HW/Prompt for Mon 3/25

Read the first part of Geert Lovink’s “The Social Media Ideology” (pp. 15-29 in Packet II).  Skim “EXAMPLE ESSAY 2” (pp. 25-32) and “Explaining Quotations” (pp. 32-4).
A) Reflecting on Online Feedback from Classmates (& Me).  Read back through all of your blog posts and the feedback you received on them from classmates.  Then, write a paragraph summarizing the comments you received and/or what you noticed about your writing.  As we pass through the midpoint of the semester, what do you think the strengths of your writing are?  What do you—and the classmates commenting on your work—think could be improved in your writing?  Be as specific as you can.
B) Explaining Quotations with Key Words.  Read the first half of Lovink’s “On the Social Media Ideology” and locate a passage where he discusses the word “ideology.”  In the first part of your response, introduce and write out this passage as a quotation.  Then use one of the “Templates for Explaining Quotations” (on p. 32) to explain what it means.  As part of your explanation, you can include questions about anything that is unclear in the quotation, but I also want you to spend at least 2 sentences speculating about what you think the meaning of the word “ideology” is—as well as how Lovink is using the term in the passage you’ve selected.
  1. In, “Massacre Suspect Traveled the World but Lived on the Internet”,  David D. Kirkpatrick gives a Brenton a undeserving sympathetic backstory ” But after the death of his father, in 2010, the suspect’s life took him in an unexpected direction. He invested in cryptocurrency, quit his gym job and took an idiosyncratic tour through North Korea, Pakistan, Eastern Europe, France and elsewhere.” 
  2. In, “Massacre Suspect Traveled the World but Lived on the Internet”,  David D. Kirkpatrick explains Brenton’s motive “He hoped “to create conflict between the two ideologies within the United States on the ownership of firearms in order to further the social, cultural, political and racial divide,” thus “ensuring the death of the ‘melting pot’ pipe dream.”
  3. In, “A Mass Murder of, and for, the Internet”, Kevin Moore comments on Brenton’s internet usage. “Remember, lads, subscribe to PewDiePie,” he said.
  4. In “The New Zealand Shooting Victims Spanned Generations and Nationalities” Megan Specia humanizes the victims of this massacre. “Three-year-old Mucad Ibrahim is the youngest person confirmed to have been killed in the attacks. He was at Al Noor mosque and became separated from his brother and father when the shooting began.
  5. In “The New Zealand Shooting Victims Spanned Generations and Nationalities” Megan Specia humanizes the victims of this massacre. “He said ‘Mum, there’s someone come into the mosque and he’s shooting us,’” Salwa Mustafa said. “I called ‘Hamza, Hamza,’ and I can hear his little voice and after that it was quiet.”

HW for Mon 3/18

HW: Work with your Essay 2 group to choose a word or phrase to focus your research on.  (You can change your mind later if you’re not pleased with your research results.)  Working individually: search for, find, and print a text dealing with your word/phrase that you want to read.  Bring this in next class.  In Packet 2, read “Intro to Summary Writing” and “MLA Citation Quick Guide.”  Reminder: a revised Essay 1 is due at the Midterm exam next Wed.
Prompt for Mon: In the text you’ve found for Essay 2, find five sentences that show interesting or important points the author is making.  Write out these sentences exactly as the author has written them.  At the beginning of each quote, introduce it using the title, the author’s name, and a signal verb.  At the end of each quotation, include an MLA-formatted in-text citation.  An example for you to follow is below: the introduction and MLA citation are color-coded.
In “The Viral Virus,” Lauren Duca points out that “Identity-bait listicles invite readers to indulge a kind of cyberchondria for attention, a like-driven version of Munchausen syndrome” (Duca 95).

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor

Is this photograph of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (by Richard Avedon) a selfie?

How would you describe the look on the faces of these two subjects?  What might have happened (in the “backstory” of this image) to make them look the way they do? (You can use your imagination here.)

Richard Avedon (the photographer) is famous for talking to his subjects as he takes their photo.  What might he have be talking to the Duke and Duchess about at the moment this photo was taken?

Online Research Resource Quick Links

Publication titles to add to your Google search: E-flux, The New Inquiry, N+1.
Below are some Databases to Play With (for most of these, you need an activated City Tech ID/library card)
Gale Virtual Reference Library (encyclopedia/tertiary sources)
Academic Search Complete (a spectrum of news & scholarly sources)
MLA Bibliography (literary sources)
CUNY OneSearch (search everything in CUNY’s library system)
Google Scholar (general array of scholarly texts; not discipline specific)
Google Trends (search usage of key terms in Google searches, from 2004–present)
Google Books Ngram Viewer (search usage of key terms in books, from 1500-2008)
Kanopy (full-length films and documentaries)
Underground & Independent Comics (comics and graphic novels)
JSTOR (literary criticism & theory)
Project Muse (humanities and social science articles; theory)
Opposing Viewpoints (tertiary source on debates; especially good for topics in politics and news)
Academic OneFile (general academic articles; not discipline specific)
Applied Science & Tech Database (science & tech sources)

HW for Mon (3/11)

Hi everyone,

Quickly: a reminder to activate your ID/library card.  You need an activated card to do research on Essay 2 from home/off-campus. 

…and the reading for Monday: Read Graf, “Yes, No, OK, but…”  If you haven’t yet, read Griffiths’ and Martin’s texts that were assigned for this week.  Also: continue revising Essay 1.

…and your blog assignment (2 parts to this one, respond as a “reply” to this thread, thanks!):

Reading Response Prompt
Re-read the opening of Dawn Lundry Martin’s “When a Person Goes Missing” and respond briefly to the following reading response questions before moving on to the “Writing Prompt” below.
Notice how Martin opens the essay with a brief, but provocative “scene.”
–What is it exactly that makes this a “scene”?  In the opening paragraphs, what are some of the images and actions that Martin shows us?
–What does the essay as a whole seem to be about?  How does its opening scene “show us” (and lead us into) what the essay is going to be about?  What is the effect on you (as a reader) of Martin’s decision to begin the essay with a “scene”?
Writing Prompt: Beginning with a Scene/Image
Look back over your essay and think of a “scene” and/or image you could begin with.  Start writing a new opening section (2+ paragraphs) of your essay, beginning with this scene/image.
E-mail me if you need help!

Media analysis

This picture was taken in Vancouver after hockey game in 2011. On the foreground we see police man who is armed with a helmet, shield and nightstick. This is a typical police gear to pacification crowds. In the background we can a running mob. In my opinion people in yellow vest are policemen chasing people who were taking part in riots. And at last in the middle plane we can see our main character a couple which is making out in the middle of the riots. This picture is almost unreal. In the middle of chaos, against every thing two people are indulging in feelings.

This picture spread thought internet with light speed.  It was every where Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, 9gag etc. Public eye gushed over it, and hailed them as a modern symbol of “make love not war”.  Unfortunately internet society was to quick with judgement. There wasn’t many people who want to dig deeper in to this. However some people did. They found that this was Alex Thomas and her Australian boyfriend Scott Jones and they weren’t kissing. Based on testimony of witnesses they get between police and the mob and couldn’t escape. They were knocked down by police and left.

Base on this history we as a internet community must be aware that every news in internet is potentially a fake news. Even a little effort could give us clues if news is real or not.

Developing Conflict/Enigma with key details & events.

2a. In my opinion main conflict is between Deirdre and the rest of friends and it is based on curiosity of the group how look legs after amputation part of it. Deirdre was was forced by pressure of the group to kiss the stump. Conflict is developing from conversation between friends about loudest sounds they heard. However, they don’t mention jet engine sound or siren like many people would say. They share with each other very private parts of their lives, and this is first the conflict, to open yours self with problems to other people. Second conflict came after change of subject to the most silent thing they ever heard and Chris story about leg. Conflict is in behavior of people, they didn’t ask how he feel with it, they just wanted to know how it looked like. I think he didn’t want to show them his leg so he made this demand to kiss his stump. Which lead us to the next conflict pressure of the group on Deirdre, to do this. Fist detail to create this situation was that they didn’t know each other so much, if they would be closer friend they probably would be more careful about other feelings. Second one was the strong feeling to know unknown, in this case how Chris leg looked like.

3. My first big internal conflict happened few year back at my firs semester of college. My major was geodesy, I had been thinking along time before college that this would be something that I would like to do in my life. However, after first half of semester I was starting to changing my mind. During the classes I got to know in details what geodesy is and I did not liked it. But I didn’t know what what to do. My parents gave me money for education, and I felt that I couldn’t disappoint them so I kept studying to the end of semester. During final exams I had enough. I had this thoughts that I couldn’t ruin my life and stuck with things that I don’t want to do. On the next weekend caught train to my home town. After arrived I had the most difficult conversation with my parents, but I had to tell them the truth.

Comment to documentary Kriegman and Steinberg’s Weiner (2016)

For me this was a very interesting documentary. In my opinion it tells two stories. One about the man who wants to fight for his believes. The man who wants to change something in society, but in the same time he struggles with his personal problems. The other story is about how modern campaign works in the internet age. It is slightly refer to ma essay, where I try to show that in this days people are addicted from selfies, and social media, and because of that it is hard to keep privacy. Also in this documentary we can see that people are eager for sensation, and selfie or other photo can easily create one. After this scandal people forgot about what he wanted to change in the city and based their judgement on current emotions to the candidate.


I  headed up the stairs into Search and Destroy. It’s an amazing store that has an abundance of punk clothing and items. My words alone cannot describe how sick this place is. Not to mention the killer music playing. Anyways, two guys blocked the entrance. I shared a conversation with one who claimed his name was August Lane. Ha, yeah right! He asked me to see my board so I thought nothing of it. Just a couple of dudes chilling on a stoop. I held his drink. He dashed away. As if it was a fair trade off.

Passively I say “My, board.”

Something kicked in that I was probably about to get robbed. So I ran after him. Thinking back on it, he could’ve had a weapon. But all I could see was him stumbling on my board zooming away.

I grabbed his back. Snatched my board out of his hand. Yelled. Then we fist pumped.

I was just happy to have my board back. It was so bizarre and strange that it felt like a dream.


2a. In the narrative, Silences, Denis paints a beautiful scene of friends engaged in one another. However, this wholesome atmosphere soon turns sour. At the dinner table, the loudest thing they’d ever heard was being served. A somber voice. A pounding heart. One grandbaby hollering their lungs out. Tourettes’ Syndrome.

A shift in the power of the room is granted to Chris. He introduces his silence. “He said the most silent thing he’d ever heard was the land mine taking off his right leg outside Kabul, Afghanistan.” His vulnerability quiets the whole room. When someone blurts out something so heavy, many don’t know how to react. It puts a room in a sea of tension.

Curiosity gets the best of them. Jokes put the room at ease. “I’ll show you,” he said, “if you kiss it.” We stumble into major conflict from this point on. A new question is raised. This is the flow of Denis’s piece. An answer for every question. They started to talk about the most ridiculous things they’ve kissed. This is the second point event that leads up to the grand finale.

Chris eggs on Deidre to kiss his leg. She obliges. Everyone in the room is on the edge of their seats, awaiting. Deidre is before Chris on her bare knees staring down the stump. The reality of the situation brings her to tears.

Category:Media Analysis

We the Animals is based on the book written by Justin Torres. The film surrounds three brothers. “Us three. Us brothers. Us kings.” The film is a sensitive portrayal of a toxic relationship. There is so much violence in the way the boys’ parents love each other.

There is one scene in particular that boils over from the cycle of abuse, passed down from father to mother to brother to stranger. The youngest boy, Jonah is struggling with his own conflict, as many growing adolescents do.

Jonah sprints through the woods with a smile plastered on his face. He stops. Walks. Then runs some more. He climbs through his window avoiding his brothers. In his bedroom, he discovers his bed to be disheveled. So he searches for his secrets. His notebook has gone AWOL. He flings the sheets from his bed. A pillow is tossed into the air. A mattress flung.

He sees his family in the living room. His attention darts from them to the drawings sprawled out on the floor. He scoops up his drawings. His mother reaches out and grabs his forehead to hers. “Where were you?”

He looks in her eyes and pounces. His hands scratch and claw at Ma. His roars are heard, His anger felt. His father peels him off of his mother. His legs kick out from underneath his father’s hold.

This scene was intense. I could easily see how hurt Jonah was to have his sexuality on display. His thoughts things he kept hidden. The conflict is with the way he dealt with his anger.

He knew no other way to express his anger. He learned how to take his anger out on others.

I wonder how do others experience anger? How do you deal with it correctly? Is there a correct way to deal with anger?


HW 2/25

  1. Chen starts of speaking of how the internet is no much different today then it was in 2016 and how he met a close friend through the internet
  2. His meeting and bond with his best friend
  3. There is still a stigma about meeting people online
  4. Cat fishing and its problem and where it originates
  5. Explaining how “cat fishing” the show works
  6. Further explaining how someone was caught catfishing someone from the show
  7. Shows how people purposely ignore the signs that are clear to them. also how people who do the cat fishing are “deranged” and look for entertainment
  8. Cat fishing is a mix of old fears and new anxieties that questions the authenticity of online friendships
  9. Computers scientist JCR Licklider believed that the internet was a place people could come together and would lead to truer bonds that real world relationships
  10. Social media and the internet keep people from building real relationships
  11.  Facebook makes people feel lonely and the creator seeing it through the eyes of a programmer rather then a ” college student”
  12. Anonymity is a big factor on why people are able to catfish
  13. Computers area a small part of ourselves the portion devoted to logic, order, rule, and clarity.
  14. Introducing earlier social media before Facebook and Myspace
  15. First social network “makeoutclub”
  16. Makeoutclub made for a distinct group of lonely people looking to find others like themE
  17. Excerpt from Andy Greenwald book
  18. Great place for hookups but not what it was made for
  19. How Austin was able to meet someone proving how meeting people online can work sometimes
  20. Real online friendships are present you just have to actively look for it
  21. Austins story on how he met a women through social media because he made a decision that is he met a girl with an eye patch he would marry her
  22. Austin eventually came in contact with her again and in person and eventually married here
  23. There are still social medias that allow people to make friendships that aren’t exclusive to the internet
  24. As much bullshit there is on the internet you can always find someone else to bullshit with
  25. Makeoutclub still exist and gives the author a nostalgic feeling for the early days of social networking
  26. Makeoutclub forum

HW for Mon (3/4)

HW for Mon: Begin revising your Essay 1 and complete any missing blog posts.  Read Dawn Lundry Martin’s “When a Person Goes Missing” (available online here).

BLOG POST UPDATE: Enjoy the snow—no new writing due on the blog for Monday!  Please take some time to make up any blog post assignments you haven’t yet completed (recall that this includes commenting each week on another student’s post in addition to writing your own) .

Remember: I cannot pass you if you do not participate fully in the online component of the course.  Each week of missed blog work counts as an “absence” and more than two of these jeopardizes a student’s final grade.

As a courtesy, I am granting credit for any past blog posts you are able to complete by the end of this week.  Going forward, we will follow the original policy and late blog posts will not receive full credit.

See you Wednesday at the library (4th fl Atrium)


HM 02/25

  1. In the mid 2000s internet was not a crowded place, people was meeting friends by sharing their passions, and goals.
  2. In internet you never know what kind of people like same things as you.
  3. In this days it is still suspicious to make friends in internet and popular social platforms won’t try to change this way of thinking.
  4. People are scared that somebody met on internet could hurt them, or use them for their own purposes.
  5. Explanation how Catfish show works, on example of Sunny and Jamison.
  6. Big surprise when Sunny and Jamison finally met in real life.
  7. The Catfish show is exemplify how people ignore signals that something is a lie and believe in it.
  8. The Catfish show reinforces people scare of internet friendship.
  9. Computer scientist J.C.R Licklider believed that internet would be place were people won’t be alone, because they would met people with the same goals and passions regardless from social class.
  10. In nowadays Facebook concentrates briefly on real interaction between people, and more on making money.
  11. Mark Zuckerberg is approaching Facebook to much from programmer point of view.
  12. Every form of interaction between people on Facebook could be presented in form of graph.
  13. In Facebook world there isn’t place for unknown and anonymity, and human interactions are decrease to minimum.
  14. Technology cant understand friendship, because it is create only on logic site of human brain.
  15. There were minor social networks, besides giants like Facebook and Myspace .
  16. Makeoutclub might be first word’s social network.
  17. Makeoutclub gave opportunity for kids to expand heir identities.
  18. It was a place to share information about what’s new in the culture.
  19. Makeoutclub was a place to hook up, but in old fashion way by conversation, and with out control of programs.
  20. At Mateoutclub people were free in looking for new friends.
  21. Makeoutclub gave more freedom in terms of anonymity and identity.
  22. Advatage of being anonymous, could have one downside we can lost contact with person we really liked.
  23. People can also easier find each other, if they are using social network based on sharing passions.
  24. Out side Facebook still exist communities that allow to make new friendships base on what people like.
  25. If someone the same passions and goals internet friendship can be sustain.
  26. Makeoutclub still exists, and is resembling how past look like.
  27. It is weird that internet community had met up

Chen in passage “Don’t Be a Stranger” compare internet in mid 2000s and in nowadays in terms of social life. It shows that in general internet was more open space in which people wasn’t so scared to open them selves to other people. They made communities which share the same point of view. Internet was a place with less control of corporation.

HW for Wed (2/27)

Hi all,
An update on the assignment for Wednesday.  Several things…
Please remember to bring 2 print copies of Essay 1 to class.  In addition, please submit your draft online as a Google Doc.
Lastly, please complete a brief blog post on the film, following the prompt below.
Watch Kriegman and Steinberg’s Weiner (2016).  ( <– This is a download link that will only work for 7 days; the film can be streamed—for a fee—here.)  Make notes during the film and, at the end, write a paragraph about something in it that connects to something you’re writing about in your Essay 1.
On Wed, I will continue checking in with students wanting help with essays or other work assigned this semester.

Revised Full Length Blog Post

2a) The main enigma in the narrative titled ” Silences” is the fact that Deidre wanted to see Chris’s amputated leg, but didn’t want to kiss it until the dude who didn’t speak all night, Morton Sands, said something. Then Deirdre ended up marrying Chris six months later when they barely knew each other. Johnson leads us into this enigma by stating that they all barely knew each other from Elaine’s volunteer work. Then as everyone sat in the living room discussing the loudest sounds they’ve heard, everyone was sharing personal details about their lives. They all barely knew each other but felt close enough to open up about their personal experiences. Two key details that  are important for building this enigma are “No, I don’t want to kiss your leg!” said by Deirdre & “Oh, well. okay” also said by Deidre after Morton sands says ” Jesus Christ, Deidre”. Why would Deirdre exaggerate not wanting to kiss Chris’s leg just to agree to doing it after one small comment from a dude who didn’t speak all night? She even cried when Chris brought his leg closer because she didn’t want to do it, but she marries him six months later?


2a) The main enigma in the narrative titled  “Silences” is the fact that nobody in the group was 100% sure about Chris’s  amputated leg, then Deidre asked to see Chris’s amputated leg which is something that people do not normally ask amputees. Although Deidre agreed to kiss Chris’s leg, she waited until his scar was fully exposed then backed out of the settled agreement,which was to kiss Chris’s scar once he exposed the rest of his amputated leg for her to see. She didn’t want to kiss it until the dude who didn’t speak all night-Morton Sands- said something. I think it’s shows Deidre’ s lack of self confidence when she quickly changed her mind once Morton Sands made a subtle comment. Deidre seems as if  she can be easily manipulated by a few persuasive phrases. Then Deirdre ended up marrying Chris six months later when they only knew each other for a short period of time. Johnson leads us into this enigma by stating that they all barely knew each other from Elaine’s volunteer work. Then as everyone sat in the living room discussing weird things, everyone was sharing personal details about their lives. They all barely knew each other but felt close enough to open up about their personal experiences. Two key details that  are important for building this enigma are “No, I don’t want to kiss your leg!” said by Deirdre & “Oh, well. okay” also said by Deidre after Morton sands says ” Jesus Christ, Deidre”. Why would Deirdre exaggerate not wanting to kiss Chris’s leg just to agree to doing it after one small comment from a dude who didn’t speak all night? She even cried when Chris brought his leg closer because she didn’t want to do it, but she marries him six months later?


HW for Monday

1. Inverse outlining an essay to see connections within its many ideas. Re-read Adrian Chen’s “Don’t Be a Stranger” (pp. 61-66). Make a numbered list of notes describing the main idea in each of the essay’s 29 paragraphs. Each of your notes needn’t be longer than a phrase.
When finished, look over your list. What do you notice about the overall form of this essay? What is the main topic it seems to be about? Where and how is the main topic introduced? Where and how does the essay meander away from this main idea?
Post your list and a couple sentences responding to 1 or more of these questions.

2. Finish a rough draft of Essay 1 and bring in 2 hard copies of it next week. By Monday night, please turn in a digital copy of your draft as a Google Doc (instructions for how to do so are here).

Revised Full Blog Post

A conflict that happened in my life was a dealing with a problem with my older sister. It was more like a conflict with my emotions, because a couple of years ago my older sister joined the navy.

I was behind her all the way, but apart of me didn’t want her to go because it felt as though I was going to lose my best friend as well, we had a really close bond. I was at school one day and we were listening to the radio in the classroom and they were talking about the Navy Seals in the Navy and I automatically thought about my sister, 2 years had went by without no communication. I ran out the classroom with tears running down my face because I thought something happened to her. After a while, I was able to keep my emotions in hiding and I thought I was okay, but deep down I wasn’t because I was hurting but in the inside. Not only was I hurting in the inside, but I would lash out at my friends because my sister wasn’t here with me and I would always think the worst when I heard people talk about the Navy or the Army. Finally, fighting with emotions caught up with me when I saw an unknown number calling me, when I answered it was my sister alive and well on the other line. I couldn’t help myself but break down on the phone, happy that she was okay and returning home soon where she belonged.

Don’t Be A Stranger Conflict

In the article “Don’t BE A Stranger” one of them most immediate conflicts you notice is that the author find people look down on internet friendship. This is partly due to the negative stigma attached to the internet’s person to person experience back in the days of myspace in the early 2000s. When the news was pledged by stories of sexual predators and murderers finding easy pray vea the internet/myspace. Later claiming that there are even worst methods of tricking people. Referring to CatFishing, with is the act of purposely lying to other pretending to be older or younger than they are and to be more sexully and finatually mor attractive than try really are in hope to get someone to spend money on them or meet them to get a shot at them they would normally otherwise not get. This leads to relasonships being seen as sacams because of this. With the world of socal networking exploding due to the rise of Facebook and a world where you can always be can be logged in all the time. As well as all the sexual online application. All this has servearlly damges the image of the internet to outsides however tivieal it may be.

Rappers going to jail

Nowadays rappers are going to jail in and out. One of the rapper name YnwMelly have been accused of double murder, but you might be thinking it might be some random person that died right? well no. The murder he got accused of is his 2 best friends that got shot. The reason the police thought it was him is that he took him to the hospital and told the authorities that it was a drive-by shooting. But the way the 2 guys got murdered does not look like it was a drive-by shooting.  One of YnwMelly song called “Murder on my mind” has been blowing up. In the song, he talks about him shooting someone but he does not reference it who is he talking about. Now people are thinking that song might be talking about his friends that got shot dead.

Do you think the song was about his best friends that died?

Did he kill his friends for more publicity?



Revised Full length blog post

   I woke up early on a Tuesday with blurred vision, my left arm sitting as if it was in a sling. When I try to walk, my left foot is dragging instead of stepping. I can’t put my flip flop on properly which is causing me to trip multiple times on my way to the bathroom.

   After a few hours of trying to be up and active and my condition worsens, I finally go to Jacobi Hospital ER in the Bronx. I was immediately called to the back. One nurse stopped what she was doing and said “Sweety, your having a stroke, we need you to call your parent and tell them bring you a change of clothes. We’re admitting you”! I could only reply “I’m 20”.

   I was taken to a room where I was put into a MRI machine. The sounds of it was unlike anything I heard before. It was a loud clicking and beeping with all sorts of other noises that big machines make. After about 30 minutes later I am back in my emergency room bed and my mother is there waiting to speak to the doctor. I have never seen her look this anxious before. This little Asian lady appeared from behind the curtain and said “You have MS, do u know what MS is?” I responded “Multiple Sclerosis?”, unsure but somewhat aware only because I had watched an episode of Royal Pains and a guy was misdiagnosed with MS due to having all of the symptoms. The Asian doctor confirmed that I was right and walked away.

   I am diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) a month and 4 days before my 21st birthday. While at the hospital, I lost the sensitivity in my left leg/foot, my left hand has completely closed only being seen as a fist, and my vision is blurry one minute and clear the next. I was put back into the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine, not once, but several times, giving the doctors more than one image of my brain in color and black and white. I also had three spinal taps. I am now in a wheelchair not able to hold my own weight or control my limbs, being told at 20 years old that I would never walk again. The doctors couldn’t explain how I came in contact with this disease, only that no one gave it to me and I couldn’t infect anyone. They even went on to say “Your immune system is attacking itself”.  

   I wasn’t aware that I started stuttering when I spoke. My mom had mentioned it to the doctor, thinking it was only because I spoke so fast, saying “It’s like she’s rushing through whatever she wants to say, so she stutters sometimes”. “Yes, stuttering is a common symptom of Multiple Sclerosis, because of the lesions on her brain, some of the messages the brain is sending is taking longer to be received…sometimes not received at all”. The doctor replied with a drastic pause as if I didn’t already feel as if This Was The End! I also had been sleeping a lot lately. I got fired from my first job in February after resigning from my overnight job after the holiday season, so I had the time. The time to sleep all day or plan my 21st birthday barbecue I saved up for.

   Fast forward 9 years. I can walk on my own without any supportive devices and both my hands work just fine—it’s been tested. The MS has taken away my 20/20 vision, and left me with some things I wish it didn’t. I’m a walking contradiction, conflict, and enigma within myself. And I wouldn’t change a thing. I have learned to appreciate the month I spent in the hospital. I like to think the universe was slowing me down.

   I’ve also learned the ins and outs of having MS, for example sleep, sleep is vital, but it is also dangerous. I’m more likely to catch a common cold more frequently, that will last longer than in the average person, and not getting enough sleep will increase my chances of getting sick and/or relapsing along with stress. But if I sleep too much that can be a sign of my disease progressing. Stress is another factor that will present MS symptoms and/or increase them. Avoid stressful situations and stressful people!

   Do I miss being able to flip, play sports or be active in any kind of way without tripping myself or being overly exhausted? Hell yeah! Do I like going to the doctor once a month for infusion therapy to prevent my disease getting worse? No, but I am grateful to still be able to do everything on my own and live a semi normal life. I may not be able to run up steps, but I can run down! My motor skills in my left hand may be slower than the right and “stutters”, but I’m the best driver out my whole crew, might drive better than most men.