Journal Assignment #6

As I wrote in the side note of my previous Journal Assignment, I wanted to wait and see so I could write more in depth for my experience of the pandemic, but instead ended up just backlogging everything I had for this class as events played out. Events that I will now share.

My initial experience of the pandemic upon the household was actually pretty boring. Talking with my parents, daily to stave off the boredom, staying inside the house and almost never leaving, watching the news for updates. A lot of my friends and family though work essential jobs. A lot of them are NYPD, some as doctors and those in my cohort might have heard me mention a few of them are National Guard. Things started to take a turn for my mental health as I saw on the news that officers in the NYPD are testing positive for the Coronavirus, and National Guard being deployed in various hotspots. Doctors working constantly to combat the virus. One of my friends in the National Guard ended up testing positive as well and was admitted with a severe case of COVID 19. He would tell me in later events after recovering but, essentially, he would have a constant 104 degree fever and fluid were filling up his lungs preventing him from breathing. Hallucinations from the constant high fever. A change in his taste buds, where even the slightest bit of salt in food would taste like its been drenched in salt. And then there was the constant raging headaches that wouldn’t end. He told me it’s the worst thing he’s ever been sick with and to this day still has a nasty cough even a month after recovering. He’s going back for another test later this week. My dad who works for the USPS as a mail carrier, is also considered an essential job. They are still working during this pandemic. He came back home one day and was acting very suspicious. He avoided everybody, he was wearing a mask at home, and he would eat dinner only after everybody had finished eating theirs. He eventually ended up moving and sleeping in my sister’s now abandoned room since she had moved to San Francisco about 2 years ago. My mom and me were getting scared and asking him what happened and if he was sick or anything. He would reply “No problem” and playing it off. Then not too much longer he came back from home extremely early with a fever.  I would end up applying for Unemployment for my mom and for COVID sick leave for my dad at the frustrating USPS site. I would consistently ask how my dad was feeling and symptoms. I would report said symptoms to my cousins who were doctors working in this pandemic. They told me to get him self isolated (which he already was) and to keep reporting symptoms. After a while they told me he MOST (almost to the point of being sure) likely had a mild case of COVID and to up our precautions around my dad and if he had trouble breathing throughout the entire day. I texted my sister and I would hear her crying over her daily conversations on speaker in their phone conversations. My dad had trouble breathing throughout the night trying to sleep and would recover in the day. Since my sister’s room is only a thin wall between us, I could hear his struggles as I tried to sleep every night. I started to get heavily depressed and extremely lethargic. I could only play games to keep my mind off of anything and tried to keep a optimistic outlook especially on my face. Reports of mass graves being dug on Hart Island didn’t exactly improve this too. When he would try to speak to me or my mom, his voice was almost completely gone. He would talk in this extremely raspy voice that didn’t even resemble close to what he normally sounds. He looked extremely weak and would lay in bed the whole day. While this was going on, he one day got up and asked me to find him a testing site in Brooklyn, to which I did. Depression kept sinking deeper and deeper. I never did find out if my dad had went or not. However one day he seemed almost energetic, he spoke to my mom and I had noticed his voice even the tiniest bit, was better. I told him this and he was croaked “Really?”. Everyday seemed to be slightly better for him and eventually he fully recovered. He wanted to go back to work and to bring back income, but my mother ended up begging/crying for him to rest at least for another week. So he did and rested still in self isolation in my sisters room. His first day back to work was last Tuesday. And since then, hes back to the same old self he was before. I don’t personally know anybody that has passed away from the virus however, I’d take boring over the hell I’ve been through for the past 4 weeks. That’s what my experience of my household has been for the pandemic.

Journal Assignment #5

My embarrassing moment happened when I was 7 years old and I still at times cringe over and regret it. I used to be a frequent bike rider as a child. I would often on days with nothing to do, ride my bicycle around the neighborhood unattended. My parents trusted me to not cause any incidents as I had not one since I learnt how to ride a bike at the age of 5. On this day I was riding at a high pace as the streets were almost completely clear. I was seeing a pedestrian once every 3 streets and I would always be riding the street side of the sidewalk. As I continued biking down these streets, I had ridden down half of a completely empty street. A baby of about 3 years of age came rushing out all of a sudden out of a Chinese laundromat completely unattended. I panic slammed the brakes on my bike, however the bike I was riding had only front brakes. This caused the front wheel to completely lock up and at the speed I was going, caused me to fly forward off my bike as my bike did front flips over the baby. It looked like something completely out of a movie to anybody watching. I was so sure nothing had happened to the baby as both me and my bike ate pavement 2 feet behind her. I still immediately got up and ran over to the baby to make sure she was okay. The baby still in shock of what had happened started bawling and her family and also whom I assumed were her parents came out of the laundromat saw what had happened and came out yelling at me in Mandarin. I instantly figured out that they owned the laundromat, however I could not understand what they were saying as I spoke Cantonese. I could see from their body language that they were extremely upset at me.  Caught up with how misunderstood the situation was and how young I was, I ended up getting on my bike with tears in my eyes screaming “I’m sorry” over and over as I fled the scene. I rode home and tried to hide it from my parents, who instantly figured out due to how scraped up I was from eating pavement. I told them the truth and ended getting beaten and forbidden from riding my bike. I didn’t care, I no longer had any mood to ride my bike for pleasure ever again and felt relief as I was punished. I left my bike in the garage where it remains untouched to this day.

Side Note: I’ve been putting off these journal assignments as the pandemic ensued, I also wanted to wait and see for my experience for journal 6 but events started to take a turn which I will write about in #6.

Journal Assignment #10 by Nicholas Albanese

My experience with writing dialogue writing has been mixed. I say that it has been mixed because I feel that I neither liked nor disliked it. I enjoyed this experience because it forced me to step outside of my comfort zone of writing and write something I was unfamiliar with. Writing a dialogue piece forced me to create a scene without using a first or third person narrating device. Instead, I needed to approach writing a dialogue piece like how a screenwriter would approach writing a script for a play or movie. I had to establish things like the character’s emotions and little actions through supplementary text that doesn’t appear when the characters are actually speaking. It was enjoyable to write something wildly different from what I’m used to. However, I felt that it was somewhat cumbersome to have to rewrite the names of the characters over and over again in order to establish who was speaking in the moment. I also believed I could have done better in my own dialogue piece. I feel like I took too many liberties when revising the dialogue. Instead of making the dialogue take place over text messages, I made it take place in a particular setting. I’m not sure if this worked to hurt or enhance the dialogue piece.

Journal Assignment 10 by Yan Tao Zhu

My experience with dialogue writing has been good. I feel like writing dialogue has been the easiest out of all of the writing that I have been written so far. The reason is that I already have a record of the dialogue that I was trying to write so I don’t need to dig into my memory or create something out of the spot. I can just type out the dialogues into a word document, then adding the name of the people who said the line and change the dialogue slightly so it makes more sense for people to understand. So I feel good about writing this dialogue.

Creative Writing, 5/11/20 and 5/13/20

Hello, dear students!

Four very important things are covered in this post, so please read all the information ASAP:

  1. Dialogues are due for evaluation
  2. One more Journal is due
  3. Cohort review of the Final Reflection
  4. Discussion of the Final Portfolio

Dialogues are due!

Send your final drafts of your dialogue(s) to me by 11:59 PM on Monday, May 11. Please send it to, not my City Tech account!

Journal 10 is due

Many of you have already done this, but if you haven’t, write and post Journal Assignment 10: Reflect on your experience with dialogue writing—good, bad, so-so, and why.

Cohort Review of the Final Reflection

I’m assuming you all are working on the Final Reflection today, because that’s the piece of the Portfolio that will be the most work.

The Rough Draft of the Final Reflection is due by 11:59 PM Wednesday, May 13. Send a copy to both your Cohort and me (use my gmail account). This will count as your participation points for Monday.

For this assignment, I ask you to do something a little different from your usual critique.

I still want you to write a formal critique, but instead of discussing the use of plot, characters, dialogue, etc., consider the two main prompts of the assignment and how the writer addressed them.

What have you learned about yourself as a writer this semester?

How will you be able to use what you have learned this semester and transfer that knowledge to other writing situations—either in college or in your community?

As the reviewer, answer these questions:

  1. What did you enjoy the most about this Final Reflection? Be specific!
  2. What do you want to know more about in another draft?
  3. Consider the brainstorming questions from the Final Reflection Essay Assignment Sheet. What wasn’t explored in the writer’s essay that you feel should be discussed in another draft?

Review each member of your Cohort’s Final Reflections by Friday, May 15 (this will count for your participation points for Wednesday). Email both the writers and me a copy of your critique.

Discussion of Final Portfolio

As I’ve mentioned before, we don’t have a Final Exam for this class, but we have a Final Portfolio. The Final Portfolio includes:

  • Final Reflection
  • Revision Paragraphs for X and X
  • Memoir (2)
  • Short Story (2)
  • Poetry (2)
  • Dialogue (1)
  • Journals (2)

There are many details to the Final Portfolio, so please look at this document I’ve prepared and posted on OpenLab. It states what is included, how many revisions are needed, how it must be saved/submitted, and how it will be evaluated.


If you have questions or concerns, contact me and we can talk during the class office hours (Monday and Wednesday, 11:30 AM – 1 PM). I can work in other times, but you’ll have to email me in advance.

Stay safe & well!


Journal Assignment 10 by Isaiah Griffin-Sparrow

My experience with writing dialogue before this class was pretty much nonexistent. Now that I’m writing dialogue for this class it is a little bit tricky. There’s something about assigning someone something to say that is a little bit difficult. Previously, everything that was said in my stories were mostly in the narrator’s head, eliminating the need for dialogue. Now that I’m using it I struggle to put a lot of dialogue in a story because I’m used to not using it. I have discovered that dialogue can be very important for character development and just advancing the story in general.

Scene 1

What is the rhythm/pace of this scene? I feel as if the rhythm/pace is a little fast but also has some long dialogue to it that may take a few more seconds to read. Some lines are extremely quick while others have thicker paragraphs. 

How can you tell? (Hint: Look at the stage
directions.) I can tell because as the two brothers are speaking one has very little to say at times while the other is like reading a speech lol. It goes back and forth. It’s either one of the other who is speaking a lot or very little.

What do we learn about the brothers’ characters
and points of view? It seems as if Booth is interested in learning something new which is business and wants his big brother’s advice. But Lincoln is thinking about something else and not even paying attention to what Booth has to say. They seem to argue and go through things that many siblings may go through but at the end of the day, they end up still caring and listening to one another. 

Journal Assignment 10

My time writing dialogues was kind of tricky but once I start writing it, it feels easy to me somehow. Because the last dialogue I typed to let my cohorts see, it was such a great journey writing one. This also proves in the making that the next English class which maybe I’ll sign up for, I’m gonna strongly improved on using vocabulary words that grabs other people’s attention, especially dialogues that’s gonna give the reader a chance for me to fix what I did wrong that includes spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or others I have to readjust.

Journal Assignment 10

I would say my experience of writing dialogue is somewhat good. The reason being is that it is easy to write dialogue when you are talking to someone. But when  I tried to write a dialogue during my free time I found it really hard to come up with an idea and how each person would talk. Because in terms of conversation there’s always to end. Your side and the other side. Also to take note of waiting a two-person dialogue in my point of view is often hard for me. Since I would end up using my own line and completely forgot about the other character. Also, the flow of the conversation would be often hard to keep as you keep constantly what would you or the person say during the conversation. So basically I feel like dialogue is probably the hardest for me, but I state that I’m doing good since its helping me improving my ideas more.

Journal Assignment 10

Journal Assignment 10


My experience with dialogue writing has been a little different from the others. This was a whole new ball game. The tricky part was setting the stage. I really had to go back into my thoughts and remember what I was feeling during the text conversation, which made me really think about things that were said. It was fun as always for me as I read the conversations over, then I shared it with my friend who was the other character in my dialogue. She laughed and said that I made her look bad, which I didn’t do intentionally, but I was pleased to see how she was amused after reading her own words with more context and a stage sitting added to it. Overall this was a good project and I enjoyed it.