I’ve Got a Secret by Jocelyn Hurtado, Team 7

Thesis: Secrets, lies , and confidentiality are interrelated; therefore, one cannot pledge confidentiality without lying to guard the secret and keeping secrets to guard (defended?) the lies.

According to Professor Blevens, “we keep secrets to protect our personal space, name, thoughts, inventions and all aspects of our identity.” I had not experienced the complexity of secrecy until my cousin revealed to me that he was gay at a family gathering. He requested that I keep his secret because he was not ready to reveal it to his parents and grandparents. He was trying to protect his identity and, therefore, exercised his right to privacy. Privacy allowed him to avoid ridicule from his loved ones and have control over his reputation.

Immediately, I felt empowered because my cousin had entrusted me with an important (essential?) part of his life. I understood that he had experienced an internal struggle for many years and this revelation showed that he trusted and believed in our relationship. As a result, our relationship strengthened because we were able to communicate freely with one another.

During this experience, I had a prima facie duty to keep my cousin’s secret until he decided to reveal it to our family members. I knew that, with this pledge of confidentiality, I would have to lie to guard his secret. Several times, my parents tried to penetrate the secret by asking me about my cousin’s change in behavior. As outsiders, they had the desire to know and become intimate by sharing the secret with me. Knowing the secret would have given them a sense of power and superiority because they would have had access to information before my cousin’s parents did. Nonetheless, I lied to remain loyal to my cousin.

I realized quickly that secrecy and lying are linked. As Blevens states, “lies guard secrets and secrets guard lies.” Thus, lying to my family members made me feel both superior and anxious. I had the power to control the flow of information, but I also had to endure the dangers of secrecy. Whenever I talked to my parents about my cousin, I had the burden of making certain judgments. I had to be careful with what information I revealed and how I phrased my responses. Also, by keeping my cousin’s secret, I eliminated the possibility for feedback and criticism from those around me. In retrospect, a positive response from my parents could have given my cousin the confidence he needed to reveal his secret earlier.

This experience tested my morals. I had to weigh my reasons for keeping the secret against my reasons for revealing it. I knew that my family members felt they had a right to know what my cousin was going through, but his secret was not endangering himself or others. Also, by revealing the secret, I would have betrayed my cousin, severed our relationship and taken away his right to privacy. The respect I had for my cousin’s identity and decision justified my lies, which, in turn, fortified my morals and ethics. Ultimately, secrets, lies , and confidentiality are interrelated, so one must weigh the reasons and consequences of keeping a secret before pledging confidentiality.

Ms. Hurtado, you’re refreshing. Included theory, narrative and the design is clear and appropriate. Also, the selection of theme and description are excellent.


I’ve Got a Secret – Maria Pinero

I’ve Got a Secret

Thesis: Secrecy can rightfully be used to protect people from being exposed to threatening information.

Secrets play an influential role in our everyday lives. The concealment in secrets not only promotes our autonomy , but also protects us against undesirable situations. Sometimes, secrets are used to keep others at a distance for certain reasons, especially in circumstances where others are put (passive voice) at stake. Furthermore, there are peculiar bonds that link lying and secrecy together. Lies are used to guarding secrets, however, in some instances  lies are also used to invade secrecy. The presence of secrecy guards (shields?) lies, just as well as it nurtures the growth of lies. Finally, while every lie needs a justification, secrets do not.

In my life, I have dealt with situations which I felt compelled to lie to keep a secret , or protect a person to whom I promised confidentiality. My little brother has always looked up to me as a role model. In fact, out of everyone in my family, I am the one he trusts the most. When I was 16 years old, and he was 7 years old, our grandmother’s life was in jeopardy after she was forced to undergo a heart pacemaker procedure. She was in a delicate condition after the surgery , and was expected to take longer than expected to recover.

My little brother, being too young to understand, was kept in the dark of everything that was going on. However, he started noticing that something was wrong because my grandmother’s daily visits had stopped. He finally came to me, in confidentiality, to ask about what was really going on. I saw no other way out but to lie to him by saying she was on vacation, visiting family out of town. I continuously hid the fact that my grandmother was extremely ill for about a month. When she finally began to recover, I decided to tell him the truth.

The reason I lied to my little brother was to guard him from the secret of my grandmother being sick. My little brother has always been a sensitive person, and I did not want his vulnerable self to be seriously affected by this. This experience did, in fact, empower me because I felt in control of the flow of information about my grandmother’s whereabouts. Others did not attempt to penetrate the secret , because they knew it was best for my little brother’s well-being. Everyone in my family simply went along with the lies, so he would not find out.

Overall, this experience was very bittersweet. Although it felt unpleasant to keep something so critical from my little brother, it also felt like the right thing to do. At the moment (Now?), I simply (merely?) wanted to protect him from knowing something that would break him. After my little brother found out I was lying to him, he was disappointed in me for keeping him in the dark about the situation. This ties back to the dangers of secrecy, because though intended or not, it can hurt people. The lies that guard secrets, such as the one of my grandmother being on vacation when she was truly at the hospital, are told in a desire to gain control of a distressing situation.

Excellent narrative. Please check language before posting. Look coherent and success in the selection of a traumatic personal family experience.

I’ve Got a Secret

Isabella Medina

Team 7

The secrecy began late 2016. Around November, my friends and I began (started?) to pack up for our school’s annual college trip. We were all so excited; we got to miss 4 days of school and tour around a bunch of universities. What they didn’t know was that I was hiding what at the time was a big secret. To give a little context, I was a senior in high school , and I belonged to a big large group of friends. My boyfriend and I, which was then my best friend, had just begun pursuing each other romantically.

We decided to refrain from telling our friend group because he had recently gotten out of a relationship and his ex-girlfriend was friends with everyone in our group. I feared judgment and disapproval from the people who were the closest to me. It was an odd feeling, I felt scared but at the same time told didn’t care about anyone’s opinion because I wasn’t going to stop feeling the way I felt for him.

As the days passed by, the harder it was to keep the secret. My friends being my friends, knew something was up. They sensed a change in the dynamic of our friendship. We began to get many suspicious questions that eventually lead up to lies that spun from compulsion and nervousness. The lies kept growing and growing that it was hard to keep track of what lie was guarding was what. I didn’t feel empowered , ; I honestly felt powerless because I wasn’t being myself and was watching my every move to make sure no one found out.

Eventually, I told them. I was waiting for the perfect time. We had been pursuing each other romantically ever since the break-up but never took it seriously until this trip. After having a more serious talk, we agreed we wanted to actually be together as a couple. So , on the first night of our college road trip, after dinner, while everyone was happy and full of food, I told my girlfriends. They really didn’t react how I expected them to. They were happy for me, teasing me for finally ending my reign of being the single friend.

We are still currently dating but did have to deal with the consequences of lying and secrecy. Some friends who initially seemed happy changed their opinions on the situation and disapproved. We lost some friendships in the process , but nothing was going to stop us from decommitting at that point. Relationships with others are always tested (passive voice) with sensitive subjects and secrecy. While this is not always (still?) the case, the truth did set me free. (John 8:32, you cite the Bible)

Good narrative, refreshing transitions. Please check language.

Secrecy Assignment

I have been put (passive voice) in a situation where I had to lie in order (concise language, please) to protect one of my friends. This was something that was very difficult due to the fact that since you almost feel like a mediator and you are stuck playing two sides. One of my friends at the time had a boyfriend who I was very good friends with (preposition at the end of a sentence). When they broke up , she constantly asked me what he was doing and who he was with and if I knew anything about what was going on. This was something difficult because he also trusts me as a friend to not say anything about what he was doing it was also a situation where we were equally friends , so I wasn’t closer friends with her than I was with him it was mutual , so I didn’t hold loyalty to either one more than the other I held it to both (sentence very long). This is an example of having to conceal The the truth in order to help someone. Although I knew what he was doing if I told her it not only would emotionally destroy her , but it would also be something where I became on loyal to the other person because they trusted me so in order to protect both people I had to conceal the information. This also was something that kept me out of trouble and kept me loyal with both of them because I wasn’t becoming A messenger to either one of them. What I did for her I did for him and so forth. Although this experience technically made me feel like I was the one in power because I was the one who knew the information it also wasn’t good (right?) because I felt like the smaller person in the fact that I almost felt like I was betraying them not telling them what I knew. This made me feel very uneasy because I thought stuck or like I was hiding something from somebody that I cared about as well as hiding a secret for somebody else that I care about it was a very uneasy moment and certainly something that made me not want to be the one who knew all this information. Technically she was trying to penetrate the secret trying to know what I knew all the time about what he was doing so she constantly would be prodding at the situation to see if I had any information to give her. Having this mediator position applies to variables in a way that you are protecting a secret yet in a way have the power to hurt someone or a situation.  You have the power to say whatever you want , and it could potentially blow up the situation and cause a lot of animosity with those people. It also could affect the loyalty with yourself that somebody feels they have with you so in the way you were also protecting yourself. This is one of the examples in my own life I feel represents this assignment in different angles of secrecy.

Writing in a block not very commendable. Some transitions and coherence within reason, please. You don’t check before posting? 

Giovanna Smith
ID: 5925910

48 Hours Assignment

Media is something that has completely taken over the way we get news society , and the world have access to everything almost instantly. Anything that one would like to know whether it’s current news or the weather is accessible in a matter of seconds through social media and almost everyone having smartphones the updates you almost instantly with the latest trending news and information. During this 48-hour blackout period, you must rely on only your current surroundings. It was a bit difficult because when I would wake up in the morning , I could see that it is cloudy outside but didn’t have the ability to couldn’t check if it would actually rain or not because having a weather report is news. Having to completely disconnect is something that feels almost taboo typically in this day and age (currently?). When I was so curious to go on Facebook and continue to see what the updates on the current events such as the mass shooting, or politics I found myself having to only resort to my own opinions. A blackout period for me though was not as difficult as it would be for others who cannot let go of their phone for not even one second. My days are so busy that I truly at times don’t have time to check social media and I very rarely watch TV already. The thing I found difficult was the radio because I spend a lot of time in the car and that is how I am and forms of current topics trending as well as what is happening. During this blackout, I had no update or anything on what was going on.  This made it difficult to see if current issues I had heard about had progressed towards a positive light or decreased in being fixed. Having blackout periods may put people behind but only because news moves so quickly that we feel behind not because we actually are. Doing things like this allows us to come back to our senses and find things out in the time that we need to truly live in the present moment , and have no option but to except spontaneous happenings. This is something like the weather because you don’t know what it’s going to be you just have to must expect that it’s either going to rain and be prepared (passive voice) or it’s going to become sunny. I really enjoyed this because it gave me a moment to resort back to what I know for sure and is not what I’m being told I should know. It allowed me to not feel the fear of missing out because I didn’t know I was missing out on anything. At times are your motions are shaped by what we see is happening around us and not what is actually right in front of us. This was a point that forced me to accept that some things I knew and some things I was simply going to have to accept. It also gives a sense of happiness because you aren’t constantly seeing horrible things happening, or hearing about them, you are simply focused (passive voice) on yourself, your needs, and your day.

Giovanna Smith

ID: 5925910

Appropriate use of language. Block make it difficult to read. No theory or quotes?

48-Hour News Blackout

Isabella Medina

Team 7


In an age where the internet and social media are such a huge part of our lives, disconnecting, even partially or temporarily, is difficult. Beginning Tuesday morning and ending Thursday, I attempted this 48-hour blackout. I live a moderately busy life. I have a part-time job, I go to school full-time, and I’ll occasionally participate in extra circular activities. Needless to say, all All the distractions I had weren’t enough to avoid any form news for these long 48 hours.

I’m not going to complain , ; it wasn’t terrible. I was able to fully function and found myself becoming more productive when I didn’t have Twitter or Snapchat to distract me. However, it wasn’t so much falling into the trap of the news , but it was actually others trying to inform me of recent events. I didn’t feel a desire to update my “followers” of my every move or to be in contact with my friends at every minute of the day. But I did end up wanting to use these platforms to stay informed and aware of the events occurring around me. (Good description)

Before I began the assignment, I already knew that students across South Florida were going to perform school-wide protests and there was going to be a march in Tallahassee. What I didn’t know (realize?) was that there was going to be a televised conference between Florida’s elected officials, NRA representatives and the survivors of the recent Parkland shooting. The blackout stripped me of the access to that knowledge and event. The following day, I had peers asking me if I had seen or heard about it. It’s not a matter of feeling anxious or worried but having access to a new outlet/platform is necessary for personal and professional development. (!)

While William Deresiewicz does make valid points in his article “The End of Solitude”, his views on loneliness are a little extreme. There are many coming of age rituals that are performed (passive voice) as a group , and there is no problem with talking through text message. It was never a problem when it was done (passive voice) through a messenger service and not fully integrated into a cell phone. The idea of completely detaching yourself, especially in a digital era is merely impossible. Most, if not everything we do in our daily lives is through the internet or some form of a digitized product. It’s not a fear of being lonely , ; it’s staying informed. (Excellent concept)

48-Hour News Blackout by Maria Pinero

48-Hour News Blackout

Thesis: News are is a necessary intrusion of our solitude, because they subside our creativity and ability to think for ourselves.

In his article “The End of Solitude”, Deresiewicz proposes our culture’s notion of celebrity and connectivity. As the breakthrough of technologies rises, the Web, and more specifically social-networking sites , expands connections and networks to a whole other extent. According to Deresiewicz, the contemporary self has an intuitive desire to becoming know, through both celebrity and connectivity. We, as members of the digital mesh, aim to be recognized and connected at all times always. This has ultimately eradicated any hope of ever being alone. In my personal experience, I can evidently say that I never find myself to be ‘alone’ in any situation. Whenever I am in a room full of people I do not know , or would not normally (usually?) engage with, I turn to social-networking sites to fill the void of feeling alone. Sometimes, scrolling through Facebook or the front page of The New York Times app , seems more convenient than sitting in solitude.

After throwing myself into a Twilight Zone of partial solitude for 48 hours, I can certainly assert I never want to do this again. The 48 hours spent disconnected from any sort of news were filled with anxious, perplexing episodes. Although I did experience elements of the solitude Deresiewicz describes, I mostly encountered moments of agony and confusion. Most of the time, I did not know what to do in situations I would instinctively turn to social media , or other forms of connectivity. Since I deleted all the applications on my phone that form part of the mesh of interconnection, I found myself often checking my phone and rolling my eyes in disgust the second I remembered I had deleted them.

Such feeling of discomposure, in fact, led to the substitution of other faux social activities to fill the gaps of solitude. I am an extremely (incredibly?) impatient person, and I found that it was hard for me to simply exist in isolation. In my instance, I often started conversations with strangers near me as a distraction. However, the topic of news came up in just about every conversation, and I would have to interrupt to explain the 48-hour news blackout, and conversations would wither. I frequently encountered moments with my family where I was usually forced to leave a conversation because they wanted to discuss something relating to the news.

Through much analysis of my experience, I came to recognize that we form part of a news-driven society. (Excellent) We base most of our conversations on the trending stories of the news. We have the an ambition to be informed of everything going on , and to inform (educate?) people of everything we know. News are is important (essential?) to society because they affect the way we live our lives, and how we connect with others. Whether they are local, national, or international news, this ground of information allows us to be involved in our community. As I experienced, we often take the presence of news for granted to an extent where we lose our sense of community and connectivity. Nonetheless, news is a necessary intrusion of our solitude because it diminishes our creativity and ability to think for ourselves. As Deresiewicz quotes, “our decision-making is powerfully influenced by social context,” through a process of “deep imitation.”

Excellent work, good development of ideas.