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Rhode Island ~ RIC ~ Life is goooood :-)

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.