Sunday, February 17, 2013

Thoughts on Rodriguez

Reading Rodriguez's piece really instilled this sort of sad feeling in my heart. On the one hand, it was great because Rodriguez was learning English. On the other hand, however, it was also very sad because through this process of "assimilation", as Rodriguez mentions at the end of the piece, he was losing his culture, his identity, and his family.

Some of the things that Rodriguez mentions really point out the fact that he was indeed losing everything that was dear to him. Rodriguez says at one point: "Gone was the desperate, urgent, intense feeling of being at home; rare was the experience of feeling myself individualized by family intimates. We remained a loving family, but one greatly changed. No longer so close; no longer bound tight by the pleasing and troubling knowledge of our public separateness."

This quote especially struck a chord of sadness in me. For me personally, family is one of the most important things in life. To lose my family identity and values would be a tragedy. Yet this is something the Rodriguez has to undergo, and I can't help but wonder how he truly felt about it, and how he was able to deal with it.

I think the main point to take away from Rodriguez's piece is this: as educators, teachers should not take away the identities of their students. Rather, they should acknowledge those differences at all times, and do their very best to treat each student as a unique individual. Students should not be forced to assimilate to society by losing their identity, especially their language, which is a source of comfort. But rather, they should be taught how to bring society and their personal identity together.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Reflection on Kozol

I decided to do a reflection on Kozol. The living situations that he pointed out really made me stop and think about my own life. All through the reading I found myself saying thinkgs like "I could never live like that" or "I don't know how these people deal with living like this". The way that some people have to live is really just terrible, and it makes me wish there was something I could do to stop it.

The first thing that really stuck out to me was when Kozol described how families had to sleep every night. In the winter time, all parents can do is give their children the warmest clothes they can find and "hope they wake up in the morning", as one father said to Kozol. Imagine going to sleep every night, wondering if you or your family will wake up in the morning. It must be a horrific feeling. I found myself realizing that this is something we all take for granted: a warm bed at night, never worrying if we'll wake up in the morning. The sad part is, too many families in New York still suffer through this every night when they go to sleep.

The next thing that really struck me was when the little boy, Cliffie, took Kozol on a walk around the neighborhood. Cliffie explained things to Kozol like he was perfectly okay with his situation; like it was completely normal for every kid to grow up this way. Kozol says that Cliffie explained how he saw another boy shot in the head, in a voice that wasn't "particularly sad".   

The last situation that really stood out to me was that of the woman who had lost her welfare benefits. She lost her benefits for an alledged "computer mistake". Now, she was having trouble qualifying for those benefits again. Kozol tells how the woman's son speculates that perhaps his mother isn't eating, because if she starves herself enough, she might get sick enough to qualify for welfare again. That is one of the saddest things from the whole reading: that someone would actually have to abuse their body in order to obtain the necessary benefits to survive.  


Sunday, February 10, 2013


Hi! I'm Ashley and I will be nineteen years old at the end of this month! This is my first year at RIC, and I'm an Elementary Education major (although that might be changing...I'm not sure yet). I have 3 siblings: a 15 year old sister and stepsister, and a 9 year old stepbrother! I spend a lot of my time outside of school at my Roman Catholic parish, Sacred Heart Church, where I am the sacristan and master of ceremonies.

Here's a picture of my church after we decorated it for Christmas:


This is my dog, Lady. She's a miniature daschund.

I hope everyone is okay after the blizzard!