Sunday, September 29, 2013

Aria, By: Richard "Ricardo" Rodriguez

 For my response to Aria by Richard Rodriguez I would like to focus on the following quote, "today I hear bilingual educators say that children lose a degree if "individuality" by becoming assimilated into public society."
I have seemed to gravitate toward the idea that, while learning to live within another culture you lose your sense of self and own cultures, from the text because without my own heritage it would be difficult to be the person that I am today. * I am of course not saying that I would fall apart without my connection to my culture, but I can not imagine living without  the connection. This is due to the feeling of community that one feels when they are connected with the people that share the same morals and ideals with. This sense of security that one feels when a community stands behind you is not something that can easily be replaced, which is why the author's acceptance of his new culture was surprising to me.
Throughout the beginning of the text as Richard is growing up he slowly accepts the "gringo" culture, but all the while he describes the things that he looses by doing so. For example he finds it harder and harder for him to communicate with his parents, thus creating a strained relationship. By being so accepting of this I feel as though one looses their connection to their past, which is a huge part of making up who we are today. However in the end Richard makes this final point, "that while one suffers a diminished sense of private individuality by becoming assimilated into public society, such assimilation makes possible the achievement of public individuality." With his final point made I question the idea that maybe there is a happy medium, where you do not loose your cultural past, but still learn to become an individual within the public community.

*Here is a little bit about my heritage. On my mother's side my family is dated back to be upon the original trip made by the Mayflower and founded a small farming town in Maine ( then of course it was Massachusetts ). With my ancestors being such an important part of the United State's history, it is hard not to feel a strong connection. On my father's side the story is much less valiant. They were poor potato farmers from Ireland that sought a better life in America. This of course is much similar to other's stories.
**This is not my ancestor's house, but it is another farmhouse within the town of Turner.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Compassionate Response to Amazing Grace

As an average white American it is hard to face the idea that by being white it puts me at an advantage over other citizens. However, despite what I might like to protest, it is true. While reading Jonathan Kozol's Amazing Grace the reality of what he was describing about the citizens in the South Bronx and the lives that they lead every day, hit me extremely hard. I am not by any means ignorant to the reality that people have it much worse than I do, but the impact did not go unnoticed. The life that Kozol described made me think about everything I had and realize the great opportunities that I have set before me. Basic amenities that I take for granted every day, other citizens struggle to hold onto. This is where we found Alice Washington who is suffering from AIDS, all the while trying to support her teenage son as he goes through high school and prepares for college.

What Kozol described was not some desperate junkie living off the government, just like stereotypes have Americans believing, but a strong independent woman doing everything she can to give her child what he needs, all the while having crippling medical problems. However despite all of what she goes through she reveals to Kozol what is going on around her and the suffering that others are facing. In spite of what she faces every day she still had the compassion to understand that she is not the only one suffering. This compassion is not something you can find in an average white citizen because it seems as though we feel that if it is not seen, it doesn’t exist. This concept can be tied into Peggy McIntosh’s article where she states, “I was taught to see racism in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group.” If we as white Americans choose not to see what is right in front of us, there is no hope of getting our citizens out of the desperation they face every day.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

About Me!

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! Here is a little about my self. My name is Rebekah Mainor and I am currently a sophomore at Rhode Island College and my major is Special Education. I intend on having a concentration in math (yikes!) for Elementary Education. I have two jobs in which I work almost forty hours a week; the Home Depot in Johnston and Pagoda Inn in North Kingstown. At Home Depot I work as a cashier and at Pagoda Inn I am in the background packing take-out orders and again cashing customers out. I am extremely busy all the time, and the only thing that seems to keep me centered is dance. I have been dancing for seventeen years at the Dance Connection and I do not plan on stopping anytime soon (considering it is one of the only things that keeps me sane). Photography and art is also another way in which I keep my peace. I have two little twin boys, my cats, Snap and Marshmallow and they are the best at snuggles!  I am a little weird and quirky, but that is just the way I, and to quote my favorite little man, my cousin, "the best part of me is, that I am me." And for your enjoyment here is some photography and art work by me of course!