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?


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?

Daniela Ponce – Assignment 1

FIRST NAMES? Chabris and Simons keep a respectful tone while arguing that Neil Degrasse Tyson has practically made up a quote by George W. Bush by informing readers that confidence plays a huge role in memory, that the content of our memory changes overtime and by explaining that when we recall our memories we are basically playing a game of telephone.


Chabris and Simons use a great load of logos by giving us facts on how confidence can affect our memory. It is said that high confidence can sometimes play a role in false memories. In other words, sometimes higher confidence can result in lower accuracy. This follows with what Tyson was saying about George W. Bush’s quote because Tyson seemed extremelyWATCH THE ADVERBS confident that Bush had stated those words exactly, even though everyone else seemed to disagree. The authors continue to give us facts about how are memories play by explaining that the content of our memory changes over time. They use the facts from an experiment made by psychologist Fredric Charles Bartlett. Bartlett explains that our memories are recalled similar to a game called telephone. In the game, when a message is whispered to another person, the message becomes slightly distorted as it goes across person to person. Chabris and Simons use the example of Bartlett’s experiment to give readers scientific facts about memory. The explanation of this experiment also implies the use of ethos. When readers see the words “psychologist” and “experiment”, they automatically assume that those given facts are trust worthy and reliable. For example, as a reader, seeing the example of the experiment of how our minds are like a game of telephone, instantly made me lose faith in anything that Tyson believed. In the article, it is obvious that although there is no physical evidence of Bush stating those words, Tyson is extremely confident in what he thinks he knows. When it comes to credibility, as a reader, I found that the psychologist Bartlett was more of a reliable source compared to Tyson who had no evidence. Chabris and Simmons display Bartlett as more of a credible source because he has the evidence of the experiment he uses to explain how our memory works. Finally, pathos is used by the authors toward the end of the article. Chabris and Simmons show the emotion of epathy and belief in fairness. They understand that Tyson has made an error and choose to explain the error in a respectful manner without degrading him whatsoever. The authors appreciate that Tyson later admits error and is able to move on. They encourage readers to react in a respectful manner when errors are made and to remember to not strike someone as a liar when something may be misremembered. Reading through the comments, I found a few who accepted Tyson’s mistake by not bashing him as a liar. Jacob Sommer comments that he does not remember every event of the day and that is probably for the best. He explains that he would rather take something as an honest mistake and explains that he would rather give a person the benefit of the doubt. His comment also shows a form of pathos because he shows a belief in fairness to Tyson by accepting that he has made a human mistake. The times approach with picking the top comments is effective because it describes again that mistakes are human mistakes. The comments explain that accepting that people make mistakes is crucial because no one can physically remember every single event that has happened. They explain that it is important to move forward when authors accept that they have made a simple mistake.