Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ira Shor

                I found this article by Ira Shor to be harder to read than most of the past topics. Not only because the text was just extremely hard to visually look at but also because of the style of writing. With that said I found the article to be very I opening. I really liked all the questions that it proposed throughout and perhaps that was done on purpose because the whole time Shor’s point is to questions the education you are receiving. For me I loved this; it provided a way of looking at the education system that I truly like myself. I personally like to be challenged in a classroom and forced to think outside the box, it’s fun.

                The two things that stood out to me the most while reading this was that this article clear was a way to sum up the rest of the articles we had read throughout the semester. Shor basically can be related to almost anyone we would like. The second thing is that our class this semester feels like it is planned with Ira Shor’smessages in mind. By challenging us and getting us to speak opening, it empowers everyone in the class to feel important, smart, and comfortable most of all.
                While maybe not the key point of the article there was a line that resonated with me more than any other. “In class, as Apple suggested and as Giroux (1983) and Banks (1991) have as argues, the choice of subject matter cannot be neutral.” (Shor 3) This too me started getting me thinking about the schooling system and how it is extremely bias. I knew that SCWAAP and other things played a role in schools and how the curriculum is set up but I did not think about it in depth.
                Our schools are made up of people from so many cultures however, our schools only teach from the perspectives of one culture. What I mean by that and possibly the easier to understand is that we teach our history lessons from the point of view of “our” ancestors. “Our” being the keep phase here. They are not my ancestors my family was French then moved to Canada were they finally came into the United States about four generations back. So even though the founding fathers may have the same skin tone as me they are not my ancestors. This is even more true for the people who were forced here as slaves or the Native Americans who were here first. However, our history lessons do no teach the history of early Africa and what it was like for them prior to being ripped from their homes, they don’t teach about Native American culture prior to settling in the Americas. Even the parts they do touch on its how the Europeans affected those people not about the people themselves.

                Never the less I got a little off topic but the point is still valid. We do not allow students to thing about the things that are outside the box. Maybe if we let them find things that they want to learn about they would push the envelope and want to learn more and more.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Citizenship in School

Kliewer's article about how students with disabilities, specifically down syndrome, are treated in schools today and how we should fix the issues that many schools take part in. For my this article was special because while I do not have any family members that are down syndrome, I do have a cousin who is autistic. While the two are not same by any means, I have witnessed first hand how differently he is treated. Kliewer argues that children with disabilities should be placed into rooms with non-disabled children. I could not agree more. My cousin was held back for many years by the school system until my aunt and uncle moved to change to a school system that would not isolate him with only other disabled child. When he was finally given a chance he started to shine. He was able to get some good grades and got into college. After GRADUATING he was offered a career opportunity and holds down that job today. This is an example of what Kliewer wants to happen with our schools. To make sure that everyone is on a level playing field while in school and receives the same education.

 For me this article could not relate to anyone better then Jennie Oakes. It does not matter if you are talking about students who are extremely bright for their age, ones that are just falling behind a bit, or students with disabilities, Oakes would agree that they all deserve the same education and should be treated equally in our schools. "Colleen Madison agreed with Shayne that no child was inherently an intellectual burden to a classroom; in fact, she argues, each student contributes a unique and potentially valuable dimension to the web of relationships that form a school community." (Kleiwer p7) I really liked this because when I think back to my days in high school we did not have the students that were disabled in the classrooms with us but yet we all still knew their names. How did we know their names when they were never in any class with any of us? They still played a role in how the schools community was even when the school itself was trying to keep them separated. I think the thing to take away from this is that Oake and Kliewer would agree that putting students in the same room no matter what their abilities are can only help them.

Promising Practice

           I attended the Promising Practice seminar in the hopes that I would be able to learn something that could help me with my career in education. I’m extremely sad to say that I found the workshops to be a waste of my time. While the guest speaker at the event was great and extremely enlightening the workshops that followed did not provide me with any kind of use. The two workshops that I attended were “How mentoring relationships improve resiliency of our youth and our workforce” and “Healthy Lifestyles: Your health, your choice”.  I was excited going into this because I felt like both of these topics could have a lot to offer me. I was sad when this became a flop.
            What made me the most upset was that the guest speaker that came was fantastic. Dr Robert Brooks was well prepared and well spoken and by far the best part of the day. He told us some great stories of his life and how it affected him and his decisions in life. All of these things turned out to be a precursor to a huge waste of my time. What makes it worse is I spoke with some of my other classmates who took other workshops and they loved theirs. I’m happy that they found something useful but upset that I just felt like mine were not done right at all.
            My first workshop “How mentoring relationships improve resiliency of our youth and our workforce sounded like it was going to be great I was excited to go into the class. It sounded like they would be addressing things similar to the Big Brother Program. Instead the first thing we did in our 45 min workshop was went around the room of about 20 people and talked about ourselves and why we took the class. OK; I’m OK with this but then she asked us to talk with another person in the group for a little bit about someone who is a mentor to us. We didn’t share this with anyone they didn’t elaborate on this with their own thoughts, nothing it just took up more time. Finally there was a PowerPoint presentation to wrap up the workshop. The thing that was the worst in the class is they had a younger girl in the room from a rough high school that they were mentoring. Instead of letting her tell us her story or what the program did from her they had her read two slides of a presentation that seemed extremely insincere. She seemed like they asked her to come and read what they wrote on the presentation. She was struggling with some of the works on the board the “she” was supposed to have written. The whole thing seem staged and lost credibility to me. The girl in the class however could be related to Kristof's story about his friend Rick. This girl was said to be smart and now back on track with their help however, before she entered the program she was just like Rick. The girl was always acting up and getting in trouble, but instead of suspending her now she gets help and i think Kristof would be pleased with the goals. I guess if I was to take what they were saying at face value and assume that the girl was just not into the presentation, which is why she would have came off insincere, I would say that Oakes would make a strong case of change here versus just charity. However if this program is what I saw and this girl might have been getting help but nothing is changing its just another case of charity.
            I left the first workshop and was talking to other people I knew that had taken other ones. They seemed happy and excited still, so I got my hopes back up. Maybe this second workshop would be better; maybe it would be like what the others had experienced in their first one. 

It sure wasn’t. It was worse than the first one! The second workshop “Healthy Lifestyles: Your health, your choice” was a much smaller class so I thought maybe it would be more personalized. Maybe this would give tips on how to be more nutritious or physically active, even the basics would be nice but I had my hopes up for nothing. They had a few interesting facts to throw at us but the entire time we were there they were pitching us. In other words, I felt like they were trying to recruit us to work for their group.  I could not believe that I was just sitting in a room for 45 minutes again and listening to them talk about their company and how if we wanted we could work with them too. Even though I felt that this was worse than the first experience however, looking back I cannot help but realize that Delpit would look at my actions and see the rules and codes of power. Even though nothing that came out of the presenters mouth was important to me and I felt like it was a waste of time I knew that I needed to stay in the class to finish my assignment and receive a better grade. This kept me from leaving the room even though if I has left no one would have said a word and there would have been no way anyone would have known. So the Code of power made me consciously stay in the room.  
            I don’t know, I could just be looking at this the wrong way but to me I was disappointed. What I thought had such great potential turned out to be a waste of a Saturday morning. I will always be open to giving something like this another shot but I might want to have a way to find out more on the workshops first. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Oakes Quotes

In Jeannie Oakes article on tracking in our school systems, she talked about how we as a society place our children into groups early in life that basically predetermines their futures. Oakes discusses how children’s intelligence is determined early in their life and when they appear to be above average intelligence they are put into classroom with other students who are deemed to above average. The same goes for the children who are deemed to have low abilities in the classroom. The issue that is being made here is that by placing these children in groups you are helping definitely helping the students in the above average levels however you are subsequently hurting the majority of other students. There are three quotes that I would like to use to help to convey this point in Oakes article.

“A number of studies have found that top-track classes spend more class time on learning activities and less on discipline, socializing, or class routines.”(Oakes p1)

This line to me truly stood out because of how important focus and the ability to lock into material are to me. I have been in both types of these rooms in high school myself. For my math classes I was initially placed in a general education level class that was far beneath my skill level. When I was in this class we were handed worksheets and the teacher walked around the room trying to keep order and keep kids on task more often than trying to teach new or harder material. As it became clear to the teacher that I was doing the worksheets and other materials in minutes and then was bored looking for things to do, she decided to talk to administration about bumping me up into an honors math class. After a few weeks I was transferred into this class and things changed drastically for me. Rather than worrying about what the students were doing the teacher was doing problems on the board asking for the us to get involved in the problems and how we might solve things that might be just slightly ahead of what we are learning to see if we can think logically using what we already have known.  The class became more challenging for sure however; I pushed me to become better in math than I already was. This is a perfect example or what Oakes was talking about when she talks about tracking. Sadly not all teachers would have noticed that I was ahead of the rest of the class or even if they did they might not have done anything about it. This would have caused me to sit and be bored and more than likely not have learned as much in math as I did.

“In low-ability classes, for example, teachers seem to be less encouraging and more punitive, placing more emphasis on discipline and behavior and less on academic learning.” (Oakes p2)

Again just to relate this back to my own personal life this sentence makes a strong impression on me. When I was in high school we had 3 floors the lowest floor being called the “basement” The only class’s that were held in “the basement”, were the heath classes for everyone, and the low-ability classes for the kids who were extremely disruptive. The example of tracking started from their early childhood when most of the kids were placed into special programs they use to be taken out of their classes for extra help and which would take away from their time with the other students to interact. Once at the high school level these kids seemed to have lost all desire to do anything school related and would just mess around. Within the school they were known as a “basement kid”, which was a term that no one used in a positive way. It meant that you were stupid. Other children would be fighting about a problem in a class and use it in conversation saying “are you stupid? What are you a basement kid?” and no one would think anything of that. The classrooms were known for being loud and extremely out of control. The students were curse out their teachers, throw things across the room as other people, and just flat out refuse to do work in the classroom. Most of their classes from what I saw when I would pass by for health, were the teachers just trying to joke and reason with the kids to keep them calm. It’s no wonder why a vast majority of those kids dropped out of high school or were expelled. The sad thing is I lived next door to one of those kids for a few years before his family moved to the other side of town and he was an extremely intelligent person he was just placed into this class early on and became cynical toward schooling.

“Recent work of cognitive psychologists suggests, for example, that academic ability is not unchangeable bud developmental and grows throughout childhood.”(Oakes p3)

This point argument brought up by Oakes I found to be really interesting to the piece. It discusses 

how as a child grows their ability to learn can become better with age if taught be others or 

themselves. In other words even if you start off not being able to read well or understand math well, 

you can work hard at it and the ability to learn it will come in time. This is extremely interesting and 

relevant to her point because if the child can learn the materials later in life but they are placed in a 

low-ability classroom and never taken out, they will be deprived or an education.


Monday, October 31, 2016

The Problem We All Live With

        During this audio clip and reading this weak the authors and narrators have a common theme of segregation in the schools. While they point out time and time again that it has been decades since Brown vs The Board of Education, they want to bring awareness to the fact that schools across this country are still not as unsegregated as they could be. Laws have made sure that a school system cannot tell a student of different race or ethnicity that they cannot come to their school. What instead happens is that due to demographics playing out to where minorities tend to live in inner cities they end up getting segregated anyway. The concern here is that these inner city schools have a bad track record with not being able to provide the proper education for the youth of that area.
Short on Brown v Board of Education

            The trick becomes how do you fix the system so that child of all backgrounds and incomes receive the same education? Many different options have been tried usually changes being made to the curriculum or teachers being fired and new ones being hired. The issues with this are that it doesn’t fix the problems at their core. For me, I see Joseph Kayne’s argument of charity versus change here. By making alterations to the faculty, the curriculum, or anything else you are just putting band-aids on the real problems, which is almost a form of charity. The real problem is that the poverty of the area out weights anything else and has a chain reaction that affects the quality of supplies, teachers, and curriculum. Unfortunately there are not many things currently in place that will help fix this situation except for what the narrators of the audio link talk about, which is to integrate the school systems. This is the change that Kayne tells us we need in order to really have what we are doing make a difference. By integrating the school and making it so children in lower income areas can go to a higher income school system they will be able to achieve better things in life.

            The problem that this plan takes on is criticism from others. People misinterpreted why things are the way they are quite often. It’s easier to categorize people than to help and want to change the way the world is. What Bob Herbert of the New York Times tells us is “Studies have shown that it is not the race of the students that is significant, but rather the improved all-around environment of schools with better teachers, fewer classroom disruptions, pupils who are more engaged academically, parents who are more involved, and so on.”(Herbert p10) What he is saying and how it correlates to the audio link is that with a more involved community in the academic area of children’s lives, these young students all have the same potential to reach whatever goals and dreams they might have.

          There are a lot of things that can go wrong with this plan however as well. Even though this method has proven to be helpful to the children, two major issues come about. The first is that it becomes hard to transport the students from one district to another, in the sense that it just takes times. So when students would have to get up an extra one to two hours earlier to go to this better school sometimes they won’t want to deal with it. The other issue is that when integration takes place what will sometimes happen are the affluent families in the area move away. This defeats the whole purpose of integrating the school since if the families you are trying to merge with are moving away the school just becomes a long commute to the same school the students were already in. Going back to Kayne and charity vs change; regardless of what we are trying to do unless we can implement this integration strategy or something like it country wide there will never really be “Change” in the country, sadly.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Politics of Service Learning

Joseph Kahne writes about how service learning is used in our society to help better both the individuals taking part in the service learning projects as well as the people or community they are trying to help.  He also brings into light that while a wide spread group of people from all affiliations and background agree that service learning projects are helpful, they do sometimes disagree on how service learning should be done. The two types in a nut shell are “charity” and “change”. Charity is more about how you can give things to the less fortunate in order to help them, whether it be your time, food, or something else it’s about helping them out with something that will make their lives better. Change is more about being hands on and interacting or putting more research into something. It’s about makes a personal connection with what or who you are trying to help with in society. While both of these sides have valid points and contribute to helping everyone involved they have different outcomes on the students that are taking part in the service learning projects. The students that are working more along the lines of charity tend to get a warm and happy feeling that they did something to help out and the people or groups that they helped receive the support they needed. On the other side the students working to affect change in the community have more of a person relationship with the group or people that they are working with and have a better understanding of the individuals they are helping. In turn these students are able to both look at a group in possibly a different way than before. (A more educated way.)

An additional benefit to service learning is that students get hands on experience in areas that might interest them for later in life. These experiences could be volunteering in areas like public service such as elementary schools or even areas like hospitals where students can help do minor tasks but can see the ins and outs of the fields and possibly gain a direction for themselves before heading off to college.
Students helped raise money for local hospital in a fun way.

Debate Issues Quotes

             In the two articles that I read this week by Jill Soloway and Amy Chozick they bother address how women are treated in today’s society in particular politics. Soloway focuses on the recent “locker room” talk of Donald Trump. She says that Trumps’ locker room talk is something that all men know about and/or even take part in. She goes on to say that just because all men know about it doesn’t mean that we should accept this something that just happens. She compares it to people using racial slurs when talking about people who are black.  I remember how there was absolutely a moment in American history where the civil rights movement powered a hard left turn, where white people talking about black people in polite company, where using the once tossed around N word in front of another white person became cause for lawsuit, firing, social suicide, exclusion.(Soloway p8) This example of how white Americans used to talk about black Americans when they were behind closed doors has become a huge issue in today’s society even though how men talk about women in the same type of context has not. Her point is that if a white person was to talk to another white person behind closed doors it could lead to punishments of all kinds. However, if a man talks to another man behind closed doors it is considered “bro code” to just joke and play along or not say anything. This issue is not being talked about which is what Allen Johnson is talking about in his article “Privilege, Power, and Difference.”  Johnson talks about how we aren’t discussing the issue and how “you can’t deal with a problem if you don’t name it;”(Johnson p11) Because men have the “bro code” and either don’t talk about the “locker room” talk or if they do talk about it they are ostracized for it, they don’t do anything to try to stop this. Sadly the other catch twenty-two is that the people, who would speak out against it (woman), aren’t usually in the “locker room” conversation so they don’t hear it as often. (Even though most know it happens) The issue here is that we need to make a change with how women are talked about and not just the ones that are close to use but all women.

                The other Article by Chozick talks about Hilary Clinton and how as a society we have bias toward things. This can relate to Delpit in the sense that Clinton is breaking the “codes or power” in this country by being female and running for President of the country, which has been a “mans” job from the start of the country. Clinton even went on record saying “she does not have the natural oratory skills of her husband or President Obama, has been tailoring her voice and tone for years.”(Chozick p3) This is a perfect example of the next potential President of the United States, admitting to conforming to the “codes of power” to help her achieve a goal that should be obtainable regardless of her gender. Sadly in this case her way of speaking is criticized and critiqued by people in the country for the first time ever just because she is under such scrutiny in the public eye.  Again, this is a catch twenty-two which seems to be the theme this week, since if she does not conform to the “codes of power”, she might not be taken as seriously to begin with and if she does conform she gets ridiculed for it. Chozicks point in her article goes slightly deeper into this issue stating that if Hilary were a man this issue of her speaking patterns would never even be brought up. In this case I personally think we need to look at the bigger picture and not so much on  how Hilary Clinton puts inflections in her voice. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Safe Spaces

                               Gerri August’s Safe Spaces is an article on LGBT and how we as a society do not include LGBT people in our ways of bring up our youth. August talks about how we discuss many issues in our classrooms and at home in regards to race and gender but when it comes to sexual orientation the topic gets pushed aside more so than the others would.  While August does address how people are raised in different family environments and that will have an impact on how they look at things in life, she really wanted us to focus on how educators in the country affect students in especial regards to LGBT students. “Classrooms lay the foundations for an inclusive and safe society: a just community where common interests and individual differences coexist.”(August p3) This quote to me was a great line to have toward the beginning of the article, noting that classrooms are where all demographics of every type should feel welcome and safe. The issue becomes that LGBT students do not feel safe in these environments quite often. The issue is that as adults or teachers we do not send a message to students that a student being LGBT is no different than a student being of a different race, in the sense that it should not affect how you look or treat that person. The other issue is what Delpit talks about when she discusses the “culture of power”. Delpit talks about how the “norms” get pushed onto us in society, in this case the “norm” being heterosexuality. The perfect example of this in the August text is when Maria has an issue with her Spanish teacher. Her teacher marked her answer wrong on a test when she used the female tense on the word “sweetheart” rather than the male tense because the teacher wanted a heterosexual answer even though the answer was correct both ways. Even though her teacher marked this incorrect it is not necessarily coming from a place of hatred for LGBT individuals. The professor marked the answer wrong and could have just thought she messed up translation. However, instead of finding out if the student was aware of what was on the test and if it was in fact done for the right reason, the teacher just assumed that the answer was incorrect. Once again this is a way that teachers or adults can have a negative impact on LGBT children or students.
            Another interesting point that August makes is that we teach students at an early age that families come in all different forms. “The oft-stated objective is for children to learn that families come in different shapes and sized, live in different dwellings, observe different traditions, and celebrate different holidays.” (August p5) She mentions the different parenting types like single parents, foster parents, and the two parent households, but what she also says is that we don’t embrace a same sex couple raising children the same way we do the others. It is still a really big issue today that with all the political correctness that we try to do, for some reason the nation still has an extremely hard time accepting two people of the same sex raising a family. It is not displayed on television, movies, or magazines, and if it is, it becomes extremely controversial. And the ones that are displayed are not always the best representation of the LGBT community. 
googled image of LGBTQ characters on South Park
With everything that August beings up being so accurate in how we look and treat LGBT individuals it’s no wonder why people don’t feel comfortable identifying their sexual orientation especially at younger ages where the concern of judgement from peers is highest. We need to work on this a society to fix the injustices that are happening every day.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Christensen Argument

This author (Linda Christensen) argues that Disney and other major corporations teach young impressionable children the “codes” of society through there movie, advertisements, and shows. Her argument is that if really examined the Disney shows, they are geared to teach children the things that are valued in America, in reference to race, religion, sex, and more. Her largest issue though is that people that do take a long into the Disney movie mostly take away that all the main characters are white, rather than looking at the big picture. Her claim is that the big picture is the fact that the movies depict so many more issues than just race.  Things like sexism come to play by always having the main characters be male, and having the main female characters always just are looking for love. “Her goal, like Cinderella’s is to get her man. Both young women are transformed and made beautiful through new clothes, new jewels, new hairstyles.”(Christensen 7)  She wants young women to believe there is more to life then make overs and getting the guy, otherwise life is just shallow. Her point is that she believes that the way the Disney movies are set up they are basically brainwashing the children in the country to learn and follow the codes of power. She refers to this as “the secret education”. (Christensen 1) For Christensen, Disney should work on re-evaluating what is being portrayed to the children of our country and what kind of message they are trying to send. Are they going to really “improve” their movies to make better idols for young children or just keep perpetuating the same stereotypes
If you take only a few mins you could find stereotype after stereotype just looking at this picture about let alone a Disney movie when they speak and plots are formed.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Teaching Multilingual Children (Extended Comments)

            Virginia Collier has written an article on “Teaching Multilingual Children”. The article was based around how we look at multilingual children in the country and how we handle teaching English as a second language. A fellow classmate of mine Hayley Dias has recently wrote a small piece reviewing the article by Collier and putting in her own personal experiences as well as additional information given by Collier. Hayley first addresses upcoming events for our class, where we will be attending a local school they more than likely will have a few ESL students and how it relates to Collier’s article. She also references how coming from a Portuguese heritage and speaking a second language herself she has a way to relate to the young children who also speak two languages.  What was terrific about how she began her article was how being bilingual has helped her and how she is extremely happy to be able to speak a second language. It was also really nice to see how she wanted to use her own life experiences with two languages to encourage the students to learn to really love their own. I think this will be a huge benefit to both her and the kids that she will get to work with in the classrooms.

            As Hayley gets more into what Collier was talking about in her article she mentions a few quotes that she personally liked. She quotes on that I also really thought was interesting which was “Children acquiring a second language will self-correct their own utterances over time as they progress though the various stages of life.” (128)(Collier 224) I thought this was a huge quote that not lot of teachers or people think about when they are seeing children trying to learn a second language. As children we grow up making mistakes in how we speak all the team and as we get older we start to realize that we are saying things improperly and correct ourselves. I do not think that people give that luxury to people that are learning a second language, if the second language they are learning is the primary language of the area.  
            The other point that Hayley brought up that I really liked was her last one on Language recognition in the classroom.  I agree with Hayley and how working to teach students in standard form of English, and the student’s home language can help them to feel more comfortable with themselves and the material. Collier says “The student, because of conscious or unconscious emotional or social factors that keep him or her from taking in maximum input at that time, may miss other input.”(Collier 225) Meaning, that if children are self-conscious and are embarrassed or afraid of looking silly in front of the others around them it will cause them to not grasp the things that they are being taught. Because of this struggle, they will then fall behind even more because the things they have failed to learn the first time around may be vital to learning the next stages in what is being taught. Now, instead of being one step behind from the start they are two. This will eventually lead to failing further and further behind till it is at a point where the child is being looked at as having a problem in the particular area.  This is particularly true with ESL students that will need these skills to pass standardized testing.

            One thing that Hayley did not talk about that I wanted to just add in was that there are some people who think that we should (as Collier put it) “Eradicate” dialects that are not the “standard”. This method as Collier note is actually one of the worst in not the worst things that we could do for young children growing up. It has been proven that by nurturing the child and all language or dialects the second language will come to be much stronger much faster. Sadly studies have shown that ESL or ELL students are still behind.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

White Privilege Hyperlinks

        Peggy McIntosh wrote an article "White Privilege Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" that dove into how our country has a way to overlooking privileges that might not be directly thrown in our faces. Her article while have a terrific point in my opinion was extremely repetitive during the paragraphs that she was setting up to list her privileges. She basically just kept repeating that white privilege is something that we do not see if we are white, and that we take for granted the things that others might not. Her examples and her point however are none the less great, I just wished she would take out some of the filler and just cut to it. With that said white privilege is something that most white Americans do not like to talk about and if they do they tend not to admit too much which perpetuates the cycle of nothing being changed to stop it.
          In our society it is easy for white Americans growing up to not realize the struggles of others in our country. Everything that we see around us as McIntosh points out reflex what we thing is the “norm”. Every magazine we pick up, every add on television or even the shows themselves, all have white people as the majority cast members or front cover headlines. I do not think McIntosh or anyone else for that matter would make the claim that every single show or magazine is this way however, the vast majority of them are.
This is a popular television series from 2001-2010 called “Scrubs”. The show would air multiple times a day and would primarily feature this core group of actors and actresses. “I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, just as males are taught not to recognize male privilege.”(McIntosh 4) What McIntosh is trying to say in her article, that relates here is that while we grow up watching shows like this, it never crosses the minds of young white Americans that there are only two main character that are not white. So to the white views this is just the “norm”, but in this case to young African American or Hispanic views, they have the one person in the show that looks like them. This is a perfect example of how Americans experience the “Invisible white privilege”.
          The in this case you can also take a look into the fact that shows will throw in the “token” black character. In fact one of the most ruthless shows on television even tries to show us this through a comical point of view. This is South Park, one of the most popular animated shows ever created. They make a living off of ripping into cultural issues of all kinds. In this case they literally name the one black child in the town Token. 
           Another issue that McIntosh brings up in her list is how white privilege also affects things in the justice system. While many do not wish this to be the case our justice system is flawed in major ways. "If a traffic cop pulls me over or the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my face."(McIntosh example 25) Every day we have police pull people over simply for looking different in areas that they personally think those people have no reason to be in. They do not stop to think that maybe they just moved in, or maybe they are visiting friends, or maybe they are just cutting through. They do it because they think it is helping others when really it’s just white privilege kicking in again. They aren't getting pulled over for any other reason than the color of their skin not fitting the "norm" of the area. In 2011 a study was done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics that showed black drivers where pulled over at a higher rate than white or Hispanic drivers.
          Finally in one recent event a Brock Turner a student attending Stanford University raped a young woman behind a dumpster in an alley while she was unconscious. He was caught in the act by two other men walking by and when approached by the men Brock fled. After being caught and brought to trial Brock basically got off completely for his actions. The issue this brought and why it relates to McIntosh's article is that Brock received a lesser sentence then most convicted rapists. Most rapists receive years of jail time instead Brock received months. I'm not trying to say that the same judge would have rendered a different verdict if Brock were not white for sure, but statistically with eye witness testimony there should have been a higher conviction.
         With everything that McIntosh is telling us we really need to make a better effort to acknowledge white privilege in order to top if from continuing in the future. Then as generations go by with no changes that just more and more of a barrier to overcome. We need to change the way we advertise, the things that are presented on all channels of television, the way we run our justice system, and the way we raise our kids.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Nicholas Kristof's "Land of Limitations?"

   Nicholas Kristof brings an insight and perspective to how poverty in America has become a vicious part of our society. Though his article he addressed how huge numbers of Americans are unable to grow and become successful in today's society, not because they are lazy or dumb, but because they were born into a lower economic class that is unable to provide them with the resources to excel. He centralizes his thoughts around how the country has diverged from what I was founded on which was the dream of being able to make your own path and has turned into the very thing that our fore fathers where trying to escape, which was having huge gaps between classes that were nearly impossible to break out of. His point was that the way our economy is set up today, it is designed to keep the rich people at the top and the poor people at the bottom no matter what their person intelligence or strengths. Now he also made it very clear that this is not to say no one has ever been able to get rich growing up in low economic areas or that someone who is rich could become poor one day. He is simply stating that the likelihood of that happen has become smaller and smaller as years have passed. Kristof used a home town friend to illustrate this point that he was making. He uses his friend to really bring a few key problems to our attention.
          The three things really stuck out to me able Kristof's friend Ricks story. The first was that Rick was a smart young man whose parents left him early on forced to basically grow up with little help from family. This lack of parenting and guidance can cause long term effects on children. I personally have a few close friends whose parents did not play a role in their lives. I can see on many occasions that they are smart and hardworking individuals but for some reason lack the social skills to get ahead in life. For some reason they always seem to fall short even though in many areas of life they are smarter than a lot of friends that have graduated from College. This is a perfect example of what was being talked about when Kristof was mentioning things that some people have access to that others do not. "77 percent of adults in the top 25 percent of incomes earn a B.A. by age 24. Only 9 percent of those in the bottom 25 percent do so."(Nicholas Kristof, U.S.A., Land of Limitations" 16) Even though the will to learn and work hard is there the fact that College was not on the radar for these friends meant that they more than likely will not succeed as well as the friends that did go to College.
          The Second thing that really stood out when Kristof made it clear, "Remember that disadvantage is less about income than environment."(Kristof, 21) This is huge because most people are thinking about how wealthy someone is rather than what their upbringing might be like. Having a happy, healthy, nurturing upbringing will help to increase the likelihood that a person will succeed. Also this touches on the type of home or neighborhood that a child grows up in. How children from better neighborhoods are able to attain more because they are provided with more.
          Finally bringing me to the point that I felt is most important for us heading into a teaching profession. Kristof mentioned an event that happened with Rick; "IN the eighth grade, the principle punished Rick for skipping school, by suspending him for six months."(Kristof, 11) He has previously said that Rick also struggled with an attention disorder. This issue is all too common in schools today. Students with un-diagnosed  or misdiagnosed disorders not being given the attention that they need in order to succeed in the classrooms so the act out and just get punished rather than helped. When children act out there is usually a reason behind it. In this case Rick did not want to be in school, possibly because he did not have the correct guidance at home to keep him there. His way of acting out was skipping school and rather than finding a way to help Rick and keep him in school the principle did possible the worst possible thing by suspending him for a HUGE period of time. We need to work hard as future educators to not only teach other classes but help students like Rick who could have had a better future with a little more attention.

A little about me

I'll start my blog by telling everyone a little bit about who I am. I was born and raised in Rhode Island and would not want to live anywhere else. While Rhode Island is a great place to live, I love to travel the world and explore new things to make sure I am able to see and experience as much as possible in the time I have here. This was from my past summer when my friends and I went out to Lake Powell UT and stayed four days under the stars before heading to Las Vegas.

 I also live for sports especially snowboarding football and soccer. Snowboarding is was a live to do. Winter time is by far my favorite time of the year with the snow, colder weather, and just fun that comes with it. This trip was up at Okemo Mountain in VT by far one of the greatest mountains in New England for riding.
All in all I feel like I'm just a regular guy who has had the fortune of being able to travel and pick up some hobbies that have really made life great. looking forward to traveling more this upcoming year and possibly flying out to snowboard in Colorado finally.