Author Archives: Usha Lama

Blog post #8

I will be writing an essay about “Living with Music” by Ralph Ellison, and ways of hearing episode 2 “space” by Krukowsi.

In “Living with Music” Ralph Ellison says that his life in those days was either live with music or die with noise. In addition,Ralph Ellison tells us how music has changed his living experience of New York City’s noisy life and the importance of music. Ralph says that music will not only calm down when we are in trouble, it will resurrect us. Ralph Ellison is surely right about music and it is extremely useful in our everyday’s life because music helps us to live mentally and physically healthy by keeping away from unwanted noise.

In the Ways of hearing episode 2: Space, Krukowski speaks about noise and his experience growing up in New York City. Krukowski mentions the noise of the city as “less of a roar and more like being hit with a massive wave of sounds and people”. In addition, he examines how digital technology is privatizing public space. Furthermore, listening to our favorite music by using digital technology like headphones, earbuds can help us to avoid unnecessary background noise. Krukowski is right when he said, “when you put in your earbuds, you are creating a private space in a public space”. I agree that using digital technology like headphones, or earbuds and listening to music can help us to get rid of unnecessary background noise. However, there are some disadvantages of using digital technology like headphones or earphones. There are some examples like accidents, ear problems, and taking people away from being socialized.











blog post #7

At the beginning of the “Power” episode Krukowaki asserts, “the marginal-the rejected-the represses- is whatever the powerful have decided is of no use at the moment.” He means that people nowadays buy or download music apps online rather than buying CDs from the store physically. Matter of fact, technology has worked so well that people now live in a digital world where they do not go to bookstores, or record stores, or libraries.

In the episode of “power” Krokowsaki draws differences between being “surprised” by music and “discovering” music. I believe that being surprised by music means that the music that we hear every day on our phones using the music apps like Pandora, or Apple music, or Spotify. Moreover, those music apps want to give us music we probably like where we don’t have control over it. On the other hand, “discovering” music means that we go into a bookstore where we can gain so much information. Even Though going to the bookstores, or record stores, or libraries is fundamentally different, when we learn to navigate, we adopt it where we can discover something good.

The music listening experiences by Forced exposure is different from platforms like Spotify. Forced exposure is a music magazine where Jimmy Johnson would listen to every record that comes into his record store so that he would be able to provide knowledge and recommendation to his customers. In other words, forced exposure means buying music from people who recommend us to listen. On the other hand, Spotify is a digital music, podcast, and video service which wants to give us the music we probably like. In addition, it gives us access to millions of songs all over the world and it is done by computers where humans have no control over it.


Blog post #6


In “Living with Music”, Ralph Ellison describes how music affects his living experience in his New York City apartment building. After moving from Oklahoma City to New York city, he learned what the singer faced. In addition, he came to know that many famous musician’s motivation was neither for money nor frame because it was to achieve the most eloquent expression and emotions through the technical mastery of their instruments. At the beginning, his life in New York was hard because of loud noises near his apartment and everywhere surrounding him. Therefore, he decided to fight noise with noise. Since then, he started listening to music and lived with it daily. He was so passionate about music. He said that music is constant, reminding us of what we were and of what we aspire. He says, “Music will not only calm, it will ennoble thee”.

In “Living with Music” Ralph Ellison says “in those days it was either live with music or die with noise” means you need to find some kind of noise (Music) to avoid noise (unnecessary loud noise) because the neighborhood that he lived in was filled with drunk people and a singer. His apartment was next to a small restaurant with a jukebox.  And also, there was a singer, who would play music so loud every morning. Moreover, there were hauling cats and barking dogs. There was no option for him to live his life in peace without noise that is why he says live with music or die with noise.

In “Living with Music”, Ralph Ellison tells us how music has changed his living experience of New York City’s noisy life and the importance of music. Similarly, in “The Soundscape” R. Murray Schafer’s tells us how to classify sounds, appreciating their beauty or ugliness to help us become more aware of sounds around us. In addition, he says that we can avoid unnecessary background noises by listening to music using devices like headphones and earphones.

Blog #5




There are differences between “hearing” and “listening”. Hearing means that the sound you hear everywhere and every day, but you don’t really pay attention. For example, the sounds of trains, airplanes, cars, buses, and so on. We hear those sounds every day, but we don’t really pay attention to it unless we have reason to do otherwise we ignore them.  On the other hand, listening is about paying attention to the sound you hear, and it requires a conscious effort. I believe that we can make choices about what we listen to avoid unnecessary noise. For example, we listen to music to avoid unnecessary background noises that come in our every day’s life. Digital technology has changed our public spaces to private spaces of listening to music and sounds through the advent of headphones, digital podcasts, and audio devices. I believe that structural features, such as race, or social class, inform how we listen. For example, I like to listen to natural sounds such as birds chirping, the sound of rain or river and it calms me down because I grew up listening to those natural sounds in Nepal.

Schafer in the ” The Soundscape” discusses that soundscape is the acoustic environment as perceived by humans. He also tells us that “noise pollution is now a world problem”. On the other hand, Krukowski in the “ways of hearing” tells us that how digital technology is privatizing public space. We can understand that the noise in New York city is considered a challenge. Schafer talks about the noises that are coming from everywhere such as buses, cars, trains etc. and these noise pollutions need to be taken care of and Krukowski talks about digital technology where we can avoid unnecessary noise by using headphones and earphones. That is how Schafer and Krukowski discuss about the relationship space and sound.

Blog Post #4

In the introduction “Seeing Through Race”, Martin Berger tells us that newspapers and magazine editors selected photographs based on their perceived power to draw out their white readers. He also says that white power over black helped make the images nonthreathing to white people. However, I believe that there are some white people who are against racism and injustice, for example there were many white protesters supporting black lives matter after the killing of George Floyd. I agree that most of the editors were mostly likely to use photographs of black people as victims and standing for their rights because all images of violence tend to be more attention getting and marketable.  


Way of seeing # Episode 4

According to Berger, wherever we go we are surrounded by images on the wall and newspaper for “publicity”. He says that “publicity is  capitalism because publicity changes ourselves and our lives by buying more. Publicity or advertising-images attract consumers by showing what we have if we  buy it.  In other words, publicity pretends to interpret the world around us. Moreover, they add glamour to increase sales in the name of publicity. 

He explains the difference between oil painting and publicity photography where oil paintings were surrounded by gold frames symbolizing the wealth of the owner within the picture and around it but publicity images surround everywhere around us, as we are. However, they share  a similar visible language. Publicity(advertising) photography makes the whole world available to the consumer as everything is universally available in a marketplace. In addition, the production of images for publicity informs consumers so that they can have their freedom of choice. These differences are important because we all need to know the importance of them. Matter of fact, those paintings and images more closely impacted us than any other kind of images in history. 

Many people get influenced by the offers that are given in the advertising. We start to dream about the things that we see in advertisements. In other words, whatever that we like in the publicity (advertising) images, we try our best to fulfill our dream no matter how much it costs. For example: buying a new car, new designer clothes or shoes, and makeup or hair products. And also, we might have a dream to go to the places to visit  that we see in advertising.      


Way of Seeing

In Episode 2 “Way of seeing”, Berger tells us that women in Renaissance painting would be shown naked to give pleasure to men. He also says that nude were an important part of their tradition in European art and that is how women there would be judged by men. However, I believe women today have become more conscious about their looks and they have control over their images in the media. However, sometimes some women get used by the media for their popularity because still today, we can see magazines, posters, and paintings full of half nacked body to sexually attract men. Berger says that images of women would play a big role in sexuality back then. Many people assume that sexuality plays the same role in images of women today as well. I understand that the way of representations have changed by the time but the men’s behaviour about nude painting and nacked body to sexuality toward women are still the same.


Blog #1

In the introduction “They say/I say”, Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein believe that writers should use the model of “entering the conversation” in their writing. According to the article it helps us successfully enter not only the world of academic thinking and writing but also the wider worlds of civic discourse and work. I agree that writers should use the model of entering the conversation because it helps readers to understand better and more clearly so the readers can understand the writer’s points of view in a better way. 


I agree how learning to look at art helps us to analyze other situations because art helps us to investigate deeper and better. In another word, art helps us our ability to translate to other what we have seen. Therefore, those skills can save our lives during an emergency. For example, many professionals use art to analyze their skills. Art can give information and social information clearly. And also, learning to look at artwork helps us to give ideas and think critically. 


Hi everyone,

My name is Usha Lama. I am from Nepal and I have been living in the United States for 10 years. Before coming to the United States, I completed my high school in Nepal. I am 28 years old, married, and have 2 beautiful kids. Now, I am a student at Laguardia community college and majoring in LPN. I love listening to music, traveling, and playing with kids.