Monday, November 30, 2015

Promising Practices Conference

Promising Practices was definitely an interesting event for me. It wasn't my first conference where I was surrounded by teaching students, teachers, and social workers since I have frequently attended the Rhode Island Writing Project Spring Conference for the past three years. But, the workshops I attended were both extremely different. One included something about schizophrenia (honestly, I could not even begin to tell you what I was really supposed to understand from it). The other was a little more interesting and included a lot of aspects of SCWAAMP and other aspects of FNED that we've been discussing all semester. It was about incarceration rates in Rhode Island and how the institution and system is broken and unable to help anyone who has ever been incarcerated.

Workshop 1: Hearing Empathy
Luckily, I wasn't the only one from FNED that went to this first workshop called "Hearing Empathy." I say "luckily" because it's good to know I wasn't the only one completely confused as to what I was supposed to be learning. So, from what I gathered from the seminar, I was being taught by a man who worked the Veteran Hospital in Providence as a social worker. And he was attempting to show us how to experience empathy with people diagnosed with schizophrenia. I wish I had more solid evidence that that's exactly what I was supposed to be learning, but the workshop was so crazy, I found it hard to say anything more than "What is happening?" To Alex and Sydnei who were both sitting next to me. However, one thing that did catch my attention was that the presenter kept repeating "safe space" to us as we were sitting in front of him, not answering any of his questions because we didn't know what he was saying. Of course, Dr. August discusses "safe spaces" in her article that we read earlier this semester and obviously, the presenter was trying to get us to feel like his seminar was a safe space just because it was all about hearing empathy. However, because he was so all over the place and constantly looking at us as though we had any idea what he was trying to say. I don't think he was making a very safe space for us because there was no attempt to explain what he was talking about or to make us feel comfortable with the subject he was trying to discuss. I would say Dr. August wouldn't agree with his teaching methods at all.
Even though I felt as though I wasn't learning a lot within the workshop, I feel like from just the title of the workshop, I can understand what the presenter had actually wanted to tell us. When you're in a classroom or in a social working environment, it's important to understand that not there are those out there with mental and physical disabilities. We have to make that safe space, just as Dr. August describes. A space where students feel comfortable and understand that it's okay for them to be who they are. And by learning empathy and understanding what can occur with any form of mental illness is a way to get to that safe space.
However, I did find this video of Anderson Cooper simulating schizophrenia. I'm like 75% sure this is what the presenter was trying to show us all but Anderson Cooper did a better job at explaining it than he did.

Workshop 2: Recovery Oriented Systems of Care
My second workshop was one thousand times better than my first workshop. For the most part, I could understand what the presenter was trying to tell the attendees because of the lessons we've learned in FNED. In the workshop, we learned all about incarceration rates in Rhode Island and mostly focused on female incarceration rates. However, she also provided many statistics on the difference between female and male incarceration rates as well as comparing the incarceration rates between black, Hispanic, and white women within Rhode Island and in the country. Unfortunately, I was too concerned with actually listening to the presenter and her personal stories to take the time to write down her statistics, which probably wasn't my best idea. However, I did find this awesome PDF from the that displays some similar statistics to the incarceration rates within America. 
I believe that one of the best connections I can make from this workshop to our own class was the article written by Kristof on the institution versus the individual. Within the PDF I had previously linked, it shows that black and Hispanic women are more likely to be incarcerated than white woman. Kristof discusses the idea that inequality is institutional and not based on the individual. Well, I believe the statistics showing that people of color are more likely to be incarcerated shows the inequality within the institution of the law. The presenter also told us how she believed the system was messed up because there was no solid way for those who had been incarcerated to properly care for their children or get jobs after they are released. The institution is based on the inequalities in gender, race, and socio-economic standing which I believe both Kristof and the presenter were trying to explain.
I also believe that the workshop connects back to Peggy McIntosh's article about white privilege. Again, I can bring up the statistics of the incarcerations rates between races. The says "In 2011, black women were incarcerated at 2.5 times the rate of white women (129 versus 51 per 100,000). Hispanic women were incarcerated at 1.4 times the rate of white women (71 versus 51 per 100,000)" which just shows the inequality in race. There is a white privilege even in jail, apparently. I've also found this article and video explaining some law changes in California attempting to fix the drug incarceration difference between whites and blacks in America because there was such a difference in the amount of times black people were incarcerated for drug use over white people. I think McIntosh tries to show how white privilege exists through a lot of her own experiences, but I think that even the statistics from the workshop and the articles back it up.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

"Empowering Education" Connections

While I was reading "Empowering Education" by Ira Shor, I found myself thinking back to a few weeks ago when we were discussing Patrick Finn and Jeannie Oaks. I found a lot of similarities between the three articles and the ideas that they were all trying to push into the front of our my minds when we think about teaching in a democratic society.

Finn Connections:
A lot of the time while reading "Empowering Education" I found myself thinking about Finn a lot. I think it was mostly because I could see a lot of issues were similar between the two. Finn discusses a lot about working class schools focusing on following directions and learning how to follow directions in society. I feel as though Shor is trying to point out a lot of similar characteristics of schools following that trend. Shor discusses the importance of students participating in their classrooms and schools. Many teachers learn that they should lecture and be the ones that make decisions. However, Shor argues that that is not exactly the case. Finn's model of the working class, middle class, affluent professional, and executive elite schools, the higher up in class you go, the better the school is seen. And in the affluent professional and executive elite schools, students are usually taught to be more creative and are given more choice in their schools. What Shor is arguing that those schools produce more productive members of society because they are given the opportunity to learn more about being individuals rather than to become parts of the institution.  
Oakes Connections:
Oakes and Finn are very similar in many aspects which may allude to the fact that Shor also relates to both of them. Oakes discusses a lot of the importance of comfortable classroom environments that enrich not only the students but the teachers as well. By encouraging participation from the students, both Oakes and and Shor are encouraging changes to the classroom based on what the students believe to be enriching. A student in a classroom where teachers simply lecture from books does not create the environment a student wants to learn in. In fact, Shor claims that those classrooms encourage students to not go to class when they feel as though they can simply read the book and work with friends to get the same type of instruction. However, this also feeds into what Oakes wants from a classroom, one where students participate and build their own learning environments.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

"Citizenship in School" Christopher Kliewer Quotes

The article "Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome" by Chrisopher Kliewer was a really interesting read for me. As a former volunteer for Special Olympics and someone who took classes working with a lot of different students with different forms of mental disabilities, it was really cool to read an article that reflected some of the things I had seen through the years. So, I pulled a few quotes out that really got me thinking, not only about down syndrome but just teaching in general. I also found this website from the National Down Syndrome Society that had a whole section on education with multiple resources that might be interesting or useful for teachers down the line.

"Dewey promoted a democracy as a way of life in which community both establishes and is derived from individual's recognition of the value of every other individual... democracy can only occur when no other person's voice is deterministically silenced."
So this quote was really interesting to me because it just got me thinking about the society we live in as Americans and how democracy should actually work. Everyday, we're told that America is a democracy but, lately those lines seemed to blurred to me. We learn in class about the classes, races, genders, sexualities that get silenced everyday in the classroom alone. So, can we truly be a democracy when we close the dialogue of the society. From this article alone, we're learning the voices and individuality of a whole group of learners just because they have Down Syndrome and society has been taught to not include them in the community. 
"Along with recognizing an individual's ability to think, Bogdan and Taylor (1989) suggest that respect and citizenship require a realization of the person's individuality."
Without an understanding of who we are, we really don't have individuality. And there needs to be respect in order for us to grow into the people that we choose to be. Individuality relies on respect and citizenship because people usually can't look past what society tells them to see. So, until people take the time to see an individual for who they are, they won't see past those barriers to give respect and citizenship to an individual.
"Community behavior of students with Down Syndrome stems from their lack of behavioral and communicative conformity to school standards that form the parameters of intellectual normality. In essence, a gap exists between the performance of students with Down Syndrome and the performance expectations that define a useful individual."
I think that it's important to understand the different educational needs of students and not just believe in a particular expectation across the board. Sometimes, standards are necessary, but when it stops others from learning or thriving, there needs to be someone to look at the standards and go "how can we fix that?" So, seeing a gap between students with Down Syndrome and performance expectations of a useful individual makes me sad to see that there isn't a way to fix that yet. To make sure that people are recognizing the differences and trying to understand it.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

"Literacy With An Attitude" Argument

Patrick Finn argues that schools in different economic standings teach their students how to thrive in the society that they already live in. He argues that there are four different kinds of students in schools are: working-class, middle-class, affluent professional, and executive elite children. As a teacher in working-class schools, Finn prospered because he was able to control his class and move up the ranks to get higher leveled classes. Although this originally made him happy, until he realized the issues holding back the students from learning how to really thrive in society past their working-class upbringing. The basis of his argument reminds me of Nicholas Kristoff who discusses the idea of living in a certain class usually makes you unable to move up within society because you are not taught the rules and codes to. Working-class students learn how to follow directions and do work that basically turns into them robots. Basically, they turn into people who work in dead-end jobs. Middle-class students learn through their textbooks and teachers that follow the curriculum based on experts. In the end, they learn how to work blue and white collar jobs through following orders. Affluent professional students had teachers from somewhere in the state and were taught the importance of creativity and development. This leads to a future of creating art and finding self importance within work. Finally, in executive elite schools, students were taught difficult concepts, how to reason, and how to problem solve. Logic is praised and students are taught to take more responsibility for their actions. These executive elite students are in turn taught to be leaders and society and learn how to shape the society they were born in. That's just like Delpit's rules and codes of power, these top elite students are taught how to be leaders in their society and in turn, know how to thrive in society. 

It reminded of this political cartoon that I've been seeing for years. I know, it's not exactly what Finn is talking about with the different classes in schools. But, it's more about the idea of the system not accommodating to certain disadvantages and advantages of the students in the system. They also don't learn how to get past the disadvantages in the system and are forced to say at the level they are on.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Author Map

My teacher asked every student in the room whether or not they knew a second language. Then they all raised their hands if they had spoken English as their second language and knew another language before going to school. After, I got a chance to sit down with a few and acknowledge all of their language skills and let them know how awesome it was that they knew other languages. 
When I acknowledge the kids speaking other languages, I was creating a safe space for them all to show off their language skills. 
One student was teasing another because he was using a pink iPad and it was a "girl's iPad." I simply asked him "what do you mean by that?" and it was an opportunity to put the idea that pink isn't only a girl's color. 
Both of my teachers make sure to clearly and concisely give directions to all of their students. They understand that they need to make sure that all of their students are able to understand their directions. They also make sure that the students are learning the rules and codes of power.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

" This American Life" Hyperlinks

     According to the Smithsonian's website on Brown v. Board of Education, the court case of Plessy v. Ferguson, which ruled in favor of "Separate but Equal," was unethical and unreasonable. So, segregation in schools was supposed to stop. That was sixty years ago. Sixty years ago, segregation was ruled illegal and for a short time, schools worked to understand it. There were obstacles from those who didn't believe in integration and segregation still occurred, but many believed the problem was fixed eventually. However, reports claim that today's schools are more segregated than ever before. Schools separate into classes based on the districts and the families that live in those districts. So, schools suffer and education of students is lost to segregation that people believe does not exist anymore.
      The podcast, "This American Life," in the episodes titles "The Problem We All Live With" Part 1 and Part 2, discusses the segregation of the American school system sixty years after segregation was made illegal in the court case Brown v. Board of Education. After sixty years, we made progress as a nation, and then declined once again. Segregation is supposed to be illegal and yet, the stories from "This American Life" tell a different story. Students in poorer school districts go to school together, but when the poorer districts are filled with minorities and even the lowest income white families are living in middle class districts, segregation occurs. Integration efforts have fallen within the last twenty years because the difference in the class systems. Even though integrated schools have been proven to be a better learning environment, there are still many districts that believe that integration is the problem. Like in the podcast where parents were upset that students from the Normandy school system would be attending school with their children, even though in the end, there was no difference in tests scores nor any of the gun and knife violence the parents had complained there would be. Families even threatened to move to new districts as a result of the integration of their school. This is an issue that occurred after the Brown v. Board of Education decision and beyond, causing families of higher classes to move into new areas when lower class families moved in. This caused lower class students to have lower standards of education while higher class families had better opportunities for education. I found this video on a news report on the subject, backing up the claims made within the podcast. 

      The studies reported by the UCLA Civil Rights Project actually report that segregation is worse today than it was sixty years ago. Once again, families are moving away from integrated schools. Hispanic students have become the larger minority but still face the same segregation policies found with black students in the Civil Rights Era. The fact that there are a lot more Hispanic students in impoverished schools now actually supports the statistics I found out about the school I do my Service Learning Project in where most of the students are Hispanic and take up most of the population of the school. I also found this really interesting political cartoon on the subject.

      So, this is playing on the fact that there used to be "Black Only" and "White Only" water fountains within schools and workplaces. Instead of "Black" and "White," the political cartoon says "Affluent Only" and "Poor Only." This image shows that segregation is still prominent within schools even if those in power claim it is not a "race issue" as many parents claimed within the podcast's actual recording of the town meeting on the integration of schools. Yet, when higher level schools are only certain classes and races into their halls, isn't that the same as schools that only allowed whites into their halls sixty years ago? Within this article found in the New York Times titled "Separate and Unequal," there are facts that say that poorer students going to schools in middle class districts actually do better in school. I found an article on the Huffington Post that actually discusses what role integration plays in this idea of students doing better in better schools. One reporter says it's not just the effect of a black child sitting next to a white child that raises academics because that's not it at all. The fact of the matter is that schools with better accreditation get more money and more resources. So if students in lower income environments actually have the opportunity for more resources like computers and better textbooks within better schools, academic success is entirely possible. Schools in impoverished areas also typically have newer, less-experienced, and less-qualified teachers. They're not receiving the opportunities to work on their education because of where they live. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

In Service of What? Extended Comments

Extended Comments on Mary Abby's Blog

This week I decided to do an extended comments piece on Mary Abby's blog post "Kahne and Westheimer: Reflection" because I felt like I could really relate to it. The quote she pulled out of the Kahne and Westheimer was a great way to explain what we're doing each time we all go off and work with our sturdents:
…such service learning activities seek to promote students' self-esteem, to develop higher-order thinking skills, to make use of multiple abilities, and to provide authentic learning experiences.
The fact that we get to go into schools and document experiences with teaching children is really awesome. Before we can even student teach, we're given the opportunity to introduce ourselves to a bit of the day to day environment of the school. We're able to work with students who are underprivileged and open our minds to a wider array of teaching experiences.

Students in the article came back with whole new opinions on the areas where they worked in and became better people as a result of it. I think that's a big part of what we're doing with Service Learning. We're broadening our minds and opening them to new areas which is super important as educators. We need to be able to work with students and understand the areas where they grow up in versus the world we grew up in. Without growing as educators in that respect, how can we really relate to our students? 

Mary Abby also linked to an episode of the television show, "World's Strictest Parents." I remember watching this show all the time when I'd stay home from school or school was cancelled for a snow day. I watched the scene of Andrew working in the homeless shelter and agree with Mary Abby. It does kind of go hand in hand with what we're doing as volunteers. We're working with students with a different way of life and we're developing into better people. Everyday, we're going into our schools and finding ways to help students. 

I really felt like I could connect to Mary Abby's thoughts on her post and that's why I felt the need to expand off of her ideas. It's really cool to understand how important our service learning projects are not only to the kids we're helping, but also for us!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Learning the Myths That Bind Us Reflection

Recently, I have been taken the time to analyze many different forms of media within my Gender and Society class and it has really taught me a lot about the lack of diversity or positivity found in the day-to-day. But, this learning didn't just start at the college level, I had the amazing experience of having teachers in high school that tried their best to get me to start analyzing the media. This article reminded me all about those days in high school and the beginning of college. Christensen discusses her student, Justine, that journals about ignorance being bliss. And, I have to say, when I first started looking into these analysis, I was Justine. Looking into ads and different forms of media upset me and made me feel like I was looking way too into everything. It felt like I was looking for excuses to be angry or over analyzing. But, I realized that I'm not looking to be angry or anything like that, it's that it's time for society to start taking responsibility for the media they portray to young children. Cartoons, especially older ones, are filled with violence, sexism, and racism. And I also believe that understanding that these problems exist and to put them out in the open is important for so many people. Finding out the world is not perfect is hard and very difficult to understand. But, I think that through Christensen's methods of charting out the "-ism's" within cartoons helps students understand the problems within the cartoons. It creates the chart system that the American school system is used to and turns a lesson into not only critical thinking but also social justice themes. Unfortunately, even new cartoons are subject to racism and sexism. This article from the Huffington Post shows just a few of the examples of the "-ism's" within the old and new cartoons. I also found this video on YouTube with many different examples of the blatant racism, sexism, and aggression portrayed in cartoons. 

These cartoons are shows that I grew up loving and remained ignorant to for so many years. But, again, it's important to learn from what society has shown you. Without learning, there's no chance for change outside of the classroom. Learning about these kinds of things does not stop at the classroom door. It goes so much farther, just like every other lesson we learn in the classroom. And without learning these ideas, we can't grow as a society and work towards changing the future.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Safe Spaces: Inside the Classroom Walls Quotes

"Most teachers are reinforcers. They teach their students the status quo; they shrink from challenging dominant social patterns and expectations, especially in relation to sexual orientation or gender identity. Even teachers who describe themselves as social justice advocates fail to challenge homophobic or transphobic language and images in many early childhood settings."
The idea that teachers are afraid of challenging dominant social patterns and expectations doesn't really surprise me, to be honest. I can't remember that many teachers that weren't taking the time to include LGBTQ students in their stories and examples. Plus, they have a lot of people watching over their shoulders that may not agree with them, like parents, other teachers, administrators, and members of the community. The last sentence of the quote really brings me back to Delpit. Those in power don't see their power and don't recognize a lot of the hurtful language in classrooms.
"The erasure of LGBT people is sometimes ensconced in textbooks or standardized tests; at other times, the erasure is a result of a teacher's assumptions about heterosexuality and gender conformity."
I can't remember a lot o times where I had heard about families with two moms or two dads in my schooling. Sure, there were divorced families and adopted families but those were still seen as normal. But, nothing about homosexuality and families with two moms or two dads. Again, going to this idea of power and privilege, straightness is a norm of society. So, schools use it as a base of their teachings because its easier for them to teach the norms because they believe it will be easier for students to understand and integrate themselves into that society.
"Erasure might be preferred, however, to the anti-LGBT teaching that some states mandate in their health curriculum."
I really didn't know that  there was anything called anti-LGBT laws in states in the year 2015. By denying LGBT students education about their health is basically denying a whole population of health concerns. These laws deny students from learning about gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender issues which is unsafe for students that identify as any of these sexual orientations. This creates an issue for their future! As teachers, its important to create safe enviornment and when these laws are created, that safe environment is eradicated. I found a website discussing the basics of these laws and this website uses the hasthag "#DontEraseUs" which is a clever hashtag to enhance that these are essentially erasing every other sexual orientation other than heterosexual. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Little Help for my Best Friend!

So, I know this blog is for our class thoughts on reading but I figured, why not get all of your attention through a little separate blog post?

This past weekend, my best friend in the whole world (a whopping eight years of friendship!) was hospitalized. Her name is Faythann Fallon and she's a fellow RIC student. Here's a vine of us when we were 17 in 2014 when "Wiggle" was an incredibly popular song:

Faythann has a bone disease called Osteogenisis Imperfecta, otherwise known as brittle-bone disease. That means she can break a bone incredibly easily. This weekend, she went to New York City by herself to go see a concert with another friend of mine. This achievement of leaving Rhode Island by herself for the first time is so heart-warming and inspiring, I should probably write a whole separate blog post about it! Anyways, while in NYC, my friends were meant to go to the Global Citizens Festival to see performers like Ed Sheeran and Beyonce! Unfortunately, while on the way, Faythann fell from her wheelchair and broke her right hip and left tibia and fibula. She spent the night in a New York hospital and then was airlifted to Hasbro Children's Hospital the next morning after a very long night of doctor's poking and prodding her.

So, my friend has come up with a great idea to put a smile on Faythann's face while she takes a few months to recover from her accident. We're starting a hastag on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as well as a post on Tumblr. This hashtag is #FaythannAndEd and we're hoping that Ed Sheeran will see it and find some way to send a hello to Faythann while she's resting. So far the response has been overwhelming. The love we've seen for my best friend has made such a positive impact on me and makes me think that future looks so, so bright.

So if you guys wouldn't mind helping me spread our message that would be great.
Here's the tweet
My personal twitter filled with #FaythannAndEd
My Instagram post about it
And the tumblr post we've got going around.

I know this a long post but I just wanna help my friend in any way I can. Thank you to all of those that read it and I know Faythann really appreciates it :)

Aria by Richard Rodriguez Reflecion

This week has been kind of crazy and I feel like the best way to get my thoughts out about Aria is to write a reflection on it!

Richard Rodriguez's personal experience with having to change his language in order to fit into society is so enlightening. Everyone in our class is going to be an educator of some kind, whether its in elementary school, middle school, high school, or anything involving youth development and we're going to have to deal with children who may not understand English as their first language. And I think that's going to be so interesting for us as educators.

I volunteered at my high school's Writing Center when I went to North Providence High School and everyday there was a new challenge. Whether it was a student with learning disabilities or students who didn't have English as their first language. The best part of those tutoring sessions was when the student would have me help them understand what I was trying to say and ask for help with definitions and phrases.

The nuns that Rodriguez talks about in his article, the ones that went to his house and asked his parents to start speaking English around the kids, just aren't the kind of people I wish were teaching him. I feel like that we, as educators, should be encouraging students to understand their native languages and understand that English is not the only language in the world (and that's coming from someone who plans on becoming an ENGLISH teacher).

I found this really cool article by Joe Levitan called Bilingual Students Need Support in Their Native Language and it talks all about how important encouraging not only English but a need to encourage a student's native language is. Also, how important it is to understand a native language in order to learn a second language like English.

I just want to end with a photoset from a show called Modern Family, where one of the characters speaks English as a second language and its kind of like her running joke that she doesn't use words correctly or says phrases in a weird way. And this photoset shows the moment she stands up for herself and has "drop the mic" kind of moment where you realize that maybe this running joke wasn't really all of that kind or funny in the first place. As a comedy show, it does try to get a chuckle in when she says a phrase wrong in that middle left picture, but overall, hopefully the message is clear.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

"Amazing Grace" by Jonathan Kozol Connections

There is something that is incredibly personal about the stories Kozol discusses in his article "Amazing Grace." He walks the streets with these people and just records his conversations with them, trying to understand the world of disadvantages that they live in. Kozol's interviews really embody the messages that Kristof was attempting to convey in his piece, "U.S.A., Land of Limitations." Kozol's interviews with the families and the individuals shows the idea that where you grow up, can have a strong influence on the poverty that effects you in the future. Kozol's interview with Alice and David Washington, two generations living in poverty, further enhance this idea. Kozol discusses how David has to live in poverty because his mother's welfare had been cut and he grew up in an abusive home with a sick mother. This is based off of the life that his mother had provided for him through her own hardships in her adult years. This kind of story reminds me of the ones that Kristof provides on his friend, Rick, that grew up in poverty and ended up not being able to provide for himself to live a comfortable life. Rick was sick just like Alice had been and both didn't exactly have the means to really provide for themselves that they wanted to, but they both seemed to care deeply for their families and tried to provide for them the best they could with the limited resources that they had.

Then, there was one particular passage in Kozol's piece that really stuck out to me in relation to Lisa Delpit's "The Silenced Dialogue." In Kozol's piece on page 23, Kozol has a quote from David Washington in which he states, "Evil exists... I believe that what the rich have done to the poor people in this city is something that a preacher could call evil. Somebody has power. Pretending that they don't so they don't need to use it to help people- that is my idea of evil." This is basically Delpit's biggest concern in her piece. The idea that those in power are in power because they know how to use it and they won't help those in power learn the rules of power. David Washington understood that he and his mother were not individuals in power and tried to explain that to Kozol. He did not understand the rules and codes of power in order to gain it, just as Delpit had argued in "The Silenced Dialogue."

The following chart that I found from a book called "Teaching With Poverty in Mind" by Eric Jensen shows the downward spiral of adverse childhood experiences on people. I just throught it was interesting to compare next to the three pieces discussing how early poverty can effect those later on in life.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

U.S.A, Land of Limitations? Nicholas Kristof

Where you're born and how you live effects you for the rest of your life..

Kristof is definitely arguing that in his article He discusses his friend and how intelligent and kind his friend is, yet his friend was doomed from the start. 

Kristof discusses his friend who was born in a broken home. He had an alcoholic, absentee father, a poor household, and a school that did not recognize his attention deficit disorder. The man grew up to drop out of high school, was arrested over thirty times and became almost alcoholic at one point of his life. Yet, Kristof says that this man is one of the best men he's ever known.

So, what hurt him?

Kristof claims that where his friend grew up started the slippery slope of the rest of this man's life. The reason so many children grow up into adults with higher criminal records and less education is because the world they grow up in does not allow them to thrive and grow past their roots. Kristof's argument is that you can't expect short parents to have tall kids. If a child grows up in a household that does not know the code of the powerful culture, that child cannot learn how to understand that culture. They don't have the means to live the "successful" life that society tells them they should. They grow up in poverty and continue the trend in their lives. 

I don't think Kristof means to say so harshly that his friend was doomed from the start or anything like that. I think he just meant that his friend's situation growing up certainly didn't help him in anyway. As uncomfortable as it is, I can't really seem to find myself disagreeing with it. I agree with Kristof that those people that claim to have worked from the bottom up definitely have had luck on their side because for a lot, it won't always be possible. I really wish I could disagree with him though.

About me!

Hey everyone! So, my name is Taylor, I am nineteen years old and in my second year at RIC. I'm a Secondary Ed. English major and I'm hoping to stay on that path. A few months ago I started working at CinemaWorld in Lincoln. I'm a huge fan of reading and writing. The last show I binge-watched was "The Office" and I absolutely recommend it to everyone. I guess I'll just explain my life through a few photos. They're gonna be my dog, a little bit of my personal life, a recent event that happened to me, and finally the three television shows that I think everyone should watch.

My dog Zeus who just turned 3 a few days ago

Love going to the beach with my two best friends even if its late

Last night I witnessed One Direction's (possible?) last concert