Kelly Berg

October 4th, 2010

Topic Proposal: Hunger in New York City

Posted by Kelly Berg in Uncategorized

A little over one year ago, I was lucky to travel with a study abroad program called “Semester at Sea”. I circumnavigated the world on a cruise ship making stops in fourteen different ports. On my voyage I was able to experience things many Americans will never be able to take part in and I met amazing people all over the world. The port I enjoyed most was Cape Town, South Africa. Many people are now familiar with Cape Town because of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. FIFA allowed the world to see the beauty of South Africa, but what I witnessed were the hardships and hunger of the people living in Cape Town, South Africa’s townships. I walked around Khayelitsha, the largest and fastest growing township in South Africa – playing with children; handing out stickers and watching women wash clothes on rocks outside of their shacks. I had the opportunity to work with a non-profit organization, Operation Hunger, where I helped find the malnutrition statistics of over two hundred children in Langa Township and helped build a food garden and water filtration system.

When I was given this assignment and told I could work with anything I felt passionate about I automatically thought back to South Africa. I researched online all of the American non-profit organizations working to help with hunger issues in South Africa. I was sure I would find something great. I began to think more about my project and about my fellow New Yorkers who are also suffering from hunger and homelessness. The direction of my project changed – I would now want to see what I could do hands on to help those around me, hands-on.

I began to look into an organization I had previously worked with during thanksgiving with my Girl Scout troop when I was a teenager – City Harvest. I was not quite sure of how dire the need for food was all over New York City so I used their website to look for some statistics. One quote that caught my attention was the qualifications for food stamps in New York City. The website reads:

“Working families often fall between the gap where poverty officially ends and

self-sufficiency begins. Nowhere is this more evident than in New York City.

Many households earn too much to be eligible for food stamps, but they still need

food. In Brooklyn, a family of three earning about $23,900 would not qualify for

food stamps, but needs to earn over $63,000 to meet their basic needs.”

As a future elementary school teacher, I was heartbroken to think of how many of my students will go to bed hungry every night and how their hunger will affect their school grades. I need to make a difference – somehow, for at least one family.

Finding statistics on the hunger issue in New York City is easy – making a difference will be difficult. I hope to work with City Harvest actively and possibly ask Queens College students for help. I would hope to have a food drive on campus before Thanksgiving to give families the Thanksgiving dinner I have always had. I hope to continue this project far beyond this class and encourage all of you to help anyway you can.

September 22nd, 2010

Personal Manifesto: Resistance Literature

Posted by Kelly Berg in Uncategorized

According to N.V.M Gonzalez, there is always a message in an author’s text. It is up to the reader to find that message and interpret it how they chose to. How the author of the text meant for something to be understood and how the reader actually understands it may be completely different based on their education and experiences in the world. I would have to agree with N.V.M Gonzalez on this point. There are plenty of times that I have read a work and interpreted it how I believed it to be true according to things that have gone on in my own life. I think a reader tries to personalize a reading in order to understand it better. We often see this with poetry.  A poet may write a poem about lovers and the reader may analyze it according to their own experiences and believe the poem to be about a struggle within oneself.  The same goes for literature. There can often be an underlying meaning that the reader will not understand unless they are educated in particular field.

Resistance literature can be quite confusing to understand as a reader. Resistance literature must also be quite hard to write if you haven’t experience the need to resist yourself. I believe that if one is to write resistance literature they must have witnessed or experienced the resistance first hand in order to bring attention to it. Resistance literature is a way for a person who was oppressed by superior authority to let out the true stories and accounts of their life and the hardships they face. If one was trying to tell this story and hasn’t actually experienced it firsthand it may take away from others who are trying to tell their account. Resistance literature needs to make a reader believe what they are writing about is true. If people went around writing this literature based off of what they have heard from others, we may not receive the full message as a reader. I often also think that a translation of one’s work – especially in resistance literature – may ruin the message. How someone translates something may differ than what the actual author may have felt – similar to what I mentioned earlier about poetry. You are never guaranteed a full and accurate story with translation.

I enjoy reading satire as a genre in resistance literature. I think that it gives a great deal of information and gives the author a lot of leeway with what they write because it is used to mock people and society. When an author feels that they can make a mockery of someone of a particular situation without getting into much trouble they may say more of what they mean. Like the exercise we did in class for our first blog assignment, we were allowed to say as much as we wanted about a person because we weren’t actually talking about them in first person but about the character they portray to the world. I think the oppressed can get away with a lot more in their writing if they were to use satire because they wouldn’t be talking directly about their superior authority. I also think resistance literature would work using satire because it is a genre that is so humorous to read!  If authors are looking for more of a straight forward approach, they could write a memoir.

September 22nd, 2010

Experimental Poetry: Lately

Posted by Kelly Berg in Uncategorized

Lately

Lately,

You, consume, my,

every,

thought, and, your, love,

consumes,

my, body.

Passion, controls, my,

every, action,

 when, you, aren’t, even, worth, my, time.

How, could, you, make, me,

suffer?

I, was, wrong, for, wearing, my,

heart,

on, my, sleeve.

I, long, for

You,

lately.

September 22nd, 2010

Satirical Character: Tiger Woods

Posted by Kelly Berg in Uncategorized

Mr. Lion Forrest: The All American Family Man

Mr. Lion Forrest, is quite the athlete. A professional golfer by the age of twenty one whom signed on with Nike with a forty million dollar deal, Mr. Forrest is now the highest paid athlete in the world. Forrest, a weekday family man can often be seen near his modest home or traveling along side wife and kids. You can also often find Mr. Forrest inside New York City’s most elite gentleman’s clubs – only to avoid being followed around by TMZ or news reporters. It is often difficult to get a picture of Mr. Forrest as he is being escorted out by many beautiful women into his limo to head to his Penthouse apartment on Park Avenue for some rest before his treks to the Hamptons for a weekend of golf. Midweek, you can find him at the zoo with his children.

It was quite a shock to the news reports and quite frankly to Mr. Forrest himself, to hear that his wife was arrested for demolishing Mr. Forrest’s car on one Tuesday afternoon as he received an award for “Father of the Year” at his children’s elementary school. Could it be true that Mr. Forrest had been committing adultery in his Park Avenue Penthouse on weekends? Of course not! Mr. Forrest’s money hungry wife was just looking to end her relationship with the handsome professional golf star, where she had access to nearly a billion dollars because she wanted to downsize to one hundred million dollars and three kids to take care of on her own! What woman wouldn’t want that?

Luckily, the divorce was finalized and the money hungry ex-wife got the money she wanted out of him. She also now has sole custody of her children as Mr. Forrest is way too committed to the American’s who long to see him play golf to have time to take care of his children! Mr. Forrest was so distraught with their divorce that he moved into a multimillion dollar home with four pools, a state of the art gym, a cinema and a bowling alley so that he could keep his mind off of the hardship his wife has put him through during the past year.

Congratulations Mr. Forrest for getting rid of that money hungry wife and good luck this season! You deserve nothing but the best.

September 9th, 2010

about ME :)

Posted by Kelly Berg in Uncategorized

Hi, I’m Kelly Berg! I’m 23 years old and an uppersenior English major here at Queens College. I will be graduating in December then beginning my masters degree at Queens College in elementary education. It took me quite a while to figure out exactly what I wanted to do in life. Ive been in school for a while now and I’ve gone through a great deal of majors: massage theraphy, liberal arts, nursing, biology, elementary education undergrad and finally, English. A lot of people say I wasted my time and money by going through so many majors but I just have to remind myself – if it wasn’t for this long journey, I wouldn’t be happy with where I am today.

I’m not into television or movies – my real passion is traveling. In Spring 2009 I traveled abroad with Semester at Sea where I went to 14 different countries on a cruise ship over a four month period. I traveled to the Bahamas, Spain, Morocco, Namibia, South Africa, Mauritius, India, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Japan, Guatemala and Hawaii. I even traveled through the Panama Canal – something most cruise ships are not allowed to do. I think that is why I was so interested in taking this class – I love culture!

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