Sunday, May 1, 2011
Must Watch....
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
David Goldblatt
A few weeks ago I got a chance to meet David Goldblatt. He is a photographer from South Africa and has documented the history of South Africa for decades... He is a great guy, very humble about his work and the power it holds. He has an exhibit going on at the University Museum of Contemporary Art titled "Intersections Intersected: The Photography of David Goldblatt." It contains many images, including diptychs of 'before and after' apartheid images. His work is truly moving. David has a way with the camera that people like myself only wish to develop... He can take multiple photographs of the same subject and make them all feel completely different. He is probably the most recognized photographer from S.A. and I am thankful to have met him. I encourage you to look into his work and go check it out if you are in the Amherst area! Here is some more of his work.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011
More Flavors Than Baskin-Robbins

What up WORLD! It's been a while since my last post... But I hope that I can get back to blogging on a regular basis... In the meantime, check out my latest projects... My site at and my latest photo project at . So far I have kept up with the 'Photo-a Day' project pretty well. I did miss one day, but I'm proud with the project so far. That's it for now... Stay tune.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010
Made some changes to my portfolio site... Check it out.

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Monday, October 11, 2010
Gun & Bullet
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Words to Reflect On...
"More time is not what you need (for time does not exist); more life is what you must have (for it is the only thing that is real)." -susanveronicacallender
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Carlos Torres, Jr.

Carlos Torres Jr., is a man that I personally did not meet; although he was a great friend of my brother and the brother of a great friend whom I spent many years with. Unfortunately, Carlos passed away in a car accident seven years ago. It has now been 5.5 years that I have been a part of his family, and words cannot describe the impact that his life and death have had on them. He was from what I hear, one of the greatest individuals, someone that people looked up to (I remember seeing people everywhere with tribute tattoos and stickers on their cars), someone with a great future ahead, and someone whose passion for cars was only outmatched by his passion for his family. I never had the chance to exchange words with him, but I often feel his presence through his family. In a strange way, I almost feel as connected to him as I am to his family and as they were to him. It is almost as if I have known him my entire life. This piece is something that I wrote 4 years ago to the day, when thinking about this feeling I get. I have since edited it and I often read it over to remind myself of the beauty of life and how we should not take it for granted; for life is too short and we do not know when our time is up. Although this was a tragic incident and one that has caused a lot of pain to a lot of people, it perhaps led to a series of events that let me enter his family and share the beauty that he once had. To be a part of something far greater than myself. For that, I am grateful. Perhaps if Carlos was still here today, I would not be where I am. Please, do not take this comment as one with selfish intentions; I truly am sorry for his loss. But I am also one that believes that everything happens for a reason, and in many ways, I can draw lines that connect his death to my 'rebirth.' To his family and friends, I feel your pain. I ask that you dwell on the good memories you created with Carlos and that you take a stand to not take your life for granted. I believe that Carlos would want all of us to live, to simply just live, and to enjoy everyday and strive for our passions. ~Jose C. Cotto

To Loved To Be Forgotten

By Jose Cotto (Written on 9/23/06 and edited on 9/23/10)

Although I never met you,

It feels like I've known you my whole life.

Such a tragic way you past,

Seven years ago tonight.

Carlos Torres Jr.,

A man who many will remember.

A leaf that bloomed in May,

And sadly fell in September.

Although you live on in people’s hearts,

It’s hard that you’re not here.

And that’s the reason why today,

The world experienced lots of tears.

But we all know and understand,

That you would want us to move on.

Watching over us,

Protecting us from evil and from wrong.

So tonight is a special night,

Filled with many emotions.

From people who wish they had met you,

To those who were the closest.

Your absence from this world is a reminder,

Not to take for granted this world that we were brought in.



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Friday, August 20, 2010
Everything Happens For A Reason... Right?
They say everything happens for a reason,
And that probably is true.
But have you ever stopped and wondered,
If that reason was you?
Friday, July 30, 2010
Look Into Your Eyes
Here is another poem I came across while looking through my documents. I wrote this 3 or 4 years ago I think. Enjoy.

I Look Into Your Eyes…

I look into your eyes…
The feeling, indescribable.
I truly know and cherish,
That your love is really valuable…

I look into your eyes…
With thoughts of desperation.
You are the air I need to live,
No you No respiration…

I look into your eyes…
You make my life complete.
Emotions runnin’ wild,
To have you here with me…

I look into your eyes…
And see deep down in my soul.
I want to spend my life with you,
I want us to grow old…

I look into your eyes…

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Here is a Haiku that I wrote a while back. This piece speaks for itself. Enjoy.

Purpose: Change the world.
Mission : Educate the minds.
Goal: Make a difference.

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2 Teach is + 2 Touch Lives = 4Ever
I recently came across this poem while going through my documents. It was a piece that I wrote for an education class that I took a few semesters ago. It was an education class based on the work of a middle and high school teacher, primarily focused on teaching in an urban/public school system. This was a piece that while writing, gave me an opportunity to reflect on my journey through education and the few teachers that I truly felt wanted to see me succeed in all that I wanted to do. There were very few. Think, 13 years in public school prior to attending college and I could honestly only think of 5 or 6 teachers that really pushed me. That challenged me. That didn't write me off because I was an inner city kid, whose life was set up for failure. Thank you to all those that have influenced me in a positive was throughout my life. Having someone believe in you is the only think you need sometimes. To those that want to pursue a career in the field of education, I challenge you to change the status quo of teachers and understand that you are the people who control the future. Enjoy.

What is teaching?
And what’s the “right” approach?
Is it “preaching” information that a group of people wrote?
Is it writing on the board,
While your back is to the class?
Is it handing out “free” grades, so that all your students pass?
Because that would make you look good, when those people look at stats…
But you never reached a student…
And you can never get them back.
See a lot of teachers take this road, and let students get on by…
Now I’m sitting here just wondering…
Asking myself, WHY?
Why someone with so much power, Would leave these students out dry…
Like a raisin in the sun…
A dream deferred, a dream just dies.
Teachers have the power, to make a difference, change a life,
So as you think of teaching, please, just think it over twice.
There are two paths to head down…
One is left the other right…
Go LEFT, and you keep the cycle going…
But you’ll be hurting our society because the future won’t be growing…
Go RIGHT, and accept responsibility to help students succeed.
And this process merely starts, by planting knowledge seeds….
So keep an open mind…
Understand what students bring…
Don’t expect for them to lose. Challenge them to win!
Push them to the limits, Show them that you care,
Because and unjust education, Simply isn't fair.
Trust me,
I've been there, a student needing help...
And when that one teacher reached,
It was the greatest thing I felt.
Someone saw the greatness, That deep down I possessed,
Taught me about life,
And how I could progress.
This teacher made a difference. She pushed me hard to see,
That I had all the tools I needed,
I was set up to succeed.

The title of this poem, was something that I once saw on a rock that one of the few great teachers I know had on her desk. I later used that quote for a thank you plaque myself and some friends got for the one teacher that changed most of our lives, Linda Kaufman. It sounds so cliche, but it is true, education is the key to our futures. It is up to us to keep giving people the tools needed to open doors.

(Me and Mrs. Kaufman on the night of my senior prom in 07')

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Thursday, July 1, 2010
People. Here we have the Holga D. That's right, a Holga. But what makes this one special, is that it is DIGITAL. The designer of the beautiful thing is Saikat Biswas and he has found a way to keep the simpleness and playfulness of a Holga, although it is a digital system. While other cameras are shooting for bigger screens, this bad boy doesn't even have one... That,s right. You have to wait to see what you captured. It's all the fun of shooting film, without having to worry about ruining film and buying more of it. For more details on this, CLICK HERE.

I'm not sure when or even if this will drop... But if it does, I hope I can get my hands on one!

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Nike "Just Do It"
Just Do It.

To most of us, this reminds us of Nike. Of course, it is there slogan. A slogan that Dan Weiden coined for a 1988 Nike as campaign. Since then the slogan has been seen everywhere and has been used for everything. It was also chosen as by Advertising Age as one of the top 5 slogans of the 20th century. On October 3rd, 1989, Nike officially trademarked the slogan.

While this is information that most of you already know, the reason I am writing about the 'Just Do It' slogan is to discuss where the idea originated from.

Does the name Gary Gilmore mean anything to you? Gary Gilmore might have been the best thing to ever happened to Nike, even though he has nothing to do with the company. Gilmore was actually a criminal who was born in Waco, Texas in 1940. He was a spree killer who had multiple felony charges against him, including two counts of murder. He gained international attention when he demanded that he be executed after committing the two murders.

So what exactly does Gary Gilmore have to do with Nike? On the day of his execution, January 17,1977, when asked if he had any final words, Gilmore yelled, "Let's Do It." These final words were the inspiration for Dan Weiden when he came up with the slogan 'Just Do It.'

It is unbelievable how a man's last words have led to a slogan that has changed the world. Think about it. Three words, 'Just Do It,' has changed the lives of many and single-handedly changed advertising.

Below are a few ads that I found online for the Nike 'Just Do It' campaign.


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A Writer You Should Get To Know......
Hello world.

There is a new writer on the Internet. Her name is Kadijah Marie Harris. Although she will only be a senior this fall, in high school, she will undoubtedly be a great writer that will contribute nothing but great things to this world.

Asides from being an aspiring writer/journalist, Kadijah is my little sister. Not biologically, but to me, family is what you make it. I am so happy that she has started a blog. I know for sure that it will be a great way for her to express herself which is something that she has found tough at times in the past. This will be great practice for her and will most likely serve as a foundation for her future.

This is a young lady who I have seen grow before my eyes and now all of you can follow her growth. You can track her growth here: The World Is Yours

You can also read a post she wrote about me which truly means a lot to me. To have some one admire you and look at you for support and guidance is something most people would rather not have, but it is what keeps me going. I love you D. Thank you.

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Monday, June 28, 2010
Chris Brown's Tribute to MJ
Last night on the BET 2010 awards the world was blessed with what was without a doubt one of the, if not the best, Michael Jackson tribute performances. Who else could have gone out on that stage and leave everything they had on that stage, but Chris Brown. Personally, I was touched with his performance. Man In the Mirror is on of my favorite songs of all time and I could feel Chris' pain when he was singing, or attempting to, before breaking down. For anyone that has appreciated MJ's music, you know the message that song is sending and how it directly relates to Chris Brown and his life after the Rhianna incident. If you weren't able to see the performance... (Look for it on YouTube. The videos I had were taken down.)

Again, I thought that this tribute was long overdue. Regardless of what people felt or feel about Chris Brown, there is no doubt in my mind that he should have been the one doing this tribute last year. Great job Chris. You gave every MJ fan what Michael himself always gave, a great show.

Now, the reason I wanted to write about this event isn't just to express my thoughts on the performance, but to give my thoughts on the Chris and Rhianna situation. After the performance, I saw a lot of people on my feeds writing things such as, 'he still beat her...' The reason I was turned off by those type of comments is that nobody but Chris and Rhianna know exactly what happened and what led up to there situation. Now I am not saying that either one of them were right nor wrong. Nor do I advocate violence, of any kind. Nor will I try to justify the actions of either party.

What I am here to do is to challenge the way people think. Challenge the reason that we as humans, jump out of our seats if a man puts his hands on a woman, but rarely do I see the same reaction when a woman puts her hands on a man. Why is it that as a society, for hundreds of years, we have chosen to put man above woman and believe that men are more powerful. Now I understand the scientific evidence that naturally, men are, one average, bigger and stronger, but what does that have to do with domestic violence. By getting upset at a man for hitting a woman, simply because he is a man, is stating that the woman is not capable of defending herself, simply because she is a woman. I know that may sound a bit confusing and I may not be making myself clear enough, but what I am getting at is this...

If women were seen as the 'stronger' gender in society, would we be scrutinizing males who act violently towards women? I rarely hear any comments about Rhianna physically hitting Chris Brown. Or women being physical towards men in general. To me it is fascinating that women are portrayed to be weak individuals and people seem to be fine with that image.

Again, I am not advocating violence of any kind, I am simply questioning why a society completely rejected a young man who undoubtedly made a mistake? I did not see Rhianna being scrutinized by the media or by the public for her role in the situation. I wonder, if Chris Brown would have had a black eye and Rhianna nothing, would society have treated her the way they did Chris?

I know we will never know the answer to this question, but i my opinion, I don't think she would have gone through what he did.

This is just one of the many issues in this world in which double standards are often employed and while it often benefits one side, we seem to forget that there are always 2 sides. In this incident, Chris Brown was rejected and considered to be a villain, while Rhianna was embraced by both the public and the media.

Lastly I would like to encourage people to not be blinded by the media and social constructs and really take a look at the entire picture. I have seen many instances in which women have been the violent ones towards men, but those cases are often overlooked. Violence happens everywhere, between all kinds of people. We must not neglect another human being because of their actions, instead we must accept them and try to understand them.

Feel free to comment below. Again, this is a conversation. A place for people to come together and discuss an issue that is larger than any of us.

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