Wednesday's Class: December 5

New class member: Sean, who has a big interest in animation and online videos. He's interested in the Brony phenomenon of teenage boys (and girls, he adds) who relate to My Little Pony shows. We'll be developing ways in which Sean can adapt his interests and projects to the studio and writing tools we have in the Freedom Through Expression program. Edgar was here too. FTE is looking to the future, creating new programs at other schools and even in other states. Here at Metropolitan Business Academy, FTE will regroup next quarter and work directly through an existing journalism class at the school. Hopefully this will result in lots of work being produced, published and broadcast by students.

Chris Arnott's New Storytelling Series: Get to the Point!

Freedom Through Expression Radio is all about finding the best ways to present writing. I've got a new project that also fits that calling. It's a monthly storytelling series I was invited to create for Cafe Nine (250 State Street, New Haven; 203-789-8281, The first episode, or "volume" as I call it, is Monday Dec. 6. Here's the description I wrote for the Cafe Nine website: GET TO THE POINT • Calling all plot rockers, text riffers and good listeners! Behold volume one of Get to the Point!, Cafe Nine's new monthly storytelling series hosted by Christopher Arnott of Daily Nutmeg and the New Haven Advocate. Guest talespinners and wordsmiths this month include: Franz Douskey, poet (and Bukowski compadre) touting his new book Sinatra & Me; Ina Chadwick, seasoned storyteller and promoter of storytelling events in Fairfield County; Live Mike of Defcon Five, showing his more pedagogical side; Chris Randall, executive director of New Haven Land Trust; members of Jellyshirts covering the Velvet Underground's wordy classic The Gift; and other chatty treats. If YOU have a story, monologue, poem, theory, performance art piece or story-song to share in this or a future volume of Get to the Point!, email Chris Arnott at

House on Mango Street

My English class is making me read this book called House on Mango Street.So I'm going to what I've read so far. OK,. one chapter is called ''My Name." The chapter is about a girl named Esperanza which in English means "Hope." She talks about how she wanted to changed her name. Esperanza was named after her great-grandmother. Esperanza talks adout her great-grandmother with great passion, but Esperanza never met her great-grandmother. She says how she was a wild horse. I don't think she means that in a bad way. I think she means that she was strong, flawless woman.    

Thursday's Class: November 15

Diguan, Stephen and Edgar were here. We prepared lyrics for the studio sessions they'll have with Vic on Monday and Tuesday. Thanksgiving's next week: the students won't have writing sessions until the 28th and 29th. Some of the lyrics are fine. The students' assignment was to write about real stuff in their own lives. Edgar's are about a typical day at school: waking up, getting on the bus, walking three flights of stairs down to lunch. The chorus goes "Let's talk about school. Fun with learning, fun with learning." Diguan had some lyrics he'd already done. They end with a great word that I suggested he use as his title: The Depressionist. Stephen's bringing some prepared lyrics from the many he's written down on his phone, but is also ready to freestyle if need be. Can't be much readier than that. And Vic will be ready for them, with his arsenal of sounds and effects.

Gender Roles

By Ervin Cleaning, cooking, shopping. What comes to mind when you hear these words? If you thought about a woman, then you have just fallen into the trap of media stereotypes. In today's society, typically a woman is in charge of all the things mentioned, but men are shown to be completely different from all that. In fact, the idea of a man staying home to clean, cook, and take care of the kids is a laughable one. The media has infected our brains with stereotypical information that pretty much defines every one of us now. Men have to be the hero, possess the dominant attitude and be adored for being a womanizer. While women on the other hand need to be sensible, delicate, and helpless. And this is what we believe to be the correct thing, because we've made it to be.

Wednesday's Class: November 14

Edgar and Ervin are the head writers again today. They'll post, then it's a small seminar on whatever they want to know (that I'm able to teach them) about writing.They were in the recording studio with Vic Steffens yesterday, so we'll be playing off of what they learned there. Freedom Through Expression is an evolving concept.There are moves afoot to bring in more students and create a more interactive and wide-ranging product.The connections between the writing classes (here at Metropolitan Business Academy) and the recording classes (at Horizon West studios) will strengthen, so that content created at one will be enhanced by the other. In the meantime, it's a pleasant Wednesday afternoon. Brisk outside but not cold, and sunny.

What's going on in New Haven this week

It has been a pretty interesting week for New Haven. Snow fell down like cats and dogs out of the blue, bringing joy to most people. But this celebration is short lived, as two people were killed due to weather-related accidents. Also, Yale University names Provost Peter Salovey as the next president, which was announced on November 8, at Thursday afternoon. --Ervin Its going to be a really GOOD weekend for you eating wings lovers because here at my coolest school ever, Metropolitan Business Academy will be holding a wing tasting from wings restaurants all over New Haven.You have to pay 5 bucks to enter the awesome word of al-you-can-eat wings. I know I will be there myself, knowing my big healthy size. --Edgar

Wrong with the world!

Whats wrong with the world? Eduation  is what's wrong because who doesn't want to learn? If we push and push and push to our successes we don't have to push no longer. --Edgar Silva.  The world seems to be extremely attracted to material things that don't exactly bring happiness. We are exposed to a place where we can barely call a place of humanity anymore. We, in reality, are animals, yet what makes us human is the ability to control that animal inside us, and even so we can't. We live in a place where pretty much money takes controls over the world, and even though money can't buy happiness, it buys our mental thinking. I really wonder myself, how would a world be if money didn't exist? Would it stop individuals from killing each other for it, or would it create more chaos? As generations come, it seems to become worst and worst, but who do we have to blame? The world is corrupted by lies, violence, and misdirections. This is the way it's been for decades, so why would it change now? --Ervin

Musing on space

What's a new-media workspace supposed to look like? This one looks like the computer lab of a newly built high school building on Water Street near the highway and waterfront of New Haven. It's a pretty drab room. Lots of signs tacked about the computer terminals, listing lot of "Rules and Expectations": No food or drink, no "rough-housing," no distracting your "neighbor," reminders to "save your work, every now and then, to your 'P-drive.'" This is an unusual space in which to foment a revolution. I've become fond of the name Freedom Through Expression Radio--project founder Hashim Allah's coinage--and want to live up to it. We have extraordinary resources at our disposal and no hard-and-fast rules other than learning to communicate better, and in a variety of ways. We will be learning, and perhaps creating, new methods of interacting with audiences, and with each other. We will be finding the best ways to prepare work for this blog and for the recording studio; it may be that the old-school ways, the writer/editor/publisher model, works best. Or maybe there's something that suits us better. In any case, Freedom Through Expression will earn its freedom, and spread it. It will express itself, and help others express themselves.

Thursday's Class (Nov. 8): A New Beginning

No Freedom Through Expression Radio yesterday because of the abrupt snowstorm. Today, Edgar was here (our most regular student) and so was Ervin (first time). Hashim, our glorious leader, expressed concern about other students who signed up for the FTE program but haven't yet attended it. He explained how important it is for young people today to take advantage of the opportunities given to them, and not to take them for granted. Hashim's talk made us want to immediately get to work, posting the items you see here now. I (Chris Arnott) was pushing the idea of collaboration and community. It's no big deal for a student these days to have access to a computer at school, but it is still a big deal to get together with other students and start a publication, or a radio station. One of the greatest resources of FTE is other people. Beyond that, having access to a recording studio and its staff is extremely cool. Some new students, besides the ones who signed up earlier, will be invited to become part of Freedom Through Expression in coming weeks. We will continue to produce content for this site, and learn how to use a recording studio. Most importantly, we will try to figure out new ways to communicate with new audiences--to get important information and opinions out to those who can appreciate and use them. --Chris Arnott