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Young Free Writers

Table of Contents

Editorial Page1
Contributors Page................5
Part 1: Interviews... 6
My Dad, the Influential Man.7
She Never Stops Working.9
My Grandmas Interview.....11
Thank You, Mom.....13
Interview With My Green Clock..15
Part 2: Long Form Essays........17
Momager..18
What Matters Most...21
Dreams Come True In Different Ways....24
Nurse Mom...27
Part 3: Ethnographic Observations...30
Dorm Life.....31
For the Love of the Game........32
No Place Like Home........33
Barista..........35
Orange Grove............................37
Part 4: Group Critical Essay........40
Evolution of Perception.......41
Part 5: Analysis of a Artwork......43
Art Surrounds Us.........44
The Beauty of the Past........48
A Little Something Close to Home.....49
CSUNs Student Art........51
Part 6: Theory of Art and Reproduction.....53
Sistine Chapel.........54
Homeland Artwork.........57
Different Perspectives.........61
The Fortunate Son.......65
Early California Mural........70



1
Editorial Page

We are the Young Writers. We are five college students that have just had the
pleasure for coming together for this project, this year in out English 114B class that was
instructed by our lovely teacher Ms. Susan Marcelo. We each have different writing
styles and it can clearly be seen through the variation of the many texts that we, the
students, have written through out this course. As writers, the amazing thing that we are
able to do, is express all thoughts that are running through our minds and put them down
on sheets of paper. Some of us write straight from the heart and a few of us like to,
sometimes, even have some humor here and there no matter what kind of essay it is.
Some of us have more difficulty writing essays than others but we each poses something
the other pier does not have. We have all improved our writing and will take valuable
lessons about writing format and style that we will take with us in the duration of our
college careers. Through this project, you will experience the unique writing styles of
Cynthia, Emely, Albert, Jennifer, and Allen.
Jennifer thoughts on why she writes are that writing freaked her out because math
was more of a subject she would lean to. With the help of Professor Marcelo, she helped
her learn things to put into essays that make it easier for it to flow across the page.
Having the right teacher teaching you on how to write a proper essay makes the scary
part of writing to be very minimal. Every ones mind is different, hers is constantly
moving from one idea to the next. And with that it is easy and very hard to get her
thoughts all on to one page. Sometimes her mind is going so crazy that it carries ideas
that have nothing to do with the subject while the other is just flowing with constant good
thoughts. So she can completely agree with those who get writers block easily. Those
random useless thoughts are annoying when you are stuck at 3 am tired from a long day
having to write an essay that you procrastinated for so long. At the end of the day,
however, is that she will never write an essay for fun, just one of those things that was
never in her interest.
Emely is a different kind of writer, she writes to express herself, her thoughts, and
to share her knowledge and interest in certain things. When she write for personal reasons
she uses it to get all her thoughts and feelings out, it is her way of expressing how she
feel, she put everything on paper to release her emotions. It is important to her because
she is able to express herself in a way that only she understands. Sometimes she even
writes to help herself get a better understanding of a situation or of how she feels. When
she writes for personal use she is able to understand herself better. It is important to her
because she is sharing herself with herself in a way that only she understands. It helps her
create a better relationship with herself.
When she does scholarly writing it also helps her understand something a little bit
more than she did before. Scholarly writing is to form a new understanding of a topic that


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she might already have slight knowledge about. She uses scholarly writing as a way to
broaden her knowledge and learn more about a topic that already interests him. Scholarly
writing is important to her because it educates her and allows her to gain more knowledge
about something that she may know little about. It helps her understand and/or create a
new understanding.
She likes to think that her writing style is narrative. She considers her writing
style narrative because it is her favorite way to write. She likes narrative style writing
because it is personal. There is not much information that needs to be researched.
Narrative style writing allows her to create her own understanding of things. It is the best
way to express her thoughts and opinions without research getting in the way of it and
distracting her real thoughts. She feels like narrative writing is her style because so much
detail can be put into it and it is most relatable to readers. She also finds narrative writing
to be her favorite because she enjoys reading narrative style work. It is easy to understand
and it is also easy to relate. She can relate to these types of work because it is someone
elses story that they are sharing and She can apply it to her own life and own situations.
Her style is narrative because she finds it easy to write and she also feels like the style is
freer to write in different forms. There arent as much rules and guidelines. She enjoys
writing in narrative styles most because it allows her to share and express her ideas,
thoughts, and opinions.
This semester Cynthia has discovered that her writing process has changes a lot.
Depending on the type of writing she is doing, She will brainstorm and then write a draft
or she will go straight to writing and edit as she goes. She found that when writing her
long form essay about her mother her did not brainstorm as much as I did when writing
John Berger. When writing her long form essay she edited it as I went along. First she
wrote a simple draft and then added more details and background information. Once
finishing the draft she would read through the essay a few times to edit it and review to
see what needed to be changed or added. However, when writing the theory essay she
found that she brainstormed and got most of her ideas on paper before she began writing
a draft. She also did research while brainstorming. After getting her main ideas and points
down she made a simple outline, adding details and comments to her ideas and points that
she had brainstormed about. Once she did the simple outline she added research to it and
then began the draft. When writing the theory essay she found the process easy since she
already knew what she was writing about, all she had to do was add more details and
specifics. I feel that when writing an essay where you have to prove something and have
research it is much easier to write after brainstorming. She found that when writing the
long form essay was easy to write and edit as she went along because it was not research
based. It was more of a personal writing style. Overall, this semester, she discovered that
she enjoyed writing narratives and personal short stories. She found that her writing style
differ depending on what she is writing about.
Albert says that there are many reasons as to why individuals choose to write.
Some tend to view writing as he do, a way to put your mind down on paper. Many


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thoughts are constantly flowing through the mind and the only possible way to have them
all be remembered is by jotting them down. Some of the worlds greatest ideas have
thrived off those that published their own ideas for people in generations to study and
advance those ideas. Writing can be free flowing and you can go on and on writing down
whatever you choose. It can be either sad or happy thoughts it can be anything your mind
creates. Some people may have similar ideas, however, they approach the thought in
different ways. He chooses to write for many reasons. There are times where he just likes
to write down what is on his mind and attempt to make songs or poems. Often he writes
for schoolwork because he is instructed to do so. Even though at times it may seem as
much of a burden, he takes enjoyment in it. He is the type of person that is willing to do
whatever he can to better himself in any way. Writing can be very powerful because you
can use it to persuade a person in an argument. Writing is very important and is used in
everyday life. He uses it most with technology. He is the type of person that is constantly
communicating with other using devices such as the computer and phone. He likes to
learn new ways to express his ideas and writing helps me with that. Writing can also help
in the development of verbal skills. When an individual is reading they often come across
words they do not understand and eventually look them up. By looking up a work you
can advance your vocabulary and use the newly learned words in conversations such as
interviews to impress a boss with a vast vocabulary.
He does not really have an established style of writing. He attempts to use the
ones he comes across in class or when reading. Frequently, he reads many sports articles
because that is something he regards as his passion. Many of the writers he has come
across use many devices such as rhetoric. Sometimes it can be quite confusing but when
used properly it can be very effective. When writing he just writes all his ideas down and
goes back to later edit them. He can brainstorm but usually comes up with better ideas
when he just keeps writing. Sometimes when writing more then one idea may arise and
when that is the case he will write those down on a separate piece of paper then tackle
each idea one at a time. He never understood why he struggled with coming up with ideas
before he started writing. It usually turns out to be a waste of time because he gets
blocked. When he does attempt that approach his ideas seem more dull and are often
boring. He feels that when he has an idea he lets it flow and other things will branch off
that will support that idea. That is the way he works best and he plans to stick to that for
as long as his writing career is alive. Writing helped him in everyday life and it would be
very difficult to imagine a life without writing. If there was not writing in the world he
believes that the world would not be as advanced as it is. It would also be more dull,
boring and possibly chaotic due to the lack of guidelines. Writing will continue to
advance, as the world gets older. As he gets older he will pick up new and better ideas to
become a more established writer.
Allen writes to define who he is as a person. He writes to know the different
styles of writing so he know which style of writing is more important for his career,
pleasure, and life. He writes to be educated at school and in life. He writes to know his


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strengths and weaknesses. He writes to be creative and productive. He writes to start a
job or career. He writes to communicate with his friends, family, and even strangers. He
writes to know his accounts, usernames, and passwords as well as security questions in
case if he forgot his password and need to reset his password. He write to know what his
favorite style of writing is so that if he writes for fun, he knows which format to use. He
writes to get scholarships to pay towards his college expanses. He writes to have fun and
not bored himself. He write to share traditions to his family so he know what tradition to
follow when he have children. He write to communicate with his teachers formally in
email so that he know what assignments are assigned to him if he forgot and to show his
teachers that he can write. He writes to develop good writing habits such as checking for
spelling and grammar and sentence structure. He writes to be stronger in his English
skills.
His writing style is creative writing. He loves creative writing because he has the
more creative freedom when he writes. He can write about anything that he prefers to
write about. There are virtually no teacher-generated prompts, guides, or instructions to
restrict what he can write about. He does not have to worry about writing about his least
favorite subject, about some things that he does not have any background information on
or prompts that are too long or tedious to write about. He also loves to write about
anything that is centered on his story and himself. He loves to write a story because
stories can be creative or real. He loves to make up the main characters, places, date and
time, and events. He loves the central story to have a plot so that he knows what is going
on in his story. He loves to know more about the events in the story that was not really
happening in the real world. He loves to imagine a perfect world so that he can forget
about the cruel, complex world that we live in now. He can even write a story that
involves non-humans such as animals, ghosts, and monsters. He can write about complete
darkness, whether it is held inside in a confined space such as closet or outside in the real
world such as a camp or an open space.
First, from the time he began writing, he had always used brainstorming as the
first step in writing. It helps him think and write at the same time. He used different
brainstorms just to experiment which brainstorm is the most helpful: from bubble map to
the more logical tree map. Then he did an outline of what he will need to write about
from the map he did. He incorporated his ideas into the body paragraph. He looked over
his body paragraph to write his introduction and his conclusion. Then he did a thorough
spell and grammar, sentence, and paragraph structure. If he has any errors, he corrects his
errors and read to see if each sentence makes any sense at all. If it still does not, then he
write again and read until it looks flawless.


5
Contributors Page

Albert Miramontes is currently finishing up his first year of
college. He has learned a lot during the year and plans to use it in his
academic career along with his life. He loves to play basketball on
his free time and also loves to be around friends. There isn't a thing
Albert wouldn't do to help a fellow colleague. He has made many
new friends and hopes to help them so that they may strive together
in life and in school.

Allen Lee is 19 years old. He is tall and average-body weight. He is
also wearing glasses because he is nearsighted. He is a freshman at
CSUN. He is majoring in accounting because he is good at math. He can
solve most word problems without much difficulty. He knows how to do
Algebra Geometry, Algebra II, some statistics, and I. He hopes that that
person can graduate from CSUN in four years and work in an accounting
office.

Cynthia Sanchez is at the end of her freshman year and has also
survived her first year as a Division One Athlete. She is currently on the
Womens soccer team at CSUN as an offensive player. Cynthia comes from
a small town in Northern California called Gilroy, which is the garlic capital
of the world. She is a very good student who is always on top of her work
and does not like to settle with anything less than an A, this mentality has
helped her both on and off the field.

Emely Lomeli is a first year student at California State University,
Northridge. She is a Child and Adolescent Development major in the hopes
of becoming a counselor of troubled children. She enjoys working with
children and is determined to receive her bachelors so that she may move on
to graduate school and earn her masters.




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Jennifer Juarez is waiting ever so patiently for summer to start. She is
going to attend pierce during the summer to satisfy her parents rule of
always going to school while she lives away from home. While she attends
pierce she plans on joining a sport; wrestling because that has been her
passion ever since she joined in high school. Also, during the summer she
will be living with her best friend and just enjoying the new life she has
started in college.


Part 1:Interviews
















7
My Dad, the Influential Man
by Albert Miramontes
My Father is a very influential person in my life; he is part of the reason of who I am today. Not
only has he been there for me by buying my first car, but
he has also been there for my mother. We are linked
together in many ways. Even though he is not my birth
father I still call him father because he has fought for
that title and he is well deserving of it. There is no one
else that could take his place and do the job that he has
done. He is my role model and one day I hope to be like
him.
Background: My Father is a very influential
person in my life; he is part of the reason of who I
am today. Not only has he been there for me by
buying my first car, but he has also been there for
my mother. We are linked together in many ways.
Even though he is not my birth father I still call him
father because he has fought for that title and he is
well deserving of it. There is no one else that could
take his place and do the job that he has done. He is
my role model and one day I hope to be like him.
Q: How do you help the community?
A: As a probation officer, I try to protect the community by helping and redirecting the
lifestyles of young juvenile delinquents. Once they return to the community, they will be
positive and productive members of society. As a landlord, I do my best to provide safe,
clean, and affordable living conditions for my tenants
Q: What kind of influence did your neighborhood have on you?
A: I grew up in a working class neighborhood where I encounter drugs, crime, and a
positive family environment. You had to be careful whom you talked to and chose your
friends wisely.
Q: How much do you value education?
A: Oh Sheesh! Education is the key to success in life. You can educate yourself in many
ways, spiritually, academically, and socially. Life skills are essential to who you are and
will become.
Q: How has your family shaped/supported how you are today?
A: My family means everything to me. My family is my life. Everything I do I do for my
family. My son and my wife are the most important people in my life. I hope and pray I


8
can be a good father and husband. I hope to be a positive example to my son by showing
him how to be a responsible human being.
Q: How has your son impacted your life?
A: It has made my whole life; my son is my whole life. I cant imagine life without my
son. Everything I do I do it with my son in mind. Every major decision I make I do it
thinking of how to improve my sons life.
Q: Who is a role model in your life?
A: My parents! They taught me how to be the man I am today. They taught me how to
treat people with respect. Education is the way to success. They taught me to always try
to be the better person and help people along the way.
Q: Whats the biggest obstacle youve overcome?
A: I dont know if it is the biggest, but the hardest would be my mothers death. It was
painful and emotional. Seeing the person you love slowly dying of cancer that was just
extremely painful. Letting her go and realizing its a part of life. We all must go
someday.
Q: What would you say is your greatest success?
A: My greatest success is raising my son! To see him flourish into a young, smart, caring,
and responsible man that is just amazing. Realizing that youre shaping the life of a
young man from a little boy to a young adult.
Q: Do you feel youve accomplished what you viewed yourself as when you were
growing up?
A: Yes I do. I feel that Ive accomplished almost all of my goals that are both short and
long term. I was able to get an education that developed into a successful career. Ive
been able to have financial success in the real estate market, but most importantly I have
had a solid and stable family.
Q: Are you still striving to accomplish anything in your life?
A: Yes, as I enter my 50
th
year of life I want to focus on guiding my son into adulthood
and instill in him positive values and the importance of higher education and morals.
Q: What was the most impactful event in your life?
A: Being a father because you get to experience a level of happiness, joy, and tremendous
responsibility. Raising a son is the greatest thing a man can ask for.
Q: Did you ever feel like giving up in life?
A: Not really, my parents taught me how life is a journey; its okay to fail but the most
important thing is not to give up trying. Life is full of so many wonderful things, giving
up has never really been in my vocabulary.
Q: How long did it take to accept your son even though he wasnt physically yours?
A: Immediately I accepted my son. My first date you were in the backseat of my Nissan
Maxima reading a book. As soon as I saw you I knew you were going to be my son. We
had a very special bond. I remember your mom and I stayed at a hotel and you thought it
was my house and you always asked to go back to Sauls house. You would call me
daddy Saul.



9
She Never Stops Working
By Emely Lomeli
I interviewed my mother in order to start my long form essay. I needed to hear more
about her and how she felt rather than just assume and write about what I already knew
about her. I had to go into more depth and details about her life in order to write
something meaningful.
Background: On Saturday morning at
breakfast I decided to interview my mother. She
finished her meal and I asked her questions very
casually as she drank her coffee. I decided to
interview and write about my mother for this
long form essay because she inspires me every
day to work harder and harder. She is a perfect
example of never giving up and fighting hard to
beat an illness that has no cure. My mom moved
from her hometown in Guadalajara, Mexico
when she was a little girl and the adjustment
was not always easy however she has managed
to maintain a stable job and be successful in it
even with her illness.
Interview
Q: What is your illness and how does it affect your daily life?
A: I have Fibromyalgia. Its disease where I get really bad pains in my muscles and
joints. It also causes me to get really tired and I cant do a lot of walking and too much
movements because then the next day I will be in extreme pain. Its tough because on the
weekends I want to do stuff with the family but I cant because Im usually too tired from
my work week that I just want to rest all day.
Q: How did your move from Mexico to the US affect you?
A: It was really hard at first because me and my parents and my siblings obviously did
not know English at all. It was hard to get accustomed to the US because everything was
very new to all of us. It wasnt as hard for me as it was on my other siblings because I
was only 6 years old when we moved here.
Q: How has your family helped you get to where you are today?


10
A: Well my sisters always pushed me to work hard because they always wanted to see me
succeed. But I feel like my husband and kids inspire me to want to work hard. I do a lot
for them. I work hard for them because I want them to succeed.
Q: What is your main life goal? Why?
A: My main life goal is to see my kids achieve their life goals. I want to see my kids
achieve their goals because then I will know that I have succeeded as a mother. If my
kids cant achieve their goals than I will feel like I have failed them for not being able to
help them achieve their goals.
Q: Where do you work? How do you feel about your accomplishments in your A: I work
as a Site Manager for UCLA Health Systems in Santa Monica. I am actually proud of
myself for all that I have achieved in work. I started with the company filing medical
records than became a receptionist and moved my way up slowing. It took a long time I
have been with the company for about twenty years now. So I am definitely glad that I
have been able to move up slowly but surely.
Q: Do you still work hard to achieve higher positions in your job?
A: Yes I am always striving to do better to show management that I can take on more
responsibilities.











11
My Grandmas Interview
By Cynthia Sanchez
My grandmother is a huge influence in my life. She is my inspiration, writing this
interview brought back many memories both good and bad. While giving the actual
interview I learned new things and life experiences that my grandmother went through
and writing this interview was a great
experience,
Background:
For the long form essay we were
required to interview the person on
who we wrote our paper about, I chose
to write about my grandmother thus I
interviewed her. I was born in San Jose
California but when I reached the age
of 6 my family decided to pack up and
move to Gilroy. Not long after my
Grandmother followed along and
joined my family in I in small town
Gilroy. I chose to write this paper
about her story because it is a very
interesting and unique story. This
interview had to take place over the
phone due to the fact that Gilroy is 5
hours away from Northridge, I
discovered some new details about my
grandmother's story and I hope you
find them as interesting as I did. My
grandmother does not speak very much English so this interview has been translated.
Interview:
Q: What was it like being forced to man who you did not love?
A: It was horrible, I didn't think that my parents would actually make me marry him. He
had lied to them and they believed him over their own daughter. I was very hurt and
because they did that I lived a horrible life for years.
Q: Do you think you could ever forgive your parents?


12
A: I already have, I invested self into my church and that helped a lot. I prayed hard every
night and day to seek hope and courage. I got what I prayed for and I am now happily
married.
Q: What made you finally leave my grandfather?
A: One day after he was done beating me I knew that there had to be something other
than this. I refused to accept this life, because I did not want it. I did not want this life for
my children either.
Q: Can you describe what it was like crossing the border with five children?
A: It was an incredible journey; I couldn't to it by myself of course I had to hire a coyote.
I dipped into my saving and had just enough money to pay him, I packed up all five of
my kids and I left in the middle of the night with only a few things and 3 gallons of
water. We began our journey through the night and made our way through the mountain,
we walked all night long and were almost caught multiple times. We walked from
Tijuana to San Diego to find my sister and when we did we found your Tia waiting to
take us to San Jose. I was so relieved when we got here, I felt safe and happy for once.
Q: Do you regret taking so long to leave my grandfather?
A: No I don't. If I had left him earlier I would have any of my five beautiful children.
Q: How do you feel about leaving the rest of your family in Mexico?
A: I feel fine about it, like I said before I have forgiven them but I never possessed the
emotion connection that I have with my children than what I had with my parents. My
children were more important to me, and they deserved a better life.









13
Thank You, Mom
By Jennifer Juarez
For my interview I wanted to ask my mother every question possible. To get into the head
of the woman that changed her life for my brother and I. When asking her the questions I
could tell some of them were more so in the sensitive side, but I pushed though and kept
on going. All my life she nagged me about every little thing, but to be honest that is what
helped me to be where I have always wanted to be. I love my mother to death, and Im
glad that I chose her to do the interview, because now I dont have to ever again question
some of the things she does.

Background:My mom has always
been a inspiration to me in some sort of
way. The main, huge thing is the fact
that she pushed me into getting myself
into college. I honestly would not know
where I would be without her right by
my side, pushing me outside my comfort
zone and into something that will change
my life forever. All of this drive to get
me here today, is because of the fact that
she was not able to do so herself. And
because of that she felt like the right
thing to do was make me go off and do
something that she always wanted to do,
plus it would be a good experience for
me. Even if I don't tell her all the time,
she knows that I love her beyond words,
and I don't know how I am ever going to
repay her for what she has done for me.
Interview:
Q: How do you feel about me writing
about you?
A: "I'm a little nervous, because I don't
know what you are writing about me."


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Q: What was your dream college?
A: "Actually, my dream college was anywhere that I was able to afford, but at the same
time far away from the small town that I would be living in for the rest of my life."
Q: What was your dream job?
A: "I always loved the arts, anything that had to do with painting or drawing. When I
went to Ventura College, I tried to get a degree in that, but I came to realize that I
wouldn't be able to make a true living off of that. So I ended up switching to computer
programing."
Q: Within saying that, are you happy with the job you have today?
A: "No, I am not happy with my job at all, but I make a really good income, and based
off of that I can live comfortably without worrying too much about bills. Oh and to send
my lovely kids off to college."
Q: Who influenced you to who you are today?
A: "Well in all honesty, your father obviously had a huge impact on where I am today.
Then again, there were my parents who were there to support me no matter what. And
since they did that for me, I figured that I should be able to obtain the knowledge and
strength to give my full attention towards my own children."
Q: What does a typical day look like for you?
A: "This is obvious, during the week I get up at around six am to be able to leave the
house at roughly seven just so I can make it to work on time. And I should be off of work
around either six or seven, and sometimes they keep my longer."
Q: What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
A: "Sad of you to hear this, sweetie, but your father and our relationship. He was what
held me back from so much. He came and basically asked me to put everything aside for
him. It not only hurt me but I think/know that he was hurt by the fact that our relationship
after that was no longer the same."
Q: If you could back to that day, and change the course of the path you are on....would
you?
A: "Well if I were to go back and tell your father no...you and your brother wouldn't be
here today..."
Q: Do you regret in anyway not going off to college sooner?
A: "No, because I have two lovely kids that I cherish with all my heart. Plus there is the
fact that I am now attending college and getting a degree that I always dreamed of (even
if it isn't the major I always wanted.)"
Q: No matter what, are you happy with your life?
A: "Yes, and I wouldn't have wanted to spend my life any other way."


15
Interview With My Green Clock
By Allen Lee
I did it on the alarm clock. The work was easy. I just had to structure it into a question
and an answer form. It was a good practice so that when I apply for the job, I can answer
questions thoroughly and carefully.
Background: I am supposed to do an interview with a person or an object. I choose to
do an interview with my green alarm clock. I am fascinated with one of the least
expensive item yet serve me as a
valuable lesson and experience. As I
was sleeping one time, I was
supposed to go to school at 7:41 AM.
But I woke up at 8 AM. I was late
for school. Fear no more. I set the
alarm at 6:30 AM. I finally woke up
on time. Two words: Alarm clock. I
did an interview in my bedroom.
Here are my following questions.
Interview:
Q:Who has been under your care
before I got you?
A:Your father worried about being
late to work. So, he used you first.
Q:What is your worth?
A:Your father bought you for ten
dollars. To you, I am more like a
hundred dollars. It is because I have
the one button for snooze and light,
depending on what mode I am in. If I
am in normal mode, meaning the
alarm is not ringing, I light up the
whole face. If I am in ringing mode,
I delay the alarm by nine minutes,
letting you sleep longer.
Q:What is the surface meaning of
you?
A:The surface meaning of me is an object or device meant to wake sleepers up at a
specific time that they set.


16
Q:How did I get you?
A:You got the alarm clock from your father. Your father handed it down to you because
he bought a new one for himself.
Q:How you and my dad are related to each other?
A:They are part of your life. You can rely on us when I need something to wake me up in
the morning.
Q:How can the second hand move itself around in circles? It does not have legs.
A:I am made of many moving parts. The moving parts are power source, wheel train,
escapement, and oscillator. In the power source, either a mainspring or a weight
suspended from a cord wrapped around a trolley. Wheel train is a gear train that transmits
the force of the power source to the escapement. Escapement is a mechanism that allows
the wheel train to advance, or escape, a fixed amount with each swing of the balance
wheel or pendulum. Oscillator swings back and forth, with a precisely constant time
interval between each swing, called the beat
Q:What is the symbolism of you?
A:The symbolism of me is a reminder of our limitations. These may be reflections of
actual problems, symbolic of poor time management, or completely conceptual. This
alarm clock could appear in the dreams of someone who perceives their time on earth as
"growing short."
Q:How do you view time?
A:I view time as a precious commodity that seems impossible to acquire sufficiently.
Q:How can you be used as a dream recall for people?
A:You can be used as a dream recall. Studies indicate that REM takes place with
regularity about every ninety minutes through sleeping time. Dream recall is heightened
from 20% to 70% or more when patients are awakened during dream time. By setting
your alarm clock to go off either six hours or seven-and-one-half hours after going to
sleep, it is likely you will have more vivid dream recall.
Q:Are you a hopeful or a fearful one?
A:It depends on a specific person. For you, you are a hopeful one. I am successful in
helping you and everyone waking up on time.




17
Part 2: Long Form Essays



18
Momager
By Emely Lomeli
I decided to write my long form essay about my mother because I honestly find my
mothers life interesting and worth sharing. She is also extremely important to me and
has overcome so much in life and has faced many obstacles. She truly inspires me to
work hard in everything I do. She has shown me that anything is possible with hard work
and dedication. She has taught me about being passionate and exemplified unconditional
love.
Many people are fortunate enough to have a mother that shows them
unconditional love and support. My mother is like any other mom. She loves me and my
sibling to death and would do absolutely anything to see us happy. However, it is
sometimes hard for her to do so because of her health issues that do not always allow her
to be her normal self.
Celina Lomeli was born in Guadalajara,
Mexico on August 24, 1965. She was raised by her
two loving parents and is the second youngest of her
twelve brothers and sisters. Growing up they did not
live a wealthy rich life, they owned a small market in
their town. When my mom was six years old her
parents decided to make the big move to the United
States. Nine of the twelve children moved to the US.
Due to the familys financial hardships seven of the
children moved into a four bedroom home. Altogether
nine people were living in a small four bedroom
house in East Los Angeles, California. My mom
attended the local public schools which were filled
with gangs. Even in middle school, she was exposed to drugs and gang members. It was
tough for her to stay away from the gang affiliated people since there was so many of
them. However, she was able to stay away all throughout middle school and high school.
She graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1983.
After high school she had to find work to help support herself and her family. She
had many different part time jobs until she found a full time position as a receptionists at
a medical office. At that medical office she met my dad, Martin Lomeli. After only a year
of dating they got married on December 6, 1986 and they moved to Mid-City Los


19
Angeles and had their first child Jonathan in October of 1987. Following their son they
had two more daughters, Jacqueline in May of 1990 and Emely in November of 1994.
They lived in the same Mid-City home for twenty-two years.
Throughout the years she stayed working at that medical office. She slowly made
her way up from receptionist to team leader, supervisor and now to office manager. She
is a Site Manager for a UCLA Health System Medical Office in Santa Monica, CA. My
mom had to work hard to get to her position. English being her second language has
definitely made it hard for her to be successful. She has been able to overcome that
language barrier and be successful. The language barrier was not the only hardship that
she had to overcome. She also suffers from Fibromyalgia. Despite all the symptoms she
feels my mom has still gone above and beyond with her job to be successful. Her job
requires her to be available 24/7 and it has caused her a lot of stress and headaches on top
of her Fibromyalgia. Since it is a syndrome it cannot be cured but I can be treated with
many different medications.
The symptoms of Fibromyalgia include: chronic muscle pain, fatigue , sleep
problems , painful, tender points or trigger points, chronic headaches, and excruciating
back and neck pain.
My moms life is a roller coaster with many ups and downs. She lost her parents
when she was just twenty-two years old. It deeply saddens her that my siblings and I
were unable to grow up with my grandparents around. My mom never stopped working
hard despite all the pain she felt. She always strived to work hard because she wanted to
keep her children in private catholic schools in Santa Monica since the schools in their
neighborhood were very poor and in bad neighborhoods. She wanted her children to get a
better education than she did.
Caring for the Family:
My moms health issues have always been a struggle for her. Some days she is
unable to even get out of bed but she pushes herself to keep moving because she wants
the best for her children even though they are all grown up now. Despite her always
being tired and in pain she never showed it. Instead of complaining about her condition
she would share her love and kindness to everyone around her especially her children.
She never lets us forget how much she loves us. Even on her worst days when she is in
the most pain, she put her childrens needs before hers. If one of us had a cold she would
take care of us before herself. She is very selfless and is always putting others before
herself. She never forgets about other people.
Putting others before herself is definitely a high priority for my mom. There has
been many occasions where she has chosen to fulfill someone elses happiness rather


20
than her own. She works extra-long hours at work just so that she can send me to college.
Her childrens success is very important to her and it makes her happy.
She has had to deal with numerous health issues not just including her own. When
her son was only ten years old he nearly lost his life. Like any other mother, she was
absolutely devastated and heartbroken when he was almost taken from her. She is
eternally grateful that she still has him. He suffers from epilepsy and is in constant worry
that he will have a seizure at any given time. She never stops taking care of him. To this
day she makes sure he takes his proper medication even though he no longer lives under
her roof. Her maternal love is everlasting and beyond expectations. She is first a mother
and then a wife.
Being a mother is her accomplishment and success. She is a mother not just to her
children but to everyone around her. She always knows when someone is feeling down
and needs someone to just listen to them. She is always willing to help others and lend
her helping hand. Many of the people she encounters adore her for being such a great,
compassionate, and understanding friend.












21
What Matters Most
By Albert Miramontes
My life would not be where it is today if my father did not come into my life. People often
state how thankful they are for their parents, well I am
more thankful. I appreciate him so much and there is
no one on the world that could ever take the place of
my dead. He came into my life knowing the situation
that was at hand and he took me in as if I was truly his
own. Love cannot explain the feelings I have for my
father, the feeling I have is much more than that.
February 20, 1965 had to be one of the
most amazing days. A man by the name of Saul
Valente Salas was brought into this world. A baby
with huge eyes, fat cheeks and crying with all his
might, it seemed as though this baby was going to be just like the rest. Growing up
moving from California to Mexico and back to California, Saul was always trying to
make the best of every situation. In a family with four boys and one girl he was the third
oldest but, he acted as if though he was the elder of the group. He struggled most of his
life, as his family would fight to make ends meet. He was forced into working at an early
age, which led him to become a busboy and pizza boy. Asking him how his busboy
experience was he stated, Being a busboy taught me how tough it is to earn a dollar,
you are constantly moving around and always have work to do. If you are sitting down
then you are not doing your job correctly. That shows that this man must have been very
hard working and was always looking for ways to keep himself busy. He knew he had a
big responsibility of having to help support his family and he was also aware that the way
out of his tough situation was through school.School was a pleasure for him, he loved to
be around friends and learn about new things. He studied hard and took the community
college rout to save up his money so that he can purchase his car. He loved that car so
much that he would sleep in it. When going to college sometimes that wasnt an option,
he was living away from home and when he didnt have a place to sleep, he would be
forced to bundle up in his car. This taught him the true value of having many things that
society today takes for granted. Living without a roof over your head, no running water,
or even lacking heat is a tough life to live. He never gave up, he continued to struggle but
he kept telling himself, In the end it will all pay off. He finished his general education
and was admitted to UCSB. There he said he had some of the best memories of his life


22
where he would attend parties, go out on dates, and remembering to keep his priorities
straight and staying on track with his schooling. He would continue to do his work and
strive to do what was necessary to get a good job and eventually have a family. His
graduation came and he said that was one of the happiest days of his life. All his hard
work and dedication had paid off he was now a college graduate at a very prestigious
university.
Right away he looked for a job, he was looking at a profession in which he could
give back to the community and change peoples lives. Well he decided on becoming a
probation officer. Though some may degrade this and label it as an easy task to do, taking
care of rebellious minors can be very tiresome. He has gone through various injuries
some of which affected his everyday tasks such as taking a shower. Not only has this
occupation been physically draining, it has also taken a toll on him mentally. Some of
those minors have stories that people cannot even think to imagine. These young men
have dealt with drugs, violence, abuse, and abandonment. Anything that you can imagine
that has a negative impact these kids have gone through. Saul saw this as an opportunity
to change the lives of many. He started a program at his probation camp called Gangs for
Peace. This program granted minors in his camp, that realized that they have done wrong,
a way to better themselves. They would do community service and help those in need.
They were rewarded quite nicely too, attending professional baseball and basketball
games depending on the season. Once these inmates left the program they became
changed men. They returned home to their families not as thugs but as young men that
were aware of the mistakes that they had made. They knew that they had been given a
second chance and it was time to make the most out of it. Today, many of them have very
nice homes, cars, children, pets, and finally got married. Some of them even have their
own businesses.
Cars were one of Sauls passions, something that you can say rubbed off on the
former juvenile delinquents. One day when he had his own son Saul would purchase him
a car of his choosing within reason. Also, that car had to be at least ten years old so it
could be somewhat of a classic and so that his son would know the value of cars. He
would then go on and continue to date but wouldnt seemingly find the right woman for
him. He eventually found her and took her for what she was and what she had. She was
previously married and had two relationships that ended unfortunately by death. She also
had three children, an eighteen year old, a fifteen year old, and a baby that was just two
years old. He loved kids and he and her began dating. Since then they have both
succeeded together raising three kids and purchasing rental property to support the family
and supply them with things that they did not have when they were of a young age. That


23
two year old was the one he was closest to. It probably is because it was a boy and he
always wanted to raise one for himself. That young boy went by the name of Albert
Miramontes. When I was first born I was the only boy to be born in that hospital that day
and was surrounded by females in the nursery. He was like a diamond, the nurse stated.
Well that was almost my name until they decided to name me after my father that had
passed away before I was born. However, the day Saul was born would serve to be of the
utter most importance to me, as I now had a man in his life that would act and serve as
my father. This man supplied everything he could for me, whether that would be an
education, money, clothing or sports. Anything that I wanted and deserved, Saul would
do his best to attempt to bless the me with. Right off the bat Saul and I had a wonderful
connection even though he wasnt my biological father, I knew he was like a guardian
angel sent down from heaven. Time came when the I began to grow older, start dating,
start going out with friends, and Saul believed it was time for my first car. That car would
turn out to be a silver 1996 Honda Civic. That car would serve as a child to me. I would
constantly wash it, take it out for a cruise, and pick up friends to go on adventures. Once I
put a new radio and speakers in the car it became my second home. Just going cruising in
there was one of the biggest luxuries I had. It was like I was in another world. From
hearing the lyrics that would explain my day or the base of the music that would go with
my heartbeat it is something that I will cherish forever There wasnt a time when I would
not be in his car at least once a day. It was a getaway spot for me, one in which all his
worries and trouble would go away and it would just be car, the music, and me. Music
was like another world for me. It represented my moods and sometimes shaped his
actions. Dont worry even though I like music that promoted violence and degraded
women, I would do the complete opposite. Being a very peaceful young man, many saw
me as the kid that did not seem to have problems. However, everyone knows that people
tend to have their fair share of problems. I was not the type to sit around and just mope
being a sad person. I would get up, go to my car, play music, and think of a way I could
get out of the slump that I was in. No matter the situation I would do my best to find a
solution and be the happiest that one could be. The car was a useful tool in helping me
carve his happiness and be the person I was striving to be.
I loved those two things so much but I was always grateful that my parents were
able to supply me with that. I cherish each and every moment I have in that car, whether
it is when I am singing to Drake at the top of my lungs or listening to some chaotic
techno music. Whether it is the best day of my life or the worst day, I always would have
my parents. They have been there since day one for me and I am ever so grateful that
God has blessed me with the best parents a child could ever ask for.


24
Dreams Come True In Different Ways
By Jennifer Juarez
Going back to what I was saying about my mother being there to always help me with
everything, this article right here is the main huge thing she really has ever done for me.
She helped me get into college, something that I never really wanted to do to begin with.
But knowing that she wasnt able to do it, made me feel guilty and ashamed that I
personally didnt want to go. I, in the end ended up going, and loved it. Who would of
thought, she through this whole process has been the most helpful and is happy that I am
not at going to community college.
A relationship in which one person is more dependent on the other is not healthy
at all. One does not have to be a certified doctor
to know that. In this case, the prime suspects for
my story are my father and mother. When my
mother wanted to go away to a 4-year
university, instead of going to a community
college, my dad asked her to stay behind. And
of course, my mother, being head over heels in
love with this man, consequently obliged and
ended up never following her dreams.
Growing up however, my mother always knew
that she was going to go to community college.
Only because it wasnt a topic that was talked
about around her house and also the fact that there were seven mouths to feed, money
would end up becoming really tight. But once her senior year came around, she told
herself that she would do everything in her power to get herself away from her family and
be able to experience living on her own. All she was going to need to do is take out a
bunch of loans. In her eyes, it would all be worth it as long as she could go and do
something that she would know in her heart would be the right choice for her. Sadly, little
did she know that all of her planning was about to go straight down the drain. That same
year, she ended up meeting the love of her life. And due to the fact that he couldnt see
himself living without her, he asked her to not go away and go to the local community
college. Her love for this man kept her away from the dream she wanted to achieve.
Fast-forward thirty years to my senior year of high school. It was around the
time when college applications were being sent out that my mom really got on my case
about turning them in. Coming into my room, Jennifer, college doesnt wait for anyone,


25
finish those applications. Every chance she got she would ask me how far along they
were coming, and what other actions I was taking to further my chances of getting into a
school. That woman was so determined to get me to go away to a university, instead of
going to the same community college that not only she went to, but also my father and
my brother. Once I was finished, we all patiently sat around and waited for months until I
got news of my acceptances. Just my luck, I was accepted to every school that I applied
to. No matter what, that feeling of receiving my acceptance letters was amazing. Just the
fact that I was able to say, Yes, me out of all people, made it into college all on my
own. Now the hard part was just choosing which one I wanted to go to. My mom was
not able to be there every step of the way, but she was definitely a huge factor as to why I
am in school now. In all honesty, I would not be here at CSUN today if it werent for her
pushing me all my senior year of high school. Having known that she wasnt able to
pursue her own academic dreams in the past, I felt like I should make her proud and do
this one thing she asked of me. I have a whole life to live, whats four years out of my life
that I can fill with memories and better my education.
Since taking this leap into the college world, I can say that from the bottom of my
heart, this was the best decision I have ever made. And it breaks my heart that my mother
was not able to do this because she chose love over her dreams. Sometimes it feel like
Im living a dream that she wanted instead of myself, but with the memories and
experiences that are coming along with this, I would not trade it for the world. The thing
is, I want to learn from my moms mistake and not let a man come into my life and make
me step back from a dream I want to live. Not only would I regret it in the end, but I
know it will cause a drift in our relationship causing future fights over something that can
easily be fixed. Following the decision would obviously be heartbreak, but if it is
something that I planned out and really wanted to do, nothing and nobody should stop me
whatsoever. If they really loved me, they would respect my decisions no matter what they
shall be. Not only would I feel horrible for dropping my plans, it would also make the
other person feel subliminally guilty for stopping me from doing something that could
potentially make me a lot happier than I am at that moment.
Actually, here is a funny story; a few years ago my dad got his Bachelors degree
from La Verne University. Shortly after this, I myself moved out and went away for
school, leaving my mother and brother wanting a better education for their own selves.
My brother is currently waiting to hear back from the universities that he applied to, and
my mother is enrolled at California Lutheran University. Thirty years later and shes
finally getting the education she had always wanted but never had the chance to fulfill.
And while it might not be exactly what she had in mind when she was 18 years old, it is


26
never too late for someone to do something that will make him or her happier and have
them feeling great about themselves. I'm proud of the fact that she is still pursuing her life
dream; my mom is living proof that if one puts their mind to do something, nobody and
nothing can stop them from getting what they want.
I believe that from the beginning, my mother should have put her foot down and
told my father no, that she was going to go and be who she wanted to be. She shouldve
told him at that moment that if he really loved her and really cared for her like he said he
did (and does), he would understand her leaving off to college. They probably couldve
made it work. And it wouldve saved our family a lot of tears, fights, and pointless
drama. To be completely honest, I fought with my mom as to why she stayed with my
father and her answer to me was not a very convincing one. Oh, he just asked me to
stayand you know your father, he just asked me to stay, okay? She just played it off,
as if it was his entire fault, when it was in actuality both their faults. Either one of them
could have been the bigger person and let the other go. Knowing for a fact that my dad is
a very dependent person, he probably would not have been the one to say go. So, in the
end it all comes down to my mom wanting to please him and stay. And yes, she beats
herself up for it everyday, only causing her to be unhappy within the relationship. Why
would she do this to herself, knowing what the outcome would be? The answer to that I
dont think I will ever be able to fully understand, mostly because she doesnt want to tell
me. I hope one day she will be able to swallow some of that pride and tell me everything
she has been hiding from me.
Everyone has their own reasons for coming to college, and I feel that one hundred
percent of my decision is because my mother was not able to. Everyone else says things
like, I came to better my education and I came to make a lot of money based on my
career. Those are all typical phrases one would expect people to say, that they came for
themselves. Then here I am, with my main reason of going away to college was to make
my mother happy and follow a dream she always wanted. I am going to do everything in
my power to make her proud and show her that all of her help along the stressful process
was not for nothing. And again, I am going to learn from her mistake and not let anyone
hold me back from wanting to do something for myself. If they never want to be apart
from me, they better pack a bag and book a plane ticket to come with me, because thats
the only way we will never be apart.




27
Nurse Mom
By Cynthia Sanchez
I have recently had to make a life decision and
choose which major I would like to pursue in the
remaining years of my college career. I have chosen
to pursue Public Health Promotions. I chose this to
follow my mothers footsteps in desiring to become a
medical nurse.
To be successful in life you need to be
educated, but sometimes education goes beyond the
classroom. The environment in a classroom can be
recognized around the world, when people think of
classrooms they typically think of young students
sitting in a room diligently working on a paper that
their teacher had assigned to them. My mother was
lucky enough to be apart of this environment when
she came to America, it was here where she learned
the same generic information that everyone else learned such as how to multiply and
divide fractions or how millions of people died during the Black Plague. Neither math,
history, or any other subject sparked her interest. What she was really interested in was
not offered at school, she found her interest at home where her family needed her.
When I was younger I found a stethoscope laying around in some boxes I was
looking through, so I asked my mom what it was. She then went on and explained to me
the story of her in nursing school, then leaving because she had to be with her family. I
had no idea that she was even considering to be a nurse before she was pregnant with me,
I thought that my father had just picked her up and whisked her away to never work.
Along with her telling me about her previous interests she proceeded to tell me of her
mothers story, my grandmother. Then and there I knew this little contraption was more
than just an aid to listen to a heartbeat, this stethoscope symbolized the goals that my
mother was never able to reach. It is funny how fitting a tool that literally touches hearts
everyday, is so close to my heart and my mothers heart.
My mother is a very hard working, honest, and caring woman. At first glance she
seems like an ordinary cute little mom, a five-foot woman emitting energy and care for
her family. Never missing a soccer game, always attending her childrens school
activities, she is like a modern day wonder woman. Behind the dedication to her family,


28
before she had me at age twenty-one and my brother at age twenty-seven, she had dreams
of her own. The story can begin as far back as middle school for my mother, when she
met my father. Their love bloomed and remained strong to this day, so twenty-one years.
He always wanted to take care of my mother, he would do anything for her and wanted to
give her the world, but even so, everyone has aspirations. My mother aspired to become a
nurse. She always possessed a natural sense of taking care of people with her kind-
hearted personality. She was meant to be a nurse, she had all the qualities of a nurse just
like the first known nurse who, Phoebe, who is mentioned in the bible. She was
recognized in the early years of the Christian Church in Rome.
In 1993 after high school, when my mother and father were already madly in
love, my mom attended nursing school and was on her last stretch and final year, but that
all came to a halt with her pregnancy of me. She only had one more semester to go be a
registered nurse, her dream.
This dream of hers first appeared when she realized she wanted to help people on a
medical level, her mother, my grandmother helped her realize this. Before my
grandmother and my mother moved to America they had a completely different life, in
Mexico my grandma was married to a horrible man who had no respect for her. Her
marriage was not by choice and neither were her pregnancies, when my grandmother and
grandfather met back in 1968 only one was interested in the other. My grandfather
bewitched my grandmother, but my grandmother had no interest in him. She knew he
was a terrible man, when my grandfather rejected her he went up to my grandmothers
house and told her parents a horrible lie. He told them that had a sexual altercation and
back in the day when people had those kinds of altercations they were forced to marry
one another. My grandmother had no say in this; she was forced to marry a man she did
not love. She not love him and he physically abused her, this went on for 20 years. From
1968-1988 my grandmother lived a life of abused and torture and my mother saw it all,
she saw her mother filled with bumps and bruises and she had no idea on how to help her
heal from her wounds.
When my grandma finally developed a plan to escape from my grandfather's
wrath, in 1988 my grandma hired a coyote took all 5 of her kids to America. When she
made it to San Jose she moved in with her sister she quickly went to work at a restaurant,
she is a fantastic cook. While she worked at the restaurant she noticed that at lunchtime a
group of construction workers came in every single day. One the man's name was
Roberto Rodriguez who was a young intelligent man who had a great heart and a big
stomach; he especially took a liking in my grandmothers food. While eating his food on
a particular day he decided that he wanted to meet the cook, my grandma was ecstatic


29
that someone enjoyed her food that much. When she went out to meet her satisfied
customer she noticed that he was a handsome man, she immediately blushed and nerves
surged through her body. She approached him to thank him for his interest in her food but
he soon made it obvious that his interest was not only in her food, and from there their
love flourished and they were married 3 months later and to this day they are still happily
married.
Their marriage wasnt always a pleasant one though, my step-grandfather went
through a stage in his life where he was an alcoholic and it took its toll on his marriage
and his relationship with my grandmothers children, including my mother. This went on
for 10 years, in 2011 right when my grandma was preparing to leave my step-grandfather,
he had a terrible stroke that caused his memory to be lost, he did not remember who I was
or who any of his family were. He thought he was back in Mexico working on his little
farm. My grandmother, being the angel that she is, didnt have the heart to leave him in
this state. So she took care of him as best as she could but my step-grandfather needed a
nurse. When my grandmother hired a nurse to watch over my step-grandfather it helped
him tremendously, his shots were given and she helped him remember where and who he
was with daily and over time he remembered everything but one thing, he forgot that he
ever picked up an alcoholic beverage. He was free from his alcoholism and once again
my his and my grandmothers love flourish, it was a beautiful and inspirational thing to
watch.
Seeing that nurse help my step-grandfather over the years confirmed that I wanted
to be a nurse when I was older but not only did she inspire me but so did my mother.
Forced to drop out of nursing school, my mother sacrificed her dream for me, so I feel
like it is prominent that I fulfill this dream for her. I want to make her proud and I want to
be able to help people on both a medical and personal level just like that nurse did for my
step-grandfather many years ago. My family is full of good hearted people who all aspire
to help other people but no one ever had the opportunity to do anything with that
aspiration, I want to be the one in my family to fulfill everyones dream and help others
for a living. Just like my mother I will go to nursing school after my time here at CSUN
and I will finish my time at nursing school to be a certified registered nurse. From there I
will further my education and take the CEN test to become an emergency room nurse for
those in desperate need of my help and the help of the other nurses at the hospital. An
average emergency room nurse sees minimum 65,000 patients a year and because of this
and my drive to complete my mothers dream I can oversee the rigorous hours I will have
to endure which can range from 8 to 12 hour shifts a night by knowing I will be saving
lives like my mother would have liked to do. Like other nurses, I will have a stethoscope,


30
like the one I found in my mothers box many years ago. Derived from this stethoscope
are three stories, all related, and all significant in my life and future in becoming a
certified emergency nurse.

Part 3: Ethnographic Observation






31
Dorm Life
By Jennifer Juarez
Yes, dorms are the dreaded college life living experience. Someone should come with a
warning about all the negatives you will get rather than the entire positive. I wanted to
write about my experience personally because every dorm experience is completely
unique to the individual. For my friends, and me we had an amazing time, somewhat
drama free. While we sat around and watch a lot of unnecessary drama happen. I guess
my side was more the negative parts of living in a place that was basically considered a
high school, but with living
courters.
The dreadful four
flights of stairs, covered in
old gum and reeking of
human urine, are definitely
ones I look forward to
climbing while drenched in
sweat from the 102-degree
weather outside. Finally
reaching the peak of the
Mount Dormitory, I reach
into my back pocket to get
my taped, barely surviving
room key, to enter into the prison that I pay 24,000 dollars to call my home. And for
what? Bland, boring walls that remind me of a mental institution. Stained carpet with a
pattern that reminds me of the carpet from The Shining. Ugly, navy blue couches in the
living room that everyone on the floor knows people have had sex on numerous times.
Ive been calling this place my home for the past eight months.
However, theres another side that is the stereotype of college dorms. The ones
high school teachers always tell students about to get them excited. Its the much happier
one. The fact that you basically live with just a bunch of your friends all the time. From
the late night fast food cravings to the constant bickering and door slamming at five in the
morning. These people are the ones that have made my first year in college probably the
most memorable in my life.
After a long, never-ending day at either school or work, its unexplainable to
come home to such a welcoming environment full of kids my age, who also dont have


32
any idea of who they really are. Kids who are just as confused as I am. Kids who are
willing to try or do practically anything to get any sort of idea of who they are or what
they want to do with their lives. Kids who know they want to be here, but dont know just
what they are doing yet. This is the prison I live in. Everyone just wanders around with
a huge smile on their face and a spark of confidence in their eye, but thats only a
disguise to keep everyone else from knowing what theyre truly feeling on the inside. But
coming to your own room is like a sanctuary. There is no other feeling of being able to
shed that faade that you had on all day and just unwind from all that stress.
Dont get me wrong. Its great. It really is. Although its hard in a lot of aspects
(school, sleeping, peer pressure, etc.), it definitely helps you find out who you really are.
Being away from home, parents, and hometown friends is as liberating as stepping out of
a bathroom full of girls getting ready for the club. You can finally just take a deep breath,
and do what you want to do and not get stuck there. And some even say coming to the
dorms, making all these friends, coming to college in general is a great way to become
the person youve always wanted to be, without being judged by your past actions,
previous friends or boyfriends, parents, etc.












33
For the Love of The Game
By Cynthia Sanchez
I have played soccer all of my life, so explaining in detail what a soccer field
looks like was no challenging task for me. I could describe this magnificent place to you
with my eyes close and being nowhere near a field. Its image is engraved into my head. I
love everything about this place and I never want to forget the images and the feelings I
get whenever I enter into this place.
This place is very near and dear to my heart, it is the only place I can go to and
really be myself. This place has helped me through the toughest times in my life yet, it
has also caused me great pain. The
pain that it has caused me is easily
overseen because of the
many irreplaceable
memories it has given me, I love
everything about this place and I
love all the life long friends that I
get to be at this place with
everyday. This place is like no
other around campus, it is where
pain and beauty meet. During the
day this place is taken over by
many athletes who are deeply dedicated to one sport, they come here everyday to run
around this place trying to master how to flawlessly manage one object that is round,
perfectly filled with air, and has blue dynamic designs on it. At this beautiful masterpiece
of a place there is only one large strip of cement dividing the dirt from the grass. It is
encased in a large rectangular shaped fence that itself is covered all around by red tarp,
which contains people who have made history in this very place and people who are
unforgettable. This place is literally covered in our schools history. The smallest details
omit perfection in this place. I breathe in all the components of the field, from the freshly
cut grass that the gardeners mowed early in the morning, to the powder white dust that
lines and confines the space that we play in. There are two goals opposite each other.
They seem massive from afar, even from the sideline, but every soccer player knows how
the goal miraculously shrinks when they become our target. I can imagine and vividly
picture the ball forcefully impacting the back of the net with that indescribable sound that


34
happens every time. Over to the right stands the same old red shed that holds all of the
gear and tools that the team uses to better their game. The shed reminds me of a small
farmhouse with its crisp apple red paint detailed with white intersecting lines. Benches
are lined up on one side of the field that holds my family, my teammates and coaches, but
also my friendly enemies; the opposing teams. Later, after practice is done, the balls are
put away and they goals are off the field I often glance at the sky, it is simply breath
taking, colors such as purple pink and blue mash together in the sky to make a scenery
where that you can't help but stare and think about how lucky you are to be alive. At
least, that's what I think about. Everyday this scenery is here and its beauty never fails to
catch my eye. The sounds that surround this place are sounds of happy birds chirping and
hungry squirrels scuffling through trees and trashcans searching for food. Although I am
at this same place everyday, I will never truly grow tired of it because the love I have for
my sport conquers all pain and exhaustion.













35
No Place Like Home
By Albert Miramontes
I knew I had to visit a place that had a lot of meaning in my eyes. There is nothing that I
love to do more than play basketball. I watch and play it whenever I can. No one can take this
away from me it is my passion and he only thing that can stop me from playing would be a career
ending injury.
Sometimes my second home can seem quite odd to some people. They often think
it may be a friends house in which I stay or a relatives house. Well, for me, it is the
basketball gym. There are many
around some nicer than others but
none of them to me beats the one
right down the street from my house.
It is a recreation center and I have
been playing there for the longest.
The building is of medium size and
is painted yellow. Many times the
building gets overlooked because of
the local high school and how giant
that is. Around it there is a pool,
baseball field, and a neighborhood market. Many people come here daily to just watch
people play pickup games and watch their friends place some ball. Whenever I have free
time you can see me there either by myself or with a couple of friends. Growing up I felt
like the gym was like heaven because of how kind the people were.
I started playing here at a very young age. I give much credit to those parents that
volunteered their time to coach all of the children trying to play. When you are young it is
often a place where parents send you so you can get some exercise and lose some of the
baby fat. For me, it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Basketball and baseball
were my two favorite sports if I wasnt playing one I was playing the other. This gym
helped me to start my career. From the moment I walked in I knew that this was
something that I loved and was going to stick too. Our first tryouts were about to begin
and I remember I wanted to do my best because I heard we were getting evaluated and
would eventually get drafted. I felt like I was going to go to the NBA. My tryout went
well I made three of my first four shots and made both of my free throws. The drills
werent too long because there were so many kids. One of the coaches pulled me aside
after and asked for my name, he told me that I did a great job and that he wanted me for
his team. I was delighted I went home and was waiting for that phone call to see where I


36
was going and sure enough it was the same guy who called. From then on I knew him as
coach Tony. He taught me pretty much everything how to dribble, how to shoot and how
to play defense. I thank that guy for everything he did for me. I had to give something
back to him so I helped him get his first championship as well as mine. I played with him
as coach for three seasons. For the other two seasons two other coaches drafted me and it
just wasnt the same. I was sad but many times after school I would go there and see him
and we would play pickup games together. That gym was life. The concrete walls
covering us and making the fans cheering seem twenty times louder. Those were the
years. I still go now and not much has changed people have gotten older the stage at the
backside of the gym is still the same with its big red curtain. The competition is a little bit
more competitive but who isnt up for a little challenge. The three-point line is my home
inside that home I love shooting from back there but I am never hesitant to drive in. This
place will always be a part of me for many years to come. One day maybe I will go back
and coach my own team and make new memories. For now I will stick to playing pick up
games with friends.












37
Barista
By Emely Lomeli
I chose to write my ethnography about my job. I work as a barista at Starbucks and I
wanted to take the opportunity at looking at my work place in a different perspective. I
am so used to being behind the counter but I never knew what it was like being on the
other side. I have been to Starbucks before but I have never really sat down and spent
time to think about its actual setting. I would just go in to purchase my drink and I would
be gone. I took the time to really sit down and be a customer.

I decided to visit my
job. Not as an
employee but as a
customer. I work as
a barista at
Starbucks. I
watched my
coworkers do what I
would usually do at
this place. I do not
usually come here
unless I have to
work, or if I do it is to quickly get a drink and I leave almost right away. I watch as the
regulars get their coffee than prepare it at the condiment bar mixing their sugars and
cream. Baristas call out drinks, first the name of the person than any customizations and
then the actual name of the drink itself, just as we were trained to do. I hear the loud
noises of the blenders. The steaming milk, the grinder making its loud grinding noise as
the employees pour more and more coffee beans into it. I hear Welcome to Starbucks
each time a customer walks through the door. I hear the beeping noise of the oven each
time something gets warmed up. I hear the clinking noise of the metal pitchers getting
tossed into the sink. I hear cups being dropped to the ground. I see employees running
back and forth from the back of the store to the front of the store. Each time carrying
more and more stuff. Cups, lids, lemonade, tea, and pitchers. The commotion is endless.
It never stops.



38
Orange Grove
By Allen Lee
I found this writing a bit challenging to me. I had to transfer my post that I did on Twitter
to a formal writing form.

I went to the Orange Grove for my ethnography. I rarely spend my time at the
Orange Grove but the scenery and setting is peaceful. It is located on the south side of
California State University, Northridge to the east of the Valley Performing Arts Center.
It is peaceful and not too noisy, which is great because I can forget all the busy work that
I have to do. As I entered the Orange Grove going east, I saw a sign that read Orange
Grove.
I walked between the
two brown lamps. All the
brown lamps line up across
and next to each other,
which made me feel like I
am walking in the woods.
All brown lamps have
banners showing the special
buildings at California State
University, Northridge. The
special buildings include
the KCSN radio studio,
Valley Performing Arts
Center, and the gymnasium
called the Student
Recreation Center. I felt
like I got lost for a moment.
The sun shines directly at
my light skin, feeling like I
will have sunburn within a
matter of minutes. I saw many trees lining up in all directions. It was lined up in front,
diagonally, to the left, behind, and to the right of each other. The trees are located on the
dirt off the main walkway. Some have green and yellow leaves and oranges all over the


39
branches. Others have no oranges but have leaves. Those trees fall to the dirt. Some
oranges are covered completely with dirt, some partially, and others not covered.
I smelled the fresh air from the gentle, light wind. This provided me warmth and comfort
without feeling too hot on my skin. The white clouds are next to the bright sun, which
means the clouds are not covering the sun. It translated to a clear and sunny day at
California State University, Northridge.
I had noticed there are not too many people. That translated to a not very busy
place. I have
encountered just a
few of them, mostly
people walking
through the
walkway. One
person I have
encountered is an
aging female with
black shirt and dress
walking diagonally
between the trees.
Later, there is a
student with a black
basketball short
walking on the main
road. Also, I noticed
three women
walking on the main
sidewalk. Later at
the same place, I noticed two adults, a woman and a man, walking. They were having
conversations with each other. The woman was wearing green shirt and black pants.
After that, I went to the white bench located on the east end of the Orange Grove. There
were two students sitting, a male and a female. They were sitting on the bench having
conversations with each other. The male student has glasses, a light skin, a placard shirt,
blue jeans, and black Nike shoe. Later as I was heading back on the main road, a woman
passed by with goldilocks hair and wore black shirt. She was listening to her favorite
tunes on the iPod with the ear buds on her ears.



40


Part 4: Group Critical Essay






41

Evolution of Perception

Perception and originality is everything, this is the message that Walter Benjamin
stressed in his article Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. This brilliant
man shed light on how originality is drifting away due to the invention of the camera,
which caused loss of
aura and authenticity.
Many people had a
hard time grasping the
concepts that
Benjamin was trying
to project in his article
so a man by the name
of Mike Poster
developed a film
called The Aesthetics
of Distracting Media
to help viewers
understand the message that Benjamin was trying to share with his audience through his
immense use of comparisons and analogies. Although these two people themselves have
different perceptions of how they view are they can still reach an agreement on how
many people blindly see works of art and are fooled into believing that a replica of a
piece of heart has equal value of an original piece of art. These two men stressed how
important it was to recognize true art in different environments and also how people
perception of true art has shifted throughout the years.
The two readings, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by
Walter Benjamin and The Aesthetics of Distracting Media by Mike Poster, are very
contradictory. The first reading seems to challenge the second reading. In the first
reading, Benjamin thinks that the reproduction of the filmic work of art is possible but
reproduction do not have the same value and originality as the original work of art. Poster
thinks the reproduction completely destroys the traditional form of art. Also, Benjamin
pointed out that cameras could enhance the meaning of traditional art. Poster thinks that
cameras intervene between the actor and the audience. Therefore, cameras destroy the


42
traditional form of art. Poster also states that the viewer of film must have a 'heightened
presence of mind' to follow the shifts in perspective afforded by montage and shifts in the
position of cameras. However, according to Benjamin, the audience does not need to
have a heightened peace of mind to follow the shift in perspective.
In Ways of Seeing by John Berger, the video agrees with Benjamin in how
cameras can have different prospective of audiences. Cameras provide different ways to
see the audiences from different angles. Therefore, it does not destroy the traditional art.
It only changes the meaning.
In the essay by Walter Benjamin, he describes aura to be a unique atmosphere that
cannot be replicated. He uses aura to describe how each piece or art is original and it
brings its own original and authentic atmosphere. In the video Ways of Seeing it
explains how music can change how a work of art is viewed, music changes the mood or
aura of the piece. Along with music, commentary also changes the atmosphere of an
artwork. The video also showed how silence when viewing art intensifies the
experiences, it gives the admirer time to really process and evaluate every detail of the
work. The aura of an artwork is adjusted or changed through replication; being in the
actual original presence of an artwork allows one to experience its actual meaning and
aura that was intended. The reproduction of art manipulates its original meaning and oral
through the way it is presented. Benjamin argues how almost every aspect of a piece of
art is altered through film. These aspects include the aura, culture, and authenticity.
In Benjamins The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, he says
that if a work of art were to stay authentic, it has to be based in ritual. The ritualistic
basis should still be able to stand out right away, if it isnt there that means that work has
been tampered with and no longer has an authentic basis to it. If for example, there was a
photograph taken, you can make endless copies of the single image, but if there was a
painting that becomes a lot more challenging as far as having to recreate the same image.
What he was trying to get at was that, once there is a painting recreated/repainted, the
original piece is the only item that holds true to the authenticity, whereas the copies
dont. For example, the Mona Lisa is an original piece of art that millions have tried to
copy and sell for a really high price. Which are ridicules because there are certain aspects
that art dealers can look at to tell if the piece is original or not. And that comes back to
the authentic part of what Benjamin is trying to say, you cannot take an original piece and
try to recreate it.
Art is a topic that can be discussed as both an argument and a way of connecting
the wonderful ideas of two or more people. Art is seen through the world around us and
can be interpreted in many different ways. Many may take the side of Walter Benjamin


43
and state that reproduction of art can tamper with the originality of many works of art.
Many people have argued the same such as Mike poster who stated that art is demolished
by the mocking reproductions. In the end it comes down to a persons own opinion of
how art is portrayed. Some like to reinvent different works by imitating original pieces
and putting their own touches to it. Others choose to just admire and stand in awe at the
beauty of original pieces. As time has progressed individuals have advanced and used
new technology to find a way of making art more modern by using tools such as cameras.
Cameras help to capture a moment and share with others that were not present at a
particular moment in time. Things such as editing have emerged due to the creation of
cameras. The more society grows the more the way that art will be further constructed
and understood, peoples thoughts of originality and authenticity will continue to fade as
technology grows.
Part 5: Analysis of a Work of Art



44
Art Surrounds Us
By Emely Lomeli
I always loved seeing this artwork when I would drive home. This piece is home for me. It
is close to my childhood home and it brings happiness and old memories to my mind. I
decided to do a full analysis of it because the only real thing that came to mind when
seeing this was home. I never took the time
to think about what the artist wanted to
display.
Art surrounds us. Art is simple and it
can be found anywhere. It is a form of
expression using the creative mind. It is
beautiful and all art has meaning. Each
meaning is different to each and every
admirer of a certain work of art. There are no
guidelines to art, which I like because art can
literally be anything. It is something that someone creates to send a message. Art is meant
to be admired.
I chose a work of art that was close to my old home in Mid-City Los Angeles. I
went back to my old neighborhood to see if because I havent visited there in over four
years. I was feeling nostalgic and decided to go back. I remembered that there is always
graffiti artwork on the sides of many buildings and I knew that I would find something.
The artist is of this artwork is unknown. The piece did not have a date of when it
was created. However, I believe that it will always be significant. It was a fairly new
piece. It wasnt there four years ago so it must be pretty recent. The graffiti art reads
Love Your City! and Ama Tu Ciudad! which is the Spanish translation. I find that
the fact that there is a Spanish translation makes this artwork even more significant. It
shows that the artist was thinking about the community and who was actually going to
view the artwork. Mid-City LA is mostly a Latino community. The artist was thinking
about the admirers and the streetwalkers that would see their work. I believe that this
work of art is significant because I got a message not to literally love your city but to love
where you come from. I think that the artist is encouraging people to be proud of their
roots and where they come from. Since Mid-City is a low class city and neighborhood
people may feel discouraged or embarrassed that they are from a poor place. The artist
here is telling people to own where they are from and love it.


45
This work of art is in Mid City Los Angeles, on Venice Blvd. It is located on the
side wall of a liquor store. As I am admiring this piece of art there are many people
walking by or standing by the bus stop. There are people walking in and out of the liquor
store. It is on a busy street so there is constant movement.
I hear the busses pass and the beeping of the cross walk every two minutes. There
is constant movement. Everybody looks busy. It is about 3 oclock in the afternoon on a
Wednesday and I see children walking with parents. School has just let out and there is a
stampede of teenagers walking towards the bus stop and into the liquor store or towards
the 7-eleven up the street. The smell of cigarettes fills the air, coming from a group of
men just around the corner.
The aura of the piece of art is inspiring. I was inspired because I actually stopped
to really think about what the artist was trying to say. Maybe the artist wasnt trying to
give a message but I interpreted one. The aura was not that peaceful. I felt like action
needed to take place after looking at the artwork. I think that the surroundings had a lot to
do with that. Since there is constant movement and noise in the area the artwork is being
manipulated.
Overall, I think that readers should conclude that the artwork may or may not
have wanted to give a message. It is up to the viewer to decide what the message is.
However the message that I received was to be proud of your roots and where you come
from. You should never be ashamed and should never forget where you come from.










46
The Beauty of the Past
By Jennifer Juarez
When I went to go visit the San Fernando Mission, it was really a unique
experience. That is because there is so much history in one single location, and this isnt
some painting where you have to guess what their meaning behind the piece of art was,
rather there are hard facts of what actually happened. Over 200 years ago is when this
beautiful gem of a place was founded, in saying that its crazy to think about all the
important footprints that walked across the grounds. That is why I wanted to go and visit
it, because this building made a huge impact in the way California was set up. That was a
huge reason for me wanting to go and visit one of these places.
Standing in the middle of the mission, I
looked around and I saw a bunch of other people
looking around at the scenery just like I am. The was
a ton of greenery, but I thought to myself, Was there
this much when they first started out? Or was it a dirt
lot? Trees, bushes, flowers and the sound of birds is
what also greeted me as I walked through it. For me
personally, however, I am not really religious
myselfso to be in a place that was basically like a
church was weird for me. Felt out of place, the way I was dressed wasnt the same as the
people around me. Jeans and a shirt, compared to others that wore dresses and suits. Like
should I have gone home and changed, or not? It was really weird and I didnt like the
fact that I felt so out of place. All in all, no matter how awkward I felt, I still kept my
composure and walked around and took in as much history as I could.
While at the mission I learned some interesting facts such as: between the years of
1834 and 1861 was not catholic , the goal of the mission was to get people to convert to
their religion and also to turn them into good Spanish colonists, and they were taught
European-style farming, animal husbandry, mechanical arts and domestic crafts. The
whole point to the missions up and down California was that they wanted them to change
everything about how the natives lived. To make them come out and become just like
them, so that they could spread their beliefs faster.




47
A Little Something Close To Home
By Albert Miramontes
I wanted to pick a mural that was close to home since there are so many. It was very
difficult for me to decide on just one because so many of them are beautiful. I chose this one
because that day I went out looking it caught my eye and was telling me something and showed
me something that I never saw in it before
This work of art is pretty well known in the community that I live in. People are
constantly driving by it and it has been there forever. I often drive by and think nothing of
it; sometimes I will eat tacos at the taco shop across the street and just stare at it.
However I never really took the time to really look at the mural and establish what it
really means to me until now. I saw it and thought it resembles the community and how
there are many working class families. It has a
man and a woman that represent all the men and
women in the area, it also has corn which
symbolizes an everyday use for food common
amongst the Hispanic community. Above the man
head is a puzzle, which seems to have pieces from
different groups of people that symbolizes the
diversity of the area.
This area is one that has people from all
over whether they are White, African American,
Latino, or Asian. Everyone is usually accepted
and welcomed without harm. Also in the mural
you can see warriors on opposite ends of the
puzzle. That symbolizes that even though that
there is peace, when it comes down to protecting
one's own faith or people they are not afraid to
battle. That was something that was more
apparent in the 90s when gang wars were at its peak. Unfortunately, the differences that
were very minor meant that battle had to take place. Symbols became gang marks and
even innocent people were victim to gain violence. Sadly, that has affected my family in
me in a negative way. However, the art piece shows acceptance and forgiveness to all, as
shown by the man with open arms.
Something that caught my attention was the baby in the hands of what seems to
be the mother. Different ideas crossed my mind about this particular part. It has a glow
and beam similar to the sun, I was not sure if that meant that the child was a boy. It also


48
has what seems to be numbers on the inside, which resemble a clock symbolizing that we
are only on the earth for a certain period of time. The thought that came across my mind
was the one that brought the meaning of a circle into my head. To me a circle is never
ending and cannot be broken. That would then mean that it is never ending and that life
could mean that it is eternal. Then it would maybe tie into religion and in the mural there
is a bright white cross on the top in the puzzle. Also, a few blocks up the street there is a
Catholic Church. That really made me think how crazy it is that one painting could have
so many different meanings and raise questions that one must ask the artist to figure out.
There were so many names on the painting on the bottom left that I could not figure out if
it was dedicated to them or if it was a collaboration of different artists working on one
mural.
The day I went to visit the mural it was overcast and gloomy which I believe
could have a major effect on the way one perceives the artwork. I tried not to let that
affect me so that I can be positive about the artwork because even though it is not the best
painting it has this sense that makes it beautiful in its own way. That where the aura ties
in it is just unique and has this something about it that drags you in but you cannot get a
grasp of what is grabbing you. For me it put me in a place that had me try and relate the
mural to my life. It made me feel thankful for the gift of life and the wonderful parents I
have that support me. It also made me proud of my culture and how that has affected me
growing up. Sometimes we tend to overlook things and take them for granted. Its good to
pay attention to them, you can find beauty in the simplest things. We often overlook that
and something that can maybe benefit us and brighten our days is never used because we
never took the time to actually look for a few moments. Make use of every moment and
sometimes you can find things that can be quite interesting.








49
CSUNs Student Art
By Cynthia Sanchez
The way I stumbled across this art piece was actually quite interesting. Had just finished
another one of our grueling and exhausting soccer practices and I was on my way to the
Merch when I noticed a crowd around the Student Union, I just thought it was another
fundraiser. When in fact it was actually a beautiful piece of art.
This is an art piece that I stumbled across while walking to the Pub to pick up a
quick snack before the start of my
next class, but before I went to eat I
just had to take a picture of this
magnificent art piece. Now
originally I was going to take a trip
to L.A. to a museum or a monument
that was mentioned in class to write
this paper on but while I was home I
going threw some of my photos and
came across this picture, as I looked
at it it made me realize how it didn't
make me feel the same way I
originally felt when I first saw it and
took a picture of it. I thought to
myself that this was a prime example
of the bases of Benjamin's article and
theory of aura. In Benjamin's Work
of Art in the Age of Mechanical
Reproduction." It describes how art
is losing its sense of aura.
Aura is a distinctive atmosphere that cannot be duplicated, when I first saw this
piece of art drawn out on the ground I was filled with so much matador pride. I felt
excited and blown away from the detail that was put into this piece of art I could see the
different shades of blacks and reds. I could see the actions of other people equally
admiring this art piece. It was beautiful. I wish I had known who had drawn this beautiful
and very detailed piece of art, I know for a fact that it had to be one of Cal State
Northridge's own student because to put such detection and detail to a single piece of art
which was made out of chalk from my understanding is not an easy task, one must love


50
this school so much as to sit out there in front of hundreds of people trying to perfect a
single piece of work that can be washed away in seconds. Then, days past and I went to
see other art pieces around campus like photos in the geology department and the
Matador statue but I did not connect with them as equally as I did with the art outside the
pub. To me, it symbolized the students voice.
People around these other art pieces did not admire them as much as the people
did admire the art piece that was fresh and original. When I went to take the picture of
this art piece there were many people surrounding it, admiring it and I had heard that
some people had been present when the artist was in the act of actually drowning this art
piece, what an experience. I believe that this can be considered as instant aura, what
better atmosphere is there than actually being at the site while the artist is being inspired.
If someone such as me had shown another individual a picture of the is art work it would
not even compare to the actual feeling of being at the site while the artist is drawing. You
cannot see an art piece come alive threw single photo. Again, I look through my phone
looking for an art piece to write this blog about each art piece gave me a different feeling
but the art piece that was outside the pub stood out the most.
When I went back to look at the picture of this art piece I was not blow away I
was not inspired, and I did not feel happy or excited to be a matador. It was just a picture
of a drawing. This is picture without aura, no originality. Which is exactly the message
that both Benjamins Reproduction and John Berger's "Ways of Seeing" the feeling that
this drawing gave me when I first saw it could not be duplicated and this is Benjamin's
message, to really experience art you must be present and feel what is around you. What
is around you is what makes the atmosphere unique, I do not know if I would have
admired this piece of art the same if I had discovered it alone and there was no one else
around to admire with me, your surrounding make the experience. Just like when we
watched John Berger's video in class, I was more at tentative and paid more attention
because I was in a learning environment, but when I went home to watch it a second time
I nearly fell asleep because I was in a relaxed environment. Aura is something that is not
being appreciated, as much at it should be because it does make a difference in an art
experience but people fail to see that.


51
Part 6:Theory of Art and Reproduction




52
Sistine Chapel
By Jennifer Juarez
My parents said that when they went to Rome that this was one of the must sees
when going. Ever since then, I have been very fascinated with the large painting up upon
the ceiling that took four years to complete. The way that John Berger describes all the
different ways into which you can view art, got me thinking. That is the main reason I
wrote about the Sistine Chapel, to find out more information and ways of seeing
something that has been around for centuries
In this world, there are a billion different ways anyone can experience a single
moment in their lifetime. Most of the time it all depends on the mood they are in and
even down to the environment. Being in a particular location and actually seeing it in
person is a lot more impactful than merely scanning over it within a textbook. For
example, the Sistine Chapel is considered one of the most famous works of art ever
created in the history of
mankind. Having been painted
in the beginning of the 16th
century, one could say that it is
definitely a huge part of
history. One that can only be
really experienced by
physically going to Rome to
look at the masterpiece that
Michelangelo put more than
four years of his life into.
John Berger said that
pieces of art cannot be
reproduced, because there can
only be one original. For
example, the Sistine Chapel
obviously cannot be
reproduced because of the
vastness of it, and the amount
of time and location of where it is. If anyone wanted to have their own Sistine Chapel
inside of their house, then they could get a smaller framed version to put upon their living
room wall. Or even a smaller version of that would be a postcard that can be placed


53
anywhere, even be sent across the world over every sea. That is exactly what he is trying
to express to everyone, art is something that takes a certain kind of talent, and that talent
cannot be duplicated. To experience the Sistine Chapels greatness would to be to fly
over to Rome and see it in person.
Living in the 16th century, there were multiple artists that were starting to come
around and show their full potential. For example were Leonardo Da Vinci and
Michelangelo, who at that time were no name street artists. In saying that, would looking
at their art on the top of a ceiling be all that important, or worth seeing? Most likely not,
because back then people wouldnt go out of their way to see something that they didnt
appreciate or was amazing. But, then again, they were missing out on something that
would go down in history as a piece of art that put a lot of work into it. Michelangelo
spent around four years lying on his back painting versus from the Bible. Something that
takes that long should be more appreciated rather than brushed off. For those living
during that time era, they didnt get to fully take in what they were seeing, because it was
later in time that the Sistine Chapels ceiling became so famous.
Fast-forward to seeing what Michelangelo did in the present time, and how it
would feel like to be standing under the ceiling and looking up to see what four years of
hard work does. Not many individuals can say that they went to go look at what
Michelangelo did, and since there are no pictures allowed, all of those people have to
keep in it in the back of their minds that they went. Truth be told, this is one of those life
experiences that should be crossed off of a bucket list. Aside from seeing things in
person, that is the only way that you are not seeing a knock off version of the original.
John Berger tells us that, that is the only way anyone would be able to see
anything without a flaw in his theory. His theory that seeing it through any other sort of
lens takes away from what the artist wanted you to see. Which is true, the only way to get
what your paying for is to see something for yourself in person, or basically get a
downgraded version of it instead.
Art is something that can be easily reproduced, because its a single picture that
can either go on a post card or on a t-shirt. Either way the beauty of this single
masterpiece is being shared around the world for those who want to be able to enjoy it.
With saying that, there is always that one component that lacks from the true beauty of
the hard work the artist took into creating their art piece. For example, a post card is
small enough to fit into your hands, or into a wallet. And with saying that, those tiny
representations of the Sistine Chapel is not truly showing the sweat and hard work it took
Michelangelo to do for four years. As John Berger states in his video, Ways of Seeing,
even though we as the audience are watching his show us original pieces of art, we still


54
arent seeing the original, only him standing in front of it, is. No matter where you are
seeing the Sistine Chapel, whether it is from a documentary, a textbook, online, or even
on a postcard, you are not seeing the original piece of artwork. But in reality, those
sources of reproduction are the only way that knowledge of its existence is out for the
whole world to see. If those did not exist, who knows how anything would be able to
become famous and well known.
Going into depth about how far along technology has come in the last couple
centuries, is insane, to put it simply. Over the past couple years alone, the growth of it has
increased more than what was anticipated. Not only art, but there are movies, books, and
so much more that would not be well known at all if it werent for the invention of the
word, copy. Where would society be today, if children in schools didnt learn about
history? Reproduction, or even stories passed down from generation to generation, is
what basically makes the world go round, and lets humans make an impact on this tiny
planet in such a huge galaxy.
In conclusion, the only way to truly get to experience anything in life is to see it in
person. No matter how much of a pain it will be, costs, or even physically exhausting,
seeing anything in person can literally take your breath away. That is what John Berger
has been trying to express to us in his videos, because he was the one that saw art in a
whole new perspective. Museums are basically the only way that anyone would be able
to see pieces of art from Michelangelo, or even Leonardo Da Vinci. Other than that, the
only other way that anyone can see their artwork is from replicas or reproductions on t-
shirts, or postcards.
Overall, John Berger has a point when he says that art is something that needs to
be traced back in history, to the specific origin of whatever may be valuable in the future.
Whether it be a book that Charles Dickens wrote, a painting that Van Gogh painted, or
even a poem that Emily Dickenson made, all of those wouldnt be here today in present
times if someone were to either loose it, or even discard it thinking it was never going to
be valuable.






55
Homeland Artwork
By Albert Miramontes

I wanted to express how I viewed art in my own eyes. Everyone has different thoughts
and ideas. With this essay I am able to give off my own and people can actually learn something
from me. I may not be the best at distinguishing the meanings of every detail in an art piece, but I
sure will do my best to explain what I
believe it means.
Artwork is something that can be
very small and easy to understand, but it
can also be complex while at the same
time open up a world of beauty. John
Berger and Walter Benjamin are two
theorists that have their own particular
thought on how art can affect the minds
of the observers. Berger focuses on how
each particular experience of an art piece
can have a different impact on an
individual. Benjamin has his own theory;
one part that really caught my attention
was when he stated, War is beautiful.
Both theorists have very interesting thoughts and ideas that help shape those of people
that have studied their works. A person can establish their own ideas and put them
together and explain how a particular instance; therefore, shaping how one can interpret
and connect with their everyday surroundings and life.
There are many pieces of art that are present in the community that I live in.
There is one art piece in particular that stands out from the rest. This work of art is pretty
well known in the community that I live in due to the editing that has been done to it.
People are constantly driving by it and it has been there for quite a long time. It has often
even been given touch ups due to the wear and tear the sun puts on it, causing the paint to
fade away. I often drive by and think nothing of it; sometimes I will eat tacos at the taco
shop across the street and just stare at it. It is kind of nice to enjoy your food and enjoy a
nice piece of artwork. They really complement each other, it is tough to say whether the
tacos make the painting better or the painting makes the tacos better. However, I never
really took the time to really examine the mural and establish what it really means to me
until the other day. I saw it and thought it resembled the community and how there are


56
many working class families. It has a man and a woman that represent all the men and
women in the area; it also has corn, which symbolizes an everyday use for food common
amongst the Hispanic community. One of the main ingredients of the taco shop across the
street is the tortilla, which is made of corn. Above the mans head is a puzzle, which
seems to have pieces from different groups of people that symbolize the diversity of the
area. Not only is the area full of Hispanics but also it has recently seen a change of
cultures. The area is becoming more diverse with the arrival of different ethnic groups.
With their arrival new ideas and new perspectives arise. The first time I ever laid eyes on
the mural I did not really understand the message that was being sent out. One of the
many was because I was young and had not established what it meant to have a deeper
understanding of how to portray artwork. Another reason was because much of the paint
on the mural was faded and made it very difficult to see minor details that would later
serve to be very important. The way I see it is that the first time you may encounter
something may not always be the most glorious. Often times we tend to regard our first
experience of something to be the greater because we have encountered something like it
before. Well in this particular case it was something that made you not notice how
beautiful a particular image can be. It can really impact an individual and cause him or
her to stop and think.
This area is one that has people from all over whether they are White, African
American, Latino, or Asian. Everyone is usually accepted and welcomed without harm.
In years previous that was not the case, the area was known for a lot of violence that
would sometimes result in death. That has cleared up in recent years and the area has now
become a popular destination for those searching for a new home. It has even established
the title of Hipster Alley because of all the people that have moved in. In the mural you
can see warriors on opposite ends of the puzzle. That symbolizes that even though that
there is peace, when it comes down to protecting ones own faith or people they are not
afraid to battle. That was something that was more apparent in the 90s when gang wars
were at its peak. Unfortunately, the differences that were very minor meant that battle had
to take place. Symbols became gang marks and even innocent people were victim to gain
violence. Sadly, that has affected my family in me in a negative way. However, the art
piece shows acceptance and forgiveness to all, as shown by the man with open arms.
When Benjamin said, War is beautiful, I paused to think about it. He is correct war can
be beautiful it has many colors involved and you can see the different faces and masks
that people put on. You can see how society can be at the lowest point and kill human
beings for ideas that they stand for a believe are right and just. But what I really take out
of it is how it opens our eyes to see the after affects and how it brings people together.


57
Yes, war is violent and gruesome, but it does something for people that everyday life
cannot do. It brings people together and makes you appreciate the beautiful gift of life.
That piece alone is something that is the most beautiful thing that anyone can experience.
From birth in a hospital to the last breathes of a dying soldier on the battlefield it shows
how beautiful the simplest things can be and how we must not take them for granted.
Something that caught my attention was the baby in the hands of what seems to
be the mother. Different ideas crossed my mind about this particular part. It has a glow
and beam similar to the sun, I was not sure if that meant that the child was a boy. It also
has what seems to be numbers on the inside, which resemble a clock symbolizing that we
are only on the earth for a certain period of time. One thought that came across my mind
was the one that brought the meaning of a circle into my head. To me a circle is never
ending and cannot be broken. That would then mean that it is never ending and that life
could mean that it is eternal. Then it would maybe tie into religion and in the mural there
is a bright white cross on the top in the puzzle. Also, a few blocks up the street there is a
Catholic Church. That really made me think how crazy it is that one painting could have
so many different meanings and raise questions that one must ask the artist to figure out. I
tried my best to relate to that particular part. I have been raised in the area and thought
maybe I can be that baby. Life is in a circle that why they call it the circle of life. Now
that I am older I am able to realize that maybe my circle has came down to this particular
mural. I was blessed to have a loving mother and stepfather that have given me the world.
My mother brought me into the world to be the best human being I can be. She sent me to
the private school up the street, which had religious ties. That picture was one that said
that I am going to be connected to my faith and because of that it has shaped the way that
I view life. My puzzle is being put together as my life progresses and the pieces are not
all the same. As my life goes on I get different pieces that shape the person I am. There
were so many names on the painting on the bottom left that I could not figure out if it was
dedicated to them or if it was a collaboration of different artists working on one mural.
That is one thing I wish to figure out so that I can get more ideas from the mural and clear
up the ones that I do not understand.
The day I went to visit the mural it was overcast and gloomy which I believe
could have a major effect on the way one perceives the artwork. I tried not to let that
affect me so that I can be positive about the artwork because even though it is not the best
painting it has this sense that makes it beautiful in its own way. That where the aura ties
in it is just unique and has this something about it that drags you in but you cannot get a
grasp of what is grabbing you. For me it put me in a place that had me try and relate the
mural to my life. It made me feel thankful for the gift of life and the wonderful parents I


58
have that support me. It also made me proud of my culture and how that has affected me
growing up. Sometimes we tend to overlook things and take them for granted. Its good to
pay attention to them, you can find beauty in the simplest things. We often overlook that
and something that can maybe benefit us and brighten our days is never used because we
never took the time to actually look for a few moments. Make use of every moment and
sometimes you can find things that can be quite interesting.
Overall, it is about connecting what is being given to you. It is like a puzzle, you
have all the pieces and they fit in many different ways it is just how you choose to put
those pieces together. Berger and Benjamin put their pieces together and that is how they
can across their own ideas. War is indeed beautiful if you look at it in a different
perspective instead of just looking at the negativities. Also, when experiencing something
for the first time it may not be the one that has a special impact on you it depends on
when you go and what is surrounding you. It matters how one understands it and the
moment that is beneficial making you learn from different experiences.

























59
Different Perspectives
By Emely Lomeli
I decided to base my theory on the work of John Berger and Eminem because I found
Bergers theory interesting and relatable; and Eminem is my favorite hip-hop artist. The
song Beautiful by Eminem is also one of my favorite songs, I put Bergers theory to the
test by experimenting his ideas of settings changing the meaning of an artwork.
Music is a work of art, just like
painting and sculptures are a work of art.
It is creative expression of emotion. Like
many other works of art music tries to
tell a message to society, it is up to the
audience to develop or form their own
message or understanding of that work
of art. Sometimes the message is
obvious and sometimes it can be
extremely abstract.
In Eminems 2009 album titled
Relapse there is a song called
Beautiful in which the message is
clearly stated. Eminem is a famous
Caucasian rapper who writes about his
life including his struggles with drug
abuse, family conflict, and troubled
relationships. His songs usually display
anger and rage but with this particular
song he shows us a more compassionate and emotional side to him. This was Eminems
first album after a 4-year writers block and his addiction to sleeping medications. His
addiction heightened after being remarried and divorced after just 11 weeks of marriage
to his ex-wife and then the death of his good friend. In an interview Eminem explained
how this album was supposed to be a post-rehab self, but still rap as if he was still on
drugs as his alter ego, Slim Shady. This album includes skits with drug counselors
causing him to fall back into drugs and the alter-ego Slim Shady being a serial killer.
Most of this album consists of lyrics about murder sprees and drug abuse. Eminem
definitely


60
took a turn by adding the song Beautiful to this album. It is a completely different song
that stands out in the album because of its positive and encouraging message. This chorus
of the song is most inspiring. Eminems message is to look at things from a different
view before judging and coming to conclusions about certain situations. He is
encouraging the audience to wear the shoes of others to feel what they feel.
In John Bergers video, Ways of Seeing, he states his theory of how a situation can
change the significance of a painting. Whether the situation is in a silent room or in a
room with music playing in the background, the simplest things can change the
significance of the painting.
Many theorists have presented ideas about how reproduction can change a piece
of art. John Berger has presented his ideas in his video Ways of Seeing.His main idea that
he explains throughout the video is how the situation when viewing a painting can change
its significance. He goes on to explain how the invention of cameras and reproducing
paintings is the main cause of the change in significance of paintings. He always states
that the environment of viewing the painting changes the significance as well. I will be
analyzing Eminems Beautiful in comparison to John Bergers theory; as a result, I will
conclude how like paintings, the significance of a song can be manipulated by its
surrounding situation.
John Berger states in his video that the simplest situations can change the
significance of a painting. Silent rooms with no distractions are the best way to get the
original significance of the painting. Seeing the painting in its original setting is where
you will get the closest message that the artist was trying to get across. Berger explains
how the invention of cameras is what started the manipulation of a paintings
significance. It allows the audience or viewers to view the painting wherever they want.
For example, it is no longer necessary to go to a museum to see a painting, you can
simply search for it online and you will find a picture that someone has taken of that
painting. It no longer holds the same significance. The painting is manipulated because
people are seeing it in all kinds of different situations and settings. They can be seeing it
in a car, walking down the street, projected on a screen, or even in bed on their cell
phone. All these are completely different setting and environments and can have an
infinite amount of chaos surrounding it. Simple things like music playing in the
background changes the significance, or even things like having another painting next to
it. I am taking a similar approach to what Berger is saying, but stating that music can also
be manipulated by its surrounding situation. John Berger says that the significance of a
painting is changed depending on the situation of its presentation. However, his theory
does not only connect to paintings. A songs significance can also be changed when


61
listening to it in different situations. In the song Eminem is challenging the audience to
put themselves in another situation to change your perspective before you jump to
conclusions on how you feel. He is challenging that sometimes it is necessary to view
things in a different situation in order to get the real or true meaning of it. John Berger
states that the music being played when looking at an artwork manipulates the meaning
and significance. So like music, I noticed that people around while listening to music
manipulates the meaning and significance.
Eminems song Beautiful has an inspiring message. The song has a lot of
significance not only because of its lyrics but also because of its surrounding situation in
the album itself. Just the simple fact that it was including in the Relapse album itself
shows a tremendous significance. As stated before, the album includes songs mostly
about drug abuse and crime. Eminem surprises his audience by including this song with
an encouraging message. In the album the song before beautiful it is when
Eminem is recovered to a hospital, and the song "Dj Vu" addresses his overdose
in and drug dependency during his break from music. In the song, Eminem also explains
how this has affected him in the last five years, to the point where his daughter has
become scared of her father's behavior. Beautiful", a ballad, which samples Reaching
Out by Rock Therapy, also deals with the same time period where Eminem believed, he
had "reached rock bottom" and lost hope for his future. Eminem felt it was important to
include "Beautiful" on the album as a reminder to himself as well as "anybody who is in a
dark place that you can get out of it "After "Crack a Bottle", a collaboration with Dr. Dre
and 50 Cent. This song is a different change in pace compared to Beautiful. Since the
surrounding songs.
Eminem encourages his listeners in his chorus where he says But you'd have to
walk a thousand miles/ In my shoes, just to see/ What it's like, to be me/ I'll be you, let's
trade shoes/ Just to see what it'd be like to/ Feel your pain, you feel mine/ Go inside each
other's minds/ Just to see what we find/ Look at shit through each other's eyes/ But don't
let 'em say you ain't beautiful. Here he is saying that sometimes it is necessary to change
your situation or point of view to see a different significance. In a way he is challenging
Bergers theory by saying that different significances can be good. He is also saying that
it will take a lot to change your perspective and how you view a situation.
In the closing verse he says But I already told you my whole life story/ Not just
based on my description/ 'cause where you see it from where you're sitting/ It's probably
110% different/ I guess we would have to walk a mile/ In each other's shoes, at least. In
these lines I found an agreement with Bergers theory. Both of them are stating that
different situation will give you a different interpretation to what it is you are viewing.


62
Listening to the song in different situations changes how one may feel about the
song. I experienced the manipulation of the significance myself when listening to the
song in a different setting.For example, in the car alone: I was able to really listen to the
words and think about the meaning though the meaning is pretty clear.At home with
people: I was able to sing along but did not pay much attention to the words, I did not
enjoy the song the same way I did before when in the car.At home with people and
reading lyrics as I listen: I paid more attention to the words obviously but still did not
enjoy it the same as when I was alone. I did not feel as much emotion.
I noticed that I paid less attention to the lyrics and more on the visual aspect of the
song. However it did bring more meaning to the lyrics after it was over.John Berger
states that the significance of paintings can be manipulated by their situations, settings
and surroundings. I found that the significance of music can also be manipulated the
same way that paintings can be manipulated. Eminems song Beautiful can be
manipulated in a plethora of ways. Eminem is purposely manipulated by its placement in
the album. Not just by its surrounding songs but the song being included in the album in
general. The song is not like the rest of the album, it is not a common hip-hop rap song, it
is a ballad, which gives the song so much meaning and significance to have made it on
the album. John Berger and Eminem are both in agreement by saying that how we view
things changes one's perspective and the significance. Even though in Eminems song he
is talking about how a change in perspective about life can change how we view a
situation it is still in correlation to Bergers theory. They both agree that situations change
how we view things.











63
The Fortunate Son
By Cynthia Sanchez
When I first saw the prompt to this essay I was genuinely excited. I immediately knew
what I was going to write about, love and war involved two of my favorite things in the
world, hit movie Forrest Gump and my favorite band The Credence Clearwater Revival.
Both of these things were introduced to me by my father who is also a big fan of Forrest
Gump and The Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Many theorists have projected their thoughts and theories in articles which they
have written and who many have made their articles accessible to the public via Internet.
The philosophers who we have been focusing on have been Walter Benjamin and John
Burger. Benjamins article "Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" is the
article which intrigued me the most, and it is also his most famous philosophical essay.
One of his main points which is
vividly mentioned throughout
his essay is his theory of aura.
He explains how aura has
changed throughout time and
will continue to change due to
the lack of originality and
creativity, by definition aura is
the distinctive atmosphere or
quality that seems to surround
and be generated by a person,
thing, or place. Knowing the
meaning of aura can change the
way an individual looks at a
piece of art because they will
know how to actually appreciate the originality or the certain artwork. I will be analyzing
the song Fortunate Son by The Creedence Clearwater Revival and incorporating it will
Benjamins theory of aura and film production; consequently, I believe that when you
listen to a song with visual context it gives you an emotional connection depending on
the aura which surrounds you.
"Fortunate Son" is a song by Creedence Clearwater Revival their album Willy and
the Poor Boys in 1969, this song is counterculture era anti-war anthem. CCR is
considered to be a core band during the Vietnam War. They were popular for their


64
country rock style and political opinionated songs like Fortunate Son, Up Around the
Bend, and Traveling Band. This music group was the first to point out the division of
social classes in America and how the majority of the people fighting in war are of the
lower class (Fortunate Son). Fortunate Son is not only a protest song, but also a
social commentary of how blue-collar society views the Vietnam War. This song was
released during the Vietnam war and it criticize the military and their patriotic attitudes, it
also criticize those people who supported the military at all costs but did not have to
endure the consequences of war such as physically having to serve the war or having to
bare the financial costs of the war. Although this song did not explicitly attack pro- war
citizens it clearly called attention to the elite class which are the people who give birth to
higher class children who are seen as the fortunate men and are lucky enough to not have
to worry about having to risk their lives in combat. This song was used as a protest
against military actions and elitism, which is the advocacy or existence of an elite as a
dominating element in a system or society. When analyzing the song I came across a
verse which clearly states the opinion of the band, in the 50th second of the song the
verse Some folks are born silver spoon in hand,Lord, dont they help themselves, oh.But
when the taxman comes to the door,Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes. This
is the second main verse of the song and it is talking about the ascribed status of wealth
and how some people are born into better situations than others, or born with a silver
spoon in hand. The rich are looked upon as greedy and they help themselves. In the
lines But when the taxman comes to the door, Lord the house looks like a rummage
sale, yes, there is a metaphor about the consequences of not paying the man This is
how blue-collar society is presented, a house looking like a rummage sale. The
struggling lower class is metaphorically having their belongings stripped of them by the
high class taxman. This is the opinion of the CCR and how they see society as
Marxism.
The song Fortunate Son was featured in the hit movie Forrest Gump, a story
about a young man who was always different from the rest of the kids in Greenbow,
Alabama. In this movie the very well know Tom Hanks stars as a young boy who is a bit
slow but has magnificent heart, he was in love with a woman named Jenny who is played
by the beautiful Robin Wright-Penn and Forrest Gump would follow her anywhere and
do anything for her which definitely included fighting off men who desired Jenny, which
happened a lot in the movie. Along his journey he stumbled into playing college football,
which resulted in him graduating from the University of Alabama. On his graduation day
a soldier who suggested him to enter the army approached him. He took this opportunity
and entered the army, the scene that is significant to this essay when Forrest Gump and


65
his best friend Benjamin Buford Blue, who preferred to be called Bubba. Mykelti
Williamson plays Bubba; he was a very generous man who was the only kind person to
Forrest when he first got on the bus to go to camp. Bubba had a dream to be a shrimp
captain and could never
every type of way to serve
shrimp from shrimp
cocktail to shrimp stew.
He offered Forrest a
position on his shrimp
boat as his co- captain
when they were finished
with the army, Forrest
accepted. He and Forrest
were flown to station in a
U.S. Army UH-1C Huey
Helicopter, to the combat
zone, in South Vietnam
this is the scene when the
song Fortunate Son first
appears. In the movie
Bubba would be seen as the unfortunate man which The Creedence Clearwater Revival
preach about in their beautiful song, Bubba was a poor humble man who dreamed of
being the captain of a shrimp boat, he later dies in the movie proving the point that the
unfortunate man pays the ultimate price in the battle field. When listening to this song
without any sense of history or knowledge of Benjamins theory of aura an individual
would not appreciate the song as well. I am a prime example of this theory, because I
experienced how a visual context can change your perspective on a movie.
As I mentioned earlier, my father introduced me to the incredible band that is, the
Creedence Clearwater Revival. I remember the day I first heard the songs of Creedence
Clearwater Revival, I was in the car with my father and we were making our way back
home from one of my soccer practices in San Jose, he usually tuned the radio onto a news
station but for some reason today he played something different. He connected his phone
and choose the song Fortunate Son by the Creedence Clearwater Revival, at first this
song struck me as a fun song to just rock out to with my dad. At first, when I heard the
beat of the song I didnt think much of it. I even thought the song was sang by Kid Rock
because it reminded me of his song American Woman. I was completely wrong,


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Fortunate son is nothing like American Woman. They repeated the verse It aint me, It
aint me, I aint no fortunate son I was oblivious to the meaning of the lyrics. Once the
song was over I still thought nothing of the meaning. That all changed once I first
watched the movie Forrest Gump and came across the scene where the song Fortunate
Son first appeared. Now that I had a visual context to connect the song to the song came
to life, I could see how the men in the war were unfortunate. From grasping the material
and theories that were presented in Walter Benjamins article "Work of Art in the Age of
Mechanical Reproduction" I can now understand the meaning of aura and how it
connects to the modern world and our visual contexts. The first time I heard the song
Fortunate Son I did not appreciate the song for what it really was, for its originality, I
only appreciated the song when it was duplicated into a movie, which provided
situations, which related to the song. What Benjamin mentions in his essay is how aura
affects the experience of an individual when dealing with any type of art. When I first
heard the song Fortunate Son, I was just listening to it to have a good time and rock out
with my dad. I did not appreciate the song, but if I had gone to a quiet room, had just
finished watching a movie about the Vietnam war, or had even listened to the song with
war veterans I would have felt I different connection to the song. It is all about the
atmosphere in which you present the art to yourself.











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Early California Mural
By Allen Lee

While many philosophers formulated their own ideas and reproduction, not many
philosophers have done so like Walter Benjamin. The work that I was referencing to was
The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, one of his most famous
philosophical articles of all
time. One of his main ideas
Benjamin is concerning
about is the shift of
perception and its effects
on human eyes. This results
in different people to
analyze different works of
art in relation to the
viewers eyes. Another
main idea Benjamin
mentioned in his theory is
reproduction is always
possible. For that, I will be
analyzing Early
California, a mural painted by Millard Sheets and giving a clear explanation and
interpretation of this mural based on Walter Benjamins theory; as a direct result, I stand
my position that reproduction let viewers explore the message of art and aura in more
than one powerful ways.
The mural is located in Mark Keppel High School. The mural was made in the
1930s. That was when Mark Keppel High School was being built. The mural was made
of enamel and steel. Enamel was a paint that air-dries to a glossy finish.
Millard Sheets made this mural. Sheets was an American painter. Sheets was a
representative of the California School of Painting. He attended various art schools
throughout his schooling years. Also, by nineteen years old, Sheets was a member of
California Watercolor Society. Sheets even taught watercolor painting before Sheets
graduated from Chouinard Art Institute, where he attended college. By the 1930s, he was
becoming nationally recognized as an American artist. Sheets was the influential artist
not just for the state of California, but to the whole United States as well.


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Benjamin made two powerful claims in his article. The first claim was the fact
that viewers observation of art changes with the change in viewers position. Human
sense of perception changes with humanitys mode of existence. Again, we look at the
mural. When people in the center look at the mural, they can sense the mural completely.
When people are to the sides of the center of the mural, they can sense the mural but not
completely. In order to sense the mural completely, one must look to the left or right
depending on where they stand. If a viewer is to the left, one must look to the right and if
a viewer is to the right, look to your left.
The other claim is that reproduction is always possible. Taking a picture on the
camera can reproduce the mural. People can always look at the picture of Early
California mural by searching Google Images. Either way, the experience is completely
not the same. The original work does not have a cutoff borders. Also, the original work
surroundings changes every second. For example, a bird may be around the mural for one
second and then the bird flies away instantly. In addition, the original work stays in one
place. People can share the picture of the mural on the phone or the web. Therefore,
seeing a mural in person is more valuable and real than looking at the picture of the mural
on the web or phone.
I am presenting a theory here. The theory is that people can explain the aura and
originality of the art in more than one way. There is a surface meaning and a deeper
meaning of the mural. The surface meaning is that California was founded in the 1850s.
The deeper meaning is that people can learn more history about California here by
looking at the mural and therefore, be more educated about California history.
The mural depicted the lives and legacies of early California in the 1850s. The
mural had a golden-colored California and green mountain ranges. These mountain
ranges were scattered with decorative golden Redwood trees. The mural was covered
with a large reflective stainless steel sun wrapped around with sunrays decoration. The
bottom half of the sun was covered by the Conquistador, the state of California, the
mountain, and the Miner. On the left, the ship followed the Conquistador in which the
ship was covering the mountain. He claimed the new land under Spanish rule. The white
faded Spain flag was placed in Northern California to honor the adventurers who founded
California. In the center, the Missionary kneeled down. The Missionary cautiously and
thoughtfully placed a mission in Southern California, which represented the church for
Native Americans trying to practice Christianity and the spreading of Christianity in the
state. On the right, the Miner 49ers poured the water to the ground, which meant that the
Miner panned for gold. The Miner found the gold and thus California was a state. His


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wife held their lovely child and a brown rifle. Two covered sliver wagons were behind
the 49ers wife. These three strong individuals were good to know.
People interpret art in more than one way. One way is to know the surface and
deeper meaning of the mural. The surface meaning is that California was founded and
settled in the 1850s. Spanish Conquistadors, the Catholic Missionaries, and American
Pioneers are depicted in the mural. They were the first three people who settled in this
newly formed state. The deeper meaning is that people can learn about the history of
California. Learning about the history can make people more educated because one can
have more knowledge about California than people who just took history class and never
experience the mural. And by experience, I mean go to the mural and try to make as
much interpretation as possible. All in all, there are different interpretations of art and I
just explained two of the many interpretations of the mural.
There are different modes of reproduction. Reproduction loses the sense of aura.
Aura is peoples first impression of art and how they interpret it. One is through taking
the picture on the phone. People take a picture of the mural. They can easily share the
picture to friends through email, text, and social media to let people who did not see the
real mural look at the mural. The experience is not the same but at least people can have a
sense of what the picture is, the theme of the picture, and the history behind the picture.
The experience is not the same in that people cannot know where the picture was taken
unless if the viewer adds the location of the mural by going to the phones settings or by
writing the location down. Also, the color accuracy is limited by the photo. Depending on
the camera, the colors may not be a hundred percent accurate but at least the colors can
bring back the memories of many who already viewed the mural and people who never
see the mural before. This is just one way reproduction is made.
Also, the first time I saw this mural, I looked at the mural from about fifteen feet
away. I was surprised because the mural was there the whole time I went to this high
school. I was wondering why I did not see this mural the whole time I went to this high
school. Probably, I was not paying any attention at all. I could see my parents. The mural
was surrounded by the parking lot and grass. The wall that had the mural was old. I
wondered who made this mural. So, I took this picture with my iPhone. It was a good
reference picture so that I can always refer back to this mural. I only got a glance of the
mural. Additionally, I saw this mural for the second time. This time, I stood closer to the
mural. I looked at the details. I began to realize that there were three people. Also, there
was a yellow sun in this mural. I began to notice all the colors used in this mural. The
colors included gold, blue, and green. Gold was used for the state of California because
there was a gold rush during that time. Blue was used because it symbolized water used


70
for panning. Green represented the hills because the hills were covered with grass. I also
saw the mural from the left side. The detail was getting lost. I had to look at the right to
see the mural. Therefore, the sense of aura is slowly disappearing when I move away
from the art piece. I got all the details as needed so that I can write all about the mural.
The other way the reproduction is possible is through looking at the pictures on
the Internet. People can search Mark Keppel High School on Wikipedia, look under the
section Murals and look at the first picture to your to the right. People can click on the
mural and click on the mural again to look at the version of the mural that fits ones
screen page to get a general interruption about the mural. People also can click on the
mural again to look at the mural zoomed in.
In conclusion, it is possible to explain the mural in more than one compelling
ways. The first claim was that reproduction is possible through various sources. The
second claim was that reproduction loses the meaning of the original art. And the third
claim is that the prospective of art changes with position. Now I know that the same art,
whether original or replica, can significantly affect the meaning of the art. I feel more
comfortable and educated about knowing more about the mural.