Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Social Justice Event- Macklemore.
With all the talk of Macklemore and his rise to fame, I decided to buy a ticket to his concert that was April 11th, 2013. As much fun as I had, I kept rolling over the lyrics of a few of his songs, thinking about how relatable to those who stand apart from the common social "norms" that dictate every move in our society. 

One of the first songs he played was called "Same Love," which really hits the nail on the head for one of the largest units that we talked about, and though I am not gay, I found what he says relatable. The first line of the song says,
"When I was in third grade, I thought that I was gay, Cause I could draw, my uncle was, and I kept my room straight." (
I could relate to this, as I tried sports, but after head injuries, my mother realized I could draw, and sent me to art classes. I had an interest in break dancing, but with those injuries, I couldn't do that, so she put me in tap dancing for a while. I got teased, sure, but its all about remembering who you are that really makes the difference. 

The song highlights many of the issues that we handled in the LGBT unit. He talks about how people say "Thats gay," where they are in the complete wrong context, and he stands up for the LGBT community in trying to send out the message that it is more offensive than you think. I will be honest, sure I've said that. It becomes implanted in our heads that saying "thats gay" is the equivalent of saying somethings dumb, and I realize now just how demeaning that can be. Becoming friends with many new people who happen to be gay or lesbians really helped me understand to watch what I say, because of how sensitive it can be. So I have abolished saying it, and I have stuck to my word. Like Macklemore, I want to know why we all just can't get along and accept everyone for who they are. We have one world and we each have one life, and both become corrupt and destroyed by one another. Life is short enough as it is, hatred just makes everything more difficult.
Kozol-Amazing Grace
The Point to Jonathan Kozol's Amazing Grace was to analyze and personify people, specifically children, living in the Mott Haven Area of the Bronx. I would like to share my Prezi, as I feel that it really hits the nail on the head.

Klewier- Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome

When it comes to children with down syndrome, I don't really have any experience whatsoever. I feel that an individual should be included as much as possible when it comes to normal learning circumstances. Down Syndrome especially, is a condition that has varying degrees of severity, and it can be easily be treated and a student can be incorporated in a classroom. 
When I was in elementary school, there was a boy who had a severe physical and mental handicap in class. I found it to be completely appropriate to have this boy in our classroom and constantly having positive interactions. however he could be disruptive at times.The problem that i had was when the aid fed him through a stomach tube. though it may be best to acknowledge this, i still felt that it was a disruption and a bit of an oddity that really distracted me from my work. Though this is not the same exact example, the point that i was trying to make was the fact that sometimes it is beneficial fro everyone to a full inclusion, as it would be a learning experience for all.
Oakes- Tracking
I'm pretty sure everyone remembers sitting in the NECAP tests, and knowing that the only thing you have to look forward to was that little bag of pretzels and the cup of half frozen orange juice. As far as my opinion on this, I feel mixed both ways about it. on one hand i do feel that it is important to make sure that every student is being taught, and no one is being short handed when it comes to a quality education, however it is the teacher's job to be able to prepare the student for this. The student cannot do it on their own.

I remember that when I was in Fourth grade, they made a transition to a program called Everyday Math to test out a new system to teach basic mathematics. This program did nothing but confuse most of the other kids in my grade, and to this day I have never learned how to long divide. I ended up being messed up in my understanding of math, and a once strong subject of mine became my weakest very quickly. In this video, though it is based in Washington, tells not to use Everyday Mathematics, and problems with it in real time.

Monday, March 25, 2013

In the Service of What? 
This piece of writing in particular was a bit of a challange because of its density, however I felt that It really pointed out some similar topics that I have experienced while volunteering in the community as well as my current service learning project in FNED 346. I feel that as volunteers in a society that embraces the values of education, it is important that we have the awareness to address the cultural, behavioral and learning differences in classrooms.

It is easy for me to compare my current service learning to other projects I have done in the past, as my roles have been quite similar, but I have been able to see the cultural differences in society based on which schools accommodate which students. Students in classes that I have volunteered in in Lincoln, Rhode Island, are far different than those in the inner city Providence schools. What I feel that the article was trying to point out, was that we should be doing things, no matter what the conditions may be, for the right reasons and for the greatest achievable success with students. It makes no difference the skin color, or cultural differences. It is all about the resources available to students, whether it be their teacher or their construction paper. As an individual participating in a service learning project, I feel that I am the resource that some of my students need in order to be a  better reader, and a better functioning member of the society that they live in. I want them to be able to have the confidence to succeed in an environment where success is not always as achievable as it normally is.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

In the Case of Cinderella Ate my Daughter, I feel that I have a good opinion when it comes to being on the outside looking in, as I was never a Disney Princess fan. I was more of a cars, trucks, and Ninja Turtles kind of kid. However my sister did had all the Disney Princesses, so I was exposed at a young age to both the cars and trucks, as well as her dolls and Tiaras. My sister even had a pink canopy bed that had flowing pink fabric. I feel that I am in an unbiased place to express my opinion of what Disney has done to our young culture.

Besides the fact that they are all very photogenic, I was amazed to find that they never look at each other. I scoured google images to find one picture that has at least one of them looking at each other, and i am pretty sure that it is impossible. One thing that Orenstein points out that I agree with, is that the innocence and naivedness that is portrayed through seemingly grown woman, is that, they are going to be waiting for prince charming to find them and sweep them off their feet, but that just isn't going to happen. It is an unrealistic vision that has taken over many young girls, because the princesses are perhaps the most well known role model for young girls. It seems that boys have many different role models, where these handful of seeming dull, and dimwitted girls are all that the female gender has to look up to these days.

I can also relate to this because I have an older sister who I feel has been influenced to a point where she can be handicapped in the relationship world. I see that she has very high standards when it comes to dating, to a point where it is unrealistic that she will find everything on her "checklist." There is no such thing as Prince Charming, and with her role models being these women for so many years, I feel that it has greatly magnified her impression of physical and material attraction, and made her almost overlook what is most important, which is what is on the inside. Thanks Sleeping Beauty.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Safe Spaces- Annemarie Vaccaro, Gerri August, Megan S. Kennedy

So this topic concerning LGBT is something that I feel is a rising pressure on society for a number of different reasons. As said in this text, and any other readings, being any of these (Lesbian Gay Bysexual, or Transgender) is not the decision of an individual, it is just a genetic makeup. I feel that the Catholic church has a strangle hold on the ideas and ideals in society in the fact that they believe that a "holy matrimony" should consist of a man and a woman. This is completely wrong in my opinion. I understand after reading this article the importance of fairness in society, and it reminded me of a story that i heard on the news a few years ago. I felt that it related a bit to the bullying, though a more extreme case, and could be linear to the high school boy who killed himself due to his sexual orientation.

It is sickening to think that someone could do such a thing to another person, and that other kids could make a boy so sick of himself that he could not live with something he could not help. In my life, I cannot say that I have any LGBT friends, however my sister has many. Her best friend is gay, and I have known him since I was small. He is a great person and a good friend, and that is what truly matters in the situation. Honestly, I feel that your sexual orientation should be whatever you in your heart know is for you. One way or another it wouldn't matter to me. Just as long as you make yourself happy.

A story on a funny note however. A few years ago when I was in middle school, my parents decided to take me on a day trip, and we ended up stopping at the India Pointe Park in Providence. My parents knew that it was a hang-around type spot that hosted a significant gay population. They wanted to educate my sister and I about other's preferences no matter what they may be. That was the first time I had ever seen two men kissing before, and it was a culture shock for a young me. I would admit I was surprised. Years later though, I realize that I don't like seeing a man and a women making out in public, as I feel that it is a very personal thing that should not be displayed in public. I feel that there are more publicly appropriate ways of showing affection for anyone, no matter the sexual orientation, and i feel that it is something out of respect for people around you.