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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pecha Kucha (Oh look I spelled it right)

So when  converted this from Microsoft Powerpoint to Google Slides it decided to get all funny looking and I have no idea how to fix it so I apologize for that. If for some reason the link does not work you can email me at

Pecha Kucha

Monday, April 27, 2015

Social Justice Event

For my social justice event Josh and I both attended a lecture on "Blogging Dissent Under a Dictatorship? Alternative Art and Civil Society in the Era of Renewed U.S.-Cuba Relations." I know right that is quite the mouth full. The talk was given by Cuban blogger, writer, and photographer Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo.

Now for those of you who are like me and don't particularly find history that fascinating I was not exactly looking forward to going. But thankfully to my surprise, the lecture was actually rather interesting. Orlando was a man who lived in Cuba for the majority of his life but left based on dissension he had with the cuban government. He left Cuba well over a year ago and has been teaching at Brown University, blogging about his experiences, and photographing anything he finds prevalent to today since leaving.

Now some of you may be saying how in the world does this connect to the authors and the articles that we read in class, well let me shed some light on that.

Johnson/Delpit ~ Orlando tells it how it is. He does not sugar coat anything and because of that he got a book that he wrote censored. He spoke out about the corruption of the Cuban government and the truth behind what really goes on in the country. Clearly people did not like him talking about this so they censored his book, arrested him multiple times, and people constantly harass him and his family. At one point he even had the secret service come and talk to him to try and silence him. This is obviously Johnson because he speaks the truth and tell it how it is. But I also can connect this to Delpit because Orlando goes against the rules and codes of power. He defies the government, speaks out against the norm, and doesn't care about the consequences. Many political activists in Latin America are killed for speaking out so he was very brave to do this.

Macintosh ~ Orlando spoke about how the government tries to keep order to the extreme, it is to the point that it makes it so citizens are unable to move from the position they are in (economically, socially). Minorities can only have rights if they respect the frame of the cuban system. This is very much along the lines of you need to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and make life the best that it can be. And that is what Orlando did, he found a way to get out and he took it, to come live a better life.

Rodriguez~ Orlando also spoke about the language used in Cuba. Spanish is the dominant language and if you do not speak it you are automatically at a disadvantage. It is almost required for the people of Cuba to speak both Spanish and English in order to go about day to day life, if not they are looked down upon and treated differently for not always being able to understand.

Finn (I think..... lets roll with it) ~ Cuba is at a disadvantage. They have internet modem dial-up, which immediately puts the citizens (and students) at a disadvantage. the embargo and lack of resources and advancements make Cuba a not well used trading destination and cannot be connected with the rest of the world. This connects to how students who are born in poverty and go to bad school districts are put at a disadvantage that those born to the upper middle class in a very wealthy district.

Christensen ~ Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us. The speaker opened our eyes to what is going on in Cuba and the U.S. relations with them. It took us away from how we were raised that the only thing that happened was the Cuban Missile Crisis and immigrants coming to Florida, but it is actually so much more.

If anyone is interested in learning more about Orlando and the work he does you can find his blogs online or look up his book that got censored called Boring Home. It is fictional but it has seeds of truth all throughout it.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Empowering Education ~ Shor

I think that this was a great article to wrap up the semester with. Not only did it really tie everything together but it left us all with so much to think about. 

Shor describes empowering education as "A critical democratic pedagogy herself and social change; it is a student centered program for multicultural democracy in school in society. It approaches individual growth as an active, cooperative, and social process, because the self and society create each other."

This relates to so many topics and authors we have already discussed. This makes me think of Rodrigues due to the multicultural democracy, as well as Christensens' Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us in the thought of seeing everything for how it truly is. Shor makes the point that students and teachers need to work together to make a curriculum and learning environment that benefits the students in the best way possible. I think that this is an amazing perspective and idea. Imagine a curriculum where students learn not only what they want to but what they feel will best suited to them. What could be better than a mutual understanding between teachers and students on why they are learning what they have to sit in class for everyday. 

I don't know about the rest of you but I do not feel prepared for the real world yet. I don't know how to handle insurance, file taxes, pay bills, get a mortgage, or any of that! Why didn't we learn these valuable life long skills in school? They say high school trains you for the real world but it doesn't. All it does is make you memorize (not learn) info for a short time to do well on standardized testing to make the school and the state look good. Pardon my language but its crap. The way that Shor says the education system should be set up is a fantastic idea in my opinion. I want my future students to excel in LIFE not just on their SATs. 

Talking Point: Did you feel/ do you feel ready for the real world yet? Or are we all just lost young adults who are going to have to struggle to find our own way? 

(Referring to the lack of knowledge gained in high school) 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Quick Little Thing

I meant to mention this in my previous post but of course forgot to. RIC actually has clubs that do a lot of work with students with dissabilities both physical and mental. One is called Active Minds, and the other is Advocacy and Beyond Club (or ABC for short). If you are very passionate about topics like this then I highly encourage you to get involved in student life and this is a great way to let your passion show! 

Citizenship In School

In this article "Citizenship in Schools; Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome" by Christopher Kliewer, it talks about the integration and acceptance of people with Down Syndrome in schools. While reading this article I felt many emotions that just made me want to change the world. The author talks about accepting all disabilities (hate that word) and that is exactly as it should be. From a personal standpoint, being gay was actually considered a mental disability and in the DSW manual.

This topic is so important and so prevalent in todays society, that it is a shame it is ignored. The author argues that children with Down Syndrome should be allowed to be a part of the same classroom as children without the disability (hate that word). Even though a child with this condition may learn differently from others it does not mean that they should be shoved in the basement of the school where they can't actually live their life. One thing that Kliewer said that I found to be very true is that we need to focus on shattering the stereotypes and negative connotations that are put onto this. Children are born unbiased, it is how they are raised and the environment that they grow up in that shapes who they become. If we can teach kids to accept full inclusion and understand the disability (still hate that word) then acceptance will show and a better learning environment for everyone will come from it. Having Down Syndrome or anything on the Autism Spectrum Disorder does not make you any less human than any other person, and this is what society needs to fix today.

Kliewers argument is one that needs to be heard around the world. We need to try and make an equal classroom citizenship for all students. If we can not break the stigma then we are not creating the best education for everyone. Lets make disabilities abilities.

Talking point: In your High School did you notice inclusion in the classrooms and equal learning opportunities and environments? Or was there a designated room that nobody really knew about?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Literacy With An Attitude

I'm just saying that this piece really stuck out to me. I find that they way this article talks about the way a teacher can run a classroom really makes one think about the future and how we want to be as educators. When the author, Finn, talks about the discipline and busy work in the classroom and not focus on the content and the education it is scary to think that teachers operate that way. It is like treating it as just a meaningless job and not a passion. You are teaching the future generation and educators need to realize how important that is.

I will admit I struggled with this blog a little more than usual. The content seemed lengthy and a little dry but I did notice some connections to the other articles we have read. On the contrary though it is the opposite of my service learning. My service learning teacher is very interactive and proactive with the students. He seems to go out of his way to have a positive creative learning environment, unlike Finn did in his classroom. This also reminds me of Delpit with the rules and codes of power. Finn did not teach, in my opinion, the correct aspects of power to his students. They learned a dictatorship compared to just respecting adults and elders.

Instead of the usual YouTube video I thought I would post a link to pinterest about creative teaching ideas.

Talking Point: What kind of teacher do you want to become? Traditional and educational, or fun eclectic and new age?

Pecha Kucha update

So this Pecha Kucha is a made up word........  Just kidding it is actually really interesting. So far I've been focusing mainly on narrowing down my topics and really trying to focus on what I want to talk about. I figure that if I can nail down the topics and then the pictures and content of the slides will follow suit. I have some quotes that were hanging in picture frames in the teachers lounge that I want to use as slides.... So this will be a long project but i'm excited, I'm looking for a risk to take.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Brown V Board Of Education

So obviously we all know how this was a pivotal turning point in American History. The Brown Vs. Board of Education was one of the most important cases involving education ever made. This is such an important topic that everyone having a job in the spectrum of education should be aware of it. From teachers to commissioner of education this case should always be known.

This case and the articles and videos we watched showed that it expressed the idea of Separate but not Equal. This was after the war so everyone thought that segregation would be over and all would be well in the world. Sadly this was not the case and it was still not possible for African Americans to truly live the American Dream. So this happened by Brown bringing his daughter to a all white school and being denied over and over again. Finally the Supreme Court decided to take the case, and the trial begun.

They way that the trail went was that they were originally losing in the beginning but one of the jurors died bringing in a new one. This one new how he was going to vote and convinced the others to vote along with him.

Coming from the 21st century and a very liberal member of society, I find it essentially repulsive that this ever happened. Learning about this history is so important because it shows us how far the nation has come, and still how far we need to go. They way that I, and i'm sure many of us, was raised was to be accepting of everyone and not judge based on skin color. Having to imagine that this ever happened was horrid. Thankfully the Brown family thought to fight this, which reminds me of the Johnson article and how you have to speak outright about what is wrong.

Talking point: Does anyone else think that history is repeating itself just in different ways? 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Unlearning The Myths That Bind Us

Don't we all dream that our life is like a Disney movie? Daring quests, endless romance, finding true love, and... stereotypes? Who would have thought there would be sexism and racism in our favorite childhood movies? I knew that some of the older movies could get rather politically incorrect but this article was a real eye opener.

As soon as I ready this article I immediately thought of this video I stumbled upon last year. This A capella youtube singer did a piece on how Disney tales all end in lies. It shows the reality of hat would have actually happens i these Disney Movies took place in real life. It was like how the Johnson piece says we need to talk about things straight forward and realistically. He brought this sense of realism to what we grew up loving. Just like what the article explained.

A big problem is that Disney movies set unrealistic standards for society. Both the princesses and princes. They are always skinny and very fit, nothing is ever wrong with them physically or mentally, maybe just some funny little quirks. Even the boys have unrealistic standards.

This video takes a twist. It starts with princesses talking about how they need a man and can't function without one. Then a girl dressed as Elsa from Frozen bring out the powerful we don't need a man mentality (totally true).

I am still in love with Disney Movies. I will belt the ENTIRE Frozen sound tract like its my job... But I may have a different view on them now.
 Talking Point: Can you make a relation to the article to your favorite Disney movie? Just looking back I thought about the song in Peter Pan "What Makes The Red Man Red" which is extremely racist towards native americans.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I'm Gay / Safe Spaces Edit

I wanted to rework my safe spaces blog post. Obviously as everyone learned in class I am gay. I didn't right about it or speak about it in class because I was waiting to see if the class was in fact a safe space. Once we got talking about LGBT issues in class I knew that I would have to make the decision so share my secret. (Quick clarification I am technically "out of the closet" but I don't go around shouting it from the roof tops)The anonymous writing assignment was the best opportunity I had to test the waters, so I wrote the basics of me being gay on the notecard. Seeing that there was nobody wanting to chop my head off I decided that I would come out but I wanted to do it in my own way. I figured that being casual was my best bet so I made a little comment about how "Im gay and I don't understand all of the terminology." Clever right? I thought so. Anyway, after that everything was all good and accepting so I found that it is a safe space. 

I feel like it would be good for me to share my story here because a lot of people in the class seemed to not have experience with the gay community. I was very fortunate in the sense that I went to a very accepting high school that did not give me any problems. 

It sort of just happened, like it came out of nowhere... but at the same time I have always known. I official said the words "I'm gay" on October 6th 2011, but my whole life I have known something was different. I just suppressed my feelings, who would willingly enter a world of discrimination and danger? But the time came and I couldn't hold it in anymore. After telling that first person it became easier and easier. I finally felt like I could be myself, and not have the weight of this secret, the weight of the world barring down on me. I built my circle of support among friends first, telling about 5 or 6 people I was really close with. Not one had a problem and they all cared for me just the same (So far so good!). Then after about a week of panicking and dread I decided to tell my parents. Well I told my mother one Saturday morning. It took everything I had to mutter the words, just two simple words. And when I did her response was even better, it was one word. "Okay"

Obviously from there we went on to talk about it blah blah blah being safe and entering a world of discrimination blah blah blah. You get the picture. They love me all the same and were more concerned for my safety in life then the fact I was actually gay, yet again another huge weight off my shoulders. 

From there it was pretty much smooth sailing. I started dating a man a month after I came out, which means essentially my whole school found out from that. But not once did I have to deal with hate, or mistreatment in anyway. There were a few awkward moments though, I knew the people who weren't okay with it but they kept it to themselves and remained respectful. 

So as you can tell I am able to relate to Safe Spaces on a level that others might not be able to. My parents actually were hesitant about me coming to school in Providence because a year before I came here a gay man was murdered in a hate crime. So because of things like that, I keep my sexuality to my self. When I am in a class I play the roll of the role of the norm in society. I won't go out of my way to act "Straight" but I won't let my more colorful side show either. People assume I am straight all of the time, and why wouldn't they? I don't flaunt it. I do ballroom dance and people assume I am dating one of the girls all the time at the social dances. They are mainly part of the older generation so I just roll with it. Easier to let them think what they want then risk them ending up hating me. I appreciate Delpits rules and codes of power. So to fit in with them I remain like everyone else when meeting people I don't know. 

Watch this video. It is LGBTQ people saying they want to know what its like to live in a world without fear. It is very powerful. 

So all in all, I evaluate a situation before deciding to show my true self or not. To show acceptance in the classroom you have to do the little things to show support. The last thing I would want to see is my teacher come roaring in wearing a rainbow suit saying gay is ok. Just speak up when you hear students say, "That's so gay." You could support the use of gender-neutral bathrooms, or even just let your students know your classroom is a safe space for them to come to. 

This became way longer than I thought it would... even though I could keep talking about this. Well thanks for listening anyway and I hope hearing about my experience and thought processes it will help you in the future. 

Talking point: Assumed straight till proven otherwise. After all how many of

you thought I was straight? 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Safe Spaces ~ August

For my blog post this week I decided to do the reflection.

Okay, so right from the get go I knew this was going to be a challenging article for me to read. In the beginning it started with kids who had committed suicide in 2010... The focus on heterosexism in this article is very important in my opinion. Heterosexism is when people are assumed to be straight because that is the "social norm". In this article though, the focus is more on the use of it in the classroom. Heterosexism and heteronormativity is everywhere around us. We are taught in class that a family is made up of a mother and father, in books we read it is straight couples, and in tv shows (until recently) they are made up of heterosexual couples. A good way that the article counteracts this is when the teacher, Zeke, comes into classrooms. He brings books about family that don't meet the social norms. For example a book about two male penguins that raise an egg together. This connects to the Johnson article in the sense that we should openly talk about issues and not tip toe around them.
I have a very close friend back at home who is a lesbian. We have known each other basically our whole lives and she came out to me about 3 and half years ago.  Nothing changed between us, we are still as close as can be, but it just opened my eyes to the LGBT world. I didn't have much experience with it, but as soon as my best friend came out I learned our school had a G.S.A. and joined immediately. I learned so much about the LGBT world that I didn't know was even a thing. This was a very powerful article that I am excited to talk about in class. 
The Human Rights Campaign  is an excellent source for allies and members of the LGBTQ community for resources and facts. Also The Trevor Project is a source for LGBT youth who may not feel safe in the environment they live in, and is also a suicide prevention foundation. 

Topic of discussion: In your high school experience and life how has the LGBT community ben shown? Were there any acts of non-supporters (didn't want to say homophobia... but I guess I just did) in your high school or life in general? 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

"Aria" by Rodriguez

This weeks article by Richard Rodriguez was very powerful. This time it strayed away from what we have been reading by Kozal or Johnson. This time the focus was more on not only race but a language barrier as well, and the hardships that comes with.

"Without question it would have pleased me to hear my teachers address me in Spanish when I entered the classroom. It would have felt much less afraid, I would have trusted and responded with ease."

I believe that this quote truly brings home the importance of teachers being able to connect with students on whatever level is necessary. If you have a student that would feel more comfortable speaking their first language then it would be best to learn how to communicate even on a basic level in that language. Our jobs as educators are to help our students in any way possible, and if that means going the extra mile to make them feel comfortable then that is what we need to do.

"I no longer knew what words to use in addressing my parents. ... Whenever I'd speak to my parents, I would try to get their attention with eye contact alone."

How powerful, and how awful. The fact that a child went through life to one day have the inability t talk openly with their parents is ridiculous. Becoming so distant from your family that you lose the ability to communicate, and it was because of them being forced to speak english... I can't even begin to explain how I feel about this. Definitely one of the most powerful quotes in the article.

“They do not seem to realize that there are two ways a person is individualized. So they do not realize 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.”

I believe that though this quote Rodriguez is stating that even though he had to completely alter his life style, it gave him a better chance in todays society. I believe that the whole point of this article is that he doesn't regret losing his language because it made him fit into society better. It was like what Delpit said. He learned the rules and codes of power to fit in with society.

Talking point: How far would you go as an educator to help benefit your students whose first language was not english.

A article about a principle who banned Spanish in the classrooms (You should read this, pretty interesting)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol

This exert from Kozol's book was very powerful. This was about a white, middle class man, that moved to the South Bronx to experience the culture. He was in for quite a shock as he moved to one of the poorest neighborhoods in the United States, a place of poverty, crime, and terminal diseases. South Bronx is mainly hispanic or people of color that live in the lower class. 

I have chosen to do the Extended Comments style blog post. I am basing my extended comments off of Christys Blog

Hi Christy! I wanted to start off by saying I really enjoyed the entirety of your blog post! (Including the very funny picture at the end)

Your first quote was one that I also found to be very powerful. It truly shows the strength of youth and how strong they can be. Being in a tough situation that they are, they can still find a way to be full of joy and make the most out of a tough situation. I agree with your response to the quote of how it is fascinating that children can do this, no matter the case. They way you said "The more a person has, the less happy they seem" was a fantastic way to phrase a major aspect of this reading. 

The fact that an area where this happens in the world is shocking. Your second quote describes the event where people can come and get clean needles for their addictions, and also receive condoms. The worst part is that they bring their children with them. I do however only slightly disagree with one this you said. You seemed to think that the whole area where this happens is unnecessary and should not be a thing especially with the volunteers. I agree in the sense that I wish this was not a necessary thing, but I do believe that because this scenario exists in the world it is beneficial to have the volunteers hand out these goods. If if was not for this then the spread of blood born pathogens and unprotected sex would happen even more than it already does. That could cause the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, or cause unwanted pregnancies.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog and I hope we can discuss it more at another time :) 

Sharing Point
~One point I would like to talk about in class is whether or not people think that the volunteers handing out needles and such are a positive resource to use, or should not a available. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Delpit, "The Silence Dialogue" From "Other People's Children


1) "I try to give them my experiences, to explain. They just look and nod. The more I try to explain, they just look and nod, just keep looking and nodding. They don't really hear me." (Delpit 22)

Although this quote may not seem like one of the main points in the text I believe it is integral in the overall meaning behind the article. If students are not willing to learn about a sensitive subject, such as teaching people of a different race, or finding a way to make sure students do the work and come to school, then they will not listen, or care for the matter. It becomes the responsibility of the instructor to find a way to provide students with the knowledge and drive to make a difference in teaching students of any variety.

2) "My Kids know how to be black - you all teach them how to be successful in a white man's world" (Delpit 29)

First of all, wow, so much power in one sentence. This quote was so powerful upon reading it that it really brought on the need to understand how to teach every form of student and that white privilege, economic class, and geographical setting can really effect a child and how to teach them. Although it may not be a drastic as it seems a a student shouldn't be treated differently based on these factors.

3) "Those with power are frequently least aware of - or least willing to acknowledge - its existence. Those with less power are often most aware of its existence." (Delpit 24)

When the article started talking about power and the difference between races and classes it made me thing about how white privilege and socioeconomic benefits were talked about in the Johnson article. This is very important to this article because it forces the acknowledgement of power and some have it and some do not. It is the culture of power.

For my talking point I would like to visit the culture of power and the 5 aspects of power. I believe they are integral to the article and I believe can be interpreted in different ways.

Lisa Delpit on Power and Pedagogy

Thursday, January 29, 2015

All About Me

Hello all!
My name is Noah Carsten and I am a second semester sophomore here at Rhode Island College. I am a secondary ed major with a content focus in biology. This is actually my third major here, (I don't feel bad though nobody graduates in four years) I came in as an intended nursing major with the intent of nurturing my love for science. I then realized after a year that nursing wasn't what I wanted to do and I started looking for something else. I moved on to business administration, I know i'm crazy. Needless to say I did not enjoy myself at all and realized I needed to get back to science. How I came upon education was how I realized I always said I would come back and be a college professor so I had an epiphany to just skip the middle ground and go straight to teaching. Anyway enough about my indecisiveness in majors. In my free time (If you can call it that) I sit on the finance commission for the Student Union. I am also a competitive and social ballroom dancer and serve as the treasurer for RICs ballroom dance organization. And just recently I became more apart of Student Community Government by running for a position on Student Parliament. Oh and I suppose its worth mentioning that I am a customer experience coordinator at T.J.Maxx. Now in my actual free time I go to fun social ballroom events and hang out with my other resident friends here on campus. I am taking this class as an intro to the program so I can experience what is to come in the future and get a better understanding of what it means to be an educator. I feel like I made this to long and am droning on so I guess i'll end it here. Talk to ya'll soon :)