Moving Mountains.

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For my creative expression, I chose to go the creative route. Painting has always been an important part of my life and I love the idea of being able to portray messages to art. This piece is inspired by my family and what they did to come America. I discussed with them the idea of wanting to make something that provokes emotion and power. When talking to them, I asked them questions about why they came to America and what was the experience like. One of my aunts described to me that coming to America felt like moving mountains and crossing an ocean to find happiness and tranquility.

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

The painting displays a mother and her two children looking out into the mountains and the ocean to see all the things they hope America can bring to them. It also displays different things that other individuals mentioned was the reason they came to the United States. I wanted to include children in this painting because the reality is there are so many children who come to America at a young age. Many of my friends described not really knowing what was happening but they knew they had to follow their parent(s) wherever they went. As I attended La Raza’s graduation ceremony here at UNT, a student said in their speech, “Mom, remember when you crossed the border with two kids and three backpacks- we made it!” This was a very pivotal moment in the creative execution of the painting and it reassured me the direction I wanted to go towards.

This painting is meant to represent not the literal experience of coming to America. It is representing the level of difficulty and the sacrifices individuals will face in order to see a better future. Often times, the news evokes this negative image of immigrants but they fail to see the struggles to get to where they are at. I am so happy to see the final result of this painting and I hope it is one that can be emotional and relatable. As a child of immigrants, I know the power of my parents and I know the strength of their sacrifices. As I finish off my third year of undergrad, this painting reminds me that I owe it all to them for coming to America to allow me to have the education I have today.

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The flowers forced to bloom from concrete.

Our public schools are paving concrete over our racially minority children.

It’s a natural disturbance for a flower to bloom through the hardship of the paved cement. This flower only knew the pressure and darkness under the cement but raised above the odds by blooming towards the sunlight, that breached through a small cracked pavement.

Most don’t bloom…

Even given a crack of sunlight, The harsh pavement suppressed the flower from its nutrients for too long. But not all flowers live under the harsh conditions that suppress there nutrients to flourish.


If give the proper attention and nutrients more flowers are able to bloom. These flowers are able to flourish and live in better conditions because they were given the attention and proper nutrients.

We all know how flowers grow. We know, only very few survive and bloom under harsh conditions of paved cement, even if the cement is slightly cracked it doesn’t outweigh the abundance of pressure and darkness given by the pave cement. We knew that more flowers flourish, if given proper attention and nutrients.

But did we know the same goes for our children. Currently our public schools are not giving our minority children the proper attention they need to flourish into a successful life. The paved concrete represents the harsh punishment and neglect they face in our public school systems. Non Minority are given the attention and care needed to sucessed in life.

ALL our children deserve to right conditions flourish. Minorities shouldn’t have to live under the harsh pavement and shouldn’t have to fight against harsh concrete to have a successful life. We deserve a life without these conditions.

We shouldn’t have to fight so hard to earn a equal education. This doesn’t have to be our life.

Click the link below to learn more about the harsh treatments I speak of.

https://inthiscarload.wordpress.com/2019/04/17/public-schools-are-sending-minorities-into-the-prison-systems/

Sonnets Over the Jewish Experience. (An Outside Perspective)

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Before you get to reading the actual Sonnets I wrote, I just wanted to answer a question that some of you may be asking. “What do Sonnets and the Jewish community have in common?” The answer is really nothing, but that’s because Sonnets are simply a medium that can be used to express a thought or an idea. Sonnets are well known for expressing love and desire for someone romantically, however, Sonnets have been used to convey a wide range of topics since they were popularized. One example would be Sonnets written about protecting the environment during England’s first Industrial Revolution. So with that out of the way, I hope you enjoy both my Sonnets and my reasonings behind them!

  1. An Onlookers Thoughts:  
    (Shakespearean Style)

The news had shown a familiar face,                                 
Another Synagogue under attack,                                         
As if their culture had been out of place,                         
These killers act like their getting payback.                      

But what could the Jews have possibly done,                      
To deserve so much hate, is this their fate,                        
All for following their own religion,                                   
No man should carry this ludicrous weight.                           

A peaceful religion that does no wrong,                            
Is the target of many whom think poor,                              
Of a group who now sings a sadder song,                           
Yet these battles wage on, and all are sore.                      

Though the victims of yesterday are gone,                         
Our memories of them will carry on.

Explanation:

This poem for me was inspired by my Holocaust class that I was also taking this semester. Every week we would look for an article that dealt with an anti-Semitic event from that week. When that class started I kinda thought that was unreasonable. It only took one google search to find out that was far from the truth. so this is why I started the Sonnet out with the line “So the news had shown a familiar face” because antisemitism is constantly recurring in the modern world. The 2nd line was actually referring to the attack at the Poway Synagogue in California last week. The rest of the Sonnet is pretty straightforward. Also, a quick note, Shakespearean style refers to the rhyme scheme. So for this type the rhyme scheme goes A,B,A,B.C,D,C,D.E,F,E,F.G,G. Just incase any of y ‘all were curious what that meant 😀


2.   The Millions Forgotten
       (Petrarchan Style)


A past that we all fail to share,  
Is doomed to be wholly lost,
Millions had to pay the cost,   
Just for us to fail to care?

All they did was say a prayer,     
But their stories have been tossed,   
Who knows of the Holocaust?
How is any of this fair?      

Survivors have much to say,     
But death has stolen many,
Time will take their words away,  
So lets cherish the lively.  

To be preserved is their aim,  
So let us speak of their fame.  

The other Sonnet I wrote is less about anti-Semitism, and more about remembering the Holocaust. This has been the topic for most of my projects in this class so far because of how many people simply aren’t learning about this stuff. It also focuses on how most of the remaining Holocaust survivors will sadly not be around for much longer. They are past their 70’s and there will come a time when none of them are left. I feel very deeply about making sure these survivors get the respect and credit that they deserve, considering how anti-Semitic groups have been on the rise over the past couple of years. These survivors and Jews in general have done nothing wrong to earn such hate from the alt right or any other radical groups. And also, incase anyone’s curious, a Petrarchan rhyme scheme is simply A,B,B,A,A,B,B,A,C,D,C,D,E,E.

I hope this post has been entertaining for anyone who actually made it this far! Sonnets can be used to convey essentially any topic, and they are not too complicated, so I’d recommend learning more if the format seemed appealing to you! To end I’d also like to say, please learn more about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism if you haven’t already. One google search really is all it takes to have your eyes opened to all the prejudices they have to deal with on a global scale.

consent and sexual harassment in 2019 // a deep dive into consent on college campuses

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In the first episode of the freshoutofsomewhere podcast, we are joined by 2 special guests: Yama Marong and Hunter Lockett. Real people, real stories of students who attend The University of North Texas. We take a candid deep dive into sexual harassment, dating, and consent within college culture. content warning: strong language, and mild sexual themes

Yama Marong, 20
“I just think people should be respectful. If it makes you feel uncomfortable it shouldn’t be happening. Be careful out there. if anything happens to you, use your voice.
Hunter Lockett, 20
“A lot of people think some things aren’t as bad as other things. But like, everything is bad if it’s bad. It’s as simple as that”

“Do you feel safe on campus?” was the question posed to several students at UNT. After filming the podcast, I wanted to hear additional stories and perspectives on this topic. Pictured below are 3 young women who all have varying opinions on sexual harassment & safety on campus:

Blen, 20
“I feel pretty safe on campus. I haven’t dealt with sexual harassment directly. Although, when people look at me the wrong way, I’m on edge. I no longer feel safe, I look for protection.”
Saron, 20
“I feel safe on campus. However, it doesn’t matter where you are, like one time I was at a club with a couple of girlfriends. One of my friends introduced me to this athlete, and when I went to say hi, he grabbed my hand and spun me around and said: “mhm mhm I like em skinny.” I just laughed it off and walked away. But I felt very wrong. I just went with it to be safe.”
Meiraf, 19
“Yes, I do feel safe on campus. However, I know that Denton does have a reputation for sex offenders who live close by. There’s always been a precaution of being harassed or attacked. At a school event (UNT ASO weekend), I was standing by my boyfriend and someone puled my arm. I pulled my hand back, but this guy got in my face asking what my problem was. My boyfriend eventually intervened. I did not feel inferior, I felt disrespected. A lot of guys don’t realize their actions have lasting effects.”

Different Nightmares in the Same World

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For my creative project, I wanted to talk two issues that have bothered me quite a bit in the recent years. I wrote two short poems, something I had never done before (so bear with me), because I thought it would’ve been the best way that I can express my feelings.

For my first poem, I wrote about police brutality towards young minority males, and the treatment they receive especially when wearing specific clothing (in this case, hoodies).

Though the night,

Through the day,

Our hooded angels come out to play.

Put down your fears,

Prevent our dismay

Please, don’t take our babies away.

For my second poem, I wrote about a specific incident. In 2014, 43 male students in Mexico were traveling in buses to Mexico City as part of an annual protest to honor the victims of the 1968 Tlatelolco Massacre. During their route, they were arrested by police in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. After their arrest, no one heard from them again. They went missing, and the police had no answers to their whereabouts. It was believed the police handed the students over to a crime syndicate from Guerrero and were tortured and murdered. Months later, body parts of some of the students were found. After investigation, it was concluded that the bodies were in fact burned, tortured, and dismembered.

Year after year,

We mourn the lives that were lost

Since 1968, We have fought for the cause.

We meant no harm, 

We came in peace

Until we were stopped

By Mexican police.

Now we our lost

to our homes we’ll not return

Because we were taken, tortured, then burned.

I wrote about these two issues because it highlights the significant amount of police brutality that not only happens in the United States, but in other parts of the world, too. I hope this poem and other mediums that have given these topics attention serve as a wake up call for authorities everywhere.

I’m a Survivor

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It’s hard to write about this. It still gets to me when I talk about when I was sexually coerced a few months ago. Talking to other survivors is what has helped me the most. My mom herself is a survivor to her step-dad and so many people around me came out as survivors to me after it happened to me and I shared my story. I’d like to think it’s God (even though I don’t believe in him) or the universe bringing them in my life. I still see him, my perpetrator (I have issue even calling him an abuser because I don’t want to give him the power of that word to say he abused me. Or maybe it just helps me cope) around campus. And if you’re wondering what I do, I lift my head up, and sometimes I’ll smile, because I’ll never show him the pain he made me endure. It’s the moments when I have no one around and just myself, and my thoughts, that I break down. But I refuse to make this a sob story, even if it is- I lost a “friend” when he decided to do what he did. Instead, I always start my story the same way “I do believe I was…sexually coerced. Do you know what sexual coercion is?”

          This is not a lecture. I hope that my words and story motivate you to look it up on your own. But since we’re already here, I’ll throw in two facts:

  • 1. Sexual coercion is being pressured into a sexual act in a non-physical way. Like asking for sex so many times that a person just gives in, which has happened to me several times.
  • 2. Most survivors know the perpetrator, it is usually a family member.

It is not unimportant that this happened to me in a college campus, it is a very common place where this happens, but I’ll let you do the research. I do not have to be graphic for you to believe me (I agree with survivor Ally Raisman on that). I’m making this public, even though I thought about remaining anonymous, because I’m not ashamed. I asked myself what I did wrong, but he told me “why had you rejected my sexual advances this whole time?” Why do you think? I had known him for almost 2 years. The day after he did that, I felt dirty and disgusted.

          Like many, I decided not to report him. Until the (in)justice system doesn’t put the burden on me to prove what he did, and have me re-live it and testify, I won’t go through that. I support survivors who do, but there is no right way to process this. For me, this is right. It’s important to speak your truth, and for me, that truth is that I’m not a victim. In that moment, he robbed me of dignity and power, I was frozen. I always thought I’d be able to react to a situation like that. But I have my power back, and I won’t let anyone take that again.

I cried to this song while writing this, and it helped me get through. Lady GaGa (singer), Dianne Warren (lyricist), and the volunteers on stage are all survivors. I thank them.

Be Successful Now!

For many of us being successful is mostly related to the acquisition of expensive or luxury goods. I myself tend to assume that someone may be successful just by taking in consideration her or his lifestyle. I believe that as human we also tend to be inspired by the outcomes and not the process. In fact, the society we live in, especially through social media, will mostly show off the expensive lifestyle they live without sharing the way to get there, leading people to get the desire to reach that same level without really asking themselves how does such or such person reached that goal. Today, I would love to address myself to people who feel frustrated and not successful due to the lack of specific goods and my focus is to give a different perspective on what we call success.

  • Success is the Process

Success resides in the way you are able to go through the different steps that it takes to reach your goal. During the process, you are challenged and it could be hard to even see your goals being accomplished. But because you keep trying and you never give up, you are successful.

  • Success is Faithfulness

As I mentioned just above, sometimes the process takes too long and the challenges are requiring more and more considerable mental or physical effort. Therefore, you can easily give up on your values and opt for the short cut. For instance, think about the ones that decide to steal to get new goods, or cheat on a test to get a good grade. But as you remain faithful to what you think is right and wrong, and keep working hard to reach your goal, you are successful.

  • Success is Happiness

I have seen many celebrities deciding to end their life because they were depressed or unfortunate and who has not already asked themselves “How can you own so much money and decide to end your life?” That particular statement illustrates perfectly how you can possess all the luxury goods in the world and still feel empty, while being successful goes along with happiness. Therefore, we can understand that being successful is much more than possessing material. On your journey to reach your goal, challenges can become so frustrating that it can affect your peace but as you don’t let negativity breaks you down and remain happy by trusting the process, you are successful.  

Do not consider yourself successful just because you are able to get the car, the house or the shoes you dreamt about but consider yourself successful because you are able to go through what it takes to reach you goal. You are successful because you are able to go through the process by staying faithful to yourself without compromising your values. And you are even more successful when people around you are inspired not by what you own but by your story. So make a difference, trust the process and be the success!