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Language Autobiography 2013: Shielded

In this unit, we had learned how language is one of your main identities besides race. Our class had read several essays relating to language identity in people's lives. This benchmark was to write about a time in your life where your language affected a big part of your identity. I have learned a deeper understanding of how I reacted to words that I was shielded from.


Shielded


Communication can be very complicated. Especially when you are shielded from the harmful parts of languages during your early years and then having that shield break, which causes those harmful words to be able to reach your ears. This causes many curious kids to be exposed to a world of offensive language that they have no clue that it is actually offensive.  

I remember when I was in third grade sitting with other third graders while my teacher was teaching us how to do addition when I noticed how my middle finger felt uncomfortable from all the writing we did, so I moved my middle finger upwards and the other fingers back into a fist-state and pressed my middle finger onto the table. I did a few “push-ups” with the finger before one of the girls turned around and saw it. I looked at her with a slightly laughing “what” expression, her expression was different. She looked surprised. That’s when she said to me “Ooooo! I am telling the teacher!”. I didn’t understand, what was wrong about having only my middle finger up? She got up and ran to the teacher, telling about what I did. I got up and walked to the teacher, still thinking about how is it wrong, when I then proceeded to ask why it is wrong to have your middle finger up. "Well, the middle finger is like saying a bad word to someone, so never have it up or you can hurt someone's feelings." She said it nicely, knowing that I never knew that I could offend someone with my middle finger.

Looking back on this event, I believe that my parents shielded me heavily from offensive words. That girl who told on me probably used her middle finger often until someone told her that it could hurt other's feelings. I always think that her parents didn't shield her from  offensive language as much as I parents did as she knew about it when I didn't. She must had begun to use these offensive words when she heard of it, not thinking about what it actually means to others. I can understand how parents don't want their children to learn any offensive words, so they try to hide them from this type of world. But I think that’s a bad idea, because sooner or later, they will learn these words and use them unaware of the meaning behind it. Rather than shielding children entirely from these words, we should teach them about the words before they learn of it from other sources, because if we teach them about it, then they will be prepared and know what to do when they hear it because they will know what it means.

There was a time in fifth grade where I learned how bad the consequences of saying an offensive word could be. I was outside waiting in line for our teachers to take us in one day, and I turned around to talk to another student in my class. He was a white Russian kid,  slightly taller than me, he cursed every now and then. Before I got a chance to talk to him, another student began to yell at him about something. I didn’t want to get involved as they look liked that were about to fight. A few second later, the russian student pointed at the other student aggressively and said “Fuck you!” I thought that he could have done that better, so I thought showing him a better way would be a great idea. I went to him and said “Let me show you how you could have done that better.” I then proceeded to put on an aggressive expression, pointed my finger out with a fast aggressive force, turned to my right and said "Fuck you!". It sounded pretty brutal to me, I even felt proud about it.

I realized who I manage to point to out of everyone, my mom. My mom had a very mad look and was coming towards me . "I'm dead" I said quietly. When she was a few inches away from me, she said "When you get home, dad is going to beat your ass like no tomorrow." She didn't yell it, but said it with anger.

This is the first moment in my life where I realized that the offensive word I had said came with great consequences. A quote that I had found while reading a story, called “Aria” by Richard Rodriguez, made me think deeper into this event of my life. The quote was “ I was a listening child...” (13). This quote made me feel that I was also “a listening child”, because I would always try to hear what people said around me. I heard words like “fuck” being used often in these conversations, so I thought words like “fuck” were ok to say. The environment that I was in exposed me to such words, but my parents never told me that the offensive words I heard were  actually offensive.


Sources:

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



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You gucci?

Let me start of by saying, I do not consider myself the best speaker or writer. I am a big person and I been told that I do not have a deep voice for my size. There were times where I would call a company about my phone issues and they would call me, “Mrs.“  What happened was I once had a track phone. I had to call to put my minutes on there. So I called the company as I was supposed to. I did all the things they asked me to do. Then the customer service person got on the phone.

I said, “Hello, I am trying to put minutes on my phone.”

Her response was. “Hello Miss, allow me to help you with this.”

When she said that, I was like dang, my voice is really light.

I started to actually play sports when I was in the 8th grade. Unfortunately, I would get hurt a lot. I would tell my mom about my problems. I would point at the pain and she would say speak.

"Mom, I got a fast break steal in my basketball game. I had the defender beat. I went up for the lay-up and I came down on my ankle wrong and it hurtted…"

"Hurtted? What the hell is hurtted? It is not a word babe,” as she interrupted me.

Oh well, I did not know that. I was in pain, not anymore. So I thought I would put the "ed" at the end?

" No babe," she said as she started to laugh.

            My mom is big on speaking. She believes my siblings and I should speak properly. She really does not like us using slang unless we joking. I am the child that uses a lot of slang because of my generation. Not saying it’s a bad thing, it’s the way we communicate with each other. But when I use slang with my mom she looks confused, like a freshman in Spanish 4, and they never learned Spanish.

“ Hey son how was your day?” My mother asked me as we ride in the car.

“ It was Gucci…,” I responded, as she interrupts me.

“ What in the hell is Gucci?”

“ It means good mom,” as I laughed.

“ Why didn’t you just say good?”

“ Who uses good anymore?” I asked with a smile on my face.

“ Okay Allen,” as she answered her phone.

It’s not that my mom is left in the past, it’s that she don’t pay me no mind when it comes to that type of stuff. But she does catch on to stuff quickly. She proved that after  my game with my team called Rise-up.

I asked “How did I do?”

“ You did Gucci son.”

“ What? When did you start saying that?”

“ But those refs was drawling!”

“Where did all this come from mom? You never used to say this.”

I assume it was a joking moment so it was cool. But in a serious conversation, she would not use slang with me. I see that she was catching on. I did not imagine parents would use slang with their kids, especially not mine because she does not believe in playing with her children. She does not agree with us using with adults. She wants us to have manners. She does not want us to be referred to as a stereotype. For example, she is totally against the stereotype of being a black kid who cannot speak properly. She told me one time that I cannot get a job using slang; like “ Yo homie” or “where my niggas at”. She always says “ Talk like you have some sense.” I never fully understand what she means when she says that. When I talk to her I know what I am talking about. So how am not talking with any sense? She mainly says that to me when I am in trouble, and I start to stutter because I know I was wrong.

My mother always helps me pronounce words. When I am speaking to her, she stops me and tells me the right way to pronounce the word. I correct the word, but at first it is hard. I repeat it until I get it right. I do catch on fast. I still have problems saying words like “spaghetti”. But hey, nobody speaks perfect. To be honest I do not plan on being a broadcaster, so pronouncing things is one of the last things on my list. I am not saying I have a problem with speaking; it’s just that I am not that strong, so I will continue to work on it.

When I do not know how to pronounce a word, I will spell it out to my mom so she can help me with the correct way to say the word. . That helps me a lot. Because I hear the word, then I am able to pronounce it correctly.

 

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YATW #2 - Teen Pregnancy - Why It's An Issue

Teen Pregnancy : Why It’s an Issue

In 2011 mainly one-third of male and female high school students are sexually active.  seven out of ten teens have had sexually intercourse by the age of 19. Being sexually active at a young age makes you high risk for sexual transmitted diseases (STD’s) . An sexually transmitted disease is from generally from having sexually intercourse.
One out of four teen girls have sexually transmitted diseases do to either unprotected sex or from someone who is passing the disease. There are many different types of STD’s. The most common would be viral and bacterial.




Bacterial Diseases include the following:
1. Chlamydia
2. Gonorrhea
3. Pelvic Inflammatory
4. Syphilis

Viral Disease include the following:   
1. Genital warts
2. Human papillomavirus
3. Hepatitis B
4. Hepatitis C
5. HIV/AID (Human immunodeficiency virus infection / Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome)
6. Genitals herpes



Peer pressure plays a big part in an individuals life. Studies show that boys are more in favor of being pressured to have sex when they are not ready to from other male associates. One in three boy between the age of 15 to 17 admit to have being pressured to have sex. As to the 23% of girls .




Teens now of days think that not just because you use protection you should not have to worry about the consequences. Well they’re wrong! You should not depend on the condom, for it is only a 50 -50 percent chance that it may protect you from getting someone pregnant.




Five Reasons Why A Condom May Fail:
1. The condom was not properly used
2. Breaks during intercourse
3. Not manufactured properly
4. The expiration date has come to pass
5. The condom was damaged after manufacture

The Proper Use of A Condom:
1. Stay away from tearing or breakage when you remove from the concealed package
2. Unroll the condom over the firm penis
3. DO NOT use an oil-based lubricant for this will damage the latex
4. Be sure to always to take off the condom as soon as possible after discharge


You should always expected the unexpected because you never know what may happen if you decide to have sexually inter course at not just a young age but at any age. The younger the age the more risk because you would be in the stages of puberty. Therefore your body is still growing. Waiting to have sex is the right thing to do. There is a time and place for everything you do in life.





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Curses!

"What the ef are you talking about?"


"Yo! Why don't you fuckin' curse?"

Thats the reaction I usually get whenever I need to curse but put in a substitute rather than say the real thing.


The reason for my censoring was that I find value in the abstinence of cursing for some reason. I just don't find I like saying it. It can easily be substituted for a lot of things and it almost limits your vocabulary if it becomes to regular in your daily speech. I grew up in a neighborhood where no one really cursed at all. My parents never cursed unless they were really angry at something, and my friends never cursed, so I never really learned to use it in my vocabulary.


"I just don't"


Thats usually how it goes. It seems that practically everyone I meet is comfortable with cursing. I don't know. I just can't do it. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Not really. though it is not normal considering the amount of people that are fine with it. Though when you think about it, tons of singers and rappers curse, as well as people in the movies.


As a movie lover I see a lot of different movies from G to R and the characters could be anything from cursing only once in the entire movie (to keep the MPAA rating down), or they could be rattling off swear words like it doesn't matter them. Though the use of cursing can make the scene very dramatic, or it can make the scene hilarious like in the movie Friends with Eddie Murphey.

“Oh mutha fucka you can have my cornbread thats for damn sure! Cause if you try and take my cornbread part two of my killin’ spree gon begin up hea on yo ass right now. No fuck him, fuck that cause I’m from new york city god damn it!”. Very funny indeed. And it adds comedic value. The cursing in that movie has a purpose.


I guess I have the sense that if you are arguing something and you are swearing a lot, it just makes you appear angry and not know what you are talking about. Like when a student at SLA got mad at me and started yelling and cursing at me, it just made him appear more funny rather than threatening. And I didn’t really listen to him because all the cursing just seemed like he was venting. Here is part of the exchange of words.

“You know you kind of need to stop swearing so much. Its kind of annoying.”

“Bitch I will motha fuckin curse whenever the fuck I wanna.”

And another person yelled at me like this.

“yo why you so fuckin annoying, nobody fuckin likes you. Fuck off before I fuckin smack you!”

Their arguments completely lose their power when they employ those kind of words into their sentance.


In the essay "If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?" the author says that language "reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from the larger, public, or communal identity. For me, it divorces me from the rest if the population and reveals the private identity of me. One that I cannot hide for some reason. It divorces me in a weird way. Like a Christian in a room full of jews or something like that. And adapting it would make life a bit easier.


The fact that I don't curse is one of the highly noticeable differences between me and the rest of the human population attending SLA.


Thought when you think about it, those words are just sounds produced by our mouths to form a sound that other people have heard and can tell what the person wants from those words. though thats the point. The curse words, those particular sounds formed represent something bad, rude, hurtful, or mean, and therefore that word is referred to as a bad word. And thats why I don’t use it. And just like with speaking with different accents, where some accents put off other people and change the way they think about you, cursing can make you appear unintelligent and mean and rude.







https://dl.dropbox.com/u/44526876/Benchmark%20English.mov
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Two ways of speaking

Language is different for because how english is written down. I’ve had trouble with English since I could I remember. English is more hard for me to used to because o f the different ways they are spoken I had trouble speaking proper English with my writing everything. I had different kind of english accents and ways of speaking it my whole life.  My way of speaking English is like most people talk, but sometimes I use words that not many people use.  I don’t think I have an accent but some of my family does have an accent like my dad family has the southern accent and sometimes it hard for me to tell what they are saying sometimes but most of the time I can tell what they are saying. Me I still need to speak better english but I got most of english but learning another language is much harder for me because of me having trouble with English in general. In spanish its hard to speak in an accent and writing in spanish is just as hard. Like my language will improve with time but not yet because of the ba thats in front of be not letting me get there. I need to get around that barrier and keep going to my goal but then there are other barriers in my way not letting me and slowing me down, keeping me at bay.


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New and Old Me Slide

In technology we are learning about slides. Going into this topic I felt like I was not going to learn anything because I have been using a laptop and making slides for the past five years. I quickly learned that I had no idea how to make a good slide. The first website we looked at as a class, completely changed how I look at slide design. I originally thought that a slide needed to be captivating and have a lot going on as to draw the viewers attention. I now know that a slide needs to be simple and powerful, so that it gets the point across without being confusing.

Before I thought that a slides job was to get the main point across, and be organized. In my first slide I try to display my name brighter than anything else, while organizing the slide so the viewer can take turns looking at each slide. I now know that the slide should be easy for the viewer to look at. I draw attention to the colors of the symbols in my second slide using the colors of my name.
Me Slide-old
Me Slide-New
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