My Passing Strange

To be honest, I have been staring at these questions for a very long time now and I still have no idea what to write, but it’s due in 30 minutes so I’m giving it my best shot. One of the earliest times I remember existing between categories rather than inside them was in elementary school. In Second Grade we had an assignment to talk about our family, but I was living with my grandparents instead of either of my actual parents (I don’t know why I just was). Up until that time I thought it was a completely normal thing, but other students made me as if my parents had abandoned me and didn’t even want me around being that my sisters were still living with my mom and I wasn’t. On a less serious note I was the only one in that class whose favorite pizza was mushroom, so I was in a category all to myself then too. Another case of category mishaps is in Sixth Grade when I started living on and off with my dad upstate in Woodbury. Just to let you know, I absolutely hated the children of Woodbury. My dad became known as the motorcycle guy that threw a lot of parties, so whenever we threw a party all the neighborhood children would just stand outside my house watching us like little vouchers or like they were in The Children of the Corn,  playing ding-dong-ditch and messing with our guests motorcycles. In my opinion, they were just jealous cause none of them or their parents were invented, but that’s just me. I was also the only person there that liked the city, I can not express how much I despise suburban living. I couldn’t do anything but stare outside my window. There wasn’t even a bus to take to me to the mall, actually I had no friends up there anyway so that doesn’t matter. Other than that, I think the fact that I live in New York CIty is what is guiding my steps towards the Real. I’ve never had a real passion for anything. There are things that I like to do, but the only thing I love is trying new things. Living in the city gives me the opportunity to do just that. With this seminar alone I’ve been to museums I’ve never even heard of, seen very cool looking rocks, went to my first dance show, and visited a very interesting bookstore to say the least (Printed Matter). Then if I ever get tired of it all JFK is a 30 minute drive from my apartment.

Portraying Pain in Art

“The only way people can really describe pain is to objectify it.”

One of my favorite songs, “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls has a line saying “Yeah, you bleed just to know you’re alive”. Pain is an essential part of being human. It helps us to grow and learn from our mistakes. Without it, people can end up causing excessive harm to themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually without realizing it.  

Pain is usually associated with a physical feeling. When I first read this quote I immediately thought of patients in a hospital having to describe their level of pain using the pain chart showing different levels of discomfort/aggression. Even emotional pain (ex. heartbreak) is expressed through actions such as crying.  


“When people forge tools or build things, they are often trying to alleviate discomfort. But first they must define the discomfort”

In high school I took business and scientific research classes. When deciding on a business plan or research project, my teachers always told me to look for a solution to a problem. Discomfort provides inspiration and reason for a creator to go “outside the box”. Without discomfort, people have no reason to change. As a creator, I have to take into account other people’s perspective to successfully portray the right emotion in a work of art or address a given issue.

Blog Posts 7 & 8

Part I.

In Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann, the judge’s monologue describes the crime and destruction that has taken over The Bronx. In Man on Wire, Philippe Petit is also committing a crime, but it is not one that that tears us apart. Instead, it brings us together.  Everyday New Yorkers along with visiting tourists stopped and stared in amazement to watch Philippe, a great contrast from the murders, rape, and robberies.

Part II.

The judge having Tillie, Jazzlyn, and the tightrope guy finally ties the entire story together. Judge Soderberg is actually married to Claire and is actually relieved when he discovers he get the tightrope walker’s case. It almost a break from the events judge Soderberg usually deals with and describes in his monologue. Seeing these two cases presented at the same time shows two drastic differences in what is considered a  crime. Philippe’s action were considered by many to be an act of beauty.  However, Tillie and Jazzlyn are seen as nothing more than lowlifes and prostitutes. Because of this Judge Soderberg has a more light hearted view on the tightrope walker (Petit) than Tillie and Jazzlyn. The doubling up of these two events finally bridge the connections presented throughout the story.

Part III.

In the prologue we first witness Philippe Petit on the tightrope. Bystanders look in awe and the reader is left unknowing as to whether the stunt was successful or not. We later find out that as this is going on, Tillie and Jazzlyn are being arrested,Claire has the laddies over for lunch, and Claire’s husband, Judge Soderberg, gets both Petit’s as well as Tillie and Jazzlyn’s court case. Many things did not make sense when first reading the book. It is mind blowing to see how these people with completely different lives and stories could be so closely connected.

A bridge that surprised me the most was when Ciaran met Lara. It is unsettling to think about meeting the person who killed your own brother. Most people would react with some type of aggression or hate. However, they end up being together. I personally do not think I could go through something like that, however things happen for a reason.

The bridge that “made my heart sing” was Jaslyn being with Claire. It was shocking to see Jaslyn is Jazzlyn’s daughter. Even though she couldn’t be by her birth mother’s side, she was there for Claire. It was heartwarming to learn Jaslyn had escaped the loop of prostitution running in her family and is living a decent life.

Is Bigger Really Better?

Growing up in New York City, I am used to being surrounded by enormous buildings and giant crowds of people. I wake up, go to sleep, and do everything in between hearing police sirens, the roaring of the train, the people chattering away in different languages. The size and positioning of the buildings feels as if the city is cradling, or engulfing me in its art and culture. Almost all the buildings themselves seem to function as a piece of art. As seen on The High Line, some buildings were built to have their own, I would say, personality while also appearing to coexist and be apart of other surrounding buildings. However, I do not necessarily find all giant objects and organisms to be intimidating or superior, it happens that roaches absolutely terrify me. In terms of art, I find larger works can be quite empowering. The thought of Michelangelo being able to complete such a truly breathtaking piece such as the Statue of David, as mentioned in the article, inspires me to do my best in anything I do and work hard doing the things I love.

Miró, Miró, On the Wall


Joan Miró is a surrealist and experimental artist from Barcelona, Spain. He derived his very unique style from other artist such as Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cézanne. Miró not only does paintings but is also known for creating sculptures, murals, and even ceramics

When I first read the chapter’s title “Miró, Miró, on the Wall”, I immediately thought of the well known line from Snow White “mirror, mirror, on the wall”. Having that thought lingering in my mind, I noticed in the beginning of this chapter Claire has a lengthy interaction with a mirror in her bedroom. Claire is described as standing with “her body in the full length mirror” and has several moments where she is staring at her reflection. Translated from Spanish, “Miró” means I look or watch. Considering that Miró is of Spanish descent, I felt this was a clever play on words since Claire is watching her own reflection.  

I feel the purpose using the mirror is to symbolize an individual as being a work of at art. On page 78, Claire has a flashback where she is arguing with her father. It ended with him calling her “Modern. Like a fixture. A painting. A Miró”. Taking all information into consideration, I interpret this as meaning Claire is a work of art, but because you can not simply hang her up on a wall she is displayed through a mirror where she reflects and creates her own abstract piece through her own life experience, thoughts, and physical appearance.


I estimate there are more than 60 human interactions or “collisions”. The one that intrigues me the most is Claire and Solomon finding out how their son, Joshua, passed away. It was heartbreaking to see at first Claire first thought of an exam when being told Joshua had ‘passed”, followed by the realization of what is actually going on. After the sergeant says Joshua had “died a hero” Solomon responds with a bit of hostility by saying “You don’t die a f[**]king hero”. Staring into some prints Claire even says “Miró, Miró, on the wall, who’s the deadest of them all”. Claire may be saying this as a way of receiving clarity/confirmation of her son’s death, or it could be possibly a way of seeing him for the last time through the “Miró” .

Primary Characters:

  • Claire
  • Solomon
  • Joshua
  • Ciaran
  • Corrigan
  • Lara
  • Blaine
  • Adelita
  • Gloria
  • Tillie
  • Jazzlyn
  • Fernando
  • Sam

Let the Great World Spin

Geography and environment can play a major role in who we are as people. In prologue of “Let the Great world Spin” by Colum McCann,  A dark figure can be seen standing along the ledge of the observation deck in Tower B of the World Trade Center on an early August morning.

This draws in a crowd of hundreds. This large crowd proved to be very opinionated. Being that it wasn’t for certain if the man was a jumper, I was amazed at how many people were said to be shouting for the man to jump, and others said not too, while the rest stared in awe.

The setting of the beginning of chapter one then begins in a family home in Dublin, Ireland. There is a much different vibe than that of New York City. In the prologue everything is near chaotic. In the beginning of chapter one I had a feeling of tranquility which gave me a sense of security. This soon turned to grief and sorrow for the loss of the brother’s mother and Corrigan’s irrational behavior.

In chapter one, I could relate to much of what Ciaran and Corrigan had experienced. I have two older sisters and although none of us share the same father our mother raised us as a single parent throughout areas of the Bronx. That being said, of all the characters introduced so far I feel a close emotional connection with Corrigan. Many of his character traits and actions remind me of somebody close to me. He always struggled with substance abuse and tried to make others happy, without any regard for himself. Maybe it works as a coping method to not take any blame for his own actions, or maybe it’s just a way of forgetting them all together. Either way, I feel reading this book has so far given me a different perspective and insight on issues I see in my own life.


Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines telos as “an ultimate end”. In other terms, telos can be referred to as having a goal or purpose. In “The Beautiful and the Ugly are One Thing, the Sublime Another: A Reflection on Culture” by Stanley Diamond, the word telos is used in the following sentence, “For culture is itself a transcendence, making available a commonality of language that can be combined and recombined into the most illuminating construction of the human telos”. In this statement I believe Diamond is conveying the message that human beings will alter cultural practices to better suite their own goals, or telos. Throughout this section, Diamond describes how culture itself is being diminished in society due to either “productive-reproductive routine”, or “mechanical materialism”. Meaning that some humans are currently living with the notion of simply reproducing and surviving on a day to day basis , or satisfying their materialistic wants. These can both kill a society’s cultural values and goals. Are goals set for just individuals, or for entire groups? Are all goals deliberately made? All over the world people are heavily influenced by different platforms of media: television, magazines, social media, etc. Using beauty as an example, in America there has been an increasing trend in having bigger lips, which sky rocketed after reality star and entrepreneur Kylie Jenner had her lips enlarged. This even caused the viral Kylie Jenner Challenge which actually caused some participants to have permanent damage to their mouths. Overall, a telos is an ultimate goal that can either be one set for an individual or group by the individuals themselves or influencing factors.