Wednesday, December 2, 2015

PechaKucha Presentation

Link to Presentation:

Monday, November 30, 2015

Shor- extended comments

The reading this week on Empowering Education by Ira Shor, I felt a bit confused about what the point was that Shor was trying to get across.  While deliberating on what type of blog I should post, I decided to read others to understand exactly what Shor's point was.  While reading Taylor's she really made the connections for me, and allowed me to fully understand what Shor was saying.  I decided to use her blog as the center of mine, because I could not say what she said better myself! Thanks Taylor!!

Taylor made a great connection to Finn in her blog.  I agree that there main points are extremely similar between Shor and Finn.  They both advocate for the empowering styled education because they know this will allow a child to become a active part of society, instead another ant in the assembly line.  Finn and Shor both agree that the socialization of the classroom is the most important lesson to be taught.  In schools we are teaching people how to socialize and one day they will take those behaviors into our society, so lets teach them how to look at the world in ways that people in elite, or executive elite families are automatically taught to. 
Taylor also made a great connection between Oakes and Shor.  The connection is that both authors strive to create a comfortable classroom where fear of the teacher is not present.  If you set up the classroom in a way where students are able to freely move, and make independent choices, than their learning will do the same.  Students will be able to feel free to explore the text and even question it.  This confidence and comfort will allow for the deep thought and analysis that students should really be learning from school.  A more important lesson than the text itself, is being able to critically think, pull apart information, explore texts, and develop a sense of confidence that their opinions on the topic matter and are important.
I believe the government fears teaching children that don't have parents on the political boards, to explore and question what we are taught.  I believe they fear that one day everyone will finally be equal and that we will be able to make educated arguments against the type of system we have built! But in a way they should be fearful, because people will soon be able to read between the lines, and decode the truth to this society we live in.
Shor could also relate to the podcasts we listened to, because Shor is arguing for the empowering education in all classrooms, and this all relates to the educational gap we have between the working class schools and the executive elite, or elite ones.  This gap is due to many things, but one major thing is the style of teaching.  We are not teaching children in working class schools to grow, only to just try and make it through school and hopefully go to college.  How can there be no gap with two completely different hopes for different children?  We hope to breed the ones in the elite schools to be our future leaders, but everyone has the potential to do so if we educate them all the same.  And if we do educate all children the same, I promise you that gap will virtually close

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Promising Practies Workshops

Workshop #1: Rhode Island Peer Recovery Specialists
This workshop was so useful for me in my future endeavors.  The workshop was based around a new and upcoming program called Peer Recovery
Specialists or
PRS. What this means, is that the program aims to use recovering alcoholics, drug addicts, or anyone that has been in a situation where they felt hopeless, and use these people who have made it, as a coach for people who are currently going through those situations.  We were introduced to many people who at one point in their life didn't want to live anymore, and are now helping those that are in that exact position.  This peer relation is truly effective, because that person that feels depressed or like they are worthless can relate to someone who has been in their exact shoes and has made it.
I personally want to work with juvenile delinquents (not that I like using that label because I don't, I'd rather say diamonds in the rough), and I feel like this would be a great tool to use.  To have men and women who were in and out of jail their whole lives, but they found that light at the end of the tunnel, and give the children guidance and hope that they will too one day make it.  I also believe this program is amazing because it not only helps people become a "better" (or newer as I'd like to say) version of themselves, but provides job opportunities to those who would not be offered any because of their records.
This workshop would be greatly appreciated by August, because you are creating a safe space for that drug addict, or alcoholic because they are not feeling judged by anyone.  This space you create with the peer specialists allows for a successful environment because that person feels equal to their counselor, and truly feels like they know where they are coming from and can understand their position.  This space will allow for more growth and August would say this is why the program is so successful because you are creating an environment where everyone feels equal and understood, so it provides great room for growth and prosperity. I also believe this is relatable to Collier because it might not be a first culture you are horning in this type of counseling, but a lifestyle.  And this type lifestyle to these people becomes their culture because it is all they know. So having someone who directly came from that lifestyle is honoring where that drug addict or alcoholic is coming from and creating that sense of understanding.   
 Workshop #2: How Are We Helping Our Own?
This workshop was also helpful for my future career.  This workshop was almost all about how we help the "helpers" in our society.  This workshop introduced many different programs across the east coast that are set out to help social workers, physicians, nurses, etc. with drug and alcohol problems that are brought on by the traumatizing situations that these people face everyday at work.  Everyone forgets that even though these people help others for a living, most of them need help themselves.  This workshop explained the minimal amount of programs out there to help these professionals, and to bring awareness to this issue.  Many professionals that base their work around helping others become very prone to hurting themselves in the process.  Many physicians and social workers form alcohol and drug abuse problems, and many psychological issues.  It takes a lot of guts as a professional to get help, so there should be readily available programs for when they do reach out, and in this workshop this was a big problem. 
Me being someone who is going into a field similar to social working, I want to be safe knowing that there are programs out there that myself, or one of my colleagues can turn to if they need help.  It was shocking to me that this was not a readily available service, and somewhat upsets me because these "helpers" save many lives, and are having a hard time saving their own.  This workshop was very useful and interesting, and a good way to get that concern out there so those who need the help know it is out there.       
I believe Delpit would greatly agree with what this workshops main goal is.  Which is to explicitly tell these professionals that there is help for them out there before they get their licenses and careers taken from them.  If they are explicitly told that these programs exist, than these professionals can reach help and gain that power of being able to still work and not have to loose their careers. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Kliewer- Quotes

The text "Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome", by Christopher Kliewer truly shed light on an issue that I personally did not even know was an issue.  
The special education classrooms in schools always occurred to me as something beneficial for a special needs student/child.  I thought when children were placed into these specific classes it was for their best interest and to help them, but this is what Kliewer's finds issues with.  We are treating these students in a way that they are viewed as disabled, or not able to help themselves.  This is our schools stripping that "citizenship" (Kliewer) that all the other able students receive.  In this text Kliewer mainly focuses in on Down Syndrome students who have had problems with not being looked at in a stereotypical way by their peers.  They want the same opportunity as the rest.  Down syndrome children can feel and recognize that everyone else does not see them as a person who can be a leader or do have the same curriculum as their regular ed peers.   

Quote #1
"Such acceptance is the aim when children with Down syndrome join their non-disabled peers in classrooms, which seeks and finds community value in all children" (Kliewer 74).
I believe this quote directly shows Kliewer's goal in why he is writing this piece.  He wants teachers and educators all over to recognize the disconnect that these students feel and to integrate them into the classrooms that have no special label.  The Down syndrome children are seeking that citizenship inside the classroom and that equal spot and opportunity that their classmates are given.  Everyone is different and learns differently, and I used to think the goals of special ed classrooms was to better that child and specifically target their needs, but it is hindering them and making them feel that difference even more.  Self worth is truly the important lesson that anyone can teach a child.

Quote #2
"Shayne did not, however, interpret a child's nonconformity to developmental theory as a manifestation or defect. 'So what' she continued, 'if you don't fit exactly what your supposed to? You know it's not like I fit many peoples ideas of what a teacher's supposed to be like'. Shayne recognized a child's nonconformity as natural human diversity; a source of strength that could be supported by the school community in order that it adds a unique and valuable dimension to that community" (Kliewer 77-78). 
This quote shows an example of a teacher named Shayne Robbins who views her integrated classroom as an amazing thing.  She recognizes that these children have a specific learning plan developed by a team of people, but she does not let that take away from their feeling of equality in her classroom.  She honors the differences and sees it as a great thing. The differences should be looked at in this positive way.  They should be viewed not as a disability but as just another way of thinking or being.  Children in the educational world are viewed as needing "help" when they do not test are highly or efficiently as everyone else.  However, it is not extra help that they are asking for, but an equal opportunity as everyone else who is not categorized in our society as disabled.  

Quote #3
"In this way, schools would become locations that much more closely mirror what and who are valued in a participatory democracy" (Kliewer 81). 
I found this quote both interesting and important.  This quote is directly showing that our school communities represent the actual society we all live in.  If we do not honor these students that are viewed as disabled in a school context, than in real life they will also be not involved.  Our society has to remove the stereotypes of these "disabled" persons right from the beginning in the schools so later on in life they will have that self worth and confidence to be an active member of society, and also so the other "regular" students will not view the "disabled" ones as just that, disabled.  This will create a better functioning and more opportunistic society.   

I feel August would greatly appreciate what Kliewer's is fighting for.  Creating a safe space where all children feel equal and feel as if there is no differences between them and their neighbor.  This allows for the best education for all.  It takes away stereotypes, and honors equal education and opportunity. It also creates a space where children will be able to learn to their max capacity because they are not worried about anything but the material they are being taught. Feeling comfortable and safe in a classroom is extremely important to both August and Kliewer. 

Again it seems another author is speaking of integration. It seems our society enjoys categorizing all these "different" people.  Then we wonder where stereotypes formed for people like children with Down Syndrome. They are viewed as different in every type of system in our society.  Integration is the answer to all of these problems that revolve around unequal opportunity.  However, there is never any big movement towards this happening.  Is there a fear in our society, and our leaders of this country that if everyone gets the same opportunity than everyone will become an active member of society?  Everyone should have the personal choice of how their viewed and treated, no one should be making that decision for them. 


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Patrick J. Finn- Hyperlink

It's sad to think that Fin has a truth in what he preaches in his book Literacy with an Attitude.  
At birth the classification a person is informally assigned to, depicts their success and education in the future.  

Growing up in a middle class family myself, with one teacher and one egineer in the household, I was able to get a very sufficient education.  I believe this education set up the foundation for my life.  In my school I was taught to respect, trust authority, and  taught to become a successful working piece of our "wonderful" society.  In my schooling I was given opportunities and resources to become a smart, functioning, important person in this world.  

For other schools like Providence, children are taught through their easy assignments to fear authority and do what is asked of you or else.  In my school we were encouraged to do school work, and allowed room for error and creativity.  In inner city, lower class, areas the curriculum is leaving no room for error because the work is so easy, and fear in having to do the work or else you will be in trouble.  Finn goes into deep explanation of the gap that consistently is widened between lower class education, and the classes higher on the social latter.  Finn discusses this oppression and struggle that is placed upon lower class students.  Stating that this students become the "hard-bitten teachers" (Finn 8) because they are so bitter from all of these forces going against them in life.  These students in the lower class school levels have been" prepared for wage labor- labor that is mechanical and routine" (Finn 12). Finn argues that this mechanical routine mind set derives straight from the education they've received.  Their work that is given is easy, repetitive, mechanical, ruled based assignments that have no true deeper purpose.  

In richer communities Finn adresses that this is not the same case.  In higher class education children are breed to be creative, and critically think.  They're taught the deeper meaning behind things and not given a right or wrong type of work.  They are allowed to have their own ideas and opinions, and are almost encourage to do so.  There is an education gap that many argue is not present, but in the podcasts, The Problem We all Live in: Part I & II,  the educational gap is discussed in great detail.  There is a present, not past, educational gap between lower class education and that of higher classes.  This gap like said in the podcasts, can be closed, through integration and allowing for all children to start off with the somewhat the same opportunities.  However, that is not how America runs, like Finn says, our society fears that exact thing.  It fears giving these children and equal opportunity will create that social class Finn states of "rich, richer, richest" (Finn).  

Finn also relates to Delpit in that all we do teach are these codes and powers, but they're not the same ones that are taught from lower class education to higher class education.  In lower class the codes and rules that are taught, are teaching the children to fear authority and that they have to believe and follow all of these codes and rules of society or else they will go no where in life.  But on the other hand, higher status education encourages children to fight against what they are taught and to make their mark in the world. 

Is the difference for opportunity clear enough yet? 

"I'd like to hope that a child's expectations are not determined on the day he or she enters kindergarten, but it would be foolish to entertain such a hope unless there are some drastic changes made" (Finn 25)


Monday, November 2, 2015


-Codes and powers of blended learning
Teaching life skills
-Teaching students how to follow codes and laws
-Showing how when you do, you become successful by learning the material, and when you don't listen or follow the codes
- You gain less power and cant be a group leader or don't learn the material like everyone else.
-Feel powerful following codes, feel consequences for not following them.

-A young boy in my Mrs. Tirocchi's classroom whose family is from Nigeria has a name that is hard to pronounce for many people.
-He does not correct anyone because he is ashamed no one can say it correctly in the first place.
-Reminds me of when I was younger and I was embarrassed when teachers took attendance because my name was difficult to say. 
-A girl in the classroom on the other hand is anti-Rodriguez because she honors her culture and corrects people when they say her name incorrectly.  -Some teachers cut it short and created a nickname for her, but she loves that my mom (Mrs. Triocchi) says her whole name, and says it right!! 
-The boy on the other hand is like Rodriguez in giving up his private identity for a public identity. 

-New student in Mrs. Tirocchi's classroom, his first language was Spanish.
-Mrs. Tirocchi said hello and other few words in Spanish and the smile across his face was going from ear to ear.
-In that moment he felt comfortable in the new classroom, this created his safe space. 
-He felt like he was accepted and welcomed

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Separate & unequal, TAL, Brown vs. Board of Education; Reflection

Sitting in my kitchen chair, rocking back and forth while listening to The Podcast 562 & 563 on "The Problem We All Live With", I couldn't help but to feel anger and aggravation.  And not with the points that they were making, but with the fact that those points should not be something that in the 21st century, we are still arguing about.  In the Pod cast and the article, "Separate but Unequal" by Bob Herbert, they both discuss similar problems of separation and inequality across schools and school districts with race and education.  The more I sit and think about it, the more it applies to my life.  The elementary school I attended was a nice school, set back in a nice neighborhood, with a population of 95% white families.  Had Providence forced inner city children to join our classrooms I could picture hearing many of my peers parents saying the same things that these parents were complaining about.  

 Many of the parents argued that their children's safety was being taken from them, and that the quality of their education will demise if these African American children walk down Francis Howell School Hallways.   These children were coming from Normandy High School which was the "ghetto" area.  Parents talked at the meeting for this movement like it was 1954 and desegregation/integration was a new concept. These children had no opportunity at the schools they were attending and their only hope was to receive the education that many of those white students were privileged to not have to fight for this education.  Parents spoke as if they would appreciate someone talking about their own children like this at a meeting.  As if these kids are not the same as their own.  This is  2015 and these preconceptions of African American children still are very present.  I recall one parent stating that they are "not allowed to cross the bridge into our home" .  This comment blew my mind, but also became a reality for me because I could picture everyone in my neighborhood saying this exact line.  I have heard people in "my" part of town say things like this.  Just because someones skin color is different doesn't mean that all of this danger comes with them.  They deserve the opportunities that are given to most of us.  An African American child has to fight ten times harder for ANYTHING in this society than manuy middle and high class white children.  Why is this? Why do we create this sense of struggle for only minority races? 

These questions shouldn't have to be asked in our world today.  The fact that is still does makes me want to fight even harder to change it.  Equality is not equal in this day, anyone who sees to think it is only believes this because he/she is not negatively effected by it.  I am not even close to negatively effected by it, but I still take it personal.  These are people just like you and I, and if my child one day no matter what color, race, ethnicity they might be, should never have to feel out of place or uncwelcomed.  Saying that I also plan to protect and represent every child that does/will feel this way.  "We pretend that no one’s a racist anymore, but it’s easier to talk about pornography in polite company than racial integration. Everybody’s in favor of helping poor black kids do better in school, but the consensus is that those efforts are best confined to the kids’ own poor black neighborhoods." Bob Herbert states this in his article "Seperate and Unequal".  We do pretend to not talk about race in this world. We leave the tension in the room because its easier to do so. I believe August would also agree with Herbert because topics such as race and LGBT should be talked about in order to be accepted and create safe spaces for students to thrive; but they aren't.  People say they feel bad but do nothing to push for progress or growth.  These students feel uncomfortable going into schools and classrooms because that big elephant in the room is sitting right there.  Everyone can clearly see there is 20 white children to one African American child, so that should be talked about.  The children should see this childs point of view in order to help them feel comfortable and avoid doing what makes that black child feel different.  We should honor everyones differences; and when the bus showed up to Francis Howell School there was a greeting squad filled with cheerleaders and important school persons that welcomed the children not their new joinery into desecrating this school.  This was a perfect way to create that safe space, and August would be thrilled to hear of something like that happening. I also agree with Herbert when he discusses that many educators are scared or reluctant and resistant to go to these inner city schools to teach.  They feel that theres no point, or it is too dangerous.  My family is from a pretty nice part of cranston, and my mother teaches in downtown providence where the minority is white children.  When my mother tells other teachers in cranston where she works, they all have the same reaction "Oh my God good for you dealing with those children I could never!".  Now it would be hypercritical of me to apply this across every teacher in nicer schools, but that reputation is very present.  Many of the teachers are scared, and see it as a struggle instead of opportunity.  I am lucky to have a mother who views is as an opportunity to change many childrens lives and give them the chances that many people deny them of.    

I feel very passionate about this subject and I feel as though integration would be the next step to creating that truly equal world. Our society set out to do this in 1954 with Brown vs. The board of Education, but somewhere in time this concept fell through the cracks and the problem has still not been fixed.  Integration needs to happen, and many positive outcomes will come from it. We will take away the anger of the lower class from feeling uncared for, we will allow for more equality among races and children not having these adduced dispositions about certain races, we will allow for room to have peace and love moving from race to race instead of negativity, and we will give the EQUAL opportunity for all children to have a chance to be successful in live and be given the tools necessary to do so.  If this is something that can continue to happen and be fought for, we will see a big charge in our world.  We need to have a cause for an effect, so lets ignite the fuse and look forward to the future. 

A video I feel greatly represent an african american student and his/her concerns.

 Notice a 61 year gap but notice the white women's facial reaction to integration isn't different at all.  But the parents at Francis Howell say its not because of race, you decide.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Kahne, Westheimer-Extended comments

I used Marwa's Blog as the center of my own to discuss some major point she brought up from the reading "In The Service of What?: The Politics of Service Learning", by Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer. 

Quote 1) Marwa and I both seem to agree with he point that is being made.  That is, Kahne and Westheimer discuss how beneficial it is to combine action with the thoughts and ideas, to actually have the students engaged in what they are doing.  This will yield more students to learn a lot more if they are interested in the material.  Marwa also points out that the students can also learn the importance of learning about these social issues.  

Quote 2) With this quote I agree with Marwa.  I am very confused by it, but after reading Marwa's understanding of it and debating it myself, I have concluded something similar to Marwa. I believe here in this quote the idea of the system changing, or blaming its victims (citizens) is what the authors were debating.  This idea of blaming the victim comes from an article "The art of Savage Discovery" that I had read in my Social Work class.  I agree with Marwa that charities and change are both beneficial educationally; however, what is being taught in the charities is that idea of blaming the city, that the citizens need to change not the system.  And this reinforces the idea in the students heads working in charitable/program based environments. The change based curriculum enforces minds to break the molds and put a big crack in that glass. 

Quote 3) I too believe social learning will have a big impact on children lives.   Thinking critically is important and can allow students to notice something like blaming the victim type of programs ran by he government.  The systems every growing flaws never come to an end, due tot he fact that they keep trying to fix us! Allowing children to critically think about governments decisions will allow them to challenge the systems ideas.  I agree with Marwa in the way that outside influences should not hinder our ways of seeing whats truly there and learning something new.

Overall Marwa brought up great points and quotes from the text.  Service Learning can be a great thing when implemented and used correctly.  Change is the most important thing to focus on, and making students think is ways that challenge what our society says.  This critical thinking has personally changed my life and made me think in ways I never considered.  Critically thinking about issues allows one to strip away everything until all that is left is the true meaning behind something.  It allows a student to become powerful, confident, and mentally ready to take on the world. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Now when reading that word what first came to mind?
    -Princesses, Prince, Love, fairytale, happily ever after?
Yes I agree, these things do come to mind, after reading this blog I hope a few other words burst into your head when the word Disney is announced. 

     After reading the piece "Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us", by Linda Christensen, I have now truly understood the underlying meanings to many of Disney's whimsical movies and shows.  At first it upset me, all the predisposition I once felt towards Disney products was completely shattered.  Those Princesses that I so badly wanted to be when I was younger soon became everything I hate.  These movies represent and teach children the wrong doings of society, but under an appealing light.  As Christensen explains it is not until one uses the tools that she taught in her piece, can one truly pull out those underlying lessons that the children are subconsciously taught.  Then I started to really get thinking, has my whole life been controlled subconsciously by the norms a rules that disney movies imprinted in my younger self?  This idea of being a perfect princess and meeting her prince who will one day take her and all of her problems away is somewhat realistic.  I grew up always trying to look like how perfect the princesses were. Beautiful skin, long smooth hair, big beautiful eyelashes, nice hour glass shape, beautifully painted nails, perfect makeup, and beautiful clothes.  And in many ways these practices or ideals are very present in my everyday life.  
Skin: I have bought many skin care products to keep my skin smooth, wrinkle free, small pores, and pimple free.  Ive been buying these products ever since my mom allowed me to use them.  I never linked it to the ida of hearing to be that princess behind the television screen, but that makes complete sense.  
Hair: I never cut my hair too short because I have the existing picture in my head of long beautiful smooth hair attracting the handsome prince.  I mean we even have a whole movie based around long straight blonde hair; Rapunzel.  
Eyelashes: Everyday when I fight with my eyelashes in the mirror, my main goal is to create them to be as long and as beautiful as they can be.  There is even a beauty procedure that you get whats called eyelash extensions, similar to the idea of hair extensions (again trying to recreate the long hair), that make it seem like you have beautiful long thick eyelashes that every prince falls in love with.  I actually had these at the begging of this semester, and recently stopped getting them.  I thought I was getting them just because it makes my eyes pop more, but it was really that initial lesson I was taught at 5 that this is what will get you the prince in shining armor. 
Hour Glass Shape: I have never done this, but now all over the web is something called waist trainers.  These are corsets made for women to pull in their waist and accentuate the hips.  I have never tried it, but this idea of that body can come from the view of princesses.  They all have a certain hour glass shape that is not realistic.  It is not anyone's natural body to look like an hour glass, especially mine.  This always would bother me, I even considered buy a waist trainer, but for the reason that I was taught this is the way women should look. 
Beautifully painted nails: Every two weeks I was on a regimented schedule of blowing 40 plus dollars out the window for nice painted and cleaned nails.  This is a precedent that is set in all Disney movies.  The princesses always have long, clean, painted nails.   
Perfect Makeup: I remember looking in the mirror at 7 years old wondering why my cheeks weren't as rode as snow whites, or why my eyelashes didn't seem as dark and perfect, or why my lips weren't a luscious red or pink tone like the beautiful characters behind the television screen.  I would then quickly rumble through my mothers makeup to recreate that perfect makeup.  Even now in my daily schedule I have to leave myself enough time to paint my canvas (my face).  
The Perfect Dress:  Not only in everyday life do I try and create the perfect outfit of the day, but more specifically around prom time was this most prevalent.  Every year in high school when I was asked by a prince to go tot he ball (prom), I would freak out scrambling around for the perfect dress.  I would picture this night just how the movies played it out.  I walk into the ball with my beautiful gown all made up, and my prince gazing at me with a look of complete happiness.  The moment in a Disney movie that a girl couldn't wait to see, and I wanted that moment in real life; not even realizing that Disney princesses were my influences in finding that perfect dress.  

Everything we thought we had forgotten is still very alive in our everyday life.  Nothing ever goes forgotten, but just unnoticed. Christensen may have crushed the very value I have in all my memories of the wonderful Disney land and movies I would cuddle up with my mom to watch, but she introduced something way more important and relevant; that the fact that I was taught to become a beautiful white, long haired, perfect bodied, perfect makeup faced princess finding her prince charming and living happily ever after. 

This all can connect to Delpit's piece on the codes of power, because we were all taught the codes through Disney movies, it was just in a hidden way.  But as children we learned these codes that we followed and still follow, aiding us in having power in this society.  That way we can be pretty enough, light enough, skinny enough, classy enough, etc., to excel in life itself; because in a society like ours looks take you farther than one could even imagine.  

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Safe Spaces-Connections

Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt you could not walk in somewhere? Where you felt like the misfit? Like everyone is worried as to why your still standing in front of them and have not left the room yet?  Many members of the LGBT community feel like this every day/hour/minute/second of their lives.  However, it is not their fault for feeling this way, it is the people's.  By the people, I mean everyone else standing in that room with that LGBT person.  The people in this society are the ones responsible for not creating the safe spaces that Gerri August speaks about in "Safe Spaces: Making Schools and Communities Welcoming to LGBT Youth".   These safe spaces are spaces where any child that is LGBT can feel confident in themselves, and everyone around them will be creating that space by being welcoming, loving, and watching what he or she says. 

Connection to Rodriguez:
This Piece "Safe Spaces" by Gerri August connects with Rodriguez's piece "Aria" in many ways.  These two pieces relate because they both discuss the environment and how it effects children who feel "different".  These children feel some disconnect with the world and society around them.  Even though one might be a gay, lesbian, trans-gender, bi-sexual, and the Rodriguez discusses a language barrier, both types of children are isolated from the world and afraid to be themselves.  In both cases it is society's fault for not accommodating these children and giving them a special environment or safe space to be themselves in.  Rodriguez would argue to accommodate these children is to hinder them not help.   But in the Safe Spaces piece, to be accommodating and create that perfect environment is to not hinder a child, but to help a child thrive in the way that they would like to.  Also to be the best version of themselves.  A child can only grow when they are not afraid of what everyone around them will think or say. This space was failed to be created for Rodriguez as he states that when in his classroom, "Without question it would have pleased me to hear my teachers address me in Spanish when i entered the classroom. I would have felt much less afraid" (Rodriguez 34). This shows the lack of security that was not built for Rodriguez.  He felt uncomfortable and scared in his classroom because the people around him failed to make him feel anyway but that.  August would argue that the teacher should have created a safe space in that classroom, where children could try and say Richard's name in his language to make him feel like all of them did, at home.  August states "Without deliberate creation of an inclusive atmosphere, however, what happens inside classroom walls reproduces the prejudice that exist outside these walls: straightness and gender conformity are assumed: LGBT identity is deviant" (August 83-84). This quote shows and links to exactly how Rodriguez felt in classrooms, that these children will walk into a place where their "normal" heterosexual classmates are, and his identity becomes lost or assimilated with being heterosexual because thats what fits the environment around them.  August and Rodriguez had very similar points, but different ways of handling them.  Children who are gay, lesbian, bi-secual, or transgender should feel just as comfortable as a child who is heterosexual.  This is August's point; that to not throw all of the children together forcing those few "different" LGBT children to assimilate with their peers, but for their peers to support their different choice and embrace it.  When  it comes to the private and public individuality that Rodriguez argues about, having a private identity and being secure in that identity will give you your own spot in society that you made.  No one says you have to fill in the gap or mold that is set.  It may be insinuated by society to be straight and speak english, but that just means you get to stand out and shine even more than the rest of the boring people that surround you.  Whomever I am speaking to....

Connection to Collier: 
Virginia Collier wrote the piece "Teaching Multilingual Children", her piece discussed in a way of creating safe spaces for children with english being their second language.  Her piece fits better with the "Safe Spaces" by Gerri August, because they both are arguing that the point is not to make these children who seem o be different fit in by making them like everyone else, but caring about them and making them feel as if they don't need to be like anyone but themselves.  To create this environment both authors discuss how they must be very caring and welcoming leaders in these environments.  In a classroom a teacher must use "Caregivers Speech" (Collier 224), as Collier would put it.  This means a teacher has to speak clearly, listen intensively, be ready to repeat themselves many times nicely, and provide as a model for other children in the room.  August would greatly agree with this type of speech.  This creates a comfortable environment where the teacher makes it clear to treat everyone equal and nicely.  August explains that we need to make those leaders and teachers allies for these student who are LGBT, or any student that feels singled out or different (August 99).  That these children not only need safe spaces but safe adults and people.  Collier would agree with this point.  That in schools and classrooms student of different sexual orientation, or cultures need to be protected and noticed by the students, staff, and world around them. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Rich-heard Road-ree-guess (Argument)

Rich-heard Road-ree-guess = Richard Rodriguez 
     In his memoir Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood  Richard Rodriguez discusses his struggles of coming to America with English being his second language.  How all noises around him were so foreign, not just the language itself but the actual noises that come along with speaking english.  The pronunciations were so exotic to him. In this memoir Richard discusses the importance of bilingual immigrants becoming assimulated with the english speaking culture in America and that immigrants should not be spirited in bilingual classrooms or schools.
   Richard argues that although many minorities struggle with the fact that they are loosing their cultures individuality, they are not recognizing that they are also loosing their public individuality. By creating the bilingual schools and teaching, Richard explains that you are taking away the chance to be part of the society and find your place and part in American society. After all you are in America so why not try and become a part of it's culture and society? Richard argues that there are two different types of individuality, "They do not seem to realize that a person is individualized in to ways. So they do not realize that, while one suffers a diminished sense of private individuality by being assimilated into public society, such assimilation makes possible the achievement of public individuality" (Rodriguez 580).  That there is a separation you create with an immigrant and the public with this type of private individuality. Richard argues that once an immigrant is americanized they soon become a part of the society walking around them, instead of feeling like a foreigner walking amongst Americans. By isolating yourself from the American culture you create this loneliness as well.  While your walking the streets there may be people around you, but you feel disconnected and not a part of they world. Richard argues this feeling of aloness when speaking about when he was younger in his home; that his family had no connections with any neighbors, they never had any visitors to their home other than family. He would watch kids on his street but not know their name or who they are.  He also argues that he would feel alone and scared when going to the store, not understanding the pronunciations and words of the English language that everyone was speaking. Richard describes this isolation he felt because of the issue of not becoming Americanized. He argues that he could not consider himself a member of the crowd until he joined it. So he feels that the bilingual schooling is just alienating these immigrant children even more.  Causing them more separation from the society and world around them.

This argument kept bringing Delpit to the front of my mind.  That also one day when these children become adults and have careers, that their lack of becoming a part of our society with just hurt them more than help. It will cause "The Silenced Dialogue" (Deplit) that Deplit speaks about. Their voices won't be heard because they will not have the power.  They will be completely falling under Delpit's second code of power which is "There are codes or rules for participating in power; thats is, there is a "culture of power" (Delpit 24). Meaning that there are communicative codes and rules to go by in order to gain power in any conversation. So if you have no idea what the other person is saying, or fail to answer in their culture then you are automatically giving that person the power in that conversation.  I believe this is a point that Richard is arguing, that to be heard in society you need to become a part of that society's culture.
I believe this to be true. In order to become an active part of society, you need to become an active part of the culture.  Im not saying you have to go eat McDonalds, and slap the American flag on your front yard, but to speak the language of the culture will bring a person such a long way in society.




Sunday, September 20, 2015

Amazing Grace-Quotes

     In Mott Haven, Bronx, New York, thousands of ill, poor, and homeless people reside here.  This area is filled with New York's filth, garbage, and toxic waste. The streets filled with drugs, prostitutes, death, drug dealers, junkies, AIDS, HIV, and constant crime.  However, this is not how many of these people choose/want to live.  They want a way out, but our government is not giving them one. 

Quote #1. "Crack-cocaine addiction  and the intravenous use of heroin, which children I have met here call "the needle drug", are woven into the texture of existence in Mott Haven"(Kozol 4).
     - Drugs are shown everywhere in this part of the Bronx. Some children even come out of their mothers bodies addicted to these harsh illegal narcotics. This quote directly shows the way drugs are intertwined with the actual existence of this community. Children are looked down upon for doing the drugs, but they're surrounded by it. It's like growing up in a home where drugs are not done, 9 out of 10 times you will not end up doing drugs. It is not the people fault they are in this dangerous environment, but actually the governments fault. Just like in the last article we read in class about Kristof and the "Land of Limitations". We limit these people in this community to thinking that drugs and crime is all they know and theres no more opportunity, or purpose for them but to just keep doing these drugs and committing these crimes.  We make the light at the end of the tunnel seem non-realistic for people in Mott Haven, and in many other poor communities across the globe.

Quote #2. "Why do you want to put so many people with small children in a place with so much sickness? This is the last place in New York that they should put poor children. Clumping so many people, all with the same symptoms and same problems, in one crowded place with nothin' they can grow on? Our children start to mourn themselves before their time"(Kozol 11). 
     -These future generations have no helping hand. The people that they lean on are the reason they can't leave.  Their families and parents don't know how to leave this type of community so how can they teach the younger generations to? This quote is showing how the government pushes everyones who they feel is too sick, and too unhealthy for regular society into these little communitties where they stagnantly stay and never flourish or grow.  The statement that "children start to mourn themselves before their time", is so poerwful. It's stating it all right in those few words, that the second the children come into this world in Mott Haven, they are already looking forward to a life full of no hope or prosperity. The treatment of the people in these communities is also why children should mourn before their time, because by the time their 20 they will have breathed in dangerous chemicals from all the waste and garbage plants around Mott Haven causing many harmful illnesses. Also many children have asthma problems and the air is filled with harmful odors. The city is made unliveable, but somehow we force people to live here. Not only is there chemicals in the air but HIV and AIDS run ramped in Mott Haven. So what hope is there? And what good does it do creating generation, after generation of sick, poor junkies? How are we as a country benefiting from this? Because there has to be some beneficial reason as to why our government would keep pushing down on these people, giving them NO hope for a brighter day. Why would we want our fellow Americans to feel this way, to feel as if life itself has no meaning or purpose, that we truly just live to die... why is this okay for others to feel this way, and do nothing about it? 

Quote #3. "I don't know why. A lot of people ask for it. Maybe they figure people in our situation couldn't buy the things they advertise so they wouldn't see us as good customers" (Kozol 17). 
    -In this quote a woman is explaining to Kozol how she cannot obtain the New York Times in her store.  She explains that they won't sell it to her to sell to the public.  This quote is her reasoning as to why they might not sell the Times magazine to her. It's as if the government ignores these people, and does not recognize them as an active citizen of the United States. The craziest part is that they are as much American as I am. I am a white middle-class young adult, and this woman may be an Hispanic poor adult, but she is still ash much of an American and PERSON as I am. The government won't allow them to be involved in our society, because they won't even let them know whats going on in it.  They say these people are uneducated, but they do not know whats going on in this country BECAUSE OF THIS COUNTRY. This quote is supporting the point that Kozol is making, that the poorest of the poor are isolated, and abandoned by our government. We are caging these people and then saying well its their fault they're not leaving. We need to lend the hand that they can grasp, without that hand they will be reaching for something that is not there; and this is how most of these people feel, that they are reaching for just a dream and not reality.