The Monroe College Art Collaborative Club

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.


The Travel Blog of Rico Neely-Part Two

By Rico Neely

It’s been about a month since I arrived here. By this time, I would’ve expected to have the full gist of Italy- well, just Brescia, and I do, not totally, but I do. The part of the city I’m in sort-of reminds me of life back in New Rochelle- very family and community-oriented. Although I’m in the downtown area, everyone seems to be their brother’s keeper. I don’t really get to explore as much as I would like to because after returning to my apartment from a whole day of classes, I have to keep up with my online classes. The Classes at Cast Alimenti have proven to be not only informative but interesting as well. I love it! I can feel myself growing as a culinarian here. The teachers are very personable and funny, and the other staff, although they can’t speak much English, try their best to communicate with us. Oh, how can I not talk about the food during lunch time? It’s set up in a pot-luck style. All the classes from that day would bring something they made and add it to the cafeteria line.


For the most part, the meals the cafeteria staff makes are pretty much the same, but they change it up a bit at times. Growing up in the Bahamas, we have thing we say to people who take school for granted, such as, “you only come here for lunch eh?” Read my words carefully, if my High school was Cast, I would be there for the food. Yes, it is that good, scratch that, great. How can I forget, they have a coffee and dessert bar, just say the word and just like magicians, they will whip it up for you in a jiffy. Except Tony. Tony is an American that came in to internship at Cast Alimenti- he is from The Culinary Institute of America and is basically sharing the experience with us, but from the angle of a staffer. That’s pretty cool. He seems to be a cool and laid back type of person. I am proud to say that I taught Tony how to make a kick-butt Cappuccino and ‘Americano’, watch out Starbucks, the next best barista is on the rise.  Looking over all that I’ve written so far, a large portion of this is about the food Cast Alimenti serves during lunch, and I would honestly go on even more about it if my fingers weren’t getting tired.


So far this experience has taught me to take in every moment, never taking for granted the opportunities afforded to me. I can almost guarantee, the Rico of a few years ago would envy the Rico of today- how many people do you know can actually say that they’ve cooked and create life-long connections with Master chefs?!?! That’s amazing, but most importantly, it’s all God’s doing. I am extremely happy here- this is the place you want to go when you feel like disappearing or just vanishing, its ambiance, its people, its food, its culture is one that is amazing. I would say that this is my favorite place to be, but nothing and nowhere can beat the beautiful 700 islands of The Bahamas, don’t question me, I know this. Since I got here, I have been a morning bird, not by choice though; because of the 6hr time difference, I find myself going to sleep really early and waking up at about 3am, and staying up until it’s time to get ready for classes at 6:00am.


It’s weird, back in New York, I acted and looked like nobody’s child every morning, dragging myself to any class I had before 10:00am. But here, it’s like I’m the Energizer Bunny. I’m never tired in the morning, so I go into the kitchen, fix myself a quick egg sandwich and complete my routine morning meditation (having an intimate conversation with God). I actually eat breakfast everyday here, twice; once in my apartment’s kitchen, and once at school with all the other students that came along with me. if I were back in New York, that would be a wild fantasy. I feel like one of those over-acted cliché commercials promoting a product that they want us to believe is ‘perfect’ and can ultimately end world hunger, lol. Seriously though, it really is amazing here. I just wish I could’ve enjoyed it with my family and friends I left back in the Western Hemisphere.

Spring Writing Contest Winners!

Marcette Lynch, Rebeca Trinidad and Trinity Delzell met with Professor Scott yesterday to celebrate their Spring Writing Contest wins! Click below to see their work!

1st Place: Marcette Lynch, “Bullet in the Wind”
2nd Place: Rebeca Trinidad, “Rain Drops”
3rd Place: Trinity Delzell, “What are We?”



What are We?-3rd Place Spring 2018

Writing Contest 3rd Place Spring 2018
What are We?
By Trinity Delzell

As I started to inch towards the end of my life, I began to wonder, what am I? I Never looked at myself as a human being but merely a small particle, a small particle inching around like a piece of bacteria that we are.  As I inch closer to death I realize that everyone is the same. All of us are racing towards something that I don’t want to compete for. We are all racing towards Death. The reaper standing in his black cloak is waiting for all of us at the finish line, applauding his contestants, waiting to see who he will have next. Will he have a beautiful child to keep in his arms forever or a beautiful lady?  I feel as if atoms are not the smallest particles that seize to exist.

As I inch towards my death, I begin to wonder. Is there something that depends on us to help its structure?  Do we actually live in a galaxy or are we merely exceeding and bonding together to hold up a structure? As I said before, I never look at myself as a human. I never look at anyone as a human. Is there something smaller than an atom that we can’t see? Is there something so small that makes us its galaxy?

Life is too basic and easy to not have an answer to these questions. As I begin to slip towards Death and take one last breath, I ask, what are we? I don’t want to be a part of the Death Race. I want to live forever in my thoughts for I pleasure my thoughts more than anything. I want to live forever to find answers to my questions that no one wants to talk to me about because everyone is scared of what may be the truth. Is it the truth?

I fear Eternal Nothingness. The definition is clear to its name. I fear that after we die there will be nothing. After we die I fear there is no Heaven or Hell. I fear that I may never see the light of day again. People say they are comforted by the thought of Death but, for me, it lingers in my soul. Death treats me like a friend because it knows me life a friend. But, to me he is an enemy. I would rather drift into a black void of darkness with consciousness instead of dyeing. I fear Death because I want answers, because I want the truth, the answers to my questions. Most of all, I want the pain, the wet knots, and the feeling of an empty brain the vanish once I find my answers.

Rain Drops- 2nd Place Spring 2018

Rain Drops
By Rebeca Trinidad

Two rain drops fall from the sky
Racing down the windshield
Looking back at time
Connected to the future
Forgetting about the past.

Bullet in the Wind–1st Place Spring 2018

Bullet in the Wind
By Marcette Lynch

I come from a place where everyday, every one
Competes to make it to the finish line.
The race starts when you go outside.
No one knows if they will finish the race,
Because of race,
Do you know what it’s like to have a gun
Held to your face?
Looking over your shoulder as you walk down
The street, saying, “Lord please, I pray
Nobody bothers me”?
But the more you pray, the obstacles still push,
Their way.

I gotta finish this race!

We make it to school and the race doesn’t stop.
Gotta keep our heads up, even when the
White people make them drop.
You can’t show that you’re tired and wanna
Give up, ’cause they will look down on you
And not give a f***.
That’s too much for the ears, stay in the books,
Mama said that is your strangest look.
Because black and educated is what they overlook.
That’s an obstacle we will face until eternity.

I gotta finish this race!

When school is done the race picks up,
Around this time they trying to see who is
The next runner-up.
Running in zigzags when you hear a POP POP
Saying to my legs, you better not stop.
Mommy and daddy waiting on you, so
Let’s not make any more stops.

I gotta finish this race!

Now the race is coming to an end
Majority of us will make it, but a few of
Us won’t.
Bullets have no name, they just pick
Eenie, meenie, minie, moe.
If you didn’t know, the race of life
You compete with everyone around you,
Just like red light, green light.
But what is the finish line?
Is it to get home
Safe and sound in the flesh with you
Family is where you belong.

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