In Aria Richard Rodriguez recalls the experience of learning English as a child. "I couldn't believe the English language was mine to use. (In part, I did not want to believe it)" he said. This shows his initial hesitation to learn the English language. He looked at it from an outside perspective, and from the outside it was clearly the source of power. So powerful in fact that he wanted nothing to do with it perhaps out of fear of the power.
This leads me to the next quote. "Did I some how suspect that once i learned public language my pleasing family life would be changed?" This really corresponds to the story because it is as excellent use of foreshadowing. Later in the story he talks about how much things change at home. Happy family dinners were replaced by awkward silent meals, small talk subsided and the life at home became a lot less friendly. His mother grew restless as her children spoke to her less and his father became very withdrawn as the family learned English.
"At last, seven years old, I came to believe what had technically been true since my birth: I was an American citizen" This reminds me of Lisa Delpit's ideas that knowing the rules makes acquiring power easier. Once he knew the language he felt as though he belonged and he had equal opportunity to acquire power as anyone else.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
In this excerpt from his book Amazing Grace Jonathan Kozol argues the reason for the conditions of extreme poverty and sickness in the South Bronx. Kozol lays the blame on institutions such as the hospitals, the police, and government agencies such as social security. Kozol gives examples of unsanitary hospital conditions including patients waiting for hours in the waiting room and then needing to clean their own room as it is still covered in bloody bandages from the previous inhabitant. He also tells about how in some areas if the heat shuts down, the government hands out sleeping bags instead of repairing the heat. Kozol talks to an elderly woman slowing dying of the AIDS virus who is constantly being bounced around between the hospital, her doctor and the social security office, even though she was previously on SS and was only removed accidentally. The writing speaks about the police doing little to bring justice to crimes, including the rape of a little girl, so the grandmother takes the law into her own hands and puts a bullet in the head of the rapist. Then the government is astonished at the high level of shootings, when in reality a lot of them are probably taking justice into their own hands. From the problems with social security to the body parts disposal facility, Kozol blames the institutions for the poor conditions the people live in, even though the force of power will place all blame on the individuals.
Although this video does not directly relate to race, it does emphasize background which I believe relates it to our class. It shows how everyone has things going on that they do not talk about and that an important part in being able to understand and communicate with anyone is understanding where they are coming from, and trying to understand why they act or feel the way that they do.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
My name is Vinny and I am enjoying the semester so far. This is my sophomore year and I am here at Rhode Island College pursuing my goal of becoming a high school English teacher. Outside of the class room I enjoy staying physically active. I like to run, mountain bike, longboard, surf along with many other things. I am a strong believer in karma and live my life accordingly. I think over all people (myself included at times) need to focus less on everything going wrong, and a bit more on what makes them happy. Negativity is cancer of the brain, only more contagious.