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Who am I Talking To?

Matthew Hamilton

1/4/12

Quarter 2 English Benchmark



Who am I Talking To?

      Recently, I went to dinner with my dad and four of his friends. We ate at a funky, ethnic restaurant. Once we had ordered they started to ask me some questions about school and life in general.

 “Everything is good, school is… well, school.” I said slowly and clearly.

 I went on to discuss in more detail some of my experiences with High School. We started to talk about how schools used to be different when they were growing up. Most of them had gone to Catholic school, due to the fact that the public schools in their neighborhoods were really bad, while regular private schools were unaffordable.

 “My family was middle class. Everyone in my family went to Catholic school. Everyone in my neighborhood went to Catholic school. I wasn’t really aware of other types of schools.” One of my dad’s friend’s, Tim, stated.

 “I went to grade school with kids from all over Philadelphia and then when it was time for High School we are scattered again to different schools” I said. “No one goes to their neighborhood schools anymore, Catholic, public or private.”

     We began to talk about similarities and differences in our schools. For the most part they looked at me as though they were genuinely interested in what I had to offer to the conversation.

 “ The nuns really did not care what we learned, they were more interested in how we looked, and sounded ... and smacking us with rulers.” Dad’s friend Roger said.

 I laughed, and said how I could not imagine learning that way. By the end of the night we were all talking together about many different things.  

     I was observing the way in which I was talking with my father’s friends, and how it was so different from the way I talk with my own friends. With my dad’s friends my sentences are shorter and more succinct. When I talk with my friends I tend to not think as much before speaking. I’m more relaxed when talking with my friends, however unlike my experience talking to my dad’s friends, they never look at me like they think I’m smart or incredibly interesting.

     I can’t remember exactly when I started to be more comfortable conversing with adults, not just answering questions that were asked of me, but really conversing.  I believe that it started sometime around 8th grade. Before that, I didn’t actually think that adults cared about what I had to say. I believed they were just being polite when they asked me questions. I would mumble answers, or just look uncomfortable and hope someone would fill in the blanks for me.

     Similar to the story “Hunger of Memory” by Richard Rodriguez, Rodriguez was afraid to speak in class because he wasn’t confident of his abilities and didn’t want to sound foolish. I think I also didn’t feel confident or capable. But at a certain point I started to believe that adults were taking what I had to say seriously. Applying to High Schools was that turning point. I had many great conversations with teachers and the parents of my friends. They helped me look at my interests and listened to what I had to say and supported me in formulating my ideas for the next 4 years of my life. Writing essays and interviewing also helped me to get a voice into who I was, how I could communicate and what I had to offer. I learned a lot during this process, but mostly I learned how to talk to different people and not be afraid that they would think I was an idiot. This was an exciting time for me and one that gave me some confidence. Rodriguez had a lack of language skills and was afraid of looking stupid. He got better by practicing. I think I’ve also gotten better by practicing.

      I enjoy conversations with people my age, but also with older people that challenge my thinking and my opinions. Adults respond differently to my language abilities, and to me. Some expect a certain level of language and vocabulary from me, while others have no expectations and are pleasantly surprised to be able to talk with a fifteen year old.

 

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Large Clear Object


11/7 - 18

Large Clear Object

1st quarter we had to do a project, and draw a clear glass with all the shadings. But it was 8x6 paper, and very simple. So now it’s 2nd quarter and Ms. Hull told us to draw a clear object but this time the paper was 22x36. I got really nervous and didn’t know what to do. Then I just relaxed and thought about what she told us. I got my paper and black charcoal pastols. I remembered back in 1st quarter when we watched the artist start the glass. I shaded the background lightly so in the end it can look great. Then I drew a wide circle to start. Not all the way to the edge though. I started to form the rim of my 3-D glass, so it can look like it stick out my paper.

       I drew the rim and made it bend into the circle, which was the format of the bowl. Then I started to blend and shade the color. The outside of my bowl is not solid black; I tried to find light and dark areas. That was difficult because sometimes it was hard to find. So when I got done my vase. I looked at it and made sure I didn’t see anything in the background.

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Art Supplies

Hello SLA:

You will notice a table outside of 301 with all kinds of art supplies. These are for all of SLA to use. Please be sure to return each item after you use them to the correct spot. The managers of these supplies are Emma H., Donna S. and Amber A. Please see them during my class times if you need a special item from the art studio. 

Below is what the table looks like. Please make sure it always looks this way. Help us help you! 

 - The Art Studio, Ms. Hull and the SATs of the Art Studio


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Language Autobiography By: Morgan Taylor

Introduction and Reflection:

 

     The purpose of this project was to write a language autobiography. In class we have been reading and learning about different languages and how they were used or how they are made fun of. Throughout this unit I found it very interesting the way that certain people act or speak in a certain environment. It was hard for me to write a language autobiography because I don’t see myself as having a unique accent or way of dialect. When I speak I think I am speaking normally, almost everybody thinks they speak normally. Finding the topic was one of the hardest things I had to do while writing this paper. After I found my topic, the rest was easy from there. I hope you enjoy what I worked so hard on.

 

 

Essay:


     All my life my dad has always said to me, “You need to be like a Chameleon, look at your environment and make yourself match and fit into it.” Why is it that people are taught to act, speak or be something they are not? In this world people try to “fit in” they talk or act a certain way in order to fee accepted and wanted. No matter where you go Russia, France, Canada, The U.S., Africa or even 15 blocks from where you live people are going to talk and act differently. Everywhere there is a norm and for certain places that norm may be different. In General People are different. In life I have ran into many people and they all act and talk differently. People hang out in groups of people that they feel comfortable with, that talk or act similar to themselves. I wonder why the world can’t just accept that all people a different and unique? Why can’t we all socialize, get along and not judge each other?

     I was about 8 years old, and I had just put my stuff in my cubby at after care. Immediately I decided I wanted to play ball with my friends. We were having a great time laughing and bouncing the ball to each other, that is when my best friend Danielle said “MORGAN HEADS UP!” I turned around, saw the ball coming at my face and ducked. All of a sudden I heard “OW! Who did that!” We accidentally hit a boy name Zane in the back of the head. Zane was white and probably a little bit racist. He turned around and saw that I was standing there relieved that it didn’t hit me. I think he thought that I through the ball, then he screamed a cruel sentence at me “Watch whatcha doing, you stupid nigger!” I had never had anybody call me such a harsh word before. I ran to my teacher and said to her “DESI DESI! ZANE CALLED ME THE BIG N-WORD!” He ran up to he and tried to play it off by saying he said nigga instead of nigger, he said that he was using slang or using black people talk. Since the after care was made up of predominately black people, he thought he was able to get away with it. Obviously he said it intentionally and to make me feel bad. Nobody bought his plead and he got suspended for a week.

People are always trying to fit in to a certain group, if you don’t talk a certain way in a certain area you are “made fun of” or judged. when my 10th grade class was watching a video called American Tongues the director decided to take video of what certain people thought of other peoples accents or way of speaking. All the people in the video had strong accents (in my opinion), it was funny how they were making fun of how other people sound when they sound just as funny. These people were judging folk that they didn’t even know, they were judging them based on how they sound. American Tongues said “Barriers are the difference between Park Your Car and Pak Ya Ca.” People learn how speak to according to how they were taught or how they enunciate their words. As said in the video American Tongues “Everyone thinks everyone has an accent.” This is saying that no matter where you go everyone has a different unique way of speaking.
    When you are in an working environment people talk in their “professional voices”. When you do not talk in that specific voice your ideas are put down and you are looked at as if you were nothing but an accent. As said in American Tongues, ”They don’t listen to ideas they listen to dialect and accents.” I was talking to my mother and I asked her what do you think when a person comes into an interview for a job at your Agency and they have face piercings and tattoos all over them. She immediately said

“It shows me that they won’t be able to reach certain levels of my expectations or the agencies. They will not be able to go as far in management position if they have those piercings and tattoos.”

“So mom it does not matter if they are super intelligent or if they have amazing million dollar ideas?”

“I would not hire them because they do not look the part they are supposed to look, it looks bad for my agency.”
    One day in middle school I got in trouble for getting in a confrontation with a girl that I did not like at all. Of course I did not hit her, I do not fight in school, that doesn’t mean I was not thinking of it. I was sent down to the office, to go to  the principles room and she said to me

“Morgan why would you do this, you were always such a good student.”

“ I know, I know Ms. Fitzpatrick, but I didn’t do anything. The teacher saw the entire thing, if the teacher was in the room right next to me you know I would not behave in such a manner.”

“I believe you Morgan, you are a fantastic student, one of our best.” “Thank you Ms. Fitzpatrick, I am sure you know I would never disrupt the class during such and important standardized test.”

“Of course not, especially when you are taking it yourself, you may go Morgan.”

“Thank you Ms. Fitzpatrick for sorting this whole thing out.” When I went back upstairs to class I realized that the person I got “ in trouble” with took video of my entire conversation with the principle and sent it to the entire 8th grade. I got made fun of for “being friends” with the principle. At my middle school all of my teachers used to say to my mom “Morgan has a higher level of maturity than the rest of the students, she know how to talk to adults and that is going to get her places.” When I got into almost every high school of my choice they all said “No wonder you got in, you probably rocked that interview you went to. You have a way with showing your intelligence. You have a great fun and serious side.”
    According to my dad if you know how to act like a chameleon you will make it far in life. Knowing how to mask yourself in a certain environment is very good because you will be taken seriously. Being taken seriously in this world is extremely important. To me, I somewhat agree. Fitting in is important because it will help you survive, survive in our society with work, friends and school. On the other hand being yourself is just as important.

Bibliography:
"American Toungues." PBS: 07/05/1988. Television. <http://video.pbs.org/video/1553932059/>.

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Language Autobiography

​Introduction and Reflection:

When I heard we were going to be working on the Language Autobiography essay, I had a lot of thoughts in mind, since I know I had gone through many experiences with language identity and how it still has affects me in my life since I speak two languages. I can confidently say choosing a time where I had struggled the most was an easy step for me to begin my essay, but when I had got to the point into the story, it was difficult for me to narrow down and use some descriptions to tell the struggles I’ve been through. Overall, I felt great working on this essay, it’s a way of expressing myself through my language identity.

Language Autobiography Paper

Language identity has played in a big role part in my life, and I have gone through many experiences of how language identity has affected me in a way of speaking. I was put in ESOL and speech class for thoroughly nine years in Elementary school, and including the first year of high school. When I was younger, I’d never knew what ESOL class were for, I’d always thought it was a regular English class, not English learning class. I didn’t discovered that until I got to the age of twelve. Every morning or in the afternoon, a person would call for me and other English- learning students to go down to ESOL class. I still remember the moment of  being embarrassed from the time I stood up from my chair and had to walked all the way down to ESOL class, and it  felt as if my feelings were shuffling from the moment I was called to go down. 

           I was born in the U.S. and I speak two languages; Khmer and English. I was taught both languages at the same time, but I had incorporated Cambodian language more than English when I was younger. Ever since I started to developed my speaking, I was always told that my voice were tremendously deep and that I couldn’t talk right. Many people said it was probably because my tongue is big. I wasn’t really aware of that myself, I had always thought I spoke clearly until I heard my own voice from recording it. I was very aroused by the way I sounded, 

“How could that possibly be me?” I asked myself.

 When I listened to my own self talking in the video I recorded, I then knew what went wrong with the way I spoke, it was the “s” sounds. Each time I say a word that has the sound of an “s”, it would seem as if I had stuffed myself with a big wad of chemical cotton candy with braces hanging loose in my mouth. 

  I have a similar story to Amy Tan, “Mother Tongue” story. According to “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan she says, “My mother’s English is perfectly natural, it’s her tongue. Her language, as I hear it, is vivid, direct, full of observation, and imagery. That was the language that helped shape the way I saw things, expressed things, made sense of the world.”  Amy’s mother struggles with grammars, pronunciations, and people who would criticized of the way she speaks, and that relates to how I was when I was younger and had not yet developed in English language. I still have some trouble with that, but it isn’t as bad as it was then. Just like Amy’s perspective, I have always described my language identity as “broken” or “fractured” English. 

One day a new student came two months after school started. This student came from Cambodia and didn’t know very much english. There were me and two other students in the class who is Cambodian, so we had to help and translate for him. One major problem is that the other two students doesn’t potentially speak our native language and I can’t necessarily translate from English to Khmer fluently. It was very confusing for the new student, but he could only understand if I said it word by word. 

“ I don’t understand. You guys are Cambodian, you speak the same language, how can you not know how to translate to your fellow classmate that speaks the same language as you?”

My english teacher was concern. That was very embarrassing to me even though she said is to all three of us. I feel like I’m a very slow learner. I can understand my language, but I can’t speak fluently nor translate for someone else who knows the same language as I do. Well, that’s just how I developed my language. I can fully understand, but I can’t speak fluently in my own native language. 

Throughout the years In elementary and middle school, I have not had the fully potential of confident to raised my during discussions or any other curriculum. I was always picked on by the teacher and feel embarrassed for not knowing the answers or sometimes I do know the answer, but I just don’t want to speak up. The only reason why that happened to me because I didn’t want my voice to be heard. That time I was more concernative and afraid about people opinions, and that they’ll judged me based on my opinions and the way I speak, but when I came to high school, it was a whole new world to me. I feel like I can express my feelings through language identity when I participate more in some classes and through many essays I’d written. Language identity is a way to express one main self. 

Language Autobiography
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UPDATED: HTML5 bouncing ball example

This new version of the example features better comments explaining each line of code.

It also includes the changes we made in class today to create a variable (radius or r) that holds the ball's radius and is used to make the ball bounce before any of its edges goes off any side of the canvas. (notice in the previous example that the ball doesn't bounce until its center reaches an edge)

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Language AutoBiography

Jessica Mairoano

 

Introduction: I think that people knowing and learning different languages are important and it’s something that I wanted to write about. My language autobiography is about some of my experiences with learning a different language also authors experiences and that they wrote about.

Reflection: This project was very difficult for me at first because I had no idea what I wanted to write about. I never really paid attention to what other people had to say about language so it was interesting to read about other people’s opinions. My strengths with this project were writing my own experiences because it was so easy to talk about. My weaknesses were trying to stay on topic since it had to be almost a thousand words I thought I was going to get off topic.
 

Paper:
In school you are required to take a second language for at least two years, but why? Why can’t I just know English? What if I don’t want to learn another language? We are all taught Standard English and that is the right way to speak so why would they teach us something different? The school district thinks it will benefit us in our future but what if we don’t think it will? Then why do we need to know two languages?

The day has come the day I get my first quarter report card for sophomore year. I walk into the tiny room with my advisers and my mother. I look down at my narratives. I had an amazing report card but unfortunately Spanish is the first subject on the list. My mom looks at my report card disappointed because of my Spanish grade “D?” she says with a frown on her face. I was not happy with her face at all. I went on and on about how my grade could be better and most importantly how I got that grade. First, I said, “I do not understand Spanish it’s just not my subject. I don’t want to take it next year if I am going to keep struggling.” My mom stopped me right there and said “Isn’t it much better if she knows two languages?” Mr. Kay my advisor said “Yes its much better” At that point I realized that I should make the decision if I want to learn a language or not.        

“Language, a place of struggle” says bell hooks. Those five words mean a lot because language is a place of struggle. In my opinion language is important because not only do you need to know English to communicate with people but also if someone speaks a different language you need to know how to speak it to, that’s not always easy. Spanish for example is totally different from English and to expect someone to learn it and be able to speak it fluently is much harder then you think. I feel as though if you don’t understand the language and don’t want to learn it then that’s your choice. But again, if you think about that line “ Language, a place of struggle” you know its going to be hard and you can work through it.

Sometimes you need to do certain things to exceed in the subject you are learning. In the story “I just want to be average” by Mike rose, mike rose talks about some of his experiences in the classroom. He was placed in the Vocational track, which are mostly classes for students who are not doing well in school. Mike thought he had to be like everyone else and be good at every subject. When people learn languages or just any subject in school everyone is at a different level that is okay. Mike Rose did not understand that.

My first day of Spanish 1, one of the scariest days of my life. I have my binder and pencil out and the first thing I write in the corner of my new shiny loose-leaf paper is “Ahorita,” which means do the activity on the board right now. I didn’t no what to expect, I didn’t think I was going to do well in this class. As the days of the school year go by and I am just passing with a B when I know I can do better. I thought that since this was my first year ever learning a different language, which me not understanding it is okay but then the next school year came. I was dreading the day I had to step foot in the Spanish classroom, like always I put Ahorita at the top of my paper the first day. I knew that coming into Spanish 2 was going to be a little rough for me because I had difficulties the previous year. It turns out I was right. When I received my first test back it wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I went straight to my teacher to seek for help. He explained to me that it is fine that I am having difficulties. It will get better if I just keep studying. I realized everyone is at a different pace. I am normal I just need to work harder.

Yes, it may take a lot of work and you may struggle and at times it might not make sense but language helps you accomplish greater things. Language helps you work harder to achieve your goals. People might think now why do I need to talk Standard English or even learn a different language but in the long run it will pay off.  

 

 

Digital Video  - Medium
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Lobbying Post #4 - Curfews/Flashmobs

​As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, Philadelphia has had a problem with flashmobs and the solution the city has come up with is setting a curfew for those under the age of 18. City council has recently come up with a new curfew law for the city which fines those who don't obey. I've had many thoughts and feelings about this law because it effects me directly because I am a minor. I don't agree with the law that has been made. The law not only effects the teens who don't listen to the curfew but always the parents of those minors. 

Curtis Jones Jr., is my representative for my district. He voted upon the new curfew law for the city. Because we have two different opinions on what needs to be done, I thought it would be a good idea to contact him and let him know how I feel. Writing a letter seemed to be the easiest way to contact my representative, so I did just that. In my letter, I talked about how millions of dollars are going to be spent for more policemen to be on duty to enforce the new law. I also questioned whether or not they believe this law will be enforced properly and if not, what do they plan on doing? I expressed how punishing parents isn't fair nor is it the best thing to do and not every minor who is out during the those restricted hours are out to start trouble. 

I believe that contacting your representative when you don't agree with something that's going on in the city is the best way to handle the situation. Your representative is there to represent you, so you are entitled to give them our opinion. 

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