Sunday, September 25, 2016

Image result for cartoon poster bilingual children

Image result for cartoon poster bilingual children
September 25,2016
Richard Rodriguez

Rodriguez argues in this article that you must change in order to fit into society and you must be English speaking. Even if that means to "get rid of" your native language, it is expected that you communicate in English.  He says, "What I needed to learn in school was that I had the right- and the obligation- to speak the public language of los gringos." (34) He talks about the changes in his household of how strict it became when three nuns from his school came to have a "chat" with his parents and insist on the importance of speaking English only at home. Unfortunately it became almost uncomfortable and the new "game" was not so fun anymore. Rodriguez believed that because he lived in a community of the English language, the only way to feel confident in public was to be just like them. He also believes that cutting out the first language from a student is not the way to teach them a second language. He tells his own example as to why there are negative effects to eliminating ones first language. In Teaching Multilingual Children, Virginia Collier would agree with Rodriguez. She lists her seven guidelines to, "...better understand how teaching English to second-language learners can become an enriching experience when appreciating students' different languages and life situations."(223) I think the two guidelines that fit with Rodriguez is #3 "Don't teach a second language in any way that challenges or seeks to eliminate the first language." (227) and #5 "Do not forbid young students from code-switching in the classroom. Understand the functions that code-switching serves."(229) If Rodriguez had been taught in this environment, he might not have "lost" his native language and could have embraced and carried on his heritage, language, and traditions. Also, if he had been taught both languages from birth, he may never have felt "socially disadvantaged."

Politics of Bilingualism #3: This cartoon shows the sad effects of Prop 227 in California.  English-only teaching was promoted and bilingual classrooms were highly discouraged and sized down.  The time a student could spend in a bilingual classroom was also cut short.:

Questions/Comments: How else could "we", as future teachers, teach non English speaking students and help them embrace their first language and customs?

This video I found is about a social experiment that was done in the 1950's to approximately 22 children living in Greenland. They were sent to Denmark to be re-educated as model Danish citizens. They were not allowed to speak their native language and when they were returned to Greenland several years later, they were unable to communicate with their families because they now only spoke Danish. It was extremely heartbreaking for these children and the long term damage stayed with them throughout the lives of the ones who survived.
Here it is, it takes a minute to come in (I couldn't embed it):
1950's Social Experiment

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Amazing Grace
by Jonathan Kozol
September 18, 2016

The level of poverty in this article describing an area in the South Bronx was heartbreaking. Children and adults, old and young, living in very poor conditions and many of them die from diseases or murder. They never have a chance at a normal life.
Quote #1: "More than 95 percent are poor," the pastor says- "the poorest of the poor, poor by any standard I can think of." The pastor of St Ann's Church speaks of the population of the area. It is an extremely poor area, the poorest in the South Bronx. The children of the neighborhood come to this church for food and to play while their parents go to pray. Kozol goes on to explain this Mott Haven area in the South Bronx is loaded with heavy drug use, a very high number of HIV infected people- children and adults, prostitutes, and violence. It is a very sad place to live and grow in America. Children live in fear with a great amount of anxiety and depression. The air they breathe is not clean and many use breathing machines next to their bed for oxygen. There is trash everywhere and even a garbage dump three blocks over.  Their homes are freezing in the winter and sweltering in the summer with rats and roaches crawling all over them. What a horrific way to live your life, these poor children deserve so much better.
Quote #2: "In speaking of rates of homicide in New York City neighborhoods, the Times refers to the streets around St Ann's as "the deadliest blocks" in "the deadliest precinct" of the city. If there is a deadlier place in the United States, I don't know where it is." Kozol explains that there were 84 people murdered in 1991 alone. It is not safe to be on the streets or go to the park. Many of that number were children. I wonder how they can be brave enough to go outside and play in the streets after witnessing terrible things. They know each other well and how do they not have nightmares after learning of a neighbor or relatives murder?
Quote #3: "A person who works in a real job at a place like Chemical Bank, she tells me, is a rare exception in the neighborhood. "Almost no one here has jobs like that. Some are too sick. They live on SSI" - a federal program for sick and disabled people. Maybe five or six in 25, she says, have some legitimate employment." Kozol speaks of the ones that do not work, some may be too sick to work or could be selling drugs or prostitution. Even the hospitals are crowded, understaffed, and dirty. Patients have died in the hospitals because of staff mistakes. One of the hospitals, Harlem Hospital is referred to as a "cesspool" by the minister of Harlem's leading church.
  Image result for children of south bronx   Image result for poverty of south bronx

This video shows images from the Mott Haven area.
Mott Haven, South Bronx video

Points of discussion: This article was written in 95', I wonder if the area has improved or is it still as horrific as described in the article? What could be done to help these people that are no more than 3 hours away from us? I felt like I was reading poverty in a third world country and not in our "free" country of America. How can the children survive and escape the diseased and violent world they live in?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

U.S.A., Land of Limitations?
by Nicholas Kristof
Sept. 11, 2016

In the article, this author (Kristoff) argues that our "land of opportunity" is mostly determined by our beginnings in life. Children in poverty have a very small chance of rising to the top in adulthood. Kristof thinks back on his friend, Rick, who died of heart disease and struggled to rise in economic levels. Rick was a child "left behind" in school despite being intelligent because of his undiagnosed ADHD, no one bothered with him. Because of his own struggles, he never was able to climb out from the bottom. Kristof states, "Remember that disadvantage is less about income than environment. The best metrics of child poverty aren't monetary, but rather how often a child is read to or hugged." Children that are cared for and loved have a better chance at succeeding than one who is beaten or families with substance abuse. This is not the case with all children living in poverty but it is with a large percentage.

Children in lower class do not have the opportunities that children in high class do. Children of lower income families do not have the opportunities of private schools, music lessons, and special activities and trips. Although, I do not believe you need all of those things for success later in life but how you are brought up can pave the path to your success.

It is upsetting that if your parents or grandparents were not successful, then your chances for making something of yourself are slim. I realize that statistics don't lie and Kristoff states that there is more children living in poverty now than in 2008. Why would poverty levels be on the rise in this country and what is being done about it? Kristof also states that maybe our presidential candidates should be discussing these issues.

My personal experiences of struggling to keep a roof over my kids heads and food on the table, I've experienced highs and lows but feel it was not because of how I was raised, but more with the economy and choices I made along the way.

In this video, Marcell is an adolescent living in one of the most dangerous cities in the US, Camden, NJ. He tells his story of living in poverty. His parents were into drugs and he was sent to live with his grandmother. He talks about the violence he lives in and that lack of opportunity.
Our Pug Lucy and cat Gracie
My neice Braelyn and nephew Tyler. They moved to Florida
2 years ago and I surprised them Labor Day Weekend.  I miss
them like crazy!

My kids Ashley (21) and Nicky (18)

Hi all!  I am a single divorced mom of 2 returning to RIC after being gone 26 years.  My first time around I wasn't ready for the whole "college" thing but I'm here to finish what I started.  I ran my own daycare for 15 years and then decided to close my doors as my kids got older.  I have been working in a Catholic elementary school for the last 5 years as a private aide and coordinator of an after school daycare.  I get up 7 days a week/365 days a year at 3:30 a.m. to deliver newspapers, yes....Christmas too!  I love to read, watch movies, hang at my family beach house, and spend time with my kids.
My son Nicky graduated this year.