Monday, February 29, 2016

Safe Spaces


 1. What messages did you receive about LGBT community when you were in school? Which messages were explicit, which were implied?

- To be honest, I had no idea what it meant to be gay until probably middle school. In grades K-5, we were completely uneducated about the LGBT community. We were read the traditional stories, and the idea of the typical mother, father and children family was implanted into our minds. Personally, I was first exposed to the topic when my nine or ten year old self made the mistake of calling another kid "gay" at a playground camp. Listen, I was like 9. I had no idea what I was talking about. After getting punished for doing so, I remember my mom telling me at dinner that my sister had a girlfriend. After learning this, I felt terrible for using the word as a negative comment towards somebody else, loved my sister just as much as I did before, and learned to appreciate, respect and treat people in the LGBT community as equal as anybody else :) Looking back, I do wish that I had been informed at an earlier age about the community. I think it would highly benefit children, encouraging them to be open minded and never run into a situation where the word "gay" could be used as slander.

2. Did you ever question these messages If so, what empowered you to do so? If not, what would have helped you to question them?

- After learning about about same-sex relationships, I never questioned this messages. I honestly think it was having somebody so close to me involved in the LGBT community that always made me feel love for those involved. While about 99.9% of my family approved of my sister, there still was the 1% that did not. Seeing their negativity towards them only made me upset, wondering why such hatred was involved with two people simply loving one another. If I were to ever have questioned them, it probably would have been if nobody personally close to me was gay, I think I would have been a little less exposed at that early point in my life.

3. What do you know about the gay civil rights movement?

- I know that the date of June 26, 2015 was a very important day for my family and I because same-sex marriage was now legal nationwide. 

4. Do you talk to the youth in your life about what they are learning about the LGBT community in their curriculum?
I have two little sisters, one turning four and one 10 months old. They are not in an education system yet and have yet to question the LGBT community. I hope that when they are exposed to it they will feel comfortable to talk and ask questions, giving me the opportunity to help them understand.

Points to Share:
Overall, I 100% agreed with everything these authors stated. Most importantly, I found it shocking to read all of the stories in which the LGBT community was looked negatively upon in schools to young children. The story of the young boy getting an ISS for simply discussing that he had two mothers to another student was truly heartbreaking. I can only hope that someday our country can look back on these horrific incidents and shake our heads. I have faith for the students that are facing this negativity and hope that our education systems can only inflict happiness, creating a comfortable environment for ALL students. 

Also, a friend of mine proposed to his boyfriend and now the video is over 5 million views and shares. Check it out :) 


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Christensen Response

Quote 1
"...Cindy Ellie's main goal in life is not working of the homeless or teaching kids to read. Her goal, like Cinderella's, is to get her man. Both young women are transformed and made beautiful through new clothes, new jewels, new hairstyles. Both have chauffeurs who deliver them to their men."

- This quote stood out to me because I find it very important to teach children at a young age that material items are not what sets their beauty. Not even just their appearance, but I see more and more nowadays how a child's social status and happiness is being defined by the items they have (cell phones, video games, etc.)  

Quote 2
 "Sabrina said: "I realized these problems weren't just in cartoons. They were in everything - every magazine I picked up, every television show I watched, every billboard I passed by on the street."

- While reading this article and thinking about all of the negative images society implants in youth's minds, I could not help but consider how some new societal changes could impact the next generation. For example, Barbie has just put out a new collection of dolls entitled "The Evolution of Barbie". In this collection, customers can purchase dolls categorized by curvy, tall, petite and original. It makes me happy knowing that children are now able to become more knowledgeable of different body styles and races. Another example is companies like Sports Illustrated and Aerie have recently advertised for "Untouched" photos of their models. 

This previous Christmas one of my three year old sister's favorite presents was her gift set of about ten Disney Princess Barbie dolls. While playing with her, I could not help but notice their bodies: hourglass figures with perfect hair and makeup. Being a Disney lover myself I never really thought about how their apparel could potentially affect young girls and their implanted images of how beauty should look. While some critics look with further speculations, Disney overall has introduced Princesses from different races and cultures.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Richard Rodriguez response

While reading Rodriguez's article, I couldn't help but be completely unable to relate to it. Growing up in a town and a school setting where white students were the majority and anyone who spoke Spanish could fluently speak English as well, the only exposure I got to different languages was in separate classes. The classes offered were Spanish, Italian or French from grades 7-12. We were told that the younger we learn a second language the easier it is to retain. Rodriguez agrees in the first paragraph that his first grade classmates could have become bilingual, or in his words know another "public language." When Rodriguez discusses the loss of using old Spanish words by stating that they would be "too painful reminders of how much had changed in my life" (Rodriguez 39), this reminds me that of the idea of Lisa Delpit's "culture of power". Rodriguez had his power within the classroom decreased, comparing his relationship with teachers to be less frightening and more comforting. 

Points to Share: When Rodriguez told how the Nuns came into his home and instructed their parents to encourage the speaking of English at home, I was shocked. I hope now in our education systems that hiring teachers who speak multiple languages and can assist the students that need so will become one of the highest priorities. I will be assistant teaching in an ESL classroom for my Inspiring Minds placement and all of the students speak one to two other languages, and are either fluent in English as well or just familiar with it. Either way, I feel having a classroom for all these students to learn and grow together will do wonders for them from not only an educational standpoint, but will increase social skills as well. Making students comfortable in a classroom and letting them know their languages and cultures are equally important to one another is a big deal.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace
By: Jonathan Kozol


While reading I was able to relate Kozol's piece to several other author's read thus far in class, including Kristof's: U.S.A., Land of Limitations? and Delpit's Other People's Children

While it seems vague, a quote from Delpit's article that I related to Kozol's was when she stated "When you're talking to white people they still want it to be their way" and then further "They won't listen, white folks are going to do what they wan't to do anyway." Jonathan Kozol is a white man, and I did not get the vibe from this article that he wasn't giving this young boy and his mother a chance to describe and show him their livelihood. It almost made Delpit's quote look like more of an assumption than a fact.

Amazing Grace is also relatable to the Land of Limitations article. Kristof references something he once heard "I grew up poor, but I worked hard and I made it. If other people tried, they could, too. Sure, there are extraordinary people who have overcome mind-boggling hurdles." A section in Amazing Grace that reminded me of this was when the mother's friend's son had a college scholarship, and he ended up dying as a drug addict. When Kristof says "talent is universal, but opportunity is not." This incident in particular completely contradicts the quote because the boy had talent, but his lifestyle ended up taking over. 

Questions/Comments/Points to Share:
What I enjoyed most about this text was how it provided factual information about the everyday struggles that underprivileged people go through, it told the readers a story about an older women and a younger boy. I feel more effected by a text when I'm hearing it directly from the somebody has been personally involved in a situation rather than just from statistics and news articles. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

USA Land of Limitations? Nicholas Kristof

In this article, human right writer Nicholas Kristof discusses what he thinks the Presidential candidates this running should be concerned with, and informing about. This ongoing issue is the fact everybody is born into different financial situations and this highly affect the opportunities they are able to receive and the way their life will play out economically and socially. Throughout the article, he tells the story of a hometown friend Rick Goff and how unfortunate circumstances took control of his life, disregarding his talent of knowledge and kindness of heart.


"Yet I fear that by 2015 we’ve become the socially rigid society our forebears fled, replicating the barriers and class gaps that drove them away"

Reading this at the beginning of the article places an idea/image in the readers head. Kristof earlier states how his father and Senator Rubio's fathers came to this country wishing to get away from "barriers and class gaps", to find that by the year 2015, the USA has only replicated so. This made me wonder, if our country continues not to face these issues, will people leave? Where will they go? And will this cycle repeat itself again? By saying this, Kristof places a certain fear in the readers mind, hoping to provoke agreement.

“talent is universal, but opportunity is not.”

Kristof references a piece in which he had written previously about Goff. Kristof informed readers of how Goff was brought up, the difficulties he faced in educational settings and what he had to do to provide for his family. He stated that Goff was indeed smart, talented and hard working, but he did not get the biggest chance to show this because of what he was born into. I once heard the question, "What if the cure for cancer is in a person's brain who can't afford college?" and Goff's story reminded me of it. At the end of the day, you could win the lottery or lose all of your savings. Either way, your brains and your talents stay with you.

Questions/Comments/Points to Share:
Something that I thought about while reading this article was the accessibility of education. Never facing this situation, I am unaware of the difficulties of attending school but I am not naive to the fact that there are some issues. I wonder for children who face the same issues that Goff did such as having to take care of siblings and work, how do they make getting an education happen? Better and more beneficial, what can our country do to help these children get what they deserve even though they face poverty? Similar but a whole different realm, is the cost of college. If a student does not have the means to go to school, is that their own financial state holding a diploma out of reach, or the USA for not finding a sufficient solution to end this crisis?

About Me

My full name is Callahan but I prefer to be called Callie or Cal. My family is very important to me. I have an older brother Andrew, two older sisters named Jes and Sam and two younger sisters named Bridget and Finley Mae.

I am a sophomore studying Secondary Ed: English and have a dance minor. I'm also on the RIC Dance Company and have danced since the age of 3. 

I grew up in the ocean town Westerly, Rhode Island which has made me the beach bum I truly am today :)
Over the summer I work in Watch Hill (yes I've chilled with Taylor Swift). In my free time I enjoy reading, listening to music and dancing! I also enjoy visiting California over breaks to visit my Mom.