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Language Autobiography- Inhabiting Language


Intro:
In this unit we mainly focused on language through different peoples eyes. We read many stories and watched a couple videos all sharing their unique perspectives on language. We went in depth talking about the person’s relationship to their language and analyzing the pieces of literature. During the unit we wrote two mini- scenes about language in our life that eventually led to our benchmark project, the language autobiography. Our autobiography is a story of the way we see language in our lives. The way we each portray language in our homes or with our friends, the advantages, and the disadvantages that come with it. We had to investigate the themes we had learned about in the unit and connect them to our autobiography in some way. The autobiography is both an analysis on language in our life and also a reflection of what we see happening with language in our daily lives.


Autobiography:

I come from a very diverse family. My mother was born and raised in Italy, my dad in Iran, but my siblings and I were all born here in America. I was fortunate enough to be taught all three languages and be able to speak every one fluently. I am still exploring the advantages and disadvantages that come with speaking more than one language. It is very different when I speak English from the two languages I speak at home. I automatically associate Italian and Persian with family, not just my parents but also my aunts and uncles.   

English is more of the “proper” language for me, the one I speak at school and use for papers and projects. I have noticed that even when I speak English with my friends, I tend to speak pretty formally.

“I would rather be anywhere else right now…” I say. “I don’t have the energy to workout, I just want to go to bed.” “Today’s workout is 4 x 2500m! Go stretch and do your core workout and then hop on an erg and start your pieces.” My coach explains to the entire team.

I look around the room and see everyone’s smile slowly start to fade.

“Wow Nicole, are you trying to kill us?” I say jokingly to my coach.

“Oh man…This is gonna be a long day, I ain’t ready foh dis” I hear someone say across the room and everyone nods in agreement. We know the sooner we start the sooner it will be over so we quickly get to work.

The workout is finally over and my teammates and I are sitting on our ergs breathing heavily, legs shaking and sweat all over.

“OMG Why do we row? What is wrong wit us? Ugh ma body hurts! I hear these statements coming from all over the room. 

I do not use slang and I do not shorten words, like many people do when they are just talking casually. Maybe this is because of the fact that it wasn’t my first language and that I started speaking English when I was about 3 or 4. Prior to that I only knew Persian and Italian. I don’t have a clear explanation as to why I only speak English in it’s “standard” form but it is probably because I only use what was taught to me in school.  I already switch between so many different languages on a daily basis, there is no need for another an extra way of speaking.

It can get confusing and crazy for an outsider to hear how we talk at home because there is a little bit of Persian here, a little bit of Italian there and also some English. “Venite giu.” My mom called up to us from the first floor. “Ho detto venite!” “We’re coming, we’re coming!” We call down to her. My sister, my brother and I run down the steps, because we know that if we don’t go now she’ll keep calling us. “Apparecchiate la tavola per cena.” “Oh good it’s dinner time. I’m starved.” My little brother says as he gets the napkins from the kitchen. “Chiara, hurry up and get the plates,” I say. “And what are you gonna get?” My sister says accusingly. “Chill. I’m getting the cups.” Now my mom is annoyed because we’re bickering. “Ragazze.” Everyone was busy setting the table and cooking dinner that we didn’t even notice my dad came in the house. “Salam.” We hear his voice as he walks through the door, soaking wet from the rain. “Salam Baba!” we all say. “Chetori?”  I ask. “How was work?” asks my sister. "Khoob, let's eat!" responds my dad, but no one is as happy as my brother to sit down and have dinner.

Even though for others it may be confusing, to me it is an environment I feel comfortable in. People do not realize the impact of language; the way it shapes a person and their life. I could never quite place my finger on the exact feelings I have toward language.  After reading this quote by Emil M. Cioran, I knew I had found it and I automatically fell in love with it: “You inhabit a language rather than a country.” (Cioran) Location does not make you who you are but culture does and language goes hand in hand with culture. Yes, it is true that people adopt habits and ways of life from where they live. Language though, is more of who you truly are inside, what makes you who you are as a person. We will always be connected to that deeper thing inside of us, the real us. Even when other things become a part of us and new experiences change us, we always hold on to that instinctive origin.

Language has definitely been a big part in shaping who I am today. Many people do not realize that language is more than just a bonus on a job resume or college application. They think language is only about using it to get to a higher, better place. It allows me to be different. Language has much more depth and personal connection than just that. It allows me to talk to many different people and to travel to unique places. I really love to travel and luckily I am able to do so very often. The experiences I have had traveling internationally have truly grown on me and taught me numerous valuable lessons. I love it so much because of the fact that I am very diverse and we have family in many parts of the world. I feel like it has made my mind very open to different cultures and languages. It hurts to see people being judged only because of their skin color or cultural differences. If everyone were the same, spoke the same language and had the same traditions, our world would be lifeless and boring.



Works Cited:
Cioran, Emil. Rumanian- French born philosopher. Anathemas and Admirations, “On the Verge of Existence” (1986). Print.
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English "Why Do Languages Do?" Jzhang

My paper is about my thoughts on language. Does having language help us or hinder us? Does it do good or does it do harm? These are just a few questions I asked myself while I was typing this. 
At first when I started to write, I was confused since the paper have such direct instructions. But as I started to write I understood that it doesn't have to be pure facts. It can also be person thoughts.


Language is very intriguing creation of mankind. Even the same language sounds differently depending on where the area is. One’s way of speech can show where someone comes from, their lifestyle and also their personality.

In modern days, the way of speech tends to be heavily judged. By the way someone speaks, they are instantly “ranked” in the persons mind. People would get treated differently just because the listener is not used to or dislikes the way you speaks, this is a major problem.
When one is judged and branded just by their speech, they have no chance to show off their true skills. Even when they do, they are being viewed in a bias manner. So do the language make the person?

I personally do not  believe so. Language is something created by humans, or at least the way we think when we hear “language.”  For one, things such as English, Spanish, French or any others isn’t really needed. They were created by humans for humans, thus it is man made and it wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the humans that created them. So how do we understand one another if our “languages” didn’t exist? Language at its purest forms is sounds. It is just different arrangements of sound that our brain can decode. We are just another species of animal, we are born with a form of communication. Though due to the way we live this natural born language is lost the moment we start to learn. Does having so many languages help us in any way, that is a confusing question.

No, using the languages created by mankind, create more problems than it could have solved. Did it solve anything at all? No one can say since none of us still remember that language. But the languages we create certainly caused much more problem then it’s worth.
Having parents who does not understand the main language used in the land, create many problems. My parents does not speak english, so being the only english speaker in the family, I have to carry part of the weight of my family on my back. “Read these letters on the table and reply to those are needed, than explain the letters to us and fill out the forums. I just said yes” but just looking at the monstrous mountain of papers turns my knees to jelly. The mountain of paper casts its shadow over my, overwhelming me, crushing me. It just hurt my head just looking at it, but it must be done. This line is very common in my everyday life and so much so, it have became part of my life. My parents often tell me that “The more languages you know the better chance you have of getting better work. I agree” but I don’t just want a wealthy life, I want a life that I can enjoy.
So while the phrase is true, but it also have its bad points.
Each language that is created by humans carries a kind of personality. The first one you learn will become part of you. But as you start to learn more and more, the languages starts to slowly change you. The change itself could be good or bad, but since humans in general are afraid of difference. In the story Tongue Tied, the main character was learning a different language. But because of how the world views ways of speech, the mother of the speaker went as far as to cut the underside of her tongue. “If I had lived in China, I would have been an outlaw knot-maker. Maybe that’s why my mother cut my tongue.” This line is from the story Tongue Tied. The idea of trying to fit in with others and the fear of that being different is bad, causes the problem of having different languages even worse.

So why do humans having so many different languages? I believe that this is merely do to the way people think. Humans tends to like the company of others who think similarly to the way they do. This way of thinking will only divide the human race. When one learns a new language it starts to blend in and become a part of yourself. But at the same time you lose a part of yourself. In the end it all comes to personal opinions. It doesn’t matter if everyone understands each other or all humans start dancing hand in hand, as long as the bias exist nothing will change. Language just help increase the bias we already have. Language is something that will only separate and will not unite.


Kingston, Maxine Hong. The Woman Warrior. New York: Vintage International, 1976. Print. 
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Language Autobiography 2013: Language Is Like A Net

In English class, we had a unit on language and the role it plays in our everyday life. Also we explored the topic of language as the part it plays in our identities. We read many stories about language in other people's life such as Jame Baldwin and Bell Hooks, so we were assigned a project. This project is an autobiographical paper that explore themes in language that connects to our personal life. The theme that I chose to explore was whether language is an advantage or a disadvantage. My language autobiography shows that language can be both of those but it if we learn more about language than we could use it as an advantage. Since language is an important part of everyone's life, we should find ways to use it that would have a bad effect on ourselves.

I had just found out that my grandmother had cancer on Christmas Eve, so my family and I went to visit her. She was so frail and weak. It was like she was a completely different person than what I had remembered. Even though she was sick, she still greeted us with a warm smile and hug. I stayed in her living room watching my cousin play games on the Wii. My uncle walked into the living room and told us to eat pizza. After eating the pizza, we were getting ready to leave.


My grandmother was sitting on the sofa with my mom right beside her. Her face was full of exhaustion and her head was laying back on the sofa. She grabbed my hand and started speaking to me in Chinese. I was shocked because I have forgotten all of it. I was not answering her because I just could not.


“Ahh. Yang nea yay jomoi ma yan mek. (Like this, how is she going to speak with me.)” My grandmother was speaking to my mother.

“She’s just being shy.”

“Ma asked you if you were doing good in school.”

“Yes.”

I couldn’t do anything but stare at my grandmother. I felt like there was an inner battle with myself. I wanted to speak to her so bad but I could not speak. In this moment, I felt like if I was to speak Cambodian, which she could also understand, I would just sound weird and she would not be able to understand me anyway. In my mind, there were things that I wanted to say to her but my mouth stayed shut. I wasn’t comfortable speaking Cambodian nor did I understand what she was saying to me in Chinese. My grandmother continued to ask me questions in Chinese and all I could do is nod my head without knowing what was happening.


At a time like this, I felt like knowing more than one language would be a huge advantage because it will allow me to communicate with other people, especially with people I love. Not being able to communicate with someone that you may not see again because of language is very upsetting but there is no point of knowing more than one language if we are not able express yourself completely. Knowing many languages could also be a disadvantage because of the restrictions it gives us. Sometimes I feel like I have blocked from saying what I want. I’m never fully able to express myself especially in different languages because I often feel like I want to say a lot more but I cannot because saying words in a language besides English feels so uncomfortable.

It is just another school morning for my family and I. It is about 7 o'clock in the morning and I am sitting quietly on the black couch with a red blanket wrapped around me in the living room. The room is dark and the only light it gets is from the bright light in the kitchen.  


Since it was a Wednesday and I normally go to Fleisher’s Art Memorial on Wednesdays, my mom asked, “Lisa, tov art de (Are you going to art today)?”

“No. Not today.”

“Haet ey(Why)?”

“Because I have a break until January 8th. It’s like winter break.”

“Lisa, mommy paep ta i yay khmer. (I told you to speak Cambodian.)”

She always bring this up and I never win when we argue so I just sighed and replied, “Yes.”

“What time are you going to be home?”

“At 3.”

“Again. I said speak Cambodian.”

I wanted to argue with my mom but I could not. She was already complaining about me not speaking Cambodian and I could only argue in English. At this time, I felt like my life would be much better if I only spoke one language because using one more than the other one, I begin to forget words, then phrases and so on and this makes it harder for me to say what I want.

Language is something that plays a big part in everyone lives and can often be an advantage or disadvantage to people. Some people thinks that knowing more than one language helps us express ourselves more but others may disagree and say that it does not help but actually puts a restriction on us. People should used language as an advantage because if we are able to know a language clearly, it would not come as a disadvantage.


Coming from a family that speaks two different language and living in an environment that speaks another language, I had a hard time communicating with different people. Since I was not able to keep up with three languages, I began to forget the ones from my family and only using English because it was the one that I used the most. When I was not able to talk to my grandmother, I realized that if you are bilingual, then you should use it to your advantage by not forgetting it. There are people that pay to learn what you can get from your family, unlike me, I forgot Chinese completely and this caused me to not be able to speak to half of my family.


In the story, “Tongue-Tied” by Maxine Hong Kingston, the main character got her tongue cut off so that she would not be tied to just one language and so that it could be free. Her mother stated, “I cut it so that you would not be tongue tied....”(pg. 164). Her mother felt like cutting off her daughter’s tongue would be the best choice for the daughter because then she would be able to speak multiple languages and not tied all around one. Also the girl stated, “I enjoyed the silence...”(pg. 164). She enjoyed staying silent and I think this is because she does not know how to control language and turn it into an advantage. She speaks two different languages but she prefers not to speak often rather than me because I rather just speak one.


People should know that language is a privilege and if they do not want it to be a disadvantage in their life, then they should embrace it so that it becomes an advantage instead. Language gives us the power to communicate with other people and that is an important aspect in life but it also creates a net, allowing only the little things we want to say through but not the bigger things. In order for us to break this net, we have to be willing to learn more about language. It is like trying to find a solution to a problem, we cannot find the solution until we learn about the problem.

Works Cited:

Kingston, Maxine Hong. The Woman Warrior. New York: Vintage International, 1976. Print. 
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Language Autobiography 2013: The Words Less Spoken




During this unit, I learned about the different aspects of language and the overall different views on it from a great deal of perspectives and opinions. As this unit progressed, we read analytical short stories and quasi-vignettes from many different authors including Richard Rodriguez, Amy Tan, and more, who spoke of their own deeper analysis of languages and personal experiences. As a wrap-up for the unit, we were given an assignment that entailed writing an autobiographical and analytical essay centered on both revealing one’s own experiences in their life, as well as analyzation of languages. We were given many topics to use as the focal point of our essays such as, code switching, regional dialect, and language versus emotion. Throughout the unit and completing the work given in it, I as an individual took an extremely inquisitive approach to what we read. I was highly interested in the multifaceted characters in the works observed. Mainly because of the unique exposures of the authors. In this essay, I attempted to apply the same characteristics that the other authors had within their stories.




There are many ways in which we represent the different things that were are influenced to how they affect us in every aspect of life, no matter how slight that change may be. This can be any number of things. The people that are around, the places they see and are present in, what they see on tv and the people they are introduced to. Those effects can be observed and narrowed down to the smallest detail. Sometimes, that detail can be as miniscule as the way a person talks around different people and groups. This becomes evident and can become noticeable as more and more people get used to how you talk to them and it can come as a surprise to them if they hear how you talk to other people that you don’t use the same tone of voice and or speech with when you talk to them as opposed to when you talk to that person. Unfamiliarity can be a strange thing. For instance, when you’re meeting someone new, it is always a quick decision on how you will speak to that person. Whether or not you will use your normal voice or something to make you sound more professional or mature. The choices are endless and everyone’s are different. It all boils down to first impressions and creating a persona for yourself.


I have discovered that through time, and through observing by listening, anyone can pick up on the manner with which one person talks to another. Even though at times it may not be apparent, the code switching is still present because everybody does it, no matter how slight it may be. The first time that I started to listen to people when they talk, I didn’t immediately think of it as anything out of the ordinary, but it was peculiar to me how that person’s voice had sounded, in comparison to how it sounded when they talked to me. The first time that I really deeply observed the trait that everyone develops at some point early in their life is when I had involuntarily done it when I was talking to my friends one day. It was about three years ago. I was holding just a normal conversation with my friend, Dave at our grade school. Now, before I get into how I analyzed our conversation, I want to preface my statement with saying that Dave was generally known as a tougher character, one that could throw a pretty hard punch, and take one, too. It was early in the school year, about November or December. Me and a my friend were sitting down in the cafeteria, talking about god knows what. Dave had gotten some of the less than appetizing food offered by the school for those who didn’t bring a lunch from home. Which, when I think about it now, was not worth the money paid for it. He sat down at our table, inhabited only by me and another person. I vaguely remember one of us cracking a joke about something and then I watched Dave look at his “lunch” and grimace with disgust. He then cursed and muttered something under his breathe. We both began to talk about our days and the oddities that tended to occur at our school. We shared laughs here and there and by the end of lunch, I had noticed something about my voice. It had gotten deeper, slightly, and I spoke much more loosely, not caring much for proper grammar or fluid pronunciation. I was trying to sound... tough, I guess is what I would call it then. In comparison to current day, I now call it “making a first impression.” The reason I did this was to... well, fit in. I felt it necessary to do so because I wanted to have that sense of toughness. Now, when I compare that to how I talk to my dad, it’s a whole other story. The words I speak are much softer and completely articulate when I talk to my father. Back to the story. The way I spoke to my friend those years ago, is generally how I’ll speak to strangers when asked a question or just when having a conversation with a store clerk. I always have tried to keep this demeanor and appearance of a tougher person.

The reason that it’s involuntary is because when you become so adept to talking certain ways to different people, it becomes second-nature to us, a passing thought. Not at that specific moment, though. I stopped myself, after I had finished my thought. I noticed that I just spoke in a different tone of voice to my friends... almost out of nowhere. It seemed completely new to me, even though I had been doing it so long - it just never occurred to me because I was unconsciously doing it.


In life, the people we meet and have human interaction with greatly influence and mold ourselves as individuals. One of the very first things people notice when meeting someone for the first time is how they speak and in what tone of voice they do it with. Depending on the impression the person makes, your voice and movement will be influenced. Often times, when a person has become so used to talking one way for a while, they become lost and unable switch their voice when they need to, especially when talking to someone who only knows of their voice one way. The main reason why people in everyday life code switch is to not only develop a relationship with nearly each individual they meet, but to know who they’re around in a sense that they know who they have to impress and who they can be open with. Lastly, people in society use code switching to learn about another person.



Code for Vimeo:


Rodriguez, Richard. Hunger of Memory. Boston: David R. Godine, 1982. Print. 

Baldwin, James. "If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me What Is." New York Times. (July 29, 1979): <http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/03/29/specials/baldwin-english.html>. 

hooks, bell. Hooks on the Language of Power. New Learning. Web. 11 Jan 2013. <http://newlearningonline.com/literacies/chapter-6-critical-literacies/hooks-on-the-language-of-power/>. 

Tan , Amy. "Mother Tongue." Home is Where the Heart Dwells. N.p.. Web. 11 Jan 2013. <https://blogs.law.harvard.edu/guorui/2008/02/06/mother-tongue-by-amy-tan/>. 

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Language is Identity

During our language unit in English I have learned that language is more than just words. Language is who we are, how we perceive the world, and how we think. Language not only shapes up but can affect us from other people's eyes. I have learned that how you speak is not who you are, but to succeed in the world, one way or another, you must be able to code switch and know how to properly talk. Below is an essay on what Language means to me, how I have been shaped and affected, learned many things, and became who I am based off of language. 



Language is Identity


Language is a tool to get what you need, express your emotions, and to connect with others. It’s the framework through which we all perceive and analyze the world around us. It is a communication that allows us to convey who we are. People shape language all over the world, but it is more accurate and correct to say that language shapes us. People personalities’, thoughts and opinions are language shaped by influences from location, decades, and surroundings. Language has guided me to my own path in life.

I have moved around a lot more than the average bear and I have noticed how language affects people in different parts of the country. When I lived in Berkeley, California, the people talk in a laid back manner, even professional people weren’t so stern. I remember walking into a business meeting at Google Headquarters with my cousin. “As we fix the bug in the system, you know, make sure to get some game on your other assignments. It’s totally cool if you want to work on your 2nd projects for the interlineal system, or just chill and keep working on this one, it’s in your hands,” the boss said to my cousin, and all of the workers in the meeting. They would respond with “alright boss, have a good one. Don’t party too hard tomorrow.” Then they would leave casually and go back to working for one of the biggest companies. I was startled to see this because I never expected a business meeting to go like that. This is just one example of how language really affects people’s personalities. In California, they speak calm and relaxed, and they are much nicer than people on the east coast, as far as I’m aware.

In New York, the people talk in a rushed pace and they pronounce many words differently. They use a very different vocabulary, more city-like, and shortened words. I grew up in New Jersey, so I pronounce words differently than people in the city. Many of my friends jokingly make fun or play around with the words I say. For example, people say bad rhyming with sad, but I say bad emphasizing the a, as if I grew up in the country. I didn’t though; I grew up 40 minutes from Philadelphia. When I learned my alphabet I lived in a rural southern area and so I say my alphabet a little bit differentley. It was hard for me to move Philly because everything was so fast paced and different, but I easily adjusted.

Language and personality does not always go hand in hand, but according to my life that is how it works. My own language is more relaxed and chilled than the people I’m surrounded by, and overall my personality is also more relaxed as well. I don’t let little things bug me, or things don’t really phase me as much as people I know from the city, where things keep going, life doesn’t stop for anyone, it goes on.

The decade, or time you grew up in affects how you talk. Since I have hippie parents I talk like I lived in the 1960s-1990s. I say radical, groovy, solid, gnarly, psyched, get jiggy with it, and stoked. People now-a-days use words like “swag, yolo, jawn”, I don’t get it. I wish I grew up in the 60s or 80s because the language to me felt right. Today when I hear kids speak, I think they sound like uneducated idiots.

Lastly, my own native language is music. Music has been one of the biggest contributions in my life and my path of finding myself. It is a universal/unspoken language in it’s own way. It brings out words people can’t say and brings us together. Music has helped me cope and go through many struggles I have faced. It’s a sense of language and communication that expresses to people that they are not alone, and someone is going through the same things that you are.  

When people think of language they think of words. When I think of langugage I think of music notes. Music can say things that words cannot, when words fail music speaks. “It’s funny how a melody sounds like a memory,” music can trigger senses inside of us more than words can. There are many different types of music, it is a culture. Music has been my backbone and religion for a long time.

It is true we shape language into what it is, but it is even more accurate that language shapes us, and makes us into the lovely people we become. Without our own particular language, we wouldn’t be unique individuals. Language has guided me to my own path in life, and binded the world as one. Without language there would be no way to possibly accept the reality around us. Language is identity.




Citations

Baldwin, James. "If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me What Is."New York Times. (July 29, 1979): <http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/03/29/specials/baldwin-english.html>. 


Kingston, Maxine Hong. The Woman Warrior. New York: Vintage International, 1976. Print. 
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Language Autobiography 2013: Double Sided

​In my 10th grade English Class we wrote Language Autobiographies. This entailed writing scenes that showed how you communicated. Each person focused on a different topic that went along with language. To continue with our exploration of language each student made a digital story that could go along side their autobiography but was not identical. We each created extremely different projects come from the same main idea.

“I understand what you’re trying to say but...” The most common words in my family. We always start the same, ten o’clock, the t.v. turned off and we’re all ready to go upstairs and slide into our beds. Then someone remembers one last story, one last thing that happened that day. They begin their story and out of courtesy we all stay to listen.

“So, today in class we were talking about women in advertisements.” Today is my turn, I begin but my family only listens with uninterested faces. Yet I know they care, “It said that owning an image of a nude woman is the same as a desire to own the portrayed woman.” They’re listening now so much so that it’s their turn to talk.

“That’s ridiculous,” My mom starts angrily but with a smile on her face, “I mean if that’s true then we own a lot of women.”

“Yeah I know, so I spoke up afterwards when we were talking about it saying that I disagreed and Block responded, ‘So you think putting porn on your wall is different than a nude portrait, interesting.’” I know I’ve lost my story now because they’ve all started talking, saying more or less the same thing.

“He actually said that?” My sister questions, rolling her eyes, “Well that escalated quickly.” This is how it starts, this is how it always starts. And then we get further into the ideas and principles behind the event and we each take our own stance.
“I’ve never understood the fascination with Barbie though,” I start a new side of the argument, “I mean I understand what you’re saying but there are a lot of people who take that too far, I mean you guys let me play with Barbies and I didn’t ever want to be like them, nor do I know anyone who did.”


“That’s true,” my dad starts, ready to counter but my mom cuts him off quickly, “But that doesn’t mean there aren’t girls who do.” We could go back and forth forever.

This is how it always was and I hope will always be in my family. My parents have never told me my opinion is wrong but they often attempt to convince me of their opinion. However because of the argumentative strategies they’ve taught me, I rarely back down, in fact I oppose them as well. Language for me has always been able to give me the ability to oppose and to stand up.

Language can give you the power to convince others you’re right. To explain to them what it means to be you, and what it is you believe. I have always been in an environment that allows me to express what I’m actually feeling. This isn’t to say that there aren’t times or moments when I am not interrupted or yelled at. I just always have someone I can go to to explain what it is that I meant or what I was going to say.

It can and should be this but that does not mean it should always be this. There are times when you need to relax, to be a part of something simpler and easier.

The front door opens as I sit on the couch. I can see who is there, just that there’s someone. “Spies!” I scream towards the shape coming through the front door that I hope is my sister.


“Dinkleberg!” She calls back, confirming it’s her.

“Maybe you should sell me and buy a rabbit instead!” I scream again, sprawled on the couch.

“At least a rabbit would be better than you!” My sister walks into the room calmly.

“I bet it’d be smarter than me too!”

“And quieter!”

“You’d like it cause it’d be stinky like you!”

“Go to your room!”

“I’m already in my room!” I laugh as we finish the scene so often recited by our tongues, the scene from Lilo & Stitch.

This other side of language, the side of love and happiness. The way that my sister and I can speak to each other and know how we’re feeling just by the quotes we say or the songs we sing. We’ve always worked as a unit, knowing where to be and what to say because of all the things we’ve said in the past. However each time is different. Each word can take on so many different forms, creating endless options. Language has connected us in a way nothing and no one else has. Similar to Gloria Anzaldúa in How to Tame a Wild Tongue, “My ‘home’ tongues are the languages I speak with my sister and brothers, with my friends.” This is how I feel when I speak with my sister, I feel at home.

Because of this I am a rare one. I am different. Others do not have to freedom and support that I do when it comes to language. They are restricted and kept in by it. They often do not get the chances that I get to speak out. I do not know what this feels like. I do not know the thoughts that you might think. However, I know how good it feels to have this freedom, and I respect it. I know I am lucky.


Language can transform from something all about power and the ability to stand up for yourself to being able to connect with someone. I have been lucky enough to learn both sides of that in the same household. I have grown up appreciating every word and syllable I and others use and know. I have grown up with the idea that you must be careful with what you say but you must also be willing to take a break, to go “without a filter” as my mother says. You have to know when to say what  you want, what makes you comfortable, and when you must say what you mean.


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Language Autobiography 2013: Is it necessary for all to "fit in"?

In this project it was required that each student picks a theme about language that interest them. It could be bad or good they can decide but in that they must help the reader to understand what they are trying to say and relate it to their life. It could be a past experience, scene, or even what's happening in society/the world today. In that you must intertwine it with larger analysis that leads but to a broader idea and add your own reflection. Each student would have to incorporate one descriptive scene along with deeper thoughts and analysis. 


In today’s society it is looked at that to make it one must blend in with the ‘popular and superior’ crowd and allow one’s life to fit the others. When the topic of language is raised, English is the most commonly spoken in the US obviously and standard English seems to be the most professional language of all. When living in the US it was something that seemed to be ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ as if being different in that sense is wrong...

In elementary school I never really thought about such a thing much. All I knew and understood was that now that I’m in Philly, away from most of my family English would be the language I’d hear the most and speaking it for me wasn’t an option; I had to. I never was exposed to the thought of how speaking a different language that may be foreign to others could be a bad thing until that day...

My mother had decided to pick me up from school that day and I was happy to have her walk me home and have that sense of security. While walking I noticed some kids who go to the same school as I did walking also on the other side of the road. Two little boys about that same age as I was (about 7). After I noticed their presence my mom called my attention and said in a voice only I hear “Ki jan jou ou te pasé?” (How was your day?) “It was good” I told her. Then her phone rang and she picked up. It was my dad. What I noticed was that she was talking english with him when usually when it comes to him she speaks her home language. Creole. A language which Haitians speak. Then soon I realized it was because she was trying to explain to him how to communicate with his boss at a more professional english level that he asked her advice for. I wondered if everything was alright.

At the corner of my eye I could see and hear the kids snickering say that “she sounds Jamaican” as if there was a problem even if she was. One actually had the nerve to ask with a smirk on his face if she was one. On the phone my mom didn’t notice but I was so mad I yelled “shut up you african booty scratcher! You ugly too!” but with that I did also felt embarrassed. On the phone my mom was loud which made it easy for people a block away to hear her accent. But she’s my mother and no matter how loud she may be it would never change the importance and impact she has had on my life.  

Though she wasn’t from here she made an effort to try and speak the language that was foreign to her and it was bad  that most didn’t even notice that. Too bad back then, I was too young to understand that. But because of that it is to be felt that many with accents aren’t taken seriously when needed because they don’t speak or sound like they’re speaking ‘proper english’. But as I got older and really looked at the American society I came to realize that its prejudice, injustice and more. For example I remember awhile back, my mom ordered a pepperoni pizza on the phone and it was on speaker so I eavesdropped onto the conversation. It was because of my mother's accent the person constantly asked my mother to repeat what she was saying as if she was speaking a different language. On top of that they took forever to deliver. When I ordered the pizza and said the exact thing’s my mother said the last time because I don’t have that much of an accent they understood me and the delivery came under 30 minutes which confuzzles me.

 Even  though she had an accent in the end the workers were able to understand what she was saying because we got what she asked for but why give me different service than her? It has been called to my and many others attention that some people in society feel as those people with hard accents aren’t truly educated and can be easily taken advantage of many things such as their disability to speak standard english. Which isn’t true at all. If one were to take a survey of who agrees with this quote ‘one shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover’ many would agree but I feel as though society has never even tried to live up to that expectation. 

All leading up to what I’m trying to say. It isn’t fair for someone to be treated differently just because you don’t understand them. There are other ways to communicate and to automatically assume they aren’t able to have the same skills or intelligence that you have. There is such a thing as being open-minded and I believe if more people were able to think it that matter thing would be a lot better. I read a piece by Bell Hooks that is titled "this is the oppressor's language/yet I need it to talk to you":Language, a place of struggle” and that quote means a lot of things. One, she explains how originally Africans weren’t meant to speak English as they do now. It was because when in the time of slavery where they were taken from their homeland, there was so many different Blacks from many different tribes and areas in Africa, with their own type of language that it was complex to communicate with one another, especially their new masters. So they were forced to learn and speak under the language of their oppressor which is what we all know as to be English. It still amazes me till this day of that effect and the same thing happens till this day to foreigners who come to America hoping for opportunity and along that process are stripped of their identity by being forced to speak English and forget about what they use to speak. 

All I can say about my true ethnicity is that its special just like any other kind of race or culture. It shouldn’t be judged because of its differences from other. in fact it should be looked at in the opposite way because being different is what makes it unique and special. I just find it hard to believe but strongly agree that many have a problem accepting that notion. 


Outside Sources:

hooks, bell. Hooks on the Language of Power. New Learning. Web. 11 Jan 2013. <http://newlearningonline.com/literacies/chapter-6-critical-literacies/hooks-on-the-language-of-power/>. 


Baldwin, James. "If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me What Is."New York Times. (July 29, 1979): <http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/03/29/specials/baldwin-english.html>. 


 

https://vimeo.com/57346974
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YATW blog #2

hyperlinks:
Click to view blog #1

click to view survey answers


 a poem about cutting and a girls experience with the issue.

- celebrities who cut themselves. click for shocking things you see and read!



Question Credits to Klarissa. I got most of these questions and answers from the interview I did with her.

Analysing the data from my survey:

According to the survey I sent out on Facebook a lot of people either used to or currently cuts themselves. Most of them said they cut themselves because of bad home life, bullying, problems in school, and depression. Some other answers that I received for this question was that they cut themselves because of family, friends, they felt alone and hated and since they were diagnosed with anxiety they would have anxiety attacks very frequently. All of the people that responded to my survey said they started it in middle school between 6th-8th grade. Also they all said that the reason why they  think because self harm is because it is an easy way to ease pain, it helps them solve the problem for now. 


My story:

Hi. My name is Angelica Lorine Owens and this is my story. It all started in 6th grade. I had got tired of being bullied and I was dealing with things with myself and things like that. I had been bullied since I was in pre-K and I never could really stand up for myself that much. I have been through a lot in my life and in 6th grade I had enough. In 6th grade I was bullied to the most I could take. I knew a lot of friends who cut themselves because of their issues so I figured it’s ok to do that too. At the moment when I got home I found the sharp edge of a nail clipper and I cut myself for the first time. It was never deep for it to bleed, just so I could feel the pain. That first cut felt good on my wrist. Finally after 2 or 3 years later in 8th grade I got tired of all that and I started writing poems but I had forgotten about my past or forgiven the people who hurt me. Near the end of the school year I had a mental break down and I threatened to commit suicide because I was dealing with a lot of things and I was dealing with finding myself and my identity wise which now i completely understand. I then went to a mental facility but they did not help at all because I was there too long to actually get in there but after all this I just went to poetry when ever I was dealing with something. I no longer am cutting myself but it still is tempting to do so but I just think I'm not about that cutting life anymore. I am not saying that I am happy about cutting myself because I'm not but I just admit that I did it and to move on from this issue!



I interviewed my sophomore friend Klarissa about this topic and she also said that she cut herself from depression, sadness and feeling alone and that she started cutting herself at the age of 12 years old. 

celebrities who cut themselves:
1) princess diana
2) megan fox
3) christina ricci
4) courtney love
5) Amy winehouse
6) Demi lovato

Real people aren't the only people to cut themselves celebrities do also.
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​Poem: Cut

The pain

The relief

Feeling of cutting

Is an addiction?


The relief feel from simple cut

Relief of anger

Relief of pain

Cutting can help


Everyday i think could i ever be beautiful

I feel can i ever get rid of the pain

Can i ever feel loved

Everyday i try and think positive


When i cut i feel a sense of relief from all anger

Every cut is like a trip to heaven

I feel as if can i get rid of the bullying

The pain is all gone now


Cutting is a sense of relief

I think can i ever be skinny

Can i ever be as beautiful as my crush

One thing i know is that i will be as beautiful as people make me seem


The pain

The relief

Feeling of cutting

Is it an addiction??


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Mis Seres Queridos

Script-
Intro: Hola! Este es mi proyecto
Yo: Mi nombre es David. Soy es perezoso. Tengo uno hermano. Soy de Filadefia. Me encanta computadora y surfear la red.
Él: Él nombre es Sean. Es Mi hermano. Tiene un pantalla plana. Le encanta pasar un rato con amigos.
Ellos: Ellos nombres es Sean y Nicole. Son mi hermano y hermana. Tienen unos computadoras. Les encanta pasar un rato con amigos.
Ellas: Ellas nombres es Diane y Marie. Son mi mamá y abuela. Tienen unas dinero. Les encanta trabajar.
Nosotros: Nuestro nombres es David y Nicole. Somos gemelos. Tenemos ir a la escuela. Les encanta surfear la red.
Conclusion: Adios!
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Language Autobiography 2013: A Language

This unit was inspired by language. From the numerous language essays that were read in Mr. Block's English class and beyond, came the project of the "Language Autobiography." This assignment was to help Bronze and Copper SLA students write how language has effected us in a positive or negative way. My topic was "How Can Language Affect Your Cultural Exposure?" Meaning, what can a language do to help you become more involved with the world. Over recent years, I have been more involved with planet Earth than a scientist can be with macromolecules. My native tongue and many new tongues opened my eyes to a whole new experience, one that I will cherish forever.

Due to the excessive exposure of international and interracial activity, I have become cultured in a way that allows me to reference back to my native routes. Born into an Arab society, as Rahed Albarouki, I became worldly quickly because my culture was interesting and I was curious to find out if I could find anything more engrossing. The experience of language and food took over my body in a way that is indescribable.

Personally, I find the Arab society interesting because of the affectionate connection that is shared with others. They are treated as if part of the family. Also, having to conduct traditional dances on special occasions is something that is deeply admired. The Debke, is a form of dance where you must hold people's’ hands in a large circle. There is a continuation of foot motion where you step right, step right, then stop and step forward with your left leg. It’s an easy dance for anyone who can’t dance! But, one of my favorite things to do, is eat! Every meal must be a big production. I feel as though it’s a never ending buffet of traditional foods, such as Yubrak, which are grape leaves stuffed with rice, and Meclooby, which is a concoction of rice, meat and nuts with a creamy sauce poured over it. Meclooby, is a comical dish because, in Arabic, Meclooby means “upside down or flipped over” and the dish is actually upside down.

Learning Arabic is one of the hardest things to do. It is actually one of the hardest languages to learn in the world. Not only speaking it, but writing and reading also. It’s a tough task. Unfortunately, I am not able to write or read Arabic, only speak, but I do plan on taking classes in college to advance my knowledge on the language. However, my father and mother can both speak, write and read it fluently. My mother always says to me, “I regret not teaching you the other stuff.” I just shrug my shoulders and get over it. Do I wish I could’ve learned? Yes, of course, but now I am more motivated to learn it in the future. So thank you, mom.

Once, I rode in a Yellow Cab. I was going to a play in Center City. As I stared at the driver, he spoke in Arabic to his wife on the phone. I was angry because that action was jeopardizing my safety, but honestly, I didn’t care. He was saying such sweet things to his wife. “Ani hebak, habibti. Inti warda.” He called her a flower. I was eavesdropping basically, but it really didn’t count, because I knew every word he was saying. A thought occurred to me, why am I just here? Here, meaning in the Arab society, why don’t I venture out? I wasn’t going to totally abandon my culture, but just drift away a tiny bit. I was very hungry the moment I had to pay. When he told me the price and when I gave the him the money, I opened the door and said “Shukran,” which means thank you in Arabic. He smiled at me. As soon as I closed the door, I went to RiceMix, a Korean restaurant and I ordered some bibimbap. It was delicious.

Language is a marvelous wonder, whether you are a native speaker or a learner. I was never a strong Arabic speaker, but I am able to understand the majority. It’s a major setback, but it drives me to obtain more knowledge on the subject. However, it is also a helpful thing to study other languages. Not only because colleges require it, but because it’s a cultural experience. It’s never wrong to just stick to one culture, but it is worth expanding your horizons. Over the past years, I have learned so much about the world. That one taxi ride was my new horizon. I read articles, ate food, went to parties, met different people, all because I knew a language. Sometimes, a language can be your key to an experience unlike no other.
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English Language Auto Jzhang

My paper is about my thoughts on language. Does having language help us or hinder us? Does it do good or does it do harm? These are just a few questions I asked myself while I was typing this. 
At first when I started to write, I was confused since the paper have such direct instructions. But as I started to write I understood that it doesn't have to be pure facts. It can also be person thoughts.


Language is very intriguing creation of mankind. Even the same language sounds differently depending on where the area is. One’s way of speech can show where someone comes from, their lifestyle and also their personality.

In modern days, the way of speech tends to be heavily judged. By the way someone speaks, they are instantly “ranked” in the persons mind. People would get treated differently just because the listener is not used to or dislikes the way you speaks, this is a major problem.
When one is judged and branded just by their speech, they have no chance to show off their true skills. Even when they do, they are being viewed in a bias manner. So do the language make the person?

I personally do not  believe so. Language is something created by humans, or at least the way we think when we hear “language.”  For one, things such as English, Spanish, French or any others isn’t really needed. They were created by humans for humans, thus it is man made and it wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the humans that created them. So how do we understand one another if our “languages” didn’t exist? Language at its purest forms is sounds. It is just different arrangements of sound that our brain can decode. We are just another species of animal, we are born with a form of communication. Though due to the way we live this natural born language is lost the moment we start to learn. Does having so many languages help us in any way, that is a confusing question.

No, using the languages created by mankind, create more problems than it could have solved. Did it solve anything at all? No one can say since none of us still remember that language. But the languages we create certainly caused much more problem then it’s worth.
Having parents who does not understand the main language used in the land, create many problems. My parents does not speak english, so being the only english speaker in the family, I have to carry part of the weight of my family on my back. “Read these letters on the table and reply to those are needed, than explain the letters to us and fill out the forums. I just said yes” but just looking at the monstrous mountain of papers turns my knees to jelly. The mountain of paper casts its shadow over my, overwhelming me, crushing me. It just hurt my head just looking at it, but it must be done. This line is very common in my everyday life and so much so, it have became part of my life. My parents often tell me that “The more languages you know the better chance you have of getting better work. I agree” but I don’t just want a wealthy life, I want a life that I can enjoy.
So while the phrase is true, but it also have its bad points.
Each language that is created by humans carries a kind of personality. The first one you learn will become part of you. But as you start to learn more and more, the languages starts to slowly change you. The change itself could be good or bad, but since humans in general are afraid of difference. In the story Tongue Tied, the main character was learning a different language. But because of how the world views ways of speech, the mother of the speaker went as far as to cut the underside of her tongue. “If I had lived in China, I would have been an outlaw knot-maker. Maybe that’s why my mother cut my tongue.” This line is from the story Tongue Tied. The idea of trying to fit in with others and the fear of that being different is bad, causes the problem of having different languages even worse.

So why do humans having so many different languages? I believe that this is merely do to the way people think. Humans tends to like the company of others who think similarly to the way they do. This way of thinking will only divide the human race. When one learns a new language it starts to blend in and become a part of yourself. But at the same time you lose a part of yourself. In the end it all comes to personal opinions. It doesn’t matter if everyone understands each other or all humans start dancing hand in hand, as long as the bias exist nothing will change. Language just help increase the bias we already have. Language is something that will only separate and will not unite.
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Language Autobiography 2013: Is it necessary for all to "fit in"?

In this project it was required that each student picks a theme about language that interest them. It could be bad or good they can decide but in that they must help the reader to understand what they are trying to say and relate it to their life. It could be a past experience, scene, or even what's happening in society/the world today. In that you must intertwine it with larger analysis that leads but to a broader idea and add your own reflection. Each student would have to incorporate one descriptive scene along with deeper thoughts and analysis. 

In today’s society it is looked at that to make it one must blend in with the ‘popular and superior’ crowd and allow one’s life to fit the others. When the topic of language is raised, English is the most commonly spoken in the US obviously and standard English seems to be the most professional language of all. When living in the US it was something that seemed to be ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ as if being different in that sense is wrong...

In elementary school I never really thought about such a thing much. All I knew and understood was that now that I’m in Philly, away from most of my family English would be the language I’d hear the most and speaking it for me wasn’t an option; I had to. I never was exposed to the thought of how speaking a different language that may be foreign to others could be a bad thing until that day...

My mother had decided to pick me up from school that day and I was happy to have her walk me home and have that sense of security. While walking I noticed some kids who go to the same school as I did walking also on the other side of the road. Two little boys about that same age as I was (about 7). After I noticed their presence my mom called my attention and said in a voice only I hear “Ki jan jou ou te pasé?” (How was your day?) “It was good” I told her. Then her phone rang and she picked up. It was my dad. What I noticed was that she was talking english with him when usually when it comes to him she speaks her home language. Creole. A language which Haitians speak. Then soon I realized it was because she was trying to explain to him how to communicate with his boss at a more professional english level that he asked her advice for. I wondered if everything was alright.

At the corner of my eye I could see and hear the kids snickering say that “she sounds Jamaican” as if there was a problem even if she was. One actually had the nerve to ask with a smirk on his face if she was one. On the phone my mom didn’t notice but I was so mad I yelled “shut up you african booty scratcher! You ugly too!” but with that I did also felt embarrassed. On the phone my mom was loud which made it easy for people a block away to hear her accent. But she’s my mother and no matter how loud she may be it would never change the importance and impact she has had on my life.  

Though she wasn’t from here she made an effort to try and speak the language that was foreign to her and it was bad  that most didn’t even notice that. Too bad back then, I was too young to understand that. But because of that it is to be felt that many with accents aren’t taken seriously when needed because they don’t speak or sound like they’re speaking ‘proper english’. But as I got older and really looked at the American society I came to realize that its prejudice, injustice and more. For example I remember awhile back, my mom ordered a pepperoni pizza on the phone and it was on speaker so I eavesdropped onto the conversation. It was because of my mother's accent the person constantly asked my mother to repeat what she was saying as if she was speaking a different language. On top of that they took forever to deliver. When I ordered the pizza and said the exact thing’s my mother said the last time because I don’t have that much of an accent they understood me and the delivery came under 30 minutes which confuzzles me.

Even  though she had an accent in the end the workers were able to understand what she was saying because we got what she asked for but why give me different service than her? It has been called to my and many others attention that some people in society feel as those people with hard accents aren’t truly educated and can be easily taken advantage of many things such as their disability to speak standard english. Which isn’t true at all. If one were to take a survey of who agrees with this quote ‘one shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover’ many would agree but I feel as though society has never even tried to live up to that expectation.

All leading up to what I’m trying to say. It isn’t fair for someone to be treated differently just because you don’t understand them. There are other ways to communicate and to automatically assume they aren’t able to have the same skills or intelligence that you have. There is such a thing as being open-minded and I believe if more people were able to think it that matter thing would be a lot better. I read a piece by Bell Hooks that is titled "this is the oppressor's language/yet I need it to talk to you":Language, a place of struggle” and that quote means a lot of things. One, she explains how originally Africans weren’t meant to speak English as they do now. It was because when in the time of slavery where they were taken from their homeland, there was so many different Blacks from many different tribes and areas in Africa, with their own type of language that it was complex to communicate with one another, especially their new masters. So they were forced to learn and speak under the language of their oppressor which is what we all know as to be English. It still amazes me till this day of that effect and the same thing happens till this day to foreigners who come to America hoping for opportunity and along that process are stripped of their identity by being forced to speak English and forget about what they use to speak.

All I can say about my true ethnicity is that its special just like any other kind of race or culture. It shouldn’t be judged because of its differences from other. in fact it should be looked at in the opposite way because being different is what makes it unique and special. I just find it hard to believe but strongly agree that many have a problem accepting that notion.


Outside Sources:

hooks, bell. Hooks on the Language of Power. New Learning. Web. 11 Jan 2013. <http://newlearningonline.com/literacies/chapter-6-critical-literacies/hooks-on-the-language-of-power/>.


Baldwin, James. "If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me What Is."New York Times. (July 29, 1979): <http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/03/29/specials/baldwin-english.html>.


 
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Languae Autobiography 2013: A Voice of Culture

For this unit in Mr Block's English class at Science Leadership Academy we focused on language. We read stories about what it means to speak another language and how our world revolves around language. We explored what it means to not be able to keep up with standard english and different cultures relationships with language. In our class we also made a class dictionary of words that we use on a daily basis and discussed what language means to us. Our final assignment relating to language is a language autobiography. In which we must discuss what type of role language has played in our life and those around us. While also looking at bigger issues that relate to language.

In the United States today, there are currently more than fifty million immigrants bringing all different types of languages to America. For people of different countries, cities, and schools language is an identifier. Language is used to show a person's culture, emotional states, and distinguish oneself from others.
Growing up taking Spanish Immersion I had each of my classes in spanish; math, science, history, reading. I became bilingual after my first year of kindergarten. In many ways, language has opened countless opportunities for me and has allowed me to experience things that I would have not had the option to otherwise. However, in many ways people who do not understand other languages have a ignorance and resistance towards language.
Statements such as, “What do you mean there are different types of Spanish?” or, “Chinese isn’t a language?” are ones I hear throughout the day. I find it a disservice to these cultures and ourselves that we do not acknowledge these other languages, when in many ways in America, they are presented to us on a daily bases.
A friend of the Maestra Pete came to visit the class one afternoon. She greeted me by saying, “Hola, como te llamas?”  I looked up at her, then to Maestra Pete who I hoped would reassure me it was okay to talk to the unfamiliar woman like she had given me the confidence to speak up the rest of my kindergarten year. I answered, “Me llamo Saide,” which is the Spanish name that I got during my time at Independence Charter School.

She looked at the row of teachers packed together next to her in order to avoid the soccer game taking place a mere five feet away.  Maestra Claudia, Maestra Leonora, Maestra Kelly were the teachers next to her. She glanced at me then down at the picnic blanket which was laying on the grass. “Ella tenia Maestra Pete,” she said with a tone of confidence in her voice. The women began to laugh, following up with comments like “Como te sabias?” and “Como era obvio?” I stood there still confused about what they were talking about, my face began to turn red as I tried to contemplate a way to walk away from the conversation. I was eventually dismissed and the next kid, Jamie was called over. She answered the questions just like I had.

This time the unfamiliar woman said “Maestra Kelly, tienes que ser Maestra Kelly.” The ladies then again looked at each other this time chuckling at her so hopeful but incorrect guess. In return, they said, “No era Maestra Pete otra vez.” Jamie then walked away we both looked at each other unsure of what had just went on but not too concerned either. “Pass the ball,” I yelled jumping right back into the soccer game.

That night, I walked into the house my mom sat at the kitchen table engrossed in her book. I tried to sneak by and get a couple of cookies before she could notice what I was doing. Just as I was on my way out she put down the book, “How was Field Day?” I sat down and told her what happened with the woman and the kindergarten teachers.
“You know why they did that don’t you?”
I looked surprised that she knew what they were talking about and replied, “No, what?”
“They were seeing if they could tell by your accent which teacher you had. You know Maestra Pete was from Peru, Maestra Kelly Chile, Maestra Leonora from Ecuador, and Maestra Claudia Columbia.” She looked at me making sure I understood. I nodded and rushed out of the kitchen before she noticed I had taken the cookies.
Each year at Independence Charter School, I had a different teacher from another country. Each spoke Spanish with their own flare and the way that it would have been spoken in their country. In many cases, other people could notice which teacher I had by the accents and words that each teacher used. Just like many  people can recognize that I am from South Philadelphia by my accent and words.
To people who can not recognize things like what country or part of the city each individual is from it is hard for them to except the other person's way of speaking. In many ways people are closed off towards other cultures and languages because they are not familiar with it. This causes barriers for many people today in things such as communicating with a peer, asking for directions, or even trying to order food.
We still lack to acknowledge the pride that people take in their individual culture, many ways interpreted by language. Just like in my kindergarten class and my entire time throughout Spanish Immersion each teacher took pride in their countries language. It is important that we as a community begin to do the same for other peoples. Language is an opportunity to explore something new and interact with other people.
This is one example of how even in small ways language has brought me to experience a larger world. I hurried to put my coat on only for it to be inside out. “Sadie, if I have to tell you one more time, come on!” I rolled my eyes still trying to think of ways to avoid grocery shopping. “Maybe you should just go with out me,” I happily said. Without a hesitation my mom replied, “Right this instance.” I rushed out the house in fear of consequences to come. I followed ten feet behind her with my head down trying to avoid any further confrontation. A ball fell right in front of me. I looked to the park next to me to notice a group of men playing soccer. “El pelota por favor,” they asked, signaling for the ball.
“Si solo un segundo,” I said back.
“Gracias,” they said in unison.
“No es ningun problema.” They all glared at me somewhat amazed at my ability to hold a conversation with them.
Being able to understand another language I have been able to have interactions with people who I would not have been able to otherwise. Even small things such as this I am proud to say that I can do. Language should no longer be a barrier but an opportunity, a window into something new, a way to see a persons life.




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Language Autobiography- Inhabiting Language


Intro:
In this unit we mainly focused on language through different peoples eyes. We read many stories and watched a couple videos all sharing their unique perspectives on language. We went in depth talking about the person’s relationship to their language and analyzing the pieces of literature. During the unit we wrote two mini- scenes about language in our life that eventually led to our benchmark project, the language autobiography. Our autobiography is a story of the way we see language in our lives. The way we each portray language in our homes or with our friends, the advantages, and the disadvantages that come with it. We had to investigate the themes we had learned about in the unit and connect them to our autobiography in some way. The autobiography is both an analysis on language in our life and also a reflection of what we see happening with language in our daily lives.



Autobiography:

I come from a very diverse family. My mother was born and raised in Italy, my dad in Iran, but my siblings and I were all born here in America. I was fortunate enough to be taught all three languages and be able to speak every one fluently. I am still exploring the advantages and disadvantages that come with speaking more than one language. It is very different when I speak English from the two languages I speak at home. I automatically associate Italian and Persian with family, not just my parents but also my aunts and uncles.   

English is more of the “proper” language for me, the one I speak at school and use for papers and projects. I have noticed that even when I speak English with my friends, I tend to speak pretty formally.

“I would rather be anywhere else right now…” I say. “I don’t have the energy to workout, I just want to go to bed.” “Today’s workout is 4 x 2500m! Go stretch and do your core workout and then hop on an erg and start your pieces.” My coach explains to the entire team.

I look around the room and see everyone’s smile slowly start to fade.

“Wow Nicole, are you trying to kill us?” I say jokingly to my coach.

“Oh man…This is gonna be a long day, I ain’t ready foh dis” I hear someone say across the room and everyone nods in agreement. We know the sooner we start the sooner it will be over so we quickly get to work.

The workout is finally over and my teammates and I are sitting on our ergs breathing heavily, legs shaking and sweat all over.

“OMG Why do we row? What is wrong wit us? Ugh ma body hurts! I hear these statements coming from all over the room. 

I do not use slang and I do not shorten words, like many people do when they are just talking casually. Maybe this is because of the fact that it wasn’t my first language and that I started speaking English when I was about 3 or 4. Prior to that I only knew Persian and Italian. I don’t have a clear explanation as to why I only speak English in it’s “standard” form but it is probably because I only use what was taught to me in school.  I already switch between so many different languages on a daily basis, there is no need for another an extra way of speaking.

It can get confusing and crazy for an outsider to hear how we talk at home because there is a little bit of Persian here, a little bit of Italian there and also some English. “Venite giu.” My mom called up to us from the first floor. “Ho detto venite!” “We’re coming, we’re coming!” We call down to her. My sister, my brother and I run down the steps, because we know that if we don’t go now she’ll keep calling us. “Apparecchiate la tavola per cena.” “Oh good it’s dinner time. I’m starved.” My little brother says as he gets the napkins from the kitchen. “Chiara, hurry up and get the plates,” I say. “And what are you gonna get?” My sister says accusingly. “Chill. I’m getting the cups.” Now my mom is annoyed because we’re bickering. “Ragazze.” Everyone was busy setting the table and cooking dinner that we didn’t even notice my dad came in the house. “Salam.” We hear his voice as he walks through the door, soaking wet from the rain. “Salam Baba!” we all say. “Chetori?”  I ask. “How was work?” asks my sister. "Khoob, let's eat!" responds my dad, but no one is as happy as my brother to sit down and have dinner.

Even though for others it may be confusing, to me it is an environment I feel comfortable in. People do not realize the impact of language; the way it shapes a person and their life. I could never quite place my finger on the exact feelings I have toward language.  After reading this quote by Emil M. Cioran, I knew I had found it and I automatically fell in love with it: “You inhabit a language rather than a country.” (Cioran) Location does not make you who you are but culture does and language goes hand in hand with culture. Yes, it is true that people adopt habits and ways of life from where they live. Language though, is more of who you truly are inside, what makes you who you are as a person. We will always be connected to that deeper thing inside of us, the real us. Even when other things become a part of us and new experiences change us, we always hold on to that instinctive origin.

Language has definitely been a big part in shaping who I am today. Many people do not realize that language is more than just a bonus on a job resume or college application. They think language is only about using it to get to a higher, better place. It allows me to be different. Language has much more depth and personal connection than just that. It allows me to talk to many different people and to travel to unique places. I really love to travel and luckily I am able to do so very often. The experiences I have had traveling internationally have truly grown on me and taught me numerous valuable lessons. I love it so much because of the fact that I am very diverse and we have family in many parts of the world. I feel like it has made my mind very open to different cultures and languages. It hurts to see people being judged only because of their skin color or cultural differences. If everyone were the same, spoke the same language and had the same traditions, our world would be lifeless and boring.



Works Cited:
Cioran, Emil. Rumanian- French born philosopher. Anathemas and Admirations, “On the Verge of Existence” (1986). Print.
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Language Autobiography 2013:Language reflects who I am

Throughout the past couple weeks in English class, we learned about languages that were spoken in different parts of the countries. We watched a video of people talking in at United States and we read four stories about the languages that affected them in their lives because of who they are. We wrote some short scenes of how languages had changed myself when people judge the way I talk to people. The next building block was writing an autobiographical paper that connects to life. We also had to pick a quote from one of the four stories we’ve read and connect them to our personal life. My story is about how languages influence my self and my family at home versus outside. I wrote how languages are very important to the family even though we live in a society where people judge the way we talk.


There are so many different issues with my languages spoken at home and

how I speak outside changes who I am because I will need to speak formally towards the older ones. At home, I don’t really care of how I talk towards my family members. If I speak rudely, people will think about my personality. It shows that my mom does not appreciate the way I always neglect speaking in Chinese, and it interferes with our communication when I don’t know a lot of words. I speak two languages; Cantonese and English. There has been numerous times when my mom speaks poor English. I have my own standard language when I may have an accent in Cantonese. I knew what I can say, but the pronunciations were horrible. This mainly affects me because of the languages I speak with my friends versus the dialects spoken with my family members inside that closed doors of my house. At home my family members often tend to correct my Chinese, but when they speak in english its my turn. Many times my sister and I will correct them and it help them have a better understanding with English.

Most of the time, I switch dialogues with my family members, and I end up merging the two languages together into a different language that ends up a blend of both English and Cantonese. An example of this type of situation would be when, one day I was walking down the street with my friends, while my phone vibrated. It was my mom. I picked up the phone and I heard her say “Where is you.” I know how to say that in Cantonese “nay hay bien dou? I ignored her mistake because I knew what she was talking about.“ I’m with my friends....” I switched my language to cantonese so she can understand, “no toun pién yûo hay Movie Theater.” I dislike the feeling of switching back and forth because the languages, makes it harder for me to expand the knowledge of speaking both. Then my mom says “Me pick you up? I meet you at daycare with brother and sister.” I quickly responded, “please talk better in English and I will meet you there in 15 minutes.”

I realized that I was a little harsh my with mother because she tried her best speaking with English to my siblings and myself. My mother didn’t go to college in America nor her hometown. My mother didn’t have enough money for her education and she tries to speak with us more where I respected her knowledge of knowing some english. I was happy for her, but she felt she needed to step up her game of learning more English. I also struggled with English when writing and talking to my friends. Its stereotypical thing when people say asians suck at grammar mistakes. I strongly agree with this and sometimes I don’t because people can work their way on improving. For example I don’t know when to use “has” or “have” in correct terms. Thus, the only solutions for myself is to try to talk often in English and ask people to politely correct my grammar. I pushed myself to my limits where I need to figure out improving with our grammar mistakes in my family. The only ways we can improve is having a conversation with each other, or start reading more novels to pick the English. Cantonese is more complex; there’s pin yin and chinese characters. There are tones on top of the pin yins and the words will mean differently. Thus, I may be losing the knowledge of speaking Cantonese slowly. I asked my mom if she wanted to improve on English. She said yes because it will be better to have a conversation with my two younger siblings, whom unfortunately for them never learned to speak chinese. I realized that my mom never took time for her own education because she was always occupied taking care of us, but still, she was willing to learn. It took me couple days for myself to think about my ethnicity. For most Asians, they are passionate about achieving their expectations and they have to face a lot of expectations.

An example from a text that best coincides with my experiences is the article from “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan she said “It has become our language of intimacy, a different sort of English that relates to family talk , the language I grew up with” (Page 1). This quote reflects my family and myself when I am influenced by them. As I grew older, I noticed that learning different languages are very important when speaking among the group of people. I may fluster with some words that I am unfamiliar with. Incorporating with the languages shows that I want to learn the languages and the culture of their identity. I realized that people adapt to how they talk where languages came from different parts of the area. I believe there’re no one right language. The languages evolve each generations; like the people from the past who talk in Cantonese are more traditional compare to the 21st century.

We are struggling with the grammatical structures of speaking and writing. I listened to my parents English and its wrong most of the time. All I need to do is work harder towards my English by getting help from my friends. Society shows that there are some circumstances between English because people tend to pronounce the words differently. Different parts of the area will be a whole new world because of the strong accent or the background of the person. My parents were not from here and they had to adapt to the society of the language they speak. Now my siblings and I will need to balance the two languages we spoke because of the cultural language is an unique ideal to have its own meaning.There for, Cantonese has been passed down by each generation where the language is a secret value to my family lives. When the language dies off, our generations will forget the language, we speak today in our family.


​Bibliography:

Tan , Amy. "Mother Tongue." Home is Where the Heart Dwells. N.p.. Web. 11 Jan 2013. <https://blogs.law.harvard.edu/guorui/2008/02/06/mother-tongue-by-amy-tan/>.  
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Language Autobiography 2013: The Journey

Introduction and Reflection:

This unit, we had been talking about how language affects us. How people view slang, how accent are different in every country. We were given a project to write an essay about how language is related in real life. We had to write an autobiography of how language affects us. A lot of people view slang differently; some people thought that slang is for African American people. Other views it as a way that people talk around their environment. I learned that language is an obstacle that I had to face and it took a part of me and it gain a part of me. I also learn that language can also be stereotype by different race. 

Overall I could have done better because I could add more powerful descriptive scene. However, I believe that this Language essay open me up and make me thing that my story is finally being told. Also I can put this story as something people can learn from. It makes people realize that bullying someone because they have an accent can really change them. It also makes them reflect on their action. Thinking about how powerful language is, it really can bring out the negative image. The hardest part of this project is the “Reflection” because they are so much to be told but a limited on how much can be told. 

The journey


I was born and raised in New York, Brooklyn. I was taught to speak Chinese first and English second. However, throughout my journey as I grow older, I was quadrilingual. I learned how to speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Foochow and English. When someone asked me, “How am I doing?” I can answer in Mandarin “wu hao” or Cantonese “wo ho” or Foochow “loy hall.” I have an accent when I speak English and I used to get bullied due to this problem. Every time a word came out my mouth, people would say, “I don’t understand you, what the hell are you speaking?” and they will go into making racist jokes. From my experience, I view Language as an obstacle that everyone has to face because the struggle of language brings out the negative image.  

During third grade, every time I tried to talk to someone or ask a teacher a question, I would hear giggling behind my back, people whispered, “What is she saying, does the teacher even understand her?” I start to stutter as words start to come out my mouth. My voice will slowly echo away, until my teacher says, “Amy! Speak louder! I can’t hear you!” At that moment, I nodded my head and stayed silent. Sometime I would get so angry and grip my fist under my table because I’m not fighting back. The smell around my table smell like sour sweat, sour feet sweat, and rotten apple. Sometime I wanted to say, "Why you stink?" I wanted to fit in so I started to talk more often and made fun of other people. I would say stuff like, “why is your head so big? You stink, you need to shower, your stupid.” Sometime when a teacher asks me to stop talking, I reply, “No, shut up” and go straight back to talking.

I started to help them by helping them on homework, letting them copy, and allowing them to cheat on my tests. I know these things were wrong to do, but they guaranteed a friendship between them and I. This fat kid said, “Amy, go punch that kid,” I was hesitating, I wanted to back up but I couldn’t, I went and punched that kid. I heard cheering behind my back and I felt proud. My mouth suddenly open and my smile got bigger. I walked back to my table feeling proud. I realize that I’m finally fitting it. I’m finally not alone. Ever since that day, I started to sit around these kids, laugh and joke around. Sometimes they will make fun of my accent but will soon say, “Amy, you know I’m joking.” Throughout third grade, people will come up to me and say, “Amy, you changed, what happen to you? I thought you were a good kid, not those kind of kids who will hang around people who gets into fights or even got locked up before.” I didn’t know how to respond to that because I thought I wasn’t doing anything wrong.



At home, I feel comfortable with whatever I speak because no one judges me. Most of the time, I speak English with my siblings. Most of the time when I am having conversation with my mom, I would speak English and she would get pissed and reply in Foochow, “loy meohite new gon se mal. New soon gon se mal. New á bit loy meohite loy me tawn enou.”  (I don’t understand you. What are you trying to say? I don’t know English that well.) Soon my mom will start to lecture me that when I go to china, it’s a bad influence on us. It shows shame, you need to speak Chinese at home and English in school.

“Language is the sources of misunderstandings” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery People misunderstand basic on your accent. Sometime they fail to understand you and make fun of me. Many people misunderstand me because my pronunciation is not normal due to my accent.


In my neighborhood, people who are Chinese, look at me like I’m an outsider because I’m hanging out with white and black people.  They say that Chinese people need to speak Chinese and hangout with Chinese people only. Language influence the way I am, the people who I hang out with, and how others view me due to the group I am with. It makes me insecure of my identity.


Language affects the way we are today. It takes and added a part of who we are today. While losing and gaining these part that make us today, your race start to view you differently too. For an example while I was gaining a part which I never had before which was doing bad things that I knew that was wrong such as calling people names, talking their stuff and hiding it, people around my neighborhood who are Chinese are afraid of me because they believe that I will bully their child. They start to stereotype me basic on the people I am hanging out with.

The struggles of language bring out the negative image by doing negative things to fit in such as bullying others, hanging out with the wrong group and talking back to teachers. I noticed that people who have stronger accent are often bully and made fun of because they are not view as normal people and they are also view as weak people.

Citation:

Moncur, Micheal. "The Quotations Page

." The Quotations Page . N.p.. Web. 13 Jan

2013. <http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/37833.html>.

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Los Seres Queridos en Mi Vida

Hola! Los seres queridos en mi vida 


Yo: 

me llamo Pilar Carroll, soy guapa y socibal. Tengo el pelo cafe y los ojos cafe. Me gusta ir de compras y salir con mi novio. 


El: 

Su nombre es Gary. Tu eres deportista y trabajour. Tiene el pelo negro y los ojos cafe. Le gusta ayudar en casa Tambien salir con el novia.


Ellos: 

Ellos nombres es Tysheem y verland y jordan. Ellos son perezoso y un poquito gordo. Tienen el pelos negro y los ojos  negro. Le Encanta practicar deportes tambien jugar videojuegos.


Ellas: Su nombres es Tyra, Cobyn, y amber. Ellas muy bonita pero baja. Tienen la pelos negro sin embargo las ojos cafe. Le gusta escutchar musica y comer. 


Nosotros: Su nombre es Quentin y Pilar. Quentin es mi hermano.  Somos increiblemente lindo y algo loco. Tenemos el pelos cafe pero los ojos cafe. Le gusta ver la tele y dormir. 


Adios !!! Hasta Luego !

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Language Autobiography 2013: The Journey

Introduction and Reflection:

This unit, we had been talking about how language affects us. How people view slang, how accent are different in every country. We were given a project to write an essay about how language is related in real life. We had to write an autobiography of how language affects us. A lot of people view slang differently; some people thought that slang is for African American people. Other views it as a way that people talk around their environment. I learned that language is an obstacle that I had to face and it took a part of me and it gain a part of me. I also learn that language can also be stereotype by different race. 

Overall I could have done better because I could add more powerful descriptive scene. However, I believe that this Language essay open me up and make me thing that my story is finally being told. Also I can put this story as something people can learn from. It makes people realize that bullying someone because they have an accent can really change them. It also makes them reflect on their action. Thinking about how powerful language is, it really can bring out the negative image. The hardest part of this project is the “Reflection” because they are so much to be told but a limited on how much can be told. 

The Journey


I was born and raised in New York, Brooklyn. I was taught to speak Chinese first and English second. However, throughout my journey as I grow older, I was quadrilingual. I learned how to speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Foochow and English. When someone asked me, “How am I doing?” I can answer in Mandarin “wu hao” or Cantonese “wo ho” or Foochow “loy hall.” I have an accent when I speak English and I used to get bullied due to this problem. Every time a word came out my mouth, people would say, “I don’t understand you, what the hell are you speaking?” and they will go into making racist jokes. From my experience, I view Language as an obstacle that everyone has to face because the struggle of language brings out the negative image.  

During third grade, every time I tried to talk to someone or ask a teacher a question, I would hear giggling behind my back, people whispered, “What is she saying, does the teacher even understand her?” I start to stutter as words start to come out my mouth. My voice will slowly echo away, until my teacher says, “Amy! Speak louder! I can’t hear you!” At that moment, I nodded my head and stayed silent. Sometime I would get so angry and grip my fist under my table because I’m not fighting back. The smell around my table smell like sour sweat, sour feet sweat, and rotten apple. Sometime I wanted to say, "Why you stink?" I wanted to fit in so I started to talk more often and made fun of other people. I would say stuff like, “why is your head so big? You stink, you need to shower, your stupid.” Sometime when a teacher asks me to stop talking, I reply, “No, shut up” and go straight back to talking.

I started to help them by helping them on homework, letting them copy, and allowing them to cheat on my tests. I know these things were wrong to do, but they guaranteed a friendship between them and I. This fat kid said, “Amy, go punch that kid,” I was hesitating, I wanted to back up but I couldn’t, I went and punched that kid. I heard cheering behind my back and I felt proud. My mouth suddenly open and my smile got bigger. I walked back to my table feeling proud. I realize that I’m finally fitting it. I’m finally not alone. Ever since that day, I started to sit around these kids, laugh and joke around. Sometimes they will make fun of my accent but will soon say, “Amy, you know I’m joking.” Throughout third grade, people will come up to me and say, “Amy, you changed, what happen to you? I thought you were a good kid, not those kind of kids who will hang around people who gets into fights or even got locked up before.” I didn’t know how to respond to that because I thought I wasn’t doing anything wrong.



At home, I feel comfortable with whatever I speak because no one judges me. Most of the time, I speak English with my siblings. Most of the time when I am having conversation with my mom, I would speak English and she would get pissed and reply in Foochow, “loy meohite new gon se mal. New soon gon se mal. New á bit loy meohite loy me tawn enou.”  (I don’t understand you. What are you trying to say? I don’t know English that well.) Soon my mom will start to lecture me that when I go to china, it’s a bad influence on us. It shows shame, you need to speak Chinese at home and English in school.

“Language is the sources of misunderstandings” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery People misunderstand basic on your accent. Sometime they fail to understand you and make fun of me. Many people misunderstand me because my pronunciation is not normal due to my accent.


In my neighborhood, people who are Chinese, look at me like I’m an outsider because I’m hanging out with white and black people.  They say that Chinese people need to speak Chinese and hangout with Chinese people only. Language influence the way I am, the people who I hang out with, and how others view me due to the group I am with. It makes me insecure of my identity.


Language affects the way we are today. It takes and added a part of who we are today. While losing and gaining these part that make us today, your race start to view you differently too. For an example while I was gaining a part which I never had before which was doing bad things that I knew that was wrong such as calling people names, talking their stuff and hiding it, people around my neighborhood who are Chinese are afraid of me because they believe that I will bully their child. They start to stereotype me basic on the people I am hanging out with.

The struggles of language bring out the negative image by doing negative things to fit in such as bullying others, hanging out with the wrong group and talking back to teachers. I noticed that people who have stronger accent are often bully and made fun of because they are not view as normal people and they are also view as weak people.

Citation:

Moncur, Micheal. "The Quotations Page

." The Quotations Page . N.p.. Web. 13 Jan

2013. <http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/37833.html>.


 

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Language Autobiography 2013: My Journey

This unit, we had been talking about how language affects us. How people view slang, how accent are different in every country. We were given a project to write an essay about how language is related in real life. We had to write an autobiography of how language affects us. A lot of people view slang differently; some people thought that slang is for African American people. Other views it as a way that people talk around their environment. I learned that language is an obstacle that I had to face and it took a part of me and it gain a part of me. I also learn that language can also be stereotype by different race. 


The journey


I was born and raised in New York, Brooklyn. I was taught to speak Chinese first and English second. However, throughout my journey as I grow older, I was quadrilingual. I learned how to speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Foochow and English. When someone asked me, “How am I doing?” I can answer in Mandarin “wu hao” or Cantonese “wo ho” or Foochow “loy hall.” I have an accent when I speak English and I used to get bullied due to this problem. Every time a word came out my mouth, people would say, “I don’t understand you, what the hell are you speaking?” and they will go into making racist jokes. From my experience, I view Language as an obstacle that everyone has to face because the struggle of language brings out the negative image.  

During third grade, every time I tried to talk to someone or ask a teacher a question, I would hear giggling behind my back, people whispered, “What is she saying, does the teacher even understand her?” I start to stutter as words start to come out my mouth. My voice will slowly echo away, until my teacher says, “Amy! Speak louder! I can’t hear you!” At that moment, I nodded my head and stayed silent. Sometime I would get so angry and grip my fist under my table because I’m not fighting back. The smell around my table smell like sour sweat, sour feet sweat, and rotten apple. Sometime I wanted to say, "Why you stink?" I wanted to fit in so I started to talk more often and made fun of other people. I would say stuff like, “why is your head so big? You stink, you need to shower, your stupid.” Sometime when a teacher asks me to stop talking, I reply, “No, shut up” and go straight back to talking.

I started to help them by helping them on homework, letting them copy, and allowing them to cheat on my tests. I know these things were wrong to do, but they guaranteed a friendship between them and I. This fat kid said, “Amy, go punch that kid,” I was hesitating, I wanted to back up but I couldn’t, I went and punched that kid. I heard cheering behind my back and I felt proud. My mouth suddenly open and my smile got bigger. I walked back to my table feeling proud. I realize that I’m finally fitting it. I’m finally not alone. Ever since that day, I started to sit around these kids, laugh and joke around. Sometimes they will make fun of my accent but will soon say, “Amy, you know I’m joking.” Throughout third grade, people will come up to me and say, “Amy, you changed, what happen to you? I thought you were a good kid, not those kind of kids who will hang around people who gets into fights or even got locked up before.” I didn’t know how to respond to that because I thought I wasn’t doing anything wrong.



At home, I feel comfortable with whatever I speak because no one judges me. Most of the time, I speak English with my siblings. Most of the time when I am having conversation with my mom, I would speak English and she would get pissed and reply in Foochow, “loy meohite new gon se mal. New soon gon se mal. New á bit loy meohite loy me tawn enou.”  (I don’t understand you. What are you trying to say? I don’t know English that well.) Soon my mom will start to lecture me that when I go to china, it’s a bad influence on us. It shows shame, you need to speak Chinese at home and English in school.

“Language is the sources of misunderstandings” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery People misunderstand basic on your accent. Sometime they fail to understand you and make fun of me. Many people misunderstand me because my pronunciation is not normal due to my accent.


In my neighborhood, people who are Chinese, look at me like I’m an outsider because I’m hanging out with white and black people.  They say that Chinese people need to speak Chinese and hangout with Chinese people only. Language influence the way I am, the people who I hang out with, and how others view me due to the group I am with. It makes me insecure of my identity.


Language affects the way we are today. It takes and added a part of who we are today. While losing and gaining these part that make us today, your race start to view you differently too. For an example while I was gaining a part which I never had before which was doing bad things that I knew that was wrong such as calling people names, talking their stuff and hiding it, people around my neighborhood who are Chinese are afraid of me because they believe that I will bully their child. They start to stereotype me basic on the people I am hanging out with.

The struggles of language bring out the negative image by doing negative things to fit in such as bullying others, hanging out with the wrong group and talking back to teachers. I noticed that people who have stronger accent are often bully and made fun of because they are not view as normal people and they are also view as weak people.



Citation:

Moncur, Micheal. "The Quotations Page ." The Quotations Page . N.p.. Web. 13 Jan 2013. <http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/37833.html>.

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Language Autobiography 2013: Standard Phildelphish

For my English class, we are focusing on different cultural languages and how it affects people in our daily lives. In the beginning of the project, we read short chapters from different books that deals with the authors' personal struggle in their lives based off their cultural languages. We then had to create our on autobiography and talk about our cultural languages and the struggles that we face everyday with it. Once we made a personal connection with our cultural languages, we had to bring it into a broader sense.

I was born in the city known as brotherly love, where from every corner there is a church and a bar. I am from the roots of slang where we speak with emphasis and where you can only find the best cheesesteaks. I am from the place where there are chinese stores and papi stores on every block. This is how I got my language and this is why I view other cultures and their languages as foreign to me. I am from Philly, not from anywhere else.

As a kid growing up in Philly, there is no such thing as blam language. Here, we speak with passion and emotion. I remember when I was about eight years old and my uncle called me “Lilman.” It wasn’t necessarily a nickname because he only used this phrased when I was being a good, “down to earth kid.” In most cases, he’d just call me Adam. Take this for example: It was a late summer afternoon when I was helping my uncle build a storage house in his backyard. I was doing a good job, but then I let my curiosities interfere with my objective.

“Hey Lilman, go inside the house and give me the hammer and some more nails.” He said.

“Alright Uncle Mike.” I replied.

When I went to go get the nails and the hammer, I became fascinated with the idea of hammering nails into the kitchen walls. My uncle heard banging and he went to see what I was doing.

“Bang! Bang!”
“What’s that noise? Adam, I hope that’s not you.”

(He looked at the wall.)

“Adam! I did not tell you to do this? What the hell is the matter with you? Take the nails and the hammer outside now!”

I was outside for a while. Sad. My uncle began to feel pity for his rage that he had expressed on me. He walked over to me, where I sat on the grass.

“Hey, Lilman...Cheer up. I wasn’t mad at you. Not even a bit.”

“Then why did you call me Adam?” I replied. “You only call me Adam when you are really upset and disappointed in me. Plus, you also said the H word.”

He chuckled. “Wow, I guess you caught me huh Lilman?”

“See...now you are not mad anymore. You called me Lilman.” I giggled.

My uncle always viewed me in two perspectives and I started to realize this as I began to grow. My real name was only used to express a negative emotion towards me but the phrase that my uncle used “Lilman” was only used to persuade me; to get me to do what was asked of me. I began to see how language had power behind it. It was powerful because it influences the way people respond or even react to the demands or tasks that they are told to do.

At the age of nine, my family decided to move to Cleveland, Ohio....city of the dumps. It was called this for several reasons. One, there weren’t any city events like Philly does in center city, two their sports teams suck, and third they spoke standard english only. It felt as if everyone were all duplicates and that they all were made up of the same DNA. No one was unique.

Third grade was a nightmare for me. I was an outcast because of my Philly slang. They use to think that I was weird or stupid because even though my slang, most of the time, referred to the same thing that they were trying to say, they preferred standard english. Third grade was the grade that made me participate less in class. You would have suspected that I was humiliated by a classmate but no it was even worse, it was my own teacher. Mr. Nunny! He was handing graded work back and he told us to look at it and revise on what we did wrong. I looked at my graded work but I was still confused.

(Mr. Nunny announced to the class.) “If anyone has any questions, quietly raise your hand and I will call on you.”

(I raised my hand.)

“Okay, well why did you circle ‘salty’?”

“Adam. It’s not complicated.” (His eyebrows were raised and his lips quenched.) “Well, if I’m not mistaking, you are human right?”

“Yeah?” I replied.

(I thought to myself.)

“How is this relevant to my question?”

(He then continued.)

“Reread your sentence to the class.”

“Ok.” (I said.) “The little boy was salty because he got caught cheating off his friends paper. He also --”

“Stop right there!” He yelled. “What language are you trying to speak, because I can certainly tell you that it’s not English.”

(The class began to fill with laughter. One kid asked me if that was how all dumb kids spoke. I then burst out.)

“‘Salty’ means when you, someone, or something feels or gets embarrassed.”

“Well, here’s the actual meaning of ‘salty’.” (Mr. Nunny scans in the dictionary.) “‘Salty’, means tasting of, containing, or preserved with salt. But I guess in your term, you are ‘salty’ right now.”

(The class is filled with laughter once more.)

So throughout that year, my classmates and my friends would always tease me. I became insecure, and I didn’t feel like participating in the class no more because I felt as though, I wasn’t just a kid responding to a question, I was “that” kid responding to the question. I felt hesitant to answer any questions, hoping that something stupid wouldn’t come out of my mouth again.

This was the beginning of reality to me. I began to understand that what may seem normal to me would likely seem foreign to someone else. My philly slang was foreign to Cleveland’s standard English. The more my family went on vacations to different cities or states, I began to see the different aspects in the way that people spoke. I learned how different phrases for trying to say one thing may make you look illiterate. For example, Sub v. Hoagie, Cheese Steak v. Steak n Cheese, Lucy v. Box, and etc. Each pair represents the same thing, or object in reality, but based off where you consider “home” you may have been only accustomed or exposed to one phrase.

If this situation were to have been vice versa, and I grew up in Cleveland and came to Philly and heard its slang, I would have thought that Philly people were illiterate or “ghetto.” I would have thought this simply because I would have only known how to speak standard english. This relates to what we see in our everyday lives. People who don’t speak standard english but instead speak with their cultural language tend to be viewed as illiterate and suffer from judgmentalism/inequality. In addition to this, our cultural languages can affect the level of power that we have. If you speak with an accent or slang, then in most cases, employees or even people from different backgrounds won’t take you seriously and would often allow you to have little power. If you have an accent or slang, you are misinterpreted to be dumb or can’t even comprehend, but the truth is that you do understand and that you are just as smart as the person with that different background or that person who speaks standard english.
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