My Final #ds106 Project

It’s time. Time for my last and final work of #ds106. For this project, I decided to tell the story of my parents. You can read more about it here. Anyways, short story short, I wanted to introduce them to you all and explain why and how they inspire me and continue to do so each and every day. To go about doing this, I am using the components visual, web, writing, and video to do so. Instead of telling their story with “once upon a time,” I wanted to present them in a report type of way. So without further ado, meet my parents, Maria Cecilia and Juan Carlos.

My parents both grew up in Peru, a country which lies in the west of South America, bordering the Pacific ocean and various other countries. Though they both lived in the same country, they never met in Peru. They actually met in the United States, when they both immigrated to Virginia. Before I get into their backstory, I want to explain exactly where they grew up within Peru so that you might have a better visual.

My mom, Maria Cecilia, grew up in the city, specifically the capitol, Lima. This is a city filled with adventure and opportunity. She grew up with two parents, and various house maids. I also want to include she had a nanny, personal chef, and personal driver. My grandparents were both financially stable enough that they were able to have all the new luxuries for my mother.

My Mom and Aunt on their way to school as children.

However, on the other hand, my father not so much. He grew up in the small rural town of Ica. He had very hardworking parents, a lawyer and nurse, who did their best to provide for him, and… wait for it… his eleven siblings. Unlike my mom who had three siblings, my father was stuck with quite a lot of sisters and brothers. Though his parents did make a well enough income, it was not enough to provide for him and his siblings. So unlike my mother, he did not have a personal chef or nanny, but ripped pants and very small meals.

Within Peru, they lived approximately five hours away from each other. However, during their upbringing the main highway between these two cities, known as the Panamericana, did not exist which made travel dangerous and difficult.

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When my mom was sixteen years old she was sent, by my grandma, to the United States. She applied for a student visa and was shortly on a plane to the US. Her parents had divorced and so my grandmother pushed her to move to the United States to make a better future for herself, and she would meet her there in half a year with her younger siblings, since my mom was the oldest of four. This was her first time flying and being alone.  When she first came to the United States in 1989, she went to live with her uncle in Arlington, Virginia. This is where she juggled two jobs, working at her local movie theater and pizza restaurant, while learning English.

I have inserted a picture of the travel my mother made from Peru to the United States to give a better visual.

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My father however moved to United States in 1988 after completing one year of university in Lima, Peru. He then moved to Italy where he stayed with strangers, while trying to learn Italian and working as a waiter at a local restaurant. After learning this was not the right path for him, he left his siblings and family behind in Peru, and went to live with his older sister in Woodbridge, VA.

By now, my parents were both living closer than ever at only thirty minutes away from each other, yet they still did not know each other existed.

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How they met is actually quite funny. While living with my aunt, my father got a job as a cleaner in Washington, D.C. cleaning building floors and bathrooms during the night. Now remember when I said my grandma was to move to the US in six months? Well she did. She also got a job as a cleaner where my father was working.

One night, my father offered my grandma a ride home, and she accepted. When they got to my uncle’s home (at the time this was the place my grandma was living with her four children) my grandma offered my father a cup of coffee which he accepted. When they walked in, my mom was sitting in the living room with her pajamas and a messy bun.

It’s funny because my mom said she was in lounging clothes when they first met that she became so flushed with embarrassment, she ran past him and went straight into her room. They never exchanged  a word that night, but this was the first they knew of each other.

After this, my father became interested in my mother and would occasionally offer my grandmother a ride home to have an excuse to see her. Shortly after, they began dating. My mother would sneak in my father to the movies and they would go on dates. Unlike today though, there wasn’t phones to text, so my father would have to call the landline or use his pager.

All was great, until my mother became pregnant with my older sister. This is when they decided to get married. They had a small wedding and got married at the local state court within three months of finding out they were going to have a baby. They even had a small get together at my uncle’s house, which turned out to be a major fail because it had been a very sunny, hot day and instead of turning on the A/C, my mom’s uncle accidentally blasted the heat. It’s quite funny, actually. We have it on a VHS tape.

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During this time, my parents matured very quickly. My mother was to have her first child at nineteen, and she did not know anything about caring for a child or cooking since she had a very easy life as a child. My father began working three jobs while studying English. They could not afford a car, so they moved to an apartment closer to my father’s workplace and bought a bike. My dad would wake up at 5 am and not come home until midnight. Sadly, because he did not have a car, he learned to manage his time and rode his bike from home to work, whether rain or shine. He did this to provide for his small family. Through hard work and dedication, my older sister was born. Something my mother tells me now, which she laughs at when recalling, is when she first had my sister, she did not have any idea of how to care for the child, so when she was first left alone with her, she remembers laying her down on the bed and sitting next to her while crying. She eventually learned to pick up the phone and call my grandmother for help. Don’t worry, she eventually learned because she had two other daughters.

I wanted to share this story with you all because through all the obstacles my parents went, they still made it out. In fact, my father’s boss while being a cleaner granted him citizenship papers through his work. As funny as it turns out, my father is actually now working with the same boss. He is no longer a cleaner, but he is high up there in management, managing a company which works with most of the East coast. Because of this success, my father got my mother a job in Human Resources. She learned through experience and now is also very successful. She even got the opportunity to study at George Mason University through her dedication.

You see, my parents inspire me in ways I cannot describe. When I was younger, I would lash out at them and call them harsh words such as “workaholic.” What I did not know was they were doing everything for me, and they kept pushing through my attitude. Today, they push me to the best I possibly can be of myself, and support me in all the choices I make. Without them, I don’t know where I would be today, or if I would have the dedication to work as hard as they did. I love my parents and I thank them everyday for their love and support.


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Mom and Grandma at Virginia Beach.
My parents at my sister’s graduation through VCU.
My Father did karate as a kid, which influenced my younger sister and I to try out Tae Kwon Do.

Below I have attached an interview where I asked them a couple of questions about coming to the United States.

  • What was the hardest part of coming to the United States alone?
  • If you could give one tip to those who are working hard to achieve a goal, but feel discouraged, what would it be?

Please note the video is not in the best quality because this was recorded during the late evening when my parents got off work. Also the video quality changed, for some odd reason, when transferring the file.

I want to thank you all for taking the time to listen to my story. I truly appreciate it. If you want to know more about how I used visual, web, writing, and video in this project, please do so by clicking here.

Thank you for the great semester #ds106west students and professor Bond. May you all have a good summer and thank you once more for the opportunity to be a part of #ds106west. Thank you.

Dear Future #ds106 Students…

You have enrolled in possibly one of the best courses available at UMW! Congratulations!

You’re probably wondering what the heck is #ds106? If you were like me, you might of just enrolled in the class because it fit a general education requirement and it’s online, which is a plus because sleep over class… just kidding!

But let me tell you what #ds106 is. It is a challenging, yet entertaining and motivating course. You will be learning new material each week. There will be times when you complain and want to wish you had not enrolled in the class, because you might have procrastinated (which is a big NO NO) and pushed off all your work for Friday, and instead of going out with friends, you’re stuck in your room working on endless hours of #ds106. It’s a true story. It has happened to me, and might happen to you, so don’t procrastinate.

Now let me tell you why #ds106 is a great class. Apart from the sometimes stressful and challenging weeks, the material itself is intriguing. This course gave me a lot of aah haa moments. I can now proudly say I am pretty good at audio, one of the themes I hated the most, but hey I got through it.

This class isn’t like others. You don’t go to lecture for an hour and barely make a comment all semester long to your neighboring classmate. Participation (and group work) is a major component of the class. You will be tweeting and interacting with other #ds106 students. Twitter will become a major way to communicate with other students and professor Bond. Another thing I would like to point out, sometimes professors take a while to respond because come on… they are professors and have plenty of students and emails to respond to, but the greatness of #ds106 is that professor Bond responds to tweets and emails very quickly which is nice when there is questions or a comment. Another plus is that because twitter is such a major aspect of #ds106, it can be used to ask classmates questions too, or even to find group members when having to work in groups!

Just know future #ds106 students, that you’ve made the best choice when enrolling in this class and I wish you the best of luck on your assignments. But please, if you take ONE thing from this post, do not procrastinate.

To my classmates, congratulations on completing the semester. I hope you took something from this class like I did, and I cannot wait to explore your final projects.

To professor Bond, thank you for making this class an option at UMW. I look forward to visiting the #ds106 website in the future to see what future students are working on. Again, thank you.


Progress Report #2

Last week I introduced my idea for the final project and laid out what I wanted to do. This week I have gone further into depth by creating my project. I stated I wanted to use visual, writing, web, and video to go about creating it. This week I am going to tell you what I plan to do with each, but that is all! You will have to wait for my final project to come together to see what I did.

Anyways, without further interruptions, here is what I have in mind.

Visual: I will be using pictures from my parent’s childhood to allow a better visual of them and their story. I might throw in modern pictures as well.

Web: I will be using Google Earth to map their travels from a foreign country to the United States, and what was the first state they visited.

Writing: I want to write a well length story explaining who they are and their story. I want to also write about why they inspire so much in this section.

Video: I will be filming a short interview with my parents so that the viewer can get a better understanding. Some aspects of audio might be found here as well. Please note, because I am a commuter student, this project can be completed.

In all, I do find myself completing 25 stars worth of work, and I cannot wait to share my final project with you all.

From the Child of Immigrants

All week I wondered what story can I possibly tell? At first I thought why not bring all of the assignments I have worked on all semester into one story and create the story of what #ds106 means to me, but after carefully considering this all week I decided that I wanted to create something that reflected on me on a more personal and deep level. This is when I got the idea to tell the story of my parents, Maria Cecilia and Juan Carlos, two immigrants who traveled across land and sea to make a better future for themselves in the United States of America.

I chose this topic because my parents are two people I truly look up to. They are hardworking and supporting in all I do, and without them, I would not be where I am today. To go about creating my story I will be using the four categories of media visual, writing, web, and video. I might throw in aspects of other categories, of course, but these will be my main components. Now, I don’t want to get to far into what I will be doing because this is my final project and I want it to spectacular with a huge side of bang.

So, tell me, what are you working on?

Week 13 Summary

At my first glance of this week, I was intimidated especially by the required web assignment and creating a story around my daily creates, but at the end of the week, it turns out the assignments were not to difficult, maybe other than the web assignment. Anyways, here they are.

The required web assignment:

My Internet Resume

Daily creates and my story:

Daily Creates for 4/15

10 stars of web assignments:

My Space ❤︎

Now Applying!

C Ya Later

And that was my week. How did your week go? Remember only two weeks left 😀

My Internet Resume

This assignment looked confusing and difficult at first glance, but after reading the information provided and downloading the tools recommended, I got it… sort of. I first tried creating my resume on Amazon as shown in the example, but the page decided to refresh twice during my attempt at creating my resume. So after being frustrated because I was almost done twice, but my work being deleted, I moved on over to craigslist because I thought it would be easier.

I used the X-Ray Goggles to change the information on craigslist, but unfortunately after messing around with the website I could not change the image on the original post. I have posted a screen shot below of the website, with the image blacked out, but if you visit the link shared, you will see the original image. If someone could give me tips on how to change the image, I would truly appreciate it so I may go back and fix it.

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Daily Creates for 4/15

For the daily creates this week, we had to create a story around them. At first I was sort of intimidated about the assignment, because how am I suppose to create a story around three different daily creates, but thankfully, I got it. Here goes something… not nothing… because it’s something.

There once was a girl from Guatemala named Riza, who lived on her parent’s farm. She had two sisters and a dog named Tindo. From family tradition, her father was to choose her a husband at the age of 20, but instead Riza decided to move to the United States to chase after a new life.

After moving to the United States and marrying her now husband, Tate, they decided to open a saloon together to serve their community. During their years of working at the saloon, they saved enough to have the luxury of traveling the world, and visiting their longtime dream of going to South Africa.

That, folks, is my three daily create story featuring my western character.

C Ya Later

C ya later, while running, of course. Get it? I try my best to make creative titles. For this assignment, we were required to go on a run and record where we went, using a tracking app.  Well lucky for me I walk my dog daily, ChiChi, and today I decided to try to create a C for my dog’s name, hence the title also.

Anyways here are the pictures from today’s walk.

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Now Applying!

That’s right folks, longtime independent saloon owner, Riza McHale is looking for a new job. After selling the McHale saloon to a close friend, I am now actively looking for a job with similar objectives as my previous company. I have attached my resume below. If any of ya’ll see a saloon hiring, please shoot them on over my name and number, because your girl, Riza, is looking for a job.

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NOTE: I wrote this post as my western character on purpose.

My Space ❤︎

Not MySpace, the social media, but my space as in my room. Eh, eh, see what I did there? For this web assignment we had to create our dream room, and lucky for me, I already had a board on Pinterest of my dream room. I did a few more pins to make it accurate to modern day me. As you can see in the board, I enjoy the (sorta mainstream) hippy vintage vibe. As well as books! I love books! What does you dream room look like? I have shared a screen shot of my board on Pinterest because the widget is not working, and have shared the link below.

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