Author Archives: Riad S Abdullayev

How COVID-19 affected my life

Most probably one of the worst things the person can do right now is to be selfish and made the world problem about himself. However, this is exactly what I am going to do in this paper.

2019 was a tough year for me. It is started with my legalization process in this country. It started with a different choice I had to make – I needed to refuse my citizenship and apply for asylum here in the United States, which meant I could never go back to my country. I could never walk around the streets I grew up in. Most probably I will never see most of my friends ever again. I will never enter the house I grew up in. Unfortunately, as sad as it is but going back isn’t an option. Despite my family, my friends and some nice childhood memories my country can’t offer me anything else. Especially, it can’t guaranty the most essential thing for a human being – safety. Not only authorities deny protection for people like me, but they also initiate persecution and spread hate among citizens.

So, as hard as it was – I started my asylum application, which surprisingly didn’t last long. In the middle of March, I already got approval and now was the time to make my American dream come true.

I don’t want to go deep into the details since it should be about the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affected me, but I want the reader to understand my position better.

After eight months of changing different minimal wage jobs, several panic attacks and taking control over my PTSD, I finally have been accepted to college! One step closer to my goal. In the last weeks of 2019, I made a list – well, not even a list more of a guideline – what I am going to do in 2020 and the upcoming decade in general. I promised myself to enjoy life, take as many opportunities as I can, be social, take care of my health – both physical and mental, take care of my look, start to dress stylish and many other things that I didn’t do in 2019. And, well, generally before.

And the first three months of 2020 I truly did my best to follow this guideline.

But the universe had a different plan for us all. The year started with a rumor about World War Three. And then not long after we heard about the novel coronavirus spreading around chine and slowly going out of it to other countries. We all remember the bird flu, swine flu, Ebola outbreaks so at that time no one expected what is going to happen. And while the novel virus was spreading around the Old World, we didn’t pay attention to that. We were going to school, work, events, parties, etc.

I remember the virus got my attention in mid- February when it started to spread over Iran. Since my country located in the North-Western border of Iran – I realized it is a matter of time when the virus is going to knock on the doors of people I care about. However, following the news about the spread of the virus in Europe and Asia didn’t give me any closure to see what is about to happen.

I remember receiving an email on Tuesday around 11 PM that classes on Wednesday are canceled. Then on Wednesday governor gave the order to switch into distance learning mode till the rest of the semester. Less than a week later – I received an email from my boxing gym that they are going to be closed. And in one day all the bars, cafes and restaurants have closed their doors. Some of them still deliver food, some of them won’t open ever again.

I was afraid that staying locked at home with this uncertainty of the future may trigger my PTSD. Thankfully it didn’t. At least for now. But I live in constant fear of the returning of my nightmares and painful flashbacks.

Despite all that mess in the world and my head, I am still focused on my long-term goal. I am being on top of my classes. Doing as much of my assignments as I possibly can. I even registered for summer courses in order to graduate faster. My short yet full of different events life had taught me – while our body has physical limitations, our mind doesn’t. So, the virus might be aggressive, dangerous and deadly but I won’t give up on life. I won’t let fear, anxiety, and uncertainty take over my life ever again.

Proposal for the final project (draft)

The topic I would like to conduct my research about is serial killers in popular media.

The reasons why I decided to choose this particular topic are out of my personal interest in Serial offenders and it is relevant to our course since it is going to be an analysis of media and the way they deliver information about serial killers to masses.

The main questions I would like to focus on are:

  • What exactly makes serial killers such a desirable topic of true crime tv shows, documentaries, books, etc. Why not other crime offenders – like frauds, human, drug, weapon trafficking, etc.
  • The way media portray serial killers and the way it is been perceived by people
  • In what range are heavily academic terminology Is used by media and how it affects the way information is perceived.

The two main reasons why I decided to choose this particular topic are out of my personal interest in Serial offenders and it is relevant to our course since it is going to be an analysis of media and the way they deliver information about serial killers to masses.

However, besides that there is one more reason worth mentioning: on the popular streaming platform such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon prime video, etc., whenever we enter the true-crime or documentary section, majority of the content is related to serial killers and/or serial homicide (in case if the person killed not enough people to be clarified as a serial killer or cold cases without killer’s identity).

Most of the people can list at least 5 serial killers – Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Albert DeSalvo (aka Boston Strangler) and Dennis Rader (aka BTK killer) – are the most famous killer in the U.S. and I am not even counting Zodiac killer, who was never caught but remains a popular figure in the true crime world. But for instance, how many names of the famous Drug Lords ordinary people know? Except for Pablo Escobar? Even though there are quite a lot of active Drug Cartels such as Sinaloa, Tijuana, Gulf, Juarez Cartels.

I’d like to focus on Q#1 since it has been questioned, I was wondering about for a while now. But I may change the focus of my study for this project if I won’t find enough literature on the question.

In terms of the research process – I will use my own books about Serial Killers and Serial homicide for essential information and terminology. As for exploring the topic of the questions – I would dig into the library in order to find related articles, dissertations, and even books. I already started to do so and I found a few interesting works that may help me in my research but I can’t say that for sure at this point because I didn’t have a chance to analyze those articles carefully.


Research and Findings: eBureau and creditworthiness

As a person, who moved to the U.S. 2 years ago, I found it’s very absurd to judge people based on their Credit Score and I was shocked that there is such thing as a Credit Score. That’s why the beginning of the article about eScores really impressed me “Americans are obsessed with their scores”. Ironically, I am no different now – checking my credit score frequently as well as my grades for every small assignment I have and even my weight.

I decided to browse our John Jay college library (online of course) to find any articles about eBureau and eScores. And here’s what I found:

America’s three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – have information about 172 million adults, who have enough data on file. That makes 75 percent of total adults in the country, which means – there are 24 million people without any data available for credit evaluation and also 33 million people with not enough or “thin” credit files. Also, it’s been shown that 15% of rejection is based on a lack of positive credit information or no information at all – not because a person has a bad credit history. That lead bureaus to find alternative, non-traditional ways to analyze consumers – such as checking and debit accounts, utility bills, rent payments, history of address records, criminal history, purchase data, etc.

Additionally, over the last decade since all of our financial information is in our phones – like credit and debit cards, credit score information, etc. eBureau uses mobile phone numbers, emails, and business numbers to get information out of it. As for 2010, they possessed 460 million phone numbers linked to individuals.



First Post: TV show “Chilling adventures of Sabrina”

As soon as the first part of CAOS has been launched on Netflix streaming Platform back in October, 2018 – it became phenomenally popular among teenagers and young adults. The show is consider to be based on different series of Sabrina comics then the famous 90s sitcom “Sabrina the teenage witch”. However, we can see our favorite characters in this Tv show as well. Such as Sabrina Spellman herself. her boyfriend Harvey Kinkle, her aunties and many others. There are a lot of unusual things in CAOS such as gothic style of characters, their homes, school, etc., dark humor, Satanic “vibes” f.e. when something bad happens witches in the show say “what the heaven?” or they have Church of the Night, where they worship Satan or how they mostly call him Dark Lord. Additionally, they mention important social issues such as homophobia, transphobia, sexism, racism and other forms of hatred in very light manner. And of course the main thing bout the show is action, magic, great effects, adventures, etc.