The Monroe College Art Collaborative Club

Mustang Art Competition

Creative Writing Contest!

Open Mic February 28th 5pm-7pm Gaddy Atrium!

Please come and join Professor Troshanoff, Professor Florestal, and Professor Scott as we all celebrate creativity at Monroe College! All students welcome. There will be pizza and refreshments served!


See you there!

A Temporary Solution

By Kristoff Blackman

When I started the 5th grade, I changed schools and had  numerous experiences that harvested some pleasurable and not so pleasurable remembrances. I was frequently tormented on the playground because of my “chink” eyes and slender build. The bigger children saw me as a bull’s eye for their egotistical darts to puncture. They probably had issues with their families at home, or were being bullied themselves, and were taking their anger out on me.

Anyways, after being thrown against lockers, hit and shoved around, called names, played pranks on, and other mental and physical abuse, I cracked. I could not mentally receive any more wounds to my self-confidence.

A week or so after Christmas, I was at the recreational field in my neighborhood, throwing a football at a light pole in the middle of the field, something I would do for hours until bedtime. My grandmother had given me this football as a gift, and I was reveling in the fun of this new sport. But as expected (though I did not think about it at the time), a few kids started to inconvenience me. They approached me, and without a word, took the ball out of my hands as I was winding up to throw it. I was so stunned and passionately connected to that gift that without a second of thought, I reared back and punched one of the kids in the face. I thumped him down and he immediately ran away crying. I never asked if they were playfully taking the football from me, but I had received enough bullying to react intensely to such an action.

Apparently, the kid went to school the next day and informed administration of my viciousness. I was sent to Dr. Poor’s office immediately after 1st period, and marched in with my own version of the story. The boy was bullying me and he was the one who deserved consequences. Unfortunately, Dr. Poor and I did not see the situation in the same light, naturally. He emailed my grandmother about the occurrence, and she was astonished that I would do something like that. I had always been an unobtrusive child, occupying myself with toys, or tagging along with other children as more of an onlooker than a main member. No one’s grandmother expects their child to hit someone, but it occurs for specific motives. In this case, I had been subjugated by my peers for months maybe even years, and that contained, unexpressed irritation and embarrassment resulted in an animalistic action.

From that time on, I realized that I didn’t have to accept being bullied. I found that my rage and resentment gave me a wild strength, which was consistently incomparable by the normal pugnacious powers of an adolescent. Back then I felt like Darth Vader from Star Wars, I finally found a way to battle my adversaries, but not through positive methods.

I realize now that my rage was slowly guiding me in the direction of illogic and paranoia. I don’t know precisely what I had come over me, but from that time in 5th grade where I first used my hands and anger to resolve a problem, I never looked back. I had just found the antidote that made me feel powerful, self-confident, and able to take on anything in my way. However, there were several things that made this extremely problematic: it led to unnecessary attacks on my family, it put holes in my bathroom walls, and I realized that the numbness of not being able to control my fury disturbing.

Then I found football. By the time I was 14 years old, I had found an outlet for my anger and aggression. Football allowed me to make friends, it gave me something healthy for a kid my age to be passionate about and bullies weren’t a problem any longer so I had no use anymore for my wild enragement. When I started to go to practice every day after school, I realized that the human beyond the rage was far more pleasant to be around. I strived to be more like that person every day I woke up. So, I continued and eventually I became the person that I always dreamed to be. I finally learned that acting on my anger was a temporary solution, and now, I am much more content and serene inside.

The Future Past

The Future Past

By Josue Palacios


Struggles of the past lead to the future

Many don’t see

Like how my future is just like a door

And my past is the keys

They struggle to find the future

But the past is all they see

My past is filled with wonders and struggles

That is reality

So stop moping in the past and look to the future

For your keys may open your door

Sunday Hair Day

By Brenda Doctor

It’s Levels to being a black girl with hair 

Level 1 is twist and braids with burettes and beads, but that don’t last all week 

Come home from school, ponytails sticking up like trees 

Level 2 when you start getting that white cream 

Better sit still and don’t scratch cause its gonna burn and you don’t want a scab 

Mommy got the kitchen smelling like a science lab 

In the little black girl’s head all she wonders 

“what head band imam wear” while her hair is straight and flowing when the wind blows 

That’s what bring the next level and step now we sew-in you gotta pick the hair you want to lay on your shoulders 

Everyone thought confidence is when you stand tall and shoulder back 

No its when you weave so laid and nice  

People asking “is that your hair”. 

Now she in college wanna find herself so she went natural 

We going back in time braiding the damage 

Because that white cream taking a while to dis-attach from them curls 

unlike the hair ties that always popped from me having thick hair, 

now she ready to big chop letting go of all the damage stress ends but 

stress has no ending 

because your hair is your hair and its gonna grow out your head so be kind and nourish it because you’ve already gave it a roller coaster ride by being a black girl 


The Difference of Privileges

The Difference of Privileges

By Brandonlee Eccleston

It isn’t easy growing up poor. As an individual you have to work harder, live struggling,
and sacrifice more. Being raised with privilege, you have the freedom to do more, dream bigger, and suffer less. The difference of privileges is just that, a realization of the different levels of privilege.

We as people all go through struggle, how great the struggle is will be determined by our
circumstance. People have a tendency to compare themselves to the next man. It is displayed through sports, pop culture, and essentially any and every area of competition or rating. All individuals have certain advantages/ disadvantages over one another. These “ups and downs”, for the most part are similar, but one’s advantage can be greater than someone else’s given their level of privilege. For example, two completely different families can both live in a house but family A, ​owns a luxury mansion​. Family B on the other hand, ​lives in a comfortable suburban living space​. See the difference? Now let’s say those same two families are both situated in a comfortable suburban living space. You the reader would then say, “The families seem to be in the same circumstance now, so where is the dilemma?”. The difference in the situation now is family A ​owns their house​ and family B is ​living on a lease.​ In both examples of circumstance the families where both similar on the surface but when the details of their living situation are explicitly described you see just how different they are. That is “​the difference of privileges​​”.

Based on that fact of circumstance giving people an advantage over others, gives room
for individuals to think and carry themselves as if they are better than others. When in actuality they are ​just better off​. This perception creates room for ​misunderstanding and unethical behavior.​ We as people are continuously comparing ourselves to one another because most of us want that feeling of separation. The “I’m better than you” mentality is strong and is a driving force/ cause, for the way most people live their life. It is a ​selfish way of living​ that’s embedded into us by certain social structures such as government, pop culture, and school.

These specific societal establishments are put in place to create “structure” and help
develop us both as individuals and as a whole. With all things in this world there are good and bad sides. Our man made structures do their job for the most part and help mold us. How they do it, is where the problem lies.

The structures we have put in place are utilized and interpreted differently by each
individual. These factors are dealt with according to circumstance. A study was conducted by the U.S. Department of Education to see how qualified high school graduates were based on household income. It showed that, “in 1992, only ​21 percent​​ of those with family incomes of less than $25,000​​ were highly ​qualified for admission at a four-year institution​, and ​20 percent were ​minimally qualified​. For students with family incomes above​ $75,000, 56​​ ​percent​​ were highly qualified​ and ​12 percent ​​minimally qualified​.”. “​Low Income and Minority Students​ .” Theme 1.​ ​U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics, ​Access to Postsecondary Education​ for the 1992 ​High Schools Graduates , NCES 98-105, by Lutz Berkner and Lisa Chavez. Project Officer: C. Dennis Carroll. Washington DC: 1997.​ Article 21.

Even in reading the work site​ ​for the quote, you observe the circumstances given to the students in their respective categories. These facts highlight the​ difference of privileges
​ between peers while displaying bigger issues. The issue of children coming from ​low income​ families and failing in the educational system​ is (1). ​Middle class​ families having an academic ​advantage over low level ​income​ families is another (2). High school graduates being college ready, (3). All of these real world issues are spurred from circumstance. The graduates in low income households most likely were raised by parents with little education, forcing them to settle for low level jobs.

On the other hand, middle class families have head of the households that obtained higher paying jobs. This ​circumstance​ affords those families a better standard of living. Like I said, the privilege given to these higher classed graduates gives them ​freedom to do more, dream bigger, and suffer less. Everyone has their own problems and situations that they handle in ​this thing we call life​. Our circumstances are mostly due to our own fault, but the ones that aren’t self generated can be the hardest to handle. Nevertheless they occur and how we handle them speaks volumes. The real question is, “what can we do for each other to help make these circumstances just a tad bit more bearable?”

About the Author

Brandonlee Eccleston is a freshman Business Administration major at Monroe College in New Rochelle, New York.

Open Mic on Thursday, November 15th!

Hello all,

Professor Troshanoff and the Poetry Club are sponsoring an open mic on the New Rochelle Campus! If you’d like to sign-up please contact (Or you can just show up!)

See you there!






The Magical Horse

Students in Professor Scott’s EN-111 College Writing Class were asked to write about making friends with a magical horse in the subway. Below are some original works!

The Strict Horse

By Desteny Flores

I was walking home from work. While I approached the subway, a magical horse came along and started talking to me. The horse started asking me questions. When I told him I was going home from work, the horse thought it was too late for me to be travelling alone. So I told him to take me home. Since the horse was magical, he told me to close my eyes and count to three. I opened my eyes and I was home. Not only was I home the horse blessed my account with millions of dollars so I would never have to work again.


Proof of Magic

By Steven Brown

On my way to school I encountered something that wouldn’t be seen in reality. I was heading to the restroom in the subway and when I entered the restroom I saw a magical horse. At first I was in awe and disbelief, but it was real. I pulled out my phone and started recording the mythical creature just standing there. I went to approach the horse,  and it suddenly backed away in fear. After five to ten minutes of trying to make contact with the horse, I decided to just back away and head to the train to go to school. Informing my friends about this encounter, they didn’t believe me or the video I showed them.


Trudy’s Condition

By Fatimah Hayes

I live in a city, but not just any city, New York City. The city where there’s no such thing as weird and no day is ever normal. Every day I wake up for work and catch the subway, but, on this particular Wednesday, I happened to meet a very special friend named Trudy. Trudy and I had a very interesting conversation but things quickly took a very strange turn when I looked beside me and realized my new friend was a horse. Despite Trudy’s condition, she was very understanding, and I was able to talk to her about my daily issues. Although she was a horse, she was a better listener than any of my human friends. As I went on with explaining my problems to her, she informed me that she could take all my pain away and I could live freely, just like her. What she was saying to me sounded amazing because all of my problems would then vanish. After a long time of thinking, I allowed her to erase my problems. Trudy began to repeat different words out loud, which definitely confused me but I went along with it. After she was done, I didn’t feel anything different about me. It was only when I got to work and ten minutes after speaking to a customer that I turned into a horse. I never realized she would change me into her, but I would have to agree I now live more freely.

Introducing Shane Riley

Shane Riley is the new student leader of The Monroe Art Collaborative! Below is a taste of who Shane is, and what he is interested in artistically. If you are interested in joining the Collaborative, message us!

Introducing Shane

By Shane Riley

Art doesn’t have to be Brushes, Pencils, and Sculpting. There is art in everything, but how you perceive it will give you greater depth in meaning.

Now that I somewhat caught your attention (hopefully) my name is Shane Riley. Please when you meet me just address me as “Riley”. I am currently 21 years old and I’d like to think I’ve done a lot with my life.

Before I get to me however, there’s something serious I’d like to get out first. I believe Art comes from anything that leaves your fingertips or that your eye can capture and create beautiful imagery with. That being said, Art does not only fall onto what you can put on to paper or what others may be able to feel. Art requires all five of the senses, whether you are a Painter, Pencil Artist, Graffiti Artist, DJ, Dancer, Sculptor, Animator, Photographer, Videographer, Writer, Rapper, or Singer. You present and express that art in a magical way.

I have a deep passion for Art in every aspect, and where some people may have a hard time, I believe it is easy to see the beauty in everything. Sometimes it’s hard to get my words out, and I had a lot of time to type this.

Now to finish off, here is a little something about me. I’m a very active person, and outgoing. My shading style when I draw includes hatching. I started getting into Art as a child because my sister was always painting, so I have a painting preference and I honestly don’t feel I have a style when it comes to painting. I just picked up DJing and it’s pretty interesting messing with turntables and such, finding ways to mix music different and create new sounds. I watch anime, and I am sort of a hardcore gamer, slowly calming down with my gaming issue. It slows my production! I also take time to Animate and am currently typing a little show I hope to produce on YouTube. I can give tips on 2D animations, but when it comes to 3D I am still learning and definitely will not be able to help as much. Hope to see your wonderful faces in the Art Club and we can all create and vibe together!

The Voice of Emmett Till

The following poem, by Monroe Human Services major Shaniyah McCloe, won 1st place in the Bronx Writing Contest. 

The Voice of Emmett Till

By Shaniyah McCloe


It was 1955, racism and hate still on the rise.

That’s also the reason why I died that day.

Look at me. Reeeally take a look at me.

Look at what hatred did to me;

Kidnapped, tortured and murdered me,

Ripped my whole future away from me.


Yeah, that’s me, age 14.

Beat me so bad, mom couldn’t recognize me.

They had to use my ring on my finger to identify me.

What could I possibly have done to deserve THIS?

Was that dare really worth this?

Sure, I did it on purpose,

But I was kidding, I swear.

It was seriously just an innocent dare.

See, my friends didn’t think that I’d do it.

So, I walked in that store, and did it, just to prove it.

*Catcall-whistle* … I teased, and I left;

Maybe giggled a little bit under my breath,

But I NEVER did those things that white lady said I did…


By the way, my name is Emmett Till;

The little boy two grown men killed.

Made me walk carrying 75 pounds,

Gouged my eyes out after forcing me to strip down.

They beat me nearly to death…

It was soon after that, when I’d take my last breath.


They shot me…


Tied me to cotton gin fan, with barbed wire;

And I was relieved, honestly, because by then, I was tired.

They threw me away in that lake.

As if MY life was invaluable and justified to take;

And I sank to the bottom, cold and alone.

Certain that I would never again get to see home.

So PLEASE.. remember my face. My name’s Emmett Till;

The 14-year-old boy AMERICA killed.

The harmless child AMERICA failed.

The one the “grownups” failed,

And the justice system failed;

But the power of my image will always prevail.


Photograph of student author, Shaniyah McCloe


Click here for more information on Emmett Till.


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