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The Buzz is taking a short break while the OpenLab team revamps the program to engage even more students both here at the college and beyond. We have some exciting developments on the horizon!

In the meantime, please check out the previous Buzz posts of our OpenLab bloggers, who have shared their personal, academic, and professional lives with the City Tech community over the years. Thank you to these bloggers and to you, our readers, for making The Buzz so successful!

We look forward to bringing more great content to you again soon … stay tuned! In the meantime, if you have ideas about what you’d like to see on The Buzz when it comes back online, or are interested in being part of the OpenLab’s student team going forward, please drop the OpenLab team a line and share your thoughts with us.

Life After Undergrad: A heartfelt farewell

The time has arrived City Tech, not only is it graduation time it is also my last blog with The Buzz. I started with The Buzz two years ago in January of 2016 and it has been an amazing ride. I was so honored to be considered for a position with the schools blog and I have grown so much in the time I’ve been here not only as a writer but as a person. I have met so many amazing people and been able to attend really interesting events and conferences. Most of all though, I made lifelong friends. My current cohort of fellow bloggers is all female and they are so empowering and fierce. I thank them for being so amazing, supportive and all around kick ass females!

I thank Professor Belli, for recommending me for this position so many semesters ago and always believing in my abilities. I thank Syelle, for being so down to earth and fun to be around always encouraging us girls to reach for the stars. I thank Professor Rosen, for always offering advice and ideas to stretch our abilities as writers. I also want to thank all the other people who have come and gone from our team over the past two years, you have all encouraged me in so many ways.

I have always loved to write but being able to have a platform to express myself and make my voice heard, is priceless. I am so proud of the work I have done here and I will always reference my time and experience here in all my future endeavors. This is Samantha, signing off.

Galloping into the East River

Promised from last week, I am going to end off my series and school year with another historic carousel.

the logo of jane's carousel

As finals roll in like an impending storm, the ways to enjoy free and unstressed time also quickly approaches our minds. I believe I started my “Post semester treat list” last week; the list growing exponentially. I know that I won’t possibly be able to complete everything on that list, but knowing that I have options is rather comforting. This post can easily be an idea for a post finals break. Away from those classrooms and walls that you have been looking at for the past several months. Close to the CityTech campus lies (or spins shall I say) historic amusement gold. Down by Brooklyn Bridge Park is Jane’s Carousel which seems to spin straight into the East River from some perspectives.

the crafted horses seemingly running into the east riverthe horses galloping towards dumbo

The carousel is not a product of NYC like the Central Park Carousel, it was actually made in Pennsylvania. According to The New York Times, it was made by the PTC aka Philadelphia Toboggan Company. As stated by Jane’s Carousel, Artists/sculptors, John Zalar and Frank Carretta, are known to be the hand carvers for the horses that canter round and round. The carousel was built in 1922 and placed in Idora Park which is in Youngstown, Ohio. The carousel would live and grow old in that town and even be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The original carousel had thirty moving horses,eighteen stationary horses, and two chariots all under a wide umbrella-akin overhead shelter designed in revival styles of Colonial and Italianate. Which explains the motifs and paintings that adorn the ceiling and pediment on top of the carousel.

the top of jane's carouselthe interior of the above head shelter, adorned with a butterfly, sky, and flowersa hand carved light brown horse

By the time of 1984 Idora Park closed and the parcel was sold; the amusement rides being auctioned or demolished. The beaten, weathered, and, quite frankly, old carousel was bought by Jane and David Walentas who then moved the faded Ohio glory to Brooklyn in the dire attempt to revitalize the, at one time, crowd-pleaser.

a stagnant chariot on jane's carousel

David was the Developer for the “Empire Fulton Ferry State Park” project, which is a part of Brooklyn Bridge Park (adjacent to Water St.). He thought it would be a good element to the park; and in time, it was. Jane’s responsibility was the restoration of the beloved carousel. Each hand carved horse was also rehabilitated by hand. She had to carve off each layer of 60+ years of paint with an X-acto knife according to Jane’s Carousel (as aforementioned). If you are in the architecture major or any other major that prompts you to use one of these knives, then you are familiar with how tedious and slow moving the process can be. Over twenty years later the restoration was complete and the Walentas’ revealed the carousel in 2006. This was when the carousel was reborn as “Jane’s Carousel.” They then donated the carousel to the park and had a pavilion be placed over it for a permanent home.

a hand carved full body image of a black horsea hand carved face of a black horse

The pavilion was built by world renowned French architect, Jean Nouvel. He decided to put a simplistic acrylic box around the carousel. The box has two facades with floor to ceiling multi-folding glass panels which opens the structure from two ends when the carousel is in service to the public. The other two facades are just floor to ceiling acrylic panels. The entire carousel, including Nouvel’s pavilion, opened on September 16, 2011.

the ceiling of the overall structure over jane's carousela perspective view of jane's carousel facing the brooklyn harbor

When I visited Jane’s Carousel, I noticed something, as the beautiful light brown horse I rode galloped to the calliope music. In the center of the carousel was a speaker radiating the music, instead of the original organ that normally operates with the carousel. Turns out, The Wurlitzer Style Organ is a surviving antique and currently lives at DeBence Antique Music World in Franklin, Pennsylvania.

a perspective view of jane's carousela pair of tickets for jane's carousel

So after you make it rain with your Spring 2018 class notes, maybe you can also treat yourself to some much needed and well deserved downtime with a ride on Jane’s Carousel and some ice cream from The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. A ride is the low (low) price of $2.

a girl throwing papers in the air

Image Credit: Giphy

Happy Summer, Everyone!

A Table of Mothers

Mother’s Day…it is a special day, the one day out of the entire year that is set aside to honor our mothers. Although, we do our best to honor our mothers each and every day…this one particular day is dedicated to it. Whether it be your mother, your grandmother, your stepmother, your aunt, or your mother-in-law as well as someone who has acted as a mother towards you and any other mother that you know; all apply to this sentimental holiday. I thought a lot about who to write about today. And the truth is that I have been surrounded by women for my entire life. I was raised by a single parent and lived with my grandmother, I also have two sisters. My life has been nothing short of always being estrogen filled which houses many crazy and awesome memories.

I have been so blessed with the maternal figures in my life, I remember when I was younger, I used to be babysat along with my baby sister by a neighbor who was always a joy to be around. She’d always play games with us and listen to our dramatic stories of the things that were occurring in our lives as we blurted out whatever kid ramble that was important to us at the time. Alternatively, I remember how my grandmother would allow us to go shopping with her and we would always have a one toy limit. In which we could go to the store and pick out one toy that we really wanted…to be able for it to be purchased to take home with us. My mother would have us meet our grandmother at the train station when she would be on her way home from work. It was only a short distance from home but there was a park/playground that was not too far from it where we would play every day either on the swings or the slide until our grandmother met up with us. Then, we would all walk home together. When I was halfway through college, my sisters and I started having monthly lunches with our aunt. It was a great time to have a good date between our hectic schedule to catch up with each other about the daily happenings of our lives as well as enjoying delicious food together. My late boyfriend’s mom has even taken me under her wing as we talk or see each other all the time and has even taken me out clubbing which was actually a lot of fun besides my initial nervousness. We had a bunch of laughs and drinks. All of these women have greatly impacted my life; they have helped mold me into the person that I am today. I appreciate each and every one of them for being a part of my life and putting up with me as well as my antics. It is an absolute pleasure to be a part of their lives as I navigate this world a little more independently each day. I look to them for guidance, support, and constant love.

a plate of cookies

Image by: Tablespoon

With my aspirations of being a pastry chef, every one of them has encouraged me and stood by me as I continue to pursue my dreams…even as I try to discover what those dreams are. I have given back to them in both big and small gestures…sometimes with something as simple as a dessert. This has been a favorite among them and it is the apple pie cookie. It has a long assembling process but is utterly delicious, it has dulce de leche as well as a cinnamon sugar topping on the crust.

Biology

Lady-Short-Hair

Isn’t it wild that your human body harbors scientific revelations and mysteries all at once? There are people who study the functions of our bodies for a living and yet we function daily, unaware of the wonders within us. But of course, it isn’t always A1 steak sauce and good times.
For example, the fateful night I learned that our sense of taste is very much connected to our sense of smell.
If you are unfamiliar, here is a diagram showing your interconnected mouth tube and nose tube:

A diagram of the sense of taste and . smeel being interconnected.

Growing up in a little house on a hill in the Cebu City, there were many things I had never quite encountered up until our move to New York City. Among them, pigeons, a bathtub, cereal and mouth wash. Now, for a curious seven year old with little interest in a long winded self-care routine, the prospect of mouth wash was magical. Gargle and go! Your teeth are clean now! When my family discovered the wholesale beauty that is Costco, among the things we bought was mouth wash.
I had never experienced the mouth wash phenomenon, but I most definitely sought to try. Of course, my parents prohibited our use of the mouth wash, siting the need for us to take the longer winded way in terms of dental hygiene. Plus, one of the younger siblings might accidentally ingest the liquid and that was definitely not the goal. So, when no one was looking, I plucked the insanely large Crest mouthwash bottle from its spot and swigged. Mistake number one. 
 
It burned just a bit.
Then, to emulate the commercials I swished the mouth wash to the back of my throat and gargled. I was that pretty white toothed lady on the tv ad, enjoying the tooth whitening experie— Mistake number two.
 
It burned A LOT.
With my head bent back, I panicked and couldn’t figure out what to do. I wasn’t thinking straight. The sink, the toilet, the bathtub… Every possibility for me to spit the mouthwash out was not an option. I wasn’t raised a quitter! I had to stick it out, no pain, no gain. This burning was what made the mouth wash work, right?
(In hindsight, it wasn’t even touching my teeth. It was on my uvula, which needed no whitening.)
This was mistake number three. 
 
The irritation in my throat became too much and my body wanted the mouth wash out. Now! But I didn’t want to get mouthwash on the floor, creating evidence of my misdemeanor. I clamped my mouth shut, head still back wards, praying it would be alright. Boy, was I wrong.
With no way out, the mouthwash was forced out of my nose and expelled with a burning rage.
That, ladies and gents, BURNED THE MOST.
So, to sum it all up, the lesson of this story is simple:
Your mouth tube is connected to your nose tube. Biology.

The Home Stretch!

Hey NYCCT! Genny here and man oh man it’s that time of year again… FINALS! I know you’re all stressed and I know you’re all anxious but you just need to remember, take a deep breath and keep track of yourself. Don’t drown yourself in paperwork and negative thoughts. Remember that you’re strong and you’re intelligent, if you studied for the exam then you know the material, don’t sell yourself short and most importantly don’t over-study meaning doing continue studying until 3 when the exam is the next morning at 8, it’ll shut you down. For Communication Design students, although we don’t get much exams we do get final projects so I want to remind all of you to get your projects done, package and PDF them and most importantly, remember to keep your flash drive somewhere safe! For posters I recommend you go to Remsen Graphics 3 17×11 posters are $7.50, not bad right??

On a better note, I’d like to remind you all in this crucial moment that your health matters. Be mindful and keep yourself relaxed, go on a nature walk, I often find that when I’m anxious I run off to Dumbo or to The Brooklyn Promenade. At this time of year you can even go to Central Park or 42nd st Grand Central if you’re a city person and that’s where you find your inner zen. Me personally, I like to look at the flowers and admire the popping colors we were given to by nature herself. This is a moment to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, remind yourself that a test grade or project grade does not define you, remember to smell the flowers and just simply live, don’t let the consuming thoughts of final drown you over. I would like to wish everyone the best of luck on all upcoming final exams/projects, you got this!

Floral pink image

 

Dear Mama

Rap Lyrics and The Face of Tupac Shakur

Yesterday was the holiday where we celebrate the women in our lives that gave us life, took care of us, and raised us. So today, I want to write a letter to my mother to say thank you for everything my mother has done for me.

Mom,

Tupac Shakur orchestrated a classic song “Dear Mama” that is a homage to the love that he has for his mother. When I listen to this song the lyrics that resonate deeply with me is simply “I love you. I love you. You are appreciated.” These words may be simple, but to me they are the perfect bars over a lovely melody that express just how I feel about you. You have always been a mother to me, and regardless of the situation you have always had my back. As a child you kept me busy while my friends were out running the streets during the summer. You made sure that during my time out of school I had absolutely no idle time. I went to dance classes, art classes, photography classes, SAT classes and whatever else you knew I would benefit from. As a child I struggled with understanding why you would not let me just be free and hang out, but now I get it. By keeping me busy, you kept me out of trouble and gave me a chance to experience the world in a positive way. I may not have understood all the decisions you made in the past, but I do know that you had, and still have good intentions for me. So, I just want to say thank you for everything you have done for me, the sacrifices you have made for me, and the love you continue to give to me.


In closing I want to say:

“And there’s no way I can pay you back. But my plan is to show you that I understand. You are appreciated”

-Tupac Shakur

Love, Cherishe Cumma

Endings…

Historically, I have never been good at endings. While singer Sam Smith claims to be “too good at good-byes”, I for one am not. When it has come to breaking up with someone, instead of outright saying I wanted it to be over, I would just stay in the situation. Or maybe I would try to do something upsetting to cause them to end it instead (that never worked lol, and also just isn’t nice at all).

Will Erik Roner GIF

GIF Retrieved from GIPHY

I would be the same when it was time for me to leave my job; I would hesitate to say something until the last minute. I’ve always never wanted to disappoint or hurt someone by leaving so I would always be anxious and avoid it as much as I could.
So I really have just had quite a bad history lol. That’s history though, I do things right now.

Simon Cowell Thumbs Up GIF by America's Got Talent

GIF Retrived from GIPHY

When I joined the Buzz team a year ago, I figured I would just be writing things similar to what I enjoy in the blogs I read. I didn’t know the process behind it, but I was oh so ready to learn and conquer. I genuinely feel like that’s what I have done over this past year. The Buzz team is one of the most empowering teams I have ever been a part of. A diverse all-woman team of artists, intellectuals, nature lovers, care free spirits, and an overall sense of community and care. I say this to say that this will be my last blog post but I do not leave this job behind me. The lessons I have learned about myself, my writing, my voice, and my message will carry with me forever. I hope my posts have been able to uplift, motivate, empower, and comfort you, as that is what is has done for me writing them.

Interestingly enough, before I switched career goals I actually wanted to be an English teacher. I had a passion for writing, especially fictional stories, and I thought that’s what I was going to be. I later found love for helping people and decided on Human services but being with the Buzz brought me back to that place where I loved writing and found it therapeutic. That is a feeling I will miss. The moments when an idea jumps in my head and I think “That’s definitely going in my next post!”

To my readers, whether you have been with me for a while or this is your first post, goodbyes are not as final as you may think. Yes you may be closing a chapter, or losing contact with someone or something that has been constant in your life, but experiences never die. In a goodbye think of the good times. Think of the bad times and what they taught you, and how they may have made you stronger.

As I say goodbye to The Buzz, I say Thank you to the team, to the administrators Jill, Jody, and Syelle for the opportunity, the memories, the experience, and the wisdom gained.

The Office Crying GIF

GIF Retrieved from GIPHY

When I came to City Tech as a transfer, making friends, any extracurriculars, nothing of the sort was on my mind. I wanted to come and finish my degree and go but The Buzz has made City Tech feel like a home for me and I thank you all for that. I wish you all the best!!

 

Love Love Love Love Neffi, Over and Out…..

Black Whitney Houston GIF

GIF Retrieved from GIPHY

Mother Dearest

my mom braiding my hairIt seems that every time Mother’s Day comes around, I find myself at a loss for words. I scratch my head thinking, what to say? What to do? What to get? I feel that as I get older, it gets increasingly difficult to express my affection and appreciation for her; the bar just keeps getting raised. Sometimes I get so anxious about it that my brain seems to freeze and I end up getting a last-minute, poorly thought out gift.

At the heart of Mother’s Day is the act of acknowledging that mothers are some of the greatest gifts there are. My most expensive gifts can mean nothing if they do not come from a place of true honor, respect, and gratitude. I would like to take the time to express my appreciation of some of my mom’s greatest qualities.

Generosity

My mom is a giver in every sense of the word. She freely gives of her time, energy, and resources to anyone who comes her way. She has opened the door of our apartment to many sojourners over the years. Whenever she has food, even something as small and simple as a chocolate bar, she offers to share some of it with everyone in the vicinity. This is a principle she has encouraged all of her children to live by. A character like hers is fitting for her role as a full-time pastor.

Can-Do Attitude

My mom never gives up (even when I think she should!). She will not throw out furniture unless it is absolutely beyond repair or replacement. I’ve seen her pull out her trusty bucket of tools and find unconventional ways to fix a dresser, cabinet, or doorknob (rather than wait on our not-so-reliable super). She would rather try and fail than not try it all, when it comes to household repairs. She is like a female “Bob the Builder,” a true handy woman, which only exemplifies her strength as a single mother.

Faithfulness

My mom has led weekly prayer and fasting services in our home for the past twelve years. Members have come and gone, challenges have arisen, neighbors have complained, rumors have spread, people have taken advantage of her kindness–and yet, she has continued doing what she believes God has called her to do.  She has done the same thing raising this family, never running away from responsibility. I admire her persistence and commitment.

I love you, Mom and I strive to be just as generous, creative and faithful as you are.my mom leaning against a window pane, looking up

Life After Undergrad: How I stopped absorbing other people’s negative energy

I have always been the kind of person who loves to help others. I am a sucker for a friend in need, and I always want to help people the way I have been helped most of my life. Doing this however, has willed me to absorb other people’s misery and bad energy. People all have a vibe, and I’m sure most of us can sense other people’s demeanor as soon as we meet them. It is important that we don’t let those with a bad vibe interrupt our peace of mind, because in most cases people with an abundance of problems are the root of all those woes.

When I started helping and looking out for people who did nothing but drag me down or constantly lean on me, I was setting myself on fire to keep others warm— metaphorically of course. I realized that I was internalizing stress that wasn’t mine and it was started to wear me down; and to my surprise it was a hard habit to break. I had to force myself not to take certain calls or run to help the first time someone fell— tough love.

People who get mad at your for not being a crutch were never grateful for your good intentions as a person, they just wanted to leech the help from anyone they could. As sad as that is, I had to learn to let go, and I had to verbally remind myself sometimes that this problem didn’t belong to me and that my life was intact. Not absorbing the negative energy of others has made such a difference; because you don’t have that air of worry around you constantly and that makes your own kind clearer to live your life to its fullest potential.