Sunday, March 22, 2015

Brown vs. Board of education

I want to first off start by saying how Brown vs. Board of Education is one of my favorite court cases of all times.  This case was a huge turning point in our countries history.

Like Tim Wise said in his interview, racism is still apparent in the society we live in today but it is not as bad as it once was.  Tim Wise explains that there are two types of racism.  Racism 1.0 was defeated.  Racism 1.0 was stereotypes and discrimination.  Racism 2.0 was called exceptionism.  It considers people not being racist if u didn’t vote for Obama.  The election of Obama has made a big change in our modern day society like Brown vs. Board of Education.  Neither one of these events 100% took away the problem about racism, but they both have help take a giant step towards it.  On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court made the decision to allow African Americans and Whites to have equal opportunities.  From this court case, whites and blacks were now able to attend the same schools.  In Bob Herberts article, he states that “Schools are no longer legally segregated, but because of residential patterns, housing discrimination, economic disparities and long-held custom, they most emphatically are in reality.” (pg. 2)  This is sadly so true.  We had people fight so hard to have equal schools when in reality we don’t.  Like Wise said, Herbert agrees that the election of Obama hasn’t made anything easier for anyone.  School districts have been trying to come up with ways to pass this segregation problem. 
Some have established specialized, high-achieving magnet schools in high-poverty neighborhoods, which have had some success in attracting middle class students.  Some middle-class schools have been willing to accept transfers of low-income students when those transfers are accompanied by addition resurces that benefit all of the students in the school. (pg. 3)                   
I think this is a great idea.  I think in places with poverty we should try to mix students of different finical backgrounds together.

The idea of racism will take years and years to fully go away.  We as Americans just have to keep trying our best to help move the process of getting that done.

Monday, March 16, 2015

In The Service of What? The Politics of Service Learning

I really liked reading “In The Service OF What? The Politics of Service Learning”!  I think I enjoyed it so much because it connected back to each and everyone of us in this class.  In the very beginning of the article, the authors state;
…service learning can improve the community and invigorate the classroom, providing rich educational experiences for students at all levels of schooling…such learning activities seek to promote students’ self-esteem, to develop higher-order thinking skills, to make use of multiple abilities, and to provide authentic learning experiences… (pg. 2)
I personally believe that every student should be involved in some type of community service!  I agree with this quote and how service-learning projects do provide rich educational services for students. 

The quote from President John Kennedy stated; “…ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” (pg. 1)  I guess you could say I live my life like this quote.  I have lived a life where I like to put other peoples feelings and themselves before mine.  For all four years of high school I was heavily involved with community service.  I want to include a paragraph that a former teacher/ softball coach of mine wrote as an introduction for a scholarship I was awarded last year in memory of my deceased softball coach;
This year's recipient has gained the very same values of what it means to help people and the joy you gain from it.   Like Megan, she is the type of person who does random acts of kindness without ever looking for anything in return.  At a very young age, her passion for kindness came in the form of helping students with disabilities.  In high school she became a representative of the Project Unify Youth Activation Committee where she promoted respect, dignity, and advocacy for individuals with disabilities.  She organized the first annual High School Project Unify Plunge which raised $5000.00.  She also devoted countless hours of her personal time to the SHS Life Skills program, unified sports, the Smithfield Challengers Little League, and Special Olympics.
I gave my life to community service.  I did all these things out of the kindness of my heart.  I never looked for anything in return.  One of my goals in life has been to touch and affect others peoples lives. 

The video that Ana posted made me tear up.  That short little video explains all the emotions that I have when I help people.  “What he does receive are emotions.  He witnesses happiness.  Reaches a deeper understanding.  Feels the love.  Receives what money cant buy.  A world made more beautiful.”  I have felt every single one of those things.  Just by making someone’s day brighter, makes the world I live in better.  The smile that you see when a student who has disabilities gets when they make a basket or hits the ball during a game, makes you know you are doing something right.  Just to be part of that students life can change them forever.

I want to be a teacher because I want to leave a positive mark on a child’s life.  I’ve done that with students in my high school.  I’ve done that with the children I watch at the day care I work at.  I do it now in my service-learning classroom.  Just to see a child’s reaction when they get the right answer is the best feeling in the world.  Knowing that you were able to help them doing something they weren’t able to do before is amazing.  Children will always remember those little things. 

Just by doing these little things, students will be able to better themselves and grow and mature into better adults.  That’s why I believe everyone should be able to do some type of service learning project.     

unified volleyball

Challengers Baseball 2013

Special Olympics High School Polar Plunge

Unified Basketball

Challengers Baseball 2014

Senior Prom with Bryan

Graduation with Fred, helping him accept his diploma

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Unlearning the Myths That Blind Us

I first want to say that I loved Kaileen’s blog post and I am going to do an extended comment on it!  I want to talk about the ending part of Kaileen’s post.

Growing up girls always seem to have things harder than boys do.  Girls have to look and act a certain way to fit in.  But boys tend to not have to.

My First Year Seminar was based on stereotypes and gender roles that are found in our everyday lives, but we focused a lot of our attention to the ones found in fairy tales.   In that class we were having a discussion about how women should look and I talked about how media and toys have negative affects on young girls when it comes to the way that they look at themselves.  Princesses and Barbie’s have many positive affects on girls because they prove to young girls that if you can put your mind and heart and soul into something, you can achieve it.  But at the same time, they also have awful affects on them.  I agree with the rules Kaileen wrote;
1. Girls cannot do boy things
2. A girl must marry a man to be successful 
3. Boys are supposed to be seen as strong and powerful
4. Women are supposed to be perfectly dressed
5. Boys must save girls
Princesses prove that boys have to save them from trouble.  That makes girls look weak.  You also never see a Princess trying to do things that boys would do.  They are always cleaning to getting dressed up all fancy. 

            To answer Kaileen’s question; “Have we seen an imperfect looking Prince or Princess?” and the answer to that is NO!  The same goes with Barbie’s, they are always dressed so nicely and perfect.  Last year in high school in my psychology we had to do a project about how media affects young kids and I did mine about the negative affects Barbie has on girls.  Here is part of the essay I wrote;
Barbie's image has been talked about a lot.  If Barbie was a human, her body dimensions would be 38-18-34.  She would only weigh 110 pounds.  You can infer that she may not weigh a lot because she may not eat a lot.  I believe this because "Slumber Party Barbie" came with a book that gave advice saying not to eat.  If this was true, Barbie wouldn’t be able to support life.  She wouldn't even have enough body fat for her body.
Barbie's body image has played a negative role on how many girls think they look.  8 million people in the United States have a eating disorder.  10-15% of people who have a eating disorder are males. The other 85-90% are females.  It is said that 80% of females that have an eating disorder are under the age of 20.  Many women have admitted that around the ages of 4-6, they started to worry about their weight and many of them said that Barbie played a big role in having a eating disorder. 
    How far will someone go to achieve Barbie's "perfect look"?  Her hair, her makeup, and clothes.  Many girls insist on painting their faces with makeup to hide their natural beauty.  They destroy their hair from constantly dying it different colors and wreck it by straitening and curling it constantly.  Girls also feel that the place where they buy their clothes makes them popular or not, so they bug their parents to buy expensive clothes.  On the other hand, some people have no problem throwing thousands of dollars down the drain to have the “perfect look”.  Many women get plastic surgery to get that look.  5% of the plastic surgeries are being done on women under the age of 20.  On top of that some women get face lifts and have professional stylists for every day.

Those facts are awful to read but they are true.  Young girls even adults will go to the extreme to make themselves look “perfect”.  There needs to be some type of Princess or Barbie doll that would be an average girl with average body proportions!  That would leave a positive impact on young girls. 

Barbie vs. Normal Body

Real life Barbie (Valeria Lukyanova)

I just want to comment on one more thing for Kaileen’s post.  I love the videos you used to show that we need to have media show differences and that would let society know that its okay for girls to play with boy toys and vice versa but that girls can do what ever they want if they put their mind to it.  The first video is about a little girl talking about boys and girls toys and the second video shows that girls should be able to do what ever they want to even if its not something girls would normally do.