Sunday, September 29, 2013

Trying to Break the Language Barrier - An exploration on Richard Rodriguez's piece

           Reading this piece gave me two clear messages; albeit two very contrasting messages. The first thing I picked up on was Richard's loss of his identity as a primarily Spanish speaking person. He seemed reluctant to learn because his home life changed as he and his family learned English. In fact he even says that the personalities of his parents changed the more they learned the English language. His mother wanted to talk all the time while his father became more reserved and kept to himself. Although his father would revert to his old personality whenever he was with his friends and they would exclusively speak in Spanish. It's the thought that one has to leave their old personality behind to take on this new persona as and English speaker.                                                         

"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."

           This leads me into the other message I had noticed in this piece. Students often feel more confident about themselves when the fit in. While Richard had noticed his home life change he also noticed his social and school life change in turn. No longer would he and his siblings rush home because it would be the only place he would feel welcome. His mother wanted a phone installed in their home because she no longer felt isolated and blocked off by the language barrier. That's all that this comes down to, the fact that in bilingual homes private individualism has to suffer a bit in order to have confidence in public and to be their own people.

          So what do I think about this ideal? Personally I am all about people being who they are and to strive for who they want to be without caring about what people may think. The notion that someone has to change themselves in order to strive in society is in itself against my belief. However, as much as I may dislike it, it is a necessary change. To live and thrive in America you have to speak English. However that doesn't mean you have to change who you are entirely because of it. Sacrifices sometimes have to be made in order to achieve a successful job or life, and a small change in private life is a small sacrifice to make.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Society's "Fall from Grace" A look into Kozol's article

      Jonathan Kozol's piece to me was effective at putting the reader in the shoes of a life that isn't truly noticed by society as a whole. We try think about and show pity to those who don't have as much as we do, nor do we truly understand what these people go through on a daily basis. Kozol paints a picture right from the beginning at the struggle and the absolutely alarming statistics that these people are stricken with. They are by his own admission the "poorest of the poor". They see death and despair at almost every corner, either through overdoses on cocaine which has run rampart in their community or from random murders throughout the county. These children are faced with issues many of us couldn't even comprehend at that age because thankfully we weren't exposed to it.
       I feel the most shocking thing in this entire article would be the fact that these children aren't even all that phased by their surroundings. Their overexposure to rampart violence and drug usage has completely desensitized them to problems like seeing a murder just down the street. As shown in the anecdote with the child named Cliffe. While walking with him in the park they walk by an area where as Cliffe put it "a guy got shot in the head" with little to no emotion in his voice. They even walked by a place where amputated limbs and bloodied bed sheets were burned and he even made light of that situation.

     Now one could say that it's a coping mechanism, after all there is a large majority of children that live in that area who suffer from depression. They spend their nights crying without even knowing the reason why so they probably try to shove these traumatic events to the back of their minds. By doing this they are likely to have these sudden bursts of sobbing without reason because the memory that has been repressed for a time period is still effecting them emotionally and mentally. It's a very sad thing to think about but it's an issue all the same.

Hello everyone

Hello everyone I'm Kyle. This is my third year at RIC and fifth year of college overall after starting off at CCRI. I didn't have the most exciting summer as most of it was spent working or just hanging out with my friends, although the latter is really all I needed in order to have a good summer. As far as my job goes I work just a few minutes up the road from the college at The Home Depot in Johnston. It's not all that great in any aspect but it's a job all the same. As far as my interests go I enjoy watching sports (all hometown teams) and playing them if my friends aren't busy with whatever they have going on at the time.