We had to attend or watch five different events for class. I chose to eat at two different restaurants that are out of my comfort zone and normality that I do not normally eat at. For one of the restaurants I ate at a place in Provo called Thai Village. I did not care for it much. I had a ham fried rice that was pretty good and then I had a chicken curry dish. It was very blank and did not have much flavor at all. The next place I had eaten was P.F. Changs. It was my first time eating there and it was incredible. I got Changs Spicy Chicken. It was very good and I want to go back again. The next activity I chose was to watch two different movies that related to class. The first one was Ghandi, and the second movie was Lion. I really enjoyed Lion and thought it was very relatable to class because we have learned about so many different cultures. It is about an Indian boy that gets adopted by a family from Australia and he runs away to India to try and find his birth parents. This related to class because we talk about how sometimes mixed babies or adopted kids can struggle with adapting and not understanding why they may be different from other kids. In Ghandi, he gets thrown off a South African train for being Indian and I think this relates to class a lot because of the privilege and power we talked about. Some people are much less fortunate than others. The last event I went to was the Rooftop Concert Series in Provo. When I went to this, it was early on in class so I did not know quite what I was looking for. I noticed the different cultures and food set up around as well as dances, but now if I were to go back to that concert, I know I would notice a lot more that was there and how cultures are different.
December 1, 2017
Service Learning Hours Paper
I did my hours at a couple of different places. I worked with refugees, went to a homeless shelter, and went to the concert that raised money to go towards refugees. These all gave me very different experiences but they all affected my life in a positive way. The affected my life in realizing how privileged I actually am mostly and made me much more grateful for everything I have been blessed with. There is always people that will have more money and things, but I have everything I need and that is what is most important.
Majority of my hours I did them at this homeless shelter. The homeless shelter is in Provo called Food and Care Coalition. I would help make and feed the homeless people that would come in. I had an eye opening experience that really touched my heart. There was a family I saw there every week that I would go. It was a mom and dad with 4 kids. The kids were 13, 8, 7, and 5. It was about a week before Halloween and they were all sad and telling me how they did not know what to be for Halloween. I talked to the parents and they said how they did not know they were going to get them costumes. They basically lived in a shack without power and water. They would only get food if they came to the shelter and sometimes that was maybe once a day. After talking to the mom, we decided to go get them costumes and take them back for them the next weekend when we went. We got two super heroes and a princess costume. When we walked into take them to the kids, I have never seen anyone happier and grateful to receive something, they bawled with thankful tears. The mom told us that they had worn them everyday before and after Halloween. This really touched my heart because we take the simple things for granted and do not realize how much something can mean to someone. Another thing that stuck out to me was how some people that we would serve food to at the homeless shelter were very grateful and some acted like they expected it and deserved it almost. That was a very interesting concept how even someone that is homeless can still act more privileged than someone else.
I went to the refugees’ concert. The guy that runs the Utah Community Refugee Partnership Center opened it up by talking to us and welcoming us out. He was overly grateful and he himself was a refugee when he was younger. I used to not notice how different people were grateful for different things until I took this course. I took power and privilege for granted and did not notice how privileged I am over majority of people. He thanked everyone at least a handful of times for how grateful he was for us even caring enough to help the refugees out and how much it means to them. I signed up for an email notification as to when they do their activities for spring and I am going to do my best to keep reaching out and helping refugees in any way that I can.
I am very grateful that I was forced out of my comfort zone and had to do these volunteer hours. They made me realize a lot in my own life and how fortunate and privileged I am. It made me want to reach out more often and want to be friendly and help people in anyway that I can and make them feel privileged. I want to continue reaching out to refugees and really any service opportunity that comes my way in the future. I do not want to stop helping people just because my required hours are completed.
I am very grateful for everything this course has brought to my life. It has brought many different significant and important parts of knowledge into my life. The most specific things I have learned and I think I will use most are the information I have gained about different cultures, LGBTQ and races/stereotypes. Learning how different each culture is and how you need to know how to treat these people and what to do around them are very important because they have been raised differently that us. The more you can relate to someone, the better understanding they will have of you and it will be easier for you to get along with them and their culture. The next thing is LGBTQ, with the LGBTQ Community growing rapidly daily, we need to know how these people are feeling and know that just because they love someone of a specific gender, does not mean they are not good people and we need to accept them for that. The group that came and talked to us in class really made an impact on my life because you could see how scared or uncomfortable for some of them were to be gay and they would state how they cannot help how they feel and just want to be happy. That is all we should want for someone is pure happiness and love everyone. Then finally, I want to work on not judging someone by what they look like because of stereotypes we hear. I want to work on getting to know everyone I come in contact with and not judging them by their appearance or stereotype.
Social Media has the most significant impact on media influences. There is so much that gets blow out of proportion because of something that is posted on Twitter. An example I have from Twitter is about professional athletes, the second they tweet something the media puts whatever assumption they want as to what that certain tweet could mean and it essentially blows up all over the TV and newspapers. Everyone has social media nowadays because it is the time of the millennials. We all see these things on Twitter and other Social Media sites and learn from them. Social media has a significant outlook on how people view themselves as well. The LGBTQ group that came and spoke to us also reminded me of social media. Everyday you see something involving that community. I liked that they came because when you see everything blown out of proportion, you could misinterpret these people and specific groups, but as they spoke to us, you realize that they are just people trying to get through life like everyone else, not the bad guys the media makes them.
I liked the guy that came and spoke to us about his adventure to Ghana. He showed the importance of how important it is to relate to the cultures that you are around. It makes them feel like you are prioritizing what they believe in and more likely will accept you with open arms if you try and implement what they believe and do what they say. It showed how scary the situation he was in could have been but because he was smart he made it easier to work there.
November 1, 2017
The topic I chose to focus on talks about a very obvious intercultural issue that we have in public schools today and that is how public schools are keeping kids in poverty. We talk about the main issues involving intercultural problems that our world has today in class every time we meet. The privileged and power chapters have stuck out to me most. I want to recognize this issue and help put a stop to it. This is a very ignored issue, but a significant one that happens in virtually every school that we can help prevent. It can be ignored in so many different ways like people not seeing those kids in poverty and ignoring the fact that they need help and teachers that may not take their job as seriously as in, thinking of the students needs they teach first.
The video I watched you can locate on Ted Talk. It is called, How America’s public schools keep kids in poverty. Kandice Sumner is a teacher. She states how she has 600 kids and they are all beautiful. She notices how most of the students that are in poverty are usually of color. She stated how growing up she started to notice how she got exposed to differently and she did not feel like she was supposed to have things that would benefit her and had to work harder for things that others are just given. “Why is a high-quality education only exclusive to the rich?” This was something she stated that really stuck out to me. It is not a surprise why some kids do good, and some kids do bad. They do well because of what we provide them and how they are given opportunity where the ones that do bad are never given that opportunity because they are not as rich. Her students are thrilled and surprised when they get new books. A lot of them ask why they are new, because they are not used to new things. They love to read and want to, but are not always given the opportunity to read. When it comes to schooling they do not prioritize and encourage, black lives matter.
I read two peer reviewed articles on this issue. The first one is called “School factors related to reading achievement in rural schools with and without high poverty.” It talks about how poverty is in rural schools. Rural schools are outside the big cities. A stat that I read in that article was how if you are in a poverty related area for school, your chances grow for lower employment opportunities, lower education as well as more likely to have more health issues. Rural leaders need to recognize this and get a start on this to help stop low poverty levels because they see and witness it first hand. “According to the Census Bureau the percentage of Americans living below the federal poverty line in 2009 was over 14%, the highest level experienced in the United States since 1994 (Miller, 1).” These numbers are so high it is scary to think of how many kids that are in poverty screaming for help with nobody helping them. In the article, it talked about how in Illinois they are required to pass and take a test called AYP. “In Illinois, adequate yearly progress refers to a progress indicator of NCLB. To make AYP, a school must meet certain levels established for the percentage of students testes, the academic performance of students, and either attendance rate for non-high schools or the graduation rate for high schools. In order to make AYP in Grade 3 reading during the 2011-2012 schools year Illinois schools were required to have 85% of their students meet or exceed state-identified standards on the Illinois State Assessment Test (ISAT). A schools ability or inability to make AYP has significant repercussions (Miller, 2).” With this system in place, it puts teachers on the hot seat, and makes them prioritize the progress and progression of their students helping the schools slowly merge out of poverty.
The second is article was called, “Defying the odds of Poverty in Public Schools.” In the article, it stated how child poverty in schools in the United States is the lowest compared to all countries that qualify. “Although research is limited, a few significant studies exist that confirm effective teachers matter much more than curriculum materials or pedagogical approaches, as well as the importance that teachers can play a vital role in students’ academic performance and hopeful thinking (Stanley, 2).” This really stuck out to me because it talks so much about how teachers put in what environment that they instill in their classrooms and how they can bring positivity and hope into class each day. “Perceived capabilities to produce routes to desired goals, along with the perceived motivation to use those routes (Stanley, 2).” That stated about how important goals are and how staying on the right path in education each day can make a difference in the kids lives immensely and how much education they soak in. The teachers are the most important aspect in the children’s lives. For example, when I was growing up, I always felt more comfortable with the teachers I liked and cared about me naturally. Those that bring hope to your mind in the classroom, make the kids more willing to learn and do things to impress the teacher that expects so much from them.
Another issue that I personally think is one that goes unnoticed is clothing. There are different types of poverty, but they all seem to tie in together. Many kids go to school in the winters without jackets and warm clothing and even in the warm weather, they have to wear the same outfit in the same week, a lot of the times with holes or dirty. This is in an obvious example that everyone around public schools can see. Why do we not do something about this? We see the issues but end up doing nothing to address these issues. We can get clothes donated and find ways to raise money to provide the materials and technology these kids need in order to be successful and receive a good education that they deserve.
In both articles, it talked about how teachers bring the most hope and change into students. If we can bring this to teachers’ attention, they can help focus on ways to help kids. I like the AYP testing that had been put in place that I talked about in the first article. I think all teachers need to be required to give a state AYP test at the end to be sure the students are learning what they need to in order to move onto the next grades. This will help teachers prioritize what they are teaching the kids and what they are taking in. I think the states should have them take an AYP test at the beginning, middle and end of the year so they can see what they need to learn as well as the progression. Even when I was in school, teachers would say, “this end of year test that we are taking does not matter just be sure to do your best.” Every test should matter because education and getting out of poverty in schools matters. Find teachers that are willing and cannot wait to impact their students life every single day.
Miller, S. W. (2013). School factors related to reading achievement in rural schools with and without high poverty (Order No. 3589536). . (1430909826). Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1430909826?accountid=31255
Stanley, S. H. (2011). Teacher hope: Defying the odds of poverty in public schools (Order No. 3478629). . (903793382). Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/903793382?accountid=31255
I talked to someone in an interracial relationship. She is a white female and is dating a samoan male. They have been dating for a little over two years. She talked about how hard it was but easy as well to adjust in with his family. It was so hard because they did things so differently. Everything is always celebrated, and they party and feast. It was hard because it was so different than what she was used to, but his family was so accepting that it made it super easy on her to adjust.
I loved the LGBTQ group that came and spoke in class. I thought they were very brave to be able to open up and tell us about themselves. It is sad that people do not accept them very easily and sometimes it takes a long time for families to adjust. It makes my heart hurt to know that families out there do not willingly love and accept their kids no matter what gender they are attracted to. I liked to see their perspective on things. I like when Jake asked the question about why some outfits and hairstyles show off how some are gay but others are more hidden and dressed like everyone else. It just shows how everyone has their own sense of style but we can all relate and love one an other for what is on the inside.
The privilege activity that we did in class related a lot to our everyday lives and how we treat others because of what class you are. Everyone started out with a fairly equal opportunity to get to the top class, but after we were separated you could see what difference and advantages that the top class had. Once the gold top class group got to start picking the rules, that is when it started to turn. The gold team changed the rules only to help them out and did not think about the other people that would get affected by these rule changes. That is how the world works because we do not think of how it will effect the less privileged. I like this class and especially this lesson because it has taught me to think outside the box and not just think of how it will effect your privilege, but how it will effect others as well.
This week I learned a lot from the group projects. You do not realize privileges and what goes along with it until it is pointed out. When I was given a headband that meant me sitting on the floor the entire class period, you automatically react like why did they give me this headband? The activity that made the biggest impact though was the one step forward or one step back activity. This activity would ask questions about your financial, sexual orientation, life growing up and your race. If you could relate, you would step forward, if not, you would step back. This put into perspective with how we are actually separated more than you would anticipate. By the time we were done, you could see the big difference and how separated the class was. Some people stand clear at the back, and others front. Some of the questions I felt hesitant to step, in fear of what they might think of me because I did not want to be labeled as less privileged, but I did it.
The second group I was actually in. What stuck out to me most was the 10 conversations articles that I read. It simply states how majority of the people do not see color. This is something that surprised me. Everyone sees color. It is something you should notice. Be proud to be associated with different colors, do not simply ignore it because everyone sees color and knows the history that has went on. I liked the article that talked about self esteem as well. It talked about how having high self esteem, it provides you with more power just by how you carry yourself. I do agree with this. This chapter on power and privilege was by far my favorite unit thus far.
I feel very privileged. In almost every case, privileged has a positive effect on me. There are some circumstance however that I do not feel as privileged. That is my class. I feel like I am placed lower or middle class. It was funny because you do not feel as effected by this until you get older. Growing up, I did not feel as effected by this, but as I got older, I could sense that I was less privileged because of my financial situation in life. You are just treated lesser because you may not have as much money as someone else.
Self Esteem is how I balance my privileges out. The way you present yourself and sale your self esteem is the way people see you. You are naturally given more power and privilege with good self esteem.
Patience was our speaker. What stuck out to me most was, his talk about the church. He started out with saying how you may think he is a member of the church because of his white shirt, but he is not. When they ask him to join the church he said, “no because I am better off than you because you go door to door asking me to join.” This is interesting because everything in Utah is seemed to be revolved around the mormon culture. He talked about Africa a lot too. This stuck out to me because our topic has been privilege this chapter. Most times when you hear about Africa you think they are less privileged because of the way they live. It talks about how many more blacks there are in Africa. They are the majority there. So even though they may not have all the needs, they think they do because they do not know any different.