Monday, December 5, 2016

Pecha Kucha

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Education is Politics

Article by Shor

This last reading by Shor was a great read to sum up and conclude all we have learned this semester.

"The teacher plays a key role in the critical classroom. Student participation and positive emotions are influenced by the teacher's commitment to both. One limit to this commitment comes from the teacher's development in traditional schools where passive, competitive, and authoritarian methods dominated"(Shor 26). 

There is nothing worse than having a teacher who is not interested in what they are teaching. I have had teacher's during high school who were not interested in their job and what they were teaching. It made the class drag on every time and I never felt like I fully understood the material because it was not taught in depth or with the care it should have been taught with. I just barely passed a class with a teacher like this because I could not get engaged because the teacher was not. 

"If the students' task is to memorize rules and existing knowledge, without questioning the subject matter or the learning process, their potential for critical thought and action will be restricted"(Shor 12). 

In school's today, it is all about teaching by the guidelines given which limits teachers. The student's should be taught beyond those guidelines into the world and their society. Pushing them to think beyond the guidelines will in fact increase their ability to think critically and maybe to even open their eyes to an event in the world that they were not aware of. I took a class in high school that strictly discussed and interpreted the current events in the world and our society. We would break down certain events and talk about them and tie them back to what we were learning in our history class. 

"Until students experience lively participation, manual authority, and meaningful work, they will display depressed skills and knowledge, as well as negative emotions. Teachers will be measuring and reacting to an artificially low picture of student abilities"(Shor 21). 

If the teacher does not attempt to get their students into conversation and making the classroom friendly and safe, they will not show their full knowledge. In FNED, Dr. Bogad has made the class easy to participate in without feeling nervous. In one of my other classes, I rarely ever participate if at all. The teacher never initiated any want or care for participation so at this point I would feel out of place participating in the class. 

** In a way, this reading reminded me of the piece we read by Gerri August, Safe Spaces. The reading by August is about safe spaces in a classroom for the LGBT community and this can connect to a safe classroom in all aspects. Classrooms need to feel safe for students to be able to learn and this can be provided by the teachers and the way schools are run. 

Points to discuss in class:
I enjoyed reading this piece and felt like I learned a lot from it. It is very important that students feel like they can participate in a class and that the teacher is engaged in what he/she is teaching. A class can be very boring if the teacher is not engaged in what they are doing.. the students often lose focus. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome

Article by Kliewer

For this weeks blog on Kliewer, I have chosen to do quotes. I had a tough time reading this piece and interpreting it but I tried to pick out the quotes that stood out to me.

1.) "Such acceptance is the aim when children with Down Syndrome join their nondisabled peers in classrooms, and many schools and individual teachers have entered into this effort, which seeks and finds community value in all children"(Kliewer 202).

I like this quote because I think it is so very important that children with Down Syndrome interact in classrooms with everyone else. There is nothing worse than isolating them from the world and keeping them in the same classroom everyday. That seems to me like it makes it much worse on them. At my high school, we had classes called "peer partners" (for spanish, music, art, and gym) where I got to go and work with a student with disabilities. Each student has a peer to guide them and it was the greatest class I have gotten to be a part of. I looked forward to it everyday and loved helping my student learn Spanish. They also look forward to it which I think makes their day even better. It is so important that children with disabilities do not get isolated into one single room all day. 

2.) " In classrooms that recognize all children as citizens, teachers and peers have rejected the image of community burden attached to Down syndrome. Rather the student is recognized as a participating member of the group"(Kliewer 208). 

Every child should be looked at the same way no matter how they learn in a classroom. It is important that children with Down syndrome be treated the same as everyone else because they are a human just like every other student or teacher in the room. There is no justification for treating a student with disabilities differently. If a student requires a small change to happen in the classroom, the do it, it won't hurt anyone but the student with a disability that you as a teacher are not treating them as a citizen and being accommodating. 

3.) "Community banishment of students with Down syndrome stems from their lack of behavioral and communicative conformity to school standards that form the parameters of intellectual normality"(Kliewer 212). 

Schools should not isolate students with Down syndrome because of how they learn. Schools need to accept the fact that not everyone learns the way that they want them to and expect them to. School standards need to accommodate students with disabilities and not push them away from all the other students just because they learn a different way. 

Points to discuss in class:
In order for students with Down syndrome to feel comfortable in the classroom, fellow students and teachers need to be accepting of them and look at them as a human being just like everyone else. I get frustrated when people show hatred or other rude feelings towards people with Down syndrome because they are no different than any of us. Communities and schools need to all come together and accept their students and peers. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Tracking; Why Schools Need to Take Another Route

Article by Oakes

I enjoyed reading this piece by Jeannie Oakes. I felt that I could connect with it to my High School years and her argument was very clear throughout the article.

Oakes argues that schools need to find another way other than tracking to figure out placement of students in classrooms. As I was reading this, I kept thinking back to my high school and it connected so well. I felt as though I was reading about my own school in a way. At my high school, it was similar to how Oakes says it should not be. There were three "groups" of classes and students. The highest would be what they call the honors classes where those students receive much attention and a lot of homework as Oakes says. The next would be the middle kids who are in between the highest and the lowest(at my HS, they are named college prep classes) as Oakes calls the average students. The lowest would be the students who are behind and require the most amount of help and who usually still don't get that amount of help in the lower class.

A quote that I think explains her argument well states, " It seems that tracking is both a response to significant differences among students and an ongoing contribution to those differences"(Oakes 179).
Oakes clearly does not believe that tracking is the best option and that schools need to find another way just as her title of the article says. I agree with her as I can connect it with my HS and look back now and see that it is a bad setup and it should be changed. It is also very true that the richer students were in higher classes and the poorest in the lowest class. This isn't saying that is the case for every student, but it was the majority.

I think this article can connect to the individuals vs. institutions. Tracking is definitely the institutions(school) wrong-doing and not the individual student. The student does not pick which class setting they are in, the school does. This Ted Talk discusses why tracking is not good in schools.

Points to discuss in class:
Is this issue of tracking seen in other high schools that you know of? What are some other ways that schools can place students other than tracking. Tracking seems to be doing worse things than it is better for the students. Students should all receive the proper education they need no matter if it is more teaching required than some other students.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Promising Practices

Promising Practices Event 11/5/16

On Saturday November 5th I attended the Promising Practices event at RIC. The two workshops I attended were Fostering Resiliency: Strength-Based Interventions that Support Diverse Learners on the Path to Standardized Test Success and Building Resiliency Through Play. The keynote speaker was Dr. Robert Brooks who was a great presenter with interesting information and personal stories.

Workshop I- In this workshop, the presenters shared four ways to help students to take a standardized test successfully. Those four ways are:
1.) Loaning confidence- to frame the challenge in a positive way and find where there was success in the test taken. Also, to identify change to have a better outcome the next time.
2.) Reverse Scaffolding- to go with what the student knows and work off of that. Sometimes you just have to use your better judgement on a test question.
3.) Meta Testing- take the student behind the scenes, and be aware of themselves as a test taker. Help them in areas they say they are not good.
4.) Strength in Numbers- phone a friend. Practice in a group setting and get support from others in trying to answer a test question.(Learn off of each other).
I enjoyed this workshop because it applied to me personally. I am in the middle of studying and getting tutored for my core math test so it was interesting to hear about testing strategies. Here is a bit of information on standardized testing. This workshop could be connected to Kozol's individuals vs. institutions. Is it the individual student failing the test because they do not know the information or is it the school institution not preparing their students well enough to pass a standardized test?

Workshop II- In the second workshop, we learned about resiliency through play. I did not enjoy this workshop as much as the first because we only played games and briefly talked about resiliency and play. I like to have a powerpoint or some sort of notes when learning but we did not get anything. I did learn that games are a good way of getting students to interact with each other and through play they can overcome challenges of solving problems, working as a group, etc. In one of the games, I entered it after they had already started playing therefore I had no idea what was going on. This can connect to Delpit because I did not know the rules of the game until someone explained them to me. Delpit argues that you need to explicitly teach those rules and codes of power and someone did that for me so I could play. I could also connect this to Kristof's USA Land of Limitations. Was I "limited" before I learned the rules of the game? I had no idea what was going on so I could not play to the best of my ability. This article is interesting as it talks about the importance of play for children's development which is what we learned about in this workshop.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Map the Authors

Author Map


                                                                    Author Map 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Problem We All Live With

Radio episode/Herbert

As I was listening to This American Life, It was making me think about many of the authors we have read in this course. I decided to blog about connections today between the radio episode and authors we have read in class.

Johnson- I went back to my writing on Johnson's article about Privilege, Power, and Difference and found a quote that I had written down, "Whether it's a matter of can't or won't, the truth is that we simply don't get along. Segregation in housing and schools is stubborn and pervasive, and the average wealth of white families is almost ten times that of blacks"(Johnson 2).  This quote made me think about what Nikole Jones said about her friends telling her they cannot come to her house. The white families did not want to get along with the blacks and segregation in housing in her town was true. They simply don't get along as Johnson says.

SCWAAMP- The radio station relates back to SCWAAMP in many ways. I saw it above When Nikole Jones discussed the white families not coming to her side of the town and again on the topic of schools. Ira Glass states what Nikole Jones noticed, "The bad schools never caught up to the good schools. And the bad schools were mostly black and Latino. The good schools, mostly white"(Glass). It is shown that whiteness is in the "good" schools. The rest basically, are "bad".

Kristof+Kozol- I heard these two authors as I was listening to the episode. I think that the U.S.A is the Land of Limitations for people of color. It is because of the housing they are in as well as the schools they are put in all based on their race and their poverty level. They cannot seem to rise above it because it is too hard to do so. This leads to Kozol who talks about individuals vs. institutions. Is it the people of Mott Haven making the bad choices, or is it the institutions that provide them with needles? For the radio episode, it is the school students making poor education choices, or is it the school system doing a poor job of integration, curriculum planning, etc? Jones states, "Those kids have greater educational needs. They're more stressed out. They have a bunch of disadvantages. And when you put a lot of kids like that together in one classroom, studies show, it doesn't go well."(Jones). 

While listening to the episode, I was curious as to what the Normandy School District looks like so I looked for a YouTube video and found this. Very informational video to see what is happening in Normandy.

Separate and Unequal by Bob Herbert also reminded me of the authors above. Herbert states, "But when the poor kids are black or Hispanic, that means racial and ethnic integration in the schools. Despite all the babble about a postracial America, that has been off the table for a long time"(Herbert). Communities do not want these students in their districts because of their poverty level and their race. There won't be a change unless people start accepting everyone else as the same. 

The Brown Vs. Board of Education website was interesting to look at previous history and also gives a timeline and essay about it. I liked the photographs of the exhibition, I think it would have been neat to see in person. 

Points to Discuss in Class:
We need to all be accepting of students of all races and income levels to be sure that they receive the best education possible. A students education should not be in jeopardy or lessened in any way because of who they are or where they come from.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

In the Service of What?

Article by Kahne and Westheimer
Extended Comments

This week I decided to use Colleen's blog for extended comments. Colleen did a great job of connecting readings that we have done to this article by Kahne and Westheimer.

Colleen states that it is beneficial for students to do service learning in their community and feel the reward of helping others out who are in need. I definitely agree on this thought. Going out into your town and helping citizens out is beneficial to not only the person you're helping, but to yourself as well. The people you are helping are teaching you things that you can take and use for the rest of your life. This article by The University of Minnesota shows some of the benefits of service learning for students, faculty, and the community.

Colleen also used a quote from the text that I thought explained a lot of what the reading was about. She used the quote, "Service learning makes students active participants in service projects that aim to respond to the needs of the community while furthering the academic goals of students"(Kahne/Westheimer 2). Service learning is not only about going out and helping others, it's about learning things through the process of helping. I like this video where a different people talk about what service learning means. It is an interesting and engaging video.

Service learning is such a beneficial activity for students to go out and help people. I also think it is good to get out and do what you want to do for a living, (just like we are doing in the schools), so you will get an idea if it is what you want to do or not. I was lucky to also be in a first grade class my senior year of high school everyday from 1-3:30. In that class is where I decided that I belong teaching my own class one day because it is where i'm most comfortable. Service learning is also something so unforgettable to a student.

Points for discussion in class:
- Do you feel as though your service learning in the school is teaching you things as well as giving a service to the students?
- Service learning is rewarding for students to get out of the classroom and interact with their community
-I don't think it can really be harmful in any way. Students are out in the community, where they eventually will end up, getting a head-start on practicing life skills that they will use in their lifetime
***Thanks to Colleen for a great post for extended comments!!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Election 2016: Power, Privilege and Voting

Articles by Soloway and NYT on Clinton's voice

I chose to read the two articles, one by Jill Soloway the other by Amy Chozick

In the first article, gender is shown by these so called locker room talks. Men talk behind women's backs in this locker room talk and make comments about them. Men have always had the power over the women and this is why they can brush it off and say they were talking about nothing. They can get away with this "toxic" talk because they are males. Even the greatest of men can perform locker talk because of their masculinity. Soloway says in her article, "Because it's here, in these gendered rooms, where men not only learn-but also learn to tolerate-this objectizing of women"(Soloway 3). There is the gender issue right there of male over female.

In the second article, gender is shown when Clinton feels that she needs to raise her voice to be heard. There is nothing wrong with raising your voice when speaking to a crowd but for a female, this is considered wrong because only men do that. Well, that is completely wrong. What is the issue of a woman raising her voice during a debate? The issue is that it is believed that only men do that and we women never yell and are supposed to keep our voices down. "'In today's America, when a woman is loud
it's 'shouting', when a man yells=enthusiasm'"(Joyce Karam 2).
When will it be that a woman yells, it will be considered enthusiasm too?
Here is a video(little less than a year old) that shows some percentages of
women and politics.

The U.S. is definitely a land of limitations as Kristof discussed in his article. He discussed more of people lives and beginnings but these articles can connect to the topic of limitations and gender(women)being surrounded in a land of limitations.

Another reading that I can connect gender to is Allan Johnson's piece on Power, Privilege, and Difference. I remember reading about the wheel he talked about(the diversity wheel) and was questioning how it would be if you woke up the opposite gender and how it would feel. He also asks how people would treat you. In today's society where gender is so split, you would likely be made fun of. If we did not discriminate gender, maybe it would not matter if you woke up the opposite gender!

Peggy McIntosh's piece also reflects gender. It reflects gender by the means of privilege. She states, "Through work to bring materials from women's studies into the rest of the curriculum, I have often noticed men's unwillingness to grant that they are overprivileged, even though they may grant that women are disadvantaged"(McIntosh 1). That shows gender in the first sentence of her piece.

When will men and women be equal as opposed to the scale above where men are above women?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Safe Spaces

Article by Gerri August

1.) "First, educators must ensure that the curriculum includes the perspectives, experiences, and history of LGBT people. Second, educators must ensure that communication inside the classroom walls validates the LGBT experience"(August 98). 

This is the whole point of this chapter summed up in two sentences. August and her fellow authors argue that this needs to happen in the schools to include the LGBT community of students. Not having any curriculum based on LGBT students will not make them feel like they fit in. This also reminds me of our last reading by Christensen where she talks about how people of color do not feel as though they fit into television or children's stories because most of the characters are always white and if they are of color, they are poor or "bad" characters. 

2.) "So far so good-until the family is two moms and their children or two dads and their adopted daughter. such families rarely ever make the curricular cut- they are invisible"(August 85). 

This is the problem in schools today. What is being taught about families is that there is one mom, one dad, and the kids. Not two moms or two dads. Therefore the students are not being taught that it is okay and are growing up having false opinions on it. We all need to learn and teach students about the other types of important families that are out there and that is the LGBT families. 

3.) "If applied across all disciplines and grade levels, integration and interpretation of LGBT experiences and contributions can transform our classrooms into safe spaces"(August 90). 

This is a main point of the chapter. Integration and interpretation are said to be the two most important things that need to be done to make school a safe space of LGBT. If the LBGT community is not integrated and interpreted correctly, the chances are less likely that it will create a safe space like it should be for them. Everyone is equal no matter what you identify by. 

Points for discussion in class:

How can we as future teachers make sure that LGBT students in our class feel as safe as possible and how can we make sure that all other students are accepting? What are some strategies of this? LGBT students need to feel safe and we should know how to make this happen. It is sad to see LGBT members suffer because they are being who they want to be. Here is a short video of some LGBT students expressing how they feel.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Unlearning the Myths That Blind Us

Article by Linda Christensen

"Unlearning the Myths That Blind Us" was such a true read in my eyes. I found myself saying "correct" to a lot of things that Christensen was saying about movies and children's books.

  As I was reading this I could not help but think about a children's toy in my life that I have at my house for my niece when my mom babysits her. We have a dollhouse that came with two families, one family who is white, and only family who is of color. This dollhouse which is typical children's toy, strikes up more of a conversation than I would have ever thought. Family members do not make racial comments, rather they are comments on how surprising it is that the dollhouse is sold with a family of color. Our generation and past generations have grown up with sexist and racist toys so to see this is surprising. Although I do think it is great that Fisher Price has started making dolls of color, like always, there is something to depict that this doll is not white and is in fact a person of color. Her hair is much different than the rest of the dolls hair. Something small yet very noticeable.

Arthur: As I was reading the article I was thinking of what children's shows I watched most frequently as a child that I would consider now to be racist or sexist. One stuck out the most and that is Arthur. I loved Arthur as a child for many years and my mom always let me watch it. One of Arthur's friends, Francine, is a monkey. Her hair is an afro and in an episode, she lives in an apartment with her family and her father is garbage man. The other white characters are wealthy and live in nice homes. Racism shown there. 

Disney movies are also an issue of sexism and racism. Christensen talks about The Little Mermaid and Cinderella. There are no characters of color in either movie. Generally, if there is a black person it is a servant, says Christensen's student(Christensen). A quote that stuck out to me is, "The stereotypes and world view embedded in these stories become accepted knowledge"(Christensen). No child notices what we discuss about this topic. As they watch these shows, they pick up on whatever the show wants kids to know. 

Points to Discuss in class:
When will tv show companies pick up on the fact that they need to include everyone? Also, when will people of color feel that they fit in with the rest of society? They certainly do not feel this way with the lack of people of color starring in movies and tv shows with lead roles. 
Since I did not talk about children's stories, here is VH-1's top 9 racist children's books. Interesting to read and see what has been chosen as "most racist". 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Teaching Multilingual Children"

From Tongue Tied by Virginia Collier

I thought that Collier had some great points that she wrote about. I agreed with many of them which is why I chose to do quotes this week and discuss the three that I thought were important. 

"The key is the true appreciation of the different 
linguistic and cultural values that students bring into the classroom"(Collier)

I thought that this was an important quote because it is nothing but the truth. How can you have students who speak another language in your classroom if you cannot appreciate different cultural backgrounds? To me it is not possible, you need to appreciate it to be able to accept it. If you accept your students and their different backgrounds, chances are you will have a better relationship with them. I think that it is very important to support a child's first language if you are going to be their teacher. 

"It is the social bias that language-minority students experience most often in school. 
When the children are very young, it is experienced as personal inadequacy. When the child is older, it is taken as an indictment, a personal and familial affront"(Collier)

   No matter what language is spoken, everyone is the same. Students are not different because of the language they speak and teachers need to understand this. Young children may feel that they are not capable of learning in school if the teacher does not incorporate their language that they speak at home into the classroom. Older children will think it is their families fault that english is not their first language but nobody chooses what culture and language they will come from and use to speak. Like Collier states in guideline number four, the languages need to be appreciated. 

"To affirm the home language means that they will not be told that they are wrong, or that what they say is vulgar or bad. Instead, the teacher analyzes with the students the differences between their dialect and the standard variety..."(Collier)

There was a bit more to this quote but I felt that the important part was in the beginning. A teacher shall not tell a student that the language they are speaking is wrong, rather to help them work on how to say their words in their language and put them into the english form. Telling a student they are wrong about their own language that they likely know better than you who does not speak it as a first language will not give them the courage that they need. The student will bring their language to the classroom, and the teacher will bring english to the classroom and together they shall work on them in a safe and comfortable environment. 

As well as teaching multilingual children, I think it is important to know the benefits of being multilingual. I think that if a teacher is having a hard time getting a student to believe that being multilingual is good, they should watch this video to be able to explain how it benefits the brain.

Points for discussion in class:
Students should always feel comfortable speaking their first language and teachers should be aware of how to incorporate the different languages and cultures into classrooms. Every language is special and children should not feel as though it is bad that they do not speak english. Just as Collier states, appreciation and acceptance is key. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Amazing Grace

Article by Jonathan Kozol

First off, this is one of the most heart-wrenching pieces that I have read. I was aware that the Bronx is a poorer community of New York, but I guess I did not realize the extent of it.  

Kozol takes a trip to the South Bronx and gets a tour from a young boy named Cliffie. Cliffie knows more than any child his age should know about disease, drugs, and violence. As Cliffie takes Kozol on the tour to different locations, Kozol lets us know a little bit more background about where they are. The South Bronx is filled with crime, trash, homeless people, and drugs on the streets.
Cliffie's mom states, "There's trashy things all over. There's a garbage dump three blocks away. Then there's all the trucks that drive through stinking up the air, heading for the Hunts Point Market. Drivers get their drugs there and their prostitutes"(Kozol 10-11).

In this video, they give a tour of the Bronx and some background information on it. They also mention about trucks and prostitution just like Cliffie's mother does in the above quote. This video will give you a better visual of the South Bronx as it is described in Amazing Grace. The streets are filled with garbage and homeless people trying to survive one day at a time...Nobody deserves to live like this but in reality, it is happening and the South Bronx is one of the poorest cities.

The rate of people that live in poverty in the Bronx is at a high rate. Kazol states at the beginning of this story, " Brook Avenue, which is the tenth stop on local, lies in the center of Mott Haven, whose 48,000 people are the poorest in the South Bronx. Two thirds are Hispanic, one third black. Thirty-five percent are children. In 1991, the median household income of the area, according to the New York Times,was $7,600(Kozol 3).    It is clear from the statistics that every family struggles in the Bronx. They do not have enough income to support their families and make ends meet. 

In this article, discusses the statistics of the people who live in the bronx. The article lists the poverty level, unemployment rate, drug and alcohol use, and much more. The article goes into further and more statistics that were mentioned in Amazing Grace. 
These are the issues that Kozol is pointing out in his article. By writing a first-hand account about the condition of the South Bronx, it allows the reader to become aware of the issue of poverty in the city. The children continue to suffer everyday and know far too much about things that happen in this city as in the drugs and violence. 

**I also figured I would add in this video that shows pictures of the South Bronx at a slower pace than the first video. I happened to come across it on youtube while looking for videos... It is six minutes long but, you could watch a couple minutes and be able to tell how poor the city is. ( Weird music but good pictures!!)

Points for discussion in class: 
Kozol gives us a first hand look at what it is like to live in the poorest city of the US. I feel as though one of his points in this article is that you never know where someone comes from unless you see it firsthand. Another point that I think is important is the issue of trying to solve this poverty rate. How can we help these innocent children out of this terrible area? How can we help their families? I don't think we are as aware as we think we are of what some living conditions are like in cities however,  I cannot speak for everyone. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

USA Land of Limitations

Article by Nicholas Kristof

Kristof argues that today we do not necessarily live in a "land of opportunity",but rather in a land of our beginnings. " They grow up not in a 'land of opportunity, but in the kind of socially rigid hierarchies that our ancestors fled, the kind of society in which your outcome is largely determined by your beginning"(Kristof).

Unfortunately in today's society, the way you are brought up is most likely the way that you will live your own life. This is not to say that it will 100% end up this way, but it is the norm for most cases. An example of this would be a person growing up living homeless, no money, or parents who had problems of their own. Most children who grow up this way will find it harder to step up and live a more healthy life if they have parents who cannot even take care of themselves. Of course there are some people like Steve Harvey who will find success despite the challenges. This is an example of how it is not the case for all people. I should make it clear that I do not think that what I stated above is always true, much of it is society today and how we treat each other depending on our social and economic status. There are also statistics in the article proving that people may live like they were raised.

Kristof is arguing that it should not be this way and that more attention should be put to the problem. The reasoning for this is that there are too many obstacles that a young person must face to try to get themselves out of this "rut"of not being raised the best possible way. Over the years there has been more of gap in the different social and economical statues which is caused by how people are brought up and how they live their life.

Kristof also talks about a good friend of his(Rick) who was one to be raised by a father who had problems of his own. Rick tried his best to get out of the "rut" he was in from being raised by a father who was an alcoholic but no matter how much he tried, he faced many obstacles. He was faced with too many responsibilities at a young age to be able to get an education and live comfortably. Rick was  a smart person but the obstacles he faced were much too large to focus on his education and his own well-being.

How you were raised, your economic status, and your social status are all ways that limit you in the USA today and that is what Kristof says should be given more attention. Your limitations should not prevent you from being who you want to be or prevent you from having every opportunity possible to be successful.

Points for discussion in class:

The main idea to this argument is that the USA does have limits that are mostly economic limits and social limits. It is not necessarily a "land of opportunity" like it should be. It is rather a "land of limitations" which is why people struggle. The gaps of being wealthy and of being poor are much too wide today. How do we all become successful and make America a "land of opportunity"? Is there an answer to this question?

Friday, September 9, 2016

All About Me

Hi my name is Cassie and I am a student at Rhode Island College studying elementary education. I am originally from North Kingstown RI but recently moved to West Greenwich RI. I have one younger brother named Jared who is nine years old and two step-siblings. I also have two nieces, Isabellah and Madison(five and two), who bring much joy to my life. I have been working at Dave's Market (part-time) for about two years now. Over the summer I spent time with my family and friends and visited my Dad in New Hampshire where he recently moved to!
Isabellah and I

My brother Jared on his first day of school in New Hampshire

My boyfriend Ben

My best friend and I in NYC