Extra Credit Mission Statement

CUNY Yu College is an up-and-coming, staggeringly diverse, art and design school compatible with today’s future-focused student.  Located at the edge of Astoria, Queens, an area of generational racial and economic diversity, Yu College aims to evolve our students mentally.  Our mission is enable our students to imagine what they want to accomplish in life and then help them to find the tools they need to build towards those goals.

Yu College utilizes a unique and proportionately selective admissions system.  Although open for application from any student worldwide, Yu College maintains gender and racial populations exactly proportionate to those of New York City, where the majority of our students hail from.  Our aim with our unique admissions and student body is to not only give more people that might not get a chance elsewhere, but to expose all of our students to cultures they are less informed about and/or exposed to.  New York City has always been one of the most diverse cities on Earth, raising culturally aware citizens, so we aim to condense this phenomena to keep awareness progressing and raised.

Less Money More Problems

“Three Miles” was an investigation into an experiment arranged by two teachers; Lisa Greenbaum of University Heights High School (UHHS) and Angela Vassos of Fieldston High School.  The experiment was to bring their respective classes to each other’s very different schools in the hopes of showing their students the differences between their two worlds despite being only three miles away.  This radio article made the experiment out to be more of a failure than a success, for many University Heights High School students found the gap between their environment and that of the Fieldston students to be much larger than three miles.

One of the students that was a part of this first experiment was Melanie.  Joffe-Walt thoroughly investigated Melanie, for she was described as intellectually brilliant by her peers, but finished at UHHS early and was never heard from again.  She ceased contact with her UHHS peers and teachers shortly after the trip to Fieldston and losing a full-ride scholarship to Middlebury College.  Her classmates remembered her being deeply disturbed by how equipped Fieldston was compared to UHHS, brought to the point of tears at how unfair she realised education to be.  After being located by Joffe-Walt through a rigorous search and numerous phone calls, Melanie decided to speak with Joffe-Walt about why she didn’t pursue a higher education after finishing high school early.  She admitted that after seeing how differently Fieldston functioned and losing in the final round of the Posse Scholarship selection process, she was basically burnt out on.  She was fed-up with getting the short end of the stick when attempting to educate herself especially after being teased with a full Posse scholarship, then being denied at the final stage.  Melanie’s story shows us how mentally harmful education inequality can be to those who are left with the least amount of resources to work with.  One Fieldston student remembered a class of hers during UHHS’s visit in which Melanie was answering questions so thoroughly that she was clearly the smartest person in the room.  There should be a greater effort towards evening out the money behind our public schools in this country, for every person deserve a fair shot at at least a basic education.  Regardless of whether Melanie was brilliant or even if she wasn’t, she deserved more support behind her school.

Jonathan Gonzalez was a student from Melanie’s neighborhood in the South Bronx selected for the Fieldston scholarship program. Jonathan actually won the Posse Scholarship to attend Wheaton College on a full-ride, which he accepted.  After getting to Wheaton though, Jonathan’s academics declined and he ended up failing out of Wheaton and the Posse Scholarship.  Even though he was granted a full scholarship to Wheaton, he was thrust into a foreign environment, in which there were few minorities like himself and nobody he knew for support around him, which all lead to him giving up on his schooling and eventually being expelled.  Only 1/5 of poor students graduate college in six years according to Joffe-Walt, which shows that the problem might be more than just a lack of effort when in school.  Although we like to think that anything can be overcome with the right amount of effort, 4/5 of poor students are dropping out of college.  Schools and education in general don’t seem to be cared for by those administering it through a person’s high school years, that person might have a hard time matching a college’s rigorous track when they are suddenly thrown into it.

Raquel Hardy was the 1/5 of that statistic, graduating from Bard College in 4 years.  She attributes her success to just being inquisitive when she wasn’t doing as well as she knew she could at Bard. Searching out the college’s student center and being redirected to the library and all the help offered through it.  Most people that she knew from the Bronx were also failing out as Jonathan had, and she mentions a certain mentality that aided the demise of many college careers.  She says that she always, through out high school, college, had to keep telling herself that she deserved better, something that she noticed her colleagues at Bard did automatically.  This mentality affects many poor people, which I believe contributes to the cycle of generational poverty.

Do you believe that if more money was behind education (high school or college) for low-income students they would be more successful?

Works Cited

Joffe-Walt, Chana. “550: Three Miles.” Soundcloud. WBEZ, 13 March 2015. Web. 26 Sept. 2016

Joffe-Walt, Chana. “550: Three Miles Transcript.” This American Life. WBEZ, 13 March, 2015. Web. 26 Sept. 2016

Individuality

Sorry for posting so late, I got completely mixed up on my date and thought my post was supposed to be next tuesday.

I loved “Flatness” and “The Fifth Dimension” from Unflattening.  They are such well written and illustrated commentary on the common battle of individuality, and confidence.  I believe this was the perfect time to be experiencing this graphic novel because of my current age.  I have lived long enough to have felt how the world can try to influence you in the ways described in Unflattening.  I have also been raised to be proud of who I am and unafraid to be different than everybody else if need be, so I understood the message that was relayed through this story clearly.

As a person trying to make a career in the creative field of design, This story had a heavy impact on me.  The point of designing anything is to innovate and inspire people, so if everybody is built in the same factory (as shown in one of the drawings) and fitted with the same exact mind, nobody would ever inspire anybody.  It is our unique ingredients and experience that catches people’s eyes and sometimes their minds.  It is our diversity in every way that keeps our species fresh and curious about each other.  It is our curiousity about eachother that pushes human beings even farther than we have already come.

On page 10, the description and image of these cookie-cut people being taught the same thing reminded me of our first readings and discussions about education.  Do giant, uninspired lectures approach what is going on in this panel?  If anything is done without emotion or passion (teaching or learning) it is not human, helping us become more like these cloned people in Unflattening.  We can all appreciate when we see somebody doing something they love.  Even if we have no interest in the actual activity being performed, it is always a joy to watch somebody do something that makes them happy.  It does not matter what the game is, for it reminds us of what we, ourselves, do for happiness, and immediately makes anything more interesting.

This comic is not a realistic representation of our world today, but there are some things I see today that make me think we could slip and end up like it.  The amount of digital media that we consume everyday now has control over us.  It affects our body language, most people walking by are looking down at their phone, unavailable for interaction.  It affects our focus, everything online is lightning fast and immediately available, holding our attention effortlessly.  It affects how we are influenced by the rest of society, for we are able to see how just about everybody around the world is living and behaving, not just those around us.  Since just about everybody in the United States is either watching TV, on their phone, or on a computer for a good chunk of their day, I’m not surprised when I see or hear a lot of people acting the same as the next person.

Have you noticed anything that makes a lot of people act alike?

Are you aware of your own personality and ideas and do you find it important to preserve them?

Caleb Yuan Intro

Hello, my name is Caleb Yuan and this is my first year as a transfer student here at Queens College. I am from Queens Village and now live in Bayside. I am pursuing a degree in graphic design. Something I’m looking to get out of this class is just good practice in reading and writing. I barely read books anymore and believe that it directly harms my speech, writing, and overall mental capacity. I also look forward to good discussions in class. I love learning from other people that might see things from a different angle or notice something more than I did about anything.