Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Promising Practices

Workshop 1-Hearing Empathy

The first workshop I attended during Promising Practices was Hearing Empathy. The original workshop that I had signed up had been canceled therefore I decided to take this workshop. The presenters plans for the workshop didn't occur as he had planned out. In hearing empathy we were able to learn more about schizophrenia. The purpose of the presenter's workshop was to present us with the experiences that many people with schizophrenia undergo. He also explained that many people with schizophrenia have hallucinations. But he further explained to us that hallucinations can vary, and they aren't the typical hallucinations we hear of. He also explained that as a social worker in the VA he can see veterans experience hallucinations but it doesn't necessarily mean that they have schizophrenia. During his presentation he also spoke about a new method that they're using to study this mental illness: by using the Sim Man 3G. This "robot" is not only used in his field but it is also used by many nursing students because it allows you to create simulations with this "robot". At the end of the presentation he let us see someone experience a simulation.

The person that underwent the simulation had to wear head phones. And while he heard the voices (on the headphones) swear at him, he also had to listen to the presenter ask him questions. In one occasion he was asked to repeat what the presenter had told him. But when it came to repeating some material he actually had some difficulty.

Schizoprenia is a mental illness that doesn't only affect adults, but it is an illness that can affect children. Therefore providing students with a SAFE SPACE is necessary. Although August spoke about creating a safe space for students who are LGBT, it is important to have this same space for students who have a mental illness. Especially since some students may sometime be bullied for their mental illness. Therefore as teachers we should always place a lot of attention in making ALL students comfortable.

Transitions from the Hospital to the Shelter

My second workshop was Transitions from the Hospital to the Shelter. In this workshop I was able to learn about the problems that Rhode Island Hospital and Crossroads dealt with. One huge problem that they dealt with was the fact that many of the homeless patients who would visit Rhode Island hospital would be sent to Crossroads and vice versa. But the biggest problem that they dealt with when it came to this was, that people, according to HUD had to be homeless. These people would be affected if they were at the hospital for a couple of months because the hospital would become a habitable place (according to HUD). Therefore according to HUD they had a HOME but when they left the hospital, they wouldn't really have a place to live. In many occasions Crossroads didn't have space for more people to live. Also they could only take a limited amount of people because at one point other people's lives could be harmed. For example in one occasion someone actually got stabbed in the waiting area because of an abundance of people staying in the waiting area. Therefore they coordinate people to receive other resources such as living in an apartment where they get to share a room with someone. But the PILOT PROGRAM they have still needs to reach more people, therefore they need more funds. But for the presenters, one of they're goals is to be able to open the program to more hospitals.

It was interesting to learn that Crossroads and Rhode Island Hospital are working together to provide support for many of the people who do not have a home. When hearing about the situations that the homeless are exposed to, it reminds me of SCWAAMP. It reminds me of the importance of Property ownership in this country. Those that do not own property are sometimes looked down upon and do not receive the resources they need to succeed. While hearing about this I also thought about Kristoff and the limitations that many people are institutional. People may not be able to get a home due to the unavailability of jobs which means they can't pay. Therefore some people are exposed to circumstances that can affect their health and they'll need to resort to a hospital. Also many of the homeless have limitations that are existent that may not permit them to have a job or made them lose their home.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Empowering Education- Ira Shor

Extended Comments- Mary Abby's Blog

I agree with Mary Abby regarding Shor's argument. Shor feels as though it is necessary to include the students into the curriculum. Meaning students learning strategies and backgrounds should be taken into account in order to provide an engaging classroom. Also Shor points out that teachers should indeed allow their students to question what they are learning. By doing this the students are engaging in critical thinking and are able to retain the information they are learning. They actually learn and are able to understand what they are learning. Why? Because they're not just using memorization to learn the information. 

funding is another political dimension of education, because more money has always been invested in the education of upper-class children and elite collegians than has been spent on students from lower-income homes and in community colleges.
While reading the article I had also highlighted this quote and found it in Mary Abby's blog. When reading this quote it reminded be of multiple other articles we read this semester. But I immediately thought about Kristoff. I thought about the different education that many of these students receive due to funding, the inequality in these students education is institutional. I also thought about Finn because it reminded me of the different types of education students received depending on what schools they attended: elite, working class, etc.

Mary Abby's 2nd Quote was interesting because it reminded me that the maintenance of the facilities is also important.  A facility that jeopardizes a child's health can also hinder their development and their education. While I read this quote it reminded me of the high school I attended. The school actually moved and got a new head of the school.  I received a link from my high school teacher that updated us about the changes that occurred and the situation that the school was in.

Schools need to be defended as an important public service that educates students to be critical citizens who can think, challenge, take risks, and believe that their actions will make a difference in the larger society.
I really love this because I feel like this is what Shor wanted to communicate to us. Also this quote reminds me of what we do in this class. This class MAKES US THINK, CHALLENGES OUR BELIEF'S, ALLOWS US TO TAKE RISKS, AND WHAT WE ARE LEARNING WILL HAVE AN EFFECT ON OUR EXPERIENCES AS TEACHERS. 

While reading this article I also kept thinking about Delpit, Christensen, and August. Delpit's first aspect of power:
Issues of Power are enacted in the classroom

 We see this because the teacher is the one that has the power in a classroom. But Shor wants students to also have some power. POWER to challenge what they're learning and take part in the classroom.  Which also reminds me of Christensen. Christensen was also present because she wanted students to find ways to talk back and if students were oppressed they should talk back. Also August's Safe Spaces was present because as you engage students (or take them into account) you create an atmosphere where students are actually able to talk and provide their opinions and answers.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome- Christopher Kliewer


I really enjoyed reading
Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome. This article made me question if the Special Education classes really benefit the students. Kliewer raises awareness of the effect that students receive, if they are segregated into classrooms for students who are labeled as, "disabled or uneducable." Kliewer provides many testimonies of students who benefited from INTEGRATED SCHOOLS. Schools where they were not labeled as different but rather provided education plans that would help them improve their motor skills, language skills, etc. 

Throughout this article I could see many connections with other articles we have read in class.
"To value another is to recognize diversity as the norm. 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." 
When I read this it made me automatically think of Collier. Although Collier discusses honoring the students first language skills. I feel both authors really want their students to be honored and respected for who they are. For example Shayne Robbins was a great representation of honoring her students diversity because she was able to understand and respect Isaac's way of thinking. Also Collier explained that the students language added to the classroom experience. Which is very similar to what Kliewer believed when he made this statement.

This also reminds me of August's, Safe Spaces. When Shayne Robbins allowed her students to interpret their education as they did, she created a SAFE SPACE for students to learn. And students were allowed to use their intelligence, (musical, kinesthetic, interpersonal, etc.) 

When I read this article I also thought about Delpit. When Kliewer said:
"These new relationships serve to reformulate past understanding, which then reconstitutes the web of relationships, leading, again, to new relationships and continued reformulation and recontextualization of understanding. More advanced members of the cultural collective (such as teachers) serve to facilitate these relationships in a direction valued by the community. "
It's as if the teacher's explain and in some situations, tells the students the rules and codes of power. Kliewers explains that the relationships are made in a way that they'll be VALUED BY THE COMMUNITY. Therefore in a way the teacher is teaching the students some codes that are accepted by a wider population.

Also the segregation that existed within some of the classrooms reminded me of the segregation that existed prior to 1954. Although the segregation in this case doesn't deal with race, it does deal with people's disabilities. In the article some students were told they were uneducable. Also  because some students had a disability, such as Becky, students were deprived of their education because of this label that was placed on them. Throughout the article I could see the effect that segregation had on the students. One quote that opened my eyes to this topic was:
"Students with Down syndrome are placed in school structures that supposedly remediate their defects in order that they can eventually join the wider community. But this, of course, leads to perpetual school separation and, ultimately, the need for community placements that mirror the rigidity of segregated special education."
I really enjoyed reading this article because it opened my eyes to the education that some students with Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, or other disabilities receive. Prior to this article I only thought about segregation existing due to race or SES but I really didn't think about it in this perspective. 

An article that explains the Individual's with Disabilities Act which protects students and families rights. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Literacy with an Attitude

The social class of a student can make it difficult to receive
an education that allows them to prosper

In Literacy with an Attitude, Patrick J. Finn discusses the differences in educations systems. He explains that there are two different types of education, empowering education and domesticating education.  The working class usually receives the domesticating education while the wealthy receive the empowering education. Throughout the article we are able to see the discrepancies that exist within varying education systems, that in part are differentiated because of the class they belong to. In this article we were able to presence various connections to Delpit.

When Finn discussed the status quo and the comfort felt by those who have power, it reminded me of Delpit. Those that have power are the ones who can help benefit those that have not acquired this power. In this case power is referring to LITERACY and the domesticating education that many of the students in the working class receive. In Delpit she 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." Altough the people with less power may want to make changes they don't have that POWERFUL LITERACY which is necessary to make those changes.

Finn and Delpit are also relatable when it comes to the methods that working class teachers use to educate their students. Finn gave various examples where teachers are constantly in control over their classes: STRICT PROCEDURES, LOW CREATIVITY, RIGID CLASSROOMS. This can relate to Delpit's fifth aspect of power, "Issues of power are enacted in the classroom." Teachers have full control over the students and what is asked of them. If students did not follow the teachers rules/procedures the students would not receive a passing grade.

Kristoff is also present in Finns chapters. Many of the students who belonged to a certain class received a particular education. The students who attended a working-class school would have a limited education. Student's were not graded by their creativity and weren't allowed to have a say in the classroom. Also a many of the classrooms were rigid which caused many students to resist.  But the students from the affluent professional schools and executive elite schools were given the opportunity to have a more liberal and empowering education. These students were also taught the rules and codes of power to succeed and continue to be part of those social classes.

This article was an eye opener for me because I never related the rules in a classroom to the  education inequality that exists. Every time I thought about the differences between a working-class school, middle-class school, affluent professional school, and an executive elite school, I always thought about the resources that were available for these distinct schools. I always thought that students were to ask the teacher and do as the teacher said. I actually enjoyed reading about the differences that exist in our education systems. While reading this article I also thought about the two students who attended different schools: affluent and non-affluent. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Pecha Kucha

Delpit- Delpit explains that teachers tell there students explicitly the rules and codes of power. In my class I can see this happening constantly. I am in a bilingual classroom where most of the students speak Spanish. Some of them only speak Spanish. When the teacher speaks to them in English and writes the material in English, she is teaching the rule and code of power which is English.

Collier- Collier explains that you should honor students first language. Although the teacher speaks to the students in English she also speaks to them in Spanish. She does this especially when she's giving instructions. In the classroom they also have a reading group that consists of only Spanish students.

Kristoff- Kristoff discusses inequality as institutional not individual. This institutional inequality can be economic. Which would cause monetary poverty which would make it difficult to have a classroom that falls under the "good signs" in Alfie Kohns  table. This same institutional inequality makes it difficult for families to be more involved with the school.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Separate and Unequal.

Integration is important in order to allow all students to reach their full potential.

Separate and Unequal. As I listened to the podcasts of The Problem We All Live With, Separate and Unequal, and the website Separate is not Equal, these two words were well represented by the information provided. Although Brown v. Board of Education fought against the separation of students due to their race, circumstances similar to those existent prior to 1954 are taking part in todays society making INTEGRATION an important factor(Yet resisted) in todays education systems.

 It wasn't until Brown v. Board of Education that students had the opportunity to rise out of the underprivileged education systems they were in. Brown v. Board of Ed. allowed students like Ruby Bridges and the Little Rock 9 to experience this integration in education. With this integration there were a lot of people who opposed integration. 

All of the readings were very similar to one another because it dealt with the resegregation that exists in the 21st century. Although we have Brown v. Board of Education, segregation continues to exist. Such as the case of Normandy district. When the Normandy schools became unaccredited and the Transfer Law came into action, many students felt a relief. They would get the opportunity to reach their full potential because of the INTEGRATION of school districts. And would get the opportunity to leave segregated schools which have:

"...least qualified teachers, the least experienced teachers. They also get the worst course offerings, the least access to AP and upper level courses, the worst facilities. The other thing about most segregated black schools, Nikole says, is that they have high concentrations of children who grew up in poverty."
 In podcast 563,  we see  INTEGRATION happening and the positive effects its having on the students education. Although as Herbert points out, "Long years of evidence show that poor kids of all ethnic backgrounds do better academically when they go to the school with their more affluent- that is, middle class- peers" , the integration of students in underperforming school to classrooms that provide better resources is a topic that most people turn their heads on.

Prior to reading these articles I had some knowledge of the segregation that exists, but I always blamed it on the SES(socioeconomic status). While looking at this information I noticed a common theme of INTEGRATION. It was important in order to get these students to have the resources they need. Yet many people   are unaware of the positive effects that integration can have for  students living in a poverty stricken area. 

While hearing the parents speak at the town meeting I was shocked by what they said; to me all they were saying was stereotypes. Stereotypes of students attending an underperforming school. There opposition, although not the exact same, reminded me of the opposition of parents in 1954 to integrate Blacks and Whites. Also reminded of the effect that stereotypes can have. Which were similar to the stereotypes held by the middle schoolers in the article In the Service of What? 

When Nikole Hannah spoke about the resources provided for students in underprivileged schools, I automatically thought about the classroom I attend. 11 of the students in my class have IEPs, 11 of 26 of the students! While the teacher has to work with the students with IEPs, she also has most of the students who are underperforming, another factor she takes into account is the fact that she has students who are still learning English. All of these factors make it difficult for students to thrive in a classroom that is structured in a way that makes it difficult for students to reach their full potential without having ALL the resources they need.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

In the Service of What? -Quotes

"It lay in the analytic and academic skills, the moral acuity, and the social sensitivity they would develop as they learned to assess critically and respond collectively to authentic problems." 
When students do their service learning they will gain knowledge on the topic and be able to asses the situation they are working with.  They would also further understand what it feels like to be in those peoples shoes. This is because the students will become part of these peoples lives. When students participate in service learning they will be able to work with problems that affect many people. This quote referred to John Dewey's belief that with service learning there was also a chance for students values and beliefs to be changed or brought into question. Such as the case of the middle schoolers who went to an elementary school in a poor neighborhood. In this case their beliefs changed.
"After they returned, the students' perspectives on these elementary school children had changed. They were 'surprised at the children's responsiveness and their attentiveness,' "
This is the change that John Dewey spoke about. With service learning students beliefs are sometimes challenged. Prior to helping out in the elementary school, they only knew what their parents told them and what media said about people in that neighborhood. I agree with Dewey that when you do service learning, it is not only about helping out but it's also about learning something through this experience and helping make a change.
"The ability of service learning curriculum to foster authentic, experience-based learning opportunities, to motivate students to help students engage in higher-order thinking in contextually varied environments, and to promote interdisciplinary studies has led some, such as John Bisco, a leader in the field, to label service learning 'the Trojan horse of school reform.' "
This quote says that with service learning we are able to learn through experience, therefore each of our experiences are unique to us. During our service learning we are all experiencing different things because we work with different students.  When we are gaining these experiences, we are also learning about people/students whose lifestyle may differ from ours.  Therefore we engage in a continuous process of obtaining knowledge. When schools implement service learning for the sole purpose of students to obtain this knowledge and transform the way they learn,  is referred to as "The Trojan Horse of school reform." 
Throughout this article I thought about our Service Learning. This semester we work with students to gain experience as professionals. But now I understand that this isn't the only purpose.  We are also learning about the community we work with and sometimes our beliefs are challenged. After hearing some of our peers speak, I think our service learning has become transformative potential. When we end our service learning many of our thoughts or beliefs may be changed. In December we will have acquired  knowledge and insights on new topics. Now that I think about it, can also relate to the discussions we have on articles and the topics we address in class. 


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us

Cinderella, Peter Pan, Popeye,  and Jessica Rabbit, were only some of the characters that Christensen spoke about. These are also the characters that were part of my childhood. In Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us, Christensen explains that many of the cartoons children watch have an effect on the children. Whether it is waiting for their Prince Charming, creating expectations that will "guarantee" success, or creating false portrayals of a race, sex, or class.  One of the examples Christensen gave was the comparison between Cinderella and the Black Cinderella. Although there was a change in the character's race, she says,
"Both of these tales leave young women with two myths: Happiness means getting a man, and transformation from wretched conditions can be achieved through consumption-in their case, through new clothes and hairstyles." (Christensen, 133)
When consumption of these products happens these companies also gains a lot more money . For example the Disney store has hundreds of things like dresses, shoes, and tiaras, which will make a child look like a princess. But as we get older the expectations to look like these princesses increases. To have the long hair, porcelain skin, and a certain body type. This only leads to our consumption of these products that say they'll make us have the smooth skin, the hourglass figure, and the long shiny hair. All of these expectations exist plus the expectation for natural beauty. 
This is a video I found that kind of links both in a Parody.
                            Where expectations for natural beauty differ.

I was actually very interested in what Christensen had to say.  Because I was part of the group of children who she spoke about.  Those children who watch(ed) cartoons and as they grew up they saw themselves in some of these characters . When I read that Mulan was in this list I was shocked. Because Mulan has been one of my favorite characters and to think that this movie has those underlying messages, left be in awe. when I read about Popeye being in the list I thought that Popeye definitely had these message. Another show that I thought about when Christensen spoke about the women being portrayed in these shows as "sexy", was Ms. Bellum.  In most of the shows we would see her character from the head down, rarely did we see her face. And now that I am older I feel like they were sexualizing her. Also when they spoke about Ursula, I thought about the fact that she wasn't only being portrayed as ugly and smart. But beyond that, were her physical characteristics, she was portrayed as overweight and with short hair. Not luscious long hair like the little mermaid (beautiful character).  

While Christensen mainly spoke about cartoons she also touched upon other medias affecting the way children build their identities. I have a 10 year old cousin who I have begun to see effected by these. She watches a lot of YouTube and looks at many of the girls and what they're doing. I have noticed her doing some of the same things they do in many of their videos, such as gestures and language. Which really shows the effect that media has on children.

This article relates to Delpit because many of the people that watch cartoons, TV,  read magazines, and look at advertisements are learning about what will make them fit into the culture of power. In some cases these rules for attaining power will be told directly to you. Such as the case of Richard Rodriguez in Aria or these may be said with underlying messages such as Cinderella.  According to Christensen it is up to us to take action and make these changes.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Safe Spaces

Inside the Classroom Walls

In Safe Spaces: Making Schools and Communities Welcoming to LGBT Youth,  the authors goal is to inform us on ways that classrooms can actually be Safe Spaces for students who are LGBT.  
When growing up I don't remember many teachers speaking about families or people who identify as LGBT.  But I do remember that sometime in my education, one of my teacher's took a stand on those who would use the word gay or homo. When growing nobody really talked about this topic. Presently there has been more advocacy for people who are LGBT. But still is not accepted by many people. Currently there are some shows that advocate for LGBT families. Such as The Fosters on Abc Family and I am Jazz on TLC.

"Our classrooms need to be "mirrors and windows" for all students-- mirrors in which  youth see themselves in the curriculum and recognize their place in the group; windows through which youth see beyond themselves to experiences connected with, but not identical to, their own." 
The classroom is not only for learning about subjects but it is also about taking into account the diverse population we have. In schools we should take into account students background: sexuality, culture, etc. And in order for the students to be able to feel safe we should be able to bring these particular things, that make schools so diverse,  into our curriculum.  As teachers we should also be able to inform our students about these same things, that way students are not stuck on their reflection.

"...nearly 50 percent of transgender youth between the ages of 13 and 20 who participated in a National School Climate Survey reported skipping at least one class and an entire school day within the past month due to physical or emotional duress."
Half of these transgender students had to skip out on their education because they are different from all the other people.  Straightness is so engraved into our society that when people are different they are looked down upon.  Therefore bringing us back to SCWAAMP and the effect these have in those that do not fit into these specific norms. 

"Far from what the children's chant would have us believe, words are sticks and stones. And those sticks and stones can either build bridges or break bones."

I think this quote really goes with the theme of communication. As teachers and people, what we say can build someone or break someone. Although we are told to JUST BRUSH IT OFF in some situations words do hurt and affect people. Therefore as teachers we should use words cautiously, in order to help build those bridges and create a SAFE SPACE FOR STUDENTS TO GROW. 

In this text we can also see how straightness is valued. Those teacher who don't do anything or make fun of their LGBT students, think they're teaching students the culture of power or how to live in a society with these norm. But in reality they're teaching them how not to be different and "They teach their students the status quo." 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Teaching Multilingual Children by Virginia Collier- Reflection

When I read Teaching Multilingual Children and  Aria,  I automatically began to remember my times in elementary school. When I entered school I was placed in a bilingual classroom. But as I got older I was placed into an English classroom. And in the moment where I was placed into an English classroom, was where many of our (my mother and I) difficult nights began. I remember when I assigned homework in English I would sometimes have difficulty understanding the homework. That was when my mom would bring out her dictionary, where she was also trying to learn english from. And with this dictionary we would look up words and we would learn together. Now that I am older I have noticed that many of these situations occur frequently. 
"It is worse for many students who are placed in English-only classrooms with teachers who have no training in second language acquisition and who use an English-only curriculum." In elementary school I remember there was a classmate of mine who had been placed, I believe by her parent, in a English-only classroom. In that classroom she had difficulty expressing herself. It was not until the school year had begun that she had been moved into our classroom and was actually able to engage in it. 

Also as I read on I began to think about families who can't help their children outside of school. Not because they're bad parents but due to the fact that there are barriers. Collier stated "It is distressing state of affairs that teachers must encourage immigrant parents to promote home language literacy, not because it is a best practice for English-language learner literacy development, but because some states forbid schools to offer these tools directly to the children."  I know a couple of families who can't provide this for their children.  I know a specific family who can't really help their children with reading or writing. Because when she was younger she was not able to learn these. Which might make it difficult to acquire the power. They may know that knowing English gives them power and access to things in this country but might be able to acquire because of these factors.

Also when I read that teachers "..see themselves as the tools by which a particular student can rid himself of stigmatized dialect  features and become a speaker of the 'right' type of the standard language -the passport to achievement, success, and acceptance."When I read this I thought about Delpit's piece where she says, "If you are not already a participant in the culture of power, being told explicitly the rule of that culture makes acquiring power easier." In school teachers are telling these students the rules in order to succeed. Such as the way Richard's parents in Aria, were told that they should  practice English with their children.  Which also reminds me of SCWAAMP. Where America-ness and speaking English is encouraged in order to fit in our society.

This is an interesting website I found that discusses the Bilingual Education Controversy that was discussed in our articles.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol


St. Anns Church, which supported a
lot of the families dealing with difficult
In Amazing Grace  I was very engaged with the text. I loved how Kozol was able to give various examples of the lives of those living in Mott Haven. I really enjoyed reading their stories and learning about how tough they have it. As I read, I kept thinking about the children whose lives ended to early, who lost their parents, and the effect that the circumstances they lived had on them.  Although I really enjoyed reading this chapter, there were three quotes that caught my attention. Some of these quotes just made me say, "Why? " and "What has been done to help them?"

"The place that Cliffe is referring to turns out to be a waste incinerator that was put in operation recently over the objections of the parents in the neighborhood...The waste products of these hospitals, she says, were initially going to  be burned at an incinerator scheduled to be built along the East Side of Manhattan, but the sitting of a burner there had been successfully resisted by the parents of the area because of fear of cancer risks to children."(Kozol, 7)

When I read this I immediately thought that there was a lack of respect towards the people living in Mott Haven. Did the people in these areas not have children? Or was it that they were less susceptible to develop cancer? The parents of these children also fought against the construction of the incinerator in their neighborhood.  Also when they constructed this incinerator they were not thinking about the people who had HIV/AIDS, whose immune system were already affected. And the construction of the incinerator would have been another contributing factor to their health issues. Also, as I read on, Cliffe's mom explains how on Jackson Avenue near the expressway people go and dump their trash. Which makes me think, if the authorities didn't respect their opinion or the people living in Mott Haven, then people such as illegal dumpers won't respect the residents and their community. While searching online I found an article from February 20th 1994 where the resident of Mott Haven spoke once again against the incinerator, this time, to SHUT IT DOWN.

"At least 12 people, including two infants, says the Times, have died because of staff mistakes at Lincoln, which is the hospital relied upon by families in the St. Ann's neighborhood. "(Kozol,15)
Many of the residents of Mott Haven were tested positive for HIV/AIDS but the hospitals they relied on were hospitals that made many mistakes and had caused the death of 12 people. Those who had been diagnosed were not receiving the proper care they deserved. This quote adds to the many circumstances that made these people's lives more difficult. And these will always have an inevitable effect on those who try to prosper, like the situation of Alice Washington. She knew she had to go into the hospital but the disorganized hospital  only made it possible for her health to worsen. I will assume that many people living in Mott Haven didn't have health insurance, which made it difficult for them to get better health care without paying the high rates.

"My teacher says , ' We came here in chains and now we buy our own chains and we put them on ourselves.'Every little store sells chains. They even have them at check-cashing...."(Kozol,24)
The analogy that was used by David's teacher was very interesting. In the beginning of the statement the teacher refers to literal chains that enslaved many African Americans. And at the end of the statement the teacher refers to the chains that people have put on themselves such as drugs, prostitution, or engaging in situations that put their freedom/life at risk. This quote really caught my attention and really made me think about the temptations that exists. One example are the drug dealers and prostitutes in the streets who try to reel people into their "products". Or people who see the cocaine dealer making so much money, might want to do the same. But at the same time they may be putting their freedom at risk and literally putting themselves in chains. 

Throughout this article I saw a common statement that Johnson, Delpit, Kristoff and David (Mrs. Washington's son) made, that those with power should lead an example. THOSE WHO HAVE POWER SHOULD USE IT TO HELP THOSE WHO DON'T HAVE IT. 

This book was published  in 1995, I was able to find an article from this year that shows and explains some of the changes that have occurred  in these 20 years. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

U.S.A., Land of Limitations by Nicholas Kristoff

Kristoff's perspective on the United States being a land of limitations was very interesting. I can understand his point of view when it comes to children's ability to progress. I have personally been able to meet people who have the opportunity but due to poverty, non-monetary and monetary, do not make it, due to the upheld standards. Many people do have the opportunities to progress but there are unplanned situations that become a barrier for these people. I know of someone who had planned on continuing their education.  But due to family situations, they could not continue to go to school. Throughout most of their education they had to be independent and make sure they prospered on their own. Even though they wanted to make school their priority there were other situations they needed to handle before accomplishing this goal.

 Although I can agree with Kristoff’s perspective, I do believe that in some aspects this country is the land of opportunity. When I visited Guatemala I was able to be appreciative for what I had.  There were houses that I saw that were practically falling apart. But if they were to come to the United States, even if it was the poorest area in town, they would feel accomplished. But living in that specific area and being of a certain class may become a limitation. Even if we work hard, we might not get to the top percentage because limitations do exist. And when we hear that some people made it, it becomes known. Why? Because those people we are hearing about are the few that actually broke this class barrier and sometimes even race barrier.  

I have attached a link to an article that discusses the working poor and their struggle.