For Thursday– LAST DAY OF CLASS BEFORE EXAM (and revision due!!!)

  1. If you missed class today, please read the comments on your music review and post a response with the following:
    1. A summary of what you think I said in my comments
    2. Any questions you had about my comments
    3. How you think you will use the feedback in my comments to finish your final revision and/ or to do your final exam!




For Tuesday– Rough Drafts of Revision Two Due!! Also, info on exam!

Revision Two is Due on Thursday, MAY 16. On Tuesday, we will be workshopping your rough drafts, so please bring in your work in progress. Whatever that entails will be pretty much up to you– a script or storyboard for a video essay? Or the lyrics for a song? Or, the rough draft of a more traditional essay? You must bring something in, though!

We will also be talking about the in-class exam– what it will entail, and what will be on it, as well as strategies for taking it.




IN-CLASS (and homework)

In-class, please post your video tutorials to the openlab! Category: Video Tutorial!

For homework:

1. Please post your proposal for your revision to the OpenLab. ALSO BRING A PAPER COPY TO CLASS!!  Category: Revision Two! If you already did this, great– but I want to make sure everyone does it, so that we have time to talk about them together. I very strongly suggest you start working on these projects, as they are due in a week. The description of what I want from the proposal is on the homework for Tuesday!

2. Please review the “How-to” on MLA citation, found under RESOURCES. We will have a quick quiz on citation rules– including bibliographies– either on Thursday or next Tuesday.



  1. Read “Revision Two” under “REVISION ASSIGNMENTS” above. I’ve updated it, to clarify. Make sure you understand the assignment, and if you don’t, be ready to ask questions about it on Tuesday!  I’ve listed some genres there, but you could also come up with genres of your own to work in– don’t feel confined to that list. Just remember, you need both words (spoken words count, if recorded) and images.
  2. Write and post a proposal of approx 150 words for what you inted to do for Revision Two. IF YOU DO NOT DO THIS, YOU RUN THE RISK OF DOING A REVISION THAT DOES NOT FULFILL THE ASSIGNMENT!  This proposal should tell me:
    1. Which paper you plan to revise
    2. What you are planning to do (what is the NEW GENRE you are planning on working in? remember, this must be a big change!) 
    3. Who is the audience you are hoping to reach
    4. What is the “So What?” of your revision– that is, what do you want your readers to know, feel or think about by the end of reading your paper/ watching your video essay/ listening to the song you wrote?

PLEASE BE SURE THAT YOU HAVE READ THE ASSIGNMENT BEFORE WRITING YOUR PROPOSAL!! It’s okay if you’re still not fully sure about all the answers to 1-4, but you should know most of them, and have some options for the ones you don’t know. this is due on the 16th, so we don’t have a ton of time.  Category: REVISION TWO 

3. You have until Tuesday to perfect the citations on essay #3. Please see the handout on citation under “RESOURCES.” If most of the class still has issues with citation, we will have a quiz on citation. If most people fix theirs, we will be able to skip this quiz.



Hey, everyone. Our spring break is already drawing to a close! I’ve graded and commented on everyone’s revisions.  The reason it takes me so long, by the way, is that I spend about 30 minutes per paper to make comments. I suggest you read those comments– because I grade you on whether or not you keep doing the same things over and over! You will find these in the “comments” section under your revision.

Your rough drafts for paper three are due for Tuesday’s class. YOU MUST BRING A PAPER COPY TO CLASS!  IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A COPY OF YOUR ESSAY YOU WILL BE COUNTED ABSENT (because 99% of what we’re doing on Tuesday is working on these!) Many people had a hard time following directions for this essay and missed points for things like not having images, etc… Please read the instructions for Essay Three under “UNITS” at the top of this page.

Hope you had a great break!


For Thursday

Hey everyone, your music paper deadline  has been rescheduled until after the break (rough drafts due April 30, Final Drafts due May 2.) However, a few of you are pretty far along! If you’d like to get them off your hands, you’re free to turn them in at any time. We will not be spending much time actually discussing this unit after the break.

For Thursday (3 parts):

  1. Please write and post a paragraph on OpenLab in which you respond to a quote from another article on the artwork you are going to write about. Find a quote you can really converse with! Something you don’t just blandly agree with, but can add to in some way– either by disagreeing or by adding your own opinion in some way. Remember to INTRODUCE, SUMMARIZE  and ANALYZE  your quote! Topic: Writing about Art!
  2. On the same post, please take a picture of and post your “soapstone worksheet” (this Tuesday’s homework.) This is easily done by clicking “add media”
  3. Please read and annotate the article on “This is America” you picked up at the end of Tuesday’s class. You don’t have to write about it, but you will need to be able to explain it to people who have not read it. So read closely. If you missed class, please print out, read and annotate THIS ARTICLE

For Tuesday

For Tuesday, please fill out the SOAPStone worksheet for your song/video or other artwork (I handed this out in class, but I’m also attaching it below if you lost it.)

Please fill this out thoroughly– a few sentences for each question!

Also remember, we will (really) have the Sonny’s Blues quiz on Tuesday.

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

For Thursday

Hey everyone! For Thursday, please print out, read and annotate ONE of the following articles by Hanif Abdurriqib:

“Zayn Malik and the Songs that Bring us to Prayer” HERE

“Tell ’em all to Come and Get Me: A Year of Being ‘Alright.'” HERE

Also, please decide what artwork (song, video, poem, story, painting, etc…) you intend to write about for this unit. You do not need to know what KIND of essay/ article/ story you’re going to write, but you do need to know what you’re going to write about!

Remember– quiz on “Sonny’s Blues!”


For Tuesday– read “Sonny’s Blues”

Hey, everyone– you did a really great job on your presentations today! I hope this gives you some sense of the scene you will be reading about in “Sonny’s Blues.”

Your homework is to print out and read the story HERE. It’s not super short, so make sure you allow yourself enough time to read it the entire way through! Remember our reading strategies– take breaks, eat snacks, put your phone away, etc… There will be a quiz on it next week! MAKE SURE YOU ACTUALLY PRINT IT OUT!

Read and annotate “Sonny’s Blues.” Please also post a response to the reading on OpenLab, of about 250 words in which you respond to the story. I would like you to pick a passage (a few sentences) which moved you in some way and: Describe how this passage moved you. What specific emotions did you feel when reading this passage and why– be as specific as you can. Was there something in your own experience you can relate to the text? Or something about the language or story that struck you? Please be specific! And feel free to mark your shares as “private” if you like. 


For Thursday– Papers (and a brief note on presentations.)

Hey everyone– the final drafts of your revisions are due on Thursday. For details, please see the assignment under “Revision Assignments.” Make sure that somewhere on your article you’ve posted what publication you are writing for (for example: The New York Times Education section.) Remember that, if you are writing for a newspaper you do need to indicate what section you imagine your article in. 

PLEASE spend your time working on your papers, NOT your presentations. However, please do post the images you intend to use in your presentations by class time Thursday. 

As far as the presentations go, we will have the first 5-10 minutes of class to get prepared and then we’ll start. Remember, this is very low-key– you get credit just for being there and doing it. This is meant to be an IN-CLASS exercise. You’ll get quiz credit for doing it. Here’s what I’m looking for: 

  • Information on your topic. I’m just trying to help us get situated in the world of the essay we’re about to read– so I’m not asking for deep analysis. Just tell us a little bit about the fashions (or whatever you are researching) and..
  • Show us some images! For some groups the presentation will be more image-heavy and for others, it will be more info-heavy (for fashion, we need to see more pictures than we do for the history of heroin addiction or an overview of James Baldwin.
  • Presentations should be at least 3 minutes.  You may show a SHORT video but that does not count toward your 3 min minimum.

In-Class Info

Here’s a link to some info on writing conclusions:


In-Class presentation groups:  (note: these questions are things I want you to cover, but you can talk about other topics as well)

These are mini-presentations– about 3 minutes. You just want to give us an overview of the topic. You should also have some sort of visual– some pictures or a SHORT video (this does not count toward your 3 mins)

Post images on OpenLab under the Categories “Sonny’s Blues” AND your subtopic (Baldwin, Harlem, The Village, Fashion, jazz, heroin.) Please list all group members’ names when you post.

  1. James Baldwin
    • What did he have to say about racism in America?
  2. History of Harlem
    • What was going on in Harlem in the 1950’s?
    • What did it look like?
  3. History of Greenwich Village
    • What was going on in the Village in the 50’s?
    • What did it look like?
    • Jazz in Greenwich Village
  4. 1950’s Fashion
    • Specifically, what was going on in African American fashion?
    • What were the fashions of Harlem?
    • Make sure to include Men’s and Women’s fashion!
  5. 1950’s jazz
    • Who was Charlie Parker? Louis Armstrong?
    • If you like, you can talk about other music of the time
  6. History of Heroin addiction in the US
    • Heroin addiction in NYC in the 50’s

Thursday: Homework and Quiz (and meetings)

Hey everyone! For Thursday, I would like you to write (and print out) an introduction for your revision. This should be about 200 words. Your intro  should also:

  • Have a clear sense of audience–WHO are you writing for (recent high school graduates? College professors?) and what is the best way to reach this population? Think about diction (word choice) that best reaches this group
  • Know what publication you are writing for– remember, you are writing this revision as though you’re writing for a magazine/ newspaper/ website, etc… This should be a publication your audience reads!
  • Your intro should be interesting! That is, it needs to HOOK your readers. Think about the last time you read an article online. You read the first few lines and if you were bored, you stopped reading. How can you get your readers’ attention?
  • You should also, toward the end of your intro, introduce your thesis statement (probably.) It’s true that not all published articles do this, but it’s also true that it’s much harder to write with a “hidden” thesis than an explicit one.

There will also be a quiz on Thursday of some of the grammar stuff we’ve reviewed in class. There will also be one short essay question on “The Maker’s Eye” which we read last week. The grammar issues we covered are:

  • Sentence fragments and run-ons (review HERE)
  • Capitalization (look up on the Purdue OWL)
  • Apostrophes (look up on the Purdue OWL)
  • “Their/ They’re/ There” and “Your/ You’re”

Here is a copy of “The Maker’s Eye.” You may bring it to class.

Microsoft Word - Murray, Donald - The Maker's Eye.doc


Meetings (all in my office, Namm 525)

Weds, March 27:

  • 2:00 Raymond
  • 2:20 Ismael

Thursday, March 28

  • 10:20 Ashley
  • 10:40 Britney
  • 11:00 Hadeel
  • 12:50 Deo
  • 2:40 Saalik

For Tuesday

Hey, everyone– for Tuesday, please read the handout below: “Choosing a Mentor Text” and then– choose a mentor text for your revision.

Remember– in the revision, you will be rewriting your first paper for a magazine, website, newspaper or other publication. You DO NOT have to keep to the original essay question, but you can’t rewrite your first paper 100% (this needs to be a re-vision, not a whole new paper.)  The “mentor text” is an article from the publication you would like to write for– but it does not need to be about education. In fact, I don’t think it should be. That said, the publication you choose should be a publication where you can talk about educational issues. For example, Sports Illustrated probably would not work, UNLESS you plan to discuss issues surrounding athletics and education.

You don’t have to copy the mentor text exactly– it’s just there for you to learn from.  With this in mind, I would like you to read and annotate your mentor text, and post a 200 word entry on Open Lab explaining what your mentor text is doing that you would like to do in your own writing. In other words, what can you learn from this writer? 

Please also print out and bring a copy of your first paper to class on Tuesday– you will get some feedback from others about where to start on this revision.

To recap:

  1. Read “How to choose a Mentor Text” (below). The publications listed in this handout are just suggestions– you can use others– whatever you want.
  2. Choose a mentor text for your revision– this should be from a publication where you can imagine your revision being published.
  3. Read and annotate your mentor text and write a 200 word response about what you learned from that mentor text that you want to use in your revision. Category: Revision One
  4. Print out a copy of paper one to bring to Tuesday’s class.

For Thursday

Hi you guys, for Thursday, please print out, read and annotate “The Maker’s Eye” below.

Also, if you didn’t do a “proper” bibliography for your last paper, please do so. You can use easybib.com or any other online bibliography generator. Remember we are using MLA citation, so you would need an MLA style bibliography.

Also, here are the conferences we scheduled. They are all in my office, Namm 525.

Weds, March 20:

2:20: Manny

Thursday, March 21:

  • 11:00 Britney
  • 2:00 Nina
  • 2:20 Xavier

Tuesday, March 26

  • 11:00 Jessica
  • 2:00 Darlene
Microsoft Word - Murray, Donald - The Maker's Eye.doc

For Thursday!

Hi everyone– I hope you enjoyed your day off. I sure didn’t! I’m still feeling pretty sick!  For Thursday, I’d like you to bring in your essay drafts ON PAPER (as planned for today.) I’d also like you to do the following:

  1. Print out, read and annotate the attached essay “S^&t” by my old student, Elijah Zeise. I do have permission to use this essay. It also won some big awards at the school I taught at previously. You’ll notice that it is less about a particular community than I have assigned you to write about. While you read, do the following:
  2. Underline (or write it out if you think he doesn’t have a distinct “thesis statement”) What Elijah’s main point, or “So What?” is. What does he want readers to know or to think about differently after reading this essay?
  3. For every paragraph, write a quick sentence or phrase in the margin about what you think that paragraph is trying to do-make it general enough that you could use Elijah’s “formula” with your own word, if you wanted. For example, in the first paragraph, he is using his word in a variety of different sentences to show the multiple ways it can be used. In the second paragraph he introduces himself and asks “what does this all mean?” Looking at the structure of a finished article like this is called “a reverse outline.”

For Tuesday, March 12- ROUGH DRAFTS DUE

Hey everyone! Rough drafts of Paper Two are due on March 12.  At least 600 words. Please post online AND BRING IN A PAPER COPY– both are important!!!

Just like last time, 20% of your paper grade is simply doing this rough draft– do it (even if it’s terrible) and you get 100% credit for the rough draft. Don’t do it and you get 0% credit for the rough draft.

The original due date for the final draft of this paper was March 14, but I’m changing the due date to March 19 because I think we need more time.

Also, on Tuesday, I have appointments with the following people in my office, Namm 525:

  • 11:00 Brit
  • 2:00 Jessica
  • 2:20 Deo
  • 3:20 Xavier
  • 3:40 Ashley


Hi guys! For Thursday, we meet in the library (4th floor, library building.)

Your homework is to finish the worksheet we started in class (15 minutes of internet research, and then the “L”– what you learned and the “+”–what you still want to know)

Then,  post online a paragraph about what you learned from your internet research. Please write as though you are explaining to a member of one of your discourse communities– so, in slang or the language of a discourse community.


For Tuesday

Hi everybody! Good job on the quiz! I will have them graded by Thursday. I’m still working on your papers.

For Tuesday, I would like you to choose a word for your “Portrait of a Word” essay. (If you’re confused, see the essay assignment under UNITS on the website– it’s UNIT 2). You don’t need to start writing it yet! But you will need a word! Remember– this should be a word that is important to you and your community– an insider word (or possibly a short phrase)– in other words, a word that INCLUDES some people, but excludes others. This means you should also have some idea of what COMMUNITY you believe the word is inside of (and outside of.)  There’s more about this on the assignment sheet under UNITS.

Where do you look for a word? Could be slang that is important to you and your friend group, could be a word that is important in your family or ethnic community, a word specific to your language, this could be a word you have been called (even a derogatory word.) It could even be a name you have called other people, or a word only people in your community understand or are “allowed” to say. If you are stuck, pay attention this weekend to the words your friends and family use, the words in the songs you listen to, the words you say. 

You know what? That’s it. Come up with a word and post it on the OpenLab. by 10 am on Tuesday. That’s all! I had said there was another assignment, but I rescind it. Just post one word that you want to write an essay about. 

That said, it is very important you come up with that word!  It should be something you can spend some time with. Feel free to post more than one if you’re kind of on the fence and can’t decide.


For Thursday– Reading and Quiz


Hey everyone– for Thursday, please read and annotate the excerpt from “The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” that I handed out in class. Extra copies will be available outside my office door (Namm 525.) READ THE FOOTNOTES!  (I sometimes skip footnotes too. Don’t do it here.)

Please also write a “difficulty paper” of about 200-250 words (NOT 100 words, you guys) in which you write about what in the story you found difficult, confusing, boring, etc… Remember how this went last time. You need to be as specific as possible. Refer to a particular passage and then try to think it through. WHY is this difficult? What do you think Diaz might be trying to do here?

You may also want to read Diaz through the eyes of a writer. What is he doing in his writing that you would like to do in your own writing? How, specifically, might you be able to hone those skills? Alternately, what is he doing that you DISLIKE? How might you be able to avoid those pitfalls?

Please post your response using category: Portrait of a Word.

There will be a quiz in class on Thursday on all of the reading for this unit so far (Diaz and Coates.) You will also be asked to quote properly, using the introduce/ summarize/ analyze formula that we practiced in class. Just a note: quizzes can not be made up. If you miss it, you miss it.



For Tuesday

Hey, everyone! For Tuesday, please print out and read “In Defense of a Loaded Word” HERE

Then, please answer the SOAPSTONE questions (below) about “In Defense of a Loaded Word.” Please type up your answers and post on OpenLab. Here are the questions. 2-3 sentences each. :

  1. Who is the SPEAKER? Not just what is their name, but what do we know about this person? How do we know it?
  2. What is the OCCASION? It might be helpful to think of this in terms of “exigency.” What I’m asking here is:”What is the urgent need or demand for talking about this subject? Why is Coates bringing THIS subject up? And why is he bringing it up NOW?”
  3. Who is the AUDIENCE? Who is Coates trying to reach? What are the clues that lead you to believe this?
  4. What is the PURPOSE of this piece? What is Coates trying to accomplish?
  5. What is the TONE of this piece? How can you tell the writer’s feelings by the words or phrases he chooses? BE SPECIFIC!
  6. Other thoughts about this essay?

A note: Coates is talking about a sensitive word, one that he argues only African Americans should say. I agree with him, for the reasons he cites. For the purposes of this class, I ask that nobody other than black students say the word when we discuss it.



For Thursday: Final Drafts Due!!

Hey Everyone! Your final drafts of your essay are due on Thursday. Remember that papers are due by 11:30 AM (the beginning of class.)

Please contact me if you have questions! Also, please note that Aaron Barlow will be doing tutoring in his office tomorrow from 10-3. He is in Namm 503.

Also, please note that I will no longer tolerate sleeping in class (or the appearance of sleeping.) If your eyes are closed and you are not doing the in-class writing tasks, you are a distraction to me and to your colleagues and you will be asked to leave (and counted as absent.)



For Tuesday– Rough Drafts Due

Hi everyone– the assignment for Unit One is posted under “Unit One” in the header above. It is exactly what I handed out in class, but I have explained a few things and made it look a bit better. Please take a look.

just a reminder that rough drafts of Unit One are due on Tuesday. You will need to write at least 600 words. These can be THE ABSOLUTE WORST TRASH YOU HAVE EVER WRITTEN  and you will get full credit. Likewise, if you do not come to class with a rough draft, you will get no credit at all. Simply finishing the rough draft on time is worth 20% of your grade for this unit, even if your rough draft is terrible. 

To be clear: your assignment for Tuesday is to write a 600 word rough draft for Unit One (the assignment I handed out in class, which is also posted under “Unit One” on the website.) Please post to OpenLab (category “Gatto”) and ALSO BRING A PAPER COPY TO CLASS– IMPORTANT. 

Also read the handout I gave out in class “So What? Who Cares?” I suggest you read that after writing your rough draft!

One last thing: if you are having trouble with the OpenLab, you need to resolve this ASAP. There are people in this class who have not submitted any homework yet! There’s time to turn this around, but I can guarantee you that if you don’t start doing your homework now, you’re not going to pass. 


For Thursday, Feb 14

Hi guys! Remember we have no class on Tuesday, so I won’t see you until Valentine’s Day!

Your homework is to reread the Gatto article using the plan for rereading we wrote in class. Then, please post a response about what you learned from rereading (approx 250 words) on OpenLab by 10 am on Thursday, Feb 14.

Category is “Gatto” again.

Please also post a photograph of your plan for rereading on that same post (if you prefer, you can type it up and post it.)  Instructions for posting an image are HERE



For Thursday, February 7

  1. Read and annotate “Against School” by John Taylor Gatto, which I passed out in class. You can also find it HERE
  2. Write (and post on OpenLab) a 250 word “Difficulty Paper” on the Gatto reading. The category is “Gatto.”

What do I mean by a Difficulty Paper?  In this text low-key assignment, you will write about what you found difficult, confusing, boring, annoying, or painfully obvious in this reading. The most important thing about it, though, is that you BE SPECIFIC. If your mind wandered– tell us where your mind wandered– and start to explore WHY you think this happened to you, and, even more importantly , what you think Gatto may have been trying to say there (and, perhaps what makes you think he failed.) If you find a passage particularly confusing, cite the passage, and explain what specifically confused you about it– not just “the vocabulary was confusing” but point to confusing words, try to figure out what he might have said instead.

Why do we do this? This is not to get you to see what’s wrong with you as a reader. Quite the opposite! In fact, the places where you are most confused or frustrated (or even bored, believe it or not) are often the places you are doing your best thinking. You’re grappling with difficult questions. The difficulty paper can help you get deep into the heart of those questions. Believe me– I’ve seen it work wonders.

What if I don’t find it difficult? I would be a little surprised if you didn’t find anything difficult in this text at all– but it’s possible. Remember, difficulty can also take the forms of being boring or too obvious. Also, look for places you can dig in and look for something a bit deeper– look for clues you may want to know more.




For Tuesday, February 5

Link to OpenLab’s Help section on “How to Write a Post” HERE

1. Read and annotate “As He Himself Puts it”
2. Using the Triple-Entry Journal Worksheet we did in class, write a “quote sandwich” paragraph quoting Leamnson (This is the “Learning, Your First Job” reading, NOT the quotation handout!) That is: introduce your quote, summarize it, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, explain to your readers what you think about it. Why is it important?

To clarify: You will be writing a paragraph about “Learning, Your First Job” using the rules from the quotation handout. You will NOT be writing a paragraph about the quotation handout!


You must add a category when you post or you won’t be able to post it. The category for this assignment is “Your First Job.” Categories are on the right side of the page in a column.

IF YOU MISSED CLASS: you will need to make up the in-class writing. We can talk about that next week. 

If you missed class, you can still do the homework. The reading on quotation is HERE. (You only need to read chapter 3.) You should write a “quote sandwich” paragraph as described in this reading. USE A QUOTE FROM “LEARNING, YOUR FIRST JOB.” If you have misplaced that reading, you can find HERE 



Revision 2 michael pagan

Michael Pagan

Carrie Hall

English 1101

May 20, 2019

                             Lucki- the revision

The time is 12:35 am. I am returning home from work, hands aching. The blisters on my hands remind me of the work I put in during my shift. I’m listening to my music, as I usually do. I pause my music, just for a second-and the stark contrast of the dead silence makes me remember where I am. The  faint smell of beer permeates the cart, most likely coming from the homeless man sleeping on the far opposite end. I periodically shift from side to side, swaying along with the train as it makes its way through its destined path. I am watching all of the building pass by. Most of the window lights are off, but equally as much are on, burning midnight oil. Listening to Lucki, I feel like I am not so alone in my thoughts. Even though no one is there, I am not alone. I am more accepting of who I am.

Lucki (formerly known as Lucki Eck$), is a rapper from Chicago. I personally have been a fan of Lucki for a few years now, but his music is starting to “blow up”, for the lack of a better term. Like a lot of artists today, he is known for his references to controlled substances. Now, I can tell you rolled your eyes, but its not in the way you’re probably thinking. Lucki talks about the dark side of the pills he takes, the drink he sips, how its all killing him slowly. And he knows it. But he’s in the hands of the drug, and seems to have little to no control of his needs. Lucki also talks about his personal problems with depression. About how he uses drugs to “block out” all of the bad things that are going on in his life. The drugs help him forget. I think the point Lucki is trying to make is that all of these people around him are fake, “smiling when they losing”. But, even though people call him an addict, and label him as one, he is more genuine than most. This is because Lucki expresses his emotions, what life, and drugs, and depression, and withdrawal are doing to him, how its affecting Him. He may conceal his depression, but doesn’t ignore that fact that it still exists.

Lucki reminds us that turning to drugs for helps may help short term, but controls your life in the long run.

“He be off them percs, like in his music
I’m really off this so that’s confusing
All these niggas smiling when they losing”

What makes Lucki so different than other rappers is how raw and unapologetic he is about what he does. This especially pertains to rappers who are known to reference drugs in their music. While a vast majority of those artists seem to talk about drugs as if they aren’t harmful, like its normal in a way. Contrarily, Lucki gives the bitter with the sweet. He is not scared to admit that he is addicted, he seems to embrace it in a way. Lucki says, “When that sip drought, stomach rip and pout”. What Lucki is actually talking about is the symptoms of withdrawal of lean (Codeine with Promethazine syrup). The constant stomach turning, sweats, etc, remind you how dependent you are to this drug. It comes to a point where the user needs all of these drugs, just to feel “normal”. Lucki goes on to say, “How could I be worried about what they say/When that seal crack it feel like payday”(Lucki) Now, Lucki is actually saying a lot in these lines right here. Like any popular, or up and coming artist, they are far too familiar with constant criticism of practically everything they do. Lucki obviously doesn’t seem to care about what other people think about his drug use, nor how he handles his feelings. In fact, Lucki refers to “cracking the seal” (breaking the safety seal on pints of lean) to feeling like payday. I think this speaks volumes to how highly Lucki views his drugs. This point is further proven in the following lines, “How you findin’ trouble on your vacay/You called me a addict and thats okay”(Lucki) The entire somber tone of these lyrics, paired with the blunt reality of how drowning out his pain with drugs has taken over. It seems that Lucki places his percocets, xanax, lean, etc over his relationships. And Lucki is fine with that, as long as he has what he really needs.

The opioid crisis has affected practically everyone in some way. Everyone, including myself, have known someone or heard stories of people using painkillers. Especially today’s youth. Even though Lucki’s reference of various drug use is prevalent in all of his songs, it is not because its popular to make music talking about such drugs. Not only because a lot of people can relate to him, and how he feels. But because its what he feels, its what’s true to him. He could never fake shit for nobody, and thats what makes him so different.

Lucki’s music is pertinent to today. To tomorrow. To past memories, all those who can relate. While a majority of people judge people, subconsciously even, it is easy to forget that there is a lesson in all of this. Lucki’s music isn’t meant for everybody. That is a given. But, isn’t that how its supposed to be? Not just with rap, with any genre, any song, any artist. How did you discover them? Why do you listen to them? Sure, you might say the obvious, that you like them, thats why you listen to them. But try to go a little deeper. Why in particular, do you like a specific song or artist? Can you relate to them in any way, do you feel their pain? Or their joy? The same can be said about Lucki. His music is meant for people who want to hear it. Lucki also doesn’t force a certain narrative in his songs, it doesn’t have a completely one sided view on matters. Rather, Lucki gives the bitter with the sweet in a sense and lets the listener derive their own conclusion. Whether drugs actually help, or just sink you deeper into the inevitable. I think Lucki is one of the most underrated rappers of our generation. And I think I’d like it to stay that way.


“Lucki – You Called Me.” Genius, 12 Aug. 2017, genius.com/Lucki-you-called-me-lyrics.

“Opioid Crisis Fast Facts.” CNN, Cable News Network, 11 Apr. 2019, www.cnn.com/2017/09/18/health/opioid-crisis-fast-facts/index.html.

The word Nani saved my life

Saalik Jackson


         The word Nani saved my life 

There was an unusual amount of silence at 10 am on a Thursday.

Usually the train station was more occupied. However for some strange reason it wasn’t. It seemed to not have any importance so I didn’t think much of it .

I went into my pocket to reach for my wallet only to discover that both my money and metro card was missing. At this point I didn’t have any time to go back home . At that moment I remember what a friend once told me “look both ways before you hop the turnstile”. So I did just that without hesitation. I then casually walked towards a seat and waited for my train. It still seemed strange that no one at all was in this train station. I looked up at the screen and it said my train would arrive in 40 minutes. “GREAT” I sarcastically thought to myself.

Then suddenly I got a report notification on my phone. “Man stabbed to death in Flatbush”. I thought to myself “yea it’s tragic but this kind of thing happens”. I continued to use my phone . I opened Facebook and then began to scroll through it. Then I felt my jaw drop in horror. There was a post with an image attached to it. It said “masked serial killer uncaught, stay away from Flatbush ave, please lock your doors and avoid the subway. At that moment a great panic disseminated throughout my body. Still, complete silence remained in the train station. I tried to relax. I placed my hand in my pocket and reached for my earbuds. I plugged them into my phone only to find out that they stopped working. I started to rationalize. I thought to myself  “Ok yea there’s a manic running loose but what are the odds that…”. Suddenly I heard the turnstile make that noise when someone swipes. Now you would think it was just a regular law abiding citizen considering the fact that he swiped. “ wow even serial killers have morals, you’ll kill someone but won’t dare evade train fare” I thought. I didn’t turn to look but I was ready to face him. I was mentally preparing to strike him and then run. But to my surprise, it turned out to be just a regular guy. His hair was kempt and appeared to be very neat. He wore a white dress shirt along with grey pants and a tie to match. He also wore shiny dress shoes that looked brand new . He happened to be carrying a black briefcase. He kept checking his watch, “he must be late for work” I thought.  I felt relaxed now as opposed to how I felt minutes prior. He came and sat down next to me. Nearly 10 minutes of complete silence go by. He remarked out loud “this train is taking forever”. “Yea I know” I said in response. He said “hey how long have you been sitting here anyway”. “ I don’t even know, that screen has said 40 minutes for like 20 minutes. I think it’s broken” I told him . He started to talk to me to pass the time. He started asking me questions. He asked me how I felt about Donald Trump. I found that incredibly bizarre. “Ummm I’m not really into politics but I think he’s crazy and I feel like he is unqualified to be president” I said. His piercing gaze then permeated my soul. He said “ Ok that’s interesting. I asked him why did  he ask me that question. He then told me he loved to hear what people thought about Trump. He said that he found it entertaining. He then asked me if I liked math. I looked at him and said “ MATH? I absolutely despise math. Algebraic equations are literally the most useless thing in life”. He then Looked at me again with that same gaze from before. His eyes then widened. He seemed surprised. “ wow really? That’s crazy, I love math” he said to me. “I can’t imagine why” I told him. He then said “ Oh it’s just something I’ve always loved. He then proceeded to ask me another question, but this time he clenched his briefcase. “Oh speaking of things I’ve always loved, do you watch anime?” He asked. “YES I LOVE ANIME” I exclaimed. Still clenching his briefcase, he asked “ what’s that word that the Japanese says? I can’t remember what it is”.  “It’s Nani” I told him. We then both laughed about it. Then abruptly I heard “5 train to eastchester Dyer ave approaching station.” I asked him if he was getting on. He said “ nah I’ll wait for the 4”. “Oh ok well have a nice day” I told him. Later that night when I got home and turned on the tv. The news was on. I hardly ever watch it but I was too lazy to change the channel. Then my eyes locked on to the screen. The news anchor proclaimed “ local serial killer caught earlier today at 5 pm. He murdered at least 3 more victims before his arrest.” I wasn’t very surprised. Well not until his face was shown. That was the same exact man that I had spoken to earlier in the train station. They then started to describe his methods. He likes to spend exactly 10 minutes observing his victims before starting his process. This is why he always carries a watch. He would then ask his victims 3 questions. Essentially if he didn’t like all three answers that he was given he would kill and disfigure his victims. Found on him was a pocket knife and just a briefcase. Inside the briefcase was a much larger knife along with a protective mask. Both were stained with blood. I watched the news report in horror. Without a doubt, the word Nani had saved my life.


When Paintings meet Poetry

A Café’s Night Life


Dr. Halls Poetry Readings

About Us:


Come join us as we listen to local poets as they paint Van Gogh’s works through the spoken word. Share your ability to demonstrate the emotions one feels when seeing these paintings. Each poem will have a different emotion, tone, feeling, and theme, based upon the painting they are referring. This should be a fun way to bring art into a new light of life. Remember art can be seen, felt and heard in many ways we just need to stop and learn to appreciate them.

Works Cited

“Vincent Van Gogh Quotes.” BrainyQuote, Xplore, www.brainyquote.com/quotes/vincent_van_gogh_386375.

Autumn Landscapes

Autumn the season brings falling leaves, shorter days and long frigid nights.
Umbrellas open prompted by rainy dreary times.
Transitions of spiritual movements and thankfulness traditionally given on these days
Migrations of many birds and humans alike, to faraway places, craving the long lost warmth
Unique traditions, a lot in family kitchens creating food and loving memories
Nurturing families coming together as one
Leaves are falling, creating showers of beautiful orange and yellow hues
Apple cider and pies with cinnamon can be scented through the crisp air
Nature is so beautiful in November, showing the subtlety of the changes that we feel inside
Decorations plentiful, scarecrows are out, and cornucopia is being made
Scarecrows are out frightening birds and playing which children
Chestnuts are roasting, corn mazes are beginning, and autumn fun is in the air
Autumnal equinox is brewing, Mabon is here!!
Pumpkin pies being baked with as much love as we can take,
grandma’s laughter is flowing in with the kitchen chatter.
Enjoy this time, because it won’t last. remember autumn goes by very fast.


Vase with Five sunflowers

“There are five flowers visible.
Why are the flowers in different stages?
Can is be life changes?
One flower has not bloomed.
May this be the start of childhood?
Innocence of what may come.
Now there is bright pedals.
Blind of the darkness in this world.
Learning from those before it.
Feeling the weight of aging,
And now the pedals are slowly diminishing.
Not yet to be retired.
The ovule has now fallen.
The water has been digested by others.
Is it time to go?
The flower has completely withered.
The sunflower has lived a full life.
Goodbye to those around me.”

Vincent Van Gogh

Tonight, we are doing a special appreciation for the artist Vincent Van Gough.

The Pink Peach Tree

An open field
As far as the eyes can see.
Grassy greens
And clouds of fluff.
Chirping birds,
Floating butterflies,
What more calming place can be asked for?
What else can be seen?
The wind whispering,
Branches conversating,
If you listen hard
You can hear what they are saying.
The sky is clear
The sun is near
With the day still strong
This peach tree is dear.
Petals are swaying
Leaves are dancing
The roots are entwined
And the grass is twisting.
The Pink Peachtree is the center
She is the beauty
She is being outlined
She is the song of this nature



Terrace at Night

Stars are shinning, chitter chatter of soft, spoken words,
Generating a feeling of togetherness while still being alone.
A barmaid pacing isles
Of white tables aligned
Bearing food and drinks of all kinds.
Yellow light is seen creating happy atmospheres
Creating life within colors
Making this a world of its own.
The outside world can seem so
Dark and dreary making you feel weary.
Cold and unloving in a late-night light.
People laughing, plates crashing
I wonder if they know,
That he draws them in these shadows?
A cold breeze blows
Pine needles fall, yet,
No one bats an eye.
It must be nice
To sit and eat under such a light
Of a Terrace at Night.

“…and then, I have nature, art, and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?” (brainy quote)
At Eternitys Gate

In screams of pain
This cannot be it.
This will not be the end.
There must be more than just this.
The fiery anger building.
The raging denial oozing through every pore.
Choking on the air that is escaping
The tears swelling
Eyes becoming bloodied in shade.
“Please, I will give anything…”
The sobbing continues.
Hands reaching out.
The feeling of ice.
“Please don’t…”
Sniffling can be heard down the halls.
The breathing seizes.
The air becomes still.
A man sits there,
Hands covering his face.
She is gone.
She has made it to Eternity’s Gate.






“Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not as easy as looking at it.” Vincent Van Gogh  

The Starry Night

Lying in my bed with no sounds but the concepts in my head
Nestling deeper, I crave for sleep to come to take me
In the distance, I hear the church bells chime “one, two, three…”
I peep at the white steeple and count along until it hits eleven.
Beyond the church I see the clouds swirling nonchalantly amongst themselves,
Creating an illusion of tides crashing amongst the mountainside that extends quite beyond reach.
From behind them, I see eleven stars that are glowing so bright.
Almost as if in competition with the Cheshire moon.
“You won’t win, for she shines the brightest even in the darkest nights.”
The Cypress tree sways in a sign of agreement with me
Down below in the cookie cutter houses that sit neatly in rows
I see a flicker of light shining from a single dwelling,
‘It’s like a beacon of hope fighting to shine through the darkness.’
And then it goes out almost as if to prove my point.
I hear footsteps nearing my bed and strain against the restraints on my wrists attempting to glimpse the town one last time.
“Here’s another dose of your medication dear”
A nurse in white hands me a cup,
Finally, sleep is going to take me on this starry night.


Revision 2

Kristopher Baptiste

Carrie Hall

English 1101

May 14, 2019

In today generation kids are basically going to school just to be given unnecessary information that will not go no where in life. Parents should start taking action in trying to change this corrupted school system because teachers these days preferably the teachers in high school cause that’s where its really noticeable. Parents should go up to the school and talk to the principle about their child’s education because they are basically wasting there time coming to school and learning literally nothing that will help them in life. students should also stand up and say something about this problem before it gets even worse than it is right now. Students aren’t getting the proper education they deserve in today’s society. There are many ways that students can take the initiative to go out and get there education and there parents can do anything in their power to help and support their kids.

Since some teachers are lazy and would rather just give the students work without even caring if they did well or not. Also since teachers don’t like the fact they have to set up test, grade the test, create homework, grade it and also correct it, but the biggest problem of all is giving up there free time to help tutor students after school especially when they need it. Parents should go up to the school and talk to the principle about their child’s education because they are basically wasting there time coming to school and learning literally nothing that will help them in life. Parents should look for tutors that can helps there kids in the specific section of work they lack in instead of waiting for change. Parents can put there kids in after school programs where its a guarantee that their child they need. If there are parents that was well educated and have a degree can help their kids in the subjects there well educated in instead of relying on other people giving their kid false information. Parents should also take the initiative to go up when there is parent teacher conference to check up on there work progress because that is showing that you care and trying to support your kid in any way possible. For example when I was in high school English said it is important that parents go to parent teacher conference because it shows that you care because once some kids start seeing that there parent dont really care if they go to school and do their work then they wont care about doing their work and also they wont even care about going to school. So parents gotta be on there kids about there school work so they could do and complete all of their work so they could graduate on time and also have an education so they can have a successful career.

Students can look at programs or after school classes that can give them college credit and also give them extra help. For example when I was in high school the student adviser handed packets and she said if we do and attend the class we are guarantee to get college credits and you we have an early head start in college when it comes to the content and it gives an idea what college work is about and how it differs from high school. Students can also take the initiative and go to the library and search for books that can help them with there studies and school. Additionally students can look ask for help among there classmates because there will be a student who knows more and understand things better than others so asking for there help or even asking them to tutor them and that would be one of the most effective way to learn to gain more information and to understand things better at a different viewpoint. Also students can ask people what do they do or what type of materials they use to help them when they dont know anything that relates to the work.

Therefore in conclusion students need the proper guidance in order for them to take on the obstacles ahead of them in order to have a full filling life but should also they should try and be independent and seek other things that can help them instead of waiting and relying on others. Also parents need to start taking the initiative in making sure there child is getting a proper education by giving them all the support they are able to and giving them different opportunities where they are able to learn. Additionally they have to make sure their kid is not wasting there time in going to school for information that will not help them in there lives in the future.

Revision 2 (KO)

Kalissa Ortiz


XXXTentacion- ‘You See Him Too.’


Album:  “SKINS”



I remember when i first heard the song “TRAIN FOOD” it hit me like a moving train that has run off track. I tend to listen to simpler songs, songs with meanings like depression and bad breakups. But this one was different, i’ve never experienced a song like this.

I was laying down in bed and it was almost midnight, it was pretty cold outside but i still had my fan on. I was wrapped in my fluffy blanket, and had my headphones in my ears ready to listen to my late night tunes. I always listen to music before i go to sleep since i have trouble sleeping and this helps. I go onto my Apple music and see that XXXTentacion album “SKINS” was released. I listened to the first song and loved it, “TRAINFOOD” is the third song listed on the album. At first i was listening to it more like a regular song but certain lyrics stood out to me.

“His frequency distorted quick, i seen it in his image, I should’ve run right Fucking there.”

This line caught my attention and i really started to pay closer attention to what he was saying. I also realized how this song almost was like he was talking, it didn’t sound like he was singing or even rapping just sounded like he was having a conversation with listeners. As i listened to the rest of the song what really scared me was when he said “Now it’s here, Death has now arrived, times finally up.” After the song finished all i kept thinking about is that line. It wouldn’t leave my head for hours trying to figure out what he meant. Until i decided to dig deeper.


I remember I had walked home that day

Content with all my misery

(This line is very powerful in its own sense, and he says this line a few times in the song. It just shows that he has given up and has comes to term that its always going to be miserable for him)

Told my self it’d get better, no clue what there was next to me

(Kept telling himself it will get better, but it just all got worse from there)

Remember there was people, walkin’, talkin’ in the distance

I was dressed for winter weather

But the summer rays were kissing me

I, I was lost

So I took a different path, in the distance he awaited me

(meaning he had taken a different path with drugs and violence in his life at this point, i think than he realized because of this path he’s chosen now he faces death because of it.)

Had no weapon, I’m guessing his hands were just enough for me

Was no question, I’m guessing he laughed just at the sight of me

I was lost

(This could mean his history with drugs and gang violence)

I remember I had walked home that day

Content with all my misery

Told my self it’d get better, no clue what there was next to me

Remember there was people, walkin’, talkin’ in the distance

I was dressed for winter weather

But the summer rays were kissing me

I, I was lost

And there he was, his presence was alarming

As he approaches casual, we talk ’bout self-harming

He told me “kid, you shouldn’t be walkin’ on your own”

He smiled and laughed, and pat my back

He said, “how far are you from home?”

I said, “maybe 30 minutes”

His frequency distorted quick, I seen it in his image

I should’ve run right fucking there, I-

(I think he may be talking about death here, the conversation he is having is with death. In a lot of his songs he always talks about death, and i think all along he always knew he would die very young)

You ever woke up on a train track

With no motherfuckin’ clothes on?

Death before your eyes, you prayin’ to God, but ain’t no response

Trying to scream for hope, just a shoulder that you can lean on

But ain’t nobody coming, so you scream on

And scream on and scream on

(I think he’s saying that he’s on this train of death, he can’t stop it. There’s no brake, there’s no way out it keeps moving faster by the minute he can’t comprehend it.)

While this evil fuck laugh at you?

(The grim reaper watching him struggle for his life)

Train getting closer, you still surprised that he battered you

Tears falling harder and harder, minutes get minuscule

Could’ve had a son or a daughter, now what you finna do?  

You finna die here on this train track

‘Cause clearly after death, ain’t no way you can find your way back

(After death there’s no way out, no reset button)

Thinking ’bout your previous memories, going way back

All them fucking dreams ’bout the diamond chain and the Maybach

(wasted all his time dreaming about materialistic items than thinking about the more important things in his life)

Now your time finally up

Ask yourself the final question, is you going down or up?

(Asking the question if he’s going to heaven or hell)

Recollectin’ all the moments that you never gave a fuck

(i wanted to say think i think he was scared of death which i do think at one point he was. I feel that as the song goes on he doesn’t even care if he dies anymore)

Now it’s here, death has now arrived, time’s finally up


(Reading this is very dark and just shows how all along he knew death was coming and in fact he’d been faced with it many times before. He’s been so close with death almost like he can touch it, but finally it’s got him)


This song really spoke volumes to me, even though we don’t exactly know how he knew that he was just inches away from death reading and listening to his music really bought chills to my body. I’ve never experienced actually seeing death before, I’ve never felt like I was walking on a path that could lead to my end. But I have seeked it, when I was in a deep depression there were multiple times that I felt like I needed to let go of everything around me. Let go of my family’s and friends, let go of my past and let go of my future. It’s a bit surreal to talk about it because this is something I’ve held onto for so long. For years I have had periods of days that I saw a train moving by and thought to myself I should jump in front of it or if someone broke into my house and tried to kill me would I even fight back or would I just let them. Simpler to just die than to even try to fight a fight I can’t even fight anymore. Luckily I don’t think like this anymore. Sounds like I’m a bit fucking crazy but after awhile I realized that I wasn’t meant to touch the angel of death’s hand yet. I mean XXX knew he was going to die, in this song he literally is talking about seeing death, he knows his time is running out. When you know, you know. I didn’t feel like I was going to die, but I felt like I needed to. But it wasn’t my time yet, and I don’t believe it will be anytime soon. What’s always makes this important to me is that I don’t believe XXX was scared of death I think in a way he was embracing the outcome. I’ve never feared death either, I feared life actually. Feared that I wouldn’t meet the expectations that I gave myself and what others expected of me. That I wouldn’t live a fulfilling life and be faced with disappointment. This I do indeed still feel, The thought of not being able to have a life with purpose scares me. I think about it all the time, and I think XXX felt that too.

This means so much to me because even though I haven’t had the grim reaper knocking on my door I know what’s it like to constantly think he will be waiting for me. Knowing that one day I will eventually have to open the door and take his skeleton hands and walk towards the tunnel of darkness that we don’t know what’s at the end of it.


(Reading this back just made me realize how much of a broken ass kid I am…. or was)

Works Cited:

Adam@JRT ,“XXXTentacion – Train Food (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)”            December 8, 2018   http://justrandomthings.com/2018/12/08/xxxtentacion-train-food-lyrics-review-and-song-meaning/ 

Revision two comment summary

From the comments you gave me, I feel I need to practice my organizational skills in my papers better. by trying to find different ways of setting up how I put together my information so I can execute writing better. I see that I need to work on my wording a bit better as well, so as to not confuse my audience when trying to show the “so what”. The purpose of this was to let the readers know that many people suffer in a number of ways and that even in the pain there can be turned in to beauty. I will be using your comments as a way to try to better my studying skills and how to properly write a paper in a more organized manner.


1.) I was confused when you said I didn’t reference Van Gogh going into the asylum, did you mean that I should have put it somewhere else?
2.) Was the layout of my paper what was confusing or was it something else because I seem to be doing this in every paper.



Revision Two


Works Cited

“A Comprehensive Guide to All the References in Ariana Grande’s ‘Thank u, next’ Music Video.” EW.com, ew.com/music/2018/11/30/thank-u-next-reference-guide/.

Gonzalez, Sandra. “Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson End Engagement.” CNN, Cable News Network, 16 Oct. 2018, www.cnn.com/2018/10/14/entertainment/ariana-grande-and-pete-davidson-split/index.html.

Quintana, Anna. “Ariana Grande Accidentally Starts a Twitter Feud With Her Doppelgänger Gabi DeMartino.” Distractify, Distractify, 24 July 2018, www.distractify.com/entertainment/2018/07/24/1mvE55/ariana-grande-gabi-demartino-beef.

Foxwell, Georgia. “Ariana Grande Ex-Boyfriends From Big Sean And Mac Miller, To Pete Davidson Split.” Capital, 5 Nov. 2018, www.capitalfm.com/artists/ariana-grande/relationship-history-big-sean-pete-davidson/.

Spangler, Todd, and Todd Spangler. “Ariana Grande’s ‘Thank U, Next’ Video Breaks YouTube Record for Most Views in 24 Hours.” Variety, 4 Dec. 2018, variety.com/2018/digital/news/ariana-grande-thank-u-next-youtube-record-video-views-1203071119/.