Where Do I Belong? @David

Dear David,
As I read your post, I relate so much! I can’t even describe the excitement I felt when I was going Back to Bangladesh (BD). Similar to yours.  Yes, I am finally going back! It was four years since we’ve been back. So my family and I went back to BD in 2010 for the summer. I thought I could play with my cousins in the countryside from morning until dusk just like we used to before I left. We even played in our houses after dark. The fun never stopped. We could play hide and seek among the trees, play hopscotch in front of our houses, and tell stories. A lot can change in four years so I’ve learned. When I went back it was not like that. Besides not playing outside much anymore, everyone changed. The environment changed drastically too. To this day, I want to go back to the way things used to be. A lot of people say they’re too American for their country but too foreign for America. I don’t have that experience so I feel left out when people say that. I am not American enough for the people back home. They expected and wanted me to be every American stereotype for them to marvel at. Probably what they saw as foreigners in Bangladeshi movies. I mean, first of all, I came in wearing traditional clothes. I was not accepted by my family there because I wasn’t “American enough.” This shocked me because I was once very much a part of the social fabric as much as anyone else. I thought we were inseparable. I was one of them, not anymore. Come to think of it, it was one of the very few times and places in my life that I truly belonged. In America, I’m not American enough apparently. I mean I’m not accepted as completely American. All this tension begs the questions: what is my Real identity? What is my Real belonging? You might say both but it seems like neither wants me.

Double Consciousness

Ive always existed in categories after immigrating to America. You know W.E.B DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk? He coined the term double consciousness. It is the sense that we are always looking at ourselves through the eyes of others. He states that black people have consciousness of how others see them and how they see themselves. Ive most definitely sensed this and I sense it all the time. I always think about whether someone is looking at me as a stereotype. The heartbreak when I discover they do. Are they going to look at me, see something I do, and then assign that to every one of my race or ethnicity as a stereotype? I think people of color experience this. I am conscious of how people view me, as a person of color, and how I view myself. But, it’s more than that, I can see myself through their eyes; like it’s racialized. Also, I never thought this is the person I would become today. There are many times I have scrapped a plan that I thought was completely right at the time. This happens with school projects where I have a plan larger-than-life, grandiose but I dont have the resources to execute it.

Oh The Pain

“The only way people can really describe pain is to objectify it.” I have heard before that we do lose a little bit of meaning when we try to represent a theme in a visual work or in writing. We discussed this in class too. Writing does not fully capture what we want to say. It is difficult for us to use language to describe something in a way others understand. This limitation can go for other art forms too. The article challenged me to think about how when we talk about pain, we usually use the objects that caused the pain as adjectives or verbs. It also made think about the objects that were created to alleviate pain. A Chair, for example, is not what I think of when I think of art, and an object invented to make us weightless. Objects like chairs do represent pain and our willingness to ease pain, rather than to endure it. “When people forge tools or build things, they are often trying to alleviate discomfort. But first, they must define the discomfort” We had to first feel discomfort for us to create a chair. We must first experience pain for us to represent it. It is true that when people build something or forge tools, they are usually trying to ease the pain. Because of this explanation, I understand how pain fuels production and creativity. Not only objects but many people need to write their pain, in a diary for example. Maybe we want other people to understand our pain so we create something to do that. Maybe we want to help others resolve or alleviate a painful situation. Maybe a pain is so universal we must make into an object of art for people to observe.

Blog Post 7&8

Part I 

The crimes that the judge describes are destroying the city and lives. However, Philippe Petit’s crime of tight roping on the World Trade Centres is a crime that makes life meaningful. It represents many of our desires to be free. Most of the viewers are amazed at a person who broke the limitations and fears and lived life. Part of the city did come alive when he was committing his crime.

Part II.

The judge is Claire’s husband and he presides over the case of Jazzlyn, Tillie, and tightrope man. This is important because it is a bridge between these characters. It shows how the system treats both these people. The judge does have sympathy for Jazzlyn and Tillie and he can see the love and affection they have for each other. The judge did not actually want to jail Petit but he has to. This also illustrates how New York is indeed a big city but it is also a small city because people of disparate backgrounds meet and come together somehow. For example, we know someone who knows a guy, and the chain continues. And we are astonished to find out we are mutual friends. We go to places that almost force us meet although we are from different backgrounds and a courtroom is one of them.

Part III

When I first read the prologue, I was confused as to what was happening. I did not know what the significance of the tightrope walker is. As I continued reading after, I did not see him appear again for a while. I thought maybe the tightrope walker’s crime was supposed to be metaphorical and it is, but not completely. The prologue ends with Philippe Petit taking steps on the rope. In the next page, we are thrust into the story. Later on, we learn that Jazzlyn and Tillie get arrested that day, Soloman is the judge for both cases, Gloria adopts Jazzlyn’s kids, etc. All these connections occur of class, race, and more intersections.

The bridge that unsettled me the most was Lara and Ciaran’s romance. Lara’s husband Blaine crashed into Corrigan and Jazzlyn’s car. I didn’t understand why Ciaran would decide to date someone who was somewhat involved in his brother’s death.

A bridge that made my heart sing was Gloria adopting Jazzlyn’s kids and not only that but Gloria is a continuation of Corrigan. Like Corrigan, she does not hate the hookers, she has a loving attitude, and is Christain. She and Corrigan have beautiful hearts. She can adjust to people and help others in trouble.

Music and Lyrics. The Year’s Almost Over.

You know, I couldn’t care less about the lyrics most times. I started following a music critic in the past year or so on social media and he mainly criticizes the lyrics, the words, rarely the beat. After hearing him, I channelled my inner critic and focused on the lyrics. I remember for the song “Talk dirty” By Jason Derulo, I was so upset at the lyrics especially when they didnt rhyme. However, after following less regularly, Ive continue to care much more about the beat. I want to say music instead of beat but one of my teachers said music is the lyrics. I will say music as in beat, the sound. Anyway, sometimes music has the ability to

Anyway, sometimes music has the ability to MEELLT your heart. It is so pleasurable.  Theres this song by Lauv called “The Other.” Anytime I listen to it, it melts my heart. It is feeling I rarely feel. I feel so at ease, so relaxed, more than satisfied. I want to drop everything and just listen to the song. I don’t think Im doing it justice, though.  I LOVE music like that. Taylor Sift’s music has always done that for me too. Her music and voice are just amazing. Say what you will about TS. Ive had a song called 1000 Times stuck in my head for months. At first, I thought it was a slow paced song. Then I thought it was a medium paced song. I don’t typically listen to music like that. For a long time, I thought a lyric was one thing and then when I read the lyrics, they were completely different. It changed my perspective of the song. I thought it was “your tempo won’t help much…” (don’t ask me how I got that), but the lyric is “The tenth of November… the years almost over.” That I think is much more nostalgic and depressing because we get nostalgic when the year is almost over and we think about what happened the past year. I get a sense of urgency and a little bit of regret- urgency to make the best of the month, days left. I get depressed because what did I do this past year? When I used it in my imovie, I had a new understanding. I had to listen to it over and over as I was editing. It was a different context for listening to it. I contemplated the lyrics more. I thought, when he sings about dreams, it sounds innocent so Ill add clips of children and such. You get to make it your own when making an imovie like we all did in class and all our movies are examples of that. Then there are some songs that stay with you forever. My English teacher showed the class a trailer for a movie called Pina freshman year and the song has stayed with me since. It reoccurs in my mind from time to time. I mostly get introduced to songs from commercials (they have really good songs! ex: just recently found “More More More”- Dagny- Target Ad. Got an 80’s dance vibe), movies and TV shows. I just use Shazam.

Beethoven V Tchaikovsky

No, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony piece is not harder to pin down. As I was listening to B, I thought there was predictability in the instability in that I could expect grand noises and then softer notes after I heard this sort of pattern after a few times. To be fair, it helped that there were visual cues so that I could see and almost anticipate a lower sound. But also because of that, I recognized that kind of pattern and knew what to expect. I liked Beethoven’s piece because of how grand it made me feel and took me to many swirls of musical pitches. Funny enough, however, my first time listening to it for this assignment, I fell asleep. I guess it relaxed me.

However, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake was more unexpected in my opinion. I was completely surprised at 1:30 exactly, what perfect timing. I mean that came out of nowhere. What was that? The music was relaxing and familiar but then this large hit. It becomes so faced paced all of a sudden. It incites fear in me because the music that succeeds the sudden high pitch is reminiscent of scary movies.  As for what it means, I think that this might be a story of escaping or running away because it is fast-paced. I imagine a dancer creeping slowly as to not disturb anyone (because of the calm beginning part) but then has to run really quickly for whatever reason (perhaps stepping on a branch)and we see her speed. I loved both pieces. I will say that I do not know technical music terminology or music theory. Therefore, I am unable to make sophisticated comments on musical aspects to note. I thought and felt this even as we were discussing our movies and music.


We know that size is subjective. Height is a source of insecurity or pride for many (but I will not get into my height). A lot of art that encompasses you are comforting; it is like being inside your mother’s womb. You are cradled. You are wrapped in warmth until your heart spills love. An important caveat is that not all art is lovely because some art can cause fear, distress, and other unkind emotions. In that case, of course, it is not comforting. Maybe I would not like to be in that space. I do see a merit in being inside spaces that make you uncomfortable. Anytime an art is bigger than me, I marvel at it automatically. Just the size itself amazes me. I remember that I saw a picture of the black and white American flag at the Brooklyn Museum. Although Ive seen the flag many times, the sheer size of the picture captured my attention and held it for a while. So, I couldn’t stop looking at it for a some minutes.

Miró and New Characters

I want you to think about a time when you felt guilty for your privilege- something you owned, accomplished, etc. Thats what our character Claire experiences. She lives in a penthouse on the Upper East Side and her house is much nicer than any of her female friends’. She feels uncomfortable or guilty about having the best house and neighborhood out of all of them, because it feels show-offy or pretentious. Claire says “Miró, Miró, on the wall, who’s the deadest of them all?”, thinking about her son who passed away. It is a play on words of the Snow White fairy tale in which the Queen in Disney’s version asks “magic mirror, on the wall – who is the fairest one of all?” A word on this line: it was in the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales as “mirror, mirror, on the wall, who in this land is fairest of all?” so it is both “Magic Mirror” and “Mirror Mirror.”Miró means Joan Miró, a Spanish, Surrealist artist. The significance of his painting Claire has is that Claire looks at the painting when she is informed about the death of her son at war. The new characters we meet in this portion of the story are Claire, the other mothers such as Jacqueline, Marcia, especially Gloria, Soloman, Joshua, Lara, Blaine, Philippe, Fernando Marcano, computer hackers. An interesting intersection is Gloria herself. She was there in the aftermath of the car accident with Corrigan and Jazzlyn. Gloria went as far as to take care of Jazzlyn’s children. When I first read about Gloria as the mother who lives in the project at the Bronx, I knew she was going to be an important intersection.