Thursday, June 3, 2010


I never realized how much I could change in one year in the city. I didn’t even realized how different I really was until someone called me out on it. Is it really possible to change so dramatically in such a short period of time without even realizing it? It couldn’t be, it just seems so farfetched. Obviously I’m wrong.
I graduated from high school around two years ago. Everything about my high school years was perfect. I went to a small school in a small, countryside town and graduated in a small class. Everything was small, but everything was perfect. I remember how I used to simply lie down in the open fields with my friends on the summer days. We would sit there, listening to the birds, and just relaxing. I could never not love the people and environment around me, I was sure of that.
I knew that I would always love the small, country town life, but I still wanted to experience life in the city. So, in September, I started my freshman year of college at NYU. It was so far away from the life I knew and loved, so my mom convinced me to stay up in New York for both semesters. I couldn’t believe how homesick I felt when winter break started. I stayed with one of the friends I made in New York who had an apartment all to himself. I would constantly be in contact with my friends and family still in my small town, and I almost never left the apartment to explore the city.
When the end of my second semester came in May, I felt uncomfortable leaving my new home in New York. I called my parents and persuaded them into letting me stay in New York for the summer. It took close to an hour and a half to finally get them to agree. I moved back in with my friend, but this time, I didn’t stay in the apartment. In fact, now that I think about it, the only time I was in the apartment was when I was sleeping or just waking up. I explored the city with my new friends everyday. I was so accustomed this fast-paced life, and I couldn ‘t imagine living any other way.
When winter break came around for the second time, I just assumed that I would be staying up in New York again. However, my parents called, begging me to come home and celebrate Christmas with them. It took them a good two hours to convince me to take a break from the city life. When my plane landed in the airport, I was greeted by everyone in my family and all of my high school friends. It was great to finally see them all again. My parents drove me home where a welcome home party was waiting. I sat on one of the lawn chairs and texted my New York friends while everyone I used to know celebrated around me.
When dinner finally came, only my parents and my closest high school friends stayed. We all ate dinner together as they threw stories at me about the country life and what I’ve been missing. I was only half listening while stuffing my face with all of my old favorite foods that now tastes unusual after eating Easy Mac and Hot Pockets for so long. The next thing I knew, everyone was staring at me.
“What?” I asked, my mouth half full with mashed potatoes.
“How has life in New York been? We haven’t heard from you in a while,” my mom said hopefully.
That was my invitation. I put my fork down and ranted about how much better New York was than life in the county for a solid half hour. After, everything was silent. “Well, that sounds nice, honey,” my mom finally said without lifting her eyes from the empty plate in front of her.
Everyone finally left after another half hour, and I saw everyone off by giving them a handshake and a pat on the back. “See you later, Michelle,” I said as the last of my old friends was leaving. “We must catch up soon.”
“I don’t think I can do that,” she whispered slowly. “You’ve changed, Michael. You’ve really changed, and I don’t like it. None of us do.” And with that, she turned around, walked outside, and closed the door. I stared at that closed door until I head her car pull out of my street.
At first, I was furious. How could she say that I’ve changed. I’m still me, I’m still the old Michael that she knew and loved two summers ago. Then I decided to really think about what I’ve been through in the past couple years, and then I saw it. I adapted to the city life too much too quickly. I forgot about how much I loved lying down in those open fields. I forgot how much I loved these people and this town and this life, and it was all because of the fast-paced life that I expierenced while attending NYU.
How could I have changed so drastically?

Narrative #4

The past year has been the hardest year of my life. Sure, I was created only about a year and a half ago, but I can guarantee you that this year will be the hardest of them all. I have not had a single day where I can just rest in my case. He’s always going to the races, every day for the past year. How did I get stuck with this man who loves horse races and has really bad eye sight? He sits in the tenth row, and he still needs binoculars to see. I also never understood why he went to horse races so often- they seemed pretty boring to me. Thankfully, he always gets loads of money from these races, so there’s still hope that he’ll buy someone else who’s better than me sometime soon. It’s unlikely, but there’s always hope.
Before and after every race, he and his friend always walk down the dirt hallways around the outside of the stadium. They discuss the horses, the bets they made or planning to make, and the racers. Their conversations are always so dull and redundant, so I can never fully focus on what they’re saying. One day, before the races, a small man that I recognized as one of the racers approached the two men in matching suits. He seemed agitated, and his restlessness was obvious.
“I can’t do this anymore, it’s so wrong,” the small man said when the three finally all met up. “I can’t keep on going like this.”
“Just relax,” said my owner coolly. “You’ve been doing this for a while now, there’s no need to back out now.” He was clearly annoyed with this man, for reasons I didn’t understand.
“No, no, I can’t, it’s wrong, people depend on me, people trust me,” the small man stammered, slowly backing into the stadium.
“Look,” said the other man in the brown suit sharply. “We need you. We trust you to keep throwing races. We depend on you to do whatever you can to make whoever we bet on win. We don’t care how you do it or how awful it may be, we just care if you do it. Don’t forget our deal.”
“When I was racing, I was pretty much exactly like you. I thought it was wrong, but the men who were in business with me were so confident and so dependent on me that I couldn’t say no, and look where that got me! I’m one of the richest men in the city! Do you want to be like that when you’re my age?” explained my owner.
“I do, I really do, but why don’t you just bet on me? I can win races; it makes more sense, just bet on me. We don’t have to cheat anymore, just bet on me,” the small man pleaded.
The two men in the brown suits sat in silence for a small amount of time before bursting into uncontrollable laughter. My owner almost dropped me since his hands shake furiously when he laughs. Another one of the reasons this year has been so hard.
The small man looked furious. He crossed his arms and looks up to the other man in the brown suit. “I’m not cheating anymore,” he stated firmly.
The other man looked down at the small man and simply said, “I don’t think you realize how much power we have over you. If you stop, we can break you apart while everyone else just turns their heads. You will continue to cheat and you will continue to listen to us, or you’ll never race again. Do you understand?”
The small man’s head dropped. “Do I still get 15%?”
“I’ll answer that question after I see Gibbs cross the finish line before anyone else today.”
The small man turned around and headed back towards the stadium without saying another word. The two men in the brown suits watched him go. “Good thing he’s so weak,” said my owner. “I thought he was seriously going to stop for a minute.”
“Don’t worry, he depends on us and the money we give him, and we depend on him and the money he gives us. It’s a deal you can’t possibly break.” The two men started laughing again, but thankfully not as hard as before.
I really need to start paying attention to these conversations they have.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Table of Contents

1. Declaration
2. 10 color copy images
3. Narrative #1
4. Critique #1
5. Narrative #2
6. Narrative #3
7. Critique #2
8. Critique #3
9. Narrative #4
10. Narrative #5
11. Example of Existing Criticism #1
12. Example of Existing Criticism #2
13. 20 Additional Images
14. 5 Examples of Literature
15. 20 Examples of Literature
16. 10 Relating Websites

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Narrative #3

Even though their voices were muffled by the sliding glass door in between them, he knew what they were talking about. They argued a lot, they always had, but they only step outside when it’s something they really don’t want him to hear. They usually argue over things like dinner, money, or work hours inside, since it doesn’t really matter if he hears, but when they step outside he knows what it’s about. It’s about him.
His father was always very stubborn; he didn’t change his mind about anything, even when he knew he was wrong. He would have made a great lawyer if he decided to stick with law school, but instead, he was an accountant who dreaded his decision to drop out since the first day out. He always encouraged his son to be a lawyer, to stick with law school, and to lead the life he wish he had. He used to always say, “Don’t make the same mistake I did, John, because you don’t know how much you’ll regret not taking that chance.”
His mother was almost the exact opposite. She didn’t care if he became a lawyer or not, as long as he was happy with his decision. Of course, she also didn’t want him to live in the same regret that her husband was, but she didn’t care what career he wanted to pursue. She was a therapist, a great one, and she always thought that parents should not pressure their children into making decisions that they don’t want to make.
“I just don’t want him to make the same mistake that I did,” John could hear his father say.
“If he doesn’t want to be a lawyer, then he won’t be living in regret. He can pursue whatever career he wants to,” his mother replied in a tired voice. This was an argument she was beginning to grow sick of.
“I know, but I just feel like he would be great in court, and I think he should take the opportunity of a life time.”
“Will you just drop it?” his mother hissed, “He can do whatever he wants.”
They both had good points to John. He saw the pain that his dad goes through almost every single day, and he knows that that’s not something he wants to live with. Also, maybe being a lawyer won’t be the most terrible thing in the world. There are some jobs that are much worse, and John knows that. Maybe being a lawyer and leading the life his dad always wanted to isn’t such a bad idea.
At the same time, however, his father’s mistakes shouldn’t influence John to make the decision about his career. Just because he didn’t pursue the career he wanted to doesn’t mean John should. He’s only 14-years-old anyway- he has plenty of time to make the decision. His father doesn’t have the right to pressure John into making decisions, just like his mother said, it’s just not right.
Both of his parents obviously make a pretty convincing point. At this point in the never-ending argument, John doesn’t know what he wants to do. He doesn’t even know what to do in general.
“Fine,” he suddenly heard his father say. “Let’s see what he wants. John, can you come out here please?”

Narrative #2

As soon as Auntie informed us that she was done taking pictures, Mother’s happy expression instantly turned into one of anger and frustration. “Can’t you kids smile for just one minute?” she hissed to me and my little sister through clenched teeth. I looked over at my sister, and she returned my expression of anguish.
“Sorry, Mother,” Lucy whispered, letting her head drop.
“Well, just remember to smile when we get there. We don’t want anyone thinking we aren’t a happy family.” From where I was sitting, I could see my daddy’s hands tighten around the steering wheel.
Now knowing that my daddy was angry about this too, I blurted, “Why do we have to go to this? We never had to do anything like this before!”
“We’re in a new town now, and we don’t want to make a bad first impression, so stop complaining!” Mother snapped, causing me to slouch down in my seat and not say another word.
Mother had not always been like this. She used to be fun, nice, and she would smile all the time, not just for Auntie’s pictures. Moving to a brand new town changed her; she just wanted to fit in with all the other families in the neighborhood. When our neighbor invited us to the town’s annual End of the Summer Cookout, she was so excited. She called up Auntie right away to tell her the good news, since Mother and Auntie are pretty much the same person. I think that’s why Auntie wanted to take so many pictures.
My daddy has changed too. He was the best daddy anyone could ask for. He would always help me whenever I needed anything, and he was just such a fun person. Now he’s very quiet and keeps to himself most of the time. I think he’s a little bit afraid that he’ll upset Mother if he tries to be himself in this town.
Lucy is just sad most of the time. I think she doesn’t like having to leave all of her friends behind. She’s been hanging around me a lot for the past week. It’s nice to have some company, since I’m pretty lonely too, but she’s starting to get annoying.
I don’t like this new town. I don’t like the fact that my family is changing. I wish Mother wouldn’t try so hard to impress these new people, and I wish that my daddy would say something, since I know that he can. I wish Lucy would make some new friends, so she wouldn’t be hanging around me so much. Maybe I could say something, but I’ll be like my daddy and keep quiet so Mother will be happy.
We pulled up to the town’s park in about ten minutes. Mother sighed then put on a smile, turning around to make sure me and Lucy were too. When she was confident that everyone looked happy, she opened her door and headed towards our neighbors.

Narrative #1

As the clock struck 12:30, every person in the sales department got up from their seats and grabbed their lunches. Everybody always brought their own lunch, and nobody ever bought anything from the company hot line lunch. Soon, the cafeteria was filled with men and women carrying brown paper bags, as if they were going to lunch in an elementary school. Everybody moved into their usual seats and took out their sandwiches. They all awkwardly shifted in their seats, waiting for the first person to take a bite of their usual turkey on white sandwich. That person was usually Joe, their boss, and everyone was used to that. It was their routine.
Jim, however, was not used to this routine. As he turned towards his colleagues after filling up his cup of coffee, he noticed that no one else had walked up to buy, well, anything. Embarrassed, Joe quickly and quietly took the closest empty seat he could find, which happened to be right across from his new boss. He quickly drank his cup of black coffee while ducking behind the metallic pillar next to him, since he didn’t want anyone, especially the boss, to notice him. He made a mental note to bring turkey on white to his second day of work.
Meanwhile, Martha was silently scolding herself for being too adventurous. If she hadn’t been tempted to put on that shiny red headband she bought herself last week, she wouldn’t be sticking out so much. No other woman in the office ever wore a headband, especially one as bright and bold as hers, so why should she? Why was she so different? Still, she couldn’t take it off now, because people would notice and she didn’t know what they would think about that. There was no escaping her mistake.
Throughout the half hour the salespeople had for lunch, everybody silently chewed on their sandwiches while looking down at the spot of the table in front of them. Nobody wanted to say anything, for no one knew what the other people would think if they let out a single sound. However, that didn’t stop the people from thinking to themselves. Janet was yelling at herself for not being as brave as the woman across from her who was wearing that beautiful headband. Gertrude, sitting way in the corner, reminded herself to get new glasses that did not have pink frames, or any color that wasn’t black. Nobody was brave enough to put their thoughts into words.
Then, at 1:00, everybody followed as Joe got up from his seat and threw away his trash. They all silently shuffled back into their offices. It was all a part of their routine.

Example ofExisting Criticism + Image #2

Caillebotte's ambitious modem history painting Paris Street; Rainy Day, much like his Floor-Scrapers, shown the previous year, secured the artist critical appreciation at the Impressionist exhibition in 1877 for its "science of design and arrangement. "According to one reviewer, it was a canvas "that, despite the bizarre quality of some of its details and its jerky handling ... would still figure honorably beside pictures receiving the approval of the Champs-Elysees (official Salon) jury." Indeed, in the relative finish of its brushwork, in the well studied rationality of its composition, and especially in its impressive size, Paris Street--despite the shocking modernity of its subject-must have looked familiarly academic in 1877, betraying Caillebotte's recent study with the Salon artist Leon Bonnat. It even prompted one critic to exclaim that "M. Caillebotte is an Impressionist in name only," because in comparison to many of his colleagues who were being derided for daring to exhibit sketches as finished works of art, this painting demonstrated that Caillebotte "knows how to draw and paint more seriously. . . ."The fact that Caillebotte followed an academic rather than "Impressionist" method in many of the large paintings of his early career is evidenced by a group of preparatory drawings and oil sketches for Paris Street, through which the artist developed and altered his original conception for the picture. These studies and sketches certainly attest to the 'considerable effort' described by the critic Georges Riviere in 1877 in reference to the painting, and "how difficult it was and how much skill was necessary to complete a canvas of these dimensions." Nevertheless, they also demonstrate the lengths to which the artist went in order to construct an image that would appear at once both obsessively ordered and precariously fragile-a construction that constitutes the very basis of the picture's meaning.