Hall 1101-351

Work, Language and Identity (351)

Wednesday, Dec 19!

Hello, my dears! Today, you don’t have to come to class. However, I will be in our classroom from 11:30-12:45 to pick up revisions, and just say hi if you feel like it! I will be emailing you comments on your music papers.

There is actually a feature on OpenLab where you can see your grades for each paper. When you log on to our site, go to “dashboard” and then go to “OpenLab Gradebook.”  Your grades are posted there. I will post your final grade there as well. These grades are due on Dec 28th, but I’m hoping to have them in before then.

Most importantly, you were my first class at City Tech, and such a great class! I’m sort of sad we didn’t have a final day of class to hang out and say goodbye, but I also know your time is really precious right now. You can always email me (chall@citytech.cuny.edu) or come visit me in my office (Namm 525.) I’ll miss you!


Hello, everyone. Just a reminder that there is an exam on Monday during class time!


  1. Be on time! 20 minutes late is absent—and absent is failing. And if you fail this exam, you fail this class.
  2. You can listen to music if that helps you focus, BUT I can’t let you guys mess around on your phones for obvious reasons, so all phones must be face down by 11:35 and must remain face down until you have turned in your exam. You cannot mess with your phone during the exam for any reason.
  3. You may bring: the article, your triple entry journal (only the form I gave you,) and the “They Say/ I Say” handout on quotation. The triple entry journal form is attached at the bottom of this entry.
  4. Remember, the exam is on the article on Uber drivers, NOT on ADHD.

How should you prepare? Well, I suggest you:

  1. Read and annotate the text, more than once!
  2. Think of what essay questions might be asked (Hint: they will all involve the text, the reader and the world outside the text)
  3. Write a sample thesis or two– remember you will probably be able to tweak your thesis a bit in order to fit the question!
  4. Find key quotes– then summarize and analyze them. You can do this on the triple-entry journal worksheet.
  5. Think of scenes or situations you have been in or you know about that relate to the article.

Suggestions for writing:

  1. Pick a question (quickly! Which one do you have more to say about?)
  2. Write a DRAFT thesis.
  3. Brainstorm some Points and Information (again, quickly) to back up your thesis.
  4. Revise your thesis to fit the points in #3.
  5. Write a very brief outline, if that is useful to you. MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT SPEND TOO MUCH TIME PLANNING!
  6. WRITE
  7. Make sure to leave at least 6-7 minutes for proofreading!

I will be grading you on:

  1. The strength of your argument, or your “So What?” Do you have anything to say or are you just repeating the article back to me?
  2. Your organization. (PIE is one way to think about this. Also, don’t forget your intro and conclusion!)
  3. Your “you!” I want to know why you have chosen the quotes you have, what experiences you have or know about that relate to the argument you are making.
  4. Concrete, significant detail
  5. I grade grammar less harshly than in take-home papers, but it is still a factor. I still have to be able to make sense of what you are saying!
  6. Citation.

Here is the triple-entry journal:



Come Into The Light

Cloyde Vandenburg

English 101

Professor: Hall

Come into the light


“I was supposed to have you to hold, but you just kept me in the dark”. Music, a huge influence on society and Serves as a universal language and way to the soul. With just a mere song one’s mentality can change including their perspective on the world. Chris Brown “Heartbreak on a full moon” double album is compacted with a wide range of songs; forty-five to be exact and another ten added as the deluxe version “Cuffing Season”.


Since I was eight years old I have been a Chris brown fan; yes, that includes knowing every song on every album and being super annoyed whenever someone mentions the Rihanna incident. It’s hard being a Chris brown fan, the simple mention of his name causes and immediate debate and the main topic is him being a “woman beater”. No, the past cannot be changed, but he took responsibility for his actions knowing that he would lose big time, yet through all struggles and doubt he raises to the top to reclaim the throne as one of the best entertainers since Michael Jackson. Though he may be one of the best in the industry critics say that is music is lacking. Stated by Vulture author Craig Jenkins; who is reviewing the album says that “Chris is better at shattered” (There’s A Decent Album Hidden in Chris Brown’s Bewildering Heartbreak on a Full Moon; seventh paragraph). By this he means the quality of his music is better when he is expressing his feelings and not about what he is going to do in the bedroom. To cap off the harsh but truthful criticism Craig states that “I’m starting to think he’ll be one of those artists whose classic is their greatest hit collection, who could’ve done so much better if he could only get out of his own way”. With this statement, it’s clear that the only person holding Chris brown back is himself, implying that his music could be better. Yes, his controversial life over shadows his music yet instead of talking about the music the conversation is mostly about him constantly being in the courtroom, Stated by Chris himself in his documentary “Welcome to my life” he says “they should be talking about how I’m the baddest mother f@#$%# on the stage; instead of how I’m the baddest mother f@#$%# in the courtroom (There’s Actually a Decent Album Hidden…., third paragraph). It is obvious that the frustration of always being seen in the wrong way can be heard from this statement, but at the end of the day the conversation should be on the music. Even if you’re not a fan, you can’t deny that the man is quite talented, some may say he’s the living legacy of Michael Jackson himself, due to Chris learning from Michael by just watching him on television.


Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved music, and not only just one genre, or language, it has always been various types of music ranging from: hip hop, trap, soca, Afrosoca, reggae, reggaeton and more. Over the years I’ve always said I don’t listen to music I feel it, what I mean is that instead of just listening to a song; I dissect the song and understand it for more than what it is. The truth is that music got me through many obstacles that life can throw at me, especially Chris Brown’s music. The thing about his music specifically is that I can relate to most of the songs, something I can’t seem to do with other artists. “Heartbreak on a full moon”; double album released on Halloween of 2017 and the album I feel was made just for me with songs like “Trust Me”, “paradise” “hurt the same”, “I love her” and more are all so relatable and coincidentally me getting dumped a month before the release I think it was made for me. Two songs helped me move on and accept what took place. Those two songs were “Paradise” and “Hurt the same”. Two very different yet similar songs, both giving off crazy depressing vibes yet the more you listen to the lyrics the more you understand the words and eventually grow out of the depressing funk, or in my case wake up and move on. Being dumped after two years puts one in that’s unrecognizable to oneself, became someone almost completely different from who I usually am. In a nutshell that was my lowest point ever, with no one to talk to but myself at 2am in the morning the it thing I could do was listen to music and laugh.


Funny how two songs can change your perspective of everything, never was the type to accept things as it is, always ran away from the truth until there was nowhere left to run. Funny how two songs can make you realize that it is ok to feel the way you do, to feel lost and alone. It is funny, for just two songs to make you feel whole again, that no matter how dark it may get it’ll get better, not immediately but slowly and surely you will. “Paradise” being the more depressing song with the hook “fell out of paradise” was a big reminder of my relationship being that it was a good one in every way, the song takes you to a sunken place only to bring you back towards the beginning of the main rap verse that starts by saying “Yea we fell off, you moved on I’m tryna play it off” hits that soft spot and hype you up at the same time. Even if you aren’t out of that slump by the end of the song there’s “Hurt the Same” which is a mixture of (I’m over it) and (why am I still feeling like this). Starting strong with “Sick and tired of the bullshit you won’t get another chance” sets up the and changes the mood completely. It also a reminder of all the dumb decisions made, giving second chances which weren’t deserved, but if I get the chance to do it all over again, well let’s that’s a story for another time. The songs allow the listener to interpret it in any way they choose, to feel however they choose, like art there is no right answer, it’s only you and the music. Though it may seem that I haven’t changed that may be true but what did change is my approach to every obstacle, with each challenge that is presented to me, I greet it with a smile.

That’s it:

Music, a universal language and way to the soul, with just one song your entire view in life can change the way you approach every obstacle. With two songs, I finally accepted everything I ran from and welcomed each challenge with a smile, all thanks to my favorite music artist Chris brown and his album “Heartbreak on a full moon”. With the double album being his tenth he proves that no matter what it may be, he will always come back stronger proving why he is one of the best entertainers since Michael Jackson. With two songs from the album “Paradise” and “Hurt the same” helped me get out of a slump that would have proven challenging to get out of.


Jenkins, Craig. “There’s a Decent Album Hidden in Chris Brown’s Bloated Heartbreak on a Full Moon.” Vulture, Vulture, 3 Nov. 2017, www.vulture.com/2017/11/review-chris-brown-heartbreak-on-a-full-moon.html.



For Monday- Papers are Due, my dears!

Hi Everybody! Your papers are due on Monday, Dec 10. Remember– start with the action!

Also remember that on Wednesday, Dec 12, I’ll be handing out the reading for the final and the final is on Monday, Dec 17.

The assignment is posted approx one million times below– please read it!! Also, please post it online AND bring a paper copy to class. Please include a copy of your artwork (song, video, painting) etc… in the online version if possible, so that I can see or hear the art you’re talking about. We will be doing some stuff with the hard copy in class on Monday, so you do need a paper copy.

Below is a “cheat sheet” for in-text citation. Please take a look!



Hi everyone! Here are some important dates:

Dec 10: “Writing About Art” paper due at beginning of class. You will post it online, but you will also bring a copy of the paper to class.


DEC 17: FINAL EXAM Please remember, this exam is REQUIRED.  The final is 10% of your grade, BUT if you fail the final, you fail the class. That said, quite honestly, I really don’t feel anybody in this class is in danger of failing the final UNLESS YOU DO NOT SHOW UP.

THERE IS NO MAKEUP FINAL UNLESS YOU HAVE A VERIFIABLE DOCTOR’S NOTE, COURT ORDER, ETC… No word-of-mouth excuses will do in this case. I’m sorry, but this is school policy.

DEC 19: Optional revisions due. If you want to revise one any of your papers for a better grade, you are welcome to do so. Also, please feel free to come see me to talk about revisions if you like.

For Monday: Rough Draft!

Hey everyone– for Monday, please bring in TWO PRINTED COPIES of your rough draft! This should beat least  the first 400 words of your essay on art. The assignment sheet is re-posted below.

remember, you can write on a piece of art of your own choosing, and you can write in a genre of your choosing. Some of the genres we’ve discussed are:

  1. The  review (This tells readers your opinion on the artwork, and whether they should see it/ listen to it/ watch it OR –importantly– think about it in a new way!)
  2. The personal essay (This tells readers about your own experience with the art or artist. It ALSO should be important to your readers in some way!)
  3. The informative or analysis essay (This tells the reader more about the artwork, and looks more deeply at a certain aspect of it–examining the lyrics, or the background of a video, for example.)
  4. The argument essay (This takes a stance, not just on the artwork, but on a greater societal issue in which the artwork plays a part, such as the article about “This is America” being the new face of protest music.)

PLEASE NOTE! There can definitely be overlap!!! You might talk about your personal experience and then suggest your readers listen to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue or you might argue that music these days is completely apathetic about political issues and make that argument by analyzing lyrics of a few contemporary songs, but you will be MORE in one genre of essay than the others.

Do one goal at a time (3)

For Weds (and some info about the assignment)

Hey everyone– if you missed weds class, please see the assignment sheet below! It describes the final paper. Please note, I have changed the final deadline– it’s due Dec 10th now!

I know there’s been some confusion about what I am asking you to do. Here’s the deal: pick a piece of art (a song, a video, a painting, a story) that is important to you, that has moved you in some way. Eventually, you will write a paper on it– you don’t have to decide exactly what you are going to do yet. But today in class, we talked about genres of writing about art: personal essays, essays that argue a point (“This is America is the New Face of Protest Music”) Video Essays, even Science-y essays (the one about mirror neurons and dancing.) You can write in any of these genres. If you DO write a personal essay, as Abdurraquib did, remember that you want it to be interesting to your audience, not just to yourself!

I told you we were going to do a concrete scene for homework, but I misspoke. We’ll do that in class on Weds. For homework, I’d like you to fill out the SOAPSTone worksheet (below) about your piece of art. This means you need to choose your artwork!!

Who is the SPEAKER_ What do we know about this person_ How do we know it_


For Monday

Hi everyone! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. For Monday, please print out , read and annotate the following two articles. READ BOTH!! Please also write, in your journals, a response of at least 250 words (total.) This response can be whatever you like: a difficulty paper, a poem, just your thoughts. You can write about what you like or don’t like about Hanif’s writing style, what you’re inspired by, whatever.

Abdurraquib Article One (Kendrick)

Abdurraquib Article Two (Zayn Malik)

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