The truth about music.

"Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtues"


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Safe Spaces- Argument

“Safe Spaces” makes a ton of arguments for LGBT in our societies school system.  The stories told in this article about the troubles LGBT students go through are a tragedy.  I personally would've never thought our countries education system would let this happen to its students.  One story that particularly caught my attention is Patrick's story about a student named Derek.  Derek is a student that called one of his classmates "gay".  Patrick is the teacher that had to intervene the situation.  Patrick could've sent Derek to the principles office, told him to stop, or simply have a talk with him after class.  Patrick went a different direction to fix the problem.  He told his students to pull out their dictionaries and look up the word "gay".  Then he told Derek to read the definition of "gay" to the class.  Once Derek read the definition, Patrick asked him if that was the "proper" word he wanted to use?  Derek replied with a no.  Then Patrick told him to use the appropriate language; after all he was in school.  Patrick could've handled the situation in a variety of ways.  If he handled it differently, it wouldn't change anything.  Derek will still call that student gay.  Patrick's way put Derek on a pedestal, it made Derek question his use of vocabulary and change his thinking of the word gay. Students can't be told to stop cause they won't stop, they need to question their judgment and in a way feel embarrassed about their actions.  Patrick’s method causes the students to question their actions and create discussions, which makes students understand what they are talking about.  I consider this method to be the proper way to handle the situation.  Students tend to be more rebellious and speak their mind freely because they think they know everything.  In order to diminish this issue with LGBT students, students have to understand LGBT.  

There are three sections in this article called Curriculum, Communication, and Good Intentions Are Not Enough.  I argue that these are the categories that need to change in our society.  We need to change the curriculum of schools to educate students about LGBT.  The education system has to incorporate more and safe communication amongst LGBT students.  The "Good Intentions Are Not Enough" category said it all.  I am a firm believer in that good is never good enough.  Being antiquate is being lazy and showing that you aren't doing enough to change the problem.  One quote that states the "solution” to this situation that isn't good enough is on page nineteen. 

"Good intentions are not enough; trying to see all students as the same is not enough.  Being a fair-minded individual is not enough.  We argue that educators must publicly commit to creating classroom climates of inclusivity and respect with the pledged cooperation of all students.  Only then can we begin to create classrooms that are safe for LGBT youth."


Our education system believes that they are doing enough.  Enough is never enough; it's simply an excuse to ignore the problem at hand.  What is wrong with having students understand more about LGBT? What is wrong with students being LGBT?  The answer is short and simple. There is nothing wrong with being LGBT.  We are all human and we all go through life.  My mom once told me that we all have the opportunity to create our future and be treated fairly because we are all human.  There is nothing wrong with being LGBT, if only the education system can accept the truth.  

This is a video from More Equal Union, which is an LGBT Civil Rights group.  They created an album supporting equality of every human being.  The song "Your Time Has Come" is a great song that states the fight for equality. Please enjoy the video.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Aria by. Richard Rodriguez


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

School is suppose to be a place of acceptance.  Being Bilingual is a great quality and has a positive impact on ones future. The ability of understanding multiple languages is praised in our society today.  This quote caught my attention because Richard didn't feel accepted for who he is and where he comes from.  When you don't feel accepted, you loose a sense of security.  you loose the ability to trust others.  Since Richard didn't feel accepted, he didn't trust his teacher.  A student can't learn from a teacher that they don't trust and feel afraid of.  Two words that caught my eye are "afraid" and "trust".  These words caused Richard to loose the sense of feeling normal.  A student that doesn't speak english should learn how to speak english.  How can these students learn how to speak english when they don't feel comfortable with who they are?  Students need to feel safe, accepted, and normal.  They can't learn until this happens and it all starts by doing the little things to show acceptance.

"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 can relate to one common issue from my last post about communication.  Richard and his siblings got better with speaking english over time.  Over that time span,  his family bond started to deteriorate.  What once made his family different and unique that made their family so close was gone.  Families all have differences that keep them close and which makes them experience a tight relationship.  One of these differences involves communication, meaning what language you speak.  Since his family talked more english and got use to that life style.  His family started to grow apart.  The reason for this change is because of our public separateness.  English is the common language in America and is the one most spoken.  Do I believe that you should learn English? I do, I believe that if you live in America you should be able to communicate in English.  The same reason why I believe this is the same reason every country feels this way.  Then again, being bilingual shouldn't affect who you are and your family.  In Richard's case, I believe that his family speaking English more often caused him to confuse himself.  To loose an idea of who he is and where he came from; That feeling of being lost.  When you lived your life a certain way and it changes so dramatically.  It can cause insecurity, which is why the family bond diminished over those years.  We Teach English so we can get along with society, not change families beliefs and ways of being a unique family.

"But the bilingualists simplistically scorn the value and necessity of assimilation. 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."

At first, I had to look up the definition for assimilation when I read this quote.  Assimilation means to adopt the ways of another culture.  Adopting the ways of another culture is a way of becoming a part of a different society.  Assimilation is simply the reason to become bilingual.  I believe that we are focusing to much on the "necessity of assimilation" then on the lives of the students and their families.  We need to realize that one language doesn't substitute another.  Changing one's language is changing their family culture and unity.  Is it a necessity to understand and get along with each other?  It is to an extend,  communication is key in our society. We have to be able to get along in society without sacrificing the individuality that makes everyone and their families distinct.   

This link shows a picture that I think is good symbolism for this communication barrier.   

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Other People's Children: The Silenced Dialogues

I thought Other's People Children by Lisa Delpit is an extraordinary read and I would highly recommend people would read it.  Lisa Delpit writes about an issue that affects both race and social class and how the communication boundaries conflict.  Lisa uses a few examples of this distinction of language from experiences that teachers and students have endured with communication matter and how it affects the students capability to learn and teachers power to teach.  Lisa's composition describes a struggle of communication from over the years and how it greatly alters our society.  She also wrote about five aspects from her theme called "the culture of power".  The five aspects are
1) Issues of power are enacted in classrooms.  2) There are codes or rules for participating in power, that is, there is a "culture power".  3) The rules of the culture and power are the reflection of the rules of the culture of those who have power.  4) If you are not already a participant in the culture of power, being told explicitly the rules of that culture makes acquiring power easier.  5) 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.  These five aspects are the categories related towards these differences between communication and the education of all children.  

I personally agree with Lisa's research and her point of view.  In order for teachers to teach and students to learn, we have to answer questions like "how can we communicate better?”  Communication is the only way the education system can function and work.  Since people have different back rounds and lives, teachers have to be able to adapt to these language barriers and vise versa for the students.  Teachers, students, and even parents talk differently in many ways that affect their ability to respond and interact with each other.  One example of these boundaries Lisa uses is the possible difference between a Caucasian mom and mom of color tell their child to get ready for a bath.  The Caucasian mom might ask her child "Isn't time for you to take your bath?"  While she heard a mom of color said to her child "Boy, get your rusty behind in that bathtub!”  The contrast between these diverse conversations needs to be incorporated in schools.  Every kid learns differently, some need to be talked to with an aggressive tone while another needs to be asked to do something in a modest tone.  Besides a more hostile way of communication, there are many more characteristics that can influence the students capabilities to learn.  It's not the fact that there are these language barriers, it's the fact that the education system hasn't accepted these ways to communicate to students and be able to adapt to how the students understand what they are learning.  Teachers can't change the way students communicate. They are suppose to teach them how to write and speak in a way that's considered formal.  That doesn't mean that the way a student speaks or retains information is wrong, just different.

One quote that caught my attention occurred on the second to last page of this publication.  She is summarizing the whole purpose of this article.  Talking about how we need to change our perspective on how teachers teach and communicate to their students.  How the education system needs to go beyond their beliefs and simply put the students first.

"To do so takes a very kind of listening, listening that requires not only open eyes and ears, but open hearts and minds.  We do not really see through our eyes or hear through our ears, but through our beliefs.  To put our beliefs on hold is to cease to exist as ourselves for a moment - and that is not easy.  It is painful as well, because it means turning yourself inside out, giving up your own sense of who you are, and being willing to see yourself in the unflattering light of another’s angry gaze.  It is not easy, but it is the only way to learn what it might feel like to be someone else and the only way to start the dialogue."  (Lisa Delpit)

This is one picture that I found that is apparently a stereotypical Caucasian mom and a mom of color conversation to their children.