Tuesday, May 19, 2009

stand by me around the world


Thursday, April 30, 2009

• Author: Christopher Kliewer

• Title: Citizenship in School: Reconceptializing Down Syndrome

• Argument: Kliewer argues that the need to put people with disabilities in regular classrooms for atleast part of their educational day, if not all, is imperitive to their functuality in soiety, happiness, and acquiring of sckills. He goes on to imply that far beyond a "burden" to the room, all the other students could benifit form having the unique and sometimes alternate learning styles in their midst. He says we need to see them as individuals first, and people with disabilities second.

• Quote #1: "democracy can only occur when no person's voice is detrimentally silenced." Kliewer is saying that everyone's voice is important, especially in the learning envirement, and people with down syndrome are no exception. This really applies to all underrepresented groups, though, that by silencing anyone you are loosing a big part of what education is supposed to be about- learning about your world and learning to respect and appriciate everyone in it for who they are.

• Quote #2: "community acceptance requires oppertunities for individual participation in the group, but oppertunity cannot occur outside of community acceptance". This is where the attitude of teachers and students around a person with unique abilities really comes into play. If a person's pedology does not reflect the acceptance they preach, the room cn feel as cold as if the person made no outreach at all. You cannot look at a person and tell them that the room is open to them and that they are welcome in it, but put them where you designate and deny them equity, or opprtunities to cater to their abilities. Indeed, to have a person be a functioning member of a classroom, the room has to be open to them, both in though and practice, before they can start being comfortable with the idea of belonging and someday participating.

• Quote #3: "the presence of a thoughtful mind has been linked to patterns of behavioral and communicative conformity associated with competance in logical-mathmatical thinking and linguistic skills." This makes me think of how the childeren that "act up" are labled as "bad", treated as the "bad kid" and are forever carryign that stigma inside the room which is a detrimental block to learning and teaching. Everyone learns in different ways, and people with unique abilities make this more clear then anyone. There is a story furthur along in the text where a boy is asked to sort blocks and spoons. He sorts them by tasting them, and does the excersize correctly, but becasue he didn't accomplish it by sight, he is given a failing grade. We need to learn to appriciate that everyone has their own way of learning, and that this is okay, and necissary to the classroom envirement.

• My Response: I completely agree that community needs to be made to include everyone not just in ideology but in pedology, that poeple learn in their own time and by their own method, and that we can't deny people's idvidualism but must first see them as a person. I am a big fan of having all childeren in a classroom together so they may all learn form eachother as well as from the teacher, becasue they may, and ushually do, have hidden curriculums amoungst themselves that the teacher can;t teach, like the rues of society and making friends, that will help later in life. I was always unhappy, being someone who does not perticularly excel in the was tests assess my knowlage, with the fact that the whole school experience has become "preparing for the next major exam". Instead we need to learn to value our classroom for the uniquenss that every person brings with them, and access our student based on their ability to get something out of school at our her own level.

Monday, April 27, 2009

marriage from the angles



another parody:

and one more:

Diversity Event Write Up :)

>>>On Friday, April 17th at nine am one lone male strode onto the RIC Campus. By noon there were three of them, and by two pm there were seven of them. By eleven-thirty pm seven fabulous females walked off the grounds. No, we did not perform seven sex change operations, and these characters did not change from men to women, however they did change their gender identity. These men are always very feminine, and they wear their femininity proudly whether they act as male or female. But at least once a week they are heavily makeup-d, overly feminized, skirt-wearing, provocatively-dancing females. Why? You may ask, well, one because of the love of the performance, the freedom of expression, and the need for the spotlight, but under the love of the show there is a underlying message, and that is the political statement. They are not dressing as female and performing everything over the top for nothing, they are making the statement that “this is what society expects females to be”. It is a smack in the face of traditional gender, especially because its biological men that perform them. In most shows, there are also biological women that are acting as men. They over masclinize themselves, gabbing their crotches, emphasizing muscles and facial hair, strutting around being “protective” and “all-knowing”.
>>>It connects to many of our course texts, but the three most prominent may be Parker, Carlson, and Christiansen.
>>>Parker says on page one, “The first thing you do is to forget that I’m Black, Second, you must never forget that I’m Black.” This is one of the main underlying points of the act of drag. The first thing you do is forget that they are men, and hence accept them as being overly- feminine women, and the second thing you do is never forget that they are men, that this is an act of performance, and that they are performing the act in order to show you just how ridiculous gender roles actually are. The context is so in your face that you sometimes forget that they are actually bio men.
>>>Carlson says on page 234, “…space is provided for identity groups to form their own communities of interest based on a common, public culture that is continuously being constructed and reconstructed through dialogue across difference.” The context through which drag is usually preformed is within the gay community, by the gay community, for the gay community, be it at prides, at bars, or youth drop in centers. This is a community created within a community that, Carlson argues, makes it so that people outside the gay community do not get the benefit of the breaking of invisibility when these internal groups are created. However, me belief is that you have to start somewhere, and by starting in the context of the gay community and breaking that dominant gender ideology there, it is a good place to start and branch out. The RIC Rainbow Alliance on purpose did not make the function an event that was closed off to the non-gay audience. Whether they were successful with this objective is yet to be discovered, but the event has been occurring annually for the last seven years, and the hope is to continue it for as long as there is a Rainbow Alliance on Campus.
>>>Christiansen says on page 127,“ As Tatum's research suggests, the stereotypes and world view embedded in the stories become accepted knowledge. ” She talks about how the Disney movies portray roles and these are what are adopted, along with the rest of dominant ideology, to shape what we view as “acceptable” female and male roles and stereotypes. The point of Drag is to be outrageous, and throw people off their “happy, unchallenged, stereotype” ideology. Yes, they follow traditional stereotypes, but do so in the opposite gender identity, and do so so over-the-top that they are trying to prove how ridiculous the notions are to begin with.
>>>It’s not only in the course texts but gender, gender play, and gender stereotypes are all around us, and so the outside examples are limitless, but I will try to limit them to three. The outside sources that I chose are the series “The L Word”, the website “Stuff White People Like”, and the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence”.
>>>“The L Word” is a series that has had many criticisms, but it is a perfect representation of a challenge to dominant ideology. The notion that all lesbians are butch is one that is upheld by the dominant culture, and ALL of the lesbians in the L Word are femme. They lead “normal” lives, being married, dating, going through the same drama and daily experiences that non-gay people do. In the same way the drag queens at the show want to challenge your preconceived notions, the L Word seeks to challenge the view of “what a lesbian looks like, how she acts, and the type of life she leads”.
>>>The second piece I would like to focus on is the website “Stuff White People Like”. It was created to show the dominant stereotypes about white people. You always hear the stereotypes about those outside the culture of power, so it’s about time someone worked on the dominant. It includes such things as Facebook, Hummus, Halloween, and the Ivy League. In much the same way that the drag show is meant to over-do gender to throw in people’s faces how much gender is ingrained in us, this website goes to over-do things that are “white” and write them in ridiculous, parody form that serves to poke fun at white people. While it pokes fun, though, it breaks down the stereotype and challenges the ideologies that are currently in place.
>>>The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are a group of gay men, originally from the Castro District of San Francisco, who dress in nun’s habits, put on over-the-top makeup, and do promotional events like “Butt Plug Bingo” to raise money for local charities. Beyond raising money, their “mission” is to raise awareness, and get people to open their views about people’s freedom, diversity, and difference. Exactly in the way that the drag show does, they want to challenge your views, not by scaring it into you or threatening you (*cough* like the roman catholic church *cough*), but by education you. If nothing else, to confuse your sense of “acceptable”, and open the door for conversation and discussion of this difference.
>>>The common theme here is that challenge to dominant ideology, that our society tells us what we are supposed to look like, how we should act and interact, and what is acceptable, based on our gender, sexuality, sex, race, nationality, age, ability, disability, religion, et cetera. The point that the RIC Rainbow Alliance is trying to provide for the college community by bringing the Drag Show participants “out” every year, is to throw this dominant ideology out the window. They want to open the community up to be challenged in a way that is entertaining and enticing, much in the same way that Disney does in every movie.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

For boys: be strong, For Girls: be pretty


this is halarious. Becca mentioned it in class- the one a day teen advantage vitamins. made for strong muscles for boys and good skin and hair for girls. are you serious? like really? wtf?

lets all call in queer to work, cause apparently being gay is a diease! careful... you might catch it... the "storm" is coming...

Let me give you a hint, LGBTQ equity IS the RAINBOW at the end. SURPRISE!!!!!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Responce to Class: the What We Can Do:

This is so funny, becasue just last night i was sitting in the Rainbow Alliance offcie with Chirs and Jarod, and we had the door open, just chillin'. Now the office is pretty rainbowy and loud, its hard to pass by and not know what we're all about. Beyond that we are a fairly outspoken gorup on campus, our names and faces are our there, and poeple know us, so they know that we aren;t afraid to call people out on their bullshit.

So this person passes by the office, while our door is open, and she glances in but keeps walking at a steady pace, tlaking to her friend on the phone. And about five paces past the office she says, loud and clear "That's SO Gay!"

Well, Chris,Jarod, and I, in perfect syncrinization, all register what she said and sigh. It was the funniest thing- we all had the same reaction. All our work and this is what happens. What the fuck. We sat there tlaking about it and i decided that i wasn't going to stand for it. so i made a sign for the door of the rainbow office, and below is that picture. im tired of it, and we can;t correct anyone, but in our "safe haven" we got slapped in the face and it hit home that our work is far from over and there is a real need for us on campus.

Please, for me, whether you support me or not, don't intentionally hurt me. I'm not your stomping block, your punching bag, your worry stone, or your pillow. Pease dont put me down so you may feel better, don;t get high of degrading those around you. I don;t go around coughing "breeder" at you, dont cough "dyke" at me. I'm being mature, and i expect the same decency from you that im giving. Thank you.


Talking Points for April 21, 09

• Author: Allan Johnson

• Title: What Can We Do?

• Argument: Johnson argues that we need to make a difference in any way that we see fit. That this difference can be small or big but that if we can open our eyes enough to see the "culture of power", the "dominance hirearchy" and the "social injustice" then we have an obligation to ourselves and society to do somehting about it, to not sit silent and allow the cycle to perpetuate.

• Quote #1: "...unless poeple work to change the system that promotes it, personal healing by itself cannot be the answer." He is saying that this is a bandaid on a broken wound, that you can give a person a blanket but that doesn't change the fact that the government can;t find the money for heat, so they are cold, get sick, clog up the hospital, the givernemnt uses more money, has less to distribute, and the cycle perpetuates. It means nothing to appologise to one person for the tyranny of a dominant group, because, as he argues, it is not an indivigual vs another, but a power group over another.

• Quote #2: even though appologies at the indivigual level and blame will not solve anything, at the individual level we have to start to make a difference. "...individuals can contribute to change: by choosing paths of greater resistance, such as when men don't take control,a nd when women refuse their own subordiation." at the individual level we can act out against the cycle and everyone that acts out against it is acting to change and deter it. By walking over to my friend who used "nigger" in cashual conversation and stopping her and asking her why the hell she though that was appropriate or accepabel, in any space, was a change moment. It makes a difference, not just with her, but with anyone that heard me go over and challenge her, and even if they didn;t agree with me they heard my argument and why it hurt me.

• Quote #3: "no individual leaf on the tree matters... but without leaves, the tree dies." there is safety in numbers. The more poeple that realise that diversity needs to be at the forefront and that the cycle of hate and dominance is occuring and should be stopped, the less are spreading it. Every person needs to be part of it, and cnage will not happen overnight or completely within our lifetime, but every little but matters. Everyone, through speaking out, silence, or not registering that what occurs is perpetuating the cycle, is participating in the cycle, or breaking it. By acting or not acting you are still involved. Welcome to society.

• My Response: I completely agree with Johnson. Everyhting we do matters and everyone needs to do their own thing to participate and become part. I had a problem with the drag show in that our only professionals were all men and that they, all except for one, were white men. I made a mental note that we need to make more of an effort to have more diversity in our events next year. In my classroom, i plan to challenge the dominant ideology not only by what im teaching (cultures across the world through the eyes of anthropology) but by the pictures around my room, the projects i present, the flag i have, the languages i use, and how i treat my students. No one is perfect, but i plan to be very aware and try to create an envirement that is safe and inclusive for everyone.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Talking Points for whatever day this is (tuesday, april 7?)

• Author: Jeannie Oakes

• Title: Tracking: Why Schools Need to Take Another Route

• Argument: The problem we are faced with is the issue of how to divide classrooms. To give the “smart” students their own classes and “slow” students their own classes or to mix them all together. Oakes argues that mixing them all together is the only way to assure that they will learn and no one will be unfairly disadvantaged, but that this can only be achieved by having a certain strategy in the classroom. There is a certain set of skills and type of learning that can be beneficial to everyone, and done correctly will have a huge impact on all students, but done incorrectly and practically no one will get anything out of the year.

• Quote #1: “Higher-ability students have teachers that are more enthusiastic, that make instructions clearer, and use strong criticism less frequently.” This is a clear denial of equity. Why shouldn’t everyone have access to the teachers that most love to teach? And having a positive learning environment is something no one should be deprived of, especially when instructions are clear, connected back to relevant life topics, and is more motivational in delivery. I know that I was always a high-achieving student. I was used to the positive reinforcement and clear instructions. Whenever a teacher wasn’t explicit, I would hound them until I understood the assignment, as I had been taught it was my right to be able to do so. If I got criticism, I could tolerate it, but if I got repetitive criticism I would clam up and get a grudge against the teacher and do worse in their class, not be motivated to do better.

• Quote #2: “…because (average) students are more likely to fail, they risk more by trying.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard students complain that their teacher ‘hated them’ and so they stopped trying in that class to ‘get back’ at the teacher when in the end the only one they ended up hurting was themselves (and I don’t sit here pretending like I haven’t made that same argument). This can happen very easily, starting early on, and impact the whole schooling experience. If students are reprimanded and direction not given clear enough from kindergarten, by the time they hit even third grade it seems like they have started to give up, like there’s no point in attempting school if they know they’ll fail. By sixth grade when hormones kick in, it’s almost too late to save those who now have been told ‘school is where no one listens to you and its impossible to succeed’ so why try?

• Quote #3: “Grades can be based on improvement or progress towards a learning goal.” Honestly I wish we could get rid of grades altogether, they cause too much stress and pain. For students like me, honors and AP classes in high school were a joke. I knew how to get an ‘A’ and did the minimum effort required to do so. In elementary school I remember getting fed up with English, (the only grade I ever got below a B in, indeed, I failed it) because I had ‘bad’ handwriting. I could read it just fine, and I was more then happy to type it for my teacher if that would make them happier, but they insisted I handwrite and mine was ‘too messy’. Instead of focusing on the petty things, we need to focus on the larger scale, on the learning envirement, and Oakes argues that it isn’t the envirement between students tht we should assess, but that that is from the student at the beginning to the student at the end. Or, how well they did on challenging themselves on an assignment.

• My Response: You know what I remember from education before college? We were always prepping for a major standardized test. From the CAT in 4th, 6th, and 8th. To the CAPT in 10th, to the PSAT in 11th, to the SAT in 12th, to maybe even the ACT’s if you didn’t do well on the SAT’s. You can’t get away form them! And we spent so much time focusing on the ‘prep for the next test’ that we never challenged ourselves or got life-rich experiences that supposedly people sometimes get in schools. Even a good memory I have a hard time finding inside a classroom before high school (and even in high school most times but that is why I want to be a teacher and make people’s experiences better and more enriching). What is to become of our schools when we have so much mandated curriculum that we forget to inspire creativity or motivate positive experiences and challenge people to push themselves? Well, I guess we see that already, with a good amount of students ‘burning out’ before college and a great deal more not making it through a degree program.  If only they had taught us that writing the sentence neatly wasn’t more important then the fact that you could use big words and be descriptive.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Girl" poem by Jamacia Kincaid

Wash the white clothes on Monday and put them on the stone heap; wash the color clothes on Tuesday and put them on the clothesline to dry; don't walk barehead in the hot sun; cook pumpkin fritters in very hot sweet oil; soak your little cloths right after you take them off; when buying cotton to make yourself a nice blouse, be sure that it doesn't have gum on it, because that way it won't hold up well after a wash; soak salt fish overnight before you cook it; is it true that you sing benna in Sunday school?; always eat your food in such a way that it won't turn someone else's stomach; on Sundays try to walk like a lady and not like the slut you are so bent on becoming; don't sing benna in Sunday school; you mustn't speak to wharbfflies will follow you; but I don't sing benna on Sundays at all and never in Sunday school; this is how to sew on a button; this is how to make a button-hole for the button you have just sewed on; this is how to hem a dress when you see the hem coming down and so to prevent yourself from looking like the slut I know you are so bent on becoming; this is how you iron your father's khaki shirt so that it doesn't have a crease; this is how you iron your father's khaki pants so that they don't have a crease; this is how you grow okrbafar from the house, because okra tree harbors red ants; when you are growing dasheen, make sure it gets plenty of water or else it makes your throat itch when you are eating it; this is how you sweep a corner; this is how you sweep a whole house; this is how you sweep a yard; this is how you smile to someone you don't like too much; this is how you smile to someone you don't like at all; this is how you smile to someone you like completely; this is how you set a table for tea; this is how you set a table for dinner; this is how you set a table for dinner with an important guest; this is how you set a table for lunch; this is how you set a table for breakfast; this is how to behave in the presence of men who don't know you very well, and this way they won't recognize immediately the slut I have warned you against becoming; be sure to wash every day, even if it is with your own spit; don't squat down to play marblebsyou are not a boy, you know; don't pick people's flowerbsyou might catch something; don't throw stones at blackbirds, because it might not be a blackbird at all; this is how to make a bread pudding; this is how to make doukona; this is how to make pepper pot; this is how to make a good medicine for a cold; this is how to make a good medicine to throw away a child before it even becomes a child; this is how to catch a fish; this is how to throw back a fish you don't like, and that way something bad won't fall on you; this is how to bully a man; this is how a man bullies you; this is how to love a man; and if this doesn't work there are other ways, and if they don't work don't feel too bad about giving up; this is how to spit up in the air if you feel like it, and this is how to move quick so that it doesn't fall on you; this is how to make ends meet; always squeeze bread to make sure it's fresh; but what if the baker won't let me feel the bread?; you mean to say that after all you are really going to be the kind of woman who the baker won't let near the bread?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Too Deep in a Jungle of Tangled Streets and Miserable People

Can i just say that out of the 20 posts showing on the blog for my other class, more then half of them are poeple freiking out that their semesters are going crazy and their lives BLOW and they dont know what to do with themsleves.

I am not discrediting them, i'm sure their lives really do suck right now, and this is the tme of the semester when people generally freak out anyway, but other then these poeple, i can name over a dozen more that are equally as stressed and worked up and hating life.

Its times like these when i just look around and wonder "what now"? Personally, i feel like i'm sinking academically, like my life is sucking, and like im completely in over my head, and it seems like all the people around me are in the same place. It makes me wonder if i'm in the wrong place. If i can't chnage my life right away, and i cant change their lives, i can change my location, and maybe this isn't the place for me. I take comfort in the fact that in about a month i will be home again with my horse and my dog. Back where things are comfortable and i have places to escape to, where i know the routine and i dont have so much stress, so many people depending on me.

my home life is not a walk in the park, either, but atleast there i know the game im playing. there, atleast i know what battles i can win and which to avoid entirely. i know who gives a damn and who doesnt, who is excited to see me and who could care less. call it homesickness call it dependence, call it what you will, but i'll be so glad to get out of this state.

i hate not being able to cook my own food on my budget, having few releases for my frustration, living in a city, having no place where i can see the stars or fall into a naturey escape away form the cars and horns and pollution.

maybe im old fashioned. maybe im just tapping into my indiginous roots. but life seems so much simpler there. and im counting the seconds til i can go back and stay.


Talking Points "Anita Hill is a Boy"

• Author: Peggy Orenstein

• Title: “Anita Hill is a Boy”

• Argument: Orenstein argues that to teach about male privilege and empower women so that one day our society may have equality, you have to open the dialogue about females being underprivileged, and this can be achieved in a variety of simple or complex ways. The way described by the author in this piece is to have a classroom that is dominated with media from the female gender, honoring female heroes, leaders, authors, and projects. This interesting point is that though the class media is dominantly the female gender, the curriculum is not, but rather focuses equal time on male and female genders, opening the dialogue to have an open discussion about both. This incites oddities in the minds of the students and serves to open the dialogue because it makes them realize the extent to which all their other classes focus on the male gender.

• Quote #1: “(both boys and girls) perceive equality as a loss.” This is in the context that the teacher “should” be focusing dominantly on the male gender and that girls have already “learned their place is to take up less space, feel less worthy of attention, etc.” By having projects that focus equally on men and women, it seems like they are focusing a lot on females, and “unjustly” so. This is the justification many use to try to keep things the way they are, especially against movements like feminism. By having equality on active display in the classroom they are breaking no rule nor affording either group with “too much time”, but rather performing a radical act to open people’s minds to how unequal things are now, in order to promote discussion and change (a charity example would be to fill the room with media of the female gender, change is to continue to use that as a tool to open conversation and incorporate it into the curriculum).

• Quote #2: “I have to dress like this. As a girl, you can’t be accepted unless you wear big clothes. Then it’s like, ‘oh, a girl’ not like ‘oh a body’.” Even in 8th grade you can see how deeply, whether they are aware of it, like this girl, or not, like others, they have already been taught the rules of society. She already realizes that she will be seen for body parts if she dresses in a “popular” way that teaches tight fitting clothes, but if she dressed baggy “like a boy” then people are forced to see her not as parts but as a person. She will also not be seen as ‘desirable’ to many men, and will probably be characterized as either a ‘jock’ or a ‘lesbian’ both of which are viewed as being socially deviant for a female gendered persona and hence “bad”.

• Quote #3: “If I told them I was interested in women’s history, they’d call me a fag. So I just take it and don’t talk about it.” This shows how male gendered people that take the course can find it just as interesting and want to take it, proving that they want to be part of that dialogue. Males, females, and other gendered people all need to be part of the dialogue if equality will ever occurs, but especially the dominant male gendered group. In this school, when the possibility is opened to have the discussion, this male is egger to join, and can still do so and look cool by lying about why he’s there, but the fact that he still has to lie to his friends at all is a sign of how far we still have to go. As far as being called a fag for doing so, that’s so heterosexist I want to puke, but that’s a debate for another time.

• My Response: This reading was a bit of a surprise for me because based on the title I was totally expecting a transgender reading, and frankly bracing myself for a “whole lotta ugly from a never-ending parade of stupid” (thank you Hairspray). But I was happily surprised to find this is reading on “gender” was about overcoming the gender norms that are blatantly in our face everyday. I used to have the debate with my dad (and gave up finally) over the fact that females are still oppressed, and this is one method where that is put blatantly in your face and you are forced to deal with it. Every part of the experience is reflected upon by the teacher and she uses it to relate to her students. What I’m trying to say is that this is dialogue that needs to happen, and not every teacher could tackle it the head-on way she does, but having a mixture of media from male and female genders in the room is a good place to start, and being open to allow that dialogue to occur, and further promoting it, is a great way to tackle the subject as a teacher.

Talking Points "Whites Swim in Racial Preference"

• Author: Tim Wise

• Title: “Whites Swim in Racial Preference”

• Argument: Wise argues that the main problem of racism is that we are hesitant to admit that it exists because when you are part of the dominant group you are among allies and you do not see the injustices or privileges. This has huge connections to Kozol because it is about seeing what is around us, but not really seeing it until we are forced to look at it. That there are privileges that are being given to whites, maybe not directly because they are white, but in a way that, consciously or not, favors those that are white.

• Quote #1: “Whites are currently in the process of inheriting $7-10 trillion in assets from their parents and grandparents (at a time when people of color’s parents and grandparents couldn’t have done the same)”. People gain a lot of property, money, and support, even culture, from the status of their parents, which HEVILY favors the white population that has overwhelmingly held that property and made more money for generations before. For underprivileged groups to defeat and overcome their status and “move up” in society is hard enough with the roadblocks and prejudice already, but to make their fight all the harder they are, more of then not, born into a “lower ranking in society” to begin with.

• Quote #2: “So even the truly talented students of color will be unable to access those extra points simply because of where they live.” This gives direct reference to the fact that race and location are completely intertwined. Look at rural/urban areas. At rural schools you see a disproportionate amount of white kids, while when someone says “inner-city” you think of students of color predominantly. So if you make something available to students only in rural areas, you are subconsciously favoring those white students. This is exactly what defines the article- that you don’t have to think “how can I disadvantage the kids of color” but you can still disadvantage them simply by favoring a place or a thing (such as test scores) that tend to be intertwined with race, and favoring those of the white appearance.

• Quote #3: “but it also presumes ‘that if these whites were black, their life would have remained the same’.” I completely agree that people tend to jump to the conclusion that they could change their identity and still have the same privileges, which isn’t the case. As we saw in a previous reading, when people so much as saw a name that reminded them of a person of color they would automatically discriminate against it. Where you live, where you go to high school, how much attention you get in class, whether your hyperactivity is treated with ADD meds or by sending you to the office or by simply ignoring you, all could be serious indicators of where you end up and what your potential is to even be looking at colleges, never mind which will consider you a good enough applicant to accept you. You life is seriously changed by a change in any part of your inclusion (or not) into the culture of power.

• My Response: I love the quote reference to how fish don’t know the name of the water they swim in because they take it for granted. Likewise, we don’t know the privileges we posses. Seeing Tim Wise talking about the election really resonated with me. It’s so true that just because one Man of color “made it” to presidency doesn’t mean that we have racial equality in the world. Just because a woman was in the running doesn’t mean the two dominant genders are equal. The world, and our country heavily included, has a long way to go before the culture of power realizes the power it holds, and longer still before we can work to equalize it. It wont happen overnight, but being aware of it and passing that awareness onto others seems to be a clear first step in the journey.

Monday, March 23, 2009


As i have been going through my journal entries from the past few weeks trying to pick them apart and see various authors in them, i am finding it very easy to connect to Delpit, and at times Johnson but a bit of a stretch to connect to others. Do you feel the same way? What author are you seeing most? Do the connections pop out at you or do you feel like you have to pry for them? Do they feel like strong examples or do you feel like you're bending and prying to get something to stretch and fit into a perticular box?
Thanks! kt

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Talking Points "The Service of What"

• Author: Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer

• Title: In the Service of What

• Argument: Westheimer and Kahne argue that service learning has been a suggested requirement of today's youth by a number of groups- and that community service is the key, but that there is not enough focus on the context. They think we need to also focus on why things are the way they are and what our service does to help and what can be done to further help, not just go through the motions and call it a day.

• Quote #1: The goal is to "promote student's self-esteem, devlop higher-order thinking skills, make use of multiple abilities, and provide authentic learning experiences." Doesn;t that sound like an SAT study course? The thought is good- that we need to stimulate and develop through the program, not tack on a requirement for the sake of doing so. But what is an authentic learning experience? Is my experience more authentic then yours? Was my childhood more authentic then yours? I understand that it wants us to leave the classroom and the books and actually experience a different side of our world, atleast for me, but i wouldn't say anyone is going to have a more authentic time then anyoine else.

• Quote #2: "In many service learning projects the emphasis is on the giving and countering the narcissism that is believed to be so prevalent amoung young poeple in society generally." Ok, so maybe not an authentic experience but one that "opens your eyes to the hooros of the world"?! I agree that many people, especially in youger generations are glued to the tv and video games and such, but their eyes will only be opened if they want them to be. If the student goes into the project "to get it done" they will be no less self focused then before. Or, on the opposite, if already not self focused, is may not help them get even less so.

• Quote #3: "Students testify to the transformative experience of service learning." The argument is that everyone will get something out of it, or enough people that it will be worth having everyone do it. I want to again stress that you have to want to have that experience and not just go through the motions. Later they mention the importance of reflection, and i agree that this is very important but stress that that, too can be bullshitted through. I dont mean to be so blunt, but those doing for the grade will get the grade and move on, and those that are even the least bit excited will be the ones having a genuinly mind-opening experience.

• My Responce: Personally, i hear what the article is saying but i don't always agree with the nominclature. The idea of service learning itself is something i completely support, and i am so thrilled to be able to participate. I agree with the authors that it needs to be about more then the service but including reflection as well, however i think that it will only be genuine from those that are genuine. I'm not saying its easy to tell the difference or someone may seem against service learning when they are really enjoying it and dont want to admit it, but that making it a rewarded suggestion instead of a requirement might be more effecting to those in the learning and those being serviced.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009

Buying my dream car

It's a 2001 Toyota Echo.
Pix and stuff to come.
Getting the title signed over tomorrow
then registration Wed.
can't wait!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Talking Points "Myths That Bind Us"

• Author: Linda Christiensen

• Title: Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us

• Argument: Christensen argues that through dominant media we are told how to view ourselves and those around us and that it is dominanted by the lens of the culture of power. Like Macintosh, she argues that we need to see this SCWAMMP privilage for what it is if we are going to go about changing it.

• Quote #1: "No one wants to admit that they've been handled by the media." This is Johnson all over- NAME IT, own it. You have to realise that you ARE shaped by your culture, be that form your parent's ideals, school, childeren's books, magazines, barbie, tonka trucks, or the color blue. I remember that smash hit that happened when they made a "lifesize barbie" that you could share your clothes with- except that they never fit right becasuse REAL five year olds do not look like barbie. The media is all around us, and to resist it we first have to see it.

• Quote #2: "If the race of the charecter is the only thing changing, the injustices will still remian." Okay, so snow white is now mocha caramel, but if she still is helpless without men around her, capible of only cleaning and singing and looking pretty, needing a man to come save her, then we're no better off. What about mocha caramel that goes hunting and teaches karate to the men so they can defend themselves when she isn't around that goes camping on weekends and maintains a trapline? Maybe thats a stretch- but atleast its different then the norm of your typical disney woman that looks like playboy and ends up being a princess.

• Quote #3: "Happiness means getting a man, a transformation from wretched conditions can be achieved by consumption..." Oh the dominant ideology leaves so much to be desired. It leaves no space for the LGBTQQI community, or for any woman who is happily independant. Also, shopping will cure all. If you have golden slippers, legs, a sparkly dress, blond hair, and VERY fair skin you'll be perfect- but if not- you can always buy them. Won't that be great- another generation of spenders that can max out their credit cards on shoes and get their temporary high only to have to go out and do the same next weekend. But it will make you a princess, and make prince carming come rescue you from bordom and your incapible self- so isn't that a good thing?

• My Responce: I found a book in the Unity Center the other day called "Daddy's Roomate" and i was terrified about what they would do to make the gay community sound bad to little kids. I was very happily surprised to find it did a very nice job of explaining the community. Books like this are just not as availible as they should be. Media is so ingrianed in everything we do and how we see ourselves. We as women feel incomplete if we don't have big hips and round brests (like a post-pubesent woman) but shaved legs, arms, vagina, and pits (like a pre-pubescent child). If men aren't tall, ripped, and hung then they fail at life. I had a teacher on the board the other day label two triangles as male and female (she first marked the blue one as female and then, appologized to the class for her "mistake"). Media, staing in the home and school, shapes how we view eachother and ourselves for the rest of our lives, and if that can't include any tomboyish women or black men or buddhist people, then why would we view it as "normal"? :(

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


theres this place...
its perfect.
you know that one place?
where you dont have to think twice
about being yourself
no hiding
no covering
no effort to pass
or concerns when you dont
do you know that place?
i dont.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Carlson's "Gayness" Talking Points

Author: Dennis Carlson

Title: Gayness, Multicultural Education, and Community

Argument: Carlson argues that gayness is not discussed in schools and should be. He says that in our changing scoiety, a new age is upon us where we need to (Johnson) talk about each other and ourselves freely. He argues that it is time to stop the walking on eggshells political corectness and teach about ALL aspects of diversity.

• Quote #1- "English literature anthologies still go out of their way to avoid agknowlaging that certain famous writers were gay like Walt Whitman, Gertrude Stein, James Baldwin" *cough* Shakespeare *cough*. Its so true that when a historical figure is gay we run around afraid to say that they were, becasue "gay" has anegative stigma in our society. We can't agknowlage that Joan of Arc was a raging tomboy (and quite possibly into holy dykedom territory) even though she wire men's clothes, cut her hair, darkened her face, and led an army. We can't mention that Shakespeare wrote love letters to men. One of the hardest points of "growing up gay" is the lack of role models- not because they don't exist- but because they are shunned into silence or because talk of their sexuality is taboo.

• Quote #2- "The abuses get tolerated because gay students and teachers operate in an envirement where they are afraid to stand up for themselves...and homophobia is not interrogated." In one single day in my highschool, i heard the word "gay" used in place of "stupid" or "unjust" 346 times. In one day. In none of those instances did a teacher step in, in none of those instances did a student step in, in fact, when i stepped in i was told they were using "ghey" which means "stupid" not "gay" as in "homosexual" and it was stupid for me to take offence anyway because they didn't aim it AT me. Yep, and nigga is acceptable in a job interview, 'cause i didn't say nigger.

• Quote #3- GLBTQQI kids in support groups report they are afraid they are "out of their minds, full of sin/sickness, doomed to dress as transvestites, molest childeren, hate the opposite sex, or contract AIDS." When the dominant culture gives you no role models and no positive examples- and the only time you hear about the queer community is from doctors saying you "arent stable", religous learders calling you "full of sin", you own parents calling you "sick" and disowning you, dominant culture associating homosexuality wiht the "otherness" of "molesting childeren" and "beastiality", or the notrious link to gay men and AIDS that still means men who have sex with men can't donate blood to the red cross, its no wonder one third of all adolescent suicides are made of those identified as GLBTQQI.

My feeling: It is hard enough to grow up not sure if you accept yourself, much less trying to come out when your educators and own parents don't support you, you have no role models, and the dominant ideology is to assume everyone is straight. I love the idea that GLBTQQI matters can be discussed up there with cultural diversity and not the sidenote at the bottom. If being gay were a disease, i would call in queer to work. If it were a choice, i would not choose to be a second class citizen. School has so much power in the formation of our views of our world. It is the chance, from very early on, for a challenge to the upbringing dominated by our parent's ideals. With a simple one-liner reference to the fact that the GLBTQQI identified community lives functional, happy, safe, and productive lives and relationships woudl go a lot furthur then many people realise or are willing to admit. And maybe i would be able to hold my girlfriend's hand without the fear of being beaten up for indeciency, even though straight couples suck face on the regular and no one says a thing.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Talking Points 2.15.09

•Author: Richard Rodriguez

•Title: Aria

•Argument: Rodriguez argues that we need to teach bilingual children to appreciate both their languages, but to make sure to teach them the culture of power, too. He agrees with Delpit that to succeed you need to be able to talk that culture of power. He also shows, however, how family is important and needs to remain encouraged as well.

•Quote #1- pg 36 “We remained a loving family, but one greatly changed- No longer so close, no longer bound tight by the pleasing and troubling knowledge of our public separateness.” This goes to show the pain of not participating in the dominate, English-speaking culture, but how it served to unite them together. True, he learned English, but in doing so had less and less in common with his parents as he was never taught to appreciate his own culture, and slowly lost it more and more the less he communicated with his parents.

•Quote #2- pg 37 “Though his English somewhat improved, he retired into silence.” The parents were told to help the children learn English by speaking it at home, and they did but in doing so, were finally surpassed by their children who didn’t want to talk with them anymore. The father, who was no longer able to pass his culture onto his kids (who were only interested in the dominant culture so they could fit in) had nothing left to do but become quiet and crawl inside himself, pulling away from interacting with his family.

•Quote #3- pg 39 “…while one suffers a diminished sense of private individuality by becoming assimilated into public society, such assimilation makes possible the achievement of public individuality.” This is exactly what Delpit is saying- that understanding the dominant culture is so important to success. Individuality may be good, but if you are never taught how to get along in the mainstream, your future, mainlining a career, may be very hard to come by.

•My feeling: I do not totally agree with what he seems to be saying. I do agree that everyone should be taught how to get along in the mainstream society, that makes perfect sense: equity. But I am a big supporter on not forgetting who you are and where you come from. The last quote especially shows this, how the development of public individuality is the ultimate goal, but I don’t see why your public and private self have to be so different. Be who you need to be to do what you need to do, but be who you ARE as well and don’t forget where you’re coming from. At the end of the day you still have to live with yourself.

videos to watch

why do we have to make fun of women?
THESE women suck at driving.....
but THIS man is also a raging dick
so... it is ok to generalize that ALL men are raging dicks?????

a video posted on the blog for another of my classes by a classmate
made by a transman about transgendered people
but it relates very well to the entire GLBTQQ community
i'm not gonna lie, i cried the first time i saw it

and if you haven't seen prop (h)8 the musical... you need to!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Service Learning #2

One of the reasons I wont have the same kids every week is that the same classes don’t meet every Friday for periods one two and three. I got new shoes after my old ones shit out, and they were my only choice of walking shoes for today. I am sorry to say that I now have horrendous blisters on the back of my footsies, and it hurts more with every step. I had to call out of work between that, my heel pain, and my arch trouble.
Today was the day before vacation so focus just wasn’t going to happen. In addition, the reading is fun program was going on (25% school and 75% government funded kids can go pick out one book each to own, this happens three times a semester). My advisor, Mr. Mitrelis, was nowhere to be found, so I teamed up with another teacher for periods one and two. Period three I was back with Mr. Mitrelis. The other teacher makes a lot of jokes and doesn’t have the same tone, but he doesn’t control the class as well as Mr. Mitrelis does. Notes:

· Pictures:
Earn “greenebucks” for good behavior redeemable for activities and things from the school store
I notice that rule number 1 is to attend school. I never had this as a key rule at any of my schools. It is posted all over Nathanael greene
“Rosa sat so martin could walk so Obama could run so we can fly as one” iconic imagery = good
The classroom rules as a mural on a wall. The students shown here are majority of color, just like the school it is in. I would not see something like this, where I come from school pictures and murals would be lucky to have “the token black kid” somewhere in a back corner
Does anyone else notice that the boys get the manly john deere esque hunt camp shirts with the greene “deer” and the girls get Barbie pink with butterflies? Also minority representation I wouldn’t have seen at bacon academy.
School greeter, carved Indian. Seems out of place. What is the actual mascot of Nathanael Greene?!?

General Suggestions/ How to be a good teacher:
Music in background- different from what they are used to
Schedule of class on syllabus/ board everyday
Teach about rules of society/ culture of power/ common sense- “don’t write anything you wouldn’t want your principle to read”
Make it interesting (writing prompts: 1. Romeo and _?_ 2. the memorable meal 3. I just got a car but I forgot to learn how to drive 4. first day my way)
Start harsh-> easen up more effective then start lax-> try to get harder
Set rules on the first day, reinforce and repeat them.
Stick to what you say… be consistent
Ask kids at end of activity what worked and what didn’t- evaluations
No assumptions (if you tell the story of charnoble, you have to explain what charnoble was/ give background)
Encourage kids to make connections (personal life->in class) (class->class)
Hands on learning effective to teach self- not others
Keep kids involved- check in with entire room and pull attention back together

Questions/ Talking Points:
Kids of color loud/ confident vs. white kids withdrawn/ quiet (general trend)
Let kids pick their own groups vs. picking for them (pick own= someone is always left out, pick for them= a bunch of unhappy kids. Help the majority or the minority- who is more important)
Group projects- do all members to learn information/contribute?
Presenting to class instead of having teacher teach it-> effective/lazy?
Singling out one group as example over and over-> good/bad?
Teacher that makes jokes and is a little less firm= less control over room, teacher that is firm but a bit boring and strict= has good control-> healthy balance?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Talking Points 2.9.09

  • Author: Muwakkil
  • Title: Data Shows Racial Bias Persists in America
  • Argument: Muwakkil argues that not only does racial bias still heavily exist in America, but that the majority white population does not realize it. They go on to perform a study about job opportunities with people with white and black sounding names, and further proves through statistics how skewed many whites in power still are to those of color.
  • Quote #1- "The study found that applicants with white-sounding names were 50% more likely to get called for an initial interview then those with black-sounding names." This is very pathetic statment about the state of the social equality in our nation. That just becase your name is Jamal, you must autamatically be a low-income drug dealer with a prison record making meth in your basement? Or, further, that because your name is Mary that you must not be low income, without a prison record, and not making meth in your basement. The study went on to say that even when the black-sounding name's applicant had a more impressive resume, it still didn;t improve their chances. I would be interrested to know who the employers were, what region they were located in, and what jobs they were hiring for, though none of these validate such prejudice in the workplace.
  • Quote #2- "White applicants with prison records were still more likely to be called for a job interview then blacks without them." So, Billy-joe the convicted rapist can bag your groceries better then Lakisha who doubles as a preschool teacher. It is scary to think that employers would be more concerned with skin tone and not history or felony. Again, I am skeptical of the company, job at stake, and region of the country the interview took place in.
  • Quote #3- "...blacks constitute 13% of America's drug users, but make up 58% of those sent to prison for drug posession." So, either cops are letting more whites go for having the drugs that we all know they have, or the cops are focusing their persuit on mainly black-inhabited areas for drug convictions. Also it could be likely that blacks are convicted more once in court and more whites are found not guilty or given lesser sentences for the same crimes.
  • My feeling is that this clearly shows just how much racial bias does still exist in America. People like to say that since we have a black president then there is clearly no more bias but it simply isnt true. While people of color still feel their color when they negotiate society, then we are still inequal. I hate to think that we live in a society where such hue inequalities still exist, but cultures don't change overnight or without will do do so by dominant groups, so we may have a president of color, but he is a huge exception. Just because other countries have had female presidents doesn;t mean they have gender equality. We have to own what we are before we can start to move to where we want to be.

  • Author: McIntosh
  • Title: White Privilage: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
  • Argument: McIntosh argues that white poeple have been carefully taught not not recignise white privilage and that it is wrong. They argue that privilage must be brought down but this can only be achieved by recignizing it, owning it, and working together to stop it.
  • Quote#1- "(Men) say they are willing to work to improve women's status, but that they can't or won't support the idea of lessening men's." Privilage is a balence system, in that one side gets more then the other gets less, and in order to even it out, those with power will loose some and those without it will gain some. This means that in the workplace straight white christain able bodied males will loose some of their jobs, in order for gay latino buddhist disabled (but just as qualified) females to take their place. This scares the people of power to death because they cannot bear the thought of loosing their status, even though it wasn't really theirs to being with but was just handed to hem because they happened to be born straight white christian and male.
  • Quote #2- "(Whites) can walk into a hairdresser's shop and assume someone there knows how to cut their hair." It is all about owning your prejudice and calling it out so you know what you need to improve upon. The things we take for granted in the dominant group far outnumber the things that aren't taken for granted. But, like Delpit said, "the things that make us different stick out like sore thumbs, and the things that make us 'normal' we take for granted."
  • Quote#3- "Obliviousness to advantage is kept stongly enculturated in the US as to maintain the myth of metiocracy, the myth that democratic choice is equally availible to all." This is exactly what Mwukkail is saying that we are kept blind about the inequities and so we don't believe that they exist. We need to bring them out in the open if we ever hope to change them.
  • My feeling is that all forms of prejudice are holding us back as a society, but becasue they won't be obliterated today or tomorrow, or probably in my lifetime, we need to learn how to accomodate to them. We need to learn to speak other people's "languages", relate to people "on their level", own the things that give us undue power, own the things that don't, and work as a unit to speak out against things that hold us down so that we may realize as a society our goal and work to fix it.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Service Learning #1


I went to Nathanael Green Middle School to meet my teacher Mr. John Mitrelis. I was unable to find a bus to take me close enough at the time I needed to be there so I bundled up for the forty minute walk in nine degree weather. The ground was mostly snow and ice, and the sidewalks were shovel very poorly, and some not at all, so the walking was difficult. I had been out with some friends the night before and didn’t come to bed until 2:30am. I woke up at 6:30am, and left the dorm at 7:00am. I arrived at the school at 8:00am to find that the school was having a fire drill. I was mistaken for a student when I asked where the office was.
I arrived at the office and signed into my VIPS volunteer sheet (Volunteers in Providence Schools). I changed into my dress pants, cowboy boots, and collared shirt, and went to meet my teacher. He is a history teacher who was “downgraded” to social studies with sixth graders. He has been doing it for a number of years and told me a few things about himself. He doesn’t believe in homework because the kids have crazy lives and it won’t come back in, so all work is done in class. He does a lot of hands on projects, and the stuff hangs all over the room. He says that the kids don’t put much value in behavior but they do care about their grades. Therefore, punishment is not calling home but dropping grades and having to turn things in without chance to complete them.
I did see him punish one girl by making her go stand outside. I was there for three classes. As soon as the first class entered I noticed that he was very authoritative. I was expecting a more direct style then I had as he was teaching low income students, but I wasn’t expecting how harsh it was. Even the kids that weren’t really misbehaving got yelled at the same as the rest. Same tone. It made me a bit uncomfortable because if I were the student that wasn’t really doing anything wrong I would be pissed to be yelled at and put on the spot when I didn’t deserve it. Anyway, the kids listened. He wouldn’t start class without a certain order in the room.
My first class was actually not with him but with the “gifted” students in a neighboring classroom. This was aimed at giving me a perspective. It seemed like the “smarter” kids in the other room had more to prove. It was like they know they were in a “gifted” class and had to tell their peers they were still cool. They were the worst behaving kids I saw that day. They wanted nothing to do with the class or the teacher. He had a very different style, too. Not as much hands on, more sitting and reading form the front of the room. They wanted none of it. He, too, had a very direct style. I would be interested to know how a female teacher controlled the room.
Anyway, back to Mr. Mitrelis. He won’t answer you if you don’t say his last name. He won’t answer you if you walk up to his desk. I have a hard time remembering being in the sixth grade and I wonder how different the style really is from what I am used to. Perhaps I will try to set up a service learning-like experience back in my home town and see how it all goes over.
After observing for two periods I had a certain comfort level in the classroom, which may have been a bad thing, but maybe not. At the start of third period a girl walked in and no sooner took her seat then started yelling obscenities. She called another child a “God Damn fucking faggot” and said “You faggot don’t be a sissy”. It was then that I had heard enough. Without screaming, but in a loud, clear, and direct voice I walked over to her saying “Hey! We don’t use those kind of words in the classroom.” She looked at me with distain but said no more. I immediately felt horrible. I had done something wrong, It was out of place, she was going to hate me now and be even worse around me. But when the class started, she acted like nothing happened. I went to her table to look at her project and talk to her about it and she very pleasantly told me all about it. She was very friendly and even helpful. Could this style really work? It felt out of place.
The teacher asked me what I wanted the kids to call me and I said Miss Hale. He introduced me as Miss Eva in front of the class, though and I wasn’t sure I wanted to correct him and undermine his authority. It was weird having them call me by my first name, and mostly they just called me “Miss”. That will be an ongoing project I guess.
Instead of working with two or three kids, I’m working with whole rooms of 25 or better. Maybe this will prove to be an issue? We’ll see. So far I’m having a lot of fun. I went to sign out at the end of the day and I asked if the principle was available. A very nice lady behind the desk said “Yes, I suppose.” Thinking that was a strange and rude way to talk to me I was spellbound and just looked confused replying “You suppose?” She half smiles and informed me that she was the principle. I smiled at my mistake and introduced myself as a VIPS volunteer explaining that I just wanted to say hi and give her a face to associate with a name. Quick and painless. Chris picked me up in form of the school at 11:03am.

Monday, February 2, 2009

smell that strong scent of sexual undertone??

Of coarse you don't. If you are a hetero, this wont sound strange to you. but put yourself in my shoes for a minutes and try to feel how much this makes me cringe....

the following is an article about a man who is explaining why he loves his wife...

Some of you might remember me as the (charmingly!) equivocating Jake who almost two years ago gave up the single-guy gig writing this column to get hitched to a woman known as Orange Blossoms, my longtime on-again, off-again girlfriend. I want to assure everyone that, even with a ring on my finger, I'm just as confused by love as I was when I was single. But I'm happy — and here are the reasons why:
The drama is over. And that's a good thing. Because while we still have thorny issues to negotiate — the little problem of how we both try to control each other, for example — the anxiety is gone. The whole business of "Is this the right relationship?" and "She talks on her cell phone inside of elevators; she must not be the woman for me," and "If I don't make her spontaneously combust in bed tonight, she's never going to sleep with me again" — all that stuff? Up in a puff of smoke. I have to say, life without the question of something being a deal-breaker is pretty amazing.
We can share our fantasies — even the ones about other people. Yes, I have sexual thoughts that don't include my wife. I've discussed this with lots of men, and they've agreed that extracurricular attraction never goes away. However, now I can talk to Blossoms about them. Not explicitly (the fantasies are rarely that graphic — it's more of a feeling, like, Yeah ... her ... yep, for sure), but we joke around about which women I'm drawn to, and then I hear about men she's checking out at the moment. Before marriage that kind of openness would have been impossibly threatening. Now? She's even taken to having lunch with guys in an attempt to keep things exciting but not dangerous. It probably seems unorthodox to a lot of you, but, weirdly, I'm in favor of it.
I successfully battle "we"-dom. In an effort to not be one of those husbands who use the word we too much ("We love risotto!" "We hate Beyoncé!"), I make sure that Blossoms and I keep our individuality as a man and a woman who will never have the same quasi-male haircut or unisex shoes. In her own related attempts, Blossoms encourages me to spend time alone or with my friends because we most enjoy each other when we have our own lives. That said, it feels more us-against-the-world than it ever has in the past, perhaps because ...
It is us against the world. Take the economy. I can't tell you how much more terrifying the prospect of losing my job or the reality of our decimated 401(k)s would be if I didn't know we had each other's backs. And it's an enormous comfort to know that as much as things change, I still have a few familiars to hold on to, like:
Being with her now turns me on the same way it did the first time. I am still a bit obsessed with her palpable intelligence, her curiosity and her sense of mischief. And nothing puts me at ease as much as getting into bed with her at the end of the day, shutting off all the lights, pressing against each other and talking until we fall asleep.
My wife continues to smell unbelievably good. She's switched perfumes (no more orange blossoms!), but there's still something about her scent. I don't think it can be reduced to what comes out of a crystal bottle; it's human chemistry. And no matter how many columns I write, I'll never be able to explain it.

commitment: fine.
marriage: dandy.
hetero love: cool.
being hetero: more power to ya. literally. (hahahaha)
"not being hetero=bad" undtertones: i am so not liking that....

Ohhhh.... Delpit

I dont even know where to start on this peice. If you just read the surface, it seems very confrontational and it reads as if she is being very accusational and judegemntal. It hurts to read, and it's hard to see past this. On the underbelly of the piece, however, i undertsand the point that she is trying to make. That not every teacher has cultural competance, and that if you are raised with privilage and think the only way to teach is with one "language" then you will never be able to reach all your students, especially those that were not riased with that privilage, that may not understand that "language" and to them you need to keep this in mind.
I heard another FNED student with a different instructor say the other day that doing service learning in an underprivilaged school is a waste of their time. That becasue they are planning to teach in a very specific envirement, close to that of their own upbringing, it would not benifit them to have an alternate experience to that which they have had all thier life. It hurt to hear that, becasue I can appriciate how good it feels to know that even in a dominatly midlle class white school, there are teachers that are willing to speak to more then middle class straight white students. The simple agknowlagement in class that other people exist, as dumb as that may sound, can mean so much for making the classroom a more comfortable place to be.
I also think about the experience I am able to have as a member of ALLIED, a class on campus for underrepresented students in education majors, and how much of a better person that has made me. In ALLIED, we are able to have thses open conversations about what words are tolerable, what references hurt, what it feels like to be singled out as a student, what it can be like to be underprivilaged, etc. The professor often comments that being a white female she almost doesn't feel "qualified" to mediate these discussions alone, but doesnt realise that by the mere fact that she is enthusiastic about running the class, and open to the idea of having the conversations, she is VERY qualified. Relating to students of different backgrounds is not about have to BE a member of their group to understand them, but simply being able to LISTEN to what they have to say and use their constructive criticism to better your classroom.
This is unltimatly what Deplit is saying. Though at times it may feel like she is singiling out those of us wo are members of privilaged groups as "bad", she is really just trying to get across that we need to look past our own experience and teach to our fullest potention in an effort to include everyone. She is begging for us to not only listen but to hear those around us when they offer to better us as teachers and speak everyone's "language" to our students. I completely agree with her that cultural competance is one of the most important and benificial things for teachers to include in ther repitoire as they share their knowlage with their peers and students.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Thinkpiece #1

I have to say I really enjoyed this article because I think it did me justice both as a member of oppressed groups and a member of privileged groups, and didn’t just complain about the way things are but made a solid effort to explain how to fix them. One major point that caught my interest is that Mr. Johnson says we need to not only talk about the problems of heterosexism, racism, and privilege, but we need to name them and own them. He says “Our collective house is burning down and we’re tiptoeing around afraid to say fire.” I couldn’t agree more, hoping to fix these problems by leaving them in their closets and not mentioning them will not do. We need to talk about them- directly- and not feel embarrassed to say what our weaknesses are and how we need to improve. I know that coming from a rural town where I was the only out queer I knew for two years, with literally five people of color in my high school, I haven’t had the most diverse history, but I own that.

I like when he said “I don’t mean something as minimal as mere tolerance or refraining from overt violence”, because “working with” is so much different then “working alongside.” Being a member of Rainbow I preach all day about tolerance and acceptance, when in actuality I want so much more then for you to hate me silently, or grudgingly accept the fact that I am sharing a neighborhood with you. I want to live in a world where I can go out, as a woman, and not have to check over my shoulder as I fumble to get out my keys, where I can, as a queer, hold hands with my girlfriend and not have “dyke” coughed at us as people pass us on the quad. We need to shoot for higher then the bare minimum, because if we settle for less, we are letting the privileged keep us oppressed.

He talks about feeling the oppression, and not. And its absolutely true, that I don’t feel the color of my skin. I may be one fourth Native American, but my skin is white as the paper I write this on, and I have never felt the prejudice of being something other then white. I do know that its very hard to have to explain to my best friend why I can’t just “Not tell people I’m queer if it scares me so much to come out.” That, as a third grader I would refuse to recite “One Nation, under God,” because there is no God, and my peers looked at me like I had three heads. The ways we fit in we don’t notice at all, but the ways we stand out are blatantly obvious.

It is so powerful to me in his section where he has a “privilege checklist” so-to-speak, that so many of the key points resonate through all three lists. For example, that “white, hetero, males can pretty safely assume that their models for success, national heroes, and other key figures, will be of the same gender, race, and sexual orientation as them.” And it’s so true- you look through history and even if a woman came to a significant scientific conclusion first, she is discredited because she is female. When we know someone in history who is queer, people are afraid to just come out and say that they were a raging homosexual as if they might be less of a person if they claimed it. What we see here, though, is that in any underrepresented group, our struggles are the same. We can still feel invisible and in the spotlight all day, everyday, we share each other’s pain, so we need to work together to fix the inequality.

All I can think about as I read this paper is how that as a straight, white, middle class, male he can sit there and say these things about oppression and privilege, and I give him props for having the balls to do so, but that, if he were anything other, he wouldn’t be taken seriously. If I, for example, had written the same article it wouldn’t be published because I would be just another angry feminist. If my friend James had wrote it he would be just another ranting black man. Johnson is using his privilege to get the word out that we need to overcome the constraints put on us in out society, that we choose to follow. It makes me think about how important Allies are, and that, if we are to overcome oppression of groups, all underrepresented groups have to come together, but also join up with the group in power, and only then can we effect change. It won’t begin to be solved unless “those with privilege see this problem as their own, and feel obligated to do something about it.”

Do You Feel Your Opression?

Let me give you some context to my life. I grew up in a rural town in back woods, Connecticut, and I’ll be the first to admit that it wasn’t a very diverse location. We have more types of horses at my barn then we did different ethnicities at my school. You think I’m kidding, I’m not- in a high school of close to a thousand kids, there were five people of color- and that was painful for me. I have little experience working in an urban environment or with people who aren’t white, middle class, rural kids, and that in itself scares me. I came to RIC because I needed to branch out, get a feel for diversity, expand my horizons, but I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into.

Last semester I was at my friends apartment in providence, and she asked me to go retrieve something from her car. I’m going to be honest, I told her I didn’t think I could do it, cause it was a city, and I would get jumped. Now I know that part of my fear is that, being homosexual female that has been raped, I’m a little more on edge then most people, but I also know that those of you that grew up in an urban environment think I’m a little irrational right about now. In these situations I often think of the people of color in my high school, who always complained that its always the people of color that are portrayed as the bad guys that will hurt you, and that they all live in the city and racism, white prejudice and so on. And then it struck me, and this is the part that I find so funny- the images playing through my head of who was going to jump me, rape me, or kidnap me, should I go out to the car alone, had nothing to do with people of color, in fact, if anything, they were white as milk. My fear was that a middle aged white man was going to come jump me in the middle of providence.

I am not saying that growing up in the country made me somehow devoid of racism, as I know there are such people, like my father, that will tell you with Obama as president the world is now in the hands of the devil, but I find it strange that growing up in a very white setting, melanin content in skin is not the first thing I notice. I notice what gender people present, what their sexual orientation is, how old they are, and if I feel comfortable with their vibe, long before I think about their ethnicity. I guess what I am wondering is how other people feel about it. For those of you who are people of color- do you feel it everyday? Is it the fist thing that you think about when you meet someone for the first time? When you get fired, or watch someone get a promotion you should have had, do you find yourself thinking it is because of your ethnicity?

I have a problem....





All the intruders are male. Furthermore, they are all white males.
Does anyone else see a problem with that?
Maybe thats why my veiw of reality is so distorted

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inaugural Address Responce

President Barak Obama, if nothing else is giving the world something to talk about, instilling hope in millions, and reaching out to many more who may or may not be ready to hear him. Everyone seems to have such strong opinions already about what he is capable of and what he will ultimately amount to, and in his inaugural address he laid the groundwork for what his dreams and plans are over the next four years. Unlike those who oppose him, his vision for society and his focus is heavily on inclusion. He wants to unite us as a country, as a continent, as a world which has the potential to be such an amazing opportunity. He makes no effort to hide the fact that he faces a number of hurtles, but is positive and unwavering that we can work together to overcome them. He also makes it very clear that this is the start of a new era- of rebirth, a new direction, of change. As a president, I do not know if he will leave behind a legacy of greatness or failed promises, but he has brought the nation more together already, and for that, I like him already.
Obama was very clear in his speech about his vision for society being equality and inclusion for all. He lays the groundwork for the nation by mentioning our “patchwork heritage” and how we are a nation made from different peoples from different places. He directly is speaking to the people of the United States but his undertones of inclusion are meant also for the world at large. He is very careful to include ‘men’ and ‘women’ instead of just ‘men’ when he makes a statement. He mentioned also “Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Nonbelievers” in an effort to unify our main religious groups. As a person, I am very quick to recognize that I fall under none of these five categories, but as a citizen I am grateful he even made the effort to try. I also notice that he included different races, religions, nations, and peoples in his inclusion, but made no reference to sexual orientation or gender presentation, whether this is because he felt it was too specific, he is against it, or he wants to avoid it entirely is yet to be seen. What we do know is that, as Obama said, “this is a new era of peace where we need to drop our differences” which sums up his position- that within and beyond our country’s borders, we need to get over petty problems and make good with those around us so that we may work together.
Working together for what would be the logical question here, and to this he answered with cleaning up and reorganizing, directly our country, but indirectly our planet. He made no effort to negate the fact that we are in “economic crisis” and more then that, we need a huge once-over to many of our current systems, but he is dedicated to tackling them each in time. He acknowledges that we are at war, and mentions we need to pull out, but it seems that’s a side note he’d rather push aside to focus on internal problems first. In relation to the economy he mentions programming like building bridges and roads to give people jobs, which seems a solid strategy. He said we need to raise healthcare’s quality and lower its price, I agree, but cleaning up some of the corruption and the backwards insurance companies would be a good place to start. He also mentions that we need to improve schools and colleges, I hope this means chopping out the “No Child Left Behind” that served to Leave More Children Further Behind. Through his plan for rebuilding our unity and problems as a nation, we continues the undertone that we must work together and resolve our differences, or at least put them aside as we have bigger issues facing us. He says nothing is impossible, and there is no limit to “what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined with common purpose.”
What he is hoping to achieve, here, is the turning over of a leaf, the existence of a new era. Partly this is an effort to stick to his party and distance himself from George W. Bush, or rather, from Bush’s abysmal approval ratings, but I think it is also his genuine dream. In more words or less he says that we need to overhaul our programs, cut the bad ones and improve the effectiveness of the good ones, which seems logical. He says we need to restore trust between the people and the government, part of which he is already striving for by gracefully but clearly distancing himself from Mr. Bush. But his message here switches from the local to the global. He offers peace to the Middle East, showing that we is willing to negotiate and give chances unlike what McCain seemed to be proposing of going in guns-blaring. He lays a commitment to help poor nations, being the superpower that we are, to help them help themselves get what they need, mainlining clean water. He says “your people will judge you on what you build not what you destroy”, which is a cute message, but in truth, the people will judge you for both, they will only like you for what you metaphorically build, and will hate you for what you metaphorically destroy. He acknowledges that he has his work cut out for him but has committed to this new era, where we work together through our differences and make our environment, both in the tangible and intangible, a better place to be for all.
In his speech on election night he mentioned that he is the president of everyone, those who voted for him and those who didn’t, and he graciously accepted his place and is determined to reach out to everyone (I hope) that he represents. His vision for our country and our world is one of great cooperation, where we, as the inhabitants, all accept each other and treat each other as we would like to be treated. He makes no effort to hide the face that the global economy, environment, and moral is abysmal at best, but that we do not have to accept this as the only way and true to our history we will overcome it! His vision is that of a new era of unity were we rebuild ourselves as a nation and help others to do the same. Some may doubt his commitment or his ability, or judge him based on his youth, his party, his name, or the amount of melanin in his skin, but I, and many people older then people, have not seen the country pull together in such a way in many, many years; and that in itself is a beacon of hope and a sign that we can pull together, and with some guidance we can put aside our differences and make this world we live in a better place for everyone.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm Eva, obvi, and I'm coming into my second semester here at RIC. I live on campus at Willard, though my plan is to get an apartment before next semester. I have a pretty busy life... I work a lot, I'm the Secretary of the Rainbow Alliance here on campus, I read a lot, and I love to write poetry. I generally like being outdoors playing with my horse or snowboarding, and yes, as you will find out sooner or later, I am a hunter. I'm pretty easy to get along with. I speak french and i got to visit france which was one of the coolest experiences of my life. I'm an out, flaming homosexualist, though I actaully identify as queer. I realise my gender presentation can fuck with people at times, and i dont mean to confuse you, i'm just doin my thing. I just wake up some mornings and i would rather bind my chest then flaunt the girls just so some grimy guy can try to pick me up. ew. nothing against all you guys out there- im just sayin.
Sooo... thats fidget in a nutshell....
Can't wait to see everyone in class!