Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Final Portfolio

Juan Martinez
English 114B
May 16, 2012

As an incoming freshman, I was terrified of any English classes. I was never comfortable with it and just plain embarrassed. I was scared that I would be placed in a class with a larger amount of students and that the professor wouldn't have enough time to help every individual person. Just entering on my first day of class, I was satisfied with the number of students. But I was still intimidated to even ask for help from any professor. But as the professor introduced himself and found out that he was still a CSUN student, made me that much more comfortable.
As he started to explain the syllabus, I wasn’t so intimidated because everything was well plan out. Each progression after another, each with estimated due dates,and I like how they all some what tied in together and will be ultimately used to construct an essay. I really liked how the second semester wasn't so much different, still different projects and little works but still all tied up to construct two different essays.
I felt that I had many questions to ask about my essay, o n grammar, to organization to sources. I really did get much help on this I feel I little bit more confidante on my essay writing. One thing that will always stand out is making me own surveys and using them as sources. I can see myself still using that. I liked that I had to many chance to ask my questions. Including the two one-on-one meetings at the end-of the semesters. Thank you.
Now ending this course we are faced with our last portfolio. For my first essay I will be doing an ethnographic essay on social media sites. I will try to explain why people go on these site, why they choose to post the stuff they do, and why they choose to show or not show certain information. For my second essay I will be explaining how neighborhood affects identity. I will break down my neighborhood into salaries, schools, and cultures and use myself as an example.

Judging Your Facebook
 Entering the 21st century we are conquered through technology. People really don't have to meet face to face to get to know each other. Business and conversation can now be done from the comfort of your home without taking one step out. Social media sites like Facebook and MySpace bring up a different problem. These sites let you post mostly whatever you like and mess around with your own profile fixing your own personal information. Facebook and MySpace can be a perfect way to reinvent yourself watching the stuff you post, and the information you let people see. So why do people even go on these social media sites? In a way you can reconstruct your identity through social media sites, people want to start over or continue there social life on these sites. These sites can keep you up dated in people's live, can update people on your own life, and updated people on music and media but being aware that it is a social media site so your not only constructing your own identity they way you would like, but the way others would like too.
There is to many people to keep track of and way to many friends to keep in touch with. Facebook and MySpace offer an solution to this problems. When I meet new people or new friends one of the first thing we do is become friends on Facebook. Some times we keep in touch and sometimes we don't but after all, hey. We're still friends on Facebook. People like to be social and know what other people are up to, and I think this is one of the reason's why social sites are successful. Everyone want's to know whats new or what is going on with people's life. It makes people really nosy without even noticing it yourself or making someone feel uncomfortable. People do not like to be left out of anything, it's just very unappealing. As these social media sites become more and more popular, people just want to move over with the group.
These places can be like an open diary and place to share ideas and common interests. These can be a place to show people who you really are, what you like and love. We find people that enjoy these come interests. But the problem with this can be, posting to caught attention. Many things come into style and into popularity and people on social sites can take advantage of this. They can post stuff up to caught the attention and to be liked. People want to rise the social ladder by posting popular stuff to caught only the attention. Another problem with this is that not all post can be nice. Some can be offensive to something or someone, and it to also caught attention. Music can be an example of this. Music on your profile is not meant for yourself to be listening to but for who ever visits your profile. Maybe people really like county or classical music, but I’ve never been to one profile with that kinda music. I think people are to scared of being judge, that it affects their true identity to come out an shine.
Everyone wants to be liked and accepted. Everyone wants to have a good amount of friends, and wants to be “popular.” Social media has been causing problems because of the certain amount of friends you have. Some people can have up to thousands of friends, and people that have small amount of friends are usually thought as to be weird or uncool. The certain amount of friends you have usually come to have people judge you, usually judge your social status. These problems do not let people's personality shine. They are judge way before they are even heard. Identity is being affected because it's not even being looked at, just the amount of friends you have.
One of the biggest reasons why these social media sites can be so controversial is because how easy personal information can be changed. As much as people don't use these sites for dating purposes some if it still can. These sites can be use to please people, especially the people you want to please like a crush. Your conscious of that crush seeing your post, so you can surround your post or you personal information on them. You can change your information so easily it's like falling into peer pressure. You are liking or posting what others are and you're not being true to your own identity. Also goes for what your not posting. Many people have secrets or stuff they are embarrassed about for some reason, and no one is posting that up. It's reconstructing your identity, including what you like and leaving out what you don't.
These sites can be great for media relations. What I mean by this is that it is so easy to contact people on these sites. There is so many people to inform. One example is the campaign for Kony 2012. One video was let loose, and everyone on this site can be informed. This can be good because it can inform and get people involved, into charity and organizations doing charity work. This can greatly affect someones identity that’s trying to look for something good to do.
Social media sites can be greatly influential, whether good or bad. It can help you find your identity by finding people like you or it can help you fall into peer pressure. I know mostly everyone has access to the internet now a days, so it's up to the person using these sites to be completely truthful about themselves. It's great place to find friends and express oneself, and keep growing and learning.  

Community Makes Individuals
.What shapes a person's identity? The truth, I really don't know. But my experiences can lead me to the answer. Seeing and learning shapes you to the person who you are or going to be, and this all starts as a child. Growing up in your own community gives you those situations you can learn from and people that can aspire you to be or aspire to be completely opposite like. A community can help a child become a strong and successful adult, but can also do the complete opposite. A community helps construct a person and shape identity by offering many things: different levels of schools and education, neighbors and friends, culture, and resources.
The San Fernando valley, where you can start from the west side of the valley to the east, and see two completely different communities, but even smaller Pacoima and San Fernando are my community.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Pacoima is the neighborhood with the least diverse ethnicity. On a daily basis, Spanish is my main language, Vicente Fernandez are the artist that I heard everyday, and Latinos are my people. This is what I have grown up with and what I have come to learn and follow. Here, being Latino isn't an ethnicity, it's a way of living and a way of thinking. Community helps build your identity because it can introduce and teach you about your own culture, and even if your own community is more diverse than mine it can teach you about other people. In my culture I learned the importance of family, friendships, and religion and I have I continued to learn about it and implied it through the people of my community. Community affects identity by learning through other people, and can use help, like religion for example. Religion is very high in the community; mostly everyone goes to church and participates in it's activities. But for myself growing up in the community and having to deal with all these activities, affected me and my identity. It always taught me how to interact with people and strangers. But most of all taught me how to be respectful and kind to all, and this I think my community for.
Growing up in a community you'll spend plenty of time with friends, and neighbors. In my situation, I made my neighbors my closes friends. I spend mostly all my time with them, so I encountered many situations with them and I learned plenty from them. Everyone's community will have all kinds of different people in them. So depends which people you meet and make friends with, that will depend on how useful the information they teach you will be. A child or person will be somehow influence by someone else, whether threw experiences or just their personality. They will absorb this in some way, and affect or influence them in some way that can greatly affect identity. For example if a child is surrounded by highly polite and respectful neighbors and friends, there is a huge chance that they'll learn how to be polite and respectful too. The opposite too, if they are surrounded by criminals and disrespectful people, they can get influenced to act in the same way. In my situation my neighbor's were not involved in school and did not care much of there grades. For a while I feel in that hole, just cause I saw it, and just didn't care much. The community will give you many people to encounter and you can learn and take something from everyone. Whether the experience or information absorbed is good or bad, it can affect your identity and future decisions.
The San Fernando valley has a vast variety of incomes. According to the Los Angeles Times Porter Ranch has the highest median of income and Van Nuys with the lowest median of $41,000 and Pacoima a close second with a median of $49,000. The amount of money a community receives and the median incomes can have a huge impact on the community. This can affect many resources the community can offer, or may not offer. This can have an impact on a person identity because if someone is trying to do something bigger and better for themselves or trying to get some help in something, it may not be possible because the poor community can not afford it. For example many communities can have a large amount of drug and alcohol abusers, and they may be seeking help. They may be looking for help to completely change and turn their lives around. Help like clinics, therapy, and drug help is not offered to much, and not free. If received there may be a chance for a change of heart, and a healing of identity that can make a new person. This help can influence a person's identity and overall change a person.
Also median incomes and the wealth of the community can have an effect on the educational systems of a community. Many programs may have to be shut down or not even offered because of not enough funds for the community. For example, some schools can offer services of a psychologist for children in need. Many children may be seeking for this help and can not find it nor afford it. This service can deeply help a a child's personality. And if not received if necessary, can affects a child's identity all the way into adult hood.
In the city of Pacoima services like Pacoima Beautiful and Project Grad, offer community involvement. Pacoima Beautiful helps clean up parks, plant trees and flowers, and helping the needy.
This can help a person find the love to look out for people, the community and themselves. Some communities may not have the funds to have programs like these, not even giving people the chance for community involvement. Community involvement can have a huge impact on a person, it can make some more kind heart and giving them the feeling of looking out for someone rather than themselves. This can teach people discipline, affecting a person's identity greatly. It's going back to the elementary idea of sharing, and caring for someone. In my situation, Project Grad offers college help to teens. They offer help, information, and scholarships to teens. I can say this was one of my biggest influences to my identity and decision to stay in school. Never too late to change a person or influence someone, and through community involvement being kind having respect, and staying in school or some things to be absorbed.
In the San Fernando valley, Pacoima is the neighborhood with the lowest rate of residents having a four year degree. Education and being surrounded by educated people can have an effect on a person's identity. It can affect a person’s plans for the future, and influence a person to think about everything a little more closely, which can greatly influence a person's identity. Some communities may have better schools, or more resources to offer students like computer labs and libraries. Knowledge is power, a can have one of the greatest affects the construction of a person's identity.
Also in many communities, resident's outlook on life can be different. In low educated communities, the outlook of life can be vastly different from a highly educated community. A low educated community may not have much hope for more education such as college or actually doing anything big or important in life. This can instil in a person's mind. One, I can do anything, because others around me have. Or two, I can't do much cause mostly everyone I know doesn't go to school. A communities outlook on life can affect a person identity to be a hard worker, or completely lose outlook on life.
The community has people to observe, plenty to offer and much to teach. Identity has to be constructed by what you learn and who you follow. The community you grow up mostly can offer those things. Whatever a community has to offer it's up to the individual to decide what they make of it, and how you let it influence you.

Work cited
"The San Fernando Valley." Mapping L.A. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. <>.

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