Busy in NYC

The painting “Busy in NYC” by artist Karen Frey, illustrates the atmosphere of New York City and specifically Times Square. This piece of artwork shows a popular scene in New York City, with huge masses of people crossing the street. There are streetlights, big buildings, signs, and automobiles filling the background of the picture. By analyzing the strategies used to illustrate this picture, the viewer can understand what the artist’s message and intention were when creating this beautiful work of art.  

The audience of this painting is people all over the world. Frey painted the simple characteristics of NYC that are known to everyone like the streetlights, big buildings, and cars. However, to really understand the energy and feel of NYC, you need to be there to experience it. The artist used specific artistic strategies to recreate that specific feel you get from walking the streets of the city.  

The artist’s use of color is important to pay attention to. The painting is water colored using mostly greys and a plain color pallet at first glance. However, when the painting is viewed in more depth, the viewer can see that the artist used bright colors to accentuate smaller details. The artist’s subtle use of colorful people and small details helps express her message that people in New York City are so busy and unfocussed on their surroundings. If people focused more on what goes on around them, they will notice little things they never did before.  

A strategy that was employed when painting this image was position. The viewer is watching the people as if he/she is one of them in the painting. Also, the buildings and objects look huge and overwhelming. The people look very small compared to the city itself because there are so many of them and the city is so big. The crowdedness and business of the whole atmosphere is extremely apparent. In the background, you can see trucks and streetlights and advertisements. The viewer can see that these details are there, but it is difficult to make out each object individually. They are all bunched together into an overwhelming fusion of the everyday culture in New York City that involves crowds, chaos, and an environment unlike any other in the world. This positioning highlights the artist’s intention to express the chaos and energy of New York City. 

Finally, the symbolism of the details in the painting help convey the message. When you look closely at each individual person, they are all very detailed and different. There is a man delivering a package in shorts and a t-shirt. There is a businesswoman holding a large bag. There is a garbage man. There are also people in casual everyday attire who are also simply going about their day. Although all these people are crossing the same street together, they are all only paying attention to themselves and not connected with the people just feet away from them. The huge size of New York City allows for huge masses of people to be closely pushed together, but more importantly creates an isolated and self-oriented lifestyle. People are so focused on where they are going, what they need to do, and their daily routine that they forget to stop and pay attention to their surroundings and realize the events and occurrences in the world right in front of them. 


Is the Weather Why I’m Feeling Down?

Have you ever woken up on a cold rainy morning and dreaded the thought of getting out of bed to begin a day you already predicted to be lousy? Or on a different day, have you ever woken up to a blue sky and warm sun outside, urging you to jump out of bed and take on a new day? If your answer is yes, you’re not the only one.

I experience these behaviors every day and I have always wondered if this is a real psychological or scientific phenomenon, or if it is just in my imagination. Research proves several factors associated with weather have a strong impact on people’s mood, including time spent outside, temperature, season, hours of sunlight, and how we feel about the weather.  

The Association for Psychological Science explored changes in mood from various levels of time spent outside to test the hypothesis that hours spent outside positively correlated with mood. They concluded that “Among participants who spent more than 30 min outside, higher temperature and pressure were associated with higher moods, but among those who spent 30 min or less outside, this relationship was reversed” (Keller et al., 2005) . The data is shown in Figure 1.  

Figure 1
Figure 2

These results were fascinating. Why is it that the amount of time spent outside flipped the results in the same exact weather conditions? When you spend less than 30 minutes outside on a pleasant day, people consciously resent being cooped up indoors. As seen in Figure 2, mood worsened for people indoors as the temperature became more pleasant outdoors, and mood improved outdoors as temperature increased. Another reasonable explanation could be that brief exposure to a beautiful day makes people feel irritated when carrying out normal activities indoors. Clearly, spending time outside is extremely beneficial and can be the solution to a variety of issues. 

Additionally, the temperature influences mental health. A study from the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found that people exhibited less sporadic behaviors when the temperature was consistent, and people’s behaviors fluctuated when the weather fluctuated. Moreover, the Association for Psychological Science showed season impacts mood, as warm days in the spring are best for mood and hot days in the summer are harmful to mood. In addition, the amount of sunlight is a significant determinant of daily mood. This may seem surprising, as many of us enjoy spending the entire day in bed. However, another study concluded that sunlight exposure is positively related to job satisfaction and lowers depressed mood. 

After researching the effect of weather on mood and mental health, I learned how influential the weather is on everyday life. No matter how sensitive you are to weather effect, it impacts everyone to some extent. In order to overcome the struggles that it causes, we must be aware of how strongly it can affect us and that is why this information is important for everyone to be informed of. 

Plan for Research Paper

My research paper is about the effect of weather on mood/mental health. I will be discussing the several factors of weather that influence people’s moods including temperature, hours of sunlight, hours spent outside, and many others. I am later going to discuss Seasonal Affective Disorder. My plan is to start with an intro and then dedicate each paragraph to every environmental factor that influences mood, and then write a paragraph or two about SAD, and end with a conclusion. My paragraphs are going to be in the format we learned in class and my evidence all comes from research, experiments and studies that people conducted to answer the same question as me about the relationship between weather and mood. I hate leaving things for the last minute so I plan to write a paragraph (or as much as I can do) almost everyday so it does not all add up after a while. I already started my intro and 2 paragraphs so I think I am on the right track. My only anxiety is if I will have enough information to reach the word count. There is a lot of information out there about the topic and I found some pretty good sources so I am hoping my paper will be detailed enough.

P2 Final Topic

For my research paper, I am going to research the effect of weather on mental health and overall mood. This is a topic I have always thought about and wanted to know more about. I will focus on specific environmental factors that cause people to feel the way they do on a daily basis, including hours of sunlight, temperature, season, and amount of time spent outside. Questions I will consider include: why does this happen, have people researched this before, and is this just a common social behavior or is it scientifically backed up? I will use several studies to support and explore my argument, and I will briefly research Seasonal Affective Disorder.

The Effect of Weather on Mood

For my proposal, I plan to research the effect of weather on people’s mental health and overall mood. This is a topic I have always thought about and wanted to know more about. For instance, when it is dark and cold in the middle of winter, many people, including myself at times, tend to become more emotional, sad, or even depressed. On the other hand, on a beautiful sunny day, people seem happier, more positive, and have an overall better mood. This made me wonder: why does this happen, have people researched this before, and is this just a common social behavior or is it scientifically backed up?  

After I began research on this topic, I learned that mood does not only depend on temperature, but it also depends on the amount of sunlight a person gets per day, the amount of time spent outdoors, and the season. My research paper will include information about this, backed up by studies and experiments conducted by other people with the same questions. I am looking forward to learning about this phenomenon.

Transhumanism: Impractical and Unethical

Transhumanism is a complex topic that is extremely controversial and debated over, but I will focus on the reasons it should not become a reality in society and why it is unethical. Transhumanism is the belief in advancing the human race to evolve past a natural level of development using science and technology. Transhumanism is unrealistic and immoral because it is impractical, there are chain reactions among humans, and it results in a loss of human identity. 

Transhumanism is impractical because it stresses the issue and unpredictability of attempts to guide living human products of biological evolution. Biologist Stuart Newman recognized how cloning and genetic engineering are disruptive of embryonic development so it would make sense for this to be the same case. If those human engineering examples, along with several others, were disruptive and unsuccessful, why would this be any different? Therefore, it should be unacceptable to carry out this technology because there are countless risks involved and it would be extremely dangerous to humanity.  

Another reason I do not support transhumanism is because there would be several chain effects regarding people’s reactions. For instance, if human bodies are engineered for technological purposes, people are going to want to use that technology to physically alter themselves for selfish means. People will use engineering to look skinnier, change their facial features, look younger, and so many other ways. Once we open the door to transhumanism technology, there are so many other things people will want to take advantage of with the technology.  

Finally, transhumanism is unethical because it results in a huge loss of human identity. Ethicist Bill McKibben claimed it is morally wrong for humans to tamper with and play around with fundamental features of themselves to overcome obstacles. For example, it takes away the meaningfulness of life. If we’re able to manipulate our bodies to overcome any limitation, then carrying out a life would no longer seem meaningful. If this becomes a world where any constraint on physical or cognitive ability could be technologically solved, the idea of existence itself would have no substance. As humans, we learn to appreciate our life most when we are faced with a life-threatening obstacle or health issue, but that gratefulness and meaning behind our survival would disappear if the human threshold was limitless with transhumanism technology. 

Shortened “To Meme or Not to Meme” review

In the article “To Meme or Not to Meme”, the author, Maya Walker, demonstrates the relationship between mental health issues and social media, as she shares her own experiences, and later provides knowledge and research about this issue. Walker argues that joking about mental health issues on the internet will worsen the overall health and well-being of our generation and this trend needs to stop. She effectively presents this argument and uses successful tactics of persuasion, including her evidence, credibility, emotional appeal, and organization to convince her audience.  

The author presents the argument that memes about mental health issues are dangerous and will be destructive to our generation’s mental health. We learn this thesis at the end of the first paragraph after she describes her own experience with the issue. The audience includes “Gen Z”, people who use the internet, people who struggle with mental health, and adolescents. Walker wants the audience to realize how dangerous the internet can be especially when adolescents can be so vulnerable online. The author supports her argument by following all her claims with expert evidence, including a university, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and a clinical therapist. This really strengthens her argument by backing it up with a reliable source. Possibly her strongest technique, Walker draws emotion by sharing that she thought about suicide and addresses how serious the topic is for her. Finally, the relevance of the issue is one of the most effective convincing strategies because before the reader even reads the essay, they already use social media every day and may experience the risks she talks about. The important thing to take away from this is that Maya Walker effectively presents and supports her claim in “To Meme or Not to Meme” and convinces the reader to believe her thesis. 

To Meme or Not to Meme

The thesis is that since mental health issues have been destigmatized, the openness about topics like depression and suicide has led to the creation of memes portraying these serious issues as a joke. The author is arguing this is a dangerous online trend and is destructive to our generation’s mental health. We learn the thesis after she tells us her own experience and right before she starts to talk about memes, so this way the reader can understand the role memes play on mental health and how the two relate to each other. 

The audience includes Gen Z, people who use the internet, people who struggle with mental health, and adolescents. She wants the audience to realize how dangerous the internet can be and how serious mental health issues are. She is writing to this audience because she wants the generation to be happy and healthy. She also wants people to be aware of the issue, so they stop the trend. 

The author uses logic and evidence by stating her logical argument/claim, then following it with evidence from various sources. Her sources include a university, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and a clinical therapist. Her logic and evidence are effectively organized as she has it in every paragraph and her thesis is always backed up. She also uses examples of memes to show how they are perceived, and then explains why that way is dangerous and the way they really should be perceived. For instance, she displays one meme about having bad coping mechanisms and another meme about the internet as an acceptable alternative to therapy. 

She creates her authority by first showing that she is well informed on the topic because of her past experiences, but then she shows her authority by using strong evidence to back up the serious claims she makes. She shows her own credibility when she states, “That’s right: internet memes played a role in my depressive spiral.” The author also cites reliable sources like Loughborough University, Common Sense Media studies, clinical therapist Meghan O’Flynn, and the US Department of Health & Human Services. The tone is serious and assertive and the diction consists of a strong passionate vocabulary, which makes the reader believe she knows what she is talking about, feels strongly about the topic, and can be trusted. 

She creates emotion by sharing her own experience with struggling with her mental health. She tells the reader that she thought about suicide and addresses how serious the topic is for her. She also creates emotion because she is so passionate about the topic and really urges the reader to want to do something about this issue. Talking about her struggles with contemplating suicide certainly reaches the audience on an even more personal and emotional level. 

She wrote about the topic at the perfect time because it is extremely relevant. People use social media platforms that she mentioned every single day and this issue is going on as we speak. It is effecting teenagers and as the popularity of social media and technology in society continues to grow, this will only get worse and even more serious. She makes a moral argument because she is concerned about the well-being of the generation. 

My First Injury

My whole life, I took pride in the fact that I never broke, sprained, or fractured a bone. Don’t jump to the conclusion that I am not a klutz though: I am extremely clumsy. I constantly trip over anything that I encounter, spill drinks and food, and embarrass myself left and right, something my campers especially enjoy to make fun of me for. I worked at a sleepaway camp in upstate New York for two summers, having the same bunk of middle school girls both years. As I stated before, I was proud making it to 18 years without hurting myself too badly, considering my lack of coordination. Therefore, it felt like the end of the world when I had my first serious injury this past summer.  

It was a sunny June morning at camp. Before going on my way, I ran back into the bunk to get a pair of sunglasses. I quickly rushed in and out of the bunk and little did I know that my whole summer would be changed after this instance. I closed the door, went down the first 4 steps, and that’s when it happened. I missed the bottom step, and my left foot flew over and landed in half. It completely rolled over. I felt a small crack. I was in shock. At first, I didn’t realize what had just happened, I thought I made an awkward move and missed a step. So, when I put my foot down again, I felt another crack. I immediately saw stars. I never felt this type of pain in my vast history of falling and tripping.  Someone older eventually came over and asked if I needed a golf cart to the camp health center, and I nodded my head implying YES. 

When I got to the health center, they took off my shoe and it looked like there was a softball on the top of my foot under my ankle. The nurses kept coming over and gasping as they took pictures of it. The main thought going through my head was “please don’t let this ruin my summer.” I was frightened that I would have to be on crutches for the remainder of the summer, or even go home.  

After hours of x-rays and different doctors inspecting my left foot and ankle, they finally told me I tore ligaments in my ankle and sprained my whole foot. I would need crutches for one week, so this was not the end of the world. However, when I got back to camp, it became clear this wasn’t going to be easy. My arms and back were sore from the crutches and my foot was not getting any better. After a week I was still not ready to walk, so my boss and I decided that I had to go home until I was better. When I got home, I saw another doctor who gave me a huge boot that went up to my knee. It was heavy and uncomfortable, but anything was better than the crutches. A long week later, after practicing my walking around my house, the doctor said I could go back and I was so excited that I didn’t realize it would still be tough to get around and do anything. I was constantly frustrated and depressed and thought my situation was rock bottom. However, my friends helped me though the tough time. Another doctor switched my boot for a small brace, and I felt better. My healing progressed.  

This experience taught me many lessons. Firstly, I learned to be patient. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t rush the healing process. I had to understand it was out of my control. Next, I learned that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. There were times that I couldn’t see ever getting better and walking seemed so far away, but eventually I made it there. Finally, I learned to be careful when going down the stairs.

My intro

Hi everyone! My name is Nicole Rosenthal. Everyone I know calls me Nikki though. I am from Westchester, New York. I have one older sister. I am so excited to start college at University of Delaware. I will be majoring in Secondary Math Education. Unpopular opinion but math is my favorite subject, as you can probably assume from my major. Writing is not my strongest skill but I am looking forward to this class. I love to hang out with friends, exercise, and travel. I am a friendly person and I love meeting new people. Good luck to everyone this first semester!