Tag Archives: #reflection

Music Review – Kota The Friend “Grateful”

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Welcome to my first music review! This review is dedicated to Kota The Friend otherwise known as Avery Marcel Joshua Jones. I am choosing this artist because I went into 2022 listening to him. I discovered Kota in November 2021 when someone sent me the song “grateful”. The cover of this song is of Avery’s son and I think it is so wholesome.

The song “Grateful” has the following lyrics: (I have put the lines I love in red)

Yeah, yeah
Out in Colorado
Hit the lotto
Got a cabin in the middle of the mountain
Shit, I feel like I’m the mayor now

Used to sip on bottle after bottle
I was drownin’, get the goggles
Now I’m rooted in the present, what you sayin’ now

Everything is love, that’s the motto
Spend the winter out in southern California, where it’s warmer
I don’t play around

I don’t give a fuck if niggas coming for your soul
They don’t know you, if I love you
Homie, I’ma always say it loud

Grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful
Even in a rough patch I’ma always make due
Even when I’m down bad, I be sayin’ thank you
Even when I’m wild sad
I could never hate you


Get up and I get it on the worst day
Self-care, nigga that’s the first thing
Grind ’til you chillin’ on a workday
And when you get it I hope you are

Grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, yah, yah
Thank you, Jesus, Buddha, Jah or Allah
Please insert whatever you believe in

Celebrating this abundant season

Thank you for the setbacks on the way up
Thank you for the stories that they made up

Thank you for my Noah’s arch
That’s word to blu’, the deep blue sea, can’t fuck with me

I’ma be great when you showin’ me love
I’ma be great when you throwin’ me hate
I’ma be great even when I am done
You got another thing comin’ if you think I’ma break

I was all around the world for a couple of months
I was out in long beach for a couple of weeks
I be walking through the town just like you and your friends
When you see me on the block there ain’t nothin’ to see

I’m in Malibu, nigga, what’s up?
Took a trip to Sedona
We was whippin’ the truck
Then we headed to Montana
We was looking for ye
And I know you couldn’t make it but we sending you love, yeah

I remember we was still on the block
Big dreams
I ain’t even have a cent to my name
Shit crave

We was tryna hide the blunt from the cops and stay low
Making three songs every day
Now I’m up and I am

Grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, yah, yah
Thank you, Jesus, Buddha, Jah or Allah
Please insert whatever you believe in

Celebrating this abundant season

Thank you for the setbacks on the way up
Thank you for the stories that they made up

Thank you for my Noah’s arch
That’s word to blu’, the deep blue sea, can’t fuck with me

Woke up feelin’ like yes
Now I got another day
And I’m doin’ my best
Give a fuck about the fame
I could really care less
I am here to spread love
Rollin’ outta my bed

I done came a long way
From the person I was
They be throwin’ me they pain
And I let it all come

I don’t never shoot back
I just send ’em back love
Always had mad love
Now I got it backed up

Now my gun goin’
Love for you
And love for you
And you and you

We only human
We deserve it
Trauma real and you been hurting
I been hurtin’, we been searchin’

I been learning, broke the surface
Found my purpose, open curtains, wrote these verses, I been workin’
Tables turnin’ Life get good when you moving with love
And what you need is the shit that you want
Every day a nigga

Grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, yah, yah
Thank you, Jesus, Buddha, Jah or Allah
Please insert whatever you believe in
Celebrating this abundant season

Thank you for the setbacks on the way up
Thank you for the stories that they made up

Thank you for my Noah’s arch
That’s word to blu’, the deep blue sea, can’t fuck with me

I was mesmerized by this song because it described gratitude as a state of love. The line “everything is love, that the motto” resonated with me because it reminded me of the deep conversations my cousins would have with the family when they came to visit. I remember being 11 hearing theories of finding a little bit of love/God in everything, and it stuck with me.

Speaking of God, the line where he says, “thank you, Jesus, Buddha, Jah, or Allah. Please insert whatever you believe in,” was pure because I feel that even if you don’t believe in God, this line resonates. We all have something or maybe some higher power to thank for all we have. Abundance doesn’t just come willingly; it has a source.

The other line that resonated with me was “grind ’til you chillin’ on a workday.” I love the emphasis on “workday.” Usually, we work hard during the weekdays (our typical workdays) but imagine if we worked hard on weekends and had the whole week to chill? Now that is a perspective shift.

Love is something we all yearn for, Kota The Friend encapsulates this desire perfectly in these lines: “We only human. We deserve it. Trauma real and you been hurting. I been hurtin’, we been searchin’… Tables turnin’ Life get good when you moving with love”. I believe these lines let us know that we are not alone. In lines “you been hurting. I been hurtin’, we been searching…” The transition from you to I to we shows you we all are hurting together. Once we understand this, we will all shed a little more love for each other.

I listen to “Grateful” by Kota The Friend whenever I have to remind myself to be grateful or if I want to be filled with the spark of love again. Often, I find myself losing that spark. However, I really want to be left feeling the gratitude and love in me so I can send it back to others again.

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Essay #2

My Experience with Online Publishing

I created this blog three months ago, and it has been a great journey since I began. Before beginning this blog, I worked with blogging through Instagram, and found that I liked blogging my thoughts on what I read. My experience has been very positive on this platform, and I was able to build my blog from not having anything into being my own space to share what I think. When I began my blog, I had difficulty with learning how to add different features and drop-down menus. I had to watch tutorials and ask people how they learned to do certain things on WordPress, too. Creating my publication took a couple weeks, but I was able to build content that I really loved, and also that I thought others would be able to relate to. I did this by writing updates for my progress and writing reviews on books from different genres. I began this blog to share my love of books with others and have found that it is a wonderful outlet to have.

            I have learned a lot through creating my own blog, and I have also grown in how I review books. As the article, “Publics and Counterpublics” by Michael Warner, mentions, every publication has an aimed public (Warner 1). My imagined public for this blog is anyone who loves to read or is looking for book recommendations. My goal for this blog is to reach more bookworms, and provide them with quality content on books, which may result in them gaining a recommendation. I always appreciate having book review blogs and websites to visit, and one of my favourite bookish websites is Epic Reads. Personally, I always feel welcome and happy when I visit their website because of everything they feature and the fun colours they use. This became my goal when I began this blog, to make my audience feel welcome when they visit. I attempted to do this by using light colours, a simple background, and also inserting Autumn themed photos I took of books. In addressing my audience, I made the blog easy to navigate with a search bar, drop-down menus, and also a sidebar with recent posts linked. Many bookworms also have a Goodreads account or access Goodreads regularly for synopsis’, so this is one additional thing I added to my book reviews. By inserting hyperlinks for my audience to visit the book on Goodreads, it allows people to easily check it on Goodreads, if they would like, and then return to the review. I attempted to make my website easy for people to find things on, and access different sections.

            Google Analytics was a feature that I used in order to help me understand how many people were visiting my blog and how it grew throughout the past three months. Using Google Analytics, I discovered that my audience members were staying on my blog, on average, for about two minutes, but recently that increased to around 9 minutes. I also learned that a lot of my audience visited my blog in the afternoon or during mid-day. Using this information, I have a better insight for what times would be best to post, and how I have improved with creating my content. I have not been receiving comments, yet, but I am hoping to gain them in the future, as I continue to grow my blog. I have received inspiration, throughout these past months, from a few blogs, including Bag Full of Books (Arpita 2015). From these blogs, I was able to take away what I enjoyed from them and apply some of those aspects into my own blog. I have found that I have grown a lot since I began blogging, but I also know that there is more growth to achieve for my blog.

            My thinking has changed regarding my blog since I began it. When I first started writing on my blog, there were times when I wasn’t sure how to blog or what to write about. I had to brainstorm ideas and thought it might not be successful. As I continued working on my blog, I began to forget about the success it had, and instead focused on the content I enjoyed creating. As I began to enjoy creating content more, my content became better, and I was able to work towards my goal of creating a welcoming space. Looking forward, I would love to continue this blog. I really enjoy having this blog as a place to talk about books and create content that I love. I will be taking a break from it for a little while, during the holidays, but hopefully I will be continuing my blog in the new year. In doing so, I will most likely connect more social media aspects to it, and also feature more colourful photos. Overall, this has been a very useful learning experience, and I look forward to continuing my work with blogging.

Works Cited

“Young Adult (YA) Books & Books for Teens.” Epic Reads, Harper Collins, www.epicreads.com/.

Warner, Michael. “Publics and Counterpublics.” Quarterly Journal of Speech, vol. 88, no. 4, Nov. 2002.

Arpita. Bag Full Of Books, 15 Mar. 2020, bagfullofbooks.com/.

Essay 2

The past few months has been life-changing for me in all aspect of life. And one of the best things that has happened is that I’ve finally built my own blog. Having a blog has been a dream of mine for quite a while. I have tried multiple times to start one, but always ended up forgetting about it, and giving up. But this time, with the help of PUB 101, I was finally able to keep up with my blog. Frankly, I’m quite proud of what I’ve built in the past three months. And through this process, I’ve also learnt a thing or two about myself, my blog, website design, and more.

Comparing to the beginning of the year, I’ve gotten to know my online self a bit better through PUB101 and the blogging process. I’ve noticed my behaviour changes when I’m on different media platforms. When I am on instagram, which is where all my friends are active, I am very cautious with my every move. From the perspective of the Online Disinhibition Effect, I treat my Instagram account as the “true self”. It is supposed to represent who I am in real life. And especially since my account is an business account, I HAVE to be on my best behaviour on Instagram. In my mind, everyone is closely watching and judging me on Instagram, which is why I always overthink and analyze everything I post and share. What ends up happening is that I would not post anything for weeks, sometimes even months, because I don’t consider anything being good ENOUGH for my feed.  But when I am on my blog, I behave very differently. I am affected by “You Don’t Know Me dissociative anonymity)” and “You Can’t See Me (invisibility)“. I feel much more carefree when I’m posting on my site. Yes, my blog still has my name on it, but people who visit my website are not necessary people that I encounter with in real life. I don’t feel that my audience has an existing expectation of me, and I don’t need to be actively matching that exception. I feel that I could post whatever I’d like, and no one could judge me or define me over it. That is why I did not promote my blog to anyone on Instagram for quite a while. I wanted to keep my blog as a safe space, away from all the opinions from people that I care too much about. It has been quite an interesting journey seeing the different sides of my online self, and slowing learning to understand and accept that they are all me, and I don’t need to shy away from certain things or hide certain parts of me.

Not only have I started to understand my online self, I’ve also realized what my blog is really about. In the beginning of the semester, I envisioned my blog being a lifestyle/personal blog. I wanted to write about fashion, dance, travel, life. I wanted to share my stories, advices, and thoughts about everything that I’m interested in. Now thinking back, this plan was a bit unrealistic, unorganized and lack of focus. Going through all my post, I realize that I never ended up posting anything about dance or travel. I have mainly been focusing on posting some of my projects in fashion and photography, and as well as in the topic of wellness. Learning and researching about different types of blog and their definitions has helped me re-define my blog. I’ve learnt that lifestyle blog covers a variety of topics and it is mainly advices and suggestion based. And personal blog is more about the author of the blog and her/his personal stories, experience, and daily life. Now, I consider my blog more as a personal blog, with a focus on wellness and personal growth plus a part of my portfolio. Wellness and personal growth is something that I’ve been focusing in my own life for quite some time now, and posting about it has been very beneficial for myself. So I’d love to continue on that path and see where it would take me and my blog.

Through building my blog, I’ve also gained some knowledge and experiences in website design. I’ve spend hours and hours on WordPress trying to build my site into what I wanted it to look like. One of the biggest challenges was selecting a theme that fits my every need, which has been proven absolutely impossible. This problem is mentioned in the reading of “Design machines” .These website building services don’t care about the content or the individuality of the websites. Design machine’s example is squarespace, and how “its entire business model relies on the fact that you can paste any ’ol passage of slop into their system and it will look acceptable.” But thanks to the restriction of themes, I was able to dive into the learning of plugins and more design rules.Through class and readings, I have learnt about things like whitespaces, balance, rhythm, and more. It has also help me realize how much I’d like to master this skill, and I am planning on taking a few graphic or website design classes in the future.

Overall, this has been one of the most relevant, beneficial, and fun classes that I’ve ever taken at SFU. I’ve really enjoyed learning about my online self through the process of building a blog. I am definitely going to keep this blog going, starting with an re-design of the whole site, since I’m now more clear about the direction of my blog. And once my upgraded site is finished and running, I am planning on incorporate more content between my Instagram and the blog. I would like to show a more 3D and true version of myself to people in my life through my online presence.




The Online Disinhibition Effect

Design Machines: How to survive the digital apocalypse

Revealed: Which are the Most Popular Types of Blogs?


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15 Things that I am grateful for

  1. I am grateful that I am breathing.
  2. I am grateful that I have a healthy and functional body that allows me to do whatever I’d like.
  3. I am grateful that I have a roof over my head.
  4. I am grateful for dance and everything that it has helped bring into my life.
  5. I am grateful for my mother and everything that she has done for me.
  6. I am grateful that I have enough money in my bank account to never starve.
  7. I am grateful that I have friends in my life that support and understand me no matter what. They make me feel belonged and loved. (If you know you know)
  8. I am grateful that I am living my dance dream at the moment. Being a part of the 247 fam has brought me nothing but joy.
  9. I am grateful for all the resources that I have access to for my learning in life.
  10. I am grateful for the city I live in, a place full of opportunities. I am exactly where I need to be at this moment.
  11. I am grateful for the sunshinewalking into the sunshine
  12. I am grateful for all the ‘mistakes’ ‘failures’ that I’ve ever encountered, and how they have led me to where and who I am today.
  13. I am grateful for every connection that I’ve made living this life, even the ones that I no longer hold onto. Every single person has contributed to my growth in some sharp or form.
  14. I am grateful that I am overwhelmed at the moment. That means I am being challenged, and I am powerful enough to push through. Because the universe only hands me what I can handle.
  15. I am grateful for this moment, right now.

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Essay 2: Reflecting as A Blogger

When reflecting on my own blog, I see a stark difference on what I expected and what the course has taught me. In the beginning, I had an innocent idea of blogs. It’s an online space to express yourself and connect with people who have the same ideas. I still keep that idea when I write on my blog. However, throughout the course, I have changed my perspectives because I am more conscious on how it affects cultures, individuals, and workers. As ‘neutral’ as my content is, I don’t feel ‘safe’ because I am vulnerable with my content. Anybody can find my information and turn it against me or misuse my words to feed their own narratives. I want to explore this ‘fear’ and how the course has made me more careful about what I post and what I share online. It doesn’t necessarily discourage me from using the internet and social media. But my awareness has allowed me to be more appreciative of the people who create ‘controversial’ content that can endanger them or the people around them just because one person on the internet does not agree with it. My goal is to express my self-awareness in an active role. It’s not enough that I consume media writing about someone’s demise to the pitchforks of the internet. I want to be aware of that in my daily conversation online and offline.

Alice Marwick and Rebecca Lewis writes about media manipulation and the dissemination of disinformation online (2017). They discuss the events revolving around Wikileaks’ distribution of the hacked emails of John Podesta, Hilary Clinton’s campaign chairman (Marwick & Lewis, 2017, p. 2). Users from the message board 4chan quickly spread misinformation about the emails and how subcultural groups such as the alt-right groups who have given this scandal greater media attention than Trump’s own allegations (Marwick & Lewis, 2017, p.2). These groups leverage their online presence and take advantage of the ‘vulnerabilities in the news’ and increase the coverage of their messages (Marwick & Lewis, 2017, p.3). This topical example has impacted U.S. politics today and in my opinion, gave voice to the hateful and divisive groups in America. I am reflective of how this affects my own online presence. It’s good to be knowledgeable and aware of the power of these groups, and I want to be more conscious about that in my own online interactions. In my blog, I speak about productivity and the impacts of smartphones on our day to day lives. I address the conflict between our attachment to our phones and this growing dependency to it. I think part of this conversation that I learned from the course is also the responsibility of the user. I cannot mindlessly use my devices and ignore what exists in the same spaces I connect in. I try to have ‘conscious’ content and express that throughout my blog.

Mike Caulfield writes a thought provoking piece on Digital Literacy and what we should follow (2016). What I found relevant to my reflection is his example of the Tree Octopus. These digital literacy acronyms and rules that are commonly shared to schools are useless in determining what is real or fake on the internet (Caulfield, 2016). The tree octopus is a fake cephalopod with a fake creature page that shows it has evolved into an amphibian and survives on land (Caulfield, 2016). What Caulfield found was they did not distinguish this by using acronyms to detect fake news, but just by knowing and learning that it’s impossible (2016). This leads to his proposal that to be digitally literate, you must know the web (Caulfield, 2016). What I think he means by this is that we must be aware and critical online as we are in our day to day lives. There are going to be groups and individuals who will misguide users because they don’t know anything better. Dissemination will be used for political gain or to harm minorities. I want to continue practicing these conscious ideas online. My blog is as vulnerable as anyone else’s. But I try my best to learn more and carry that knowledge with me.

I am reminded of UCL’s social media discoveries and why it’s important to be conscious of how it is affecting our day to day lives (2018). Discovery #12 writes that social media has a profound impact on gender relations (2018). This is a small example on this bigger picture of bettering myself in the online space. They find that users have benefits in using real or fake accounts to express sensitive topics and coming out against heteronormative relationships (UCL, 2018). Even though I am still cautious of my own personal information, I think there will be ways in which I can express myself. Knowledge and discussion will better me as a blog writer or an internet user. While I still carry this fear, I want to play an active role and this course helped me prepare for it.


Caulfield, M. (December 19, 2016). Yes, digital literacy. But which one? Hapgood. Accessed on November 26, 2018. Retrieved from https://hapgood.us/2016/12/19/yes-digital-literacy-but-which-one/.

Marwick, A. & Lewis, R. (2017). Media manipulation and disinformation online. Data & Society. Accessed on November 26, 2018. Retrieved from http://posiel.com/outline/full-semester-outline/.

UCL (2018). Social media can have a profound impact through gender relations, sometimes through using fake accounts. University College London. Accessed on November 26, 2018. Retrieved from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/why-we-post/discoveries/12-social-media-can-have-a-profound-impact-on-gender-relations-sometimes-through-using-fake-accounts.