Sunday, February 23, 2014

Safe Spaces

For this week’s article I chose to do the quotes option as my blog. My quotes are from the first section because as much as I enjoyed the entire article I felt the second part about HOW to integrate LGBT topics into society wasn’t as powerful as the part about WHY we need to integrate them into society. Actually my quotes are within the first five pages…awk. But out of all the ones I highlighted they really were my favorite.

Quote 1: “Heterosexism is one of those unexamined avenues of privilege. Assumptions that everyone is (or should be) heterosexual shape most classroom interactions, whether academic or social.” (84)
We talked a lot about privilege in class and SCWAAMP, which really applies to this quote that heterosexual is “the norm” in classrooms. People just assume that everyone is straight and that is what is integrated into lessons and to discussion topics. This is essentially the root of the problem, that everyone takes the assumed straight root and avoids all other topics.

Quote 2: “Youth who see themselves as wise or powerful main characters or heroes worthy of celebration and emulation will feel validated, included, and safe inside their classrooms. LGBT youth rarely have this experience.” (85)
Students who are white, straight, men are probably more validated than anyone else, I think. All but one of our presidents was a white male, and they’re all straight. God forbid we have a gay superhero! Straight people are shown as the powers of this world. If teachers brought in people in the world who are powerful and a part of the LGBT community those students could feel included as a part of this world.

Quote 3: “They teach their students the status quo; they shrink from challenging dominant social patterns and expectation, especially in relation to sexual orientation or gender identity.” (85-86)
WHY IS EVERYONE SO SHY WHEN IT COMES CHALLENGING POWER? Why can’t we ever stray from what is normal? Why is that so damn bad? Teachers are only teaching things that involve heterosexuality because they do not want to tap on the glass of their students perfect, unseen panels. If every teacher integrated something other than straightness into curriculum, and just normal discussions with students it wouldn’t seem so foreign but we shy away from that because most people don’t know how to talk about it.

On a side note I thought the little story about the two male penguins at the zoo who raised an abandoned egg on their own was adorable. And the fact that the Secretary of Education told PBS to pull the episode involving two gay moms from its lineup because “Many parents would not want their young children exposed to the life-styles portrayed in this episode” (86) actually infuriates the crap out of me. Kids don’t understand what lesbians are they just see two moms and either ask why they don’t have a dad or it just goes right over their heads. Exposure to this type of relationship just reinforces that acceptance in a child’s mind. Some parents are just too thick headed to even fathom that there are different people is this world. If the parents refuse to explain this to their kids, and the teachers aren’t, and TV isn’t allowed to either, who the hell is going to show children that acceptance and understanding differences is crucial?!
This is a link to an article I read awhile ago where a student tells a teacher they are being bullied and the teacher just told the student to "act less gay".


Monday, February 17, 2014


I chose the article Aria by Richard Rodriquez for this week which was a way nicer read the Delpit last week!! Granted I’ve been at swim Championships all weekend so it took me a while to grasp it through all the cheers and races. But I still liked it a lot better than the last one J

This week I decided to do the argument point because I think there was a strong argument that Rodriquez made on the last page of his article. This author argues that “children lose a degree of ’individuality’ by becoming assimilated into public society.” (38) Rodriquez talks about how when he was a boy (or at least I think it’s about him) the nuns at his school told his Spanish speaking parents that they needed to learn English to help him do better in school. Rodriquez talks about it made him lose touch with his heritage and his family. His family began to talk to each other less as they became more Americanized and as his father struggled to learn the new language he began to talk and interact less and less with his family. Rodriquez talks about how it is great to feel like an individual in what he calls the “public society” or the English speaking society but that you lose sight of your individuality in your “private” life. At least I think that’s what he’s saying about how to be accepted into society you have to give up a part of who you are and where you’re from.
I know in the classroom I'm working in this semester is an ESL classroom which is actually very challenging for me because I only ever retained the colors and months in Spanish so I found a website that has a lot of helpful tips to work with students who speak different languages.
Also sorry this is late I was at a swim competition all weekend and there was zero WiFi (which is dumb because we were at a college) and when I got home at like 1 am last night my computer wasn't working and so I had to take it to Best Buy today and they did all this work on it just to tell me I needed a new charger for it and ugh it was ridiculous! But here it is!!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Other People's Children: The Silence Dialogue

Oh I found this to be such a difficult read! I think Lisa Delpit has a really great argument of course but I really only figured out what her argument was after about the third read through maybe? And this wasn’t even a short read so you can only imagine how long it took me to process it.  Delpit talks a lot about different theories and addressing them with terminology I was really used to so it became a very heavy read. Unfortunately I feel that because I struggled so much with it I may have lost a lot of the context.

What I really latched onto in this text is number five of the five aspects of power where Delpit states “Those with power are frequently least aware of – or least willing to acknowledge – its existence. Those with less power are often most aware of its existence.” This aspect of power relates back to two of the readings from last week, “White Privilege: unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh and the short article titled “Data show racial bias persists in America” by Salim Muwakkil.

McIntosh in her article lists twenty-six different privileges she has day that a person would not think about in their day-to-day lives but they are there. Many of the privileges she talks about are ones a white person is just used but are ones a black man or women notices every day. For example when we (white people) go to buy band aids we can buy them in a skin color that matches ours whereas there probably isn’t such a wide variety of skin colored band aids for people of color to choose from. Had I ever noticed that until reading these articles? Not even for a second because it is a “power” that I hold.
And in the article by Muwakkil, when a black man and a white man with the same qualifications and experience go out for the same job the white man is more likely to get called back than the black man. I highly doubt the white man realized it was because he is white and that’s why he got the job. But I’m sure the black man knew that because he is black is the reason he did not get the job. I’m not saying that this is always the case but more often than none it seems so be. White people go day to day with power they do not notice and blacks with a lack of power they know is holding them back. And it isn’t even just blacks in this situation it could be other races or women too who are more aware of the existence of the invisible powers and privileges that seem to rule our society.

 An interview I found, with Lisa Delpit, online really helped me understand what this text was about and of course with the help of all of your blogs too!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Privilege's We Can't Control

I chose the article "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh.

Reflection: Just the other day I was at a store where I had to use my new debit card. My other one had been hacked and I was scammed out of almost all my money and it was a huge ordeal so I had to get another card. I had or thought I had activated the card prior to using it but apparently I hadn't and was so embarrassed when my card was declined but the lady was so nice about it after I explained what had happened and ended up just paying cash. After reading this article and all the privileges McIntosh talks I realized that had a been of a different race the women behind the counter probably would've judged the fact that my card was declined and wouldn't have believed my activation dilemma.  

This article really made me think about all the different scenarios I've been in where if I was of a different race I would probably have been treated differently. It's this white privilege that we are unaware about until we actually think about it and look at things from another persons perspective. If I was out to dinner I might get served quicker as a white human as opposed to people of other races and the waitress might be a lot nicer to me.  I know that's not always the case and I could be totally wrong but I guess that's because I am white and haven't had to experience people treating me worse because of my skin color.

The website where that picture came from is and is actually filled with cool stuff!

This is why my blog is taking so long...