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Rhode Island ~ RIC ~ Life is goooood :-)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Slowly and Shor-ly the last blog post

Empowering Education- Critical Teaching for Social Change
Ira Shor

April 16, 2016


After reading this article by Ira Shor, it hit me that many people that teach now a days, started years ago when curriculum wasn't a thing and when they were free to teach in their classroom with their own plan and rules. Teachers have to focus on what the town/school wants them to teach rather than what the children need to know and learn for their futures. Its so saddening that some children are in a classroom being forced to learn things they don't understand or don't need to know just because some school committee or teachers feels a different way about the context. It is the teachers job to yes teach children in classrooms about math, reading, writing, grammar, quadratics and much more but the most important thing they need to teach is social skills and how to socialize with children and adults. Ira describes the point of school as "In sum, the subject matter, the learning process, the classroom discourse, the cafeteria menu, the governance structure, and the environment of school teach students what kind of people to be and what kind of society to build as they learn math, history, biology, literature, nursing or accounting" (pg. 15). Is is extremely important for those in school to actually LEARN and not MEMORIZE. As mentioned in the article and many of my fellow classmates blogs, in half my classes not only in middle school or high school but college as well, we had to memorize many things in class just to pass a test that would soon be forgotten after the semester was over. So what was the point of that? A waste of time, money and a chance for us to learn something we may actually need in our future.

This article has made a really clear point and to me pointed out why we go to school, why we need to focus and want to learn and not just get by. It explained that school when we are young and growing up not only is there for math and reading but for socialization and self/social change. Ira Shors article can connect to Delpit because Delpit stressed how teachers and people that children look up to have to stress the rules and codes of power because some people don't know about them or learn about them in school or at home. It is important to know the rules of society and how to get by, how to fit in and live a normal life. The two connect because both articles/authors explain that students need to learn the "rules and codes of power" the same way that teachers have to teach that, as well as follow the "rules and codes of power" that the common core and school committee tell them to.

Not only does Shor connect to Delpit but it also connects to August because of Augusts' words; "Safe Spaces". Not in the same way of LGBTQ but because children in school need to know they are safe and that what they are learning is important for them and they need it. August talks about how children and young adults need to feel safe in order to be more successful in school, public and private like having a high self-confidence. Shor also touches base on how it is important for children who need help to feel safe somewhere and that they can be helped with whatever they need no matter what.

Comments/Questions/Points to share:
After reading this article and many of my friends blogs and views on common core and Shor's book it is clear that no one agrees with what is happening in classrooms today. The math problem shown above is what children in elementary school are learning today, my brother is tested on this math very often, especially on the "PARC" testing or whatever its called and I don't think its right. Even in my math 143 class last semester we were being taught how to teach subtraction and addition in 3 different ways? Why is that so? School is supposed to be somewhere to go to have fun, learn, socialize, make friends and grow up in. But apparently schools and towns don't feel that way anymore so they are changing and creating new "common core". Overall I really enjoyed Shor's book (well part of it anyway) because well I like everything to do with teaching and looking into why common core is so dumb.

Sunday, April 10, 2016


Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome
April 10, 2016


"[Community} requires a willingness to see people as they are - different perhaps in their minds and in their bodies, but not different in their spirits or in their willingness and ability to contribute to the mosaic of society. It requires the 'helper' to have the humility to listen for what the person says he or she needs (pg.12)." (Judith Snow pg. 73)

I feel as if this quote almost says it all, explains that it's okay to be different and notice that yes, people with learning disability (Like Down Syndrome) as well as physical or any other type of disability are different and act different in all situations but they are still people. They are people with hearts, feelings, emotions and knowledge. Of course of all this things are shown in different ways, if shown at all but it's their. But no one looks at it that way, they look at them and say "oh she has down syndrome", "yeah, he has autism, he won't understand" and stuff like that. Some people out there (like children) won't understand any of that unless they learn or experience it in something like best buddies or any other one-one organizations where children with both disabilities and non-disabilities can interact.

"Though many of us have a certain level of control over who we meet and interact with, none of us can come close to claiming complete control. So we must learn to work with others, and this hold true whether we ultimately are destined to lead a multinational computer software film, inspire a civil rights movement...We have to learn to get along as individuals and as citizens." (pg. 74)

This second quotes discusses again that we as people need to accept the differences and kind of move on, or not focus on rather. But focus on how we as people, students, citizens act together, interact with each other, and learn from each other. Its important for us as students who want to go into that field and be able to teach them to know that even though they are different they don't alway need to be treated, they need to be treated equal and shown respect. Also, its important that if students with disabilities and those without are in one class, that the lessons taught need to be understand by everyone, not just easy for those without IEP's or without teacher aids and extra help, but for everyone.

"In establishing a representation of citizenship for all, Shayne recognized the transactional relationship of human reciprocity: Community acceptance requires opportunity for individual participation in the group, but opportunity cannot exist outside of community acceptance. As such, Shayne had to foster a sense of the collective that took seriously the value and idiosyncrasies of her individual students. In doing so, Shayne felt that she broadened and strengthened the learning opportunities opened to all her children." (pg. 75)

Lastly, this quote spoken about how Shayne took the initiative to change the opportunities and expand the horizon for both those with and without disabilities. She decided to focus on the community skills and acceptance of those in her classroom and out of it. She explains how community acceptance is what is really important and can lead to the best changes, good changes. It all starts with teaching those to accept everyone as they are, who they are and what the bring to the table (bring to school, like an attitude and initiative to learn). This quote can relate to August because in that article the LGBTQ groups are mentioned that accept everyone and teach everyone to learn that being different is okay, the world is changing and adapting to all the differences in the world. That is how it is supposed to be but unfortunately people cannot accept that 100% yet and hopefully it will change.

Questions/Comments/Points to Share:
I really enjoyed this blog because it focused on those with Down syndrome but in a good and positive way. To accept the differences and embrace them, to help those who need it without any fuss. I am hoping to go into this as a teacher and this article really made me want to even more and got me excited to be able to work with many different children and different disabilities to learn about all of them and make them feel welcomes and comfortable at school.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Map the Authors

                                                                        My Map

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Literacy with an Attitude

Literacy with an Attitude, by Patrick J. Finn


I enjoyed this reading a lot because it brought many different situations and points of view to the table that not everyone really knows about. Finn does an excellent job combining facts and stories within these two chapters that involve stories from two different people and their teaching experiences at a number of different schools.

"While the same arithmetic book was used in all five schools, the teacher in one working-class school commented that she skipped pages dealing with mathematical reasoning and inference because they were too hard. The teacher in the second working-class school said, 'These pages are for creativity-- they're extras.' She often skipped them as well". Chapter 2 (pg. 10) Jean Anyon
~Jean explains that after she had been to the 5 different schools, they all use the same book but the teachers working at the working-class schools decided to skip some pages while teaching arithmetic because the pages were "too hard". It's understandable for a teacher to be able to know what a class can handle and what it can't but for another teacher to say it's for "creativity" and basically admit she doesn't teach it either is disrespectful. All kids whether they be raised in a working-class family or million dollar family deserve the same education if they are going to the same types of schools. How is it fair that some children probably go to school as an escape from home, somewhere that they can focus and learn and really do something for themselves while the teacher doesn't even challenge them  to anything.

"Teachers made derogatory remarks regarding the students. A principal was reported to have said to a new teacher 'Just do your best. If they learn to add and subtract, that's a bonus. If not, don't worry about it.' A second grade teacher said the children were 'getting dumber every year'. Only twice did Anyon hear a teacher say 'please' to a student in an unsarcastic tone. She heard 'Shut up' frequently". Chapter 2 (pg.11) Jean Anyon
~ Also in this chapter, Jean mentions that she has heard some bad things at one of the working-class schools and what she hears and observes is very disrespectful. The fact that she once heard a principal tell the teacher not to "worry" if the kids don't learn to add or subtract is unbelievable. ALL CHILDREN SHOULD LEARN HOW TO DO MATH. It shouldn't matter what school they are in, that is an elementary skill children need to learn. Also, Jean mentioning that she heard teachers frequently saying "Shut up" repulses me because I know that if a teacher ever told me that in elementary school it would alter my learning and how I feel about someone who is supposed to help me. All children deserve respect and the chance to learn and be challenged in school, yes too much challenge is not good but some kids need it to show their full potential. Some of the things Jean mentioned that she observed in the "lower-class" schools is not right, it shouldn't matter where kids live or how much money their parents make to determine if they are gonna learn or no from their teachers.

"The working-class children were learning to follow directions and do mechanical, low-paying work, but at the same time they were learning to resist authority in ways sanctioned but their community. The middle-class children were learning to follow orders and do the mental work that keeps society producing and running smoothly...The affluent professional children were learning to create products and art, 'symbolic capital', and at the same time they were learning to find rewards in work itself and to negotiate from a powerful position with those who make the final decisions on how real capital is allocated." Chapter 2 (pg. 20) Jean Anyon.
~This last quote basically wraps up everything Anyon was talking about through her experience in the 5 different schools. Children from roughly the same area in New Jersey but part of different family incomes and different schools were all receiving different education. Like I mentioned before I don't think it is right, I think that all kids should get an equal opportunity to live their dreams and be successful. Whether they grew up spoiled or grew up working for every single thing in their life as children/teenagers they still need education and someone to push them to their full potential but at the working-class and middle-class schools, no one was pushing them or helping them along that way and it is saddening to hear that.

This picture here for all we know could be three friends hanging out. But different clothes and the notion that the two on the left are looking down at the man on the right shows that somehow "society" has chosen to look down upon those who work for what they have and not be given everything in life. But why are they the lower class? because they can't get a job? because no one will higher them? because they are judged on looks, not skills? the money they make goes to their food they need and the house they need and everything else they need to live. It all just goes back into a circle for some people but it isn't right to keep them form learning new things and getting the chance to achieve goals in their future.

Questions/Comments/Points to share:
I feel as if this reading could connect to Macintosh as well, I mean come on "white privilege" could be compared to many other ways people get "advantages" or "privileges". Lower-class and middle-class could be knows as "minorities" where as the affluent professional children were those receiving white privilege. I really enjoyed this read because it made me think about how lucky I have been to be supported by my teachers through my life so far and still am, to know that my teachers are doing all they can to help me and push me to my full potential is something everyone should be thankful. I'm not putting myself in a class category like those mentioned in this book but I know a teacher has never told me to "shut up" or flat out disrespected me on a daily basis and that is something to be thankful for.

"Sex Positivity, Feminism and Health Implications - Deirdre O'Donnell"

On Thursday March 24 I attended the lecture/presentation about sex positivity, feminism and health implications by Deirdre O'Donnell. It was held upstairs in Donovan Dining Center and was schedule from 12:30-1:50. I attended this social justice event with Jordyn, Kamryn, Kate, Grace and Amy. Main issues that were discussed during the presentation included; feminism (the social, economic and political equality of the sexes), intersectionality, social justice, libertarianism vs, interventionist politics, health policy & the law (ACA), sex positivity and public health research.

I thought this class was going to be very awkward and uninteresting but I put all other thoughts aside and decided to not worry about what the topic was and be more interested about what Deirdre was trying to teach us about and what I could learn from this event. Sure, we all laughed a few times, felt awkward and didn't know how to respond to some slides/questions/comments but it was an experience. I feel as if it gave me a lot of information about things I never worry about or wanted to know but what she informed us was stuff we should know and be aware of in this world.

Not all topics were talks about in detail but some points she hit that really grabbed my attentions were some facts she gave us that we either had to chose as True or False and then we went over all of them. Something interesting and very horrible is that less than 1% of rapists see time in jail, condoms, lubricants and tampons/feminine products are not tested by the Food & Drug Administration because they are considered "cosmetics" buts some brands of these products contain bleach, sugar and other non-safe drugs that can negatively affect the body. Also, abortion is legal in every state but now some states are requiring an ultrasound for the mother to go to before officially deciding to terminate the fetus. Health insurance as well as the different laws in each states greatly affect the abortion process for some women in the U.S.

Many other things were discussed among these topics and here are some other great points/facts i learned while being at this event;
-The U.S. has the most expensive health care in the world with the worst outcomes
-The U.S. has the highest infant & maternal mortality rate
-The ACA ("Obamacare") has allowed the U.S. to reach about 90% in health coverage
-Woman make $0.75 to the male $1.00 and it is even less is the woman is not white
-Pro life = Anti-Abortion
-Pro Choice= Woman's Choice
- The word "Sex" is not easily defined, could mean intercourse, gender, deals with oral, anal and vaginal sex and all of that equals RISK
-Sigmund Freud was the first person to talk about sexual repression (stated in history)

Lastly, Deirdre discussed what "Sex Positivity" really is, she explained that it is "Consensual (enthusiastic, verbal or gesture, absent of drug/alcohol, safe and sane, of age and of ability to consent), judgement free, intention of inclusitivioty, (LGBTGAP+) and issues of women's health like porn, rape/assault, consent, sex work/sex trafficking, sex toys, safe sex, menstruation, masterbation, anatomy and many other aspects of sexual ideas about woman, for woman.

I feel as if this event and the topics discussed really relates to August because a lot of the talk has to do with LGBTQ and what it all means. The event talked about the word "Sex" meaning gender or the act of intercourse where some people said between a male and a female where new life is created and others said the romantic attraction between two people who then perform sexual acts together. Deirdre explained and got a point across that everyone has a different opinion and view and its OKAY.  Deirdre also connected to Grinner with SCWAAMP because of the "ideal norms"in society everywhere that everyone just assumes is what is right and what is the "best". Lastly, this event can connect to Delpit because Delpit mentions that people need to be told explicitly the "codes of power" about society and everything they do. It relates to Deirdres talk because there are certain things woman aren't respected by such as sex being "consensual" and woman not just being an object of sex, their are "unknown" rules that people should be following when performing sexual acts between any number of people and that is a major problem that many people face each day.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Problem we all Live with

The Problem We all Live with
Part I & II
March 20, 2015


"I think it's important to point out that it is not that something magical happens when black kids sit in a classroom next to white kids. It's not that suddenly a switch turns on and they get intelligence, or wanting the desire to learn when they're with white kids. What integration does is it gets black kids in the same facilities as white kids. And therefore, it gets them access to the same things that those kids get-- quality teachers and quality instruction." Nikole Hannah-Jones

~Nikole goes on to explain that when desegregation began and children were beginning to be in class with other kids of a different color, nothing changed between the grades they got or how they acted. The African American kids didn't automatically jump into the same activities as the white kids because they didn't know how, so many were behind and lacked certain cognitive and learning skills. However, the desegregation was a step at trying to change that, trying to give the African American kids a chance to learn as much as any child could and have the same advantages or facilities to go to for help. I think this quote demonstrates how some people just assumed that desegregation didn't just get all colored children in the same room, but gave all children the same opportunity and ability to achieve great things.

"Those kids have greater educational needs. They're more stressed out. They have a bunch of disadvantages. And when you put a lot of kids like that together in one classroom , studies show, it doesn't go well." Ira Glass

~Ira explains also that putting all the children in one classroom right off the bat and jumping right into lessons and learning won't work. First of all, not all the children are going to get along or talk to each other and interact, it's something new. Also, bringing together African American children with Latino children and white children in one class leaves the teacher/s with a problem, not everyone is at the same learning level. So that means that either children who are excelling will be bored and staring at the wall because the teacher has to slow down and reteach some things. Or, the children that aren't caught up and have problems in certain areas, won't understand and won't be able to complete the work because the rest of the class has moved on. It's sad, that even though it was a good thing, to desegregate, it probably caused a lot of problems at first for children and their learning potential.

"So this is a thing that happens with segregation. Once you get around people who you haven't been around before, you become just super aware of their race and your race. And is that thing happening right now because of race? Or is that because you're white? Is that because you're from a different part of the country or a small town? Or are you just weird?" Chana Joffe-walt

~Chana Joffe-walt explains that after going through segregation and being either a part of the colored population or white population, you are so used to the old "norm" of looking at people by their color rather than but their skill, personality or anything else. You begin to wonder about things even more after desegregation, like she said "Is it because I'm white?" or maybe "Is it because I'm black?" and its true, many people probably experienced this for awhile after the desegregation began. Some people out there didn't care that the country was changing for the good and there are still racists out there now that will continue to judge people by the color of their skin rather than for who they are. And it's tough to get over because some people grew up in a segregated community and were raised by their parents a certain way and taught to act the way they do around people with skin color different from them. But for all those who did go with the flow and learn to treat people equally because they ARE equal probably feel a lot better about themselves if they once did live in a secreted community and changed for the good.


 I thought this picture would get a laugh out of everyone

Questions/Comments/Points To Share:
I feel as if this reading and all the things I've discussed and what these audio's talk about is how the process of desegregation affected children in both good and bad ways. In a way it relates to McIntosh as a counter argument because she says that "whites" aren't told not to recognize their privilege in society but way back when, during segregation, they were told TO look at the privileges and advantages white people got over African Americans and use it. Its crazy how at one point white children weren't even allowed to talk to or play with a colored child just because of their skin, when in reality, children don't care about skin color. they care about playing on the swings or having a tea party. Children are taught everything by their parents and who surrounds them, so the only reason children back then didn't want to associate with someone with different color skin than them, is because their parents told them not to, and I think that is completely horrific. Obviously I never lived in a place where people were segregated so I don't know how it would have been but I really hope my parents would have the decency to let me talk to and play with whoever I wanted, whether the other children be black or white.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

In The Service Of What?

The Politics of Service Learning
By: Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer

Extended Comments

I chose to use Arianna's blog post for my extended comments post this week.
Arianna did a really job picking out quotes that stood out and supported her opinion and also reflected the main ideas of the article. Not only did her opinions on the quotes interest me but her own points and questions were useful and made me question certain rules for community service as well.

 One quote Arianna used that I really liked and that she explained very well was;
"improve the community and invigorate the classroom, providing rich educational experiences for students at all levels of schooling...[we] aim to respond to the needs of the community while furthering the academic goals of students."
I completely agree with what she said about how this quote basically explains why we do community service, what the point is and who it helps. Not only does service learning help us but it helps the community, the children and helps the school. It helps us learn teaching techniques and it teaches me that certain areas where schools are located, have harder things to deal with and teach, so it requires more of an understanding and tolerance.

The next quote Arianna used in her post discussed what our service learning can bring and help within the schools and within the individual children's lives.
"promote students' self-esteem,...develop higher-order thinking skills,...make use of multiple abilities, and...provide authentic learning experiences."
I'm glad Arianna chose this quote because it captures words that stand out and prove a point, things that are essential in elementary school to learn and experience as a child. The quotes explains how us helping the children during our service learning can help their self-esteem, higher thinking skills can be discussed and much more can come from us going to these schools and just helping a little bit here and there with every child.

The last quote Arianna used in her blog post was;
"Unfortunately, in many service activities, students view those they serve as clients rather than as a resource"
For this quote Arianna explained that community service should be something people want to do to give back to the community and help, I agree. However, there are some people who think service learning is stupid, or a waste of time and those people aren't looking at the big picture and they aren't in it for the experience. If people stopped looking at service learning as a requirement, and more of  chance and an opportunity to learn and help, then more people would realize how awesome it is.

I feel as if this reading can connect to August because it discusses that Service Learning is something to help people, to educate them and give them a really great experience that they can take with them in life. August discusses that children need opportunities, they need the chance to do something with their life and learn new things. August also says that, its not fair for those who don't get the chance, and I think it relates to Kahne and Westhiemer because its saying that service learning is an opportunity for many children/teenagers and adults to have and learn from it as well as take from the experience some new feelings and ideas for the future.

Questions/Comments/Points to share:
Lastly, Arianna mentioned that at her school had a requirement of 30 hours of service learning over the course of 4 years which is pretty easy. My school had a requirement of 15 hours over 4 years which is yet again another easy thing to do. However, I know many people who complained and put it off until the last minute and almost didn't graduate because of that requirement. If they would have realized how quickly they could have got it done and how educational and interesting the experiences they would have had, they would have exceeded the hours needed like I did. I loved Ariannas blog and I think she writes very well and very easily understood, she gets he point across and never leaves out a personal opinion that I think is the best part.

Friday, February 26, 2016

SAFE SPACES : Inside the Classroom Walls~


"Tucked inside several books (not all from the same bookseller) were handwritten messages directing her to bible verses, once that have been interpreted as condemnation of homosexuality. Kimberly was stunned and bit shaken. She worried that she was wrong to share these LGBT friendly resources with youth. Aimed at a teacher who wanted LGBT youth to see themselves represented in literature in her classroom, these anti-gay sentiments packed a powerful punch"  (pg. 91)

This part of the story really stuck out me to me because it starts with Kimberly, a reading specialist wanting to open up the learning window and give the children who have questions about this topic a chance. Kimberly wanted to help and bring more books to show how it is okay to learn and want to know about LGBT without shame, but someone took this as a chance to share a personal opinion and discriminate. I think whoever put bible verses in her book should be ashamed of themselves, Kimberly did an awesome thing to try and change her school curriculum and stand up for LGBT and some inconsiderate, opinionated and obviously religious person ruined it for not only her but children too who may have gotten the opportunity taken away when the needed it. It is so rotten that people can be so rude to those who may be a little different and want to make them feel unwelcome and unwanted. I feel as if this article/book can relate to McIntosh by showing that no one understand the criticism or feeling until it is taken or given to. If you aren't LGBTQ or colored, you won't ever know what its like to be judged, made fun of, yelled at or discredited against unless you are put in those shoes or what you have is taken. Imagine if being white and straight was wrong? gross? unaccepted?Those people (me included) would feel so horrible, upset about how those who are different are treated. But will people change for other people? Will straight people support LGBTQ? Will white people still support the colored? Hopefully all those questions would be answered yes, but society and the world have their opinions,

"Classrooms lay foundation for an inclusive and safe society: a just community where common interest and individual differences coexist. To the extent that teachers, school administrators, and college professors create an atmosphere in which difference is not only tolerated but expected, explored, and embraced..." (pg. 83).

This quote also really made an impact on me, it is true that everything a child learns and experiences is around and in a classroom. So whatever the children learn in school is what they are expected to follow through outside of class. That is where there needs to be a change, if children are going to learn about LGBT they should be learning it in school and experience it, not be sheltered from it because some people on the school board or teachers don't agree with it or want to teach it. It is SO important that children learn at a young age that not only is different okay and accepted but being different doesn't mean a loss of respect. If children are taught at a younger age about LGBT they will most likely not be likely to make fun of it as they grow up and become bullies and not be scared to admit if they are gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgender. A lot of what we all know came from what we saw, experienced and were taught as a child and that is where a lot of the problem with LGBT comes from.

"We wonder whether the only relevant question here is a child's readiness to learn. Perhaps adults need a Ready-to-Teach initiative"(pg.86).

This quote came after a paragraph about the children's tv show "Postcards from Buster" which included a lesbian couple as parents that the main character "Buster" met during his trip around the U.S. learning about new cultures and languages. Too many people complained and had the TV show cut down to fewer episodes and no LGBT mentioned on the show. The director was very hurt because he wasn't broadcasting about LGBT  but casually putting in the TV show to teach children that it is normal, the TV shows they watch now a days are all about learning, so why is that if children are okay with learning it that parents and teachers are not okay with teaching it? I think all children should be taught about LGBT but they can't if they don't have the chance which relies on the teachers abilities to be "Ready-to-Teach" about LGBT.


Question/Comments/Points to share:
Personally, I do not remember being taught about LGBT in my elementary school or middle school but we did touch base on the subject. Everyone knew about being "gay" or a "lesbian" but it wasn't a large problem in my community. Of course as I grew up I saw more, experienced more and then in health class was taught a little but more about the topic but not many people made it a big deal or a problem. And although it is good that it wasn't a problem, maybe  it should have been talked about more. There was a LGBTQ group at my school with quite a few people in it that held meetings and hung poster, very positively welcoming those who wanted to be part of it. I just feel that some people are going to try and ignore that people are LGBTQ and continue on with their lives, but some people need to learn that they deserve respect too and nothing is different about them besides who they are attracted too and who they feel like they are. Plus, who's business is into worry about if Sally likes girls or boys or if Tom like girls or boys, no one but Sally or Tom's.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Say what?

Unlearning the Myth's that Bind Us, Linda Christensen

In the article by Linda Christensen, most of the talk is around media, about how media basically rules children and adults now a days and how overtime it has changed, both in a good and bad way. The discussion also mentions tat from a very young age, cartoons, movies and books have influenced children subtly, it is not until the children grow up and re watch or reread that they notice some very specific details.

I really like this article because it opened my eyes and made me realize how much I missed when I was younger and how much I never realized until now, an 18 year old who has loved cartoons, fairy tells and anything to do with Disney since I was 5. I think this almost connects to "White Privilege" by McIntosh because it mentions that no one notices these things until they are pointed out and then it loses its worth (as in the meaning of a fairytale or plot in cartoons).  It also relates to SCWAAMP because of what is focused on in society and looked at as "ideal", what things should be. After realizing how everything relates to white this and white that, its when many people noticed it as well as me and were really shocked. The same goes for thinking back to all the movies about princesses and servants of the royals, they are all white woman as princesses and usually colored woman as servants, which as a child is something I watched all the time just like other kids my age and it became a stereotype or an "idea" that all princesses are white. Obviously I don't remember if I did think that as a kid, but why wouldn't I if that was all I saw? This article really points out the fact that media rules everyone and everything, need help on a project? Tweet about it. If anyone ever needs help or to speak their opinion the use twitter. Need to sell a car? post it on craigslist. Want to show of your great body? post a pic for all to see, why not show everyone in your friends list how easy you have to go to your home gym and workout on your own? Magazines, TV commercials and almost everything else projected online is about the "ideal" everything from home recipes to outfits for fall to "body "goals" , why is that the pictures on google of said "body goals" is a picture of a VERY skinny girl wearing name brand clothes and half naked? Christensen really captures and points out the problems of media, and why people are racist or stereotypical and judgmental. IT'S BECAUSE OF MEDIA. If those cartoons and fairy tales weren't around would we think like we do now? Or if we were never taught about or around the idea that colored people are not equal to white what would we think? Who knows and as far as we know we won't ever find that answer, but Christensen does a really great job of highlighting and pointing out the problems of media and where all the societal norms and expectations came from. How do people expect their children and themselves to change if they have been brainwashed since they were a kid? No one expects to realize that all along they were being taught about racism and about how being pretty, skinny and rich is "ideal", it all goes back to media and that is the huge problem now a days.

Points to share/Questions?
Not only does media control people but it makes them give in to society's pressure to be someone else, it also makes your question everything you've ever watched including Disney related things. DISNEY!!!! It makes me cringe that something so popular and amazing and magical could really be so terrible and nasty. I really can't explain how much this article really brought up and stressed about media. Although I am guilty of having every social media app, posting pictures, retweeting on twitter and sharing on Facebook, lately I've been asking myself "Why am I spending so much time on these useless websites about my life, will it matter in 10 years? 15?" the answer is no. The answer is no because it doesn't matter what my dinner looks like or what beach I went to on vacation so why am I posting about it? Either way I still use it and in the future would like to limit my time spent on social media and worry less about what I "should look like" what I "should be eating" and what I should do in my free time. I think Christensen probably opened the eyes of many others and its really a great read.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Aria, a Reflection

Aria By: Richard Rodriguez


After reading this article over once it took me awhile to really understand it and put myself in his shoes, to try and understand what it must have been like to try and fit in with the American society. It saddened me to know that as a child, he felt as if he didn't fit in, and even though he was born in America and since that day, he has been an American citizen, he didn't feel like one. I have no idea what it would be like to go to school and learn a language I have never heard, and then go back home to speak a different language and practice other things at home than school. I have always "fit-in" at school, home and in "American Society" so reading this made me realize that this is some peoples reality and it must be really tough. I went to school and was surrounded by children and teachers who only spoke English to me and I only spoke English up until 7th grade when I began my Spanish classes. I think that children who are bilingual and are able to communicate in both languages clearly are very intelligent and have great skills, I wish I was fluent in Spanish or in another language, because most of the time, the barrier between many is language, the language barrier. Being bilingual gives the chance to communicate with more people and learn more, to experience more as well. Richard Rodriguez wrote this article very well and with his personal feelings and that is why I thought it was so interesting, he explained how the atmosphere was at home before and after his siblings and him learned English and how he felt. The fact that he talked less to his parents because of it is what touched me, that they became so fluent and caught up with English and in American Society that his parents were so far behind. In the article at the end he says "For I was increasingly confident of my own public identity"(pg. 38) this really shows that after everything he has been through to fit in, he finally did it and was happy with himself, I was happy to read that he was finally comfortable with himself and how we was moving through life in public and in private. This article relates to Delpit's "Culture of Power" by showing that since Richards family lived in an American and English environment, they had to change their ways in order to succeed and learn more, which mean they had to learn English. English being the power holder and Richard and his family had to give in to the new culture they were living in.

Points to Share:
I hope to continue to take Spanish in the future because it saddens me to know that some students cannot even learn because they don't understand the language. Recently, when I went to the school to volunteer I noticed some kids had to tell their friends in the class and translate what I was saying and tried to help them. I hope that eventually all the kids struggling to learn a new language get the help they need because it isn't right that the education they need is harder because of their language barrier and that is what should be focused on, to help those kids in need that don't understand what is going on in school but are still forced to get their work done and have it be correct, it doesn't seem fair.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

White Privilege

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
Peggy McIntosh


"As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage"

I believe this line is very important because it is true that, not only are people taught about people of color being at a disadvantage and being know as the "minorities" but people aren't taught about "white people" moving up in the world easier and faster than people of color. Of course everyone knows it, observes it and goes through it or experiences it everyday but it isn't taught. White children are not taught that they are going to have life a little easier and that they have an advantage due to their skin color. The only thing children and even adults are taught is that people of color are "lesser" than white people and do not get as many opportunities as they should. I think as I continued to read this article that it really hit me how much advantage white people do get over colored people and it isn't right, yet it is sad I'm only starting to see the bigger picture now.

"Whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative and average, and also ideal, so that when we work to benefit others, this is seen as work that will allow 'them' to be more like 'us' "

Everyone now a days has set ideas of what an average family is like, the "American Dream" a dad who works 5 days a week in an office somewhere, a mother who stays home to take care of the children, cook, do laundry and other household chores and two to three children who attend a public school and most likely participate in activities with other children in their hometown. Especially a little bit far back in time that was very highly looked upon, as the "American Dream" of a white family, which is still highly acknowledged (like in Scwaamp). People expect colored people to look up to white Americans completing the American dream and being successful without even realizing that everyone is successful in their way, no matter what job they have. But somehow, like symbolized in this quote, it is "hoped" that by white Americans working hard everyday that one day "they" will be more like "us" in a sense where they achieve the American dream as well, but most already have (unnoticeable) or chose not to.

"4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.
5. I can shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
26. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children's magazines featuring people of my race.
41. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will now work against me.
46. I can chose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" color and have them more or less match my skin.
50. I will feel welcomes and 'normal' in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social."

These numbered bullets are just a few of the important points shown about "white privilege" and the advantage of it. These also go along with the game we played Scwaamp, about whiteness and property, mostly about respect out in the real world towards white people. The fact that some people of race may not get the correct legal or medical attention because of their race is horrible, or even going out shopping or anywhere in public with the fear of being harassed or talked down to and just disrespected is something that no one should have to go through. White privilege is a largely talked about topic in the present day but should not even exist, everyone should have equal privilege but sadly thats not the case.


Questions/Points to share:
Due to the fact that I grew up in an almost all white town, and all white public schools I have never really come to the idea that I was "privileged". Obviously I know that I am white therefore I am not a minority and will not be treated with disrespect but I never looked into it this much and understood how bad it can be in society for people of color. I am a firm believer in equal rights for people of any color but sadly my opinion and views won't change the worlds or countries. Reading all 50 of the points Peggy made about what its like to be privileged opened up my eyes to be thankful I don't have to live with fear of any of those things but also makes me feel not so good about it. Its terrible how almost every line I read some people face everyday. It would be amazing if people understood skin color means nothing but its not the case in the present day, hopefully it will happen but until then all we can do is try and promote the idea of all people, of different color, race, ethnicity and religion to be equal and treated equal.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

U.S.A. Land of Limitations?
By: Nicholas Kristof
August 8, 2015


In the article there is a discussion about how there may be many chances to be successful in the U.S. but there are limitations. Kristof does an excellent job of explaining his opinion in the most respectful way while also making good points about how being raised in certain environments can impact one’s future.

Such limitations for being successful and rising from where one started that are mentioned  include, following their family's history of living in poverty, not getting the right education or encouragement from peers, teachers or parents or not having any want, or will to change and be more successful than anyone else. Kristof brought up an example point of how his friend who  basically grew up by himself, may not have had the same chances as other kids his age. I think that by mentioning his friend’s life story and how he grew up really made me realize how much more appreciative some people, including me should be. Kristof mentions in the article “parents’ incomes correlate to their adult children’s incomes roughly as heights do.” and what he means is that most children take after their parents in physical structure and career success as well as economic success. Kristof also mentioned that children’s education is what should be debated about in politics, “That’s what the presidential candidates should be debating” and he makes a good point that success in all communities should be a number one priority, that all schools, parents, peers and counselors should focus on showing children what is possible for them and they can do it.

Questions/Comments to Share:
I think what his article really can relate to is money and education. Also, adding to the idea that some people need to be more appreciative is that many people out in the world only do care about money, and although money is needed it is about being happy with where you are in life and knowing you have accomplished what you wanted and strived for. I completely agree with everything he mentioned about environments and family history playing a part in the future, but I also believe that if someone wants to branch out and work hard to accomplish their dreams that they can do it.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

This is Cody who I have been dating for almost two years, he goes to Johnson & Wales University for criminal justice and he also wrestles competitively for the school as well. He deals with my attitude, pays for panera bread, drives me around and lets me win when we go bowling and mini golfing.

These are my two best friends, little Megan is on the left and I've been best friends with her since the 6th grade. Sadly, Megan goes to Northern Michigan University so we will be apart during our college experiences. In the middle is Caitlin, I have been going to school with her since kindergarten but junior year is when us three become our trio. She goes away to school at Christopher Newport University in West Virginia so once again we all apart and only see each other on break and during summer. Our summers consist of going to the beach everyday, getting ice cream, bonfires, water parks and sitting by the pool.

This picture was taken in Riviera Maya, México this past July which I went to for a week with my family. My siblings, Danielle is 21 and attends MCPHS to be a Physicians Assistant, she also lives at home with me and commutes to Boston everyday. Kenny is 9 and is in the 4th grade, a spoiled little kid who is the baby and slips by my parents with all his sneaky plans. Very thankful for both of them, home wouldn't be home without them in the next rooms over.

My wonderful parents who will be celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. Wouldn't be where I am today without them. My dad owns his own company KR Carpentry LLC, he is a finish carpenter and my mother is his accountant as well as a stay at home mom.

These are my best friends whom I played lacrosse with all through high school and middle school with. This was our first day of "tryouts" our senior year, some went on to play in college, others like me, chose to just stick with school. I played lacrosse and field hockey in high school, I was captain of the field hockey team and still technically have the chance to play lacrosse for RIC but I am choosing to continue to work and go to school full time, no sports.