I’ve Got a Secret Assignment -Daniela Ponce- Team 15


Secrets are kept, given out and exposed on a daily basis. One time, I had to keep a secret about an engagement for an entire month.

For starters, the secret was not mine to hear anyway. My uncle Ralph was planning to propose to his girlfriend, who’s now my aunt, Esmeralda. My entire family had planned to visit Nicaragua’s beaches for my grandfather’s 90th birthday.

Of course I had to stay behind because I had school. My uncle’s plan was to propose to his girlfriend on the family trip.

My uncle, who is my mother’s younger brother, had come to my mom for advice on what ring to buy and where. I’ll never forget sitting in my room and overhearing my uncle come to our house. He and my mom sat down on the couch and discussed different ring options and prices.

Being in my room, they had no idea I could hear their conversation from the living room. I was shocked and happy to discover the engagement that was going to happen and I wondered if anyone else knew.

After an hour of my uncle and my mom discussing rings, my uncle finally left. When he left, I immediately came outside of my room to talk to my mom.

“How’s Uncle Ralph? I said.

“Fine,” my mom responded.

I was shocked that my mom would not give me the details. I also figured she did not know that I had overheard them. This is when I admitted that I heard the entire thing. My mom was not mad because it wasn’t my fault, but she worried that I would tell another family member. The engagement was supposed to be a surprise for Esmeralda and the entire family so my mom made me promise not to tell anyone else.

Keeping the secret from my older sister Alex was rough because she and I always told each other everything. Alex was going on the family trip and I could not wait for her to tell me how it all happened since I would miss out because of school.

In the end, I kept my mom’s secret that was actually my uncle’s secret.

Knowing the secret of the engagement before everyone else actually made

Overall, keeping the secret benefitted everyone because Esmeralda did not find out beforehand and my entire family was surprised as they should have been. If I would have told my sister, there would have been the risk of her telling someone else and then the risk of that person telling another family member. Sometimes secrets can act like a game of telephone. It is best to keep them no matter how hard it may be WHERE’S THE REST?


I’ve got a secret Assignment


The last time I withheld a pretty big secret was probably my senior year in high school. My best friend was going to ask this very lovely lady to our high school prom. She was a very close friend of mine and her perception was that she would be going to this big dance alone. But throughout the prior weeks I kept dropping subtle hints and giving her some indications that she was not going alone. Even through a barrage of questions I was able to hide this secret for weeks. Many of her friends came to me asking who this secret prom date was and some even thought it was going to be me. But throughout it all I kept it to myself. I protected my best friend this whole time from people spoiling the surprise he planned out. An example of a subtle hint I would drop was when she started looking at other guys and asking me opinions about them and I would say something along the lines of “you don’t need to look at these other guys, someone perfect will ask you.” Her reaction would always be a very confused one and the look on her face screamed that I knew something that she didn’t.

Due to my credibility of being my friends closest and best friend he trusted me with this information to keep just between me and him. This triggered Ethos. I used my credibility and our long standing friendship from grade school for him to have enough trust in me. With the girl I used a little bit of logos but mostly pathos. I triggered an emotional appeal by telling her that the right guy will ask her and everything will work out for her. I used a little logos to make her a little more anxious and make the surprise even better by just counting down the days till the week of when she would be asked to prom.

When the day finally came I helped set up the whole setting for my best friend and I too was very anxious to break the news to her and the whole class. When she walked in and saw my friend with a bouquet of flowers and a plethora of balloons and a sign asking her to prom and I saw the huge smile on her face which went ear to ear, the satisfaction I felt was amazing. Just seeing the happiness both of my friends exuberated NOT A WORD.  gave me a feeling of inner peace that I was able to keep a secret for my friend for weeks to lead up to probably a great and memorable day for both of there adolescent lives. Seeing the great time we all had at prom made keeping this secret and lying to our peers worth it. Lying is not always bad especially in this case where you are able to make people happy. Even though to this day I feel a little bad for putting this poor girl through a grueling few weeks of intense anxiety.

Solitude – Daniela Ponce team 15


Being completely away from anything that had to do with news was like living in solitude. Not knowing what was going on in the world had me confused.

Weather forecast was one of the things we were not allowed to look at. I am always used to checking the weather every few days to plan out my apparel ahead of time. Not being able to check the weather made me guess what the day (and rest of the week) would look like based on what I saw outside. The first day I chose for this assignment was Monday, February 20th. The day was not too hot and there were a few clouds in the sky. Based on what I saw, I made the decision to just wear shorts. The next day, Tuesday, the sky was very gray and the weather felt cold. I would say it was about 67 degrees.

The next thing that affected me was not being able to keep up the latest presidential news. I normally do not watch television news, but do keep up with the latest news via twitter. Not using twitter was difficult because I never realized how accustomed I was to clicking the twitter app every half hour. Twitter has become the number one app for news for most college students because it is so easy to use. Information can be displayed as news through trending tweets and hashtags that people use. Not being able to use the app was annoying because: I was not able to see what others were doing, I was not able to keep myself updated with the latest news, and I was not able to tweet about what I was doing or how I was feeling. It was hard to not use twitter because I just had the strongest urge to check the app.

Not using twitter was like being lost in the world: Not knowing the latest news on what Trump said and not being able to retweet the latest/funniest memes.

Not being caught up with social media news for 48 hours was like being in complete solitude. I never realized how much communication information is given through these resources. I think we have put ourselves in this addictive predicament by abusing these resources. We overuse and over rely on sites like twitter and Facebook. Although the news there is accurate a lot of times, we have allowed ourselves to revolve our lives around this app. This obsession with tweeting and getting information from twitter has led us to become obsessed with the app. We no longer rely on just ourselves. Most technology is overused and has allowed us to create even solitude based on our bad habits when the technology is not around. I admit that I am too used to having my phone at hand 27/7 and rely too much on social media sites for news. Because the assignment did not allow for us to visit several sites/apps/shows, it made me restless. CAN YOU TIE THESE CONCLUSIONS TO DERESIWICZ?

Secrecy – Jennifer

From the moment, a friend demanded that I keep a situation confidential and keep quiet, I knew that I would be stuck in a predicament and possibly hurt my reputation with those on the other side. Although this person was my friend, I felt compelled to do something. How could I protect this person and still be loyal to myself? It was a difficult situation, in no way, shape or form did I have any intentions of lying to my friend’s family and friends who were also my coworkers. I not only felt manipulated by the fact that I HAD to keep this secret, but I felt two-faced and most importantly I wasn’t being true to myself and my beliefs.

To make matters worse, the people I was being disloyal to were people I worked with. They gave me an opportunity and took me in as their family, yet here I was keeping a massive secret from them. I should note that this secret was not going to harm anyone in any way, it was only to protect my friend, but in the process hurt any connection I had with my coworkers if I had to lie. In this difficult time that lasted a couple months, I was approached by several people. They persistently asked what was going on, why this person had done this and that, and why he no longer was working at his job. As a mature and loyal person, I intended to keep my friend’s secret confidential. As stated in the concealment and secrecy lecture, secrecy did lower my resistance to the irrational and pathological. With no doubt, I had to put away the pathos and ethos and use a more rational appeal to surpass the situation. It wasn’t my place to lie and It wasn’t a good situation to reveal a secret. If I was going to lie, I’d need to justify why I didn’t say something earlier, why my friend was lying or keeping a secret, all of which I tried to avoid. I had a lot of power, I could easily break my promise with my friend and tell his secret or I could’ve lied to my coworkers. Instead, I simply decided to stay neutral in the situation, letting people know that I wasn’t sure and I wasn’t the best person to ask questions to.

To back up my facts on secrecy, AWKWARD. Edward Snowden who leaked confidential government information was in no way being rational. It was not his duty to leak any information. He displayed disloyalty and ruined his reputation among others in his line of work. This was a matter of privacy, and if the government was keeping a secret, it was not his position to act upon.

I’ve Got A Secret

Secrets, everyone has them, but how do they make us feel? THIS ISN’T A THESIS  I can recall one of the biggest secrets I have kept up to date, and it all started a few years ago. One hot summer day my boyfriend and I decided to go to the park. After being there for quite some time we decided it was time to go home since it looked as if it was about to rain. Since we were not far from my house I offered to drive us. On the way home a car ran a stop sign and crashed right into us. As we straggled to get out of the car we immediately noticed that his car had a significant amount of damage. As a result of the accident my boyfriend’s car was claimed as a total loss. At the time neither he or his parents had the money to get him another car. Instead his dad decided to fix up his cousins old broken down car and he gives it to him. The issue then came that the car would randomly turn off as he was driving it. Although the accident wasn’t my fault, I felt somewhat responsible since I was the one driving his car. I spoke with my parents and we decided that it was only right to help him get a new car. We spoke to my boyfriend about it and although he resisted at first, I eventually convinced him that it was okay to let us help him. We went on to sell the car his dad had given him and then I matched what they had given him at the dealer for the car. With that it gave us enough money to put a down payment on a truck he had been looking at in another dealership. We got the truck and he couldn’t have been happier. The only problem was that no one from his family could find out that I had helped him buy the truck. When we showed up at his house we had decided that the story was going to be that: the dealership gave us more for the car that his dad gave him than they actually did, and the truck cost less than what the other dealership actually sold it to us for, and that was how he was able to afford it. They were extremely skeptical at first and asked a lot of questions. They continuously tried poking holes in our story to try to get to the bottom of it. His siblings would come up to us individually and talk to us about it to see if they could get more out of the story. At first it was nerve wrecking, having them ask so many questions and trying to make sure no one found out. Although we were nervous at the first, we eventually got use to the questions, and it began to feel quite empowering having this secret that only we knew. As empowering as it may have felt, after a while they forgot about it and we felt that enough time had passed that if they did find out it would no longer be an issue. Slowly, through passing conversation, we told person after person the truth, and it was as if a weight had been lifted off of our shoulders. ALL YOU WROTE WAS A DIARY ENTRY…


Does my perception align with reality?

In the beginning of the year, I noticed a change in my best friend’s family photos. I started to see that her dad was becoming less involved in her life. This was unusual because, [no comma] my 23-year-old bestie had the greatest relationship with her father. Her mom had not mentioned anything to me via text which made me assume that; [no semicolon] I was getting ahead of myself by formulating conclusions.

There is a greater story behind what I can perceive. I cannot come to a logical conclusion without knowing the reasoning that leads to the decisions my friend and her family have made.  I need to listen to her before hearing other voices that comment on the situation or, I will never reach the level of true analysis. [Relate the insights to the readings and lectures.]

Three weeks past [SP: passed] and, [no comma] there was still no sign of her dad. My best friend’s father is in entertainment industry so he must be traveling [comma] or so I thought. It wasn’t until her mom’s birthday dinner that I saw that my suspicions could be correct. All of the closest friends and relatives were there except the loving and caring husband, [no comma] who never misses an important family celebration.

 I began to worry.

My best friend knew my past and the difficulties I had to overcome with my own dad. So, I would think that in her own vulnerability she would come and confide in me if that were the case. I felt empowered to speak a word of encouragement into her current situation but how could I, [no comma] if I did not know if my thoughts were true. How could I mend a wound that might not need healing?  My best friend had the power in her hands to tell me the truth. I was waiting.

I wanted to know what was happening not to gossip about it but to aid and comfort her and her family.

“Hey! Is everything ok?” I said.

“I can really use a friend right now in these difficult times. There has been something I have been wanting to confide in you over the past month.” She [comma and lowercase] exclaimed.

“My dad cheated on my mom with another woman. He left the house and, He does not want to speak to me. “

“I have called him five times and, he does not answer. I have to admit that I am angry, ashamed, and confused.”

“What have I done?”

“He may not be a reliable husband right now but, I need him to still be my father.”

“Pray for me and, don’t tell anyone else.”  She said.

I was speechless.


Nothing seemed chaotic about her parent’s marriage. In fact, I admired how after 27 years, her dad would always take Alba on a date every Saturday. He remembered the little things whether it was flowers or her favorite wine.

[How did the experience empower you, the other person, or both of you?]

No one was asking the status of her parent’s [punctuation: parents’] marriage so keeping confidentiality was not going to be an issue. [Relate to class: A secret does not require a lie.]

I would never compromise my integrity and my relationship with the family for something in exchange. [Relate to class: You kept a confidentiality out of a prima facie duty and to show loyalty to a family.] 

Unlike Judas Iscariot, my lips are sealed.

I’ve Got a Secret – Murakhovsky, Alexandra

I am currently employed as the Operations Manager at a spa management company. Responsibilities of mine include organizing the facility, inventory, compiling weekly reports, day-to-day operations, and most importantly – according to my boss – managing the schedule. I play an important role when my boss needs to fire or hire someone since I hold the skeleton key to scheduling and employees’ performance evaluations. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] With the power that I hold, it’s important for me to keep a professional relationship with the employees, as well as remain impartial during the scheduling process. I wish I had known how difficult this position would have been before my friend and I both started working at the company at the same time. [Relate to class: Keeping a confidentiality puts tremendous burden on the agent.] 

Before my promotion, my friend Jane* and I had been hired as entering employees and had the same opportunities to work up the ladder. Fortunately, I was promoted to my current position as Operations Manager after only six months. The relationship with my boss was fluid and we worked well together, so I had no problems helping him professionally and at times, being a close confidant. As I worked closer with my boss, Jane found herself comfortable enough to call out from work more often and not put in one hundred percent effort like she once had.

My boss, knowing that Jane and I are friends, confided in me that during the next month’s scheduling to cut her hours in half, with intentions to have her quit so my boss wouldn’t have to pay her a severance package. Honestly, I didn’t mind too much because Jane had become a nasty worker with a lazy work ethic, a side to her I’ve never seen before.

I felt extremely empowered to be as trusted as I was by my boss. In a strange way, I was on a power trip that only him [case: he] and I knew about, but I couldn’t shake the guilty feeling of betraying an acquaintance [Did you feel a sense of loyalty, guilt or anxiety? Were you angry at having to lie or otherwise act contrary to your morals to protect the secret?] . Through our time working together, our friendship unraveled and we were but mere coworkers at the time I was asked to butcher her hours in secret. When I had posted the next month’s schedule, the questions began to arise.

Aside from the ethical dilemma I faced, I felt guilty betraying someone that was once a friend to me. Fortunately for me, she had given enough excuses and turned out to be such a poor worker that shaking up the schedule felt like second nature to me. Jane berated me for weeks for an answer as to why she was basically being kicked off the schedule. [Relate to class: Do you think the person trying to penetrate the secret had a desire to know, gain control, feel superior, or be intimate?] 

It only took three weeks since the new schedule for her to call it quits. Our friendship hadn’t been repaired since the ordeal, plus I would feel weird continuing to befriend someone that I not only betrayed, but also lied to on a constant basis for almost a month. I also didn’t have the guts to tell her she had become a terrible worker and was lucky she wasn’t embarrassingly fired. [Relate to class: A secret can hurt people, intended or not.] 


*Name has been changed