blue it was to the point if the teacher said my real name people would wonder who was that person. It was not such a bad thing I love that people gave that nickname. I felt like people finally call me something correctly. I really liked my nickname it was just so easy for everyone. I love that when I was on my volleyball team I people didn’t have to think too much to pronounce my name they just called me Blue. I decide to let people call me that. Back in middle school, people use to make fun of my name saying things like HAM-ley or just Ham which I didn’t like as much. Going into college made me realized that is not rude at all to correct people and tell them. my name. I learned that people need to respect me and my name. The school makes me feel very professional people call me by my name or my last name and it sound excellent. My friends still call me blue and I like it. By having these two names I can notice the work and school environment and the friend and fun enviorement. I feel like I have become very professional and when I’m with friends I can be myself and just have fun. I love when people call me by name because is the name my mother gave me and it makes me unique. My name is unique, beautiful and it defines who I am.

    The audience of this piece is for other immigrants that have to come to another country. He is also addressing those who target him and made him change his way for them to understand who he is.
    Mohamed is addressing how he changes the way his name was around.
    The purpose of this piece is to let people know it’s okay to have their own identity and for people not to change their identity to fit in.
    his goal and reason for creating this piece are to teach others that is okay to be their own identity. I believe is his goal is to let people know that they don’t have to change.
    I think is very cool because he changes his persona and everything just to fit in with the people.
    The audience is a lot of people that experience and have not experienced
    The purpose of this piece is to show that is great to adapt and change to fit in. He explains that it’s okay to change and just have your own identity of yourself.
    I think I can relate to this piece because I can adapt to a lot of situations to adapt.

    • Kevin Yu

      Hi Hamely, I can relate because a lot of people pronounce my last name as “you” but the way you pronounce it in Chinese is different from just saying “you” and people do make fun of me because they pronounce my last name as “you” and people do make fun of my last name and I tend to ignore it but sometimes they take things to far that I just have to say something back to them and I usually don’t lash out at people but in that one incident I lashed out and couldn’t contain myself but overall I can relate to what you feel and how that can affect you in many ways.

    • mustapha

      I can also relate to what you had to go through in High School. I believe that the trick to this is to never let anybody get comfortable mispronouncing your name. They should at least make the attempt to say it correctly.

    • Arian Qosaj

      Hi Hamely, I can also relate because people have pronounced my name differently and correcting them is the right thing to do.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Dear Hamely,

      Thank you for sharing this powerful story. I love learning about the story of your name and your evolution around it. Great class notes!

      Rebekah Coleman

  3. Kevin Yu

    “Zayn Malik and the Songs that Bring Us to Prayer” by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib! and (un)learning My Name by Mohamed Hassan was an interesting short video about himself and his background and I can relate to Mohamed because I am Chinese-American and it was hard growing up and I had to endure it like many others who are not from here. Trying to fit into the background is challenging, your other self is washed away by the standards that people hold like a single-celled organism having no definitive features and just fitting in like others. It was hard for me to relearn the roots that I have since the standards of living and trying to communicate to others than yourself while always remembering you are not like them, writing and speaking my own language was hard for me because I never learned how to say different Dialects such as Mandarin and my Cantonese is rough, trying to communicate to my parents is hard as well saying 妈妈(Mom),爸爸(Dad),姐姐(Sister) since I always just say it in English, dad or mom or saying 爸,妈 我爱你(dad, mom I love you) or 爸,妈 今天我们吃什么晚餐?(dad, mom what are we having for dinner?)I can’t even write my name in Chinese but things are slowly patching up and my roots slowly regrowing, this is who I am.

    • Elma Kastrat

      Hi Kevin. I like how you explained your problem with language. I totally agree with you that is hard to fit yourself in different background specially when there are people who speak kind of same language, but they have different dialect and accent. I also like how you give us examples on Chinese language.

    • Kelvin Leon

      I agree, almost forgot Spanish due to picking up another language trying to fit in with my surroundings, was difficult trying to communicate to someone who couldn’t talk the same language as you. It was difficult picking up Spanish again.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Dear Kevin,

      Thank you for sharing this powerful story. I love hearing about your connection to the English language, and the challenging dialects of Chinese.

      Rebekah Coleman

  4. Arlene Perez

    “(Un)Learning My Name” Response:
    The audience of this piece are everyone who have targeted and questioned his identity, heritage and culture because of his name and blue eye color. I also think he is addressing people that come from similar backgrounds or are immigrants. I think the purpose of this piece is to inform the audience and immigrants like himself, that it is fine to accept their culture and not have to change to adapt to new cultures just to fit in. I think his goal for creating this piece was to show how it took him over 19 years to accept his name and his heritage.

    “Zayn Malik and the Songs that Brings Us to Prayer” Response:
    The audience could be immigrants or Muslims with a strict cultural upbringing. I also think the audience can be the general public to inform about the author’s struggles growing up as a Muslim in the United States. I think his goal for the piece was to show how Muslims are looked at as “threatening” when their religion is “by nature, a musical religion”. I thought the piece was interesting in reading on how he was raised in the Islamic culture in the United States. Regarding his reference to the pop singer Zayn Malik, I do not think it was right that the author judged the singer on his religious stance. The author’s purpose of the piece is to shine light on how people should not discriminate Muslims and the Islamic religion, even though he criticizes Zayn’s beliefs and actions. The author is no better than the people that judge him.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Dear Arlene,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on these two pieces. I love how closely you looked at the audience and purpose of the pieces.

      Rebekah Coleman

  5. Elma Kastrat

    My name is Elma. I had experienced that people felt like they had “permission” to treat me a certain way just because of my language. Everything happened when I started going to college. I am from Montenegro, but I went to college in Serbia. Montenegrin and Serbian language are similar. The only difference between them is that Montenegrin people use a lot of letter “j” in their speaking, but Serbian people speak without “j”. When I started college and started making new friendships people started making funny of me. They already knew how Montenegrin people speak, but for them that way of speaking sounded funny except for two girls who wanted to be friends with me. For example every time when I said “vrijeme”, which on English means “time”, they laughed because on Serbian they say “vreme” without “j”. In the beginning I felt bad because of that and I didn’t talk a lot. However, later I realized that no one can joke about something like that. I started talking more during our classes and spending more time with my two friends. By the time people realized that I cannot change my way of speaking and how my language sounds because that is my mother tongue. I started feeling that I am speaking two languages which are kind of the same. As a result, I told people that I may not always speak at an excellent level, but don’t judge me because of my language.

    • Tenzin Namgyal

      I completely agree with you Elma, no one should be judged by the language they speak or how well they speak a language. When I first moved to states I got made fun of for my broken English, so I watched a lot of movies and read lots of books just so I could speak it better and not feel singled out. In the end I’m glad it at least helped my English get better.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Dear Elma,

      Thank you for sharing this powerful story. I found it so interesting to learn about the ways that Montenegrin and Serbian languages are similar and different and about your experiences. I look forward to discussing more.

      Rebekah Coleman

  6. Hanting Hu

    “(Un)Learning My Name” by Mohamed Hassan
    The audience of “(Un)Learning My Name” by Mohamed Hassanfor is people have similar backgrounds or immigrants. The purpose is an effort to dig and find his own identity and to be proud his name. Many of people who are immigration can relate to that, they will confuse their identity. Mohamed Hassan want people know it is ok for that.

    “Zayn Malik and the Songs that Bring Us to Prayer” by Hanif Willis-Absurraqib
    The audience of this piece is Muslim and immigrant. I think addressing is young Muslim. The purpose of this piece is can not change their own identify, try to change their idea.

    I never have to confuse about my identify, because I live in China for long time, and get education in my country. When I in the U.S. , mostly teacher know how to pronunciation my name, only some of teacher will say hunting, and I know is hard for them (not offended), then I will let teachers speak my last name Hu. It will more easy for both us, I don’t need always to correct them, and teacher doesn’t need spend time on my name.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Dear Hanting,

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on the two pieces and your personal experience. I like how you looked closely at the audience and purpose.

      Rebekah Coleman

  7. Tenzin Namgyal

    “(un)learning My Name” by Mohamed Hassan and “Zayn Malik and the Songs that Bring us to Prayer” by Hanif Willis- Abdurraqib were both very interesting to me. They discussed the importance of ones heritage and culture. In “(un)learning My Name” The audience which the video is targeted too are both the people who made Mohamed feel unsafe and uncomfortable with his own name and culture and also those that are on the same boat as him. A lot of people who migrate to the US from other countries can feel and relate to his struggle. In “Zayn Malik and the Songs that Bring us to Prayer”, the author talks about how it is okay to adapt. Its okay to adapt because sometimes adapting can be for the better. This is something that is very relatable to me because coming here from Asia was not easy and there were many things that I had to adapt to in order for it to feel like I was normal.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Dear Tenzin,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on these two pieces. I like the connection you made between their experiences and the experience of many immigrants to this country.

      Rebekah Coleman

  8. Arian Qosaj

    My name is Arian. A lot of people have pronounced it differently throughout the years and I’ve corrected them because I liked when people pronounced it the right way since its unique to me. My name and language makes me who I am because they show where I am from and show the importance of my religion. School has made me the writer, thinker, and professional I am becoming because it has taught me to always try my best and to always work hard for my goals no matter what. My family’s influence on my education, goals, and belief in myself has always supported me and taught me to always follow my dreams.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Dear Arian,

      Thank you for sharing your powerful story about your name and your influences in life.

      Rebekah Coleman

  9. Kelvin Leon

    The video “(un)learning My Name” by Mohamed Hassan and the reading “Zayn Malik and the Songs that Bring Us to Prayer” by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib all taught me that we can’t run away from who we are. I was born in America but my parents are Hispanics (Dominican and Mexican). From the age 1-3 I only knew Spanish and when I started to attend school I was put into speech class because I had no idea on how to speak English. I only knew how to speak Spanish but as I grew older I started to learn English and slowly forgetting my “Hispanic side” but I didn’t pay much kind to it because I was constantly surrounded by the American culture. Little did I know that I would soon forget my Hispanic side. By the 4th grade in elementary school I had forgotten the feeling to hold convos in Spanish, I would attempt to talk in Spanish but it would be unsuccessful. I was forced to reply to my family members in English or ask one of my family members to translate for me since some of my family members had yet to learn English. Throughout my childhood I was constantly struggling to pick up Spanish again due to my surroundings. In a America almost everyone communicates through English, I was constantly surrounded by the English language. But I am grown now and I am able to speak Spanish properly but it wasn’t easy, took a while to pick up on it.

    • Arlene Perez

      I can relate to you Kevin, as a young child I also learned Spanish before English because of my Hispanic heritage even though I was also born here in the US. I was put into ESL to learn English in kindergarten as well. I understand how one can forget some of the language if we aren’t speaking it everyday.

    • BrandonP

      I can also relate to Kelvin because Spanish was my first language. Going to school is the reason English became more fluent to me than Spanish.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Dear Kelvin,

      Thank you for sharing this powerful story. I loved learning about your relationship with Spanish and English.

      Rebekah Coleman

  10. Arlene Perez

    Kelvin* I apologize for the typo.

  11. BrandonP

    The video “(un)learning My Name” by Mohamed Hassan and the reading “Zayn Malik and the Songs that Bring Us to Prayer” by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib are both very interesting and relatable. Growing up I only spoke Spanish in my household. When I began to attend school I had to adapt to the new normal. My parents would teach me English every day after school. It became super easy but the more English I knew, the less Spanish I knew. Growing up around a new culture you begin to feel like you are losing your true self.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Dear Brandon,
      Thank you for sharing this experience. I loved learning about your experience with English and Spanish and the conflicts it led to.

      Rebekah Coleman

  12. Shaniyah

    My name is Shaniyah Singletary and I almost feel like super outcasted because unlike many of the posts I see, growing up I wasn’t bullied for my name because it was pretty common. I was instead bullied for my height and being a tall black girl with hair of a different texture than many of my classmates. So as I got older I tied those negative experiences with my name and started to change my name on social medias to be “Niyah” instead of Shaniyah. Now I am in college and even my mom is calling me Niyah. I think people should take pride in what their names means to them, and never allow people to speak down on your name. In terms of language my family spoke English and I was raised around speaking the proper English, I learned slang from my friends in a school setting. I wish I had a deeper more powerful story behind my name like many of you do.

    • Rebekah Coleman

      Dear Shaniyah,

      Thank you for sharing your powerful story. I loved learning about your experiences.



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