Category Archives: Looking In

Reflection of English 104

English 104 is a class, which I know was going to challenge me this semester. Yes, it’s a class that challenges me a lot difference ways. Many type of genres of writing styles, which I have put all my effect doing the work. I should have put myself even more. I have improvement my English as academic level, but I still got put a lot more effort. I have to done a lot of revise my paper, which I feel really help me out. One paper that gives me problem was my article 1 ” language”, because it was assignment which I didn’t do my great effect. I didn’t do well because my grammar wasn’t good. Grammar is my big challenge, but I have to still work on. Continue reading

Artifact 2 (Bad Writing)

Ones idea of self can be approached with many definitions. The differences that come with individuality are what make a person unique in their own way. It is the mixture of individual characteristics that make a person who they are whether their distinct anatomy of self is being judged by a random person in society or by their own outlook on themselves. In Ari Le Vaux’s “A Different Education: Compost and Community, Not Literacy” , he wrote about his visit to Our School at Blair Grocery (OSBG). This school is located in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans which is also labeled as “Cancer Alley” to locals. This part of New Orleans received the worst of the exposure to the chemicals that were washed upriver by Hurricane Katrina and suffered from highly contaminated soil.

OSBG is a school that produces lots of food in an area where food is extremely scarce and sells its goods in order to keep the school running. From what I had read in the article, I feel as if no matter what type of person you were in the past, OSBG did not hesitate to welcome you into their community so that you could work together for a good cause. The school is in a area known for violence and even includes former gang members that want to do good for themselves and the area that they live in. In the article Le Vaux quotes the schools founder, Nat Turner, when he says “If a student wants to learn to read we’ll help them learn. If a student wants to take the GED we’ll help him prepare.” This falls back on the fact that everyones unique form of self is what makes that person beautiful. The diversity in students at OSBG brings differences in lifestyles and this keeps the community such tight knit group. The change that was seen by Le Vaux in the students who entered the school seemed absolutely amazing and it is such a good place for people to make a change in a life that may have been caught in a hole that seemed unescapable.

Le Vaux’s writing definitely gave me a very clear picture of how different this school was compared to the standard classroom education. In the article he explains how a student doing independent study research led a discussion on environmental racism by comparing worldly affairs to the position that they are in themselves. In my honest opinion, I think that discussions like this can be so useful to the minds of any person on this planet and actions such as these should be seen in EVERY school in EVERY part of the world. Students that speak their minds and take notice to issues that actually matter rather than all of the filth that is glorified to the world nowadays will help them students grow so much more as positive members of society and possibly sculpt a more mature version of self that can be used as a the tool to keep moving them forward in a life of success.

I can easily say that I completely agree with Le Vaux’s indirect writing on the mindset of the people that make up OSBG. His writing pushes me toward the assumption that the importance of self plays a big part in keeping the community as strong as it is. By reading the ways of learning that are used by the individuals involved in the school, it makes me extremely happy to see that there are actually people in this world that have the passion for living such a positive lifestyle. When I read this article, it honestly reminded me a lot of my family and friends because they mean the world to me. The bonds that Le Vaux mentioned made me think of how much stronger my family has gotten in the past couple of years and how much I have grown as a person. When I heard of how the residents of the Lower Ninth Ward came back with their heads up after the damage that Hurricane Katrina had done, I thought back to how hard the problems hit my family when my dad left to Puerto Rico without warning. He left us with unbelievable debt and took most of our money. He left my mom to support four boys by herself. After all of this had happened, we kept our heads high and worked together to do whatever we could to keep our house. Around this time last year, I had been working three jobs and attended school at Northeastern Illinois University for my freshman year. No matter what I wanted to succeed and not let something like this stop me from moving forward. It was one of the most drastic growing experiences I have ever encountered and it made me a lot more appreciative of life and what really matters. When I think of my own definition of self, I would probably say that it is what should be most important in a persons life. It is what makes you, YOU and you should never let anybody change that. Everybody has unique elements that make up their own form of self. What people do not realize is that it is those different elements that make a person beautiful. I can say from my own personal experience that if you are comfortable with the person that you truly are inside, you will live a happy life no matter what. You do you.

Artifact 1 (Better Writing)

To start off, my research topic was rap music and music making. Nowadays, the rap game is absolutely amazing and I love it. I feel as if rap is evolving constantly and the new school is sort of intertwining with the old fashioned sense of style. It’s so interesting because no music is ever the same and new trends just keep on being created with all different sounds, paces, rhythms, etc. My major argument for my final project will basically be how rap music is seen in many different lights. Nowadays, society is always looking for the negative attributes first before looking for any sign of good whatsoever and that is a big problem. Music plays a very important in my life and I take it very seriously. When I hear about all of the negative things that are said about rapping and how it is “killing” our youth, I get so mad because these opinions are mainly coming from the individuals who have minimal knowledge of rap music. Although I disagree with this outlook, these are the views that people are going to listen to because this is what is fed to them every day. One person can say that rap is all about violence and that it’s killing our world and sure enough, others will believe them and instantly begin to hate this wonderful form of art. In reality, rapping is a way of expressing what you cannot say in the average tongue and it is people like rappers who ACTUALLY change the world. No matter what people believe, music is what connects this planet. Music is everywhere and always will be, just like rap. It is nonstop evolution at its finest.

Alice in Wonderhell: The Second Artifact

Sometimes it’s not what is at the end of the tunnel that matters, it’s the journey to get there. But other times, the prize at the end of the journey greatly outweighs the climb, or fall for this matter. This was one of those times. I decided to take a leap of faith into Scott McCloud. After all, Cloud is the epitome of Final Fantasy, and I couldn’t help but relate my nerdy ways to a last name.

I start falling into what looks like a bland website, a rather boring hole. It was too professional for my taste: the font, the background, the topics, everything. Except for that peculiar title conveniently placed in the upper left corner of my eye. “Web comics” was as close to my life as anything on this website could get. So I pried open this portal to fall into the most eye-catching portal of all: Chess. It was actually titled, “My Obsession with Chess.” It was one of those titles that wasn’t bigger than the rest, nor did it have any crazy colors or displacement. And yet, I was drawn to it because this portal, this title, is and has been a big aspect of my life.

And so came the hard landing. Normally when you land from an epic fall, you wipe your hands clean, claim your prize, and wake up. But I just landed on a chess board. I just landed into my life. It wasn’t the end of a rabbit hole, just the beginning. And so came the utterly long web comic of a man who has devoted his life and sanity into Chess. And this web comic was true as well, and because of that realism, I fell down another rabbit hole. I started sympathizing with this man’s life, because I stumbled upon a reflection of me.

Like him, I was bullied in elementary school. I too, had a growing obsession that nearly drove me to an insanity. But we were both just playing a game; one simple board game. And that’s the funny thing about Chess: it’s a mind game. It’s a game of trickery, deception, and strategy. Sound familiar? It should, because you are living it. We are all playing this game of Chess, this game of life. After all, in life, we make decisions about every move we make. And once we lose everything, once we give up, we die. This man and myself have been free-falling since we first understood Chess, and not just the cute little rules. We’ve been falling, and can’t seem to stop. Maybe because Chess lovers are peculiar little devils, always asking questions, and always being vulnerable to insanity. But that’s the beauty of insanity: there is always a genius stuck in there.

And that’s what I realized about this man at the very end of the web comic. It was as if he just revealed the ending to his life, and made me question everything he said. And once I read that very last, very bizarre sentence, I accelerated back up. Not back to my point of origin, but back to reality. The reality that we are always falling through rabbit holes.

Reflection: Final Paper

Reflection Paper/Strengths and Weakness
When it came to analyzing other authors or writers, it seemed that it opened my eyes in some ways, that I needed to look at others ways in how would be approach my audiences or others that would be reading my articles, journals, or encounters. The best way that I learned was by going by sections and seeing each one and looking at each sentence and seeing what the author is trying to say and that seemed to help me out with how I would go about with writing my papers or articles.
When it comes to the genre, I understand that things are different and times become different in general because things change, or advancements grows into reality from paper or ideas. I know that when LeGuin made her speak in the 80s, things were different now compared to then. But I know that what she said can still be put in effect today as it was back then to the students that she was talking to. It helped me out because it showed me that no matter what time they are in, it came still come into times nowadays and we can surely use it here somehow.
When it comes to the tools that I used, I really didn’t use a lot of tools because the main point or idea that I wanted to get away towards my audience was the main point and showing my point of view in general so that people could look at it a different way and see if I could swing my vote towards them in a way. I just wanted to expand the view of others in a way and show that there is not just one point of view of something, that we can look at things from a distance and not judge something in some way.
When it comes to a blog, it felt weird doing it at first since I usually don’t post things on a blog in general outside of facebook and the amount of times that I do post things so at such random times and not very often either. But other than that, it was my time a professor had ever done that in class for her students and I felt that it was very cool and interesting at the same time. I write in a way differently because I want to make others think in ways so that they can look at it and take that step back and realize what I am trying to say or getting at.
I never broke any rules when it came to a genre because if that genre was before my times, it would be really hard because I would not want to step on anyone’s toes in anyway possible or get yelled at because I was not in that particular time period.
I would have to that the different genres that we discussed and wrote about in class was very interesting and opened my eyes in a way which was a good thing but I would have to say that they really did have a profound effect on myself, my work and how I perceive things as well when it comes to looking at other authors and writers.

Strengthens and Weaknesses
As my strengths, I would have to say that my ideas are pretty good and I can write pretty good writer, everything comes to me in general like everyone else but I feel that I cram too many things into it and over shoot it sometimes
I think that I need to improve more when it comes to making my papers to become stronger and have more depth in them in ways that we can clarify it for the readers.
I feel that if I were to put more time into my writings and proofread them so that they are not so confusing for the reader. I think that I just start typing and the words are there in my brain but perhaps that are coming out too fast and I cannot keep up with in some ways. My brain works faster than my mouth can speak.
I struggle with writing because sometimes things just don’t come to me in general. I think that I need to take more writing classes to improve myself in writing papers. I have dealt with it in a where I rewrite my papers over and over to somehow make them stronger and more understandable. The improvements that I have noticed is that I can really need to start my papers early so that I can truly put forth the effort more and be able to show more information about what my topic is all about.
What I learned from this class is to be more aware of what a reader would ask when it comes to questions and you want to be able to show the readers that a way somehow and not make it so confusing for them at the same time. I will use them skills to make my papers in the future stronger, better, and not so confusing for the readers who will be reading my articles or papers in general.

Artifact #2: Playing with Language: Option 2

Encounter #4: Option 2: Playing with Language
“Journal #3
When La Guin talks about the whole utopia thing and how there must be some type of system because of the things that we talked about earlier that week because there are so many ways that we can go about with what each person would consider their utopia and how it is truly an impossible thing to have or try with since this world coexists with some type of balance within it to keep it safe in some ways.”

Playing devils advocate isn’t as much fun as I thought it would be or as easy as I have seen it in the movies and books, but I did my best when it came to playing both side of this argument.

Positive Side:
I think that every person has their own viewpoint of what they consider utopia is. I understand that we all have our own different views of what we look as a utopian world. Kind people could be part of that, or people who allow others to go ahead of them because they maybe elderly or have a family. Another examples could be of someone paying for the person behind them, like the next customer perhaps. When it comes to the positive side or good side of this is that there would be no evil if this world were a utopia. Everyone would get along with each other, and everyday would be sunshine and nothing else. I know that there would be a lot of questions when it comes to if we could ever survive in a utopian world? Would evil ever seep into this world or not? I really don’t know how to answer the questions these questions either.

Negative Side:
On the negative part or aspect of a utopia, I would have to say that conflict could somehow seep into this utopian world in someway, worlds are at balance and always will be ying and yang, right and wrong, men and women. We all work together to keep this world at a balance in some ways. Can we ever truly live in a utopian world? I think that we could not due to the fact that we all survive on a balance that is within this world. If we were to have a world where we were free of violence or crime, all evil would be erased in someway and I think that this world has worked off of it’s bad or evil in this world to come out with something good.

In my conclusion I would have to say that a utopian world could really not exist in the world that we currently live in because of the fact that war is always going on within this world and I know that I may not be able to fully understand it at all. But I think that we all need to learn to get along with each other and not start wars with each other or stick our noses into other people’s business.

Artifact 1: Redo: Encounter #3

Encounter #3
Jeffrey Holtz
English 104
Professor K. Volmer
Artifact #1

Unity and Community together

” What comes to our minds, when we hear the word “earth”? I don’t know about you but I think of the only living planet in the solar system, plus we realize that this world is not only for human beings but mammals and reptiles too. I think that we need to realize that we as humans are affecting this world and destroying a lot of things within it. We need to be more informed about how we can restore this world and affect things that are happening and destroying ecosystems too. I understand that we use a lot of resources when it comes to certain ecosystems but we need to know that we are using too much. I am fully aware that people choose to live in areas where they know that natural disasters. No matter where we live within the states there is always some type of natural disaster but when it comes to the south, they should know that they have Hurricanes there and a season of them too. I am glad to see that we have been rebuilding New Orleans after Katrina hit there badly. I am very bad for the people that had to evacuate from there or move to another state even. If they grew up there, it must have been hard for them. But it is nice to see that things are getting better and we are actually seeing the city get back up on its feet. “Renovations to the old grocery building have addressed core issues like structure, water damage, and restoration of utilities, with virtually no attention to finish work. Wires, pipes, and roughed-in beams are exposed. The cinder block wall of the classroom is cracked. The bathroom plumbing can’t handle toilet paper. Outside, the lot is filled with raised beds, sheds and hoop houses made from salvaged materials. Shade cloths protecting tender greens are repurposed burlap sacks. The air smells overripe—the result of a compost aeration problem Turner is dealing with.” (Levaux, Ari. “A Different Education: Compost and Community, Not Literacy”)

We Call it Music What Do You Call it? “5th Encounter”

 Luis Martinez


We Call it Music What Do You Call it?

In today’s society music is often criticized by many. Hip-Hop is a main target when talking about music becoming demeaning. In class I overheard a presentation of someone arguing that Hip-hop is very demeaning to woman. The artist this girl had mentioned was Common. Common is a very inspirational music writer and actor. Commons greatest musical hits have been, I used to Love her, Freedom Writers, I have a dream, along with Universal Mind Control. These songs are not demeaning to woman unless taken into the wrong context.

For example the song “I Used to Love her” by Common has been a song which has been analyzed and talked bad about. The song talks about Hip-Hop, not about woman. I used to Love her is talking about music/hip-hop not about a woman. The technique Common uses is very unique and creative. This song has made it on Hip-Hops all time top 100 music lists on “BET” and “VH1”. The message Common is trying to give to the people is that music is being destroyed and the image of music is being hurt. Common believes that music should be admired not critiqued and rappers should talk about life lessons not degrade woman or talk about how using illegal substances is cool. Music should be correctly analyzed before people fall in

Artifact 2: Life

It is 2021, my biggest dream since I left home at the age of eleven years old; I always want to return back home, Haiti. I’m CEO of my own company, which is being very successful business for my country. The last fifteen years ago, I had received my degree in Mechanical engineering at Northern Illinois University. Now I’m back home with my countryman’s, which God have give me chances to help my own country. As right Now, I’m working on biggest project, that going to make the whole Island of Haiti to produce self sustainable green energy. In the next few years, I would love to see the whole island of the Caribbean, not just Haiti to be self sustainable energy. Never know or stop it here but dream is every country of the whole world is individual independent of the energy. This would be the life…it is just the beginning.


Artifact 1: Small Change


Small Change

Change is coming

I have to believe, if not….

New technology every day

I believe change is coming.


My mind wonders of this change

If going to take year or century,

My mind can’t even imagination

Should I let go now …. I am will lost again

I believe change is coming.


Gadwall changes when we act with action

To defeat our fear

Need to stop to think with reasons

Stop getting blind for the truth

So, I still believe change is coming.


Change wouldn’t come over night

As an activism, and

Work together as one.

To solve this puzzle each small amount piece

Sometime times, you and I will never see any light

Never mean that is the end

Change is here already.


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