Over the years I have given and received a lot of great gifts from family and friends. Though one special gift, that was passed from my grandfather, to my father and now me, has a special message and a very interesting story. When I turned eighteen, I received the best gift, my grandfather’s Cartier watch. This priceless gift was life changing and made me feel appreciative because I saw it as the passing of love and responsibility from one generation to the next.
I was standing in the dim light of a garage surrounded with strangers that I have never seen in my entire life. They were screaming as loud as they possibly could that their shrieking easily and intensively vibrated throughout my body that night. The sensation of everyone’s voices scattering at an unbearably quick motion was making my ears ring. I was losing my concentration and it was getting really difficult to drink my beer as I stood and listened to the constant sound of voices rambling about gossip that I was not interested in. I glanced around my surrounding and I felt as if I was lost, wondering where the hell was I. I told myself, “Keep it together Peter, everything’s going to be fine like always.” I was at the point where it was getting difficult to concentrate on basic movements such as walking through crowds of limitless people, and started to wonder if I was ever going to enjoy the night with these insanely outgoing strangers in this vast shadowy backyard.
My mom casually walked into our living room as usual once she had gotten home from work; while my older brother and I watched the television. It was my 9th birthday! I didn’t really expect much, but I had a good day considering I got my vocabulary test back with an ‘A’ on it. Then my mom and dad called me into the kitchen, as I entered, I saw a white icing covered cake with nine already lit candles. “One, Two, Three, Happy Birthday my family screamed as I blew out the candles. My mother small and short in stature then handed me a gift bag. When I grabbed it, it was heavier than expected. I opened it and began to pull out its contents. I had received a few games for my Game Boy Advance, but that wasn’t all I was to receive. This was a birthday present from my mom I would never forget. As my lips began to curve, from the small box being handed to me by my mother she said, “I think you’re really going to like this one.” As I opened the box, I was surprised to see these shining pieces of metal linked together, I couldn’t have loved it anymore. It had a pendent and I didn’t know what it meant at first, but the extremely dark stone only seen to be truly red when held to light was beautiful.
I hate having split ends, but I just can't give up straightening and curling my hair on a weekly basis. I contemplate trimming the ends once more as I slowly turn from my bathroom mirror and lean on the counter. I sigh and survey my studio apartment as I always do every morning after putting in my contacts, and right out the corner of my eye I catch a glimpse of my lantern with the candle still lit inside. I must have forgotten last night, I tell myself as I get comfortable on my neatly arranged bed and reach for the drawer with a hair brush and organic coconut oil.
This place is very near and dear to my heart, it is the only place I can go to and really be myself. This place has helped me through the toughest times in my life yet, it has also caused me great pain. The pain that it has caused me is easily overseen because of the many irreplacable memories it has given me, I love everything about this place and I love all the life long friends that I get to be at this place with everyday.
As I sat on a bench located in front of the Ferris wheel at Disneyland California Adventure Park I began to feel the hot sunrays abandoning my newly tanned skin. Distracted from the world around me, I was intensely mesmerized by the beautiful scene that stood in front of me. The only thing separating myself from the scene was a large body of water.
Sometimes my second home can seem quite odd to some people. They often think it may be a friends house in which I stay or a relatives house. Well, for me, it is the basketball gym. There are many around some nicer than others but none of them to me beats the one right down the street from my house. It is a recreation center and I have been playing there for the longest.The building is of medium size and is painted yellow. Many times the building gets overlooked because of the local high school and how giant that is. Around it there is a pool, baseball field, and a neighborhood market. Many people come here daily to just watch people play pick up games and watch their friends place some ball. Whenever I have free time you can see me there either by myself or with a couple of friends. Growing up I felt like the gym was like heaven because of how kind the people were.
For my ethnography I chose to do it on my car. It is a 2001 Acura MDX model. My father bought it for me when it was time for me to go to college. I really like my car it is old and broken but it has been good to me so far. I have to constantly put air in the wheels and power steering fluid, but other than that it runs pretty well. My car is a weird cool grey color and that makes it unique but not quite. My older sister has the exact same car as me, it is the same model, color, and year. The only way we can tell them apart is by the license plates. I was upset once I found out that my dad got me my car but I have grown to love my car. When writing my ethnography I thought that I should do it in the point of view of the car itself.
I am currently at the Pub Sports Grill at CSUN it is around 11; 30 in the afternoon on Thursday. It’s a cold day but the heat and steam from the cooking is making this place feel cozy and comfortable. I’m sitting on a table with two benches on each side. The room is filled with chit chatting some loud noises other just murmuring sounds. Each of these benches are cushioned which makes me feel like I can sit here for hours. There are students in line to grab a quick lunch before they head to class. There are also some students hanging out watching the sports channel that is displayed on a big projector screen. There are boys looking at the game seriously and there are some that are not surprised. You can see some of the people are on different sides of the game.
It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon and I find myself in one of the most common coffee shops in the world. Starbucks. This one is located in Valencia, a few minutes away from my house. As I walk towards the doors of Starbucks, I see people walking out with cups that have the green logo of the woman with long hair, and a straw sticking out of the top in their hands. The workers greet me “Welcome to Starbucks” as soon as I step inside. I chose to do my ethnography on Starbucks because it is the place I am at the most.
The dreadful four flights of stairs, covered in old gum and reeking of human urine, are definitely ones I look forward to climbing while drenched in sweat from the 102-degree weather outside. Finally reaching the peak of the Mount Dormitory, I reach into my back pocket to get my taped, barely surviving room key, to enter into the prison that I pay 24,000 dollars to call my home. And for what? Bland, boring walls that remind me of a mental institution. Stained carpet with a pattern that reminds me of the carpet from “The Shining.” Ugly, navy blue couches in the living room that everyone on the floor knows people have had sex on numerous times. I’ve been calling this place my home for the past eight months.
I went to the Orange Grove for my ethnography. I rarely spend my time at the Orange Grove but the scenery and setting is peaceful. It is located on the south side of California State University, Northridge to the east of the Valley Performing Arts Center. It is peaceful and not too noisy, which is great because I can forget all the busy work that I have to do. As I entered the Orange Grove going east, I saw a sign that read “Orange Grove”.
I walked between the two brown lamps. All the brown lamps line up across and next to each other, which made me feel like I am walking in the woods. All brown lamps have banners showing the special buildings at California State University, Northridge. The special buildings include the KCSN radio studio, Valley Performing Arts Center, and the gymnasium called the Student Recreation Center. I felt like I got lost for a moment. The sun shines directly at my light skin, feeling like I will have sunburn within a matter of minutes. I saw many trees lining up in all directions. It was lined up in front, diagonally, to the left, behind, and to the right of each other. The trees are located on the dirt off the main walkway. Some have green and yellow leaves and oranges all over the branches. Others have no oranges but have leaves. Those trees fall to the dirt. Some oranges are covered completely with dirt, some partially, and others not covered.
As I view my street I can come to a conclusion that my neighbors are looking at me with a confused face. I think it's funny because I stare back at them with the exact same face. As they approach their cars I hear them sound the alarm off indicating that their car has opened. The wife is getting into her Mustang and the husband is getting into his Camaro.
For my ethnography post I decided to visit my most favorite park hidden up in the hills of Porter Ranch, Moonshine Canyon Park. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy Sunday morning but surprisingly the park was packed with families. My father and I pulled into the small parking lot that accommodates only twenty or so cars.
There are very few places on campus where I can be in one place but lost in four different realms. To the north I have a bright view of the “Oh so dreaded” Bayramian Hall to the east there is the iconic and always beautiful ,Oviatt Library, to the south I have Jerome Richfield Hall and to the west, in the far distance sits University Hall. The four buildings never fail to captivate me, although, I can't quite understand why. I like to think it is the fact that all four building serve different purposes and therefore the sight of them evoke different emotions.
The rain had finally given us a rest. After an entire morning of non-stop rain, the clouds decided to part ways and allow the sun to peak through here and there. We knew what this meant. We had just enough time to get to the canyon and enjoy a nice ride on our bikes through the trail before the rain picked up again for the night. We filled out water bottles, loaded the bikes in the car, and headed towards the canyon. My brother and I saw the dark clouds above the mountains, knowing that we only had a short time to ride once we got there. As we arrived we passed the only person there who had just packed up and left. We had the trail all to ourselves.
Every time I want to get my mind off of things or I just want to release my stress I always go to the same place that I was introduce to as a young boy. My second home and the place I envision where I go see my psychologist. The soccer field; its soil is very dry in the times of summer you have twenty two players running back and forth the soccer field. Every player gives it their all in this big outlined white box. The grass is short and there are many players that fall during the game and get bruises, or many, get scratches on their body. There are people that work on the field to keep the grass green and in good conditions. There are happy, sad, angry and different types of other moods on the field as soon as the game ends. You can feel the tension on the field and the passion for the sport when all the people and their families surround the white outlined soccer field. Many players have kicked the dirt or the grass on the field when they miss a shot.
I walk into this bright, lively, atmosphere. I sit on the bright blue couch, while dropping my checkered blue, black and teal backpack to the floor. The room is filled with people. The black television, hanging on the wall roars with the laughter at Tosh.O’s audience at the Tosh’s nonsense. The words, “be free”, lunge out of the art hanging on the all opposite of the door. Emily seems excited with her phone as she lays propped up on the couch next to me. Everyone seems so happy all, but one. She sat, leaned against the wall as her head drooped toward her lap, only rising her head slightly ever so often in the direction of the TV.
I know it’s cheesy but being on the mountain is my second home. I feel so free and alive as I race down the slopes carving the powdery, white snow. I feel very competitive when I’m snowboarding with my best friend because we always try to race each other and we will do anything to win. Snowboarding with her is one of my favorite hobbies because I’m with someone I love doing something I love.
For my ethnography I chose to talk about my backyard. There has always been some comfort in the backyard. The grass always trimmed, the birds chirping in the trees. Being surrounded by three red brick walls, so privacy is not an issue. There is a glassy patio table with six chairs dusty since no one has actually sat here in a while. Two sheds in the back, which have a bunch of tools hidden, inside and anything else my family doesn’t want in the house. The pool lies on the left side of the backyard eight feet deep surrounded by concrete. A yellow slide sits on the side facing the pool waiting for anyone to go down it.
I am nervous my hands are shaking as I am wrapping the tape around my ankles I look around thinking in my head what the end results will be. There are three team mates next to me getting ready for an event that will stay with them forever as they put their cleats they whisper I hear them say we better win I look at them as we sit in the bench getting ready to play against the best team we had ever faced the wind was blowing the air got me nervous the view we had made us feel like we were the actual players from that club we only had that chance as we continued to get ready we could see men in the distance wearing gray uniforms as they got closer we saw them wearing some kind of gear in their back but as soon as they started spraying the field i figured out what they had in their back.
For my ethnography I've chosen the place were I have spent most of time my room as I like to call the "Blue Room". It's located 39 miles south of Northridge. As I come home from a busy day from school I open the white washed door that seems to be as twice as old as me in age. The door seems to creek a little as it slide from the wooden frame entrance. As I walk in there is a heavy scent of tide from the clean white sheets that have been laid out on the bed. The cold warm breeze is coming through the window that is propped up by foot or so. Looking forward I can see that its very much sunny yet a light breeze is passing from west to east.
Julian Casablancas is known as the lead singer of the Indie alternative rock band known as The Strokes and also known for being a solo artist. The band was formed in New York City in 1998, but during the next couple of years, the members have embarked on a variety of side projects. Julian Casablancas is currently preparing to release new songs with his new band during April. Also he has informed the public that The Strokes will be returning in June and will perform at the Governors Ball Festival in New York City. The following is a narrative of the history of the decision of becoming a solo artist and the status of his band The Strokes.
When I was a bit younger my grandfather and I spent a lot of time together. He was the closest thing to a father figure I had throughout my childhood. In 2002, when I was about 7, he passed away from illness caused by diabetes. When I grew to the age of 16 my mother presented me with a box. A box my grandfather left behind for me. It was maple wood cigar box, with a single chamber lock, and gold trimmings.
I went home one weekend to talk to my mother a little more about the box that was left behind for me. What I found out was very interesting. My grandfather wasn’t much of a smoker, let alone smoked cigars. He was given the box by my grandmother on his fiftieth birthday. Majority of the time my grandfather would use the box for other things such as storing things, putting in on display, and well using it for his cigars. Originally there were two keys two the box one owned by my grandpa and the other by my grandmother, however she had last her key. My mom shared her opinion on why he left me such a thing. “He wanted to leave you with something you could physically remember him by.” That wouldn’t make sence to me until I grew older.
In hopes of finding more information on my newly owned box I did some research on my own. These are some of the interesting facts I learned about cigar boxes:
· Do to the United States Revenue Act of 1864 cigar packaging into boxes was made a legal requirement
· Majority of cigar boxes are made of “Standard Nailed Wood” which is a design that has six pieces of wood nailed to each other.
· In 1870 a law was passed allowing the use of tin a legal material for the creation of boxes.
· During the late 1800s and early 1900s cigar box art or “tramp art,” was very popular, with artist making pieces such as furniture and frames out of cigar boxes.
The cigar box has a lot of history in American culture but it is used in many different ways. I now understand a little but more on how just important a “box” can be.
We’re interested in how space shapes our conception of the world, and how our personal experiences ripple through our communities. For this reason, project space will examine the everyday stories around us. Students will investigate the larger narratives tied to the objects and people they admire.