Saturday, September 26, 2015

Aria By Richard Rodriguez. Connections

   Richard Rodriguez's Aria made many connections but I saw connections to two of our readings right away. The first one was to Lisa Delpit's The Silenced Dialogue. Delpit talks about how the different social classes use different ways of talking and teaching. A middle class child is used to hearing the teacher ask them what they should be doing where as a lower class student is more used to being told exactly what they should be doing. Delpit says that this difference can cause problems especially since most teachers ask their students "How should we be holding the pen?" or "How do we sit in our chairs?". Rodriguez says that when he was in catholic school, the nuns would ask "'Boys and girls, why do we use that word in this sentence? Could we think of a better word to use there? Would the sentence change its meaning if the words were different? And wasn't there a better way of saying much the same?" (Rodriguez 34-35). This is confusing to many kids, never mind a child whose first language isn't English but rather Spanish. This asking not telling made it more difficult for Rodriguez to want to learn and pay attention. English was something he thought was a public language where Spanish was his private language. 
    Rodriguez brought up another point that I connected to our S.C.W.A.A.M.P. lesson in class. The letters stand for, Straight, Catholic ,White, Able-bodied, American, Male, Property owner. If you aren't in this specific group, the odds seem to be stacked against you. Rodriguez was Catholic but he was Hispanic- he was an American citizen however, he wasn't seen as American. While in Catholic school, he struggled to pay attention and learn. His older siblings were struggling too. He says that one day a couple of nurses came to his house to talk to his parents. The nuns said to his mother and father, "With great tact the visitors continued, 'Is it possible for you and your husband to encourage your children to practice their English when they are home?'" (35). This is when Rodriguez's home life changed. The Nuns told his family that they needed to change. This  caused a split in Rodriguez's home life because his comfort in his Spanish language was taken away. He had no escape from this public life of English because it was expected that in order for him succeed in society, he had to learn English. He saw this as both good and bad. 
  And here is why:
  "Today, I hear bilingual educators say that children lose a degree of 'individuality' by becoming assimilated into public society... But the bilingualists simplistically scorn the value of necessity of assimilation. They do not seem to realize that there are two ways a person is individualized. So they do not realize that while one suffers a diminished sense of private individuality by becoming assimilated into public society, such as assimilation makes possible the achievement of public individuality" (39).  

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Jonathan Kozol "Amazing Grace" Quotes

First of all, it was really hard to pick just 3 quotes. Kozol had so many eye-opening, jaw dropping quotes throughout his. here are just 3 that I thought spoke the most to me.

1. "The house in which these children live, two thirds of which are owned by the City of New York, are often as squalid as the houses of the poorest children I have visited in rural Mississippi, but there is none of the greenness and the healing sweetness of the Mississippi countryside outside their windows, which are often barred and bolted as protection against thieves" (Kozol 4). 
    -Kozol makes a huge statement here by comparing two relatively similar "poor" areas but with one major difference; the children in Mississippi have backyards to go out and relax and "heal" in. The children of New York have windows that don't even open! These children live in very poor homes with little to nothing, with a concrete backyard if any, and all without being able to taste the sweet, fresh air because their windows don't even open. This is important to the text because it shows that just because someone is labeled as poor, doesn't mean they are all the same. Seven out of 800 children don't qualify for free school lunches. You can describe poor in three different "classes"; you have the ones who receive reduced-price lunch, they can be consider the upper class, you have the ones who receive free lunch, they are the middle class, and then you have the ones who can't even afford to go to school, these are the lower class of the poor. Kozol is comparing the "poor" classes of the nation because not every "poor" person has the same situation. 

2. "In one of the most diseased and dangerous communities in any city of the Western World, the beautiful old stone church on St. Ann's Avenue is a gentle sanctuary from the terrors of the street outside" (Kozol 6). 
    -This was so powerful to read. To think that this community is just outside our own community. This is New York- the Bronx, and Harlem. The stories Kozol tells about kids born with HIV and AIDS and how they have a children's park with teddy bears hanging from tree branches for the children of junkies to play with. These children have no real future because they have no where to go for help. Yes, the church and state tries to help them as much as they can, but its never enough. There is one quote that goes along with this quote about the beauty that the Church possesses. "There are children in the poorest, most abandoned places who, despite the miseries and poisons that the world has pumped into their lives, seem, when you first meet them, to be cheerful anyway" (Kozol 6). There are two beauties in this community and its the Church and the children, who despite having nothing, have such happy dispositions. 

3. "In emergency conditions, if space heaters can't be used, because substandard wiring is overloaded, the city;s practice, according to Newsday, is to pass out sleeping bags. 'You just cover up... and hope you wake up the next morning" (Kozol 4). 
    -OH MY GOD! That is all I could think when I read that last part! I could never imagine having to hope that my kids would be warm enough to make it through the night. Never knowing if you'd have heat on a December night or if you would have one less child the next morning because you don't have heat. This quote is only one paragraph after the first quote I chose. These people have less then nothing. They ave fear and worry. No one should have to go without heat or a sturdy roof over their head. I just can't get this father's words out of my head. Parents always strive to give their children more then they had and make sure they live a good life but its almost impossible to do that when you're struggling to make it through one cold night. No one should have to live like this. And in most cases, its not a choice. It goes along with Delpit and Johnson's works on gaps and privilege. 

Its going to take an act of Amazing Grace to get us through the land of limitation, class gaps, and powers of privilege an turn us toward everyone getting along! 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Kristof. Argument

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

    This author, Nicholas Kristof, argues that while we were once a land of opportunities, we are now a land of limitations largely due to the class gap. Kristof says that 

   "The chance of a person who was born to a family in the bottom 10 percent of the income distribution rising to the top 10 percent as an adult is about the same chance as a dad who is 5 feet 6 inches tall having a son who grows up to be over 6 feet 1 inch tall... It happens, but not often"( Kristof). 
   Kristof is saying that those born into the bottom 10, have almost no chance of rising out of that bottom no matter how hard they work because they have a lack of opportunities. 
Kristof says "They (children in Poverty in America) grow up not in a 'land of opportunity', but in the kind of socially rigid hierarchies that our ancestors fled, the kind of society in which your outcome is largely determined by your beginning"(Kristof). 
    Kristof doesn't focus on race but rather on class which encompasses multiple races. This way he can show that poverty doesn't favor one specific group, although there are less white folks in poverty compared to other ethnic groups. Kristof uses the example of his friend Rick and how he was smart, talented and worked hard yet he could never rise out of the bottom 10 percentile class which he was born into (Kristof). 
   Kristof raises a point from Delpit's piece. Delpit discussed the issue children in the lower class faced, being cast aside and written off because they didn't respond the way that teachers wanted them too. Kristof says that his friend Rick was pushed aside by teacher because of an undiagnosed ADD and was punished for missing school by a suspension of 6 months. 
   So to take form Johnson's piece, "Why can't we all get along?" Because there are such things as class gap, racial gap, gender gaps, and every gap in between. Fill those gaps and maybe we could all just get along.  

Just a little about me (:

Hey guys! My name is Jaci, I am 19 years old. I am from Seekonk, MA. I am a sophomore at RIC and I am in the Secondary Ed. Special Ed/ English program. I play softball for RIC. Below are some pictures that describe just a small portion of my life. I love my family and friends more then anything. Besides becoming a teacher, the second biggest thing in my life is to be a mom (I know, I know, but I love kids). Thanks for taking a peek at my blog (: 
I absolutely love Elephants
My 6 year old Argentine Dogo, Kyos

I'm a huge Florida Gators Fan (especially softball)

My 8 month old fur baby Reinha
My little brother Dyson

I love fishing

My best friend and boyfriend Jake
I love country music and this is Kenny Chesney's No Shoes Nation Tour 2013

I got to meet the Women's USA Nation Softball team 

I play softball for RIC
I visited Paris 6 years ago and I love this city
I'm a huge supporter of the Special Olympics and I am studying Special ED. 

I also am going for my degree in Autism