Journal Entry#4 – Caring for others

Helping others during COVID is exhausting yet extremely rewarding. Designing and creating messaging to remind my fellow Americans to wash their hands, maintain social distancing, and wear a mask is good. Designing a sticker for the floor and writing an encouraging note to place in each bag or box of food to give away is amazing.  But one of the greatest gifts I have received and was able to pay forward is just picking up the phone and checking on someone else.

Human contact and relationships are very vital to our emotional well-being. One of the things I have always known but taken for granted until this pandemic came and wipe out and a lot of friends and associates. I learn that it is ok to be vulnerable. Trying to be strong all the time is ridiculous and could give you a stroke or a heart attack. I learn to love and appreciate others more and never take life for granted.

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Journal Entry #3 – The culture of the workplace

The culture of the workplace is one where every volunteer is like family. However, due to COVID, we were communicating through emails, zoom, or conference calls. I think the pandemic gave a new perspective of how fragile life is and we treated each other with greater care and appreciation. The culture has always been focused on helping others, every now and again there might be a personality clash but at the end of the day it gets resolved and the focus goes back to where it belongs.

Since we are currently working from home the dress code could be pj’s, however, on the day when we go out to serve the community, the dress code is a vest that said “IRTC”   Immigrants Responding to Crisis. If we are having an in-person meeting with a community leader, the police, or a politician which is rare these days we dress formally.

The typical workday is writing, editing, or designing and sending back and forth for approval.


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Journal Entry #2- My role within the company

My role in the company is kind of different from the so-called norm because of my previous relationship with them. I have volunteered for many years but when I started attending City Tech I decided to focus on school and would still attend community events but was no longer involved in helping to plan those events. I was tasked with copywriting and design.

My supervisor, Dr. Joyce Lee asked me to come back like she has done before when they needed help that I had previous experience with. I did not have to do an interview, she already knew my skill set and my work ethic. She did ask, however, if I could volunteer at least three hours per day and if I was willing to come on-site for meetings and special events like the mask and food distribution program.


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Journal Entry #1 – The Real Life Times

The company I currently intern with is called “Real Life Times”.  The organization is a sub-division of the mother company called Community Concerns Network Inc., which is a not-for-profit community-based organization that born out of the need to empower and bring the needed resource to the communities that were underserved. “Real Life Times” is a local community newspaper and the medium through which the information was disseminated. The businesses would purchase advertising space in the paper the proceeds were used to fund the paper and other community events. In the past, I was a contributor to the paper writing stories about the events in the community or poetry about something that was currently happening for example I wrote a poem about unity between police and community. Upon returning on October 5, 2020, I worked on messaging around COVID-19. Since print is not so popular these days the volume of the newspaper produced is very small but there is a demographic that still want things in print and have no use for the app that is now being used as a secondary medium for streaming the information.

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Journal Entry #14 Operating from home during COVID-19


Staying at home during the pandemic has its pros and its cons. It is good to be able to get out of bed, brush my teeth, wash my face, and sit at my computer and I am at work. I am not chasing after a bus and a train and walking another block braving the elements cold rain or sunshine.

And school is basically the same, not rushing to get a bus or train at a precise time in order to get on campus and be present when the professor calls the roll. Some professors are very understanding while others will go off like a ticking time bomb if you are late. And so from that perspective operating from home is great.

On the other hand, operating from home can be a nightmare. The first thing I will note is that I am not a teen college student. I am married and have a family that includes my elderly mother. If I am not home everybody is in charge of taking care of themselves, however, as long as I am home I am automatically charged with taking care of everybody else. Everything seems to be lost and I am the only one who can find it. I am constantly being asked where stuff is.

The second nightmare I have in the middle of the busy day is the wifi. Everybody is on the wifi and working, or doing homework can be challenging. I believe the internet companies are doing this on purpose so they can charge more money for what they call faster speed with a broader reach. Not to mention the warning that you now have less than 30 percent of storage space available. Now I have to stop to see what can be stored on a thumb-drive and what I need to put in the thrash to make the space needed to continue a task. I have to jump on youtube and give myself a crash course in troubleshooting and fixing computer problems.

Another hurdle is the distraction around you. Someone is watching TV and some other family member is on their phone talking up a storm letting out varying sounds consummate to the tone and mood of the conversation. My concentration and focus are then thrust into what feels like a war zone with bullets flying all around. And of course, here comes the mailman who is not just satisfied with dropping the mail but ringing the doorbell to alert you that the mail has arrived. Or the occasional salesman trying to sell solar panels or home security systems.

Being the multitasker that I am, there is a load of laundry in the washing machine. Or I am helping my mom set up her virtual doctor appointment.  The one conversation I find hilarious and entertaining. The appointment lasted no more than 10 minutes after she had to take her own blood pressure reading and check her own sugar levels and report the findings to the doctor.

My mom would ask the doctor if he planned to charge the same fee for the ten-minute video chat where she had to triage herself. When the doctor told her yes, she gasped in horror and politely said goodbye then whined and complained about it all day. Noting that the world has fallen in a bad state of disrepair and that the last days are at hand. 

So yes working from home has some perks. Knowing that most of the family is safe at home away from COVID-19 is absolutely great and spending time with the family is amazing. I love my family, however, catching a bus and a train braving the elements of cold rain or shine is beginning to sound very good.


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Journal Entry#13 Networking during COVID-19


Human contact is super important and so is communicating and keeping abreast of the growing trends in the creative space and community. Networking is integral to the success of connecting with people in your area of interest. Meeting people and gaining some perspective from other newbie designers as well as professionals could be the catalyst that propels you into a successful career.  Thank God for technology networking can still take place in the midst of a COVID pandemic virtually.

Virtual networking can never replace in-person tactile connection. Moving around with smiling curious humans emit palpable energy that cannot be expressed or felt in a virtual setting. Exchange of thoughts and ideas face to face embellished with eye contact, hearty handshakes and pearly white flashy smiles do good to the human spirit and cement lasting relationships.

Virtual networking still gives the ability to connect but it leaves room for a lot of disingenuous scammers to try to take hold of your information and use it to their advantage.  You have to be very careful where and with whom you try to connect and share information. The workforce is a hot mess at the moment so networking is basically done to make and keep connections for future purposes. 

From my personal experience, the people I have networked with have bare little or no fruit, however, I will keep the contacts and connections and hopefully, after COVID is resolved I will be able to successfully gain some professional traction.  COVID-19 has sucked the life out of networking as most people are focused on staying and keeping their loved ones healthy. I am very hopeful that things are going to change for the better.



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Journal Entry #6 – Print might have lost its popularity but it is not dead yet.


There is a big rumor going around that print no longer has a place in the creative sphere. Wrong! While digital platforms are dominating in the age of cutting-edge technology print is not dead yet. I have first-hand knowledge of this fact. In my time volunteering in a community-based organization, I realized that there are people who are scared to death of the prospect of doing anything digitally. They are afraid of computers and technology. Of course, some of them are owners of the latest iPhone which is a show to raise their brand name status but that is where it ends because the only thing that phone is used for is to make and receive calls.


The word cyberphobia is defined as being fearful of computers while technophobia is defined as the fear of advanced technology. According to, 30% of the population has a fear of advanced technology. There will always be some demographic that is not willing to use technology. In my personal experience working with middle-aged and seniors print is boss. If you tell them you are going to send them a form online for them to fill out or information about an upcoming event they would freak out. They would ask for a flyer or the information to be written on a piece of paper. 

Ok, so we know that designers have a target audience that they usually focused on. However, keep in mind that mothers and grandmothers may be interested in the same products as gifts for their children and grandchildren. So while designers may use platforms to reach their desired target audience they should be cognizant of the fact that there is an audience from whom they might benefit by using some print even if minimal. Then there are products that are geared for the 30% that are either cyberphobic or technophobic, how do you reach them?

In my opinion, before we quickly shut down print think about the 30%  that are depending on it. I get that magazines and newspapers are a thing of the past, however, billboards are still relevant and so are flyers, In the age of COVID-19 we need to get information to the elderly. We need to reach them in a place where they are most comfortable. It could mean the difference between life and death.

I love technology, the speed and ease of use, having information at my fingertips is great.  There is a vast treasure trove of learning tools to stimulate the brain and expand the vocabulary. Every topic of discussion lives on the world wide web. However, the cyberphobes and the technophobes play very important roles in our everyday lives and they can enjoy the use of tech-savvy designs using the platform they are comfortable with. If grandma is alive print is not dead.




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Journal Entry #5 -The Creative Dilemma


Week 1 – October 5-9, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered life as we know it. It is a living invisible organism that is sweeping through our nation and the world. Families are devastated, they had to watch helplessly as their loved ones die without comfort or support and then bury them without the support of others from the community who would normally offer comfort to the grieving family.

Volunteering in a community organization was second nature to me. One of my passions is to give back and paying forward that which other forerunners had invested in my life to make it better. I had a job to do and it was to create messaging that would persuade others to be empathic enough to look out for their neighbors during the COVID-19 Crisis. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing, always keeping in mind and showing empathy for those with pre-existing conditions. Since I was known for my poetic ability I was told to use poetry as a persuasive tool. I have told many stories using poetry some funny, others serious but none that could make a difference between life and death.

While I was eager to do my part in helping save lives through COVID prevention messaging; I was weary in my spirit. What do you do when the client is not a creative person asks you to do a project that breaks every design rule you were taught?  In the course of studying Communication Design, I learn that is about giving the client what they want but creating a message that provokes the target audience to take the appropriate action required to fulfill a need or solve a problem. 

The regular Joe or Jane for that matter think I am the hottest new upcoming designer New York has ever seen. Show it to a professional creative and they will pick it apart telling you what part they like and where to find a trash bin to throw the rest. The thing I find troubling is that no two person critique is the same. The thing that one person likes is the very thing that the other hates. Thus my creative dilemma. 

The good thing about it is that the client liked it and I have made my mark in the community. The lesson I learn from this dilemma is to use the tool you were given in school such as color theory typography then focus on what the client asked to do. My advice to my fellow creatives is to make sure your message is focused on the right target audience. The message should clear, succinct, and solve the problem. And yes it must be persuasive enough to make your audience get up and take action. The esthetics and design concepts are the additional tools to help in your persuasion. I have come to learn from personal experience that creative designs are subjective.


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To my distinguish professor, prospective employer, fellow students and highly valued visitors, welcome to my ePortfolio.

I am using my ePortfolio as a platform that will allow you to follow me on my amazing journey as I learn new things and transition from a protege to a professional. You will be able to watch me as I navigate through the learning experience pushing against everyday challenges to accomplish my goals.

My home work assignments, field trips and research papers will give you insight on my mind’s ability to comprehend, analyse and interpret information. It will put on display my creative ability to express and artistically communicate the message or story my client (my professor in this case) wants to be told that will captivate the target audience and propel  the required action necessary to accomplish the desired success.

Prepare to be amazed at the power of the fertile mind when it is fed and nourished with knowledge.


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