Thursday, May 5, 2011

Social Justice Event - Panel on T - Pain

For the Social Justice Event, I attended the panel on T-Pain. I found this event to be very informative because I learned a lot of things that I didn’t know. For example, one of T-Pain’s dancers was there talking about how nice of a guy he was and how he doesn’t force the girls to dress or act certain ways- that they have the ultimate say in what they wear and/or do on stage. I thought this was really important because most people would just assume that he makes them dress and act a certain way.
Dr. Bogad was on the panel along with about six other people. At times, the discussions got pretty intense due to disagreements and people feeling very strongly about their opinions- which we have learned through this class is fine. Students brought up good point as well as a few adults that were in the audience and from what I could tell, a good number of the students there were Bogad‘s students. One of the adults from the crowd left a big impact on how I feel on the whole subject though.
This man has three daughters, two twins that are about 10 or 12...I cant remember…and the third is 17. He was reminiscing about when the oldest was a little girl and I could actually tell that he was getting choked up just talking about it. He talked about how she used to say that she would never dance like those girls or show as much skin as they do with the outfits that they wear. He thought that all was good and that he was going to be able to shield her from all of the pressures of the media and society and keep her his little girl forever. He claims that he was wrong. She started wearing the tight shirts and tight jeans, listening to the music she used to claim to hate and as he put it, “she fell victim to the relentless media machine”. He went on to talk about how he feels that he lost her and how “Girls have no chance in today’s society”. Others assured him that it would all be ok and that he hasn’t lost her- she may be on a vacation but due to the fact that they created a strong foundation when she was young, that she’ll eventually come back.
I felt that his point about girls having no chance resonated very deep with me. By no means do I think we have NO chance but I feel that girls are definitely more likely to “fall victim to the media machine” and more likely to feel pressured but the status quo’s that the media creates. All girls, as well as guys, just need to realize what kind of person they want to be and then not be afraid to be that person. Whatever it is, though, do it for yourself, without the pressures and suggestions of the media and society. Be yourself and have your own thoughts about your life, do not just fall victim to the media machine that is growing and increasing day by day.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Shor: reflection

Shor is very question based. He urges teachers to encourage their students to question things. Question authority. Question why things are the way they are. Question opinions and views. Just don’t accept things blindly. I completely agree with him.
I also feel that although I labeled this a reflection post, I dedicate this article and post to Bogad and her FNED class. Before taking this course I often tended to take things as they were and just go with the flow. But now I have learned that it is okay to question things, in fact you should question almost everything if not everything in life. No longer do I just say alright whatever. I want to debate it. I want to have a conversation on it and I feel like I am this way because of FNED and Bogad. By no means is this a bad thing, its just something that resonated as soon as I looked at the article and the various posts related to it.
I don’t know about anyone else but after taking this course, I feel that I know a lot more about the kind of teacher that I want to be. I will definitely think of this article while continuing service learning, student teaching as well as when I am in my own classroom because I feel that it has a strong focal point. It is extremely important in my opinion to get kids to question things around them so I completely agree with Shor. I feel that we should take nothing for what it is- there is always a deeper and more complex level- and that we should always question where we stand and what we believe because things can change in the blink of an eye and so can our views.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Schooling Children With Down Syndrome by Chrostopher Kliewer

Schooling Children With Down Syndrome by Chrostopher Kliewer

I feel like the only way I could respond to this article was through reflection. I have always wanted to be a teacher. I don’t know why- jus always have. I knew I wanted to work with little kids because I just absolutely love them-so it was decided elementary or early childhood….later on I decided early childhood because I love working with toddlers. Anyways…it wasn’t until two summers ago (junior to senior year in high school) that I decided I wanted to be involved in special ed. My mom is a special ed assistant so I have some background but its totally different to hear stories and to experience something yourself.
So for senior project we had to work with a mentor and complete 15hrs of fieldwork…kind of like service learning. I did my project on Autism, though not Down Syndrome, another disability. Through going to the school and helping these children I fell in love with the ides of teaching special ed. I felt like I couldn’t just walk away and leave it like here I am.
This article just made me feel even more for kids with disabilities. Its hard enough to be told statistic wise or theoretically what could happen to them in schools but its just heart and gut wrenching to hear personal accounts.
Mia Peterson made the statement: “I started to notice that I didn’t like the classes I was taking called special education. I had to go through special ed. almost all my life. I wanted to take other classes that interested me. I had never felt so mad. I wanted to cry.” (Peterson, 1994, p.6) This makes me sad because of how much she missed out on. I guess it kind of relates to the knapsack and white privilege- kids without disabilities have one of the knapsacks and those with the disability unfortunately do not.
The second part that really hit home with me or touched me was when Jason Kingsley asks “How do we erase those negative attitudes…that people without disabilities are judging us” Snow, an advocate in the disability rights movement replies, “How absurd to be judged by others at all, especially by those who have never experienced a disability or who are unwillingly providing us with support or who don’t listen to the voices we have.”
I just really like this small conversation between Kingsley and Snow because I totally agree. I don’t see why people feel the need to talk about them or make joke when really its not funny. We have no idea what it is like unless we are also affected by the disability- in which case there are still various levels.
Id like to discuss in class how we may handle issues of harassment in the schools with the words like retard, sped and idiot. I cringe every time I hear these words come out of children’s mouths so I would like to prepare for the next time I hear it.

just wanted to share : )

hey everyone..i dont usually use the blog to share random info about my life but i was really excited and thought id share...i just got my first tattoo this past saturday (4/16). its a heart made up of a bass and treble clef. i was wicked excited and just thought id post a picture of it for you guys to see :)and btw- i totally reccomend that if anyone is considering getting one that you go to Inflicting Ink in Portsmouth....its a world famous tattoo shop and theyre wicked nice :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011


i saw this on the Today show this morning and thought it would relate to our class and the discussion we had a few classes ago...just one of the ways this class stays with you..always making you think and see things that you may not have earlier on...

Why Schools Need to Take Another Route by Jeannie Oakes

Why Schools Need to Take Another Route by Jeannie Oakes


Jeannie Oakes argues that ability tracking is not the way to go in the education system. Separating students based on various skill and academic levels may seem like a good idea but in reality it is, for the most part, only helping the higher ability students; the ones who need it least in most cases.
There are some benefits and some understandable reasons to tracking. If the schools were tracked, the students who are excelling in a certain area would have a chance at succeeding even further and those who need the extra help will hopefully be given the extra support and assistance that they need.
Tracking can lead to a multitude of issues. There could be more racial/ethnic division due to the fact that it is usually minority students in the low-ability classes or groups. There could be an outbreak of even more competition in classes. Or there could be the opposite effect- students could have no motivation. They can either strive to get into those high-ability classes/groups, doing anything they can to make it, or have no hope of doing so because they feel that because they have been categorized as low-ability.
Ultimately its up to each district to decide what is best for its students but I personally think that Oakes would have us stray away from tracking. It creates an unequal learning environment and in a time where there are supposed to be no children left behind, there are more children being left behind than ever before.
Id like to discuss in class how everyone else feels. What is the class’ feeling on tracking? Have people experienced it? Do we think it is beneficial or the opposite or do we not have a preference?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tim Wise...extended off of Billy's, Cole's and Amanda C's blogs

I was reading through our class blogs and already had in mind that I was going to do an extended comments entry this week. My dilemma, though, was who to extend off of. As I was reading I ended up with three I’d like to extend from so I figured I’d try it. I chose to use the blogs posted by Billy, Cole and Amanda C.

Billy wrote: “First starting off with white privilege, i always new something was wrong, when I would get the stink eye when I wear a hood. Over the years I find myself taking my hood off when i see pretty girls walk by me so they don't get intimidated. Any who, that is not the point”
I cannot personally testify that this is true because I have never had to experience this on a personal level but on some level, I know its true. Regardless of how “equal” people claim this nation is, I believe there is still inequality. Whether is blatant racism, stereotypes or just the way somebody words something they say - racism still exists in this country. Just the fact that Billy pulls his hood down because he doesn’t want to intimidate people or get the “stink eye” is an example of that. I disagree when he says this isn’t the point because it is. It is a perfect example of hoops that people still have to jump through due to racial stereotypes.I hope that someday this issue of racism will be completely non existent in our so called nation of equal opportunity.

Cole wrote: “This reminds me of the culture of power because Barack Obama had to be the culture of power in order to become president. Wise explains that a mediocre black man could not become president and he goes on to say that their that plenty of intelligent colored people, but they may have a different style than Barack. Barack Obama's style is very "culture of powerish".
I didn’t make the connection on my own but after reading through the blogs and reading this on Cole’s blog I couldn’t agree more. The videos and articles completely reminded me of the culture of power. An average black citizen would not have been able to become president. I’m not saying that they wouldn’t deserve to become president, but unfortunately I do not think they would have that chance. This is really unfortunate but it goes back to the culture of power. Barack Obama, though not white, lived in the culture of power. He knew and was aware of how things worked and how things played out in the culture of power. This, I believe, played a big role in Obama becoming president.

Amanda C wrote: “In cases that I’ve witnessed, the students that grow up in a better neighborhood, with parents that they see regularly get better grades and actually want to be in school.  The students that live in the poorer or less fortunate neighborhoods with their parents  working multiple jobs just to keep enough food in the house got poor grades and hated going to school.”
I do not necessarily agree with these points. I mean to certain extent this statement is probably true, kids in better neighborhoods enjoying school and kids in rougher neighborhoods dreading going to school. I believe however that this only applies to a small percentage. I feel that it has more to do with parents of guardians being there. I believe that students, for the most part, have an easier time in school when the parents are around because the parents are there for support, guidance and help. When the parents are busy working multiple jobs and in a lot of cases are the only parent, they are not there as often to help their child. I feel that then this child feels like he/she cannot succeed in school and then in turn doesn’t want to try (and vise-versa)…which is extremely unfortunate.

I’d like to discuss how certain aspects of social life and where someone lives affects students and how they succeed in school.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Unlearning the Myths Tha Bind Us by Christensen (Argument)

Christensen argues that today’s society, especially young children, is subconsciously living their lives and forming their aspirations around the false reality created by the media. While this can come from various books, magazine, movies and/or television shows, the most influential media outlets are those created for young children. This is because they have yet to acquire that “intellectual armor”. They see or read stories of fairy-tales and fantasies and think that that’s how life is supposed to be and when that doesn’t happen, they are genuinely disappointed. Boys are upset when they cant compete with the bulging muscles of Hercules or Gaston and girls wait around in their pretty dresses waiting around for their prince to come. Though many people would rather deny that the stereotypes, racism, sexism and “forced” conformity exist in the media that their young child, or they themselves, may be watching, it is best to be aware of this and know what is going on. Be aware of it but better yet analyze it. Debate it. Argue it. Inform others about what you learn. But whatever you do don’t ignore it because then you’re just adding fuel to the fire. Whatever you do, you can make a difference. **I've included some videos that relate to her argument**

Example of sexism and what girls end up feeling they need to be as they grow up:

Another sexism example but depicting male dominance and strength:

Example of racism in Disney:

Another example of male dominance as well as stereotypes of different body shapes:

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Article: GLSEN Report: NYC Respect for All Trainings Increase Staff Competency at Addressing Anti-LGBT Bullying Author:


I picked this article because although the whole site could be useful to anyone who decides to read it, I thought that this would be very useful to us as future teachers. This article was about an education program that they used in New York that was developed to help them be more prepared for “awkward situations” in the classroom regarding a student’s sexual identity or sexual orientation. It trained them about how to handle the situation, for example what terminology to use when approaching that type of situation. While I was online I decided to do this type of post and I went searching for articles, videos, pictures, and other information that would relate to this topic and here is what I ended up with...

-These two videos, which you may have already seen on tv, both respond to the misuse and negative connotation of the phrase “That’s so gay”. I think they related to this article because it is all about finding the right terms and calling something gay because it is different or you don’t like it or it isn’t right is not the right use of the word. Instead of using “that’s so gay” to describe something, we should use real adjectives. If we don’t and we continue to use “That’s so gay” we are just contributing to a downward spiral of subconsciously spreading homophobia and also making the word gay a synonym for adjectives like different, wrong, ugly, etc. It is all about wording.

-This video is a students personal viewpoint on Gay-Straight Alliances within American Public Schools. This relates to the article I read because this student is strictly emphasizing how important it is to educate people and especially those in public schools who deal with children. Ignorance of the topic just leads to fear and uncertainty among both teachers and students. This student is gay himself and uses his own experiences to express how difficult it is for LGBT students in public schools, admitting that he didn’t even “come out“ until his freshman year of college though he knew he was gay in middle school. He was just scared and worried about what would happen and what people would say and/or do. He even shows pictures of two young men who were murdered because of their sexuality. I think this video does a good job of explaining how important education of this subject is and how much influence one person can have if they know how to behave/know what to do in a given situation.

And last but not least…

-This video is another one that was made by a student. In the article it mentions teachers supporting and engaging in organizations like GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance). This female student was president of the GSA at her high school the second year it ran as an organization/club in her high school and this video takes you through what it was like for her and the members to gain support and recognition through the school, committee members and the community. It is pretty interesting and I thought it related directly to the text.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Aria by Richard Rodriguez-----*Reflection*----

I chose to do reflection for this article because although I do not personally relate to this article as I only speak one language, I thoroughly enjoy listening and being around bilingual people. I have many friends here at RIC that are bilingual and just by watching them I am in a trance and wish that I could do that too. I find it interesting, beautiful and I guess I envy people who are bilingual.
Rodriguez talks about how once the teachers came to his home and tried getting his parents to encourage their children to speak English his family started to drift apart...Well from my perspective its no wonder this happened. No wonder that once the kids started to speak English all of the time when the parents still spoke only Spanish they started to lose their “closeness”.
That is why I am often against telling people to speak in English. Even if they are right in front of me and holding a conversation in Spanish like my friends do when I’m working in the dining center. They can be deep in conversation and I just watch in amazement at how fluent they can be in more than one language. Sure they could be talking about me but I don’t care  I just enjoy listening to it and hearing how beautifully it flows together.
While it doesn’t seem that important in every day situations, I can see where it could become an issue in the classroom. This is where I feel that the teachers need to understand, accept and welcome diversity. Not everyone is going to have the same home life, the same background and talk exactly the same. Never going to happen. What everyone does have in common however is that we are all different. No two people are the same and we need to embrace that. I do think that one should become fluent or at least learn the prominent language of the country that they are living in but I do not feel that we should shun them from their culture by telling them that that is now the only language that they can speak. Embrace diversity because you cannot escape it.

Diversity Video:

And I really like this one...especially the lyrics that play in the abckground...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

About Me :)

Hey everyone! My name is Amanda and I am a freshman here at RIC. I live in Warwick and commute to school. RIC was my first choice school and I am very excited to start the education program as well as work towards the Feinstein School. Can't wait to be a teacher :)
My intended major is early childhood ed. combined with special ed. At first I was considering majoring in middle or high school English but last year I worked in an Autistic summer program and I fell in love with it. There were 7 boys, first and second graders, with various levels of Autism. We only needed 15hrs with a mentor but I ended up doing 47hrs because I enjoyed it so much. So needless to say those boys changed my whole outlook.
I absolutely love kids. I have always been around kids, starting from when I was young. My mom worked in a day care so we would go to work with her (this is probably where my desire to be a teacher comes from). I've been babysitting for 7 years and I spend as much time as possible with my niece and nephew who are 3yrs old and 2yrs old.
Other than babysitting, I work at the Dining Center on campus on the weekends, open to close both days.When I am not in class or working, I love hanging out with my friends and family. Whether it's shopping, movies, talking, or just hanging out- I just enjoy being with them. I'm a very easy going person and I just try to enjoy life.Sure it may not always go smoothly and I know I will screw up time to time but I just learn from my mistakes and move on. Live life to the fullest and live without regrets :)