Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

The Cooper Hewitt is a modern design museum on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. From the outside, it looks like Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters from X-Men, but on the inside, it looks like an old-fashioned mansion with little touches of futuristic technology. I was there for a class trip, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to use the experience for a future blog post. It’s very small, and very technology heavy. Upon entering and purchasing a ticket to the museum, each visitor gets a digital pen. These pens are used to save your favorite exhibits to your own personal collection. This collection can be viewed online after entering a code that’s unique to everyone’s ticket. This is done by using the digital pen to touch the description of exhibits or rooms in the museum. This is what I touched during my visit. There are also several touch screen tables that allow visitors to create digital designs using the pen. Here’s this weird building thing I made on one of the tables. My favorite part of the museum was the “Immersion Room.” This was by far one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen, I would like to go back to the museum just to play around in this room again. There’s a touch screen table with two projectors pointing at the walls. The tables allow visitors to draw wallpaper designs live, and project them onto the wall. It doesn’t sound so exciting reading about it, but actually creating in that room is one of the coolest experiences a person could ask for. If you ever have a chance, this museum is a must-visit place for creatives and explorers alike.

an ornate hallway inside the museum, with visitors

One floor inside the museum.

people drawing on a digital drawing table

Digital drawing table.

a digital pen/entrance ticket in a man's open palm

My ticket/digital pen.

people drawing on and photographing a digital drawing table

The amazing Immersion Room.

a woman drawing on a digital drawing table

The Buzz Family Thanks You!

We would like to thank our new readers who came to our table today. Both Jean-Luc and Sabrina had a great time meeting you all as they explained The Buzz and Openlab (as whole).  We hope that you guys will someday be as passionate about OpenLab as we are and find it as a really great resource for college or post-college uses. With City Tech being a public college, we don’t get many chances to be a part of the collegiate whole and this site is for all of us to virtually be in the same space; to get to know one another, help each other, and network ourselves.

So please, explore The Buzz and get acquainted with us as we, you.

Welcome, readers!

Introducing Jodieann – A Self-proclaimed Black Attire Aficionado

By Pamela Drake

Our Stories: An Intimate Connection Series

I am excited to start this series of interviews with Jodieann Stephenson, a City Tech student in the Professional & Technical Writing program. Jodieann is an NYC based writer, an avid wearer of black, a lover of life, and all its madness. She enjoys wandering around NYC searching for new coffee shops and boutiques to check out. As a fellow classmate, her passion for writing has led her to have her own personal blog, https://blackattireaficionado.wordpress.com/, where she writes poems of personal struggles including beauty standards or love. Writing gives her a chance to create, which is her next passion and which constantly inspires her craft.

a young woman in a black strapless dress

Image by Heloise Bymhee

  1. Describe yourself in one word? How does this word represent you?

Fabulous is the only word that comes close to who I am. Growing up, I had little to no confidence and I struggled with not being beautiful or smart. It took many years for me to become who I am now and that’s Fabulous.

  1. How do you balance school, work, and family demands?

I balance school, work, and family demands by doing it. Everything is doable and if you think it’s not, find another way.

  1. Who are your biggest influences? Who do you admire most? Who or what inspired you to do what you’re doing now?

Influencers, start at home. I’d have to say my mother has been my biggest support system and influencer by always pushing me to believe in myself and go after my dreams. There are two books that I read that have made me fall in love with writing and fiction which are “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou and “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

  1. What tools or personality traits do you think is indispensable for accomplishing your goals?

I think it’s great to be a good student, smart and participate in extracurricular activities, it’s very great. But I think in order to accomplish your goals above anything else, you need to be humble. Humility is one trait that every successful person I’ve seen have.

  1. What is still your biggest challenge or stumbling block(s) and what are the best ways you’ve found to overcome them?

My biggest challenge to this day is stuttering and my pronunciation of certain words. I would really like to overcome my speech problems.

  1. What’s the best advice you ever received?

The best advice I’ve received is to “Always believe in yourself!”

  1. What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

I would have followed my heart sooner rather than later. I spent several years trying to become a dentist when deep down I had a burning desire to write. I wish I had taken the creative path a lot sooner but life always leads you to what you love.

  1. What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?

The most surprising lesson I have learned along the way is that if you ask people out to coffee they are willing to share their stories and networks with you.

  1. What’s next for you?

I’m looking forward to graduating in June 2017, traveling to Europe in the summer, starting my career as a copywriter and blogging more often wherever in the world I am.

  1. What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered?

I would like my legacy to be known as the first Jamaican woman to write about the Jamaican Diaspora.

Jodieann strives to overcome her stuttering. For many, public speaking can be a nightmare but that hasn’t stopped her from taking the mic and conducting her own interviews. Her approach is to practice constantly. Developing confidence in one’s own ability to speak correctly is probably the only real solution to cure stammering and although it can’t be cured overnight, time and patience rewards in the end. Personally, I have no doubt that she will achieve all her goals. Thanks to Jodieann for being so generous in giving this interview.

What are some of your strategies for overcoming your challenges?

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If you liked this interview, or if you want to be interviewed, or even to suggest someone for an interview, please feel free to contact me at pelsada36@gmail.com or leave a comment below.

Chasing Dreams

a young woman in black and white

Born in the capital of Haiti and raised in Brooklyn since age four, Emmanuela Michel was taught to seek occupations that made money instead of having jobs that fit creativity and passion. It is because of this that she tries to explore all her interests in the hope of settling on a satisfying career. A career that will allow her to make a difference in people’s lives. Have you ever felt indecisive about your career choice or that you don’t even know what you want it to be? Emmanuela believes that everyone should take the time to figure out what career path they wish to have versus what they feel obligated to do. She hopes that through her writing she can spread this message and influence more people to find occupations they are passionate about.

Introducing “Our Stories – An Intimate Connection”

a woman in glasses

Greetings! My name is Pamela and I am a working mother, a full-time student, and a writer. My passion for reading and writing has led me to a career path in Professional & Technical Writing. I believe that we all have something to share and capturing it in words and images is a powerful way to do so. Life struggles have led me to persevere and motivate and that’s a motto I live by today.

If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you know that I believe success comes from education and that we can learn from each other.  People love connecting with people who have interesting stories and something to talk about. That’s why this semester; I will be interviewing fellow students and staff of the College, capturing their voice, attitudes, and passions. Our Stories: An Intimate Connect, will be refreshing and new and bring a different perspective each week. So join me on this journey as we share what keeps us going and makes us more determined than ever.

Finding balance

a young woman in a gas mask, spraying an aerosol can Sarah Serrano is the founder, Editor-in-Chief of Sonder, an online magazine for women of color. She is a Puerto Rican educator, poet, writer, visual artist, actress, and voice actress. Her professional work across many disciplines makes her a true renaissance woman. Pulling strength from adversity, she strives to connect with and educate her audience using personal experiences with domestic violence, mental health, mortality, social issues and cultural identity. Sarah aims to take Buzz readers on a journey to discuss mental health while surviving a hectic schedule, balancing an art career, and remembering to adult in the process. Through the power of words, art and education, Sarah Serrano opens up a world of positivity and hope with everything she creates.

Happy First Day of Fall 2016 Semester

keep-calm-it's-my-last-semester

Image Credit

This semester is my most important semester as it’s my last semester. It’s the time when I actively start looking for a job. For those who are in the same position, it can be quite exciting and overwhelming at the same time. I will be graduating and taking the next steps along my career path. It’s also a time when I have to make sure that my resume, ePortfolio, cover letters, and achievements list are immaculate. Quite a task. But just as I do everything else, I will take it one step at a time.

So if this is you also, where should you start?

The first thing I recommend is that you start by defining your brand. What is it that you want the world to know about you? Truly defining who you are is a critical first step in developing ways to market yourself. By looking at your experiences, you can build a compelling brand experience that will highlighting your principles and successes. 

Try to describe yourself. Are you persistent or energetic? What are you good at and what are your unique set of skills? What makes you unique and different than other people? What attributes set you apart. Once you determine the answers, look at how it matches with the career that you want. Like I said, it’s not an easy task but who knows you better than you? You are the expert and you can do the best job.

But wherever you are in your academic goals, I wish you all the best. Let’s make this semester another successful one and know that it will pay off in the end.

WELCOME TO CITY TECH!

This week we kick off the fall semester with classes beginning on August 25th! This will be my third semester here at City Tech and I’m excited to be back and work with my wonderful Professor’s, Mentors and peers. Last Wednesday I manned a table for The Buzz at orientation and it was a great experience so for my last summer blog I want to welcome all the new and transfer students to the amazing City Tech family.

Last year when I arrived I had no guide whatsoever and I ended up going across the street to Starbucks to use the bathroom because I couldn’t find one (LOL) so I’m going to lay out some of the basics for our new comers here. So first things first: where are the bathrooms anyway? Well in the Namm building from floors 3 and above they alternate meaning boys bathrooms are on even floors and girl’s bathrooms are on odd floors (also note some are closed for repair).

Next the elevators in the Namm are divided into local and express where express elevators stop at floors 6 and above and local stop on all floors. The express elevators are 5,6 and 7 and local is all other elevators. I recommend being a few minutes early to class or the line for the elevators will rival those at the DMV.

All the offices you need for major stuff like paying your bill, financial aid, bursar, registrar and more are in the basement of the Namm building. If you can avoid these offices the first few days of school by all means please do because it is a madhouse.

For help with computer and Wi-Fi stuff go to the welcome center on the first floor in the atrium (go in the Namm and walk past the cafeteria) the people there will help you set up Wi-Fi, student email and more.

If you don’t want to eat in the cafeteria on the 1st floor Namm you can check out some of the local food choices like Chipotle, Aubon Pain, Five Guys or Café metro. You can also check out my Panera Bread, Potbelly or Hills country chicken by leaving through the Adams st. exit (Pearl building).

Last but not least we have our own app! You can get it on Android or Apple by searching New York City College of Technology, which sums up what I’ve said and more! I hope you come to love this school as much as I have and never hesitate to reach out to me, as a peer mentor I’m here to help!

 

Email: s.pezzolanti@gmail.com

Twitter & Instagram: @spezzolanti

Also check out my blog The Rebel Mom 

 

Blogology: Have fun!

While technically there are blogging jobs writing a blog shouldn’t necessarily feel like one. The old saying goes “ if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life” and it’s pretty spot on. If you don’t love blogging, or writing in general, then the experience wont be fun for you and that will translate into your writing. It’s easy to see when someone wrote something because they had to and while you might not have a choice at work you absolutely do with a personal blog.

 

Like I’ve mentioned before write about something you know and love or about something you’re learning to do and share your experiences doing so but whatever it is should make you happy on and off the blog. Some people write how to or food blogs other people write parenting or lifestyle blogs but regardless of the topic it is one that is close and important to them. Here are three ways to have fun and make your blog interesting and upbeat,

Have guest bloggers

Sometimes its fun to compare and contrast two styles of writing or viewpoints and readers might appreciate the change of pace. Be sure though that you proofread and discuss with your guest the limits and do’s and don’ts of your blog, you don’t want to lose readers.

Do interviews

Instead of just writing from the first person maybe take your topic and interview someone who has been through it too. For example if you’re going to write about changing jobs or interning experience try to interview someone who’s done it before.

Pictures, pictures, pictures

Visual elements are key because people are more likely to click on links with interesting and well-shot photos. If your topic is pretty straight forward, like this one, pick a unique and interesting thumbnail for it.

Writing is a passion for many people and when they choose to write in their spare time it’s often online now days so exposure is much easier. Enjoying what you’re writing about is so important and baring writing for work writing on your own blog opens endless doors of possibility. For some ideas on how to start a blog or refresh your current on check out my previous posts this summer.

How Blogging Has Changed My Life

a woman's lap, a coffee cup in her hand, and a laptop keyboard

Image Credit: Terriers & Tweeds

As you may know I started blogging at the age of fourteen, but at fourteen I didn’t know the word blogging even thought it was what I was doing. I used to blog with Xanga.com until my second year at City Tech and than I took a very long break which I shouldn’t have.

Between 2008 – 2010, I was in love for the very first time with someone I truly cared about and meant everything to me, granted I was only 19 and he was 20 when we met, but it was the kind of love that I felt could have never been replaced. Unfortunately, it didn’t end well in July 2009 and it really had an effect on me and it was a time like that in my life that I forgot all about blogging, about writing my heart out, about sharing my pain, and etc. I wished I had continued to blog during the period of mending a broken heart, but I forgot and I was a mess.

In 2010, I decided to get back into blogging after watching “Julie & Julia” because that movie really paved the way for me to start blogging again even though I may not always get comments, feedback, or noticed either way what I write is there and it’s real. It wasn’t just blogging I started in Mid-2010, but I created a Yelp account where I decided to start reviewing restaurants and places I’ve eaten at without expecting any results or following. I also started blogging again about life, food, cooking, and much more.

Between 2011 and 2012, I was still a little rusty with blogging. However, after discovering I have a great passion for food and eating I decided to start food blogging and writing about the dishes I’ve eaten and the places I’ve been to. When I look at my Yelp reviews and blog posts, it’s quite amazing how many places I’ve eaten, tried, and seen. I still blog because I love it and I love writing and I love sharing my experiences with someone on the other side of the computer that may find my words inspiring.

I realized that one reason why I never wrote about how I felt and the pain I accumulated in 2009 – 2010 was because I didn’t want myself to go back and read about it because it would just make me cry and the pain I felt is something I never want anyone else to feel or experience. I also realized that during a dark time in your life, you need to find what it is that you love to do that makes you happy because that could be the solution to mending a broken heart.

“Julie & Julia” and a few individuals made me realize how important blogging is because for someone like me, I like to write, but on a blank white screen like I am right now. The influences and followers in my life made me realize that I do offer relevant information, that someone does care, that what I write matters. You should NEVER forget what it is that you love to do.

I’m not an individual that expects comments, feedback, money, an arm or leg to read my blog. I just simply like to write my experiences and share it and if someone reads it, that’s great. Blogging has made me a stronger person, a better writer, a better blogger, and a better person online and offline.

Do you blog and how has it change your life?