Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Social Justice: Sex Positivity, Feminism & Health Implications - Deirdre O'Donnell

On March 24th I attended Deirdre O'Donnells' social justice event on sex positivity, feminism and health implications. O'Donnell is a RIC graduate and is currently getting her masters at BU. During her presentation, I learned a lot about feminism and different things that I thought were true but turns out they are not. O'Donnell's presentation/research touches base on a lot of ideas of the authors we have read in class. While listening to her talk, August popped into my head because a lot of what she was saying was how people of the LGBTQ community do not have the equal rights they deserve. August expresses the need for people to come to an understanding of the LGBTQ community, their needs, and how they deserve to feel safe just like everybody else. Grinners M from SCWAAMP comes into play in O'Donnell's work because she talked about how all females are presented as pieces of meat compared to males.

Deirdre O'Donnells' presentation really opened my eyes to the world we live in as females versus males. I really enjoyed what she had to say and all the research she has done has not gone unnoticed. I'm glad that she made it interesting and how nobody felt uncomfortable at some of the topics.


Monday, April 11, 2016



While reading Citizenship in Schooling: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome, it made me realize why I want to become a special education teacher. I do not want my students to have to feel the way Mia felt during the classes she took. The students who are classified as "disabled students" should be able to interact with others and not just the people in their classes/teachers but also the entire school. They should not feel as though they are different or left out. 

In one section of Kliewer's work, he talks about the elements of citizenship. This reminded me of my high school where we had multiple programs where students got to work, help and create friendships with students with different intellectual disabilities; peer pals (spending a class period in a special education classroom helping), best buddies and project unified. These three programs allowed for the entire school and town to come together and get to know these students unlike before. I believe these programs are important just like Kliewer stated: "it establishes the equal worth of all schoolchildren, a sense that we all benefit from each other, and the fundamental right of every student to belong" (Kliewer, 79).

I believe that this connects to August because those that do have learning disabilities deserve the same chance as anybody else to be socialized like any other person would be. They deserve a "safe place" where they can be themselves and accepted for that. 

Points to Share:
I enjoyed this reading because I feel very strongly about accepting those with down syndrome. Nothing bothers me more than those who are disrespectful towards those with down syndrome or any other disability. I am lucky enough to have been able to spend time with kids who do have down syndrome and other disabilities thanks to the different organizations at my school that allowed me to be a part of. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

This American Life Episodes, Herbert Article & Brown vs. Board of Education

Extended Comments

This week I decided to use Carlene's blog for my extended comments. She chose to argue the authors points in her blog. Carlene did an awesome job of connecting Herbert to the reporters of This American Life, The Problem We All Live With. In her blog, Carlene discussed the key facts for each. For example, for the first radio episode, she talked about how a Missouri school district did not care about integrating schools. Because of this, there was an achievement gap because, like Carlene stated, they would not integrate, allowing for the gap to remain open. I agree with her when she says that the students in Missouri deserve an equal, fair education just like anybody else. When Carlene discusses the Herbert article, she identifies a really important quote: "Schools are no longer legally segregated, but because of residential patterns, housing discriminations, economic disparities and long held custom, they most emphatically are in reality". This is important because Herbert is speaking the words just like Johnson tells us to do. By admitting the issue first is how the problem could eventually be solved. It is true that just because schools are integrated, does not mean that certain things still aren't segregated. Carlene also connected the readings to Kristof. She mentions that "some kids are stuck in a place where they see no room for improvement". This is an important connection because with there still being a type of segregation around the country, these students living in these environments that are not allowing them to succeed in life because of what they are being held back from.
I really liked Carlene's post (like always!) because she did a really great job of explaining this week's reading and putting her own thoughts into it. Her blog definitely helps for a better understanding of the readings. 

Points to Share:
It is important that everybody is treated equally. Reading this article and hearing these radio episodes were important because they show that people still aren't treated equally.

Monday, March 14, 2016

In the Service of What? - Kahne and Westheimer


Service learning is an important experience for all ages. Service learning allows people to experience other ways that people live and teaches them that there are other people out there that are going through hard times and need some support. In Khane and Westheimer's piece, they give examples of two different types of service learning where one is hands on while the other is through interviews, documentaries, and legal paperwork. Service learning provides people with skills like analyzing certain situations handed to them. Some may say that having one on one experience with service learning is a better approach because the volunteers are actually witnessing first hand rather than reading and imagining these situations. Of course, like in Khane and Westheimer's piece, Ms. Adams seventh grade class is using all resourceful information and they are still learning about the same difficulties that the homeless face, just like Mr. Johnson's class. It is important that all students experience opportunities, like August states, and service learning is an opportunity that people don't forget because of the impact it has on those they are helping. 

Points to Share:
I personally believe that everybody should do some form of service learning while in school. Service learning is a great opportunity to experience new things while helping others. It also allows for somebody to see the world we live in differently.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Safe Places - August


1. "Refusing to talk about LGBT issues or showing discomfort issues when LGBT topics arise are nonverbal messages that tell youth that being LGBT is abnormal or wrong" (p. 1)
This quote is important because there are people that refuse to acknowledge the LGBT community. Those who refuse to acknowledge the community are older generations meaning that the younger generations look up to these people and seeing them being rude or acting like there is something wrong with the LGBT community, teaches them it is wrong. 

2. "Teachers around our nation narrate stories about single-parents... The idea is that tolerance will grow as students gain appreciation for difference... So far, so good - until the family is two moms and their children... they are invisible" (p. 85)
In order for today's generation, along with future generations, to be more active and acceptable of the LGBT community, we must teach from the start that same sex marriage is normal. 

3. "... instructors committed to inclusion find ways to bring the voices of the LGBT community into their curriculum... when a chorus of these voices are heard across our college campuses, anti-LGBT violence will cease" (p. 94)
Society today must identify the violence to the LGBT community and put an end to it. It must be stopped because it is wrong to be violent towards people who are doing nothing wrong and are just trying to live their lives.

Points to Share:
In all three quotes, they are connected to Alan Johnson because he talks about how we must speak the words to solve the problem. As a society today, we must talk about things and we must teach the younger people how to be more accepting and that there is no right and wrong way to live your life. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us - Linda Christensen


After reading Linda Christensen's piece, I became more aware of what media does to a young child/teenager. Growing up, I wasn't aware of the hidden messages/stereotypes media created. Because of Christensen bringing awareness of the negative side of the media, I can now see that media is portrayed in such ways that young people think it is the right way to live, that they must look and act a certain way like the characters in the movies they watch or the articles they see in magazines. This article is important because people must see the reality of the impacts media has on teens and young children. 

Christensen's piece connects to Alan Johnson because he states that in order to fix the issue, you must speak the words. Here, Christensen states "our society's culture industry colonizes their minds and teaches them how to act, live, and dream" (126). She is speaking the words that others are afraid to. We must admit that the media is something negative and that something has to be done to allow young children and teens to live their own lives and not feel the pressure that today's society has. 

Points to Share:
Growing up, we were unaware of the impact media has on people. However, today, we see what the media does because we are at the age where almost everybody lives off their phones which is the major source of media. Teenagers feel this crazy amount of pressure to fit depending on what certain things are in magazines or what clothes are popular at the time. It's important that we take care of the negative issues media has on today's society. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Aria - Richard Rodriguez


Richard Rodriguez talked about what it was like growing up in a Spanish speaking home while living in an American, English speaking environment. Unlike Rodriguez, I grew up around and went to school with kids and teachers who only spoke English just like me. I didn't have to go through a language change like he did. Rodriguez not only went through a language change, but his family life changed as they adapted to a new culture: "Those old Spanish words (those tender accents of sound) I had used earlier... I couldn't use anymore. They would have been too painful reminders of how much had changed in my life" (Rodriguez, 37). For Rodriguez, speaking Spanish with his family was a "private language", and as him and his family continued to use English as their primary language, he felt out of touch with his family and language. However, he felt more connected to his peers because he was able to speak and understand their primary language. Rodriguez piece connects to Lisa Delpit's rule number two, "culture of power". This connects to Delpit because the people who are in power speak English. Because of this, Rodriguez had to learn a new language in order to understand the codes and rules of the people with power. 

Points to Share:
It's important to realize that some families and students have to make the transition from one language to another and with that comes a lot of change. Most of us know English like the back of our hand considering it is our society's primary language. Because of this, we have to be considerate of the time and practice it takes for some people to adapt to a new language and the help they will need.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

White Privilege: Upacking the Invisible Knapsack - Peggy McIntosh


In her article, Peggy McIntosh talks about privilege between people of different races and genders. She mentions in her writing, "I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege". This is important because it addresses the fact that there is such a thing as privilege and your race will allow you or not allow you to have it. At the same time as addressing privilege versus race, it addresses privilege versus the sexes. It is believed and known that males tend to have more privilege over females. However, the male population tends to push that idea to the side: "...often noticed men's unwillingness to grant that they are overprivileged...".

Soon after, she states that she "...had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage". McIntosh's statement is important because young people are being taught that depending on your race, you are at more of advantage than others. The problem with this is that if one wishes to end privilege overall, you must face the truth that society today is filled with certain people of a certain race/gender who have privilege over others.

McIntosh also mentions " my racial group was being made confident, comfortable and oblivious, other groups were likely being made unconfident, uncomfortable, and alienated". This is important because while one race is living life with no worries based on their race, another has to think about certain things that people of another race would not have to in their day to day routine.

Points to Share:

When McIntosh points out 50 ways where she sees that she is privileged, I was able to connect to some of the same scenarios. However, I was not raised to know I was privileged and at some sort of advantage that others are not. It is quite obvious that the majority of us don't realize that we're at an advantage until it is pointed out to us.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

U.S.A., Land of Limitations? Nicholas Kristof

Blogger for the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof, argues that depending on the environment you were born into and grew up in, limits your success in life.

Throughout his article, Kristof states his main idea that those who come from a family with a high income, will also have a high income later in life due to the advantages that they have coming from a middle or upper class family. However, those who live in a family with a low income, and are from the lower class, will have a low income in their future just like their family members. Kristof mentions that people who grow up in certain situations, tend to follow the same paths as their elders. Although that may be true, I believe that you can still be successful and reach a higher income than what you were raised in, as long as they try in life. Of course, like Kristof points out, those who are not available to certain opportunities, like going to school, are most likely not going to reach a higher income. 

I believe that with his article, Kristof is trying to get across to people that we must help those who live in poverty. Especially the children because the kids who live in poverty are members of the future generation. Kristof states at the end of his article that this is "...what the presidential candidates should be discussing". This is an important statement because it is a major issue and we must not forget about those who live in poverty. Those who forget about these members of society are those who life in the middle and upper classes and have a steady income and multiple opportunities. Successful members of our society, especially our future leaders, must help the lower income society members in order to help give them a brighter future than the one they believe they will have,

Points to Share:
Nicholas Kristof talks about his good friend, Rick Goff, who is an example of somebody who grew up in a low income environment but later became successful on his own. Kristof mentions Goff because it is proof that those who come from low income families can also be successful just like those who have a high income. I believe that Kristof is trying to prove to others that it is important to help those who live in poverty because they are not a lost cause, they just need support and to know that they can also achieve success, middle/upper class, and high income. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

About Me

I have four sisters: Lily (11), Jillian (25), me (18), Jenna (27), and Emma (8). Jillian and Jenna are my half sisters (we share the same mom) and Lily and Emma are also my half sisters (we share the same dad). But I consider all four of them my full sisters.

This past summer I spent everyday with my four best friends. Alyssa (far left), Marissa, and Kaiya (far right). We did everything together because it was the last summer before heading off to college. Alyssa and I stayed local to our hometown, Cumberland, her at CCRI and me at RIC, while Kaiya headed off to URI and Marissa to Marymount in VA. This picture was taken the night we had to say goodbye to Marissa until Thanksgiving (pre the tears). Marissa ended up surprising us Halloween weekend. And a few months later, she told us that she was transferring to URI second semester! 

I come from a huge family. This summer we had our 10 year reunion. These are my first cousins from my mom's side. Oldest to youngest, left to right, Bethany, Jeremy, Kerri, Kara, Ryan, Jenna, Kirby, Jillian, Zachary, and me. Because we're all older and the older cousins now have their own families and some live in different states, we really enjoy the times we get to be all together, we're an Irish family so it is always tons of fun!

Although some cousins live far, my oldest cousin, Bethany, also my God mom, lives across town with her husband Ross and their two kids, Jackson, five, and Mackenzie, who just turned three. My mom, sister Jillian, and I are extremely close to them. The kids are full of energy and always keep us entertained. Mackenzie is my mini me and I'm obsessed with her and her cuteness.