Response to Fadwa

The kittens are so cute! Kittens! Kittens! Kittens!

I had no idea that something so simple like babysitting a kitten could have a much stronger meaning to it as you described. I agree that we should all be more nonchalant rather than stressing over the little things in life because it can change our whole perspective on life. I tend to stress over the small things sometimes because I overthink it, like exams and drama. I realized, however, that stressing over these trifle topics never pushed me anywhere but down. Looking at all of these things as if they don’t define me has helped with my anxiety and showed me to really live life according to my standards and no one else’s. Your blog post really resonated with me, Fadwa. Thank you for sharing that with us.


“Hey Siri, how do I find The Real? No Siri, I said The R-E-A-L”

The Real

I exist between categories rather than inside them when I think of race and who I am. I am an Arab-American. I was born in New York but I am of Jordanian descent. After recently taking a DNA test, I am 70% middle eastern and 30% Jordanian. I am in between these categories but I am not inside one because I still consider myself fully American for having been born here yet I take pride in my Arabic roots.

I have been called an introvert and an extrovert at different times by different people. I don’t even know what I am at this point because I am flexible and can be both when I want to be. This is another example of how I am in between two categories rather than inside them.

My main influence that has molded me and guided me towards The Real this far has to be something like my mom, my aunt, or my brother. Mainly I think it’s me and my view on them. I look at my mom and want to do her right by growing up to be successful and living life the way I want to live it. I look at my brother, Michael, who never lets any situation get him mad. He always smiles and thanks God for what he has. Finally, my aunt who is fun and care-free. She never lets anyone put her down and can start the party or get anyone smiling. These three people probably have the most influence on me finding the real. Family is my answer. My family has guided my step towards The Real this far.

I haven’t found The Real yet, but I think I am on my way.

Blog Post 7 and 8

Part 2:

The judge gets both Tillie and Jazzlyn, and the tightrope guy on the same day. By doubling up on these two central events, the tension in the novel is greater than ever and more connections are seen between all of the characters. This gives for great storytelling and understanding of why certain events have happened. The judge, who happens to be Claire’s husband, has to sentence Tillie and Jazzlyn, which shows how they’re connected and then the tightrope guy which further connects him to the rest of the characters. Everyone affects one another in some way, and that is clarified through the doubling up of these two events.

Part 3:

Claire is dying while Jaslyn watches her. She notes that the although she is dying, the world will keep spinning. Jaslyn and Claire represent a major bridge from Claire to Jaslyn to Gloria to Tillie to Jazzlyn and to Corrigan. In the prologue, we are being introduced to New Yorkers finding a man atop a wire in between the twin towers. Some people are interested and watching him to see if he would fall or not, and some are ignoring him as if nothing cool was happening. In the ending, we find all these characters brought together through the events that occurred on that very day. Their connections have been bridged, and the effect each character has on another has been clearly bridged. We see how Claire and Jaslyn’s relationship was created and how significant that day was to have brought these characters together. Everything had to happen for a reason and this day clarified that.

The bridge that unsettled me in some way was definitely between Ciaran and Lara. I never understood why either character would be interested in the other. Lara was responsible for Ciaran’s brother’s death and Ciaran knew the details about this occurrence. He still, nonetheless, pursued Lara as a romantic interested and that always unsettled me. This was not a rational or logical bridge for these characters to build.

A bridge that really made my heart sing was that of Ciaran and Corrigan. There was something about their relationship that kept me wanting to see more of them. They were brothers who cared about each other and who wanted the ultimate best for each other, even if they never admitted this directly. Corrigan wanted to help everyone he could and Ciaran wanted to help Corrigan before he hurt himself. Their intentions and actions are purely made out of love which is why I like this bridge.

Part 1 is not here because I was absent during this class.

Where’s my love – SYML (BP6)

Where’s My Love by SYML was the first song I could think of when I thought of magnificent and exquisite music that has changed for me over time. I do love the lyrics in this song but the piano is what truly pulls me under the water in this one. Disregarding the lyrics, the melody of the piano still brings to me the same mood and tones that the lyrics do. It is a melody of yearning and passion for me.

I provided a link to a live performance by the artist. His piano playing is what is the most powerful and I can easily think of Copeland when watching or listening to this performance. I definitely found this piece to be melancholy and unbelievably moving.

In terms of colors, I see many shades of blues and hues of grey clashing together. I see them mixing in to paint a dark ocean current hugging the shore. It’s cold and blue and grey and yet somehow hopeful. I listen to this song particularly thinking of the expressive plane. I don’t listen to this kind of music to escape, but rather to feel more and express some unknown feelings. It’s the movement of the passion in this song through the piano that is what really captivates me. It’s not as heavy as either Beethoven or Tchaikovsky but it is still as powerful to me, personally. This is definitely a cry-all-night song for me which is another reason as to why I’m in love with this music.

What to Listen For in Music- Blog Post 5

Typically, I don’t really listen to classical music unless it’s the only music available to me. Reading Copeland describe the sensous and expressive planes makes me think about my involvement in music, and I listen to a lot of music. I feel myself connecting to music on both of these planes, depending on my mood and the music itself.

Beethoven and Tchaikovsky work in the same genre yet are two completely different musicians, to me. I think that Beethoven isn’t harder to pin down in what it means but it is rather less ambiguous than Tchaikosky. His music does have some unpredictable tunes and melodies that rather flow very excitedly, rather than smoothly. However, his music is as I interpret it to be, it is just pushed in a direction according to the song’s melody.

Tchaikovsky’s music isn’t more predictable but his music does flow more smoothly that Beethoven’s perhaps. The mood generally stays pushing the listener in the same direction through his music, without too many leaps of changing tone, like Beethoven. Both musicians are great, they are just very different in producing music. Through the tone of the played notes, the musicians can change the emotional feeling their music elicits, which is how I think these two artists mainly differ. I personally like Tchaikovsky more than Beethoven because his music is smoother and elicits a different reaction from me than from Beethoven.


Song of the Moon by Claude McKay

The moonlight breaks upon the city’s domes,
And falls along cemented steel and stone,
Upon the grayness of a million homes,
Lugubrious in unchanging monotone.
Upon the clothes behind the tenement,
That hang like ghosts suspended from the lines,
Linking each flat to each indifferent,
Incongruous and strange the moonlight shines.

There is no magic from your presence here,
So, moon, sad moon, tuck up your trailing robe,
Whose silver seems antique and so severe
Against the glow of one electric globe.

Go spill your beauty on the laughing faces
Of happy flowers that bloom a thousand hues,
Waiting on tiptoe in the wilding spaces,
To drink your wine mixed with sweet drafts of dews.

Fun Size!

Standing at five foot zero, I have always been the shortest person in the room, other than children. I am the shortest in my family and have been made fun of for my height but I still feel as if I stand tall because of my confidence in my character. Being so short, I always look up to new experiences, literally and figuratively. So what may pose as normal to some may pose as big to me.

Through my eyes, everything has been bigger but not necessarily better. I’ve learned to find the genuine and unique details of the smaller things in life. On the Highline, for instance, everything did appear to be bigger than me, however, everything was not better because it was bigger. There are tiny pieces of artwork that I can easily see to be better than massive buildings of work. It is not the size of the art but the meaning of it that I see first and because of this perception I do not think bigger is better.

“Miró, Miró, on the wall, who’s the deadest of them all?”

“Miró, Miró, on the wall, who’s the deadest of them all?” (McCann 112).

I) Joan Miró was a surrealist Spanish painter from Barcelona whose artwork is presented in Claire’s apartment. The quote McCann states is a direct allusion to the famous Snow White fairytale in which the queen asks her magic mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all, though McCann’s version is slightly more twisted due to Claire’s dead son and grieving character.

II) Primary Characters:

  • Corrigan
  • Ciaran
  • Jazzlyn
  • Tillie
  • Adelita
  • Claire
  • Solomon
  • The group of mothers
  • Gloria
  • Lara
  • Blaine
  • Tightrope Walker
  • Computer Hackers (Sam Peters -“The Kid”, Compton, Dennis, and Gareth)
  • Fernando Marcano

There are over seventy human interactions or collisions as of book two.

III) I am the most intrigued in Lara and Ciaran’s interactions because I find it incredibly odd for someone to be cordial with their brother’s killer. Although she did not directly kill Corrigan, Ciaran still knows she was in the car that hit his. Even before he finds this out and she says that she was the driver, Ciaran is still very friendly with her and invites her out. Upon her admission of being the passenger, he claims to have known that she wasn’t the driver. They drink together and their relationship presented here is not quite a typical one due to their character involvements and actions. I find it admirable that Ciaran was not angry with her; however, I find it weird that he was even so interested in taking her out after the funeral. Finally, they kiss and Lara leaves to discover that she wants to leave Blaine and I am left wanting to see more of Lara and Ciaran together. I wonder how their characters are going to develop and if they are going to continue to see each other.

Let The Great World Spin – Chapter 1

A tightrope walker, on top of the world trade center in New York City arises an interest in the city’s pedestrians as everyone stops to find a suitable view to witness either the death of this brave man or the success of a skilled athlete. Let The Great World Spin’s author, Colum McCann, brings the reader to a wild day in New York City in its prologue. The actual story though, takes place in Dublin, Ireland as the narrator recounts his childhood with his brother, Corrigan. As their parents pass away and both brothers grow up, they eventually meet again in Bronx, New York where this specific location has altered both of their lives and developed their characters in one way or another.


The prologue allows the reader to become a viewer of the man walking the tightrope. Instantly, I feel as if I am in New York watching this figure stand on top of the world trade center wondering if he is going to fall and die or live and become a huge success. However, as the story of Corrigan and his brother unfolds, I feel more emotionally connected to the narrator rather than Corrigan. He is seen as the more innocent brother trying to help Corrigan out. This is also expressed when he moves to New York and starts locking Corrigan’s apartment door as a method of helping Corrigan clean up his life. Corrigan’s drinking and smoking is what mainly repulses me, however, through this I am also able to see that he is just a human trying to cope with his absentee father and tough life. When he grows up and moves to New York it is clear that he genuinely wants to help others, perhaps at a cost to himself. For example, he wants to help the hookers by leaving his apartment unlocked but he also gets hurt. I feel sympathetic towards him because of his generosity even if it is not portrayed in such a clean manner. I would like to believe that I am a little religious, and it is mainly in this form that I can relate to Corrigan the most. Finally, his love for Adelita arises an internal conflict in Corrigan between their love and his vows as a monk show that he falls into temptation and must resists as much as he can due to his faith reveals the type of man he is. This is what makes his death incredibly unsettling to me.