Wednesday, February 23, 2011


2009 National School Climate Survey: Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT Students Experience Harassment in School
This article taken from

People are bullied everyday because of their sexual orientation. People can't choose the way they feel or the way they think, as least in my opinion they can't. Last year, a boy transferred to my high school from our cities rival high school. There was talk all over the school about "the boy that dressed like a girl". The word was, he was tormented at his old school about the way he dressed and they way he felt.

As it turns out, this boy was in my math class. This was the first time I had seen this infamous new student all day. He was actually really enjoyable to be around. He was funny and very open to everyone the room was full of energy. We had some time towards the end of the period to talk and since the class was small, it basically a class discussion. This boy told us what had happened at his last school and his situation really bothered me - he told us that the older and "popular" boys would throw things at him, they would call him names and torture him to no end. Eventually it became to much for him and he went to the administration and to his surprise, they basically told him they could not help in this situation and that "boys will be boys". That was the last straw so this student transferred schools for his physical and emotional sake.

"There has been an increase over time in the presence of several LGBT-related resources and supports in schools" Since this increase has occurred, many students at these schools were attending classes more, they could identify a person they had to talk to if they had any problems or issues and there was a decrease in harassment including verbal, physical and physical assault. Hopefully this positivity will continue and will develop into even bigger and even better movements.

"Being out in school had positive and negative repercussions for LGBT students - outness was related to higher levels of victimization, but also higher levels of psychological well-being." These students have to come to school - which already throws judgements right in your face the moment you walk through the doors - and they must stay strong even though they have a big part of their life eating them away on the inside. They're stuck. What this quote is saying is: coming out leads to two things, a sense of relief, as though a weight is taken off of your shoulders as well as an opportunity for people to harshly judge you and look at you differently.

What would the world be like if the norm WASN'T being straight? What would life look like for these LGBT students then? Why does it have to be STRAIGHT intending as though someone that isn't in this specific category is "crooked" or "unbalanced"? There are so many - too many - unanswered questions.

If family and friends are in denial about their loved one coming out, they'll start to think that maybe its just a phase that they're going through... I believe this image went well with that thought as well as this article.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

"Aria" by Richard Rodriguez

"Aria" by Richard Rodriguez
CONNECTIONS: to Lisa Delpit's "Other People's Children"

Lisa Delpit discusses the culture of power. This includes 1) Issues of power are enacted in classrooms. 2) There are codes or rules for participating in power; this is, there is a "culture of power" 3) The rules of the cultures of power are a reflection of the rules of the culture of those who have power. 4) If you are not already participant in the culture of power, being told explicitly the rules of that culture makes acquiring power easier. 5) Those with power are frequently least aware of - or at least willing to acknowledge - its existence. Those with less power are often most aware of its existence.

During "Aria", Richard Rodriguez explains that when he was younger he was basically forced to change himself and is family cultures to fit into society. They originally spoke all spanish but when Richard's teachers told his parents that he should be speaking english and transitioning away from spanish, they converted their lifestyle into speaking english as much as possible.

From the culture of power, the code that can coincide the best with "Aria" would be number three. This states: "The rules of the of the culture of power are a reflection of the rules of the culture of those who have power." This goes well with Rodriguez's situation, him and his family are part of the minority so they aren't considered the ones who have the power. in this article english is the primary language and if someone didn't speak english they were looked at differently because its different from what the majority is used to. According to the culture of power, whoever holds the power is who determines the rules of the culture that they reside in.

Even though this code definitely makes sense with this article, the other two that I believe would work nicely would be: four as well as five. I can't seem to decide which I prefer more. They both explain that if your involved in the culture of power, your oblivious to whats in front of you but if your aren't involved, its easier for you to see the fact that you're being discriminated against in one way or another. But it's also harder for you to fit in because you feel as though your an outsider. Ultimately, if your lazy or not, being told what to do and how to act to have a part in the culture of power is easier that getting lost in the crowd and being unsure of how to live your every day to day life. Take Richard as a young boy for example, when his teachers would call on him, he wouldn't know how to respond because he didn't want to make a fool out of himself. Once he was taught how to speak english more fluently, he found it easier to answer questions in class and be involved with his peers. Before, he was starting to give up. Personally, I see the nuns going to talk to Rodriguez's parents as being bittersweet - they were getting reprimanded for not being fluent in english and concluded in Rodriguez's dad being depressed and upset - feeling as though he was losing touch with his roots - but at the same time, it improved Rodriguez's opportunities in school.

Which is easier/harder to learn? English or Spanish? There are different factors that can result in a definite answer but by popular opinion, English rules are being more difficult to learn.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Amazing Grace

The articles we were assigned to read for this week were: "Amazing Grace" by Johnathan Kozol and "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh. I chose to write my entry about "Amazing Grace"

"What is it like for children to grow up here? What do they think the world has done to them? Do they believe that they are being shunned or hidden by society? If so, do they think that they deserve this? What is it that enables some of them to pray? When they pray, what do they say to God?" (Kozol 5)
This quote asks multiple questions in regards to the younger generation living in the South Bronx in New York. These children see things that no person should have to see - never mind people their age. These questions in this quote can be asked throughout the course of this entire text. These don't have one specific answer, there are many individual answers. Personally it's sad and extremely hard for me to read about people actually living like this. A lot of times I get caught up in my own problems and have to stop and remind myself that I shouldn't complain about the things that I have when there are other people in this world that aren't doing as well.

"In humid summer weather, roaches crawl on virtually every surface of the houses in which many of the children live. Rats emerge from holes in bedroom walls, terrorizing infants in their cribs." (Kozol 5)
Kozol is explaining that how these people are living isn't clean and it's scary. A lot of people in this community are addicts and it's difficult for them to get on their feet with always having a need for the drugs and money at the same time. Since these people have such a low financial status, it makes more sense that they're living in such harsh conditions. But, that doesn't mean it's acceptable.  Call me naive but I wish there was a possible way for me to help all of these people. I wouldn't be able to live like this so it breaks my heart to know that people actually have to.

"'I believe that we were put here for a purpose, but these people in the streets can't see a purpose. There's a whole world out there if you know it's there, if you can see it. But they're in a cage. They cannot see." (Kozol 24)
This quote is saying that there are many opportunities and things to be experienced but if you don't have the chance to embrace them, you can't even imagine them being legitimate. Kozol is saying that we're all put on this earth for a purpose but these people in the South Bronx area can't see their purpose in life. Throughout the beginning, Kozol is brought on a tour of the South Bronx neighborhood by a little boy named Cliffie. This boy introduces Kozol to different people and he was able to see how these people live. He shows him the "Children's Park" where the teddy bears were hanging from the trees, where addicts went for condoms and clean needles from volunteers. These people don't have that opportunity to see the world for what its worth, they're stuck in that "cage" that Kozol explains in this quote. They don't know that there is a whole world full of opportunities and chances.

I found this video on youtube! Its entitled "Amazing Grace by J. Kozol - UNF Community Nursing Project"
This video shows pictures and quotes of a few things that were discussed in the text that we read. I believe its a very interesting video and if you have a few minutes, you should watch it!