Ocean City – life photography

You can say that Ocean city is the place to be at the end of June. The water was still cold because, of the storms that passed through these past few weeks. The weather was stifling so it all balanced out. christa4

The sky was also so beautiful! I definitely was not expecting the views I saw, and captured on my SLR camera.christa3

DAY Road trips are the ABSOLUTE best. I did not drive, but this awesome girl did. Five hours in my sedan and she still rocked it on the beach!! I mean SERIOUSLY? I wear so much make up sometimes, and it does not compare to this natural, flawless skin.christa2

Where we stood happened to be the best waves! These waves were not too big and not too small. The beach was not crowded where we were either. christa

While here, we saw lots of hungry birds. One of them stood out — he had only one leg. I had to take pictures of the little guy. Lets bring awareness to ocean life. We may or may not have caused this; but we should constantly remind each other to care.







Ocean City Photo series – 2017

The boardwalk was clean, and clear about not feeding the wild life! I absolutely loved Ocean city; this was my first visit here.oc 2

The view was SPECTACULAR — people were engaged in so many activities.

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Like ripping judy doll heads…or barbie doll heads off of their plastic bodies..oc 4

But…eh, we were just enjoying the blue, beach views!!

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From the benches…

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And the rocks that sit above…





This little guy kept us company as we watched.






Where in the U.S. is college cheapest for you?

Historically, the cost of a four year, public tuition has increased each year over the past six years. Over the past five years, the average U.S. four year, public college tuition has increased over $800. The average, U.S. tuition for a four year, public college in 2016, has risen to $9,650, which is an $830 increase since 2011. By looking at this graph, you can predict that tuition for four year, public colleges will continue to steadily increase, with a increasing trend of about $260 almost every other year.


Although, it is upsetting that four year, public colleges see an increase within tuition each year, the increase does not compare to what you may see in four year, private universities. This graph demonstrates the increase in private tuition per year over the past five years. Like four year, public colleges, we can see a trend of an ongoing increase in tuition. However, over the past 6 years, the average four year, private college tuition has increased more than $3,700. The average four year, private school tuition increase being $750.00, that is almost a $500 difference of an increase in tuition for four year, public college tuition increases.



So, If you’re looking for a four-year public college because, it may be your cheapest option, you may find that looking out of state is difficult. These two graphs below demonstrate the average four year, public college tuition based on Western vs. Northeastern U.S. colleges. From my findings, I compared in-state, four year public college tuitions to the overall average U.S., four year, public college tuition. Which college is cheapest for you? Are colleges cheaper on the Western or Northeastern part of the U.S.?




From my analysis of average, four year, public college costs, I am surprised at what I see. In the west, it appears that if you are going to attend a four year, public college your best bet may be to stay within the graph limits of Alaska to Wyoming. This is surprising because, there are so many resources around these schools that could benefit students; so i would think that it would be more expensive than it appears to be. However, as a student who once stayed in my own state to attend college, there are many disadvantages. However, I am now a transfer student within a whole, different state, and there are many disadvantages to that also. If you are on the west coast, and happen to want to go out of state because, you want to branch out somewhere else, it may be beneficial to you if you live in Washington state, or Arizona because, the average in state, four year public tuition is high anyway. I find this surprising because, I would have thought that Arizona, and Washington state’s tuition would be cheaper.

If you are in the Northeast, and live within the states ranging from Virginia to West Virginia in respect to the graph, you may benefit from cheaper tuition. That is not to say that these schools will have the best opportunities for you based on location. As far as I can see, you may benefit more with having a cheaper tuition if you already live within these states than if you don’t. I found this shocking because, I would think public college tuition would be expensive for people who live in New York due to the opportunities. I am not so sure about West Virginia, Maryland or Maine due to my lack of knowledge on opportunities within those states. If you live within the states ranging from New Hampshire to New Jersey, it may be wise for you to branch off and go to another state since in state, public tuition is already high. I’ve got to say that I am not at all surprised by Pennsylvania or New Jersey since I believe they overcharge on almost everything essential, and they are also near many opportunities.

It would appear that four year, public colleges on the western part of the U.S. are cheaper within respect to the average college tuition cost.

SOURCES: The College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges; NCES, IPEDS data.

This data was prepared in October 2016.


Big Little Lies review

Warning: may contain spoilers!

From the moment the series begins they foreshadow the ending of the limited series by telling us that the fundraiser for the local elementary school in Monterey, CA has gone horribly wrong — that someone is dead. The series starts out as a thriller, with comedic humor. We see unique, isolating, dark moments surrounding almost every main character that is introduced to us. The compulsive, perfectionist wife Madeline Mackenzie, the controlled, and abused wife Celeste, and the fragile, victimized wife Jane Chapman. These female characters produce compelling performances that keep audiences wondering who, and most importantly why?


Each Sunday, the limited series delivered these compelling performances in the same way that pieces make up a puzzle. The audience is constantly in this position where they receive limited, signigifcant information that could otherwise be used to target just about anyone as suspect to committing a murder at one point or another. Even if some of their transgressions seem temporary, or come across as insignificant: the audience is still trying piece together each mom’s character in conjunction to their overall part within the mix of things happening within various plot points.

What made this story line very interesting is that it showed issues that happen everywhere: the location played a huge part in demonstrating this. These issues were, domestic violence, mid-life crises, mental health, abuse, rape, and cheating. These issues are what makes the show universal and applicable to most adult viewers. The series seems to be more geared towards women. However, that is not to say that men would not enjoy the series because, of the mystery behind the thriller driven story line.

A distinctive aspect about this series is that the characters are fully developed over time perfectly. There are almost no interruptions to that. The characters stay in character; it works for it’s complexed themes, yet overly simplistic story line. Another distinctive aspect about Big little lies, is how the shot angles portray each character in an unusual, realistic way. Shots are usually done up close and over the shoulder. There are also many different, creative medium, and close up shots of the moms and their children: these shots create intimacy and intensity.



The filming location was an excellent touch to giving the series a visually, compelling look: it also helped contribute to answering a major background question. Why these women? Culturally speaking, the series does not demonstrate a lot of cultural diversity. However, you could arguably say, it answers the question; why these women? The series also has a very, unique soundtrack; its one memorable detail that really influences the background we see.


The series has the ability to pull audiences in all sorts of directions. The series also has the ability to seem so simple: that the audience member says to themselves; it has to be who I think it is. I think that from the start the series was meant to be what it is; a limited series. It is not like a traditional series that has many, sophisticated plots. It was always meant to be generally complicated yet, overwhelmingly simple: who and why?


The ending of this series was somewhat of a surprise to me; however, at the same time I was pretty convinced that one situation was continually bad compared to all of the rest. The other situations became possibilities, but one particular situation continued to fester which made the series somewhat predictable. However, the outcome of that predictability became unpredictable. Two seperate situations of abuse became linked to the abuser; this not only answered who, but also why.


Campus interview with Student Center cashier

In my interview with Anna, I was able to view her from a different perspective. It was neat to learn how she has worked for the university for more than 20 years! I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to interview her since she is a familiar face! Every morning I see Anna she is always smiling, happy and welcoming. It was a great opportunity to learn a little bit more about her.

Anna was very shy when I sat down to speak with her in front of the camera but, most times when I see her she is very outgoing and interactive. I think she showed that today. I think that is what students and staff members look forward to in the mornings and evenings. I think Anna is one of the most interactive, positive employees here on campus! She really made my transition here easier (as a transfer student entering this past spring).

Anna always asks me how my day is going, and asks how the rest of my day or weekend plans are. It is always nice to see friendly faces around campus especially when you are new and nervous to communicate with others.

I think that without employees like Anna, campus wouldn’t be as interactive or friendly as it could be. She is just one of those people who break the ice, communicate, and interact with all different types of personalities. In doing this project it really helps me learn how to break the ice and ask someone who I was familiar with to do something more. I am greatful to have learned how to add this to my skills as an aspiring journalist. I would have liked to cover more about Anna but, unfortunately resources were low. I would someday like to do documentaries about people like Anna.

Data journalism: The Deadliest Jobs in America

In the Bloomberg reading The deadliest jobs in America, we learn that compensation is a huge factor in what are presumably high-risk, dangerous jobs here in America. When you look at the the various jobs and salary, it often seems like those who are at most risk, receive more compensation than those who are not regardless if they are actually hurt or not. The risk factor alongside actual fatalities that have happened in the past presumably determines the compensation. Construction workers, agricultural workers, and truck drivers do see fatalities per ever 100K but make more or the same pay rate as lodgers who are within the same status. Police officers and Fire fighters receive more of a pay rate even though their fatality to pay ratio is less than a lodgers because of their weight of risk. We can assume this is because of their official community involvement and the unknown, fatal situations they face daily. In this way, the graphical presentation is not commuting the information very well. In order to communicate this information better, the presentation could have a seperate section for risk based on pay rate.

In another section of statistics we see the comparison between garbage collectors, construction laborers, managers, and firefighters. Garbage collectors have a low income in comparison to fire fighters and security guards. I think the reasoning behind this is because, the expectation is not there. I believe that this factor encourages more exploration as to why their salary is low when they too have a high risk job. Their salary is based on conditions that do not see as much as a fatal risk as a fire fighter or security guard potentially sees. From the data on Managers on construction sites, they are much less likely to die than actual construction laborers which makes sense because, they have an office workspace they spend much more time at. However, that supervisors die more frequently that their subordinates which to me does not make sense in conjunction to learning about managers on construction sites who die less frequently than the actual workers on the site. To me this would need more variables and factors to figure out. I would probably need to know the location, ethnicity, and age to understand better.

The last section compares the highest number of death rates based on violence or homicide per every 100K. It would make sense that taxi drivers are most likely to die from homicide than from a transportation accident because of many different factors and variables surrounding safety. It also makes sense to see that coaches, athletes, and umpires are most likely than truck operators to die in a transportation accident. We can presume its because, a truck driver has more experience driving and being on the road than coaches, athletes, and umpires. Truck drivers also have work hours that they follow so it would be more helpful to see and know more variables with this data such as time, age, and location for more understanding.

I would have to say that the U.S. Department of Labor demonstrates how many people die at deadly jobs based on many factors in a precise way. However, they could have used more variables and factors within their data so that they could be more accurate. That way people could have more of an understanding of these specific deadly job comparisons. The colors are used to correspond to each category of comparisons in each section. However, form does not seem to depict accurate comparisons because, the comparisons are not all in their own separate, relatable category within each section: it then makes for a confusing intake of information.

Video Critique – Lone Star Nurse

The New Yorker’s video Lone Star Nurse was a successful video based on it’s ability to deliver content, emotional shot sequences, and a variety of important information. The video had specific times where they would introduce the audience to captioning of information that was not either wise said or shown to us.



I believe that the way the video was sequenced ended up making for a emotional appeal on to the viewers. It demonstrated what it needed to in a chronological fashion by showing us this nurse’s general work routine and added scenes where this nurse is affected by her routine somedays more than others. The edits were done well also. You could hardly notice the clever transitions in scenes unless you were specially looking for it. There was generally a new face each time the video transitioned but only because, they added in shots of captions or scenery shots of the nurse traveling from one destination to the next which was very interesting and clever! It reminded me of MTV’s shows’ Catfish and Teen Mom II.

The shot compositions were critical for this type of serious documentary. In the beginning of the documentary…we see close ups of Nicole’s (the nurse’s) accomplishments (her RN deans-list degree). We also see that she has a family, house, and career from a wide shot perspective. However, when she speaks…we see her from an close – up and personal perspective. They show you both wide and medium shots of her interacting with the moms and babies she helps. The camera captures creative, close up shots of Nicole, the babies and their mothers when Nicole gives them advice. When the video introduces a new mother and baby… they introduce music, and close up shots of not only the characters but also, the baby’s room. Nicole is driving or walking alone, the camera capture over the shoulder shots of the even more, sensitive version of herself demonstrating what it is like for her to leave these mothers at the end of the program. She explains how they make an impression on her and how she encourages them to always stay in contact with her. The camera often ends many of these traveling scenes with wide shots which encourages the impact of the visual and narrative flow of the narrative.

This particular story really lends itself visuals because, it captures the landscape of where this story is taking place, interviews it’s subjects and touches on human empathy and emotion.

As for the sound, it started off with music that sounds native to Texas (where the story is happening). However, the music stops when the narration of the character begins and then often plays in between that narration.



Interview with Sr. Assoc. Dean Oppenheim of the Lawrence Herbert school of communications at Hofstra University!

I decided to interview my advisor, the assistant dean of the communication’s department here at Hofstra! Getting to know others is not always easy however, with the right questions you may receive valuable advice and perspectives from those you have access to.

  1. What were your career interests when studying sociology for your B.A.?
It took a while for me to figure it out.

I knew I was interested in higher education and possibly one day teaching at the college level.

  1. Why did you continue your education in pursuing a M.A. in speech communications and rhetorical studies?
I was once unsure of what to study.

I eventually found speech-rhetorical studies within the course catalog. I discovered that it was a great fit for me.

  1. What paths did you consider when finishing school?
I had an interest in working with others.

I knew I wanted to stay and work on campus! As a student employee on campus I wanted to build my value and credentials. When I went out for my M.A. it was easier for me to land a part time position at Hofstra University.

  1. What is it like teaching classes in communications digital media vs. helping advise students within The Herbert School of communications towards their degrees?
Each day is different for me because, the students change.

It was much more structured. There were less surprises in terms of goals. When advising students, anything and everything comes up and needs to be addressed. There are medical, social, and academic issues that occur.

  1. What were your earliest academic aspirations?
I didn’t anticipate grad school but, I realized that it was a smart path.

Initially, it was to finish my undergrad degree in sociology and give it my 100%.

What is a normal routine like for you during the week here at Hofstra?


The majority of the week consists of advising students, meeting with other faculty in the Herbert School, and serving on a number of university committees.

  1. What is it like to serve as an intermediate between students and their aspirations for career opportunities?
It’s excited! It’s rewarding!

I love sharing my advice and discussing what my experiences were in dealing with media professionals, working in a job environment, and how to engage with others through communication skills.

  1. Did you ever aspire to live anywhere besides Brooklyn, New York (hometown)?
When in Brooklyn, NY I did not inspire to live anywhere else besides there.

When an opportunity came for me to move to Long Island I decided to. After moving to Long Island, I aspired to move and live within Manhattan in my late 20’s however, it was much too expensive for me.

  1. How do you adjust your style to the less motivated or under prepared student? 
I always encourage students to get involved on campus!

 I’m a positive psychology, positive reinforcement type of person.

  1. How would your background and experiences contribute to the person you are today?
The people I met along the way encouraged me to pursue more opportunities.

The experiences I got as a young professional helped me build confidence as a young person.

  1. Are you currently motivated to do other things?
I’m happy. I love my current job and responsibilities each year.

I always think about the future. I continue to grow and learn new things.

  1. What things have you done on your own initiative to help you prepare for the positions you hold or currently have held?
I sought out advice from those I trust.

I asked a lot of questions, researched my industry to understand what types of jobs there are and possible salaries.

  1. What do you think most uniquely makes you qualified as a dean in the communications department?



My knowledge of Hofstra’s policies and procedures.

            The key is knowing answers to questions which often comes with staying at a career for a long time.

  1. Do you have any additional information that you would like to share?


I have a passion project! I’ve been managing it for two years now. I produce weekly news letters featuring best available media jobs in the U.S.

It’s called MEO jobs. It helps job seekers looking for opportunities within media and communications.

Photo series on cotton and exploitation

In society today, we as consumers are a part of a large, complexed, on going cycle. Our economy is driven by business which reflects the culture that exists. It is both positive and negative that our society’s premise is a business model. Consumers need various solutions for their issues or ideas for their individual needs. The freedom to exchange goods and services to receive profit which is regulated by the law seems rather fair on the surface. However, that freedom like many freedoms can be taken too far. In his photo series, Franko states that, “profit over people” is the ideology that propels some of the world’s most profitable businesses. I believe that is where it becomes an overreach as a freedom.

After reading A Glimpse at the workers who make your clothes, you remember that businesses have a social responsibility to their consumers and their workers from which they rely upon to receive profit and success. When businesses take advantage of either the consumer or the worker it constitutes hypocrisy. Exploitation lives in the holes of the law. Otis speaks out about how some large corporations are wanting to shift production to countries where wages are lower and are not protected by law. “What emerged, he said, was a story of exploitation, where the quest of corporations to find cheaper production in the globalized economy obscures the human cost”. The photos open your eyes to what you don’t physically see each and everyday but, what some corporations see, expect and normalize. This investigative journalism in this case, asks what about the lives of the employees? Are they giving more than they are receiving? What would it mean for companies to rightfully compensate their employees? What can we as consumers demand from companies who charge us and neglect their employees their compensation?


The photographs definitely help the story. I think that with most physical evidence or proof we tend to compare and connect better. The photographs are also edited in a chronological order with no splash of color. The editing introduces the idea of this being an issue of the past but yet currently still remains an issue. When i see these people who work for these corporations I can’t help but think of slave labor. These employees rarely see minimum wage. From the photographs, we can clearly see that their work most certainly is not freelanced or volunteered. These workers are not being compensated fairly. These shots range from young girls and boys to older women and men who seem to be working daily within extreme conditions. They are picking, sorting, harvesting, and carrying cotton. The photos show an owner of one of the farms. Mr. Button is shown laying down waiting for his employees to begin their work. While some local factories gave workers a place to sleep, I would have to say that the reason why those people did not have places to begin with is because they are not being rightly compensated for their time. Therefore, it does not justify the factory in giving them a place to stay. These photos also explore the finished products we see at places such as Urban Outfitters in London. The pictures work well in the order they were placed because, there is cohesion.

They show you the process of the factory work step by step which strongly demonstrates how these workers are treated at various factories. I believe that Franko explored why today is much like the past. It explains why he precisely chose to make the first photo of “[a] farmer picking cotton in a field near Toussiana, in Burkina Faso, in December 2015 and the last photo being of [a] retail clothing store in London. September 2016”. The captions show different periods of time, places, and work which ultimately give the story facts. I just find it exploitative that they would sell a pair of jeans for $30 and up but will not fully compensate the workers who created those very jeans they are selling for profit.