My Secret By Joseph Jones

Secrecy can big huge effect on someone’s life. Secrets can be the difference between someone being happy or devastated. Secrets can be hard to hold in but soon enough they all eventually come out into the light. Like the old saying “what’s done in the dark, will always come to light.”

Which, leads me to my story of how I cheated on my girlfriend about a year ago. We met on Instagram and from there we hit it off. It started off great we had been good friends for about 4 months, and then we finally decided to take things serious. Although it wasn’t perfect we were already 4 months into the relationship and I felt like I was in love or at least I thought I was. Not only that, but I was getting closer to being on my way to college. The topic of me leaving was brought up very unsettle, my girlfriend didn’t want me to leave of course but she understood I had to seek a education so that I can be successful in life. I also didn’t want to leave at the same time but i was so excited to go to college as well and just seek new adventures in life.
Constant struggles of trying to hang out as much as we could was also interfered with our other life duties. It almost felt like I was going to dying or something because I seemed more sad about leaving my girlfriend than going off to college to experience and learn new things. I was also leaving earlier than usual because I was starting college in the summer term;so we didn’t really have room after the end of my senior year to spend time with her all summer until the fall semester.

The temptation of so many new girls is totally different from high school. I end up meeting a new girl who we soon became friends and hooked up. It was something that just happened it the moment I was never thinking about my girlfriend when I should have and I had my head all on the wrong things. After doing this I had so much regret inside and I didn’t know how or when to tell her. I knew this secret would hurt her so bad because she was so faithful too me, and she thought I was as well at the time. I had already made numerous promises never to leave or cheat on her so this was something that I was beating myself inside about every time I would talk to my girlfriend on the phone. I didn’t know how she would look at me or if she would even still want to be with me but I wasn’t willing enough to risk it. I had only told my best friend who had already thought this was gonna happen in the first place.

This really changed my whole perspective on things and empowered me to not only be a better boyfriend to my next girlfriend but also a better person because after telling her I realized how much pain that put her through finding out that I cheated after promising her that it would never happen. It really brought me back to reality and to know that I had something good and messed it up for someone else that I barely knew. After making this huge mistake I can’t see myself doing it again. It was a terrible but good learning experience.

Good narrative and writing but could use more analysis and connection to concepts!


Secrets and Lies

Alexander Morales, 5824686

Lies are often used to cover up important secrets, and everyone has their own experiences with lying. During my senior year in high school, my band director had called me into his office to discuss future leadership positions and who would hold them. By the end of the conversation, I had sworn to keep all the information discussed a secret from my fellow band mates. Secrecy can be a difficult thing to uphold, especially when there is constant prodding from others. As Professor Blevins discussed in the online lecture, secrets and lies are interchangeable. In some cases, it is appropriate to lie in order to protect valuable information. The morality of lying is often blurred however, as many people do not know what exactly is worth lying about.

In my case, I felt that it was more than necessary to lie to my peers. As a member of leadership and a highly trusted confidant to my band director, I felt compelled to remain silent when asked about our conversation. There were times when friends tried to penetrate the secret conversation, but with lies I drove them away. Sometimes, as in this case, lies are justifiable. Some secrets are far too important to be known. However, in class we have discussed secrecy and its role in our society today, and in many cases lies and secrets are not moral. The secrecy in Ghost in the Shell at times endangered lives, all in the name of “national security”. Section 6 had a diplomat assassinated simply because his allegiances were with another nation. This secret was kept from a lot of people; even people in the Japanese government, so that those involved would not be implicated. Section 6’s use of lies and deception can be seen as immoral and wrong, and the organization was well aware of its actions.

The control of information flow is such an important fabric of human life, and yet so little are actually aware of it. Journalists attempt to break down walls of secrecy, but they are often met with lies and deception. Journalists also have secrets of their own, some of which may be moral and some immoral. They are revered for their work in uncovering secrets the public had no idea about, and they are also damned for their secret agendas and motives. Julian Assange is one such man who has worked tirelessly to bring to light many secrets, and all of his sources have always been kept from the limelight in the name of confidentiality.

Secrecy almost always brings with it a web of lies that grows all the time, and most people do not even realize it. It is important to understand the relationship that lies have with secrets in order to recognize when we are being lied to, but to also know when it is morally correct to lie. It can feel empowering to keep secrets confidential, and many times it is important to stay quiet on certain matters. My lies about the conversation I had with my director helped solidify my relationship with him, and it also made it clear that some secrets are not meant to be uncovered, regardless of the outside desire to do so.

Excellent essay and good analysis! Very good attention to detail and writing style!

48 hour black out

Alejandra Stadthagen

Team #12

Not sure where you’re thesis statement is in this first paragraph.

William Deresiewicz argues that we have replaced solitude with technology and we don’t see the importance of it. (this is a bit vague, I am assuming that “it” refers to solitude, but it could be clearer, perhaps revise sentence.)During the 48-news blackout I experienced, I noticed a lot of life-style patterns (lifestyle)I had created that made me rely on (being connected through technology) technology and being connected. I was not aware of how much time I spent on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media apps. Not only the apps, but the time I spent reading/watching the worldwide or breaking news. (replace / with ‘or’)The experience did teach me the importance of solitude for oneself and not relying on technology. (I would rephrase this last sentence. “The experience taught me the importance of solitude.” a cleaner sentence, you have already substantiated the fact of not relying on technolgy.)

I did not find myself in the first part of Deresiewicz argument of celebrity and technology. I did not have a sense of eagerness of uploading my pictures or messages during the blackout. However, I did find myself wanting that sort of connectivity. Even though I was not sharing anything, I was anxious of that I was missing out on social media sites and engaging with posts. Moreover, I was able to observe those around me. I took notice of how they were on their phones looking at their phone applications or reading an article.

After reading Deresiewicz perspective on solitude, I realized that I saw solitude from a romanticism perspective, rather than in modernism. (good!) I have never thought that being alone is harsh and isolating. Being alone always seemed as “recharging my batteries”. Since I tried to distance myself from technology too, I replaced those gaps with cooking, cleaning, going to the mall, and visiting my family. Most importantly, I even had time for myself. It was easier to replace those gaps spending time with other people than being in complete solitude. However, the restriction of knowing that that I couldn’t talk to the people around me about the news or listen to it gave me anxiety. In addition, when I was with others I was anxious that I could only use certain apps on my phone and was restricted from information. My “safe haven” became listening to music and studying because I knew I wouldn’t stumble upon any news.

Since I was breaking away from my routine, it was a challenge to not read the news in the morning. It gave me anxiety not knowing what the world woke up to in those days. At the end of my second try of doing the 48-hour black out, not reading the news was not something that gave me as much anxiety. it was actually calming not to be thinking of so many problems that the world faces each day. When I started re-watching the news, I took everything with a lighter heart than I did before. I did not let it cloud my thoughts. The news is important for our daily lives. It is important to see what it going on today, because it will affect us tomorrow. The news is a necessary intrusion for our solitude, but we should be aware of how we let it affect us. The news is critical for us so we can be active in our community.

Well-written, your introspection is good, could have a stronger conclusion and a bit more analysis.

48 Hour Blackout

William Deresiewicz said “The last thing to say about solitude is that it isn’t very polite.” There is no statement more true than that after completing this 48 hour blackout assignment.


I began the blackout on February 20, 2018. Beginning this 48 hour news blackout, I assured myself that it would be easy for me to complete it because I’m usually not one to be on social media all day. For the first few hours, I occupied myself with tasks I had to complete, making it easy not to reach for news on my devices.

It didn’t get hard until I had to get ready to leave my house. I usually check the weather to see what I can wear for the day. Since I had no idea what the weather was like, I had to go outside to see for myself. That was when I first experienced solitude. I could see how Deresiewicz thinks solitude is coming to an end. The majority of society is connected to the media, and we are becoming too dependent on it.

Driving places was different for me. I drove in complete silence. While the solitude gave me time to think, I found myself with the urge of turning the radio on. I wanted some sort of entertainment. Why was I anxious? Why was I afraid of being alone? I questioned what Deresiewicz meant by boredom and loneliness in solitude.

When the evening came, I wondered what I missed throughout the first day. I reached for my phone and then remembered I couldn’t check social media. I wanted to know what my friends and family had been doing or what was going on in the world. I was clueless and bored.

By the second day of this blackout, I had enough. I couldn’t stand not knowing what was going on in the world. I found myself almost breaking the blackout when I almost logged into Instagram. I was bored and anxious. I was surprised I was feeling that way because I didn’t think I depended on media to go on with my day.

When I went to work, I had to purposely lock my phone in my locker so that I wouldn’t be tempted. I can admit that even while at work, I’m usually connected to some sort of media. There was a positive side to this blackout. I was much more productive that day than when I have my phone with me.

I was counting down for the moment I could finally end the blackout. It was extremely hard to complete it. How can it be so hard to be alone? Why is being bored bad? Society and myself included are so used to staying connected with media, we are unable to be alone and are actually afraid of it.

Deresiewicz said “Solitude isn’t easy, and isn’t for everyone.” This is very true for me. Solitude is definitely not for me. It’s incredible how only 48 hours of solitude, brought me to this conclusion.


I didn’t see much in the way of analysis, argument, or concepts relating to the readings. Please read the assignments more carefully. Your essay is quite well-written but I would like to see more connection to the readings. This is more of a narrative.





48-hour “blackout”, P.K. Berry

Honesty is a virtue: I cheated on this assignment. Be fair in your judgement! In today’s world, this assignment is impossible. There is no blacking out from the constant barrage of updates around us. TVs are in every market (even libraries), people pass about petitions on the latest outrage, the device that wakes us up every morning gives a constant stream of weather and news. I managed to go a whole day in the “blackout” before sitting in the DMV and finding myself zoning out to the TV situated in the middle of the room.  I couldn’t find peace no matter where I went, yet was drawn to the escape of information. Even as I battled the need to know, I grew aggravated at the fact that one simply cannot escape the news or opinions of it.
Though I consider myself rather non-reliant on the distractions of information technology (I only have a Facebook account, and the last selfie taken was accidental), the pull to read and inform myself was constant. Perhaps knowing that information was “illegal” was the driving factor, much like the push for an open internet in dictatorships. No matter the validation I try to pull to excuse that urge, in the end, it was mostly boredom. As was mentioned in “The End of Solitude” by William Deresiewicz, boredom and escapism rather than loneliness are what encourage the constant flinch towards opening apps/magazines/websites.  Many times I found myself mindlessly seeking some input from a device just to drown out the inputs around me.
Being a first-responder that is sent to many disaster areas with no cell service, losing touch with the world around me for months at a time is nothing new. There is a type of elation that comes with finally finding a news source that allows us to know what’s going on, and for that I’m grateful. However, there’s a different type of elation as well: one that exists in standing outside a tent in a pitch black field, away from the chatter and card games inside, allowing your thoughts to drift where they please.
In everyday life, I consciously guard myself against the slew of information around us, and I’ve found happiness in not being constantly buried in my phone. There is a line between updating yourself to stay aware and educated, and doing it out of boredom. Introspection is the key to bettering the world, for as Gandhi said, one needs to “Be the change you want to see in the world”.  How much time do we spend on analyzing the validity of our own thoughts and behaviours?
One cannot truly experience loneliness if being alone is all one knows: you cannot miss what you’ve never had. In today’s society, we may have friends to chat with online, but no-one (no one) to talk to. We have hookup apps but no one to love us. Meaningless exchanges. An entire generation has grown up not knowing what it means to have a true friend, yet not having a moment alone with their own thoughts. Solitude allows us to retreat within ourselves and provide(s) (us with) what we seek from others(;) look up the proper use of semi-colons)(two independent clauses that can stand on their own as separate sentences) such as validation, encouragement, and even cross-examination. For just a little bit, I’ll take my leave of society: I’m sure it won’t be lonely without me.

I don’t see a thesis statement. Break essay into paragraph. I’m not sure how to grade this if you didn’t do the assignment. While you make good points and your writing style is sound and I did enjoy your essay, I would caution to fulfill the assignment! Otherwise, good job.

The Black out by Joseph Jones

Joseph Jones



This thing we call solitude is not something common is a society that is controlled by technology. I’m certainly not used to being left alone for more than 48 hours from the world. Although I love being alone sometimes this was not easy as my attempt to do this might have failed. This blackout reminded me of the time when I got punished and got my phone taken away. Left realizing that most of my entertainment was coming from my cellular device. From my experience of getting my phone taken and recent experience of this 48-hour blackout, it also made me realize how much free time I’ve been wasting just sitting on my phone catching up on people’s newsfeed and other popular news that day.

For the first day of this assignment, it honestly wasn’t the best. I had already made it a habit to check my phone every now and then for stuff like; my social media(,) to talk with my friends(,) or (to) see what they’re doing.(end of sentence).  ESPN because I’m really into sports like football and basketball. Which is why I feel like I might have failed a little with this assignment because it was so hard for me to make a quick jump from using my phone all the time to barely using it at all. But what also helped was that I started on a Tuesday which is one of the busiest days in my class schedule that kept me from looking using my phone to some extent.

The second day wasn’t that bad, it was really dismissing that it was the last day but it still annoying that I still must do this. Constantly thinking why did I even take this class or what if I just use my phone for a little would it be okay or maybe if I just use my phone anyway and fake this whole essay. All these temptations of options to be able to use my phone kept popping up. But I remembered what the teachers said about being honest about this project and how they could tell if we were lying kept me at a standstill.

Being more productive was a significant improvement for me overall in this two-day challenge, I found myself finishing homework a lot faster and just having more time to do my chores like laundry and cleaning my room. Honestly wasn’t something I wanted to be doing but after doing it I felt a lot less stress about the stuff I had to do because I was so used to sitting on my phone procrastinating on what I’m supposed to be doing. After doing this, I’ve realized how much time I’ve been wasting and how addicted I might be to using my phone and knowing the updates around the world. I’m not saying trying to get myself or anyone into solitude is impossible but it’s not something you can just jump into immediately. Being that I had something like my phone on me made it harder as well not to want to check up on the world.

I don’t see much connection or analysis of the concepts of the readings. This essay is mostly what you did during the blackout. Please read the assignments more carefully. 

48 Hour News Blackout

Alexander Morales, 5824686

Thesis Statement: It is not easy to be alone in today’s world, and as Deresiewicz states, The disconnect that comes with solitude can be completely unnerving and ominous.

For two days, I locked myself in a box and found it increasingly difficult to not venture out of it as time went by. During possibly the worst period to do so, I ignored all news and social media, completely isolating myself from the rest of the world. Although this was only done for two days, the impact that this blackout had is quite unsettling. So much occurred during the span of time I was “away”. Billy Graham, the world’s most influential evangelist, passed away. The Miami Dolphins signed Jarvis Landry to a one year franchise tag. The President proposed a nationwide ban on bump stocks, and verbally suggested training teachers to use firearms. I even missed out on a county wide protest in which thousands of fellow students walked out of class to demand action against assault weapons.

The point I’m trying to make is that all of these things, I knew nothing about. Two days does not seem so long until the world starts spinning and you are left behind, all alone. Just like Deresiewicz said, my generation cannot handle solitude. Isolation can make a man insane, it nearly did so to me. I am so used to logging on to Facebook everyday, surfing the web and following the latest trends. Suddenly, when the freedom to simply know is taken away, peace can seem almost impossible to obtain at times. Deresiewicz predicted that those who were condemned to solitude would attempt to do other things to mask their intense feelings of loneliness. During my blackout, I found myself doing just that, spending much of my time watching movies on Netflix.

It is peculiar that people cannot stand being alone. I never really thought of it until this assignment. As Deresiewicz explained, solitude is not bad. It is loneliness that is the bad feeling brought on by solitude. In some cases according to him, solitude can be a good thing. I cannot pretend to share this sentiment completely. While I understand solitude has served many artists and innovators well throughout history, the price of being alone is sometimes far too great to handle. I was relieved by the time my 48 hours were up not because I was bored, but because without the outside world and all of its vast connections at my disposal, I felt empty and naked inside. Life suddenly seems devoid of any meaning when one is not informed.

This is what the internet has done to society. The days in which people could bare the thought of being alone have been over for a long time, because as Deresiewicz says, it is virtually impossible to do so in this age. Social media dominates human life, calling to us every second of the day. Our access to information, although useful and important, has turned us into slaves of our own fears. Solitude can no longer exist as it once did because we have gotten so used to the world being at our fingertips. Nobody wants to be alone while the world spins on and on, the mere thought of it drives us mad.

Could have made more connections to the reading. More analyzing but fairly well-written.