Saturday, September 27, 2014

Richard Rodriguez Aria- Argument

Which students is english not their first language? 

Rodriguez makes a strong argument when he says, “children lose a degree of ‘individuality’ by becoming assimilated into public society” (38). He shares his experience about when he was a boy and his teacher asked his parents if they can speak English at their homes because it will help their kids do better in school. I know some people who have different backgrounds say they don’t know their first language because their parents also became Americanized and spoke English at home but it was the parents’ choice. The other article we looked at this week, “Teaching Multilingual Children” taken from Virginia Collier’s book, talked about how to include multilingual students and how it was a great opportunity for both the teachers and students and there are different ESL programs that offer students the extra help and attention. The article said, “Young children should be permitted to speak the language they know best” (229). Going back to Rodriguez’s article, Do teachers like the one that Rodriguez had, have the right to tell the parents that or is that overstepping boundaries in how involved teachers get with certain families? As his parents followed his teachers request Spanish soon became something that Rodriguez soon didn’t recognize, “One Saturday morning I entered the kitchen where my parents were talking Spanish. I did not realize that they were talking in Spanish however until, at the moment they saw me. I heard their voices change to speak English” (35). It was sad to see that this made Rodriguez lose touch with his heritage and his family. Because they became more Americanized and especially because his father struggled with English his family began to talk to each other less and less. I found an interview on YouTube, with Rodriguez. In this video he speaks perfect English and you can’t hear a hint of his Spanish background.

Students like Rodriguez were at a disadvantage and even after he started speaking English, he still seemed discouraged as a student and was questioning why him, why couldn't his peers learn his language. When I was a sophomore in high school, there was a bunch of ESL students in my history class. These kids should have already graduated and I feel like they didn't care about the work because English didn't come as easily to them. I found online ideas how to help ESL students

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Peggy McIntosh, White Privlege:unpacking the invisible knapsack- Connections

As I was searching a picture of the author, Peggy McIntosh from this week’s article, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” I found this, which is someone’s response to the article. After seeing this image, I thought about this question, “is white skin really fair skin?” and with the help of this article along with Salim Muwakkil’s “Data show racial bias persists in America” and Allan Johnson’s “Privilege, Power and Difference” article I have come to the conclusion that, although we may not realize it, white people are really privileged in some ways that white people don’t really see, but everyone else sees. During the summer when I was younger my family would do the Fresh Air Program where we would get a kid from New York come and stay with us for two weeks during the summer. This program was free for them to sign up for and would give these kids an opportunity to get out of the City. I thought it was crazy how this girl we had would always complement my house and how big it was and how long she would make like $50 that my parents would give her for spending money last, and at the end of those 2 weeks, whatever she had left over from it she would ask if she could take it home and give the rest to her mom. When my parents gave her money I would get so mad my parents weren’t giving me spending money. I know I never realized all the privileges I had that these articles that we have looked at has shown me.
            Well I was reading this article I thought back to Johnson’s Article and the line he kept repeating, “As a white male heterosexual, I have it easier”. According to Johnson he see’s fair skin the same way McIntosh sees it, as white skin being fair skin. These two authors both included similar lists of privileges that white people have. These lists were really eye opening, I know I don’t tend to look at some of the things and I know that I don’t have to worry about it because I am white. Some of these things I know I just often tend to skip over like one of the things in McIntosh’s blog was #26 on the blog and the word “Flesh” in referring to make up cover up. This went back to also the skin colored band aids in Johnson’s list. It is really easy for me to find cover up for myself but when I am buying cover up I don’t see many options for people who aren’t white but I never really thought about that.
                    Another thing that Johnson's article McIntosh's article and another article by Salim Muwakkil all had was when it talked about black people trying to find jobs and although they may be more qualified then the white applicant the white applicant gets the job over the black applicant and this goes for promotions at work as well. I never really thought about that until it was brought up in class with Jose having to Americanize his name and getting called back for interviews when he became Joe. It's sad that it's 2014 and black people are still being treated like this. These articles really made me realize that yes white skin is fair skin.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Jonathan Kozol, Amazing Grace-quotes

Jonathan Kozol  “Amazing Grace” article described  a poor neighborhood in New York. Kozol’s article informed me that neighborhoods like this really do exist and then gave me the idea on what the living conditions were really like and how the people who lived there managed to live. I am including some research I did on South Bronx which is one of the neighborhoods what it’s like to live where this article takes place today, South Bronx Today. Today South Bronx, is very similar to the information we got from the article and South Bronx is still a place for poverty and people of color. To show you how I understood these neighborhoods and the people of these neighbor hoods by giving examples of a few quotes and how I interpreted them   
This article told a lot about illness and how these people were treated in their homes and in the hospitals due to their illnesses. These people were not giving the proper care that they needed, and often didn’t even bother going to the hospital. One example from the text is, “‘It’s the difference between terrible and worse than terrible’ she says. The time before, when I had a fever, my doctor said I had pneumonia. I waited in the emergency room for two days to be admitted” (16). These people from these neighbor hoods had a lot of health issues aids was a big one and they weren’t taken care of which is why a lot of these people didn’t bother going. It is ridiculous that people had to wait that long to be looked at by a doctor. I know that when I get sick it is easy to make an appointment and to be seen by that doctor in that same day. The medicine is also available right away as well.
This article mentioned deaths of children. All of the deaths were tragic because of how they lived and how they were brought up and raised they got into bad habits including drugs. One example of this is, “Cop says, ‘I’m sorry to tell you this. Your son is a crack addict.’ He sold every stitch of his clothes even his underwear. A few months later he was dead…” (14). In this neighborhood these kids all get involved with drugs even if they had a lot going for them like this kid for example who was a senior and had a scholarship to play football. From what I got out of this article most these kids aren’t given an opportunity like these kids are introduced to it early on. It’s crazy how once you hit middle school, schools usually teach us about these drugs and how to say no. Stories from this article like this one is are stories that we hear teachers speak of. 
The first two quotes I chose to write about were realistically what it’s like to live in these neighborhoods like South Bronx. This church is the center of these neighborhoods and the only place people from this neighborhood feel safe. As you can see from this picture people are gathered, kids are sitting down talking and playing games. Everywhere else in South Bronx people aren’t acceped,  “People who don’t live here come and dump things they don’t want: broken televisions, boxes of bottles, old refrigerators, beat up cars, old pieces of metal, other lovely things” (11). People who live in this neighborhood just let people to continue to leave their trash there, that is how they get some of their things as well. South Bronx is the neighborhood of poverty and violence in New York. It’s sad that the people who lived there weren’t supposed to leave and are hated on by everyone around them.

Friday, September 12, 2014


My name is Alyssa Downing! This summer I worked alot at my towns after school programs summer camp I was in the first grade room and I loved it. I had weekends off so that was a plus! I went to some concerts, Luke Bryan, Beyonce and JZ and Drake! I visited the Cape and Rhode Island a lot and went to Myrtle beach where I went para-sailing for the first time which was a lot of fun!

I am taking this class because I am an early childhood education major and it is needed to get into the program (I WISH THIS WAS ONE OF THE ONLY REQUIREMENT to get in the program!)  I'm really excited for this class and can't wait to start going to the schools!