Where I’m from…


I am from the American dream that convinced my family to come

To live such free lives…Actually, to fall for such blatant lies

I am from the hopes of opportunity and economic success

Leaving family and familiarity for the sake of a chance

To succeed, be happy, chase freedom and live the American dream

I am from parents working three jobs to support their kids

From refugee tents to government housing

I am also from incredibly long waits for the Marta bus

All in the hopes to live the American dream

I am from always being behind in school

From knowing to never ask mom for money

After all, Wal-Mart didn’t pay much.

All in hopes to live the American dream.

I am from never understanding why we ever left

Everyone seemed happier back home. Everyone was happier back home.

When I asked my sister about the master narrative that surrounds my poem she said “bitter, cynical and opportunistic.” I thought it was interesting that she defined the master narrative as such because as the writer I was completely unaware the the poem came off like that. In writing this poem I didn’t necessarily encompass where I individually came from; we are not refugees, my dad is American and I come from a middle class family. However the friends that I surrounded myself with did come from these lifestyles and this is the constant narration that I received from them. Even though I wasn’t from that lifestyle, I soon felt like I adopted this similar mentality and become one of ‘them.’ My personal idea of this poem was that the character represented felt misled, stranded and helpless. However apparently in the eyes of the outsider I come off as cynical and bitter. Maybe my friends that have experienced these feelings are truly bitter inside and I haven’t been able to see it or I could have simply misrepresented them in my poem. Based off of what my sister claims is the master narrative, I believe that I unintentionally confirm it. It is interesting to see the disconnection between individualized expression and outsider interpretation. I feel as if through this process I learned that words cannot simply represent a person in a way that fully justifies the individual. Outsiders looking in will inevitably base their interpretation off of past experiences and master narratives.

Greetings from DS106


Greetings from DS106

Assignment Details

Tell us where you are, where you’re from, or simply where you’d rather be and build a greeting card.

Personal Experience
I couldn’t quite figure out how to insert a text to an image on GIMP therefore I did this project on Microsoft Word (Woohoo)! I simply picked a photo that I took in Ethiopia and chose one that I felt represented Ethiopia in a ‘non-stereotypical’ manner but still reflected Africa. Through Word I changed the contrast and brightness of the picture. After I did that I inserted a text box and made the ‘fill’ transparent so the text would look like it blended in with the image. After I finished creating the postcard I clicked the PrintScreen button on my keyboard and pasted it in Windown Picture Manager. Following, I cropped the unecessary extras and saved the image as a JPEG. I am really happy with the way it turned out and if I was visiting Ethiopia I think I would purchase this postcard 🙂

Huffington Post


As I was browsing through the Huffington Post I was trying to find an article that dealt with a significant issue and that people cared about. There were some articles that had thousands of comments but were about Kim Kardashian while others had ten comments but dealt with the long term effects of the BP oil spill. I wanted to find an article that dealt with a meaningful topic but also had large online participation.

The article I chose discussed another form of Latin discrimination found in Maricopa, Arizona and triggered a response of over 1,000 comments. In this instance, Maricopa, Arizona printed out a Spanish translation of information to inform the citizens of the details of election day. Every word in the article was translated accurately except the election day. In the Spanish version, the flyer stated that election day was on the 8th of November while the English version correctly informed the English speaking citizens that election day was on the 6th. The local government claims that this was an honest mistake and they were in no way attempting to discriminate the Latin community. However, considering their past and other actions they have taken to oppress Hispanics, I believe it was an intentional and unacceptable ‘mistake.’ I made this clear in my comment that I posted.

The majority of people that commented saw injustice and discrimination in this act. However some insensitive and ignorant people, like the comment posted below, felt as if the government was at no fault and that the Latinos should be discriminated against for several reasons.

I think the beauty in online participation is in the fact that people can say whatever the want, whether it is productive or not. In the news world some people seem to be active in the commenting process because they genuinely care about the issue and what their input to be heard. Others seem as if they want to instigate an argument and play devil’s advocate. However that is the beauty in all of it. People are present in this online space for several different reasons and can use it however they want. Along the way they interact with people that agree/disagree with them. This process broadens perspectives and allows for the growth and development of problem solving, opinion development, and simple arguing.

On Monday, December 3rd, I participated in #engchat. I am not very familiar with Twitter and never had an account until I joined this class but soon found out it wasn’t very hard to figure out. Through tweetchat all the people that wanted to be apart of this massive conversation could simply be united under one #. Going into this conversation, I had no idea what to expect except an intrinsic conversation amongst nerdy English teachers. As soon as 7:00 hit I soon learned that the topic for that night was going to be Global Collaborations. I soon picked up on the fact that a guy named William Kist played the role of ‘guest speaker’ and @meenoorami was the moderator. Throughout this chat I felt like I would appreciate the conversation a lot more if I knew half the things these experienced teachers were talking about. I would rarely tweet simply because I was confused by all the abbreviations and conversations going on at the same time. I did really appreciate the topic though. We often talk about a Eurocentric literature world within schools and I think it’s a great idea to combine interpretations of students all across the world.

My opinion in terms of using twitter as a mode of communication for teachers remains a little bit shaky. I love the fact that a mass of people are able to join in on a single topic and converse. However I felt like there was a lot more breadth instead of depth in the conversations. I felt as if an idea would be brought up and would never get fully addressed or would be diverted from when someone else tweets something of a different nature. This could be due to the fast pace conversations or the limited word count. Overall I think it was a great experience and great tool for all future teachers.

New Picture (9)

Affinity Space – Passion City Church


Originally, I was going to do my AS video on Pinterest but I felt really insecure in representing a space that I wasn’t fully familiar with. Therefore I decided to provide insight into the space of my church – Passion City Church (PCC). I have attended PCC for about a year and fully identify with the values and mission of the church. In creating this video I wanted people to get the idea that PCC is a modern, diverse, and global church. A major aspect of this space that I would like changed is the facilitation of interpersonal relationships. Since it is such a big space and encompasses a large body of people, it is hard to build relationships with other people at PCC. I would maybe suggest different programs that allow for more generating to be done by the general population and no solely the leaders in the church.

Movie Making Process

This was the first time that I had to film a screen capture. It actually wasn’t very hard using Screen Cast O Matic. I think being able to do this really enhanced the quality of my video because the church itself had some great clips that represented them well. I remixed these videos by splitting and trimming them so serve my purpose. The program I used was Movie Maker which was sufficient enough for all the editing I wanted to do. I simply combined these videos, pictures and my voice to make my video!




Through this mapping process, I have visualized my individual network/personal community. However in order for my individual network to benefit me as an English teacher, there are a few characteristics Rheingold states that it should posses. Therefore, I am going to do a self analysis on my network based on Rheingold’s standards to see in what areas I need to improve.

The first trait Rheingold describes is being able to “act as an agent to cultivate personal learning networks.” As I look at my already established network, I can’t really say that any of those relationships were established because I went out and sought to improve my personal network. The majority of them are relationships that were handed to me through a circumstance and developed from that point. To further improve my personal community I should seek for more communities and be active in them to make me a more effective English teacher

The second trait Rheingold addresses is the size and diversity of networks. He states that the bigger a network is the more diverse it will probably be which will allow for a wide range of support to solve problems as a group. My personal network is not very big but is extremely diverse in all aspects. My ‘connections’ range in age, socioeconomic status, level of education, race, nationality, etc. I can work towards making my network even bigger and more diverse.

The third trait discusses the ability to work within different context and embracing the diversity as a positive aspect rather than an obstacle. The faster we understand the differences in other people the more effective our communication and ability to problem-solve will be. In my personal network, most members are flexible and can work within any context.

The fourth and fifth points address the ideas of trust and personal management. Essentially, for any group to function their needs to be trust. This may apply to the information they provide or suggestions they may have. However individuals also need to be able to manage what information they want to be public or private and which networks they want to share information with. My personal network does vary in terms of what type or relationships I have with the people; some are professional and some are casual. However I am very aware with what information gets to which people and effectively manage my relationships.

The sixth point addresses embracing technology. This is probably my weakest and most undeveloped trait. I do use technology to contact my established connections. However, it is not a tool that I use to find new networks and develop my own. In order to be a more effective English teacher I am going to have to make myself more familiar with technology and embrace the online communities.

Lastly, the ability to multi-task and manage personal time is important. Once I am able to manage my attention and use the internet as an actual resource and not simply browse, I will become a more effective networker and eventually benefit my students.



 As a member of this era where I am empowered to participate in almost anything I want because of the internet and social media, I almost feel as if I have the tools I need to overcome the world. I have always been aware of all the options out there in terms of participation but I didn’t realize that there lay power in these methods. Rheingold sums it up by saying that “knowing how to blog, tweet, wiki…and/or organize online can lead to political, cultural and economic value.” The web is such a concentrated place that the forming of individuals with a similar interests can vastly and rapidly grow crossing any geographical or physical boundaries. By being able to connect whether it be through a RT on Twitter or a Like on Facebook these individuals are empowered by the support of others.

Other than collaboration and empowerment, a participatory culture also is described as liberating by Rheingold. It breaks down all the walls of “I can’t” into “I can.” This is done through showing people how to make their own music, movies, form of entertainment, etc and not limiting it to the professionals in those fields. It also allows for the sharing of these artistic creations and the development/critique by others. It is what made Justin Bieber who he is today. He simply shared his singing talent online and was turned into a superstar because of his popularity as an online celebrity.

However while reading this chapter I couldn’t help but think of the millions of people that don’t have access to internet and the differences they have with us. Are they truly crippled or less ‘able’ to participate because they aren’t involved in the online community? The participatory culture that Rheingold describes is, after all, limited to us privileged people that DO have access to the internet. Are we at an advantage because we are exposed to other people’s ideas, groups and input? I’m not quite sure about that but it is definitely something to think about.

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids


Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

Assignment Details

Take a picture of your subject (grandparents, pet, yourself) and put it into a totally different background in which they appear abnormally too small or too large. Think of Honey, we shrunk the kids…

Personal Experience

Once again, I am not very familiar with photo editing programs so this was my VERY first time doing something like this. If I were to be completely honest, I would have to admit that I had to Skype my friend in Japan to walk me through this process. I can admit that the ‘quality’ and “believe – ability” of this picture isn’t very good but it was my FIRST try. The more I use GIMP, the better I am getting at it but I definitely do have a long way to go. The hardest part about it so far is grasping the concept of layers. This is my version of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and my attempt of trying to shrink an object to look smaller than its actual surroundings.