Welcome!

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I am Jaym Orejola, i’m from San Jose, Ca and currently live in San Jose as well. My academic interest/goals are towards getting an AA in Music Technology, and also trying to partner that up with a degree in film studies. I am trying to hopefully land somewhere in the video game/movie industry working with music production/dialog. I would consider that one of my dream jobs. Hobbies i enjoy on my leisure time are making compositions, cooking food (I love italian!! :D) and also trying to get back into shape slowly, but surely. Couple of my goals that i wish to accomplish sooner down the line is to see my name on the credits of a highly acclaimed feature film. I know it sounds cheesy but i would go nuts when it does happen! I also would like to join the peace corps. when i get somewhat situated to go travel around the world, and help out the less fortunate. Those are just a couple that i have in mind. The purpose that i wish to have with my blog is to show the struggle in trying to become what we are destined to be, but also showing the beauty beneath it. Therefore i named my blog, “Beautiful Struggle.”Image

Look @ Literacy Essay #1

            Look at Literacy
            The definition I believe we see as a society through literacy in this day in age is obviously not the same as it once was. Some of us are really eager to solve this literacy problem within ourselves, but at the same time stuck because it starts off with the institutions that serve us to help us understand what the true meaning of what literacy is, and what should be the proper way to be evaluated. Through the first 2 weeks of this class, I’m really starting to grasp what literacy is, how much I thought I knew about literacy, how language is what makes us who we are, and what we are trying to accomplish through the essence of reading and writing.
            “Language, we know, is a socially generated public system of communication-the very bloodstream of any society. But it is often forgotten that language is always internalized by an individual human being in transaction with a particular environment.” We as humans have always had a way of communicating with one another. At one point in time, I believe it started off really simple from a prehistoric standpoint, and then eventually started to get more and more complex as time passed. Eventually, we as humans started to become more specific at what we wanted to express, and to whom we wanted to express it to. In the prehistoric ages, I believe a grunt and a point of a finger would do enough justice to figure out what that individual had in mind, whether it was to show hunger, or a way to show his affection to his loved ones. Even in a simplistic way of thinking, language shows to be an important element, whether it be a million years ago, or in the present. It just so happens that the way we want to emphasize on what we are saying is much more complex then, than now.
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            The value of literacy nowadays is just a shell of what it was. If the value of literacy were really valued, then why would we have so many budget cuts towards schools and education? The problem that I see we have nowadays is just a lack of being a lifelong learner. Some of us grasp the idea tighter than others, and it shows. I believe the older generation has a bigger grasp on why literacy is so important, because they understand the power of the pen, and how it can be harnessed to help those in need of what is being expressed through the text if interpreted in the correct context. “Let me make two points. The first is who is writing more? Who is filling the pages of websites with writing? Is it the young? Or is it those who grew up in the era when writing was clearly the dominant mode?” I believe that it is the older generation that has a stronger belief in what they are trying to express, because they have been taught the correct way in being literate. I believe that was the case back then because they really emphasized on the value and power of literacy, and how it can make a difference, if you allow it to have that immediate effect.
            The purpose of literacy in my opinion is something that some of us take for granted. To be honest, I actually feel as if I am one of those individuals, or that is what I come to believe. Up until now, I never knew how much I lacked in literacy. Just because you are able to speak and express yourself to the people around you, doesn’t necessarily mean that you are literate in a sense. Me personally, knowing what I know now about literacy, through the text we have read in class, I feel somewhat ashamed because I have only seen the “tip of the iceberg”, not knowing there is a larger mass beneath it all.  From the first couple weeks of this class, I had already known that I was in for it. I mean, yeah, I can emphasize on a topic, relate with my peers, and help others around me, but why is it when it comes down to it, I still feel a sense of anxiety when it comes to writing or reading? I guess it just comes with the territory of being a reader or a writer. But then I start to think; maybe it does have to do with how I was taught, or what I’ve been shown to help me interpret what I’m reading, and knowing now, I really believe that the factor of reading in an efferent/aesthetic way is what helps you understand, and what shapes you to understand what it is you are reading, and what you choose to write about. “Since each reading is an event in particular circumstances, the same text may be read either efferently or aesthetically. The experienced reader usually approaches a text alert to cues offered by the text and, unless another purpose intervenes, automatically adopts the appropriate predominant stance”.
            I really truly believe that the definition of literacy in this day and age has changed dramatically. Depending on your personal state, and how you have been taught, it will eventually show through the writing. It also can lead up to a whole lot of different aspects, but at the same time, I can say that the way some of us have been evaluated has succumbed to the way we do interpret the way we look at literacy, and it shows. We have come a long way from how we viewed literacy as a whole, and how we choose to perceive it. In my personal opinion, I’m starting to see literacy in a whole new light, even if I have only been in this class for a couple of weeks, I’m starting to grasp the elements for reading and writing, which has never crossed my mind the way it has now. Going through these steps now, I can see how much I lacked in literacy, and hope to extinguish that thought after this process. After taking the time to look at literacy as a whole, I have a firm belief that the generations before us had a better understanding about literacy, and what profound effect it had towards themselves and also the people who took the time to understand what they were trying to say. In conclusion, I’m really glad I’m in this class to really dig deeper into the true meaning of literacy today, the essence it brings, the value it has, and the purpose that should be instilled in all of us.

VIDEO BLOG #1

Beautiful s0ul Essay #2

“Beautiful S0ul”
            In life, we all have some sort of influential person that carries us farther than we would have ever imagined. Those individuals help us carry out our dreams, even if those dreams seem so far, they make it seem as if it is one step away. They are always willing to encourage, even if they are having a bad day, while also being able to personify themselves as our biggest supporters. In my case, I chose my niece, Junee Ann Cabading. She has been the most positive, and uplifting individual in my life, even though I have a big group of influential people to speak about, I chose her whose smile can go a long way for me. It’s really hard to explain into words how she makes me feel, even if the words are there for my disposal, that’s how much of an impact she has made on me with doing the minimal. The way she expresses herself to me is through faith and belief that we will be destined for greatness, while applying honest to goodness to the process we call life.
            Family has always been a bright spot in my life, although it’s rare that I see them on a day-to-day basis, it’s usually due this thing we call “Life”. We all are either busy working, going to school, or on the other side of the country doing what we have to do, while at the same time providing for our families and ourselves. That’s where Junee Ann plays a big part in my life. I really started noticing how much of an influence she is on me; not because of how often she is around me, but how she tends boggle my mind when she is around. She is always finding ways to express herself creatively, and she expresses what she feels in her heart, without hesitation. That is one of the traits that I’m actually learning from her. As for expressing herself creatively, she started buying these decorative duct tape rolls with money that she had saved from either Christmas or Birthdays, which she uses to make these colorful flower pens with. As for her expressing what she feels in her heart, she stated that she wanted to start a foundation for children in need, because she feels for them, and there is not a day where she doesn’t think of them. She wants to start it off with those flower pens she started making, and give art kits, which include: stationaries, pens, pencils, color pencils, markers, a coloring box for all the contents and also one notebook for writing, and one notebook for drawing. Her passion and charisma has carried me passed my own boundaries, which translates to the people around me.
             I believe Junee Ann is so heartfelt, and warm hearted towards her peers due to her Grandmother, which is my mother, Nancy. Her grandmother has implanted a deeper sense of understanding towards the less fortunate and how we should treat each other’s as equals, always. I asked Junee Ann, “Who is you biggest influence Junee?” Junee says, “Nanay of course!” with a lot of enthusiasm. I asked her, “Why is that Junee?” She says, “Because Nanay loves people, and she is always willing to help, and also because Nanay is always willing to cook whenever we are hungry, and when you cook for people, that shows you love them!” From then on, I knew she had captured a sense of being able to voice and speak out on somebody that really influenced her, how they influenced her, and how that alone can affect you on a daily basis. Just being able to hear her emphasize on how much my mom has influenced makes me feel really blessed to be surrounded by a bunch of loving individuals.
               Another individual that Junee states that makes a big impression on her is her mother, Maryann. She obviously carries over what my mother has instilled in her throughout the years, even though they had a harder childhood growing up, she never used it as an excuse to be something other than what she is today. It basically instilled how much more hardworking she is, and more appreciative because she didn’t have much then. She was raised in the Province of Quezon in the Philippines, where it was much tougher to provide for a living. While living in the Philippines, she was raised to be hardworking, honest, and humble to be able to have a mindset capable of achieving something much more than they had back then, which also I believe translates to Junee Ann being extremely grateful and appreciative for what she has, and to not take anything for granted. I really believe that is why Junee Ann has such a giving heart, and is always willing to help out when help is needed. I truly believe that being surrounded by loving, caring, and passionate people will carry you a long way, especially long after those individuals are gone, and also able to pass that ideology to the present generation. It’s amazing how I see the transaction between those three generations, while they seem to have the same effect, even thoughtheir generations are so spread apart.
            There are many reasons for me to state how much she influences me on a daily, but I only want to touch basis with the ones that are more noticeable to me.  One of the biggest traits that Junee brings is of the subtle reflection she gives off. She gives me the natural warmth that my mother brings, and the perkiness and enthusiasm that my sister gives off. It’s like having the best of both worlds. I say that because I rarely see my mother and sister, due to this thing we called “Life”, and having her around brings me the reassurance that I very so need. She has the ability to keep me young at heart, but at the same time focused at the task at hand. It might seem farfetched for me to get these traits from such a young adolescent, but she carries herself in such a different light than most children her age. I feel so blessed to have her in my life, and I know that once she comes of age, I truly believe she will make a big difference on this earth. When I’m having a bad day due to whatever reason it may be, she can easily say, “Hi Uncle! I’ve missed you!” And gives me a big ol’ hug. That alone can alleviate everything I was feeling until then, which I honestly find amazing. It’s like “divine intervention” you can say.
                In the text “We are all third generation” it states, “Only if one slackens, loses one’s interest in the race towards success, does one slip back. Otherwise, it is onward and upward, towards the world of Washington and Lincoln; a world in which we don’t fully belong, but which we feel, if we work at it, we some time may achieve.” In that quote, I believe she is trying to say that once you let “Life” get the best of you, it can sidetrack what goals you have set for yourself. It feels good to have an individual in your life to bring you back down to earth when you need it the most, even though life can get the best of you at times, that shouldn’t dictate where you’re headed in the long run, but build strength, character, perseverance, and the confidence to get through anything, and everything that comes your way. Having Junee Ann in my life didn’t give me those attributes, for I have already had them instilled in me. All she did for me was reassure me that those attributes were there, while continuing to do so. I love you Junee Bunee!
      –Source: Reading Culture 8th Edition, Diana George and John Trimbur-
–Margarat Mead-We Are All Third Generation-Page 101-First Paragraph–
Video Diary #2

Life Long Learner Essay #3

Life.Long.Learner.
          As we all become older, we all should have developed some sort of belief system over time.  Those beliefs should help us navigate during the good times, as well as help us during the worst of times, even if our backs are against the wall. They should reassure ourselves when we are filled with doubt, and also give us strength when we feel weak. Our belief system should be able to expose our biggest fears to ourselves, as well as pinpoint the success that we can only dream to imagine. Some of the major beliefs that I believe help us set forth on to that path are towards equality, pursuing your dreams wholeheartedly, doing whatever it takes to pursue your dreams, believing that having your heart in it makes it much more worthwhile, and last but not least, applying those beliefs to our definition of literacy. Our beliefs might have originated from our parents, instilled by our siblings, or even exposed to us by the outside world we live in, but still we all should have some sort of belief system that we come back to. All in all, belief systems are what carry our society as a whole, and also determines who we are as individuals.
            First and foremost, I believe that equality set’s the standard in my belief system. From same sex marriage, racial issues, or even financial wealth; at the end of the day, we are all on the same boat trying to stay afloat. I have no problem with gay marriage whatsoever. I believe that marriage should be a common union between two individuals, regardless of sex. Just as long the love is there between the two, I think that is all that matters. As for racial issues, we have had a past that was torn against civil rights and liberties, but having individuals such as Abe Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Dr. MLK, and other civil rights advocates help alleviate some of the pain that came with segregation. I am blessed to take the time to look around my classroom, to see all of us being able to work together, knowing not so long ago we would be segregated from one another. That is an amazing feeling. Even with wealth, some accrue the mentality that money is what carries us farther than anything else.  In my opinion, that belief system is overly passive knowing that there are other bigger things to worry about in the world than personal financial gain.
             Life tends to let you know how it feels over time. At times, we put ourselves through situations, and other times life just happens. Even in those instances, the belief system I instilled in myself for those similar situations are that you can overcome anything, especially if you put your mind to it. The only limits we have are the ones put on ourselves. I truly believe that once we have that implanted in our minds, anything is possible. And a whole new view and perspective is ready and able to be used. For example, I hated video editing at first. It was overly complicated at times, and I just couldn’t get it. Over time, I started developing a feel for it because I didn’t want to give up on that and on myself. So therefore instilling that belief in me has taken me farther than I would have imagined. Now I am actually trying to pursue a degree in Film Studies, which in my mind is amazing. Even with all the struggles I have had with it in the past, having that belief system help me overcome that, knowing that hard work pays off, and also if you want to make a difference somewhere, you can. It’s all up to one person, and that is you.
           As human beings, I believe we all have to play a part into our human essence. I can see that some of us have lost that aspect. When I was waiting for the bus one day, I took the time to analyze the people around me, more so towards interaction part, and to me it seemed like it was totally eliminated. People were more stuck trying to text, on a tablet of some sort or just quietly waiting. Its like people like talking to their devices more than the people that are around them, which I found really strange. Especially if you take the time to really think about it. We should be able to speak freely amongst one another, not feel caged by the devices that serve us. Tell a story to a stranger you met at the bus stop, tell a joke to a person in line at a super market, or even a simple hello. That’s the human essence. Being able to share without any strings attached, whatsoever. Those moments I enjoy the most. One instance, I was at a Lucky’s Market by my house. I ended up waiting at the self-checkout area, come to find out only one of the machines was working. So while waiting in a line of about 5 people, a middle aged man stepped behind of me. I greeted him, “Hello.” also asking how his day was going, and he replied, “It’s not going too great.” I replied, “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.” I nervously asked, “Do you mind me asking why?” Me being naïve enough knowing that was the dumbest question to ask a man who says he’s not having a good day. He gives me a stern look, but turns it into a smile saying, “That was awfully nice of you to ask, at least I know somebody in this world still gives a hoot.” Him saying that made all the difference in the world to me. Even if he wasn’t specific or whatever, I knew with that alone, can help another individual feel a sense of relief even for just a moment.
         Dreams might seem farther away than we think, especially if we continue to think that way. I believe that we should be able to live out our dreams, test our potentials and limits, and develop our minds to become our best human asset. I believe that with perseverance, faith and common unity amongst one another, a dream will come true sooner or later. With faith, commitment, hard work, patience, and humility, great things will become apparent and dreams will solidify into reality. My biggest dream would be to travel the world and help out the people that very much so need it. It’s a shame how at times we can get caught up with our own daily lives, knowing that there are far worse situations for others around the world. That makes me work twice as hard, trying to reach a plateau to do that on. We obviously have to start on a local level, helping out in charities and what not, but hoping to reach a level where we can do that internationally. That would be an amazing experience and feeling, and also contributes back to the human essence.
          Music has to be one of the things we overlook at times. Music is everywhere. Our cars are equipped with Cd/Mp3/Tape/Radio players; it’s incorporated through mass media and pop culture alike. Music plays a big role in our society, and also outside of it. With music, I believe it has healing powers when used right. It can also make you feel other emotions as well, but I’d rather just focus in on the healing powers, or lets say stress reliever that music brings. Some songs offer similar situations that the artist went through, which can give a feeling to the person listening a sense of understanding and relief that another individual feels their pain. Music can also make you feel good, and is a great way of self-expression, especially for a musician or artist alike. Even the listener can get a feel of understanding through what the music brings.
                  The last belief I would love to share is how I believe my belief system translates towards my understanding of literacy as a whole. Knowing that past situations about civil rights and how freely we are to speak, read, share and talk about those situations in and outside of class make it much more worth while. Especially knowing that those situations didn’t happen that long ago. Hearing Melba’s story “Warrior’s Don’t Cry.” Is a great example of feeling much pain from an ongoing situation you’re included in, but not wanting to be in, but knowing that writing it down somewhere can help the pain a bit. “Along the winding hallway, near the door we has entered, I passed several clusters of students who stared at me, whispered obscenities, and pointed. They hurled insults at the soldiers as well, but he seemed not to pay attention.” The lack of equality played a big role for Melba. For some could have chose to riot, or go against, she gathered her strength, used her mind, and saved her perseverance for the upcoming days in Little Rock. She continued to go to that school regardless of all of the things that was going on around her. That idea comes back to my belief of being able to overcome anything, especially when you put your mind to it. In her situation, she basically forced herself to think that way, just so she can survive during the day. That also comes back to my belief towards the human essence, because without it, we wouldn’t have that common ground with one another. It’s obvious what Melba’s dream was going towards in the book. I believe it was towards the equality, and how she just wanted to go to school in peace. And she sure did accomplish that in the long run. She made the world understand what her dream was and that if you believe hard enough for something, while also applying hard work, effort, and patience, it will eventually come true. Looking at myself as a reader and a writer now has astonished myself. I was never so fluid in writing or reading. But I can see how if you put faith and trust in something or someone, it will genuinely get better over time. And if you work hard at it, it will eventually manifest itself. And that is how I see my belief system translate into my understanding of literacy.
                  Putting belief systems into words, and translating them into feelings, then sentences, then eventually a full-blown essay was hard to fathom at first. Once I started to place those firm beliefs into a place where I can speak freely about them, and also add to it while searching within myself for more is amazing. I can see my transformation as a reader and writer, and I believe that those belief systems help me through the doubt, or the struggle as a reader and writer. Once I hurdled over gathering my belief systems in order, everything started connecting left and right, it felt like I couldn’t stop. That was a feeling I haven’t ever experience before, and I am really glad I’m getting over that hump. Belief systems as a whole are the foundations for us as human beings to help bring us back down to earth. It’s what tells us whether we should or shouldn’t, Or basically limits us in the process. Once we have our belief system instilled correct, and used wisely, it takes out a part of us that we never knew we had, which makes this whole process of life way more sweeter.
 
Source: Warrior’s Don’t Cry By: Melba Pattillo Beals

Chapter 7; Page 96; Paragraph 4

Video Diary #3

What Shaped me from Afar. (Essay #4)

What shaped me from afar
     When I take the time to look at history and what shaped me from afar, it was pretty difficult for me to find what it was that shaped me. It took me long and hard to figure it out, just because I really wanted it to be something meaningful for me, even if it wasn’t something that directly affected me. What I’ve noticed that shaped me, and my thinking indirectly is towards the civil rights movement with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It made me realize how much our civil rights are priceless and invaluable, and if it was something outside of equality, then you have to make sure that its something you are willing to fight for. It made it an easier transition in my essay because it’s what Melba was being affected by directly in her integration into Central High.  Melba Beals is a prime example of someone that was affected directly by what was going on around her. The integration at her school was most definitely just the tip of the iceberg scenario, amongst other events that happened in her life that helped shape her. Hearing and reading about her story is a perfect example of an individual that fought for what she believed in by just going to school and showing up. I believe that is one of the most important things we have as humans and students of life, is that if we just show up, and do the work, that the possibilities are endless, especially individuals that come from civil right scenarios.
     We all should have an event that we will always remember that shaped us in a positive of negative way. A minor event that I can visualize that I went through, but also be able to apply to Melba’s experience is the first day of her integration to Central High, and my first day of High school. It’s obviously two different situations and the gravity of my situation isn’t as ideal as hers, but I would like to express how I feel about both. My first day of High School was a nerve racking one. I didn’t know what to expect, basically just being one of those students that felt the underlying factors of the transition from middle school to high school. Basically just feeling that natural anxiety that we adolescents feel when transitioning into the unknown. Nothing major compared to Melba’s situation, but still had a profound effect on me.  Melba on the other hand had a big deal around her transition into Central High. I can only imagine what she was feeling at the time. I mean I can try to understand through the text, but really that’s only the half. “The first day I approached Central High School, my heart pounded in my ears. My face was hot; I was so frightened about what would happen to me. I still remember that. My skin was stinging. I was right, because the very first day I was chased away by men carrying ropes, men from the white segregationist mob who threatened to kill me.” I guess my transition to high school and her transition are two totally different scenarios, but then again it makes me appreciate our civil rights even more, because back then seemed like it was taken for granted.
     A major event that I can recall that helped shaped my thinking is when Rosa Park’s was arrested for sitting in the front of the bus. Something as small as just sitting in a vacant public transportation vehicle can stir up a bunch of controversy just because of the color of your skin is ridiculous. Taking the time to think about it now made me realize that civil rights was an ongoing battle back then. Not just with Melba, or with Rosa Parks, but everyone of color. These situations arose because they were fed up with all that was going against them, and they knew they had to make a stand sooner or later. That was the thing, when I was younger; I thought that the civil rights movement was only going towards blacks and whites. Come to find out, if I was living around that time, I would most definitely be apart of that whole debacle. I would have been arrested if I sat in the front of that bus. I would have been chased out of central high with ropes, and called names. So most definitely these situations have shaped my thinking by reminding me that we are blessed to be surrounded by the people we are with, because we can’t say the same thing about 40-50 years ago.
     I believe the integration that Melba experienced shaped her in a very positive way. It reflected her belief system through what she was going through, and also made it known that if your parents instilled the right belief system in you, you can surpass anything that is thrown your way. People can test your faith, break you down emotionally and physically, and throw you under the bus, but doesn’t necessarily dictate whether you failed or succeeded. Melba’s grandmother India is a perfect example. She didn’t want Melba to stay at the black high school. Her grandmother knew that if she integrated into Central High, it would be the start to equality and the ability to have equal opportunity as other children. “My grandmother India- who had been a maid- thought that my integrating Central was a way of assuring that I wouldn’t be a maid too. It was a way of demanding that I would be treated equally and has equal opportunity, a life that she never had. SO she would talk to me and say that I was chosen to perform this task my God, and if I denied that I had to do it- if I did not comply- then I would suffer in many ways, in my own heart, and in my belief in God. These beliefs were a central part of my upbringing.” I can only imagine how that would feel, to be pressured on both sides, but knowing that the faith instilled will take you farther than you ever imagined. Knowing that I would suffer if I didn’t comply would have my heart and mind torn, knowing I didn’t want to go back to central high, but knowing that I had to come back, for my family and grandmother’s sake. That’s all that Melba had to live by at that point of her life.
     Melba’s other situation that I feel helped shaped her was finding out that the 101stairborne soldiers were there to protect her and the other nine students from the segregationist mob. I felt that shaped her in a positive way because it gave her a sense of acceptance and felt hopeful that the integration could eventually work out. It gave a bigger sense of understanding and also helped her carry on farther than she expected. Knowing the President was the one who sent those soldiers to enforce the law, I am pretty sure she felt some sort of relief from that. “I felt proud to be an American. I felt hopeful that integration could work. And that it would work almost immediately. I thought to myself, if they just get to know me, if they understand that I’m smart, I’m clean, that I wear nice clothes, that I polish my saddle shoes, and I sing, they will understand that although my color is brown, I am no different than they are.” I believe through this situation during the integration, gave her the strength to understand what her grandmother was saying prior to her first day. Knowing that if it is God given, he will make it known. And what would be a bigger sign than the president sending soldiers to her school for her protection, I bet Melba felt a big sigh of relief, even if she wasn’t out of the woods just yet.
     The event that I can honestly say that helped shaped me the most is the Civil rights movement that Martin Luther King Jr. led. Even if it was something that had happened years before my birth, most definitely had an affect on how we interact with each other on a day-to-day basis. His motives to surpass everything that he believed in, showed on a grand scale and gave strength and faith to those who have lost it in their own personal battles during their own civil rights experiences. From Melba, to Rosa Parks, I believe Dr. King made it his obligation to make it known that we are all here on this earth for the same purpose as others. Through this indirect experience, I have a deeper understanding and appreciation for other individuals that help inhabit this earth we live on. We have the same obligations regardless of the color of our skin. Our character is what dictates who we are, and not our ethnic background. With that being said, I am forever thankful and grateful to the late Dr. King, and knowing that he sacrificed his life for something he truly believed in carried he beliefs into the hearts of so many after years passed.
     It’s obvious that my struggles as a student, and Melba’s are on two different plateaus, but just being able to share and express my feelings and experiences on that level put those ideologies on a pedal stool. Taking that into consideration brings appreciation and acknowledgment to those before me. When thinking about equality, it’s still an ongoing battle till this day. Maybe it’s not so much towards skin color, but there are still certain gender battles, and also the fight for gay marriage, so the fight for equality is still there. Knowing that there is a template for us to go by to help fight for our rights, its really up to us to make it known that those issues affect us as human beings, and also its up to us to figure out if its worth fighting for. In my opinion, if it’s worth questioning, it’s definitely worth fighting for.
SOURCE: Warrior’s Don’t Cry: By Melba Patillo Beals

Personal Dictionary

50 Personal Dictionary Words

Into the wild

Into the Wild

            Jon Krakauer’s “Into the wild” is a nonfiction book based on a true story about a young man named Christopher Johnson McCandless. Christopher is a young American who decided to roam the wilderness of the U.S. after graduation from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He then chooses to live the life of a drifter, leaving the life of the ideologies of materialism that surrounds us in this society we live in. His story is a great example of a youth who is really trying to find himself through getting lost but yet finding himself through a bunch of trials and tribulations.

         In this book, there are many underlying themes that seem to pull me in more than anything else i came across. First is the allure of the wilderness. Everybody’s preconceived notion about the wilderness is that it has a certain allure as a pristine place free of all evils that society bears and brings. Then again the reality of living in the wilderness can be quite different from living in the day to day lives we live in this society. I believe he wanted a way to prove himself to everyone that he can be able to survive on his own without money, lack of items, and only own things that he can carry on his back, which i believe lead him to his downfall. We all know the effects of being prepared, and unprepared. Lack of preparedness will eventually ruin what you have going for yourself.

          Another theme i noticed that runs really deep is isolation. In this society, we carry ourselves as individuals but forget that we work for each other at the end. I believe Christopher loses that ideology somewhere down the line. Christopher isolates himself from the other students, his friends, and from his family. He then comes to the realization that he should trek out into the wilderness to fully complete the isolation process which led to his supreme downfall, death. When isolated for a long period of time, especially in the wilderness, reality starts to fade away from you, but in Christopher’s situation, after being in the wilderness for so long, he starts to feel homesick and calls out for his mom in his journal, which shows that he is still somewhat human in his mind.

              Jon Krakauer’s style of writing is really appealing to me. The way he started the book was interesting, it started with the last person that Christopher had an experience with, Jim Gallien, who eventually gave Christopher a ride to the Alaskan Bush, which would be his last stop on his journey. I also came to love how Jon makes you figure out if Christopher was a protagonist or antagonist for this specific book. Christopher has his own motives for what he did and why he did it, Jon Krakauer just puts his ideologies and beliefs towards what he believed was right.

            This book would be suitable and enjoyed by the majority, but if i had to pick a certain group or groups of people, it would entice the ones who are bound by their own boundaries in the lives they live. Christopher is a perfect example of somebody who excelled in school, had a loving family, and a good network of friends, but still he had motives to go above and beyond that and the materialistic ideologies that came with it. This book would help you wonder why people do the things they do in their own lives, and if they choose to stay comfortable doing what is expected from them, or doing the unexpected that Christopher achieved in this book. In August 5, 1992, Christopher states in his journal “ DAY 100! MADE IT! BUT IN WEAKEST CONDITION OF LIFE. DEATH LOOMS A SERIOUS THREAT.” I believe the importance of that is the irony within it. He states that he made it to day 100, enjoyed by the idea, but he is the weakest condition of life, and death looms a serious threat. His idea of survival is in full effect, but just the idea of him knowing that death is around the corner is subjective to how it is understood.

            All in all, this book is a must read! It has all the characteristics of a good novel, suspense, action, mystery, genuine human interaction, finding oneself in transition to another way of living, and also willing to give up everything you own, know, and believed in for so long, and willing to live life in the moment. Jon Krakauer’s storytelling is one of a kind and it shows through this novel. Short and sweet, 2 thumbs up!

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Essential Creativity

[youtube http://youtu.be/ufmlrZBZ7w0%5D

This is a video I made through finding ones passion through whatever medium. Enjoy!

Essential Creativity

          As human beings here on earth, we should all have some feeling of belonging to something in this cherished life of ours. Sometimes we might be born into it, such as coming from a boxing family as the Mayweather family, or even finding it through trial and error such as myself, through testing yourself, pushing your abilities, and fighting that will to give up. Sometimes it might seem as a deeper natural calling, and sometimes it might just be a career we choose to follow later on in life. In any of those matters, it is still referred to as a subculture. Let me incorporate a simple definition. Subculture: Simply a culture within a larger culture and, thus, is characterized by the same basic elements of culture; that is, just as the dominant majority culture, any given subculture also has “distinct practices, artifacts, institutions, customs, and values.” In actuality, we all should belong to a subculture of some kind. You might not be able to figure it out right off the bat, but they are there, and they do exist.  Subcultures can be generally defined as a group that has similar distinctive patterns of behavior and beliefs.  Sub-cultures are in of themselves who people are as well as who they choose to be. I believe subcultures are important because they give a feel of belonging and unity.  Being a part of a subculture makes people feel that they are not alone in their craft of choosing.  Additionally, the different subcultures a person belongs to makes them unique.  No one belongs to exactly the same subcultures.  Therefore, although subcultures assure people they are not alone, they also allow people to be unique. In my case, i figured that my subculture is purely based on making music.

          When I was about 5 years old, my mother had purchased me a mini casio keyboard. I loved it to death. I was making melodies and it even allowed me to lay out drum patterns and what not. Pretty advanced for a younging right? Well here comes where the tragedy hits. I was on my way home from school, and i bought a drink from the ice cream vendor. Enjoyed that on the stroll home, thinking about what kind of melodies i wanted to play when i got home.  I made my way inside the house and thought of finishing my homework before anything, so i did that. Then when the time approached, eagerly waiting to play with my keyboard, i rushed to my room, just to find out that it wasn’t there anymore. My mom ended up sending to my cousins in the Philippines. She said that I was too focused on that, and it wasn’t healthy for me. I was crushed. Badly. I had no inspiration, no motivation, no nothing. I wasn’t excited for anything. I had so many melodies in my head, but no way of unleashing them. So in time, that gradually ended up in me just forgetting that I had that passion at such a young age. It’s funny because I would have imagined and envisioned my parents investing in piano lessons, or something with an instrument. Nothing at all. Its like they didn’t notice  how much I enjoyed using that silly ol keyboard. No go. So when time came and I came of age, i was a bit hesitant and somewhat nervous to rekindle that flame i once had, because of the feeling of that pain that came along with knowing regardless of how comfortable you are with your craft, that it can switch up on you in a matter of seconds, and I didn’t want that to happen ever again. Once i found the strength to fully pursue my dreams of producing music and also my new found glory in video editing, everything felt right, and i didn’t want to let go of this as well as the knowledge i can share with my peers. Prior to my schooling, I was working in a Laboratory where we test blood samples for whatever case it may be. One day I was sitting on my lab chair, staring out into space, imagining what could have, or would have been. From then on i knew, i had to go back to school and pursue my dreams, because i noticed how bland i was, and very unseasoned due to being a slave at work and having no time for anything. So i got up, talked to my supervisor about my situation, and now i am here. I guess being in a subculture does have a really deeper meaning now that i think of it.

          Being on the path of an aspiring producer/music technology major, I believe that this subculture’s essence is based more towards creativity than anything. I mean yeah, you can own all the equipment you want, all the instruments and access to all the establishments, but without that sense of creativity, elements might turn out bland like an unseasoned steak. To pursue something that is purely based on artistry and taking pride in being different, it takes a lot of inspiration, as well as creativity. Creativity is what sets us apart from the norm, which also gives you more pride in your work. Without having that element, it waters down what you want to create as well as diminishing the idea of you being different. It’s kind of like letting somebody else’s ideas take over your mind, and letting it brand itself all over you, instead of you finding that inspiration, then build on that creativity. When letting that sequence take place, at the end of it, you end up looking like a copycat. And usually in music making, there are a lot of those, and some take a lot of pride in that. That is why I believe creativity is an important essence in this Subculture. “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” -Pablo Picasso.

             The primary elements that are usually incorporated in this subculture are based on creativity, countless hours of trial and error, discovery, sharing knowledge, and last but not least, being able to add elements from various sources and peers alike. We already know how much creativity plays a part in this subculture and how it important it is, but from a creating point of view, sometimes it is hard to find inspiration, or finding that guiding light per say that will help you through the creative process. Most of the time, thats where all the hours are spent. Trying to find out how you want it to come out, or how you want it to sound. If you are not willing to put in the time to go through the motions, it is easy to fall back into the category of just forcing it out, which in turn “waters down” the end result. So it is a must for anyone pursuing something in the art or creative arts to spend countless hours on their craft.

           Currently, I am pursuing a Music Technology program here at Foothill College.  We all know work, effort, participating, sharing, and creating we have to complete in order to be accepted for. Not just in my field, but everyone else thats trying to pursue something.  It applies to everyone that is after a degree and i’m also  hoping for a job as well. Therefore you are considered included in that subculture. If you are pursuing something in whatever career field, and you don’t consider yourself part of that subculture, i believe something is wrong with that. It’s like denying your birthright, or being ashamed of it.  Additionally, we all feel connected to each other because we are in the same field of sharing ideas, knowledge, and pointers from past experiences and also from mistakes they have made in the past. Throughout my time here at Foothill, I was in many classes with the same people since we are all following a required curriculum.  Most of my fellow music technology major students have a broad outlook on life, because of situations they have dealt with, opposition they have faced, and also the feeling of knowing that they will be making a difference through what they create, usually on a smaller local level, to something a bit more vast. Seeing how confident they are in their craft, and accepting me and acknowledging me and my craft has taken me to a whole new level of creativity. And i’m not just referring to making music, it translates into this English Class that I am so proud of, and also a bunch of other facets in life in general that i won’t have time to emphasize on in this essay. But i hope you catch my drift. I am really thankful for the peers around me, and also my family that has been so supportive, even if my mom gave away my keyboard, it gave me a sense of fulfillment, whereas I had to find the strength and time and all that is necessary to pursue my dreams. Not something that was just given to me, and later on down the line just take for granted. So i believe that there might be an underlying factor there that my mother knew about that she didn’t tell me. Surprisingly, she has told me how she was happy that I was pursuing my dreams, and she did emphasize on how much I loved playing music, and it showed. The funny thing is that I didn’t question her, and why she sent it away from me. I had a feeling like I already knew.

               When part of a subculture, it helps you hone in on your energy, and how much of it you want to incorporate. It also helps you on a broader level because of the peers that surround you. You might bump heads with a couple, but thats what happens when you are pursuing something that people have tons of passion in, and i love it. It brings me to a plateau that I never knew i could reach and its gratifying because it’s not just helping me reach my goals, but also the people around me. Knowing that a little bit of insight and feedback does go a really long way, especially if you take it the way its supposed to be taken in. And that’s the beauty of this subculture, because there are no right or wrong answers, just creativity, gut feelings, intuition, feedback, and knowing that your music can help heal somebody else thats going through it, or even help a peer relieve stress from collaborating on something together. I never took the time to realize if I was considered in a Subculture. Now that I think of it, I’m way deeper in it than i thought. And that feeling alone is utterly amazing.

[youtube http://youtu.be/zF5pjcr9T4g%5D

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Educational Purposes

Educational Purposes

Education to some might not be as important as we believe it to be. Some praise that education is what we need as humans to be able to get to a higher level, which in turn yields many possibilities to help pass the knowledge on.  Some might not grasp that idea entirely, and yet disregard education. Me personally, I believe it is the basis of a strong foundation. Without education, we would be mindless explorers limited to only what we believe is true. Nothing but constant bickering with one another about petty situations as well as violent and ignorant acts that would arise from one another. Education is what keeps us at bay, as well as being able to pick and choose our destination in life with a broader outlook. With it, we can utilize our education to help build on our self-strengths as individuals, as well as our weaknesses and reflect those with the peers around us. Education should cater to our youth as well as our older selves, to help brighten our paths, and help stay towards a progression of living, learning, and loving.

Education for me growing up for the most part was extremely enjoyable, as well as really nerve racking. I say nerve racking because I hated being called on randomly in front of the class. Not because that I didn’t know the answer, but because I was a shy guy. But I believe that’s where I learned to open up, and be more interactive with my fellow students. That’s also when I started to enjoy every minute of it. I believe my hunger for learning was aimed more towards the human interaction that we were involved in everyday. Being able to learn from other students, teachers, myself, as well as the lesson plan that was implemented towards us. I believe that is all part of the educational process. I mean you can be educated from the comfort of your own home, in other words home schooled, but I believe that once released out of the environment, you still have to learn to adapt to your peers and be able to share those experiences, and sometimes that is a hard transition for some. Once comfortable in your learning environment, I believe that’s when you really start to grasp what you are being taught. When you feel a certain way in class, it’s hard to understand and take in what you are learning, so that is where I see the decline. School should be a place where students feel as comfortable as can be to have a positive outcome for students.

When I was younger, learning was fun. The teachers are the ones who help the students grasp what’s being thrown at them, inside and outside the classroom. They execute well thought out itineraries, and other methods of teaching to help the students understand in a way they only can. They make the day go by with ease due to having the students excited for what’s to come. That’s my ideal vision for how a student should feel inside a classroom, being able to be comfortable enough to take in all the positives from the classroom experience. Teachers are the ones that help set the students in a mind state that they are more than capable to achieve anything in life, especially if you put your heart and mind into it, but also to be caring and understanding enough towards the students knowing that there is a world these students live outside of those classrooms. Teachers, when you are lucky, are the ones who make school worthwhile, they are the ones blessed with the passion to teach others as well as be able to portray how we should be towards one another. I give it up to all the teachers out there, because majority have to put up with us students, and sometimes we don’t mean to give you guys a hard time, it just comes with the territory I guess. But all in all, I believe that we all are teachers inside, the only difference is that you guys are great enough to get paid for doing it. Keep doing what you guys do best!

When it comes to education, I’ve been taught the saying, “Practice makes perfect”. And through experience, I know education is the basis of practice. Once enough practice is incorporated in ones art/craft or field of education, I believe you can be considered at a masterful level of knowledge towards that art/craft or field of education. In chapter two (10,000 Hours) of Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers”, what I found profound was the study that Anders Ericcson and a couple of colleagues did towards children towards the amount of hours spent practicing the piano, and if it had profound effects on how the children played. “Everyone from all three groups started playing at roughly the same age, around five years old. In those first few years, everyone practiced roughly the same amount, about two or three hours a week. But when the students were around the age of eight, real differences started to emerge. The students who would end up the best in their class began to practice more than everyone else: six hours a week by age nine, eight hours a week by age twelve, six­ teen hours a week by age fourteen, and up and up, until by the age of twenty they were practicing—that is, purpose­ fully and single-mindedly playing their instruments with the intent to get better—well over thirty hours a week. In fact, by the age of twenty, the elite performers had each totaled ten thousand hours of practice. By contrast, the merely good students had totaled eight thousand hours, and the future music teachers had totaled just over four thousand hours. The striking thing about Ericsson’s study is that he and his colleagues couldn’t find any “naturals,” musicians who floated effortlessly to the top while practicing a fraction of the time their peers did. Nor could they find any “grinds,” people who worked harder than everyone else, yet just didn’t have what it takes to break the top ranks. Their research suggests that once a musician has enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.” Those quotes I believe was needed to be incorporated for the simple fact that studies show “Practice does make perfect”, If not perfect then very good at the least.

Education, and its methods, has shaped how we learn on a day-to-day basis. Without basic education, one cannot fathom the thought of higher learning. Without that higher learning, it would seem impossible to achieve success far greater than he/she expected. The Internet is a great example. I couldn’t imagine a group of uneducated individuals create something as complex as the Internet. That’s why I said education and its methods have shaped how we learn on day-to-day basis because it helped shaped the individuals to be able to think outside of the box and helped developed the Internet. Now you can be able to travel abroad, while still being able to do schoolwork or regular work from your suite somewhere in Beijing, or you hotel room somewhere in Paris, France. Thanks to education, we are able to travel freely, vacation, and still be able to apply ourselves to our education and be the best that we can be.

I believe that success is something that we overlook at times. In pop culture, they tend to perceive that it is in a form of a career path, and also what we make financially from it. Who wouldn’t consider owning a 3.5 million dollar Ferrari isn’t being successful? It can be easy to consider that being successful, but I have a slightly different take on it. Me personally, I believe that success is the steps you take towards your goals. Every step you make is a step closer to being successful. To be successful you have to maintain those steps and be constantly progressing. So its more so of a successful path, rather than one single successful destination. Once you stop those motions, days seem like weeks, and weeks seem like months. Everyday there is something to learn about, something to share with someone, something or someone to acknowledge. I believe those are the keys to being successful and I actually consider that slight success.  What I consider slight success is the little steps you take on a day-to-day basis to help achieve success in the long run. Even once we hit our plateau that we have envisioned for ourselves in life, it would still be a learning process, and the idea of success and slight success would still be in full effect. If not then you wouldn’t be progressing towards anything anymore because the comfort you feel of being successful puts slack on your forward progression. Being successful in my mind is having a positive outlook on life, regardless of what’s on your plate. You just have to smile through the rain and the pain, and that will help you get through whatever is you are going through. And in my eyes, that is success.

When it comes to education, and how it should be received, students and teachers alike should be open towards learning curves which both benefit the teacher and the student. The teacher would be able to learn more about the students and their learning techniques, while the students can help grasp the teacher’s ideologies quite easily from using the methods learned from the students. It might seem a bit broad but it might go a long way. I believe that would be successful because it’s not just the teachers teaching the students, but also being able to learn from the students and their learning behaviors. For example, have the children present or teach the class about something they did research on, as well as implement certain objectives that the other students and teacher can reflect on. Then have the students analyze one another but sharing what they thought and also be able to share what they have learned. I really think that method would make the students more involved, as well as the teacher and everyone can benefit from the experience.

Success and education, I believe, go hand in hand with one another. They compliment each other quite respectively. Education is what gives you the tools, knowledge and strength to be successful individuals.  The road to success is engraved in the educational foundation that is used to help navigate towards your destination. I don’t believe that financial stability is full on success. I believe that when you have been through trials and tribulations, faced adversity, faced fear, faced defeat, got knocked down and got right back up, that to me is success. When you could have easily given up or didn’t have the will anymore from life weighing you down, you chose to get back, dust yourself off and get back to work. That to me is success. There are many opinions about success, and how we perceive it, but I believe if you have a great educational foundation and love and cherish what you do, regardless of how much money you make, you are already successful. The amount that you receive is a plus.

Source: Reading Culture Page 404 “Worked Over and Overworked”

By: Steven Greenhouse

[youtube http://youtu.be/6dRxAoz18qM%5D

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