Sunday, September 29, 2013

Talking Points #2 on Rodriguez's "Aria"- Connections

While reading “Aria” by Richard Rodriguez, I couldn’t help but think of the articles that we have read in class by Lisa Delpit and Allan Johnson. In Rodriguez’s article, he tells how he felt as though he lost part of himself by giving up his first language of Spanish to learn the English language. “The old Spanish words (those tender accents of sound) I had used earlier-mama and papa--I couldn't use anymore. They would have been too painful reminders of how much had changed in my life.” (37)  Rodriguez described learning English as “…having to learn the language of public society.” (34) This quote particularly made me think of Delpit’s article (“The Silenced Dialogue”) and the existence of  power, specifically the five aspects of power that she talked about. “The rules of the culture of power are a reflection of the rules of the culture of those who have power.” (24). Richard Rodriguez had to learn to “language of the public society” in order to fit in. He had to study English because it is seen as the language of power. Even though Spanish was the language spoken at his home and by his family, Rodriguez had to learn the language of those who made the rules and codes of power.

In Rodriguez’s article, he also says that “it would have pleased me to hear my teachers address me in Spanish when I entered the classroom. I would have felt much less afraid. I would have trusted them and responded with ease.” (34) Rodriguez expresses the initial fear he had of learning a new language.  His fears related to Johnson’s article titled Privilege, Power, and Differences. In his article, Johnson states that “People can’t help fearing the unfamiliar.” (3) Rodriguez was afraid of learning the new language not only because it was something he had not known before, but because he feared the changes that were occurring in his home life. He lost a part of himself that he never completely got back.    

Talking Point: I think that everyone can relate to being scared or nervous of something that they have never experienced. While reading these articles, I immediately thought about starting our service learning projects. I know I was very nervous on the first day over the little things, such as getting in the door and finding the main office. I can only imagine how scared I would be if I was told to forget my primary language all together to learn something completely new to me.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Talking Points #1 on Kozol- Quotes

1.       “The time before, when I had a fever, my doctor said I had pneumonia. I waited in the emergency room two days to be admitted.”  (16)

In this quote, Kozol is talking with Mrs. Washington as she describes the conditions of the hospitals in the South Bronx. This quote resonated with me throughout the article because it truly depicted the life of the people living in these neighborhoods in New York. In more wealthy neighborhoods, people usually have to wait in the emergency room for a short amount of time. Having to wait in the emergency room for two days is absurd! Had Mrs. Washington actually needed serious medical attention in a quick manner, she most likely would not have survived. The living conditions for these people are extremely different from those that we are used to and truly depict the struggles that exist for those who are born into a life without wealth.


2.       ““If poor people behaved rationally,” says Lawrence Mead, a professor of political science at New York University, “they would seldom be poor for long in the first place.” “ (21)

Kozol quotes Lawrence Mead and says that this idea “is a common point of view” held by many social scientists today. After stating this quote, Kozol tells the story of Mrs. Washington’s life. This quote is so significant because it shows how close-minded and ignorant people can be. Many people living in the South Bronx have no other choice but to live there because they cannot afford to live anywhere else. Mead puts the blame on poor people and says that they should be able to better their own lives. He does not realize the struggles that they face and how difficult it is to overcome these problems.


3.        “Somebody has power. Pretending that they don’t so they don’t need to use it to help people- that is my idea of evil.” (23)

Mrs. Washington’s son, David, tells Kozol that he believes that there is “still evil on earth.” He describes the struggle for power that exists in the world today. In order for the poor to have better lives, the wealthy needs to step in and help. People who have power need to use it for good instead of casting aside people who inconvenient them. While reading this quote, I thought of the articles that we read in class and how this relates to the struggle and existence of power.  Evil is being able to help someone, but choosing not to. 

About Me

Hi Everyone!

My name is Cathy and this is my very first blog. I am an elementary education major and this is my second year at Rhode Island College. I am excited for our FNED class because I feel like this will be very useful for when we start our teaching careers. I am also both excited and a little nervous for starting our work at the placement schools!
Over the summer, I mainly worked and spent time with my family and friends. I also went to Martha's Vineyard for a week which was very fun and relaxing. In July, I went to the Taylor Swift concert with my friends. In my spare time, I like to read and take pictures. I also love listening to music. I am really looking forward to what we will be doing in class this semester!