Thesis: Dealing with secrecy is something that affects everyones lives at some point or another. Although keeping my brothers secret for most of my adolescent years put a strain on my relationship with my mother, it ultimately helped me become a more compassionate and understanding adult. GOOD

Secrecy is the act of keeping things hidden. It stems from deliberately keeping something from others out of fear, embarrassment, or other reasons. Some may keep a secret because they believe it to potentially have a negative impact on someone specific or because it may cause harm to the secret-keeper and those around them. Sometimes, there’s even an element of shame behind confidentiality. Regardless, the act of secrecy is something that can become prevalent in anyone’s life, at one point or another. It can be detrimental and put a strain on your relationship with someone. For me, it became an issue I dealt with almost my entire life.

From an early age, my older brother and I have constantly cultivated a very close relationship. Because our parents brought us up in an old fashioned manner, we were always able help one another keep secrets from them and find comfort in our mutual trust. However, nothing could have prepared me for the intimate detail my brother would one day reveal to me. Because he is only two years older, we faced the same issues simultaneously. We both went through our transition from children to young adults around the same time, but he dealt with it a lot differently. I became social, started going out on the weekends, and got better grades. He was the polar opposite. Our mother attributed this to the difference in our genders, but it was only a matter of time before my brother revealed the real reason to me. He confessed to me that he was gay and that he was having a hard time dealing with the matter.

From that moment on, I saw him in a different light, not because of his sexuality, but because of the courage he had to reveal this intimate part of himself to me. On the other hand, my mother confided in me as well. She vented, telling me that she blamed her parenting for my brothers distant behavior, and that she wished he would let her in again. I would be lying if I said this didn’t make me feel guilty for keeping such vital detail of his life from her. This put a silent strain on our relationship, one that was almost unfathomable. However, I was always painfully aware that this was my brother’s secret to share, not mine.

Ultimately, this experience empowered not only my brother and I, but my parents as well. He went through stages of denial, depression, and culpability, which were all necessary on his journey to acceptance. Although my parents were shocked and hurt when he confessed to them, they were able to realize that his sexuality was merely a part of him, that it didn’t change him as a person. As for me, I wouldn’t be the same person today if I hadn’t dealt with my brothers experience through a second hand perspective. It helped me become understanding, open-minded, and more considerate of the people around me. WELL WRITTEN AND A POWERFUL STORY.


I’ve Got a Secret Assignment – Khaleel Martin

Thesis: Hurricane Irma was shaped as a terrible storm through social media, the news, and word of mouth once the world saw its effects on islands such as Puerto Rico and Barbuda. ? THE THESIS WAS MEANT TO BE FOR THIS SECRECY ASSIGNMENT..HA.


When it comes to secrecy, the fact that you know something that only a select few people know is very empowering. We control what other people know what we know, and it gives us a sense of identity also. The situation that I was in, was pretty deep. People around me put a lot of trust in me to keep everything a secret. It was during my senior year of high school. I made a lot of friends at my school mainly due to the fact that I was very amiable and was involved with many school activities. I had a lot of friends/acquaintances, but I had few people that I had a deep relationship with that could keep things between us only. As time went on, many of these people I was very close with started doing drugs and drinking alcohol. Xanax and weed were the two most common drugs that they got involved in. It started off as a leisurely activity that they would do on weekends outside of school. I knew about it, but never got involved. Sooner than later, they started doing it during lunchtime in their cars and it even got to the point when some students would take xanax in the bathrooms. The school I went to was a private school, so many of the kids could afford such drugs. As time went on, I constantly told my friends to cut it out. We were nearing graduation, and others had been kicked out of the school already for the same reason. Teachers would ask me questions since I associated with these people and I would lie and tell them I didn’t know what was going on. It got to the point when they would start to come to class under the influence and teachers would know, but did not have enough evidence to prove it. A couple of weeks before graduation, one of the main school drug dealer’s phone was confiscated because he was “filming the teacher’s butt”. It was a terrible reason, but a good enough reason to confiscate the phone. Once confiscated, the teacher’s went through the phone and found all of the messages involving drug sales with this dealer and many students. Two of my closest friends that I vowed not to tell on, were in those messages and promptly expelled weeks before graduation. It was a very hard time, especially for their parents who had done all they could to raise them right. I look back and ask myself if I should have told the teachers the truth, and that my friends were addicted and needed help instead of lying when they asked me. It felt good knowing stuff that others wanted and only a select few knew, but it also was nerve racking that if exposed, the consequences would be detrimental. My friends have dismissed that lifestyle after seeing the detrimental effects that drugs had on their lives. I wonder how things would have been if I would have told and gotten them help earlier instead of them getting caught and having to get help. SEPARATE PARAGRAPHS, PLEASE. WELL WRITTEN.

48 hour News Blackout

When I started the 48-hour news blackout, I knew I wouldn’t have trouble in doing so because I have learned to isolate myself from the “herd” as Deresiewicz said in his article. I have had previous experiences of excluding myself from the loop and learning to appreciate solitude.  GOOD FOR YOU The most memorable experience for me came when I went to Mexico for a week with no tv, cell phone, laptop, or any kind of electronics other than A/C and light. WOW With this experience under my belt, the 48-hour news blackout was not tough at all. I like to isolate myself from time to time and I find nothing wrong with being out of the loop. In doing so, I find myself more productive when I am not caught up on the latest news. I have the time to get things done and spend time with people. I also tend to find myself happier because I do not hear the disheartening and awful news that happens around the world. The only notable thing that I truly missed, was getting my scores and updates from ESPN. I am a huge basketball fan and I like to keep in touch with the latest and greatest. I never found myself anxious, however, from this lack of news and media. It definitely helped me to fill in the time I would normally surf the web and access news and media with either physical work or movie watching. With hurricane Irma just passing, I was able to keep myself busy with various yard tasks or exercising. When I was too tired to do either of those things, I would relax by watching movies, playing games, or doing homework. With the extra time, I was able to focus and accomplish a lot more things that I had to get done. I do however think it is important for us to stay in the loop with the news happening in our world. While I do enjoy being alone sometimes, I realized in this blackout that being uninformed of things happening around me was not necessarily beneficial for my awareness as a whole. GOOD With having the necessary information that news provides, I am able to base my decisions in a matter which is acceptable by society. For example, if I see on the news that there is a lot of racial tension happening in my country, I am not going to joke about such a matter or act indifferent since it is a very sensitive topic at the time. The news is a necessary intrusion of our solitude due to the fact that it keeps us well educated of the pressing matters happening in our country. With such knowledge, the daily choices we make can be for the better. While I do not mind being cut off from such news outlets at times, I realize the importance of the news and the use of the information we as people receive from it. SEPARATE INTO PARAGRAPHS.


There is no doubt that information technology has endlessly benefitted our lives. Whether we are interested in staying updated with local news or attempting to catch up with an aquiantance, both are only a click away. The easy access to digital information has also enhanced globalization, made communication between one another extremely efficient, and has given us the power to retrieve data almost insantly. However, like many other great creations, it also has drawbacks. Whether we are stopped at a red light or waiting for an elevator, we are constantly scrolling through our phones, reading articles or updating social media.

In his article “The End of Solitude,” Deresiewicz writes about how our digital information society has nearly abolished any hope of being in complete solitude. I never took this concept into consideration until I underwent a 48-hour period of disconnecting myself from the outside world. Not only did I analyze my own experience, but during this time period, I was constantly watching the others around me. My first observations were how much time I had to do everything I always put off and how much time I tend to waste on a daily basis mindlessly scrolling through my phone. Instead of checking Instagram, I was able to finish a book I started during the summer that I had neglected over social media. When I would sit down for lunch, I realized that I could enjoy my meal more thoroughly because I didn’t have any pending distractions on my mind. GOOD However, my dependency on information technology was also magnified during this time period. There were moments when I ached to check online newscast media for the sake of remaining updated on the world but I managed to tame my curiousity. I began watching the others around me as well. I noticed that in moments of silence, such as when waiting for a professor to began his lecture or waiting in line at a restaurant, my peers were constantly on their cellular devices. The disconnection between one individual to another became evident.

My experience helped me make the epiphany (COME TO THE EPIPHANY) that information technology makes it almost impossible to connect with the people around you or even with yourself. It has made solitude seem taboo and has become an escape from human interaction or solely enjoying your own company. GOOD This theory was further proven when I would find myself anxious without using my phone, wondering what to do with myself. Ultimately, information technology has helped us connect with the world, but not with each other. As individuals, our best hope is to find a balance between the both, and not let the easy access of digital information completely consume us.


Mariana Gomez, Team #8

Rhetorical analysis of a New York Times’ article and commentary

The point that the author’s were trying to imply was that it’s an a innocent mistake for one to confuse facts based on memories that were mixed up. People are so quick to judge and starting creating unnecessary fuel rather than being humane about a situation that happens on the daily. COLLOQUIAL LANGUAGE HERE

The article written by Chabris and Simons talks about Tyson committing wrong statements about Bush because of false memories. In order to come to this conclusion, the use of the rhetorical triangle was brought out by both authors. Both Tyson’s and Bush’s quotes were utilized in their rhetorical analysis. The influence of ethos ETHOS was heavily used when the authors were trying to explain how a person should think before they speak. In other words, how Tyson should know his facts before confronting a situation. GOOD Personally, the author’s tone is more considerate and understanding than lacking any sympathy or compassion. The point that the author’s were trying to imply was that it’s an a innocent mistake for one to confuse facts based on memories that were mixed up. People are so quick to judge and starting creating unnecessary fuel rather than being humane about a situation that happens on the daily.

An example would be when Tyson thought that Bush stated the words “Our God is The God who names the Stars”, right after the tragic event of 9/11 that impacted the nation in so many ways. However, this is what caused all the negative backlash. The reason being since the event were Bush correctly stated the past statement was due to another event that occurred at the Colombia space shuttle tragedy. Additionally, the public eye than began to critique and produce accusations towards his character of being passable.

What the New York Times does so well in regards to expression, is having the category of “Top Three Comment Picks” available. What this section does is allow the people of New York to speak out on their beliefs and stance towards any predicament discussed in the newspaper. I believe this section is essential because the people who read this newspaper would rather be exposed to other’s opinions (people just like them) so maybe they can relate better or explore other viewpoints on sensitive topics. What the first comment section entails is an interaction through e-mails between one of the writer’s public talks and a listener/reader. This section incorporates the emotional appeal of pathos by valuing the reputability of the source so the reader can have faith in what is being spoken about. The second comment is sort of a rebuttal since it puts the intelligence of George Bush in serious question. The emotional appeal of ethos YOU MEAN PATHOS was the center behind this argument. The third comment shows the other argument of ethos that defends Bush’s comments claiming that his reaction was humane so his he shouldn’t be oppressed for his statements but instead rewarded for his actions and relief efforts. In other words, an innocent slander with no wrong intent shouldn’t be bashed no matter what your view of the individual is.

To sum up, reporting is something that should be done with integrity and not for headlines. False reporting will only remove credibility from an individual in the long run, even though it might seem like the right decision at the time that the report was released.



Rhetorical Analysis

THESIS STATEMENT: Chabris and Simons praise writer, Sean Davis, for shining light on an inaccurate claim made by New NEIL Degrasse Tyson. They dive deeper into the accusation relating it to human behavior and our tendencies to have overconfidence in our memories.

Chabris and Simons explained how Dr.Tyson was fooled by his faith in the accuracy of his memory when claiming that former President George W. Bush was prejudiced against Islam by putting words in his mouth. This relates to what we learned in the lecture; echo chambers. People research what they want to read in order to reinforce their current beliefs. GOOD

They built their case on human behavior and how every human is a fabulist whether we mean to be or not, thanks to overconfidence in our memory. The authors use logos LOGOS by incorporating facts and studies into the article. They discuss how we retrieve our memories and reconstruct the story based on the details we remember. Our stories alter each time we recall the story, which is why the National Academy of Sciences advices courts to rely on initial statements. The authors incorporate ethos ETHOS  by including how Daniel Simons is on the panel for said Academy.

I enjoyed skimming through the Readers’ picks. Neil deGrasse Tyson commented on the article. GOOD OBSERVATION He provided readers with two Facebook links supporting his side. I’m not surprised that it was a Reader’s Pick, because it’s fun reading “come backs”, but I was shocked to discover NYT picked that comment too. The next comment was by a man who witnessed a minor traffic accident and provided his point of view. He had reported what he saw, but when the drivers reported what had happened he was wrong. Interestingly enough, he admitted to his inaccuracy. Lastly, I picked a comment speaking about someone who explains that it’s okay to express a strong belief, as long as he ends it with, ‘of course, I could be wrong.” Honestly, I do the same.

The NYT picks are more professionally written and incorporate logos, whereas the readers’ picks are more opinionated and incorporate pathos. PATHOS  These NYT picks caught my attention: A commentator spoke about “mental laziness” and how humans continue to make up stories instead of thinking of the facts. I’ve experienced this laziness; people make this fabrication a habit. The next comment said, “I believe there are significant number of innocent persons serving sentences today because of honestly believe testimony based on the witness’s flawed memory.” Many people don’t even mean to be dishonest at times, but it happens because it’s what they believe to be true. Lastly, a commenter said that Tyson shouldn’t have been portrayed in the way that he was. He claims Tyson knew he’d be called out for a fabricated quote but was attempting to save science. I don’t agree with this comment, but it’s an unpopular opinion and it’s nice to see a different point of view.

Personally, I like both the NYT picks and the Readers’ picks because both are well written and insightful. I don’t bother going through the chronological comments because most trolls; I prefer having the comments filtered. Overall, love the NYT way of ranking comments; it’s perfect for the narrow attention span of the average millennial. GOOD ANALYSIS

NYT Articles HW assignment due 8/31

Thesis: The flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas has been covered immensely through various platforms that have given us as consumers many ways to obtain information on this event.


Article question answers: When analyzing the argument presented by Chabris and Simons, I was pleasantly surprised by the construct of thinking they brought in their arguments and the topic that was talked about. AVOID TALKED ABOUT I never looked REPLACE LOOKED at our memory from the matter to which they did, and the arguments they had supporting their evidence was WERE well put together. When it came to them building their case, they used a real life example by introducing Neil Degrasse Tyson to their reasoning. They used a real life example of Tyson assuming he remembered the right thing, but actually stating false points for an argument he was making about President Bush. They built their argument using this real, credible story and hooked me as a reader after stating their points to tie into the story. Their arguments played more on facts and studies as they brought up results from studies done pertaining to their topic, but I felt a sort of emotional connection since the argument being presented related to humans as a whole because it is a problem we all face. As authors, they have a very taciturn tone and I did not sense any animosity while reading. They simply stated their argument and facts without pushing it onto the reader, and allowed the reader to decide whether or not they’re arguments were valid or not. YOU BRING UP CHARACTERISTICS OF CONCEPTS IN RHETORICAL TRIANGLE WITHOUT IDENTIFYING WHAT THEY ARE.

Upon reflection of the top reader’s comments, it was clear to see that one of the main reasons they were voted so high was due to the fact that they stated clear arguments and some even had substantial evidence. One of the top arguments had quotes backing up the argument being made, while the other had links to websites that supported their argument. The third, however, did not have any of these things. It simply was a regular man stating facts that he used deductive reasoning to come across and that made sense to the public. All arguments had logos and some had pathos. HOW? When it comes to ethos though, we do not have enough information on the commenters to know how they are as people. EVIDENCE NEEDED.

When comparing the readers’ choices to the NYT picks, it is clear to see the NYT picks were arguments developed more crisply and efficiently. When I read the NYT picks, they all started off with how they felt about the article and followed it up with clear and concise points. Some of the readers’ choice arguments would delve right into their points, and I would have to derive what their stance or argument was by looking at the points. I believe their approach to ranking comments is effective because I could see a difference in the resourcefulness of the comments. Points were well received with an efficient use of words from the NYT picks, while the readers’ picks would tend to throw a lot of facts my way or web links.