I’ve Got A Secret: “Secrecy And Bonds.” Kacy-Cornwall, Tamara. Team 13.

Thesis: Often, many people mistake secrecy with lies, however, secrecy is used to guard a person’s privacy.

Very good thesis!

A person’s loyalty is dependent on their actions when they are not around you. Whether or not one can keep a secret is a huge factor in where they stand in your life. Secrets are what set the foundation for a strong relationship, whether it is family, friendship or a significant other. Often, many people mistake secrecy with lies, however, secrecy is used to guard a person’s privacy.

In 2016 I started working at Forever 21 with one of my close friends named Rebecca. If you know anything about retail, it shouldn’t come to a surprise that within a few months we were plotting our escape. Moreover, due to the strict policies and regulations, Rebecca and I made a pact to have each other’s back when it came to breaking the rules. More precisely, as time went on, Rebecca would call out frequently and used her mother being sick as an excuse. One day she pulled me to the side to inform me of her tactic but that her mom was 100% healthy. Since the managers had knowledge of our bond, Rebecca thought it was smart to inform me of what she was up to in case any of the managers were to ask me about the situation.

Thankfully she did because just as she suspected, after a few times of Rebecca calling out, some of the managers would try to receive more insight from me. Although they weren’t obvious with the ways in which they randomly asked about Rebecca’s mother, I already recognized the intent behind the inquiries. Therefore, when a simple conversation pertaining to the task I was performing at the moment switched to, “how is Rebecca’s mom? …What’s going on with her? …Is Rebecca’s mom getting any better?” I was able to answer as calmly as possible. I made sure to make it clear to the managers that Rebecca did not like discussing the situation due to how “sensitive” the subject was each time I was asked.

When I was first asked about the situation it took me by surprise because I did not expect the managers to dig deeper by coming to me. However, based on the knowledge I already had on her mom, I maneuvered around the questions being thrown my way. Furthermore, I was empowered knowing that given my position and the managers’ position, they were the ones that needed me to withhold the details behind Rebecca’s mom. In fact, Rebecca and I would laugh at how completely clueless they were to the fact that we were breaking the rules yet maintaining our position at work. Eventually, the questions stopped but Rebecca’s absences continued and there was absolutely nothing anyone could do about it. It got to the point where the head manager offered Rebecca a shoulder to cry on if she ever needed it.

All in all, the fact that I could continuously cover for my friend ensured how tight our bond was. Whether her actions behind the secrecy were ethical, as her friend I was there to support her not judge her. In this case, secrecy was used to conceal her personal life.

Good narrative and writing style, but could use more connection to the concepts.




Secrets, Bibas 13

A secret no matter its size can be a burden in your life. A secret no matter how important can make you feel bigger than you really are. You can be told a secret, or you could stumble upon a situation that later becomes a secret you now have to keep. That is what happened to me.

One of the biggest secrets I have ever had to keep in my life was a secret I stumbled upon by mistake. This was a secret I knew I was going to have a very hard time keeping it to myself, but for my own good and the secret teller’s good I had no choice.

Professor Blevins mentions how secrets are important because in a way they promote our own autonomy and protect that autonomy. With secrets we have a sense of privacy, we are in charge of the destiny of that secret. It helps us control our reputation and it keeps those who are not aware of the secret at a distance and clueless.

As I was walking up the stairs to my room, I found an apple, I was hungry and it looked good. Before I could take a bite I saw a hole in the side of the apple and it smelled burnt. I am not someone who is very educated with marihuana and its accessories, but I knew that was an apple turned bong.

As I thought about it, there was one person in my house who I knew could be the only one to have done such a thing. I did not know what to do. I had come across something I knew I couldn’t share and it somehow made me feel powerful. I had a very important piece of information that could be use to my advantage.

After thinking about it for a very long time and realizing how much danger this secret could create if it was revealed. I spoke to the not so good secret keeper. The apple turned bong creator.

For over four months the bong creator and I had a strong bond. We shared a very important secret that without intention made us closer than ever before. When that bathroom door was locked and you could not see the light glaring from the bottom crack I knew what was going on, but kept quit. Every time there was a late bike run through the neighborhood I knew what was happening but kept quit.

For four months I felt some sort of power and enjoyment, knowing that I knew something nobody else in my house did. But my anxiety was off the roof. Every time that bathroom door was locked, I was afraid our secret would be revealed and the truth would no longer be hidden. I was afraid of what the outcome of the truth being revealed would be. I was afraid of the tension that truth could cause.

After four long and hard months our little secret was no longer hidden. That secret that brought us closer together was broken. The tension I was so afraid of had suddenly appeared. My fears had come true.

Very good narrative but perhaps more connection to the concepts. Good writing style!


Thesis: Lies form a bond of trust between the people involved when they are done with the intention of helping someone.

Excellent thesis!

For this assignment I decided to talk about a relatively small secret at the time, which has since formed a strong bond between me and this person. In fifth grade I had met a kid who would later go on to be my best friend till this day, but our friendship was sort of formed on a lie I told to protect him. Looking back on it, the lie was extremely childish and small but it established a trust between the two of us that we still have till this day.

During our end of the year party in fifth grade, all of us were asked to bring food for the rest of the class. My friend had of course brought Cuban (capitalize because it is a proper noun) bread like many other kids in the class. Unfortunately for him, he had no idea that his bread was completely covered in ants. I had helped bring the bread from his mom’s car earlier that day and noticed some of the ants but didn’t think anything of it.

Well the ants ended up spreading from his loaf of bread on to all the other food kids had brought. As one would imagine he was extremely embarrassed by all the trouble his ant bread had caused, but kept to himself when the teacher began asking who it belonged to. Another kid from our class pointed out that I had helped bring it in, so the teacher asked me if I knew who brought it. I lied and just said it was in a cart with other food kids had brought when I got it, and that I hadn’t seen who left it there.

This small lie ended up being the catalyst for our friendship, and we still joke about it until this very day. I feel that lies are a part of being human, and in cases such as this one they actually ironically can lead to trust in someone. Being able to cover for someone rather than throwing them under the bus is something we would like other people to do for us, and is a form of lying that benefits someone and doesn’t hurt anyone in the process.

I never had a problem living with this lie because I knew what it led to and knew there we no ramifications for it. It felt like almost a partnership we formed through something that small, and bond of trust in each other that we wouldn’t one of us in that situation. Even today we still cover for each other in a similar way, and try our best not to ever throw one another under the bus. While I do feel some lies are done with the intentions to harm, others really are done just to help out a fellow human.

Very good story and great narrative, perhaps relate more of the specific concepts.

48-Hour Blackout Assignment – Karen Regalado

I don’t really see a thesis statement in your essay?

For 48 hours, I didn’t use social media apps, watch the news, or read magazines or articles. I made sure not to overhear the news channel in the other room and had everyone I talk to avoid news-related topics around me. It was difficult both to restrain myself from taking in the information and to avoid it entirely, making me realize I take my easy access to it for granted. This 48-hour blackout assignment made me recognize that information is everywhere and almost impossible to disconnect from entirely, which proves proving Deresiewicz’s argument in “The End of Solitude” true. Information is so accessible that only after this assignment did I see how it was (or ‘has been’) pushed on me constantly despite my attempts to avoid it.

An example would be when I went to the grocery store. As I waited in line to pay, it was hard not to reach for my phone and scroll through Twitter or Instagram. It almost seemed to make time go slower as I stood there in line doing nothing. I looked around and found a magazine in the aisle announcing the gender of Duchess Kate’s new baby in big bold letters. I reached out to pick it up only to stop myself when I remembered the assignment, even becoming frustrated at not being able to know what I wanted to know. Even if one stops using social media like I did, information still comes through in other mediums like the magazine announcing the unborn royal baby.

I only felt the anxiety or frustration Deresiewicz described in his article when I was forcefully keeping myself from the information I wanted to see or read. However, it wasn’t the lack of information I was reacting to:  it was not having anything in my hand to look at while I sat in a car or waited for my order to be ready at McDonald’s. The idea of boredom Deresiewicz writes about is very true and I found myself growing impatient with everyday things that I would normally have social media to entertain me through. I was subconsciously trying to avoid this concept of boredom like  as Deresiewicz says we all do.

On the other hand, being completely disconnected from information outlets did make me more concentrated on my work. I finished my homework and read my assigned readings for my classes faster than ever thanks to eliminating the distraction of social media and television. Despite my spike in productivity, I ended up finding loopholes such as listening to old music or watching movies or television shows I’ve seen in the past.

This assignment has made me come to the conclusion that social media and other information outlets are more of a distraction than anything else, thus making Deresiewicz’s argument correct. Society constantly looks for ways to eliminate boredom and media is currently the best distraction. I realized I too have this habit of trying to avoid boredom and the constant media presence around me makes the idea of solitude that Deresiewicz describes in his article impossible.

Your essay is fairly well-written, but the lack of a strong or clear thesis statement is a problem.  I do see you taking critical argument here, but more analysis would improve your essay.

48 Hour Blackout (Bibas, 13)

I don’t see a thesis statement in your essay.

It is Sunday 8 p.m. and I am sitting in terminal C30 in Philadelphia International Airport waiting to board my plane. On a regular day, this would have been the perfect opportunity to catch up on everything I have missed in social media that day. But that night was not like any other night, that night I was disconnected from the world.

Finding the right corner to sit at without any news playing television facing me was harder than finding the right kind of snacks to take on this plane ride back. It was hour 32 of a 48-hour complete blackout and I had yet found a way to get my trembling fingers to stop. I wanted to be that student that enjoyed these 48 hours and took advantage of my loneliness and thought about my life, and myself but I was wrong. “…thought about my life and myself, but I was wrong.”

After reading “The End of Solitude” by William Deresiewicz, I couldn’t help but agree with him. Since technology has made such a big impact in the world, the different gadgets we have at our hands are keeping us from experiencing the greatness of real communication and real (or perhaps ‘true’ solitude. good)

My generation has grown up with their lives being played through a long ? not sure what you mean by ‘long’ screen. Our generation wakes up thinking about how many likes they received on their last Instagram post.

Deresiewicz mentions how hard it is for our generation to be alone. We do not know how to act when we are not near our Television, (television should not be capitalized) our phone or our computers. We don’t know how to be alone with our thoughts.“Not long ago, it was easy to feel lonely. Now, it is impossible to be alone.”

After I finished reading Deresiewicz piece and  I knew I had to take a hiatus from every news source and technology for 48 hours, no comma, end sentence (.) I was excited. I was ready to take this challenge and make the best of it. I was ready to begin a life of understanding true solitude and true disconnection from the craze that “likes” and “follows” does. (I’d put ” around these two words. It distinguishes them.)

I am not going to lie; I have done a little cheating. (good and proper use of a semi-colon, two independent clauses that can stand along as complete sentences!) As an observant Jew, I have the opportunity to disconnect myself completely from any sort of technology every Friday evening to Saturday night.

However, I forgot that during those days of hiatus I am able to talk to friend and family about the new of the world. But during these 48 hours I had to keep myself away from all of it. I was unable to talk to my brother about how his team, my teams rival had done that weekend in the Spanish League, like we do every weekend. It was killing me on the inside.

I was able to distract myself with my little nephew. I was able to talk to him about nothing, because as a one-year-old how much can you actually contribute to a conversation. I was able to be alone with my thoughts, which I never knew could be so scary. But sadly turning those notifications back on and re-connecting gave me a sense of satisfaction that saddened me.

Well-written and good introspection but could use more analysis.

48 hour news blackout: “Solidarity In Modern Society.” Kacy-Cornwall, Tamara. Team 13.

Thesis: As times have evolved, so has the internet in terms of keeping everyone connected, making solitude a less common thing.

Solitude and boredom go hand in hand. According to William Deresiewicz, the contemporary self wants “to be visible. If not to the millions, on Survivor or Oprah, then to the hundreds, on Twitter or Facebook. This is the quality that validates us, this is how we become real to ourselves — by being seen by others.” As times have evolved, so has the internet in terms of keeping everyone connected, making solitude a less common thing.

When the internet was first fabricated, (look up the word fabricated perhaps?) created it was merely an aid in keeping people in the loop of what is going on in society. (not true actually, not at first! see below) However, fast forward to today’s day and age, and we see that technology has become so much more than that. Deresiewicz used logos when stating “as the Internet’s dimensionality has grown, it has quickly become too much of a good thing. Ten years ago, we were writing e-mail messages on desktop computers and transmitting them over dial-up connections. Now we are sending text messages on our cellphones, posting pictures on our Facebook pages, and following complete strangers on Twitter.” Moreover, based on the swiftness of modern technology, it has made it so easy for people to get noticed. Which ties into Deresiewicz’s statement “The goal now, it seems, is simply to become known, to turn oneself into a sort of miniature celebrity.” More precisely, the internet has created a consistent flow of content for those that partake in its use daily. Therefore, this fast-paced technology has, in turn, stimulated the mind of its users, causing them to form this addiction to being recognized. (very well-put!)

Personally, I can relate since I always find myself posting online (Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat) in hopes of getting more views or likes than my previous posts. I update the content that I post in hopes of reaching a higher audience each time. I do this so often that when I stop posting for a while I get a strange feeling and acquire the fear of missing out (FOMO). Although I’m not missing out on anything, the addiction of receiving feedback from others is what puts me in this mood. FOMO can also be associated with being out of the loop. Moreover, when I’m not informed on what is going on in the news I’m lost.

The presence of news itself allows its viewers to stay updated to the occurrences around the world. When I threw myself in the twilight zone for 48 hours it was as if I disconnected from society. I was unable to properly engage in conversations fearing that I would ridicule myself without knowing all the facts on the subjects being discussed. Furthermore, this isolation period forced me to recognize how very essential news is and how much everyone takes it for-granted since they know they can access it anytime. However, for those that aren’t so fortunate, like the homeless or those who can’t even afford something as simple as a phone, internet or television, the isolation they feel must be immense. Without a doubt, the presence of news aids in bringing people together on a common ground. Although people may form their own opinion on the information broadcasted to the world, what remains common is that shared information which creates unity, destroying solitude.

Very well-written, good use of the concepts in the readings, nice analysis, good job!

***ARPANET adopted TCP/IP on January 1, 1983, and from there researchers began to assemble the “network of networks” that became the modern Internet. The online world then took on a more recognizable form in 1990, when computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web.

48 Hour News Blackout (Team 13)

No thesis statement

Every morning when my alarm goes off I pick up my phone, turn the alarm off, and then start checking everything that happened while I was sleeping. I go to Instagram first, then if I have time I’ll go to Facebook, and then last to snapchat. When the 48 hours started I woke up, shut my alarm off, and then as I started to click my Instagram app I remembered and was immediately disappointed. I laid in bed for a minute processing. I never realized how automatic my checking behavior was. That continued for the rest of the two days. There were instances that I did not even think about what I was doing and I would have to exit out of the app quickly. I would also pick up my phone to go to a news app and once I had it in my hand I would remember I couldn’t go to that app. So instead I would find something else to do on it. I was searching for something to entertain me during those short lulls in my day where my hands or mind wasn’t busy. I usually turned to Pinterest in these instances.

Normally, I have a podcast on while I do things at my apartment, walk to class, or drive. During the blackout, I felt the need to drive out the feeling of solitude, so I would play music or put Netflix on in place of the podcast. I hated the thought of having to be in silence without anyone else around. I wasn’t even alone for very long during the 48 hours, but still any silence was quickly replaced with noise or entertainment.

Lastly, it was very difficult not being able to check in on what was happening. I run the social media accounts for an organization and I found my thoughts becoming obsessive on how well the accounts were doing while I was offline. I was worried about my “miniature celebrity” as Deresiewicz puts it. I also wanted to know the updates on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. There were many other things that my brain would think about that I would usually go to google for the answer, but would become frustrated because I had to be left in the dark.

I realized how much happiness and comfort I find from social media, podcasts, TV, and music. Deresiewicz was right when he said, “Solitude becomes, more than ever, the arena of heroic self-discovery…”. There was nothing to fill the space, when I was truly alone, besides my thoughts. Deresiewics (s should be a z)went on to say, “a voyage through interior realms made vast and terrifying…”. I was afraid to be with myself. The thought of being alone with my thoughts was uncomfortable. I was trying my best to not feel alone. Every instance of solitude caused a need in me to fill it with anything available. I did not allow myself to be lonely because it caused discomfort. I ran from Thoreau’s “darkness” as Deresiewics (s should be a z) notes.

I don’t see a thesis statement or much in the way of analysis, dealing with the concepts of the readings, or arguments about readings. Please read assignments more carefully! This is a narrative of your experience.