Monday, November 16, 2009

Week 9: Our Visions…and Chuck Norris vs. Oprah?

I would first like to acknowledge Veterans Days by thanking all of the men and women serving our country. And…because of you, our students didn’t have school today so they were in pretty good spirits.

We began the hour with a little jam session and snacks along with some discussion on our futures and where we envision ourselves in it. To help get the ball rolling, Veronica and Shannyn created a little questionnaire. This allowed us to not only get to know each other better, but also provided some hilarious insight to what makes us each unique. Some of the questions/answers are as follows:

1. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Sean Mayfield: Video Game Designer
Veronica Reyes: Middle School Teacher, Social Studies
Charles Hill: Journalist
Savon Clark: A professional football player, Economist or Computer Engineer
Shannyn Nellett: Documentarian, Writer, Photojournalist

2. Where do you see yourself in 4 years?

Sean Mayfield: Graduating High School and Furthering my education
Veronica Reyes: I see myself teaching. Maybe living in Chicago, but I do want to teach in the city for a couple of years. Hopefully I will be closer to having my own ‘family’ life.
Charles Hill: Going to College
Savon Clark: Graduating High School and Going to a Big 10 school.
Shannyn Nellett: Being published/Adapted. Displaying gallery work, art. No idea where I’ll live or what my status will be, and I’m ok with that. I would like to do a considerable amount of traveling.

3. Who inspires you? What kind of person do you inspire to be?

Sean Mayfield: Nobody/I want to be a successful person
Veronica Reyes: My family is my inspiration. They put their faith in me, that keeps me focused and dedicated to move toward my goals. They help me strive to be the well-rounded and open-minded person .
Charles Hill: Nobody really. I wish to be a person who is recognized to have achieved great accomplishments at my age. I want to be a person who is unlike any other.
Savon Clark: My parents inspire me to do great things because they provide the best for me. As my duty, I will do whatever I can to succeed. I want to be a role model, as I try to be now.
Shannyn Nellett: My mother and older sister inspire me. Throughout a life of struggles they remained strong and positive. They truly appreciate the simple things in life and do not allow insignificant negatives to burden them.

4. What makes you happy?

Sean Mayfield: Chocolate?
Veronica Reyes: Friends and family
Charles Hill: I wouldn’t exactly say I found something that makes me truly happy, or happy in any way.
Savon Clark: Listening to music I guess
Shannyn Nellett: Positive energy. Cabrini Connections. Music. Beaches. My niece and nephew. Visiting home. Chicago. Boats. Sundays.

5. What does family mean to you?

Sean Mayfield: They are irreplaceable
Veronica Reyes: People who support you and never judge you. People who you love unconditionally and love you.
Charles Hill: A group of people who are very close to you. People who you trust very well and can rely on.
Savon Clark: Family means to take care of each other and support one another through any endeavor
Shannyn Nellett: Everything

6. Do you envision yourself having a family? If so, what kind of family do you see yourself having?

Sean Mayfield: No.
Veronica Reyes: A big family
Charles Hill: I do see myself having a family. The family I see myself having would be one that is completely free to act and be who they want to be
Savon Clark: Yes I see myself having a family that has morals
Shannyn Nellett: I always wanted a very big family. But I’ll gladly take whatever I am blessed with.

7. Do you have plans for college? If so, where do you want to go?

Sean Mayfield: Yes. ITT
Veronica Reyes: Yes, I’m a DePaul student
Charles Hill: I plan to major in Writing and minor in Music. I want to go to either Northwestern or DePaul
Savon Clark: I want to go to a Big 10 school , and I will either be playing football and/or taking classes on Economics/Computer Engineering
Shannyn Nellett: Did undergrad at San Diego State University, would love to earn a graduate degree…maybe I will

8. What are you going to carry with you forever from Cabrini Green?

Sean Mayfield: Memories
Veronica Reyes: Chuck Norris vs. Oprah
Charles Hill: Being from Cabrini Connections
Savon Clark: I will carry all of my childhood memories
Shannyn Nellett: Every year end dinner, watching the students perform their work

9. What interests or hobbies do you have?

Sean Mayfield: Making comics
Veronica Reyes: Arts & Crafts. Music, reading , and going to museums.
Charles Hill: Skateboarding. Writing. Playing guitar. Listening to music. Psychology
Savon Clark: Watching football. Anime. Basketball. Helping within the community.
Shannyn Nellett: Art. Photography. Film. Writing. Music

10. What is a favorite memory that you have?

Sean Mayfield: Going to my first Bakugan tournament
Veronica Reyes: Christmas when the whole family was together, playing balderdash
Charles Hill: The day I started randomly writing poetry out of boredom
Savon Clark: My sister falling down the stairs….
Shannyn Nellett: The train ride to San Diego from Ohio, amazing

Next week we'll be transposing these ideas onto our vision collages. Oh…and while we were putting these on paper, the boys began debating Chuck Norris vs. Oprah Winfrey. Veronica and I were at a loss, as we are not exactly Chuck Norris buffs… but it turns out that the collective agreement is that Oprah wins because she could buy Bruce Lee to take over Chuck Norris. We will dig into this theory a little more next week so stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Week 8: Welcome new Mentor!

This week in Writing Club we were graced with a new presence. Ms. Veronica Reyes, a fourth year DePaul student studying Elementary Education, has joined us as a mentor for Writing Club! I am thrilled to welcome her into our program! Hopefully with our combined enthusiasm, passion, and dedication to Cabrini Connections students, we will build a very exciting writing club this year.
We dove right into the activity from last week on lyric interpreting by discussing the chosen songs along with our summarized interpretations. Building off of this, we took it a step further and created our own verse to add to our songs. Here is a couple that we came up with:

Charles Hill: ‘You Know You’re Right’ by Nirvana

I would never bother you
I would never promise to
I will never follow you
I will never bother you
Never say a word again
I will crawl away for good
*For you have left me I’m dead*

I will move away from here
You won’t be afraid of fear
No thought was put into this
I always knew it would come to this
Things have never been so swell
I have never felt failed to fail
Pain (x 3)
You know you’re right (x3)

I’m so warm and calm inside
I no longer have to hide
Let’s talk about someone else
Steaming, soon begins to melt
(Nothing else is right!!!!)
Nothing really bothers her
She just wants to love herself
*She’s full of greed and nothing else*

(Repeat Chorus)

*Charles’ Verse*
Things will never come ahead
I am lost without my head
I can barely stand
You don’t care, you just want more fans
Pain, you know you’re right, pain

Veronica Reyes: ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ by Darius Danesh

We get it on 'most every night
When that moon is big and bright
It's a supernatural delight
Everybody's dancing in the moonlight

Dancing in the moonlight
Everybody's feeling warm and bright
It's such a fine and natural sight
Everybody's dancing in the moonlight

We have fun but we never fight
You can't dance and stay uptight
It's a supernatural kind of delight
Everybody's dancing in the moonlight

Dancing in the moonlight
Everybody's feeling
A fine and natural sight
Everybody's dancing in the moonlight

Dancing in the moonlight
Everybody's feeling warm and bright
It's such a fine and natural sight
Everybody's dancing in the moonlight

Feeling warm and bright
It's such a fine and natural sight
Everybody's dancing in the moonlight
*Veronica’s Verse*

We laugh for fun while we’re stepping light
Everybody smiling big and bright
Feel the groove don’t put up a fight
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Week 7: Interpreting Lyrics

This week in Writing Club, we have two new members! Please join us in welcoming sisters, Breonca and Yolanda Hyles. Or as I was introduced, BeBe and YoYo. (Did I get it right this time girls)?
We often discuss new songs or artists and how their music touches, relates or speaks to us. So Shannyn and Jessica decided to incorporate this collective interest into this week’s activity. We each printed lyrics to some of our favorite songs and then wrote a brief summary on what the artist is trying to say and how we can relate to the song.

Imann Mitchell: ‘Rehab’ by Rihanna, featuring Justin Timberlake
In this song, Rihanna sings about how she is so deeply in love with this guy that she’s actually ‘addicted’ to his love. But she doesn’t want to be so addicted to him that if he was to leave, she would go crazy. So she would need to go to rehab to get over her addiction.

Breonca Hyles: ‘Nothing at All’ by Myci
It’s basically about the mistakes she made in the past, and if she could change the past, she would change ‘nothing at all.’ It relates to me because I made mistakes in my past too, and I wouldn’t change them either because it is our mistakes that we learn from and make us who we are.

Charles Hill: ‘You Know Your Right’ by Nirvana
This song was written by Kurt Cobain as a divorce song that he was going to give to Courtney Love before he died. The songs meaning is pretty simple, “I’m leaving you, you only care about the money. Our child needs the both of us and even though I’m feeling pain, this is the best I’ve ever felt.” This song relates to me because I’ve felt a lot of pain over the years, but have always found something to be cheerful about anyway.

Yolanda Hyles: ‘Tell Him the Truth’ by Keri Hilson
My song is about relationships and difficult times. This song sometimes can go with me because I do have difficult times with boys and relationships, like most people do. But this is a diverse song that can relate to all people, young or old, in relationships.

Excellent job everyone! Next week we will take it one step further by adding our own verse to the songs we chose. It should be very interesting, so check back next week!

Week 6: Haunted Halloween

Haunted Halloween, by Charles Hill.

Halloween, a day of terror in some eyes, while others consider the day magical. It all started in Ireland, the date of October 31st. Ancient Pagans thought of this day as a day when mortals and the people from beyond the grave were able to walk together, as one. Brought back from the dead, although still dead, they were known as the undead. Because for only this one night, they could walk with mortal humans.

Witches, wizards, zombies, and even cartoon characters. The day the Pagans worshipped for the dead and others has now become a day of trick-or-treating. Now I do say, the Pagans may like the idea of costumes supposedly being there to ward off demons. But I doubt all the good boys and girls really care about the demon part, just getting the treats from the neighbors is good enough. Games are always fun to play right? I’m pretty sure you love to play games on Halloween, if not, then oh well. One game that has been played on Halloween is bobbing for apples. Simple right? You just fill a bucket of water and attempt to get an apple from out of it, the only catch is, you need to do so with your mouth.

Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, these are images of frightening ghouls in today’s tradition of Halloween. Usually watching a classic “Dracula” movie, or one of the new horror movies they have out now. Like “Saw”, even though in my most honest opinion, the horror movies that are made today are not what they could be. They are easily predictable, they aren’t frightening anymore. I miss the days of true ghouls like Frankenstein, even a misunderstood monster was capable to do more damage than “Jigsaw” nice name also. It’s not very…creative, but still a puzzle piece name will always just be a puzzle piece name. Anyways, since the story began getting off topic with my opinion, I will go on with the words “Urban Legends” and “Chain Letters”, these are stories that fill my MySpace ads, internet letters, all types of technological outlets. One chain letter that I loved reading about, which doesn’t have a title, or at least not that I know of, so I gave it a name of my own, “The Clown?” A story of a girl who is babysitting a couple of kids while their parents are at a restaurant. The babysitter is putting the kids to bed one by one. The family has a group of collectible clowns and such placed by the baby’s crib. There is one large clown statue in particular that seems to be standing in the middle of the chair, which the babysitter thinks is just a normal statue. She goes back downstairs, then back up when the baby starts fussing. She notices that the lights are on, but she’s pretty sure she turned them off when she left. Next she notices that the clown statue seems to be very human like. This frightens her so she runs back downstairs and calls the family. She tells them about the clown statue, to which they say, “We don’t have a clown statue.” Then the phone cuts out and the babysitters breathing becomes very heavy. She doesn’t want to turn around to face her paranoia, and then…she’s dead. I don’t consider it very sad since her death created a chain letter.

All in all, Halloween is a day of colors. Orange, Black, and screaming children? No, they aren’t screaming out of terror for their lives because of some crazy monster chasing them, or a vampire sucking their blood or any other crazy thing. They’re just happy because they get candy and chocolate. Halloween is spread everywhere; Japan, America, Ireland, and many other countries. The 31st of October may be one of the spookiest days, but I will always admire it’s creativity for terror.