Sunday, February 22, 2015

Safe Spaces: Reflection Questions

I definitely connected this reading to SCWAAMP. The first bullet in SCWAAMP is Straightness. Personally I always grew up thinking a man and a women are the only people that get together. Not because I didn’t believe it was right, but because I was never exposed to anything else because of SCWAAMP. The only books that I read were heterosexual love stories. The typical family was only on TV. Now there are shows like The Fosters and Modern Family that are open about the LGBT community.
Image result for the fosters gay coupleImage result for modern family gay

For my blog post I decided to answer the first set of questions that were included in the piece. I thought these questions were very important for the reader to answer in their minds in order to connect to the piece rather than just reading it.
My old high school recently became very involved in LGBT equality because there were many bullying incidents. The administration had a no tolerance policy, but it wasn’t until recently that sexual orientation was put in bold. Now I have three openly gay friends and multiple gay family members. I am totally comfortable with those of the LGBT community.

What messages did you receive about the LGBT community when you were in school? Did you ever question these messages? Do you talk to the youth in your life about what they are learning in the LGBT community in your curriculum?
Growing up, people used to throw around derogatory terms that are directed at the gay community like they were nothing. This always made me very uncomfortable. I heard it constantly in the hallways. Whenever any of my friends said it I would correct them and pretty much flip out on them. But in school I never heard much about the LGBT community until middle school when one of my friends came out to me and my eyes really opened to how the world reacts. Once I went into high school a group of students started an equality group. This was unfortunately constantly made fun of by a prominent group in my school who were with lack of a better term complete and utter jerks. Children in my life are not educated much in school about the LGBT community. I know they are at home, so I do not need to step in but I believe that the children in my life are more accepting of it than the adults are and I think that's sad.

Image result for gay in schoolsWhat do you know about the gay civil rights movement (Stonewall, for example?)
I honestly do not know anything at all about the gay rights movement. I feel pretty awful about that and I’m going to definitely research it. I think that says a lot about the school system. The only movement that I learned about were the women’s rights movements (only in college) and the civil rights movement (since elementary school). I feel that this is an important topic to discuss in schools and I am surprised that it was not discussed with me before.
Image result for gay in schools

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Rodriguez: Aria Quotes

“I easily noted the difference between classroom language and the language of home” (34).
This quote reminded me of our class discussions on language. Not necessarily the actual language that is spoken, but the tone of voice (for example) and different ways home and school are diverse. While reading this quote I connected it to Delpit. Though this is not necessarily a matter of race, if there is a separation of something between home and school, the child is easily confused. It’s like Rodriguez mentions, it really is “two worlds” (34). There needs to be a connection for the sake of the student, but the sacrifices of the child really need to be taken into consideration.

“We remained a loving family, bur one greatly changed. No longer so close; no longer bound tight by the pleasing and troubling knowledge of our public separateness”(36).
This really shows the sacrifices that people make in order to assimilate in America. Yes, they get the privileges of being seen as English speaking American, but they lose their family bonds. They do not feel the same when they are at home. Their identity is gone. This honestly breaks my heart. I feel like Rodriguez felt very lost as a child and I could never picture going through something like this. If this ever happened to me I really don’t know what I would do.

“So they do not realize that while one suffers a diminished sense of private individuality by becoming assimilated into public society, such assimilation makes possible the achievement of public individuality” (39).
Rodriguez ends his piece with this powerful quote. What he is saying is though there are many sacrifices, it is worth it to be successful in America. I personally see a problem with this. I think private individuality is one of the most important things that you have in life. There is only one you. You don't get another one. You do not want to lose yourself and what you stand for for money. I totally understand where he is coming from with this, I do. Wow. Now that I am typing this I realize that I am probably only saying these things because I've never had to go through it, and I never will. I really don't know what I would do in the situation, because I an English speaking American--therefore I have privilege over someone who does not speak English. It is easy for me to say "don't lose yourself" when I don't have to make the choice.
This also connects to SCWAAMP. One of the As in SCWAAMP stands for American-ness. This is very prevalent in this piece. He and his family needed to assimilate in terms of language to be successful in America. 
I also found this video that really resonated with me and really shows the importance of bilingual education.

Point to bring up in class: I know many people have strong opinions such as “you come into our country, you learn our language!” What are your opinions on this matter? Do you believe that Rodriguez’s teachers did the right thing in going to the house and asking his parents to speak English at home? I think it is a hard thing. Yes, there needs to be a bind between home and school…but at what cost?
I would also like to make the point that there is NO official language of the United States. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

McIntosh: White Privilege Quotes

“I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege” (1). 
I agree with this quote 100%. This quote also reminds me of one of Delpit’s five aspects of power, which is those who are in power are least aware of its existence. Those of the white population and males are not aware of their privilege because it is their daily life. For example a student in our class said that he did not get a job because he had long hair. In this situation people who had short hair are privileged. His competitors were not aware that they were getting the job because they had short hair and he did not. He then inferred that the reason he was not receiving jobs was because he had long hair. Once he cut his hair, he acquired a job right away. Though this is not an example of race or gender, it qualifies under the recognition of privilege.

“19. If a traffic cop pulls me over, or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my race” (3).
This was pulled out of the list of things that white people have that people of color do not have. This particular item on the list reminded me of a video that I saw on the internet. White people do not have to worry when they are driving that a police officer is going to stop them and harass them, or really be anything but help to them. People of color do not have that luxury or privilege of driving down the street at night, or even during the day, without that fear. This video angered me, because growing up I did not notice how much of a racial divide we have in this country. I did not know that darker skinned people were targeted as much as they are. This article is very eye opening.

"Since racism, sexism, and heterosexism are not the same, the advantages associated with them should not be seen as the same" (5).
I agree with this quote as well. What McIntosh is saying here is since all of these issues are from totally different ends of the spectrum, they can not be resolved in the same way. It is going to take a long time to change the outlook in society and the privileges people receive. These problems need to be tackles separately, but with the same amount of force, because they are all equally important. Racism should not be changed in the same manor that heterosexism should be changed. There are so many factors that go into changing the way society functions. It reminds me of "can't we all just get along?" in the Johnson piece we read a couple of weeks ago. It really is not as simple as it sounds, there are so many different reasons why we unfortunately cannot (or will not) do that.

Point to bring up in class: It really bothers me when people say society is messed up. I agree, it totally is. But the thing is: WE ARE SOCIETY. People really need to use their voices so the ignorant people who believe that privilege is okay are overridden. It's easy to say "oh that's so wrong that should change" but it's another thing to do something about it! 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Delpit: The Silenced Dialogue Argument

In "The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People's Children" by Lisa Delpit, she argues that culture of power in education is very flawed and corrupt. The culture of power is the difference of education between the diverse people according to race, economic and cultural upbringing. She backs this up with personal research that she conducted and through the culture of power points that she makes. One of her main points that Delpit makes about the culture of education in the article was somewhat Machiavellian. “In this country, students will be judged on their produce regardless of the process they utilized to achieve it” (Delpit 31). It doesn't matter the means, as long as the end result is proficient. Test scores and are more important that actual knowledge and retaining the information that is given. This creates the culture of power. Many students just study for the test and forget the information after they take it. This is because teachers are less diverse in their style of teaching. White teachers in communities teach their students how to live and prosper in an upper-middle class world, so students that do not have those opportunities, who are the colored members of society according to Delpit, are left in the dark and begin to feel isolated, like they do not have a place in the education system. She says that straight out telling the underprivileged the rules of power makes it easier for them to be able to thrive in the world and become more successful. White teachers are not doing this on purpose, they are subconsciously focusing more on the success of their white students. In her opinion in this reading, it is important that white people actually listen to and hear what people of different races have to say.

Unfortunately, without even noticing it, people of color are
still seen an inferior to white people (which infuriates me)

A point for me to bring into the classroom is that it shouldn't matter how the student learns the information, as long as they not only retain it but actually comprehend it. It should not just be about spitting back dates and quick answers. Students should be able to think analytically about the content given to them. Not all of the students in a classroom learn material exactly the same way, therefore a teacher needs to be able to teach students no matter their needs, including those of differing backgrounds and cultures. Not everyone goes into school with the same prior knowledge. When students feel that they are a necessity to the classroom, it shines through their attitude and the classroom is a better place to learn and for everyone to thrive.

As a total side note, this article was very confusing to me and her use of language was tedious. I couldn't understand half of what she was trying to say I was more squinting at my computer trying to figure out what half of her vocabulary was rather than actually retaining the information that she was trying to express. I feel like some of the points she could have said more simply, rather than complicating it to that extent. I understand she is an educated woman with a large vocabulary, but there were some parts that did not have to be so outdrawn.

March 2, 2015This is my added connection!
I can connect this reading to Rodriguez's "Aria". When he was a child and learning English, Rodriguez's teacher erased Spanish from his life altogether. His teacher completely changed not only his entire language but his home life and social upbringing. This shows the culture of power. Those who have power make the rules. She was the English speaking teacher so she had power over the Spanish speaking student and his family. I can also connect this to SCWAAMP because those who have power follow the guidelines that SCWAAMP gives.