Sunday, September 27, 2015

Rodriquez, Aria


In Aria, author Rodriquez discusses her struggles as a bilingual student in an american catholic elementary school. Over time she lost the connection with her family and culture from a race to become "Americanized". "After english became my primary language, I no longer knew what words to use in addressing my parents" (37). This quote really made me think about the need for universal bilingual classrooms. Before this article I never really had an opinion of the importance or need for bilingual teachers/ education. I grew up in a town where the majority of people were white. However; most of the kids I went to school with spoke Portuguese at home. Although I never obtained a second language I tried multiple times to. In preschool I was taught colors and numbers in Spanish. I didn't pick up Spanish again until i was in the 7th grade which was considered a privilege... because I was doing well in my english class I then had the option to take Spanish. Those students who had a B- or lower in their english course were not offered Spanish. This experience lead to me a youtube video.  

After watching the video of the children learning in Spanish I asked myself if I would have done better in school if my school taught Portuguese much like the elementary schools shown in the video.  Or maybe if the kids who were not offered Spanish in middle school, If they had maybe been taught in a bilingual classroom- maybe they would have done better in english.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Jonathan Kozol, "Amazing Grace"


1: " I ask how many people in the building now have AIDS. 
       'In this building? Including the children, maybe 27 people'"(13).
Kozol focuses on the amount of infected people for a few paragraphs. The number 27 leaves a bigger impact rather than Kozol just saying that "most people in the building are living with AIDS".  Additionally, a few sentences later Mrs.Washington adds that those 27 people are those who are aware they have the virus- and the number will most likely rise. This quote stood out to me because I have never meet someone who knew they had HIV or AIDS while the people of St.Anne's are living in apartment building full of sick people. 

2:  "At least 12 people, including two infants, says the Times, have died because of staff mistakes at Lincoln, which is the hospital relied upon by families in the St.Ann's Neighborhood"(15).
This quote reminded me of the discussion of oppression in last weeks class. The staff's mistakes is an institutional oppression because they are not providing the best care. Likewise, the staff of the hospital are most likely from a poor area and have gaps in education or other outside forces acting upon the quality of their work. This idea then made me ask myself why it is that hospitals can't have a universal care system... why is it so that a richer area has a better hospital/more technology and better staff? 

3:  "'That's how it is. What can I say?'" (17)
The people of the communities that Kozor observed have come to their own terms that their is no social mobility. This is their life, poverty will forever surround them and their families. What else can she say? The life she has lived is all she's known and change won't happen over night. Maybe if other people cared that 27 people were infected with AIDS in one apartment building, or maybe if they knew that children went to bed cold and afraid every night. Or that heroin is as common as a box of Cheerios. What can you really say when no one is willing to help, to care, or to listen? You just have to accept it.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

KRISTOF- " U.S.A., Land of Limitations?"


The American Dream: Pick yourself up by your boot straps, make something of yourself, own a home, get a dog, marry a beautiful woman. The white picket fence dream never applied to my family. My mother believed that if I work hard enough, that I will become someone; that I would avoid teen pregnancy and poverty, that I would not struggle financially like she did. However, the reality is that I may never move up a social class. In school, I learned that everyone is unique, everyone has talents, and everyone has equal opportunities. I never thought that my third grade teacher would lie to me. I never thought that I couldn't be a doctor and a ballerina. Mrs.Third grade teacher was protecting my innocence, but also adding a layer of thickness of lies. Unfortunately, in 2015, U.S. citizens are facing one of the largest economic gaps. In the article "U.S.A, Land Of Limitations?" by Nicholas Kristof, the evidence of class gaps and disadvantages is explored. Kristof uses the example of his friend Rick to tell a story of what its like to be raised in poverty and the never-ending struggle to leave. "School might have been an escalator to a better life, for Rick had a terrific mind, but as a boy he had been undiagnosed attention deficit disorder and teachers wrote him off." By  the 10th grade Rick had dropped out of high school. His socioeconomic status of "poor" lead him to a future of poverty. He raised his brother and sisters when his father was too drunk to care. Unfortunately, it is a reality for most children to have to learn how to survive rather then "be the best person they can possibly be". If Rick's father hadn't been an alcoholic, and had he worked to put food on the table, maybe Rick would've gone to school. Maybe he would have gotten a decent education. Maybe Rick would have been in the 4 percent.

Early Education is best way to instill a bright, healthy future. However; there are many limitations.  Kristof explains, “They grow up not in a “land of opportunity” but in the kind of socially ridged hierarchies that our ancestors fled, the kind of society in which your outcome is largely determined by your beginning” (4).  Rick’s future was pre determined by his fathers’ status, and his fathers’ father status, and so on and so forth. Unfortunately no matter how hard I work, I will probably never leave my social class because it is embed into me from my mother. The struggles we faced shaped who I am, and made me a better person. I can never say I was truly in poverty because there was always food on the table. But financial strains were apparent. Kristof’s article was an eye opener for me. I will never stop working my hardest because of one statistic, but I also won’t be surprised that twenty years from now my life is much like my mothers was.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

This is me

During the summer I work full time
at the Blount Clam Shack.
This summer was my fourth year.
Because we spend 12 hours together
everyday in a tiny trailer, we are more like
a family rather than coworkers. 

This is my super cute brother Mason.
He is the only person that calls me
by my full name. If it wasn't for
Mason I don't think I would have
ever considering teaching.
Over the summer I bought myself a new camera lens.
In my free time I enjoy exploring the art of photography.
This image was taken at Roger Williams Zoo a year ago.
I grew up by the water, my grandmother lived on a
private beach. I have always loved learning about marine life,
tides, beaches and so forth. Being an aquarius, I like to believe
I really am a water child. 
A little bit about myself:
I am from the small town of Warren, RI. I love animals; growing up I had a cat named Milo who acted like a dog (he played fetch). My moms first major was when I was 14, which resulted into my beautiful baby brother Mason two and a half years later. My favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird, I read at least once every year. I am very excited for this semester!