Sunday, September 28, 2014

"Aria"-Rodriguez; Argument

In the article, “Aria”, by Richard Rodriguez, it discusses the concept of bilingual education for children.  Richard Rodriguez begins this article with discussing how he grew up in a Spanish speaking family.  He and his family had a bond that to me was loving and caring.  Rodriguez and his family spoke only Spanish at home to each other so he and his siblings experienced English as their second language. Rodriguez viewed the idea of the relationship between a person and language as only being singular, meaning that a person should only have to focus on one language.  When going to school he was faced with the nuns telling Rodriguez that he would not be able to function in the United States because English is the primary language where as Spanish is seen as a secondary language.  The nuns went to his family and told them that English needed to be brought into the home so their children would be able to succeed in the future, considering English is the primary language in the States.  His parents enforced English in the household, creating the bond that the family once had to drift.  Rodriguez says, “Those gringo sounds they uttered

startled me. Pushed me away. In that moment of trivial misunderstanding and profound insight, I felt my throat twisted by unsounded grief”. (35) Going from having Spanish being the first language in your household to having to completely change the way we speak.  After reading this article and seeing the tough times that Rodriguez faced with learning English it was heartbreaking to watch the bond between children and parents drift apart.  Rodriguez’s main point is that when a child is going from speaking their native language to learning the primary language, English in this case, it should not be what exactly molds a person’s public identity.  Rodriguez makes a point in this article and says, “I would have been happier about my public success had I not sometimes recalled what it had been like earlier, when my family had conveyed it’s intimacy through a set of conveniently private sounds.” (38) This stuck out to me because Rodriguez felt that because he had to learn English that he had to completely drop his native Spanish language, which I feel is completely untrue.  I feel that being bilingual is an advantage in today’s world especially in teaching. In classrooms, especially in public schools, there are more children who are from a Spanish speaking home.  When a child gets older they are going to encounter getting jobs that are going to deal with the public.  All throughout elementary, middle, and high school I have made friends who are bilingual and have received great praise about it in their jobs and in school.  Rodriguez feels that being bilingual is a disadvantage for having to “drop their native language” when in all actuality it is a completely advantage that I truly wish I had.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

White Privilege-Mcintosh; Reflection

In Peggy McIntosh “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” it is discussed about white privilege and how whites do not always see the privileges they have.  White privilege is seen through today’s society as an advantage compared to people of color.  McIntosh states in this article,
“As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.”(1)
Reading this statement completely opened my eyes as a young white woman.  We, as whites, do not always see the privileges that we have as whites.  Some people take the advantages to whole other level, trying to take too much advantaged of certain situation when they should not.  White privilege is compared to male privilege, men are taught not to acknowledge they privileges that they have over women.  After reading the different privileges that whites have but are not always able to see it was a complete eye opener.  As a white person you never truly realize that even going shopping you do not face the same circumstances as people of color face.  No one should have to worry about going into a store and worrying if they are going to have an uncomfortable shopping experience.

            I have several friends and even family members who are of color.  Reading this article made me realize how whites receive a lot of privileges just for being white.  There are some white people out there in the world who abuse these privileges.  One place that I notice the white privilege is in my work place.  I work at a supermarket and majority of the workers are of color, my best friend included.  When we are cashing people out at the register we are sometimes faced with problems on the register.  We both have had our fair share of mess-ups because we are fairly new.  There have been customers who have accused and yelled at her for not giving her the right amount of money or of bagging certain items incorrectly.  After reading this article it made me realize that when I messed up on things similar I did not have that happen to me.  It blows my mind that just because I am white people automatically are nice to me.  Hell I could be a pretty awful person but that is why you cannot judge a book by its cover.  Skin color also known as the  “flesh” color, is not everything in this society.  When I look at my best friend she is no different to me than to my friends who are white.  When we look at brands such as make up, bandages when someone gets injured and even band aids are all the same famous “flesh” coloring.  We live in a diverse society and over the past several years things have changed drastically especially with having more people of color in the spotlight such as Beyoncé, Kanye West and our president Obama.

In "Data show racial bias persists in America" by Salim Muwakkil the discussion of how race plays into jobs.  It is stated in this aricle that people who have "white-sounding names" were fifty percent more likely to recieve a call back from a job than someone who has a "black sounding name".  This to me is insane.  It is crazy to think that certain job locations will not call a person back for a specific job just by looking at their name.  Coming from a person who works with people of color I cannot imagine being in their shoes when it comes to applying for jobs.  It breaks my heart knowing that our society is no where close to everyone being equal.  Over the past few years from being in both high school and college I can honestly say that I have made good friends who are of color and to me they are just as equal to me.  Skin color does not define who you are, that is what our society should keep in mind.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Amazing Grace- Johnathan Kozol Quotes

"Amazing Grace" written by Johnathan Kozol discusses about the community of Mott Haven in the South Bronx of New York.  Mott Haven is the poorest community in the South Bronx with the population is two thirds Hispanic and one third are people of color.  People who are living in this district attend St. Ann's Church on St. Ann's Avenue.  St. Ann's is a place of comfort within the community for both children and their parents.  The conditions and sickness that runs throughout their neighborhood is not only dangerous but also heartbreaking.  After reading this article it was difficult to read the stories of the Mott Haven community who face illness, drugs, murders and every ounce of danger everyday of their lives.

            Reading this article truly opened my eyes to situations I did not actually think were as bad as they are.  The discussion of not only the environment that these children endure but also the living space that they have is heartbreaking.   One quote that stuck out in this article when a father of four started talking about their living situations, “You just cover up…and hope you wake up the next morning.” (4) It is then explained that one of the children was a one month old, as soon as I read that it broke my heart.  Knowing that these so called “homes” are only creating unsafe environments for families’ especially young children is just awful.  Everyone is faced with a battle of life or death by just living in his or her own homes.

            When our own communities are surrounding us, as people, we realize that they are all different.  Mott Haven is an environment that only those in it can relate the most to.  Kozol introduces us to a young boy named Cliffie shows him around Mott Haven.  Cliffie has such a kind spirit and is full of life especially for being in Mott Haven.  When the discussion of sickness such as AIDS, HIV, drug addiction, depression and anxiety and also deaths, it is something that is breathe taking to any reader.  When it is an outsider looking in it is hard to imagine being in there during those times.  Kozol explains to us that Cliffie makes a comment when they are together saying “I saw a boy shot in the head right over there” (6).  When first reading this it is shocking, anyone would say, how does a young boy or a young child for that matter get exposed to that environment?  Not only does that question arise but also how Cliffie is just able to not even be fazed even by just telling Kozol what he say.  It goes to show that just by being in Mott Haven that everyone is used to these events occurring such as shootings.
            And lastly, one quote that completely stuck out was the quote from Lawrence Mead, which stated “If poor people behaved rationally they would seldom be poor for long in the first place.” (21) This statement completely jumped out when I was reading this article and because of that I disagree completely. In Mott Haven, with it having 48,000 people who are the poorest in the South Bronx area, people are suffering from depression, AIDS, HIV and etc.  People such as Alice struggles with people sick and having to try and receive her food stamps again along with being in and out of hospitals.  There are also people who live in the same building as her who did not chose to be sick or did not chose to become paralyzed after being shot in a cross fire.  Several situations have been presented and discussed in this article where not what any of these citizens wanted.  I can honestly say that after reading this article it has become clearer to me that no one is perfect and everyone deep down is truly equal. 

Questions/Comments/Points to Share:
After reading this article I have become a lot more interesting in this topic.  How can we as a class get involved with helping kids in these type of communities?  I know that we are going to be going into schools for class but is there anything more that we could do to help those in these situations. Also the topic of HIV and AIDS, along with addictions to drugs is not an easy thing to surpass.  Not only are the people who are surrounding the addicts suffers but the people who are the addicts are faced with the every day to day challenge of being addicted to something they cannot handle.  I have seen it happen in my life and have people who are highly addicted and who face the challenge in their every day lives.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


 My name is Gianna DeMedeiros and I am 20 years old.  I am in my third year at Rhode Island College as a youth development major with a concentration in youth within the arts.  When I first heard about the youth development program I was a little unsure of what the exact program was and how it worked.  After reading about the program I realized that this program was exactly what I wanted!  I love working with kids but I also love working with elderly as well.  I love helping others no matter what age they are.
Over the summer I did many things.  I got a job at Shaws Market, bought a car and had many adventures with my friends.  Although I worked almost everyday I still went camping for the first time, went to the beach when I could, and tried my best to relax with friends.
I am taking this class because not only is it a requirement for being a youth development major but because I have heard only good things about talking FNED 346 from several of my friends.  When I am not in class I am mostly either working on campus at Henry Barnard in the after school daycare, working at Shaws or trying my best to keep up with my homework along with seeing my friends.  I am looking forward to                                                         see what this semester brings!