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