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Where I was born is nothing like New York. It’s a town located on the edge of Hunan Province nearing the intersection of the municipality of Chongqing and Guizhou Province. We spoke our own dialects different than mandarin. China has 55 ethnic minorities and the Han majority. My hometown was populated with the ethnicity of Miao which makes up mostly the family on my dad’s side. Growing up I would always hear grandma talk in her Miao dialect that’s practically completely different than the local tone. Although I’ve left home for more than seven years, I still recognize s\ome of her dialects to stay in touch.


Each time I go back to visit, nothing sounded strange or unfamiliar.Everything just emphasized the feeling of home. The roads that I used to walk to school; the places that I used to visit; and the people that I used to be with all were so familiar. Interesting how much the place changed but my memory and feelings. January 1st I boarded the flight from New York JFK to Shanghai Pudong. It was thirteen hours of excitement and anticipation. I love that feeling of going somewhere. That’s why I love watching planes and being at airports. All those people going to destinations with people longing for them or leaving behind some old memories. I never minded being all by myself while travelling. It is so flexible to do things and suddenly make a change. It had been my first time back during the winter. I remember the cold train rides from province to province without heat. All that I remember were the flashing fields outside the window and the white blankets covering people shivering of coldness, and I was one of them. But my heart was very warm, because I was on my way home.


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Gu a n g z h o uTr a i nS t a t i o n , Ga t e1 7 , J a n . 2 0 1 1 . I wa ss t a n d i n gi nt h ev e r yb a c ko f t h ewa i t i n gr o o mwi t hmyh e a v y b a c k p a c kp u l l i n gmeb a c k wa r d . T h e r ewe r es oma n yp e o p l ewa i t i n gt o g e t o nt h es a met r a i n . P e o p l ewi t hwo r r i e df a c e sa n dt i r e de y e s . I wa sh a p p yt h a t I p i c k e dt h er i g h t s p o t t ob ewa t c h i n gt h e s emi n d l e s st r a v e l e r s . I t wa sn e a r t h ec o r n e r wh e r eI c o u l dh i d emy s e l f b u t s t i l l s e ea l l t h ep a s s e n g e r s . T h o s ewa l k i n gi n t ot h er o o ma n dt h o s es i t t i n gi nt h e i r s p a c ea l l h a dt h e s a mee x p r e s s i o n s . S h ewa sd i f f e r e n t . T h a t ’ swh ymya t t e n t i o nwa si mme d i a t e l y d r a wnt oh e r . No t b e c a u s eo f h e r s c h o o l u n i f o r mo r h e r c u t eb l a c kd o l l h a i r . I t wa sh e r c a r e l e s s n e s st h a t c a u g h t mye y e . S h ewa ss e l l i n gn e ws p a p e r . S h ed i d n ’ t s e e mt oc a r ei f n o b o d ywa sg o i n gt ob u yt h a t s i n g l es e t o f n e ws p a p e r s h ewa swa v i n gi nh e r h a n d . I t wa sl i k es h ewa sa t az o o . Al l t h e r ewa swe r ewa l k i n g a n df i n d i n gs o me t h i n gi n t e r e s t i n g . S h ewa ss of r e e s p i r i t e d , a l mo s t o d di nt h i sp i c t u r ef u l l o f t e n s e da d u l t s . I wa v e dt oh e r wi t hmyc a me r ai nmyh a n d . I a s k e dh e r h o wmu c ht h e n e ws p a p e r wa s . S h es a i d1 RMB. I i mme d i a t e l yt o o k1c o i no u t my wa l l e t a n da t t h es a met i meI a s k e dma yI t a k eap i c t u r eo f y o u ? I d i d n ’ t s e ea n ywo r r yi nh e r e y e s , a si f I wa s n ’ t s o me o n eu n f a mi l i a r . S h ea s k e dwh y ? I s a i db e c a u s eI ’ dl i k et o . S h es t a r t e dt og e t s h yt h e nq u i c k l yd i s a p p e a r e d i n t ot h ec r o wd . Al l I d i dwa ss mi l ea t t h en e ws p a p e r s h el e f t a n d we n t b a c kd o i n gwh a t I d i d , wa t c h i n gt h ep e o p l e . I s a wh e r a g a i n , t h i st i mes h eh a dac a no f c o k ei nh e r h a n d , s h ewa s d r i n k i n gi t o u t o f as t r o l l , h a p p i l y . S h ewa l k e du pt omea n da s k e dwh a t k i n do f c a me r ai st h i s . I g a v ei t t oh e r t ot a k eal o o ka n dh e l dh e r c o k e . S h ea i me da t mea c o u p l eo f t i me sb u t n e v e r t o o kap i c t u r e . T h e nf i n a l l yc a nI t a k eap i c t u r eo f y o u ? S h ed i d n ’ t s a yy e sb u t g a v eb a c kmyc a me r aa n ds t a r t e dd r i n k i n gh e r c o k ea g a i n . At t h a t mo me n t I s n a p p e dap i c t u r eo f h e r p u r ef a c e . He r e y e swe r es oc l e a r a n dc l e v e r . S h ewa san a t u r a l . I t h a n k e dh e r . S h ea s k e dwh e t h e r i f s h ec o u l ds e et h e m. I t o l dh e r t h a t i t ’ s f i l ms os h ec o u l d n ’ t . T h e nwec h a t t e dt i l l i t wa st i mef o r h e r t og oh o me . I t o l dh e r t ob ec a r e f u l . S h es a i dBy e By ea n da t t h es a met i mek e p t wa v i n gh e r f r e ea r m. I wa v e dac o u p l eo f t i me st o ou n t i l s h ef a d e di n t ot h ec r o wd . I s t i l l r e me mb e r t h et i me st h a t s h el o o k e db a c ka t me . I a l mo s t t h o u g h t I s a wmy s e l f a t h e r a g e . I d o n ’ t k n o wi f I wi l l e v e r h a v et h ec h a n c et ome e t t h i sn a me l e s sg i r l a g a i n . I k e p t t h en e ws p a p e r , a n dt h ep i c t u r eo f h e r .


ISSUES IN AMERIC

by Matthew

My original intent for this article was to delve into the main obstacles facing the public schooling system in America. After delving into the matter for several days, I came to realize that many negative aspects of our society relate directly (in either cause or effect) to our lack of a free, structured education devoid of corruption. These negative social situations include, but are not limited to: • Our pathetic literacy rate (the 99% often cited only requires a 4th grade skill level) • Our underwhelming international test rankings • The general intellectual apathy of the average American • Social immobility • A lack of reliable news sources • Horribly managed inner city schools (when compared to high-income suburban schools) • The never-ending propagation of racial, socioeconomic, and gender norms • The segregation and stratification of students according to test scores and perceived intelligence • The reinforcement of current economic reality by stressing the ability to “get by” in the real world, rather than reinforcing students’ abilities to play a role in the formation of that reality • Control of all information included in government-sponsored textbooks, i.e. the intentional lack of information that would ever show the U.S. in a bad light (especially related to numerous South and Central American coups that the C.I.A. either sent covert operatives to instigate, or overtly funded with weaponry, political backing, and capital)

All of these situations seem to indicate that the issue with the U.S. education system is twofold. First, the theories related to course structure, topics covered, and the layout of school bureaucracies are entirely flawed and must be revisited at a basic structural level. Secondly, it is evident that businesses pay to ensure that their agendas are kept safe by lawmakers, and are all too content to manipulate an uninformed, undereducated, unquestioning consumer base. We must make sure that corporate interests don’t have any say in educational practice. Though the likelihood of government corruption going anywhere anytime soon is incredibly low, if a new way of thinking about education were to emerge, it would carry with it unprecedented social change, as well as increased productivity, intelligence levels, and general happiness. The book “An Existentialist Curriculum of Action,” deals with the U.S. education system at a purely theoretical level, and relates the work of the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre to the work of a modern philosopher and educational reformer named Maxine Greene. Two of Sartre’s main philosophical concepts related to education reform are his concept of freedom, and his idea of realization, negation, and improvisation. His idea of freedom is very simple; he believed that someone is free only if they have the ability to cause change and then act on that ability. He advocates a way of thinking that involves establishing and researching societal flaws and obstacles, and then rejecting them in order to further the growth of humanity. Once somebody understands that humans are capable of better than whatever the status quo is then the question must become, “what can we do to improve our present?” Maxine Greene takes this idea and runs with it, saying schools must not only teach this train of thought, but must actively promote something she calls a “social imagination,” which is essentially the ability to imagine alternative realities to the present, and then act out of a desire to create those realities. The idea is one of progress and positive growth, all rooted in the act of negating and condemning whatever it is you feel is an obstacle to human advancement.


CAN EDUCATION

w LaPoint

The most important function of any education system is to create a critically thinking, independent, resourceful person. This person should have the ability to recognize big problems, and then formulate new ideologies and practices that better fit their own understanding of a more humane, educated world. If everyone had access to an education free of systematization, then our collective idea of a more ethical society would likely be very similar. The issue is that the focus at present is on the student as a number, a test result, and a given cost to the district. Students should be nurtured to allow their own thought processes and creative outlooks to mature as an independent force. Each student should be made aware that their life struggle is incredibly important, and that with the right amount of zeal, they have the ability to overcome almost anything. Even a child with no support at home and very little money could potentially refashion their entire life, if they were told exactly how to go about doing so, and how to affect others for the better while in the process. The entire theory of education must make a huge shift from pedantic, shallow, and divisive, to one based on individual empowerment and teaching absolute truths only (i.e. historic events in an overtly empirical state and proven scientific fact). When this ideal education is placed next to the current, practiced methodology, there doesn’t seem to be much real hope for change. That is, unless you look at Finland. The education system there is much more relaxed: the classrooms are kept intentionally laid back, schooling doesn’t begin until age 7, and the teachers stay with their pupils for 3 years, so they have time to devote to the specific needs of each one of their students. Finland also has one of the highest literacy rates, tests higher in every subject on average than the U.S., and the standard of living is much higher. One of the biggest differences between the U.S. and Finland is the general lack of apathy on the part of the people there. People in Finland place a very high value on education and ability to think for one’s self, and reading is a very important aspect of child-rearing there. The tenants of the existentialist curriculum proposed by Maxine Greene are very similar to those being practiced in Finland at present. The people there also rank among the most up-to-date with global affairs, and have a much greater propensity for history than the average American. The system there is different, in short, because the ideologies of the people are intimately tied to education, and much of a person’s self-worth is tied to their ability to think for themselves. If the U.S. is to follow suit, a massive change in ideologies must first take place. All in all, the U.S. education system is in the process of crumbling, but there is always hope as long as there exist talented, informed individuals who want to better the world with the time they’ve been given. We just need to figure out how to get everyone on that same page. Burridge, Tom. “BBC News - World News America - Why Do Finland’s Schools Get the Best Results?” BBC News - Home. Web. 02 May 2011. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8601207.stm>.

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Dillon, Sam. “A Problem America Won’t Solve in Our Lifetime: Education | Psychology Today.” Psychology Today: Health, Help, Happiness Find a Therapist. Web. 02 May 2011. <http://www.psychologytoday. com/blog/addiction-in-society/200902/problem-america-wont-solvein-our-lifetime-education>. Good, Howard. Mis-education in Schools: beyond the Slogans and Double-talk. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2007. Print. Herman, Edward S., and Noam Chomsky. Manufacturing Consent: the Political Economy of the Mass Media. New York: Pantheon, 1988. Print. “Poor Marks For U.S. Education System - CBS News.” Breaking News Headlines: Business, Entertainment & World News - CBS News. Web. 02 May 2011. <http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/11/26/world/ main530872.shtml>. Rasheed, Shaireen. An Existentialist Curriculum of Action: Creating a Language of Freedom and Possibility. Lanham, MD: University of America, 2007. Print.


Sustainibility

by Matthew We live in an economic system driven primarily by one factor: profit. With planned obsolescence, products distributed for consumption are designed to fail or become irrelevant in time, forcing consumers to buy those products more frequently. Durable, well-made objects aren’t desirable within this system because they don’t wear down, and the consumer won’t buy that object for some time. In this light, sustainable technology (and it’s focus on well-made products) would diminish corporate profit. In my opinion, consumerism and greentechnologies can’t coexist without a complete overhaul of the greed-based, global capitalist system and the sociopolitical system it is intimately tied to. Trying to lessen your impact as a consumer by living a “greener” lifestyle is fantastic, but people have practiced this for decades and the ideologies have only reached the educated elite. In order to move into a more environmentally-aware era, the manipulation and deceit of consumerism need to be destroyed. Given the current global situation, sustainability, green thinking, and local, resource based economies are the only way humanity is going to survive the next century. The real issue isn’t our consumption; it’s the monetary system itself. It has polluted our government, education system, food supply, social relations, and even the way we perceive ourselves and our relation to others. It is a system driven by inequality: those who ‘have’ do everything in their power to maintain both control and monetary wealth, while those who ‘have-not’ are left bitter, struggling to make ends meet, and are made to feel powerless. It has been proven that the less equal societies are, the higher the rates are of poor health, mental illness, obesity, and even violence.


+ Capitalism

w LaPoint

Hmmmm....

Humanity has reached a point in our history where economic gain does not directly correlate to happiness, once basic need and comfort has been met. If our destructive way of life goes unchecked, we will need the resources from 3 separate planets by 2030. But humans are the victims of the culture that has been imposed on them, and culturally we have been told that anything other than a free market system simply can’t work, and that they are in some way essential for real “freedom.” This is a blatant falsehood, and has diminished relevance when looking at the magnitude of the crisis we face. We must radically redesign our way of life, based on preserving what we have now, restoring damage done to the ecosystem, meticulously tracking all existing resources and crop production, and basing our entire production and regulatory system (including governing bodies) in science ONLY. Politics and economic interests have been intimate since the birth of the FED, and the only way to cut out corruption is to do away with capital, and base our social system in sharing and preservation. Human want has gotten us into this mess, and we must now revert back to human need. The global poverty rate has doubled since 1970, which happens to coincide with the rise of mass markets. There are enough resources on the planet to sustain about half the current global population for a very long time, but we must get rid of this dead monetary system, and return to a way of life based on real human need and coexistence with the rest of the planet. What our generation needs is a surge of innovative and resourceful minds, for if solutions don’t come soon it could be the end of our society as a whole. Changing what you buy is great, and eating sustainable and thinking about local food is always a wonderful thing, but we’ve only got a few decades to perform a complete overhaul of our current system of thought. With this in mind, the bigger you’re willing to think, the more you have the ability to accomplish. Home | The Equality Trust. The Equality Trust. Web. 08 Mar. 2011. <http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/>. Leonard, Annie. The Story of Stuff. Web. 08 Mar. 2011. <http://storyofstuff.org/>.


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The Berrics Skate Park capshuns.tumblr.com - written by Devon Moscoso The Berrics is a privately owned indoor skatepark and website providing content filmed in the park itself, as well as other skateboardrelated media. The Berrics opened up on December 7th of 2007 and has formed one of the largest and most inspirational communities I have ever seen. Its owners Steve Berra and Eric Koston achieved the name ‘Berrics’ by combining their names and have been creating this vast, unified skating community. I am unaware if this was their original intention, but the product is extraordinary and still working on new ways to reach and assist their community. Like most other skateparks and companies, the Berrics, is located in Los Angelos, California - unlike other companies the Berrics has created a program known as ‘Berrics Unified’ launched on November 17th of 2009. The

The program, Unified provides advertising for ‘local’ skate-shops and was started because of the massive amounts of emails Steve Berra received on ‘local skateshops’ closing down and if there is anyway to keep their doors from closing. This was a way to keep small businesses from closing or being outspent and advertised by mall stores. The program Berrics Unified is one of the small segments they have on the Berrics to gather supporters for the people who run a business on the foundation of skateboarding. The same applies not only to the skateboarding industry, but to the world no matter what the interest we as people have always broke boundaries and are still finding new ways to do so.


The Internet Useless?

The world today as we see it today in New York is steadily relying on technology and its ever developing process, but as this one area develops what about the rest of the world? According to a project that was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art known as the New York Talk Exchange (NYTE), which illustrates the global exchange of information in real time by visualizing volumes of real-time long-distance telephone and Internet Protocol (IP) data flowing to and from New York. The data gathered from the NYTE shows which cities New York has the strongest ties with and how these relationships shift over time. ”New York Talk Exchange depicts a deeply analytical, and at the same time very lively and poetic portrait of our

city, its granularity, the differences in communication direction and patterns among the boroughs and, most importantly, its sleep patterns. Yes, it is true, New York never sleeps.” However this only shows what information is flowing to and from New York, but as mentioned before what about the rest. In recent studies it was estimated by the end of 2010 there would be 5.3 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide and that a full ninety percent of the world population now has access to a mobile network according to the United Nation’s International Telecommunication Union. However only about 2 billion people have internet access. Due to our technological development many companies has geared themselves to advertise or target their audience through these means especially mobile devices. Statistically it would read as the most logical approach, but a different view was seen of by Brad, the CEO of The World Wide Web Foundation.

capshuns.tumblr.com - written by Devon Moscoso


The King of Limbs For the past few days, the same thing has been playing on my iTunes; Radiohead’s latest album The King of Limbs, which was released on Saturday. This petite 8-song album offers listeners a mixture of soft melodies and ballads with an incorporation of newer electronic techniques. In my mind, the record is the shy, and a bit quirky younger sister to their last album, In Rainbows, a more electronic set of tracks. The songs in this album don’t necessarily offer the same rocking quality that a record like The Bends did for Radiohead fans, but the tracks are filled with delicate and complex rhythms that are true to the more experimental side of the band. In the New York Times article Nitsuh Abebe says that the album seems like a teaser for something much more extraordinary.

I understand that this album may not have the usual kicking beats and sound that previous Radiohead albums do, however, I feel like the whole record shows a complete growth in the band’s electronic style. The combination of electric beats, smooth guitar, dreamy lyrics, and Thom Yorke’s buttery vocals create yet another Radiohead album that makes listeners want to fade into their imagination.


Radiohead’s latest genius continued Tracks like ‘Morning Mr. Magpie’ and ‘Lotus Flower’ deliver a more rhythmic mélange of electronically generated beats, made up of unidentifiable noises and sounds. While this album may take a back seat to other Radiohead albums in terms of powerful rock, the entire record is like an intricately woven narrative, filled with beautiful stories and lyrics. In terms of producing an album as robust as The Bends, or as innovative as Kid A, Radiohead may have been off the mark. However, this is not to say that the group failed to create music that would please their audience, they produced an album that further explored a genre that Radiohead knows best.

The powerful team of: Thom Yorke, Johnny Greenwood, Colin Greenwood, Phil Selway, and Ed O’Brien.


Spring Break 2011: A Time for Salads

Arugula, pears, prosciutto, and parmesanâ&#x20AC;Śdivine!


For most college freshman, spring break is a time to head somewhere tropical, stay permanently drunk for a week, and spend all of the money given to you by your parents. In my case though, spring break was a time to sleep, and of course: eat. Taking full advantage of my newly designed kitchen at home was on the top of my priorities list, not to mention the fully stocked refrigerator. For most of the week I ate constantly, trying to maximize my intake of healthy and delicious food. The meal that made the greatest impression on my taste buds was a salad I made the night before I left, it was the perfect goodbye treat! A bed of baby arugula decorated with sliced Anjou pears, prosciutto, and shaved granna padano parmesan. This was a tasty combo, if I do say so myself. I dressed the salad with a simple vinaigrette of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh lemon juice, and salt&pepper. This is the type of salad that I would eat every night; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quick to make, interesting, and not unhealthy. The mix of mild, sweet pear and buttery and savory prosciutto is a flavor combo I am a big fan of; and then you add the salty and nutty granna padanoâ&#x20AC;Ś. yum. Needless to say, this salad will be made in the near future.


P.E.M.J.’s Cafe (pronounced “pem jay’s cafe”) is the New School’s newest amenity that will bring all of the students of The New School together. It’s going to be the place that brings everyone together because it has something for everyone. P.E.M.J. stands for Parsons, Eugene (Lang), Mannes, and Jazz. This new cafe is located in The New School’s future University Center that is currently under construction on 5th Ave, occupying the entire block between 13th and 14th St. The new building is an environmentally friendly building, featuring a grey water system, state of the art lighting, and produces some of it’s own electricity. The new building, with the new cafe, will be completed and opened in the year 2013.


The “cafe” is actually two separate cafes that serve two different purposed. The first one is on the ground level, and is more of an express cafe. This express cafe serves Starbucks, along with cold foods and snacks, similar to the cafe on the ground level of 55 W. 13th St., but bigger. It has enough space to comfortably fit a few tall tables that visitors can stand at, eat, drink, and talk quickly on their way to class. The entire top floor is split between three areas: a full cafe, a gym, and a terrace. The cafe is large, with food stations that each serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner foods from different cultures. There are large sit down tables, where students can really sit down and enjoy their food, while being kind of forced to sit together at the same tables without being squished. The wall facing the terrace opens up to tables that are set up and used for dining when the weather is nice. Also on the terrace is a lap pool that is part of the gym, the pool is used for not only exercise, but also social events and enjoying the sun when it’s nice outside. The last section is the gym, which is large and fits 100 people at a time. This is first real area the New School student’s have to work out. All of this on one level teaches students how to achieve a balance of eating and exercise, supporting a healthy lifestyle.

Citations: “Project Overview.” The New School Home Website. 7 March 2011. <http://www.newschool.edu/universitycenter/projectoverview.aspx?s=1>


Vintage furniture is the best option when decorating a space for many reasons. First of all, why blow all of your money while trying to achieve a rustic antique look in your living room, when the whole world is going to know that it’s all from page 6 in the July printout of the Pottery Barn catalog? Why not get the real thing? Not only is vintage authentic, but chances are, no one else will have the same exact thing (nevermind the same exact living room). Vintage brand names and iconic furniture can be much more expensive than brand new, but it’s an investment. If seeing it that way isn’t in your budget, go down to the local antique shop and buy all you want on the cheap, spend one weekend fixing things up, and you’re good to go. Other reasons for vintage furniture being better other than being special, cheaper, and a good investment is the environmental impact. Buying a vintage mahogany dining room table is quite the splurge, but the trees for this table were cut years ago. At least one family has already used this table to eat their dinners at. One mahogany table could be seen as a waste, but it’s a lot better than two or three. All I’m saying is, vintage is better. It may be harder to find the good stuff, and it may need fixing, but hey, that’s where all the fun is, right? Citations: “Vintage and Used Furniture: Find Green Gold.” Jessica Jensen Low Impact Living Website. March 27, 2011. <http://www.lowimpactliving.com/blog/2008/01/01/vintage-usedfurniture-find-green-gold/> Photos: Myself, of the vintage shop I used to work at, Macalistaire at 1850.


Parsonalities