The following was originally submitted for Dr. Stephanie Wheeler’s “Rhetorical Traditions” course as a ‘contemporary mash-up’ paper.
In this first part, I explore a few career & philosophical points of interest from when Lady Gaga’s rise to superstardom through 2012.
Lady Gaga is undoubtedly one of the most prolific and culturally powerful recording artists and singer-songwriters of the millennium so far. Her public image has been relentlessly analyzed, imitated, and scrutinized since releasing The Fame album in 2008. While Gaga’s music and political activism have changed millions of lives in the 13 years since, the very nature of human communication…
In Loving Memory of Jason Lee Hamilton (09.15.1994–08.27.2020)
On the evening of August 27, 2020, I had just finished virtually contributing at a meeting of the newly-formed Young Democratic Socialists of America chapter at the University of Central Florida . This meeting was our chapter’s Constitutional convention, and was the pixelated culmination of months of our Discord server. Around 11:30 p.m., after the convention ended, I took a moment to check the notifications from my personalized Twitter feed. One particular notification would provoke my own personal transition towards determining the kind of leader I would like to become.
Author’s note: I gave the following speech on February 7, 2020, while at a university Student Government Association (SGA) meeting, whose members debated allowing the UCF College Republicans to spend nearly $20,000 on booking controversial speaker Ben Shapiro. Parts of my speech were later cited by those in favor of booking Shapiro & two SGA Senators. Also, the president of the UCF College Republicans complimented me on a well-written speech.
Good evening, everyone. My name is Kurt Ramos and my pronouns are he/him/his, if you were wondering.
I personally am not advocating for Ben Shapiro to be given a platform…
Author’s note: This was originally written, from hastily compiled thoughts and feelings, for an open mic night put on by UCF’s Cypress Dome literary journal and the “Writers UKnighted” club. The author read this piece out loud to a couple dozen colleagues in early March 2020, days before spring break led to the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.
No child in a nation responsible for so much of modern society should grow up feeling alone. Neither should they get raised in a mobile home community of drug dealers and presumed sex offenders, if that can be helped. Such was the…
Author’s note: This was originally written leading up to the #EarthStrike demonstration that took place in Orlando, FL on September 20, 2019. I did not get to utter this speech out loud to demonstrators during the organizers’ speech-giving session.
Good afternoon, everybody. My name is Kurt Ramos & I’m just another millennial UCF Knight. We are gathered here today to catalyze the process of uplifting all humanity towards a sustainable future, for us and for our children. The challenge of saving this planet, for all living things, is larger than any challenge tied to a grade. …
Author’s note: This was originally written and compiled from scattered realizations the author had during 2019. It was originally submitted, as seen here, for the UCF Cypress Dome’s consideration in their 31st anthology.
The following story is not exactly a story, so much as it is a sequence of organically-occurring stories, an anthology of the rather anthemic voices of loved ones and dialogues I used to fear would be lost. …
Author’s note: This is a track-by-track rundown of my 1st impressions of each song on this critically-acclaimed album from American metal band Deafhaven. I originally wrote it for a Twitter follower on January 7, 2020.
My very first impression: (probably Spring 2017 at a punk-oriented record booth) — I like the pink album cover. Is this pop or indie? Anthony Fantano probably rated this album high.
“Dream House” — For some reason it reminded me of a Beach House song mixed with the dreariness of the Godspeed You! Black Emperor song “Undoing a Luciferian Towers”. I honestly cannot decipher…
Author’s note: This essay won me a $500 scholarship in May 2019! It was awarded to me by the University of Central Florida’s “ACE” program within the Student Academic Resources Center, which I voluntarily participated in during the Spring 2019 semester.
I am a student on the cusp of concisely evolving into professions I will excel in. Prior to entering UCF, I had been considered a gifted scholar. Initially, majoring in Civil Engineering went fine. But increasingly, frustration over that field’s course load collapsed my organizational skills over my head. With such struggles in mind, looming before this current school…
Author’s note: These are a series of compiled, conscious-driven haikus I wrote during my Fall 2018 semester at UCF. They are about a dear reclusive friend (and ex-crush) of mine.
Nathan’s a Siren
Whose voice explodes in my mind
Ensconced crown jewel
His hidden hair is gold dust
As is this haiku
Blue-Green eyes piercing
My soul’s netherworld escape
Truly lie speechless!
He is a rose grown
Around the thickets of cold thorns
Glad we shared the air
Hoping we stay friends,
His is the rosebud which time
Has yet to bloom full.
Sneeze out the snippets
Of our talks deconstructed
I love you, Nathan
For you — regardless of time.
(Programmed, this is not.)
Author’s note: This is a poem of four quatrains that I originally wrote during my Fall 2018 semester at the University of Central Florida. It was written after being inspired by two peers, both named Chris, that I both met simultaneously. Also, the title is a reference to Christopher Street, NYC, NY — where The Stonewall Bar, the deliverer of the gay rights movement, is located at.
All the homies and homos know this love shit’s not a quest
But more than that; it’s a glowing pit we climb out of for rest.
Decked and yet depressed, when we…
I’m an emerging writer with a Bachelor’s in English (technical communications). I write to keep alive that which cannot, in the hopes that you’ll be inspired.