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An exploration of values and their role in our world

Free Personalized Checklist and Interviews





Photography by Nobuyuki Taguchi

Taguchi, Nobuyuki. “People at South Bank National Theatre in London”, 30 June 2010.

“Acceptance does not mean you agree with, condone, appreciate or even like what has happened. Acceptance means that you know, regardless of what happened, that there is something bigger than you at work. It also means you know that you are okay and that you will continue to be okay.” — Iyanla Vanzant


4 “THE BIG PICTURE” Acceptance HELPFUL GUIDES Boundless Info. “Accepting People As They Are”, YouTube, September 28 2014. Provides psychological insight and lists personal benefits through the acceptance of others Dinsmore, Scott. “The Power of Acceptance: A Guide to Minimizing Frustration”, Live Your Legend, 7 July 2010. Briefly talks about the acceptance of oneself in addition to others

“Acceptance is the true thing everyone longs for. The one thing everyone craves. To walk in a room and to be greeted by everyone with hugs and smiles. And in that passing moment, you truly know you’re loved, needed, and accepted.” –Rena Harmon



“Truly loving another means letting go of all expectations. It means full acceptance, even celebration of another’s personhood.” –Karen Casey

Mohan, Rupa. “Accepting Others for Who They Are,” The Cody Blog, February 05 2018. Lists small steps you can take to improve relationships and accept others for their differences Teller, Renee. “Acceptance For Our Differences”, YouTube, February 28 2017. Provides personal experiences and presents the idea of acceptance in the workplace Mosley, Isobel. “Here’s How You Can Be More Culturally Accepting On Social Media”, Adolescent RSS, March 20 2017. Talks about acceptance through the context of social media



Photography by Rob Dodsworth Dodsworth, Rob. “Norfolk Family”, 2012.



Photography by Nancy Borowick “In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony.”

— Friedrich Nietzsche

Matthews, Wayne. “Strengthening Family Relationships”, Advocates For Youth. Provides advice and tips you can follow to deepen your relationship with family members STUDIO PUBLICATIONS ©2018 XENA WONG


“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.” — George Santayana

AlMaghrib Institute, “Maintain Healthy Family Relationships”, YouTube, January 13 2016. Gives personal insight and explains why family is important


Moeller, Philip. “Families are Changing, But Still Key to Happiness,” U.S. News & World Report, April 02 2012.

RansomTeeVee. “Family: A Short Film”, YouTube, November 10 2011. watch?v=kvMK6OHyumU

Talks about changes in family dynamics, but provides tips on how to overcome these new obstacles

TED TALKs Weisner, Tom. “What Is The Most Important Influence On Child Development,” TEDx Talks - TEDxUCLA, August 15 2016.

Explains the role that family has on early childhood development and emphasizes how crucial family impacts our lives

A hilarious short film documenting a typical family household

“It’s all about the quality of life and finding a balance between work, family and friends.” — Philip Green



Photography by Patrycja Marciniak “Everyday begins with an act of courage and hope: getting out of bed”

— Mason Cooley

Stahl, Ashley. “Why Companies Should Care About Employees’ Mental Health”, Forbes, July 14 2017. Talks about how mental health impacts your job and why this is a topic companies should highly consider STUDIO PUBLICATIONS ©2018 XENA WONG

12 WHY DOES IT MATTER? Jacobs, Emma. “Why Mental Health At Work Matters”, Financial Times, October 12 2017. Explores the idea of mental health in the workplace and how employers could be impacted if they do not take action “Mental Health Month: Mental Wellness Is As Important As Physical Wellness”, Rogers Behavioral Health, May 02 2013. Compares mental health to the physical and explores why it is just as valid as physical wellness Kutcher, Stan. “Why Youth Mental Health Is So Important”, NCBI, December 08 2008. Video providing statistics about mental health and how it has significantly impacted the youth Alter, Gabrielle. “The Importance of Mental Health in Public Schools”, TEDx Talks, April 16 2015. Talks about how mental health is currently viewed in many public schools and why it is a cause that is important to highlight STUDIO PUBLICATIONS ©2018 XENA WONG



Photography by Breanna Michelle “If you’re going to spend years telling young people they can change the world, don’t be surprised when they actually do it”

— Justin M.D. Nelson via Twitter

“We stand with women around the world to make their voices heard and their presence known. To bring them front and center, today and every day. Join us as we say #HereWeAre”

— Twitter Official



Why YOUR VOICE MATTERS Konig, Abigail. “Why Your Voice Matters,” The Odyssey, May 24 2016. Explains how much power even one voice has and why you should use it Narasaki, Karen. “Voice Matters - Karen Narasaki on Having a Voice,” YouTube, March 28 2012. Talks about importance of speaking up and brings in personal insight of struggles of being an Asian American “Having A Voice vs. Being Heard,” Speak Your Silence, January 12 2016. List reasons as to why one should use their voice to speak up for causes they care about STUDIO PUBLICATIONS ©2018 XENA WONG


SPEAK UP Troupe, Arynn. “The Importance of Using Your Voice,” The Odyssey, August 16 2016. List ways you can share your intellect with the world and explains how others are impacted in the process Gordon, Erica. “Speak To Be Heard: Why Finding Your Voice Is So Important,” The Babe Report, January 13 2015. Provides a guide on how to find your voice and how to utilize it to fight for causes




Photography by Arman Bahreini

What is “PERSONAL GROWTH”? Sasson, Remez. “What is Personal Growth and Why You Need It,” Success Consciousness Blog, Explains the idea of personal growth and how it is essential for success “The Importance of Personal Development Education Essay,” UK Essays Blog, March 23 2015. Essay by student on personal development and the importance of professional skills STUDIO PUBLICATIONS ©2018 XENA WONG

19 WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? Ongaro, Anthony - BreakTheTwitch. “Which Phase of Growth Are You In?,” YouTube, March 21 2016. Video that helps you evaluate where you are in terms of growth Eliassen, Rafael. “What is Personal Development - Take Charge of Your Life,” YouTube, July 05 2015. Video explaining steps you can incorporate to take control of your life Rohn, John. “The Value of Personal Development,” YouTube, September 30 2016. Video detailing reasons as to why personal growth is important and how it can change your life tremendously



21 ARE YOU A CONSIDERATE PERSON? Hall, Alena. “7 Habits of Considerate People”, Huffington Post, December 06 2017. Provides a list of habits that individuals can evaluate themselves with Dunagan, Kaitlyn. “What “Being Considerate” Really Means”, Thought Catalog, February 16 2016. Article exploring the concept of being considerate and what it means when applied to the real world Gorman, Catherine. “How To Be Considerate Of Other People”, The Odyssey, August 15 2016. Provides tips and steps you can take to be more considerate of those around you Carroll, John. “Being A Considerate Worker”, Watson Dywer, April 11 2014. Lists steps you can take to be considerate of your co-workers Ayers, Brittany. “WE ARE... WHAT?”, Penn State University, September 26 2013 Provides personal experiences and simple tips to live a more considerate lifestyle STUDIO PUBLICATIONS ©2018 XENA WONG



Photography by Yandex “Curiosity is the wick in the candle of Learning”

—William Arthur Ward


is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” —Zora Neale Hurston



“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” — Benjamin Franklin

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” — Albert Einstein


25 Knowledge When you are born you must: learn to crawl, learn to walk, and learn to talk. You grow up and go to school to: learn math, learn english, and learn science. Graduate. Choose your major. Learn medicine, learn computers, maybe learn to teach. But you are you? Your morals and values? What do you really know? Brought up by a cruel society that is fueled by the desire to make us bright. But what are the things that haunt your dreams at night? How much are you wiling to give without anything to take? Who do you live for when you have no money to make? Wake up now, go and brush your teeth. Go to a job you hate. Rinse and repeat. Live for you, not anyone else. Learn for you, before you lose yourself.

Kelco, Ashleigh. “Knowledge” October 2012 STUDIO PUBLICATIONS ©2018 XENA WONG



Video that helps you evaluate where you are in terms of growth

Photography by Giovanni Savino

“Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners” — Laurence Sterne Newell, Gideon. “Respecting Confidentiality With Your Kids”, Youtube. September 29 2017. H, Meghan. “Give Respect Get Respect 2013 - Winner”, Youtube, April 9 2013 SoulPancake. “A Pep Talk From Kid President To You”, Youtube, January 24 2013

“Self respect knows no considerations.” — Mahatma Gandhi


29 The Girl Who Loves You Dec 2014


Throw me to the wolves See if I don't come back Leading the pack Don't you know me Better than that? Resilience Never forget I'm the girl who loves you I'm strong and true I'll come out growling Barring my teeth for the world to see I dare you Just try and hurt me You won't succeed I'm swinging and biting Just try and push me down I'll stare at the ground Mesmerized by the sound Of me clawing your eyes out I got some fight left in me Resilience You'll see.... Tread carefully My claws are at the ready I got my whole pack behind me Literally Ready to snap necks and chew flesh The Girl Who Loved You is here to stay Standing strong Despite what you say Resilience Everyday Leading this pack of wolves Never astray



Photography by Mohammad Moniruzzaman

Moniruzzaman, Mohammad. “Kuakata: The Epitome of Human Resilience”, 2012

“Resilience is the capacity of a system, enterprise, or person to maintain its core purpose and integrity in the face of dramatically changed circumstances.”

— Andrew Zolli

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving; we get stronger and more resilient.”

— Dr. Steve Maraboli

Goldstein, Sam. “The Power of Resilience”, TEDx Talks, May 7 2013




Panganiban, Dominic. “Patience”, YouTube. February 28 2018 The School of Life. “How to Remain Calm With People”, YouTube. July 4 2016 Smart, Ralph. “How To Be Patient When Nothing Is Happening The Way You Want”, YouTube, January 26 2017 “Patience is not simply the ability to wait - it’s how we behave while waiting.”

— Joyce Meyer


33 Hurry Marie How We stop at the dry cleaners and the grocery store and the gas station and the green market and Hurry up honey, I say, hurry, as she runs along two or three steps behind me her blue jacket unzipped and her socks rolled down. Where do I want her to hurry to? To her grave? To mine? Where one day she might stand all grown? Today, when all the errands are finally done, I say to her, Honey I’m sorry I keep saying Hurry— you walk ahead of me. You be the mother. And, Hurry up, she says, over her shoulder, looking back at me, laughing. Hurry up now darling, she says, hurry, hurry, taking the house keys from my hands. How, Marie. “Hurry” STUDIO PUBLICATIONS ©2018 XENA WONG


Personal Checklist




“College Expectations, Meet The Realities” Xena Wong and Ashley Then Claire Donato Integrative Seminar 2 - Systems and Strategies 5 March 2018


37 Introduction College—for most people it is a chance to be free; for others, it is a fundamental life experience that provides them with the ability to explore their interests and to define their identity. The idea of college has been presented to us through many forms. In movies, we see the adventurous and neverending partying lifestyle of sorority girls and frat boys; with their poolside festivities, late night drinks and seemingly no homework at all! However, this is constantly juxtaposed with notoriously relatable Tumblr and Instagram posts by exhausted college students who find themselves with bloodshot eyes, drowning in homework and crying over their tenth bowl of ramen this week. We laugh at these posts, yet in reality, many students find themselves struggling and stuck in this “broke college student” phase. In addition to the constant tug of war between socializing, studying and sleeping (or perhaps the lack of it), expenses to attend university have skyrocketed and an increase in tuition is ongoing. Documentaries such as Ivory Tower have highlighted this epidemic and explain that many institutions have developed into businesses—seeking money and are in constant competition with other schools, rather than solely being educational facilities. Alongside with this, it is also suggested that many public universities lean in favor of out-of-state students who have to pay higher tuition, which further substantiates the realities of this money making agenda. Throughout our interviews, we deciphered the truth about the college life. How the reality of attending your dream college can be harder than you believed in the beginning—how dissatisfying the commuter life can be when it pertains to the full college experience, and how college within itself can be shown has many different layers. Throughout our interviews we challenged the silence our interviewees tended to give us. We searched for their true feelings and opinions about how they felt in the life they were living today. We created a coherent set of narratives by maintaining a similar theme throughout the interviews, asking the same questions, and by keeping the narratives to the same point. STUDIO PUBLICATIONS ©2018 XENA WONG

38 “College Expectations, Meet The Realities” For the past few weeks, my partner and I have been interviewing many students within The New School and beyond. During my encounters, students share with me their view of their school and whether or not their values are reflected in their curriculum, majors, public facilities and so forth. In these interviews, I explore and delve deep into certain expectations that were held prior to their attendance at college and compare them to their currently lived experiences. Interview with Samantha Wolf, Student at The New School (Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts), Prospective B.A., Creative Writing, 2021 When I first approached Samantha, she seemed taken aback, reluctant and unsure if she was prepared to answer questions. However, after a bit of reassurance, she eventually complied and our conversation began. Like any incoming freshman, Samantha came to The New School excited to embark on her college journey. At a school enriched with diversity, she felt as though she had found a second home. With clean and well supplied facilities and an open minded and progressive community, she found herself in love with the atmosphere and enthusiasm students and faculty brought to the university. At this point within the conversation, I switched gears to ask more personal questions about her studies, hoping for a more in-depth response instead of general answers that simply demonstrate her satisfaction with the school. Immediately I knew I had struck gold. Her eyes lit up and she looked as though she had been seriously considering her response. She states “I feel like I’ve had a lot of freedom in what I’m taking. I’m planning on majoring in Creative Writing and I’m just SO interested in my writing classes and there’s such a wide range of them, so I don’t feel stuck in any way as far as prerequisites go. Um, I feel like they’re definitely preparing me for what I need to be doing and what I need to be figuring out. On the other hand, I’m taking a ceramics class, and obviously I’m not at Parsons—I’m a Creative Writing major and this freedom has really allowed me to explore other things and not feel trapped with my prerequisites.” Her enthusiasm and pride for the school so far had been completely evident—however, when I asked if she believed the school was lacking in any way, the tone of the conversation instantly changed. Fiddling with her hands and appearing seemingly guilty and a bit frustrated, she begins to describe the ongoing problems within the university.


39 “I think in terms of advising and communication—up in the uh, not the professors but above them, just the organization definitely. Before I actually came here, there were a lot of difficulties in trying to figure out dates and emailing people to try to get information. Um—that’s something that is definitely unorganized and difficult, so communication for the most part.” She emphasizes this by describing her hectic experience with moving in. Originally believing it would be a smooth transition, she eventually found herself strutting back and forth between multiple buildings, trying to get a hold of her ID so she could finally check into her dorm. The days following her move-in wasn’t easy either. During orientation week, she was constantly lost and unaware of which information session she should be attending; even to the extent of getting confused between assemblies specifically for Lang students and Parsons students. Samantha seemed out of breath and frustrated after recollecting the memories. I thought she had finished what she was saying, but she interjected with more problems she saw within her school with a specific focus on the amount of homework students get. “There’s a lot like at Lang specifically—there’s a lot of reading, like how you would expect. Last semester I had hours and hours of reading. Definitely, a decent amount. I don’t know, I’ve done homework for six hours for a class that I have three times a week—I don’t know, there’s just a lot of homework.” Seemingly flustered and exhausted, she continued. “I think most of them are beneficial and make sense to the class—they help contribute to the conversation. But, as far as reading—I think we do a lot of reading and it could be shortened or more specified, just to get the hours down that we have to do, I guess.” For Samantha, failed methods of communication and excessive amounts of homework were not problems she imagined being possible before coming to The New School. In her head, she envisioned a thriving and artsy community she could become part of. Yet, more than ever, she finds herself confined in her dorm, glued to her work—endlessly typing away at her laptop. As time passes, she even began to notice her ongoing studies eating away at her social life, leaving her with limited interaction with her peers and not feeling fully immersed within her school community. However, this isn’t the worst that many college students face and our next student from Rutgers University will go into detail as to why. Interview with Maria Perez, Student at Rutgers Newark, Prospective B.A., Business, 2021. The first thing I noticed when I approached Maria was her grand enthusiasm. She smiled and laughed, curious and excited for the interview that would come about. I began the interview with questions about Maria’s college background.


40 At first she seemed pleased with the questions about Rutgers and the mission her school was known to have, until she admitted to me of how displeased she was with her current college path. Her voice changed from high pitch and excited to a low whisper immediately after admitting to me how she had planned to attend PACE University in New York until she decided she wouldn’t be able to attend due to financial reasons. Interviewer: What were your certain expectations. Interviewee: I did actually want to go like go to a diverse school I wanted to see different people from different backgrounds I wanted to go to a school that mentored me that would have a mentor for me, and I haven’t met with anyone but there are always people around willing to help you, so that’s good. Most of the teachers that I’ve had they always respond to the emails fast and they’re always willing to help so that’s another thing I was looking for. After funding out about her disappointment in college location I began to ask her about her experience at Rutgers. Looking to see if she regretted her decision to attend the college. Interviewer: What are some of the current challenges that you believe your school faces? Interviewee: Right now parking. The parking is horrible, especially for commuters that don’t want to pay six hundred dollars for a parking spot. So we have like, I have the commuter parking lot, which is one hundred sixty-five, but I always have to get there extra early to make sure I have a parking spot if not I’m gonna get a ticket. Um, let me see. That’s mostly it that I have really a lot of trouble. Also space, I think there needs to be a commuter space. Commuters, we’re everywhere, but I’m always in the library cause the “commuter lounge,” I say that in quotations because everybody goes there, it’s like a cafeteria. So, there’s not always space for us commuters, so hopefully, they make a commuter lounge, and another parking spot, and cheaper a parking ticket. Interviewer: What about the student life? Interviewee: Student life. I mean I don’t know, I’m not really that involved, cause I’m always in and out of the library. You know since I am a commuter, but like I said, if there’s a commuter lounge maybe I will be more involved. If there was a place where I could leave my bookbag, cause it’s always heavy, cause I have all this stuff. Because, I’m not gonna be going back and forth from my car, especially since the parking spot is so far away from the campus.


41 If there was a way where I could leave my, my jacket. You know something like that I would probably be more involved in the campus. Yeah. Maria swayed from side to side lighting almost uncomfortably. Interviewer: Do you believe that your school is, not only faculty or staff but as a student community open to everybody else? Have you encountered any problems social wise? Interviewee: I haven’t personally no. Um, there’s always people especially like at the business school. Like the first thing, they always put into us is networking. Always, like you know, try to talk to people. See, get as much information as you can cause that’s one of the most important things, like networking. So I always see people at the business school talking to each other. Like random people come up to me just to talk. Um, there’s, it’s just everybody. I mean like there are sometimes where I’m alone and nobody comes talk to me, cause they all have each of their own groups. Which is normal you know, but there are times where people would come up to me and just say hi that I’ve never seen before. Then I just see them every now and then and they just you know. And, they remember me and it’s crazy like there’s so many people in that school and then, yeah. Interviewer: That’s pretty cool Interviewee: Yeah, crazy. I don’t remember them, but they remember me so. Interviewer: If you could change one thing about the school what would it be? Interviewee: I would change, cause, now they made it a priority that you need to have health insurance, but if you don’t have health insurance they will give you health insurance. And, it’s a lot of money. Like the last semester, I had to take a loan because they didn’t have health insurance so I had to take like, buy their health insurance. And, it was really expensive and it just sucks because I did want to graduate with no loans, but I had to because of that health insurance policy. Which is crazy cause it’s a lot of money when it was only from September too, um, to December. So it was like not worth it. And, it was almost like eight hundred dollars that I had to pay its crazy that’s one thing I would change. In the end, I learned that about how different Maria’s expectations about her life were a compared to a year ago today. I learned of how an unexpected turn in life does not necessarily mean a bad one. Even though she believes many changes could be made to the school she was still pleased with the Rutgers experience.


42 Interview with Joann Chan, Real Estate Agent and Part-Time Student at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, Prospective MSc, Acupuncture and Herbology, 2019. Studied at Cornell University (B.S., Biology, 1988) and Alumna of New York University (B.S., Accounting 1988) After gaining perspective from incoming freshmen, we now switch gears to Joann Chan, who has made one of the most difficult choices as an adult—to go back to school. All throughout high school, Joann Chan always dreamed of one day attending one of the leading institutions of the nation—Cornell University. After being accepted, she was more than thrilled and excited to see what college life had in store for her. Once on campus, she became amazed by the all you can eat buffet and endless amount of ice cream flavors provided in their facilities. However, after settling down and beginning her academic year, she found herself completely lost. With nobody to guide her and not knowing who to even turn to, she was clueless in her studies and pursuits, only knowing that she had an overwhelming love for biology. Especially with her parents being immigrants, her worldly experience was narrow and left her unexposed to the many realities of life. Soon, she found herself making a tough decision—leaving the school of her dreams. As Joann and I continued to recollect past memories, I noticed a wavering tone in her voice, as though what she was about to say was something difficult to admit. “It was hard—really hard to leave Cornell, but I couldn’t handle it academically and I started getting sick of the western approach to medicine. When I went to NYU, I felt more like everyone was on my level—the same playing field, same level of intelligence. I didn’t feel left behind— there wasn’t this kind of pressure cooker at NYU that I had at Cornell.” For Joann, her college journey at NYU was easy. With an older sister who had gone down the path of accounting, Joann had an existing recipe for success. For once, she felt a sense of guidance and reassurance that she was doing something right with her life. As a result, she found herself following in her sister’s exact footsteps—joining an accounting sorority, interning for large companies and eventually working as an auditor for JP Morgan Chase after graduating. Joann continued describing her experience at New York University, but as she begun to do so, there was an unshakeable sense of guilt in her voice. “At that time, following Marisa’s (older sister) wishes—it was the least I could do. She was always proud of me for getting accepted into Cornell, because it was something that she wasn’t able to achieve. In a way, by leaving, I felt like I was betraying her, you know? I came to NYU not knowing what to pursue, but she was the one who guided me and I just followed along.”


43 Although successful in her endeavors, she remained unhappy and unsatisfied—constantly trying on different hats and even moving overseas to take on another role as a credit analyst in Hong Kong. Eventually she found an interest in real estate and worked to get her license. Yet, again, she felt as though something in her life remained missing. It wasn’t until she joined one of her friend’s company information session about herbal medicines that a flame began to ignite inside of her. “That was it, really... It was an eye-opening experience. Like I said before, I was sick of the way the western medical field operated. I always innately knew I wanted to be altruistic—a helper and learning about alternative medicine gave me the ability to do so through different methods and practices. Of course—you know, I was inspired by my parents—uh, my grandparents and my culture too.” Moving forward, she began accumulating as much knowledge about Chinese medicine that was possible. When she finally saved up enough money for her studies, she eventually enrolled herself at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. “Looking back at my time at Cornell, I had basic interactions with other people—attending this school was just another phase of growing up. Sometimes I wish I had discovered my passion early, but I know with my experiences, I bring in different perspectives of learning. At eighteen, I really had no hindsight that this would be how my life would turn out, but I don’t look back with any regret.” To Joann, she views this entire experience as a quest to self-actualization. Throughout the years, she has learned to embrace herself and her choices—knowing that regardless of her age, she remains a fervent learner. Focusing on the present moment and striving for what she can create for herself in the following decades, Joann stays hopeful of future knowing that “whether you’re 18, 28, 38, 48, 58 and so on, one can be a student at any age.”

“Whether you’re 18, 28, 38, 48, 58 and so on, one can be a student at any age.” - Joann Chan



Integrative Studio 2: "Sense of Self" - Exploring Our Values  
Integrative Studio 2: "Sense of Self" - Exploring Our Values  

"Sense of Self" by Xena Wong explores various values and how those values impact our world. This digital book also includes a free personali...