Tuesday, April 19, 2016

White Privilege- Macklemore

A song that ties in everything about what we have learned.  Very explicit, so do not listen at work or around children.  

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Empowering Education

Empowering Education
Ira Shor


Ira Shor makes a thoughtful and difficult statement in the opening of her reading.  She discusses the fact that all teachers should be engaging in talk about socialization.  Every primary teacher along with other teachers should be asking their students, " Why do we come to school? Why does the government force students to come  to school?"  If asking these thought provoking questions, it would set a tone of intelligence and questioning throughout the rest of the year.  As Shor writes:
"People are naturally curious.  They are born learners.  Education can either develop or stifle their inclination to ask why and to learn.  A curriculum that avoids questioning school and society is not, as is commonly supposed, politically neutral.  It cuts off the students' development as critical thinks about their world.  If the students' task is to memorize rules and existing knowledge, without questioning the subject matter or the learning process, their potential for critical thought and action will be restricted."
Ira Shor makes a clear point that students should be challenged.  Students should not be able to just breeze their way through school just by simply memorizing or following 'the rules and codes of power' [Delpit].  Students should be challenged by critical thinking of thinking outside the box on the subject matter and questioning what the teacher is asking; the students would have a more successful knowledgeable mind.  Empowering students are students of the future.  They are the students that think for themselves not just what the teacher tells them.  Shor powerfully states, "Empowering students make meaning and act from reflection..."

An argument that has been set on the table is that students who do not agree with the curriculum act out.  Shor points out:
"... The students who decide to what extent they will take part in the syllabus and allow it to form them.  many students d not like the knowledge, process, or roles set out for them in class.  In reaction, they drop out or withdraw into passivity or silence in the classroom.  Some become self-educated; some sabotage the curriculum by misbehaving."
 Most teachers up to the high school level are confined by the governments common core on what needs to be taught by a certain ending period.  Many teachers border around the curriculum by using creativity and some critical thinking to deviate the common core amongst a school year.  They do so by "themes, texts, tests, seating arrangements, rules for speaking, grading systems, learning process..."  Through these choices, the classroom is defined as "critical or uncritical, democratic or authoritarian."  But, as the level of education increases, such as college level, the professors make the students think.  They use massive amounts of critical thinking to make the student understand why the curriculum is the way it is.  The professors let the students ponder on different subject matters that means something to them. 

Teachers that make an impact on students are the ones that use critical thinking in the classroom.  In high school, I hated critical thinking- I was all work, work, work and what was being told to me was it.  But, once I entered college, I wanted to know why what I was learning happened.  I used more of my resources to look up certain topics then I did in High school. 

Participation.  Participation enables the students to ask questions.  Participates enables openness in the class where students create the learning process by bouncing idea off of one another.  Dewey relates participation to him by saying:
"... participation was an educational and political means for students to gain knowledge and to develop as citizens.  Only by active learning could students develop scientific method and democratic habits rather than becoming passive pupils waiting to be told what things mean and what to do."
Especially in 2016, where there is an abundance of information everything, students should be able to research anything that becomes interesting to them.  Students are the minds of the future; they are the ones that will pass down knowledge of next generations.  Dewey believes that students should be able to openly participate in class to enable the learning process is all students.  When there is openness, there are also minds working together as one.   When there is no participation, or open learning, there is a depress in performance levels.  Shor looks deeply into low performance classrooms and openly states:
"In classrooms where participation is meager, the low performance of students is routinely misjudged as low achievement.  But the actual cognitive levels of students are hard to measure in teacher-centered classrooms where students participate minimally.  An accurate picture of what students know and an do is possible only when students really want to perform at their best. "
When there is no process of learning, the teachers will be measuring the low ability of students and reacting to the negative emotions of students.   To articulate on the matter of participation, teachers should involve debates to let the students speak their minds and let the students argue about a point that is important to them.  Also, when there is positive thought and feeling in the classroom, the students are able to feel safe and have a developmental increase amongst teachers and other peers in the classroom. 

Teachers Roles.  Teaches play a crucial role in students participation alongside students development.  When the teacher is fully engaged into his or her work, the students tend to feel positive and accepted towards the teacher.  When the teacher is able to accommodate the students cognitive thinking into his or her lesson place, the student doesn't feel hopeless or unimportant.  If in English class, the student has a hard time comprehending a subject or a topic, the teacher should be able to react in a positive manner and help the student fully understand the topic or subject.  Teachers that don't correspond to a students difficulty positively have a harder time understand the student.  The student then feels as if he or she is just a burden on the teacher, and just sits there and waits for the class to be over or simply just doesn't show up. 

This reading relates to Delpit because both the student and teacher need to follow 'the rules and codes of power.'  The teacher needs to follow 'the rules and codes of power' of the common core and of the curriculum that the government and/or upper level hands her.  And the students need to follow 'the rules and codes of power' of the classroom such as participating, working quietly, and following the rules of an everyday classroom to let the class run smoothly.  This reading also relates to August, slightly.  August talks about safe spaces, and enough though this reading isn't about LGBT; students need to feel safe in a classroom in order to learn effectively and gain a positive aspect of learning.

Points to Share:
This reading was very effect in the way that is truly goes over what is it to run a classroom and how to effectively get every students mind on the subject at hand.  It was definitely a great reading to end the semester!  (Even though is was so long).

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome

Citizenship in Schools:  
Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome
Christopher Kliewer


This reading was extremely interesting, because it displayed interest into what I like to learn about.  I want to be a Special Education teacher so it is nice to read things that have to do with what I want to do. Kliewer did a great job with this piece, even though the first few pages were boring and didn't show any interest.  But, once it started to talk about real cases of Down Syndrome or cases of disabilities.  Jason Kingsley states:
"Now we know that people with disabilities can learn and have a full, rick life.  the challenge is to erase negative attitudes about people with developmental disabilities, get rid of the stereotypes and break the barriers for people with disabilities."
Kingsley made a strong point about the fact that people who are dealing with mental disabilities are not different from you and I.  It is the fact that people view people with mental disabilities negatively.  Judith Snow replies by saying:
"How absurd to be judged by others at all, especially by those who have never experienced a disability or who are unwillingly providing us with support or who don't listen to the voice we have."
Two strong voices that describe the reality of today.  People who don't have disabilities are the ones who are criticizing the one who do.  Having a disability doesn't make a person a "bad" person or a "weird" person, they are people with a challenge that they have to face everyday.  The only reason why people look at people with disabilities differently is because of stereotypes.  What if people didn't stereotype everything?  Would it be different?  YES, it would.

I loved how Kliewer used specific cases from the field.  I loved how he mentioned that Shoshone School and the cases within it.  The story of Isaac really touched my heart.  Shayne Robbin worked amazingly with teachers and parents to help intertwine these students imperfections into the classroom and to make the classroom as one no matter what the disability was.  Then came the reality of Anne, a graduate who couldn't receive the job that she wanted because she had Down Syndrome.  In high school, she was already denied her opportunities of the classes she wanted.  Shayne Robbin gave this girl the opportunity to work in a family-run business. The transition committee that Shayne proposed the idea to them and then Shayne told the irony of what they said:
"They didn't think it was realistic, that she could handle that job.  Here they have her educating America's future, but they're scared to let her work at a movie place."
Who know that people were scared to have a person with Down Syndrome work in a real work place.  It shocks me to no end.

 Shayne Robbins talks to Colleen Madison who notices a boy named Lee.  A second grader who has distinct facial characteristics, awkward body movements, and his inability to speak more than a few understandable words.  But, this boy has a cognitive level of a 2-year-old which is translated into severe mental disability.  Colleen Madison touches my heart when she says this:
"I suppose you could argue that and it's hard to argue that you might be wrong.  Lee is, in a sense, in a way he's branded.  People see him.  They see Down syndrome.  They see mental challenge, retardation, whatever you want to call it.  That's what they see, but they wouldn't be seeing him.  Do you know what I mean?  Because lee is Lee, and anybody who knows Lee knows, and this includes all the kids, they know he's gifted- in how he solves problems cares about other, reads, loves math.  So I guess what I'm arguing is that if you did pick Lee out, you wouldn't be seeing Lee.  It's you, and it has nothing to do with Lee.  But if that's how you choose to see him, I don't know that anything I could do, we could do, I don't think think there's anything Lee could do to change your mind." 
Many people look at children who have a physical disability and think to themselves, "that child is retarded."  [Even though the R is restricted now]  People correlate physical attributes to mentality.  When people think of Down Syndrome see it as a diversity from being normal.
"Community banishment of students with Down syndrome stems from their lack of behavioral and communicative conformity to school standards that form the parameters of intellectual normality.  In essence, a gap exists between the performance of students with Down syndrome and the performance expectations that define a useful individual." 
There is a societal difference between Down syndrome and a highly functional individual.  And society clearly establishes the difference between the two by individualizing children with down syndrome into a special education room in schools.  Children with down syndrome are unlikely to be in a classroom with other individuals at a high functional cognitive level.

This reading relates to August.  Even though this reading does not go along the lines of LGBT, August talks about safe spaces in schools.  Children with Down syndrome need to feel safe in schools especially because there are a bunch of people who are stereotypical.  These students are not erased or invisible in a group of highly functioning individuals.  Children with all disabilities should feel safe in school.  All school systems should establish a safe and comforting environment for all students who are struggling with social skills, mental skills, or physical skills.  Schools should always be a place for students to want to come, it should never be a place of resistance, or a place where they don't want to be.

Points to Share:  
Think of the difference that could be made if children with Down Syndrome weren't thought down on, and were thought for themselves- Smart.  If people could look past the physical factors and look at their intellect; the way that people see others, or even interact with others would be completely different.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sex Positivity, Feminism and Health Implications

Sex Positivity, Feminism and Health Implications 
Deirdre O'Donnell

I attended the lecture about Sex Positivity, Feminism and Health Implications by Deirdre O'Donnell on March 24, 2016.  The lecture took place in Donovan Dining Center at 12:30 to 1:50.  The main issues that were talked about during this lecture were:  Libertarianism vs. interventionist politics, intersection, feminism and the economic and political equality of the sexes.  

I was worried going into this lecture because for me personally I don't like talking about this kind of topic, but it was actually interesting and I was involved in what O'Donnell was saying.  If it wasn't for this class I wouldn't have even attended this lecture.  I didn't know what to expect when I walked into this lecture but I had Nicole, Grace, Amy, Kate and Jordyn that came along with me.  I defiantly felt awkward, but I also laughed and enjoyed what she had to say even though half the topics were things I didn't think she was going to talk about.

Some of the topics that were discussed were:  
-   Women's rights
-   The U.S has the most expensive health care in the world with the worst outcomes.
-   Pro-Life= Anti-Abortion
-   Sigmund Freud was the first person to talk about sexual repression 
-   Pro-Choice= Women's Choice
-   Woman make $0.75 to the male $1.00 and it is even less if the woman is not white.
-   The word "sex" is not easily define, it could mean multiple things such as intercourse, gender, oral, anal, and vaginal sex

Some topics that stuck out to me were:  less an 1% of rapists see time in jail; condoms, tampons/feminine products are not tested by the Food and Drug Administration because they are legally considered "cosmetic" products.  Tampons and feminine products have bleach and sugars that shouldn't be allowed in our bodies.  One big thing that stood out to me was that abortion is not legal is every state, but in some states they are requiring an ultrasound for the mother to go to before officially deciding to terminate the fetus.  

Deirdre did a great job with this lecture and I definitely enjoyed it because I learned so much!  As Nicole states in her blog, "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 inclusitivity, (LGBTGAP+) and issues of women's health like porn, rape/assault, consent, sex work/sex trafficking, sex toys, safe sex, menstruation, masturbation, anatomy and many others." 

This lecture relates very well with SCWAAMP by Grinner, August, and Delpit.  It relates to to SCWAAMP because of the "ideal norms" that everybody believes is right for women.  And for the money issues, white women make more than women of color whereas all men make more money than women (WHITENESS & MALENESS).  This lecture also relates to August because it talked about LGBTQ and what it means and how sometimes it can effect women.  O'Donnell discussed with us what "sex" was and what its meaning was.  O'Donnell told us that every person thinks of "sex" as something different, there is no one answer for that word.  Some people think of it as gender, while others think of it as an act of intercourse where some people thought of intercourse as an act between a male and woman.  But okay now think, what if there was a woman and woman, or a male and a male that perform "sex"- that is not exchanged between a male and woman.  "Sex" is performed many different ways, and each way is okay.  This lecture also related to Delpit which talks about the "rules and codes of power" and how it relates to women.  Delpit formally relates to this lecture because society see's women as a respectful woman who obeys.  But, men take advantage of women by using them as sex objects or that man don't respect women.  

This lecture was something that I would prefer to many people, especially women activists.  But, I would also recommend this lecture, if given again, to any lady because it is very descriptive and helpful of things that relate to women; things that many women probably don't know.  It was defiantly an experience! A knowledgeable experience!  

O'Donnell's presentation.

                                                                        What society thinks about women's clothing. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Literacy with an Attitude

Literacy with an Attitude
Patrick Finn

Reflection/ Quotes

This was probably one of the best readings we have done in this class.  Patrick Finn is such a great writer, and he goes so in depth in his work.  Patrick Finn writes about how children receive different education based on the social class that they are in or raised in.  Finn starts off in the Preface by saying..
"When rich children get empowering education nothing changes.  But when working-class children get empowering education you get literacy with an attitude." 
There are two types education:  empowering and domesticating education.  Empowering education "leads to powerful literacy, the kind of literacy that leads to positions of power and authority."  Domesticating education "leads to functional literacy, literacy that makes a person productive and dependable, but not troublesome."  Finn than goes on by describing the four different types of education and what each student is getting for education.  The four types of education are:  The working- class, the middle-class, the affluent professional, and the executive elite.  Each area learns and get taught a completely different way.  I feel as if each child in each type of school should be taught the same way and when they leave school, every child should have the same amount of knowledge as the other.

In the working- class, which are the "low ability students,"  they don't learn much.  The teachers barely want to be there and neither does the student.  Finn says, "In the working-class schools, knowledge was presented as fragmented fats isolated from wider bodies of meaning and from the lives and experience of the students."  Teachers are told by the principal,
 "Just do your best.  If they learn to add and subtract, that's a bonus.  If not, don't worry about it."  A teacher stated that the children where getting dumber every year.   
I believe that the working-class schools need extremely more work!  They need a better professional staff and a better school system in the first place.  These students are the ones that need it the most unlike the other students that get everything handed to them.  

In the middle-class schools there is kind of a better school system in place, but it could also need improvement.  Many students in the United States attend a middle-class school, but many town are pronounced as middle-class. Knowledge in these schools are
"'more conceptual' than in the working-class school.  It was less a matter of isolated facts and more a matter of gaining information and understanding from socially approved sources."
I went to a middle-class school, and it was what I see as normal.  Than I went to a poverty school, a working-class school, where you can see all of the difference.  My old school and this school where I do my Service Learning at is completely different and in one way I feel privileged because I was able to go to a school like that.  Yes, sometimes I wish I went to a different school, a better one with more money and high-tech technology; but I am glad that I went to the school that I did.

In affluent professional schools students set their goals to creativity and personal development.  Saint Johns is in Massachusetts, and I feel like that is what you call an affluent professional school.
"Teachers wanted students to think for themselves and to make sense of their own experience.  Discovery and experience were important."
I feel like many schools should have a mind-set like this, but in most cases this is not the matter.  Many schools revolve around the curriculum or what is placed in a textbook.  Many teachers don't let the students think outside the box and conceptualize the big picture in most cases.  Students at an affluent professional school would  ask "How should I do this?" and the teachers would answer with  "You decide" or "What makes sense to you?"  I feel like this is a better way for students to learn.  To really use what they know and apply it to everyday problems or use critical thinking to develop their answers.

The last kind of schooling was an executive elite school.  He writes:
"Knowledge in the executive elite school was academic, intellectual, and rigorous.  More was taught and more difficult concepts were taught.  Reasoning and problem solving were important.  The rationality and logic of mathematics were help up as the model for correct and ethical thinking." 
This kind of schooling I feel like is for the geniuses.  This schooling is ridiculous.  I would never want my kids to go here.  I like the mix between middle-class schools and affluent professional schools.  I feel as if a student could use what is being taught at a middle-class school and apply it with terms of an affluent professional school.  If they were combine both of the schools, that would be an ideal school for many students.  

Finn relates to Delpit's reading because it relates to Delpit's "Culture of Power."  A rich child is not going to go to a working-class school, and a poor child is not going to go to an elite school.  If a child was born and raised in a low poverty area, they are most likely going to go to a working-class school because their parents are not going to be able to afford a rich school.  AND a rich child will not go to a low poverty school because their parents will be able to afford a high end school.

Points to share:
What can we do to change this?  To change the fact that their are people "over" other people.  I feel like it will not change, ever.  There will always be the rich and always be the poor.  But is there a way to integrate the two types of people into one place?  It shouldn't be based on money.  And especially the teachers that teach at the lower schools, why do the teachers have to be "sucky"?  Why can't they be great teachers to help the students that are under privileged?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Problem We Live In: Parts 1 &2

The Problems We Live In:
Parts one and two

Connections/ Reflection 

Even though this reading was extremely long, it was a well- worthy read.  It touched upon parts that we have been discussing this whole semester.  The radio station relates to SCWAAMP.  White people have full advantage of school systems and of having a higher education.  Just by being black or Latino meant that you would have a lower education.
"... that black and Latino kids in segregated schools have the least qualified teachers, the least experienced teachers.  They also get the worst course offerings, the least access to AP and upper level courses, the worst facilities.  The other thing about most segregated black schools, Nikole says, is that they have high concentrations of children who grew up in poverty.  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." 
Going along with SCWAAMP means being educated.  IF you are white, you are higher educated, but if you are black you are not well educated.  "Normandy School District:  Points for academic achievement in English, zero; math, zero; social studies, zero; science, zero, points for college placement, zero."  By being at lower poverty school, students are not accepting the need that they need to have a good education.  Just by being a person of color and living in this neighborhood, you don't have the opportunities to have a better life and you the higher up won't give you the opportunity that some of these students need.

This reading also goes along with Kristof's point of individual vs. institutions. Because of such bad school systems in the Normandy area, teachers did not care able the students.  All they cared about was the pay check that they'd get at the end of the week.  Teachers are supposed to be a second mother, someone who is going to be there when nobody else isn't.  "Mah'Ria usually brought home A's.  But when she got a C, Nedra asked the teacher why she had not been notified.  The teacher told her that she had too many kids in her class in call their parents."  The school and staff, the instituation, did not care about the students.  They didn't care that the students came from bad home lives, and the students aren't learning what they should be learning.
Personally, I feel like this is sad.  Especially because I want to be a teacher when I grow up.  I feel like the students that aren't getting what they should be getting for services should be able to.  They should be the first priority; they should be the students that the government should be focusing on, or even the district.  These students sometimes don't even graduate school, but when they do, it is a huge accomplishment. 
 Going along with all of our readings pretty much is that white people believe that they are higher then people of color.  White people are bias towards the people of color.
"... I want to k now where the metal detectors are going to be.  And I want to know where your drug-sniffing dogs are going to be... I deserve to not have to worry about my children getting stabbed, or taking a drug, or getting robbed because that's the issue." 
Why do white people have to be so critical.  Where I went to school, it was an all white school of middle-upper class students.  When I came to RIC, it was a completely different ball game!  My first class there was 15 people of color and 6 white people.  For me, I was stunned. But, now I understand it all; it doesn't worry me anymore.  Because I knew that going to this school it would be like that.  Some of my really good friends that I met at orientation and during my two semester here are people of color, and they are the nicest and kindest people I know.

It was said that people of color who go to a low poverty school and don't have the money to get out of the district will live and go to the low poverty school

During a court ruling, Hartford teachers "bad talked" their own district. "They described what it was like to teach a classroom of kids who came to school without coats in the winter.  They complained about instructional time lost because nearly every child in the class suffered severe emotional issues, or dental issues, or hadn't eaten.  They said their classrooms were overwhelmed by poverty."
The teachers notice the disadvantage these students have in this poor district.  It saddens me to even know that their are schools like this.  Schools are suppose to be safe and somewhere were everybody is welcomed.  

Herbert states, "... humiliating dancing around the perennially uncomfortable issue of race.  We pretend that no one's a racist anymore, but it's easier to talk about pornography in polite company than racial integration..."

Points to share/Questions:
Do you think that when we are teachers, there will still be issues in school about being a person of color?  Or being an middle class privileged child?  Do you think schools will improve before we are become teachers?  Or do you think they will get worse?


Monday, March 14, 2016

In the Service of What?

In the Service of What?
The Politics of Service Learning
By:  Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer

Extended Comments

For this week,  I have decide to do an extended comment blog on Kelsey Woods Blog.  I feel like she did a great job by pointing out two big impacted quotes.  I completely agree with Kelsey that it relates to Kristof's article and when Kristof talks about Rick Goff.
"... Educators and legislators alike maintain that service learning can improve the community and invigorate the classroom, providing educational experiences for students at all levels of schooling." 
 Students participating in a Service Learning Project can benefit from this experience tremendously.  Students that participate in this opportunity can benefit from it because these students are opening their eyes to different aspects that that probably never have.  Such as, "Mr. Johnson's class was able to pick where they wanted to do their service learning and be able to explore the different lifestyles than they are accustomed to" (Kelsey).  I can relate to this because especially during this class, FNED, I was able to experience teaching in a lower poverty school, which I never thought I would.
"... Promote students' self-esteem,...develop higher-order thinking skills, ... make use of multiple abilities, and ... provide authentic learning experiences."
I agree 100% with with this quote.  I feel like Service Learning Projects should be done in high schools, and also in colleges. I feel like these Service Learning Projects are a great opportunity for students to experience different areas that they have never done before.  For me especially, even though I have already worked in a school system and have put myself in front of other peers and have taught.  I still feel like the Service Learning Project that I am doing, I am opening my eyes to a new opportunity on how to teach different students that have a different life style than me.  A Service Learning Project should help students gain confidence and make sure that the student knows exactly what they want to do. 

When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to student teach for 2 hours every day.  During that experience, I knew that I wanted to be a Special Education Teacher, ABA, BCBA in an elementary school.  If I had never been able to do that experience, I would still be a freshman in school, not knowing what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  

Points to Share:
There should be a way for students in high schools and colleges to be able to experience this opportunity.  It is a great way for students to get engaged with their community.  Even though it may be a pain to add another task to your to-do list, it is an amazing opportunity to help open your eyes and to help a student understand what they want to do in the future. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces
Gerri August

Gerri August expresses his feelings about Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgender (LBGT) people and how they need to be accepted in school environments and also in the every day world.  August believes that people should be able to express themselves however they feel especially in schools. August states that school environments should be a safe place for students.  But, "the reality, of course, is much more complicated.  The walls are permeable:  students (and teachers) bring their personal experiences into the classroom and carry their classroom experiences with them when they leave" (83). 

Female transgender student suspended for using women’s bathroom 

"Central Piedmont Community College officials say they suspended Andraya Williams, 22, for not handing security officers her student identification and said she couldn't come back unless she used a gender-neutral bathroom." 

Andraya Williams was stopped by campus police when asked for her identification card.  The officer asked Andraya, while laughing, if she was a woman or man.   The officer called six backup officers to check the identification card.  Andraya claimed that she felt discriminated.  The next day she met with Mark Helms, the college Dean of Student Life who told her that she was suspended for not handing over the identification card to the officers when asked.  Williams tells WBTV-TV, "I'm not comfortable on that campus.  I don't feel like I'm safe from staff because nothing has been done about the situation." 
August claims in his article that all LGBT people should be accepted in and on school grounds.  It was clearly wrong that Williams was discriminated for being who she believes she is.  Nobody should be confronted by officials for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.  

 August points out the risks of making fun of or discriminating a person who is gay, lesbian, transgender, or bisexual.  August puts in his Introduction: "Aiyisha Hassan, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Raymond Chase, and Tyler Clementi are just a few of the LGBT youth who committed suicide in 2010... Youth who struggle with lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender identities, or who are bullied for the mere perception of being different, often feel as if they have nowhere to turn.  Death should never be an option."  Being LGBT should never have to commit suicide.

Risk Factors

(A website for helping students in classrooms and in school areas overcome the aspect of Bullying for LGBT students.)

Points to Share:
How can we help students overcome bullying?  This area is very close to my heart being three of my friends are LGBT, and it saddens me the things I hear people say to them/about them.  At first I didn't know who to react because I didn't want to be made fun of either.  But, after one year of gaining my confidence, I stuck up for them because they were to afraid to do it themselves.  

This reading relates to SCWAAMP and mostly all of the reading because of the power of culture and and the acceptance of societal normalities. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Unlearning The Myths that Bind Us- Christensen

Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us
Linda Christensen

Growing up as a kid I watched Disney movies everyday.  Growing up, your parents don't tell you that this movie is about racism and this movie is about sexism- obviously you watch the movie for entertainment.  Being 5, 6, 7 years old, all you want to do be like Cinderella or be like Barbie, but that never happens.  Children shoot for the stars to be like Disney princesses; they buy dresses to look like them and there are tiara's and heels that come in a package that the little girls buy.

But, have you ever noticed there has never been a Black princess before?  Has there ever been a person with cancer? No.  The Disney producers didn't make a Black princess until 2009  (The Princess and the Frog).  The first Princesses were all white, then came an Indian princess, Native American Princess, and then an Asian Princess.  Once people started to make a big deal out of the race of the princesses, the producers of Disney needed to come up with new princesses.

Looney Tones- one of my favorite shows when I was a child.
 But after reading what Christensen piece said:
"Indians in 'Looney Tunes' are also depicted as inferior human beings.  These characters are stereotypical to the greatest degree, carrying tomahawks, painting their faces, and sending smoke signals as their only means of communication." 
People don't realize what the directors mean behind their characters.  Why did they make it this way?  All of the characters in pretty much every cartoon/ Disney movie is stereotyped.  All of the princesses are gorgeous and have a happy ending, the men in the Disney movies have huge muscles, the Spanish people are servants.  After realizing the stereotyped cartoons and movies I am disappointed of my childhood.  I grew up thinking that there was nothing wrong with non white princesses. [SCWAAMP- Whiteness & American-ness]

Points to Share in Class:
Did Disney producers do this on purpose or was it simply because of the way they portrayed all aspects of SCWAAMP?  Do you think there will ever be a princess with cancer?  Why are all the movies or cartoons stereotypical?

Friday, February 12, 2016


By: Richard Rodriguez

February 16, 2016

Richard Rodriguez did a great job describing his life as a child.  He was definitely a man of difficulty living in a "white man's" world.  Rodriguez was a Hispanic boy who spoke Spanish as his first language.  He went to a Catholic School where he was required to learn English has his societal language.  He was at disadvantage being at this Catholic School because he was being taught in English where he didn't know a single English word. In today's world, ever cultural person who lives in the United States needs to be able to speak and understand English because even though that is not our country's primary language, white English speaking people take up a majority of the country.

Since the seventies, every school needs to teach a foreign language to help broaden the minds of the students.  Starting in Preschool, the teachers are required to intertwine Spanish into their curriculum because of the high population of Hispanics and Spanish speaking people.

For me, Every year since Preschool I was taught Spanish.  When I entered high school, Spanish wasn't a demand but every student needed to take it.  In my Spanish classrooms, it was strictly speaking Spanish- you were not allowed to speak any English.  It was hard for English speaking students to learn Spanish and get tested on it when there was not English being used.
^ Just like Richard who was Spanish speaking and needed to learn English.  It was hard for him to learn and understand English.  When the nuns went to Richard's home to speak to his parents, the parents went along with speaking English in their home.  But the result in the major life change was that Richard and his parents become distant towards each other.

This reading clearly relates to SCWAAMP.  It relates to American-ness, Whiteness, and Christianity- three aspects of Grinner's SCWAAMP.  American-ness because of the primary language of English; Whiteness because of the white nuns that are enforcing the rules and codes of power; Christianity because Richard went to a Catholic School.

Why did Richard go to a Catholic School, why couldn't he have gone to a public school?  Going to this English speaking Catholic School, Richard struggled tremendously due to the way that English was the primary language that all cultural students had to learn. If English is not spoken at home and there is no outside help, the Spanish speaking child that is trying to learn English will not have the full opportunity and support that they should have.

Questions/Comments/Points to share:
Even though English is not the primary language in the United States, everybody needs to learn how to speak, white, and understand English.  For English speaking people though, they need to learn Spanish because there has been a high population of Hispanic and Spanish speaking people in the United States over the past years.  But why?  If we were going to connect to SCWAAMP, why do white English people have to learn the minority language?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

White Privilege:  Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
By:  Peggy McIntosh

February 4, 2016

As Peggy McIntosh says, "I was taught to see racism only individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group."  Every child is taught about racism and what it means.  But, does a "white" parent teach their "white" child that we are a race also?  Many white people go unannounced as to where the racism is performed.  Many white people are the ones isolating black people or Spanish people out of areas where there is a high population of white people.  Why do we do this?

McIntosh talks about "white privilege" and the disturbance of it.  A lot of white people don't understand that white people have a say over black people or that white people have inevitable white power over other races.

"I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege... White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, code books, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks" (McIntosh). 

White people have privileges that are unacknowledged and in which white people do not know of.  If a white person was to speak at a conference in front of a minority of blacks; whatever the white person says will be more acknowledged than of what the black person announces.  White children are taught in school "that blacks are bad, Hispanics are dangerous." Well, the "white" teachers are who are enforcing this kind of behavior, and in result the white children will grow up thinking that "blacks are bad, Hispanics are dangerous."  

"If these things are true, this not such a free country; one's life is not what one makes it; many doors open for certain people through no virtues of their own" (McIntosh). 

White privilege is "valued" in the United States.  An everyday person can look around that see white people everywhere - earlier presidents, teachers, people of the government.  Many people believe that just because someone is black or of a different race it limits their opportunity in the world; yes, it is true in some cases- which is completely depressing.  Many children grow up in multicultural schools; and because of this the students who are of the minority feel like they are not as good as the "white privileged" children.  

"Many, perhaps most, of our white students in the United States think that racism doesn't affect them because they are not people of color, they do not see 'whiteness' as a racial identity" (McIntosh). 

White people are oblivious to their privileges that are unacknowledged. Such as: a white person can shop by themselves without feeling harassed, white people can find other people to help them through problems, white people have a better success rate in schools and in finding a job. Black people are likely to be questioned and/or have harder time in a "white man's" world.  

McIntosh and Grinner relate in many aspects of work.  Grinner talks about the "Whiteness" and how it is one symbol of the United States.  Some areas that go unannounced when it comes to whiteness are:  "nude" colored band aids, white wedding dresses, pure/good, the face of our leaders.  White privilege is throughout the whole country even if people do not recognize it.   In some ways whiteness seems more harsh than what most people would aspect.  

Questions/Comments/Points to share:
Can you think of ways whiteness is privileged in the United States or around this world?  Whiteness is sometimes taken for granted due to its beginning in the United States formed by the Founding Fathers.  Have you ever been part of a time where you felt like the "leader" because there were other races around you?  If children weren't taught in school to feel like white was better than every other race, the world would be completely different. Can you even imagine that?  

Thursday, January 28, 2016

U.S.A., Land of Limitations? - Nicholas Kristof

U.S.A., Land of Limitations?
Nicholas Kristof

January 28, 2016

Nicholas Kristof argues that in 2015 people have become "the socially rigid society our forebears fled, replicating the barriers and class gaps that drove them away."

Nicholas Kristof talks about the fact that people who live in a low income family will grow up in the same low income.  There are only a few cases in which people who come from a low income family will strive to be in a higher income.  People are only in an upper class because of the wealth that their family is currently in.  I believe that people are only "as good" as they strive to be.  If you were raised in a home of drugs and alcohol with no reinforcement, you might as well grow up to be like that.  There are only a few of people who go in the completely different direction and want to have a life of success and achievement.

Nicholas Kristof talks about an old friend, Rick Goff, who practically raised himself.  He was the very few people who grew up poorly, without finishing high school and used his work success to help other people.  People who are rich, are rich, they don't want to help other people in need they want to help themselves with making their societal rating go up.  The people who have less amounts of money find happiness in themselves and their family, they want to help the people in need.

Children in need are the ones in a home of no help, a child in poverty.  As Kristof states, "Now, that's what the presidential candidates should be discussing."  Children who are living in poverty are not experiencing the opportunities that they should be.  Our society is growing up in the ways that "our ancestors" lived in.  Today's people are highly determined by the way that our beginnings starts; without them, we'd be nowhere. 

Questions/Comments/Point To Share:
Even though this article was published last year, the concept is still there.  The fact that the stats are so high on low income families and poverty are crazy.  Why is it that our future is based on our past?  Why is it that children still do not have the opportunities that they should have?  Why are people so ego-driven that they can't focus on the real matter: the children in need.

My Life

My Life

Let me start off my saying I have three jobs.  I am an assistant manager at Market Basket in Oxford and I am so a Special Education substitute at Douglas Elementary School.  On my spare time I am so a babysitter for a child with autism.  The top left picture is considered a normal day at Oxford Market Basket- it is always hectic.  The right picture is a picture of my desk.  I love working with my 2 cases, working in this flex center has been a complete eye opener. 

This is my sister, Cassie.  Cassie and I are 7 years apart, but we are as close as we have ever been.  In May, Cassie and I are going to Mexico together by ourselves!  I cannot wait!

This is my boyfriend, Duane.  He and I have been best friends for 8 years.  He is the person that pushes me everyday to strive for the best and to not give up. I value this relationship with him with everything I have. Without him in my life, I would be a complete stress case and someone who has mental breakdowns every 2 minutes. 

Coming to Rhode Island College I knew absolutely no body.  These three girls have become my life long college best friends.  Don't people say "you meet your forever friends in college" - well let me tell you; I definitely have! These girls are everything to me.  We have been together through our first experience at college, to our first college test, and our first everything.  I value these friendships from the bottom of my heart. 

This is Lauren.  She has been my best friend for 7 years.  She has been a huge part of my life because she has been there with my family was going through difficulties, when I was going through depression, and when I had nowhere else to turn.  She is my best friend, and she always will be my best friend no matter what life brings us.