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.

The Real Deal

Being a Catholic and attending Catholic middle school, it was every guy’s dream to get an invitation to apply to Regis Jesuit High School. This school was so selective, it sent out invitations to only the top three Catholic males in the eighth grade. The young men who attend this school are all known and all go to the top schools in the country. Another huge plus is that this school is free. Just getting an invitation to this school was an honor to me. I went through with the exam and the interview with two of my friends. One was rejected at the interview stage and the other went on to attend the school. I was lucky enough to be accepted into the school and was ecstatic to attend. Everybody in my family was pressuring me into taking the acceptance, and telling me “how set your life is going to be”.  I graduated the eighth grade thinking I was going to attend this school. Everything changed in September that year though. I couldn’t go this school, it didn’t feel right. I ended up changing my mind and choosing to go to St. Francis Preparatory (with a scholarship) three days before the first day of school. A similar thing happened to me last year when choosing schools. I was between Macaulay and Brown. With encouragement from my guidance counselor, I chose to come here and I can say I made the right decision. What I find most fascinating is that the 14-year-old me that made the decision to go to St. Francis Prep indirectly chose Macaulay as well. If I never chose St. Francis, I probably would not have come here, and my college path would be much different. I think we’re all guided by something, and I think all things happen for a reason. I think there is a greater force out there that is responsible for the things that happen, and sometimes if you just listen to what you feel inside, you find what you’re looking for. It is the real deal.

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 6

Stairway to Heaven– Led Zeppelin


This song holds great importance to music in general. The guitar solo is thought to be the most famous in all of Rock. I was first turned onto Led Zeppelin, and other groups of music in this genre, last summer when my brother showed me Black Dog. When I listen to this band, I think of how they mastered their instruments. I have always been in love with how the guitar sounds and how a master can play. This group made me fascinated with how an instrument can sound so different but so similar every time I heard it. I got into Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and of course Jimi Hendrix during this time. Next thing I know the summer is a month in and the music on my iPhone is not what it once was. I had realized I had deleted a majority of the rap and pop from my phone and instead had a lot more rock n’ roll. To me, this genre of music has always represented a free will and free feeling group of people. It represents the rebellious and free feeling youth of the 60s and 70s that made music meaningful. Stairway to Heaven has always been a song of joy to me. The guitar solo specifically makes me feel happy. It gives me a burst of energy and I feel a surge of emotion. I can’t help but hum along to the melody that they create. I think of light colors when I listen to this song. It reminds me of things associated with heaven—colors like white, cream, green and gold. I think of a stairway to heaven that continues forever. This has become my favorite song and has changed my taste in music heavily. I find myself enjoying music similar to this, and preferring it to over the contemporary music I once listened to religiously.



What to Listen to in Music

Aaron Copland November was an American composer, composition teacher, writer, and a conductor of his personal and other American songs. He was known by the world as “the Dean of American Composers.” The exposed, gradually shifting melodies in a lot of his works are standard in what many think to be the sound of American music. He is identified for the works he wrote in the 30s and 40s in a purposely accessible style known as “populist”. Works in this manner include the ballets Billy the Kid, Appalachian, and Rodeo. In addition to ballet and orchestral works, he created music in other categories including vocals, opera, and chamber music.

To me, the meaning of music lies in one’s experience with it. With this interpretation in mind, there is no set definition. The meaning changes with new experiences in music. As Copland stated in What to Listen to in Music, the opportunities for listening to music increases as well as the quality of it. However, just because you have access to it, it doesn’t mean you fully grasp what it means to be musical. Copland believes “that all music has an expressive power…but that all music has a certain meaning behind the notes and that the meanings behind the notes constitute, after all, what the piece is saying, what the piece is about”. Copland believes that there is a meaning to music, but the meaning cannot be answered in words. People, all of whom have different experiences and come from different backgrounds, interpret these pieces differently. There is no concrete definition for music for the simple reason that people identify to different things.

I think Beethoven is easier to pin down than Tchaikovsky. In watching the video, I was able to notice a pattern in his symphony. I noticed a lot of high points followed by a lot of lows. The song, however, can be more easily interpreted than Tchaikovsky’s (or can be defined differently). In listening to Beethoven, the mood of the music often changed with how I felt and that was most notable toward the end. Because Swan Lake is played so frequently during the holiday season, it takes the essence and practically embodies a “jolly spirit”. The common experience with Swan Lake is that of joy and happiness while Beethoven’s 9th Symphony 1st movement isn’t really tied down to any time or event.