Sunday, September 28, 2014

Argument: Rodriguez Aria

Argument: In Richard Rodriguez Aria, he talks about his experience in the classroom as a young boy and his thoughts on a bilingual education. At the beginning of his piece I felt that he was looking for a common ground to be accepted. The argument that Rodriguez is trying to make is that people need to find their public identity and that fits into the rules and codes of power but to not lose sight of who you really are.

A moment in the story that truly showed Rodriguez’s argument about public and personal identity was the moment in the article when the nuns from Rodriguez’s school visited his house. It was as if they were crossing the boundary of his public identity into his personal identity. Rodriguez enjoyed being able to speak Spanish at home it was comforting for him after spending the day at school with his public identity. The nuns took that piece of his personal identity away when they told his parents to speak English with them at home. This could be seen as good and bad. It was good because Rodriguez did need to learn English to be able to thrive and succeed in school, but at the same time he also needed to keep his identity and who he really was. Speaking Spanish was a part of who he was and sadly that piece of his became lost when the nuns came to his house. In conclusion I feel that I feel that Rodriguez felt he lost some of his personal identity but in return it made him more successful in his professional identity. For my link this week I decided to include a PBSpage that has a biography on Rodriguez as well as links of interviews he has done.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Connections in Peggy McIntosh's "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack"

In Peggy McIntosh’s paper “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” she talks about the overlooked privilege of whites, as well as the power men have over woman and their inability to accept it. She really went into detail on the privileges she noticed on a day-to-day basis and compiled them into a list. As I went through it I felt that it really had relations to Delpit’s writings on women’s rights and the codes of power.
Peggy McIntosh

In her opening page she says, “White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, code books, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks.” (1)To me this correlates with Delpits piece and how she talks about the codes and conducts of power. And how for white people they are given an unearned “power” that they overlook. In my opinion I interpreted McIntosh’s and Delpit’s readings as that people who are outside the “culture of power are not granted that knapsack of tools and could go unguided with no knowledge of this culture of power. This means that these people are at a disadvantage their entire lives.

In addition to Delpit’s reading, I found the piece to mesh well with Kozol’s piece from Amazing Grace, how he talks about the hospitals of Mott Heaven. And how she states in her list, “I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help my race will not work against me.”(3) This to me represents that the hospital she goes to is in a suburb with mostly people of her race. And she will never have to worry about having to change bloody sheets before she seats herself like the people mentioned in Kozol’s piece. These are all examples of things that I believe back up and support McIntosh’s belief of unknowingly having privilege and a responsibility everyone has to realize it.

I decided to include a video of Peggy McIntosh giving a speech on the TED x youtube channel. She discusses how realizing power and privilege can strengthen our compassion:

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Quotes from Jonathan Kozol's Amazing Grace

Quotes from Jonathan Kozol

This weeks reading focused on writer Jonathan Kozol’s  visit to a poverty stricken neighborhood called Mott Haven. The neighborhood is filled with violence, drugs, and various other issues. Kozol creates a clear image of life for the people of Mott Haven, showing their daily of living in poverty.
While reading Amazing Grace, I found that there were a few quotes that really stood out to me for different reasons. The first quote that caught my eye was when Kozol is speaking to Cliffie’s mother and she asks him if Cliffie had taken him to Jackson Avenue. When Kozol replies yes, Cliffie’s mother somewhat nonchalantly says “’You see a lot of prostitutes down there as well…’”(11). For me, the way Cliffie’s mother is so used to Cliffie walking down these streets filled with prostitues and drug users was shocking.
St. Ann's Church in Mott Haven
Growing up, my mother was very strict about which streets I traveled along, I was always told to avoid any streets that she deemed unsafe. Having grown up in a fairly decent neighborhood, I’m sure whatever was on the streets my mother told me to stay off of where no where near as bad as some of the things found in Mott Haven. It was sad to see how used to seeing her son on these dangerous streets Cliffie’s mother was. Those are conditions that a child should not have to be exposed to at such a young age.

            The other quote that really stood out to me was a series of lines also from Cliffie’s mother. When Kozol asks about the incinerator that Cliffie pointed out on their walk she says "’The point is that they put a lot of things into our neighborhood that no one wants…the waste incinerator is just one more lovely way of showing their affection…the truth is, you get used to the offense. There's trashy things all over.’”(10). This quote stood out to me because it’s crazy to think that this woman feels that the city that she calls her home is basically being used as a giant dumping ground for the rest of the cities. It’s horrible for the struggling citizens of Mott Haven to think that the surrounding towns have no interest in helping them better themselves but instead would rather just see the town in its current state and decide that there is no way to improve it so it might as well be used as dumping grounds. It was really sad to see how somewhat defeated and accepting Cliffie’s mother was about Mott Haven. Overall, I enjoyed the reading this week. It was very eye-opening.
If you were wondering what Mott Haven's been like recently take a look at their local paper's website and seeing all their latest news: Mott Haven Herald


Hey, my name’s Mike. I am twenty years old and am in my third year here at RIC. When I first entered RIC I was originally a biology major. However, I soon realized that biology was not really what I was interested in doing for the rest of my life. Since the age of 13 I have enjoyed playing the guitar, and had often given lessons as a way to earn extra money. This led me to the decision to change my major to music education. But over the summer I had a change of heart and decided that the major I truly wanted was elementary education. Of course, like most everyone, I am taking this course because it is required for my major, but I have also heard many good things about FNED as well. Over the summer I relaxed mostly, seeing as my job is only during the school year. I also vacationed in New Hampshire for a week with some family and my girlfriend. Overall it was a great summer, but I am excited to be back at school and pursing my major!