Cover Letter

May 25th, 2012

When I decided to come back to school full time, I did not realize the amount of classes I still had to take in order to finish my degree, so I was finally able to sit down with my advisor and fill out an audit degree form. I was surprised and shocked when I found out that I still had to take another writing intensive class as a part of my academic curriculum. When I registered for the 2012 Spring semester, I never thought about checking out the professors like most of my friends do and I was very lucky to register for English 110 with professor Alvarez. At first, I was not thrilled about the morning time, since it was hard for me to be there on time, but everything changed when I realized how interesting the professor made this class. I was able to use technology to discuss important matters and issues that actually related to my life such as college representations and the institution of college in America. I watched videos on these issues and was able to comment on them. I also learnt to insert media into my blog and was able to comment on my classmates’ blogs and youtube videos which was also an interesting experience. I loved participating in class, and expressing my opinions was liberating because it showed that the professor was really interested in knowing our life experiences. The idea of using a blog to hand in assignments took all the pressure off of paper assignments because the professor made it fun to work with these blogs. All other English classes I took before were so boring because all the assignments reminded me of the ones I had to do in high school, they were not very challenging.  Also I remember when I had American Literature classes at Queens College a while back, we only learned about African American Literature because the professor was African American, so I thought that was a one-sided situation, but I managed to learn from it. I love reading but it’s very hard for me to sit and read with my kids around waiting for me to do something for them, so this class and the youtube videos were not only time saving but also very informative. I’m sure professor Alvarez has a brilliant future ahead of him and a wonderful career in teaching, he’s charismatic, understanding and very knowledgeable and anyone that has a chance to learn from him is a very fortunate student such as myself.

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My merits

April 24th, 2012

Growing up in a different country with a different culture, I always imagined myself going to a different country, learning a new language and a new culture, so when I graduated high school in Brazil, I decided to come to America to learn new things. I believe that my ability to learn things quickly is my most valuable quality. I also have experience in management, since I worked as a purchasing manager for 5 years at my previous job, then moving on to a position in bookkeeping. Having the position as a bookkeeper was an eye opener to me since that was what helped me in making a decision on what my career would be. My comprehensive knowldege of auditing principles as well as a talent for fast learning new accounting software has proven to be one of my finest qualities. Also, I have been a boy scout leader for the past 2 years, so leadership is definitelly one of my merits. I had to become knowledgeable in many fields such as (electricity, engineering, first aid, citizenship, etc)… before I could teach the boys the necessary skills they would need in order to earn many of their badges. The strengths I believe I will bring to my undergraduate experience are my excellent leadership record and my willingness to gain and share my knowledge in the future.

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My favorite classes

April 17th, 2012

My favorite classes at QC so far are the following:

Biology, because I got to dissect a pig, I also liked my Art & Music class because I can actually identify most of the paintings and buildings around the world thanks to that class, I also like this class (English 110) because of the use of technology. I attended high school in Brazil so my favorite classes were Math because I was always good at it and also English because it was taught as a second language and I always wanted to learn to speak it. I am looking forward to taking the more advanced classes of accounting that deal with auditing (Accounting 321 and 322) with professor Seymour Mintz, I have already taken Business Law with him during the winter semester and he was a very good professor.

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Hope on the Rez

April 7th, 2012

I can identify with the people in this video. I’m not native American, but I have a good deal of Brazilian indian in me. I also identify with the single mothers trying to study to get a better future for them and their children, because I know how difficult it is to juggle family and school. Unfortunately they have to worry about the financial side, and I know how that goes when trying to pay for bills and school because I had to drop out a few years ago because I could not afford it. Financial Aid would say that my income was high but with four children, the calculations from their office was never accurate forcing me to dorp out till I decided to come back full time. This video is inspiring because they are trying to  maintain their culture by keeping their best people inside their reservations, instead of them leaving to serve other locations.  They are doing a great thing by encouraging their own people to go back to school and by giving them scholarships to make their goals more attainable.

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Essay 2 – College Representations and an Ideal QC

April 4th, 2012

College Representations and an Ideal QC

The American Idea of College Life

Several people in society believe college to be all about frat or sorority parties, getting intoxicated either by ingesting alcohol or by substance abuse, also by skipping class, and having fun. Besides the party aspect of it, they also believe that the kids will get an education eventually, after all the whole point of going to college is to get a degree and start a successful career.

In this essay, I will argue that American representations of college are somewhat different than society believes it to be according to my  xperience at Queens College. So far it has been nothing compared to the experience the following three videos portray about college and I believe that the media is somewhat to blame. When I first arrived at QC I too believed that college life could be slightly similar to the American version but I was wrong. I heard that QC has a sorority house but because of lack of school spirit, there aren’t many advertisements or posters divulging it. These three videos describe an entirely different reality of college life in contrast with my own. I would never be able to participate in student gatherings or parties because I don’t have time to enjoy such events. I believe that when it comes to the basics, an ideal Queens College already exists, meaning that I don’t often see parties and crazy acts by desperate adolescents.

Three Accounts from Movies

In the movie Accepted, the character Gaines gets rejected to every college he applies for so he decides to break the rules and create his own college. With the help of his friend Sherman, who unlike Gaines was accepted to the college he applied for, he goes to extremes to make his creation look real. He builds a website, designs letterheads for the acceptance letters as well as hiring his friend’s uncle to portray the Dean.

As parts of the movie trailer indicates, society and our parents have instructed us from a very early age that we should go to college and that we should somewhat feel like a failure if that doesn’t happen. According to the movie trailer the character Gaines’ parents are eager for him to get into college, and we can understand this when his father says, “You want to have a successful life? You go to college” (Accepted). By saying this, his father believes that his son will ensure his future by getting a college degree, and also because it is widely believed that college graduates thrive better in life compared to those who are not. The character Gaines actually admits he knows what is like to be “rejected” and encourages other students to being self-taught, by not having to attend any classes or face any of the mandatory coursework. Some of these students are really surprised by the concept as one girl asks, “there are no tests, required reading or any of that nonsense?” (Accepted). Evidently this girl like everybody else is fully aware of what college life should be like, but she doesn’t necessary agree that it should conform to what society expects of it, since she uses the word nonsense to describe the standard school assignments. Apparently the character Gaines’ idea of learning is so far from what society believes to be ideal, that it creates uproar among the most traditional schools. When he says, “you don’t need fancy high ground traditions or money to really learn” (Accepted). Gaines is talking about all the Ivy League colleges that are so expensive and so difficult to get into. He is also describing how unimportant those institutions are if everybody were to adopt his method of learning. Unlike the movie, my xperience at Queens College has been far from what the character’s belief of what the ideal college life should be like. There are no self-taught classes and students aren’t walking around with little or no clothes on.

The music video “I love College” by Asher Roth describes the typical image of the American college life that’s believed to be true and ideal by most teenagers because there’s a lot drinking and a lot of partying. Asher also illustrates how a college student has many advantages over the general population, such as only paying one dollar for a pizza slice and also other advantages such as beer drinking, naked girls and skipping class. Overall he is expressing his desire to remain in college for the rest of his life and this shows that college is something to look forward to for all those with similar thinking.

 

According to the music video, Asher Roth entertains the idea of forever being a college student because of the social life and parties that take place every day, when he says “I wanna go to college for the rest of my life” (I Love College). Roth is reaffirming his feelings about spending a lifetime partying, drinking, smoking and not having to worry about the responsibilities of an adult, like having a job for example.  His perception of reality is warped, but if he remains in college he’ll never be aware of what being a successful adult really entails. Asher is portraying the white
suburban teenager eager to have fun and admits that he “can’t tell you what he learned from school” (I Love College), because he is obviously not concerned about going to class. When he does go to class it is always for a very short time maybe because he’s too sick to pay attention or maybe because he is in a hurry to leave so he can party all over again. Basically Asher does not want his college experience to end, since a crowded fraternity house where everybody seems to know and like each other is ultimately what every kid dreams about. Once he is part of this experience, he asks “Do I really have to graduate?” (I Love College), because once he does graduate he recognizes that the fun is over and it is finally time to grow up. Any white suburban kid or any teenager for that matter, who experiences the college life depicted in the video, would never give up such a life. This video is obviously the utopia of every teenager coming out of high school, but it does not compare to my experience at QC since I am not a part of a sorority and I don’t party every day. Unlike Asher Roth’s character portrayed in the video, I actually want to graduate
and be successful in my future career.

Another movie that demonstrates how fun college life can be is the movie “Old School.” A few grown men decide to create a fraternity house just for fun. Most of them are married and some even have children, but that didn’t stop them for trying to relive their past college experience. Everything they show in the movie trailer is about parties, school mascots and the pranks they play on the fraternity pledges.

According to the movie trailer a man with a successful career gets a wake-up call when he returns from one of his business trips as he catches his girlfriend with another couple in his bedroom. After that his friends decide to cheer him up by first creating a fraternity and then throwing a wild party, college style. In the beginning they insist that the frat house is only there for their entertainment when they say “we don’t take it too
seriously”
(Old School), they are not trying to hide the fact that such an idea is ridiculous but they still go for it. Just like the typical college kid they don’t take the whole college experience too seriously and everything just becomes one big party. Even the married guys are very tempted by the whole idea, but they are still a little cautious as one of them says “I promised my wife I wouldn’t drink tonight”, (Old School),without a doubt this sounds outrageous in a fraternity party, but to fit in he decides that one drink won’t hurt him, and isn’t that how college kids behave nowadays? As they say in the movie, it is all about “the fun of college, but none of the education” (Old School), obviously they mean that this aspect of going to college is very amusing even if they are not learning academically and to them the learning part of it is not the important one. Again, what they show  in this movie has nothing to do with my experience at QC so far, I too have children but I am not out there getting drunk and partying every night.

College Media Reassessment and my QC Experience

My college experience at Queens College so far has been a pleasant one, even without parties. The videos above are the complete opposite of my college experience, I remember maybe seeing a couple of demonstrations by the students and I see them on the lawn reading or studying, that to me is an ideal college and obviously not the ones depicted in the videos I mentioned above, in my opinion an education is essential in one’s successful future and none of the videos above portray a college that actually provide such education.

Works Cited:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41C-VouZ7NY

UniversalMoviesUK “Accepted” YouTube. Web Sep 28, 2011.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYx7YG0RsFY

AsherRothVevo “I Love College”YouTube. Web June 26, 2009.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXjFrBBKyxk&feature=related

zhukaiww”Old School”YouTube. Web Dec 15, 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Girl Like Me

April 1st, 2012

In the above video, Afrivcan American children are asked to choose between two dolls, that are laid side by side on a table right in front of the children. The dolls colors are black and white and they are asked to choose between them because the person conducting this experiment is trying to see what are the children’s preferences towards skin color. Most children choose the white doll describing it to be the good one or the nice one, when they were asked about which one was the bad doll, majority of the children chose the black doll. They preferred the white doll because society views white people as being beautiful and the children want to be just like them. When on of the girls was asked which of the dolls she looked like, she hesitated a little almost touching the white doll, but then she grabbed the black one. It’s difficult for the girls to identify with the black doll because their own parent instill in them at an early age that they should look less “black”, even providing them with ways to become a little lighter skinwise, this way they will be accepted by society.

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The major I have chosen

March 27th, 2012

Despite my desire to work with genetics and lab work, I have decided that Accounting would be a better major because of the experience I have gained in this particular field. I worked for a high-end renovation construction company for twelve years and the more I learned about jounal entries and financial reports, the more interested I became in becoming an Accountant. I really enjoyed working with all those numbers and I consider myself to be a fast learner, so every accounting software the company would adopt, I would always be able to learn it fairly quickly. I’m hoping to get my degree by the end of 2013 and perhaps start working right away. The starting annual salary for an Accountant Aprentice in New York City is about $51,500.

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Extended Blog Work – My Classmates Videos

March 21st, 2012

 

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What would I change about QC

March 20th, 2012

I would definitelly change a few things about Queens College, one of them being the high tuition they charge the students. I’m often thinking about how much I have to pay and the many times I had to drop out just because I couldn’t afford it anymore. At the time I was not eligible for financial aid because my income was considered relatively high (not with 4 children!). I would either have them make it more affordable for everybody or not charge the tuition at all. Another thing I would change is the space at the Student Union, I can never find a place to sit, there’s not enough room for everybody and I usually end up eating in the classroom which is a huge inconvenience. One more thing I would definitelly change at QC is the parking fees and space. Again, there’s not enough room for everybody and they charge too much for parking. I have even heard that they sell more parking spaces than they actually have, this ends up being very annoying for the students since they are not guaranteed a parking space even after paying the fee. I would definitelly drop the Gen. Ed. classes, seems like we have no use for them since my major is Accounting and I’m not sure why I had to take Art & Music as part of the first requirements. I like the space outside, there’s a lot of lawn and everytime I bring the kids they like to roll down the hills and I wouldn’t change anything there. As for the rest who should we talk to to make all these changes happen?

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College ratings

March 17th, 2012

I really don’t give much importance to college ratings because even if I did, I’m sure I would never be able to afford an Ivy League institution for myself or my children. Competition between schools is very natural since it’s human nature to be competitive. In my opinion, the competition between schools has much to do with money, meaning that the school that has the highest ratings is the one most likely people will want to go to. My experience with competing in school started very early since my friendships started very strong in elementary school and the same group of kids used to do all projects together and we were always very competitive. One of our group members was the teacher’s daughter so we had to prove ourselves even more to show the other kids we didn’t get graded according to that bias. In high school things didn’t change much, we were always involved in projects to get our school recognized throughout the city, so competition was a key element and sometimes the winning factor. At this point in my life, I don’t pay attention to college ratings and how competitive they might be, these studies usually state that to get their statistics they talk to teachers, staff and students. I don’t remember anybody asking me questions about Queens College, so there’s always a suspicion of how accurate these studies are and if they are only supposed to benefit the collge in question.

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