March 14th, 2012

Response to ” I love College” Video

Like the majority of the media, I feel like portrayals of pretty much anything can get blown out of proportion. That is definitely not the case at Queens College. But in many “party” schools in the United States, their title of being a “party” school is there for a reason. I know plenty of friends that have joined fraternities and sororities, and part of that is hosting parties. A lot of social pressure from these parties mold people into the archetypal college student. I knew a girl in high school who was so innocent; she never drank, never went to a party, didn’t experience much. The next thing, I see her during a Christmas break, and she starts talking about all the parties she’s been to, the drinks she’s tried, her intimate experiences, the list goes on. It’s pretty obvious that people change, but sometimes the college “experience” can be the real test of time for previously socially repressed people. In “I love College”, itbasically displays a typical crazy frat house party.

One of my first encounters with media concerning college was the movie Van Wilder, Ryan Reynold’s movie debut. It’s about Van Wilder, a super popular college student whose been partying in college for seven years, until his dad decides to stop paying for his tuition.

March 12th, 2012

Gets me in a good mood

 

These are two really short videos that make me happy, and give me inspiration.

February 27th, 2012

Interview with my father: Describe a time in which you nearly died.

Last night I interviewed my father:

 

Question: Describe a moment in which you nearly died.

 

1:Tito (Father): I was at a party, very excited, with horses, alcohol, women, friends, more than 30 years ago.

2: Nathalie: Was this in Colombia?

3:F: That was in Colombia, during my college vacation.

4:F: I drank some liquor, and afterwards I left with a cousin to drop off another cousin to her house.

5:The road had many rocks that made it difficult to drive on, as well as curvy roads that were on hills.

6:My cousin lost control of the wheel, and we fell off the hill.

7:M: You fell off a hill?

8:F: Yes uh… my cousin, the car released him, he managed to escape from the car, like it the car had kicked him out. But a stick pierced his cheek.

9:M: Really?

10:F: Yes. And me, because I was ridiculously drunk, I fell face-first towards the glass window and cut my face.

11:I got 19 stitches from that cut. I got a contusion from my back so hard that a couple of my ribs broke.

12: Because of that, my lungs became inflammated and filled with liquid.

13:Every passing moment made it harder to breathe.

14:When I was rushed to the hospital, my breathing got shorter, shorter. I was dying.

15:Later I was rushed into a better, more important hospital, with more state of the art technology, more qualified medics that helped save my life. Uh, I was dying.

16:And the doctor who was in charge looked at my x-rays and noticed that I was dying, so his diagnosed solution was to puncture my lung to drain out the liquid.

17:So the doctor… I in the midst of this illness, faintly heard the doctor say, “I am going to do something that will really hurt. But this will save your life.”

18:So he stabbed my back with a knife. They couldn’t do it earlier, because I was too weak.

19:M: So you weren’t treated with anesthesia?

20:F: No anesthesia; they couldn’t administer it because I was too weak, and I was dying.

21:So basically the doctor stabbed my back, and I immediately felt a sharp pain and fainted.

22:The next day, I woke up and found my back connected to a tube.

23:The tube was draining out the mixture of blood and water that was inside my lungs.

24:I couldn’t move my hands, I couldn’t move from my bed.

25:The nurses had to bathe me from my bed because I couldn’t get up. My hands hurt, my arms couldn’t move, weak with serum.

26:I was fed like a baby, for a couple of weeks until I recovered my strength, over time… I was fed soup, gelatin, that was my diet. In order to move my hands, I had to start with my fingers.

27:M: How long was the recovery?

28:F: A little over a month.

29:M: Did you get physical therapy?

30:F: No, because I didn’t need it. I was very young. I was around 19 or 20. I think I was probably 21 years old I believe.

31:M: Anything else?

32:F: Uh, Alcohol Is dangerous. Don’t mix drinking and driving, because you can get into an accident.

33:M: And it was immediate, when people heard about-

34:F: Martha Helena, now my wife, (my mom) was in town when she heard the news that I was possibly dying. She desperately looked for one of my uncles and shrieked, “ Go, run because tito’s head is hanging from a string!”

 

From left to right: Sister, Mom, me, Dad

The introduction was in lines 1-3.

The rising action was in lines 4-5.

The climax was in lines 6-18.

The falling action was in lines 19-26.

The conclusion was in lines 27-34.

 

February 27th, 2012

The World Wide Web: Are all sources credible?

Being a fluent user of the internet, I take every advantage that I could to access resources. From homework, to just plain dumb questions that I wouldn’t find myself asking in person, the internet is a plethora of valuable information. However, nothing is too good to be true. I have come across useless information that I’ve fallen for miserably.

During my sophomore year of High School, my Global History Honors class was having a discussion about communist china. I shot up my hand to raise an intellectual comment. “Did you know that China is building a Disney World? It was also built by children!” My teacher gave me a doubtful look, “Really? That’s interesting.” Another student, known for being the wise guy, disclaimed my comment. Turns out that I had cited this information from theonion.com- a website known for satirizing news and the media. The classroom simmered into an awkward silence, and I was deeply embarrassed. Why am I so damn gullible? I thought. I’m probably sure that the whole class thought I was stupid after that.

So as I came across these realistic-looking websites, a red flag was raised in my head.

http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/

This website above looked real. It gives you information about the endangered Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus, which is supposed to inhabit a rainforest environment. I got suspicious, knowing that Octopuses don’t live on trees- they live in water. Second, it mentioned that the Sasquatch is their predator. Sasquatch? That’s what boys in catholic school used to call me! I immediately knew it was a hoax, a hilarious hoax.

http://weeklyworldnews.com/

Theonion.com

I thought the same thing for these two websites. I already knew that the onion was a fake news website. And with weekly world news, I read an article about Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber having a baby and while it was pretty entertaining, I knew it was purely fictional.

 

 

February 26th, 2012

Cliques?

I was never the group type, as in pertaining to one group.

"Can anybody hear me?"

In high school, I wasn’t popular and was neither unknown. I didn’t like the idea of being part of one group. I doubt that anyone does that, but what I’m referring to is labeling oneself. Even though I am getting used to the Queens College social environment (especially the Aaron Copland School of Music), it’s hard for me to tell the social groups on campus, apart from the Greek-life. I’ve made a couple of friends, all really different people that may or may not socialize with each other. Right after choir in the music building on mondays and wednesdays, I walk over to the QPocket (the room where students play ping pong and pool) and visit my friends during free hour. Annoying commercial music plays over the speakers, music that forcefully creeps into your ears twice a week that turns into your favorite song that you unfortunately know the lyrics to. We play pool and have a lot of fun, I realized after a semester how much good pool chops I’ve developed. I once had lunch with my best friend in the QCafe, who was sitting with a friend of hers. Upon answering where I came from (the QPocket), her friend responds, “Oh THAT place? You hang out with those losers?” I think he was joking, at least I hope he was, but it honestly doesn’t bother me who I hang out with. Being at college has made me develop an open mindset, especially in a diverse campus like Queens College. I had the misconception (thanks to teen college movies like Van Wilder or Bring it On) that college life is full of cliques and greek life. I guess Queens College is the exception. Maybe it’s because it’s a CUNY that people don’t really act like such bigots. I don’t really see much of social division on campus.

On the other hand, the Aaron Copland School of Music is different. It’s a different vibe one senses upon entering the building. It’s serene. Warm inside, one passes by the practice rooms and hears musicians practicing their instruments. There are two social gatherings in the building: one right outside the LeFrak concert hall, where students sit on the red couches and eat their lunch, await a class, or talk about how intense their music theory homework has piled up. The only clique I’ve really noticed at ACSM is the percussion department. They look intimidating and unapproachable (probably because they all look like a bunch of hipsters) but I’ve heard they seem to be pretty friendly.

Sitting on a broken couch, NBD

Cliques form just as minorities in a foreign country congregate: its mostly based on similar interests. People form a haven in order to nurture each other socially. And as a music student at ACSM, it’s social and musical nourishment, my favorite things to do.

February 16th, 2012

High School: Good college prep?

LaGuardia H.S., The "Fame" School

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiorello_H._LaGuardia_High_School

I attended what the NYC public school system calls “Specialized high schools”. I went to the only specialized high school that offers rigorous classes in the Arts as well as academics: Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts…. or for short, LaGuardia HS. For those who don’t know or never heard of this school, This movie was inspired by my high school:

Still don’t know? That’s ok. Anyway, a lot of famous alumni went to LaGuardia (or to High School of Music & Art or Performing Arts High School, the two arts high schools that existed, but were later merged in 1985 as LaG) such as Jennifer Aniston, Milton Glaser (the artist who created the “I <3 NY” logo) Nicki Minaj, Adrien Grenier, Adrien Brody, Marlon Wayans, the list goes on. It’s located in a nice neighborhood- the Upper West Side in Manhattan. It’s across the street from the MET, the Julliard School, The New York Ballet, all prestigious performing arts spaces and institutions. Ok, enough with the bragging.

Aside from all the rich history that LaG has, it’s also considered a specialized high school. When I took the specialized high school exam in the eighth grade, I remember looking down the list of schools and seeing Stuyvesant, Bronx HS of Science, Brooklyn Tech, etc. and I knew that in no way possible I had the IQ to get into those schools. But then, I saw LaGuardia- the ONLY specialized high school that didn’t require the exam, just an audition. I was encouraged to attend because my older sister was already there, studying as a vocal major. I auditioned, and got in. My whole family was thrilled, because I’d get a free music education as well as rigorous academics.

The Mission Statement:

“The dual mission of this extraordinary specialized high school is to provide each student with professional preparation in conservatory arts education and in college preparatory academic education.”

So I spent my four years there; making friends, learning about music, but I wasn’t the brightest student in the class. I would consider myself a average B student throughout high school. But I tried my hardest. It was difficult, having to balance academics with my studio classes. And as every NYC public school, it has it’s good and bad teachers. The problem in my school was that I felt that I didn’t push myself enough from the beginning of freshman year. And whenever faced with tough assignments, us students who couldn’t rise to the challenge would complain, instead of suck it up and just do the work. None of us realized how much we needed to be prepared for when we transitioned into college work. Well, I can’t say I wasn’t prepared at all. I had a couple of teachers who assigned me 11-page essays and huge projects, in-class essays, etc. But the teachers that cut us a lot of slack, I felt that I didn’t really learn from them. Health class was a joke.

As a music major, I learned so much about music in just four years. It was really difficult for me in the beginning, being surrounded by kids who prior to LaG had received private music lessons or studied music in their middle schools. But I made a huge progress, so many valuable friendships, and I met my boyfriend there. So my conclusion? I think my high school prepared me well for college. I am currently a music major at the Aaron Copland School of Music and I haven’t crumbled under pressure yet!

February 15th, 2012

When I was a little girl…

I was scared of the school principal. I imagined him as a big, scary monster who could eat children. He was tall and had a big nose; his authoritative voice annunciating through the speakers always struck the fear of God into me and my kindergarten class. I was trying to adjust into this new environment- wearing a uniform everyday, trying to behave (I had mooned my classmates a few weeks earlier and got into a lot of trouble), and making friends was difficult for me. Whenever Mr. Abruzzo would walk into my classroom, his intimidating presence would get me on my best behavior.

One day during art class, I felt one of my baby teeth wiggling a lot. I had been touching that tooth for weeks, and I knew that it was gonna come out now. Mr. Abruzzo walked into my art class to check on our progress. Then Ouch! My tooth fell out. I remember it hurting so much. I started crying, like a typical five-year old. Then I see Mr. Abruzzo approaching me, slowly. Am I in trouble? I thought. On top of crying like a baby, I felt like I was going to be punished by the principal.

He carried two index cards in one hand, and tape in the other hand. What is that for? I tried to turn away, but he sat on a chair and sweetly asked me, “Does it hurt?” He took my hand and asked for my tooth, and then he made an envelope out of the index cards. And as he put my tooth in the envelope, I realized how sweet he was. On top of that, he gave me a book titled, “The Lion and the Mouse”; a story about breaking the ice between the big, threatening lion, and the tiny, innocent mouse. The irony of the book resembled my situation with my school principal. After this experience, I not only learned not to judge people based on their appearance , but It helped me settle into the school where I ended up creating wonderful, nostalgic memories and moments.

 

 

Best educational moment—what and when.  Describe the scene in detail—be specific, use specific details.  Why was the moment so special?  What did it teach you? Use details: create the scene.

February 5th, 2012

Protest, Student’s rights, and the Media

The majority of people who’ve seen this video below probably believe that the police just came out of nowhere and unexpectedly pepper-sprayed these peaceful protesters:

At least that’s what I thought. But after watching THIS video below, it left me a bit shattered and split. It just shows how the media and editing can manipulate the whole situation and make the police look so horrible.

I mean, on one side of the argument, yes, Every student has a right to protest against unjust policies. But when students do things such as mock the police, and refusing to let them leave by making a barricade, then there is a problem. Wasn’t the protest meant to be about the school? It turned into taunting the police. Pepper-spraying was a bit extreme, but that was what made headlines nationwide. And it was perfect at the time, considering the occupy-wall st. and police brutality going on in New York City, which made everyone hate and distrust the police. I still hate the police. But sometimes seeing things from different points of view really help in making a neutral, un-biased decision.

February 1st, 2012

Cute Video!

Yay! I was able to post the video, but I had some difficulties with it. I tried embedding the video because I forgot how to insert YouTube videos easily. But after many attempts, I realized that all I had to do was unlink the youtube link (which sort of doesn’t make sense) and it worked! 🙂

January 31st, 2012

First Blog Entry

Why am I in college?

I feel that college would be important to me if I had a clearer economic future, in terms of picking a major and being able to apply it to the real world. I believe I’m in college because 1. I do want to educate myself and 2. my parents (mom especially) have instilled the notion of getting an education in order to advance economically. When I was younger, I remember offending my mom by saying, “Mom, I don’t want to go to college. What for?” Sometimes I hear about all those million-dollar moguls such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and I think- is it possible that I could start and run a successful business without the need for a College education? But after attending one semester of college, I do realize its importance to me. I’ve learned so much from just one semester of college, that it’s made me question things I learned in Catholic school and high school.

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