Sunday, September 28, 2014

Puppy Love

Hi guys, this weekend I got a puppy! Her name is Gracie and she is the cutest thing in the world, so I thought I would share! 

Richard Rodriguez "Aria" - Argument

          In his article, "Aria", Richard Rodriguez talks about how he grew up in a Spanish-speaking home, and when he was struggling with the transition into an English speaking classroom, his teachers asked his parents if they could begin speaking English at home to help him and get him more used to it.  He talks about English being a "public language" where Spanish was his family's "private language."(34)  This transition into English made his family lose a lot of their communication and culture.  As they got older, Rodriguez and his siblings in some ways lost touch with their parents who were much more comfortable speaking Spanish.
         Rodriguez argues that cutting out the first language from a student is not the way to teach them a second language.  He uses his own, real life example to show the negative affects of eliminating the first language from a bilingual student.  In "Teaching Multilingual Children", Virginia Collier would agree with Rodrigues in her Seven Guidelines to teaching to assist in teaching multilingual children. (223) Guideline #3 sticks out the most in agreement with Rodriguez, and that is "Don't teach a second language in any way that challenges or seeks to eliminate the first language." (227)  This directly backs up what happened when Rodriguez, a Spanish-speaking student was put into an English-speaking classroom and expected to change completely to fit in and be like the other students, who were most likely white and middle class.
          I think that it is so sad that Rodriguez lost so much of his family's language and culture because he wasn't taught in a way that could accept both his English-speaking peers and his Spanish-speaking family.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Peggy McIntosh "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack"- Connections

         Upon first reading "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh I understood what she was saying but when I looked her up and found her TED talk video it really opened my eyes to her idea of white privilege and how much it affects everyone, myself included without even being aware of it.  She describes white privilege as an "invisible package of unearned assets" (1) that give white people an advantage over people of other races.  We don't realize that we have these advantages until they are pointed out, like in class we talked about having a piece of glass in front of us and we don't realize its there until someone puts a crack in it, making it known to us.  McIntosh lists out some conditions attached to her white privilege (2,3) and while i was reading them I noticed some similarities Johnson's article "Privilege, Power and Difference" when he talks about "What Privilege Looks Like in Everyday Life" (27-30)
         I felt a little bit uncomfortable when McIntosh was talking in the video about "oppressing" her coworkers inadvertently.  She didn't even realize that it was happening.  It happens all the time.  When she was talking about this, it reminded me of Delpit's "culture of power."  As a white woman, McIntosh had power over her black coworkers without realizing it.  One of Delpit's five aspects of power is "Those with power are frequently least aware of it - or least willing to acknowledge - its existence.  Those with less power are more aware of its existence." (24)  I think McIntosh's story is a perfect example of that.    
         I also found this picture that brought up an important idea.  On this woman's forehead it says "We're lucky we're white."  I thought that was interesting because why should it make that big of a difference?  Should we also feel guilty that we have so much more than people of other races?  Why are we born with this "invisible knapsack"?  Is there anything we can do to change this?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Jonathan Kozol, Amazing Grace - Quotes

In "Amazing Grace" Jonathan Kozol shares the poverty that he sees in an incredibly diseased and dangerous neighborhood in New York.  To me, it seems impossible that this level of poverty could even happen with all of the resources and technology we have now at our disposal.  The stories he tells are not only heart breaking but also kind of make me feel angry that these people live like this and how unfair it is.  I've chosen a few quotes that I thought were important to share.  
'"If poor people behaved rationally," says Lawrence Mead, a professor of political science at New York University, "they would seldom be poor for long in the first place."' (21)  Although Kozol later argues this point with examples about his friend Alice Washington, it initially upset me.  All I could think was how can he say that when we can clearly see all of the terrible things that these people are going through? I can understand how he means that hard work can get you far, and we do have many examples of the idea of "rags to riches".  But these children growing up with illness, disease, crime, and extreme poverty can't do anything about it.  And many of their parents are very sick as well, whether it be AIDS, drug addiction, mental illness or many other things, that they can't do much about either because of the lack of medical attention available to them, as we also see in "Amazing Grace".
“Her uncle came around and knocked at all the doors contributions so that he could bury her.” (13) This is another quote that stuck out to me.  The girl that he is talking about is a fifteen year old girl who died from a drug overdose.  This reminded me of a poem that I read in English 123 last year by Langston Hughes called "Night Funeral In Harlem" that is about a young boy who passed away and his family and friends came together to give him a proper funeral just like this girl.  This quote, as well as the poem show a sense of community that some of these people have.  I saw it when Kozol talked about St. Ann's Church and how it was a safe place, full of children.  "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 streets outside." (6)  I also got a strong sense of community when I was reading about Mrs. Washington, who is a very sick woman and she talks about a struggling mother, who is also very ill.  Mrs. Washington said "When I am feeling well enough, I go up there and help her." (18) I thought this was amazing, because even though she is very ill she goes and helps her neighbor.  This sense of community is so important, because if they don't have each other, what do they have?


My name is Shannon and I'm from Groton Connecticut so I live on campus here at RIC and I love it! I couldn't wait to get back at the end of the summer.  Over the summer I worked at Costellos Clam Shack in Noank CT.  I had a perfect view of the water and sail boats and I had a lot of fun while serving up some fried food. When I wasn't working this summer I went to the beach in Watch Hill and tried not to get sun burnt.
I am in FNED 346 because I am an Elementary Education intended major with a math content. I'm so excited about this class and to start visiting schools and start applying to the School of Education.