10.08.2018 – In class activity (Faye, Hennesy, Mana, Ming)

  1. The reality show follows the lives of Bruce and Kris Jenner’s combined family and most of the episodes focus on the three oldest daughters, Kourtney, Kim and Khloé Kardashian.
  2. Bruce Jenner was famous for breaking the world record and winning a gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics. His sons from a previous marriage, Brandon and Brody, have also appeared on their own reality shows.
  3. The Kardashians’ father, the late attorney, Robert Kardashian, was famous for representing O. J. Simpson whereas his daughters gained recognition as American socialites.
  4. Kim came into the national spotlight in 2007 after a sex-tape scandal, resulting in Playboy appearance because of which the Kardashians’ fame grew into a profitable reality series.
  5. The show depicts the daily routine of the Kardashians and spin-off shows feature Kourtney, Kim and Khloé’s attempts to build their line of fashion boutiques.
  6. The Kardashians’ behavior at first seemed outrageous but they are a loving family.
  7. The Kardashians squabble like typical siblings but Kris, the mother, holds the family together.
  8. Kim’s $ 10 million wedding to a pro basketball player, Kris Humphries, in 2011 was seen by an estimated of 10.5 million viewers although the marriage lasted only 72 days.

10.30.2018: In class writing

I read Faye’s response and what I pick up from both our responses is that:

  • College education acts as a basic foundation for a startup or different workforces
  • It makes us more confident as humans and helps us grow and mature in different ways, not just through courses but also clubs and presentations
  • Some subjects may be crucial to know of as “basic knowledge” everyone should have
  • Helps us through different challenges through life


By: Ayush Agarwal, Ming Fang, Mana Unadkat

3 main requirements for the video essay:

  • Editing and the addition of music. Use of Audacity or iMovie.
  • Transcript with a clear outline.
  • To involve community.

Key features:

  • Some part of the video was related to nature, it had a lot of aesthetics.
  • It was super personal, and that gave the audience an insight of her life.
  • was well organized, had an order, it flows from one into the other topic.
  • Performance, which may include clear diction and expressions was good.
  • There should be a climax and humor.
  • Every single thing that was talked about had a visual representation to it. Example:
    “I used to sing on the toilet” – girl sitting on the seat in the bathroom!
  • Background music – sound effects.




Talking in particular of the two examples, I feel like I could relate to Candice’s problem as I write an essay but when I talk it out or read it out, it does not satisfy my imagination enough. I always feel like I am missing out on something.

It was intriguing to find that while working, Candice realized the many problems that arose, that upset her but it also gave her an insight on her relation with her mother. As she worked on the video, she understood something that her mother and her share in common. Her perceptions were similar to that of her mothers and she figured her different thought in the relation when she wrote about it and when she recorded. It was interesting to know how she solved her problem of not being able to satisfy the her text with the actual shot.

Katie on the other hand has a the literal from paper to video transition while doing her essay. I cannot relate to that, but it was interesting to read about her text slides and see how she got around finishing her essay.

For my video essay assignment, I want to be able to use the advantages from both, Candice and Katie. I want to see whether I find a different relation between whatI have written and what I have recorded. I want to use the “mode-matching” and the use of powerful text transition into video. Lets hope that I do not make a mess of things. I look forward on working on this essay!

09.13.18 – Class Writing [pitching ideas]

My story revolves around dance and why dance is such an important part of my life. The basic idea is to get around the topic with minute details like at what age I started learning what kind of dance form and how I started relating it to my own life. I talk about how I’ve performed in and out of my country several times and how I want to continue dancing till time permits.

I started by letting my audience know that I was taken by my mother to a studio that as right across from my house and that was the beginning of it all. I was four when she introduced me to this concept of matching the body movements with the sounds that I heard on the loud speaker. It was contemporary that I learned first, at the age of four. Then I tell my audience my other areas of expertise like Indian Folk Dance from the age of six, receiving a diploma after an eight year course and how I started teaching at the institute I received it from.  And Indian Classical Dance – Kathak at the age of 11. I trained myself vigorously in these 3 forms and tried to better myself with every passing year.

Dance became an important part of my life as it soon became a form of expression for me. At the tender age of nine, I lost my father to a heart-attack and when words failed me, dance stepped in. I used the real emotion I had about my father in my performances and got it out of my system. I realized that using real life emotions in a performance made me feel the character I was playing till my roots. These emotions not just helped me in my performances but also in my growth. I want my audience to feel this pain in my story and tell them that it wasn’t easy, and how it helped me grow into who I am today.

When I was seven years old, I attended a UNESCO dance festival in Italy and Austria. I was the youngest participant among all the countries. I want to reach to my audience and make them realize how I have learned so much culture at such a young age. Interacting with the different countries widen my knowledge about all the culture. I also featured in the local newspapers in a small town in Italy and was made to meet the mayor. I want to let my audience know how I felt when I could see the pride in my parents’ eyes. I then attended one in Turkey at the age of nine and one in Prague at the age of fourteen. All these festivals had to be attended with the dance group and teacher and no parents were allowed to be there. I learned how to be independent at an extremely young age and I couldn’t thank my parents more, for letting me again that experience.


10.18.2018 – Reflection on Education

Education in India still living a backward life. All through my high school, education meant learning my textbook word for word. Ask me what I learned last year and I would not be able to tell you. It is almost as if educating children is to see how much they can score, whether or not they can rote learn the textbook and how well they perform under pressure. It is all only about the grade, or at least was. Indian parents put more pressure on their kids than even what pressure-cookers have. A grade below 90%? Oh no, that categorizes you in the ‘not so smart’ group of children. I would say it is a lot more affordable to study in India than to study here, in the US but I rather pay more to be educated for real than pay a comparatively lesser fee to be pressured in India.

It also is super competitive. Cut-offs to get into colleges range from 94%-98%. With this ever so vast population and so much competition, Indian children are stressed about college even before finishing Freshman year at high school.

Well, this is my opinion as a high school kid, and maybe it has changed, maybe it has become a better system. But with this mindset I would not be able to study and succeed in a college back at home. I know for a fact that college there is so much more cultural, so much togetherness when compared to here, but is it worth studying like that for? “Where is the thinking?”,  “Where is the reasoning?”,  “When do I finally get to use my brains?”,  are the questions that arise when I think of educating myself back there.

I have a friend who got into Bath University, UK but he wanted to stay in his home country as he was very attached. He started college off in India and after a month, dropped out. He started considering reapplying to universities abroad. This was an example to show that education is developing at an extremely slow rate and as much as I love my home country, city, I would rather educate myself here than there.


By: Mana Unadkat, Pu Zhao, Junzheng

We all agree on two things. One being critical thinking is the path to acquiring skills and second, that both are equally important in this day and age.

What I think is that, without critical thinking, we would not be able to get to the stage of learning different skills. Without the “formation of the mind” we would not be able to think differently to be able acquire unique skills. I also believe that a certain amount of skills are not enough to go through life. When I say this, I don’t say it is more important than acquiring different skills, because if I do not have certain skills, I get no job and remain financially unstable. But I say, critical thinking is a base to acquiring the skills.

Pu says, “In my opinion, I would say critically thinking is more important than learning some specific marketable skills for an independent person to grow by themselves. Critically-thinking encourages people to find more ways and aspect to solve issues or some difficulties. I think go to college is a good way to improve our critically-thinking skills and acquire specific marketable skills at the same time. Because there are many kinds of different course that we need to take in four years of university life so that we can achieve both skills but focus on one side depending on individuals’ major.”

Similarly, Junzheng believes, “I think it is more important to learn to think critically compare to acquire specific marketable skills. According to this article, a lot of college offer more courses with more specific skills such as engineer, physics, psychology and so on. So they didn’t pay attention on some course such as liberal art to give some critical thinking. As a result, these students are hardly to find the job they want. So we should sometimes to choose creative literature or arts to enlarge our prospective. This is better for us to face complex issues in the future.”

Thus, we believe that we need both, but critically thinking rather than acquiring skills.


09.20.2018 – In Class Writing

Today, my topic is the role of culture in body dissatisfaction and disordered eatings among young females. Studies found that most Western Societies have a set perspective of a body type. A thin figure is what is expected from most women. Most Caribbean and blacks or Africans, they don’t believe thin bodies being a part of their “cultural beauty standards” (Lam, 2015, p. 1). Their cultural practices and all their  beliefs act as  a guard against body dissatisfaction. Their culture helps ensure that they never disregard their bodies and never have a low self-esteem.
“Much literature now reports that ethnic identity is positively associated with general psychological health such as self-esteem” (Lam, 2015, p. 3).  Just because of the cultural ideas of what a women must look like in order to be called beautiful, women tend to be dissatisfied with their bodies and start eating differently, causing health issues like an eating disorder.
What I analyzed out of the introduction that I read was, as proud as one might be to belong to a certain ethnicity or culture, they need to understand that sometimes, these cultural ideas can singlehandedly pull an individual down mentally and physically. The culture plays a big role, some positive, whereas the other negative, in dissatisfied bodies and disordered eatings.

09.11.18 – Free writing in class

Audio Essays seem to be rather difficult than normal essays that we write on paper. Talking into a microphone might scare people off, making them conscious as some don’t like their voice on tape and some might find it a better medium to express themselves. In my audio essay, I would like to tell my audience how and why dance became one of the most important parts of my life, and how I came to conclude being a dance major.

When I was four, my mother took me to a dance class that was right across the street from my house. I realized how much I enjoyed the way the music reached every part of my body. I felt the music and when I heard that music, I tried to match my movement with it. With the different areas of expertise I have in multiple forms, I took a little from each style and related them to my own life.

It is essential to me that my audience knows, dance is a form of expression for me. When words fail me, I have a voice that helps me through dance. I realised this when I went through what may be, the WORST time of my life. I was 9 when I lost my father to a heart-attack and I realized how I danced my way through my emotions. I used to go to my backyard and put on any song and moved to whatever I heard.

The multiple performances I have done in and out of my country and all the competitions I have been part of, brought back trophies with me.


Not so much of an outline, but more of a script:

When I look up the definition of dance, it reads, ” to move rhythmically to music, typically following a set sequence of steps.” But when I talk about it, dance is much more than that. it was a form of expression, a form of exercise, a form of letting go and a form of being myself.

I started dancing when I was four years old and plan on dancing till I am a hundred and four years old. Besides the exaggeration, I would like to say that I will not give it up till the very end of my dancing life. I want to dance through the difficult path and walk through the thorns before I reach the bed of roses. A dancers life is one of the most difficult to start. It starts as the tortoise and finishes faster than the hare. If you, as a dancer are lucky, will you be able to get through such a life.

My mother took me to a dance studio that was across my house when I was little and made me start contemporary training. Little did I know, the four year old me loved the beats and tried to match her movements with what she heard. I started performing more than my caliber and so mother decided to put me in more dance classes. By the time I was six, I was already appearing for my first Indian Folk Dance exam, starting my way up till the diploma. When I was seven, I went to Italy and Austria with a troupe of dancers representing India in the UNESCO dance festival that was held. I was the youngest dancer in the entire festival among multiple countries and was featured in local newspapers in a small town in Italy. I was taken to meet the mayor and was pampered like I was a queen. Similarly, I attended another festival in Turkey when I was nine and one in Prague when I was fourteen.

I finished my eight year diploma in Indian Folk and started teaching as an instructor with the company I received it from. In my high school, I was a part of at least 6 dance competitions every year since I was in grade 2, that competed with several schools around our locality. I never settled for anything below a silver and so I ensured to work as hard as need to get that done. I was a part of these competitions till I graduated from school and was the most pampered student, referred to as the “Dancer of JNS” by my principle.

As I mentioned before, dance is a form of expression for me. I realized this when I went through, what may be the WORST time of my life. I lost my father at the age of nine and when words failed me, dance stepped in to help me bring out what I was feeling. I often shut myself out from humanity and got into this world where music was the base and movement was my conversation. I used this to better myself with my expressions when I danced. I felt every word of the lyrics and started relating them to my life.

Today, I have decided to take up dance as my major and try to build my life around it.

09.04 In class writing.

Writing an audio essay comes along with the challenge to keep the audience interested. The challenge is to reveal what a certain piece of sound of music means in your life, making them understand why it means so much to you, and how it helped shape you as what you are today. To keep an audience interested, you need to make sure you don’t have boring and factual piece of information but have some kind of insight about you and maybe people in your family as human beings.

The assignment wants to teach us how to write an audio essay. Makes us learn how no noise should be made, we should be clear and have a pitch for our story that we are telling. It wants to help us voice our story while teaching us how to use vocals to express. It also wants us, as a class to know what kind of people surround us and what their story is all about. It teaches us to compare about the choices we make while writing an audio essay and a normal one. The audio essay must have a draft to go smoothly while presenting it. Audio essays are a good way of telling a story and making sure everyone knows what is going on because there is a visual (draft that helps them through the essay) and audial representation.