A Summer’s Treat

Image by: Michelle

If anyone knows me then they will know how thoroughly obsessed I am over ice cream. I am the type of person that will eat ice cream all year round. Ice cream is my ultimate favorite dessert, I appreciate the variance that it can offer as well as the mouthfeel. It is an amazing creation that enables flavors to be so prevalent even in a frozen state. Ice cream reminds me of some of my best memories in life…it takes me back to fun memories in my childhood or great times spent with close friends. But as time evolves, ice cream trends are constantly changing from the simplicity that most of us are readily accustomed to. There is Thai rolled ice cream, liquid nitrogen ice cream, mochi ice cream, and gelato. Overall, the range and variation  in which ice cream is prepared has expanded. The debate about what constitutes as ice cream based on its percentage of fat has also broadened.

Image by: Brianna Vasquez

The beautiful thing about New York is that it has so many amazing ice cream places integrated into it but unfortunately many are unknown to others. Personally, I prefer the sanctity of ice cream…the simplicity of traditional styled ice cream. Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain is located ideally close-by to the college which makes for a great and fun lunch spot. They offer many menu options from soups and sandwiches to egg creams and ice cream sundaes. They even seasonally offer student discounts on meals, desserts, and drinks as long as you have a valid student identification card.

Image by: Brianna Vasquez

Over the summer, I had the greatest opportunity of visiting this awesome restaurant which is a short walk from the school. It looks quite small from the outside but it has a quaint amount of seating inside. The restaurant offers the option to either dine in or to take out…and I decided to dine in since I was strongly looking forward to laying my hands on one of their handcrafted sundaes as well as quenching my thirst with one of their house-made drinks. I had the maple egg cream which was robustly delicious as well as an almond joy styled sundae which was seasonally available when I visited the restaurant. The sundae was absolutely delicious and everything was made in house. The restaurant itself has an old school vibe which is interesting given the modern flavors of ice cream that is offered. I would recommend that everyone try this little ice cream shop that is neatly tucked into the heart of Brooklyn.

Welcome One, Welcome All!

 

Photographer: Gennessy Palma

Greetings City Tech! Welcome back to the campus and as we all know It’s that time of year again where classes begin and a new chapter arises from our lives. I’m now a second year student and it feels great coming back to the campus; my first year was a success. At first I was a bit lost and confused as to where I had to go but thankfully with the help of friends and staff I gained more aspects of the school and the environment. With the aid of the SGA or Student Government Association, I was able to find my way around the school and even help in many events such as going to the CUNY Board of Trustees meetings in which we became the voice for many students in the decision of tuition hikes and how it impacts lower and upper class economists.

Within my first year I was also able to help with voter registration with Mayor De Blasio. It was amazing having to see the level of professionalism and superiority SGA had and how responsible they were. I remember attending a meeting in which Lubna and Maria allowed me to attend. They were creating so many plans for the school and finding ways to fix problems people had within the school; that’s what I loved about them, they reached out to so many people.This college is so friendly and the environment here is extremely welcoming; no matter what, there is always a helping hand. There are so many opportunities in the school that you can contribute your time and effort to while being with your peers. Remember you are the author of your own story so make the best of everything and make it count, reach for the skies towards your mighty path of success. I wish everyone a happy first week of classes!

P.S: If you ever need help with something you can always go to The Student Center or go to SGA located at G-400!

-Gennessy Palma

 

 

The New Museum

Hello CityTech, welcome back to campus! I hope everyone’s summer was as unforgettable as mine was.

Now I return to this semester of blogging with a revised initiative, which is not only tethered to historical forms of architecture within the five boroughs but has been broadened to include both contemporary forms of architecture and art.

Surprisingly, I will start off this semester with a museum that opened its doors to the public for the first time, on December 1, 2007; called The New Museum. The museum was started by woman by the name of Marcia Tucker on January 1, 1977, the small collection was held in The New School for Social Research and the exhibitions were housed there until 1997 when the museum moved to the Astor Building in SoHo (South of Houston). This new location had more space overall, giving the museum a chance to expand. After receiving funding, the New Museum for contemporary art made it’s latest move to its new location on Bowery, which is still in SoHo.

This new building was created by architects, Sanaa. The structure is eight stories high and consists of over fifty thousand square feet of usable space. The eighth floor is designated mechanical space and is not open to the public but the floor below it is the exact opposite. The seventh floor is also called “The Sky Box” since it is paneled with large viewing windows, which frames SoHo like a picturesque landscape. The room is also wrapped with an outside deck which gives the public a quiet urban oasis. From this deck it is easier to see the aluminum facade that webs and weaves around the entire museum making the staggered boxes more cohesive with each other. Further down the building are the exhibits, offices, cafe, and auditorium; each of these spaces occupy the boxes that can be seen from the exterior. The boxes all vary in size which makes each floor have a different ceiling height and method of maneuvering around the large room.

The New Museum only costs $12 for a student to buy a ticket and is well worth the visit. Art enthusiasts, architecture fiends, and those who enjoy a good view, would really enjoy this museum.

Plan your visit here.

How To Save Money Before The Semester Starts!

Over the summer I contemplated the various methods that I would use to make sure I get the most out of the upcoming semester. Immediately I was consumed with ideas of purchasing a completely new wardrobe such as cute pencil skirts, sneakers and fancy shirts, but then I realized I already had enough clothes. Next, I entertained ideas about buying new lightweight notebooks, or multi-colored pens to take notes with. I even thought about purchasing organizational tools so that I could keep track of my assignments, as well as the various meetings and seminars that require my participation for the duration of the semester.

With the constant stream of new ideas that flowed through my mind, I came to the conclusion that there wasn’t any tool that I could buy that would help me be more successful. Regardless of how many sticky notes I put on a page, or how many highlighters I use in class, my grades are not going to reflect all of the unnecessary things I bought during the summer. My grades will be a reflection of me, and the amount of effort that I put forth to execute each task given to me.

I feel as though students flock to department stores and malls to buy all the latest fashions, and all the new gadgets with hopes that they will have an amazing semester. However, I have learned from experience that in college the best way to succeed during the semester is to preserve as much as possible. Constantly purchasing new products with hopes of a having a fresh start to each semester is not as beneficial as it may seem for a few reasons. The first reason is that by spending a substantial amount of money at the beginning of the semester on unnecessary items, students are limiting how much money they can spend on necessities such as food, and transportation fare throughout the semester. Secondly, students are putting themselves in the position to become dependent on purchasing new things so that they can have a positive mindset about their school work. Becoming dependent on materialistic things to enhance the college experience takes emphasis off the learning aspect, and gives more importance to the vainglorious parts of college.

As a current student I’ve realized that worrying more about what you wear instead of studying your notes from the last class lecture can eventually cause your grade to decline. Lastly, but most importantly purchasing new items each semester will continuously alter the way students absorb information in my opinion.  For example, I require certain things in order to absorb as much information as possible in class. I have trained myself to learn using the following tactics like: dressing comfortably, sitting in the front row of the classroom, taking handwritten notes in a notebook specific for each class, while only using black or blue ink. Imagine if I changed up my whole routine to accommodate new items that I purchased over the summer. I would have to reteach myself how to absorb information, while also finding ways to incorporate these new tools into my daily learning schedule. Ultimately, these new items become more of a hindrance than a benefit because I would have to devote time into learning how to use them, that could actually go to my school work. In retrospect adding new tools into your academic repertoire can be helpful, but in my experience I’ve noticed that less is more, and sticking to a specific routine has produced better results than constantly changing your methods of learning.

My advice for any students looking to be successful this upcoming is to understand the meaning of the saying “Less is more”. Instead of spending large sums of money on new outfits, and gadgets to improve your academic status, save your money and be careful with your time. Focus on making each day a productive one by completing tasks, studying your notes and preparing for the following day in advance. Devote a specific amount of time each day to understanding new concepts, and figuring out what tactics you must use to absorb the necessary information for each class. After you figure out what works best for you, make a conscious effort to be consistent. Don’t give up on yourself when the semester becomes “too difficult”, and you start to feel downtrodden about life. Keep up with your academic life, and do not let your minor effects detour you from your path. College life can be sustainable for any student as long as you set a goal, stick to your routine for success, and omit from your mind the idea that materialistic things are necessary for you to be successful. In the end items of monetary value will not make your grades magically improve, hard work and dedication is the only way to truly achieve academic success. So for all the students who are starting school in the upcoming days, do yourself a favor “Don’t splurge, Preserve!”

Major Key Alert!!

Welcome to Fall ‘17! Another semester closer to your degree, push through y’all!
I know we’re all anxious to get our syllabi so we can start to map out what our next few months are going to look like. But first I want you to do something really quickly. Find the nearest clock, or your phone, and take note of the time.
Ok.
Now I want you to take the next 5 minutes to think about or write down (I prefer writing) all the things that make you happy and that make you smile. It can be people, places, things, feelings, whatever…go ahead, I’ll be right here.
I hope you did it and didn’t just keep reading to see where this was going lol.
What are some of the things that took over your mind?
Wasn’t it almost like watching a movie?
My 5 minutes consisted of my family, especially my 6-year-old niece Sanaa who gives me my entire LIFE.
I mean honestly look at this face!!!
I thought of a moment last week where she said she can’t wait to go to college so I can “teach her how to get A’s”. *tear*
I thought of my graduation day in the future, my job, my family, music I listened to on the train this morning, my birthday that just passed, all the moments I’ve made my parents proud, my circle of dope friends, and the fact that I was blessed enough to even wake up today. After the Hurricane Harvey devastation in Texas we witnessed over the weekend, it made me happy and grateful to have a comfortable home to return to later.
Every time I take some time out of my day to self reflect, one of the things that makes me happy in my life is my name: Nefertiti. After a lifetime of horrible mispronunciation and butchering (you can only imagine what middle school was like for me lol) I decided to go by my nickname Neffi. Despite the “adjustment” I’m very happy with my name because of the history it holds and the connection I feel to it. Nefertiti, as you may know, was a powerful Egyptian Queen and ironically my zodiac sign is Leo. So that also connects me to the representation of a lioness which is the queen of the jungle.
Having this name has motivated me to hold myself to a certain standard and I feel proud and honored knowing Nefertiti was a queen. My name and the history behind it is a reflection of the high standards my parents had for me while naming me. My mother says my father told her to give me a name that means Queen.They set that intention in me from birth and that plays as a goal setter in my life daily.
Taking time out to recognize things that make us happy and makes us smile usually makes us feel it in that moment. That moment is where we get to re-charge and motivate ourselves. It can be that shift you need at that right time. Right before you took these 5 minutes maybe you were stressed about something, having an off day, not in the mood, or maybe you just had a lot on your mind. When you start to feel that negative vibe coming on think about times where you almost gave up…what pushed you??
What kept you going?
What motivates you to continue your journey?
Whatever THAT is, that’s your major key. Your “major key” is just what it sounds like..The key to your success. The key to your piece of mind and happiness. The key to you pushing through everyday, especially the hard ones.
As we’re preparing for new challenges that may come with a lot of stress, a heavy workload, time management challenges, long days and sleepless nights; you have to tap into these escapes as often as possible.
Take at least 5 minutes daily to reflect and appreciate yourselves and the things that keep you going. Yes this class or new responsibility may be the death of you but look how far you’ve come. Acknowledge your potential and what you’re capable of. Look at what you’ve accomplished so far, helloooo you got this 🙂
Elevate your mood, elevate your life.

 

Watch Your Mouth

by Robine Jean-Pierre

We know what “curse words,” “cuss words,” or “swear words” are when we hear them. While some people reserve them for when they are angry, others just slip them into casual conversation, often without being completely aware of it. In spite of this, I would argue that most of us, if not all, know deep down that using these words is wrong. Or is it?

Some would argue that curse words are “just words.” Following the old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” it is reasonable to propose that words in themselves do not have much power; they are simply abstract thoughts attached to sounds our throats and mouths make, or a collection of characters scrawled or typed on a page.

Others would probably say, “Well yeah, once upon a time those words meant something, but now the definitions have changed, so it doesn’t matter.”  Words change meaning and connotation all the time, sometimes from bad to good or vice versa. The word “fa**ot,” for instance, at one point meant a bundle of sticks, but today it is most often used as an insult hurled at homosexual individuals.

I am of the strong opinion that if a word is or has been recognized as a curse word, we should leave it that way. There is no use trying to reclaim, repurpose, or redefine a word when the better option would be to refuse it altogether. Take the “n-word,” for instance. If it started off as a derogatory, dehumanizing word to describe Black slaves (and eventually their non-slave descendants), I do not agree with Black men calling each other that, putting it in the same category as “friend,” “brother” or “homie”; it just seems foolish and backwards. To make things more complicated, the reclaimed word is not even limited to Black culture anymore; I have seen a Latino boy call his younger brother that, and Asian friends call each other that, just to point out a few examples. Why has a word with such a haunting past now pervaded popular culture?

The bottom line is that I do not believe it’s right to curse, yet I admit that lately, even I do. This is due, in part, to spending a lot of time around fellow college students, many of whom do not share the same convictions or inhibitions as me. While I do not use these words in conversation, I do mutter them under my breath, or scream them in my head when provoked by a disgruntling situation. Sometimes I am not even that upset; it could be something small like not knowing where I put my glasses, or my phone acting up, and I ask myself, “Where are my [bleeping] glasses?” or say, “This stupid piece of [bleep].” The worst part is–I can’t lie–I do get a temporary sense of relief and empowerment when I use these words; it’s as if I can feel the steam being released from my ears.

However, even if that’s the case, then I have to ask myself, why use a negative outlet for my anger when I could use a positive one, one that would add to my overall self-image and wellbeing, rather than take away from it?

I am always reminded of an episode of SpongeBob Squarepants in which Patrick referred to the curse words that SpongeBob recently learned as “sentence enhancers.” On the contrary, I feel that curse words cheapen conversation and weaken the integrity of the sentence that was just spoken. Even some of my professors curse, and while they probably do this to appear relatable, comfortable, or demonstrate that “we are all adults here,” instead it just shows a lack of respect on the part of the speaker for whoever hears them. I am grateful for my engineering drawing professor who made it a policy for us not to curse in class; this was one of the ways he advocated for a professional environment in which we all treated each other with respect.

Perhaps, as in many cases, the problem is not the words we use per se. The problem is that we often give ourselves up to self-deprecating behavior. We look for the easy, sleazy, instantly gratifying ways to express ourselves instead of the wholesome, worthwhile, thoughtful ways. Just imagine an employee who does not get the promotion she was hoping for. Instead of releasing the frustration through something she loves, like bike riding or painting, she chooses to drown out her problems by getting drunk that night, and lashes out at her husband. This is a disheartening but very common story.

And unfortunately, many of us have not been taught alternatives. Often times, our bad habits are learned behaviors, and our family and friends make the best teachers. To give one example, how many times does an abusive parent breed a child who grows up to become an abusive spouse? For both the parent and child, violence is the only way they know to dispose of anger and rejection, rather than through hobbies, counseling, sports, etc.

To make matters worse, we then paint the cheaper, detrimental mode of expression as better because we are afraid to want better for ourselves. To bring it back to the subject of cursing, if we do not curse or are not O.K. with having a friend call us the “b-word,” we fear being labeled as a “goody-two shoes” or a self-righteous prude. It’s easy to curse because “everyone else is doing it” or “it’s just words” but the reality is, when we do, we prove that we have a limited vocabulary and an even more limited view of ourselves and others.

We can keep ourselves in check by asking questions like: “How would I feel if I heard my (future) children use those words? How would my grandmother react to it? Would I expect my prospective boss to hire me if I used those words during the interview?” Sure, these are generalized questions; some people work in an environment that is not as strict, and some people have parents and/or children who curse along with them–but I hope you get the point.

Substituting curse words with sound-alike euphemisms is not a long-term solution, but it is a decent place to start. Wean yourself off of F-bombs with “fudge” or “freak,” but as I said earlier, the words in themselves are not the heart of the problem; they are the just the symptom.  If you feel like it is acceptable to hurl demeaning insults at someone because he took a parking space (or seat on the train) before you did, then the problem is that you do not value and respect people as much as you should.

Furthermore, do you realize that you can damage someone’s psyche without ever letting a curse word escape your lips? Whether you vocalize those emotions or keep them inside, whether you express them with curse words or with scholarly, ostentatious words, your hatred toward someone is just as dangerous and real, and it needs to be handled in a healthy way.

So, I encourage you to find healthy ways to express your emotions, whether joy, lovesickness, pain, or anger. Find what you are passionate about and pursue it. Think before you speak and act. As with any negative habit, it may take a lot of time and determination to break it, but if you watch your mouth, I guarantee that the results will be sweet.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” (Proverbs 18:21a, The Holy Bible)

Virtues from Motherhood: Life Mimics Art

When we’re born we come into this world pure, pristine and untainted by the world’s harshness, each of us a clean and untouched piece of marble. We all age though, and as we age we begin to lose pieces of ourselves, and our marble becomes chipped as life begins to carve away at us. Like all art however, the artist’s hands are what makes the masterpiece.

In life the artists are the people who we choose to let into our lives and give pieces of ourselves to. But if they don’t share the same vision we do for ourselves they will only damage the marble, leaving scars and cracks along the way rather than adding beauty and light.

It is too easy to allow the wrong artists to touch us; it is too easy to let a spoken word run wild ahead of a broken promise. Still though our marble is beautiful, with so many untouched corners. Even in the worst lighting the right artist will see beauty; let those people into your life. Let the people who see you in your worst lighting, and still add beauty to your masterpiece, stay. As heavy as marble may be, we have to pick up and move from those who only cause damage; those who damage us do not deserve us. Damage is not what artists do.