“I Made This”

The eye of the audience witnessing the creation of art.

The eye of the audience witnessing the creation of art.

“… finding the faith, and I think the word “faith” is appropriate here, to walk up to your market, your world, your tribe, your community and saying here, I MADE THIS.” Seth Godin’s idea that the world no longer runs by the impositions of the individual but rather now by the collective and shared information of the community struck me as sharply true. An idea so clear as such can be applied in almost every worldly situation, and one place in time that I find not only applicable but also relatable is the entire first semester course of my AP English 3 curriculum. As not only a learner but a creator, I have picked up many new skills throughout the time in class, skills that I found have been applying more and more to everyday life.

Seth consistently emphasizes the fact that our world has changed to a point where any individual can imagine an idea and bring it to life. As he states, we’re no longer in the “Henry Ford days” where one person imagines an idea that thousands of other people would execute. In our classroom, every single person (and I emphasize “person” because, in my opinion, this applies to the teacher as well) is collectively taught to “create” rather than “follow.”  We are taught that the path to success leads down the road you choose for yourself and not the road someone else may tell you to follow.


Photo @ 2010 by Jonathan Reyes [CC BY-NC 2.0]

I believe one of my greatest strengths and at the same instant one of the things I would like to improve upon the most this semester is instilling in myself and in others the collective idea that I and they can confidently say “I made this” without being judged. Almost every single week we reflect, revise, bless, and press our essays so that they may become better than they once were. And before I continue, I would like to say that I’m almost never confident about my own writing because I generally always hold my creations to a low standard. This is where I believe the revisions improve the most upon, because with the help of the three other group members and online peers, I am able to take notice of what exactly is it I’m not confident about and improve on it (for example, the essays and responses we’ve done in class and online).  Revising other essay’s, in my opinion, is equally as challenging. Getting someone to a point where they are confident about their own work is no easy task, so over time I have worked on and developed certain techniques that I use when not only critiquing peers’ works but also in normal conversation as well. I never outright criticize a piece, but gradually work on building the conversation to a point where I can comfortably state my opinions without any form on insecurity present. Basically, I work to gradually build levels of intimacy to a point where I can talk to someone as a friend rather than a critic. This is also present in all of my peer reviews and revisions done on Canvas.

In addition, before I entered the class, I never would have thought that I would’ve been able to confidently sit through an academic discussion and participate, but with the confidence I built through peer revisions and the overall class activities in general, I was able to do just that and will continue to do so in the form our ZapCast podcast channel.

*Feel free to constructively criticize at your pleasure.*

Definition Essay: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R7HhJujKTxaBEOdaaFqCeJk7exW7f8qht2XFOhJI9QI/edit?usp=sharing

Descriptive Essay: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RtYWnxHSeh_LXVxL21pTroEu2JHdKDufK_dYOHcZmoE/edit?usp=sharing

Narrative Essay: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18qsO_LrFCiRNAlhPNr2qHjgtOBbbCuCtqBBW-9_0JtM/edit?usp=sharing

Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/zapcast/zapcast-episode-1

Arthur Cleveland Coxe Reviewhttps://docs.google.com/document/d/13vRJ6BPe4OqkJW4dlyn2fR7K6ovJ4v-2xTFZ7d0Pfz8/edit?usp=sharing

“Are we going to connect and amplify positive tribes that want to make things better for all of us, or are we going to degrade to warring tribes that are willing to bring other groups down just so they can get ahead?” This point in the conversation comes right around the middle of the conversation, and is the single most fascinating idea that I found throughout the discussion. Even looking outside the window today one will find instances of people acting for themselves to the detriment of others, and I find such acts rather appalling. In fact, just the other day I witnessed a car seemingly in a rush somewhere nearly kill a mother and her child by running a red light. So disgusted by a selfish act, I reflected upon an idea I created and have been trying to my best ability to act upon for some while now called “collective happiness.” Collective Happiness for me is emphasizing the overall happiness of the community over the happiness of the individual; essentially putting the well-being of the group ahead your own. Seth Godin puts a lot of importance in benefiting with others rather than benefiting FROM others. Ways I’ve recently been trying to do this is taking time to do things for others, such as reading through and editing someone’s essay when they ask me to, or taking the the time to help someone with their homework even if it’s detrimental to my own.

The only question I have about the discussion and the only point he has that I disagree with regards his statement that being number 1 in a small market is much more fun than being number 3 in a large market. Godin’s main point that this is so is because when you fail in a small market, you have a chance to start over fresh because your impact is not going to be as large. Albeit true, is it really more fun consistently starting over and over without seeing consequences you can use to better your work? Personally, I believe the most fun in screwing up comes from seeing how your mistake influences influences others. While rather cynical-sounding, I find the most fun comes from redoing your work while taking caution to avoid the mistakes you made before.

All in all, Seth Godin’s conversation has opened in me doors and pathways whose directions I have no idea go where. I’ll walk down them regardless, though, because if I have learned anything at all, it’s the fact that I have to be confident that wherever I end up will be on my own terms.



Usually by now I’d be on dead silent mode due to winter break right around the corner. However there’s something that really sparked my drive and leaving me inspired to get out there and do some work! fat and lazy

“I grew up in this household, there was this understanding where if someone doesn’t have a place to stay and if there was a way for you to help then you helped, we weren’t the most well off people in town, but my parents understood if you need to help someone they they should help them if you can connect with them then you connect.”-Seth Godin Continue reading

How to Spin a Basketball With Every Finger

bball mdhs

At first, I wanted to talk about food because everybody eats it and most people love it. Then I remembered that I was only good at eating food and not at making it so I scratched that idea. This presentation is dedicated to Mr. T whose picture of his high school basketball team inspired me. You’re going to need a couple things first.

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The Arts

Bad: Politics, Money, War, Murder, Rape, Abandonment, Arrogance, Pride, Anger, Loneliness, and Fear.

Good: Passion, Love, Feeling, Sadness, Happyness, Standing for one another, Bringing everyone together as a whole, Imagination, Abstract, Creativity, Friendship, and Family.

I began this blog with a list, a list of things that i particularly think are good and bad.  The Arts, as you know, are able to express anything. Whether it may be representing a man’s worst fears, or his dearest love, Art has an ability to take the soul of anyone and spread it one whatever canvas it may be- Painting, Dancing, Photography, Cinema, Writing, Drawing, Music, and anything you can possibly think off the top of your head. Today i am here to showcase that very aspect, the ability for art to embody a man’s heart and soul.

misty-mood-leonid-afremov    “Misty Mood” by Leonid Afremov 

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he sits, tearful and crumpled, in a corner of her little bedroom. Her brother has torn apart the living room with a baseball bat. Rocky, the guy she has fallen in love with, comes into the room.

“Do you want a roommate?” she asks shyly, almost whispering.

“Absolutely,” says Rocky.

Which is exactly what he should say, and how he should say it, and why “Rocky” is such an immensely involving movie. Its story, about a punk club fighter from the back streets of Philly who gets a crack at the world championship, has been told a hundred times before. A description of it would sound like a cliche from beginning to end. But “Rocky” isn’t about a story, it’s about a hero. And it’s inhabited with supreme confidence by a star.

His name is Sylvester Stallone, and, yes, in 1976 he did remind me of the young Marlon Brando. How many actors have come and gone and been forgotten who were supposed to be the “new Brando,” while Brando endured? And yet in “Rocky” he provides shivers of recognition reaching back to “A Streetcar Named Desire.” He’s tough, he’s tender, he talks in a growl, and hides behind cruelty and is a champion at heart. “I coulda been a contender,” Brando says in “On the Waterfront.” This movie takes up from there.

It inhabits a curiously deserted Philadelphia: There aren’t any cars parked on the slum street where Rocky lives or the slightest sign that anyone else lives there. His world is a small one. By day, he works as an enforcer for a small-time juice man, offering to break a man’s thumbs over a matter of $70 (“I’ll bandage it!” cries the guy. “It’ll look broke”). In his spare time, he works out at Mickey’s gym. He coulda been good, but he smokes and drinks beer and screws around. And yet there’s a secret life behind his facade. He is awkwardly in love with a painfully shy girl (Talia Shire) who works in the corner pet shop. He has a couple of turtles at home, named Cuff and Link, and a goldfish named Moby Dick. After he wins forty bucks one night for taking a terrible battering in the ring, he comes home and tells the turtles: “If you guys could sing and dance, I wouldn’t have to go through this crap.” When the girl asks him why he boxes, he explains: “Because I can’t sing and dance.”

The movie ventures into fantasy when the world heavyweight champion (Carl Weathers, as a character with a certain similarity to Muhammad Ali) decides to schedule a New Year’s Eve bout with a total unknown — to prove that America is still a land of opportunity. Rocky gets picked because of his nickname, the Italian Stallion; the champ likes the racial contrast. And even here the movie looks like a genre fight picture from the 1940s, right down to the plucky little gymnasium manager (Burgess Meredith) who puts Rocky through training, and right down to the lonely morning ritual of rising at four, drinking six raw eggs, and going out to do roadwork. What makes the movie extraordinary is that it doesn’t try to surprise us with an original plot, with twists and complications; it wants to involve us on an elemental, a sometimes savage, level. It’s about heroism and realizing your potential, about taking your best shot and sticking by your girl. It sounds not only clichéd but corny — and yet it’s not, not a bit, because it really does work on those levels. It involves us emotionally, it makes us commit ourselves: We find, maybe to our surprise after remaining detached during so many movies, that this time we care.

The credit for that has to be passed around. A lot of it goes to Stallone when he wrote this story and then peddled it around Hollywood for years before he could sell it. He must have known it would work because he could see himself in the role, could imagine the conviction he’s bringing to it, and I can’t think of another actor who could quite have pulled off this performance. There’s that exhilarating moment when Stallone, in training, runs up the steps of Philadelphia’s art museum, leaps into the air, shakes his fist at the city, and you know he’s sending a message to the whole movie industry.

The director is John Avildsen, who made “Joe” and then another movie about a loser who tried to find the resources to start again, “Save the Tiger.” Avildsen correctly isolates Rocky in his urban environment, because this movie shouldn’t have a documentary feel, with people hanging out of every window: It’s a legend, it’s about little people, but it’s bigger than life, and you have to set them apart visually so you can isolate them morally.

And then there’s Talia Shire, as the girl (she was the hapless sister of the Corleone boys in “The Godfather“). When she hesitates before kissing Rocky for the first time, it’s a moment so poignant it’s like no other. And Burt Young as her brother — defeated and resentful, loyal and bitter, caring about people enough to hurt them just to draw attention to his grief. There’s all that, and then there’s the fight that ends the film. By now, everyone knows who wins, but the scenes before the fight set us up for it so completely, so emotionally, that when it’s over we’ve had it. We’re drained.

RE:FRAMED: Rocky and My Interpretation

For me, this movie was less about sports and boxing and more about the human capacity. We are limited individuals who strive our best to achieve what we want and sometimes it’s not enough. Rocky was just that. He used to be okay with being just average. He floated around only existing when he didn’t reach his full potential. Mickey tells him why saying “You had the talent to become a good fighter, but instead of that, you become a legbreaker to some cheap, second rate loanshark!” Rocky says that “It’s a living.” Is that really true? Is he truly living or is he merely existing?

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RE:FRAMED: Why do themes not change over time?


We’re still learning from stories thousands of years ago. Often, many of these stories have been remade into a more modern setting. However, the underlying meaning and the things that we learn from them never change. People are able to forge what the story means to them and how it relates. Not only is it for what is happening to them now but also in the future. People change, yet the power of stories never do for some reason. Morals are an inherent aspect of humans whether it be aided by religion or simply with their own compass. We utilize stories to learn from them each in our own personal way.

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