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Macaulay Final Project: Constantine


“You’re handed this precious gift, right? Each one of you granted redemption from the Creator – murderers, rapists, and molesters – all of you, you just have to repent, and God takes you into His bosom. In all the worlds in all the universe, no other creature can make such a boast, save man. It’s not fair. If sweet, sweet God loves you so, then I will make you worthy of His love.”

~Gabriel (Constantine)

Dear Professor Ugoretz,

I love art. It is something that has always attracted me, that has always interested me. When I was younger, I used to dance, practice piano and play the clarinet. I was also actively part of my church’s choir as well as my elementary school’s extracurricular festivities filled with plays that would break out into song and dancing lessons from various cultures. I was for sure convinced that when I grew up I would be a famous singer or musician. After awhile, my interest in the arts manifested in new and exciting ways. It went from singing and dancing, to writing short stories and playing piano, to writing poems and drawing. Art has always seemed to be a big part of my life whether I realized it or not. This class and this project afforded me the opportunity to explore this interest further and it is for this reason that I loved this assignment.

When I was told that we had to connect a theme from one of the arts discussed in class to an outside art, I immediately knew I wanted to use movies. Movies have always been a huge aspect of my life, mostly because of my father and his obsession with them. I personally liked having to sit down and really think about how to connect a film I had seen and knew well enough to something we discussed in class. My idea for this project was inspired by a simple train ride home. I was sitting down and thinking about one of my favorite movies, Constantine. It suddenly hit me how everything could connect together. As I formed the connection, ideas for how to represent that connection in an artwork sprung to life. I instantly ripped my sketchbook from out of my bag and began forming drafts.

Constantine is a movie released in 2005 that revolves around two characters: John Constantine and Angela Dodson. In the film, John is a man who is blessed with the gift of sight, meaning that he can see things that are “otherworldly” including angels and demons. As a result of this gift, he becomes an exorcist of sorts, repelling and sending demons back to hell. Angela is a female police officer who also has the gift of sight that becomes awakened through her interaction with John. The two end up meeting and working together to stop Mammon, the son of Satan, from rising and gaining control of the Earth.

As the movie continues, the audience realizes that Mammon requires “divine” help in order to rise. We discover later on that Gabriel, one of God’s angels, had been secretly helping Mammon all along. When Constantine finally realizes this, he confronts Gabriel and demands to know why he decided to assist Mammon. He tells Constantine, “You’re handed this precious gift, right? Each one of you granted redemption from the Creator – murderers, rapists, and molesters – all of you, you just have to repent, and God takes you into His bosom. In all the worlds in all the universe, no other creature can make such a boast, save man. It’s not fair. If sweet, sweet God loves you so, then I will make you worthy of His love.” Gabriel is an essential angel. He is referred to consistently throughout the bible and has become a holy figure in some religions. In the film, the idea that it was this very Gabriel that tried to bring hell on Earth is a very powerful notion. Gabriel is supposed to be God’s faithful and humble servant. He is to be pure, decent and holy. In the end, however, we realize that he forsakes these ideals and gives in to his own cruelty and anger. He turns his back on everything simply because he believes “it’s not fair”. This is where I was able to make the connection between this film, the opera Tosca and the play Henry IV.

Each of these performances dealt with complex relationships and ideals. More importantly, each of these performances played with the idea of betrayal and how those who are in power, those who are supposed to represent what is good, right and fair are sometimes the most evil. Sometimes they are the ones who betray the very code they were responsible for up keeping. In Tosca, we see this with the character Scarpia. He, as the chief of police, is responsible for protecting the law. Instead, he abuses his power and tries to manipulate Tosca into sleeping with him.

The theme of betrayal is also evident in the play Henry IV. Specifically, it is seen in the character of the King Henry. In the play, the king was dealing with a political uprising. This uprising, however, was only caused because of the king’s failure to fulfill his promise and look out for the people who helped him to gain power in the first place. The king is not the only character in the play who represents the concept of betrayal however. By the end of the story, the audience witnesses Prince Harry make the same mistake his father made. He comes into power and decides to desert his friends who were there with him during the political uprising. He casts them aside and embraces his newfound power. A king is supposed to stand up for his people and do what is best for them. They are supposed to be representative of justice and what is right. We see, however, that both King Henry and Prince Harry forget these duties and responsibilities once they are in power.

I enjoyed this project very much. I was granted the opportunity to not only use one of my favorite movies, but also to put my art skills to the test and create something unique. It was a lot of work, but in the end, I was able to have fun with it. Thank you Professor Ugoretz, not only for a wonderful and fun project, but for an amazing semester.

-Your student,

Katherine Miranda

What is Love?

What is love?

Is it even a feeling at all?

And why is it always

Associated with tragedy?


What is love?

To me, it is sacrificing anything for someone,

The same way Tosca and Mario

Sacrificed for each other.


What is love?

Not to be confused with lust,

The physical attraction Scarpia

Had for Tosca.


What is love?

Is it the way Jack and Rose

Looked at each other

Moments before Jack let go?


What is love?

Is it what Juliet felt

When she found out

Romeo killed himself?


What is love?

Is it a weakness,

Or is it

What conquers all?


What is love?

That heavy feeling

In your heart

For the one.


What is love?

Something that can

Make one feel

Both pain and happiness.


Have I ever been in love?

The hopeful answer is yes,

And that I still am,

But I really don’t know.

Angelica Goldberg Final Project: The Process of Writing A Paper

Professor Ugoretz and Classmates,

It is very difficult for me to write a cover letter for my short story. My short story is in essence, a cover letter. I wrote about how the process was for me to do this assignment. I struggled but not because the assignment was difficult but because of my own brain. It is a mix of all my emotions and my constantly going brain, but one that does not constantly think about what it should. I want to note that this story was written in one take, I only read it over to fix spelling and grammatical errors. I think editing it would take away from what I was trying to show.

I am still proud of what I wrote because it is raw and real, and today those things are lacking in writing. Writing can be so very impersonal but, writing to me is something incredibly personal. Usually I can’t bring myself to write about what I really want to because my brain stops me from it, or my heart, or even my hands. Some of this is seen in the story you are about to read but keep in mind that literature cannot express everything. I have come to the conclusion, as I write this cover letter, that the I haven’t yet found the right words for what I want to say so I am waiting patiently for them to come. Maybe then the rut will end.

It takes me great restrain not to input something funny into a serious paper. When I write essays for classes, I like to include something witty but end up taking it out because its not the academic thing to do but I find it funny and refreshing. If I become a professor one day, I want my students to do just that. I took this short-story as a way to say witty things but I did also restrain myself because that is just what I am used to. I hope you do laugh in some moments and hope you are also incredibly confused in others. This short story is a landscape into my mind and you are not supposed to understand everything.

I did deep thinking at some point within the short story, those moments stick out and are usually marked by me stating I did some deep thinking. I won’t delve much into them because they will become very evident and apparent. I also want to leave room for the mystery.

The short story you about to read is very direct and doesn’t hide much, although it hides what I do not want to share. It is both open and closeted off. The short story you are about to read is one of many contradictions and ironies but it is a story nonetheless. It is the ramblings of a teenage girl in the middle of her finals and at the end of her first semester at college.

I formatted the essay a specific way because it is what I found appealing to to eye and here is a link to the format:

The Process of Writing a Paper; The Angelica Format

However, it may be difficult to read so here is a “properly formatted version”:

The Process of Writing a Paper; Correct Format

Or, you can read everything if you click read more.


Angelica Goldberg


Continue reading

High Line Reflection – Jack

On ThursIMG_2972day, September 24, we visited the High Line in Manhattan. We walked across the High Line and got to see some pretty cool works of art (which were only enhanced by the scenery). Of all the works of art that we saw, I think my favorite ones were Physical Graffiti #1-3, by Damián Ortega. However, what I found very interesting was the differences between them. I noticed IMG_2989that Graffiti #1 and Graffiti #2 were suspended against the white backdrop of an adjacent building. Graffiti #3, however, was suspended against the backdrop of the city itself, and was therefore
hard to make out when viewed from certain angles. I imagine that Graffiti #3 was meant to stand out to the viewer when it snows, and almost seem like it is truly spay painted in the snow down below (no rhyme intended), just as Graffiti #1 and Graffiti #2 seem to be spray painted on their respective buildings.

The Big Band Performance Reflection

I didn’t think I would like jazz because I always thought of it as boring or soothing music and to be honest, I really thought I would fall asleep during the performance. I was so wrong because I really enjoyed the Big Band’s performance! Now, I have a completely different perception of Latin jazz.

My first impression of the conservatory was that the space was extremely small and didn’t really look that fancy. I didn’t expect the conservatory to be like an opera or something, but I did think it would be a lot grander than it actually was. However, the vibe of the overall performance made up for the fact that the performance took place in such a small setting.

What made the performance so enjoyable was that everyone on stage seemed to be having a lot of fun. I really liked the fun and casual atmosphere that the musicians and conductor created as they were playing. Much of the performance felt like it was spontaneous, but you could really see that the happy emotions of all the musicians were real. It was really cool how almost all of the musicians on stage got their own solo (Vaughn you were great), which isn’t seen a lot in other music performances. My favorite piece was the first one that was played (sorry I forgot the name). I couldn’t stop humming to it, kept tapping my feet, and really wanted to get up to dance! The second-to-last piece and Baby Jack were really great as well!

Macaulay Snapshot

The Macaulay Snapshot Exhibition was a very special event for me. Being a curator, I was both anxious and excited to see how people would react to the exhibition. I enjoyed how the final product turned out and I think that the theme was a perfect fit for what we wanted to capture. I definitely had a lot of fun working with Nadiah and all the other curators.
Truthfully, at first I was nervous about signing up to be a curator. When we were first told about the opportunity, I was instantly intrigued by it, but I didn’t sign up right away. I love photography, but I was nervous that maybe I wouldn’t be a right fit for this particular project. In the end, however, in the spirit of being a college freshman and trying new things, I decided to sign up. It took a few sessions for me to really be able to delve into the experience. The first few sessions were mainly just everyone getting to know each other and brainstorming ideas. Once we had the pictures and were able to all to agree on a theme, everything kind of fell into place.
It was an interesting experience to work on something that incorporated everyone’s artistic vision. I think that’s what I liked about working on the exhibition. Everyone got to express themselves through their own unique themes and vision. The exhibition was both a representative of New York City through the eyes of Macaulay students as well as our interpretation of their vision. I think that’s pretty awesome.

Outside Arts Event – Irish Heritage Memorial Reflection

On Thursday, December 10, I went with Adam, Katherine, Abraham, and Melissa to the Irish Heritage Memorial. We had wanted to go to the Museum of Feelings, but the line was insane – it would’ve been a two hour wait. Luckily, Melissa and Katherine found out that the Irish Heritage Memorial was only five minutes away and off we went!

It might’ve been because it was relatively late at night, but I thought the memorial gave off a really gloomy vibe. I really liked how the words were displayed on really bright stripes (see image below) because the brightness made the words seem much more important. The architecture of the memorial was also really appealing; I liked the stones and the pathway we could take really high up for one part of the memorial.

We didn’t stay for that long, but check out how cool the memorial looks!

Snapshot Exhibit Reflection

I signed up to be a student curator for the Snapshot Exhibit because I’ve always been obsessed with the logistics behind planning events and I thought planning the Snapshot Exhibit would be interesting. I particularly liked that we decided to use the theme time since all of the photos were taken on the same day, October 11th. It was also cool to use strange times like 9:58 or 11:12 rather than 11:00 or 12:30 because that made it much more intriguing.

The hardest part of curating the exhibit was figuring out whose photos were whose. It was even more difficult since smaller photos (4×6) were ordered first, but we decided we wanted them blown up even larger (8×10). Once the larger-sized photos came, we had to match them with the smaller photos so that we wouldn’t separate the groups of photos that were already created. I remember having a stack of photos next to me and me scrolling through the whole submission page to try to figure out who took those photos – what a pain!

Overall, I thought we did the best we could with the space that we were allotted. It would have been a lot cooler if the photos were displayed like an actual exhibit (actually on walls and not on panels). Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, but nonetheless, I thought we still did a good job.

Here’s my photo. The Nets’ open practice just happened to be the same day!


Opera: Tosca

Truthfully, I was not sure what I would think of this performance. I had never attended an opera before, so having the opportunity to see this production live was an entirely new experience for me. I was aware that operas are known for their extremely dramatic style and theatrics. As result, I was worried that perhaps its style would throw me off and taint the experience for me. I was wrong.
I remember walking into the Metropolitan Opera House and being instantly dazzled by it. As you walk in, there are lovely golden, snowflake-like chandeliers that dangle from the ceiling. The walls and steps are covered with red velvet that cushions every step you take. Everything is ornamented in colors of gold, silver and red. It was both elegant and striking. The concert area itself was just as striking. From the ceiling, hanged a beautiful sphere chandelier that glittered in the light. As much as I loved the elegance and style of the Opera House, I also fell in love with the opera itself.
Tosca, is a rather complex opera that deals with the concepts of betrayal, extreme passion and an infinite love. It is also one of the very few operas in which the storyline is tied to a specific time and place, Rome on June 17, 1800. I thought that it was interesting to see the opera set in this time period. Considering that the man who wrote the opera, Giacomo Puccini, was Italian, one would think that having a play with the main characters being supporters of Napoleon rule would be a distasteful topic. However, Puccini welcomed this storyline and concept.
I would have to say that my favorite thing about the opera was Mario’s aria that took place in the last act as he was contemplating his death. I felt that it was a very beautiful and touching performance. I also feel that it was this aria that made me love the opera. There was just so much raw emotion portrayed in that scene and I was actually able to feel that emotion. I don’t get emotionally when watching things like television shows or movies, but I did feel something during this performance that made my eyes water up. I think that the music had a lot to do with the pull on my emotions. In the beginning of the piece, Cavaradossi sings softly with a solo clarinet tune accompanying him. The sound of the single clarinet almost emphasizes the aria’s melancholy sound. As it continues, the single clarinet becomes accompanied by strings such as the violin, double bass and the harp. Cavaradossi’s voice also slowly rises to a louder dynamic becoming fuller and denser, matching the melody of the instrumentation. This gradual rise in dynamics almost mimics Cavaradossi’s oncoming wave of despair and his realization that he is about to die. His aria toys with the concept of life and the realization of the things that you took for granted while you were alive. It was very touching.
I hope that I will be awarded the opportunity to see another opera again.

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