I’ve Got a Secret

I had been very close friends with two people since I started pre-k. As we grew up the two friends grew to like each other in high school and continued dating for 5 years. Their love was clear and real and I always admired and supported their relationship. One night I went out with the guy half of the relationship and the night took a turn for the worst. We were out with a bunch of other school friends and I looked his way and he was with another girl, I had no idea what to do. He was my best friend for over 10 years as was his girlfriend, which put me in a horrible situation. I knew it would kill her to know about this but, I knew it would kill him to lose her too. Neither of them would be happy losing each other and I certainly did not want to be the reason for both their sadness.

The morning after he confronted me sincerely that it was an alcohol induced mistake and that he would never had done it sober and made clear his deep love for his girlfriend. Eventually after a lot of thinking, horribly enough I decided never to speak to my girl friend about what had happened. She never questioned the night nor did he bring it up again. I was filled with guilt knowing that I knew it happened and I still feel guilt because I never told her. I figured if they were not meant to be it would end regardless, but I really did hope in my heart that it was just a one time mistake. They continued happily dating for four years and they experienced many beautiful memories over those four years and he never made the mistake he made that night again.

The relationship eventually ended because of a reason unrelated to me keeping what happened that night a secret. Had I shared what happened that night I would have potentially lost two of my best friends and ruined a beautiful relationship. To this day I still feel guilty about it, but I do not regret keeping the secret to myself. Sometimes secrets must be kept in order to protect people and that was definitely the case in what happened that night. YOU SHOULD’VE BEGUN WITH THIS IDEA AS A THESIS, THEN USED BLEVENS’ LECTURE TO SUPPORT IT.

Secrets and Lies

For my sixteenth birthday I had planned what I thought would be a great celebration. It involved my best friends (all of whom were also under age) and excessive amounts of alcohol to be consumed by us. It all started “reasonably” and then quickly took a turn for the worse when the parents of my best friend arrived home earlier than expected and found us binge drinking whiskey. Soon, two of my friends who had drank too much became very nervous and started vomiting and falling asleep, my friend whose parents had shown up was arguing very aggressively with his parents, and I was trying to figure out how best to defuse this situation while highly inebriated. Predictably, everyone’s parents were called, and the situation was handled, though rather humiliatingly. Presently, my friends and I realize it was a terrible plan, but it makes for a funny story now that a few years have passed.

The lie that I told was in taking responsibility for providing the alcohol to everyone, because I did not want my best friend at the time to take that fall. Even though he was the one who acquired the alcohol from an older friend, I insisted that it was me who provided everyone with it. To this day my parents still believe it was me who somehow managed to get the alcohol and provided it to my friends. I lied to the parents involved to protect a secret between my best friend and myself. I lied to not betray him after he took the risk in “smuggling” the alcohol into his house and keeping it stashed for two weeks. Even though I never explicitly promised confidentiality to my best friend, and provider of alcohol, there was an implicit confidentiality agreement between us in matters as this, because of our friendship.

The lie was believed by those who needed to believe it and was never questioned. No one tried to penetrate the lie once it was told because the evidence all pointed to me, making it easy to believe. The fact that no one questioned the lie made me feel like it accomplished its purpose: keeping my best friend as free from blame as possible. The lie was not told in order to empower anyone involved, but to protect a person involved in the original secret that was discovered.

As addressed by Professor Frederick Blevens YES!  in his online lecture on secrecy, rarely do lying and secrecy not go hand in hand, as lies guard secrets, and secrecy guards lies. We were sixteen year olds and up to no good and therefore had to keep our acquiring of alcohol a secret. Once we were uncovered in our wrongdoing, I spun a lie in order to guard the secret and protect the reputation (in the eyes of the parents involved) of my best friend. By telling the lie, I created a second secret that stands to this day. When analyzing a situation like this, it is easy to see how lies and secrets can compound in order to protect an original secret, creating extensive webs of lies that are difficult to keep track of. The larger the secret and the more lies protecting it, the harder it is to maintain a secret, often leading to an eventual slip up and being uncovered, similar to what occurred with President Richard Nixon’s administration and the Watergate Scandal. HA. DON’T OVERDO IT.

– Adrian Gonzalez-Camps

Individual Assignment 6: I’ve got a secret

Brenda Mayorga


There was a time when I had to restraint myself from spreading an important secret. It was hard to hold back and not say anything to my family or friends. I wasn’t aware of the situation until after the action was done.

Secrets are important because the other person is putting their confidence in you to not tell it to anyone. When my sister told me that she had gotten married, my first instinct was to question why on Earth she told me of all people. I am the type of person to respect confidentiality on information that I receive from the direct source. If it is coming from the person herself, then I know that there isn’t a chance that the information was misinterpreted in any way.

When I hear news about something that happened, and the source tells me not to tell anyone, and that they said that they heard it from someone else, then I question the credibility. Those news are allowed to be questioned.

When my sister told me the news that she got married to her boyfriend, I was in complete disbelief. She didn’t seem like the type of person to get married so quickly. That’s when I knew that it had to be true. She wouldn’t joke about this because she’s aware that I know she wouldn’t do something so spontaneous.

I didn’t feel empowered in any way during this secret. If anything, I felt helpless. I was confident that I could keep her secret, but it didn’t make me feel great. I did believe the credibility of the news. I wasn’t worries about anybody trying to penetrate the secret. There were no hints given to family members or friends, therefore no one felt like they didn’t know something.

If my mom or grandma were to ask me anything about my sisters boyfriend then I would just say they are doing fine. I don’t think that not telling somebody something is considered lying. It is considered being sneaky. I didn’t tell them that they were married.

I want to say that the three, secrecy, confidentiality and lying, are all correlated. However, I just don’t think it’s appropriate to say that lying is considered when you withhold information that a person didn’t ask about. It wasn’t a lie in that situation, it was more of a secret. GOOD.

My family did end up finding out. They realized on their own. My sister didn’t lie when they asked her and so I don’t believe that waiting for the right time to tell them is wrong. I was involved in the secret but because she knew that she could confide in me. I will always value the prima facia rule that falls under confidentiality agreements.

Rhetorical Analysis

In “Why Our Memory Fails Us,” Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris, both psychology professors and writers, begin the article in a formal tone by explaining a situation that occurred with Dr. Tyson which suggests that our memory is not always an accurate source. Dr. Tyson as said in the article was “blinded by his faith” and because of that his entire memory of a quote by George Bush was distorted. Dr. Tyson’s recollection of the quote was false regardless of his “explicit memory” of it being said, but he simply apologized and moved on. The more serious issue Simons and Chabris propose when it comes to our memory morphing is when it comes to more serious issues for example, witness testimonies in a death sentence or criminal case, is the memory of a witness enough to rely solely on?

Simons and Chabris’ article has strong appeals to logos. They used a lot of strong facts and valid studies from credible sources. The paper by Henry Reedier III and K. Andre DeSoto that Simons and Chabris used as an example explained their idea of the deceitful memory in a very clear way. The study showed the link between confidence and memories and showed that people were extremely confident when they strongly believed they were right regardless if their answer was wrong. This example shows how deceiving the mind can be even to ourselves, as said in the article, you never think to second guess your own memories. With this example, they are showing how confidence and wrong memory can prose a big issue when dealing with more serious issues as said before. Another strong point shown was how politicians in the public eye are sometimes caught misremembering occurrences. The politicians could all be lying or their memory of the moment could just be altered based on what they are exposed to and influenced by. By using this example, Simons and Chabris are calling politicians to action to be both honest in their dealings and open to the notion that they may misremember things. Simon and Chabris’ stress their point that the memory changes and we should accept when we make mistakes. Their closing sentences supported their point saying, “We should be more understanding of mistakes by others, and credit them when they admit they were wrong. We are all fabulists, and we must all get used to it.”

NYT Picks:

The top three NYT picks are all concise, objective and thought provoking. I enjoyed reading them  following the article because it made me to continue thinking about the topic in different lights. Each commenter had a different way of understanding the article and all three had intriguing ways of interpreting the message which is very relevant to the topic of the article.

Readers Picks:

The readers picks are extremely different. They are not objective, not thought provoking and messy. Some of the comments were not even focused on the writing or subject matter and simply focused on Bush or irrelevant points in the article.

The NYT ranking approach is definitely effective and is definitely necessary. In order to have a comment section that pulls readers and commenters, it is important to have a system to rank the irrelevant and rude comments and to bring about the good and thought provoking comments.

Two Day Disconnect

While I do understand that the news is what keeps us up on important current events, a forty-eight hour period of disconnect from the incessant talk of Donald Trump, Muslim refugees, the Kardashians and which famous couple did what was of great mental relief. It is near impossible to escape the news and media outlet’s incessant spread of information. You can be exposed second hand by stopping at “La Carreta” for a coffee and overhearing the Cuban old timers talking politics, or first hand by seeking out the news, but eventually it becomes overwhelming.

NOTICE I BEGAN A NEW PARAGRAPH…As FIRST NAME? Deresiewicz observed, we are arriving (but not quite there yet) at a time where one cannot find solitude . I frequently find myself craving and fighting for my alone time. BECAUSEt I have a single day off a week, I don’t want to spend that precious day in clubs or socializing too much. I want to rest, relax and prepare myself for another week. This forty-eight hour experiment on isolation was enjoyed very thoroughly by yours truly, as it was just another day of the alone time I can never get enough of. GET TO THE POINT I found myself playing my drum set more than usual and catching up on TV series I was behind on, rather than being concerned over what my friends with a more active social life were doing at the time, or what everyone was currently offended by or gossiping about.

It was a huge relief to escape the incessant bombardment with information I don’t care about. Why should I care that Beyonce is having twins? Her pregnancy has absolutely no effect on my life or the majority of other people’s lives, nor will it ever. Oddly enough, I can’t check my Instagram or Facebook without seeing talk of her or her daughter. The Kardashians are another plague to society. They contribute nothing to the world, except the dumbing down of the general population, yet people are insatiable when it comes to information on them. UNNECESSARY — THEY WON’T BITE YOU. Our culture has become one of living vicariously through others that are wealthier and more famous than us, which is why people love celebrity news. Social media has made this a widespread dilemma allowing people with wealth to show off their glamorous lifestyles while we consume the images, videos and gossip and live vicariously through them. Being isolated from this was just confirmation that the majority of “news” that is being spread now is garbage and has no effect on my life. While some news is definitely important and a necessary intrusion of our solitude, easily ninety percent of “news” is unimportant fodder meant to distract us and keep us from being lonely or dissatisfied with our lives. Real news connects us on important issues; it pulls us from solitude and connects us with other people that might also be affected by the issue at hand. ADRIAN, FOCUS. I’M NOT LOOKING FOR A JEREMIAD AGAINST POPULAR CULTURE. USE DERESIEWICZ AS THE FRAME WITHIN WHICH YOU WILL SET YOUR RESPONSES.

Overall this experiment served as a good confirmation that people are afraid of solitude and that they create their own misery by allowing their lives to be ruled by social media, trends or through constant comparison to other people’s lives.

– Adrian Gonzalez-Camps


48-hour news blackout

Brenda Mayorga

IDS 3309


The blackout from the news has taken the FULL NAME Deresiewicz approach of solitude on me. There wasn’t a fear of being alone, but rather the fear of feeling alone. There was no actual feeling of solitude. I was never completely alone because of all the other apps on my phone that kept me company when I wasn’t around people. Solitude isn’t possible anymore unless you are fully committed to withstand from technology. I am not able to stay away from technology for a full 48 hours. Therefore, I was never in complete solitude. Anxiety wasn’t a feeling I experienced from the disconnection of all news. The news isn’t a majority of what millennials check daily. If I were to disconnect from all the apps on my phone, then I would start to feel solitude and isolation.

In regards to connectivity and celebrity being ways to becoming known, I see that through social media. Instagram and snapchat are ways to avoid solidarity. Instagram or snapchat aren’t mediums media to finding out current news for me. They are how I connect to people when I’m not interacting with them in person. I wasn’t alone because I was still able to see what others were doing throughout the day through snapchat even if I didn’t submit any posts. It didn’t allow me to lose my sense of relevance. It promotes a sense of being involved without having to make the effort to build real friendships. USE THE ESSAY TO FRAME THE RESPONSES.

Being connected to the news is almost unavoidable because it’s usually playing in most schools, restaurants and even offices. I’m not the kind of person to check the news daily, although I should, and I prefer to hear a straight-to-the-point summary of current events. If my friends or family weren’t staying informed of the news, and I was in a blackout then I would see how I used to take the news for granted.

Not having the choice to check the news puts me in a forced solitude that secludes me globally.  Faux social media apps can help me stay connected worldwide because I can follow people or be friends with others who are located across the world and even internationally. If I were to be blacked out from all apps, including faux ones, then I would first fear missing out on the activities of other people’s lives. However, given a certain time I would find a calmness in disconnecting from technology. Living in solitude isn’t very polite, as Deresiewicz says, but those who find it must not be afraid of it. I am not afraid of solitude but if given the choice to be isolated or not, I would rather not be. Disconnecting from the news isn’t being isolated. GOOD — THIS COULD’VE SERVED AS YOUR TOPI SENTENCE.

48 Hour News Blackout

There are many issues that arise when it comes to to the overuse of the internet and cellphones, but it does provide us many convenient ways of receiving the latest news. It extremely important to be in the loop when it comes to whats going on around you. There are so many platforms to learn the latest news that it makes it hard to avoid seeing. News spreads to different media platforms extremely fast and it really is everywhere around you. Even when refraining from watching or reading any news, I really had to force myself to keep scrolling or look away from certain tv channels, websites and social media during my 48 hours.

News itself should be objective hence leaving it up to the reader to interpret on their own making it an action of solidarity. RUN-ON SENTENCE Reading a paper newspaper might give a moment of solitude to the reader, but if the reader is accessing the news through an article someone linked to Facebook, it no longer will provide a moment of solitude. By reading the Facebook linked news article you will encounter biased comments and arguments about the article and it becomes a discussion rather than your own personal thoughts. RELEVANCE?

It is one thing to be alone and be on the internet engaging other people, but to be alone and actually be alone is something that many rarely take part in anymore. During my 48 hours I tried to fight my urges to pick up my phone and explore the internet and I was overtaken by anxiety. I felt as if I was going to miss out on something, regardless if it was an important news alert about a terrorist attack or simply a picture posted from an irrelevant socialite. I needed to be in the loop on the latest things going on.

I think part of the reason why we feel the need to be attached to our phones stems from when people began linking relevance to presence on the internet. I have literally heard a friend say before, “Is she even still alive? She doesn’t even have an Instagram.” This sends the message that if you lack online activity, you are desolate making the idea of solitude seem extremely unappealing and even scary to many. The thought of being without access to the internet, the news or a cellphone in general would send many into a feeling of disconnection as it did to me during my 48 hours without news.