reply to MY president

“I think people are way too focused on labels.

“Are you introverted or Extroverted?” “

Hey Seb. You had a really good post that was similar to mine (this is why I “voted” for you). I also do not understand why people are so focused on labels and think people only belong to one. As a young girl from an iconic taco commercial once asked “why not both?” Like Pruthvi replied to my post, first we are human beings and not our ethnicities or religions. If we stopped labeling each other it would be easier to do so many things. Wherever you go you might not belong. You might be too American for the Albanians or too Albanian for the Americans, but both these identities belong to you.

Blog post 11

As humans we are constantly at war with the different sides of ourselves. My Albanian side fights the American one, everyday I struggle to pronounce Albanian  words in the car ride with my dad and while speaking english in class and next semester while speaking Spanish. In an essay I once compared myself to a border, who seems to separate two things, but never fully belongs to either of them. As people it is very common that your personalities are different. I am someone who loves making people laugh and being as loud as I can, but I also love silence. As much as I love being social, I also love staying in my house and binging the office, parks and rec, or Brooklyn nine nine. The reason I don’t like talking about myself is because people assume that one thing you said is who you are, when people are more complex than that. People assume you’re not smart or you’re too smart just from one thing. Believe it or not there are people in this world who think I am quiet and shy. It takes time to get to know every side of a person, but just because two sides contradict themselves doesn’t mean that person isn’t being real.

We are the people we are when we are all alone at 3am, but we’re also who we are when we are surrounded by a crowd laughing. Both are the real you. People change, but one thing remains true and that is that every phase, every attitude, every laugh, and even every bad hair cut has been the real you.

Blog post 9

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

The first line in the article is a quote from Elaine Scarry that says ”To have pain is to have certainty; to hear about pain is to have doubt.” That is why people objectify pain, because when we feel pain we are certain of it, however if you are describing pain to someone or hearing about it, there is nothing but doubt because words will never be able to describe a feeling. In real life we rely on portraying an idea of how we feel onto another person. The only way we can do this is by relating it to something that they have physically felt or know. The only times when a person can know how you feel without you describing it using objects is when they are going through the exact same thing. Humans remember pain, and this pain can be triggered by an event that reminds them of it. Many artists endeavor to put a relatable feeling of pain in their work.

“she suggests (Scarry) every impulse to make things—whether a painting, a chair, a poem, a vaccine or a building—is an attempt to ease the burden of sentience by shifting some of it onto the object.”

I see where this quote is coming from and I agree with it. However, people also make art or paintings in order to make their pain a tangible thing. Telling people about pain is having doubt and so many people make that emotion they feel into an object so they are certain of what they feel. Art is made in order to make people feel a certain emotion and this includes happiness. I think pain is a big part of art, but so is happiness and putting your emotions into an object is done with happiness too. People take photos to remember a moment they were happy in and they write love poems to attempt to put down in words how they felt. People do build chairs and buildings in an attempt to ease their burden. I think paintings and poems ease the burden in a different way and that is by attempting to express that feeling.

Blog post 7 & 8

Part I.  Although both Man on Wire and the judge’s monologue focus on crime, how they are portrayed is very different. One makes you think that breaking the law can be the right thing, while the other shows that crime is causing a whole city to burn. The juxtaposition between the two makes it hard for me to imagine that they both take place during the same time period. Man on Wire gives me an image of a happy city, while the monologue makes me think of an entirely different place, one that is burning to the ground. Reading the judge’s monologue only makes me think of corruptness and people going against their own (fathers abusing daughters etc…), while Man on Wire only shows a united New York. Even the people behind the tightrope event had problems with each other, but eventually became united. People who didn’t know each other stood and watched as one. However, the monologue shows the complete opposite. Also like others said in their blog posts, one focuses on crimes based on art, while the other focuses on violent crimes.

Part II.  It is important because it shows the importance of all the connections. It also shows how in the end they all come together and how each decision made by one person whether you know it or not can change everything. In addition, it shows the difference in how the judge views the two types of crime. Like I said in part one, he appreciates one, while looking down on the other, even though both were crimes.

Another thing I found controversial was the judge says that he wishes he could give graffiti writers big fines so they wouldn’t be able to pay. It is very funny how one form of art is better than the other. Philip was privileged enough for his art to be considered beautiful, while art like graffiti was said to be causing the burning of the city.

Part III  Jaslyn’s final thought is probably the most important. That in this world, bad things happen and so do beautiful things and either way the world will keep spinning and you just have to try and keep up. No matter how sad you are, the sun still rises everyday. The world will not stop for anyone. It will keep moving. My favorite quote from the book was before the prologue and it said “All the lives we could live, all the people we will never know, never will be, they are everywhere. That is what the world is.” In the end we truly see how everyone is connected. The world will continue to be like this even after we are gone. All these people who you think are strangers and you ignore have the ability to change your life. In the prologue we have no idea what is going on and how everyone will connect to each other, but they are all connected by the end. They are also all connected to the tightrope walker. Also the prologue shows that everyone stops to watch the tightrope walker, while in the end the last sentence is “The world spinning.” It also reminds me of the theory of six degrees of separation and how any person is connected to another on this planet by ” through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries.” In the end we see how everyone is connected and how they are connected to one simple character, who I thought would never be mentioned in the story again. The ending makes me realize how we are all connected too; how Jasmine lived two blocks away from me and I probably passed her on the street not knowing she would go to the same school as me and how G knows my cousin, but yet I have not talked to her until now.

Like everyone else, I think the bridge that gave me a weird feeling was Lara and Ciaran. Maybe because I like to put myself in the shoes of the main characters. Even if I knew it was not Lara’s fault, I do not think I could even bear seeing the face of someone related to the death of someone I loved. Now imagine going out with them, it just makes me very uncomfortable. Lara seems like a very good person who tried her best to make everything right, but I am someone who usually judges people based on the emotions they evoke from me and sadly I can’t get the image of her car hitting Ciaran’s brother out of my head. However, I do think Ciaran is learning from his brother by forgiving her and seeing the good in her just like her brother saw in the prostitutes.

The connection between Gloria and Tillie’s grandchildren made my heart sing. The fact that she took care of them and became friends with Claire. What was very interesting is that Jaslyn, the child that Gloria adopted, visits the Claire, the wife of the judge that sentenced her grandmother and let her mother free. It shows how friendship transcends race. Furthermore, I feel like this connection has some of the most what ifs. What if the judge let them both free or sentenced both? What if Gloria didn’t adopt Jaslyn’s kids? If Gloria didn’t become friends with Claire. Everything would have a different ending. The whole book would be different. Who would have come to the conclusion that the world still spins? 

All I see is sky

As someone who likes all genres of music, it is very hard to choose just one song, especially when people often assume that song describes who you are as a person. I decided to choose a song from a musical, so everyone thinks that I am classy. “For Forever” by Ben Platt which was used in the musical Dear Evan Hansen, holds a special place in my heart. Dear Evan Hansen was the first play I ever saw and changed my views on musical theatre forever. While you’re watching the play the meaning of this song is different than when you are just listening to it. When watching the play, you see how depressed Evan is, but if you forget about the play it can be a very happy song. I now see it as a hopeful song and the music plays a big role in this. The music behind it reminds of me of the same type of music that plays in a happy movie. The song reminds me of the color blue, a very light blue. A blue you would witness on a nice day when there a few white clouds in the sky and the sun is bright. I feel very hopeful and happy. My body is transported to a random nostalgic moment in my childhood, when there were no worries in life. Ironically, in the play the complete opposite is happening to Evan. It is also a song whose meaning changes with your feelings. When you are sad, you get the lonely feeling that Evan has when he sings it. However, if you are happy this is a song about friendship.

Blog Post 5

I’ve never really listened to classic music often, but when I did I either hated it or loved it. I couldn’t identify why I loved one piece while the other was boring to me, when everyone else thought they sound the same. Different composers evoked different feelings in me, based on how they used sound. Swan Lake vs Symphony 9 are great examples of  the way in which each composer utilizes sound in their own unique way. That sound also influences the story or rule of  piece.  A rule takes the place of a story in music and in swan lake it is easy to see that rule. The music’s rule can be identified very easily. Swan lake has a purpose that most listeners can guess. Even the title of the piece helps the listeners assume what is going on, while Beethoven’s Symphony 9 has a title that does not help in the process of finding a meaning to his music. The title adds more to the unpredictability of his music, because although he has other symphony’s, each is very different than the other and the listener is just thrown in and not told what to expect.  When I first heard it, I can imagine a ballet show going on. The plot of the ballet show is always the same, no matter how many times I reheard it or skipped around. However, Beethoven’s Symphony 9 made me think of something new every time. At first I thought it was like a conversation between two people and more and more people joined and it got louder. Then after a four hour nap and coming back to this post, it reminded me of the music that used to play in Tom and Jerry all the time when they were chasing each other. It is a song that depending on what is happening to you at the time or what emotion you are feeling, you can make up a story or meaning that goes along with the music.

The weather is fine up here

I am used to walking around buildings that are too tall to see where they end, however I am not used to being on a level where I can see all of the environment surrounding the building, the people working in their offices, and bathtubs being installed (something you can’t see at museums). It is this unnatural state of something you are so familiar with that can be very powerful to a person viewing a piece of art. On the High Line we see the city in a new perspective and we become the tourists we judge on 14st street for being amazed at how tall a building is. I usually don’t like looking up to see how tall the buildings are because I feel lost and consumed by all of it. However, on the High Line it felt as if the buildings were eye level and I felt apart of it instead of someone trapped in a maze of tall buildings (until I looked down the stairs and realized I was scared of heights). I didn’t feel as if I was only viewing the art or it was only viewing me, but that we were making eye contact.

Ordinary lives become extraordinary

The prologue of the book begins with a man on the twin towers and everyone gathering to watch what he was going to do: “if he slipped, or got arrested or dove.” This part made me laugh at little, because it is very New Yorker to only think of the bad that was going to happen and how no one was expecting him to walk on a tightrope or do something amazing. How we have a habit of stopping when someone on the train is being arrested and screaming, but not often for someone on Union Square singing. I became like the watchers, ignoring everything around them to focus on the man; I even tried to skip through the long descriptions of New York in the book to see what would happen to the man, even though I knew. It also made me think of the extraordinary things I have missed because I was too “busy” and couldn’t be bothered.

The scene then changes to Ireland, specifically Dublin Bay. The narrator starts to talk about his family, focusing more on his brother, Corrigan. His brother is described as someone who even in the darkest of days can see the light. After their mother dies, he moved around a bit and then goes to Brussels and becomes a monk. Corrigan has a desire for real “rough plot” and after being in Naples, he is sent to the Bronx (YAY!). Corrigan is a character I want to be like, someone who puts others above themselves. I can relate to his idea of put it all out there and helping even if you get hurt, and not ending up another cynic. I sometimes dream of being that selfless. However, I also agree that being selfish is sometimes required, because his selflessness gets him hurt. I really love his character and of course as always, every character I love has something tragic happen to him.