Christian's Portfolio

Cover Letter

This page contains my final portfolio for Andrew’s Writing for Engineers class of Spring 2013. This page includes my Midterm Project, the revision portion of the midterm, and the self-assessment evaluation. In addition, three pieces of writing that reflects my innovation in writing.

My first selection of writing is my first blog post for Andrew’s class, Writing for Engineers, titled “Taking Precise Measures.” The reason I have selected this writing is because I was able to find a connection between the world of writing and the field of engineering of my choice, Mechanical Engineering.

My second piece of writing is from a speech class I took in my first semester in college at Lehman College. I selected this piece of writing because I did not only enjoy giving this speech but also got to talk about something that fascinates me, time travel. Time travel is something that I hope one day I can come very close to.

My third selection of writing I owe it to my old writing back in High School English. The reason I selected this piece of writing is because it was the bridge to writing for a purpose. In this piece I describe the hardships that Japanese individuals experienced during World War II. This paper, composed of primary sources, explores the initiative that the American nation towards Japanese people concerning the extermination of Pearl Harbor.

I thank Prof. Andrew for helping me discover new ways in writing. Also, I thank my classmates for making the class very enjoyable. Thank you everyone and I hope we can meet again in the near future.

Midterm Project

Initial Draft

Initial Midterm Draft

Revision Proposal

1- Audience

The audience that will benefit from this revision assignment would be the youth and the future of our society. The audience who joins the SBU community will not only benefit from character development but also academically as well as in soccer interest. They will learn to collaborate as a team and work toward a common positive goal to anything they set their minds to.

2- Key Questions

The South Bronx united promotes academic growth, health and wellness, as well as development in personality through the variety of activities available.
Due to the help of our staff in the SBU students/players are able to increase their college expectations through college prep activities.
Since youth are the future of our society, the SBU community wants to see youth, especially in the South Bronx area, to improve and become better individuals. One day they will give back to their communities.

3- Writerly Challenges and Concrete Goals

  • Describe the functions of the South Bronx United.
    • That way individuals are aware the functions within this soccer community.
    • I will prove my point that soccer has its ways on improving an individual
    • The SBU information allows me to support my stamen above.
  • Prove that the SBU should not be view only as a soccer community (support argument with quotations).
    • It is important for people to know that the SBU is not only about soccer.
    • I will be satisfied that I was able to achieve linking soccer and school.
    • If I am unable to achieve this then my chosen community does not satisfy all six Swales’ categories of a discourse community.
  • Explain briefly the goals of SBU
    • It is important to allow the audience to know the goals of the community.
    • I will allow the audience to know about the impact SBU has in its members.
    • If I fail to support this goal then the SBU will not be view more than just a soccer league.

4- Genre Models

I decided to create my structure of this piece based on the ideas I needed to establish. I hope I was able to successfully carry my product thoroughly. I started with an introduction of the community I chose to study for my midterm project. Then discuss the information I collected on the SBU from my midterm research with additional information. Next, elaborate on the idea why the SBU serves to the South Bronx area more than just a soccer club. Finally, talk about the benefits of the audience. Allowing the audience to know the role the SBU plays in our Bronx Community (members do not have to belong to the Bronx Community).

New Revised Piece

+++South Bronx United a Discourse Community

As a former member of the South Bronx United (SBU) community of soccer I have witnessed many aspects of this community and its contribution to the South Bronx. In 2009, the South Bronx United was created as an engaging program for the community’s youth and to “keep them off the streets”. The first established goal of the SBU was to unite the diverse backgrounds of the South Bronx; composed largely of Latin American (Hispanic), African, Eastern European, and Middle Eastern peoples, through soccer. The SBU brought youth (kids and teenagers) and adults together, not only in order to play soccer, but also to help their members become better individuals for the benefit of their communities. The mission statement of the SBU is, “building leaders and scholars through soccer.” However, when it comes to soccer communities in general, people often think that they are just made for playing ball. Since they are not part of the community, they are not knowledgeable about all of the various activities that are available outside of the practice hours. For this reason, my goal is to demonstrate how the functions of the SBU play a major role to the South Bronx youth and contribute to building our nation’s future role models. For my midterm project; of studying a discourse community, I have focused mainly on the SBU 93- Sonics, but in order to demonstrate the role the SBU, in its entirety, plays on South Bronx youth and the influence it has on its members, I must analyze the functions of the whole of the SBU community.

I have collected enough information via their official website, interview of the Sonics 93’s Coach, George Nantwi, as well as my experience with the team, to note that the SBU extends beyond influencing its members by “promoting health and wellness.” With this in mind, according to a current member, Jeffrey Cordova, “South Bronx United is a family,” a family that is made up of a group of individuals united by a set of common principles. The SBU “travel teams provide a familial environment and integral support system for youth on and off the field.” The youth members in the community receive support from their teammates, their coaches and their tutors. Communication is the main substance that holds this and every family together; communication which may involve sharing ideas on soccer skill building or academics. This also applies to the coaches for the teams, they often interact and exchange information. Information does not only move up and down the system ladder but across to each individual’s counterparts. Moreover, just like in certain parts of the New York City area, the South Bronx is not often viewed by outsiders as a good area for raising young. It is for this reason that the SBU community works hard to keep youth choosing the right paths to becoming successful in their lives. Most of the times teenagers and children need someone to talk to and to teach them. In this community, the coaches and students also do not have that great of a generation gap, so this allows everyone to communicate with ease.

In addition, the SBU community of soccer did not only focus on youth male members but also extended its boundaries to female youth members. The SBU started off with a travel team of high school girls, the Rising Stars, in the spring of 2011. The girls were officially enrolled in the Long Island and New Jersey tournament in the fall. In 2011, the SBU brought paid staff members in for the first time to aid in the expansion and growth of the soccer community.

Just as with any teacher, one main goal is set in his mind every time this particular teacher (coach) steps into his class and meets with his students. Coach George, as a mentor to his students/players, aims to spend every hour with his students to “motivate them, not only in soccer, but in school too so they could be the best they can be.” However, as established in Sean Branick’s paper, Coaches can Read, Too: An Ethnography Study of Football Coaching Discourse Community, Coach Whilding states that “finding out what motivates a player” is not an easy task; “You have to be able to understand ‘How do I reach that player… that young man?…” (Sean Branick, Coaches Can Read, Too pg. 567). In the SBU community, the coaches are very enthusiastic in their journey to successfully provide their students with the character development needed to succeed, teaching “skills for life, including teamwork, leadership, and personal responsibility.”

Furthermore, the SBU community establishes that anyone should have the same access to colleges as anywhere else; therefore, the ultimate objective of South Bronx United is to “ensure that every youth in the travel program graduates high school and is admitted to college.” Youth members involved in the travel program of the SBU are required to attend college preparatory activities, involving “college nights and campus visits.” In order to fulfill this objective, the SBU provides the following: test preparation, college nights, campus visits, and college application assistance. While attending these programs, their guidance counselor informs the youth members about college acceptance and the “athletic aspects of college life.” The college preparation nights are often held in Hostos Community College. The SBU does not only focus on their soon graduating members but also in their very young members. The young male and female members range from ages 4-10 and are informed about college in college prep hours. The middle school members (10-14 years old) also participate in building early college expectations. Besides increasing college awareness, the SBU promotes health and wellness (nutritional advice) for all their members. For complete information about the SBU youth program development for all members of its community there is a South Bronx United Programming Continuum posted on their website under programs.

Indeed, the Executive Director, Andrew So, and Director of Operations, Carlos Bhanji, as well as a Director of Development, the After School Tutoring Coordinator, and the coaches make it possible for the SBU “to promote educational achievement, health and wellness, and character development among youth through activities on and off the soccer field and to UNITE a diverse group of individuals… toward common positive goals.”

As you can see, the group that will benefit the most from the SBU will be the youth in our society. They will not only be able to play or learn about soccer but also work and improve on their educational careers. The coaches and tutors of the SBU will help them build strong characters which will allow them to generate higher goals for themselves in their lives. Indeed, “It takes a great deal of courage to stand alone” (Reginald Rose, Twelve Angry Men) and most of the times individuals tend to do things on their own, but the SBU teaches about teamwork. It therefore becomes easier when an SBU youth member feels challenged because the entire community stands besides this individual.

Revision self-assessment

Before the midterm proposal I kind of had a clue about the type of community I wanted to study. In a Thursday evening, after a long day of school, it entered my mind that I should study soccer, but my question was how… how was I able to study soccer as a discourse community? The quickest thought was a soccer league that satisfied Swales’ model of a discourse community. One of my first ideas was to study my team “LRB” (whom I play with at the CCNY tournaments held in the gym of the Science Building) as a discourse community. But for this midterm assignment it will benefit me more to study a larger community which will allow me to collect more information. With further thinking, I remember one of the famous conversations my teammates discussed; that is when the Paraguayan League at Flushing Meadows crossed my mind. However, throughout the midterm proposal discussion in class, I realized that studying my first soccer team SBU Sonics-93 as opposed to my previous ideas would be a better for a discourse community especially since I am associated with the South Bronx United community of soccer. This will not only allow me to investigate about the SBU community but also to extend the concept individuals have about soccer clubs.

I collected most of my information from their website, interviewing Coach George Nantwi, and my personal experiences with the community. Through my research of the South Bronx United I discovered more than what I expected to find out (activities). The SBU community of soccer is not an ordinary community in which youth comes together to play soccer. Indeed, this community still upholds its purpose of creation which is to build an engaging program for the community’s youth and to “keep them off the streets.” In my opinion, with the data I have gathered through my research I was able to support my statement of the SBU is not simply a place to play soccer but also a place for character development and leadership.

The part of which I was less successful for this midterm project is to interview more members and obtain an insight from various perspectives. If I had more time, I would go interview each SBU member and asked them the following questions:

Why did you join the SBU community?
Has this community affected your life in any way?
How differently would you think your life would be if you did not join the SBU community?

This way I will get an insight on what the members think of their own community. I would have also extended the interview to some of the members’ parents, in order to find out if participating in this community is worth it.

Group Project Written Report

Link to Group Project Report

Three Pieces of Writing

BP1: Taking Precise Measures

Many people believe that the best way to communicate with someone is through writing and therefore it demonstrates the ability of an individual to be a suitable candidate for the job. To me this is not entirely true. Many individuals have their own way of projecting ideas whether is it by writing or presentation. In my opinion, writing demonstrates another level of communication to other engineers, but this method does not apply to everyone outside the field of engineering. When a group of mechanical engineers introduces an advanced automobile design to the public, indeed it will be very interesting for everyone who sees the functions of this new innovation but it will attract even more the explanation and presentation as opposed for them to read something highly sophisticated that not many will understand. Therefore, presenting and explaining ideas is a strong way to build a bridge of communication between anyone who is involved in the process. I believe in mechanical engineering as specialists in motion (mechanics), based on all the physics that is involve in our projects, would be better to present an idea as oppose to write an idea because it will be very helpful to visualize what will be presented.

As innovators of the modern world, engineers should also be able to engineer a written report even if it in the simplest of ways to make everyone understand what is being discussed. By creating a bridge or methods of communication through explanations and writing would also compliment our abilities as engineers. For instance, during my high school career I attended a robotics program in which I met a person, a mechanical engineer lab manager at Columbia University, who became my role model and an influence to become an innovator. I remember how he carried out his experiments with easiness. Indeed, he was an expert at his field by knowing all the mathematics and sciences, but he also demonstrated me how communication as a form of presentation or writing was also essential to his experiments. Every time he would perform an experiment he would allow me to see the writings first before actually demonstrating me the experiment. And I would always have questions because there were many terms I did not understand. Then he would show and explain in detail throughout the experiment. I remember one of my first questions that I asked him was about why have something written down when we can just begin the experiment, is not like there is a manual for new creations. He told that by writing first it helps to build a base on the project you are about to perform. Once you begin your experiment you can shape your procedures as if you are editing a paper. But writing and establishing ideas serves as a foundation to what we can begin to actually perform.

So far we have many options in which we can communicate as individuals and they are: physically, electronically, and writing. Any of these methods can demonstrate your skills as an engineer. In my case, I am not someone who uses complex words in my writings but I do my best at establishing my points clearly and accomplish the goal to enrich my writing with strong and well-developed ideas.

(Outside) Second Piece

Time Travel Speech

(Outside) Third Piece

The Undergoing Hatred in the American Society

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