Wk 15- Classmate Conversation- Nicole Chovit

This week I was absolutely stoked to meet Nicole. By random chance I asked her if she’d like to do the classmate conversation with me, and we were each ecstatic when we discovered that the other was a graduating senior as well.  Nicole explained that she had been wondering who the other one was all semester, so it was great to finally meet each other. Wish it could have happened sooner!

Nicole is a human development major. She has a boyfriend that, like mine, also speaks Spanish. She would love to improve her Spanish fluency to perhaps eventually be able to use it in her career. Nicole was born here in long beach and has one younger sister and two older step sisters. Nicole is definitely a cat person but is starting to think she might want a dog soon. Nicole is going straight into grad school after this semester so that she can eventually be a LCSW (licensed clinical social worker).


Wk 14- Art Experience- Sketching in the Garden

FullSizeRender.jpgThis was my all time favorite art experience! I love drawing and I love nature and this was the perfect combination of the two! I’m so happy I had this experience to get me back in the beautiful Japanese Garden before I graduate! I actually have a deep connection to this garden because my Freshman year I was cast in a dance department piece that was site specific. We performed an improvised dance in the garden with live music. It felt like full circle returning to the Japanese Gardens 🙂 My sketching was challenging at first because I can be pretty hard on myself because I love art so much. But once I surrendered to my pen and paper I was totally therapeutic and completely enjoyable. Both the abstract photos and drawing were the most challenging for me because I am a pretty literal and logical individual. My last drawing was of a coy fish and I got so enwrapped in it that I took it home as a work in progress and have been adding to it all weekend. Hoping to have it done by Sunday night 🙂


Wk 14- The Secret Lives Response- E.C.

WOW. I’m really glad I took the time to read that article. It was lengthy as hell, and I’m not gonna lie, I almost gave up to just skim a few times but I’m glad I didn’t. The title was a great hook to get me interested and right off the bat, I agreed with many of the authors points about how there is always someone with more out there. And that goes for just about everything. These days it feels like teenagers are obsessed with the idea of “basic”. This idea that there is such a promonent “norm” that will ensure coolness. This idea of basic I feel ties into Reeve’s point that teens love this idea of being epically relatable in every way possible. I can honestly say I have never had a tumbler or really been even remotely interested it it. However I did find all of the drama around Pizza and Jess Miller, to be quite fascinating. There was one point in the blog where Reeve’s dishes out a couple stereotypes about each social media network, and I actually agreed pretty much one hundred percent with her conceived stereotypes. This article also made me realize how there is really a webpage for almost anything these days. You think of it…..its already been thought of…is what its beginning to feel like. I loved the part of the article where Reeve explains that a difference in Tumbler is that it actually gives credit where credit is due. It seems that rather than appropriating ideas like many other social networking sites, Tumbler actually gives exposure to the creator.

The part of the article where Reeve explains teens are said to be “better marketers than anyone is the game”. This was mesmerizing to be because I have never really connected social networking say-ness to brilliance. However I guess when examining closely teenagers really are advancing like crazy in that field.

I found it to be very striking the idea that “haters ate more loyal than fans” however it does make sense when I think about it more. On Instagram I occasion click the pull down bar on comments of famous people I follow and it boggles me how many haters incessantly post comments there.

The racial comment Miller made, I agree was inappropriate but I was thoroughly impressed with how maturely she was able to look back and reflect on it with regret and disappointment. It was also astonishing to me that at 16 Miller was making more than her own mother was. This is definitely a testament to something, although I’m not sure that it’s “brilliance”, per-say. Also the diet pill scandal was pretty outrageous to me. I think it’s pretty low of adult to falsely advertise diet pills to young teens in a place they are most impressionable i.e. Tumbler.

The conclusion of the entire article was very moving to me. I honestly kind of even for the chills reading that last paragraph. Funny thing, I actually contemplated sharing it on Facebook because of how interesting I found it to be, but it also seems a bit too ironic.

I am posting the conclusion here just because I found it so captivating: “At first you loathe the teens, because you know nothing about them and think they’re idiots, beneath you. Then you love the teens because you figure out they are smarter than you, and you make peace with the death of your cultural relevance, because you know you’ll be in good hands. Finally, you recognize the shape of the adults they’ll become, corrupted by money and vanity and hubris just like everyone else. And you’ll see yourself in them because they’re relatable: That moment you realize the teens are just like you.” Elspeth Reeve

Wk 14- Art Experience Feedback

My favorite art activity of the semester was Sketching in the Garden because it was the art experience that helped me the most in my personal life. I have been needing a break in my life to be alone in nature for an hour or so (don’t we all), and this activity finally gave me the opportunity.

My second favorite art activity was Landscape with a corpse because I loved the outcome of my experience. My best friend and I were able to spend quality time doing something artistic, which she really loves but rarely gets the opportunity to. I also found it to be just a really unique idea that I went full out with!

My third favorite art activity was Plaster Casting. Though my plaster casting was a total disaster I had an absolute blast going to the beach with a close friend and attempting an art project.

I loved these three activities the most because they all involved doing things I wish I did more but neglect because of the business of life

My least favorite activity was group video project because it was incredibly stressful and I ended up not putting any on my heart into it because of the required guidelines and restrictions that I must do it with students from the class. Had I been able to do it on my own time I think I would have learned and gain much more.

I did not have more than one least favorite activity 🙂


Wk 13- Classmate Conversation

Anthony is a computer scientist. These past few weeks he has been completely hooked on the office. He’s from Palmdale which is an hour and a half north from here in a desert,  not an exciting place. On the weekends he likes to visit his girlfriend in san Diego and also enjoy going to the movie theater. Movie popcorn is his favorite. He likes long beach and is excited for his 4 years here.IMG_2740

Wk 12-Art Experience-Geocaching

Today I had my first geocaching experience. I went with my best friend Yasmine to one that we found on the app that sounded pretty interesting called LB Olym Triathlon. It was in the parking lot between CVS and LA Fitness. We parked and looked everywhere. We found one specific planter that I swear was the exact pin-pointed spot, but we couldn’t find it anywhere 😦 I left a little trinket under a bush but I am not sure that’s where it was suppose to go. And I was unable to find one of my own to keep 😦 Had fun with my friend though so it’s okay!

Wk 12- Artist Conversation- Jennifer Chen

Artist: Jennifer Chen

Exhibition: Succession

Media: Digital Print

Gallery: Gatov Gallery West

Jennifer Chen is an Art major here at CSULB. She is in the graduate program and will be graduating this spring. Chen received an undergraduate degree in biology. She chose to go back to school again to develop her artistic side. Chen knew she had a passion in art and wanted to further explore it.

Chen executes all of her work in the medium of digital print. She first prints her desired photos on large sheets of paper. The sizes very according to different intensions. She feels the different sizes help exhibit the different perspectives one dance have on the work. The varying scale of the prints illustrates this difference in perspectives. Once Chen prints the pieces she performs a masking on the prints. After this she typically applies a gloss over everything to make the photo seem appear realistic. Chen uses photo shop to make the stencils for her pieces.

I found the meaning behind her work to be extremely captivating and unique. Chen titled her exhibit “succession”. She strives to depict in her pieces the effects that nature has to disturb landscapes, such as fire or floods. Chen is inspired by the ability landscapes have to change and heal over a period of time. Some of Chen’s work is also categorized as microscopic disturbances. She depicts close up’s such as altered tree bark to illustrate these more microscopic disturbances to a microcosm of a landscape.

Chen plans to continue exploring in her art work the effects of succession on both natural and urban landscapes. After graduating this spring Chen will be returning to CSULB to teach a course. The course is titles Art 270 and she is eager to fill the class and spread her interest and knowledge in art!



Wk 12- Classmate Conversation- Kyle Shishido

Kyle Shishido is from Torrence California. He is currently a freshman at CSULB living in the beach side dorms. He does not like the beachside dorms because he feels it is harder to make friends there than at on campus dorms like Parkside and Hillside. He is a film major and is specifically interested in digital arts.

Kyle loves drawing as his primary pastime. He also loves playing video games and running. He used to run a lot in high school because he was on the track and cross country team. Now he does not run as much and misses it quite a bit.

An interesting fact about Kyle is that he has a unique way of preventing himself from getting mad or angry.When presented with a situation that makes Kyle mad he precedes to play out the situation in his head with British accents. For some reason this dissipates his anger immediately. Lastly, Kyle’s favorite movie is Pans Labyrinth, he has seen it dozens of times. IMG_2580

Shake it, Shake, Shake it

When I think of car accidents what comes to mind for me is fender benders and rearenders. I feel like what the 17 of us in that van endured last Sunday was more than a car accident, not to sound morbid but it honest to God felt more like a failed attempt at murder than anything else. In a blink of an eye we went from standing in our seats shaking our butts to Outkast Hey Ya, to the vivid image of seeing all of our best friends helpless bodies thrash right and then left.

It was Sunday April 3. For my friend Kelsey’s birthday, her dad rented a shuttle-like van to take us all to Temecula to wine taste for the afternoon. Kelsey and most of her closest friends live in San Dimas so we met there before piling into the van. All dolled up, we had a few glasses of mimosas at at her house and got on the road around noon. We were 22 people total Kelsey’s dad Kirk, and girlfriend were driving our van, and Kelsey’s sister and husband driving a sedan behind us. I was one of the last to climb into the bus and kindly enough all the seats were taken besides the fifth row back right corner, which I hesitantly climbed back to. I had no premonition or anything of what was to come but with a few glasses in me I was squirmy an vocal about hating my hot, sun baked corner seat spot. When we stopped at a gas station about 5 minutes in I got my beloved Kenneth 3 rows up on the right side to let me sit on his lap, I was instantly happy and finally excited for the hour car ride ahead of us.

The the next 35-40 minutes were an absolute blast. Nayla’s DJ-ing was on point and we couldn’t help but unbuckle our seat belts and dance to every single song. At 12:46 my sister sent me a text saying “have fun, love you, send me snaps”. She had seen my snap chat story, and after the fact had told me that seeing all the dancing and such a packed van with no seatbelts gave her a nervous feeling that caused her to text me. I replied a kiss emoji and a wine glass at 12:53 and at 1:03 she received a sobbing phone call.

It was during the part that goes shake it, shake, shake it, shake it, shake, shake it when out of no where my whole body slammed forward against the seat in front of me. The moment I felt it I knew exactly what was happening, the only thought in my head was “this is happening”. Everything went into the slowest of slow motion. The I-pod immediately pulled out of the auxiliary and everything went silent. No one screamed, but I can still hear in my head 17 of the most fearful audible inhales. The first hit was to our left back corner in the carpool lane which put us on the trajectory towards the center cement freeway divider. The second hit, into the divider, is hazier than the first. Because I was on a lap, with with my legs in the isle to my left, I was essentially facing the back three rows of the van. I braced and tensed by body between the seat in front and beside me, all I can remember is hair and heads forcefully thrashing backwards. Still almost 70mph the van headed forward but beginning to tip. The tipping feeling is what puts my stomach in a knot. The over-turning and slam down to the ground I do not clearly remember. I can vaguely hear in my head the awful screeching as we skidded on our right side down the freeway about 50 yards.

As we were screeching and skidding I was wholeheartedly expecting to be hit by oncoming traffic. I think in that moment of anticipation for a split second I did think that would be the end. Up until that point I had no intention of dying, I was engaging and bracing so hard I had no time to think about death, I was completely preoccupied with surviving. But that millisecond where I surrendered to the possibility of ‘that being it’, was strangely placid. I came-to once the van had completely come to a stop. Everything was completely silent besides a banging noise at the front of the van. I immediately smelt a strong sent of gasoline and started to hyperventilate. As simple as it was, I vividly remember my first and only thought being “oh my god, oh my god, oh my god“. All I knew in that moment was that I needed to get out fast. The only door to the van was on the right side against the ground, so the windshield was my only way out. I knew that I couldn’t get out until at least 5 were out in front of me. The selfishness in that moment is whats most haunting. I started talking out loud calmly, and repeatedly saying “it’s gonna be okay, we need to get out, we’re okay, lets try and get out“. This orating was no brave act of heroism but was the only logical step towards my eventual exit from the van. At this point Kirk’s girl friend had successfully kicked out the frot windshield barefoot, and people from outside we’re helping peel back the glass. I stood up, it was dark inside, the air bags had all gone off. Because the van was on its side the people in the left two seats were holding on tight to suspend themselves and not crush Kenneth and I and the others on the right.

I remember seeing Kelsey’s face covered in blood, and Kenneth beneath me spattered in it. I had lost my shoes and belongings. When it was finally my turn to exit, as I walked in a crouch towards the hole in the windshield I was grateful to feel the shards of glass in my feet because in that moment I knew I was getting out. Once out, I must have stood in the freeway just blankly staring for what only could have been a few seconds before my fight or flight response receded and I cried out for my friends. Before I could even finish yelling Kenneth, Danielle, Jeremy… I laid eyes on them all alive and standing or crawling out of the van. Beating myself up over that selfish minute of thinking about none but my own life, I immediately started hugging those capable helping those incapable.

All 22 involved in the accident made it out alive and miraculously with out even a broken bone. I’m not sure if it’s luck, or fate, angels, or really what to call it, but I’m beyond grateful that everyone is okay, and I know, in time, we will all physically and emotionally  heal.