Digital Story

My digital story is just about done as of right now. I’m going to take it home and show my parents to get their views on it. I feel like my voice sounds weird and I get embarrassed when other people listen to it.
I’m not a fan of windows movie maker. I wish I had a mac so I could use iMovie because you can layer sounds. In movie maker, I had to get it just right with my voice to create that video and then upload it into a new window to add music. For music, I used a lot of instrumental popular songs. I felt like the singing would distract people from what I was saying so thats why I used instrumental or karaoke versions. I hope that if I make a youtube video, it won’t get removed since I downloaded the songs off of youtube. I just used the youtube to mp3 thing to convert the videos to an audio file which is probably violating a lot of rules. I really like my ending music with the credits. I think it goes perfectly. I was also able to get a video of me swimming breaststroke which makes it more interesting. I can’t wait to see everyone’s projects!

Posted in week 13 | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

You owe me

Miah Arnold talks about her experience at MD Anderson Cancer Center, in her story “You owe me”. She taught poetry and prose in the institution for ten years where she met students with different diseases and only few students she worked with lived. She shared stories about her students and her relationship with them. She was closer to few students, as she knew them for a longer period like Khalil and Amirah. She talks about how each one of them were different from each other yet so special in their own way.

It is hard to see children suffer as they are still young and they haven’t experienced real life yet.  Arnold had several breakdowns and wanted to quit the job, however she did not. This shows the love she had for the children. “When Khalil died I thought, on one level, I can’t go back. But in the world of the living the reality is that I can’t leave just yet. I can’t leave Darrian. Or Amirah” (Arnold 35). This shows that she was really caring and loved the children dearly. This sentence also expresses her attachment with the children. Another reason why she didn’t want to quit was as she knew that the writing class was a distraction from all the pain and suffering for the children as they wrote fun-adventurous stories and enjoyed their class and other people in the hospital noticed this too. “I just stood outside the door and listened to Umberto laughing, because he doesn’t laugh in the hospital room anymore, and I thought I’d never hear him laughing again” (Arnold 33).

While reading this story, it was hard to hold back the tears. What Arnold did, is a hard job to do. It is difficult to watch the people you love die every day. Reading this story made me appreciate everything around and love everyone. I realized the importance of life and not to take it for granted as no one can predict the future.

Posted in week 11 | Leave a comment


For free writing last Tuesday (when we were asked to write about a photograph that we like), I wrote about a photograph my boyfriend took of me just a few weeks ago. It was a photograph of me eating breakfast on a normal Saturday morning in a neighborhood in Queens.

I like this photo a lot because it was honest and sincere. It captured a moment of me living an ordinary day in my ordinary life. There is no intentional posing or smiling for the camera – in fact, I looked unamused and even a little bit annoyed by the fact that someone was taking a photo of me. In the photo, I was eating melon bread, a delicious Japanese dessert that I can only get from Asian bakeries in New York City. It is such a minor detail yet it illustrates how life is like in the city; I have fast access to an amazingly diverse variety of food. In the background, the warm but yet slightly chilling yellow autumn sun was shining down on my hair. The window was dotted with trees with browning and yellowing leaves. It was a beautiful yet ordinary New York autumn day, and I was part of that beautiful day.

In class, we talked about why photographers capture seemingly ordinary or even mundane things on camera. Ordinary things are humble and yet carry so much beauty. In that photo of myself, I wasn’t even aware that I was a part of that beautiful day, but the photo helped me put that into perspective. It captured all the minor humble details and framed it into a beautiful picture.

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My Digital Story

It took forever for me to decide based on what I should do my digital story.  First, I thought I should do it on how animals make me feel by giving examples of my dog- Tyson and my friend’s cat- Bowser. Unfortunately, the story was all over the place and there was no focus. I couldn’t convey clearly how they made me feel- happy, stress free or how they influenced me. I also had no idea how I should change it to make it better.

I decided to change my story and write how Tyson played a role in my learning experience. I want to show how Tyson was a mischievous dog and he disobeyed everyone in the family. It took several months to train him and this taught me that nothing comes easily, we need to work for it. Through this experience of training Tyson, whenever he disobeyed me, I felt disappointed. I realized how my parents must feel every time I did the same thing. This made me want to give my best at everything I did just to make my parents proud. I also want to show how Tyson taught me unconditional love by being there for me at all times.

I feel that I still haven’t stated clearly how he has influenced me. I still need to work on that part and the ending. I am also finding it hard to find an appropriate music for my story. Hopefully, I should be able to find one soon.

Posted in Uncategorized, week 12 | Leave a comment

Response to Zinsser’s “College Pressures”

In his article, Zinsser points out several factors that he believes are contributing to an over-stressed and under-optimistic generation of undergraduate college students. He identifies 4 common college pressures: economic pressure, parental pressure, peer pressure, and self-induced pressure. While reading, it seemed like the article was written a few decades ago, but even so, the basic principles of the pressures are still relevant.

Out of all the pressures, the economic aspect is definitely the biggest worry on my mind, and I’m sure most students on any given college campus would agree. Even if you are pursuing a study you love, and even if you feel like you will receive a well-paying job at the end of college, paying for the present expenses is tough. Even at a state university where the tuition is significantly lower than the “brand name” universities, the cost isn’t as manageable as one would think. It’s not just the tuition. It’s the books, the “packages” required by several science courses, the lab fees, the ridiculously priced homework passes, and the list goes on. Part of the problem is not just the money, but the value. Sure, the tuition may not be crushing, but it is worth the several thousand dollars? Are students actually equipped with skills? Do they come out of class more knowledgeable than when they entered? Does the cost of college justify the value? I think that is a more valid concern (especially on state and city colleges) that to simply demand lower tuition.

To be honest, I really have not felt parental pressure. I chose to study medicine. I chose to go to Stony Brook. They never ever tried to coerce me into any field or any universities. They just wanted me to think about my decision so I could be sure about pre-med instead of changing my mind after a semester.

Peer pressure and self-induced pressure exist for me, but not in quite the same way that Zinsser describes. Peer pressure has been a positive thing for me. During freshman year, I was a solid B+ student, and I was perfectly content with that. I understood what I was studying, but I still had time to call my old friends back home, watch movies, and even cook meals for myself. However, as I started making friends on campus, and I realized that a B+ was impressing no one but myself, I knew that in order to get into med school, I needed to work harder. I had to sacrifice. I spent more time in the library than watching movies, and I don’t regret it. There is a special type of fun that I have when I study, when I can feel my brain understand a concept inside and out, a satisfaction that I get when I answer a string of practice questions correctly, and the exhilaration and relief I feel when all of the studying paid off with a good grade in a class. Peer pressure made me realize that I needed to invest more time into studying. Similarly, once B+ grades weren’t cutting it for me, I became hard on myself. I pushed myself, only because I knew I was capable of achieving that A. So why should I settle for anything less? However, I know my limits. I still go out to eat with friends, spent a night in with good company, head home for a weekend with old classmates. I push my self, but I am very aware of the possibility of burning my self out.

I feel like I am more fortunate that most college students because I have less of a “pre-med complex.” My GPA is still very much a work in progress, but I am proud of it. I am studying a subject I love and am completely engrossed in, while many seem like they’d rather do something else. I know when it’s time to relax, even if that means that a grade will suffer. Not getting into med-school will be disappointing, and I will continue to try knowing that a rejection letter(s) will not kill me. And I think that, more than anything, is letting me live college as a true experience.

Posted in week 8 | Leave a comment

Digital Story

At this point I feel that I am a little behind in my digital story considering I volunteered to go first. I am really excited about this project. So far the obstacles that I am trying to overcome have to do with my script. I feel like I know what I want to put in the story but I have been struggling to write the script first. I have already started the movie process and the story board but I cannot get a script completely written. I think this is making me fall behind a little because it would probably be easier to have a script and then do the story board and then the movie part. I don’t know, I guess it is just my way of thinking. Now that I have started the movie and the story board I think maybe I will be able to continue from where I left off and write a script from that point. Another problem I am having is putting things in a good order. I think I am trying to do it in chronological order but sometimes I feel like that isn’t working. I am enjoying the story that I am doing and I am excited about the project so I do not feel that my struggles are all that bad. I do have so much more work to do and it is very time consuming and tedious. It requires a lot of work to make everything match up. I have 28 seconds so far and every single slide that I have finished and successfully recording my voice and matched up the timing correctly feels so great. It is a great accomplishment to do a project like this because it requires so much effort and it is hard to get it right the first time so when it is finally right, it feels amazing.  

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The Digital Story: The Quest to Find A Voice

The digital story — for me — is perhaps the most challenging assignment that I have thus come across this entire semester, and it’s definitely taken its toll. I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m complaining here, but it was definitely really difficult trying to find a topic to focus on and translating that story into something meaningful. I’ve actually had conversations with my roommate about my digital story and have asked her for some ideas on what to write, and I’ve realized that I simply don’t have any substantial past experiences to draw upon and write about. When my roommate suggested that I take a memory from my childhood and building upon that, my mind went blank. I don’t remember much from my childhood, and even the little snippets I do recall aren’t quite substantial to build a script on. I feel completely lost on how to approach this assignment, and I’m not quite sure whether or not my current topic on how food became a means for me to reach out and connect with the world is a good topic for the digital story. Currently, I feel like it lacks an emotional element to it, and there are also additional challenges with finding multimedia (pictures and videos, specifically) to enhance the story. Hopefully, however, all works well in the end.

Posted in week 12 | Tagged , | 2 Comments