Saturday, February 27, 2016

Safe Spaces-August


In Safe Spaces by August it talks about how LGBT people are at a disadvantage all of the time and there is no where to turn.  August's main point is that there are messages everywhere that tell LGBT people that their identity is unacceptable, and touches upon how LGBT needs advocacy and not neutrality.
The first connection I see in August to another text is Aria by Rodriguez.  I believe it related very much so to Rodriguez because it talked about barriers in American Culture.  Rodriguez faced a language barrier in which he had to convert from primarily Spanish to primarily English.  After learning English Rodriguez had the belief of common assurance that he belonged in American culture.  Through his transition of languages Rodriguez learned that there was private and public individuality that came with knowing languages, and after learning English there was very little interaction with his family members at home.  This relates very much so to Safe Spaces by August because she talks about how people today face LGBT barriers at home on the premise of acceptance and also at school.  Like Rodriguez's Spanish language there are messages present in today's society that tell LGBT people that they don't have a public identity.  August says that with curriculum and communication change, LGBT people will be able to have a public identity and be accepted.  Much like in Rodriguez's story teachers missed opportunities to invite discussion, challenge stereotypes, and raise awareness, but instead told him and his parents that he should be converted to primarily English.  This showed just as well in August's writing in which several examples were present in which teachers "singled-out" (without knowing at times) LGBT students. 
The second connection I see in Safe Spaces by August to another text is Christensen and Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us.  In Christensen's piece she talks about how American society teaches children how to act, live and dream.  This is present in August's writing because she says that the standard way in which most messages are presented in American classrooms is heterosexual.  Christensen also points out that the world depicts domination of one race, sex, religion, and more.  The same goes for August's writing in which she acknowledges the fact that recognizing LGBT roles will help undermine certain harmful stereotypes that exist.  Christensen says secondhand information of how to view others has been distorted, and that there are certain roles of people who live in a successful society.  August says that this is very much true and that we as a society should not be ignoring or erasing experiences of LGBT but advocating for them.  August says that integration and interpretation are needed in order to transform classrooms into safe spaces for all students.  August says that educators can create inclusive and safe classrooms and trust between educators and students can be establishes.  Christensen puts it in different words but says the same, one has to have the opportunity to analyze what is going on to see how we develop these stereotypes in order to tackle them.
Connection to other text:  Above are precise connections to previous texts we have covered in which they relate to certain social barriers that exist in society.  These connections clearly relate to Safe Spaces by August because of LGBT messages the tell LGBT people they have no place in public society.
Points to Share/Discuss: August says that society should represent an inclusive atmosphere for all LGBT people.  Schools, religious places, organizations, and many other community based programs may be able to become accustomed to accepting LGBT people through integration and interpretation, but how can society tackle this issue for those people who still don't believe LGBT people are welcomed in our society? 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us-Linda Christensen



Personally for me this text was an eye opener.  I have heard many times before of young children stories, movies, TV, and even things such as magazines and comics have contained subliminal messages.  The truth to the matter is at a young age one does not have the knowledge and information to understand truly what is going on or what is to be meant by certain actions, phrases, or pictures that occur on television, in movies and in stories.  This is where I can personally reflect and say that when I was younger and used to do all of these things I did not notice certain messages that were being portrayed.  I did not realize that (as Christensen puts it) we as a society are being conditioned of how to accept certain things such as race, gender, sex, how to act, hot to live, how to dream.  It makes me think about how it has possibly shaped children who have the knowledge to understand what is going on.  It makes me think of the question of "what if I understood the message?" and how that would make me a different person today.  Now that I am older and have the knowledge to analyze and interpret what is happening in a given situation it is quite shocking that a wide variety of children's entertainment has been transformed to allow children to develop a distorted image of others. These distorted images come in the form of racial, gender, and social equality where not everyone is treated as equals. As kids we cannot fully grasp and wrap our minds around these complex societal depictions because we were to young to have experienced them yet. I felt Christensen's article perfectly reflected that of which teaches us how to act within society and we may have possibly been manipulated all this time by different T.V. programs and other media entertainment.  I believe Christensen is spot on with her analogy of how society is being secretly manipulated through various forms of entertainment and I believe this should be important for everyone to know about in order to develop respect for others in our culture.

Points to Share/Discuss: Subliminal messages in a variety of children's entertainment can certainly cause them to develop attitudes and emotions towards certain people, culture, sex, or religion.  How can this problem be tackled now in order to prevent further conditioning of beliefs in young children?

Connection to another text:  This text I believe clearly relates to Johnson and Privilege, Power and Difference because children are growing up thinking there are "bad guys" as depicted in the movies and that American society values SCWAAMP.  In reality we must address these problems straight on to find a solution to the problem that exists.           

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Social Justice Event-(Gender Equity in sports) National Girls and Women In Sports Day (Attended February 3, 2016)

The National Girls and Women In Sports Day was a great event for those who are going into education, especially health and physical education.  This event was just over one hour long and had six panelist's talk about women in sports before and after Title IX (9). This was an amendment to deny any exclusion or denied benefits of, from participating in sports on the basis of sex.  The five panelists were Jackie Barto, Wilma Briggs, Jo-Ann D'Alessandro, Gail Davis, and Cindy Neal.  Each panelist has quite the extensive resume (found here) for participation of and continuation in betterment of sports, more-so for women.  The event started with each women discussing sports before Title IX and aspects such as women were not allowed to play with men, established schools did not have girls teams that played other girls teams, instead they had to create their own team and organize their own meetings for competition.  Each also had interesting stories of pre-Title IX such as not having a little league to join, but one father cut his daughters hair to get her on the boys team and she made it.  An interesting part about the talk of pre-Title IX aspects was not only the fact that it was hard for women to get involved in sports, but when they did get involved everything that goes into playing sports was different from men to women.  For example transportation for men would be by luxurious buses and for women it would be in personal cars.  Pre-game meals would be vegetables and steak for men and something less for women like canned food.  Times have changed since the implementation of Title IX.  Studies have found that female college athletes have better graduation rates, and female participation in any sport at any levels yield better job opportunity outcomes.  Although Title IX did not bring about immediate results benefits certainly started to arise and they are continuing to grow to this day.  Title IX is an important part of society for our recognition that no one should be discriminated under any circumstances to participate in any opportunity, especially sports.  The event was interesting and fulfilling as it allowed all of the students to interact with panelists and ask questions that were geared towards uncovering the truth of what it was like for women, and what can be done today to continue to improve upon progress.   

Connection to Course texts: 
This event relates to Delpit because "The rules and codes of power" in this situation "Title IX" identify the significance of women being able to participate in sports which provides explicitness in order to provide guidelines for belief in a system.  This event relates to Johnson because we as a society must find solutions like "Title IX" to certain situations and evaporate the idea of this "difference" that is among us. Lastly this event relates to Kristof because during this time where you start at the beginning of your life (as a girl) is where you would end up (not on a team).


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Aria: by Richard Rodriguez


Richard Rodriguez's essay "Aria" accounts a time when he was a child going to school in America.  Rodriguez and his family were immigrants from Mexico and their primary language was in fact, Spanish when they arrived. 
The main point that Rodriguez is addressing is the issue of bilingual education and how it is impossible for a foreign student to use their native language in which he describes as a "private language, with English in the school setting and public life.  Rodriguez argues that language barriers existed when he was in school as a child and did not feel part of public society or as an American citizen until he learned the English language.  Rodriguez compared the language of home versus the language of society as private and public languages.  He made this comparison to show that using ones foreign language in a society where English dominates, one would not be successful which was depicted in his struggles in school before learning English.  Rodriguez as a child in his early years could only speak Spanish felt alienated by society and felt that he had the right and was obligated to learn English.  Rodriguez's desire and satisfaction of learning the English language was not more evident than when he stated "at last, seven years old, I came to believe what had been technically true since my birth: I was an American citizen."  After learning the English language Rodriguez had the belief of calming assurance that he belonged in society.  Rodriguez supported his own idea that becoming assimilated into public society doesn't not contribute to ones loss of individuality, but is in fact a step or gain towards the achievement of "public individuality."  Rodriguez argues the fact that English was needed "to seek the rights and opportunities necessary for full public individuality." 
Connection:  This essay written by Richard Rodriguez clearly connects to Delpit and the culture of power because of how being told explicitly "the rules and codes of power" one is able to be assimilated into society.  A similar interpretation is of how the Delpit piece direct speaks about educating other peoples children and teaching them the "American way of society" which is present in this piece where the teachers of Richard Rodriguez enforce the parents of him to start speaking English and becoming accustomed to how and when something should be said.
Point to Discuss/ Share:  The views on bilingual Education and the creation of new Schools for foreign students.  Should foreign students learn English when coming to America?  I believe so, just as we would have to learn a "foreign" language going to another country.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Amazing Grace: by Jonathan Kozol


Jonathan Kozol's Amazing Grace presents powerful and personal accounts of the struggle of the poor in the United States and how a society could be allowed or "let loose"  to become ravaged by disease, violence, poverty, and ineffective planning by government control and greediness by large business and wealthy individuals who essentially own some of the responsibility to fix it.  This work by Kozol covers the South Bronx which is considered one of the poorest and racially segregated cities in the United States.
This website listed above clearly reflected what Kozol was trying to convey by describing the South Bronx.  Allowing such a disastrous situation happen can lead to many profound effects not only in its own area, but can spread to other major cities and eventually globally.  One major part of this website that clearly depicts Kozol's accounts is the poverty cycle in which one problem hardly lies alone.  Bad sanitation like in the neighborhoods of the south Bronx lead to the spread of new and old diseases and viruses like HIV in his accounts.  These poor conditions are made even worse with malnutrition and lack of water to stay healthy in order to fight diseases, and inadequately supplied hospital facilities to help treat the sick and injured also brought to light in Kozol's account of Ms. Washington.  Unemployment as detailed also in Kozol's writing in which it was said by another woman maybe five or six out of twenty-five had legitimate (stable) employment.  Unemployment based on the article above attributes to  property burglaries.  Consequences associated with poverty are alcohol and substance abuse, injury related to unsafe labor in which young impoverished children are forced into, and diseases related to poor water and food supply and living conditions.  All of these aspects were covered by Kozol in which children live in infested households with rats, roaches, no heat, and negative environmental hazards such as the dump and incinerator.  The connection between Kozol's accounts and this website are that the poverty cycle is something that has to be broken or controlled by those in power.  Children are born as impoverished and they are leading the unsuccessful lives their parents lead because they also did not have much.  Allowing poverty to occur and reoccur and relocating homeless people to a society that's already diminished does not provide an opportunity for growth. 
We understand today that the wealthy (upper) class is safe while the poverty (lower) class is not.  Poverty stricken people have many fears most often being violence, shelter, illness, and education.  Throughout the world poverty stricken people are taken advantage of, more so in third world countries where the justice systems are broke and their is no control of civilizations.  As discussed in Kozol's writing the end of poverty such as in the South Bronx requires more than change by the government, but by the people.  This was clearly stated in Kozol's article by Lawrence Mead of New York university saying "if poor people behaved rationally" "they would seldom be poor for long in the first place."  This is a direct connection to this Huffington post article because the direct cause of poverty is directly caused by violence.  Taking actions against violence such as enforcing laws will allow opportunities to open up such as education, and jobs for those affected.
Connection:  This writing by Kozol directly relates to Kristof's Land of Limitations because it shows the correlation with adults and children in which ones future is largely determined by your past generations  such as parents and grandparents.  Ones struggle is clearly depicted as another's struggle in these specific situations.       
Point to Share/Discuss:  Kozol represents his writing of poverty through his descriptions of different individuals who provide meaning and voice behind the stereotypes that are given to them, but that was mostly attributed to their upbringing.