Saturday, February 27, 2016

Safe Spaces- August

       Safe Spaces written by August introduces the view of the LGBT in society. The article talks about many different issues relating to LGBT and some of the occurrences that are going on in society that often cause harm to the groups efforts to move forward. Many different factors within Safe Spaces relates to other articles because of the struggle, negative feelings, and lack of opportunity that is talked about in Safe Spaces among the LGBT society.

       The first article that I though this related to was Aria by Richard Rodriguez. Aria by Richard Rodriguez talks about a student who's first language is Spanish thus he does not get the best chance to excel in the classroom. Society in his case forces him to learn the English language. The same occurrence happens in Safe Spaces where educators and society are forcing students to be of gender. For example in Safe Spaces it talked about a girl taking a test and on the test the question read "Do you have a sweetheart" and sweetheart was in the masculine form and this girl was a lesbian. Society in both of these stories wants everybody to remain within the normal accepted "values" where everybody is assumed to be heterosexual or straight and being comfortable depends on these values. In both articles all the characters were not comfortable. The Spanish speaking student was against many odds because he could not speak English and this put a communication issue upon his teacher as well as his classmates. Being able to experience comfort was not the case for that student nor was it for students who were talked about in Safe Spaces. The refusal to talk about LGBT as it said in Safe Spaces only sends a message that it something of abnormal nature. Often in Safe Spaces also it talks about the education system and how sometimes children are exposed to negative representations of LGBT, creating a image which views these people as something else.  
      Another article that I also found closely related to Safe Spaces was U.S.A., Land of Limitations? by Nicholas Kristof. In Land of Limitations it explores the life of a man who was smart and had unique ability to be successful but due to his circumstances was not able to find or reach success. His parents nearly abandoned the family when he was younger thus the man Rick Goff found it hard to care for his younger siblings as well as go to school and then come home to support them. He dropped out of school and was left working for the rest of his life just so him and his siblings could have a mediocre life. This article closely related to Safe Spaces because it dives into the lack of opportunity. Safe Spaces talks about how the LGBT are not treated as equals because the Education system doesn't give students the opportunity to open up to differences among families. Within the curriculum LGBT families and students of those families feel like they are being left or appear invisible. Some states even prohibit same-sex marriage creating a barrier not only for couples but the whole LGBT society. It is important for teachers to include talks about LGBT so that views can change and opportunity can open. Realizing how that lack of opportunity changes ones life such a Rick Goff's is important because educators can then take the steps to better discussions and create Safe Spaces for the LGBT community. I believe it has to start with communication first and then work its way into the "picture".          
Connections: Safe Spaces related very close sly the two articles I just explained because of the lack of opportunity and lack of comfort within a particular setting. Reading those other two articles and comparing them to Safe Spaces would present many parallels because of the issues that occur as well as how we come to fix each of them.
Points to share/Discuss: LGBT as a society represents very strongly for what they believe in but that also presents issue in the "normal society" as well because people are not open to hearing about their fight for equality nor are they in favor for what they stand for. Many oppose LGBT and some have come to accept it. Talking about LGBT I think could possibly make the situation better because it has to start somewhere and if nothing starts at all then no progress will be made for both sides.   

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us- by Linda Christensen

      Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us by Linda Christensen was an interesting article to read because it brought to the surface the many issues about race, equality, gender and the different roles people play in society. Through many different media circuits we are able to visualize the differences in role playing that different actors take on. In this article the talk and identification on this subject is explored by having students pick out these "Myths" within cartoons and movies.
       My personal connection to this text is very similar to that of what happens within this article. When I was younger I always watched cartoons but really didn't notice the different roles that a character takes on until later in life. For example it the cartoon "Hey Arnold" there was always white kids in the scene and they always played the role a good guy. In this particular cartoon Arnold only had one friend of color and was always up to something and often Arnold and his friends had to figure out what he was up to. Another cartoon I watched was the Rug Rats. This particular cartoon had no characters of color and presented a happy white family where the mother was always cooking and feeding the children while the father went to work. This particular "scheme" is a classic presentation of the gender roles in which male and females play within a household. These particular gender roles and settings made me think about my own childhood when my mom was home to clean and take care of me and my brothers when until we were around four or five years of age. These types of disparities within cartoons and other forms of media now makes me think about how my society and the television taught me about what I should think, act, and represent from an early age. Race and Gender were key aspects in most of the cartoons that I watched in the late 90's and early 2000's and now trying to pick these elements apart I am able to see the huge differences in culture and the way society raises us. Another great example I always think about when relating to a subject matter like this is "Popeye". Popeye was a strong "male" sailor with muscular arms and who ate his spinach every day. It made me reflect about how in society this holds true. Men are often categorized as the most dominant and the influence comes early in life from cartoons such as these. Reflecting upon these different cartoons in detail now helps me understand the society influence and that was Christensen's goal with the students finding their own differences within different media settings such as cartoons. I thought Christensen's article talked about a subject that seems obvious but is not truly reflected upon until you actually sit down and pick it apart and that's what I enjoyed most about it.
Connection to other text: Christensen's article very closely relates to delpit in that the codes of power are often determined by race or gender. In this article in talks about how certain cartoon characters played lesser roles such as no princesses were of color or a how a woman would always be home cleaning. Delpit explains this perfectly in that she presents numerous points about how men are often more dominant and the same opportunities between genders are not present at times.   

Point to share: I thought overall Christensen's article was interesting because it introduces something that is not always explored. We don't always put a lot of effort as to why certain characters are where they are in movies. If we pay more attention to this we can really start to see the inequality and the societal manipulation that is presented on T.V. and in movies.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Social Justice Event - Women in Sports- Title IX (9) Gender Equality- Attended February 3, 2016 at Alger 110 12:30-1:45

Title IX or (9) was a panel discussion held at Alger Hall and was a recognition for Women and their movement in equality for the past 30 years. National Girls and Women in Sports Day is an annual event held each year around the United States to remember the emergence of Women in the sports setting and how they were able to break barriers and go from having minimal opportunity to a lot of opportunity. This event was intended for Health and Physical Education majors which is why I chose to take part in it but also welcomed any who were interested. It involved a discussion among the audience and six panelists who discussed the different opportunities, difficulties, barriers, and what it was like for women before and after the arrival of Title IX. So the question we must ask is what is Title IX? Title IX was an amendment and or rule that said on the basis of sex, no person shall be excluded from any educational program and or activities that receive funding. The discussion involved five panelists whom were Jackie Barto, Wilma Briggs, Jo-Ann D'Alessandro, Gail Davis, and Cindy Neal.  Each panelist in one form or another has a great involvement in Women and sports and talked about how they lead themselves as well as other Women to succeed in the sports setting. An open discussion was among all the women and the audience about how the opportunities for women before Title IX were meager. Factors such as how no organized teams outside of school and inside of school were reflected upon and when the women wanted to become involved, received a bad rap for participation in sports. Topics such as how men overruled the school setting because of their great accomplishments on the playing field also came into discussion. Some of the women on the panel were first hand accounts about what it was like trying to get involved and treated as equals in sports. The panelists from pre- Title IX explained what it was like when Title IX came into effect and even then it was like it didn't even happen. The panelists explained that when Title IX arrived it took some time to adapt to the world and setting and often they still had to fight to get playing time on the court and field and get a small funding for decent uniforms. Remembrance of certain stories came into play about how the men could travel together as a team on a bus and the Women didn't have a chance for that unity at all early on. After the acceptance of Title IX they discussed how the entire setting changed and their was always opportunity for not only women players but women coaches and new teams, and expansions made to leagues. This was one of the best parts of the discussion because I thought it perfectly solved the issues of women in sports. The panelists described everything that one would want to know and how Title IX's acceptance became a great solution for all the problems. In my opinion I thought the event was great, and it was the perfect learning experience to show that equality is growing among genders and the ability for everyone to get an opportunity is expanding.   
Connection to Texts read in class: Title IX first relates to Kristof in his article on Land of Limitation because it talked about the ability for those who believe they can play in sports such as women but just never had an opportunity until Title IX arrived and just having an opportunity can present with significant growth in those who receive it. Secondly, Title IX relates to Delpit because of power. Power was a common theme in Delpit and it relates to this because men who were involved in sports didn't realize what it was like without them, where as women experienced a lack of power. Lastly the other source that it relates to is Johnson because differences in society present with challenges and to overcome these we must provide solutions and Title IX was a step in the right direction for Women.          

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Aria-by Richard Rodriguez

       Aria by Richard Rodriguez discussed as well as depicted a setting in which children are in America at a young age and are part of  a Spanish family that speaks the foreign language. As the children, one such being Ricardo, go to school the setting is different and the comfort level is not the same as the home setting because everyone is speaking English. This is where Ricardo as well as his family start learning and recognizing the importance of English and the changes that occur.  
         In the text the author Richard Rodriguez discusses the experiences in which a student such as Ricardo have to go into a setting where English is spoken nearly all of them time and Ricardo comes from a Spanish family. Ricardo talks about his language being that of a private language where he only talks to those close to him and those that speak Spanish. The unknown of not being able to efficiently speak English in front of his class leaves Ricardo lost in the shuffle as he attempts to become proficient in English. This highlights the struggles that he deals with such as a disconnection between his teacher and classmates. Relating to my hyperlink this becomes a barrier where resources for Spanish children are at an immediate disadvantage because they do not have the tools to excel in the language like the other children who grow into it as well as learn it. The teachers also tend to lack the ability to pick out or even disregard the responsibility to engage students such as Ricardo which leads to underachieving academic success. Such statistical data is presented relating to this is my hyperlink where it shows that Hispanic are among the least educated group and the least with degrees of higher education most likely stemming from their futile education. More often than not opportunity is not prevalent at level-based skills and thus Spanish speaking children are overwhelmed by the advancement into the language.   
2.  The Change in Culture     
         Without Ricardo excelling in the classroom and him not being able to clearly speak up loudly and give answers in front of his classmates things had to change. Ricardo's teachers came to his house and suggested to his parents that he should start speaking English at home to better his knowledge of the language. His parents told him to start so he did. Relating to the hyperlink the feelings of hostility and or disagreement in the classroom between Ricardo and the teacher seemed to ease a bit and he was able to raise his hand and give an answer. This gave Ricardo the confidence that he was becoming comfortable with English. Another interesting part in the hyperlink is the explanation that different languages often  present with resistances. Resistances did occur as Ricardo and his siblings learned English more proficiently talk around the house was a lot less and his dad was usually rather quiet around the dinner table because he was not all that proficient in the English language. Ricardo was finally not separated into a private language and finally had public individuality.
Connection: Aria by Richard Rodriguez closely related to delpit because it deals with the way in which children she be taught in school. Whether it relates to different races, and or cultures being taught the way in which the teacher thinks the children she be is a common theme among both of these stories. Learning the way in which things are handled in the classroom and then enforcing these differences in the home environment can create a situation that betters the individual such as Ricardo.
Points to share/Discuss: I thought this article was very good because it talked about the experience a Spanish student was going through in an English classroom. He wasn't comfortable talking but as he talked more and more in English he became comfortable and was able to become more engaged. My question is what it for the better of Ricardo? The family? or both?     

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Amazing Grace - By Jonathan Kozol


1. "Only seven of 800 children do not qualify for free school lunches, Five of those seven get reduced lunches because they are classified as only poor not destitute. The schools and houses surrounding St. Ann's more than justify the Grimness ...[of the area]"
This quote, which was said by the school principal for an elementary school in the south Bronx describes the extreme poverty that the neighborhood is stricken with. At the center of Mott Haven, where the school lies is a world in which the reputation is that of "ghetto" and unfortunate acts. In this particular quote the meaning behind it is much more than a school lunch but that of desperateness. Children are growing up in this community with no food except when they are supported through their school and the background in the streets where there school lies is that of Heroin and diseases such as HIV/AIDS. The community in this particular area is filled with relentlessness doom where children have to worry constantly about death of loved ones or possibly even themselves from disease or losing a loved one to a drug overdose. This quote also depicts the anxiety in which families encounter each day, some being whether they are going to eat, be able to keep warm, or maybe even a loved one being killed. Relating to the text this quote brings about the main idea and point of sullenness, despair, and one of "the deadlier places." The relevance it has to the text is that of showing the extreme hardships of just being able to live and wake up each and every day in the area of Mott Haven. This place is where people are getting killed through their own home windows and the uncertainty of waking up the next day. It is this place that is "one of the deadliest" not just in terms of disease and murder but lack of a improving life.    
2. "Clumping so many people, all with the same symptoms and problems, in one crowded place with nothin' they can grow on? Our children start to mourn themselves before their time."
Ultimately, this quote describes the lack of prosperity and growth. Clumps of people in one area who's social class is that of the very bottom as well as a slim to no chance to rise in society. A revelation such as this one exemplifies that these people have little or no movement from their current status. They are constantly being held down by the lack of opportunity as most families and parents of families don't even have a steady job and rely solely on support from the government with food stamps. Growing into this the children are realizing that their chances of making it out past the violence, diseases, drugs and other matters are bleak. This gives the children a sort of false hope to the point where positivity is pointless. The relevance this quote has to the text is the depiction of vast majority of people in the area who will make it nowhere. All in all it is a place where parks are called "drug parks" and people such as prostitutes and drug addicts are being supplied to support their unlawful habits just to protect them and the people around them from further deterioration. The big picture is to show that making it out of this area instead of being eaten by it is slim.  
3. Mrs. Washington referring to the hospital bed says "either you wait for hours until someone cleans the room or else you clean the room yourself."
In this case the quote describes a scene in which Mrs. Washington arrives at the hospital without any room to go into. She has the choice and knows that if she doesn't clean the room herself she would have to wait many hours just to be called in. This quote perfectly describes the environment in which these destitute people live in. They are having to clean their own hospital beds so they can get admitted and treated as well as deal with understaffed hospitals which means treatment could take further time. These are breeding grounds for further diseases without proper cleaning and the fear in which Mrs. Washington later presents is that of picking up an extra illness if she goes to the hospital. Interestingly enough Mrs. Washington is already dealing with health issues and that's how this quote ties to the article. Health issues, being a major concern in this article are important to understand and work your way through them but if constant exposure to harmful infections will lead to greater health concerns what is the point of trying to help the other to only later worsen. Central to the story is how the area is dealing with a very bad string of deaths due to diseases such as HIV/AIDs and this problem will only get worse if the continuation of poor habits persists.

Connection: This article closely connects to Nicholas Kristof's article Land of Limitations where impoverishment and lack of opportunity creates a realistic truth of doom. In this case an area that is ridden with drugs, no employment, prostitution and disease the chances of not being taken or consumed by one of these is unlikely. Little to no opportunities are presented to the youth as they have often come to accept their own fate such as Cliffie and hold on for the worst which is most likely yet to come.  

Point to share/discussion: I felt this article depicted that of an area that is under immense violence and crime and that gives youth children little to work with. The path for success is not present and the worrying of other factors within the city such as spread of disease or murder is of concern. What I find interesting is that in the article it talks about the same poverty but in rural Mississippi. It would be interesting to know even if life is similar is it as harsh as the city or quieter and not as much violence even though poor families exist? Is there a better opportunity to make life better and lead a more successful path in the same destitute class but just in a rural area?