|Inspiration from Sonia Sotomator: A Personal Narrative|
Since we are not Supreme Court Justices YET, we are not going to write an entire book. We are also not going to use seven vignettes to frame our interactive story like NPR did. Instead, you are going to write three vignettes. Each vignette should be 600 words and tell a story that illustrates a larger social message about you or the situation you describe. Your seven options, based on the seven vignettes Sotomayor offers in her photo movie, are listed below.
CHOOSE ANY 3 prompts below and write a 600-word (minimum) vignette for the prompt (you should have 3 stories totaling at least 1800 words):
1) Describe a powerful memory of childhood: this memory should be one that, based on its lodging in your memory today, shows up as a significant influence of or power for your life now. Take us back to that memory, paint a picture of it, and then bring us forward so we can see the impact.
2) Describe a health or emotional struggle you have overcome: this should be a struggle that you are willing to describe in a way that empowers others with the same issue. It could be something like Diabetes, like with Sotomayor, or overcoming shyness and non-confidence, etc. Let us feel what you feel but also empower those in the same situation.
3) Describe a person who has impacted you significantly: this could be someone you know or someone who you do not know. Just assume we don’t know the person and describe them in a way that shows their imprint on you.
4) Describe a loss in your life AND/OR an “underdog” who you will/have fought for: notice how Sotomayor talks candidly about a cousin who died as a drug addict while also humanizing him and celebrating him (she does not, like many students, talk about how much smarter and better she is). Sotomayor does both things here: she describes a loss and defends an “underdog” (someone who is marginalized, misrepresented, etc.)
5) Describe a success/achievement you have experienced in school: do not think of this prompt as complimenting yourself. For Sotomayor, it was a gold star in elementary school that marks her sense of a first, significant achievement. The point here is to really describe the weight of this success for your life. It is not the significance of the award or the accolade that matters but rather how it has shaped you.
6) Describe an important friend in your life: talk about a current friend or a previous friend from another time or place. Describe what you learned from him/her and what you learned about yourself (please note: this is your one and only chance in this class to talk about and/or show us your prom…after that, NOT AGAIN. High school is officially OVUH!)
7) Describe your current goals and vision as a college student at JJay College: This vignette asks you to talk about where and who you are, right here and today, at John Jay College. Discuss what has surprised you so far. Or, share your passions and interests at this moment and your plan for pursuing them.
REMINDER: CHOOSE THREE. Remember that these vignettes will be public texts. They may not go viral, but they will be public nonetheless.
|Inspiration from Braden Ruddy: Local Neighborhoods|
You are going to write three stories about a neighborhood that takes a sociological lens. You have two tasks here, just like what Ruddy does: 1) you will show perserverance, beauty, and dignity in people's everyday lives; 2) you will look closely at the struggles of life in a global city. You cannot present people as helpless and destitute cogs on the subway, for instance, but as people who have agency within systems that are not always humanizing.
Here is your strategy. Choose a specific place in New York City, some place interesting (i.e., a place that is not a tourist attraction unless something special is happening there). You will write three vignettes. Each vignette must be 600 words minimally (the entire project will be at least 1800 words). Here are the three vignettes you will write:
1) Choose a neighborhood or specific location in New York City that you will focus on. Provide a brief history: What is the history of this place? How did this group of people come to be here? Who was here before? What aspect of Sassen's work on the global city seems applicable here?
2)Choose a group of people to portray. What is so special and distinct about this group? Why are you focusing on them? What does your audience need to know or see better about this group? What interesting demographic or historical information can you provide?
3) Choose a person to portray. What is so special and distinct about this person? Why are you focusing on him/her? What does your audience need to know or see better about this group? Describe this person's action or discussion as much as possible in the context of the history and demographic information that you have provided.
|Inspiration from SelfieCity: Your Own Selfie Project|
Choose three instagram accounts, either people who you know or people who you follow, who are in some way connected to life and events in New York City. You are going to essentially recreate the kind of project that the researchers of SelfieCity have done, only on a much smaller scale.
For each of your three personalities, you should plan on collecting many of their images (take screenshots, etc). You need to also create three vignettes for each personality. For EACH of your three vignettes, you need to write 600 words (minimum). In your writing, please do the following (for a total of 1800 words minimally):
- Discuss who this person is and the impact that you see them creating with their collection of selfies. Why selfies? How is this person representing themselves? Why?
- Use the research at selfiecity to make an argument about the value or contemporary relevance of selfies. How does this personality illustrate these concepts that researchers at selfiecity are advancing?