Sunday, February 22, 2015

Safe Spaces Reflection

My response to this is a bit of frustration at how rude and ignorant people can be. I guess this will be more of a rant rather than entirely a reflection but here I go..
     Most importantly what people need to understand is that no one has the right to judge another person. This is key. Once a person understands that, then they are golden. I truly believe that. We are all here on this earth trying to survive the best we can. Each and every one of us has things going on in our lives and has something that makes us different than someone else. Because we all have something that makes us different, doesn't that really make us all the same? Yes. If a person is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, that does not mean they should be judged or treated differently. They may not have the same sex life as you but that is their business and it doesn't make them any different than you.They need to be treated with respect just the same as any other person you come across. I don't even like using the word "they" because it really is "we". People need to stop separating others and just join together accepting one another.
We are all equal. This all goes back to SCWAAMP, no matter what, if all categories describe you or if not even one of them does, it should not make a difference. Remember the golden rule? The Golden Rule Yeah the one where we treat everyone equally and as we ourselves want to be treated? That is still important and true. 
Do not judge.Please Do Not Judge Others                                                                                      

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Aria, by Richard Rodriguez

"From the doorway of another room, spying the visitors, I noted the incongruity-the clash of two worlds, the faces and voices of school intruding upon the familiar setting of home." (page35)

     This is such a sad moment. Rodriguez is witnessing school coming in on his home life. This moment changes everything for him and his family. The nuns intruded on the Rodriguez's family in a sense that they changed the dynamic. It was originally a safe place for the children to speak freely in Spanish and be understood. After that visit however, they started speaking
English at home so they could better speak it outside in school and other places. Home should always be a safe place where you are free to be you. Having the nuns come in and change that is not right. Also the parents did not have to go to such a drastic change. They could have spoken English at certain learning times then have the rest of the time in Spanish.


  "But my father was not shy, I realized, when I'd watch him speaking Spanish with relatives. Using Spanish, he was quickly effusive. Especially when talking with other men, his voice would spark, Ricker, Rare alive with sounds. In Spanish, he expressed ideas and feelings he rarely revealed in English. With firm Spanish sounds, he conveyed confidence and authority English would never allow him." (page 37, 38)

     People are usually not shy when they are confident and comfortable in the situation or with a certain group of people. His father was not shy but didn't feel at ease speaking in English. It's something foreign to him as another language may be to us. There is a fear to mess up or be made fun of when learning another language when others know it or pick it up easily. Mr. Rodriguez spoke with a spark and detail in his own language. It is a part of who you are.
     For me I can only kind of relate. I am half Syrian and grew up in a church with all Arabic speaking people. For the majority of them, Arabic is their first language. Their accents are strong and there is even a different Mass at 11:00 that is in Arabic. I never knew what they were saying despite hearing it all the time when I went there. I knew a select few words my dad taught me but he doesn't know too much either. Often times I would be standing by someone I knew and they would have a full out conversation with another person in Arabic and I would just be awkwardly standing there. I don't think they ever realized I couldn't understand a word they said. 
     When I started college I choose to take Arabic for my language requirement so I would maybe know some of the things they are saying and that I have been hearing growing up. I felt like a baby in that class. Arabic is an incredibly difficult language to learn because it does not relate to English or anything I know at all. There is a different alphabet with 28 letters and sounds some of which if you don't speak Arabic you can't pronounce. You would have to train your mouth to pronounce and make the correct sound. The alphabet is different symbols, there is no abcdefg.. I had to learn the letters individually and sound out the sounds of Arabic words with all the different rules and accents. There's so much to it! If you ask my friends and family how I did with that class they will tell you how frustrated I was. . Here is the alphabet.. (You read from right to left.) 
Anthropology 1200 
     I struggled alot in that class (Arabic one and two) But it gave me a glimpse into how challenging it is to try to learn a different language! It was the coolest hing to be able to slowly progress and understand bits and pieces here and there. I was so excited at the rare times when I actually knew the answer. I have so much respect for those who learn other languages. It's truly incredible.

" Weeks after, it happened: One day in school I raised my hand to volunteer an answer. I spoke out in a loud voice. And I did not think it remarkable when the entire class understood. That day, I moved very far from the disadvantaged child I had been only days earlier. The belief. the calming assurance that I belonged in public, had at last taken hold" (page36)

     That is so cool! That must have been so satisfying for him! After weeks of trying to understand and speak easily in English it finally clicked! I never reached this point in Arabic but I can only imagine how amazing that was for him. His life had become so much easier in a sense of communication in school at that moment. Something to point out here is how he used the word "disadvantaged". In the conversations that we have been having in class, this word has been talked about a lot. There are different ways to be disadvantaged but it is all the same concept of trying to get to or fit in the advantaged group. It would be the same situation if, say, we went to China and tried to jump in the school system. We would try to understand first off some parts of the language or what they were saying to us and then try to learn what the fluent speakers were learning on top of it.
     I felt disadvantaged in my class when two the the three other students in the class spoke fluent Arabic having moved here from Syria. They would have conversations in Arabic with each other and the teacher sometimes. All I could do was sit there and wait until they switched to English. It's actually like a claustrophobic feeling. It's an interesting experience and I definitely felt disadvantaged and left out. And I didn't speak in class half as much as I do in this FNED class. I often wondered if they felt cool or superior because they knew something so well that I didn't at all. That's probably just me but again, who knows. Here's a cool link to check out of someone else's experience with this..      storytimewithjohn

Below is the word disadvantaged in Arabic :
Remember it reads right to left, that is why it is set up like this   

For class: 
     Do you think the family handled the situation in a good way? How about the nuns, should they have talked to the parents about Richard learning English at home? 


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol

     First off let me just say wow.. There are so many quotes that really struck me that I could comment on but I'll pick three of the most thought provoking ones.

" There are children in the poorest, most abandoned places who, despite their miseries and poisons that the world has pumped into their lives, seem, when you first meet them, to be cheerful anyway." (Page 6)
     This always interested me. How a child could be in the worst scenario you could imagine, and still be happy. Those children appreciate all the good that there is in the world, possibly because there isn't much of it for them. What they do have they treasure. Those children make the best of what they have instead of making a wish list of the things that they want. The more a person has, the less happy they seem to be.

"The pastor tells me that the place is known as 'Children's Park.' Volunteers arrive here twice a week to give out condoms and clean needles to addicted men and women, some of whom bring their children with them. The children play near the bears or on a jungle gym while their mothers wait for needles." (Page 12)
     This quote makes me tear up. That is so sad. Innocent children are playing near the bears that were probably stolen and put in the tree hanging as some sort of sick joke. All this while their mothers wait for needles, how devastating. Another thing that struck me is that there are volunteers that come to the "Children's park" to give out condoms and clean needles. That is promoting the wrong actions. Especially having volunteers to give them out? I don't understand. Volunteers are people that give their time to help others but to do good. Not to encourage using needles!
Volunteer opportunities (I don't see giving out condoms and needles on here.. just saying)

"I believe that we were put here for a purpose, but these people in the streets can't see a purpose. There's a whole world out there if you know it's there, if you can see it. But they're in a cage. They cannot see." (Page 24)
     After reading this I agreed right away. Those people are not living. Without a purpose, one is lost and has no reason to even try. That is what they fell into. Those people cannot see. I think that is why this article is titled Amazing Grace. Here is the verse that connects to the story, the verse those people need..
"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see."

Topic to talk about:
"I think they hate you because you are not in their condition. 'I am in hell and you are not and so I hate you and I have to try to bring you down where I am.' I feel pity for them, and fear, because they're lost." (Page 24)
     This is true in many situations. It's from jealousy, they resent people that are in a better situation. Which is a part of human nature. Do you agree? Has anyone tried to bring you down with them? 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Other People's Children by Lisa Delpit

"To clarify, this student was proud of the teacher's 'meanness,' an attribute he seemed to describe as the ability to run the class and pushing and expecting students to learn." Page 37

     This quote really stood out to me because of how I fall into this. This is basically saying that students will have more respect for teachers that put their foot down. This can be considered mean however it isn't, it's just the teacher acting as a teacher. Being able to run and control the class is vital. Its hard for me because I have a soft voice and am afraid to be mean. Its something that bothers me because I want to be a successful teacher but I realize that requires a teachers voice. I've gotten better but still am afraid to be mean.

"The students became the experts in explaining to the teacher the rules for creating a new rap song." Page 33

     When students learn something really well, they have confidence and are more likely to be confident in helping others learn it as well. Having a student explain their own research to the teacher makes them feel good and like they really know something. It also gives the student inspiration to keep learning. I know that when I learn something well that I am proud, its a really good feeling that everyone wants to feel. Having the students teach what they learned is also a great way to get them engaged to learn more.  It is perfect to have a lesson plan to follow along.

"This does not mean separating children according to family background, but instead, ensuring that each classroom incorporates strategies appropriate for all the children in its confines." Page 30

     I am shocked that this needs to be said. That's really sad. No matter what, the classroom needs to be appropriate and useful to all students. That is one of the main goals and responsibilities as the teacher.This pertains to all aspects of teaching and will be a priority of mine as a teacher.

Lisa Delpit:

To bring up in class:
     This kind of upset me and I'm not sure how to take it. Does this bother anyone else?
"The biggest difference between black folks and white folks is that black folks know when they're lying!" According to this, whites are really terrible and have bad unconscious motives.