Response to Tasmim

Tasmim, I completely understand the frustrations that come from being a perfectionist. I’ve loved arts and crafts my whole life, but I have had many times where I completely tossed a project that I worked incredibly hard on just because I made a mistake. Most people would work around the mistake or just ignore it entirely, but I was never that type of person. I always tried to make the image of the project I had in my head come to life in my work, and if I could not do that then it was not good enough. This was a constant problem I had when I was a kid until one of my teachers taught me how to incorporate my mistakes into my projects. Just as you learned to incorporate your mistakes in your henna designs, I learned that a mistake should not make my work worth any less. An example of this can be seen in the book we created together! When I was splattering the purple paint a big glob of it landed where I painted the sky, and instead of freaking out about it I cut a little piece of paper into a cloud and glued it on top. And even with my mistake, we still created a great looking book ;).

Cats, Cats, Cats

I use to hate cats. I would see them in pet stores and purposely avoid them while I admired the puppies. I hated their sharp claws and how they are so selfishly indifferent to people’s well-being. Dogs are so cuddly and incredibly happy all the time, so I thought “why the hell do people even own cats?” Well my perspective of cats completely changed when my grandmother’s cat gave birth to six kittens, and she needed to find homes for all of them. A ton of photos were sent to me of the kittens and I admit that they were adorable as hell, but that did not mean I wanted to own one of them. My family knew I was adamant about not owning a cat because we already had two dogs and did not need anymore animals in the house. So my grandma slowly found a few people that were trustworthy enough to give the kittens to except for two of them. My grandma did not have the time or the energy to take care of the kittens, so my mom came home one day with a basket and said we were going to babysit one of them—and by “we” she meant me. I thought that this was going to be a burden, but the complete opposite happened. I started making toys for the cat, feeding it, and had it sleep on my chest. He would nibble on my finger with his sharp teeth, and would scratch my hand a little with his claws. Two days of my summer were dedicated to chilling with this cat, and I loved every second of it. This is not a dramatic change in a belief compared to other people’s situations, but for someone who really thought that they would hate cats all of their life, I shocked myself by how quickly my attitude towards cats changed.

This may sound silly, but something that I believe has guided me towards The Real is my nonchalant attitude. A common problem I have seen with people in high school and now in college is that people are always so anxious and worried all the time. Whether it be because they have an exam or because they are afraid to be in a certain social situation, almost everyone seems to be uneasy. I have realized that people spend so much time worrying about whatever their problem is rather than facing it and getting it out of the way. I have certain goals in life which I hope guide me to The Real, but I know that a major part of my success will be because of my ability to remain calm and composed in the most stressful situations. Overall my point is, don’t take things so seriously!!!

Sound and Music

In the original version of David Bowie’s “Sound and Vision,” the major components and different instruments can be easily detected due to its short length and distinct sounds. Beck’s rendition is almost ten minutes and includes 160 musicians; however, it is still easy to follow even though it is grand in size. The composition breaks the instruments into different sections, and the video adds visuals which makes identifying the major components easier than expected. Beck’s version of “Sound and Vision” brings a myriad of music together so that anyone can find a component of it that they like (I thought the yodeling was pretty cool), but I can still picture people preferring the original song due to its simplicity. I enjoyed Beck’s rendition a little more than the original version of the song because I have always been a fan of certain music that packs a punch, and the power behind the orchestra of Beck’s one-off does that for me. I appreciate the original song because it is a classic that can never truly be remade, but the combination of gospel singers, guitars, piano, and a string orchestra in Beck’s makes the experience of the song so much more grand.

As we watched in the jazz performance at Lehman, many different instruments and sounds contribute to creating a jazz piece. Beck’s rendition may not be considered a jazz piece; however, the way it combines elements of music that would not traditionally be put together makes it a melodious tribute to jazz. The performance incorporates electric guitars, gospel singers, yodeling and so much more making it a combination of different cultures working in harmony to produce something magnificent. The improvisational aspect of this piece can be seen as the musicians build off of each other’s emotion in an attempt to make a simple song like “Sound and Vision” sound as grand as it deserves to be.

The World Keeps Spinning

I. Judge Soderberg’s monologue in Let the Great World Spin and the documentary Man on Wire provide two different perspectives on crime. Soderberg describes horrific crimes such as rape, murder, and theft that fill the city. On the other hand, Phillipe Petit’s crime is recognized as a work of art because it involves passion rather than necessity. The intent of the crimes is what makes Petit’s admirable, and the crimes Soderberg accounts for as immoral. While Petit’s crime unites the city through its beauty, the crimes Soderberg speaks of spawn from selfishness and defiance.

II. By doubling up the two cases of Tillie and Jazzlyn and Petit, the contrast of crimes discussed in Part I is revealed but with a twist. In the case of Tillie and Jazzlyn, Soderberg immediately views Tillie as a defiant criminal because of her appearance and obnoxious behavior in the courtroom. She wears a one-piece bathing suit with high heels, and blows kisses to men in the room. Because of this, Soderberg does not view her as a person and sees her as just one of the criminals listed in his monologue. It is not until Soderberg realizes that Jazzlyn is Tillie’s daughter that he feels any compassion for the girls. In this situation, he has an understanding for both Tillie and Jazzlyn and Petit’s case. Tillie and Jazzlyn may have committed multiple crimes, but their loving relationship is what softens Soderberg’s heart. In Petit’s case, he understood Petit’s motive for walking between the towers, and did not want to punish him severely for something he thought was beautiful. The doubling up of these two central events reveal both a contrast and connection between the cases which occur by accident, but hold great significance.

III. The prologue of Let the Great World Spin begins with Petit tightrope walking between the Twin Towers during a regular, chaotic New York City morning. While most people would rush to their jobs or appointments they have that day, it is Petit’s spectacular stunt that pauses the hectic crowd. It was difficult at first to think how this tightrope walker would connect to every character in the novel; however, in the end I came to the conclusion that Petit can be considered one of the main characters in the story. Almost every single character mentioned the tightrope walker, and how the walk had an impact on that specific moment in their life. They may have been distracted by a certain problem, but everything was at a standstill as Petit walked. Everyone, no matter their social or economic status connected for at least one moment bringing the city together. As Jaslyn lays next to Claire, she feels “the world spinning.” The only reason Jaslyn is found in this situation is because of fate. Claire and Jaslyn come from two completely different worlds, and in the end they end up side by side. Connections will continue to be made no matter what the course of someone’s life is. People will connect, and the world will continue to spin.

A bridge that surprised me was between Lara and Ciaran. It was a bit unsettling that Ciaran would find an attraction for the woman that is responsible for his brother’s death; however, this bridge is used to reveal Ciaran’s character development. I understand that the point of this connection was to show how Ciaran learned forgiveness after the death of Corrigan, but it was still odd how an emotional relationship was made between these characters.

A bridge that made my heart sing was Corrigan’s connection with every character he encountered in the novel. It did not matter who they were or what their past consisted of, Corrigan accepts them and helps them in anyway he can. He resembles a forgiveness and humility that every single person can learn from. His first acts of kindness can be seen as he gives away his blankets, and goes the extra mile to understand the suffering of the unfortunate souls of society. While living in New York, he attempts to better the lives of prostitutes by offering them a place to rest or use the bathroom during the day. Even when pimps beat him up for offering this service, he continues to do it. Corrigan allows himself to suffer as long as he can benefit the lives of those around him. Through his connections with different characters in the novel, readers can learn to idolize Corrigan’s selflessness as he bridges people together no matter what they are classified as in society.

Think of Me – BP#6

I always told my friends that I would be an opera singer in another life, but the funny thing is that I never listen to opera songs. My fascination for this art form began the first time my cousin and I watched the film The Phantom of the Opera (2004). Throughout my entire life, I always considered The Phantom of the Opera to be an opera; however, I discovered that it is classified as just a musical. This did not diminish my love for the music since the structure of the musical is very similar to that of an opera. The song from the musical that I have listened to frequently since 2008 is “Think of Me” by Andrew Lloyd Webber. When I was younger, I thought of it as just a beautiful sounding song, but in 2010 I had the chance to see the musical live. All I need to say is that little fifth grade Fadwa had tears in her eyes the entire time. The words in the song are a thing of beauty, but the element of the song that makes me drift into another world is the instrumental. The intensity and passion of the live performance gave new meaning to the song for me. I pictured scenes of ballroom dances from Disney movies like Beauty and the Beast, and Anastasia. Colors that resemble elegance would flash through my mind like bright golds, and silvers. Even now in 2017, I still see the same colors and can picture people ballroom dancing when I listen to “Think of Me,” or any song from Phantom of the Opera.

Tchaikovsky vs Beethoven

In Aaron Copeland’s What to Listen for in Music, he discusses the three planes involved in listening to music and different themes that are present in a composer’s piece. Before reading the first three chapters of Copeland’s book, I only focused on the sensuous plane when listening to music. I never really cared for a deeper meaning behind a song; as long it made me drift away from daily responsibilities I would listen to it and not give it a second thought. After listening to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, I agree with Copeland that this piece is “easier to understand” compared to Beethoven’s (14). Tchaikovsky’s piece begins slow, but transitions to a steady tune that is lively and intense. I would consider it to be more predictable than Beethoven’s piece because it seems to follow the same pattern of sounds throughout. I do not know much about music, but I agree with Copeland when he states that a meaning and theme can be easily found in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. On the other hand, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony took me on a roller coaster ride. The abrupt transitions make the piece truly unpredictable, going from extremely intense to subdued in the blink of an eye. I admit that the animated musical bar graph played a large part in my opinion since it made me pay attention to every little change that occurred in the piece. I was able to see what the music looked like, but was still surprised by the way the instruments clashed together. The dynamic structure of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is what differentiates it from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, and makes it an unpredictable experience.

Worked Late on a Tuesday Night

Worked Late on a Tuesday Night

By: Deborah Garrison

Midtown is blasted out and silent,
drained of the crowd and its doggy day.
I trample the scraps of deli lunches
some ate outdoors as they stared dumbly
or hooted at us career girls—the haggard
beauties, the vivid can-dos, open raincoats aflap
in the March wind as we crossed to and fro
in front of the Public Library.

Never thought you’d be one of them,
did you, little Lady?
Little Miss Phi Beta Kappa,
with your closetful of pleated
skirts, twenty-nine till death do us
part! Don’t you see?
The good schoolgirl turns thirty,
forty, singing the song of time management
all day long, lugging the briefcase

home. So at 10:00 PM
you’re standing here
with your hand in the air,
cold but too stubborn to reach
into your pocket for a glove, cursing
the freezing rain as though it were
your difficulty. It’s pathetic,
and nobody’s fault but
your own. Now

the tears,
down into the collar.
Cabs, cabs, but none for hire.
I haven’t had dinner; I’m not half
of what I meant to be.
Among other things, the mother
of three. Too tired, tonight,
to seduce the father.

The Twin Towers

For a majority of my life, I was always the tall girl. I had a bunch a nicknames relating to my height; the most popular one was given to my friend—who was almost my same height—and I and we were called “The Twin Towers.” I never got offended by any of these names because I saw it as a compliment; it made me feel dominant especially when I would play different sports with the guys. However, I have never taken the time to think of myself in relation to the enormous structures that surround me. After visiting the High Line and thinking about the size of the buildings, I realized that at the end of the day I am small. We are all small in comparison to these amazing sights, no matter what your size or role is in the world. This may seem like a depressing statement; however, it is the exact opposite. These oversized artworks give us something that everyone can connect to. Although it may appear that the buildings are consuming us on our everyday walks through the city, on the High Line we were able to look through the buildings while still appreciating their great stature.

Miró, Miró on the Wall

I) Unlike most people who thought of the famous scene from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs when reading the title of the chapter, my mind went straight to the Shrek movies where Lord Farquaad says “Mirror mirror on the wall, is this not the most perfect kingdom of them all?” Funnily enough, in the Snow White movie the Queen says “magic mirror” instead of “mirror mirror” meaning that the McCann could have possibly been referencing the Shrek movies ;). Okay now onto the actual assignment.

When Claire mentions a Miró painting, she is referencing the Spanish surrealist painter Joan Miró. After revealing her wistful memories of her son, Joshua, she asks the painting “Miró, Miró, on the wall, who’s the deadest of them all? (112). In this quote, Claire is referring to both herself and her son since she suffers mass amounts of grief and depression since his passing.

II) There were many collisions throughout this section that included many minor characters; however, focusing on the main characters of the novel I counted about 15 interactions.

  1. Corrigan
  2. Ciaran
  3. The Tightrope Walker
  4. Tillie
  5. Jazzlyn
  6. Lara
  7. Claire
  8. Gloria
  9. Bereaved Mothers
  10. Adelita
  11. Blaine
  12. Fernando
  13. Sam
  14. Soloman

Although Corrigan is now dead, the interaction between him and Ciaran is what sparked my interest. Throughout a majority of Ciaran’s life, he could never obtain a true grasp on the meaning behind Corrigan’s work. Whether it was Corrigan giving his blankets away as a kid or joining the Order and moving to the Bronx to help prostitutes, Ciaran could not comprehend his brother’s motives. It was not until his interaction with Corrigan’s death where we see true development in his character based on his collisions with others. When Tillie slaps Ciaran for ever thinking of himself as better than her, instead showing anger he reveals that he is actually grateful for it. Humility. When Lara tells Ciaran that she was the one to kill Corrigan in the car crash, he only says one thing, “You should have stopped” (151). Forgiveness. One of the hardest things to do is to forgive—especially when it comes to someone killing your brother. As a result of his brother’s death, Ciaran was humbled and realized that he has to show the same compassion for others just as his brother did for all of the unfortunate people of society.