Saturday, February 27, 2016

August, Safe Spaces

Words that I needed to look up.
Looking up these words really did help me understand the passage a lot more.


Safe Space is written by Gerri August this passage talks about the views of LGBT in schools and the community. The article talks about that there is not enough exposure going on in classrooms and communities. In classrooms, this is the place where students are taught to tolerate, explore and embrace subjects and people who are different from them and respect that. People are always going to be different and we learn that in grade school but, in school curriculums there is not a lot of teachers who are teaching students about the LGBT community and how they are the same like me and you. There is not enough exposure to the LGBT community and there has been a lot of backlash because of it. Kids and teenagers are being bullied because of their sexual orientation. Seventy-eight percent of gay (or believed to be gay) teens are teased or bullied in their schools and communities. The percentage of students getting bullied because of their sexual orientation is crazy because of bullying students can develop anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide. About 30 percent of all completed suicides have been related to sexual identity crisis. Not only that but students sometimes even drop out of school because of being bullied or the fear of it.  This is reasons why students want to "stay in the closet" because of this type of backlash on the LGBT community. 

We live in a society that the norm is heteronormative assuming that that everyone is or should be straight. Teachers in the article do including books that refer to the LGBT community and teaching that to their students. This is the first steps to opening up a student's mind so they can be exposed and accept it for how it is.  These steps of just teaching them that there are two moms and two dads who offer the same love and caring as heterosexual couples. 

Some of the thing that caught my eye reading this and that I can relate to was that in history they never taught  me about the LGBT community. It is true we are taught about the oppression of slavery and the Civil War which was one of the bloodiest wars we had in this country. Also, Martin Luther King who is a famous leader of the civil rights movement well known for his I have a Dream speech about how he wants integration between the white and the black everyone knows that because we were taught that. The only time I learned about the history of the LGBT community was in Highschool. I was in an acting group part of the history program. For a competition, we learned about what the LGBT community and what they had done to get their rights throughout the years. Examples like Stone Wall, Harvey Milk, AIDS Epidemic, Dont ask Dont tell policy and a lot more.  Finally, we have marriage equality in all of the United States which is something the community has been fighting for! But overall I really enjoyed this passage. Opened my eyes to how these little steps can make a huge difference in a child.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

“Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us”


1. "The idea of not being completely responsible for how I feel about things today is scary. They influence how I behave, think, react to things." Page 129
While I was reading I thought this quote was 100% relatable to everyone. Unless you live under a rock but the only reason I am saying this is because every advertisement, television show, movie, and ext have influence people. The student who quotes this says she gets depressed thinking about it because media has molded her to dress the way she does. I agree with this because many of the women in magazines are the people young adolescents and teens look up to. So what they wear is what they would like to wear as well. Media has also influence women to have the "perfect ideal body structure". For a long time, it has been that women should have the flat stomach, big butt, hourglass shape body, long hair, and much more. It was not till recently people have been more open to women of all shapes and sizes. A couple of examples is that sports illustrator finally has a size 16 model as the cover of the magazine. Which is amazing because this is something that can open the door for a lot of women who are on the thicker side. Lastly, the Barbie company came out with a new model of toys. Usually, barbie is known for their ideal blond hair, tall, white women and that was what all of their dolls consisted of. But it was not till the past year the barbie release dolls that actually look more realistic. There are curvy, short, tall, some with darker skin than others. This a huge deal because kids can see that everyone is different and there is not ideal image for beauty.  

2. "I want to develop their critical consciousness, but I also hope to move them to action."
Overall, Sexism, racism are going to be in cartoons but this also does happen every day in real life. Sometimes we just become so blind when it comes to these issues. What the teacher is trying to point out is that sometimes we need to look a little closer and realize that these are big issues and a problem in our society. 

Questions/Comments/Points to share

I personally really liked this article because it gave the students perspective on how media affects them. This is something we can all learn from because at one point in our lives we have been dramatically influenced by media. Me personally media has affected me by how college is portrayed. This is kind of silly but the way it is portrayed is that college is just filled with a bunch of partying and or never having a social life because of how much homework needs to be done. College is something different and new. Me personally I am just trying to get my degree, make awesome friends, do new things and make some great memories. What are some weird misconceptions that media has made you believe?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Aria Richard Rodriguez

A couple of words that I had to look up because I did not know the meaning of them. Look them up did help me understand a lot more! Which was nice.


In the passage, it talks about Rodriquez and his struggles of growing up in a bilingual household. Rodriguez grew up in a Spanish only speaking home and when he went to school all of the children including the teachers only spoke English. The struggle was that he had to learn a whole new different language but he felt like it was not right and that it was not his language to use. At first, he was timid about even speaking English in his classroom. He would hope that the teachers did not call his name to speak in front of the classroom. As time passed the teacher noted his silence and arrived at his doorstep to speak to his parents. From there on Rodriguez's parents and siblings were speaking English at home to get all of the use to the language. Soon English became Rodrigues primary language but he also forgot how it was to be Spanish. I personally think this was a win loose situation. It was a win because not only did Rodriguez become extremely comfortable with the English language that he became a writer. Which is amazing because it was a huge struggle for him to be comfortable and publically be able to speak English.  Also, his parents learning English was a plus because there was another form of communication besides Spanish. It was a loose situation also because I felt like he lost a part of himself like his identity. I am only saying this because in the article  he says this " I no longer knew what words to use in addressing my parents. The old Spanish words mama and papa I couldn't use anymore. They would have been too painful reminders of how much had changed in my life." It is like that since he so used to the American culture it seems like he lost some of his Spanish roots. Another one that was a downside was that the communication between the family was gone. Spanish was the thing that kept them together in a way it was so since that is gone the communication. He says "The silence at home, however, was finally more than a literal silence, Fewer words passed between parent and child, but more profound was the silence that resulted from my intention to sounds."

Reading Aria by Richard Rodriguez was definitely a different way to look at Spanish-speaking children. I personally really liked this passage a lot. To me this passage was so relatable it was a bit scary because I found myself nodding my head to a lot of the things that he said. One of the things was that whenever the teachers talk to him he felt a bit intimidated. "I would have felt much less afraid. I would have trusted them and responded with ease." I felt like this too growing up because I mainly spoke Spanish at home so going into a whole new environment was completely different. I was shy and did not speak because of the fact I was scared I was going to mispronounce words. I eventually overcame my fear of being shy but it was something that took the time to actually get over. It took a lot of time and patience.

Questions/Comments/Points to share
This article reminded me of the SWAMP activity we did in class only because of the fact that this article was mostly revolved around being American. We value the English language so much that we all need to speak it no matter what. The question I had was was there ESL classes back in that time? I am asking this because this would have made the struggles of learning English for Rodreguez a lot easier and smoother.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Amazing Grace Kozol


While I was reading I noticed that Kozol got to really see how it was like to be in some of the worst neighborhoods in New York. Kozol was able to experience this first hand being able to talk to the people who live in these areas and get their input on how the neighborhoods are affecting them. I wanted to connect Kozol's Amazing Grace and Kristof's USA Land of Limitations because these both have some of the same idea that states a person's future is determined by their surroundings. Surroundings will determine limitation in where they will go in life. 

1. While Kozol was in New York he talks about how the children there go through the most because of how young they are being exposed to things like homelessness, drugs, and violence. Getting introduced to these things so early in life can really mess up a child's development and their sense of innocence. What makes this so sad is that there is no way for them to get away from it because it is something that occurs commonly. Kozol goes to this community church were a lot of children go to get away from the terrors of the streets. He says this about the children in this community "There are children in the poorest, most abandoned places who, despite the miseries and the poisons that the world has pumped into their lives, seem, when you first meet them, to be cheerful anyway. These children are making individual choices to be happy no matter how hard life got them down and this can relate to Rick in Kristof's article. This is because Rick gave 600 dollars to his ex wife and that money could've saved his life. Rick had a terminal illness but it was his choice to help out his wife.
2. Another thing that relates both articles is that because of where both of these people come from this can determine where they will go in the future. A lot of the children who are in these poor parts of New York do not have a same opportunities and resources. These people and children live in cramped apartments that do not have proper heating and air conditioning. Roaches and rats invade these apartments but they have to bare with these horrible conditions. Not only are living conditions are rough but the school system horrible. One of the children that Kozol was walking with knew all of these iconic idols but did not know who George Washington was.  The same with Rick because since he did not have the opportunities to be able to be able to do well in school because he did not have the accommodations to help him. So he had to drop out of school and work.