All posts by HollyMahogany

Trauma In the Classroom. . .

This week our 2 of our articles related to trauma students may experience at home, and it affects the student in the classroom. it can affect their learning ability which impacts them in the long run. This is something that has been going on for ages and puts a lot of students behind before they even had the chance to really engage in school. Unfortunately educators are not privy to the home life that their students may experience outside of their care, but have the opportunity to create a safe space within their classroom to give all students a fair option to engage and feel protected for the time they spend with their teachers.

Recently I was thrown into a conversation where we spoke about people who live in survival all their lives. Meaning they grow up always on defense in life. (I must say it is very ironic I just had this conversation with some friends and it is now a topic we are engaging in. Lets me know to stay in school lol)

I have friends who feel they have been in survival mode there who life. Constantly living with a chip on their shoulder almost and thinking the world is out to get them. They tend to be more independent due to being let down a lot in their life. Since childhood they felt they have no outside protection only themselves, which has led to the choices they have made. A big negative each person had was school and how it truly effected their mental as they developed amongst their peers. IP’s singled them out in classrooms and made them dislike school in more ways than one. This is understandable if since a child they individual has felt alone or afraid throughout life.

On the contrary I have felt quite the opposite. Yes I experienced things as a child that could have caused me trauma, but being in environments that helped my development instead of hindering it made it easy to work through these traumas. I never really ever felt like I had to be in defense through life, so I have been very naive to a lot of things. As I grew older I learned the way the world works. everyone is coming from different places, with different baggage which an effect how they view certain situations. I even had to learn to grow with my Fiancé and we in turn have taught each other a lot. I noticed things I would say to him would have his very defensive at times, even when I didn’t mean to be. 8 years later we have learned to communicate in healthier ways that makes us both feel comfortable, but he can’t shake that feeling he has been having since his childhood, so I know I have to approach him differently with certain stuff.

Being a parent now I make myself very aware of how I react to certain things around my children, and how I help them mange their stress. Like I stated earlier we will all experience trauma and we won’t know really how it affects us until we are older. For me right now since my children are all under 5 it is important for me to let them know that it is okay for them to feel their emotions, and experience them, but I don’t want them to dwell on them to long. Sometimes as parents we hate to hear our kids cry as we are making a bottle, but I read a parenting book that said if your child can see you are making the bottle, and they know the routine they are simply crying because their needs aren’t being met at that second, but if you the parent are doing what is needed by preparing the bottle, it is okay for them to cry it out and feel sad. They will soon be happy with the results. I want my children to learn to work through their emotions so when they do get to school they will learn to not take everything so personal in the classroom amongst others, and find healthy ways to channel their emotions.

When children reach school age it becomes a huge competition, even though they don’t tell us that. We are put into classrooms and may the best win ( or receive awards and achievements) while those who are not “behaving” or “acting out” are single out and usually children can see this. This creates a trauma for children in itself, and it’s a system we have yet to change or fix. We keep going because it works for most, but what about those that it doesn’t work for? They tend to grow up telling others how much they hated school, when in actuality they just experienced through a survival mode state, where they just wanted to get through it, or some even quit. There is no true way to measure how much trauma a child may be experiencing, but actions show a lot. Those who are living in survival mode are often withdrawn, defensive, and seen as problematic, when in reality they just want to feel like someone is there.

Blog #3 Class Discussion/ James McBride !

Taking a look at the notes from the class discussion last week I see a theme was mainly the topic of Voice in writing. Voice in writing can be interpreted differently by each person. For me it mean to capture what my minds eye is trying to re create into words. The voice in my head is met by paper and pen (or keyboard) and I am able to express my thoughts and feelings more comfortably and effortlessly. It is great as a writer to always feel the need to create and how simple it is to just use my voice to express myself.

The experiment question that was asked in class stated “What is the difference between high school and college?” My answer would be a couple of things. First is academically the work because a bit more demanding in ways, but then in time can be quite effective because you have more time to complete assignments outside of your classes in college. I think responsibilities may change from high school to college. For instance in my high school experience I only focused on sports, cheerleading and volleyball, and school work. When I entered my junior year of college I started working full time and do school full time in college, so my time and responsibility at the time changed.

The ChatGPT offers a great resource to spark inspiration, but it can also take away from the human ability to be create and think of the impossible which makes great literature. I asked it the experience question and it gave the response pictured below:

It gave part of my answer and continued on the point out the classes and how they are more focused and intense with subject. I noticed I went more off of my personal opinion of how I interpreted high school and college differences. This is what I feel we may lose as we continue to grow the AI and Writing culture and learn how to mesh them. Let’s still be able to have our Voice heard, but always have somewhere to go to find out facts without opinion. This coming Thursday the class is going to see James McBride speak on campus. We read an article giving us some of his life facts in his chat he did on the radio. He is from Brooklyn New York and grew up where he was always responsible for him having a lot of siblings. His mother was white, but all of his brothers and sisters were black, which gave him a great outlook on life, and how people treat others. All of this helped him to shape his writing voice and he has some of his best material in works read by a wide audience. He uses his voice to give his opinion on the situations he has experienced, which makes it great for readers to better understand and relate to the author.

The Two Questions I may ask:

Do you believe politics, culture, or bias has a huge impact on the way you chose to write your material?

When did you first develop your true interest in writing?

I’m excited to be hearing him speak this week and can’t wait to hear what we learn.

Blog#2 Intro To AI

I found both the reading and video great introductions to the AI world, how far technology has come, and how far can it go in advancements.

Starting I felt AI introduces a conversation that compares what exactly a creator is and what an artist is. I feel a lot of people in this era create content on the internet and are able to captivate their particular audience. When I think of artist I think of Da Vinci with the Mona Lisa and he actually created something others have been inspired by of many years. It was his original thought that sparked many creators to put a spin on his work. This idea may become blinded at some point when it comes to AI in the near future.

It was mentioned that China will soon have a lead against the U.S. when it comes to AI technology by the year 2025. The reason being is they have a leg up when it comes to data and information they are getting from their vast population. They have 10x more data being pressed through AI technology than the U.S., and this is simply because they have a wider population and are able to have the majority using it. They have started using AI as ways to rank what type of citizen you will, or can be.

“Black Mirror” on net flicks has an episode in season 3 that shows this exact method China is using, and exactly how it leads different in the society to the way they chose to live. This community used ratings for housing, travel, and other life necessities that could affect your economic status in America. The main characters whole goal was at first to buy the house of her dreams, and lived like some of her “friends” were. Her rating was lower than those who brought property in that area, so she tried her best to raise her score by getting likes from those around her, and trying to be more interactive with the social part of their society. It drove her crazy, and really showed me how very soon everything will be using this AI technology to take away the “Human Experience”.

The true voice of authors, writers, musicians, and artist are that they were able to make personal connections with an audience that they can keep engaging with. I feel with AI this enters the ideas of just creating content as opposed to actually making it. It loses the human touch that is always needed, because as humans we have something machines can never have, and that is Empathy. This is why movies like M3Gan end with the robot wanting to destroy humans and companions no matter how much information you download in them, or how close you get them to be with a human. Machines lack the human emotion of having empathy for the world around you, and that isn’t something they have mentioned in the AI development process.

New Semester = New Beginnings!

The start of each semester feels like a breath of fresh air. I like how calm it is in the beginning, because this is the only time you feel you can accomplish everything, and by the middle you just hope to keep it all together! I’m very excited for this spring semester personally. I like how it starts off with super cold weather and then as it wraps up we end up in beautiful spring weather, its like finding a light at the end of the tunnel that their is no turning back on.

I am truly enjoying this masters experience, although at times it can really feel a bit overwhelming and stressful. I take comfort in most of us having the same classes for the last 3 semesters, because it bring a since of stability which I enjoy.

My name is Jasmine but my online persona is Holly Mahogany. I am very into social media and monetizing my participation on the apps I use such as TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook mainly. Recently my 3 year old has shown an interest in making up her own dances and recording them and showing me. I don’t want her on social media just yet, but I appreciate the enthusiasm. I also Have twins who will be 8 months this Friday. They are literally all over the place to say the least, so basically I am pretty busy. I do work full time from home as a Customer Care Supervisor and I don’t think I can ever leave the house again for work.

During undergrad I remember taking a class that dealt with “Netnarr” with Professor Alan Levine. It is a class that I remember so well because it truly left a great impression on me. I still play with one of the apps on my phone called “Digital Alchemy”. Basically you need to create everything within the universe, even the universe ! I have played it but never found all the objects, it really is a great creative time waster. I know this class will be very interesting with the information we will be given. I also remember “Netnarr” as a way to connect with other classes that are learning similar things we will learn. I can not wait to jump in.

Final Project Progress

I am super excited about creating my own e-lit piece ! I chosen a topic very personal to me to help me engage even more. Postpartum is something most women are silent about and when tend to suffer in silence until it gets better. My mommy friends and I have taken a vow to each other though that we all talk it out no matter what, because no one knows better then us what we go through on a day to day basis.

Twine is the app I will be using to bring this project to life. I feel it best suited my needs and it seems pretty simple to use for me. I want to use my journal writings as well as some poetic writing I will create to make it even more telling of the ways postpartum shapes my life as a mom. I will mostly be focused on text in this piece to get my message across. This will also be a very therapeutic experience for me as well. I want to be an open book to hopefully help other new moms as they go through their mommy journey.


This piece I found very interesting and something out of the norm. The play on the word Exposed here was very fitting for this e-lit work. Seeing how exposed the prisoners were during the time of the pandemic, as well as exposing the actual prison system and the actions they may not have taken to keep the prisoners safe at that time.

During the pandemic the world was placed on a hold. Everyone tried their best to stay to indoors and avoid contact with others to keep themselves and they loved ones safe. I never once took into consideration what might have happened to those who were in prison during this time, and how they had to survive within such confined spaces with constant contact with individuals. Even the guards who had to work within the prisons who had no choice but to be so closely involved and still had to return home at the end of their shifts and hopefully not get the other members of their families sick in any way.

Even though prisons are filled with people who have done wrong, a human life is a human life and should be respected as such. Overlooking the criminal part, healthcare should be given to all human beings in times of need, especially during a pandemic with an illness that could cause death. To read that prisoners were denied medicine, doctor visits, and medical treatment in general was very hard to understand in the United States of America, which a very well developed first world country. Reading they were unable to disinfect their living quarters and were subjected to being housed with sick inmates seemed unreasonable with a prison system that makes so much money off of those who are incarcerated.

I noticed most of these inmates whose messages were used throughout this piece were from state prisons and institutions, which I feel should have been well off if the government money is what would fund what the prisoners needed to be safe. I don’t know if this was done on purpose by the author, to expose the state facilities as apposed to private owed prisons, but either way this shed a light on something that we may not think about, but the story has to be told.

C- Ya- Laterrrr

This week the e-lit piece C-ya-laterrrr really touched me. So much of the news displays these mass shootings, and terrorist attacks that it we have humans have become desensitized to it subconsciously. I still remember 9/11 like it was yesterday and I have no connection to in any way other than my mom being a war veteran prior to that, fighting in Desert Storm, and her being really numb during that time period knowing war was coming because of it. I was in first grade when that happened and still every year around that time my fiancé tells me I’m doing the thing I always do by watching the many documentaries and movies about the attack. No I had no one in those buildings or knew anyone there, but I feel I just emotionally saw devastation and couldn’t not comprehend totally what happened.

The piece this week told the story of the bother of one of the victims in the Manchester Arena attack in 2017. I always feel we never hear from the families of the victims enough. They always post short news clips of them crying and saying how hard it is from them, but we could never possibility understand how life changing losing someone that tragically and suddenly could be. It’s one thing to lose a love one to old age or an illness you may be anticipating. These are things you can slowly prepare for even though it still hurts, but to walk up one normal morning to a tragedy is unimaginable in many ways. I feel Dan Hett really wanted to release is unsure feelings he had about losing his bother, and this was the most beautiful way.

We never see what goes on in real time for the families who relieve the devastating phone calls about their love ones. We never see what happens behind the scenes at the sites as the families gather looking for their loved ones. We also never see them preparing for the tragic sudden funerals and how much pain their hearts have to carry after all the news cameras go away, all the reporters have asked all of their questions, and after life goes on for the rest of the world. Dan mentioned a lot throughout his writing that time stopped for him and that is a very rare feeling, because in the adult world it seems like everything is always so rushed and hurried. For time to stop around you is very impactful and speaks volumes on how numb the situation can truly make the victims families during these tragic times.

I feel this was a very raw, rich, and authentic piece and at times it was hard for me to read, not for emotional purposes, but because I can simply just not imagine the trauma, pain and, hurt this could cause. This is an experience we all hope to never go through, but for the rare families that have I’m sure this could bond them in ways that are unspeakable.

Exploring Peace and Harmony

This week in E-Literature had a Chinese theme and both pieces complimented each other with the idea of melodies carrying the writers ideas timelessly. Each author decided to go with poetry, but I was able to see two different styles of in within the e-lit world, which was portrayed very nicely. We look to be unique in our delivery as writers and creatives, and I could clearly see with both works how the authors chose to display their creative side.

Peaceful Dream really made me think with its bold imagery, and the use of sounds throughout the video poem. When we look at art, or even “read” different pieces of literature the author can take you on a journey, and while on that journey you may have your own thoughts and questions formulate that could be different than even what the author was thinking. Good creative pieces spark conversation and sometimes it never really has a meaning, but was just simply there to carry on the story. I felt the author wanted the readers or viewers to truly take their own journey with the images portrayed and think of what they might mean to you as an individual. Clearly the theme was peace, but in some ways some images were those that could either be peaceful, or completely the opposite. I take the image of water, and yes it can be a peaceful moment staring at the ocean with your toes in the sand and maybe a nice clear day, but the ocean can also bring on terrible storms. Storms take form in the middle of the sea and can devastate communities. I tried to look at these images and truly give them two perspectives, and I really feel this was the idea of the piece, to simply think and ponder on the images.

Zi Young Shi had a similar theme as it offers it’s own type of peaceful way of looking at poetry. The imagery in this work was interactive and gave the reader the ability to almost create what they saw on the screen. This is a big part of E-literature that I have noticed throughout the weeks, that some authors truly want their audience to feel as if they are making it happen on the screen. I feel this keeps readers engaged with the work. This author created poetry with Chinese letters that when hovered over gave phrases or words to create the poetry through words, and it also was able to give us a melody every time it regenerated, changing how each poem created was different from the other. I felt this was very interesting and offer a different take then the first work I spoke about earlier.

I enjoyed being able to see both authors offer two different ways to view poetry digitally. One was created simply with image and left a powerful statement. The other gave imagery, melody, and words and still sent the same creative powerful message. The fact that these Chinese works give off peace in two different ways was very interesting and truly I was able to see both perspectives creatively.

Letters and Memories !

I am really getting into this Electronic Literature! At first I was a little thrown off, as I am more traditional when it comes to my reading style. I enjoy being able to open a book ( especially a hard cover), get a great wif of the smell of a new book, and dive in. I enjoy placing a book mark, or anything I can find to stick their to hold my place, but this is honestly turning out to be quite exciting. I was nervous because I tend to distract myself on the computer and phone, so to use it to read felt a little like a set up for me. I must say those these last few weeks I have really dived in to the E-Lit readings and have found myself engaged and fascinated with them.

This week the first E-Lit piece was called Letter to X. By the name alone I knew this was going to be something in journal style, which I truly enjoy. It’s something about reading something personal to someone that makes you feel more connected to the author. As I read the authors statement I then leaned that he had friends of his produce the letters we would be reading which then made me more interested. The fact that he told them it would be anonymous also gave the hint that they would write whatever their heart desired and hold nothing back.

Once you open the piece you see the letters have blanks, again it’s the aspect that you are able to connect with the author by being able to manipulate something within the piece gives it this fun interact trait. It is a deep think piece though. As you go through them it makes you think about who you would be saying this too, and why have you not taken the opportunity to say this yet, or even if that person is gone why didn’t you say it sooner. Giving it this interactive method really helps the reader to be connected to to it and it something of their own. These are also inspirations for great journal writing ideas, creating letters and maybe even filling in some of the blanks later. Overall the them of this piece was concise, yet each page gave it’s own uniqueness with a different topic, or story to tell ( letter to write). I loved the idea that he also used the original handwriting of those who wrote it, making it more authentic with keeping in touch with those who helped to make this think piece come to life.

my Grandmother recently just passed away and the funeral was on Tuesday of this week. I’m numb when it comes to topic like this because I try to keep myself in a happy mood because that’s what others like out of me. This actually helped me to think about the feelings and place them somewhere, instead of just keeping them inside and saying the words “I’m fine”

Never !

The next work was called Forgotten Nights and this one was another think piece. I don’t think the people who chose these for their presentations even knew they would be doing almost two similar pieces, when it comes to the attitude and feelings it gets out of the reader, for this week on purpose. it worked out beautifully.

The idea of the sky at night, with the simplicity and beauty of the stars accompanied by the moon, is something a lot of us have taken for granted. Stars have always stuck with me since I was little girl. My dad use to tell me all the time he named a star after me and every night on our way home we would play a game of following it and it always led us home. I never knew if it was the same star, and I knew it really wasn’t my star, but it was such a special gift for me.

This author made different stars tell a different tale which is so becoming. Looking at the night sky for some is relaxing, because they tend to make up what they see the stars forming, similar to cloud gazing as well. This was a unique twist on something that everyone can possibly relate too. Even the fact that some of the stars didn’t tell a story was a great idea, because as you look in the night sky not all stars shine as bright as the other, but still helps to show the bigger picture being presented.

I felt connected to this piece as it brought me back to my childhood which I liked. I could see how some may find this a bit distracted or could click on the stars and could possibly become disinterested when they don’t find the stars with the stories, so him having the button revealing the stars that tell stories was a great idea to some of us who may be in a bit of a hurry to get to the content. I would have liked to hear some type of melody or white sound in the back as well to accompany the great pieces. Again, I thoroughly enjoyed both of these pictures this week.