Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Karate Seminar

So I went to a karate seminar on Saturday and learned many nerves and pressure points and locks to do on people and I learned about the history of karate. The person who led the seminar was an 8th degree black belt, was in the hall of fame, a licensed and working doctor, served the air force, worked with the best of the best and was an ex NJ State Trooper. Basically he knew his stuff and he knew it well. Now, while his seminar was all on karate, and the history, and the body, there was one quote in particular that stood out above all that made me really think, not only in the mind set of a martial artist, but also as a future teacher.

He said, "Every one learns the same alphabet. A-Z, Z-A, it's the same alphabet no matter who you are. But, even though they have the same letters, every person has their own signature. No 2 signatures are the same."

I see this as the perfect quote to teachers, new or old, current or future or retired. It is highly important that while we strive to teach all children the same material, we need to realize that no two kids will learn the same and will understand material their own personal way depending on what works best.
So I don't know if that connection came out as clear as I thought it did through my words, but it makes sense in my head haha.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Nothing to do with Class.

So this, like the Title says, has nothing to do with class, I think, It's just been on my mind all weekend and I wanted to share it. Thursday night, I went out to a Chinese restaurant because it was a co-worker's last day as she was getting transferred to another place. All of my co workers who went to bid their farewells, were 21 or older so they were drinking alcohol. I for one, am 19, and while that tends to mean nothing when alcohol is involved, I choose not to drink. I much rather have an  ice cold Root Beer or Orange soda which is perhaps why I remembered this. I like to go to events where people drink, just because, when people drink, they tend to speak their minds. Nothing matters so they just say it and don't hold back. This can be good and this can be bad. In Thursday night, this was awesome.

My friend Rob had just polished off his 5th drink. He loves to bicker about society and the man and all of that other stuff. So he began to speak about, social status? I guess that's the right term. So he says to me this:

"If you ever wonder where you stand in society, think of this. If you walk into a building, and your name is on the building...you live in a high society." Okay so I think of THE Dave who owns Dave's Marketplace, just because that's where we all work and we know him and how of a luxury his life is. Rob then says:

"If you walk into a building, and your name is on the wall, then you live a decent life, kind of in the middle of society." So in our thoughts, we think of all of our managers who have their names on plaques in the store. They don't live a life anywhere near the luxury style of Dave, but their doing pretty well, probably have nice families and are generally happy with how their lives' have turned out. Rob finished with this:

"IF, you walk into a building, and you look all around, and the ONLY place you can find your name, is on YOUR shirt, then you live in "low" society, at the bottom." Now this is perhaps the easiest for people to connect with. So many of us have part time jobs. We work just to make a few extra dollars to perhaps pay for gas, buy food or clothes, or even help pay some bills. But we tend to make so little, and we hate those jobs. They're there not for a future hopefully, but to make a few extra dollars to get by until we find our calling. I know I hate my job. And the only place I find my name is on my shirt. I mean nothing to the company except another number in some excel spreadsheet that breaks down how much i make, when I work and all of that other information that a company needs to know. As long as my shirt is the only place I can find my name, I'll be unhappy, and won't be living in a huge house anytime soon that's for sure.

I know this has nothing to do with class, but I love this Idea. It really opened my eyes and made me want to push myself. I'm not saying that I want to get a plaque on Dave's wall. But I want to strive for larger. Maybe one day there will be a building that has my name. Or at least ONE T, and then I'll be happier living a much more luxurious life!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Racism just ain't right!

This week, we read about Brown vs. Board of Education, watched two videos, and then read an article from last weeks edition of the New York Times. I decided to play the videos, one at a time, while doing research and reading peer's blogs.
The way an old teacher of mine explained Brown vs. Board of Education, was that Brown...who was black, wanted to send his child to the white school. His reasoning, was that the white school was better and closer, so why not? Who wouldn't send their kid there? The white school kicked his kid out and then a land mark case was built. In Rob Herbert's article in the New York Times on March 21st, 2011, Seperate and Unequal, this case is the same. Anyone can see that. True, schools are no longer divided amongst color, but is this really true? Like Rob Herbert says, that teachers try to avoid schools stricken by high poverty rates, and that these schools are composed of primarily minorities such as Blacks and Hispanics. So if the "best" teachers are avoiding these schools, and these minorities are being deprived the best possible education possible just because of the money they don't have, then that means they won't be able to get the jobs that require higher achievements, which means their children will be in the same position and the cycle will continue forever. If that's so, then is segregation really gone? Sure we're not segregating based on color, but unintentionally we are since the poor kids go to the poor schools in the poor neighborhoods and the rich kids go to the rich schools in rich neighborhoods.
Where you're born, in most cases, outlines your future and decides on whether you'll be highly successful, or just stay where you are. Unless, something drastic is done. Since good teachers avoid poverty stricken schools like the plague, in order to make a difference, you have to remove poverty out of the equation. You should have great teachers at any and all schools no matter what the poverty rate is. A quote from Hebert's article states The study, released last October, found that “over a period of five to seven years, children in public housing who attended the school district’s most advantaged schools (as measured by either subsidized lunch status or the district’s own criteria) far outperformed in math and reading those children in public housing who attended the district’s least-advantaged public schools.”
My History teacher said this to the class last year. He said,"Let me tell you guys something, I teach this class both here at RIC, and also at Brown. Just because Brown is a more well known and respectable school that cost a lot more money does that mean I teach the course better there. I teach this course the same way at both schools." I think of this quote a lot now. This is the way it should be. Yes, RIC or Brown aren't exactly poverty stricken schools, but I think we can all agree that a lot of people can't afford an education at Brown in which they can at RIC. I think we all also agree that unfortunately a lot of employers will look at resumes, and if 2 applicants have the same grades and everything, and one went to RIC and one went to Brown...well which applicant would you choose? And does that mean one is better than the other? Or just that maybe, one had more money than the other and could afford the "better" education.
Education shouldn't be affected at all depending on where you live and the poverty rates. I think the only way to destroy this concept, is to take poverty out of the equation. But is it really possible. All of the schools are already "labeled" as well as their neighborhoods. I just don't see how anything could really be changed =(