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Slide about me

With mine I tried to have it be quickly understood at a glance by having descriptions and visuals that describe me, immediately telling the viewer who I am. My type and visuals are big, and the orange and purple between the text and the background contrast well since they're warm and cool colors. I tried to have empty space between the text and the pictures, and allow my visuals to bleed off the page.
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Schedule for conferences 12/02-12/03

12/02 Wed: Evening conferences
8:15-9:10 D
9:15-10:10 E
10:15-11:10 A
11:15-12:10 B
12:15-12:45 Advisory
12:50 lunch
1:30-3:30pm ILPs and TFI
3:30pm - 8pm conferences
12/03 Thur: Afternoon conferences (half-day)
8:15-9:05 C
9:10-10:00 D
10:05-10:55 X/Y
11:00-11:50 E
11:55-12:45 A
12:50 Lunch 
1:30pm -4:30pm Conferences

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Advanced Essay 2: The Detrimental Impacts of Forced Assimilation

While writing this piece, I tried to uncover past experiences and scenes of memory while stilI being able to analyse and build an argument. I spend countless hours editing and refining the paper, and strived to create a powerful thesis statement. Looking to the future, I can make improvements to the way I work - getting more detail in scenes (as the first AdvEssay) and providing a longer overall piece. I think I did well on both the essay and story, however - there are always more things to refine. 

The Detrimental Impacts of Forced Assimilation

There was a clear difference between desired assimilation, and forced assimilation. One was an attempt to learn the seeming foreign culture, while the other was a brutal murder of one’s own, in a struggle to blend in. It was required to learn; one had to learn English, to study English, to essentially be American, to succeed from a young age. 
On one warm summer afternoon of 2007, I realized that I was a traitor. I had always kept family values and behaviors before American ones, but now that had begun to change. I found myself speaking the English language more than Saraiki. While hundreds of millions knew English, only maybe a million knew my language. It was essential to keep it alive, yet I found myself only using it slightly in the house. After 2005, than 2006, I had forgotten how to speak our language as strongly as before. At the time I didn't think much of it, but now I realized that I had lost a key in favor of a lock. I developed incorrect thoughts. I didn't want my parents to speak our home language in public because I didn't feel comfortable being different. It led me to make mistakes. I spoke English more and more, and found myself disconnected with home. Of course I could still understand Saraiki, but it was hard not being able to speak fluently. This was not something I wanted to do. Although I wanted to be advanced in both languages, I had dropped one off in favor of another. In order to stay focused on school, and perform well on tests, and such, I had to think and work in English, 7 hours a day. This was much more than the 4 or so spent talking to family after school. Additionally, there were friends, and homework, and many other things that invaded the separation of ‘school at school’ and ‘home at home’. I couldn't live with these two literacies so separated. I had to change.
I remember the smell and essence of those warm summer evenings when everyone sat down in the kitchen of my grandfather’s house. My grandmother always used to cook dinner, sometimes switching off with my mom. Except for me, we would never speak English. Except for me, we all spoke in the Saraiki language. When my mother handed me the cracked black acrylic phone, I was forced to communicate with a broken tongue. He didn’t speak English, and though I could understand, I couldn’t speak Saraiki. I tried to talk to him about life in Pakistan, and what he did there, and we had a brutal half-hour long conversation, instead of a nice, quick five minute chat. It was a very horrible experience, for which I thank the American education system; every single thing he said, I understood, but I couldn’t respond. The key was slowly dissolving and the lock was growing. I hung up, and sat down to receive looks and  covert laughs. 
The acrid, yet pleasing smell of the old history books filled the air as soon as the lesson began. The Native Americans! Always an interesting discussion, and lesson - especially because we just finished reading ‘The Indian in the Cupboard’. There was something called the Civilizing Process. In this six-point plan, George Washington would make the Native American society ‘civilized’, as if they hadn’t been before. This plan would be both beneficial yet similarly detrimental effects to the Native American population. They would be met with clear justice, their land couldn’t be unfairly bought, their goods would be freely traded, presents were given to the Indians, and those who violated their rights would be punished. Yet, these are only five of the six. The last was the Promotion of experiments to civilize, or improve Native American society. 
Although I am not of American Indian ethnicity, these guidelines are all too visible to me. This was forced assimilation. This was still going on, even 200 years after these guidelines were first written by a felt pen. After going higher up through the education system, I found myself relapsing. I found myself trying to learn the Saraiki language, and started eating our cultural food. This was about 6th grade - the history lessons were about politics, and the United States effort to stop terrorism globally. Osama bin Laden was killed. May 2, 2011. As I was now somewhat proud of my nationality, and faith, I began wearing the all too common Shalwar Kameez. I was called a terrorist, Osama, etc. It all became too real, too quick. 
After researching more into the topic of forced-assimilation, I again came across the forced assimilation of Native Americans. A historian named Robert Remini stated that "once the Indians adopted the practice of private property, built homes, farmed, educated their children, and embraced Christianity, these Native Americans would win acceptance from white Americans.” This quote clearly shows what was required to be accepted into society during George Washington’s times. This is almost the same set of criteria to be accepted into modern society. Although, in the past the Indians were forced to convert to Christianity, one can swap ‘Christianity’ with American Societal Values, and ‘Indians’ with Foreigners. Once the Foreigners adopt the practice of private property, build homes, educate their children, and embrace American societal values, these Foreigners would win acceptance from white Americans. 
When I wore traditional dress, I was called a terrorist. When I brought traditional food to school, people complained about it. When I spoke my home language, people mocked me. When I embraced my cultural identity in America, I was mocked, and insulted. As a young child, I fought against the insults and jokes, but eventually gave in. Instead of continuing the same trend of being the odd-one out, I decided to be a literate American. When I spoke English, wore Jordans, and ate cheesesteaks and pizza, I was immediately accepted back into American society. After many days of being American, I found it took priority. I found myself speaking English and wearing American clothes, alienating myself from my culture, and cultural values. When I used to speak Saraiki, wear Shalwar Kameez, and eat chicken tikka and lamb over rice, I was not a part of American society.  The identical person; same personality, same name, same interests, same likes and dislikes, accepted or denied from society based on their type of literacy. 
In order for one to be accepted into society, they must assimilate in some form. American society forces one to assimilate fast ‘learn now, or you’re behind’. In this struggle to adapt to a foreign literacy, it’s very difficult to keep both the foreign, and the new. Because of misunderstanding of foreign literacies, many are forced to abandon their cultural literacies in favor of the literacy of the masses. 

Works Cited:
"Americanization or Cultural Diversity?" Americanization or Cultural Diversity? Web. 30 Nov. 2015. 




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The Me Slide - Maciej Pokora

Me Slide (2)
For my slide I really focused on the simplicity aspect. I chose to have a picture to bleed, as well as being a popping color. The color scheme also works very well together, and the placement of these things. I also put my name and title in the top left corner thinking that's the first thing you will read. Right under that I picked out 3 words that I think describe me. On the right side I picked out a soccer ball, since that's my passion and hobby. Right above that I have a picture of my face, since that's a really big part of "Me".
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Advanced Essay #2 (The Foreignness Of My Speech)

The skills that I focused on for this paper was trying to write something that was real. I am proud of how descriptive my scenes were and how I chose to analyse my quote.  I plan to improve my writing by giving myself time to read often.

The Foreignness of my Speech.


Never did I feel the need to silence my voice or to conduct myself knowing that I have so many great things to offer to this world. When I was in the third grade, my classmates disagreed with my ideas based on my accent. They refused to hear what I had to say because my English did not sound like theirs. They said that I sounded “African” or that I spoke funny. Those words became scars and I lost all my confidence. I didn’t want to be the person everyone turns to look at because I sounded different. I did not enjoy that sort of attention.

Back then I wasn’t able to let them know that I have the same rights as they do, being that I was also born here, the only difference is that I grew up in a household with more than three languages were being spoken. At the age of nine, I didn’t know that being multilingual and having an accent wasn’t a bad thing. Gloria Anzalda has this concept of “Wild tongues can’t be tamed, they can only be cut out.” Her idea has assisted me by making me realize that my classmates too had the intentions of cutting out my tongue. They too dislike the existence of my foreign speech. They wanted me to be just ordinary. My accent made me stand out in a way that I used to think was awfully embarrassing. I can’t really understand why this set me back. Why it has kept me sort of silent, determined that no one wants to hear my multilingual tongue. Having to pause a moment because I had mixed up the words in my brain, thinking of the same sentences in Fulani, French, Sou-sou, Mandingo and Arabic.

It seems that people are somehow afraid of change. People hate what they don’t understand. Most people like to cling on things they are already used to, so it gives them an excuse to dismiss new things. When my classmates were exposed to the way I spoke, they dismissed me and my ideas because they couldn’t relate. The way they reacted to the change was to make me not want to speak. My classmates feared my wild tongue because it was something new to them.

When I was in the third grade my teacher, Ms. King asked me to read. This was my greatest fear. I had no choice, there was no way around this one. So I began, my heart pounding. “Th..The boy went to.. the park” I stammered. As it became more difficult to distinguish my letters. “Ha-ha” laughter rose from my third grade class as tears stung at my eyes. I could feel myself shaking. “How are you in the third grade and can’t even read.” One of my classmates shouted as I had a sudden urge to pee and chills ran down my spine. “Ms. King may I please use the bathroom.” I asked. “You asked to used the bathroom too many times, what is wrong with your bladder Aissatou? You know what just walk to the principal's office afterwards. You get on my nerves. I barely understand anything you say.” I rushed out of my seat tripping as a girl with two ponytails sticks out her foot for me to fall. I ran to the bathroom, my eyes blurry full of tears. I hated school. I wiped my face and walk to the office ready to get a phone call home.  

In order to meet the requirements of my classmates, I would go home everyday and read. I read about things that made me happy. I grew to love books because that was the only part of the day I could looked forward to. It helped improve my English. Reading taught me words my classmates could not even comprehend. The more I read the more I wanted to wash out my own tongue. However, I realized that attempting to perfect my English, in order to get rid of my wild tongue of its foreignness or to please others is useless. Drowning out my native background wasn’t worth it, limiting myself to only speaking English was holding me back a lot more than trying to juggle with them all.

Getting rid of my ability to speak many languages was pointless. I took to heart this feeling when I met a girl in the eighth grade, who spoke Fulani just like me, however she couldn’t speak much English. I became sort of a translator for her. I walked up to her after class when I found out that her name was Amirah. “My name is Aissatou and I’ve noticed you don’t talk at all in class.” I stated. “I no speak much English.” Amirah answer looking down, ashamed. We began to walk. “Then what do you speak?” I challenged. “I speak Fulani.” She reply. I beamed as we entered into the lunchroom. “Me too.” I said excitedly in Fulani. This was one of the times I felt proud about being multilingual. Someone was in need of my talent when I was trying to hide it. I learned that accepting my capability instead of disregarding it was not only helpful to myself but many others. The idea of trying to fit was not worth it, while it made me lose so much of my identity.   


"Key Advantages and Disadvantages of Being Bilingual." Key Advantages and Disadvantages of Being Bilingual. Torri Miller, 1998. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.


Digital Story !
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Me magazine slide- Vivian Pham

I made this me magazine the way it is, by trying to make is simple yet artistic like combining the words like independent fits into Expression because the “n” is also in Independent. And the word Slide can fit into Learner because of the L in Slide that is also the first letter of learner. And I added very few pictures because I mainly wanted the focus to be on the words but I chose those pictures because it pops it when you look at it, it isn’t a series of small little pictures but bigger and more simply pictures. And I chose the picture that says dance and it shows 3 dancers because dance was in my me magazine and I described that as my passion and in the me magazine I talked about my experiences regarding dance and why I love it so much.  I also purposely chose that picture of 3 dancers because when I danced it was always with my 2 bestfriends and I felt that it represented us in a way. Then I chose the family like tree because in 2 of my entries in the me magazine I talked about family and how they impact my identity and how they’re a big part of me that defines who I am today, not entirely but it is definitely a part of me. And I chose the picture that says projects because in my me magazine I talked about how projects are something that I really enjoy to do, and I learned better and more effectively when it comes to putting all that I’ve learned into a project. And I would easily choose a project over something that requires turning in papers. And I chose the word energy and put it in within the word learner because it had that E in it and i chose that word because when energy is really important when it comes to dancing and the way it looks when on stage.


ME  magazine in one sLide (2)
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Media Fluency- Bronwyn Goldschneider(Doctor's App-Extension)

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I decided to make my slide look the way it does because of a few things. My slide had to show my viewers my values, my interests and most of what is important to me while also following some of the suggestions from Presentation Zen. First of all, Presentation Zen suggested using contrast to help create a memorable and easy to follow slide. Since I thought this was a good idea, I decided to incorporate contrast into my slide by using contrasted colors for my text bubbles and my words, and then having a black background so all the colors would stick out. The second technique I used in creating my slide was attempting to minimize the amount of information and pictures on my slide, as suggested by Presentation Zen. Having a lot going on on a slide will make it difficult for viewers to focus on the main idea of the slide, so I did my best to make my slide as minimal as possible. To do this, I chose the picture of me that seemed to tell people the most about myself in one picture versus two or three, so this would minimise clutter on the slide. I also made the words describing myself into one structure so the viewer would know where to look for the information, instead of looking all over the slide (this was suggested on the slide design website). These are the reasons why I decided to make my slide look the way it does.


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Advanced Essay #2: Languages are Worlds

With this paper I was trying to write better scenes of memory, and really trying to dig deep into my own personal experiences, but also write in a way that evokes emotion and conveys thoughts powerfully. I was also trying to work on my thesis and make it as good as it can be, which I believe I did fairly well on. I'm also proud of the use of my quote, because I feel it's well placed and also supports my thesis well. In future papers I would get more reviews and more help from other people, and also edit more. I would want to rewrite another time to make sure everything is polished. I would also want to make a proper video instead of a digital story.


Languages are Worlds

Language is more than just a way to communicate. Language is a way to see the world, a kind of reality. Speaking, writing, or reading a language is a way of experiencing and perceiving that reality, and each language is a different reality.


My first experience with language (other than English) was Spanish, at my Spanish-immersion school. It’s all a haze of memory, but kindergarden was one big blur, all coming together like a mix of two colors of playdough, or a trix yogurt. I distinctly remember the room, with a connected bathroom and brightly colored walls, plastered with drawings and numbers and letters like any other elementary classroom. The teacher, Maestro Arturo, or Mister Arthur, is from Chile, a country I haven’t heard of in my narrow five years of existence. He speaks a few words of English, mumbling and fumbling through introductions and first lessons. He makes such an attempt to speak well with the English parents, and he is so patient with the children, as are we with him, that even though I don’t remember much from this year, I can easily say that he was a great teacher, and one of the best I’ve ever had. Over the year we stumble through Spanish words, and then Spanish phrases, and then Spanish sentences, finally ending the blur of a year with a grasp of Spanish and still having learned what every other kindergartener learns in a year. I remember not speaking much English with Mister Arthur, and him not speaking much English with us, and to this day I believe that it’s the best way to learn a language: immersion.


To plunge into a language, to be urged to learn the language simply out of necessity, is the only way to learn a language. Not in the classroom writing a word fifty times, or on a computer, yelling into the speakers. The only way to learn a language is to live in it, to marinate in it over time, and to want to learn. Through this immersive learning I have learned two languages other than English, and I plan to continue to grow.


My immersive experience with Spanish was a way to experience and understand this new language, and in turn this new reality. Having learned Spanish, I can say that I know of another side to life, and another world completely different from English. I also learned German from my mother and her family through this immersion.


As I lay in my bed, my hands clasped behind my head, I look out into the night sky through the tiny little porthole window in the ceiling. It is not quite darkness, and it never will be. The light will never fully fade, but just dim until it is barely recognizable. You could still walk and see the world around you. It is late in the night, or early in the morning, and the time blends together. One moment I look into the clock, seeing an eleven, and the next minute I look over to see a two. I lie awake like this for what seems like hours, but I can never quite tell, and the clock is always lying. Everything in this country is new and off in a way that can only be experienced in another country. My body is telling me it’s afternoon and that I should look out of the window and see a sun dipping towards the horizon, but my eyes tell me the truth.


This window in the slanted roof is my only view of the outside world, but in my head, I can experience other worlds. I can hear words and stories, and I can see pictures and places, but there’s still a distinct language to what I hear. I struggle my first few days in this new country, trying to get back the German I once learned, trying to brush off the dust that has fallen over that crystal ball. As I blow it away, the language comes back, I begin to speak with ease, and I can feel a different world around me. I lay in my bed each night, and I slowly feel an evolution come over me. I begin to sleep locally, and my body adjusts its clocks to match the ones on the walls. The thoughts and worlds in my mind slowly switch language, becoming new worlds as I experience them in German.


Each time I go back to visit Germany and my family there, I have to make the evolution from English to German, and it’s a noted change in the way I experience the world, and also the world I am in. Just changing the language I speak and think in changes my world and changes my reality. An ancient Chinese proverb states that:


“To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world.”


Each language is a window to look at the world, but also a reality in and of itself that you can experience. Language is a way to experience, and a way to be. Languages are their own realities and to learn a new language is to learn a new reality.



Works Cited:


Ager, Simon. "Proverbs, Quotations and Sayings about Language." Proverbs and Quotations about Language in Many Languages. Web. <http://www.omniglot.com/language/proverbs/language.htm>.

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Literary Robots?!?

Introduction:

The main focus of my essay is the lack of creativity encouraged in writing.  I touch upon the way writing is taught to students in the academic atmosphere and what the outcome of these teachings leads to.  My introductory paragraph created a strong opening for my topic which was very satisfactory to me.  However, as a writer I must improve my ability to build evidence and develop my larger idea.  

I am a literary impostor.  Of course I know how to write a traditional academic essay, I am not discounting this skill.  Yet I struggle with the ability to insert individuality into my writing.  This is why I feel that I am not truly a literary for one aspect of being a writer is to project personal thoughts.  I feel that this struggle is mutual among my classmates, whether they recognize it or not.  At my previous school the students obtaining honor roll could produce a mediocre essay including a vocabulary pull from the seventh grade and thematic cliches, but with the use of the traditional academic format, thrill the teachers and gain an A.  When students are praised for this type of product time and time again, their writing will never evolve since personal exploration is never encouraged.  In this way students of the 21st century are being raised as literary robots, defeating a fundamental objective of writing.

Reflecting on my literary education, I have concluded it to be very simplistic and sparse.  In elementary school the format of a paragraph was first introduced to me through the “hamburger paragraph”, a diagram that illustrates a paragraph’s construction.  As elementary school progressed, we worked on strengthening our skills in creating paragraphs using other systems such as TAGS.  Up to that point I was successfully advancing with the curriculum.  However, the change of school in fifth grade took a toll on my growth in literacy.  Throughout middle school writing was treated by the teachers as a minor aspect, as if it were self explanatory.  I remember constructing paragraphs for assignments to be a very step-oriented process.  Upon beginning high school I carried with me that process, it being the only thing I knew.  Every paper I produced seemed to be comparable to the previous, just shedding light on a different topic.  No teacher came to the rescue for it appeared that since I knew the traditional academic formatting all was well.  Yet I felt worn from the repetition of spewing the same ideas with no distinction from one to the next.

The bud of the problem is that when the format of a paragraph is taught, there is no elaboration on content and construction.  With no guidance students may assume that the format of a paragraph is the basic knowledge needed to complete an essay, unintentionally disregarding the composition.  These circumstances could result in a plethora of identical essays.  When students are not taught to imply individuality, the same set of ideas tend to be recycled throughout their paper without any progression. This can create an exhausting and mundane atmosphere for the writer, causing them to lose interest in their topic.  In his book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire stated that “it is the people themselves who are filed away through the lack of creativity, transformation, and knowledge in this (at best) misguided system. For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.”   Freire’s statement is similar to mine in which he touches upon the detachment people have developed through education, which includes literacy in relation to their creativity.  With the absence of creativity there is hardly any chance at inserting individuality, giving the produced writing more of mechanical quality with no personal essence.

I sit in front of my computer willing my fingers to type, yet they won’t budge.  For an hour and a half I have been staring at a blank page, chasing tantalizing thoughts that dissolve before I can manage to type out a coherent sentence.  Another year of tenth grade would not have prepared me for the writing assignment given on the first day of school, for I have never been given such loose guidelines.  Teachers were always so exact about what they wanted.   Now for the first time I am given the control to have creative ownership over my work, something I have longed for greatly and there is an emptiness.  My ideas are missing in action.  So I turn to my alternative, using the guidelines given and applying the basic paragraph format.  The instance I describe is not a past dilemma, this conflict occurs daily.  The fact that I share this problem with fellow students is alarming for the reason that many are unaware.  Even more alarming is the fact that some educators deem it acceptable to not expand past the basic paragraph formatting. Writing is an art that captures opinion, personality, and soul propelled by the creativity and individuality of the mind as well as source of analytical text.  If writing is further encouraged in this way, new ideas will cease to be produced, and the art of writing will become a myth.


Citation(s)

Freire, Paulo. "Philosophy of Education -- Chapter 2: Pedagogy of the Oppressed." N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2015. <http://faculty.webster.edu/corbetre/philosophy/education/freire/freire-2.html>.


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Advanced Essay #2: "An Empty Book"

          For this paper I focused on human development and learning styles. Education will forever be a part of the world and it is important to enhance it for the better of the learner. As time goes on more information will be available. It is the job of the educators to help the learners develop a path for themselves because not everything can be taught in school. I am most proud of finding an argument I care and feel greatly passionate about. By including memories I was able to tell my side of the story as a student. As my writing abilities continue to grow I plan to continue to explore and discover. Without exploration there is no story to tell.

          ​When I was young I enjoyed the basic necessities; school, bath time, and books. At school there were multiple personalities that surrounded me, and they were all judged for a grade. The “100 Book Challenge” was one of the activities that we engaged in. It was designed to see how many books we could read, not how well we read them or how much of the book we understood. As said in I Just Want To Be Average, by Mike Rose, “Students will float to the mark you set.” Children around me always read the thicker books, while I read the thinner ones, but they didn’t comprehend what was happening in their book while I did. The teacher's seen them try but didn't see me succeed. So, why were the other kids praised for books they didn’t understand? Reading a book can’t be the only form of literacy because I can do more than read books. I can comprehend the world around me by listening and visualizing.

          As a small child, after my bath and dressing for bed I would walk carefully down the tan rugged steps in the dark, tiptoeing across the arctic cold kitchen floor, and through the mirror filled dining room. I see my mother making her way towards the big green couch. She plops down, swinging her feet over the other cushions. She grabs the remote to turn the TV on until I walk in the living room. I look at her saying nothing for a couple seconds then dart to the boxed TV to grab my red Doctor Sues bag right beside it. It has little colorful fish on the outside like the book “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.” The bag is filled with all my favorite books, but I pull out my favorite, “Are You My Mother?” It is a light green book with a white dog on the cover. “Mom! Let's read.” I say to her as she yawns and nods her head. I open the book and begin, “Are you my mudder?” My mom has read the book to me so many times I now know it by heart even though the words on the page are a blur to me. I turn each page excitedly reciting from memory to my mom as she smiles. “Are you my mudder?” I continue. I visualize the story in my head. When I am done she gives me a big hug and a kiss, “You’re very intelligent.” A smile grew on my face, and I would start from the beginning again.

          In school teachers set a “mark”, a goal of knowledge, for students to reach. The mark that is set is not always reasonable though. Most goals being set are the ability to complete certain tasks, while not understanding how these tasks were completed. The path to completion and comprehension is the most important “mark” to “float to.” Teachers should focus more on the process rather than the final product because the students, and humans in general, will never stop gaining knowledge. Teachers are so use to following a specific curriculum then once reaching a goal they aimed for, they stop and move on to the next without reflection. By the teachers setting a mark for endless exploration, and questioning, the child’s education can prosper. All children ask questions to understand better due to them being curious about the world around them that changes everyday. This is all important because goals, or “marks,” are made to be reached. Then, another goal should to set again to repeat the process in a higher educated matter.

          My mother did not directly set a timely goal for my education. She loved to watch me explore and ask questions. This is why I worked along my own path and tried to discover things for myself. I was given the time to explore. The outside world contains more visual examples than a book could ever have. Understanding is the key to literacy, not just being able to see the words. By listening to my mother read this book to me I visualized what she was telling me in my head. It made me curious. It made me want to bring the story to life. If you truly listen to what somebody is saying to you and explore it, you will find more things to explore. 

          There was a time when books and writing did not exist and now humans have prospered, from exploration, to inventing and creating things like buildings and houses with heat, hospitals to help the injured, and restaurants to feed. Today these things are normal to us, but they were not normal once before. We continue to explore by doing things to make life easier, more enjoyable. If you think reading is the only form of literacy then think about a book, any book, and ask yourself what made them write it the way they did. They didn’t get that information from another book, they would have had to find the words themselves.



Cited Sources

"100 BOOK CHALLENGE®." 100 BOOK CHALLENGE®. Web. 27 Nov. 2015. <http://www.americanreading.com/products/100bc/>.

"Overview of Learning Styles." Overview of Learning Styles. Web. 27 Nov. 2015. <http://www.learning-styles-online.com/overview/>.

Eastman, P. D. Are You My Mother? New York: Random House, 1986. Print.

Rose, Mike. ""I Just Wanna Be Average"" 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2004. 316-29. Print.

https://docs.google.com/a/scienceleadership.org/document/d/1N50nboGeXGd8aYZCmT52X-r7kEZcBvSdxD9H--bzYHo/edit?usp=sharing
Image Analysis

          This is a statue of a book. This book is made out of scrunched up pieces of paper and paint is splattered on the books cover while the inside stays white. The balled up paper represents all the things and knowledge that can be discovered, unwrapped. The splattered paint represents the symbolically bright and dark discoveries that can be found. The inside, pages, of the book are white, empty, clear of all words and pictures to show new life, new knowledge, and new stories. The statue can be interpreted in many different ways by all levels of knowledge. Only the mind of other individuals can tell what words should be written inside and in what way. 
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Media Fluency-Darlenny Rodriguez

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I decided to make my slide look like this because I wanted a really inspirational quote that also had to do with singing because that is what I enjoy doing on my free time. The thing that mainly influenced my decision making was how my classmates kept telling me stop singing and then it hit me, I should do my slideshow about singing. I was going to do the fact that I am from the Dominican Republic but I had already used that previously and I wanted viewers to get to know me a bit better. On my first slide I put a picture of nature and on it was a quote by Maya Angelou that read “A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” This quote is not only beautiful in it’s simplicity, but it sends a powerful message that we should not work so hard to find the beauty in today, but enjoy that today is here and tomorrow is bound to come. This quote is really inspirational and is tied back to singing, something I enjoy doing.
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Michael's Advanced Essay #2

Intro: Mainly I wanted to focus on how language at it's core is just communication. There is no reason, in my opinion that someone should be considered illiterate if they can get through daily life, or the life the want to live, with how much of any language they know. If it's enough, and it works, it should be considered literate because you have fulfilled the main purpose of learning a language.


https://vimeo.com/147284663


“But for a language to remain, it must be used.” Literacy often is seen as and accepted as, without much thought on the topic, as the ability to read and write. What people define as literacy affects things like immigration policy, school curriculum, and public opinion of people. But language itself is just communication. It may be convenient to learn english and it may make life and other things easier for you, and open you to new opportunities and possibilities in your life. It is valued to speak english, but not speaking and knowing how to read and write english isn’t necessarily being illiterate.

Because the purpose of learning language to communicate. Any form of communication, as long as it can be understood, is valid as literacy. Maybe some positions require a higher level of understanding of the english language. Take for example, a position at a company that writes manuals or something along those lines, would require a higher level of understanding, but it obviously doesn’t make you illiterate for not having that level of understanding (this isn’t to say people shouldn’t have that chance, just that it is not necessary for everyone).

It was just recently, less than a week ago when I was going home on the train, Trenton line to be exact. It stopped at 30th street station, and the train began to crowd. The seat next to me had been ignored until the last people to board the train, a family of four, came in. It was a father, a mother, a younger son, and a baby. The mother was holding the baby, and sat next to me, the father sat opposite from here, and the small boy sat next to my mom, who asked the boy if he would like to sit by the window, (he said yes).

Once we got past North Philadelphia, the conductor person came down the aisle and asked people for tickets or money. The mother was asked, and searched for something to say, but the father responded to him in slightly broken english, and handed him the money for tickets to Trenton. The baby started to make an odd sound as the conductor walked away, and the mother quickly tried to quiet him down. The father and mother looked stressed. He started kicking my leg and arm as he tried to rustle out of his mother’s grip and the mother looked to me to say sorry. At this point the father had to take a call, which he answered in fluent spanish.

She obviously couldn’t speak much english, as it took her about 5 seconds to find the word sorry, not that I was waiting for her to say sorry, I’m not petty, and when she found it took a little bit for her to pronounce it. So I just smiled and gave a thumbs up. She smiled back and kept trying to quiet the baby down. Later when the boy was asleep, his legs kept slipping down off the mother’s lap and the mother looked directly at his eyes as if to check if he woke up. She put his legs on my lap, and looked to me for a response, which was a smile, and a ‘thumbs-up’. For the rest of the ride the baby was quiet.

My point in explaining this long scene is that in this instance, or scenario, I would consider her literate. She didn’t have the best english, but she was able to effectively communicate and understand ideas well enough that it wasn’t a big deal, or any deal really. They could have been coming from a hospital where they were getting the baby treated. I’, fairly the certain the father had enough english to fill out paperwork. If not, spanish is still the second biggest language in the United States.  In this scenario, I wouldn’t consider the mother illiterate, or the father illiterate, because they have enough knowledge of communication that they can live a life. They could fill out paperwork, or what they said could be translated, and even if they don’t speak english, they could always have someone translate or just speak to someone who knows spanish, as it is the second most dominant language in the United States.

As long as you can communicate effectively with the people you need to and understand the things you need to in life, you are literate, because you have fulfilled the purpose of learning language, which is being able to communicate.


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Peters advance essay 2

ntroduction:

This essay will explain the concept of literacy. I mostly talk about how high schools shouldn't teach you basic, math, english, physics, history. Us young adults should be taught how to become a financially stable adult. Learning how to pay a mortgage and take out loans for college. There should be prep schools that help you prepare for financial aid. One day I asked my teacher when will we learn how to do these things, she said “that's your parents job”. It too unitil Jr. year to learn how to pay and take out a  loan in my math class.


Education is key, ever since I was a small kid my parents and others told me to go to school because it will grant me the wish of becoming rich. My dream is to become rich, that is all i think about. I go to a public school located in the city of philadelphia called SLA. It is a very good and complex school. All classes that I have are supposed to challenge you to become better. Schools should be challenging and stressing you out, school should be teaching us to be challenged and to be stressed out to a point that no one would want to the assignment. Highschool should show you how to pay bills, pay off a mortgage, take out loans, and also maintain a life of a adult.

Maintaining a checkbook isn't the only thing that adult has to do, they have to know how to apply for a job, applying for medicare, and learning how to be fully functional adult. Adults have to be prepared so we don't get hit with a curve ball by the government or even the economy. My brother, he dropped out of highschool and got his diploma from a different program, he had all of his credits but really didn't like the school. His plan is to take a GAP year so he could get his life straight before actually going to college. A teenager shouldn't have to take a year off so he could get his adulthood straight, his high school that he attended for 3 ⅓ should of taught him to be prepared so that he wouldn't need to be stressing about.

I remember “one day in math class I ask my teacher when are we going to learn how to do these things pay bills exct.” She responded with, “that's your parents job”. My parents job is to support me and my family. Teachers in my school are paid to answer my questions and to teach me how to do and learn new things, they should just respond with an ignorant answer. And to this day I still don't know how to pay my taxes or a mortgage or even doing deductibles.

I explained to my teacher that in my life “i am not going to do algebra” or “finding slope.” I want to  .It took until Jr. year when i first learned how to pay off loans, and the understanding of  loans. I feel as tho that we should be taught these things so we are prepared to handle everything a young adult to has later on come to in life. this might just be why people are homeless.

If school was a prep-school for life, everyone would be financially stable. A basic school day would involve lots “one on one” communication with the student and the teacher. Types of classes would be financially classes, other classes could be preparing students for the worst and the best of college. School that actually prepared you for life would classify more as a perp/ trade school. It  would be a very cool idea if the school district of philadelphia would create a prepare/ becoming an “adult” high school.

In Mike Rose's “I just want to be average.” A quote i pulled out was interesting because the main character is talking about a thing called “a true job”.  A true job should be a lesson in school, so that kids could have a broad understanding to what they want to be. “In Some serious programs succeed in doing that, and through exceptional teachers — like Mr. Gross in Horace's Compromise 1 — students leant to develop hypotheses and troubleshoot, reason through an problem, and communicate effectively — the true job skills.” Learning and understanding what you want to do in the future, is good but as you grow up and become more mature you might want to change your mind and become something else. In a prep school for life there should be fill out sheets these fill out sheets contain options of what you want to become. You would be able to choose more than one job, that way a young adult would have more than one option if the first option fails.


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Jamilah's Advanced Essay #2: Why Black?

Introduction: In my second advanced essay I chose to focus my paper off of racial literacy. A question given to us to brainstorm ideas was “What does it mean to be an “authentic” member of a cultural group?”. It instantly reminded me of an interview that I saw on the talk show The Real with guest Rachel Dolezal. She’s a woman who was biologically born white, but has chosen for the last 10 years or so to identify as black. I was surprised about the route that my paper ended up taking since I was hesitant to write about race since it is such a controversial topic, but I’m overall pretty happy with it. Also, I mentioned a scene of memory that’s a touchy subject for me, but I feel like it was a suitable scene for my paper. I definitely like this essay more than my last one and I hope that I can continue to grow in my essays to come.


Why Black?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=padH_TRJIUI


   In life there are many things that you can change, and many that you are given at birth. You aren’t allowed to choose your parents. You aren’t allowed to choose your living conditions growing up. And you most definitely don't have the option of choosing your own race. There isn’t a form at conception for you to fill out and choose the lifestyle you’d like waiting for you after your 9 months in the womb. It doesn't work that way. Yet others seem to feel differently.


  Rachel Dolezal. Some of us may have remembered her from her distinctive interviews or the memes that were made about her, or even the hashtags that were made about her and surfaced just about every social media outlet. She personally believes that she should be allowed to self-identify as black when many others believe that she shouldn’t be able to do so. She has done a few interviews and her statements are quite controversial. Rachel sees herself as a black woman; but what makes a black woman a black woman? Does it just mean that you are from a black background and happen to be a woman? Or can it be more than that? Whatever Rachel’s definition of being a black woman is, she fits the criteria for.



   In a recent interview with the daytime talk show The Real, Rachel was asked “What does being black mean to you? Why do you want to be black?” She responded by saying  “Sometimes how we feel is more powerful than how we’re born. Blackness can be philosophical, cultural, or biological… I do think you have to walk the walk if that’s who you are.“ Although her response expressed her feelings further, the question was never answered.  Why did she choose to not answer the question? When someone avoids a question, it’s safe to say that they’re typically hiding something. But why hide something as big as race? Something that made you want to identify as another race because saw yourself as that race since you were very young.



  Many people in the audience, as well as myself, were not too fond of her answer. Blackness can not be philosophical. When researching definitions of the word philosophical, the example given was related to a people having philosophical discussions about free wifi. You can not relate a person's race to something as simple as discussions about free wifi! Philosophical thoughts and ideologies typically imply that one relates to a topic or situation. Being black is not a topic or situation that needs to be related with. Blackness is a being black! Being born into a race that has advantages, but twice as many disadvantages. Growing up and watching the television to hear about the injustices of your race. Listening to the stories from friends, family members, and even strangers about the type of profiling they receive based off of the complexion of their skin. Not being a child coloring with a brown crayon instead of the peach colored one as Rachel previously spoke about.  



  My question to Rachel Dolezal would be “Why do you want to be black?” With all of the things that black have to deal with as minorities, why is there such a desire to be apart of it? At this point of my life I couldn’t be happier to be a young black female, but it has not always been that way. At a very young age I was first introduced to the side effects of being black. My first insight of it was about 11 years ago when I was around 5 or 6 years old. It was my fourth day of first grade and I just started attending a new school. My classroom was all the way at the end of the hall in room 210. It was towards the end of the day and we always got a chance to go and read on the on the big blue carpet by the window. As our teacher dismissed our tables from the the most quiet to the least, we’d all rush over to make sure that we’d get to sit on the big couch that was sitting against the large windows. My table was the most on this particular day and I rushed over to grab my favorite book off of the shelf, No David. After completing our reading time, my teacher always came over to sing us our class Peanut Butter & Jelly song. “PEANUTTTTT! Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Jelly. PEANUTTTTT! Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Jelly. First you get the butter and spread it, and spread it. Then you get the jelly and spread it, and spread it. PEANUTTTTT! Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Jelly. ” After we finished singing, we drifted back to our tables. Before we sat down I heard one of my classmates talking about her upcoming birthday party. With me being the new girl in the school, I wanted to make friends. As she continued to talk about her party, she began to ask who wanted to come. With me being an anxious 5 year old ready to make friends, I was devastated by the words that wound shortly come out of her mouth. Her exact words were, “You can’t come to my party! My mom doesn’t like black people.” At 5 my biggest worry in class was keeping my table quiet so I could sit comfortably on the big couch outlooking the school yard; not the best way to respond to my first racial remark. My questions still stand to Rachel. Why do you want to be black? What about our lifestyle makes you strive to be apart of it? Do you aspire injustice?


  The recording from the talk show quickly spread throughout the media including YouTube. Among the 145,993 views and 1,220 comments, one reviewer made a statement that many could either argue or agree with. The commenter stated “they never addressed the fact that her ability to want to identify as another other races race is a privilege that is only allotted for white people. it will never be possible for a fully black person to want to identify as white and get treated as so. check your privilege!” This then brings up the idea of white supremacy. As a young black female, I never get the opportunity to say I’d like to self identify as a white female because whiteness can be defined as philosophical, cultural, or biological. Unfortunately, we live in a world where equality is supposedly wanted so badly, but supremacy against minorities never goes away. We aren’t granted the idea of being accepted as another race; the exception would not be given from our original race nor our desired race.


   Being black isn’t a topic of relatability. Being black isn’t an extracurricular activity that you can join. And being black isn’t a choice! It is something you’re born with and you have no choice but to live through it.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1xsEcs0Slc 


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Advanced Essay#2:

In this essay I tried to support the thesis with things that are from my life. My favorite part is trying to put in wirds how having a dyslexic brain feels, from my experience. Hope you enjoy!


I opened the book. Then I slowly turn through the few blank pages and title pages, until I see the words ‘Chapter One’. I look at how tightly packed each row is with all the words, spaces, commas, and periods. I think to myself, I can do it this time, I can start to read this book. I won’t give up. I begin reading the first sentence, trying to concentrate on the words, the phrases, the meaning, the thought. I read it over and over again. I close the book. I open it again this time trying to read the page. I finish and remember… nothing I read. I read again. Now most of the rows start to mash together, words start to dance on the page. I remind myself: This is why I’ve never read a book before. I search up the audio book and start to listen. These moments that just keep repeating.  


The first book I read without using audio recordings is ‘Ender’s Shadow’ by Orson Scott Card, which is my favorite book. The reason this book is my favorite is it makes me feel like I had a chance to make my life better, just like the main character did. It made me realize just how small Earth is, and just how much time we waste wondering what could have happened if somebodies life was yours and wanting what others have. Like Michael Grothaus  wrote in ‘How Changing Your Reading Habits Can Transform Your Health’, where he said “But it wasn’t my new favorite book just because it was so compelling. It was my new favorite because it changed something in me.” What this book changed was that it made me see that there is a way to read, no matter how long it is, and if I read these books I will learn about life before I live it.


Having dyslexia can be hard at times, and a dyslexic brain works differently from any other. The time goes fast, rushes, but when I read it becomes all odd and starts going even faster and then a lot slower. My brain functions weird and reading is the key to that. When unlocked my brain starts to spin, to repeat and worst of all to go completely blank. Over the years I got some new locks and made it harder for that to happen, but it still breaks through sometimes, it finds a hole. That tiny hole appears when I get tired and the chains are looser. It takes me a long time to do anything involving reading or writing. It takes me a lot to read a simple book or write a short essay. Sometimes there is simply not enough hours in a day for my brain, yet I am my brain. I try to read faster, I try to subtract the hours my brain needs. But my brain and me are the same, but not even close to the same. People are too limited in thinking about literature and the way people could be literate. Just because I listen to audio books instead of reading does not make me illiterate.


Sometimes people don’t really understand how you can have absolute control of your brain and at the same time feeling like it keeps running wild. People usually can’t relate because they only have to start their brain, they just have to press the ON button. My brain doesn't need an ON button because I can’t turn it off and it keeps working when I try to pull the plug.  Control: the ability to influence something. Control: my brain move quickly as I try to sort out all my thoughts, but I can only get a few out of the giant pile. Control: no matter how fast it moves I can still influence what it will do next, I can control my wild brain. If it didn’t happen to me every day, I wouldn’t believe it either.

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Fodie's Advanced essay #2: Relationship

​Introduction: In this paper, I focused on student teacher relationship. How a strong student teacher relationship is key to education. If a student has no support or a horrible student teacher relationship, how will the student every want to be involved with education? I brought up some of my personal life examples supporting what I was stating in my advanced essay. I focused on a lot of things in my paper especially my grammar. I always wanted to improve in my writing and in this piece I think I did well with that. I am very proud of every single part of my advanced essay especially my grammar. I plan to grow on my grammar, sentence structure, focus and just as a writer. 

Advanced Essay 2: 

A relationship is the way in which 2 objects or people are connected. Hate is having an intense feeling for someone. Hate is a powerful word. Dislike is the ability to feel distaste for someone else. I would say I dislike someone rather than say I hated someone. Feeling valuable is key to having a good relationship. People can have a good relationship by having somebody in their life and feeling valuable. If somebody is mistreating you, how would you gain confidence? You would feel some type of way, if it is a skin color, stereotype or anything else.

“If you need any help Fodie you can stay after school if you want, ” said my second grade teacher. I replied, “Yes, I’ll stay after school for a little.” She was the best teacher that I ever had in my life so far and she will forever be one of my favorite teachers.. It was 3 o'clock, the time to stay after school for a while and get help with my homework. My parents are immigrants and they don’t fully understand English. Sometimes my dad won’t even be home when I come after school because he has to work and provide for us. The best thing for me was to try and get the best education that I could in my life.

We started my homework and got it done in less than a hour. We talked for a little bit about random things about my life and how I was feeling. It felt good expressing and talking about my life and feelings. I felt like I always had someone to talk to if I were going through something. We could talk about anything. She used to give me snacks sometimes, too. I felt as if she treated me as her own son.  She was a second mom to me. Our relationship and bond was so strong and no one could ever break it. When it was the last day of school for second grade, I gave her the longest and biggest hug ever. I knew what I would be missing moving to the third grade. I would still see her but it wouldn’t be the same.

“Go to the office right now,” said my third grade teacher named Ms.Reeser. I said, “I didn’t even do anything wrong at all, I was sitting quietly in my seat.” My teacher said, “go and get out out my classroom right now!” The whole classroom got quiet, I left the room before I cause a bigger problem.  As I was walking to the office, I already knew I was going to get in trouble. A teacher can’t ever be wrong, it's always the students fault. I got to the office and talked to my principal and counselor about what happen. My teacher came into the office and explained a completely different story. Of course I got in trouble for something I didn’t do, she lied.

As I was walking back to the classroom, I thought that she hates me. She was always so mean to me, no matter what good deed I did. I started to notice that she hated me and a couple other people. I started to notice that the people she hates were the people who were all of different skin colors. I started to think at a young age, was it because I was black that she hated me? Was it because I was a different skin color than a majority of people at my school? What was the reason? I wanted to find out the truth as soon as possible.

A quote from “I Just Want to be Average” by Mike Rose. “But mostly the teachers had no idea of how to engage the imaginations of us kids who were scuttling along at the bottom of the pond. And the teachers would have needed some inventiveness, for none of us was groomed for the classroom. It wasn't just that I didn't know things didn't know how to simplify algebraic fractions, couldn't identify different lands of clauses, bungled Spanish translations but that I had developed various faulty and inadequate ways of doing algebra and maldng sense of Spanish. Some teachers really don’t care about the relationship and how that it is key to education. If a teacher is giving you support and you have a good relationship with that teacher, you are more likely to have a more beneficial education. If the teacher is just learning to get a paycheck, what learning is involved with that at all?

After school, I went straight home. I told my dad about what happened at school and how it was unfair.  I asked my dad, “Why do some white people have to be mean to us, black people?” He responded back, “I don’t really know, I think they have something against us black people, they don’t want us to be over them because they think they are the best people in the world.” I stood there and thought about what he said and then it hit me.

Relationship is key to anything in life. Having a success relationship in education is the best that could happen in education. A student that has a teacher who have major confident about them will push the student farther in life. People are always bring up different topics about education but aren’t realizing the huge major topic of student teacher relationship. Many teacher try to involved this because the different boundaries between a student and teacher.

Rose, Mike. "I Just Want to Be Average." Lives on the Boundary: The Struggles and Achievements

of America's Underprepared. New York: Free Press, 1989. 162-67. Print.


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Advanced Essay #2

What I focused on going into writing this paper was finding a way to use real life situation that I know for sure happens and relate it to literacy. The part I am proud of is being able to use my scenes and life experiences to support my claim. A plan to continue growth as a writer is just to constantly get feedback and peer review edits from teachers and students. 

Zaeem Wallace-Parker

11/23/15

Water Stream

English 3

Advanced Essay #2

In my society, young black men my age are becoming more and more violent and criminal that it causes all young men in my society to be stereotyped. I was one of the young men leading into the violent and criminal path. Smoking, fighting and being disrespectful were some of the things I began to do. However, I moved to Georgia and lived there for 3 ½ years and I’ve changed my ways. Although I’ve changed, the other young men in my society haven’t. Therefore, it causes the young men headed in a good path to be stereotyped as a defiant and criminal teens.

One night this summer, I came in the house and the smell of baked fish rushed into my nostrils. I dropped my gym bag and made my way straight to the kitchen. My mom was in the kitchen preparing dinner how she normally does. “ What you cooking mom?” I asked, and without answering my question she quickly stepped in front of my face and said “Were you smoking?”. I rapidly responded no because I didn’t understand what would have made her ask me that question. “So why your eyes red?” she asked. At this point it became offensive because I always hear people say, your eyes are low, your eyes are chinky, or your eyes are red. “Mom I wasn’t smoking” I answered aggressively. She ended up backing off and returned to cooking so, I figured she decided to leave the situation alone. Little did I  know I was wrong. 20-30 minutes later, my uncle came to my house. When he came in he said “ Damn what’s that bump on your face… Let me see”. Now I’m not a child, I know he wanted to look into my eyes and see if I was high, I knew if I backed down it would have seem like I was lying about smoking. So I brought my face close to his eyes and let him stare deep into my eyes. He was staring so hard, it felt like he was trying to see into my soul. He stared into my eyes for a good 10 seconds and then said “ that bump is big”. I played along with his schemes and said “ yeah it just got there like 2 days ago.” Then, he turned away from me and went into my mom’s room and shut the door. I could hear them whispering but, I couldn’t comprehend what they were saying. Stuff like this just shows the issue within my society. That’s what most males of my culture and age is doing in my society therefore, I was justified and seen as one of them because my eyes were red.

My mom should know me well enough to know that I would never go back to the life I used to live, the life that the boys my age in my society are living. I’m an athlete now and I actually want to get somewhere with the sport I play. Living the life my society portrays will only hold me back from my dream and not only me but the other young men in my society that have dreams too. Absolutely all my friends, not 1 person singled out, smokes and do dumb (illegal) stuff. But not only my friends but my family too also do the same stuff. My cousins that are around my age are either in juvie, on their way to juvie, or occupied with their child. No matter where I go and who I’m with I always feel like I am the oldest and the most responsible. Even when I am around grown men that watched me grow up as a child. These grown men are not my uncles or cousins, they are just grown men that live in my neighborhood. When I’m around them, I still feel like I’m the oldest and the most responsible because the contribute to the stereotype holding down my society. With them I think like, how are you all grown men but I have more money in pocket than you do and I don’t even have a job? All they do is waste their money on weed and would waste it on clothes and shoes if they had enough to splurge on that stuff.

People outside my society use this stereotype of my society so much. Everytime South Philly comes into the equation of conversation with my friends here at school, I here the same stuff from people who never really experienced the South Philly experience. “South Philly’s the mix”, “You’ll get robbed if you go there”, “Zaeem you don’t need to be outside”, those are the most common things said when or if we talk about my society here at school. My society displayed itself this way and has been long before I was even born.


However, stuff that happens in my society happens all over the world. As humans, we are going to naturally judge a book by it’s cover until we control our thoughts and think neutrally. Until then, our thoughts will always be biased, not perspective.

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Advanced Essay #2 - Intrinsic Motivation

Introduction: My main focus for this essay was trying to confirm the idea that we all possess intrinsic motivation. The only thing that varies between us all is what it takes for this quality to be revealed. It can be a long list of things, but I think your environment has the biggest effect. I wanted to show how when we are put in different environments than what we're used to we see different things that help awaken this motivation in us. I hope I was able to convince the readers of my idea and to show different examples of why I stand firm in this belief. I feel like I was very descriptive with the scenes in this essay as well as my first essay. For my next essay I want to focus on narrowing down what I'm trying to communicate so my reader doesn't get confused with all the ideas they're presented with. a

Advanced Essay #2

In life I have learned numerous lessons and I am comfortable with the fact that I’ll learn more as I grow. But through all life’s lessons there has only been one truth that has left a lasting impression on my mind. This truth lives inside each and every one of us. That truth is we all possess intrinsic motivation. This intrinsic motivation allows us to be driven by ourselves rather than the people around us. Motivating ourselves leads to an everlasting benefit, while being motivated by others only gives short term success. This idea is communicated through the old saying ”Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” What some fail to realize is that the man must first want to learn before he can actually be taught. People who aren’t motivated to educate themselves can not be taught. Which leads me to question, does everyone possess this intrinsic motivation?

We all have this intrinsic motivation, but it takes certain environments to awaken it. The only thing that varies between us all is what environments we have to be in for this quality to be revealed. The environments we grow in effect how fast and when we become motivated.

This belief became real to me one day last year while I was out with a friend. I had an interview at Chipotle that day, so I insisted on going to my interview first then accompanying my friend to get her state ID. After my interview we were on our way to the place that I seem to pass by everyday without knowing. When we entered, the room was full of impatient faces. There were people standing on the walls, people sleeping, others in line. There were two seats open but they weren’t next to each other.

I said “Claire you take that one, I’ll take the other.”

She said “How about we ask the man who is sitting in between the two empty seats to move over so we can be next to each other.” I nodded in agreement.

The man looked very unapproachable. He held a folder full of papers in one hand and his smile in the other. A frown that extended from one ear to the other was plastered on his face.

“Excuse me, can you move over one please?” She asked.

A number was called on the loudspeaker “76 come to line B”

The man got up quickly while gathering his papers.

After we sat down I couldn’t help but observe the anxious faces around me. My eyes were stuck on this one elderly lady who moved in slow motion. She looked sick and unhappy. As she walked to line A, I watched her stop to regain her balance. My eyes followed her until they met with what looked like a middle aged man who was waiting for her in the line. Their faces shared similar traits, but his looked more rough. He has a scruffy beard and wondering eyes. The similarities in their faces lead me to believe that man was her son. He looked clueless as he talked to the women behind the desk in uniform. He said the words his elderly mother could not, but they didn’t seem to be the right ones. He looked to his mother for help every so often but didn’t receive any. The two small figures left the line empty handed and looked more disgusted than they were when they entered the place. I started to think about the role my mother plays in my life. She’s my support system and my teacher. Since she is the only person I know I can depend on, I sometimes take her for granted. I don’t listen to everything she tries to teach me about life that I need for the future. But while observing all the hopeless and confused faces I gained a sense of gratefulness for her teaching me certain things so with or without her I would be capable to take care of things on my own. That night I went home and I researched all the documents you need to have in order to get your state ID and I researched the process. I was expanding my knowledge for myself so I wouldn’t have to depend on my mother to inform me. In order to succeed you have to want it for yourself and you have to push yourself to get it. It took me being in this environment that was different than the one I was used to full of confused people to understand the resource I have which was myself.

I also remember a story my mother shared with me which was a little more extreme than my own but it gave me the same realization. She told me a story of boy who lived on her block named Pete. Her mother never allowed her to go near the house or associate with Pete because he was not good association. Pete’s mother and father were heavily involved in illegal drug activity. They subjected him to this lifestyle, which lead to him abusing drugs and selling them. His parents didn’t reprimand him, because they thought this was an ideal way of living. He grew up ignorant to how life really was outside the world he was used to. He went to high school without basic elementary skills. When he entered high school, he felt out of place and “stupid”. The contrast between him and other students looked him pried his eyes open, so that it was all he could see. It was then that he realized he wanted to educate himself. He began going to the library which sparked his interest in reading. He still had a long way to go, but he was determined and fueled by his intrinsic motivation. When his parents noticed the change in his behavior they questioned him. This questioning ignited a heated argument where he expressed his hatred for them. He felt unloved, because they were holding him back in a way he never knew they could. Naturally, his parents felt guilty. Pete was later shot and killed due to previous involvement in drug activity. Anyone who knew Pete’s family knew his death left his mother devastated. In Pete’s case his intrinsic motivation wasn’t revealed until he was put in an environment that made him challenge his intelligence.

When we yearn for enlightenment we guide our fingers to the book and pry it open ourselves. This enlightenment we yearn for comes from the intrinsic motivation that sleeps within us until our environment awakes it. In conclusion whether it takes being put in an environment totally different than the one we are used to or being put in an environment with similar traits our motivation reveals itself.



Works cited:


Anzadula, Gloria. "How to Tame a Wild Tongue." (n.d.): n. pag. Web. November 25,2015

"What Is Intrinsic Motivation?" About.com Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2015.

Myers, Christopher. "The Apartheid of Children’s Literature." The New York Times. The New York Times, 15 Mar. 2014. Web. 25 Nov. 2015.

"Intrinsic Motivation." Intrinsic Motivation. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2015.

Watch Video here


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Advanced Essay #2 - Intrinsic Motivation

Introduction: My main focus for this essay was trying to confirm the idea that we all possess intrinsic motivation. The only thing that varies between us all is what it takes for this quality to be revealed. It can be a long list of things, but I think your environment has the biggest effect. I wanted to show how when we are put in different environments than what we're used to we see different things that help awaken this motivation in us. I hope I was able to convince the readers of my idea and to show different examples of why I stand firm in this belief. I feel like I was very descriptive with the scenes in this essay as well as my first essay. For my next essay I want to focus on narrowing down what I'm trying to communicate so my reader doesn't get confused with all the ideas they're presented with.

In life I have learned numerous lessons and I am comfortable with the fact that I’ll learn more as I grow. But through all life’s lessons there has only been one truth that has left a lasting impression on my mind. This truth lives inside each and every one of us. That truth is we all possess intrinsic motivation. This intrinsic motivation allows us to be driven by ourselves rather than the people around us. Motivating ourselves leads to an everlasting benefit, while being motivated by others only gives short term success. This idea is communicated through the old saying ”Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” What some fail to realize is that the man must first want to learn before he can actually be taught. People who aren’t motivated to educate themselves can not be taught. Which leads me to question, does everyone possess this intrinsic motivation?

We all have this intrinsic motivation, but it takes certain environments to awaken it. The only thing that varies between us all is what environments we have to be in for this quality to be revealed. The environments we grow in effect how fast and when we become motivated.

This belief became real to me one day last year while I was out with a friend. I had an interview at Chipotle that day, so I insisted on going to my interview first then accompanying my friend to get her state ID. After my interview we were on our way to the place that I seem to pass by everyday without knowing. When we entered, the room was full of impatient faces. There were people standing on the walls, people sleeping, others in line. There were two seats open but they weren’t next to each other.

I said “Claire you take that one, I’ll take the other.”

She said “How about we ask the man who is sitting in between the two empty seats to move over so we can be next to each other.” I nodded in agreement.

The man looked very unapproachable. He held a folder full of papers in one hand and his smile in the other. A frown that extended from one ear to the other was plastered on his face.

“Excuse me, can you move over one please?” She asked.

A number was called on the loudspeaker “76 come to line B”

The man got up quickly while gathering his papers.

After we sat down I couldn’t help but observe the anxious faces around me. My eyes were stuck on this one elderly lady who moved in slow motion. She looked sick and unhappy. As she walked to line A, I watched her stop to regain her balance. My eyes followed her until they met with what looked like a middle aged man who was waiting for her in the line. Their faces shared similar traits, but his looked more rough. He has a scruffy beard and wondering eyes. The similarities in their faces lead me to believe that man was her son. He looked clueless as he talked to the women behind the desk in uniform. He said the words his elderly mother could not, but they didn’t seem to be the right ones. He looked to his mother for help every so often but didn’t receive any. The two small figures left the line empty handed and looked more disgusted than they were when they entered the place. I started to think about the role my mother plays in my life. She’s my support system and my teacher. Since she is the only person I know I can depend on, I sometimes take her for granted. I don’t listen to everything she tries to teach me about life that I need for the future. But while observing all the hopeless and confused faces I gained a sense of gratefulness for her teaching me certain things so with or without her I would be capable to take care of things on my own. That night I went home and I researched all the documents you need to have in order to get your state ID and I researched the process. I was expanding my knowledge for myself so I wouldn’t have to depend on my mother to inform me. In order to succeed you have to want it for yourself and you have to push yourself to get it. It took me being in this environment that was different than the one I was used to full of confused people to understand the resource I have which was myself.

I also remember a story my mother shared with me which was a little more extreme than my own but it gave me the same realization. She told me a story of boy who lived on her block named Pete. Her mother never allowed her to go near the house or associate with Pete because he was not good association. Pete’s mother and father were heavily involved in illegal drug activity. They subjected him to this lifestyle, which lead to him abusing drugs and selling them. His parents didn’t reprimand him, because they thought this was an ideal way of living. He grew up ignorant to how life really was outside the world he was used to. He went to high school without basic elementary skills. When he entered high school, he felt out of place and “stupid”. The contrast between him and other students looked him pried his eyes open, so that it was all he could see. It was then that he realized he wanted to educate himself. He began going to the library which sparked his interest in reading. He still had a long way to go, but he was determined and fueled by his intrinsic motivation. When his parents noticed the change in his behavior they questioned him. This questioning ignited a heated argument where he expressed his hatred for them. He felt unloved, because they were holding him back in a way he never knew they could. Naturally, his parents felt guilty. Pete was later shot and killed due to previous involvement in drug activity. Anyone who knew Pete’s family knew his death left his mother devastated. In Pete’s case his intrinsic motivation wasn’t revealed until he was put in an environment that made him challenge his intelligence.

When we yearn for enlightenment we guide our fingers to the book and pry it open ourselves. This enlightenment we yearn for comes from the intrinsic motivation that sleeps within us until our environment awakes it. In conclusion whether it takes being put in an environment totally different than the one we are used to or being put in an environment with similar traits our motivation reveals itself.




Works cited:


Anzadula, Gloria. "How to Tame a Wild Tongue." (n.d.): n. pag. Web. November 25,2015

"What Is Intrinsic Motivation?" About.com Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2015.

Myers, Christopher. "The Apartheid of Children’s Literature." The New York Times. The New York Times, 15 Mar. 2014. Web. 25 Nov. 2015.

"Intrinsic Motivation." Intrinsic Motivation. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2015.


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Joanna's Advanced Essay #2: Shaping Me Into Who I Am

Intro:

In this paper I focused on the teachers from my elementary school. I focused on this because my teachers always wanted me to do things that I did not want to do and even changed how I acted. I would say that some of the teachers tried their best because they were looking out for me.


Essay:

Walking up the steps, one by one, I was trying to waste more time. I did not want to go to class. The teacher, Ms. Schulze, was one of the meanest teachers I knew and ever met. I knew that if I was not going to hurry upstairs, she would lock me outside the room. But I did not like going to her class. Every time, I took a step closer to her room my heart would pound faster and faster. I could hear my own heart pounding as I got closer to her door. I took one step up to the hallway and there she was standing there outside her room greeting the rest of the students to her classroom. That smile was so fake, it was like buying fake flowers from Michaels and putting it in your house and telling people that those are real flowers. She was standing there and I was walking closer and closer towards her and I could just hear her yelling “Joanna, why are you 1 minute late to my class?!” As I walked towards her, her smile turned from sunshine and lollipops to storms and darkness. I knew that I had to deal with her for the rest of the school year. This was my 3rd grade at Lowell Elementary School.

In the present day, the programs from the school district are becoming worse. Since, they announced that the School District of Philadelphia is going “broke” and that they have no money to keep the programs going such as, sports, arts, music and other programs. When I was in elementary school, the teachers and my peers knew that my first language was not English. It wasn’t hard for me because my family spoke to me in English all the time. In elementary school, I was forced to take this test in order to see if I needed extra help. I did not know what was going on but I would be placed into a class one period a day and it was called “Esol”.

Esol was a class that wasn’t a grade according to Ms. Schulze but the teachers claimed that they would help me with understanding things better. Just because English was my second language being in that class made me feel stupid and dumb like I don’t belong in school with my peers. It did not make sense to me as a little girl. However, I knew that I had to get my work done in order to get noticed by the teachers. It was important for me to let the teachers see that I was doing well in class because I wanted to be put out of that class. Later on, in that year I was switched to another Esol class because Ms. Schulze had retired. The new esol teacher’s name was Ms. Dunkin.

When you Google “Esol” one of the searches come up as “Esol courses”. There is an esol course that is free. Looking at this website, it looks like it would have helped me more when I was in elementary school. Taking online courses are much more easier in my opinion. There are no teacher to yell at you or to tell how you should act.

One day, I had a report conference with my homeroom teacher and during the conference, I realized that my reading grade was higher than I thought it would be. I asked my homeroom teacher, “Why is my reading and writing much more higher?” and my homeroom teacher replied saying “You have a higher grade because of the way you act and do your work at esol class.” My homeroom teacher told my dad to go talk to my esol teacher to see my progress.

After the conference, I saw Ms. Dunkin in the hallways and she stopped my dad and I. My dad had a short conversation with her. My dad had asked “How is Joanna doing in your class? I bet she’s causing trouble.” My Esol teacher replied “Actually no. I have no problems with Joanna. She knows when to do her work and she always wants to be alone. So, overall she gets her work done. Which is really good.”

The next at class, Ms. Dunkin said that I had to sit at a table because I need to be more “social” and actually talk to my peers. She knew that I worked better alone and I got my work done faster. I did not understand why she was like that. Ms. Dunkin made a dramatic scene out of it saying that I was suppose to be social and that I can’t always get what I wanted in life.”

Ms. Dunkin always said I should be this way and this type of person because I’m not social. She wanted me to become this girl that would socialize with her peers and was an outgoing girl. I understood that Ms. Dunkin was looking out for me but at my age I did not understand why she said those things. Teachers at my elementary school focused a lot on the students that never spoke up and the ones that were always alone. Ms. Dunkin wanted to shape me into a “better student” that would always social, talk to my peers. She was afraid that I would not be open and she did not want to see my alone. For all these reasons, it was good that a teacher wanted to shape me into a “better” person but at that time, I was only a third grader that did not understand what she was saying.

All of the teachers had this mindset of how I should be. Reflecting back, I would thank them. It is important that the teachers were trying to look out for me. However, I wanted to be the way I was. I thought I was perfectly fine. Ms. Dunkin always had this bubble about me. She would think that I was an anti-social girl, who was shy and did not want to be with others. The teachers from my elementary school has to understand how the student felt during that time. At the time when I said I was better working alone, Ms. Dunkin did not understand and had forced me into sitting with others. Elementary teachers should accept how the student is. The students will always be the way they want to be. Let them figure it out on their own. It is more important that the student goes through those experiences because they learn a lot of things.


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Literacy Through Reading and Writing

Introduction: My main focus for this essay was trying to write more directly. I  have been told many time that I write passively and have been working to get away from that. I’ve also worked on re-reading and re-working my work to make it better than ever. I honestly believe that I achieved that in this advanced essay. The part that I am most proud of or most looking forward to people reading are my scenes of memory. I want everyone who reads it to be able to picture the scene clearly without getting bored. As far as growing as a writer I think I have done a lot of growing between these two advanced essays and I’m eager to see what I come up with next. My next area of focus and improvement will be more focused around descriptive vocabulary and grammar.


I never thought I was much of a writer. I wrote a few poems here and there when I was younger but I never thought they were anything special. My father would boast about how easily the words would flow out of me, how naturally they came. Reading on the other hand was a cakewalk. Considering that I did not start to enjoy reading until the fifth grade, it was effortless. “Oh what do you have here?” I questioned.

“A book.” She responded.

“What’s it called?”

“The name of this book is secret.”

“Can you just show me the cover.” I responded annoyedly.

“I already told you the name of this book is secret.”

“Isabel stop messing around!” I demanded.

She flipped the book over to show me the cover. The title of the book was indeed The Name of this Book is Secret.

“Oh” I answered a little embarrassed. Even though my pride was hurt for being so frustrated, I was curious. I didn’t really like to read but all of the sudden I was drawn to this book. Why is the name of the book secret? Will anyone ever find out the name of the book? Who is Pseudonymous Bosch? Is that his real name? I needed all of my questions answered, so I made my way to the local Barnes & Noble to do some investigating. When I got my hands on the book I couldn’t have been more excited. At the moment I didn’t understand what I was doing. I was opening a door that I wouldn’t be able to close. I flew through the first book hoping to find all the answers, but I didn’t, but there were four more books in the series. Yet again my curiosity got the best of me and not too soon after I was anxiously waiting in line to buy the final book. When I finally got my hands on it, I knew I was never letting go. Once I started to read for myself, I caught on quickly. The words would connect and make sense in my head in a way that they didn’t before. I was actually comprehending the content and enjoying myself while doing it. That Christmas, Santa gave me eighteen wonderful books. I don’t remember being happier.

From Grothaus article, it seems clear that reading is a practice that has many benefits both physically and psychologically. A discussion about the relationship between reading and one’s writing skills might be an interesting place for the writer to go. In my experience, what I write does not reflect what I read. The two are definitely related, but this does not mean that reading leads to proficiency in writing. I grew up thinking that I was good at writing because I was reading well above my grade level. I never got bad grades in writing and I dabbled in poetry which everyone seemed to love. Plus, all the other kids who liked to read always got spectacular grades on their writing. There was a pattern that I saw early on: good reading equals good writing. It wasn’t until I got into high school that I realized that something about that system just wasn’t working for me.


“Alright class, don’t forget tomorrow is when you turn in your polished book review,” Ms. Dunn reminded us.

“I’m really about to kill this,” I whispered to my peer.


I only had to finish up the final paragraph, which took about ten minutes. I re-read what I wrote and closed my computer. All in all I was pretty proud. The next day I went to school and waited for lunch to come, I was satisfied of my work but I wanted Ms. Dunn to check it for any last minute mistakes. I showed up at her office right at the start of the period.

“Hey Ms. Dunn. Could you look over my review before I turn it in. This is the final version but I just want to be sure,” I asked

“Sure no problem,” She responded.


I shared her into my document and sat across from her, too anxious to see what she was typing, but sure were those fingers moving. Maybe they were good comments, I thought. I was so wrong.


“There you go, she said with a toothy grin on her face.” She closed her laptop and went to deal with another student.


I opened my document expecting to have to only make a few grammar edits here and there. I could not have been more wrong! All I saw were paragraphs worth of edits in the comment boxes. At first I kept my cool, fixing one error after another, until suddenly lunch was over and class had begun. That’s when I started to breakdown. I was running out of time until eventually I had to turn in what I had. After that class period I wasn’t feeling great about my writing but I was trying to stay positive. The next week I got my grade back on canvas - 79. That was the beginning of a pattern would continue through the school year. I took refuge in my books.

I never felt so incompetent and unsuccessful at writing. I don’t understand how someone who has read so well for so many years is unable to write well. Am I not paying attention to the writing techniques of different writers? Am I not comprehending the writing as well as I think I am? It’s stressful to know that writing a simple essay has to be a big production because you are constantly checking yourself on simple writing errors or areas of doubt. Writing still is a challenging area for me and no matter how much I read it doesn’t change how I write, and I’m not the only one who notices this. In the steps to become a better writer, I have been keeping a journal and working with a tutor to practice my writing skills and confidence as a writer. Because I like to read books I started marking my books and



Citations:

"How to Use Reading to Become a Better Writer | Write to Done." Write to Done. 31 Jan. 2008. Web. 25 Nov. 2015. <http://writetodone.com/how-to-use-reading-to-become-a-better-writer/>.

"How Changing Your Reading Habits Can Transform Your Health." Fast Company. 27 July 2015. Web. 25 Nov. 2015. <http://www.fastcompany.com/3048913/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/how-changing-your-reading-habits-can-transform-your-health?utm_campaign>.


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Advanced Essay #2: Despite My Books

Introduction:

In this essay and my art piece, I tried to explore the detriments of the classic definition of literacy, the ability to read and write, and how that has personally hindered my ability to grow and connect with half of my cultural background. I focus on cultural literacy, and how it is de-emphasized by the dominant culture (and the consequences of that inaction). In my art piece, i wanted to convey the emptiness of my knowledge of the value of Angolan culture, and the wealth of information outside of my reach because of my limited perceptions growing up. The colors of my words (in the self-portrait) were meant to emulate those of the Angolan flag, while my lack of color was designed to underscore my disproportionate whiteness. 

Paper:

I don’t ever remember there being many books at Tia Lola’s. A bubblegum pink cover advertising the tale of a girl with “hair as big as Texas” and lipstick lies deep in the wells of my memory, but I can’t recall its name or ever having seen a person reading it. It didn’t matter because books weren’t central to life at Tia Lola’s. It was an axiom of my youth that merited no further reflection. Reading occurred at home, while cheek-kisses, feijão com óleo de palma (palm-oil beans), serial TV, and dancing belonged to Tia Lola’s world of Angolan parties and relatives that existed solely on Skype.

It should come as no surprise that I tried to assimilate, preferred the parts of my life that would allow me access to the erudite world of a middle-class smart kid: the late-night books, the Arabic classes, the voice lessons, the perfect ASE dialect. These were things my “white-tina” mom encouraged, things that made me more like her, an Ivy League Professor with big books and an even bigger vocabulary, and, as a consequence, less like Tia Lola, a working-class stay-at-home mom with an immaculate house and beef pies that would tempt a cow. As I grew, it didn’t bother me that while I felt at home when spending Thanksgiving weekend at my maternal grandfather’s shaded residence in Fairfax county, the mere mention of an “Angolan Party” would evoke protests. I didn’t realize that I never looked at an member of my father’s family expecting intelligence. My ignorance excluded their knowledge and experiences from the definitions of literacy, class, and intellect that life had mapped out for me.


“[Children of Color] recognize the boundaries being imposed

upon their imaginations, and are certain to imagine themselves well within

the borders they are offered, to color themselves inside the lines.”


Reading “The Apartheid of Children’s Literature by Christopher Myers, I realized the value of diversity in children’s books for children of color. In doing so, I recognized their value for me, a multicultural, mixed race child. While these “boundaries upon imagination” most affect the possibilities of children of color, their impact is most obviously seen in the mindset of children of multiple ethnicities. Growing up, only my white family was “smart”, only my Angolan family was “wild”. Every time I shuddered as Tío something’s stubble grazed my cheek, every time I dreaded the annual birthday phone calls in Portuguese, I re-drew the lines of my map. I imposed boundaries upon my imagination. I realized my unique experience when Gloria Anzaldua stated in How to Tame a Wild Tongue that:


“To be close to another Chicana is like looking into

the mirror. We are afraid of what we’ll see there” (pg 58)


To be close to Chicanas terrified her because they reflected who she was, but to be close to Angolans frightened me because I wasn’t reflected. I wasn’t one of them and they weren’t a part of me. Looking into the mirror of my ethnic background, I’d see a disproportionately white Colombian worldview. Consciously or subconsciously, I hid behind my books and stringent interpretations of intelligence to ignore my own cultural illiteracy.


In retrospect, rigid ideas about who can be literate and how they achieve that status have moulded my life beginning with my first word: book. Before I could even speak, I internalized the belief that literature was the path to literacy. An etymologist would argue that both words stem from the Latin littera, or “letter”, and thus my early beliefs were accurate, but letters make up more than books. They string together sentences passed down in the established Angolan oral tradition, form the words flowing from Patrick Saint-Eloi’s lyrical falsetto, cut me off from a part of myself that I wished and failed to understand. Unable to decipher a single letter of my Angolan cultural identity, my childhood was an illiterate one. I was crippled by, in the words of acclaimed author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “the dangers of a single story”, the dangers of allowing the dominant culture to be the sole contributor to my definitions of intelligence and literacy. Erasure of culture in the name of conformity is truly a danger to society; I am living proof. Despite my books, I am illiterate. Because of my books, and their uniform whiteness, I am illiterate. My entire life has unconsciously striven to become this way because, contrary to every advice given to me in my early days, I have been pushed by the society's ignorant subconscious to be illiterate.


Digital Story (Really a Visual Art Piece):
project
(if the photo doesn't load you can see the project here)

Works Cited:

Adichie, Chimamanda. "What Are The Dangers Of A Single Story?" NPR. NPR, 24 Sept. 2015. Web. 25 Nov. 2015. <http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=186303292>.

Anzaldúa, Gloria. Borderlands = La Frontera. San Francisco: Aunt Lute, 1999. Print.


Myers, Christopher. "The Apartheid of Children’s Literature." The New York Times. The New York Times, 15 Mar. 2014. Web. 25 Nov. 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/opinion/sunday/the-apartheid-of-childrens-literature.html>.
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How Kids can and should be able to Handle the Classics of this World

My essay is about the low expectation that teachers have for kids in literacy. I will explain how that can be harmful and what can be done to fix it. 

When I was in elementary school, I was not  an avid reader, especially when you compare me today with my younger self. However, I still read enough for me to be considered slightly above the reading average of my grade. The way that teachers would determine your reading level would be by you reading a couple of passages and then they will ask you questions. From there, they will base your reading level using the alphabet with A being the lowest level, like on a kindergartner’s level, to Z being the highest, which was an 8th grader’s reading level. I was usually given an S,sometimes a T depending on the teacher that was evaluating me, which was slightly above average, and I was fine with that, especially considering the fact that I was expected to be at a level R anyway. So, my teachers really never pushed me to do more. “ Sianneh your are doing so well, so I wouldn’t worry too much. You're so smart”.  My ignorance to this, blinded me from seeing this as a problem until a decision that I made later on opened my eyes to it.
Going back to my experience with reading in elementary, my indifference towards books quickly came to a close in 3rd grade, when I found out my sister’s reading level. “ You’re on a Y” I said in amazement. She shrugged her shoulders carelessly “Sianneh it’s not that big of deal. You’re at a high level too” That was not what I wanted to here. “I don’t care!” I said angrily “ I want to be as high as you and I’m going to be too”. It proved to be a little more difficult than I thought it would be, and looking back at it now, I understood why. There was a lack of encouragement for challenging yourself, and there was more encouragement for stagnance. “ Sianneh you’re already on the right track now. it doesn't matter what level your sister’s on”  This is not a problem until it starts to prohibit the opportunities to challenge yourself.
When it came to challenging yourself, most of the initiative had to come from you while you were in an environment that promotes being average as the main goal. While I was trying to improve my reading level, I found out the more you read, the better your result were, especially when you tried to read challenging books. I remembered with the library that we had in class, they would organize the books based on your level as well. The easiest books were at the top-mid shelf while the harder book were more towards the bottom. In fact, with the harder books, there weren't that many interesting ones that I could really remember. There were just random books. They would be mostly be books that were on history or war. I still did not let that discourage me though. I went outside of school, to libraries and I read with my dad. “ You need to try and read everyday. It’s a long time commitment that requires a lot of dedication.” He would say to me. It took some time, but I was able to finally get where on the level that I was able to be on, and my love for read grew by that time too, but from there I only wanted to go further.
That was when I started to notice the looks of surprise that people started giving me for choosing books that they never expected a child to read. “ Wow, I never thought someone like you could read books like these.” , “ That looks like a challenging book, I’m surprised you chose something so difficult” People saw me as some sort of fascinating oddity. In Sherman Alexie’s “Superman and Me” he addresses this issue as well. He stated that “ If he’d been anything but an Indian boy living on the reservation, he might’ve been called a prodigy”(13). I was, naturally, surprised that people would look at kids who were not white, yet still very educated like they was so sort of rare occurrence when it should be the norm. It made me think, now, and I realized that when they look at a smart minority, their astonishment is not about child’s intellect, it’s about the child’s success in a broke system.
When you are apart of an environment that is set up for failure, or being average as the main goal, someone who is able to go against that and succeed is something rare. It shouldn’t have to be that way at all. Literacy should not have limitations of any form. It is a simple, yet complex form that should be available to everyone. Anyone can read just about anything they choose as long as they are able to understand and answer these three important question. Who is speaking? What happened? Why does it matter? Now, people might say  that there is more to this process, which is true. The reason that sometimes these question can be hard to answer at times is because there is a lack in vocabulary and experience. Vocab is the easy part. All there is to do is to learn more words, but most of the time experience can be challenging. You have to understand where the author’s character is coming from and the times, as well as the society of the story. Only then can you understand the significance of what happened and why it matters coming from the person who is speaking. Once you overcome these two setbacks you can read just about anything at any age.

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